Citation
Interview with Joe Busby, October 19, 2004

Material Information

Title:
Interview with Joe Busby, October 19, 2004
Creator:
Busby, Joe ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
University of Florida Campus (General) Oral History Collection ( local )
University of Florida -- Student housing

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Rights Management:
Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Resource Identifier:
FLVT 1 ( SPOHP IDENTIFIER )

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text





FLVT 1
Interviewee: Joe Busby
Interviewer: Jennifer Garrett
Date: October 19, 2004


G: It is October 19, 2004. I am interviewing Joe Busby about his experiences at
Flavet and the University of Florida. Joe, where are you from?

B: We were from Eustis, Florida. I came up to the university in 1939 as a freshman.
I was at the university when Pearl Harbor [December 7, 1941] hit. I was in
advanced ROTC [Reserves Officer Training Corps] in the horse-drawn field
artillery unit. There was a rumor that hit the campus at that time that they were
going to call up the advanced ROTC students and the horse-drawn field artillery
group would go to Oklahoma to train for six months and then [go] overseas.
Well, I think, now that I reflect back, that this Army Air Corps recruiter may have
had something to do with starting the rumor, because he hit the campus and
started to recruit for the Army Air Corps right after the first of January. My two
roommates and I sat around in a bull session and we decided that we didn't want
to fight the war on those horses.

G: Where were you living at that time?

B: We were living in the CLO house [Cooperative Living Organization sponsored by
Southern Scholarship Foundation] and my roommates and I, all three of us, went
and met this Army Air Corps recruiter. I was the first one and he sent me
immediately to Jacksonville. I had to go to the federal building in Jacksonville and
they gave me a 64 physical and the Army general classification test. There were
about twenty of us, I think, that took this. There was seven of us that passed
everything and this captain told the seven of us that passed to stand up and
repeat after him. Well, we held up our hands and we repeated after him and then
I went over to him and said, well, when will I have to report, because I have a lot
of stuff back at the University and so forth. He looked at me and his whole
demeanor changed and he said, you're in the Army now; you're catching the train
to Maxwell Field tonight. [The captain] said, you had advanced ROTC; you're in
charge of the group. So I immediately went to Maxwell Field and I had to phone
my dad and he had to come up and pack my stuff and I lost some stuff as a
result, but nevertheless ...

G: How old were you at the time?

B: Twenty.

G: What had you been studying at the university?

B: I was in horticulture. I was majoring, actually, in citrus, citrus production, [in] the









FLVT 1
Page 2

college of agriculture.

G: So then, what theater did you serve in during the war?

B: Well, all theaters really. I went to Maxwell Field thinking I was going into pilot
training and my two roommates both went different [places]. They sent one of
them to California, the other, home on leave; well, when we got to Maxwell Field,
they had hundreds and hundreds of recruits. We were put in a tent city and we
were going through the basic marching and such stuff as that which we already
had in ROTC. One morning, at about eight o'clock, they took almost eight
hundred of us down to the reception center and they gave us an exam. Well,
there were so many people that volunteered and all that the rumor went through
the group that this was a wash-out exam, because if you washed-out you went
immediately to [infantry, as a corporal from cadets]. So, naturally, everyone did
as well as you could on the exam, but the exam was not that difficult. I had, of
course, finished General College, and I had taken basic mathematics in General
College and I had some physics. This [test] was mostly a math and physics
exam, so when we finished the exam, they took the forty-three of us that scored
the highest on the exam and sent us to Coral Gables, Florida, for Pan American
Airways to teach us celestial navigation. They put in a class there, with the
contract with Pan Am, and we flew off of Dinner Key. We lived in the University of
Miami in Coral Gables, Santander Avenue dormitory. [The] University of Miami
taught some courses and then Pan Am navigators taught most of the rest of it.

G: And they were teaching what?

B: Celestial navigation.

G: Okay.

B: So, Pan Am was the only airline at that time that was flying the ocean. They had
the ocean routes to Europe and Africa and so forth. So they trained us to do
celestial navigation. You had no navigational aides over the ocean at that time.
There were no such thing as Loran, which came out later and so forth. You had
to go with celestial and dead reckoning to do your navigation, and it was rather
critical because we were going through Ascension Island to get overseas at that
time. North Africa, at that time, [was under] German [control], so we had to go to
the south Atlantic [by way of] Ascension Island, and then over into Africa.
Ascension Island was just a small island out there in the middle of the south
Atlantic. It was about a mile and a half across and you had to hit that with your
celestial navigation, there was no [alternative]. My class that graduated [had]
quite a few of us, and [they] put us immediately in what they called the Fourth
Ferry Command that [was being] organizedd, first at West Palm Beach, then it
moved to [Nashville and then to] Memphis. We picked up airplanes and took









FLVT 1
Page 3

them overseas to the combat area. That's the reason I was in so many theaters.

The first plane that I took, which was in August of 1942, was a B-25B, and we
were to take it to do bridge-bombing in Burma. We never got to Burma because
we crashed in Karachi, India. The plane was completely washed out. We were
taken to the general hospital in Calcutta and then shortly released, with no-at
least I didn't have any-severe injuries, and then [we] returned to the United
States to pick up a plane and go do the same thing again. Shortly after that, they
started to push to stop Rommel [German general in command of North Africa
forces]. He had gotten in about seventy miles of Cairo. So I don't know how
many trips I made back and forth taking planes to bases that they were building
out there in the desert to attack Europe and the Germans in North Africa. That
was what I was doing in 1942.

I had been going with my wife [for a long time], she graduated from high school
with me. She had gone to FSCW [Florida State College for Women]. Some
people call it FSU, but that was not where she went. She had gone three years to
Florida State College for Women and then decided to [become] a medical
technologist, so she left college to go to medical technology training in Akron,
Ohio, at a Firestone [tire company] endowed hospital up there. She was in Akron
at that time. After I had that crash, I went up to see her in Akron, and we had
more or less had an understanding all along that we were going to get married. I
guess that mere immortality became a question more after that crash, and so we
decided to get married as soon as she turned twenty-one. She turned twenty-one
[on] January 3, 1943. I was on one of these trips to Cairo and upon returning-the
first time I got back from the trip [after my twenty-first birthday]-I called her to
meet me and [said] we'd get married. Well, by then, I couldn't get a leave; leaves
had been cancelled because the pressure for moving these planes was so great.
They gave us what they called a five-day rest-leave, [but] you couldn't go more
than fifty miles from the base. You had to have a telephone number that you
could be reached at all times, because if a push came up, they just called you in
and you left again. The squadron [leader] where I was let us get married and
tried to protect my rest-leave, so that's what we had, we had five days rest-leave.
She met me in Memphis after I changed the plans. We were married and had
about two days after going through the red-tape [to get] married. Then she went
back to Akron and I took off again. The next time I saw her was about six months
later.

G: This was what year, again?

