Transcript of interview with Harvey Dipple.
Thursday, September 8, 2005
Interview was conducted at Mr. Dipple's business D-Z Men's Store located on the town square in downtown La Grange
INTERVIEWEE: MR. HARVEY DIPPLE
INTERVIEWER: MRS. JAMIE RAPP
Jamie Rapp - Mr. Dipple are you relating in anyway to the founding fathers of this town?
Harvey Dipple - No ‘mam, I am not
JR - What do you think drew families to establish themselves in the La Grange area?
HD - Well it is a nice place to live, and when they come here they don’t want to leave!
JR - How long have you yourself lived in La Grange?
HD - I have lived in La Grange ah, for 67 years
JR - So you grew up here?
HD - I grew up here, then I moved away for three years and then I came back.
JR - How did your family support themselves when you were growing up?
HD - We were farmers.
JR - Is that pretty much the main supporting of families?
HD - At that time, yes pretty much, we lived on a farm and raised cotton, corn and cattle, and pretty much anything that came along
JR - I have some historical landmarks listed, are they any that you can think of that I do not have listed here?
HD - Well we have the bluff, which I don’t know if you have been on the bluff, it goes up on the hill. Which way did you come in?
HD - The army you know that drew the black beans got killed the ones that didn’t draw the black beans got to live.
JR - So the group went there and if you drew a black bean you had to die?
HD - Yes exactly.
JR - What positive changes have you seen happen to La Grange?
HD - Well we got into Main Street which helped. La Grange a whole lot
JR - What is “Main Street?”
HD - Ah, it’s an organization that is formed by the historical foundation, and we got into Main Street, oh I’d say about 15 years ago. And Main Street is a source to where you can get your buildings painted and you know everybody paints their buildings and get reimbursed for it.
JR - So that brought people back into town then?
HD - Yes.
JR - How long has this building been here?
HD - This building has been here since 1907
JR - Have you seen any negative changes to La Grange?
HD - Not really, no.
JR - Once they get here do they stay here?
HD - Yea, most of them do!
JR - Do the kids that grew up here, well you grew up here, you went away for a very short time but came back. So the kids aren’t necessarily beating the road to get out of town?
HD - Well the only bad thing about La Grange is that we don’t have jobs for all the young kids. You know we don’t have no industry or anything so we need and then a lot of the young kids would stay here. We’ve had a lot of kids that have left after they get out of school, they go to college and leave for a couple of years, and if there is an opening or a relative has a business they’ll come back.
JR - Did your family come from a different country to settle here?
HD - My great-great-grandfather and mother came from Germany. And they settled at Roundtop
JR - Well that’s not far down the road for you to established in La Grange
HD - No, I’d say maybe 17-18 miles. That’s not far at all
JR - So your mother and daddy moved to La Grange then?
HD - Yes in later years, first we lived in Roundtop until I was about, well I was to start school and we moved closer to La Grange, almost to where I live now. That was where we moved to then. And we had to go to Fayetteville School. And from there we moved into La Grange and we went to La Grange School.
JR - What are your fondest memories or interesting events that have happened in La Grange during your lifetime?
HD - Well, I shouldn’t say this…….but I guess the incident that I seen out in front of the store when Sheriff Jim pulled off Marvin Zindlers hair piece (lots of laughing here!!)
JR - I found the October 1973 edition of Texas Monthly and the footage of that is so funny! So you SAW him throwing off?
HD - Right up here, because we were standing here, we were down the street where Adamsick’s is now, and I was standing up front, looking out and Big Jim comes across the street and ole Marvin Zindler has just gotten out of the car, and oh boy they had it out there. And he finally just pulled his wig off!
JR - He did pull his wig off of him?!
JR - So that sheriff was a feisty old fella wasn’t he?
HD - He was a big fella too. He wasn’t scared of anybody. He would tackle anybody.
JR - What do you feel are the strong or weak points of living in La Grange? Do you honestly think there would be any weak point in living in La Grange?
HD - I don’t see any weak points in living in La Grange. I really don’t, I think it is a very nice place to live.
JR - It has a very “home town” feeling to me. Is that good way to put it?
HD - I would say that is a good way to put it. When people come on they always say “Oh the La Grange people are so friendly”
JR - Do you think businesses’ will relocate to La Grange?
HD - I would say some will.
JR - You think so, what would be they’re drawing point?
HD - Well you know Austin is so filled up, Bastrop is really booming, and Smithville is next. And a lot of them are coming into Smithville already, so we’ll be next. It is just a matter of overflow.
JR - Are businesses’ moving away from La Grange?
HD - I don’t think so, the one’s that have strong roots are not. Most of them that are here I believe are figuring on staying. I don’t think we will lose any.
JR - What do you predict for La Grange’s future?
HD - I think it is gonna grow, I see it happening already. Because we have a lot of people coming in.
JR - The community is growing?
HD - We have a new hospital, which is really nice, they opened up on July 11th. It is a huge hospital, and I think that is going to help La Grange a whole lot, because that will bring in g people coming to the doctors and different things.
JR - Normally the bigger the town gets the more “state of art” their hospital has to become.
JR - Is there anything else that you would like to share with me that I haven’t asked you about this city?
HD - I can’t really think of anything right now, after you’re gone I’ll probably think of something! Right now I am blank!
** Mr. Dipple is a lifetime resident of Fayette County (with the exception of 3 years that he lived in Cuero…) He was my first interviewee, and helped make me feel very at ease with him, many times during our conversation I felt as if I had known him for years rather than just the few moments that I had actually been there. He and his wife celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Sunday the 11th of September 2005.