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Vancine Young

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Title:
Vancine Young
Series Title:
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Physical Description:
1 sound file (0 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;
Language:
English
Creator:
Young, Vancine
Greenberg, Yael V
University of South Florida Libraries -- Florida Studies Center. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida -- Tampa Library
Publisher:
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Married students   ( lcsh )
Adult college students   ( lcsh )
Genre:
Oral history   ( local )
Online audio   ( local )
Oral history.   ( local )
Online audio.   ( local )
interview   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
Vancine Young discusses being a member of the Charter Class of USF. She returned to school to get her Bachelor's Degree in Education at USF after marrying and having children. This was typical among many of the University's first students.
Venue:
Interview conducted January 5, 2003.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System Details:
Streaming audio.
Statement of Responsibility:
interviewed by Yael V. Greenberg.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 029208354
oclc - 276169907
usfldc doi - U23-00155
usfldc handle - u23.155
System ID:
SFS0024462:00001


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COPYRIGHT NOTICE This Oral History is copyrighted by the University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida. Copyright, 200 8 University of South Florida. All rights, reserved. T his oral history may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of the Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of the United States Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section 107), which allows limited use of copyrighted materials under certain conditions. Fair Use limits the amount of material that may be used. For all other permissions and requests, contact the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARIES ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, LIB 122, Tampa, FL 33620.

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1 USF Florida Studies Center Oral History Program USF 50 th History Anniversary Project Narrator: Vancine Young (Y) Interviewer: Yael V. Greenberg (G) Date of Interview: May 1, 2003 Location of Interview: Tampa Campus Audit Editor: Yael V. Greenberg Library Date Audit Edit Complete: August 2003 Transcriber: University of Florida Final Editor: Jared G. Toney TRANSCRIPTION G: Today is Thursday, May 1, 2003. My name is Yael Greenberg, oral history program assistant for the Florida St udies Center. We continue a series of interviews here in our studio in the Tampa campus library with USF faculty, students, and alumni in order to commemorate fifty years of university history. Today we will be interviewing Vancine Young, who came to USF in 1960 as a charter class member. Good morning, Vancine. Y: Good morning. G: Let's begin by you taking us to the year you arrived in Tampa and what circumstances brought you to the University of South Florida. Y: Well, I'm one of the strange creatur es that was born here, so I've watched Tampa grown many years. When I was in college before I thought my MRS was more important than my BS, so I had stopped going to school when I got married and decided I wanted to finish my degree. I was very anxious f or [University of] South Florida to open. G: How did you hear about the university? Y: Oh, it was in the paper, there was groundbreaking things, just everything imaginable welcoming the university. If you can imagine, when you turned off of Nebraska A venue there was nothing between Nebraska Avenue and the entrance to the campus. This place

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2 has grown quite a bit in the years. You were way out in the woods. G: Can you tell me the first time that you saw the USF campus? Can you describe a little bit a bout what the campus looked like and what the surrounding areas of the campus looked like in 1960? Y: There was still a lot of pine trees. When we started classes there were no sidewalks. If you can imagine the sand blowing, you just prayed that there wa sn't a windy day. You just had to cover your eyes and try to trudge from building to building. Back then, we had most of our classes, well the first year, all of our classes in the university center and the administration building. We just went between the two buildings, back and forth. It was quite desolate out here. It had been an old landing field for something back in the war. There were a few things way out, but on campus [there was] nothing, no grass, nothing, just varmints. G: I know we have talked previously, before this interview, and you mentioned the idea of Tampa not being a very cultured place to live. Can you talk a little bit about that and how the university influenced Tampa? Y: Oh, it really did have an influence on it. Several ye ars after the university opened, my father was in charge of a large Masonic group here in town and they were having a play. He bought the house out for one night to get an extra night for the organization. You know the ladies that like to make their fanc y entrance fashionably late, well this time they were stopped at the door. Well, they weren't used to being stopped at the door to wait for a break in the play or intermission. They were used to making their grand entrance. So, it was quite something fo r them to learn that that's not done in cultured places. I guess my own father hadn't had much resources in this way. I saw him at intermission. It was