B: That was 1943. Then, when she finished in Akron, she came down and we lived
for a while in Memphis. I was still gone most of the time because I was ferrying
airplanes. In December 1943, Cordell Hull was secretary of state. Cordell Hull
gave an airplane to Chile to maintain neutrality. Chile had all this strategic









FLVT 1
Page 4

Chilean nitrate that could be used in ammunition and explosive materials, so they
were trying maintain their neutrality. So they chose our crew to take a Lockheed
Hudson bomber down and give it to the Chilean Air Force. Then we had to train
the Chileans and check them out on the airplane. Now, you understand that,
when we went out on those missions in those days, everything was top secret.
There was no such thing as TV or anybody telling where you were or what you
were doing or anything else, so when you left, your wife didn't know where you
were going or when you would get back. So, this Chilean deal seemed like a
great deal for us [because] we hadn't done anything else like that. So we went
down and we had an enjoyable time training this group. I didn't know it until
recently, when we were looking through some things from the war effort, that
they had put a young woman, about twenty years old, I think, on the airplane as
the interpreter. Her father was a Texan who had married a Chilean girl [when] he
was down there [in Chile] doing oil exploration. He had married the Chilean
woman and this girl spoke English like a Texan. So she was the interpreter and
she was also a pilot, so she was the interpreter for this. Well, before we left she
gave me a nice autographed picture of herself. [Laughter] It wasn't until recently
that my wife said to me, well, why did that twenty-year-old girl give you her
picture? Nevertheless, that was not the complete part of the story. They sent us
back by Chilean Airways across the Andes to Buenos Aires to catch a flight to
Rio de Janeiro and [then by] Pan Am back to the States. That's how we would
get back.

Well, Argentina had a government that was very pro-German. When we arrived
at the airport in Buenos Aires, we were immediately interned because they asked
us for a visa. Well, I didn't even know what a visa was [because] we were
traveling all over the world using our military ID's [identification card], that was all
I had. I think my pilot may have known because he had flown for China National
Airways as a pilot before the war. Nevertheless, we were interned. Well, there
was more back and forth between the State Department. For several days we
were just put in a hotel under guard and we sat there, that was all we did for
several days. Well, the State Department finally got it cleared up and we headed
home. We went to Rio and caught the Pan Am to Miami. When I got back, they
had organized with the first Douglass or DC-4, an airline that was to be a VIP
airline, to be under orders from Washington to do anything that they wanted them
to do. They took the first twelve DC-4's, we called them C-54's, that Douglass
had [taken] off the production line to form this airline. They immediately were
recruiting some the experienced celestial navigators to go for crew training on
those C-54's, [and] I was one selected for that.

G: So you were still in the service at that time?

B: [I] had been in the service all that time. I joined the service six weeks after Pearl
Harbor. I had been in military service all that time. I was commissioned July









FLVT 1
Page 5

4,1942, as a celestial navigator.

G: When were you released from the service?

B: In April of 1946. I'll explain the overlap there. I was in India on General Tunner's
staff at the close of the war. I got home from India just before Christmas of 1945.
I had a whole lot of accumulated leave-I had been serving all over where I
couldn't take leave, so it accumulated. So they simply projected my date of
moving to the reserves. I was in the army, [but] I was moving to the reserves.
They projected that date by adding on all this leave. So I was actually discharged
into the reserves in April of 1946. I wanted to get back to school to finish this last
year that I had [left] at the university. I wanted to get back as badly as I could, so
I immediately registered for that second semester.

G: And what year was that?

B: That was in 1946.

G: The fall of 1946?

B: No, spring semester. I came immediately up and registered in January because I
was on leave from the service. When I got home, I had two little boys, and Elta
had been living at home in Eustis with her parents. When I got home we
immediately came up and I applied to get back to the university. When we came
up right after Christmas and started looking for a place to live, that's when we ran
into problems. There was just nothing in Gainesville. We found a place out just
north of the university that was just nothing but a closed-in porch. We had to
share a bathroom with the people in the house. The porch had a gas line that
came in that you had to put quarters in. The pressure was low and it wouldn't do
much. It was really a kind of a sad place, [and] it was cold and such.

G: It was just the two of you living there?

B: We brought the baby up and left the older boy with his grandmother in Eustis.
The baby was with us. [Elta will] show you pictures of the children, I guess.
When we heard that Flavet was opening up, I immediately applied to go in
Flavet. We were among the first families [to move in]. I think there were two or
three houses built before when we went in.

G: How did you hear about Flavet?

B: Well, I think around classes and everything. We were all having problems with
housing and so forth. We heard [about it] and I went over immediately and
applied. I know Dr. Proctor has said that, well, everybody with more than two









FLVT 1
Page 6

children got an extra bedroom and all. Well, that wasn't so. We took whatever we
could get. The first thing that came available, we took it. We had the two-
bedroom.

G: So did you get in for the fall semester or the summer semester?

B: No, we got in that spring. When they first opened Flavet I. Then, Flavet I had just
an icebox. They had not much in the way of facilities. The icebox with a hole in
the floor to drain it and that was it. Well, I put my name on the list down at Smith,
Deck, and Storm [a local appliance store] for a refrigerator. Well, they turned out
to be good friends [of ours] for years here in Gainesville. Smith, Deck, and
Storm, I think, had sympathy for some of us in this situation. Before long they got
me a Norge refrigerator and an Easy washing machine. We were in high cotton.

G: Did the university make you pay any extra to account for the higher utility bills
from these appliance?

B: Not really. The utilities were very low, [although] I have forgotten now [exactly]
what they were.

G: But you had a set utility bill?

B: Yes.

G: What about some of the furnishings?

B: Well, we had our own because we had been moving around and we had quite a
lot of furniture, so that was not a problem for us. I had moved when I went into
that C-54 outfit. They had started to fly us out of Washington D.C., but they
moved us to Wilmington, Delaware-New Castle Airbase-because the traffic at
Washington National was impossible. So we would sometimes come down and
load out of Washington if we had a mission. For example, I had one mission
where we came down to Washington, D.C., and we picked up a lieutenant
colonel courier officer and three million dollars in gold. That gold was going to
China to Chiang Kai-shek to support his operation. So, your missions were
whatever they wanted. Before I went to India, one of my major missions was
[picking up B-29 support personnel and material that were moved from New York
to Casablanca by boat]. All the support personnel, the parts and everything [were
transported by boat] to Khragapur, India. We shuttled for five months from
Casablanca to Khragapur moving that [B-]29 outfit in which was the first [B]29s to
hit occupied China and Japan. When they went in over there, the [B-]29s started
to burn out engines on that hump [because they were] climbing out with full fuel
loads and bomb loads [to 25,000 feet or more]. We were hauling engines to
everywhere you could imagine. They'd say, well, we got a [B-]29 down out at









FLVT 1
Page 7

Chabud, don't unload your engines, go to Chabud. So I saw a lot of country over
there, too, as a result of that.

G: Well, I do want to get back, though, to the Flavets and the furnishings. Can you
describe the interior of your apartment more?

B: Well, it was great as far as we were concerned, after what we had been going
through. You had a picture window in the living room area and the wooden floors
were great. After what we had been faced with, it was heaven, frankly. We had
the two little boys. My wife will give you more on this because, honestly, when I
returned to school, my total objective was to get through [school], finish up my
year, and I did. I did finish out everything and I graduated in January of 1947. In
fact, I was hired down at Bradenton before I graduated. I went to Bradenton and
worked for two or three weeks prior to graduation because they wanted me to
help with the Florida State Fair exhibit in Tampa.

G: I did want to talk a little bit about that kind of motivation to get through school. I
have a quote from a university cheerleader of that era. He said, they [the
veterans] have no school spirit. All these people are interested in is getting an
education. So, why was getting an education so important to you?

