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Austin B. Creel

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Interviewer: Stuart Landers - 1 - Interviewer: Stuart Landers Interviewee: Austin B. Creel August 27, 1992 UF 217 L: This is an oral history interview with Dr. Austin B. Creel. We are talking in Dr. Creel's office in Dauer Hall on the University campus in Gainesville. Today is August 27, 1992, and my name is Stuart Landers. Dr. Creel, what does the B stand for? C: Bowman. [That is my] grandmother's maiden name. L: When and where were you born? C: Alexandria, Virginia, November 8, 1929. L: Can you tell my a little bit about your parents? C: My mother's mother, Bertha Naff Creel, was the Bowman, [and she] was from the district of Roanoke, Virginia, [in] southwest Virginia, Franklin County, across the mountain from Roanoke, and grew up in a community [called] the Monte Vista Church of the Brethren. She was only an infant, a month or so [old], I guess, when my grandfather, Josephus Abraham Naff, died, and in one of the big family arrangements my grandmother and my mother moved back to her mother's and father's home, and my mother grew up as kind of the darling of the family, with a number of aunts and uncles, several of whom were only five or six years older than she. So there was an interesting relationship there. At some point, my grandmother remarried--I think it was eight or ten years later. My mother, I think, was never very much a part of that household, although [she was] very close to her step-brother and sisters. But [she] stayed on with her grandparents and aunts and uncles, went on to school in another area fifteen miles away, and eventually married a man who was active in the Disciples of Christ Church. So she left the Brethren Dunkard community, [which was] interpreted to me in later years mainly as a disagreement with restrictions. In those days the Mennonite women all wore one cut of clothes, and the men and women sat on different sides of the church. L: Was this a closed community like the Amish or t

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