The Story Of Jim Garrison and the Struggle for Civil Rights in New Orleans
For Josh, Ian, Sue, Bruce, Marilyn, Mitch, and Miguel.
Cast Of Characters
Jim Garrison- District attorney of Orleans Parish. Known among friends as “Big Jim” and “The Giant” Garrison’s tough exterior concealed a kind of vulnerability. As a child Garrison was diagnosed with a form of teburculosis which would eventually develop into an asthmatic condition.
Liz- Garrison’s wife.
Children- Jasper, Virginia, Lyon, Elizabeth, and Darrow.
Walter Germeinhardt- Friend of Garrison from grammar school who practices criminal law.
Helen- Wife of Walter Germeinhardt.
Dorian Jacoby- Garrison’s personal physician.
Ada and Alice- Nurses whom treat Garrison for post-teburculosis and asthma. Ada is forty and Alice is thirty eight.
Dennis Barry- Garrison’s law partner whom becomes his assistant in the district attorney’s office.
Louis Ivon- Garrison’s chief investigator with whom he has developed a somewhat close bond. Known as “Buck” by his boss Louis Ivon is the only person whom is able to break through Garrison’s tough outer surface.
Mary Korns- An investigator for Garrison. The first female investigator in New Orleans.
Assistants- Isaiah Beck, Numa Bertel, Steve Bordelon, Ray Comstock, Josiah Martin, Ross Scaccia, Andrew Sciambra, John Volz, Dalton Williams and Charlie Ward.
Dinah- Wife of Louis Ivon.
Bernard Cocke- Criminal court judge. About fifty.
Susannah- Secretary to Judge Cocke. About thirty.
Dean Andrews- An old friend of Garrison’s from his time in law school. Known for his representation of members of the New Orleans mob and for a severe addiction to gambling Andrews is reckless and somewhat shifty. After being disciplined by the local bar association Andrews pleads to his old friend for help to which Jim Garrison reluctantly consents then retracts.
Guy Banister- A former special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local private detective marked for investigation by Garrison and his staff for misconduct.
Clay Shaw- Manager of the International Trademart and parttime consultant for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Victim of blackmail by Guy Banister. Testifies against Banister at his misconduct trial.
Solomon Tate- Presides over Guy Banister’s misconduct trial.
Jay Hoyt- Defense attorney for Guy Banister.
Tommy Sullivan- A young investigator who works for both Dean Andrews and Guy Banister. Impulsive and angry Tommy attacks Jim Garrison and his lead investigator as they are coming out of the courthouse.
Robert Buras- Detective for the New Orleans police department. Questions Garrison and Louis Ivon after they are attacked.
Doctor- Treats Garrison and his investigator following the attack which occurs outside the courthouse.
Vernon Mills- A local jazz musician and civil rights activist in New Orleans. He is the victim of a brutal arson perpetrated by the Ku Klux Klan after registering and encouraging numerous black citizens from both Orleans Parish and the surrounding areas to vote.
Nancy- Vernon’s wife is involved with her husband in the local chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality and eagerly participates in several marches and voting schools.
Winnie- Oldest daughter of Vernon and Nancy. Sensible. Intelligent and polite. Age eleven.
Joey- Nancy and Vernon’s oldest son. Age nine.
Simon- Youngest son of Vernon and Nancy. Age six.
Charlotte- Younger daughter of Vernon and Nancy. Age four.
Julian Potter- Criminal court judge and close friend of Jim Garrison.
Civil Rights Activists- Mary Ellen, Danny, Beverly, Terrence, Candace, Sid, Hannah, Zachary and Renee.
Policemen- Confront Vernon and the other activists upon their arrival in Norwood, Louisiana.
Johnny Lindgren- Member of the Ku Klux Klan in East Feliciana Parish. Upon learning of the Mills’ efforts on behalf of equal voting rights he sets fire to their home. He is brought to trial after being indicted upon conspiracy to commit civil rights violations.
Bobby Joe Price- Leader of the East Feliciana Parish chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. Charged with Johnny Lindgren in the attempted murder of Vernon Mills.
Bruce Reed- Defense attorney for Johnny Lindgren and Bobby Joe Price.
