Flavet Villages at the University of Florida

by Mike Miller
(Mount Dora, Florida)

Flavet Village, Mrs. Turner

Flavet Village, Mrs. Turner

Flavet Village, Mrs. Turner
Flavet Village, Mr. Turner
Flavet Village II (I think)
Flavet Villages Marker on Campus

I attended the University of Florida in Gainvesville, Florida from 1963 until graduation in 1966.


It probably would have been too expensive for me to go had it not been for the existence of married student housing known as Flavet Villages.

Rent was $28/month for me and my wife and daughter. We paid an extra $5/month for a refrigerator. There were no air conditioners in these apartments; the wiring wouldn't handle it.

The housing consisted of old army barracks that had been moved to the U.F. campus immediately after World War Two from Camp Blanding, an army base near Jacksonville. The housing was to be temporary to handle the anticipated crush of veterans going to school on the G.I. Bill. The crush certainly happened, but the housing hung on until 1974.

The name "Flavet" came from a combination of the words "Florida" and "Veterans".

The villages were placed at three separate locations on campus.

Flavet I was near the Reitz Union; Flavet II was at the corner of N.W. 13th and Radio Rd (today's Museum Rd) on the site of what is now Beaty Towers; Flavet III was located not far from "Fraternity Row" where the Keys Residential Complex is currently located.

All of us who lived in the villages had quite a few things in common: we were married, we had children, we were serious students and we were poor.

We also shared the common curse of cockroaches.

The cockroaches in the Flavet Villages were legendary. There was an urban legend among the village residents that a psychology student lived in the villages shortly after World War Two and was experimenting with cockroaches.

He trained the cockroaches to disappear instantly when lights came on and to appear instantly when the lights went off. He also trained them to hide quietly in the walls, and taught them how to reproduce even more prolifically than they normally do. He showed them how to sneak into a loaf of bread or a cardboard cereal box, and even taught them how to get a drink of coffee by crawling down the coffee pot spout.

The problem is that this student got attached to his roaches. When it was time to graduate, he couldn't bear to kill them so he released them into his apartment. The progeny of these roaches pestered subsequent Flavet residents for years.

As miserable as living conditions could be in these little places, the misery was worth bearing because it allowed us to graduate.

So thank you, University of Florida.

Note:

Credits for the photographs are as follows:

Mrs. Turner: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/66423

Small Family: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/66430

Flavet Village: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/66424

Mr. Turner: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/66422

Comments for Flavet Villages at the University of Florida

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Apr 19, 2017
Flavet
by: Tom Ball

Lived in Flavet III with wife Ann and sons Dan and John from '68 -71. Was on the volunteer fire dept. and served as Village Commissioner, Village Treasurer and Village Mayor. $29.50 per month rent and more cockroaches than we could count.

Many good evenings sitting at a table outside with a light strung out on an extension cord playing pitch with fellow residents. Swam and picnicked at Blue Cave, inner tubed down the Ichetucknee, and watched long bomb passes on the first or second play from Reeves to Alvarez.

Wonderful memories.

Mar 25, 2017
WWII Vets and the village
by: Anonymous

My father served in the Navy (SeaBees) during WWII. I was born while he was in the Pacific. Afterward, we moved to FlaVet Village and he got his degree in Civil Engineering. My younger brother was born there. I think we lived in FlaVet II but am not sure. I have very few memories of that time...after all, I was 3 to 5 ...but DO remember one of father's friends, Albert Crabtree, who was quite a bit younger than my father. He became an attorney in Jacksonville, I believe. Would love to hear others' memories of that particular time...

Mar 20, 2017
Minister
by: Mike McMahon

My first wife,Roz, and I lived in Flavet III until I graduated in 1965. We had our first child, Jeffery, while we lived there. I remember well the roaches!

Feb 21, 2017
Flavet II
by: Sandy Wilson

Flavet II was at the south west corner of 13th St and Museum Rd (formerly know as Radio Road). I ought to know I lived there 12 yrs.


Feb 21, 2017
Flavet III
by: Mike Miller

I think the Flavets I lived in were II and III. I believe III was adjacent to Fraternity Row.

