Thursday, June 27, 2013

Maud Robinson 6-20-2013

Maud Robinson has long been a part of the town of Vienna. Her childhood was spent in Connecticut, where her father ran his own athletic gear business. She married Charles "Charlie" Robinson while both were young. Charlie persuaded her to attend the University of Virginia's law school--something Maud was not keen on--while he worked on his Masters degree. They then moved to the "dusty little town" of Vienna around 1950, which was, at the time, extremely rural. Both Maud and Charlie became very involved in the Town Council, fighting zoning battle after zoning battle. Charlie was elected Town Mayor in 1976.

According to Maud, three things drove Vienna's growth: the building of the first storefront library, the creation of the Vienna Community Center, and the increasing responsiveness of the town's government.  Maud credits the engagement of Vienna's citizens as the driving force behind why Vienna is what it is today.

First Memories of Vienna

Vienna Diner and Orange Sherbet Story

Maple Avenue Trees

Charlie Becoming Mayor

The Developer versus Charlie Robinson Story

Personal Memoirs of the Vienna Town Council

    The Fight for Vienna's First Library

The Fight for the Vienna Community Center

Patrick Henry Library: "The Last Big Battle"

Vienna Creates an Architectural Review Board

Forming Vienna's Historic District and Walk on the Hill

Integration at Louise Archer Elementary School

First Baptist Church's Historic Baptismal Site Story

Interview conducted by: Caroline Gardiner and Virginia Harness

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Shirley Martin 6-17-2013

Shirley Martin was born in a little house on Maple Avenue in 1925. She grew up in Vienna, where she lived with her mother, older sister, aunt & uncle, and two cousins. Shirley recollects how her mother kept her business going in the midst of the Great Depression, and typical activities in 1930s Vienna from riding the auto-railer to free movies in town hall. She explains her brief college experience, working at Cherry Smash, and how she met her husband. She talks about the mood in the town during World War II and some of the activities to help the war effort. Shirley also discusses segregation and integration, and how the town has changed as it has grown. 

Gladys S. Waggoner Ice and Fuel Co. & Riding the Ice Truck
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The Grumpy Watchman, Eating Marshmallow Cream, Model-T on Maple & Town Hall Movies
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Corner of Maple & Center, Doc Bradfield's, Feesers, Sanitary Grocery Co.
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Fire Department Summer Carnival, Dancing to the Vienna Syncopators
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Auto-Railer, Electric Line and W&OD Train
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World War II, Watchtower, Writing Letters
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Madison State Teacher's College, Cherry Smash, Marrying Wesley Martin
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Working as a Telephone Operator
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Segregation & Integration
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Halloween Parade and Wesley's 'House on Fire' Float
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Vienna Woods, Growth in Vienna
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Interview conducted by: Caroline Gardiner, Virginia Harness, and Anne Stuntz

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Barbara Chaudet 6-12-2013

Barbara Chaudet was born in Washington, D.C. in 1932. After growing up and attending college in that area, she moved with her husband Norman "Norm" Chaudet to Herndon, Virginia in the early 1954. Then, in 1960, Norm got a job as James Madison High School's first athletic director prompting a move into Vienna. Although she recounts many memories of the small businesses in town, Barbara still considered Vienna to be absolute "country". 

Norm eventually became involved in directing Madison's theater plays. In 1971, together with his former students, he and Barbara created the Vienna Theater Company, based out of the Vienna Community Center. While he directed, Barbara helped produce. She also was the director of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church's preschool. Barbara also shares memories of integration, town celebrations, and the change she has witnessed in Vienna. 

How Vienna First Was

W&OD Train

Old Businesses in Town, including a story on the Easter colored ducklings sold at the Peter Pan store

Old Restaurants and Businesses--Rexall, People's Drug, Conrad's--and Virginia Alcohol Law

Vienna Inn Memories

Norm Chaudet and James Madison High School Theater

Starting the Vienna Theater Company and Funny Memories of the Cast/Crew

Vienna as "Country"

Favorite Memories of Vienna including May Day at Vienna Elementary

"Hometown Story"

Interview conducted by: Caroline Gardiner, Virginia Harness, and David Shelby

Jane Seeman 6-11-2013

Born and raised in Hays, Kansas, Jane Seeman arrived in Vienna in the late 1960s. In these 10 clips, Jane discusses what it was like to come to the DC area from the Midwest, and adjusting to life in a small Virginia town. She describes what the town was like in the 1970s. Jane also explains how she became involved in the town government and the experience of being mayor since 2000. She chronicles Vienna’s growth, including the building of Route 66 and the Metro, the development of Tysons Corner, and the changes in local businesses and homes. 

Vienna's Racial Divide in 1960s/1970s
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Vienna's Rural Surroundings
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Treasure Hunting on the W&OD Tracks
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Viva Vienna & Festivals
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Shopping in Vienna & Tysons Corner
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Metro Arrives, Concern about Crime
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Mayor & Citizen of the Year
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Meeting Iraqi Women & the Mayor of Vienna, Austria; Halloween Parade
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Why Vienna Changed
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Interview conducted by: Caroline Gardiner and Virginia Harness