Ned Monroe- Judge.
Cal Fontaine- Errand boy for Bobby Joe Price and informant for Jim Garrison. Aged about seventeen.
Witnesses- Doctor Francis Willis, Lily Garvey, Alastair LaChance, Hal Baker, Angeline Miller.
Jury- Cheryl Anderson, David Sawyer, Joan Morse, Anthony Salvi, Maggie Hill, Bartholomew Jensen, Ellen Gibson, Tad Greer, Mindy Rourke, Andrew Crawford, Sally Ellis, Oliver Howe.
Jazz Band- Bryan Maze, Jay Giles, Carla Amos, Flo Sanders.
Madeleine Rogers- A woman whom is accused of child neglect. She asks Garrison to drop the charges and is refused.
Vendor- Serves ice cream to Garrison’s children during an outing.
Operator- Receives a call from Louis Ivon to Charity Hospital when Jim Garrison is found after collapsing from exhaustion.
Cal Fontaine- Former associate of Johnny Lindgren whom after becoming an informant testifies to the involvement in the case of both he and Bobby Joe Price.
Bernadette Olson- Reporter for the Times Picayune. About forty.
Annabelle Moriarty- Reporter for the States Item. About thirty.
Offstage Voices- The voices of various characters supplement the action of the play.
Time: March1964-October of 1965
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana.
Briefly: East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana.
~History repeats itself. And that is one of the things that is wrong with history.~
1 ACT ONE
~It is early morning. The house when opened to reveals an interior that has been divided into two levels. The upper floor consists of a quintet of bedrooms and two bathrooms. One of these bedrooms contains an infant of about sixteen months. The largest of the three bedrooms is occupied by the tracing of a man of forty years whom when standing reaches six feet and six inches exactly and two hundred and forty pounds in weight. The lower level consists of a set of rooms which consist of a somewhat large living room. Two bathrooms and a somewhat small kitchen. The lights now somewhat dimmed call some attention to the man as he selects a clean white shirt and one of several neckties which he loops around his throat and hides by his triangular collar. This drawer is closed and another is opened. Out of which a pair of dark tinted socks are brought to the surface and placed gingerly onto his feet. His feet at once step into a pair of large brown shoes. Gently he apprehends a small thin comb and commences to fashion his deep brown hair. The lights brighten slowly as he moves down the stairs toward the first floor into a smallish room furnished by a plain wooden table of simple brown which is laden of food and whose matching chairs are occupied by a woman and four children which we assume to be his wife and offspring. The lights now come up fully as he seats himself allowing the action to fade.~
Garrison seats himself jovial to his children: How is everybody doing?
Jasper a reply in kind: Good.
Virginia a smile: Everything is good.
Lyon cheerful: Hi Daddy!
Garrison a grin: Hello Snapper!
Liz interjects herself: Are you going to be home for supper tonight?
Garrison facing his wife: I think so. I will let you know if anything comes up.
Liz nods: Alright.
Garrison focus shifts back toward the children: Is everybody ready for school?
Liz facing their eldest son the same tone: Jasper? Where is your homework from last night?
2 The Story Of Jim Garrison
~SCENE 1 CONTINUED~
Jasper the same tone: It is in my bookbag.
Garrison the same tone: Good.
Virginia to their father: Do you think we are still going to go to the zoo on Saturday? I want to see the big cats again.
Garrison the same tone: Probably can. I can’t see why not. Jasper? When is your spelling test?
Jasper nods: My spelling test is tomorrow.
Garrison the same tone: Let me quiz you.
Jasper releases a deep sigh: Dad!
Garrison again the same tone: Let me quiz you.
Jasper a sigh: Okay.
Garrison eye contact the same tone: Okay. First word is ‘cat’.
Jasper clear: C-a-t.
Garrison the same tone: Okay. The second word is ‘dog’.
Jasper the same tone: D-o-g.
Garrison the same tone: Ready for number three?
Garrison a grin: Number three is ‘house’.
Jasper clear: H-o-u-s-e.
Garrison the same tone: This one’s a bit different. Fourth word is ‘river’.
3 FIAT AEQUITAS
~SCENE 1 CONTINUED~
Jasper clear: R-i-v-e-r.