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3 a Shakespeare play I don't remember which one. I said well dad, how are you enjoying the play. He l ooked at me and said well the acting is real good, if they would only talk English. Of course they were talking English, but it was Shakespearean English that he didn't understand. Back then, I wish I had known about master plots and things like that so we could have gotten something for the average person that was there, because they didn't know what the heck was going on. The art department brought a lot to Tampa. You mentioned Joe Testa Secca had done a design on one of the buildings out here. When I was in high school he had interned where I went to high school, so I remembered him. He was like one of the founders of trying to get art in Tampa. We started having art shows out here. That meant a lot. It was just that there weren't the opportunitie s to go to things, like the University of South Florida was having, up to that time. It did a lot to bring up the culture of Tampa. Even some of the professors mentioned how uncultured some of the people were. G: I want to go back to your first day as a student at USF. What things do you remember about that first day, that first week, that first year coming into the university as a charter class member? Y: Well, I would have to get up early and take my husband to work so I could have the car to come ou t here. There wasn't much place to congregate unless you were at the University Center. You could go over there for a coke or something. The classes were upstairs and downstairs and they were upstairs and downstairs in the administration building. Find ing your classroom that first day, it was a problem. Meeting all the professors, it was as new for them in some respects as it was for us. Getting the list of all

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4 the things you had to have and going to the bookstore, which then was in the UC [University Center]. You just had to walk to the back and get your books and all. It was quite an experience. [There was] the fun of seeing people that maybe you saw from high school or something like that, of course I was a little older than the average student at that time. I already had two children, so you just weren't on the major influx of student level; you were a little older than they were. I remember having art in the basement of the UC, and there's a game room across the hall from it. One of the girls in the class had signed up to play pool. When they called her name you could hear it in the art room. Honey, she got up and went to play pool. The professor was just [shocked]. He couldn't believe that somebody would walk out of his class to go play po ol. Needless to say, she was told that was never to happen. That was uncultured, not being very couth. The problem was getting back and forth to classes with no sidewalks. A towel and a washrag was part of your stuff in your book bag, because you had t o stop and wash your feet at least once or twice a day. It was just terrible. It was like going in a field with no grass or anything. You would go for so long and then the dirt would get so bad you'd [say] ugh, I have to go wash my feet. There was spec ial sink that you could go to; everybody would wash their feet in that sink so you didn't feel so bad. Little by little, they got a sidewalk in here and a sidewalk in there. Ugh, it was so good to see that. It was way out. It was a way to come. Finall y, we decided that getting up and taking my husband to work every morning was a little too much, so I borrowed an antique car from my sister. It was a 1941 Ford with a 1949 Mercury engine in it. We had a nickname for her; she was "Leaping Lina." We've g ot more funny stories to tell about Leaping Lina and all of her travels back and

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5 forth to USF, but that's another story. G: How did you register for classes? Y: You know I don't remember. I think it was in the UC. There were just all these professors sitting behind a table and they had the letters of the alphabet. They gave you a little guidance and then you declared what you wanted to take and then you got a paper. I think they sent you that in the mail, your required things. My worst problem, I st ill remember the number CB109 and 110. It was a math class. That was standing between me and graduation. I never was very good in math, and to have to go back and take it. Honey, I was just as proud of that D as any A I ever made in an education class. I think the professor passed me because he didn't want to see me in class again, but we tried everything. He even decided to have me hypnotized by the head of the psychology department. I had to sign this little release and he proceeded to hypnotize me to try to overcome my mental block to math so to speak. He even had one of his foreign students and I had to come out here on Sunday. The deal was I was to help him [foreign student] with his English and he would help me with my math. There were boards there were then, in three sides of the classrooms in the University Center. We would totally fill those boards with the math problems and how they were supposed to be worked, and I would correct his English and he would help me with my math. God love h is heart, I don't even remember his name, but he was a big part in me getting through that class. Since he was an exchange student all over here, not much family, especially on Sunday I would always him out to the lake to have supper with us or something to try to pay him back somehow for helping me with this stupid math. Ugh, that was such a course, CB

