Aging comes to different people in different forms.
A baby ages as the baby begins to crawl and then pick self up to walk those first steps and enters toddler hood.
I like making up new terms to suit the occasion 🙂 but darn it, parents get all gooey eyed and grand parents gleam as if they are seeing a miraculous feat! Gawd, it is just a darn four feet starting to walk two feet ha ha! Parenthood, I can never understand other than, it is a burden for life or an investment, take your pick 😉
As a toddler grows up to be a kid, their lungs become even bigger capacities for air to make a lot of noise or I want this or I want that…parents had better have deep pockets as kids compare bags, shoes, IT gadgetry and communication devices! Unending field trips overseas, not across a…
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“When God Created Mothers”
When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”
And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.”
The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.”
It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”
That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded.
One pair that sees through closed doors when she…
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Happy Birthday mom.
I miss you more than words can express. I know heaven has provided you all of your favorite coconut cake you wanted.
NOTE: This is about an actual event in my family and
NOT a story from an I Love Lucy episode,
although it could have been.
The setup: my mom’s mom, Nanny, was a master at many things and proof of this is she won every category she entered at the county fair, but that is a story for another time. However, she liked to enter her creations in contest and to have more entries she would enter items under her daughters names. One day my mom was going through the mail and found a letter telling her that her recipe was a finalist in a cooking contest. It was not but seconds later she had called her mother about what she had done. Yes, Nanny had entered her flambé recipe in a contest and indeed had but mom’s name on this recipe.
This was not a recipe that mom was familiar with nor had ever made. However, she was up for the challenge and for several weeks we had Orange Flambé for dinner. While this may sound like an extravagant dinner I can assure you that after a few night in a row it becomes very ordinary.
One of the things that Nanny kept telling mom was that she must make sure that it really flamed. This meant learning the right amount of alcohol to pour on it and light it before all the alcohol burned off. Not as easy as it sounds, for a couple of times we almost had to call the fire department to come douse the kitchen.
Never the less, the big day arrived and with the competition being held in Ocala, as small town about 40 miles south of us, and once again Nanny stressed to mom the importance that it flame. Mom was already nervous enough so this was not really all that helpful at the time. So it starts and all the finalist had just so long to prepare their dish. As it gets to the end and mom is finishing up she adds the alcohol but there is still time on the clock and as she wants to light it at just the right moment, so she waits. As she is very nervous and time feels like it is slower than molasses she pours more alcohol on the dish fearing that the previous amount had already burned off. Unfortunately, not as much as she had thought had burned off and when the last moment came and she added more and lit it, well let’s just say that it flamed alright, all the way to the ceiling.
The place did not burn down, thank goodness, but mom did not win the competition.
I have tried to find mom’s recipe for this but have not found it in her file. I suspect she threw it out as she never made it again. Below is a recipe for Steak Diane I found online at http://www.ifood.tv, it was probably like this but used orange juice and/or Cointreau instead of brandy, enjoy it if your dare.
Rib eye steaks - 16 Ounce (2 X 8 Ounce Steaks) Sliced mushrooms - 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) Chopped green onions - 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) Butter - 2 Tablespoon , melted Brandy - 2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce - 1 Tablespoon Dry mustard - 1⁄2 Teaspoon Salt - 1⁄8 Teaspoon Pepper - 1⁄8 Teaspoon
Pound steaks with a meat mallet to flatten slightly, if desired. Saute mushrooms and green onions in butter in a large skillet until tender. Push mushroom mixture to one side of skillet. Add steaks, and brown on both sides. Remove from heat. Heat brandy in a long-handled saucepan just long enough to produce fumes Remove brandy from heat, ignite, and pour over steaks. When flames die down, remove steaks from skillet. Add last 4 ingredients to mushroom mixture in skillet; blend well. Cook 1 minute. Place steaks on serving platter, and spoon mushroom mixture over top.
But whatever you do remember to keep it fabulous!
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
This is an interview with Wanda Cowart (Mrs. William) Ebersole of Gainesville, Florida. A sixth generation Floridian, she was raised in De Soto County and graduated from high school there in 1945. She then went on to the Forida State College for Women in Tallahassee, but when the Florida legislature voted to allow co-education in 1947 Mrs. Ebersole transfered to Gainesville. She graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in pharmacy in 1951 and was employed at the Florida Pharmacy and Canova’s Prescription Center.
Wanda Ebersole has vivid memories of campus life in Gainesville. The co-ed issue is described, including details of women professors, student government, Savant/Florida Blue Key, and even bathrooms for women (which were not a problem). Co-education combined with the post-war boom of men who had deferred their education for the war to create unique problems in the areas of housing, registration, and financial assistance. She also recalls classroom life including summer school, dress code practices, professor/student relations, tuition and other fees, alcohol policies, and Marva V. Brady, the first dean of women, who, incidentally, was herself an ex-marine.
The most interesting portion of the interview deals with social life. She was very active in sorority life with the Chi Omega sorrity, and her recollections of early sorority/fraternity life on campus are especially noteworthy. Related matters as theater houses, eating establishments, pinning, dating, and special events such as homecoming, Fall and Spring Frolics, and military balls are also outlined.
P: My name is Kathleen Syler Perruci, and I am conducting an oral history interview with Mrs. Wanda Ebersole in her home at 2735 NW 22nd Drive in Gainesville, Florida. Today’s date is March 24, 1988. Mrs. Ebersole, would you please state your full name for us?
E: I am Wanda Cowart Ebersole.
P: Where were you born, Mrs. Ebersole?
E: I was born in Arcadia, in De Soto County, but I lived in Nocatee.
P: Is that nearby?
E: Nocatee is four miles south of Arcadia.
P: Do you mind telling us what your birth date was?
E: April 18, 1927.
P: What were your parents’ names?
E: My mother was Marcia Whaley Cowart, but everybody called her Billie. When she was growing up there was an Indian family that lived fairly close by, and she played with the little Indian boy named Billy, so forever after she was called Billie. My father is Ernest Leslie Cowart. He was born in Nocatee and still is in Nocatee.
P: Where was your mother born?
E: My mother was born in Torry, Florida.
P: So they are both native Floridians.
E: Yes. I am a sixth generation Florida cracker on both sides. I like to remind Sid Martin [Florida representative] that I have been here longer than he has.
P: What was your father’s occupation?
E: He had a little corner drugstore.
P: So you grew up in Nocatee. Did I say that right?
E: Nocatee. It is an Indian name. They said when the Indians came through they said “Nocatee,” and that means “What is it?”
P: What was the name of the elementary school that you attended?
E: [In Arcadia I attended De Soto Elementary School. In the middle of fourth grade we moved to Nocatee, where I went to] Nocatee Elementary School. [I remember that high school students and my older sister and I were the only ones who rode the bus. I was very small for a fourth grader–I weighed thirty-four pounds–and the high school boys would pass me over their heads down to a seat in the middle of the bus.]
