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Close Friends Remember Hurley Rudd

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

Close friends of Hurley Rudd gathered Friday at Tallahassee's Waverly Park as they do every weekday.

Rudd, who would join them, used to set his folding chair at the head of the table for the daily meeting of the 'USTA' Club where discussions would revolve around how things used to be in Tallahassee.

“He had a fantastic memory of old Tallahassee, small town Tallahassee," recalled Bill Brueckheimer, a close friend of Rudd.

"He would talk politics, but he wouldn't take sides too often," said Ralph Durr, who also remembers Rudd.

Friends say they became heavy hearted when Rudd slipped into a coma as a result of a heart attack.

"I was very happy to be able to go and spent time with Hurley," said Jerry Williams, who visited Rudd while in hospice care.

Rudd, a former Tallahassee mayor and Florida state representative, served in the House in the late 80s and early 90s. Former lobbyist Wilson Wright remembers Rudd as a fair man.

"If you came to him with a bill he didn't like, he would say, 'I'm sorry, I can't vote for that bill.' If you came with a bill he did like, he would say, 'Get me the notes and I'll try to pass it in committee,'" said Wright.

Oscar Crowell remembers broadcasting a black college football championship game with Rudd in the 60's.

"Back in those days the race relations weren't the best. He demonstrated that race didn't matter to him based on the way he performed," said Crowell.

"I think everybody liked Hurley, maybe except for a couple of politicians. He was just a wonderful man," added Brueckheimer.


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