B: Well, we wanted to get on with our lives. I had over four-years interruption there
in World War II. We really, practically all the veterans, had matured a lot. You
went in as a "rah-rah" college student, but you came back with one personal
[goal]. That was to get your education, get your degree, get out and get on with
your career. Let me point out that many of us had been through all of the rat cap
[a hat worn by freshmen in the early days of University of Florida], running across
campus, not walking across the plaza of the Americas or cut or anything else as
a freshman [early traditions of UF freshmen]. I had gone through all the business
of having to go to Georgia [University of Georgia, rival school] and fight off
Georgia rat caps, and so forth. We had been through that. That was childish, so
to speak. I don't think that we lacked, necessarily, Gator spirit, but we had some
priorities that were just a little different.

G: Will you describe a typical school day for you?

B: I usually got up early in the morning, ate breakfast, and headed to class. I was
carrying eighteen hours of school work and so I usually had eight o'clock classes.
So I headed over to campus and between classes I frequently went straight to
the library and spent the break studying. I usually came home and ate supper
and often went back to the library after supper. That was typically my day.
Occasionally we had things to do in town. We had a car, fortunately, [so] we
didn't have to depend on someone else to [take] us. So we could take the car
and go to town. In those days it was almost impossible to buy coffee. We traded









FLVT 1
Page 8

at the A&P store that was on University Avenue right before Main Street at that
time, on that block there. The manager of the store would give a code and would
get your coffee out from under the counter there. We used Eight O'clock Coffee
from A&P. So there were times we would go down to town on Saturday or
something to get things we needed.

G: Well, that brings us back to the fact that you had a refrigerator and you had a
coffee [percolator, on the stove], and you had the washer.

B: The Easy washing machine. [It was just a tub, so she still rinsed in the sink.]

G: At that time did the Flavets have a laundry?

B: Not at that time.

G: So before you got the washing machine?

B: We used a scrub board.

G: Okay, then everyone just hung their clothes on the line.

B: Yes, they had [clothes] lines out back and the women, I think, had a great deal of
visiting that went on out there at the clothes lines. She can tell you more about
that.

G: Were all the apartments the same on the interior? I know you mentioned that
there were some apartments that had more rooms than others.

B: There were one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units in Flavet. We
had a two bedroom one. They had a little closet storage space. We had plenty of
room and we moved our furniture in. We were fortunate in that we had furniture.
We had bought furniture when we got married in Memphis and the army had
moved it back to Eustis for us, and we moved it back up here.

G: Were there any optional amenities when you moved in? Things that you could
pay more to get in your apartment?

B: No, I don't remember that there were any optional things. Maybe we didn't ask
for them, I don't know.

G: Did you have a telephone?

B: No.
G: Where did you go to use the phone? Was there a public phone somewhere?









FLVT 1
Page 9


B: I didn't use one very much. I remember the Florida Union had a pay phone. I
can't remember whether there was a pay phone out there at the village or not.
There may have been a booth, a pay phone, [but] we just didn't use one very
much.

G: Was there anything that you did at your apartment at Flavet to make it more
liveable besides your own furnishings and the washer?

B: The washer and the refrigerator were the main things. I don't remember anything
else. Elta may.

G: Were there any issues with sound within the unit, such as being able to hear your
neighbors or things going on outside?

B: They were not sound proof, but neither were some of the other places we had
been living.

G: Did the residents of Flavet aid in the maintenance of the structures, such as
painting or maintenance on the grounds?

B: I think probably they did, but I didn't.

G: So it wasn't required.

B: And as I said, I had one priority and that was to get through.

G: Were you allowed to have pets?

B: You know, I don't remember, because we didn't have one. I don't remember
whether they allowed it or not.

G: You started to talk about it a little bit, with the women out by the clothes-line, but I
was wondering what kind of social life there was for men at Flavet? I realize that
you didn't have a lot of time for social activities, but were there social activities for
the men?

B: Well, I became good friends with a graduate student in chemistry. He loved to
play cribbage and I'd play cribbage with him for a while. Really, no, [there was]
not a whole lot of social life, except someone like this that you had a thing that
you both liked to do.

G: Did you know anyone in the village before you moved in?
B; Yes, I knew some. Henry Swanson, he was later county agent in Orange County,









FLVT 1
Page 10

he and his wife moved into the village. I had known Henry in high school, he was
the younger brother of a very good friend of mine. I knew Henry and Billy, and
then several of the others I had known as students before the war.

G: How did the residents celebrate holidays at Flavet? Did many go home?

B: We went down to Eustis for the holidays, mostly, [but only] if I didn't have a paper
or something I was doing [that I needed] to stay in the library and such.

G: So, were there any special Thanksgiving celebrations or anything that the Flavet
residents did as group?

B: I don't remember it.

G: I read in the archives that movies were shown occasionally at the Flavets. Did
that happen in Flavet I that you recall?

B: [You] better ask Elta [about that]. I spent more time in the library in the evenings
than out there.

G: Did you feel like you were close to your neighbors?

B: Oh yes, yes. In fact, our next door neighbor I had not known them before,
Verl Fielding and Evelyn. They live in Palmetto, Florida, now. He was the
dealership for John Deere tractors and that big area down there and over to
Wachula. We've continued our friendship with them. They still visit us here and
we keep in touch with them.

G: And they had a similar background to you?

B: Well, yes, they were just like I was. They were trying to get through. Yes, we kept
in touch with them. Now, the other people in the building, no, I have not kept in
touch with.

G: Were there any groups of people within Flavet that tended to socialize together,
such as couples with children, or couples without children?

B: I don't know.

G: You said that you really didn't participate in much recreation in Flavet.

B: No


G: What were the age ranges of the residents in Flavet?









FLVT 1
Page 11


B: Well, I suppose most of them were just as I was. Probably, I expect, twenty-five,
maybe twenty-six and under. Most of us were veterans. In fact, I guess all of us
were. Henry Swanson was one of the younger ones in there that I know. Henry
must have been three or four years younger than I am; he would have been
twenty-one, maybe.

G: Was there much diversity in the residents of Flavet?

B: Well, certainly [there was diversity] in the areas that we were studying. Like the
man I told you about that I played cribbage with, he was working on a Ph.D. in
chemistry. Actually [it] turned out to be toxicology later, but that's what he was in.
Then a man at the other end of the building played baseball for the university
and then was in law school. There were several that went on into law school that
were out there. Some of them went for graduate degrees, as I did later, but not
while living in Flavet. So yes, there was quite a lot of diversity of interest as far as
our academic backgrounds were concerned.

G: Were there any minorities living in Flavet?

B: You know, I don't remember. There could have been, but I don't remember. And I
didn't socialize with them very often, so I don't know.

G: There was an incident that took place after you were at Flavet that the board of
commissioners discussed in their meeting. It had to do with one of the residents
having a maid. Did your family have a maid while you were living in Flavet?

B: Ask her. We could have because I was not really financially strapped. Well, I
probably shouldn't say this, but when I was overseas, I used to play rather high-
stakes bridge. I sent home my full allowance, all the money I was allowed to
send. We were in a black market area, so you were not allowed to send home
more than your paycheck. But I sent that home every month because I actually
had money from gambling that I lived on. Elta saved all of it [because] she was
living at home, so we were in better shape than many. Now many of the
students, I know, talked about living off that ninety dollars a month they got from
the VA [Veterans Administration]. We were not in that situation.