P: How many grades did that encompass?
E: Just eight. Then we took a bus to Arcadia.
P: To high school?
E: Yes, to De Soto High School.
P: What year did you graduate?
P: When you graduated, did you directly enter UF [University of Florida], or did you sit out for a while?
E: No, I went to FSU [Florida State University].
P: Which was then called Florida College for Women?
E: Florida State College for Women. There were boys there, however, because there had been a [military] base there–Eglin Field, I think. When the war was over, lots of boys wanted to go to school, and some of them were still in the service, so they stayed there and attended FSU.
P: So FSU allowed co-education before UF, is that right?
E: Well, actually, I guess they did not call it co-education. It was just like the army has people going to college now. They did not call it co-ed because it was a women’s college, but the boys were there.
E: How long did you attend FSU?
P: I left in the spring of 1947.
P: So you started in the fall of 1945. How long were you there?
E: A year and a half.
P: Why did you decide to attend UF?
E: To go to pharmacy school. They did not have a pharmacy school in Tallahassee.
P: And UF had been allowing women students to go to pharmacy school, is that right?
E: Yes, pharmacy and law and anything that was not offered in Tallahassee.
P: Did they still have that rule in effect that you had to have sixty hours to transfer to go into the pharmacy school?
E: No, I do not remember that.
P: You were still a sophomore, in other words, [when you left FSU]. How come you did not just immediately go to UF when you decided to go to pharmacy school? Did you decide to go into pharmacy after you attended FSU for awhile?
E: Yes. I had not really decided if that was what I was going to do. Of course, most my friends went to Tallahassee.
P: That usually has influence.
E: Yes, you would not want to come here all alone when you were a freshman. You would not think about pharmacy at that time, I guess.
P: Do you remember how you found out that UF was going co-ed? Was there some talk about it before it was announced, or did it come as a surprise?
E: Well, I am sure there was a lot of talk about it. Actually, there were some girls here already. I met and made friends with them. Then lots of girls came that summer.
P: Of 1947?
P: Were you happy to hear that there were finally going to be females?
E: Oh, yes, I was delighted.
P: What was the male reaction on campus when they found out?
E: Oh, well, they thought it was going to be great. But, the boys at the university were older. This was after the war. We had lots of married students who were thirty or thirty-five and had families; they lived over in Flavet Village. They were very serious students. They had been through the war and they knew what they wanted to do, so it was very competitive because they were studying all the time.
P: What was the social life for the girls who were here before it actually went co-ed? Did you have a lot of dates since there were not many girls here?
E: Well, I think so. I guess I always had a lot of dates. I dated a lot of new boys that I met here, but I also dated a lot of boys from Arcadia.
P: That you already knew?
E: Yes, and I dated lots of them, too.
P: Did many of your friends who were attending FSU decide to transfer to UF
when it went co-ed?
E: No, I do not think so.
P: I was going to ask you what the procedure was for getting admitted, but since you were already here it may have been different. Do you remember what you had to do as far as qualifying to come to UF?
E: I think they accepted anybody. I do not think they were very strict or that you had to have a high grade point average. I think it was just that some girls were interested in coming because their boyfriends were here, so they had special reasons for coming.
P: Do you remember registering for your first semester of classes?
E: Well, registration was always awful. It was worse then because they were not prepared for all of the army people. There were always long, long lines like there are now. In addition, when I got into pharmacy school I had to take second semester organic chemistry before I could take the first semester course because first semester was full. It was horrible. There were long lines, and [the classes were] always full because they did not have the facilities for the class.
P: So you actually had to go–they called this running for classes where I came from–and physically sign up for each class that you wanted and stand in line for everything.
E: Yes, and still not get it. It was rough. I had one chemistry class that had 350 boys.
P: How did you feel?
E: I did not feel bad. Like I said, so many of them were older, and they sort of treated me like a little sister of theirs. It was not like all the boys were chasing you for a date.
P: What about the professors? Did you ever feel like you were being singled out by the professors for special attention?
E: Well, I guess there are always some professors who think they should treat you special, but most of them were very open and nice, and they wanted to help.
P: Did you ever feel any type of (for the lack of a better word) discrimination from them? I remember that Joyce Glicksberg spoke to our class, and she said that there were a few instances–especially in the business school, I think–where the professors would really try to make it tough for the girls to see if they could handle it. Did you ever experience anything like that?
E: No, I think that most of my classes were so large that [they were satisfied] as long as you got your work done. Some professors were easier than others. But there were some, of course, who were a little too interested in you because you were a girl.
P: Did you ever experience that?
E: No, not anything really bad because you learn how to avoid people like that, especially some of the grad students. Dr. Gramling [Lea Gene Gramling, assistant professor of pharmaceutical chemistry] was one of my favorite professors. I flunked out one semester.
P: Oh, really?
E: And then I swore I was going to make straight A’s the next semester, and I did–except for Dr. Gramling’s class. Nowadays the students call my husband [William Ebersole, a part-time professor] all the time; no one thinks anything about it. But that is the only time I ever called a professor, and it still sets me trembling with fear just thinking about it. I just knew I had earned an A. He apologized and he said he was very sorry, but that, yes, he knew that there was too much cheating in that class.
P: He never gave you an explanation?
E: No, but he said he could not [change the grade] because he did not ever do that. Of course, professors could only give but so many A’s, so I got a B+ or something.
P: That is too bad.
E: There are things like that you remember, but he was really special. He was the hardest teacher in the school. Students said he talked so fast that if you dropped your pencil you lost two pages of notes. He talked fast, but he was probably the most honest. He taught us what he planned to test us on. He was trustworthy, and you knew what he was going to do. That is why I thought he was really good–I knew where I stood all of the time. He was hard, really hard, but that is okay. If somebody gives it to you and you do not learn it, then that is your problem.
P: How many hours did you take each semester?
E: Oh, I do not remember. Like I said, sometimes you could not get enough hours because classes were full. I remember one time taking eighteen; that is the most I ever took.
P: Was UF on a semester or a quarter system then?
E: UF was on a semester system, and Tallahassee had been on a quarter system.
P: Was that a mess to transfer, then?
E: Yes, it was. I lost a lot of hours. I always felt like the semester system was especially hard because you had to remember everything over Christmas.
P: Oh, and you took your finals when you got back in January?
P: That would be hard.
E: And that means over Christmas [break] you think you are going to learn all of the material, but you do not do that, do you?
P: Probably not. When did the school year start then? Was it later than it starts now?
E: Oh, yes. [It was usually the] middle of September, which was later and much cooler.
P: Back then they did not have air conditioning, did they?
E: Oh, no.
P: When did you get out for the summer then? Was it in June?
P: Do you remember how much your registration fees usually ran?
E: No, I do not have any idea. You would have to look that up over at the office. My father paid for things like that.
P: Did you have tuition then where you had to pay per [credit hour], or was it just a flat fee?
