Group Title: History Speaks: Samuel Proctor Oral Histroy Program News
Title: History Speaks: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program News
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Title: History Speaks: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program News
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Publisher: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Publication Date: Fall 2009
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Bibliographic ID: UF00091055
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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History Speaks: S

P OHP News

Sa remarkably talented and energetic group of staff and
ve are gathering, preserving, and promoting more oral
n ever before! We joined UF emeritus professor Kevin
assist in the writing of the memoirs of Judge Stephan
Ige Mickle was recently elevated to Chief Judge of the
trict of Florida, and we are honored to be a part of
is remarkable life story.
4-year hiatus, we are back in the oral history teaching
F! We successfully completed graduate, as well as
te, seminars that were taught during the spring and
ns, respectively. Students received intensive training in the
history: hands-on instruction with new digital technology
from practitioners and theorists in the field.
cents interviewed Civil Rights Movement pioneers, retired
ion organizers, and community activists. These interviews
enerating senior thesis and dissertation topics. The staff
rked overtime to make these seminars successful learning
for all concerned! If you missed taking one of our seminars,
riault, a former Sam Proctor student, will be teaching
ral History" in the Fall 2009 term.
m Proctor founded our program in 1967, he endeavored
ral histories to an audience that extended far beyond the
university. I invite you to subscribe to our podcast series at
You will join a growing audience of listeners-young and
E listening to stories about environmental justice, World
orida history on their iPods.
as played an important role in the creation of WW II
ver Memorial Day weekend, SPOHP participated in
y preservation activities and aired important new
about the war through our website and podcast series. We
illen comrades past and present, especially Clair Chaffin,
rine corpsman who served on Iwo Jima. Clair was a great
HP, and we mourn his recent passing. (See pp. 12-13.)
in us at the Samuel Proctor Oral History program! Whether
n via iPod or come in to volunteer your services in person,
helping us in our mission to preserve and promote the
stories of our time. (Q
Paul Ortiz, Director 1 of 30

Visit us online to learn more about
our program and to subscribe to the
Proctor Podcast. Recent episodes
are listed on the last page of this

History Speaks:

- .m a-
Cover Photo (by Diane Fischler):

The landmark UF Bat House towers over a
profusion of coreopsis basalis wildflowers,
also known as golden wave coreopsis and
goldenmane tickseed coreopsis. The Bat
House is home to 60,000 to 100,000 insec-
tivorous Mexican/Brazilian free-tailed and
Southeastern bats. They can consume 30 to
60 million insects per night. Their departure
from the Bat House every evening at dusk is
one of Gainesville's biggest tourist draws.

2 of 30

History Speaks:

SPOHP's technical expert Deborah Hendrix and graduate
assistant/audit-editor Steve Davis conducted a classroom
session on May 22 on how to use digital recorders and
how to conduct interviews for student oral history
projects. (photo by Diane Fischler)

Letter from the Director 1
Call It Teamwork! 3
Farewell from Roberta 4
Back to Indianola! 5
"Fly Girls" Tribute 6
D-Day Commemoration 10
Tears in the Darkness 13
Corpsman Up! 14
Capturing UFF History 16
Reconstructing the Past 18
Ken Burns's SPOHP Acquisition 21
Stories Untold 22
Research 24
History in the Making 26
Podcast Update 30

, P OHP News

Call It Teamwork!
By Ann Smith
P09~ O-tic, E.yriC4 Th o i mrad Fire _ejL. Giane*viJli, FlI.

Downtown Gainesville in the early 1900s: Post Office (now the
Hippodrome Theater), Lyric Theater, and fire department.
(postcard courtesy Dr. & Mrs. Mark Barrow)

Sometime in the mid-1990s, Sam Proctor gathered together a community group at
the Alachua County Matheson Museum. Sam and the then-current director of the Samuel
Proctor Oral History Program, Julian Pleasants, were asked to give a program about collecting
stories. A small handful of participants joined Mary Ann Cofrin-long-time Gainesville
resident and Matheson board member-in obtaining verbal memories about the history of
Alachua County. Some of them recalled when the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad came down
the middle of Main Street and stopped long enough for riders to step into the White House
Hotel for lunch. They collected stories of those who remembered when the fire engine was
pulled by horses, and when trials were disturbed by hogs rooting underneath the courthouse
on the square.

As a volunteer since 1999 at the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Sam convinced
me to help the Matheson Museum by serving on Mary Ann's Oral History Committee.
Since the Matheson's "little sister" program was initiated, the two programs have
worked collaboratively sharing technology, digitization, board members, expertise, public
programs-and me. While the Matheson collects tales of Alachua County's times gone by,
the rigor of SPOHP expands its number of collections every day. I feel fortunate to have one
foot in each program. They complement each other! Call it teamwork! Q 3 of 30

History Speaks:

A Farewell

By Roberta Peacock

This is my farewell tribute to the Samuel Proctor
Oral History Program. Twenty-eight years ago, I had
no idea of what changes, growth, and excitement
the Oral History Program at the University of Florida
would bring to my life. In the beginning of my tenure
here, Dr. Samuel Proctor, the program's founder, had
become its director.

The Oral History Program was
basement of the Florida
Museum of Natural History in
Dickinson Hall. The collection
held about 2,000 interviews,
most of which had not been
transcribed or edited. Since that
time, Samuel Proctor's legacy
has continued. His love and
admiration of the history of the
University of Florida and the
state of Florida, as well as other
parts of the South, remain the
focus of SPOHP's collection.

housed in the

The program had a second director, Dr. Julian
Pleasants, who is now retired and living in North
Carolina. During his 12 years at the helm of
SPOHP, Dr. Pleasants added to the knowledge and
understanding of Florida politics, newspapers, UF
athletics, and many other areas of vital interest.

SPOHP's current director, Dr. Paul Ortiz, within
a year's time, has increased public awareness of the
valuable SPOHP archive. Under Dr. Ortiz's direction,

4 of 30

the program has moved into the digital age with
digital recorders and digital videotaping. I have
witnessed all these changes and know that SPOHP
will continue to move forward and increase its
visibility throughout the South, other parts of the
United States, and on the international scene.