Garrison the same tone: Word number five is ‘Mississippi’.
Jasper stumbling: M-i-s-s-i…
Garrison a push of encouragement: See if you can figure it out.
Jasper following a somewhat long pause: M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i.
Garrison as if sharing a secret: You know how you can tell? There is a game that we used to play with spelling words when I was in school. It’s ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’. Unless sounding like ‘a’ as in ‘neighbor’ and ‘weigh’.
Jasper a smile: Thanks!
Liz to her husband: I am going to take the children to your mother’s house later.
Garrison nods: Alright. What’s happening?
Liz the same tone: I am going with Dinah and Lenore and we are going shopping for new dresses.
Garrison a nod: Oh alright.
Liz to her husband: This morning before I leave I am going to do the children’s laundry and mop the kitchen floor.
Virginia to their mother: Mama? Ask Grandma if she is going to take us to the park!
Liz faces the child hand forward: Hold on a second Virginia. I am talking to your father.
Virginia drawing back in embarrassment: Sorry.
Liz a sigh: Oh. I think that I ought to get groceries too. Jim? Do you need anything?
Garrison a nod: Coffee.
4 The Story Of Jim Garrison
~scene 1 continued~
Liz the same tone: Alright.
Garrison following a very long pause rising voice is cheerful as he glances back to his children and wife: Bye everybody!
Children unison: Bye Dad!
Liz offers him a grin: Bye Jim! I love you. See you tonight.
Garrison offers his wife a peck upon the cheek upon exit: Bye Liz. I love you too. See you later.
Liz after a somewhat long pause with the children rises allowing the scene to fade.
~It is late morning. The stage is opened to reveal a somewhat large room furnished in a somewhat rich fashion. This includes two sets of shelves which are decorated with framed photographs. As well as several classical literary works which range from works by Shakespeare to a copy of the bible. At another end of the somewhat large room there is a large and somewhat lengthful sofa. A divan and a pair of plainly built tables. One houses a somewhat large record player and several albums which range in genre from jazz and big band to classical. The other a pot and several mugs. Our eye moves from this area of the chamber and commences focus upon several chairs. These are occupied a by a number of individuals both female and male whom are clad in a variety of professional attire and fronted by a large desk of red oak. Behind this desk a leather chair has been placed. This chair contains the same forty year old man. His hair of deep brown is neatly combed behind his ears. A youngish looking woman clad in checkered dress and a pair of heels of sea foam tint bearing a mug which is filled with steaming liquid moves downstage causing the scene to commence~
Joyce upon entrance places the mug upon the desk of her superior: Here’s your coffee Mister Garrison. Do you need anything else at this time?
Garrison shakes head: Thank you Miss Wood. Please call everyone and inform them that we are going to be having a meeting.
Joyce makes her exit allowing the scene to progress.
5 FIAT AEQUITAS
~SCENE 2 CONTINUED~
Garrison his bright blue eyes face the group of now occupied chairs is alert to his staff at large: Alright. What is the plan for today?
Oser observant: I have a battery case coming up for trial.
Garrison facing his assistant sounds him out: Okay. Who is the victim plaintiff in this case?
Oser the same tone: The victim plaintiff is a black woman named Aleta Morris. She is thirty years old. She is blind from a childhood illness and she is unmarried. I talked to her yesterday.
Garrison the same tone: Who is your defendant?
Oser the same same tone: There are two defendants. Both are under the age of eighteen. The boy is fourteen and the girl is seventeen. Both defendants are white.
Garrison the same tone: Is it a case of civil rights violations?
Oser a shrug: We’re not sure.
Garrison facing him directly the same tone: Who is working with you on this case?
Oser the same tone: Ray Comstock and I are working on this case together.
Garrison the same tone: What kind of physical evidence do you have?
Comstock arm extended surrenders a large envelope which has recently been sealed: That is the original police report. There are several photographs in there too. A friend of Miss Morris took them after the incident.
Garrison nods: Were there any other witnesses?
Comstock a nod: Several. There is her friend Roseanna Greer. Roseanna Greer took the photographs of Aleta Morris’s injuries. And then there are several of her neighbors. As well as some people that work in the area.