E: I do not remember. I think it was a flat fee and you could take as many hours as you wanted.
P: I believe that your yearbook and football tickets and a whole slew of other things were included in that fee, so it was a lot different than it is today. Okay, let us talk about your housing situation. We can try to tackle it both from the
standpoint of what your personal situation was when you first arrived (before coeducation) and then, if you can remember, what some of your friends did. Where did you live that first semester you showed up?
E: I lived with Dr. John Davis, who was a botanist at the university. His home was four or five houses behind the [old] Sigma Nu house.
P: On what street would that be?
E: It was College Park then, I think.
P: Do you remember how many blocks that was from campus?
E: Of course, you know where the [old] Sigma Nu house is.
P: I am not sure I do.
E: It was on University Avenue, right across the street from the [old ROTC drill field, which is now the] athletic field [parking lot], so it was close.
P: Oh, that is good. You did not have a long hike to get to class.
E: Some of my sorority sisters lived in rooming houses when they came, which really were for girls who were working. I think they only had to provide you with a bed. So, [in comparison], I had a very nice place to live with a lovely family.
P: They gave you your own room?
E: Yes. They had a daughter in high school. The house was split by a breezeway, and there were two rooms in the back on that side, so we shared a bath. We became friends.
P: Did they provide you with board as well?
E: Some board, but not all. I ate out a lot.
P: How did you make that arrangement? Did you do it before you came down?
E: No. My mother came with me when I was going to enter the university, and she looked at ads in the paper and things like that. She found this one, and we went to see them. She liked them very much. She did not look at rooming houses; she only looked at homes.
P: She wanted to know who you were staying with.
E: She wanted to meet them.
P: Now, were you the only woman that they were boarding then?
E: Oh, yes. Then when I left they took in another student. I think they had built that addition for her mother or his mother and they had stayed on that side. Then when she died they decided to rent it out. I was their first tenant.
P: Well, that was probably a good business for the next year, then, because all those women came and did not have any place to live. Do you know what the girls did who came in the fall? I have a xerox here that is from a [Gainesville] Sun article that said “women students are being accepted on the same basis as men, with the proviso that women must secure off-campus housing approved and listed by the University Housing Office.” I was wondering if you know if that meant that they had to have housing before they could be admitted, or that they had to have housing before they could actually register for classes?
E: Well, I think it was just like it said: they had to tell them where they were going to live. Most of the housing, I think, was in rooming houses.
P: Yes. So the women would be admitted, and then they would, perhaps, come down here before [classes started] to make arrangements. Did they have trouble finding enough people who were willing to take in boarders?
E: There were not that many girls, I do not think. I do not think there was a shortage of housing. I am sure that several people opened places for women, just like people would do now.
P: Now, did you continue to live there the next year, or did you move to a different place after the first semester?
E: I lived with the Davis’s until I moved into the Chi Omega house. I moved into the sorority house immediately after pledging in the fall of 1947 because we were required to live in the house. It was fun living in the [sorority] house. You became better friends with your sisters. The sorority houses were not really built for a sorority. They were residences, not sororities. The Chi Omega house was an old stone house that was owned by Joe Jenkins. He was a state representative, and he rented it to us. The house, which is still there, is located across the street from where the University president’s house is now. (In 1947 the president’s house was in northeast Gainesville.) There were four sororities that were permitted and were asked to come. The Chi O’s always bragged because they were asked to come, even though they did not have anybody on the Board of Regents or any connection with the board and everybody else did. The Chi O’s, the Tri-Delts [Delta Delta Delta sorority], the A D Pi’s [Alpha Delta Pi sorority], and the K D’s [Kappa Delta sorority] came.
P: You pledged Chi O?
E: Yes. My husband’s mother was a Tri-Delt, and some friends of mine were
Tri-Delts. My relatives were A D Pi’s. Chi Omegas had ten active sisters who were going to live in Gainesville, and this was the only sorority that had that many. The Tri-Delts had three actives who were going to live in Gainesville. Of course, they had girls from Tallahassee–everyone from that chapter had come in to rush. There were also a lot of married students who were sorority girls who became active with the chapter. But Chi Omega had ten actives, and it was my first choice. They did have ten and they took ten [pledges], so they were the only house that was full. Upstairs at the house there was what you would call a family room on one end. On the other end there was a porch, and the porch was turned into a sleeping quarters. We had double-decker beds there. Downstairs there was a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen, plus the living quarters for the housemother.
P: Did you have meals there, too?
E: Yes, three meals a day.
P: Did the housemother cook them, or did you all take turns?
E: No, we had a cook.
P: Oh, you had a cook–the good life. Were all ten of you living at the house?
E: There was a pledge or two from Gainesville, but they did not live in the house. Some pledges did, though, as did several of the actives.
P: How many did you have altogether?
E: We had fourteen in 1947 and eighteen in 1949 living in the house. We were crowded.
P: Were you all in this one big room?
E: There was one other room that was upstairs, and that was the president’s room; she had a room with one roommate. Most of us slept on the sleeping porch and some of us slept at the other end of the house in the other room I told you about. Except for the president who had a bathroom, we all shared one bathroom upstairs. Ray Moore Hall, my sorority sister, and I wonder how in the world we ever managed in that one bathroom.
P: What kinds of rules did you have in the sorority?
E: It was very strict.
P: Did you choose them yourselves, or was it something that you were told to do?
E: The “nuns,” I am sure, made the rules. We had to be in, I think, at 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Friday and by 1:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. It was something like that. And they locked the door.
P: Oh, so if you were not there you were out for the night?
E: Well, actually I remember one time when someone came in late the housemother let them in, but they were not supposed to.
P: What would happen to you if they did find out?
E: Oh, I do not know. None of the pledges ever did it. That was the only time I ever knew about anybody being late. Of course, everybody would be parked outside just waiting for the time to go in.
P: What were the rules about men visiting in the house?
E: You could have men to dinner, and men could take your suitcases upstairs. I had a casual acquaintance with my husband before I knew him personally because I used to double-date with his younger brother when I was in high school. When we started dating (he was a Sigma Chi) he spent a lot of time at the Chi Omega house. I remember one time we were all having lunch and two of the girls were in their slips, and somebody said, “There is a man at the door.” They got up and started to go upstairs when somebody said, “Oh, it is only Billy,” so they came back down and had lunch. He never has gotten over that.
P: They felt comfortable with him.
E: Yes. [I remember that] our floats were not professional. We built our own floats, and they were really pretty tacky compared to what they do today. Bill always stayed up all night and helped us build our floats [instead of working] with the Sigma Chi’s.
P: For homecoming?
E: Yes. We thought they were wonderful, but when you see what they do today, I cannot imagine what they were like with us building them. We had to build them outside; they did not have any place inside to keep the crepe paper or any other supplies. It was better to build with [colored aluminum] foil. It was a big event. Of course, they had a lot of big homecoming dances then.