I have decided to take an early retirement to
spend more time with my husband who has been
battling cancer for eight
years and who is now
under Hospice Care.
We have five beautiful
daughters, two of whom
are still at home (Amanda
and Tricia, pictured with
Roberta at left), and eight
S grandchildren.

I may be absent from
SPOHP's beautiful new
offices in Pugh Hall, but I
will never lose the passion
and knowledge that these three directors have
bestowed upon me. Also, my achievements at my
job, as well as the establishment of such a valuable
oral history program, would not have happened
without all the graduate and undergraduate students
and volunteers who have played major roles in the
program over the years. My desire to promote the
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program will never
change. I will always be a part of SPOHP! (

P OHP News

Back to Indianola!

By Mama Weston

Margaret Block was interviewed by Paul Ortiz in Indianola in September 2008. (photo by Sarah Eiland)

The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program will
return to the Mississippi Delta (August 18-23, 2009)
with the sights and sounds of last summer's trip
still reverberating. In September 2008, veterans of
the Mississippi Civil Rights Freedom Struggle shared
memories of the 1960s Congress of Racial Equality
(CORE), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
(SNCC), and era activism to a SPOHP-led research
group of students.

Graduate and undergraduate UF and FSU
students will join SPOHP director, Dr. Paul Ortiz, who
will again conduct collaboration with the Sunflower
County Freedom Project (SCFP) and Annual
Sunflower County Civil Rights Veterans Reunion via a
research trip to Indianola, Money, and Cleveland in
West Central Mississippi.

The SPOHP team will expand geographic
coverage of data collection, as well as discussion
with Sunflower County Freedom Project students,
Fannie Lou Hamer Legacy Committee members, and
two SCFP facilitators, Dr. Stacey J. White and veteran
Civil Rights activist Charles McLaurin. Funding for
this trip in August is again made possible by the
generous donation of Bill DeGrove.

Highlights of last year's visit included:
Hollis Watkins's freedom song lecture
Call to action by Congressman John Lewis
The poetry of Margaret Block
Indianola youth seminar with: 1) SCFP
reenactment of Civil Rights veteran actions;
2) Constance Curry's commentary of
Intolerable Burden; Mae Bertha & Matthew
Carter's story of enrolling 8 of their 13
children in 1965 Mississippi public schools
Visiting dilapidated jails of Drew,
Mississippi, which held Civil Rights workers
during the Jim Crow era
Meeting with Mississippi Mayors Thelma
Collins (Itta Bena), Heather McTeer Hudson
(Greenville), Jeffrey Kilpatrick (Drew), and
Shereil Faye Walker-Perkins (Greenwood)
An unexpected, impromptu duet of freedom
songs by Block & Watkins (C

SPOHP Interviewer Marna Weston is a graduate
student in the College of Agricultural and Life
Sciences, Department of Agricultural Education
and Communication. 5 of 30

History Speaks:

World War II Tribute to the "Fly Girls"

By Ira and Diane Fischler

They flew 60 million miles during World
War II, crisscrossing the country to transport
troops and cargo. They test-piloted 78 kinds of
military aircraft to make certain the planes were
safe for the airmen to use in all theaters of war.
They ferried new aircraft from the factories to
the ports of embarkation. They towed targets
for shooting exercises-very dangerous missions
in light of inexperienced soldiers manning anti-
aircraft guns.

These were the WASP-Women Airforce
Service Pilots. Although they received the same
training as
the men who
would pilot
these planes
on the front
performed key
flying services
for the armed
forces, they
no military
for their work.
They had to

purchase their own uniforms and pay for their travel
expenses to the air bases. And when they died in
the line of duty-as 38 did-their families had to
foot the bill for their funerals, which were prohibited
from including any military honors. In December
1944, with victory in sight, the WASP program was
dismantled and
the women
quietly went

Not until
1977 was any
sort of official
made of their
to the war
effort. An act
of Congress
finally gave
them veteran

Left to right: Former WASP Helen Snapp, Barry Smith, and Janet Lee
Simpson receive accolades at Gainesville's Memorial Day commemoration.
(photo by Ira Fischler)

6 of 30

S P OHP News

I have the utmost respect for alll

mebr of the Woe Aifoc
well, playing an important part during
the war." --Chuck Yeger, Brig. Gen. USA

Ret. est ilot Marh 26 199

status, and later, honorable discharges from the
military. Thanks to the efforts of a number of
private organizations and veterans groups, the
WASP have recently been given some of the
recognition they most assuredly earned for
their service.

This spring Congress added another
tribute to these extraordinary women by
awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to
those who served as WASP. The original medal
will be housed at the Smithsonian; individual
WASP or their families will each receive
engraved copies of the medals.

A year-long exhibit on the WASP titled "Fly
Girls," presented by Wings Across America, is
on display at the Women in Military Service
for America (WIMSA) Memorial, located at
the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery.
The exhibition ends November 2009. For
more information, visit WIMSA's website at: The National
WASP WW II Museum is located in Sweetwater,

Texas, where most WASP trained at Avenger Field.
The museum's website is:

More locally, a Memorial Day program, held at
the Forest Meadows Cemetery, featured a tribute
to three of the several hundred WASP still living.
The WASP segment was organized by Susan King
and Bob Oehl, volunteers with the Aviation Museum
and Warbird Restoration Center, soon to be under
construction at the Keystone Heights Airport. SPOHP

In the hangar at the Keystone Heights Airport, Helen
Snapp looks on as Barry Smith pores over WASP photos
from her class of "44-6" (graduated in the sixth training
class of 1944). (photo by Diane Fischler) 7 of 30

had a presence at the event, with a display to discuss
its World War II Collection and meet and greet North
Central Florida veterans.

The three WASP honored are all Florida
residents. Barry Vincent Smith (Avon Park), Helen
Wyatt Snapp (Pembroke Pines), and Janet Lee
Simpson (Ponte Vedra Beach) each described some
of their experiences as women pilots and as WASP.
The day before the Memorial Day program, SPOHP

History Speaks:

staff members were on hand to greet two of the
WASP on their arrival at the Keystone Heights
Airport, and take part in a welcome barbecue dinner
held in a hangar-in the shadow of airplanes from
the WASP era.

