Oral History of Dann Pottinger

Dublin Core

Title

Oral History of Dann Pottinger

Alternative Title

Oral History, Pottinger

Subject

Orlando (Fla)
Historic preservation--Florida

Description

An oral history interview of Dann Pottinger, conducted by Caitlin Baldwin on November 9, 2015. Pottinger was born August 14, 1947, on the British Bay Island in Honduras. He moved to Orlando, Florida as a small child and attended primary school in the area. Pottinger spent most of his working career as a banker in the Orlando area, however he describes himself as an historian. Pottinger has been involved in a number of historical groups and was an early member of Orlando Remembered, which is a community group, dedicated to preserving memory of Orlando's downtown landmarks. To date, the group has constructed approximately 18 displays, which are located in building throughout the Downtown Orlando area. Pottinger was president of the group in the early 2000s.

Abstract

Oral history interview of Dann Pottinger. Interview conducted by Caitlin Baldwin in Orlando, Florida, on November 9, 2015.

Table Of Contents

0:00:00 Introduction
0:02:10 Growing up in Orlando
0:03:58 Orlando Remembered
0:06:28 Goal of Orlando Remembered, snow birds, and horse trotting
0:11:48 Air Force Bases
0:14:45 Designing exhibits
0:21:16 Favorite exhibits and lost materials
0:24:21 Personal goals for Orlando Remembered and community involvement
0:27:43 Historical Society of Central Florida and the Orange County Regional History Center
0:30:28 How to become involved in Orlando Remembered and expanding outside of Orlando
0:34:06 Future of Orlando Remembered

Creator

Baldwin, Caitlin
Pottinger, Dann

Source

Original 34-minute and 38-second oral history: Pottinger, Dann. Interviewed by Caitlin Baldwin, November 9, 2015. Audio record available. Orlando Remembered, Oviedo, Florida.

Date Created

2015-11-09

Date Copyrighted

2015-11-09

Date Modified

2016-01-07

Contributor

Beiler, Rosalind J.

Has Format

16-page digital transcript of original 34-minute and 38-second oral history: Pottinger, Dann Interviewed by Caitlin Baldwin, November 9, 2015. Audio record available. Oviedo History Harvest, Oviedo Historical Society, Oviedo, Florida.

Is Part Of

Orlando Remembered Collection, Orlando Collection, Orange County Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.

Requires

Multimedia software, such as QuickTime.

Format

audio/mp3
application/pdf

Extent

31.7 MB
203 KB

Medium

34-minute and 38-second audio recording
16-page digital transcript

Language

eng

Type

Sound

Coverage

Downtown Orlando, Florida

Accrual Method

Item Creation

Mediator

History Teacher

Provenance

Originally created by Caitlin Baldwin and Dann Pottinger, and published by RICHES of Central Florida.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by Orange County Regional History Center and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project

Curator

Barnes, Mark

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

Rajtar, Steve. A Guide to Historic Orlando. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2006.

Transcript

Baldwin
Okay, where and, uh—where and when were you born? The address and year, please.

Pottinger
I was born in 1947 in August, but I will tell you this: that I am not a native-born Orlandoan, though my family has been here for many, many, many years. I was born on the British Bay Islands off of Honduras, which, uh, were, uh, for many years a British possession, and, uh—and where my mother’s family, the Kirk-Connells, are from. So in any event though, my family, uh, originally—my, uh, parents, uh—my—my dad’s family came to Orlando and brought him to recover from the great influenza [pandemic] of 1917[1] that killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and a million people around the world. He was a, uh, cadet training at the University of Kentucky, and many of ‘em got it. They were able to, uh, come from their home in Kentucky down here and spent the winter, and nursed him back to health. He went back, graduated from UK in ’23, and by ’26 he was back here as a full time resident. So that’s how we got here. Uh, my mother’s family a little the same. they maintained a home in Tampa. Uh, My grandfather—her father—was, uh, a sailing ship captain, and, uh, came back and forth to Tampa Harbor, and, uh, she was born in the Bay I—British Bay Islands,  Honduras, and, uh—which are a neat little thing, if you look at a map. They’re only three major islands of it and a bunch of little keys, but Honduras is the only country in Central America that faces north, and that’s where, eh, we’re all related with the same families in the Cayman Islands. So a—anyway, the indigenous to the Caribbean [Sea], uh—that’s how I got here.

