Week of 4/14

I’m writing this post in anticipation of me going out of town tomorrow and therefore unable to conduct any on-site WDP work for the rest of the week, but as a whole things have been a bit better and productive. I was grateful to have scheduled two oral history interviews by Monday, only one of which were able to be completed, due to interviewee scheduling conflicts. Karen Watkins emailed me Tuesday afternoon before our scheduled interview to reschedule due to a migraine, which was a bit of a setback. Nevertheless, I was still able to conduct an interview with Denise Fleck from the Applewood today with Ryan as an indexer. She was very welcoming into her home and her insight as a newcomer to the B&B industry still provided great insight that stands in contrast with many of the owners I’ve already talked to. Due to time constraints, I’m not completely sure if I will be able to conduct a formal oral history recording with Mrs. Watkins at this point in time, but I’m glad that I have at least one oral history to document for the archives. It’s unfortunate that these last-minute cancellations have been happening so often, especially since these interviewees have been so cooperative and engaged with my work leading up to this point. I think if someone were to pick up my project in the future, hopefully they will have better luck than me with getting in touch with these owners!

Next week, I plan to begin the process of drafting my final paper. In addition to the secondary research I have available, I’m hoping to come up with a cohesive “framework” of what the hospitality industry looks like. As we discussed last class, it may be near impossible to find a straightforward answer to my questions, but I hope to at least showcase the many facets of this community through my work.

2 Responses to “Week of 4/14”


  1. 1 mal2013 April 20, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    You were certainly persistent in trying to get these interviews. I think it’s just unfortunate timing that prevented you from getting more recorded oral histories. Perhaps the B&B owners are busy in the late winter and early spring preparing for their busy visitor season? I’ll look forward to reading about the framework you find most productive.

  2. 2 Ryan Feeney April 21, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Though it’s obviously frustrating not getting a lot of the B&B owners on tape, you still have a great deal of information from your informal interviews. Honestly, that could prove even more useful than something recorded, given my experience with Chris this past week. They’re perhaps more open and honest than something recorded, aspects which could be useful given the apparently competitive atmosphere surrounding Williamsburg B&Bs. Good luck!

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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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