As a result of these contacts, SPOHP will be
arranging to record these women's oral histories and
memories of their lives as WASP. Their stories will
enhance SPOHP's World War II Collection. (

Barry Smith, Janet Lee Simpson, and Helen Snapp pose for one fnal photo op at the end of the
Memorial Day program. (photo by Ann Smith)

8 of 30

"Thi isnot tie whn wmen houd b patent We re n a ar nd w ned t
fight it with all our ability and every weapon possible. Women pilots, in this particular

P OHP News

0ii wit you brthr. I saueSo
n a WAS W o t Ar Ai
are poud f you We ill nver orge

ou debt to yo. --er H."Hp
Arnl Comndn General, Arm Ai
Fores Dc b 7, 1

Twins Maddie and Jackie Eisterhold in front of a WASP
poster featuring Stan Vosburg's painting titled Light-
ning Lady. The "Celestial Flight" poem at the top of
the poster became a fixture atfunerals forfemale
pilots during and after the war. (photo by Jodi Eisterhold)

Bob Gasche, a veteran of Iwo Jima and a
community veterans' activist, organized
the Memorial Day tribute. (photo by Ann Smith)

 9 of 30 9 of 30

History Speaks:

SPOHP Showcased at D-Day Commemoration

By Diane Fischler

June 6, 1944-D-Day-was a seminal date in the
annals of World War II history. Sixty-five years later
the date still resonates in the hearts and minds of
those who landed on Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and
Sword beaches.

June 6, 2009-Camp Blanding commemorated
this milestone anniversary with WW II military
exhibits and a wreath-laying ceremony at the D-Day
memorial. World War II re-enactors walked among
the displays, looking as if they had just finished their
grueling combat training at this military camp near
Starke. More than 800,000 Army troops trained here
in the Florida scrub prior to being sent overseas.

The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
was invited to set up a display table and discuss
its World War II Collection of interviews, among
which are Dorman Clayton and Tom Santarsiero's
oral histories-two of the D-Day veterans honored
at this commemoration. Surrounding the SPOHP
exhibit were familiar looking World War II
posters of various war bond drives. These posters
conjured up many memories from veterans
and their families who stopped by the table to
ask questions. Several visitors thanked our oral
history program's ongoing commitment to record
veterans' oral histories--from all wars--and to tape
stories that would otherwise be lost to history.

A Higgins boat ramp lowers its cargo of GIs near one of the targeted Normandy beaches on June 6,
1944. Referring to Andrew Higgins, whose New Orleans company made these specialized landing craft,
former President Eisenhower told historian Stephen Ambrose: "He's the man who won the war for us."

10 of 30

S P OHP News

Six D-Day veterans were paid
tribute at Camp Blanding:

Mario Patruno served as a
paratrooper with F Company
of the 506th Parachute
Infantry Regiment, 101st
Airborne Division. He
dropped behind the German
lines early in the morning of
June 6. Patruno's regiment
became widely dispersed in D-Day veterans of North Florida gather at the wreath-laying
ceremony at Camp Blanding to commemorate the 65th anniversary of
the night jump and only a the Normandy Invasion. Left to right: Mario Patruno, Frank Heppner,
few paratroopers landed in Dorman Clayton, Lionel Capoldo, Tom Santarsiero, Levi Starling.
their targeted drop zone. SPOHP has interviewed two of these veterans. (photo by Ira Fischler)

* Frank Heppner served with the 238th Engineer
Combat Battalion, landing at 9:30 a.m. on Utah
Beach. His battalion was responsible for keeping
the road open from the beach to inland France.
The road had been flooded by the Germans.

* Dorman Clayton trained at Camp Blanding.
He landed on the Normandy beaches on
June 8 with the U.S. Army's 186th Howitzer field
artillery battalion after the beaches had been
more secured. He manned a 155mm Howitzer,
operating the gunsights. The battalion went
wherever extra artillery power was needed.
During the first two days of battle, Dorman's
battalion watched the invasion transpire while
moored on an LST (landing ship tank) in the
English Channel next to the USS Texas.

* Lionel Capoldo, U.S. Navy, served on a British
anti-aircraft gunboat escorting the first, second,
and third waves of the Normandy Invasion. His
LCF7 ship patrolled up and down the beaches. He
was later sent to the Pacific Theater and served
on the LCS51, which supplied gun support for the
Marines landing on Iwo Jima.

* Tom Santarsiero served with the U.S. Army,
Company A, 110th Infantry, 28th Division
(known as the "Keystone Division"). He landed
on the Normandy beaches two weeks later and
went on to join the breakout operation at Saint-
L6 in northern France. German troops called the
28th the "Bloody Bucket" division because of the
division's red insignia. 11 of 30

*Levi Starling served with the U.S. Navy, Seaman
First Class. He was aboard LCT587 (landing craft
tank) in the first wave of landings on Omaha
Beach. He was the "ramp man" aboard the LCT
that unloaded the Sherman DD (Duplex Drive)
tanks that arrived before the landing forces.
He remembers the many "D's" on D-Day-not
including the DD tank: He saw the "dead, dying,
and debris"-men who never made it to Utah or
Omaha beaches.

These six gentlemen were saluted and thanked
for the services they rendered to their country
during those momentous times-whether on the
beaches, in the air, or on the high seas. Major
General Douglas Burnett, Commander of the Florida
Army and Air National Guard, spoke to each of these
veterans at length and listened attentively to their
wartime experiences.


'-^fi i

Major General Douglas Burnett (left), Commander
of the Florida Army and Air National Guard,
congratulates D-Day veteran Dorman W Clayton on
his service to his country. Mr. Clayton served with the
167th Infantry Regiment in a field artillery unit.
(Photo by Ira Fischler)

12 of 30

History Speaks:

Camp Blanding, now home to the Florida
National Guard, houses a significant collection of
war memorabilia in its World War II Museum, soon
to undergo expansion. A Memorial Park contains
monuments to the nine infantry divisions that
trained at this military complex, as well as displays
of vintage aircraft and Army vehicles. The D-Day
veterans gazing upon this landscape of military
hardware were sure to recall the Army's modes of
transportation to their combat sites.