Garrison the same tone: Have they been interviewed yet?
6 The Story Of Jim Garrison
~SCENE 2 CONTINUED~
Comstock a shake of the head: Not yet,
Garrison the same tone: Alright. I’m going to go over these things. Al? You and Ray need to go and interview the witnesses at the scene. Also. Make sure that you collect any evidence that might still be there.
Comstock a nod: Alright.
Oser makes his exit followed by the investigator to whom he has been partnered causing the time to progress.
Garrison after several very long moments is seated alone upon a chair that is fashioned from red leather and which is attached to his desk both in a literal and emblematic sense.
Joyce voice is somewhat muffled from the other side of the door to a second person whom has just made his way up the stairs: Mister Banister! Please! Mister Garrison left me strict instructions not to allow anyone into his office at this time. You mustn't go any further!
Guy pushes her aside commences to knock loudly: Let me in!
Joyce after a pause of several moments peals the door: I am sorry.
Garrison waves her off: That is quite alright Joyce.
Joyce upon making exit: Thank you.
Garrison greeting his friend is professional: Hello Guy. What can I do for you?
Guy gentility conceals a kind of fury which rests just below the surface: I got served with a summons this morning. Do you know what that might be about? My detectives were quite bewildered about this.
Garrison manner though firm maintains a kind of placidness as the dialogue commences: My office received a complaint a couple of days ago concerning the failure to comply with instructions given regarding an order for placement of listening devices and a search warrant.
7 FIAT AEQUITAS
~SCENE 2 CONTINUED~
Guy now becomes explosive: The placement of those wiretaps was unequivocally legitimate! What are you accusing me of?
Garrison hand forward stops him: Hold on now Guy. Calm down. I’m just telling you what is in the complaint. The complaint states that your agency placed this recording device and carried out a search without police presence. Now. Who signed the warrant?
Guy a quick sigh: Bernard Cocke signed it.
Garrison eye contact: Alright. Let me call Judge Cocke and see if he can throw some light on this situation.
Guy a deep sough: Alright.
Garrison lifting the telephone receiver places it to his ear ushering in a short pause which passes somewhat quickly: Hello there. Susannah? Is Judge Cocke there?
Susannah polite: Hello Mister Garrison. Yes. Judge Cocke is here. Hold on for a moment please.
Garrison the same tone: Thank you.
Susannah now goes silent allowing the scene to progress somewhat.
Judge Cocke voice takes over the telephone: Hello? Mister Garrison? What may I do for you?
Garrison to the judge: Yes. Judge Cocke? I have Guy Banister with me here. I have a copy of this complaint that was filed against him a couple weeks back concerning misappropriation of a search warrant. I am calling because he said that you signed the warrant itself.
Judge Cocke polite but somewhat firm: I did.
Garrison the same tone: Was Guy by himself? Or was there a second person with him?
Judge Cocke the same tone: No. A man named Larry Gauchereau was with him.
8 The Story Of Jim Garrison
~SCENE 2 CONTINUED~
Garrison the same tone: Alright. The complaint concerns placement of a listening device. What were the specific instructions on this warrant? Do you remember?
Judge Cocke firm: I wrote at the bottom of that warrant that this entry needed to be made with police presence. Why do you ask?
Garrison sighing heavily into the telephone: Would you be willing to testify to that in a court proceeding?
Judge Cocke a nod: Of course. Go ahead and contact me when you need me to testify.
Garrison the same tone: Thank you.
Judge Cocke ringing off goes silent.
Garrison returning the telephone receiver to its place turns back to the old private investigator eyes are somewhat hard: Alright. Judge Cocke told me that this interception warrant wasn’t supposed to be executed without police presence. What happened?
Guy laidback: I told Larry to go in ahead of time.
Garrison with much frustration: Guy. You can't do that! You know that you can't enter a location to place a listening device without the presence of law enforcement!
Guy a shrug the same tone: I see no harm in letting him go in on his own for this search. He’s conducted searches before. I don’t see what the problem is.