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6 109 and 110. G: When your math professor suggested that you should be hypnotized... Y: I was willing to try anything. He knew I was studying. He knew I was trying. I would give it a try; nothing ventured, nothing gained. I went right along with it. They wanted to make sure that I had undergone hypnosis. Under hypnosis he said that as we neared a certain building on the way to the car I would have in tense desire to have something to drink and I would just have to stop and go get a drink of water. I thought why am I so thirsty. Finally, I just stopped in the middle and said can you tell me where the closest water fountain is. I had to go get a drink of water. He said well, I had you under. It was a post hypnotic suggestion. I was willing to try anything, I was that desperate. If I didn't pass this class, I didn't graduate. G: What was your major? Y: Education. I thought I wanted to be a first grade or kindergarten teacher, but I had my third child while I was going to school here and I'd meet someone and they'd say oh this is cheese and crackers from Human Growth and Development. Of all the time to have an eight o'clock class, I had an eight o'clock class, but I made it through. That is what Cindy [daughter] was known as for a long time, cheese and crackers from Human Growth and Development. That professor, he could ask the darndest questions. If I answered it generally, he'd want it specif ically. If I answered it specifically, he wanted it generally. Here I was about seven months pregnant and one of his questions for preparing for this test was how does conception occur? I said to my husband how do you think he wants this answered, gener ally or specifically? My husband said well, tell him if

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7 you don't know by now you'll never know. So, we just let it go with that. G: What were some of the early classes that you remember taking in that first year? Y: We had some fantastic ones. If you had arithmetic for the elementary teacher you had the head of the math department teaching it. We had the head of the music department teaching us music for the elementary teacher. The science professor, he had some high foluting guy come over from Cape Canaveral. We just had an infusion of all kinds of people like that. It was just their expertise in their field. It was unbelievable. We had P.E. for the elementary teacher. Another teacher was Dr. [Joseph] Reisner. He taught so many childhood educa tion classes you almost had to major in Reisner to get out of here. He was excellent. He could teach three classes in a row and none of them would be alike. He was one of the most versatile instructors I think I've ever had. It was fun doing things for them because they were experimenting too, because they hadn't taught that many undergraduates in this level. Reisner, I guess I can blame him on collecting things, but we had to have a picture file. You had to bring to it in. I had mine in a little tin box. You had to have pictures of children, grass, sunsets, and everything had to be classified. You know I'm still clipping and collecting for I guess forty years. I guess he started me off right on it, but I've used the things so many times. I still have a file at home. It's grown to a little larger file than my little one, but I still keep a file. G: When you came here in 1960, did you feel a sense of excitement about being a charter class member? Was there excitement on campus because it was the first year that the university was open? Y: I don't guess like it is now because we only had intramurals [sports]. There was only a

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8 small group on campus. In fact Mrs. Marshall [Phyllis] had about ten girls, I don't think it was over ten girls, upstairs in the University Center. We were all commuters, so there wasn't a time to get together in the evening and do things in the evening. I'm sure there's more excitement now with the football team. I got to go to homecoming of University of South Florida t his year. I enjoyed it. It was the first time I had been to the stadium. Would you believe that? My daughter also graduated from here and her husband did, so we attend some of the functions out here. It's much more exciting than back in the olden days when there weren't activities to go to. I remember they had a homecoming party, and about the most exciting thing [was] we were out on the deck out from the UC and they were having a limbo contest. You think back, to what we're doing now and what we wer e doing back then and it's funny. It was nice to be back in school, but I don't think we realized what a great university this is. Just to see how much it's grown through the years, coming back for classes for re certification. The caliber of the profes sors and the Cancer Center [Moffitt], the clinics, the doctors; it's just mind blowing to think that it has grown like it has from humble beginnings with these two buildings. It's really outstanding. I have something that they gave each of the members of the charter class. It's a little medallion. On the back of it, it says "Member of the Charter Class." One year, for Christmas, my husband had it put in chain so I could wear it. I get more compliments on it. Where did you get that? It's nice to say w ell, turn it over. They see that you were a member of the charter class. So, I have enjoyed wearing it and I'm proud of it, and proud of what it's become. G: Did all of the charter class members get that medallion?

