Interviewee: Mary Durrance
Interviewer: Jenn Garrett
Date: November 8, 2004
G: Today is November 8, 2004. l=m interviewing Mary Durrance. Mary, where are
D: l=m originally from Pierce, Polk County, Florida, a phosphate mining town that is
G: Just to get an idea about some of the transitions that you went through around
the time [of] or just after World War II, can you describe how your life changed
after the onset of the war?
D: Yes. During World War II, I had five brothers in the military. That directly
affected my family. The oldest one was killed in 1943. The rest of them came
through just fine.
G: During the war, you were what age?
D: I was ten years old when the war started. That made me fourteen when the war
G: What year were you married?
D: We were married in 1951.
G: After you were married, did your husbands service impact your life in any way?
D: Yes. He had the G.I. Bill. That helped us. Then we had the access to the
Florida Veteran=s Housing on campus there, which was very cheap rent. That
very definitely impacted his going to school.
G: Were you involved in the decision for your husband to go to school?
D: No, he had already started college. He came back out of the Navy and went to
two other schools and transferred to the University of Florida. We had decided to
marry before he came up here.
G: Did you come to the decision together to come to the University of Florida?
D: No, I think that was his decision. That=s what he wanted to do. He wanted me to
be aware of it and I agreed with that, because I was going to be working while he
went to school.
G: Is that something that you decided on before you got married?
G: You mentioned earlier that you were married in February of what year?
G: Then he started that summer?
D: That summer we came up to the University of Florida, moved directly in to Flavet,
and he started school.
G: A university cheerleader of this era concluded that they, meaning the veterans,
have no school spirit; all these people are interested in is getting an education.
That was a November 13, 1946, article from the St. Petersburg Times, which was
a little bit before the time that you all were there. Why was getting an education
so important to you and your husband?
D: He was interested in agriculture and he felt that he needed more training in that
field. He [had] worked] with livestock [as a teenager]. The University of Florida,
being a land-grant university, has an excellent school of agriculture, so that was
why he came here. And to make himself better qualified for the work field.
G: What did you expect the university would be like for you?
D: Mainly for him to get his education was our expectation. We=ve always enjoyed
sports, and he was very supportive of the athletic program.
G: Were you looking forward to living in the Flavets?
D: I guess, at that point, I didn't really know much about the Flavets. It was a place
for us to live and for him to go to school. Yes, in that respect.
G: When did you first hear about them?
D: When he applied to go to school up here, they advised him of the housing
G: What kind of housing had you lived in before you moved to Flavet?
D: We lived in an apartment in Tampa where I was finishing business school.
G: When you moved to Gainesville and your husband started school, did you know
how long it would take for him to graduate?
D: No. I think he figured two to three years.
G: Did you have any concerns about coming to the University of Florida?
G: You were happy to be coming?
D: I had been exposed to college life, because I went my first year of college to
FSU. That was before we were married. As far as the university environment
was concerned, I was used to that type of environment.
G: Did you take any classes at the university while your husband was there?
D: Yes, I think I ended up taking two or three classes during the time he was in
G: What were those classes?
D: One was logic, and another was, they call it behavioral sciences now.
G: What motivated you to take some classes while you were here?
D: I had hoped someday to go back to school and finish.
G: You weren=t able to finish?
D: Not at that time.
G: What happened that you weren=t able to finish then?
D: It was necessary for me to work full-time. Our first priority was for him to get
through school. I did not take a course every semester. I think I took a total of
three courses during the time we were here.
G: When you were living in the Flavets, can you describe a typical day?
D: We usually got up early. Ken got up real early and studied. We=d have our
breakfast. I had to be to work at 8:30 a.m. I worked from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00
p.m., and then 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Back then, we had an hour and a half for
lunch. We could go home and have our lunch, which was nice.
G: Was it hard for you to find a job?
D: No, I got a job pretty quick, didn't I? I took some tests, they required tests
through the personnel office. Apparently I did well on those. I interviewed. I was
fresh out of business school, too. I took short-hand and typing. I was the third
girl in the office when I went to work for Dr. Black.
G: Did you enjoy your job there?