Of the 378,000 prisoners of war incarcerated
in the United States during WW II, Camp Blanding
housed 4,000 German POWs in this remote Florida
sector. Inside the museum is a large diorama of the
camp's main POW compound, which also included
15 branch camps. The POWs were captured from
many of the theaters of operations in which these six
D-Day veterans engaged in combat.

And another connection that the Samuel Proctor
Oral History program has with Camp Blanding:
During World War II, Sam Proctor-who had just
completed his master's degree at the University of
Florida in 1942 and subsequently joined the ranks of
the U.S. Army-taught reading and math to illiterate
GIs as part of their training at Camp Blanding. Sixty-
five years later SPOHP has come full circle in its
association with Camp Blanding. C

For more information on the Camp Blanding
Museum and Memorial Park, visit:

S P OHP News

Tears in the Darkness

The SPOHP-produced documentary, I Just Wanted to Live!,
featured about 30 sketches by artist Ben Steele, who himself
was a POW held by the Japanese. And now a new book has
recently come out focusing on this Montana artist: Tears in
the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its
Aftermath by Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman
(published by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux).

As with the four ex-POWs in the documentary, Ben Steele
also experienced the three-month Battle of Bataan, the Bataan
Death March, the internment camps in the Philippines, Bilibid
Prison, the Hell Ships, and forced labor camps in Japan. He
survived starvation, disease, and torture. After liberation,
he returned to his home state of Montana and sketched the
horrors of being on the receiving end of three and a half
years of Japanese atrocities. And as with Victor Cote, Conrad
Alberty, John Bumgarner, and Herbert Pepper featured in I
Just Wanted to Live!, those dark memories remain with Ben
Steele-unspeakable remembrances which he has managed to
so skillfully and dramatically convey through his drawings.

Tears in the Darkness has appeared on the Top Ten New York
Times Bestseller List (non-fiction).

For more information on Tears in the Darkness, please
visit the following websites:

3 5-J ^

POW No. 359 Ben Steele at
a forced labor coal mining
camp in Japan in 1944. (photo
courtesy Ben Steele as reproduced in Tears
in the Darkness)

13k f

Hopelessness and despair permeate these sketches by Ben Steele. 13 of 30

History Speaks:

Corpsman Up!

Remembering Clair "Doc" Chaffin

By Diane Fischler

"Oh, I'm just a little ole
country boy" is how Clair
Chaffin would respond to
those who were awestruck
upon hearing of his
dangerous duties as a
corpsman on remote
Pacific islands during World
War II. He would say he was
just doing his job-at age
18 and 19. But how many
men in their late teens do
a tracheotomy in a foxhole while being strafed by
a Japanese Zero? Or amputate a Marine's arm? Or
rescue eight Marines trapped in a fire zone between
friendly and enemy lines? For this last action on
Saipan, Clair received the third highest military
recognition, the Silver Star.

In his 2008 interview by the Samuel Proctor
Oral History Program, Clair talked about how the
Japanese were trained to shout "Corpsman!"-
without an accent-thereby beckoning some
corpsmen to rush to their death. He said he never
had to dig a foxhole during any of these battles
because he was always jumping into other Marines'
foxholes after hearing "Corpsman! Corpsman!"

As a corpsman, Clair served with the 4th Marine
Division that saw combat on Roi-Namur (February
1944), Saipan (June July 1944), Tinian (July August
1944), and Iwo Jima (February 1945). These

14 of 30

islands were mere specks in
j the Pacific-yet the memory
of his experiences on these
islands remained with him
for the rest of his life, and
he took every opportunity
to talk about them at public
events, veterans' gatherings,
l and school groups. Regarding
the youth of today, he said in
his oral history, "The young
people need to know some
of the history that has been created to make a safer
place for them to live. Maybe I'm wrong, but if you

Clair in front of his prized Marine Corps
memorabilia displayed in his Archer,
Florida, home. (photos by Ira Fischler)

I P OHP News

don't pay attention to history, you're destined to do
it all over again."

Clair's association with the "Fighting Fourth"
Marines did not end with the Japanese surrender.
He was the national president of the 4th Marine
Division Association (2007) and then its official
8 historian. He was on a first-name basis with Marine
General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joints Chief
of Staff (2005-2007). He was also involved with
the Disabled American Veterans organization,
the Marine Corps League, the American Legion,
the Veterans of Foreign Wars, among many other
veterans' groups. His home is filled with 4th Marine
Division memorabilia. Driveway signs greet guests
with "Semper Fi!"

Two years ago Clair, Clif Cormier, and Bob
Gasche-of the 4th, 3, and 5th (respectively)
Marine Corps divisions on Iwo Jima-joined forces
in Gainesville to create the "Iwo Trio," a group
that meets monthly in a local Gainesville eatery. A
corner of McAlister's Restaurant on Archer Road is
designated "Suribachi Cove," which features Marine
Corps posters, photos, plaques, and flags. Suribachi
Cove has more recently become a gathering place
for many veterans-from all wars, all branches of the
armed forces, and all theaters of operation.

But the "Iwo Trio" is no more. Clair Chaffin
was shot and killed in an armed robbery attempt
on June 8, 2009, in Florence, South Carolina. The
staff members of the Samuel Proctor Oral History
Program were privileged to have known Clair, and
Clair holding a Mameluke sword used tradition- we hope that through our efforts, his story and his
ally to cut a cake commemorating the birthday of message will not be forgotten.
the Marine Corps. This particular event marked the
64th anniversary of the first landings on Iwo Jima on
February 19, 1945. Semper Fi, Clair Chaffin 15 of 30

History Speaks:

Capturing the History

Of the United Faculty of Florida

By Bob Zieger

As a recently retired member of the Department
of History at the University of Florida-and as an
active member of the faculty union, the United
Faculty of Florida, I had become concerned that as
UFF veterans retired and moved away, important
aspects of UF's past were being lost. Over the
years, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program has
interviewed many administrators, faculty members,
and non-faculty employees.