Baldwin
Hm, very interesting. So how old were you exactly when you moved to Orlando?

Pottinger
I was just a—a baby. yeah.

Baldwin
Okay.

Pottinger
Mmhmm.

Baldwin
So what would you say was your favorite part about growing up in Orlando?

Pottinger
I think the neighborhoods of Orlando and then the friendships that we had in a small town. Uh, a wonderful place to grow up. Uh, you—particularly among the families that had been here a long time, uh, you knew each other across town. I mean, when I was, uh, young dating and what, uh, I went to Edgewater High School, but I dated girls from Boone High School, and in the afternoon, the little motor scooters—or later, the cars—would cross the boys from Boone going to Edgewater, ‘cause, of course, they were prettier girls, and the boys from Edgewater going to Boone, because they were beautiful girls. So that’s kind of the way, uh, we all grew up. we knew each other. Uh, it was a relatively small town, and, uh, that changed—the first change of that was Martin Marietta [Corporation] moving here from Baltimore[, Maryland], and, uh, bringing eight thousand families. Uh, I think I’m right on that figure, but, uh, eh, the—the—the life and breath of Orlando, uh, breathed around their ups and downs at Martin Marietta, uh, when, you know, armaments and so forth—missiles and such—were big. Things were booming and when they laid off three thousand people, Orlando was in dire straits.

Baldwin
So like, what time of year—what year…

Pottinger
That would have been the late ‘50s.

Baldwin
Okay[?].

Pottinger
Yeah, that was all dairy land. All dairy.

Baldwin
Very interesting. Um, how and why did you become involved with Orlando Remembered?

Pottinger
I’ve always been a historian. Uh, I—I know it. With contemporaries of mine, it—it probably bored them to death, uh, but I was, uh, uh, a language person, and—and I was a history person. I wound up being a banker, but mathematics was never my long suit. I just, uh—people were—and—and that provided well for me in life. So, uh, that’s, you know—that’s kind of the reason I be—got involved. People asked me to come to get involved with Orlando Remembered, and it was my pleasure and has been all these years.

Baldwin
Very interesting. So you were not one of the founding members of…

Pottinger
No, I was not, uh, because, at that particular time, I was spending a little time out of here, and, uh, uh, the—the origin of it started at, uh, the Beacham Theatre. That’s where the first meeting—and I could not be there that particular time. Uh, We had a, uh, place in North Carolina, and, uh, like so many Floridians that grew up in the days before air conditioning, if you had 50 cents to clink together in your pocket, you either rented or you owned a place, as we did in Islands[?], North Carolina, or somewhere up that around Asheville—western North Carolina. Anyway, I was not here for that. So—but I soon right[?].

Baldwin
So you’d been there almost the entire time.

Pottinger
Almost the entire time.

Baldwin
You just missed the first meeting?

Pottinger
Just wasn’t at the very first meeting, which I consider were the founders. I knew every one of them, um, there—there were some wonderful—The Serroses, the Pajo[sp], Vandenburg[sp]—Pajo[sp] Pounds, we all knew her as. So forth and so on. A lot of them that were very active in that time. Grace Chewning[sp], um…

Baldwin
Are a lot of the founding members still…

Pottinger
There are still a number of them, surprisingly enough, still—still around. Uh, Andy Serros is, uh—that I mentioned earlier—and his brother, Bob [Serros], is[—is active, but, uh, Andy passed away a few years ago and he was one of the original founders, and there was, uh—there were a couple of others that have passed away.

Baldwin
What is the overall goal of Orlando Remembered?