D: Yes, I did.
G: Can you go into more about what your day responsibilities were? Like if you got
home at five. Did you drive to work?
D: No. We walked.
G: You walked together?
D: We walked everywhere. We didn't have a car. Sometimes we would take the
city bus back to the Flavet area from, not downtown, but about halfway
downtown there was a grocery store. We could go get our groceries and take
the bus back. That=s about the only time we rode the bus. We usually walked
downtown to the movies. Everybody was walking, so it wasn=t anything unusual.
G: That store, was it the A&P?
D: I do not remember. I kind of think it was. It was down there by Farrah=s
[Farrah=s on the Avenue, University Avenue restaurant] and there=s a bank in
there now, near Farrah=s restaurant.
G: When you either walked or took the bus home, were you responsible for doing
D: Yes. I cooked dinner. He would be studying and I cooked dinner. Then it was
time to study again and I took the clothes over to the laundry house. We had a
community laundry house. You had to always make sure you had the coins for
that. Money was tight, so I washed out my personal things by hand and then the
heavier things I would wash in the laundromat.
G: Were there any dryers at the laundromat?
G: When you were taking classes, how did you balance your responsibilities at
home with taking the class? When were you able to take the class?
D: They allowed us to take time off from work. Most of them were within a block or
two of where I worked, so I would schedule either early or right around the lunch
period. So I would take the time off and make it up. When I studied, he would be
studying at night, so I could study, too.
G: Did you ever have to work on the weekends to make up hours?
D: No. We did not. Back then, they did have [Saturday] classes starting at seven. I
may have taken a seven o= clock class, I just don=t remember.
G: Was the transition for you to university life difficult in any way?
D: I think it was difficult, because I was trying to learn how to cook and keep a home
and working for the first time, really full-time. I had held different jobs in high
school, you know, working in a women=s dress shop part-time. Being young and
a teenager, you didn't have the responsibilities and people didn't expect as
much of you. Whereas I had started this job and I wanted to prove to myself that
I could do the job. It wasn=t terribly rough, but it was very challenging. I wasn=t
much of a cook, so Ken had to get by the best he could until I could learn how to
cook. That took extra time. I remember, we had iron sinks. Anyway, after I
broke some of my very good crystal [goblets], I decided it was time to go to the
dime store and get some glasses to waste on those sinks.
G: You didn't have a dishwasher?
D: Oh no. No dishwashers. No TV. No telephone. Gas appliances, except the
refrigerator was electric. We paid $22.50 a month for the rent of a one-bedroom
apartment. That included a large living area, and then a bedroom and bath, and
a small kitchen that you could eat in. It was strictly for two people.
G: Did it come furnished?
D: It was furnished, very slim, but it was adequate. It was all we needed then. I
remember the bathroom. You can imagine, this was an old army barracks. The
bathroom had very primitive-type plumbing. Nothing extra nice. The shower
would mold, [so] I would paint it about every six months. I had painted that
bathroom [and shower] a bright yellow, because I decided it was so dark in there
[and] so we could have better light. The lights in there B we just had one [light-]
bulb over the sink in the bathroom. That was all the light you had in there, as I
G: Was there any kind of tub or anything?
D: No, just a shower.
G: Was the toilet and the sink and the shower all in the same area?
D: All in the same place and I would say it wasn=t over eight feet square. About like
this couch. It was very small.
G: About eight feet. It was a rectangle or a square?
D: It was a square, but then the shower took one corner of the square, so that made
it appear as a rectangle.
G: Were there any windows in the bathroom?
D: One small window, probably twenty inches by twenty inches.
G: You mentioned that you painted the bathroom yellow to help the lighting in there.
Was there anything else you did to the interior to make it a little more livable?
D: Yes. That=s where I thought I learned to paint. The walls were [made] out of
this kind of board that just soaked up the paint, so that led me to believe I could
paint, but I really couldn't. I painted the whole house. They gave us the paint to
G: Were you able to choose what color?
D: Basic colors, beige, light green, light blue, light yellow.
G: I know that some of the units have a really large picture window in the family
area. Did your unit have that?