In Utrecht, the Netherlands, Bob found many fans.
(photo by Gay Zieger)

16 of 30

No effort has been made, however, to record
the memories of the men and women who had built
the union, which has represented core faculty at
UF since 1976, and whose earlier beginnings were
rooted in academic freedom issues in the turbulent
1960s. I knew that the genesis and early history
of the union was a compelling story, and I was
hopeful that it might become part of the University's
institutional memory.

Having been asked to join the SPOHP advisory
board, I suggested to Paul Ortiz, the incoming
director of the program, that recording the history
of UFF at the University might constitute a good
project for one of his classes. Paul immediately took
up the challenge, and we worked together during
the Fall 2008 term to contact union veterans and ask
them to agree to be interviewed by Paul's seminar
students in the spring. The current leadership of
the union pitched in with some seed money and
Paul's students then took control. They interviewed
a dozen union activists-most of them retired-and
then transcribed the interviews for deposit in the
SPOHP collection. Several of those interviewed
had private archives that they donated to the UF
University Archives.

I was personally involved in the process in three
ways. First, I helped arrange the initial contacts and
recruited several of the interviewees for preliminary
and follow-up sessions with the seminar students
(see related story titled "Reconstructing the Past"

S P OHP News

in this issue). Second, I underwent
interview training that prepared me
to conduct an interview with a retired
activist whose visit to Gainesville
occurred too late in the term for
him to be interviewed by one of the
students. Third-and the best part-I
was interviewed myself by George -
Njoroge, one of Paul's students.
(This interview can be read at http://
rhzoralhistory.htm) The interview
was wide-ranging, dealing as much
with my upbringing, education, and
academic career as with my union

I found the interview a deeply
engaging and informative experience,
in part because of George's
thorough preparation and thoughtful
questions. But I also found myself
revisiting important episodes in
my life and work. I look forward to A Univer
expanding on the UFF Oral History the Same
Project and to working on other Borofsky
projects with Paul and the Samuel afamilia
Proctor Oral History Program. (C sculpture
Dr. Bob Zieger is a Distinguished Man scu
Professor of History Emeritus at the
University of Florida.

sity of Florida landmark, Hammering Man, outside of
uel P. Harn Museum of Art, was sculpted by Jonathan
in 1984. The hydraulic-driven hammerman's creak is
r sound when visiting UF's Cultural Plaza. The outdoor
Sis a gift from the Martin Z. Margulies Foundation. This
'd tribute to the working man is one of several Hammering
Iptures located around the world. (photo by Diane Fischler) 17 of 30

History Speaks:

Reconstructing the Past:

Oral History from a Psychological Perspective

By Ira Fischler

I was one of the faculty members
and UFF activists interviewed as part
of the SPOHP initiative that Bob Zieger
coordinated (see related story titled
"Capturing the History of the United
Faculty of Florida" in this issue). My
participation came about as a result of a
conversation I had with Bob during one
of Paul Ortiz's open house gatherings
last fall. He told me about the effort
to interview faculty who had been l
involved in UFF in its early days, and
I mentioned my own participation in
UFF. He asked if I would be interested
in being interviewed and I agreed-as Ira Fischler standing in front of the Lower Falls of the Grand
husband of Diane Fischler, SPOHP Editor Canyon of the Yellowstone River, 2005. (photo by Diane Fischler)
and Historian, I could hardly decline!

As it turned out, it was a wonderful
opportunity to tell my piece of this story, and
to reflect on my role as a UFF member and,
more generally, as a professor of psychology
at UF. The interview was done in March 2009
by Ed Tennant-Gonzalez, a graduate student in
anthropology and a student in Paul's class on
oral history.

I had a lot to talk about. I had been on the
faculty in the Department of Psychology since
1973, and had played various roles in campus

18 of 30

union activities. I joined in 1976, the first year of the
contract between United Faculty of Florida and the
Board of Regents. I was the UFF representative in
Psychology for a few decades, and helped produce
the first issues of the UFF Faculty Voice newsletter. I
was a regular at the annual membership meetings,
and also served as vice-president of the UF chapter
for a couple of years.

Having recently retired from my faculty position
in 2008, it was a good time to look back and think
about the past 35 years at UF. I was annoyed with

S P OHP News

my lack of recall of specific episodes and events, let
alone the dates in which I was involved. But I was
able to express the gist of what I had done and what
I thought about these activities. I also learned more
about the nature of obtaining oral histories, as well
as the careful preparation involved in knowing how
to guide the interview and elicit as much accurate
information as possible from the subject.

My grappling for "the truth" of my past brought
home for me something that, as a cognitive
psychologist and memory researcher, I had been
telling undergraduates for years: Our memory for
episodes from our past is not "retrieved" like you
would retrieve a file from a computer disk, but
"reconstructed." In my discipline, there has been
great interest in "autobiographical memory," that is,
people's recollection of their personal past. But the
focus is more on the process of recall rather than-
as in oral history initiatives-the content.

Psychologist Ulric Neisser, author of Memory
Observed, likened remembering to an act of
reconstruction, like trying to piece together
what a dinosaur must have looked like from the
fragmentary fossil record at hand. But even when
the "fossil record" is rich and detailed, memory is
not a video replay waiting to be activated; it is a
musical score waiting to be played and interpreted
by our present selves. Some themes are enhanced,
others downplayed. Some are lost and some new
themes-not present in the past-are imposed on
the melody. And each time we tell our story, the

replaying becomes part of our memory and can
color subsequent recall.

Neisser was not the first theorist to stress the
constructive nature of memory. The "creative"
aspect of recall is a theme that can be found in
writings of Greek philosophers such as Aristotle,

The cover of the first edition (1982) of Ulric Neisser's
seminal book, Memory Observed. Here and in his
earlier text, Cognition and Reality (1976), Neisser
criticized the then-dominant approach of memory
researchers to focus on learning word lists in
the laboratory, and helped create the field of
autobiographical memory. 19 of 30

History Speaks:

whose short essay, which was titled
On Remembering, was one of the first formal
attempts to understand human memory.