Pottinger 
To preserve, uh, the memory of areas and locations, and landmarks in the city, and, uh, we’ve—we’ve  done that in several ways, but, uh, I think one of the—the best ways is the, uh—the location of displays in various spots around Downtown Orlando, and a couple outside of downtown, uh, with memorabilia, uh, of that area, and, uh, You know, at some point in time, I’d love to take you on a walking tour and—and show you some of those things. Just to stroll down, uh, Orange Avenue, and you can see the way it looked in the—sometimes as far back there’ll be something there from the 1890s, from one of the hotels—from the hotel that my grandparents stayed in, when they came that year in 1918—at the Wyoming Hotel. Uh, there’s a set of china and—and some se—tableware that I believe are in the display at the Orange County Courthouse. Uh, go in the courthouse—for any of you that might want to make that tour and see—walk in the front, leave your holstered items in the car, because you’re going to go through the, uh—the, uh, security thing there, but go over to the left and you’ll see it, uh, in the lobby there. You’ll see a great one. Uh, it tells all about what’s happened on that street and that block and that area around there. It, uh, uh, had the Wyoming Hotel on it, which was only a winter hotel, as many in Florida were. It closed in the summer, like Park Avenue did.

Uh, my in-laws had a, uh, store on Park Avenue for over 40 years, and they were one of the very few that stayed open year-round. Uh, Most of ‘em were—would head back in the cooler—warmer months of Florida. They’d go to cooler locations, uh, whether the hotels or the shops, like there—not—that wasn’t so in Orlando, necessarily. it was a year round, but in those winter destinations like that and such, they’d go, uh, up to Algonquin, you know, up to Maine, up to, uh, uh, Vermont—wherever they might be, and, uh, open a shop up there for the summer months and come back. So our whole, uh, life around here was really dependent on those northerners coming down, and, uh, in the early days, before Martin Marietta and such, in the winter time, we had not only the casual tourists who came down, because—to try and get away for a week or two—we had those that came down, as later my grandparents did, after enjoying it so much and—and many others, and spent time down here.

Some of them spent the winter, some—excuse me—spent six months, but we also had the, uh, we were the winter, uh, trotting horse capital of the United States, and it brought a lot of revenue in. Uh, it was at—held out at Ben White [Raceway], which was a raceway that was at the corner of about what’s Lee Road and—and [U.S. Route] 441. Uh, It’s now a big athletic fields, and there’s some stables, I think, still in the back, but it was a huge, uh, money infusion in the winter. Those people came—the owners of those—that was—it was always considered a, uh, uh, society kick above, uh, horse racing. Uh, the trotters and pacers were brought down, and, uh, they stabled them here, and, uh—the races. It—it—you knew when—you knew when Ben White opened, because traffic picked up. Now that would sound ridiculous with today’s horrible traffic in Orlando…

Baldwin
[laughs].

Pottinger
But back then there weren’t that many cars on the road and—and, uh, man, you’d see these automobiles come into town and up on the hood was a, uh—a metal, stainless, pretty thing of a, uh, trotting horse and a—and a sulky[?] behind it, You know? You knew they were involved in that. Eh, It just, uh—one of the things that—that, you know, came across that kept our town going before Martin Marietta and before [Walt] Disney [World Resort] and such.

Baldwin
Mentioning the horses, do you have an exhibit that features that aspect yet?

Pottinger 
You know…

Baldwin
Aspect yet?

Pottinger
We—we have some pictures of it in one or two, but we don’t have anything, because there’s no facility out there left at Ben White to put it in. We would do that, because there—there—there’s enough, probably, memorabilia from those days, but what we try to do is locate what was on those various blocks. Maybe not just a block, maybe an area, in other words.

We’ve—in some cases, we’ve helped spon—helped sponsor a plaque, uh, like for the air base that was in town. Where Herndon Airport[2] is today. It was the Orlando [Army] Air Base before it was the Navy base.[3] So, uh, you know, there are—there are—newcomers, or what maybe consider themselves long time Orlandoans—that remember a Navy base out there, but I remember when it was the Orlando Air Base, and—and we had another air base that opened, uh—was Pine Castle Air Base, and, uh, that’s, uh, now the Orlando International Airport. The runways were there for the big bombers and it was a SAC base—a Strategic Air Command, and again, both of those things brought in a great deal of money when they came here.