D: No, not like Flavet One. Flavet One did have the wide windows. Flavet Three
[units] were two stories. I think our living room window was probably 36" by 36".
It wasn=t very big. The kitchen window was a little bit smaller, and then the
bedroom window and the kitchen window were about the same.
G: What were the floors made out of?
G: Were you on the second floor or the first floor?
D: We were on the first floor. You heard everybody upstairs and you heard
everybody next to you.
G: That=s what I was just going to ask you about. Was that a big problem for you?
D: I think it bothered Ken more than it did me, because people had children across
the hall from us. When he was trying to study, it [was] difficult. He spent most of
his time, when he could, in the library.
G: You were in Flavet Three?
G: I think I even have the number.
D: Yes, 204C. It was located across from the baseball fields. Now there=s
permanent housing they=ve constructed [there].
G: Did Flavet meet the expectations you had for housing when you moved to
G: Were you disappointed with anything when you moved in?
D: I was scared to death of gas. I didn't like that. I told my husband then, [I never
want gas in our home]. You had to cook with gas, the heating was gas, no air
conditioning, we had fans and the hot water heater. I was just really scared of
G: About a fire?
D: They would make a loud noise if the pilot light went off. I didn't want any gas in
G: The places you had lived in before had been all electric?
D: I believe so, yes. At home, where I grew up, we had [an oil] stove and then [a
gas cooking] stove, but somebody else took care of it. I didn't have to worry
G: Back to your furnishings, did you bring any furnishings when you moved in?
D: I think we might have put up some curtains, a bedspread.
G: You all didn't have any furniture of your own yet?
D: No. I always told everybody when we moved out of Flavet, when he graduated,
we had a bookcase full of books, and a rollaway bed [for] when friends came up.
That was all we had.
G: Were all the apartments the same on the interior?
D: Yes. The one-bedroom apartments were inside [of the buildings] and the two-
bedroom and three-bedroom apartments were [on the end of buildings]. You had
eight apartments in each building.
G: They were all the one bedrooms in your building?
D: No. The inside apartments were one-bedroom. They had a hallway between the
apartments with stairs going up to the second level. The people on the outside
end of the building, in other words, had the two- and three-bedroom apartments.
G: How many apartments were on each floor?
D: On each floor? Four.
G: When you say the inside apartments were the one bedrooms...?
D: Yes. So the only windows you had were at the front and back. You didn't have
any on the sides.
G: What did the kitchen come equipped with?
D: All it had was a sink and stove, and then we rented a refrigerator. It cost us $5 a
month. Our total rent was $27.50 a month including the refrigerator.
G: Who did you rent the refrigerator from?
D: It was through the Flavet co-op.
G: That was located in Flavet Three?
G: What other things could you have rented from that co-op? Was it just
D: That=s all I was aware of.
G: Was electricity included?
D: No, it was not. Electricity was paid to the city.
G: Were there any other optional amenities you could pay for to get in your unit?
D: No, if you wanted to bring in a window fan or a window air conditioner, you could,
but that would be at your expense.
G: You all didn't have a window AC, did you?
G: It seems like that window unit might blow out the electricity for the building. I
read over a copy of one of the lease agreements that states that electricity was
provided in rent in Flavet One. That probably changed.
D: Yes. [In] the early days, they went through a lot rougher time in Flavet getting
things situated than when we did back in 1951. They had ironed out a lot of the
problems that they had when [the G.I.=s] first came back.
G: You stated that you washed your clothes at the laundromat there and you dried
them. You didn't have to use any clotheslines?
D: We had clotheslines if we wanted them.
G: Did you have things such as a waffle iron or a coffee percolator?
D: We had a percolator.
G: What about a fan?
D: We had a couple of fans.
G: Did the residents aid in the maintenance of any of these buildings?
D: Some of them, I think, worked on a volunteer basis. Then some of them were
paid. We usually had to paint it ourselves.
G: They would give you the paint.
G: Would they give you the rollers and the brushes and everything?
G: Were there any other kinds of things, like could you work on your yard or plant a
D: Yes. You could plant flowers. We had a few flowers out front. Not much,
because you didn't have much [yard area].