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9 Y: Yes they did. I think they sent it to a classroom they had maybe our second year here. Their list of students was marked in some way. I'm almost sure that it was given to me in an English class, because I think everybody had to take English. It was given out in the classes we were taking in a little box. G: John Allen, what do you remember about John Allen from a student perspective? Did you see him on campus? Y: Oh yes, and his wife. She lives at John Knox Village now and I see her over there because I go over there for water aerob ics. He was a very personable man. He would interact with the students. [He was] very approachable. I can't believe how much the university has done with Alzheimer's in his memory. The [USF] Suncoast Gerontology Center with Dr. [Eric] Pfeiffer, is just one of the most outstanding groups. I have sent many people to him because my sister was one of the charter members of the Alzheimer's group. Her husband had Alzheimer's. He's just done a wonderful job building that up. I hear we lost some researchers I took a class, it must have been six or eight years ago, about different places on campus that maybe you didn't know about; it was the new features. One of the classes was a tour of the Cancer Research Center. I was just dumbfounded, and I hear it's doubled. One place they were doing a genetic match for Alzheimer's, and the only place large enough was down this humongous hall. They were tracing the descendants and all. It took that much area to put their thing on it. There were machines that had t o be run around the clock, they had to be manned around the clock, doing the research. We were all very impressed, very much so. He [John Allen] was very personable and I just hope, in his memory, we can find a cure for it. I

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10 hope it happens on this ca mpus, that would be a great honor to him. G: You mentioned his wife, Grace Allen, and you would always see the two of them of them around campus. What were they doing? Y: Sometimes they'd go in and sit down in one of the lounges and talk to the students. If there was a meeting, they'd maybe come a few minutes early and greet the students. After they put the library in the ballroom, we didn't have the meeting place that we had before, but they felt that we needed some place to have some books. That was o ur first library, in the ballroom at the University Center, if you can imagine. [There was] not much room for periodicals, it was just one floor and not even the whole floor, just the ballroom section of it. If a professor wanted to send us to the library he had to check to make sure they had the book or they did their best to get it. G: When you were a student here, do you remember a philosophy of teaching or something that each of your professors stressed in those early days? How was the interaction bet ween professors and students in those early days? Y: Unbelievable, if you don't understand or need to go over something, see me after class. There was no hesitation [to say,] would you go over that again? I didn't quite get it the first time around. Wor king together with the different nuances. I remember I did a special thing for music for the elementary teacher. I had to teach them a song. The music professor was so impressed that he talked to the girl that was teaching P.E. for the elementary teache r and wanted me to take the presentation over and do it for the P.E. classes, because they sang songs and different things in P.E. The interaction between the two [professors and students] was very good. If you do something for one class and they

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11 thought it was outstanding, well you [would be told to] go show it to Dr. so and so. It was a helping university. The professors were very available. Their schedules were on their office doors and they were very accessible. G: Was there a dress code in 1960? Y : No. G: In terms of diversity, where there other women who were going to school with you? Were there African Americans going to school in those early days? Can you tell me a little bit about your class diversity? Y: There were some exchange students, some foreign students from the South American countries. Nobody has every mentioned that. I don't remember a class, at the beginning, that I had any black classmates in. South American, Puerto Rican, ones [students] like that...No, that one that I had f rom China was in my graduate studies. I notice now that there's a lot more diversity now, because it wasn't known back then. It had become so well known in the different areas that many more people want to go now than when it was first starting out. I t hink we were the first completely new university of the century. We were written up in Time or Newsweek or something. There was a big article about the opening. We've become much more diversified. G: In terms of some of your classes, and we had talked in our pre interview about the All University Book ." Can you tell me a little bit about that concept? Y: Well, I was so angry at one of them that I threw it away. I just wasn't used to reading trash like that. Any professor, I don't care whether it w as your math professor or your history or your music teacher; they were to ask a question on the book on their exam. I