Uh, the—the closing of Orlando Air Base was going to be a pretty big blow, and at that time, the owner and publisher of The Orlando Sentinel was a man name Martin Andersen—always with an “EN” at the end. Never—you could always tell somebody new to town when they write it as “Anderson,” but Martin Andersen was a Texas boy who knew LBJ,[4] and, uh, Johnson was president and, uh, he persevered on it and got a branch of the Great Lakes Naval Training Center to be established on the base, on part of what had been, uh, the—the air base, and, uh, it—it brought in not just recruits. It brought in families. It brought officers, enlisted men. It brought a whole lot of payroll coming in here. It was wonderful. Ah, uh, again, another mile stone that came along through connections or coincidence—whatever it might be. Uh, the same thing with the—the air base out here. Uh, it was going to close and MacDill [Air Force Base] in Tampa was going to take over as the air base for Florida—the major one, and, uh, the facilities were there for many years. The terminal was a big, uh, round-top hangar that had been used by the, uh—by the, uh, Air Force itself, and there was a lot of housing out there. There’s still some housing, uh, in—in that area out there, but, uh, there—There’s a, uh, Naval exchange, uh, where, you know, those that are qualified can—retirees and so forth—can go shop and so forth. Uh, a lot of other services were—were left in place and the city has had good use out of it.

Baldwin
Good, good. How does the group decide which sites to commemorate with exhibits?

Pottinger
Well, usually, it’s sponsored. Someone, uh, finds someone, uh, you know, that—that owns a building in that location, uh, and we—sometimes the building owner contributes financially to building—the displays are not cheap to put together, and, uh, you know, they’re—they’re—they’re housed—they’re lighted many of them and so forth, but, uh, it also takes someone who—who might have worked in that building or—or owned a building there and, uh, they have memorabilia, and, boy, we seize on it when we do, and, uh, they’re—they’re scattered throughout mostly in the downtown area. Uh, I mentioned the courthouse. The big Bank of America tower has one that we’re redoing in there now —I dedicated that when I was president of Orlando Remembered. Uh, I did a number of the—of the dedications of those, e—e—either when I was involved as—as one of the officers or not, but, uh, we have one in what was the Rutland building and that was a well-known building. That’s the corner of, uh—of Jefferson [Street] and—no, no—Jack—excuse me, uh—I believe it is on Orange Avenue at the corner of Washington [Street] —Washington and Orange. Uh, A building that once housed the most prestigious, uh, men’s store and lady’s store in downtown, when they were private companies, not big, you know, uh, uh, department stores—nation chain—national chains and such. Uh, We have another one in the SunTrust [Center] tower downtown that we’ve had there in the, uh—what was originally the CNA Building, but where the Citrus Club is, and that name has changed a number of times on that building.

So—but, uh, they’re—they’re throughout there. They, uh—and again, usually it’s—it’s because someone has a real interest in it or a financial interest in getting one of those, uh, displays in there. Uh, eh, It’s, uh—it’s a job to maintain them. They need periodic cleaning and dusting. The city has—has helped us with one. There’s one at the, uh, Bob Carr [Theater] auditorium, uh, that shows—that used to be the Orlando Municipal Auditorium. It was the auditorium and it wasn’t as big as it is today. If you go inside and you really look, you’ll see the old front is 20 feet back from the front now, uh, and it’s where people gather outside and so forth, but it’s air conditioned and then—so forth. It’s—it’s an anti-room to the—to the auditorium itself. We’re hoping that—that it’ll stay that way. There’s talk of tearing it down, and it’s a treasure that, uh, those of us that—that love Orlando, uh, would hate to see come down, and, uh, it—it—it’s a memory. I mean, we went to, uh, plays, you know, eh, when we were in junior—I mean in the grade school—went there. Uh, the Junior League used to put a play on every year there, and all the school children in Orlando got to take turns going down to see it in busses and so forth. I remember that as a—a child. It—it was great.

Baldwin
So you mentioned the exhibits are usually started by somebody who’s interested. Eh, like—I’m sure a lot of people are interested in creating different exhibits. How do you decide which exhibit’s going to be created by that person?