G: Was there any place you could go if you wanted to plant a garden for yourself?
D: Not that I was aware of, but they have had them over near Lake Alice, but not in
G: Were you allowed to have pets?
G: Will you describe the social life at Flavet Village?
D: Very limited for us, because Ken worked, I worked, and he was in school. Most
of our social activities revolved around either the fraternity, the ballgames, and
there were a couple of couples we were friends with. The people who had
children did a lot more socializing than we did. There were a number of people
that had children. They were outside [more. Some] mothers were home during
the day with the children. For us, it wasn=t that much socialization.
G: What fraternity was it that you socialized with?
D: Alpha Gamma Rho, agricultural fraternity.
G: Did you know anyone in the Village before you moved in?
G: Did you find that, when you moved in, that most of the other residents had a
similar background to yourself?
D: Yes. Everybody was very friendly and helpful.
G: How did the residents celebrate holidays? Did you usually go home for holidays?
D: Yes. We were always away for holidays. There were some that were from other
states that stayed there, and they would decorate and have some socializing, but
we always went home for the holidays.
G: Were there ever any organized Flavet holiday parties?
D: I believe they did have some activities, like on the 4th [of July], or on Labor Day,
but I don=t remember going to any.
G: When one of you was having a birthday, did you usually celebrate that just with
the two of you, or did you invite other friends?
D: Usually just the two of us.
G: I=ve read in the archives that movies were occasionally shown at Flavet. Do you
D: Yes they did, they had movies on the lawn. I don=t know, we may have went
once or twice.
G: Where was the screen? Was it on a building or inside?
D: It was set up outside. It was [a screen] on the grass.
G: Besides the laundry and that common area, were there any other buildings
specifically for the community? You did say there was a co-op.
D: I think they had a rec hall. We didn't use it. People with children used facilities
like that more.
G: Did you feel like you were close with your neighbors?
D: Yes, we knew all of our neighbors and they were nice and friendly.
G: Do you keep up with any of the friends you met at Flavet?
D: Yes, we did. Most of them have passed on now.
G: You mentioned that couples with children tended to socialize together. Were
there any other groups of people that tended to form social groups, such as
depending on what area the service the husbands served in, or maybe where the
wives worked, or whether the wife didn't work. Do you recall anything like that?
D: I don=t think it was so much the branch of service they were in as it was common
interest in what they were majoring in in college. I think those people socialized
more. That was how we were, people that were in agriculture.
G: Were there a lot of people in Flavet Three that were majoring in agriculture?
D: Not that I remember.
G: Were there ever any church services held in Flavet that you remember? What
did you do for recreation while living in Flavet? I realize that during the week it
was mainly studying and going to work. What did you do on the weekends?
D: Sometimes we would get with other couples and eat together, play cards. We
would walk downtown to the movies, go to the ballgames. That was pretty much
G: Were there any clubs or groups you were active in on campus or downtown?
What were the age ranges of residents in the Village?
D: Most of them were older than us that lived on our hallway. They were in
graduate school. One was getting his doctorate in psychology, another in
pharmacology. I believe they were all a little bit older than us. We had some
friends on down in the next building that were our age.
G: How old were you when you lived there?
D: I was twenty-years old, between the ages of twenty and twenty-two.
G: Did you feel like there was much diversity of the residents in Flavet? You said
they had similar backgrounds. Was there any kind of...?
D: No, we didn't have as much diversity on campus. There was no integration. We
didn't have that many foreign students back then. I do remember, in chemistry,
we had some people working on their doctorate from India.
G: Were most of the residents from Florida?
G: Why do you think that was?
D: They had returned home from the service and going to the University of Florida
was cheaper and their G.I. Bill made it very convenient for them.
G: There was an incident noted in the Flavet Board of Commissioners meeting
about whether one of the residents maid would be allowed to use the residents
laundry facility. Did you or any of your friends have a maid when you lived in
G: Were there any single veterans living in Flavet?
G: Was it only veterans and their families?
D: Yes. And you had to be married. In fact, when you applied, you had to send a
copy of your marriage license to get into the housing.