Garrison shocked faces his friend: You have been a private investigator for twelve years and you have been in law enforcement at both the federal level and the local level much longer than that! You know what the guidelines are here. My office has at least three files filled with reports of misconduct by your private detective agency. Complaints of possession of unauthorized firearms. Bribery. Blackmail. Assault. Intimidation of witnesses. And now this? You should know better than that! You have been in law enforcement long enough before this to know that.
Guy is now indignant eyes are wide: I did nothing of the kind. This was a perfectly good search.
9 FIAT AEQUITAS
~SCENE 2 CONTINUED~
Garrison unbreakable: There is enough evidence here for a case of professional malfeasance. I can't let this slide.
Guy calm raises a slight appeal: Couldn't you drop it?
Garrison firm shakes head: This case is going forward.
Guy slams his hand on the table causing several of its smaller contents to topple.
Garrison the same tone: This needs to be taken to a jury. You need to appear here in court six weeks from tomorrow.
Guy stares down his opponent voice possesses a sinister air: You better watch your step!
Garrison brow is raised: Did you just threaten me?
Guy posing a challenge: Take it however you like.
Garrison hand forward the same tone: You’re out of line. You had better step back and think. Now. I suggest that you leave before you get yourself into more trouble. .
Guy rising remains motionless.
Garrison the same tone: Do I need to have you escorted out?
Guy again stands rigid.
Garrison calmness conceals exasperation that is just below the surface lifts the telephone receiver again and upon commencing to dial waits following a pause: Sharon? Tap on Frank Meloche’s door please and ask him to come to my office.
Sharon from the other end of the line: Of course.
Garrison the same tone: Thank you.
Sharon rings off allowing the scene to progress somewhat.
10 The Story Of Jim Garrison
~SCENE 2 CONTINUED~
Meloche following a long pause: Sharon said that you need to see me. What can I do for you?
Garrison the same tone pointing: Frank? Please take Mister Banister downstairs.
Guy shoots the prosecutor a final glint of rage as he is led away.
Garrison is again seated alone inside his office calls out as the door is again rapped upon: Who is there?
Sharon from outside the door: Mister Garrison? There is someone from Banister and Associates here. He says that he needs to see you right away.
Garrison the same tone: Alright. Show him in.
Sharon upon entrance is followed by a man whose age falls between her own and that of her superior: Mister Garrison? This is Larry Gauchereau.
Garrison a nod: I know. Thank you Sharon. Could you please get us some coffee? And please if you could. Go knock on Buck’s door and tell him to come in here. And tell him to bring his tape recorder and a cassette tape in with him.
Sharon the same tone: Of course.
Larry upon hanging his coat and hat seats himself.
Garrison gentile: What can I do for you?
Sharon upon reentrance places a pair of mugs onto the table makes a quick exit allowing the scene to progress slowly.
Larry upon hanging his coat and hat and seating himself attempts to face the prosecutor voice reveals an obvious tension: I came here to talk to you. It’s all of the things going on around Guy’s office. These things that have been going on at Guy’s place…it’s downright worrisome now.
Garrison not a question: What kinds of things.
11 FIAT AEQUITAS
~SCENE 2 CONTINUED~
Larry a sigh eyes down the same tone: Intimidation of witnesses. Some of us have been threatened by Guy. Bad searches. Planting listening devices outside the presence of law enforcement...
Garrison firm: Some of the things registered in the complaints that we received. Are you referring to the search of Jeremiah Brown’s office and the placement of the device that we found?
Larry a sigh of exasperation: Yes I am. I told Mister Banister that we should go in with the police there. I virtually begged him to let the police accompany us. But he flat refused.
Garrison the same tone: I am going to have to take this to court. It can't be dropped.
Larry at the breaking point: I understand. But Mister Garrison…if Guy even hears about this...
Garrison the same tone: Now. Don’t worry about that. I can have a couple of my investigators protect you. Nothing you say here will go past the office…
Larry thoroughly relieved: Thank you.
Garrison following a pause calls out somewhat: Buck?
Ivon glances at his boss: Yes?
Garrison to his lead investigator: You and Frank are going to be assigned to look after Mister Gauchereau. Banister is being investigated and Mister Gauchereau will need to be protected while this is going on.
Meloche a nod: Alright.