P: I am assuming that after coeducation had been growing on campus for several years that you probably had a lot more pledges than the ten you said.
E: The Chi O’s had ten pledges plus ten actives in 1947. I think the limit was twenty for awhile. The first increase was to twenty-five; I do not remember the date, but I do not think it was 1948.
P: So the whole time you were at UF, then, the sorority had that one house with about twenty girls?
E: Yes. Some of the girls were married and some were Gainesville girls, and they did not live in the house. We won all the prizes for athletics and scholarships and everything. Everybody had to compete because we had such a small group. Everybody had to play basketball. It did not matter if you [could] play–everybody had to do everything. We won everything until the Jewish sorority came.
P: Which sorority was that?
E: I think it was Alpha Epsilon Phi. They were competitive and they were smart, and we never were the stars again. They were really smart. All this was before integration, of course. There was not a black person on campus.
P: Since we are on the topic of sororities, let me quickly run over my list of questions here. What types of social functions did you all have with the fraternities? Did they keep you pretty busy? I am assuming there were a lot more fraternities.
E: Yes. Of course, they immediately wanted the girls to go “paddle the pledges” or something like that. I remember that when we were initiated all of us in our little white dresses went down and painted the lion at the S A E [Sigma Alpha Epsilon] house. We took our time painting it, and all the S A E’s came out and just stood there watching us. They could not say or do anything–they were so surprised.
P: What is this lion you are talking about?
E: The S A E’s traditionally have a lion in front of their houses; it is their mascot. Now and then someone has even stolen it. But they just watched us, so that was really funny. Of course, our alums had a fit that we would do such a thing. Then the S A E’s stole our owl [which is our mascot] and put it on top of the Pike [Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity] house. But at the time they just could not interfere with what we were doing because they were so surprised.
P: Oh, that would have been ungentlemanly.
E: No, that was not it. They were just in a state of shock. They were not used to having girls on campus. The rush parties had themes, and we had the Old South one time. [Our] cook–this nice, big, heavy black lady–was a wonderful person, and we dressed her up in a bandanna. We were penalized because we were not supposed to hire anybody. We were not supposed to have anybody outside the sorority, and we used our cook.
P: What was the penalty for something like that?
E: Oh, I cannot remember. I just remember the incident; I do not remember what they did to us. It took a year before we got our charter, so we had to colonize for a year–it was Chi colony. All of the sororities colonized for a year. Then they had President J. Hillis Miller [president, University of Florida] present the charters, and we all went to the [University Memorial] Auditorium where the presidents [of the sororities] were on the stage to receive them. The K D president (whose name I do not remember, but she is probably in the yearbook) stumbled when she went to get their charter, and then she fainted, or at least pretended to faint. At any rate, they carried her off, and she was stiff. We always wondered if she really fainted or if she was down and did not know what to do. So they just carried her–some of them holding her shoulders and some of them her legs–and she was stiff. That is a memory that you keep.
P: What was the feeling on campus of the women when they came? I know they must have felt, certainly, like they were in the minority. There were only about 500 or so, I think, that came. Did they want to belong to sororities? Were there a lot of women who would rush?
E: I think that probably quite a few women were rushees. It was always competitive.
P: You do not remember, offhand, how many?
E: No, I do not know how many went out for rush. You would have to look in the files for that. They had a big tea just like they do now, but it was over at the [Florida] Union instead of at the sorority house.
P: Did rush go on during the school year?
P: Did you have anything else that you wanted to say about the sororities that you remember?
E: Not that I can think of.
P: Or about the housing situation?
P: Do you remember when they first started building dorms for the women?
E: I cannot remember what year it was, no. I had graduated and was working. You could not wear shorts or slacks on campus. That was true in Tallahassee, also. If you were dressed casually you had to wear a raincoat. You would always roll up your jeans or pants and put on a raincoat to go places because they would not let you wear any kind of [pants] at school.
P: Was this true during the weekends?
E: You could never go on campus in casual clothes. Of course, at the sorority houses and in dormitories you could lounge around in shorts or slacks, but you could not go out to eat unless you had on a dress or a skirt or a raincoat.
P: What about the P.E. classes? Surely they got to wear shorts in P.E.
E: No, I do not think we even had P.E. classes.
P: Oh, really?
E: I do not believe so.
P: Let me show you an article that might jog your memory. They might have started it later, but I do not know.
E: Maybe they did, but I cannot remember that.
P: This may have been because you came a little bit before. They talked about having intramurals and also P.E.
E: Yes, I remember intramurals.
P: It sounded as if they had a fairly full curriculum.
E: Yes, I guess we did have P.E., then, because I remember our basketball and volleyball games when we played the other sororities. I was thinking it was those few sororities, but I guess we had some kind of program. But it was mostly games, I think. We did not do calisthenics or anything like that that I remember.
P: [The newspaper] even said that some of them were going to be done with the guys’ P.E. classes. I just wondered if you were ever involved in any of that.
E: No, I never lucked into a P.E. class with boys. Never. I am glad I never played basketball with the boys because they are so much better.
P: It might have been kind of rough.
E: The dean of women [Marna Venable Brady] was a former marine. We always thought that was funny because they had to bring in the marines when the girls
came. She was really a very fine person.
P: Did you have any personal dealing with her?
E: No, but I think she was well chosen and did a good job.
P: Everybody pretty much liked her?
E: Yes, I think so. Oh, they would make jokes about her, but actually everybody liked her. Some of the fraternity boys used to get drunk and go serenade at the sororities. I am sure they do that today, too. You know, Alachua County was dry.
P: During that time?
E: Yes. When did it go wet? 1960?
P: I do not know.
E: Anyway, it was dry. The boys in the fraternity houses did have alcohol at the fraternity houses, [but there was none] at the sorority houses.
P: During parties?
E: Yes, during parties at the frat houses. Never at the sorority houses.
P: How did they do that?
E: I have no idea. I just know they did.
P: What was the drinking age back then?
E: It had to be twenty-one, but I have heard people that did not even go to school here talk about when it was dry in Gainesville. They said, “Oh, you could always buy some from any taxi driver.” There was a filling station close to Paynes Prairie where they actually had it sitting on the wall that you could buy.
P: Oh, I think I remember Dr. Proctor talking about that. You would go out there and there would be big lines.
E: Yes, but it was really dry.
P: That would be interesting to find out how they managed that! I want to ask you some about the dress code. Was that a formal dress code that they had, that you could not be on campus in pants or shorts?
E: Yes, girls had to be in skirts, just like at FSU. I am sure that you would have seen Dean Brady if you did otherwise.
P: What would be a typical outfit that you would wear to class?
E: Well, in the winter you would wear a skirt and a sweater and saddle oxfords.
P: And bobby socks?
E: I always wore saddle oxfords. In fact, I still have my saddle oxfords because my daughter said, “Don’t ever get rid of them.”
P: Yes, those are so popular. They come back in waves.