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12 had one that I brought with him. I don't even remember what it was about, but Native Son by Richard Wright was one of them. At least I went someplace and got it. See, this is the old paper that we had back then. Native Son by Wright and I think it's a critical evaluation of the work. I must have gotten it from some book in the library to try to help me struggle through it. I don't thi nk we had Cliff Notes back in those days; maybe we did on the classics, but not on a new novel. I was taking, at one time, eighteen hours. Just to keep up with the reading in those classes, to me this was an extra burden. I wasn't much in favor of it. It was a bad pill to swallow. The concept is good, the idea was good, I was just snowed with too many other things. In the high school I taught in we had a summer reading program that they had to read certain books, so it's good to keep them reading. G : Food on campus, do you remember Y: Yes, you could buy a food card and they had both sides in the cafeteria open, and then for quick things like a grilled cheese sandwich or something there was little thing at the end leading out to the patio. There wer e a few tables inside. Sometimes during the week they'd have both food lines open and then on the weekends maybe just one, because there weren't that many students on campus. Even on Saturday, the classes would go over there to eat because there weren't that many places to eat out here. I mean when you think of nothing between here and Nebraska Avenue...I don't even remember when University Mall was built. I remember the first big thing out this way was, it's already gone out of business now, but the st ore opened at the corner of Nebraska and Fowler. Winn Dixie opened there. My gosh, that was out in the sticks, really out in the sticks, but

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13 look at how we've grown now. But just by comparison, when I tell people that Dale Mabry stopped at Hillsboroug h Avenue, that it was built to connect Drew Field and MacDill Field and there was nothing north of Hillsborough [Avenue] on Dale Mabry, people look at me like I'm out of my mind. They just can't imagine. You know I can remember riding streetcars when the y were the main source of transportation here. They got so busy tearing up streetcar tracks and now we've put them back down again. G: Were there any opening ceremonies in 1960 for the university? Do you remember attending? Y: I think we had a tea. The first day we opened the news was here and they took pictures, but I think there was more coverage with the first graduating class. The thing was in the parking lot. That's the only place we had to go. We set up chairs in the parking lot. G: You gradu ated in 1964? Y: 1963. G: Can you tell me about the graduation ceremony a little bit? Do you remember? Y: Well, it was not too long after the Kennedy assassination. We were told where to come to pick up our cap and gowns. They had been working on the fi rst library. I think you use it now as a community service center or something like that. The only function we had, they cleaned it up enough to have the tables for us to return our cap and gowns and that's the only time we entered that library was to re turn our cap and gowns. I've forgotten who the guest speaker was, I have no idea. I know that Dr. Allen spoke. You're talking over forty years ago. Let's call it a senior moment. I think I was so excited about having that cap and gown on and it all be ing through. I do remember this,

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14 the next day was Christmas Eve and I had been interning. I woke up that Monday morning, which was Christmas Eve, and I did not have the first Christmas present bought from Santa Claus for the kids. Chaos, but we pulled i t off alright. It was just a hectic time with, by that time, three children and going to school full time and interning and the graduation and this that and the other. We pulled Christmas off without a hitch. G: Were there other students who were doing similar things? You said you were raising a family and going to school, was that common among the charter class? Y: Yes, we had a lot of school bus drivers that wanted to finish their education so they could teach or have a better job. Yeah, a lot of them were older, particularly in the Saturday classes. There weren't as many of them during the week as there was on Saturday classes. Yeah, we had a lot. I would like to know the percentage that would be interesting to see how the age group fell. G: Were there more women attending than men in those early days, or was it opposite? Y: In the math classes the men were in those classes, but in elementary education I don't think we had too many men. In fact I don't remember any. It was mostly women that wen t into elementary education. G: The 1960s certainly were political. The country was going through many different kinds of issues. Did those politics, were those things that were talked about on campus or were students demonstrating against anything? Y: No, I don't remember a single demonstration, I really don't. Maybe when Argos and the other first dormitory, maybe there were some, but I wasn't in the campus in the evening and I don't remember any in the daytime.

