First Person ProjectFirst Person Project

First Person Project

Descriptive Summary

Title: First Person Project
Creator Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies.
Dates 2012-2013
Extent 20.0 interviews
Repository Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
AbstractThe First Person Project collects personal narratives and oral histories documenting life in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Interviews are usually between two friends or family members and typically focus on personal stories such as relationships and family histories. Interviews also touch on larger historical and cultural themes such as racial identity, religion, gay rights, the death penalty, and life in Athens and in Georgia.

Administrative Information

Preferred citation

First Person Project, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.


Copyright Information

Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.

Biographical Note

The First Person Project was launched by the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies in 2012 to record and preserve stories of life in post-twentieth century Georgia. Modeled roughly on StoryCorps, the First Person Project is smaller in scale but similar in concept--an oral history program designed to capture the stories of everyday Georgians. Interviewees are self-selecting. Pairs of friends or loved ones register to participate in the First Person Project on a designated day, and the conversation (up to forty minutes) is facilitated and recorded by Russell archivists.

Scope and Content

The First Person Project collects personal narratives and oral histories documenting life in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Interviews are usually between two friends or family members and typically focus on personal stories such as relationships and family histories. Interviews also touch on larger historical and cultural themes such as racial identity, religion, environmental history, gay rights, the death penalty, and life in Athens and in Georgia.

Organization and Arrangement

Interviews are arranged chronologically by date of recording.