Garrison the same tone: Larry? Do you need a minute?
Larry a nod takes a gulp from his mug of coffee: Thank you.
Garrison facing him the same tone: You are not being arrested. But I want to make sure that you know that you can have a lawyer present with you.
12 The Story Of Jim Garrison
~SCENE 2 CONTINUED~
Larry a nod: Yes I do. I am willing to speak here.
Garrison voice returns to its former tone leaning over addresses a small tape recorder which has been placed before him: Today is the sixth of February of nineteen sixty four. It is one forty five in the afternoon. This is in reference to Guy Banister and activities being carried out at five forty four Camp Street.
Larry again takes a long sip from his mug.
Garrison eye contact: Now Larry. Tell me a little bit more about what happened during the time that you were at Jeremiah Brown’s office.
Larry faces his questioner: We go into the building. There was me. Warren Nebrough and Paul Dalzell. We start looking for files.
Garrison the same tone: What were you trying to find?
Larry a slight gulp: We were looking for evidence of fraud and embezzlement. Jeremiah Brown is among several people who are being investigated for fraud against an employer of theirs.
Garrison following a somewhat long pause: I see. When you brought your concerns to Guy about how the way this search was being conducted then how did he react?
Larry recoiling: Guy became very angry. He began to just…rail at me. Guy said that he was the boss and that and that he would run things however he liked. And that it wasn't my place to tell him how to run the agency.
Garrison nods: Alright. Who actually planted the wiretap device?
Larry the same tone: Paul Dalzell did that.
Garrison the same tone: Alright. You mentioned that you thought that Guy Banister has committed blackmail and extortion. How do you know this? Did you hear about this from another one of the other detectives?
Larry shakes head: No. I have seen it myself.
13 FIAT AEQUITAS
~SCENE 2 CONTINUED~
Garrison the same tone: Can you describe for me some of the things that you have seen?
Larry somewhat sotto voce: He keeps all these files on people. Files with a lot of personal information. If Guy doesn’t get what he wants from someone then he calls their employers or friends. Or one of the local newspapers. And then he rats them out. Sometimes he fabricates things. He has even demanded money from people in exchange for keeping their information a secret.
Garrison the same tone: Who has he been extorting from specifically?
Larry the same tone: Jonas Simpson. Jessie Pratt. Nina Kordovo. Christophe Van Damme and his wife Marie. David Mears. Sam Ferris. Ray Johnson. Terrence Chase. Belle Lyles. Clay Shaw…
Garrison is surprised: Clay Shaw is a victim of blackmail by Banister?
Larry nodding is ashamed: Yes.
Garrison surprised: How long has this been going on?
Larry the same tone: Since nineteen sixty two.
Garrison nods: I see. How do you know about Clay Shaw being extorted?
Larry a deep sigh: There was one day a couple months ago. It was early in the afternoon. I was in my office with a client. This extremely tall man brushed past my door. He had white hair and blue eyes. And he was wearing a pair of red velvet slacks. A white silk blouse. And black velvet overcoat with a red floral pattern. He goes into Guy’s office and the door closed. Even after the door closed I could hear Guy shouting at him when I was in my office. I was at home with my wife watching the news a couple of days later. And this same man that I saw in Guy’s office came on the news with his name printed on the screen. That's how I knew it was Clay Shaw.
Garrison the same tone: I see. Had you engaged in contact with Mister Shaw prior to that incident?
Larry shaking head: No.
14 The Story Of Jim Garrison
~SCENE 2 CONTINUED~
Garrison following a somewhat long pause: Alright. One of my investigators will be in touch with you soon. In the meantime just be careful until everything can be arranged.
Larry upon turning to exit: Thank you Mister Garrison.
Ivon stops their prospective informant as he reaches their door eye contact voice though gentle is somewhat firm: I know that this is difficult for you. But you are going to be fine and you are doing the best thing possible here.
Larry the same tone upon exit: Thank you. I hope that you are right.
Ivon turning about heads back into the office allowing the scene to progress.
Garrison is again seated alone at his desk a somewhat large mug of coffee and surrounded in virtual silence with the exception of traffic and other noise that originates from the street below the silence is broken by the sound of the telephone as it begins to ring following a pause: Hello?