E: Yes, she pleaded, “Keep them, keep them, keep them.” There was a big gully on campus over by the union. They must have been putting in a septic system or even something deeper. If you had fallen in, it was so deep they could never have found you. We had to walk around it. Only two people at the Chi O house had cars, so we walked to class.
P: They did not have parking on campus, did they?
E: No. You did not have to worry about parking, there were so many parking places. You walked back and forth to the library.
P: So you had to dress sensibly–no high heels or anything like that?
E: Oh, nobody would ever dress in high heels to go to class.
P: What about when it got hotter, before school got out?
E: We wore dresses and skirts and blouses.
P: You just tried to stay cool.
E: Yes. We wore sandals or something. Never shorts–always skirts.
P: Did the guys’ dress change at all when it got hotter out? Did they wear ties to class?
E: No, I do not remember ever seeing any. The boys wore sport shirts, but they never wore shorts, either. The professors were always dressed up, and you called them “doctor” or “mister”–you never called them by their first name. They addressed you by your last name, as “Miss Cowart.” They always called the roll by last names: Bush, Cowart, Hudson, Jones, etc.
P: I was going to ask you what you could wear to the library on the weekend, but it sounds like you had to wear a dress.
E: Yes, you did not go on campus without one.
P: What about the football games?
E: They dressed up for the ball games. Even though it was hot, you usually wore your new fall suit to the first and all the ball games, even in the bad weather. They did this long after I had graduated. People were dressed up.
P: That is what it was like at the college I came from. I was shocked when I got here.
E: Yes, we really dressed up.
P: Did you wear hats and the gloves and the whole works?
E: Oh, yes, everything! It was hot, it would be so hot! And they always had a big homecoming dance. They had big name bands that would come and play all the time: Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller and Sammy Kaye–all the big names. I believe the music building is where the old gym was.
P: And that is where they held the dances?
E: Yes, and they were formal.
P: You had to wear a long dress?
E: Yes, and the fraternity parties were always very dressy. My daughter graduated [from high school] in 1972, and they had dressy parties. However, when she went to college, it was more casual. They would sit around listening to string bands and such. Emory [University in Atlanta, GA] and [the College of] William and Mary [in Williamsburg, VA] never had big parties like we did. I guess they never got back to that, though they have fraternity parties now.
P: Before I forget, I want to show you a clip. This is from the Alligator, and I wanted to ask you if you remembered what that was all about.
E: I am sure that must have been when the skirt lengths dropped and they did not like them. They wanted the short skirts–there is no doubt about it.
P: Do you remember that?
E: Do I remember the picture? Vaguely.
P: Well, they also picketed the town. There is this picture of the guys walking around with the signs.
E: Oh, that is when the styles dropped and the dresses got longer.
P: What were they, midcalf, when they dropped? And before they had been just below the knee, maybe?
E: Yes, and some of them even dropped a little longer than that. You can go back and look in the encyclopedia in the styles and see how they were dropped. But they were never real short, anyway.
P: No, they were never above the knee except during the 1920s.
E: Goodness, I guess my daughter must have been in the ninth grade when they were really short.
P: Yes, the late 1960s and 1970s. We talked about homecoming and the rush parties and the fraternity parties. What were some of the other big social functions on campus that would be open to everybody, not just the sororities and fraternities?
E: They had a military ball. At homecoming our skits were terrible. The sororities and the fraternities would just think of something to do. [Today] you see these wonderful [skits]. We did not have anybody special, just somebody to emcee. The skits were just awful! You used what you had, and we did not have very much. We did not have professional talent and no sets to speak of; [we would] just think of something and go out on the field.
P: Yes. Do you remember Fall Frolics?
E: Yes, we had Fall Frolics and Spring Frolics, also.
P: Oh, they had it in the spring, also? Could you describe what they did?
E: Yes, those were big dances, also. You had to have a lot of nice dresses.
P: It sounds like it was expensive! Did a lot of women come down from FSU?
P: Where did they house all of them when they came down?
E: Some of them, I am sure, were put in hotels. [Some of the Chi Omegas from Tallahassee moved in with us for the weekend.] Of course, right after the girls came they still had dances at the rec. center for high school girls, and the University boys used to go there. A lot of university boys were dating local high school girls.
P: They must have been mad when the University went co-ed. What would couples do for a date? Where would they go in Gainesville?
E: Just to go?
P: Yes, if you just had a date on Saturday night.
E: You usually had a group. We rarely dated alone. You would go to the movies and out to eat someplace. There were very few places to eat. Most [often we would go to] a sandwich shop or a drive-in or someplace like that to see your friends. Sometimes they would go to the fraternity house.
P: Most students did not have cars, right? So you had to walk where you were going.
E: I think a lot of boys had cars. I do not remember dating anybody special that did not have a car. I did date one boy who was a K A [Kappa Alpha Order] who did not have a car, because I can remember walking home in a long dress with him. But a lot of boys had cars. Of course, a lot of the boys who were not married had been in the service, so they could afford cars.
P: Were there a lot of movie theaters in Gainesville?
E: No, there were three.
P: Really? And they each probably showed one picture, right?
E: One of them you did not ever want to go in to [because it] was so terrible.
P: Oh, really! You mentioned drive-ins, too. Was that included in that three?
E: No. I meant drive-in restaurants.
P: Oh, I thought you meant movies.
E: Not movies. There was a drive-in movie, the one that is still out on Hawthorne Road that came in 1949 or 1950.
P: What were some of the favorite gathering places, like the drive-in restaurants you were mentioning, that people would go to hang out?
E: There was Sandwich Park and Piggy Park.
P: What were those?
E: Those were restaurants that had drive-ins, or you could go inside. And Mac’s Drive-in that has, I think, closed very recently. They were on the Hawthorne Road.
P: So students would just go there and see who was there and hang out.
E: Yes. Sometimes there would be things going on over at the University that you would want to see.
P: Was there plenty to do in Gainesville, or was there grumbling that there was nothing to do?
E: No, nobody ever fussed about anything. They did not know any different.
P: Gainesville might have been a really big town to a lot of them?
E: That is right. It was a big town to me. But now you have a lot of people from New York here in Gainesville who are used to all the plays.
P: Yes. Not as many out-of-staters back then. Did the women tend to have a lot of dates since the ratio was so high, that there were so many men to women?
E: I suppose so, but I know that there were girls in my sorority who did not have dates.
P: Really? I wonder why?
E: Oh, I do not think that they were girls that would have any dates anywhere. You cannot ever say it is simply how somebody looks. Some girls like boys, and other girls like them, but the boys are not interested. You cannot put your finger on why. I had a six foot, three [inch tall] roommate from Arkansas.
P: Did she have trouble?
P: I can imagine. I think she would today, too.
E: She was really tall.
P: Did people back then go steady, or did they kind of play the field?
E: A lot of couples went steady.
P: Was that kind of the norm, to go steady with someone after you had dated them for a while?