G: Do you remember how much it cost to live in Flavet at that time?

B: I don't. She [Elta, his wife] might be able to tell you. I think it was less than thirty
dollars a month though, not much.

G: Can you give me an idea of what expenses made up your budget at that time?
B: You better talk to her.









FLVT 1
Page 12


G: Okay. Did you have a job outside of school?

B: No, I was just getting through [school].

G: Did you expect that your financial situation would change once you were out of
school?

B: I probably did when I was in school, but frankly, we lived off of savings for several
years after I got out of school. I went to work in Bradenton for three thousand
dollars a year, that was the total salary, and [I] furnished my own car. So for
several years we supplemented our income with savings.

G: Were there any single veterans living in Flavet?

B: No, not that I know of.

G: What happened when someone in your family got sick? Were they able to go to
the infirmary on campus?

B: We went to a doctor in town. I don't know. In fact, I had come out of India and I
was on Atabrine, which was a malarial suppressant. It would not cure you. I
came down with malaria [when] I was back in school. I thought my eyes were
going black. I had the headaches and my eyes [were black], so I went down to
Dr. Love, who was an opthamologist, and he examined my eyes and he said,
Joe, you better see an M.D., there's nothing wrong with your eyes. So shortly
there after the chills and fever started and then I knew what it was. So I went to
the infirmary first and they gave you quinine. I still had recurring attacks of
malaria for several years. In fact, I think that when I got recalled for Korea, they
put me on this Chloroquin derivative that had been developed in the meantime,
and I think that cleared up my malaria [because] I haven't had an attack of it
since.

G: Did you get malaria when you were in Gainesville or back when you were in the
war?

B: Well, I contracted malaria in CBI, China-Burma-India. That Atabrine that we
were on suppressed it, so it didn't bother me that much, but when the Atabrine
wore off, after I was back in school, that's when the malaria attacks began.

G: Was that common for veterans in Flavet?

B: Oh, yes, it was common. Those of us that came out of tropical situations, almost
all of us-my wife's brother that was in the South Pacific-they all came back with









FLVT 1
Page 13

malaria.

G: Do you remember anything about the University of Florida radio station at that
time? I have read some articles that say that it was once broadcast from Flavet.

B: Yeah, Cooper, in the College of Agriculture, used to carry a farm hour every day
on that. I used to listen to him quite often. I think Elta listened to WRUF
[university radio station] quite often. She could tell you more about it because
she spent more time listening to those things than I did.

G: Did you feel safe living in Flavet?

B: Yes.

G: Was there ever any crime there that you remember?

B: Not that I remember.

G: Was there a neighborhood watch group, or was there ever a need for one?

B: I don't remember. I certainly didn't serve on anything like that.

G: Did you feel like there was a sense of community in the Flavet Village?

B: To some extent. We were all in the same boat, but it was not a social group,
that's for sure.

G: The dean of students, R.C. Beatty, was quoted as saying that there was a low
divorce rate in the Flavets. Beatty's explanation for this was that the veterans of
this era have something in the way of character. What was this character that he
was talking about and what kept these families together?

B: Well, I'd known Dean Beatty for years before the war. He was the faculty monitor
for CLO house [Cooperative Living Organization], so we had a lot of contact with
Dean Beatty. I think that the serious student that you had in Flavet and, as far as
I know, marital problems didn't surface too much while they were still trying to get
through school. Later, I know when I was back at the university, I had a young
woman that was a secretary who was putting her husband through his master's
degree. She was working as a secretary. The day after he got his master's
degree he told her, I want a divorce.

G: But, as far as you know, in the Flavets this wasn't happening.


B: [Yes].









FLVT 1
Page 14


G: What kind of rules were there for living in Flavet?

B: I didn't feel bound by any rules. It didn't bother me.

G; There were some incidents that I read about, such as people getting in to the
agriculture experiment fields to get vegetables.

B: Well, let's put it this way, even as student before the war we used to do that.
Many of us worked for the units, and you knew where the strawberries were and
things like that. I don't know about the Flavets, but some of those students
certainly would have known and might have gone. Many of the students that
worked for these units were privy to it. For example, before the war, we had boys
working in the poultry lab and boys working in the dairy products lab. They would
bring one of those big gallon tubs of ice cream by and we'd all share ice cream
and such stuff as that. That went on, but I don't know about in Flavet because I
just didn't participate in anything there.

G: So, as far as you know, there was never anyone that was asked to leave.

B: Not that I know of. Of course, we were only there a year.

G: Was there a place to lodge complaints if there was a noise problem?

B: I don't know. You lodged it with the neighbor.

G: Did many people own vehicles?

B: There were a few that owned them, but it was not a general fact. There were
many of them that did not have vehicles.

G: And were there any traffic problems?

B: No.

G: Were there any kind of unwritten rules or codes that residents lived by?

B: Not that I remember.

G: Were there any controversial local issues among the Flavet residents, having to
do with the city of Gainesville, the university as a whole, or their own village?

B: Well, some of these things may have surfaced after we left, but I don't remember
anything.









FLVT 1
Page 15


G: How did your experience living in Flavet influence your life?

B: Well, I think it was a very good experience for us because we'd had totally
inadequate housing when I came back to school. This provided us with adequate
housing and it was convenient for me to get to class.

G: Did you walk to class?

B: I walked most of the time. Now one time I went over to the library one night and I
drove over and parked. I got out of the library and I forgot that I had taken the car
so I walked back over [to Flavet] and looked around and the car wasn't there. So
I realized suddenly that I had taken the car to the library, and I had to go back to
the library and get it.

G: Would you assess your experience living in Flavet as a positive experience?

B: Very definitely. It was a great addition for the university to assist these veterans. I
think almost all of them that I know have been grateful and felt it was a positive
experience.

G: One thing I should have asked you earlier. You were on the G.I. Bill when you
came back?

B: I was on the G.I. Bill, but the ninety dollars [a month], as I told you, we weren't
dependant on that, thank goodness.

G: But it did pay your tuition.

B: It did. It paid tuition and helped with the books and such.

G: Okay. Were there any negative aspects of living in Flavet that we haven't
covered?

B: Not as far as I was concerned.

G: Can you suggest any other individuals that might be helpful to this study?

B: You're thinking of people that live primarily here in Gainesville, I presume?

G: Yes, but possibly people that live further away or anyone in the state of Florida
that might be willing.

B: Well I'm sure that Verl and Evelyn Fielding would be a good source to interview if









FLVT 1
Page 16

you could go to Palmetto. They were here about a year longer than I was. It took
Verl a little longer to finish. They had children, too. I think their memory of things
might be of help.

G: Is there anything else that I haven't asked you about that you would like to talk
about?

B: Oh, also list Henry and Billy Swanson. They live in that retirement home in Winter
Park. Now Henry and Billy almost lived on their ninety dollar a month VA stipend,
so they could probably give you better idea of what it was like living at that time.

G: Great. Is there anything else I need to know about the Flavets and your
experience living there?

B: I can't think of anything. Now, Elta has much more intimate experience of her
year living there and her interaction with the other women and such as that. As I
said, I had one priority and that was to go to school and get it over with.