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15 G: What was your typical course load like? How many hours did you typically take? Y: Well, after that eighteen hour class load I learned not to do that again, twelve to fifteen after that. Of course I took a semester out to have a baby. I wanted desperately to graduate with the charter cla ss, so I had to double up on a couple, maybe several times taking a little more than I should have. G: Why did you want to graduate with the charter class? Y: I don't know, I just thought it would be something memorable, to have a new university and to be able to say that you are a member of the charter class. Somebody called my daughter's house for a donation the other night. She [caller] said something about, I bet you won't find too many households like this. We have three generations of people tha t have been to South Florida. Her son is freshman out here now. Mother, grandmother, and son; two have graduated and one is going. He said no, I don't think I've talked to another three generation group. Now, let's hope he graduated. G: Were there an y student organizations that you participated in through your four years here at the university? Y: I don't think so. I don't think so. I watched with interest as the candidates ran for office, for class office. I went to some of the speeches, but as fa r as involvement in sorority or anything it was a little early for those things. Maybe there was a math society or an English society or something, but when you're getting ready to intern and you've got a family at home you have to get home. There's not time for that. G: When you began in 1960 USF was crisp, clean, there weren't that many students who attended, and by 1963, when you graduated, there must have been a lot of changes.

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16 Y: Oh, yes. I remember my original student number, 2030. I was the 2,0 30 person that had been accepted. So, we at least had, I'm sure a little more than, 2,000 members [students] here. G: What other kinds of changes did you notice in those three years? Y: The buildings, the completion of the buildings. We used to have t o go out and draw [steps]. The auditorium to what would be the west of the UC was under construction at that time and we used to have to draw the steps, try to get the things going up. It would take us different places to draw on campus. Just to see the buildings opening up and the dorms opening up, it was unbelievable. I think there's a building now between the first building that opened up to the west of the main building. I think there's an engineering building or something. I don't walk too much any more. To get around walking I'd probably have to rent a cart or something to see all the buildings now. When I was teaching we always had our graduation out here. I know Sun Dome a little bit, and I've been back in other buildings for different clas ses. It's really changed in forty years, it really has. G: You've talked a lot about your memories of USF. Is there a favorite memory of USF that you have or something that stands out? Y: Just some of the favorite teachers. I had a science for the elem entary teacher project due and it [project] was on shells, bivalves and univalves. I let the kids stay home from school, my mother kept the youngest, and I met my sister over in St. Petersburg and we collected live shells for this class. We had snails; we had saltwater [live shells]. When I got home we were all practically blistered from the sun and being out all day, but we did

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17 the back waters like you wouldn't believe and had samples of just about everything. When I went home I put this great big squ are tub full of all kinds of creatures in the bathtub because that's the only place that was safe. After the kids had their bath my husband went in to take his bath and I went in before him and set out this tub of animals for the next night. When he laid down in the tub, he said he looked up under the soap dish and there were all these creatures in the soap dish [laughing]. Oh and another one, I used to have supper all ready when my husband came home from work. We'd all eat supper together and then I wou ld go to bed and he would give the children their bath. After he had everybody to bed he'd wake me up and I would get up and study maybe from eleven until one or two, particularly if I had a hard test. Well we were having a music test the next day and it was how many sharps in the key of G. I could not get that progression. I kept saying it over and over and over. I guess it was about one o'clock and I didn't hear my daughter get up and she had tip toed and was standing in back of me. I looked around and it scared me. I said Cindy what are you doing up? She put her little arm around me and she said mother, I'm going to graduate before I get married because I don't think I could do this. So I took her back and tucked her in bed and gave her a good nig ht kiss and went back to studying this stupid thing. About an hour later my husband got up. He said what are you doing up this late? I said I can't get these darn things straight. He looked at it, went on to the bathroom, and he came back and he said Great Day Another Empty Basement Full of Chickens." It makes no sense whatsoever, but G D A E B F C, that's the progression. You know I haven't forgotten that darn thing to this day. "Great Day Another Empty Basement Full of Chickens," I've used that as an