G: I may have forgotten to ask you earlier. What years were you in Flavet?
D: From 1951 to 1953.
G: What happened when you or your husband got sick? Were you able to go to the
infirmary on campus?
D: I don=t remember that we ever got sick that we ever had to have that.
G: Do you recall anything about a volunteer fire department in Flavet Three when
you were there?
D: Yes. There was [one].
G: Were there any other kinds of community organizations such as that?
D: They had their governing board, and they were elected [by the residents].
G: Was there any kind of newsletter?
D: Yes. There was a newsletter.
G: What was that called?
D: Probably Flavet Three News. I just don=t recall.
G: Do you recall how often it came out?
D: Probably about once a month.
G: Do you remember anything about it, such as what kind of news it would cover?
D: It would cover what kind of events were taking place.
G: In the university?
D: Mainly within the Village. How things were going, like the co-op. They had a co-
op store, but, there again, I did not use that.
G: That was for groceries and things like that?
D: Yes. And just for the bare necessities. It wasn=t like a real grocery store.
G: Why didn't you use it?
D: We just usually went to the regular grocery store where we could get everything
we needed. That was mainly, I think, for people who ran out of things. Not
major, like meats. You could get a few canned goods, a few veggies. Again, I
think it was probably what people had grown in their garden and that was a
money-making thing for them. The news usually let you know about new people
moving in and their families.
G: Did you ever notice the UF radio station being broadcast from the Flavets?
D: From the Flavets?
D: Not to my knowledge.
G: Did you feel safe living in Flavet?
G: Was there ever any crimes that you remember? So there was no need for
D: No. That was just a foregone conclusion. You would have notified somebody if
you saw something.
G: Who would you have notified?
D: Probably the university police department.
G: Did you feel there was a sense of community within the Flavets?
G: Why was that?
D: Because we had a common interest. We all lived in a close neighborhood.
G: The common interest was?
D: School. Everybody could talk about school, and of course, ball games. Most of
the residents liked to go to the ball games.
G: Dean of Students R.C. Beaty, was quoted as saying that there was a low divorce
rate in the Flavets. Beaty=s explanation for this was that the veterans of this era
have something in the way of character. What was this character, and what kept
D: I think it was commitment to an individual. The mothers were in the home with
G: Did you feel that your husband had maybe more ambition than a student that
D: More focused, I would say. It=s not ambition, but I think the young unmarried,
not the veterans, usually people who are older, are more focused on what they
want, they know more what they want to do. Whereas the younger students,
when they first come up (and I think it=s the same way today), they know they're
coming for an education, but they're coming to have a good time, meet new
friends. I think Ken was focused. He knew what he wanted to do, and he would
do what it took to accomplish that.
G: What kind of rules were in place for living in Flavet? Was there anything on your
lease that you had to sign that said about noise or about parking for people with
D: I think you were allowed one car for parking, and you just parked out in front of
your apartment. I suppose if people had two cars, and I doubt many people did,
they would have parked them over near the baseball field. There was not that
much room for cars.
G: You mentioned that you were able to plant some flowers just in front of your
apartment. Was there any kind of line, almost like a property line?
D: No. The road was pretty close to the front steps of the apartment, maybe twelve
feet, so you didn't have much. There were some hedges on either side of the
entrance. There wasn=t much room to plant.
G: Were you able to get flowers from the co-op?
D: No. If you planted the flowers, you did it yourself.
G: Where would you get the flowers from?
D: Probably just got some seeds, I don=t remember now.
G: You would get seeds at the grocery?
D: Yes. Then sometimes our folks probably gave us some flowers, too.
G: Do you remember anyone ever breaking any kind of rules, or getting in trouble,
or getting thrown out of Flavet for any reason, or any arguments between
D: I did hear of some people who had some problems. I think it was marital
problems. They are called domestic [problems] now. They [the administration]
usually would not tolerate [it]. You had to be considerate of your neighbors,
G: Was it common?
D: No. That was unusual.
G: How would you hear about something like that?