Giarrusso from the other end of the line: Hello? Jim? This is Joe Giarrusso. I just got a call from one of my officers. There is going to be a big demonstration in front of the movie theater on Royal Street today. Several people from the Congress of Racial Equality are down there. As well as people from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Garrison taking this in: Alright. Now. You know that both of those groups have always conducted themselves in a peaceful manner. We have never had any problems with them.
Giarrusso the same tone: Yes. I’m aware of that. But my officers are afraid that there could be a riot.
Garrison voice becomes somewhat firm: Alright. Tell all of the officers that are down there that there are to be no arrests unless they witness a criminal act being committed.
Giarrusso the same tone: Alright Mister Garrison. I will.
Garrison rings off allowing the scene to fade.
15 FIAT AEQUITAS
~It is early afternoon on a day two days hence. The lights come up to reveal the erect outline of a somewhat large house. The door of which appears to be empty except for a several chairs and a brown wooden table of somewhat diminutive appearance upon which a petite now unlighted lamp has been placed about which we see a man whose skin tone is somewhat dark and whom is clad in a pair of tannish slacks and a shirt of pale blue. His curly black pate is neatly combed. Beside him we see a woman of similar age and skin tone whom is clad in a dress of bright pink and whose somewhat long black hair like the pate of her husband is neatly arranged as well as several additional similarly clad women and men whom are encircled about this pair.~
Song WOKE UP THIS MORNING WITH MY MIND ON FREEDOM
Mary Ellen to the group: I know that the Royal Street movie theater has already been desegregated. But I’ve gotten word that some of the Negro citizens have been having some problems getting in.
Nancy brow is raised: Who specifically?
Mary Ellen the same tone: Maggie Brown and her family had problems getting in. Molly Ellis. These two girls. Adrianne Harris and Renee Montgomery were turned out by the management. Their parents complained. Becky Lawrence. Sissy Thomas and her children were turned out. A child named Marcus Brady and his sister Laurie. Clara Potter and her children were denied.
Nancy nodding: Alright. We can do that.
Vernon to the company at large: Alright. We have covered most of Orleans Parish for all of the voting registration schools and literature drives. After we finish with the Royal Street theater situation then I think that we should contact the chapter over in Norwood up in East Feliciana Parish and see if we can set up a voting school there.
Nancy picks up the subject from her husband: East Feliciana Parish is a hot potato. So I’ll guarantee that you will encounter some resistance. Particularly from some of the business people and from the police. So just be prepared for that.
Sid to the leaders: In terms of the Royal Street situation. The police investigators in the district attorney’s office here are good people. We know that we can trust them. But what if we get approached or cited by some uniformed officers that we aren’t acquainted with?
16 The Story Of Jim Garrison
~scene 3 continued~
Vernon grasping the line: There is a risk that you could be arrested. If that happens then don’t resist it.
Sid nods: Alright.
Nancy the same tone: The same rules apply when we go up to Norwood. If we are harassed by police. Or approached by anyone else stand your ground there. The laws integrating public locations have been passed. But that isn’t what this is about. This is a march for voting rights.
Sid a nod: Alright. Are we going up to Norwood on our own?
Nancy shakes head: We are going to meet at Saint John’s. They’re allowing us to use two buses so we are going to meet there. Then we are going first to Jackson to meet up with the East Feliciana chapter of CORE. And from there we are going to travel to Norwood.
Mary Ellen after several moments moves to the front of the room causing the scene to progress.
Nancy commences to sing: Let me tell you about a story a long time ago. Way down in Egypt land. Seems the pharaoh had taken control of things. Had the people in the palm of his hand. But a certain group of people called the Israelites didn’t want to play his game. So the pharaoh forced the people into slavery and caused them grief and shame…
Song GO DOWN MOSES
Vernon steps to one side causing the scene to fade.