E: Yes, if you like them.
P: What did that usually entail? Did they give you a pin if they were in a fraternity?
E: Yes, they gave you some kind of pin. My husband and I went steady, and I had his Sigma Chi pin. The president of the sorority had a Phi Delta [Theta] pin. [She is] the girl who is pictured on the front of the yearbook sitting on the wall, Betty Jo Wilson. She became Betty Jo Upchurch and was our first president. She married Hamilton Upchurch, who is a state representative. They are divorced now, but she had his pin. A lot of the girls never went steady, but most of them did. It is like it is now. I dated around for a while.
P: You met your husband soon after you came here?
E: Well, actually there was a boy here that I had dated in high school, and I was seeing a lot of him. Somebody else from Arcadia bet my husband he could not get a date with me. (He says that winning that bet has cost him a fortune.) I remember he stopped me on the stairs–like I said, he was older than I was–as I left my logic class and asked me to go out, and we did. We went to a movie, and after that I did not see much of him. [Then] a friend of mine from Arcadia was in a bus accident and broke her back. She was in Alachua General [Hospital]. She could not remember my number, but she remembered that Bill was a Sigma Chi, so she called him to ask him to bring me to see her because he had a car. So he started picking me up to go see her every night. We saw a lot of each other after that.
[In 1970 approximately ten of us had a reunion here. I planned ahead and arranged for our housemother, Mrs. Kirby Sutherland, to attend and surprise everyone. My husband showed old movies of all of us. He spliced in partial nudes from a reel he always told me came with his projector. We had a marvelous time.] Because most of us graduated in 1950, that was our twentieth reunion. One of our advisors told us that the things we would have been kicked out of school for then were accommodated for now. You cannot believe how bad it is. They were very strict.
P: What were some of the other rules that you had to abide by when living in the sorority house?
E: Of course, nobody could ever come in drunk. We could not have any alcohol in the house.
P: Did you have a lounge area or parlor in the front where the guys could come in and sit?
E: Yes, we had a nice sitting room. I guess she did not have to, but the housemother always met whoever we were going to date. I do not think that was part [of her duties]–maybe it was something that she just wanted to do. She was a
Chi Omega, too. I bet we were the only one on campus that had a sorority sister for a housemother. She was older, of course, and she was lovely.
P: Did you all go to her with your little problems?
E: Yes, a lot of people really went and cried on her shoulder. That helped a little bit.
P: What did you call her?
E: Mrs. Sally, [pronounced “Mizz,” the old southern way], Mrs. Sally [Kirby] Sutherland. She was from Bartow.
P: But the guys could not be allowed up into the rooms during any time, right?
E: No, they waited downstairs.
P: You mentioned earlier that they could come and have dinner with you? How did that work?
E: Well, you had to tell Mrs. Sally ahead so the cook could plan on it. I do not think that anybody ever wanted them all of the time. I think that it was just sort of there if you wanted to, because you really wanted to leave. You did not want to stay with your sorority sisters all of the time.
P: So you would go out to eat sometimes. I know we have already talked about classes a little bit, but I was wondering if we could try to get back. Do you remember the very first day of classes?
E: Vaguely, yes. I remember taking the logic class. I remember the Shakespeare class that I had. I was taking some undergraduate courses in the English department. The Shakespeare teacher, Dr. Archibald Robertson, was so marvelous; I will never forget him. He was dynamic, and he always acted out everything. He was just wonderful. I think I had a history class, but I cannot remember what it was. I took private piano lessons from Dr. Claude Murphree. I liked him, also.
P: Did the classes meet every day or on alternating Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays?
E: I am sure they were alternating. Here we were on the semester system. In Tallahassee they were on the quarter system. I lost a lot of credits when I transferred.
P: Was UF a much bigger campus than Tallahassee?
E: Much bigger. I came from a small town, and I remember looking and thinking, “No, I will never find my way around.” But it was not [that difficult]. You can look back and see how very small it was in comparison to today. [Looking at a picture], that was the old cafeteria that burned. [Johnson Hall, where the Rathskeller cafeteria was located, was destroyed by fire December 6, 1987. Ed.]
P: Right. Was that the main meeting place on campus?
E: Except the Florida Union had a little sandwich shop.
P: Was the Reitz Union there then?
E: There was one, but not that one. It was called the Florida Union. It was just a small place, but they sold sandwiches. Of course, the College Inn was across the street. They must have been here for years. There where sandwich shops around.
P: So you could go out to eat somewhere if you did not have a car to go to the drive-ins. Were you nervous that first day? Do you remember how you felt?
E: Oh, I am sure I was nervous, yes. You are always nervous the first day of classes.
P: Do you remember how many other women were in your classes?
E: Well, when I was in undergraduate classes, of course, there were more than when I went into pharmacy school. There were eight or ten in my pharmacy class.
P: Did Tallahassee have graduate courses?
E: I am sure they had a graduate school, but it was just in certain areas.
P: There was an article in the Alligator that told about where the bathrooms were for the women. Apparently that was a problem, since they did not have a lot of females before. But I am wondering if they put in new bathrooms in the fall.
E: No, I know they were not new. I never saw a new bathroom.
P: Was that a big problem, especially when you came in the spring?
E: No, I do not think it was ever a big problem, because there were professors who were women, and there were bathrooms for them.
P: How many professors did they have that were female? Did you have very many in your classes?
E: Not a lot. I would say the proportion was probably about like it was for women students. But there were women professors. I had Dr. Loretta Fox, who was one in the pharmacy school.
P: A woman professor in pharmacy? I thought maybe they must have been in the English department and places like that where women have traditionally been. I was wondering about organizations on campus, like student government, clubs, and things like that. Did they allow the women into those organizations?
E: Yes. In fact, I was invited to run on a ticket one time because I was a girl, but I did not run.
P: What was it for?
E: Vice-president of the student body. Somebody who was running for president thought, “If I can only get this girl on [the ticket].” Later, I do remember there was some girl running, but I do not remember if she won or not. Judge Crews was president at one time, and he was excellent. He was older, too.
P: How come you decided not to run? Did you just not want to do it?
E: I did not want to do it, and I did not really think they wanted me because of my ability. They wanted me because I was a girl.
P: And you resented it.
E: I certainly did. They did not get the other girl to run, either.
P: All of you figured out what they were after?
E: We certainly did. Later on there were girls who ran.
P: Did the girls ever run for president?
E: President was for guys. Girls ran for secretary.
P: Some things never change. So Student Government did allow the women in, but there was also something called the Women Students’ Association, right?
E: Yes, that started when the women came.
P: And what was the purpose of that group?
E: I guess it was to make life easier for the women.
P: In what ways?
E: Well, to start building some dormitories for girls.
P: Yes, I understand there was a feeling, at least on the part of some of the men, that the WSA was encroaching on Student Government. Do you remember that? [Do you remember] what the arguments against it were?