G: Great. Thank you so much for talking with me.


[End of the interview.]




Full Text

PAGE 1

FLVT 1 Interviewee: Joe Busby Interviewer: Jennifer Garrett Date: October 19, 2004 G: It is October 19, 2004. I am interviewing Joe Busby about his experiences at Flavet and the University of Flor ida. Joe, where are you from? B: We were from Eustis, Florida. I came up to the university in 1939 as a freshman. I was at the university when Pearl Ha rbor [December 7, 1941] hit. I was in advanced ROTC [Reserves Officer Training Corps] in the horse-drawn field artillery unit. There was a rumor that hit t he campus at that time that they were going to call up the advanced ROTC students and the horse-drawn field artillery group would go to Oklahoma to train for six months and then [go] overseas. Well, I think, now that I reflect back, t hat this Army Air Corps recruiter may have had something to do with starting the rumor, because he hit the campus and started to recruit for the Army Air Corps right after the first of January. My two roommates and I sat around in a bull session and we decided that we didnÂ’t want to fight the war on those horses. G: Where were you living at that time? B: We were living in the CLO house [Cooperative Living Organization sponsored by Southern Scholarship Foundation] and my roommates and I, all three of us, went and met this Army Air Corps recruiter. I was the first one and he sent me immediately to Jacksonville. I had to go to the federal building in Jacksonville and they gave me a 64 physical and the Army general classification test. There were about twenty of us, I think, that took th is. There was seven of us that passed everything and this captain told the seven of us that passed to stand up and repeat after him. Well, we held up our hands and we repeated after him and then I went over to him and said, well, when will I have to report, because I have a lot of stuff back at the University and so forth. He looked at me and his whole demeanor changed and he said, youÂ’re in the Army now; youÂ’re catching the train to Maxwell Field tonight. [The captain] said, you had advanced ROTC; youÂ’re in charge of the group. So I immediately w ent to Maxwell Field and I had to phone my dad and he had to come up and pack my stuff and I lost some stuff as a result, but nevertheless . . . G: How old were you at the time? B: Twenty. G: What had you been studying at the university? B: I was in horticulture. I was majoring, act ually, in citrus, citrus production, [in] the

PAGE 2

FLVT 1 Page 2 college of agriculture. G: So then, what theater did you serve in during the war? B: Well, all theaters really. I went to Maxwell Field thinking I was going into pilot training and my two roommates both went di fferent [places]. They sent one of them to California, the other, home on leave; well, when we got to Maxwell Field, they had hundreds and hundreds of recruits. We were put in a tent city and we were going through the basic marching and such stuff as that which we already had in ROTC. One morning, at about eight oÂ’clock, they took almost eight hundred of us down to the reception c enter and they gave us an exam. Well, there were so many people that volunteer ed and all that the rumor went through the group that this was a wash-out ex am, because if you washed-out you went immediately to [infantry, as a corporal from cadets]. So, naturally, everyone did as well as you could on the exam, but the exam was not that difficult. I had, of course, finished General College, and I had taken basic mathematics in General College and I had some physics. This [test] was mostly a math and physics exam, so when we finished the exam, they took the forty-three of us that scored the highest on the exam and sent us to Co ral Gables, Florida, for Pan American Airways to teach us celestial navigation. They put in a class there, with the contract with Pan Am, and we flew off of Di nner Key. We lived in the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Santander Avenue dormitory. [The] University of Miami taught some courses and then Pan Am navigator s taught most of the rest of it. G: And they were teaching what? B: Celestial navigation. G: Okay. B: So, Pan Am was the only airline at that time that was flying the ocean. They had the ocean routes to Europe and Africa and so forth. So they trained us to do celestial navigation. You had no navigational aides over the ocean at that time. There were no such thing as Loran, which came out later and so forth. You had to go with celestial and dead reckoning to do your navigation, and it was rather critical because we were going through Ascension Island to get overseas at that time. North Africa, at that time, [was under] German [control], so we had to go to the south Atlantic [by way of] Ascension Island, and then over into Africa. Ascension Island was just a small island out there in the middle of the south Atlantic. It was about a mile and a half across and you had to hit that with your celestial navigation, there was no [alter native]. My class that graduated [had] quite a few of us, and [they] put us immedi ately in what they called the Fourth Ferry Command that [was being] organiz[ed], first at West Palm Beach, then it moved to [Nashville and then to] Memphis. We picked up airplanes and took

PAGE 3

FLVT 1 Page 3 them overseas to the combat area. That ’s the reason I was in so many theaters. The first plane that I took, which was in August of 1942, was a B-25B, and we were to take it to do bridge-bombing in Burma. We never got to Burma because we crashed in Karachi, India. The plane was completely washed out. We were taken to the general hospital in Calcutta and then shortly released, with no–at least I didn’t have any–severe injuries, and then [we] returned to the United States to pick up a plane and go do the same thing again. Shortly after that, they started to push to stop Rommel [German general in command of North Africa forces]. He had gotten in about seventy miles of Cairo. So I don’t know how many trips I made back and forth taking planes to bases that they were building out there in the desert to attack Europe and the Germans in North Africa. That was what I was doing in 1942. I had been going with my wife [for a long time], she graduated from high school with me. She had gone to FSCW [Florida State College for Women]. Some people call it FSU, but that was not w here she went. She had gone three years to Florida State College for Women and t hen decided to [become] a medical technologist, so she left college to go to medical technology training in Akron, Ohio, at a Firestone [tire company] endowed hospital up there. She was in Akron at that time. After I had that crash, I went up to see her in Akron, and we had more or less had an understanding all along that we were going to get married. I guess that mere immortality became a question more after that crash, and so we decided to get married as soon as she turned twenty-one. She turned twenty-one [on] January 3, 1943. I was on one of t hese trips to Cairo and upon returning–the first time I got back from the trip [afte r my twenty-first birthday]–I called her to meet me and [said] we‘d get married. Well, by then, I couldn’t get a leave; leaves had been cancelled because the pressure for moving these planes was so great. They gave us what they called a five-day rest-leave, [but] you couldn’t go more than fifty miles from the base. You had to have a telephone number that you could be reached at all times, because if a push came up, they just called you in and you left again. The squadron [leader] where I was let us get married and tried to protect my rest-leave, so that’s what we had, we had five days rest-leave. She met me in Memphis after I changed the plans. We were married and had about two days after going through the red-tape [to get] married. Then she went back to Akron and I took off again. The next time I saw her was about six months later. G: This was what year, again? B: That was 1943. Then, when she finished in Akron, she came down and we lived for a while in Memphis. I was still gone most of the time because I was ferrying airplanes. In December 1943, Cordell Hull was secretary of state. Cordell Hull gave an airplane to Chile to maintain neutrality. Chile had all this strategic