D: Somebody else would tell you. We didn't have that trouble in our area. I did
hear of some people that had some problems. Actually, I think it was two
couples involved. They probably were exchanging partners.
G: Where would you go to find out this kind of gossip?
D: You would hear it. I had a neighbor who knew everything that was going on in
the Village, and she would tell me.
G: Would you just go over to her place and you all would talk?
D: Yes. They had two little children, and we enjoyed their children.
G: Was there anywhere you could lodge a complaint about a resident?
D: Yes. To the governing board.
G: How much power did that board have over your life? Could they reprimand you
in any way?
D: I think they could give you a warning. As to how much power they had, I have no
idea. I=m sure that all they had to do, if some people didn't comply, was turn it
over [to student affairs]. Most of those things probably would have gone to
student affairs and let them handle it.
G: I know from reading in some of their minutes from the archives, it talked about
some traffic problems. You said there wasn=t much parking. Do you recall any
G: Were there any unwritten rules or codes of conduct that the residents lived by
that was particular to Flavet?
D: Probably the unwritten code would [to] be not loud or noisy because of your
neighbors, consideration for your neighbors, and drunkenness.
G: Was that a problem?
G: Did you have a radio?
D: I don=t believe we did. We certainly didn't have a TV.
G: Another follow-up question, you got the Flavet newsletter. Did you get the
university paper at that time?
D: We read it, yes.
G: Did you get the Gainesville paper while you were there?
G: Most of your news you would get from the Florida Alligator?
G: About the mayor and the board of commissioners, did the three Villages all have
G: Did they work together in any way?
D: I expect they discussed the common problems and issues, but I don=t know that.
G: Just the one mayor would have jurisdiction.
G: Who was allowed to vote on who you wanted your representative to be?
D: Any residents.
G: Did you get one vote per household?
D: No, I believe each person, each adult.
G: Do you remember if women were allowed to serve on the board?
G: I=ve read that there were subcommittees and things like that. At one time, it was
for the playground.
D: Different activities, yes.
G: Can you remember any of those committees?
G: The playground was already established when you were there, right?
G: We already talked about this a little bit, but were there any controversial issues
among the residents? You mentioned that there was this one shocking incident
between the couples. Were there any other things?
G: Living in Flavet, did you take an interest in the local politics that were going on in
G: What about Student Government issues? How much involvement did the
residents of Flavet have in the Student Government of UF?
D: I really don=t know. We didn't have any involvement in it.
G: Now were on to the economic issues. How much of a concern was money to
you while you lived in Flavet?
D: Very important. We lived on a very close budget. In fact, when Ken graduated,
he said, I don=t want to see another can of spam in the house, and I want fresh
fruit and vegetables. It was cheaper to buy the canned goods. Plus the fact that
I wasn=t that good a cook. We lived very close.
[End of side A1]
G: You were talking about how difficult it was financially to making the transition to
the University of Florida. How did you pay for the move and how did it come
about that you could use the G.I. Bill for the University of Florida?
D: Ken had been on the G.I. Bill at the University of Tampa. He was also on a
football scholarship. When he decided to come up here so he could study
agriculture, he dropped out at the end of the first semester. Then he started back
at the university in June. His G.I. Bill, he did not get that summer. He did not get
his first G.I. check until October.
G: You had just gotten married?
D: Yes. I had not worked. I had just graduated from business school. He had
worked at minimum wage almost for about four or five months until we came up
here. We had a little bit of money saved, not much. We came up here, borrowed
his sisters car to bring all of our stuff in her car up here. We had enough money
to pay the first months rent and buy some groceries.
G: Was there any kind of deposit?
D: There was a deposit. I can=t remember how much it was, but it was not a big
deposit. Also, I want to say, I started to work at the University of Florida July 1 in
the chemistry department. They only paid once a month. Come the middle of
August, I still had not gotten a check, Ken had not gotten his G.I. [Bill money].
He was working at a student job [and] he had not gotten a check. Our money
was giving out. We were eating sandwiches morning, noon, and night. First we
started with meat, I believe it was bologna or spam, and tomato and lettuce.