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18 example to kids that I've taught to get them to remember. In fact last week I was in Winn Dixie and I saw someone that [I'd taught]. You know when you've taught at the same school for twenty seven years you're going to run into a lot of kids. I said excuse me but didn't you go to Tampa Catholic. He turned around and said Mrs. Young, "strawberry shortcake." I said what in world are you talking about? He said you taught me how to spell dessert because it's like strawberry shortcake, there's two S's. Isn't that a heck of a thing to be remembered for, dessert and strawberry shortcake? But whatever it takes to help you learn, go for it. G: You brought with you one of your lessons from a music class? Y: Yes, we had to present a song and teach it to the class. For many years, it probably still is but not as much as it was before, Tampa was a major importer for bananas. I wrote to the Chiquita Banana Company and they just sent me a raft of eight by ten pictures. They were most accommodating in provi ding things. I didn't know it when I started, but Chiquita Banana was the first singing commercial. They sent me the sheet music for it. Back then it was a radio commercial, not a TV commercial. We had to teach this to the class, elementary schoolseco nd grade. They sent me all these nice banana signs to put up on the music podiums around. I did "I'm a Chiquita Banana" [and I showed] a little picture of Chiquita and the banana, and "I've come to say, bananas have to ripen in a special way. When they' re flecked with brown and have a golden hue, bananas taste the best and are the best for you, you can put them in a" [then I show] this is a salad [pointing to a picture of a salad]. The next one, "You can put them in a pie, any way you want to eat them it's impossible to beat them, but bananas like the climate of the very,

PAGE 20

19 very tropical equator. So you should never put bananas in the" now get this [show a picture of the broken down word] re frig er a tor." I had to break it down for a second grade cla ss. We had fun with it. You had to have some other things to go with it, and in P.E. for the elementary teacher we'd done things with sticks. I took the sticks to school and it was a rhythm thing. I was looking for what else. I had some of those old i ce cream cartons, you know the heavy cardboard cartons. I thought that would made a good sound to shake with this, so I put rice in one and beans in the other and I was trying to get different sounds. My next door neighbor said what were you doing pullin g the car up next to the house so you could get to the roof last night? I said I need rocks off the roof. I had rocks off the roof in another one. It was fun. We had fun with it. The professors were so close back then that you'd do something for one [ and they would say] I think so and so ought to see that. That's the way it went. I hadn't run across this [Chiquita poster project] and you asked me if I had any things [for the oral history interview]. I couldn't believe that this was still up in the c loset. It's still pretty good for, it had to be in 1961 or 1962. I can't believe I still had it. That's what's wrong with my house, I've kept too many things. G: My final question to you, and this is something that I've asked everyone who's sat here b efore you, if there was something that you could leave on record about your experiences as a charter class member, something that you either want to leave of the past or to the future students of USF, what would that be? Y: I think they've got to apprecia te that they're coming to one of the finest universities in the country. We're going to be past Florida before long. I fully believe that. I fully believe

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20 that we're going to be the top university in the state of Florida. I know we have the tradition o f Florida and Florida State, but now that we have a football team and we got a new basketball coach etcetera, and the research and the College of Medicine. Until you get out in the community and see the doctors and all, you're just coming to an ever expan ding place and you need to be proud of it. You need to be proud. I think it's getting harder to get in here now, isn't it? You have to have a certain average and this that and the other. I'm glad to see that, they're not just taking everyone. It's a place you can be proud to say I graduated from the University of South Florida. When people notice this [medallion] and want to know what it is, I tell them to turn it over and it tells them what it is, a member of the charter class. [They say] you went t here in the beginning? I say yeah. I'm pushing seventy now, in fact this month, so I'm no spring chicken anymore. G: Vancine, thank you very much. Y: I enjoyed it, I sure did. End of Interview


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