Journal 5…and 6!

Oh my goodness I never posted a journal entry last week! I had been out of town for part of the week and a paper in another class dominated my time, but I did do work! I received a dense article I requested from Interlibrary Loan and read through it.  The statistics were more advanced than I expected but with some careful reading I learned some more about retirement migration.  Specifically I learned about onward migration, such as moving on to a resort community in Florida, etc., and about return migration, or going ‘home’ after spending a working life elsewhere.  The article broke down these two types of migration with regard to race and class, which was interesting. I have found in my research that those who retire in Williamsburg are white, more upper class, and migrating ‘onward.’

Last week I also spent time preparing for my interview with the Cropps and trying to nail down a third interview. I had several leads and sent out e-mails and left voicemails, but I had trouble scheduling a third interview.

This week was much busier. With that paper out of the way for a different class I was able to do more active research. I had an interview on Wednesday with Bob and Gloria Cropp. They were a fantastic resource for information about why people unfamiliar with Williamsburg would choose to move here in retirement. They live in a home they built in Governor’s Land in the late 1990s and love it.  As much as they travel to visit family and see new places, they remarked that they feel like living in the golf community of Governor’s Land is like a vacation in itself. When I asked them about their future in retirement, they mentioned their desire to stay in Williamsburg and that they considered moving into Williamsburg Landing.  They had even considered this ‘second step’ of retirement, as Paula referred to it, when they came to Williamsburg in the first place.

I was also able to interview Ginger Olansen, a retiree I met through Girl Scouts in Williamsburg. I spoke with her about her history in corporate America and her subsequent experience opening her own art business.  She and her husband retired here from Long Island just a few years ago, and they both work some part-time still.  They also live in Governor’s Land, and although neither of them golf she described the resort-like atmosphere of Governor’s Land as being her favorite thing about living in Williamsburg.  It was interesting how the two interviews I had this week contrasted with that of Sandy Campbell, who lived her before he was retired.  The Cropps and Ginger see living here as a vacation and enjoy the amenities while Sandy enjoys the community he has built, although he does not feel particularly attached to the area.

For this coming week I will be focusing on transcribing and putting things in order to start writing my actual paper. I have typed the indexes I have written for Collin and will e-mail them to her when I have the formatting ready. I had planned on transcribing the interview with the Cropps but now that I have done the interview with Ginger I may transcribe that instead. The Cropps had a lot of great information and were so enthusiastic, but the interview with Ginger was one-on-one and I was able to be more focused.  I will decide tomorrow and get to work!


The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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