Pottinger
Well, we can only do one at a time, because we’re—we’re—we have no continuous funding basis. So a lot of times, it also depends on the owner of a building. who’s going to, first place, give us the space and the electricity and so forth, and might want one of those in there to draw, uh, attention to their own building or, you know, it’s a lot cheaper than buying a, uh, painting to put on the wall, probably, for ‘em, over the long run, uh, and It—it gives—it’s on tours many times. Uh, I’ve done those tours and taken people, you know, and I think the, uh—the museums now has[sic] a tour basis. I’m pretty sure that includes that, and—and their brochures that—that you can get, you—today you go online and you can find out where they all are and it’s even a map, I think, in there to—to follow through.

Baldwin
How does Orlando Remembered pay for the exhibits?

Pottinge
With contributions from its members, uh, from, uh, the owners of the building. Uh, most of the material that goes in there—in fact, t—to all of it, it is given to us. It’s donated to that particular, uh, point to—to some—someone that may have worked in—the one, you know, where there was a department store. Uh, hey may have the old nametag out of the back of a sweater or something. Uh, you know, to one that had a, uh, restaurant in it, there’s some china from that Wyoming Hotel, I tell you about, and some, uh, other things. So the materials that go into it, we don’t pay for. We just need the—the cabinetry and so forth—is—is all custom done and it’s done attractively. So it’s thousands of dollars to do it, and, uh, uh, uh, I’m talking, you know, uh, uh, five figure in thousands. So, eh, you know, it’s—it’s, uh, not something that you just decide because you have some china that you’ll put it in there. You need—you need a, uh, sugar daddy that’s—that’s there to contribute.

Baldwin
Roughly how many members of Orlando Remembered are there?

Pottinger
I can’t tell you that. I really don’t know. I’m—I’m a, uh, you know—I—I just—I can’t recall a—a recent number.

Baldwin
Okay. In your opinion, what’s your favorite Orlando Remembered exhibit?

Pottinger
Well, I love the one in the courthouse, as I said. Uh, There’s, uh—there are several of them downtown that, uh—that the, uh, one at the Municipal Auditorium—that’s another one that I like. The one that was in the Rutland building, and at, uh, one time, I’m not sure we still have the one that was at the, uh, back of Central Avenue-side of, uh, the northeast corner—southeast corner of Central and Orange, which was originally Yowell’s[?] and became Yowell’s[?] -Ivy’s Department Store. Uh, it’s an office building now, and who knows what’s in the downtown—downstairs. It rotates constantly, but, uh, that was a good one. SunTrust has an[sic], uh, good one.

Some of ‘em, you know, we’ve had to track down, because all of sudden somebody goes by and looks, and it’s gone. Someone has, you know—the manager of the building has decided to put it in a storage room, hopefully. Uh, we’ve—we’ve lost a couple of ‘em that, uh, you know, uh—the materials We’ve had to buy back a janitor or custodian—whatever it would be—keeper of ‘em—at, uh, one of those corners at Central and Orange—took a lot of it home and we had to repurchase things, because it had been given to us, and, uh, you know, you—you just—it can happen in a moment, and—and it can, you know—I mean, we are not a—a business that goes by and checks it every week. So, you know, months can go by and one of our members doesn’t notice it, and no one calls us and says, “You know, there was a display in, eh, the lobby, but it’s not there anymore.” Well, I don’t know that we—we don’t really have a—an office phone number to call.

So, uh, we—we’ve been through all of that with it, but, you know, determination and a love for the city and to continue its history has kept us going, and we continue to provide these. So we’ll—it costs money to maintain them. Again, as I think I mentioned earlier, they have to be cleaned. They have to be opened. they’re sealed. It has to be a, uh—it’s not a, uh—take a—a rag down there and—and clean the outside. You gotta clean the inside, you gotta clean the displays, gotta clean the linings, and so forth. So it—it takes—it takes upkeep and it takes, uh, continuous maintenance.

Baldwin
Who’s responsible for…

Pottinger
Well, the…

Baldwin
Cleaning and everything?

Pottinger
We’ve—get someone to do it—a professional to do it, and again, that’as part of—of maintaining these. Uh, we—we don’t have any huge balance, so we have to do it as we can.

Baldwin
What are your personal goals for Orlando Remembered in the future?

