April 15, 2013

I have finally gotten the ball rolling on my project, I had my first interview yesterday! And again, thanks to Kalynn who graciously agreed to index for me!

I interviewed Doug Austin about his time growing up here in Williamsburg, specifically his school years. He went to Bruton Heights for 5th and 6th grade, after it had become an integrated school. It was very interesting to me because although I had read that there was a time where it was a school for all children, Austin described it as kind of a continuation of his time at Matthew Whaley.

Mr. Austin has had an amazing life and I really enjoyed learning about it, but I specifically found his description of Williamsburg in the late 60’s/ early 70’s really cool. He spoke about not registering anything like racism on his radar until junior high school, after his time at Bruton Heights. He also talked about how progressive Williamsburg seemed to be during these times. He told us about all of the small businesses that used to be in CW, as well as a gay bar that was underneath the Green Leafe!

I think this interview will be extremely useful for my project, as Austin was in school here during a time where a lot was changing in the world and in Williamsburg. His interview will definitely give my project more dimension.


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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