Feb 19, 2017
It was Flavet II
by: Dirk de Young

Ours was for sure Flavet II, I knew that name all these years and it never occurred to me that there could be a Flavet I and Flavet III.

Feb 18, 2017
That's where my life began
by: Dirk de Young

Moved there in 1956 and left when I was four years old. Our family lived in a unit on 13th street. My older sister is famous for having fed me one of those famous cockroaches:)There was a chain link fence between our house and the street and a swing set in the front yard. We have pictures playing in a small inflatable pool and with a garden hose. My mother told stories of putting her feet in the oven to warm them up in the winter.

My father who was a grad student in Latin American Studies, used to tutor football players. His article, "Land and Man in the Haitian Economy," was published in a UF Monograph in 1958.

We lived in that unit with four children, as he was an older student, WWII Vet. We never felt poor, but in retrospect I know the truth. My favorite meal was hot dogs and beans and I still love it today. I remember that there were snapping turtles in Jennings Creek.

One day I tried to visit my dad at the school by taking one of those pedal cars and got picked up by the police and returned home in a squad car. My older brother and father used to go somewhere to hunt frogs at night. My father finished his studies and got a job at the Nevada Southern University (now UNLV), we drove across the country in an old station wagon. I did not return to UF until 2001 and of course by then it was all gone. Thanks to this page for bringing back a lot of dear memories.

FLORIDA BACKROADS TRAVEL SAYS

Thanks for the great memories. I also lived in the Flavet that was on 13th Street near the corner of what was then, I think, Radio Road. After all these years I'm not sure if it was Flavet I, II, or III. I ended up living in two of the three villages. It must have been 1964-1966 when I lived there and in the other Flavet. I was on a waiting list the first year I was at UF living in accommodation even less luxurious.

Jan 11, 2017
Flavet II
by: Halle

We lived in Flavet II in 1957-58, I was 5 years old and I was bussed to Stephen Foster Elementary School for Kindergarten and 1st Grade. We played in the big fields and hunted arrowheads (which we found regularly and believe it or not in the ditch that is now apparently called Diamond Creek, we found sharks teeth, very large and old teeth along with small ones, medium sized too. Gainesville, in the middle of the state, was once covered by the Ocean.

We watched movies behind the wash house while sitting on the grass and munching popcorn. I learned to ride a bike in those gravel roadbeds, which caused many of scraped knee and elbows. We played marbles in the back of our apartment where there was only a dirt road. I still have pictures of Halloween when there was a costume contest and all the children dressed up and marched through the street to the park and the winner was crowned the King and Queen of Halloween. I remember getting a dart gun for Christmas and shooting it at the ceiling and the dart stuck (remember you always licked the end so it would stick) and when it finally fell off, it took part of the ceiling with it because the ceiling was like cardboard, only paper.

Best time of my life and we didn't know it. I'll be 65 this year, so it was 60 years ago.

FLORIDA BACKROADS TRAVEL SAYS

Thanks for the great story. In many ways Flavet was a slum and we were all working hard to get out of it. Many of us wouldn't have made it through school without that cheap housing. My memories, like yours, are generally very good one.

Nov 01, 2016
salvage
by: D. Cummins

I went thru the Flavets near the frats after they kicked every one out in 1974. All the furniture and other things were still there. I still have a wall mirror with the UF tag on it from there.

I would ride over after classes on my bike so I could hide if the cops came around. What a crappy housing complex. They should have been paid to live there. I am told some of the structures were moved yet again.

We made some money at night grabbing furniture and selling it to second hand stores. That furniture was very well made and I do not doubt still in use in Gainesville and beyond.

May 03, 2016
Flavet
by: Joyce Lowe

We could not have afforded school without Flavet and the low rent. Thank you University of Florida!

Sep 01, 2015
Retired
by: Mike M

We lived in Flavet I before we had our first child and then we moved into Flavet III next to the fire station in 1964. We still have our old friends from those days and we all agree it was fun and allowed us to graduate. I finally retired in 2006.