~It is early afternoon. The lights now illuminate a small room which is furnished by a television set which has been placed in one corner of the room. To the right of the television we see a set of shelves whose occupants include several books both for children and adults. Board games. Dolls and toys. As well as a sofa. Several chairs and a smallish but somewhat elongated table upon which a chess set has been placed. This room which is contained within the same conjugal setting is occupied by the chief character of this drama and three of his five children. Upstage within a separate chamber we see the same woman of youngish appearance whom we know to be his wife. Seated upon the sofa we find four of five young children whom we assume to be those of our chief actor. In the background we hear telltale music and dialogue of cartoons which emanate from the television set.~
17 FIAT AEQUITAS
Children with the exception of the youngest are seated on and around the sofa and on a space of carpet near the television.
Garrison is very enthused upon entrance: Hey kids! Who wants to hear a story?
Children voices clattering: Me! Me! Me too!
Garrison upon shutting off the television approaches his children: what do you want me to read to you today? ‘Anne Of Green Gables’ or ‘Charlotte’s Web’?
Virginia and Elizabeth clattering: ‘Anne Of Green Gables’!
Jasper and Lyon the same tone: ‘Charlotte’s Web’ please!
Garrison draws a nickel from his pocket: Ok. Let’s flip a coin. Heads? “Anne Of Green Gables” Tails? We will read “Charlotte’s Web”. Okay?
Virginia nods: Okay.
Elizabeth nods: Okay.
Garrison tosses the nickel into the air and following a pause catches it peers at the face on the coin before him seats himself: Alright. It’s “Anne Of Green Gables”.
Children seat themselves: Okay.
Garrison reciting word for word: For reasons best known only to herself Marilla did not tell Anne that she was to stay at Green Gables until the next afternoon. During the forenoon she kept the child busy with various tasks and watched her with a keen eye while she did them. By noon she had concluded that Anne was smart and quick to learn. Her most serious fault seemed to be a tendency to fall into daydreams in the middle of a task and forget all about it until recalled to earth by either reprimand or catastrophe...
Liz after a somewhat lengthful pause from the dining room: Come on everyone! Supper is ready!
Jasper along with Lyon and Elizabeth commences to flock toward their mother and sibling.
18 The Story Of Jim Garrison
~SCENE 4 CONTINUED~
Garrison closing the book from which he has been reading grasps the hands of his two oldest children shepherds the younger girl and boy into the dining room allowing each child to be seated then seats himself at one end of the table off to one side we see antique highchair which is occupied by a child whose age falls to eleven months that we know to be their youngest child.
Liz from the kitchen: Jim? Do you know what you want to drink?
Jim calls to his wife: I think that I will just have some tea.
Liz the same tone: Alright! What do you children want to drink with dinner?
Jasper to his mother: May I please have some grape soda?
Liz a descent: You can have some sodapop with dessert. But not during dinner. What else do you want to drink?
Jasper the same tone: May I have some pineapple juice?
Liz a nod: That’s fine. Virginia?
Virginia a nod: I think that I will have some pineapple juice too.
Liz retreats into the kitchen.
Garrison seats himself.
Liz returns to the dining room very briefly after a somewhat long pause allowing the scene to progress.
Garrison at this time is resting upon a bed of enormous size beside which a somewhat large apparatus and several pieces of equipment beside him we see a woman whose age falls between thirty and fifty clad in a sterile looking dress and cap about whose throat a tiny white medallion upon which a caduceus of blue tint has been painted.
Ada reaching inserts a small syringe which is filled with a variety of steroid that is used for the treatment of asthmatic conditions into his now exposed left forearm.
19 FIAT AEQUITAS
~SCENE 4 CONTINUED~
Garrison a nod closes his eyes: Thank you.
Ada withdraws the needle following a somewhat long pause facing her patient: Alright Mister Garrison. This is going to take a few minutes to take an effect.
Liz makes entrance: Hello Jim.
Garrison a smile: Hello Liz.
Liz polite: How are things going?
Garrison a smile: Things are fine.
Ada to the wife of her patient: The corticosteroid takes an hour or so to work. And because of the proloid there may be a few side effects. But this is the best that we can do!
Liz a nod: Alright. Thank you Ada.
Ada slight firmness addresses both her patient and his spouse: Try to rest and keep everything as calm as possible while the medication takes effect. Broth and warm drinks help in these situations too. Is there anything else that either of you can think of?
Liz nods: Jim has been havi
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