At the start of the modern era in psychology,
Sigmund Freud grappled with the nature and limits
of memory throughout his career. Early in his work
as a psychotherapist, he viewed himself as a kind of
archeologist of memory for his patients, trying to
unearth the historical truth from their subconscious.
But he became increasingly aware that in trying to
create a "past self" that was coherent and consistent
with their current selves-what some have called
the "narrative truth" of memory-his clients
often distorted or transformed their memories
by the act of recall. Freud noted that when we
remember our past, we often seem to experience
it from a perspective outside of ourselves, which
he called "observer" memories, as distinguished
from the "field" memories seen from "our own
eyes." This alone convinced him that memory was
fundamentally constructive.

Nonetheless, our core memories are coherent
and true, and they define who we are. Neisser
himself recognized this truth. He wrote an essay
detailing the errors and distortions of "John Dean's
Memory"-Nixon's special counsel whose testimony
at the Watergate hearings was later seen to be
confirmed by the actual conversations secretly
recorded by the White House. Neisser stated that
despite his inaccuracies, self-serving distortions, and
outright confabulations, "Dean was right about what
had really been going on in the White House"-who
knew what, when they knew it, and their awareness
of what they were doing.

20 of 30

The oral history interviewer, then, is an
active partner in reconstructing the past, and
a skilled partner can help guide recall. Probing
with established facts and using what has been
remembered as cues for further recall, as well as
asking for recall from different perspectives, the
interviewer can bring forth memories that have
not been awakened for years. I learned a good deal
about who I was by the act of remembering what I
had done. C)

Dr. Ira Fischler is professor emeritus, UF Department
of Psychology, and current chair of the Institutional
Review Board, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Sigmund Freud, c. 1900. Freud was a founder of
the psychoanalytic approach to psychotherapy,
and an important voice in memory theory
throughout the 20th century.


Ken Burns Receives a Documentary

By Diane Fischler
I am drawn to Gettysburg-the ,
battle, the town, the history-and the i ''
first weekend in July brings these three
concepts together--all neatly packaged in
the National Park Service's remembrance
of the most momentous battle fought on
American soil.

With the thousands of spectators
who make the journey to the battle re-
enactment come noted speakers. This -
year's commemoration of the 1863 ". .
battle brought the nation's most famous
documentarian, Ken Burns, to discuss his
past films, such as his groundbreaking
series entitled The Civil War, as well as SPOHP Historian Diane Fischler presented world-famous film-
s u g dy Th maker Ken Burns with a copy of the program's documentary,
his upcoming documentary called The
I Just Wanted to Live!, on July 3 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
National Parks: America's Best Idea. That Deborah Hendrix and Diane Fischler produced the film in
12-hour, six-part series will premiere on 2008 for the Oral History Program.
PBS on September 27.

Being a member of the Gettysburg
Foundation, I knew in advance about

Diane Fischler in Civil War era attire.
She performs as a living historian at
Gettysburg several times a year.

Mr. Burns being on the program and hoped to take advantage
of his audience interaction. Dozens stood in line to get his
autograph. But I waited in line to present him with the
SPOHP-produced documentary I Just Wanted to Live! I
introduced myself as being with the Oral History Program at
the University of Florida, and told him about our POW film.
The most famous documentarian in the world gladly accepted
the SPOHP film with a big smile and a gracious thank-you.

I walked away from the table feeling elated and proud
that our prisoner of war documentary is now part of Ken
Burns's research archives. CD 21 of 30

History Speaks:

Stories That Never Get Told

By Danielle Navarrete

The Summer A course titled "American Communities:
An Oral History Approach," which focused on African
American history in the South, has come to a close.
Dr. Paul Ortiz said his outstanding group of students
"uniformly received high marks of praise" by their
interview subjects. Most of these subjects were local
African-Americans who lived through the Civil Rights era,
a topic many in the class had never broached.

Dr. Ortiz said his intention in assigning the interviews
was to get his students off campus to immerse them in a
broader historical context. As a result, he said, students
learned aspects about Gainesville they had never known.
This was true, he said, even for a couple of students who
had lived in Gainesville their entire lives.

During the last two classes of the seminar, students
gave presentations about their interview experiences.

Dr. Paul Ortiz (center) sits among his students during the
presentations. (photos by Deborah Hendrix)

22 of 30

Students shared thoughts about the people they
interviewed and about the interview process itself.
The presentations ranged from quick recaps to
audio excerpts. One student even created a short
podcast piece about his interview-complete with
an underlying music track.

Students discussed complications during their
interviews: 1) the difficulty of getting their subjects
to speak sincerely about their personal history or
to take credit for their historical contributions;
2) gauging comfort levels with emotional subjects;
and 3) trying to stay in control of the interview's
direction. Several students voiced regret for not
following up with probing questions during the
interview, only realizing their missed opportunities
at the time of transcription.

Dr. Ortiz said his students began to see
the relationship between African-American
history and their own lives, and some are
planning to do follow-up interviews even
though the course is over. "It wasn't until
they transcribed their interviews that they
really understood what had happened in
the interview session," he said. "It's always
surprising to see how transformative that
experience is."

In one class presentation, Julie
Desmarais played an audio segment of her
interview with Reverend Willie Mayberry,
who was a black student during the early
years of integration in Gainesville. Though Reverend
Mayberry was not one of the students who first
integrated Gainesville High School in 1964, he

P OHP News

said his experiences during that time were similar to the
remembered "firsts."

Reverend Mayberry remarked in his interview, "There
were those of us who came behind them about two, three
years. That story never gets told about those who came
behind. Oh, we suffered greatly as well." (This quote was
projected in class and is pictured above.)