PAGE 4

FLVT 1 Page 4 Chilean nitrate that could be used in ammuni tion and explosive materials, so they were trying maintain their neutrality. So they chose our crew to take a Lockheed Hudson bomber down and give it to the Chilean Air Force. Then we had to train the Chileans and check them out on the airplane. Now, you understand that, when we went out on those missions in those days, everything was top secret. There was no such thing as TV or anybody telling where you were or what you were doing or anything else, so when you left, your wife didnÂ’t know where you were going or when you would get back. So, this Chilean deal seemed like a great deal for us [because] we hadnÂ’t done anything else like that. So we went down and we had an enjoyable time training this group. I didnÂ’t know it until recently, when we were looking through so me things from the war effort, that they had put a young woman, about twenty year s old, I think, on the airplane as the interpreter. Her father was a Tex an who had married a Chilean girl [when] he was down there [in Chile] doing oil exploration. He had married the Chilean woman and this girl spoke English like a Texan. So she was the interpreter and she was also a pilot, so she was the interpreter for this. Well, before we left she gave me a nice autographed picture of herse lf. [Laughter] It wasnÂ’t until recently that my wife said to me, well, why did that twenty-year-old girl give you her picture? Nevertheless, that was not the comp lete part of the story. They sent us back by Chilean Airways across the Andes to Buenos Aires to catch a flight to Rio de Janeiro and [then by] Pan Am back to the States. ThatÂ’s how we would get back. Well, Argentina had a government that was very pro-German. When we arrived at the airport in Buenos Aires, we were immediately interned because they asked us for a visa. Well, I didnÂ’t even know what a visa was [because] we were traveling all over the world using our militar y IDÂ’s [identification card], that was all I had. I think my pilot may have known because he had flown for China National Airways as a pilot before the war. Nevert heless, we were interned. Well, there was more back and forth between the State Department. For several days we were just put in a hotel under guard and we sat there, that was all we did for several days. Well, the State Department finally got it cleared up and we headed home. We went to Rio and caught the Pan Am to Miami. When I got back, they had organized with the first Douglass or DC4, an airline that was to be a VIP airline, to be under orders from Washingt on to do anything that they wanted them to do. They took the first twelve DC-4' s, we called them C-54's, that Douglass had [taken] off the production line to form th is airline. They immediately were recruiting some the experienced celestial navigators to go for crew training on those C-54's, [and] I was one selected for that. G: So you were still in the service at that time? B: [I] had been in the service all that time. I joined the service six weeks after Pearl Harbor. I had been in military service all that time. I was commissioned July

PAGE 5

FLVT 1 Page 5 4,1942, as a celestial navigator. G: When were you released from the service? B: In April of 1946. I’ll expl ain the overlap there. I was in India on General Tunner’s staff at the close of the war. I got home from India just before Christmas of 1945. I had a whole lot of accumulated leave–I had been serving all over where I couldn’t take leave, so it accumulated. So they simply projected my date of moving to the reserves. I was in the a rmy, [but] I was moving to the reserves. They projected that date by adding on all th is leave. So I was actually discharged into the reserves in April of 1946. I wanted to get back to school to finish this last year that I had [left] at the university. I wanted to get back as badly as I could, so I immediately registered for that second semester. G: And what year was that? B: That was in 1946. G: The fall of 1946? B: No, spring semester. I came immediat ely up and registered in January because I was on leave from the service. When I got home, I had two little boys, and Elta had been living at home in Eustis wit h her parents. When I got home we immediately came up and I applied to get ba ck to the university. When we came up right after Christmas and started looking for a place to live, that’s when we ran into problems. There was just nothing in Gainesville. We found a place out just north of the university that was just nothing but a closed-in porch. We had to share a bathroom with the people in the house. The porch had a gas line that came in that you had to put quarters in. The pressure was low and it wouldn’t do much. It was really a kind of a sad place, [and] it was cold and such. G: It was just the two of you living there? B: We brought the baby up and left the older boy with his grandmother in Eustis. The baby was with us. [Elta will] show you pictures of the children, I guess. When we heard that Flavet was opening up, I immediately applied to go in Flavet. We were among the first families [to move in]. I think there were two or three houses built before when we went in. G: How did you hear about Flavet? B: Well, I think around classes and everyt hing. We were all having problems with housing and so forth. We heard [about i t] and I went over immediately and applied. I know Dr. Proctor has said that, well, everybody with more than two

PAGE 6

FLVT 1 Page 6 children got an extra bedroom and all. Well, t hat wasn’t so. We took whatever we could get. The first thing that came av ailable, we took it. We had the twobedroom. G: So did you get in for the fall semester or the summer semester? B: No, we got in that spring. When they first opened Flavet I. Then, Flavet I had just an icebox. They had not much in the way of facilities. The icebox with a hole in the floor to drain it and that was it. Well, I put my name on the list down at Smith, Deck, and Storm [a local appliance store] fo r a refrigerator. Well, they turned out to be good friends [of ours] for years here in Gainesville. Smith, Deck , and Storm, I think, had sympathy for some of us in this situation. Before long they got me a Norge refrigerator and an Easy washi ng machine. We were in high cotton. G: Did the university make you pay any extra to account for the higher utility bills from these appliance? B: Not really. The utilities were very lo w, [although] I have forgotten now [exactly] what they were. G: But you had a set utility bill? B: Yes. G: What about some of the furnishings? B: Well, we had our own because we had been moving around and we had quite a lot of furniture, so that was not a pr oblem for us. I had moved when I went into that C-54 outfit. They had started to fly us out of Washington D.C., but they moved us to Wilmington, Delaware–New Castle Airbase–because the traffic at Washington National was impossible. So we would sometimes come down and load out of Washington if we had a mission. For example, I had one mission where we came down to Washington, D.C., and we picked up a lieutenant colonel courier officer and three million dollars in gold. That gold was going to China to Chiang Kai-shek to support his operation. So, your missions were whatever they wanted. Before I went to India, one of my major missions was [picking up B-29 support personnel and material that were moved from New York to Casablanca by boat]. All the support personnel, the parts and everything [were transported by boat] to Khragapur, India. We shuttled for five months from Casablanca to Khragapur moving that [B-]29 ou tfit in which was the first [B]29s to hit occupied China and Japan. When they went in over there, the [B-]29s started to burn out engines on that hump [because they were] climbing out with full fuel loads and bomb loads [to 25,000 feet or more]. We were hauling engines to everywhere you could imagine. They’d say, well, we got a [B-]29 down out at

PAGE 7

FLVT 1 Page 7 Chabud, don’t unload your engines, go to Chabud. So I saw a lot of country over there, too, as a result of that. G: Well, I do want to get back, though, to the Flavets and the furnishings. Can you describe the interior of your apartment more? B: Well, it was great as far as we were concerned, after what we had been going through. You had a picture window in the living room area and the wooden floors were great. After what we had been faced with, it was heaven, frankly. We had the two little boys. My wife will give you more on this because, honestly, when I returned to school, my total objective wa s to get through [school], finish up my year, and I did. I did finish out everyt hing and I graduated in January of 1947. In fact, I was hired down at Bradenton bef ore I graduated. I went to Bradenton and worked for two or three weeks prior to graduation because they wanted me to help with the Florida State Fair exhibit in Tampa. G: I did want to talk a little bit about that kind of motivation to get through school. I have a quote from a university cheerleader of that era. He said, they [the veterans] have no school spirit. All these people are interested in is getting an education. So, why was getting an education so important to you? B: Well, we wanted to get on with our lives . I had over four-years interruption there in World War II. We really, practically all the veterans, had matured a lot. You went in as a “rah-rah” college studen t, but you came back with one personal [goal]. That was to get your education, get your degree, get out and get on with your career. Let me point out that many of us had been through all of the rat cap [a hat worn by freshmen in the early days of University of Florida], running across campus, not walking across the plaza of t he Americas or cut or anything else as a freshman [early traditions of UF fr eshmen]. I had gone through all the business of having to go to Georgia [University of Georgia, rival school] and fight off Georgia rat caps, and so forth. We had been through that. That was childish, so to speak. I don’t think that we lacked, nec essarily, Gator spirit, but we had some priorities that were just a little different. G: Will you describe a typical school day for you? B: I usually got up early in the morning, ate breakfast, and headed to class. I was carrying eighteen hours of school work and so I usually had eight o’clock classes. So I headed over to campus and between classes I frequently went straight to the library and spent the break studying. I usually came home and ate supper and often went back to the library after supper. That was typically my day. Occasionally we had things to do in town. We had a car, fortunately, [so] we didn’t have to depend on someone else to [take] us. So we could take the car and go to town. In those days it was almost impossible to buy coffee. We traded