E: Well, it was such a small group, I really do not see how they could have felt like they were losing a whole lot. There was just a such a small group.
P: Who started that organization, do you know? Was Dean Brady active on it?
E: I am sure she was. She may have started it. She was a very outgoing lady, and she probably thought we needed it.
P: How long did that group last?
E: I would say probably until after I had graduated, and then they made the honorary for women. Savant was really the honorary for women, like they had [Florida] Blue Key for men. At that time Savant was just for women.
P: When did that start?
E: That must have been sometime in the 1950s, around 1955.
P: That was after you already graduated, then.
E: Yes. But that was a women’s organization for quite sometime.
P: Why did Blue Key not let the women into that organization?
E: That was a men’s organization. Now, see, Savant is for men, too.
P: Were they first to finally go co-ed?
E: I think they probably chose to do that. Of course, that was after I was out of school. The Blue Key had always been mostly for law students, but today it is for everybody.
P: Right, a lot of business school people.
E: When my son Jimmy joined Savant I said, “What! Are they permitting men in Savant?” I did not even realize that they had changed.
P: What about other organizations, like pharmacy society or agricultural society? Did they allow women?
E: Yes, they did. I am sure the law school did. There was a pharmacy auxiliary.
P: Did they allow women in before this university actually went co-ed?
E: Yes. Of course, there had always been women here in pharmacy, as well as in law and architecture. All of the colleges that were not at FSCW [Florida State College for Women] always accepted women. Quite a few local women, I think, probably chose those professions because they were from Gainesville.
P: And they wanted to go to UF so they could live at home.
E: Maybe they could not afford to leave, and they chose a convenient major.
P: Do you remember going home on weekends?
E: Oh, yes, on holidays and spring break.
P: How did you get home if you did not have a car?
E: Oh, I always had a ride.
P: How did you find them? You did not hitchhike, did you?
E: No, I knew everybody who was from the same county, and they knew me. Somebody always asked if I wanted a ride home with them, so I would just get a ride that way.
P: How long did the trip take?
E: Now we are three and a half hours away, and that is closer than we ever were because now you can take the interstate to Bradenton and go into this little county. It must have taken us at least six or seven hours then.
P: Yes, the roads were not as good then, I am sure.
E: I even rode back one time on a motorcycle. My husband (we were engaged at the time) had a motorcycle, but I usually rode home with his brother. My husband convinced my mother that his brother was a terrible, careless driver–he really is; he still drives like a maniac–and that I would be much better off on that motorcycle, so I rode on the back of the motorcycle. We had to stop in Ocala for a movie because I was really was exhausted. We did not even have face masks, and on Paynes Prairie you ate the bugs, they were so bad. That was the only trip I ever took on a motorcycle.
P: First and last?
E: [I] almost left him for good.
P: Were a lot of students able to utilize the railroad system when they would go?
E: Sometimes. I think probably Miami students would usually pick up people and give them rides. But they were numerous. We had quite a few Miami students.
P: Were you able to go home on the weekends very much if it took that long to go?
E: Sometimes. My folks always had a beach house, and we would try to go there.
P: Did you take your friends down with you sometimes?
E: Yes. One roommate stayed several weeks one summer.
P: Did you ever attend summer school?
E: Yes. I always liked summer school.
E: Because you memorized material for such a short time. There is a lot of it, but you do not have to remember it as long. I am really good at memorizing quickly, so I always loved it. Of course, I always forgot just as quickly, but I could always make better grades in the summer.
P: That is funny.
E: Everybody hates it. I know they say, “Oh, it is so concentrated.” But I just hated the semester because you had to remember all of that over Christmas. If I could just learn something quickly, then it was easier for me, so I liked summer school.
P: Did it run from June through August, or do you remember?
E: There were two sessions, I think, just like there are two sessions today. I think we got out around the first of June, and summer school started two or three [weeks later]. We had time to go home, anyway, because there was a break between [sessions] and a break before and after.
P: So you still got a little bit of vacation time in, also.
E: The sorority houses were open, and they took in students who were not sorority girls during the summer because they needed to.
P: Do you remember how many classes you would take during the summer school?
E: Just a few–one or two. Of course, in pharmacy school you have so many labs.
P: Oh, right, you were taking the technical courses.
E: Oh, labs are terrible. You just take so many hours and waste so much time. It is not like academic courses.
P: Did you take summer school because you had lost credit hours when you switched?
E: I did lose a lot of credit hours, and I also took extra courses that I really did not need. I did not take all pharmacy courses; there were some courses I took simply because I wanted to take them. I was not in a big hurry to get out of school.
P: You were enjoying yourself. Did you ever work while you were on campus?
E: I worked at Florida Theater for a short time at the concession stand, and I worked over at the art school modeling for a short time.
P: Oh, really. That sounds interesting. What did you have to do?
E: Just sit there and let them draw your picture. It was an easy job.
P: It sounds like it. Could you study while you were over there?
E: No, you could not. The reason I happened to get in was that Bill’s older brother was in art school, and he asked me to come on over. I did not have to do anything but sit there, so that was an easy job.
P: Yes, it sounds like it. Was that like, perhaps, College Work Study now, where you have to be able to show that you have financial need and then they say that you can have a job?
P: There was not anything like that then?
E: I did not have any financial need.
P: You just did it for pocket money?
E: Yes, I just did it for fun.
P: Do you remember if any of your friends ever had to work on campus to help pay their rent?
E: Yes. We did have some girls in the sorority who had to have financial assistance. I think we had more scholarships; there really was no financial aid.
You could get a scholarship of some kind and apply for that.
P: Did any of them ever work on campus to help [pay their way]?
E: Yes, there were some girls who worked in the library, but it was really a regular job, though. I mean, when you took a job on campus it was not like taking one part-time somewhere. You had to be there regularly. It was hard.
P: Then they would work through the whole year, and they did not really get to go home over summer.
E: Oh, I think they got to go home on summer break because classes were closed.
P: Oh, right, so the library would be closed.
E: Yes, the buildings closed.
P: I am curious about the sorority house. I was wondering if the Chi O’s went out and bought their house. Is that right?
E: No, I think they rented while I was there. They built a house later.
P: How did you all finance that? I have not been in a sorority, so I do not know how that works.
E: National, of course, raised the money, and the local alumni helped. In fact, we had advisors who set the rules down and told us what to do; our housemother did. They made money off of our room and board.
P: They did?
E: From our room and board, yes. I do not remember how much, but I do know that you could room somewhere else that was somewhat cheaper.
P: Really? Was it because they where paying off a mortgage?
E: Well, I am pretty sure they were not buying it in 1948. I do not even remember where the other sorority houses were.
P: They were not close by?
E: They were so much smaller that they did not need any big houses.
P: Oh, were Chi O’s the largest group?
E: Yes, ten active and ten pledges.
P: How big were the other groups?