Well, the lettuce and tomato gave out. Then the meat gave out, and the bread
was giving out. Ken said, I guess I will just have to go down to a loan shark and
borrow $50 to get us through till our checks] come in. They kept telling me at
the office that my check was coming in. We were eating lunch and he was going
to walk me back to work and then go on down and borrow some money. The
mailman came, and there was a $50 G.I. insurance refund check for Ken. That
helped us to get through. And we got through on that $50 for the rest of that
month. That night we went out and bought us a store-bought dinner to celebrate.
We had been real hungry. We were not starving, but we were getting by on
[slim pickings]. That was one time. After that, our checks were coming in
regularly. We were able to manage our money. We didn't have a car, we
didn't have a telephone. Basically it was just food and what little expenses we
had extra for housing.
G: You didn't eat out very much except for that one time?
D: No. We used to eat at the Hub once in a while. I remember we were eating
there one day and [a] friend of Ken=s came [up], and he [too] was a G.I. He sat
down to eat with us. He had two Hershey bars, he got a glass of water and
lemons that cost [no] money. He made himself lemonade and ate those two
Hershey bars, and that was his lunch. We weren=t the only ones that were living
close. It was difficult times back then.
G: There wasn=t any kind of rationing going on at that point?
D: No, no rationing.
G: When you went to the store. it wasn=t hard to get these things.
D: No. It was just having the money to get it. 1=11 have to tell you something else. I
empathize greatly with students that are in line in front of me now. They have to
say, oh, I can=t get that. They have to set it aside. They don=t have enough
money with them. l=ve told them many a time, I had to put something back
because my groceries came to a little bit more than what I thought. We didn't
have calculators for quick adding-up back then. It made me more sensitive to the
plight of the students nowadays. I tell them not to be embarrassed, l=ve been
through that myself.
G: How many years did it take before he graduated?
D: Two and a half years. We moved out into a garage apartment his last semester
because he needed to study and there was so much noise. It wasn=t the adults,
it was the children playing. We had access to a garage apartment.
[Interruption from phone ringing]
G: You were saying you moved out to a garage apartment.
D: A garage apartment.
G: Because of the noise?
D: Yes. It was a little quieter. It was in a residential neighborhood near the Alachua
G: You were still within walking distance?
D: Of the school, yes.
G: Were there any other things that made up your budget besides your rent and
electricity bill and then your food bill?
D: An occasional movie.
G: Did you have to pay for tickets to the game back then?
D: I believe there was a nominal charge for a student, and the date was free. I
believe that's the way [it] was.
G: At the time when you were in Flavet, did most of the wives work? Were there
any wives that stayed home that didn't have children?
D: Not to my knowledge. There were cases where both of them were students.
G: Just from what you knew about your neighbors, what was the break-up of it, what
percentage of them had kids?
D: I=d say probably two-thirds of them had children because they were G.I.s and
they had families probably while they were still in the service.
G: Did you know of any mothers that worked at that time?
D: Some of them babysat for other mothers to work. That=s one way they helped
out [financially at home].
G: Did they have a nursery in your Flavet?
D: Not to my knowledge, no.
G: You were talking about how hard it was financially. Did you expect that your
financial situation would change once your husband graduated?
G: Did it?
D: Yes. In fact, it got better before he graduated because he was working and I was
working. We had caught up everything.
G: How would you assess your experience living in Flavet as a whole? Was it
positive or negative?
D: I would say it was a positive experience. We were grateful to have that access to
the Flavets. If we had to have an apartment in town, I don=t know if we could
have afforded to [have] gotten married and gone to school.
G: Was there still a housing shortage in 1951 when you moved to Gainesville? Was
it hard to find a place?
D: Yes, there was.
G: It wasn=t that difficult to find a place?
D: No. Places were available, it=s just a matter of how much you wanted to pay.
We applied to live in the Flavets in February, right after we were married. We
knew we had a place to come to in May before we came up June 1.
G: Were there any negative aspects of living there that we haven=t already talked
G: Is there anything else that I haven=t asked you that you=d like to tell me about
D: No. I think we=ve covered it.
G: Thanks so much.
D: Thank you.
[End of the interview.]