PAGE 8

FLVT 1 Page 8 at the A&P store that was on University Avenue right before Main Street at that time, on that block there. The manager of the store would give a code and would get your coffee out from under the counter there. We used Eight OÂ’clock Coffee from A&P. So there were times we would go down to town on Saturday or something to get things we needed. G: Well, that brings us back to the fact that you had a refrigerator and you had a coffee [percolator, on the stove], and you had the washer. B: The Easy washing machine. [It was just a tub, so she still rinsed in the sink.] G: At that time did the Flavets have a laundry? B: Not at that time. G: So before you got the washing machine? B: We used a scrub board. G: Okay, then everyone just hung their clothes on the line. B: Yes, they had [clothes] lines out back and the women, I think, had a great deal of visiting that went on out there at the clothes lines. She can tell you more about that. G: Were all the apartments the same on t he interior? I know you mentioned that there were some apartments that had more rooms than others. B: There were one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units in Flavet. We had a two bedroom one. They had a little clos et storage space. We had plenty of room and we moved our furniture in. We we re fortunate in that we had furniture. We had bought furniture when we got married in Memphis and the army had moved it back to Eustis for us, and we moved it back up here. G: Were there any optional amenities when you moved in? Things that you could pay more to get in your apartment? B: No, I donÂ’t remember that there were any optional things. Maybe we didnÂ’t ask for them, I donÂ’t know. G: Did you have a telephone? B: No. G: Where did you go to use the phone? Was there a public phone somewhere?

PAGE 9

FLVT 1 Page 9 B: I didnÂ’t use one very much. I remember the Florida Union had a pay phone. I canÂ’t remember whether there was a pay phone out there at the village or not. There may have been a booth, a pay phone, [but] we just didnÂ’t use one very much. G: Was there anything that you did at your apartment at Flavet to make it more liveable besides your own furnishings and the washer? B: The washer and the refrigerator were the main things. I donÂ’t remember anything else. Elta may. G: Were there any issues with sound within the unit, such as being able to hear your neighbors or things going on outside? B: They were not sound proof, but neither were some of the other places we had been living. G: Did the residents of Flavet aid in the maintenance of the structures, such as painting or maintenance on the grounds? B: I think probably they did, but I didnÂ’t. G: So it wasnÂ’t required. B: And as I said, I had one priority and that was to get through. G: Were you allowed to have pets? B: You know, I donÂ’t remember, because we didnÂ’t have one. I donÂ’t remember whether they allowed it or not. G: You started to talk about it a little bit, wit h the women out by the clothes-line, but I was wondering what kind of social life ther e was for men at Flavet? I realize that you didnÂ’t have a lot of time for social activi ties, but were there social activities for the men? B: Well, I became good friends with a graduat e student in chemistry. He loved to play cribbage and IÂ’d play cribbage with him for a while. Really, no, [there was] not a whole lot of social life, except someone like this that you had a thing that you both liked to do. G: Did you know anyone in the village before you moved in? B; Yes, I knew some. Henry Swanson, he was later county agent in Orange County,

PAGE 10

FLVT 1 Page 10 he and his wife moved into the village. I had known Henry in high school, he was the younger brother of a very good friend of mine. I knew Henry and Billy, and then several of the others I had k nown as students before the war. G: How did the residents celebrate holi days at Flavet? Did many go home? B: We went down to Eustis for the holidays, mostly, [but only] if I didnÂ’t have a paper or something I was doing [that I needed] to stay in the library and such. G: So, were there any special Thanksgiving celebrations or anything that the Flavet residents did as group? B: I donÂ’t remember it. G: I read in the archives that movies were shown occasionally at the Flavets. Did that happen in Flavet I that you recall? B: [You] better ask Elta [about that]. I spent more time in the library in the evenings than out there. G: Did you feel like you were close to your neighbors? B: Oh yes, yes. In fact, our next door neighbor I had not known them before, Verl Fielding and Evelyn. They live in Palmetto, Florida, now. He was the dealership for John Deere tractors and t hat big area down there and over to Wachula. WeÂ’ve continued our friendship wit h them. They still visit us here and we keep in touch with them. G: And they had a similar background to you? B: Well, yes, they were just like I was. T hey were trying to get through. Yes, we kept in touch with them. Now, t he other people in the building, no, I have not kept in touch with. G: Were there any groups of people within Fl avet that tended to socialize together, such as couples with children, or couples without children? B: I donÂ’t know. G: You said that you really didnÂ’t parti cipate in much recreation in Flavet. B: No G: What were the age ranges of the residents in Flavet?

PAGE 11

FLVT 1 Page 11 B: Well, I suppose most of them were just as I was. Probably, I expect, twenty-five, maybe twenty-six and under. Most of us were veterans. In fact, I guess all of us were. Henry Swanson was one of the younger ones in there that I know. Henry must have been three or four year s younger than I am; he would have been twenty-one, maybe. G: Was there much diversity in the residents of Flavet? B: Well, certainly [there was diversity] in the areas that we were studying. Like the man I told you about that I played cribbage with, he was working on a Ph.D. in chemistry. Actually [it] turned out to be toxi cology later, but thatÂ’s what he was in. Then a man at the other end of the build ing played baseball for the university and then was in law school. There were several that went on into law school that were out there. Some of them went for graduate degrees, as I did later, but not while living in Flavet. So yes, there was quite a lot of diversity of interest as far as our academic backgrounds were concerned. G: Were there any minorities living in Flavet? B: You know, I donÂ’t remember. There c ould have been, but I donÂ’t remember. And I didnÂ’t socialize with them very often, so I donÂ’t know. G: There was an incident that took place afte r you were at Flavet that the board of commissioners discussed in their meeting. It had to do with one of the residents having a maid. Did your family have a maid while you were living in Flavet? B: Ask her. We could have because I was not really financially strapped. Well, I probably shouldnÂ’t say this, but when I was overseas, I used to play rather highstakes bridge. I sent home my full allo wance, all the money I was allowed to send. We were in a black market area, so you were not allowed to send home more than your paycheck. But I sent t hat home every month because I actually had money from gambling that I lived on. El ta saved all of it [because] she was living at home, so we were in better shape than many. Now many of the students, I know, talked about living off that ninety dollars a month they got from the VA [Veterans Administration]. We were not in that situation. G: Do you remember how much it cost to live in Flavet at that time? B: I donÂ’t. She [Elta, his wife] might be able to tell you. I think it was less than thirty dollars a month though, not much. G: Can you give me an idea of what expenses made up your budget at that time? B: You better talk to her.