E: That was the maximum; you could not have over that amount. I had told you that there were really only three active Tri-Delts who lived in the house. I do not know how many pledges they had in the house. In the yearbook there are fourteen Tri-Delts, ten K D’s, fourteen A D Pi’s, and nineteen Chi O’s pictured.
P: So the groups were really quite small. I am surprised.
E: We had the biggest one. They would only allow you to have so many. That was the maximum. You could not have over twenty [actives and pledges combined in 1947].
P: But why do you suppose the other groups were not able to fill their quota?
E: Well, I think some of them did, but I do not know which ones they were. I am sure some of them did.
P: I am just surprised, because it seems like more women would have wanted to rush.
E: Not everybody wants to join a sorority. Not everybody wants to live in a house with a bunch of girls.
P: Now, if they could live in a frat house. . . .
E: No, they would rather have their room somewhere else. There are a lot of rules. The girls who were not in a sorority house did not have rules like we did.
P: Yes, Mrs. Glicksberg mentioned something about that. She said it was so different from FSCW because there were a lot of girls living in the dorms.
E: Dorms were like that.
P: Off campus they did not have any rules, unless someone put some on them wherever they were living, so they felt free.
E: Well, I always had rules.
P: Did you live in a dorm at FSU?
P: And did they have the same type of deal?
E: They had rules.
E: You signed in and signed out. In the sorority house you did not have to sign in and sign out because they knew who you were.
P: And there were not as many girls probably as there were in the dorm rooms.
E: Right. Our housemother know us all personally, and she locked up.
P: I am sure everybody was in.
E: But I am also sure if I had been late she would have let me in.
P: Did you have a place to study in the sorority house?
E: Yes, we had a quiet time. Like I told you, we all slept in these sleeping areas, but then there were dressing rooms in the house where you had your chest of drawers with your clothes. Your roommates were really the ones who you shared your clothing room with. Everybody slept together on the porches, except for the president, but then there were three different places where people dressed and kept their clothes.
P: So you had two rooms in a way.
E: You only went to the sleeping porch when you were ready for bed. You would sneak in very quietly so you would not wake everyone.
P: Did they have lights out rules, too, for the time everyone had to be in bed asleep?
E: No. Some people stayed up and studied. It was quiet. But you had to be quiet, not necessarily for study time, because after 11:00 it had to be quiet.
P: I would like to ask you about the student union. I am sure you have been to the one that we have now. How does it differ from when you were in school?
E: Do you mean the Reitz Union?
P: I am assuming that the Reitz Union that you were talking about was not the student union, or was it?
E: I think that was the student union. I do not remember a separate student union. I do not even know what a student union is; is that just a building where student government is? I thought that was in the Reitz Union.
P: Yes. What building was it that was called the Reitz Union before they built that one, or was it the same building?
E: No, it was a small building before they built the big one. I am sure it was not called Reitz because he was president later. They must have called it the Florida Union.
P: Yes, I think that is what it was called. What sort of facilities did they have?
E: Reading rooms and things like they have at this one, but they were much smaller.
P: And a place to eat?
E: Yes, they had a cafeteria of sorts.
P: Did they ever show movies there?
E: I do not remember. [There was] no Rathskeller [a sandwich shop in Johnson Hall] or anything like that.
P: I am assuming you studied pharmacy. Is that what you actually got your major in?
P: What year did you graduate?
E: I was married in the summer of 1950, and I had one more course to take. I took it and graduated in February of 1951.
P: Was your husband still in school when you got married?
E: Oh, no, he graduated in 1949 and was planning on going down to South Florida to work with his father, [but he decided to stay]. He had had a little newspaper down in Arcadia, so he applied for a job with the Gainesville Sun. He did not want to leave me up here with all the good-looking boys. He decided to work.
P: And you were already engaged at that time?
E: Yes. He went to work in 1949 at the Gainesville Sun in the back shop setting type.
P: Was he a journalism major? Did he become a reporter later?
E: No, he went into advertising; that is what he was doing when we were married. I think there were maybe four people in the advertising department. When he became advertising director there were three other people.
P: Where did you live after you got married while you were still in school?
E: Well, I only had three hours left. There had previously been a married pharmacy student who had a house, not on the Hawthorne Road, but down in that area. He had used our cocker spaniel to breed with his dog, and they had a litter of puppies. When he graduated he said we could rent his house, so that is where we stayed. We were there for a year, I guess, and then we bought a house of our own.
P: But you lived there for a year. Do you remember what the married housing was like? Did you ever think about doing that?
E: Well, of course, my husband was through with school and I only had three hours, and I could not go to married housing because I had not been in the service.
P: You were not a full-time student?
E: Right, and I had not been in the service.
P: Oh, you had to be in the service back then in order to be in married housing?
E: I think all the married housing was for service people. It was called Flavet Village. Yes, it was all for service people.
P: I saw pictures of it in the yearbook, and they also had a trailer park.
E: They were not prepared at all for the students who were coming.
P: They had to hire a lot of extra professors.
E: They moved all of their temporary houses, you know. I imagine they moved a lot of those from [Camp] Blanding, because that was the base.
P: So you graduated in December of 1950?
E: No, in February of 1951. We were still on semester.
P: Oh, that is right. So how many years was it that you were in school, then?
E: I was actually in school for five years. Then I only lacked that one course, so I took it to graduate. That is why I did not graduate in 1950.
P: Were you ever able to use your pharmacy background in a job situation?
E: After I graduated? Yes.
P: You worked as a pharmacist? Oh, great!
E: I worked at Florida Pharmacy. You had to intern a year before you could get your license, and they would let you intern some while you were in school. If you did not, you had to graduate and then intern. I worked at Florida Pharmacy for a year to get my license, and I was working ten- and twelve-hour days. The store closed at 11:00 p.m., and then you waited on the delivery man to come, which sometimes was 12:00.
I stayed at Florida Pharmacy for a few months after I had my license. Then a doctor in town, Dr. Henry Blank, told me Canova’s Prescription Center by the hospital needed a pharmacist. He said, “Why not go over and apply for a job there,” so I finally did. I went to the prescription center and stayed there until 1970. They closed at 8:00 p.m. and they were closed on Sundays. Florida Pharmacy stayed open seven days a week.
P: So that was a big improvement.
E: Oh, yes. One day I could go to work at 1:00 and stay till 8:00, and the next day I would work from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
P: Did you enjoy it?
E: Yes. I made a lot more money working fewer hours, and it was a prescription center, which was better than a store. We had food at Florida Pharmacy, and I always hated to smell that food cooking. It is just awful to smell something cooking all the time.
P: Well, I think I have pretty much covered what I wanted.
E: You came well prepared.
P: I think I have got everything here that I wanted to ask you. Did you have anything else that you have thought of that you would like to add?
E: No, nothing I can think of.
P: Okay. Well, I really appreciate this.
E: It has been fun. I really enjoyed it; I enjoyed talking to my roommate from Palatka. We had a good time reminiscing.
P: It was good that you called her to get some more ideas.