Pottinger
I’d like to see it continued on and on, and, uh, the, eh, eh, you know—for those of us that are, as I am, near 70, uh—and—and we’ve got members that are, you know, 85 years old, and so, uh, uh, you know—but we’ve got members coming along that have lived here 35 years, 50 years, 60 years. There’ll be things that they remember that have changed dramatically in Orlando that—and there’s space to make, uh—to put a display up, uh, and—and I think that, uh, they’ll be active in that. Uh, we’ve tried to get some other organizations, and then[?]—I won’t mention the name, but, uh, there’s one that’s a lot of young ladies your age—under 40, I think—and you go inactive[?] or something, if I remember right.

My wife and daughters were—daughter was in that, but, in any—in Junior League—and, eh, you know, we may indeed get them interested. So there are things like that, that, uh—that—that will be of interest to someone later, and the displays that we did will be of no more interest, uh, in many cases. Some we hope, but once you lose the generation that remembers what was in that building, it becomes something for the history museum, not something for an active mind to draw you back to your own personal memories of it, and, therefore, you need to continue on, and, o’ course, downtown now, you’ll have to have a great memory of which nightclubs were where…

Baldwin
[laughs].

Pottinger
‘Cause that’s about all there is in those buildings downtown anymore. So—but, uh, you know, there—there are spots for it everywhere.

Baldwin
Has Orlando Remembered had—had a lot of success at attracting younger generations and everything?

Pottinger
Uh, I think we’ve—we’ve done alright. We’ve got a good, uh, variance of age groups. Uh, we’d like to have more younger people. We’d love to have people your age. We’d love to have people from the university, and, as you are doing, take an interest. We welcome you. There are no dues to come, uh, help us. We’d love to have it.

Baldwin
How does Orlando Remembered interact with the community?

Pottinger
Well, we try to do it with these displays and—and by keeping them alive. A little bit of writing the newspaper has done well with us, and we’ve been able to, uh, get some good publicity when we open these, and, uh, once in a while, we do an interview, like this one is—is being done, and we have others. We’ve—I’ve[?] done a TV interview and a—a show. So, I mean, it’s—it’s, uh, eh—I’ve also gone around to schools and some of—not specifically to talk about Orlando Remembered—but I try to bring out when I talk about history to them, the, you know—go see the displays that are—that are available, and, uh, it—it’ll—it’ll—and take your parents with you, because they’ll remember a lot of those things that are in there.

Baldwin
What was the connection between Orlando Remembered and the Historical Society of Central Florida/the Orange County Regional History Center?

Pottinger
Not really anything in the—in the years other than cross membership. Uh, it’s two separate accounts and, uh, two separate organizations. I was also president of the Orange County [Historical] Museum[5] and the historical society—Orange County Historical Society, before it moved downtown, when—the last year that it was at Loch Haven [Park], in what is—I’m trying to think what’s there in that theater thing now—but anyway, um, it—it was there for many—it was originally in an old, red brick courthouse when I was a little boy. That’s where that park in front of the historical museum is. Uh, in the front was an 18, uh, 88- or 1892- courthouse, and it was the—the 1927 courthouse where the museum—museum is today—was there and active as the courthouse. This red brick building was start—had the—the museum in it, that was all volunteer, run by the Antiquarian Society, which was a group of prominent family ladies who gathered memorabilia and—and volunteered hours up there, and, uh, it was relatively small, but it was the beginning of the history center. Some of those volunteers’ children or grandchildren had been active in the historical society and in Orlando Remembered.

Baldwin
Which organization were you president of first?

Pottinger
Uh, the museum, I think, uh, eh, eh, if my memory serves, but I think—yes, I’m certain of it. Uh, again, age hits you

Baldwin
[laughs].

Pottinger
You try to remember which one was which, but I—I was president of the historical society and the museum, uh, and I think that was 1999 or 2000 [inaudible]—something like that—and, uh, after—following that—that I really got active in—in Orlando Remembered. I had been a little bit active, but I’ve given you another line—something else to do. You know, when you get finished being the president of an organization, the greatest thing you can do is to step aside and let the new people have it, and don’t hang around from it.