PAGE 12

FLVT 1 Page 12 G: Okay. Did you have a job outside of school? B: No, I was just getting through [school]. G: Did you expect that your financial sit uation would change once you were out of school? B: I probably did when I was in school, but frankly, we lived off of savings for several years after I got out of school. I went to work in Bradenton for three thousand dollars a year, that was the total salary, and [I] furnished my own car. So for several years we supplemented our income with savings. G: Were there any single veterans living in Flavet? B: No, not that I know of. G: What happened when someone in your family got sick? Were they able to go to the infirmary on campus? B: We went to a doctor in town. I don’t k now. In fact, I had come out of India and I was on Atabrine , which was a malarial suppressant. It would not cure you. I came down with malaria [when] I was back in school. I thought my eyes were going black. I had the headaches and my eyes [were black], so I went down to Dr. Love, who was an opthamologist, and he examined my eyes and he said, Joe, you better see an M.D., there’s not hing wrong with your eyes. So shortly there after the chills and fever started and t hen I knew what it was. So I went to the infirmary first and they gave you quinine. I still had recurring attacks of malaria for several years. In fact, I thin k that when I got recalled for Korea, they put me on this Chloroquin derivative that had been developed in the meantime, and I think that cleared up my malaria [because] I haven’t had an attack of it since. G: Did you get malaria when you were in Gainesville or back when you were in the war? B: Well, I contracted malaria in CBI, Chi na-Burma-India. That Atabrine that we were on suppressed it, so it didn’t bother me that much, but when the Atabrine wore off, after I was back in school, that’s when the malaria attacks began. G: Was that common for veterans in Flavet? B: Oh, yes, it was common. Those of us t hat came out of tropical situations, almost all of us–my wife’s brother that was in the South Pacific–they all came back with

PAGE 13

FLVT 1 Page 13 malaria. G: Do you remember anything about the Univer sity of Florida radio station at that time? I have read some articles that say that it was once broadcast from Flavet. B: Yeah, Cooper , in the College of Agriculture, used to carry a farm hour every day on that. I used to listen to him quite o ften. I think Elta listened to WRUF [university radio station] quite often. She could tell you more about it because she spent more time listening to those things than I did. G: Did you feel safe living in Flavet? B: Yes. G: Was there ever any crime there that you remember? B: Not that I remember. G: Was there a neighborhood watch group, or was there ever a need for one? B: I donÂ’t remember. I certainly didnÂ’t serve on anything like that. G: Did you feel like there was a sense of community in the Flavet Village? B: To some extent. We were all in the same boat, but it was not a social group, thatÂ’s for sure. G: The dean of students, R.C. Beatty, was quoted as saying that there was a low divorce rate in the Flavets. BeattyÂ’s expl anation for this was that the veterans of this era have something in the way of char acter. What was this character that he was talking about and what k ept these families together? B: Well, IÂ’d known Dean Beatty for years bef ore the war. He was the faculty monitor for CLO house [Cooperative Living Organization], so we had a lot of contact with Dean Beatty. I think that the serious student that you had in Flavet and, as far as I know, marital problems didnÂ’t surface too mu ch while they were still trying to get through school. Later, I know when I was back at the university, I had a young woman that was a secretary who was putting her husband through his masterÂ’s degree. She was working as a secretary. The day after he got his masterÂ’s degree he told her, I want a divorce. G: But, as far as you know, in the Flavets this wasnÂ’t happening. B: [Yes].

PAGE 14

FLVT 1 Page 14 G: What kind of rules were there for living in Flavet? B: I didnÂ’t feel bound by any rules. It didnÂ’t bother me. G; There were some incidents that I read about, such as people getting in to the agriculture experiment fields to get vegetables. B: Well, letÂ’s put it this way, even as student before the war we used to do that. Many of us worked for the units, and you knew where the strawberries were and things like that. I donÂ’t know about the Flavets, but some of those students certainly would have known and might have gone. Many of the students that worked for these units were privy to it. For example, before the war, we had boys working in the poultry lab and boys working in the dairy products lab. They would bring one of those big gallon tubs of ic e cream by and weÂ’d all share ice cream and such stuff as that. That went on, but I donÂ’t know about in Flavet because I just didnÂ’t participate in anything there. G: So, as far as you know, there was never anyone that was asked to leave. B: Not that I know of. Of course, we were only there a year. G: Was there a place to lodge complaints if there was a noise problem? B: I donÂ’t know. You lodged it with the neighbor. G: Did many people own vehicles? B: There were a few that owned them, but it was not a general fact. There were many of them that did not have vehicles. G: And were there any traffic problems? B: No. G: Were there any kind of unwritten rules or codes that residents lived by? B: Not that I remember. G: Were there any controversial local iss ues among the Flavet residents, having to do with the city of Gainesville, the unive rsity as a whole, or their own village? B: Well, some of these things may have su rfaced after we left, but I donÂ’t remember anything.

PAGE 15

FLVT 1 Page 15 G: How did your experience living in Flavet influence your life? B: Well, I think it was a very good experience for us because weÂ’d had totally inadequate housing when I came back to school. This provided us with adequate housing and it was convenient for me to get to class. G: Did you walk to class? B: I walked most of the time. Now one time I went over to the library one night and I drove over and parked. I got out of the libra ry and I forgot that I had taken the car so I walked back over [to Flavet] and looked around and the car wasnÂ’t there. So I realized suddenly that I had taken the car to the library, and I had to go back to the library and get it. G: Would you assess your experience livi ng in Flavet as a positive experience? B: Very definitely. It was a great addition for the university to assist these veterans. I think almost all of them that I know have been grateful and felt it was a positive experience. G: One thing I should have asked you earlier. You were on the G.I. Bill when you came back? B: I was on the G.I. Bill, but the ninety dollars [a month], as I told you, we werenÂ’t dependant on that, thank goodness. G: But it did pay your tuition. B: It did. It paid tuition and helped with the books and such. G: Okay. Were there any negative aspects of living in Flavet that we havenÂ’t covered? B: Not as far as I was concerned. G: Can you suggest any other individuals that might be helpful to this study? B: YouÂ’re thinking of people that live pr imarily here in Gainesville, I presume? G: Yes, but possibly people that live further away or anyone in the state of Florida that might be willing. B: Well IÂ’m sure that Verl and Evelyn Fiel ding would be a good source to interview if

PAGE 16

FLVT 1 Page 16 you could go to Palmetto. They were here about a year longer than I was. It took Verl a little longer to finish. They had childr en, too. I think their memory of things might be of help. G: Is there anything else that I havenÂ’t asked you about that you would like to talk about? B: Oh, also list Henry and Billy Swanson. They live in that retirement home in Winter Park. Now Henry and Billy almost lived on their ninety dollar a month VA stipend, so they could probably give you better idea of what it was like living at that time. G: Great. Is there anything else I need to know about the Flavets and your experience living there? B: I canÂ’t think of anything. Now, Elta has much more intimate experience of her year living there and her interaction with the other women and such as that. As I said, I had one priority and that was to go to school and get it over with. G: Great. Thank you so much for talking with me. [End of the interview.]