This is what oral history is all about: the chance for
telling the stories that never get told, and the chance for
learning something previously unknown. It's the story of
people talking to one another, listening to one another,
and then evaluating the exchange. C

The next oral history seminar, being offered in the
2009 Fall Semester, is titled "Writing in Oral History."
For more information, visit our website at:
www.historv.ufl.ed u/oral

Sue exep

hav no bee abl to Pehpi fac

Dr. Hill-Lubin. It has been histoy wh a

pulse. Jae -yr

"This class ws i
insprat l I nv e d m
scec eletiv (go pik! to [be on
of my faort clse duin S **.0

SPOHP recognizes Deborah Hendrix for her technical contributions to the class! Deborah checked recorders in and
out for students, created a YouTube tutorial on using them, and converted audio files for students to transcribe.
"Without Deborah," Ortiz said, "the course would not have run smoothly. I was pleasantly surprised that there
were no technical breakdowns, and the students were grateful for the work that she put in." 23 of 30

History Speaks:

By Dan Simone
SPOHP Program Coordinator

This past May, I successfully defended my dissertation titled Racing, Region,
and the Environment: A History of American Motorsports. My study examined the
history of open-wheel racing, including IndyCar, sprint, and midget cars. As part
of my research, I interviewed more than fifty motorsports personalities, as well as
nearly a dozen National Sprint Car Hall of Fame members.

Oral history added context to my work. For instance, I used the testimonials
of former drivers to describe the conditions and characteristics of long-forgotten
tracks, such as Plant Field at the original Tampa Fairgrounds. Plant Field held its
last race in 1976.

I also discussed the Honda Grand
Prix of St. Petersburg-an annual event
which occurs on the city streets each
April. Creating a temporary racetrack
within a downtown urban area is a vast
undertaking. The track causes local
traffic jams and noise pollution as streets
and avenues are shut down and traffic
is diverted. As a result, some business owners economically benefit from the
event while others may suffer. Citizens remain divided as to whether or not
the economic benefits outweigh the environmental drawbacks of this event.
Interviews with those involved helped add a personal dimension to this issue and
other stories.

Oral history is also a race against time, and during the course of my project,
three interviewees passed away. I was fortunate to have spoken with so many
people associated with the sport, and I look forward to conducting new interviews
for a possible book manuscript later in 2009. CQ

24 of 30

0 P OHP News

By Steve Davis
SPOHP Graduate Assistant

In 2007-2008, I completed a
Fulbright Doctoral Research Fellowship
lIE in Cape Town, South Africa. During
my time in South Africa, I conducted
more than 40 oral history interviews
with ex-combatants in Umkhonto we
Sizwe, which was one of several groups
engaged in the armed struggle against
the apartheid government. The topic of
the dissertation changes a bit as I write
it, but the overall goal of my research
is to explore the uses and misuses of
various kinds of historical sources.

South Africa is a country most often
praised for its peaceful negotiated
settlement, but it also experienced a 30-
year low-intensity civil war. The history
of this violent period sits uneasily in
popular memory. In recent years, a
number of memorials, biographies,
and public programs have revisited the
history of the armed struggle, often
rewriting this history to serve a number
of contemporary political agendas.

The result is a new narrative of
armed struggle that exaggerates the
significance of certain events, or

excludes events that contradict these
agendas. Most of these new narratives
employ oral history to make their claims
about the past.

My work uses the oral and written
record to peer behind these recent
representations. Oral history plays
an important role in this dynamic
because it is commonly assumed that
it is complement or a corrective to the
written record. The overemphasis on
oral history, as an authoritative source,
in many ways reproduces some of the
same historiographical problems that
plagued histories sourced exclusively
from the written archive.

I try to get around the problems by
reading both oral and written sources
side by side, to give some sense of the
relationship between both archives,
as well as an understanding how
present representations differ from the
recorded past.

I will submit my dissertation in
January 2010. ( 25 of 30

History Speaks:

History in the Making: SPOHP's News & Events

Aug. 15-16: V-J Day Commemoration at Books-A-Mil-
lion on NW 13th Street. SPOHP will be displaying its
POW documentary, I Just Wanted to Live! and show-
casing its collection of WW II posters for the event.
SPOHP is collaborating with local veterans' groups for
this 64th anniversary of the Japanese surrender.

Aug. 17 & 24: PBS's popular "History Detectives"
series will feature SPOHP Director Paul Ortiz being
interviewed this past March at Morningside Nature
Center in Gainesville. Check TV listings for time.

Aug. 18-23: Indianola, Mississippi trip. SPOHP
will continue Civil Rights documentation from
its 2008 trip. (p. 19)

Fall: Paul Ortiz will give a talk titled "In the Age
of Barack Obama" at the UF Center for Latin
American Studies.

Sept. 18: SPOHP will have a table setup at
the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in
Gainesville as part of the National POW-
MIA Recognition Day program. We will
answer questions about conducting WW II,
Korean, and Vietnam oral histories, as well as
discussing the SPOHP-produced documentary
titled I Just Wanted to Live! about four POWs
held by the Japanese. The movie was based
on four oral histories in SPOHP's WW II
Collection. (Summer 2009 newsletter, pp. 8-9)

Oct. 14-18: SPOHP will participate in
the annual meeting of the Oral History
Association Conference in Louisville,
Kentucky. The panel will consist of staff
members Diane Fischler, Deborah Hendrix,
and Dan Simone. Their presentation on
Oct. 16 will be titled: "How to Produce a Low
Budget Documentary Based on Oral Histories:
Giving Life to Death in Time of War."

Nov. 11: SPOHP will have a table setup at the
Veterans Day commemoration at Kanapaha
Veterans Memorial Park.

26 of 30

P OHP News

History in the Making: SPOHP's News & Events

DVD in Production:
The Veterans Oral History Toolkit

SPOHP is producing a video with an
accompanying handbook on how to do an oral P I
history with a veteran-from World War II,
Korean War, Vietnam War, Operation Desert
Storm, and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The video will focus on the Deed of Gift
document, the interview process, and the
technical aspects of the process. The video
will cover types of recording equipment
available and offer tips on how to get the SPOHP table setups vary according to an event's theme.
best quality recording that will stand the This display at Camp Blanding's D-Day commemoration
test of time. on June 6, 2009, reflected a definite World War II theme
with colorful war bond posters to attract visitors. The
The Handbook will provide questions to event premiered a new table banner to show that SPOHP
ask the war veteran interviewee. It will be has a clear presence at events such as veterans' gather-
distributed to veterans' organizations, and ings, airshows, conferences, and other occasions.
an interviewer within that organization- (photo by Diane Fischler)
who is automatically knowledgeable about
that specific war-will know what additional
questions to ask his fellow comrades
concerning that war.