Access Points

Oral histories.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

FPP-0001 Skip Hulett and Dana Miller, 2012 June 22 ( 40.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Skip Hulett talks with Dana Miller about his relationship with Mitchell Terry Mincey, a death row inmate who was executed in Bibb County in October 2001. Hulett, a newspaper reporter before coming to work at UGA, had known Mincey since covering Mincey's murder trial in 1982.
FPP-0002 Daniel Riggs and Sandra Riggs, 2012 June 22 ( 25.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Sandra and Daniel Riggs discuss racial identity, education, and religious faith.
FPP-0003 Christine Packwood and Virginia Schultz, 2012 June 22 ( 29.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Christine Packwood interviews Athens native Virginia Schultz. Schultz talks about her experience growing up in Normaltown in the 1930s and 1940s, working for the University of Georgia and General Motors, her family, and her religious life--particularly her involvement in Beech Haven Baptist Church.
FPP-0004 Dawn Bennett-Alexander and Jenniffer Jones, 2012 October 12 ( 40.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Jenniffer Jones interviews her mother, Dawn Bennett-Alexander, about her early life in Washington D.C., including Bennett-Alexander's experiences during segregation and her memories of attending the March on Washington in 1963. Bennett-Alexander also discusses race and diversity and her career at the University of Georgia.
FPP-0005 Dink NeSmith and Marjorie NeSmith, 2012 October 12 ( 45.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Henry "Dink" NeSmith interviews his mother, Marjorie NeSmith, about her early life, living in Putney, Georgia, and later in Baker County. Marjorie talks about being in college at Georgia Southwestern State University when the US entered World War II, working for Dupont in Alabama and for the US Maritime Commission during the war, falling in love with her husband, and the birth of her children and growth of her family.
FPP-0006 Adam Hebbard and Jan Levinson, 2012 October 12 ( 38.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Jan Levinson interviews Adam Hebbard about early life, growing up in various locations throughout the Southeast and in Australia. Topics include Hebbard's parents' backgrounds, family vacations, holidays, and Hebbard's relationship with his siblings.
FPP-0007 L. Randolph Carter, Litashia Carter, and Rayna Carter, 2013 February 08 ( 31.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Rayna Carter, age 9, interviews her parents, Raymond and Litashia Carter, about her birth and their family.
FPP-0008 Needham Yancey Gulley and Corey Johnson, 2013 February 08 ( 35.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Yancey Gulley and Corey Johnson discuss the development of their relationship over the past decade, finding a balance between career and family, and their community involvement and activism in Athens.
FPP-0009 April King and Jake Mosley, 2013 February 8 ( 21.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
April King and Jake Mosley discuss their relationship, from meeting at a Drive-By Truckers show at the 40 Watt Club to their upcoming nuptials in South Carolina.
FPP-0010 Dawn Bennett-Alexander and Jenniffer Jones, 2013 February 8 ( 38.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Jenniffer Jones interviews her mother, Dawn Bennett-Alexander, about first loves, how relationships change and grow, and "the gender of love."
FPP-0011 Seth Hendershot and Bob Brussack, 2013 April 19 ( 35.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Bob Brussack interviews Seth Hendershot about Seth's involvement with the music scene in Athens in the early '90s, jazz in Athens, and Seth's experiences in the business world including founding Hendershot's Coffee Bar.
FPP-0012 Bruce Allen and Lauren Griffeth, 2013 April 19 ( 39.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Lauren Griffith interviews Dr. Bruce Allen, Honorary Consul of Liechtenstein to the South, about his early life, his family, his interest in foreign service, his memories of UGA (including the Snack Shack), and the role of public diplomacy.
FPP-0013 Louis Boyd and Robert Henry Bohler, 2013 April 19 ( 37.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Louis Boyd interviews his friend and neighbor Robert Henry Bohler about his transient childhood growing up in the Great Depression and his experiences at Berry College and at Fort Sill in Oklahoma during World War II. Bohler also talks about meeting his wife, attending Georgia Tech on the G.I. Bill, and his career at Georgia Power.
FPP-0014 Geneva Blasingame, Renee Donnell, and Laura Duvekot, 2013 July 12 ( 37.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Geneva Johnson Blasingame discusses the Lindentown community and black neighborhoods in Athens, Georgia. She recalls the University’s efforts to push out black communities in 1962. Blasingame comments on the children attending the Union Institute, working in the garden before school, and making soap with her mother. She describes how the neighborhood has changed from “the place to be,” to a bad neighborhood, and presently to a good neighborhood. Blasingame recalls picking cotton with her mother and buying shoes from the kurd (flea) market. She recalls attending the Honor Grove Baptist Church, meeting her first husband on a dare, and finishing high school in 1964. Blasingame reflects on demonstrating in downtown Athens when the University of Georgia was integrated, and going to jail as a result. She discusses the jobs she’s held, including at a sewing factory, the poultry plant, and at a Creation Windows off of Cleveland Road.
FPP-0015 Fannie Jordan, Renee Donnell, and Laura Duvekot, 2013 July 12 ( 37.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Fannie Jordan discusses being born in Athens on Hull Street in 1922 and subsequently moving to Church Street, Finley Street, and Hancock Street. She reflects on playing basketball in school and attending a two-story school on Finley and Reese Street. Jordan recalls spending her time skating and participating in Girl Scouts. She comments on the neighborhood being connected like a family and describes how her house has changed since she’s lived in it. Jordan discusses her two marriages, her experience in Athens during the Civil Rights Movement, and her time attending West Broad Street School.
FPP-0016 Sally Rhoden and Jodi Rhoden, 2013 July 12 ( 47.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Sally Rhoden recalls growing up in Monroe, Georgia. She discusses seeing plays at the Fox Theater, her family, and social life. Brown recalls participating in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the Monroe Drum and Bugle Corps. She reflects on her involvement in the Shelter Occupancy Research Project through the University of Georgia in 1963, a project that simulated bomb shelter conditions by keeping about 30 participants underground for two weeks. Brown explains the application process and the tests administered before going underground. She remembers eating K-rations, sleeping on a concrete floor, and drinking chlorinated water. Brown recalls the researchers sending food smells into the chamber and obsessing about what she would eat once she got out. Brown recalls being elected "social chair" by the group and occupying the time by planning social discussions, experimenting with hypnosis, and celebrating every single holiday during the two-week span. She discusses keeping a daily journal in the bomb shelter, buying a typewriter and stereo system with her compensation ($500) for participating in the project. Brown recalls the events of the Civil Rights Movement in Monroe, including fights breaking out on Main Street, colored water fountains in public places, and the Moore’s Ford lynching in Walton County.
FPP-0017 Hans Neuhauser and Betsy Bean, 2013 July 12 ( 39.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Hans Neuhauser discusses his early life and his decision to attend the University of Georgia in 1964. He recalls his decision to work with the Coastal Plains Conservancy in Savannah in 1972 and explains what sparked his interest in the Georgia coast. Neuhauser explains how the Junior League of Savannah teamed up with the Georgia Conservancy to start a chapter to protect Georgia’s coast. He recalls redeveloping Tybee Island’s beach and finding the connection between harbor channels and beach erosion. Neuhauser comments on the Kerr McGee proposal to drill for phosphate mining in Chatham County and Governor Maddox’s request for help from the University System of Georgia. He discusses the Coastal Marshland Protection Act of 1970, preservation of the Okefenokee wilderness area, and Cumberland Island. Neuhauser explains his role in preservation of calving grounds for right whales.
FPP-0018 Bennie Tillman Sr., Renee Donnell, and Laura Duvekot, 2013 July 12 ( 43.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Bennie Tillman discusses his early life, family, education, and career. He recalls working for contractor J.W. Davis, Snelling Dining Commons, and for St. Mary’s Hospital as a cook. Tillman reflects on living in Lindentown, raising and keeping chickens, and growing a garden. He also comments on enjoying golf, hunting rabbits, and moving to his current house in 1948. Tillman discusses the development Athens underwent in the 1930s and 1940s and his pastimes as a youngster of swimming, fishing, and playing football.
FPP-0019 Jill Clement and Louis Boyd, 2013 September 13 ( 28.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Louis Boyd interviews Jill Clement. Clement talks about her early life in Massachusetts and her decision to attend Piedmont College in Demorest, Ga., where she met her husband, Charles Clement (see FPP-0020). Clement discusses her decades of involvement with the Presbyterian Church, where she advocated for more leadership roles for women and becamse of the of the first female deacons and elders in the church. Clement briefly touches on her time as a missionary in Everett, Ky.--deep in the heart of coal-mining country--where she attended a church with a congregation that handled snakes.
FPP-0020 Charles Clement and Louis Boyd, 2013 September 13 ( 44.0 minutes ) VIEW ONLINE
Louis Boyd interviews Dr. Charles Clement. Clement discusses the background of his family, who settled in Indian territory in Oklahoma before moving west to Moscow, Idaho. He talks about his father's experience in a one-room school house where he learned geography by "bounding" the states--memorizing the states that bordered a particular state. Clement talks about moving with his parents to Georgia and his time in the Air Force. He remembers meeting his wife at Piedmont College at the end of World War II (see FPP-0019) and his career as a professor at Piedmond College and the University of Georgia. Clement also mentions working on an economic impact study of Cumberland Island commissioned by the National Park Service.