Baldwin
Sometimes that’s the hardest thing though.

Pottinger
It is hard. It is hard, but, uh, in any event, uh, it—it—it was a good break and I’ve—I’ve enjoyed it. Both of ‘em.

Baldwin
How does—how does one become involved with Orlando Remembered?

Pottinger
Oh, our meetings, and—and, uh, I can give you an address—you may have it—for Grace, uh, and she is, uh—she is our recording secretary and a great person, and you do have that, uh—that address—e-mail. Uh, she can put you on a mailing list. We’d love to have—and if there are other students that would like to come sit [inaudible]—to some, it may be very boring, you know, and—and we talk about the same thing—about trying to get a display. I don’t know how long we’ve gone on trying to put together getting a display on the Navy base of some[6]—what would I call a Navy base—but out at Baldwin Park. Not just a little sign, but a—a real display of what used to be there— the glass-cased display. It’s gonna happen one of these days, but gosh, you know, even somebody that’s a member gets tired of hearing, “Well, we’ve made no progress on the,” you know, this and that, and the next thing over and over, but we—we—right now, there’s a lot of, uh—a lot of our displays are[sic]—have[sic] hit the age and stage of maintenance, and so, that’s been our—our push this last year, rather than new ones, but we’ll continue on, and perhaps we’ll go beyond just Orlando. You know, Winter Park area has others and, uh, you know, a, uh—a couple of the—the fine families out in West Orange County have done a great job in Winter Garden. Uh, they’ve—they’ve really done a super job. If you’ve not been to Downtown Winter Garden, don’t miss it. It is as pretty, if not more beautiful, than Park Avenue in Winter Park. It’s, uh, uh—it’s two streets with a park—little park down the middle, and some great restaurants. Good place just to go out and sip one in the evening or to eat lunch or something.

Baldwin
I was actually just there last week for their [Central Florida] Railroad Museum.

Pottinger
Oh, wonderful.

Baldwin
So that’s a very…

Pottinger
That’s great.

Baldwin
It’s the first time I’ve ever been Downtown Winter Garden.

Pottinger
Isn’t it…

Baldwin
It’s so pretty.

Pottinger
A cute little town?

Baldwin
Mmhmm.

Pottinger
It really is, and—and it was dilapidated—is not the word for it—15 years ago. I mean it—but again, several families, uh, have, uh, the Chicones and a few others have put together some—some wonderful things out there. Uh, Again, I urge you to go out there.

Baldwin
So I know you mentioned that like, downtown’s all just nightclubs and stuff and Orlando Remembered does exhibits. Would Orlando Remembered ever try to preserve an entire building, you think? or is that too far out of the question?

Pottinger
No, I think it’s too far beyond what—what, uh—again, we have no source of—of continuous income. So it—it wouldn’t, uh—unless someone donated a building to us, and, uh, you know, it’d be wonderful, and, uh, you know, you could do vignettes on, uh, you know—throughout the building, or—or a home, you know, that showed various spots. That might even be safer than the way we do it where we’re putting our display—an expensive display in the lobby of a building. Again, without constant control, we don’t know when it winds up at the janitor’s garage at home. So, you know, you—you just need a continuous thing, and, you know, we have no employees. It’s not—it’s just volunteer. All of it.

Baldwin
How do you believe Orlando Remembered will change in the future?

Pottinger
Well, I know there’ll be changes to it, but I think some of ‘mem will be good, because I, eh—just like this right now, I see more interest in young people with history, uh, you know, than—than there were—was in my day growing up. It—it—there was very little interest in—in, uh—I was—I was a rarity to be a young lad, and, uh, uh, I don’t know of another soul…


[1] Correction: 1918.

[2] Now called the Orlando Executive Airport.

[3] Naval Training Center Orlando.

[4] Lyndon Baines Johnson.

[5] Present-day Orange County Regional History Center.

[6] Naval Training Center (NTC) Orlando.

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Baldwin, Caitlin

Interviewee

Pottinger, Dann

Location

Orlando, Florida

Original Format

1 audio recording

Duration

34 minutes and 38 seconds

Bit Rate/Frequency

128kbps

Locations

Categories