Questions will be divided into three parts:
1) years prior to entering the military service,
2) years in the military, and 3) post-war years.

SPOHP hopes to have the Veterans Oral
History Toolkit ready for distribution by the
end of 2009. QI
continued on next page-- 27 of 30

History Speaks:

History in the Making: SPOHP's DVD Collection

The following DVDs are archived at SPOHP and can be purchased for $20 each.

Building on Sam Proctor's Legacy: Race, Politics, and
Freedom in Florida (speaker: Paul Ortiz, 66 min.)

Growth, Growth Management and Sustainability in a
Distressed Economy (speaker: Bob Graham, 74 min.)

Ponce de Leon & the Discovery of Florida (speaker: Michael
Gannon, 55 min.)

The Path to the White House (speakers: Terry McAuliffe,
Frank Fahrenkopf, moderated by Michael Putney, 84 min.)

Florida and the Next President (speakers: Adam Putnam,
Allen Boyd, moderated by Brendan McLaughlin, 75 min.)

The Averaged American (speaker: Sarah Igo, 68 min.)

The Long Horse Race: A View from the National Annenberg
Election Survey (speaker: Richard Johnston, 100 min.)

The History of the State University System (speaker: Robin
Gibson, 62 min.)

Who We Are, How We Began: The History of the Samuel
Proctor Oral History Program (speakers: Samuel Proctor,
Paul Ortiz, Julian Pleasants, Mark Greenberg, 28 min.)

Testimony of War: Panel Discussion (WW II veterans
speakers: Clif Cormier, Victor Cote, Frank Towers, Clair
Chaffin, moderated by Julian Pleasants, 55 min.)

I Just Wanted to Live! (ex-POWs: Victor Cote,
Conrad Alberty, John Bumgarner, Herbert Pepper,
55 min. & 35 min.)

Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944
(speaker: Rick Atkinson, 75 min.)

Water and Land Management in Florida: Old Challenges in
the New Economy (speaker:
Nathaniel Reed, 69 min.)

Trip to Iran (speakers: Bernie and Chris Machen,
57 min.)

28 of 30

Celebration of the Firsts: 50 Years of Integration of the
University of Florida (dinner, 140 min.)

The Blackness of Barack Obama (speaker:
Diane Roberts, 71 min.)

Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the
American Environmental Century (speaker: Jack Davis, 61 min.)

In the Age of Barack Obama (Public Program,
143 min.)

Florida Waterways in Crisis (speakers: Cynthia Barnett, Craig
Pittman, Matt Waite, 72 min.)

Transition to Power: Diplomacy in Transition (speakers: Ray
Mabus, Douglas McElhaney,
Frank McNeil, 65 min.)

Rosewood Traveling Exhibit Presentations
(speaker: Sherry DuPree, 84 min.)

Aging, Healthcare, and the New Congress
(speaker: Kristine Blackwood, 70 min.)

When Bob Graham Became a Gator (speaker:
Bob Graham, 63 min.)

African Creative Expressions: Mother Tongue
and Other Tongues (Conference, 220 min.)

Gainesville Women for Equal Rights Oral History (Group Oral
History, in progress)

Need for a New National Labor Policy (speaker: Donald Fehr,
80 min,)

Leadership in the Age of Obama (Forum,
71 min.)

Media and the New Administration (speakers:
Bill Adair, Al Eisele, moderated by Steve Orlando,
72 min.)

P OHP News

i *
; ))))m'm'jjt "'*
~Jl~pA6 -

SPOHP Director Paul Ortiz (top center) welcomed Dr. Derrick E. White (top left), first
recipient of the Julian Pleasants Visiting Scholar Award, at an office gathering on July 8.
Dr. White discussed his research on the integration of the University of Florida football
team. Several SPOHP staff members attended the session. Dr. White is an assistant pro-
fessor of history at Florida Atlantic University, specializing in African American studies.
(photo by Danielle Navarrete)

T F:*.'',F F, r 'F FF_ -_ F 7 H F T F-_..: 1 T' T-_. :' LF F T. F r .I: .. ....

City State Zip Phone #

Enclosed is a gift to SPOHP of $ in the form of a check made payable to UFRF,
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.
Please have a representative from the UF Foundation office contact me for a donation.
Please send me email updates about SPOHP Email:
MAIL TO : SPOHP, PO BOX 115215, GAINESVILLE, FL 32611-5215. 29 of 30

History Speaks: S
Proctor Podcast Update
By Danielle Navarrete

P OHP News




If you haven't checked out the Proctor Podcast yet, now is a good time to explore its listings. We've
been busy producing episodes this summer and posting them in iTunes, where you can subscribe to receive
new episodes as they are posted. We have also created a new Proctor Podcast page on the SPOHP website
with links to play podcasts directly in your browser. One of our new interns, Candice Ellis, has volunteered to
design a new Proctor Podcast blog with a search by category feature. In August, we will begin using two Twit-
ter accounts, SPOHP and CLASnotes, to announce new episodes. We encourage you to sign up and keep up
with us as we share more fascinating interviews from our various oral history collections.

Listed below are the episodes we've posted this summer. (More detailed descriptions of these podcasts
are available on our website.) The interview collection title is in bold along with the collection acronym in
parentheses. Many of our interviews' complete transcripts are available online and are great resources if you
want more information. Searching by the acronym in our digital archive will list what is available in the col-
lection. To access the digital archive, go to the Research page on our website and click on the Samuel Proctor
Oral History Archives link. C(

World War
Episode 7
Episode 8
Episode 9
Episode 10
Episode 13

II Collection (WW II)
Bernard Mellman: training for combat and the liberation of Dachau
Michael Jamin: growing up in German-occupied Holland
Pauline Pepper: serving as a nurse on a hospital ship
Clair Chaffin: being a Marine corpsman in the Pacific Theater
Conrad Alberty: surviving as a POW in Japan

Florida Growth Management Collection (FGM)
Episode 11 Nathaniel Reed: discussing the Miami Jetport and the environmental movement
Episode 12 John DeGrove: discussing Florida growth management

Mississippi Freedom Project (MFP)
Episode 14 Margaret Block and Hollis Watkins: remembering the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement

30 of 30


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