I was on the work crew and we did repairs, moved furniture and responded to problems in the village. Great days and memories of late study hours, low rent and convenience to classes. The days of Larry Dupree and game days.

Thanks to U of F housing we made it even though tuition was only $113 a trimester.

FLORIDA BACKROADS TRAVEL SAYS

Great story, Mike. I probably met you somewhere along the line in those days. Larry Dupree and Steve Spurrier are names that will live forever in Gator Legend. I had a good friend who worked on the Flavet work crew; I worked for the Gainesville Utility Commission. Most of us had to work; there were no government guaranteed student loans back in our day. THANK GOD!!

Jul 20, 2015
Flavet II record holder
by: Sandy

He was never rich. Three marriages tends to be costly! All he ever wanted to do was to be a doctor and he succeeded in that.

My brother and I attended the 50th anniversary of the first medical class of UF in G'ville recently in his place. None of the other medical students had children (while in medical school) so my brother and I were treated as novelties by his classmates.

I was introduced to so many unique personalities in that 1st class and have kept up with them as best as I can. If you are interested, I have a YOU TUBE video called 'The Japanese Colony of Eau Gallie' that is about the first class (a particular member that was one of my fathers best friends.)

Sandy

Jul 17, 2015
SAE fraternity (house)
by: Sandy/Flavet record holder

In all my years in Flavet II the 'fraternity row' was along the east side of 13th St(441)from Museum Rd (then Radio rd.) to University Ave.

The SAE fraternity was nearest to University Ave. The same lion was at the corner of 13th St and Univ. Ave. in front of the SAE house. Other fraternity members would splatter the lion with paint to hassle the SAE members.

Sorority row was down near the 441 (13th st) train overpass on the east side. The pond by the current day art gallery on the west side of 13th st. was used to 'punish' any frat member that gave his fraternity ring to a female admirer. They (a gang of guys) would carry him on their shoulders to the pond where he was thrown. The victim always put up a great fight.

We could hear the roar of the guys trying to haul a 'lover' to the pond all the way to Flavet II.

Sandy

FLORIDA BACKROADS TRAVEL SAYS:

Sandy, I remember all of that fraternity noise as well. Thanks for the memories. Most of us who were married students were pretty serious about studying and getting graduated and getting out of there. There was a bit of resentment toward the rich frat boys having fun and partying all the time....at least it seemed so to some of us old drudges studying away in our Flavet unit.

Was your dad able to make a good living with all his degrees? BS, MS, PhD, MD?

Jul 15, 2015
248U
by: Kimberly

Our family lived in Flavet from 1966-1971 while my dad was in architecture school. The students now are amazed when I say I grew up in Flavet and they say, "on the field?" My daughter will be in Keyes in the fall facing Flavet field.

Our apartment faced SAE house. I loved playing down at the "circle" and going to the village store, and the book mobile.

The previous comments about the roaches is funny. We had bees in our walls.

FLORIDA BACKROADS TRAVEL SAYS:

Thanks for sharing your story, Kimberly. We lived there shortly before your family: 1963-1966. No way I could have made it through UF without those low rents. It made living with cockroaches somewhat tolerable. I do remember some units had bees, but we lucked out on that score at least.

Apr 09, 2015
Flavet II "Boomer" Record Holder
by: Mike

Sandy's post brings back many memories of my years at Flavet II. We didn't live there nearly as long as Sandy and her parents, but I do remember that among our village residents were the first University of Florida medical students. It's hard to believe that back then the medical school was still a baby in diapers and has now grown up to be a world renowned research and education institution.

Go Gators!

Apr 08, 2015
Flavet II 'Boomer' record holder
by: Sandy

When I was born in 1951 we lived in Flavet II and did not move out until 1964. I lived mostly in unit 372A nearest Radio Rd. There was a par 3 golf course on the north side of Radio Rd. My father may qualify as the most 'graduated' man in UF history! BS, MS, PhD, MD (first class). It was an experience to say the least.

Jan 07, 2015
Flavet
by: Tracy

We lived in Flavet III in the early and mid 60's while my dad was in school at UF. Mom says their washer made the entire building shake. It was a necessity as my brother was an infant in cloth diapers!

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