A Video Diary: Ozell and Judi Talk Mount Dora Childhoods (Part 1 of 3)

Ozell and Judi - talking about the Mount Dora of the past they remember as youngsters

Mount Dora is blessed with the most interesting folks, warm and articulate people with fascinating, interconnected stories to tell.

Take Ozell Ward and Judi Jones.  Their families have deep roots here.  Judi has even written a series for the Mount Dora Citizen about what it was like to grow up here in Mount Dora in the 1950s and 1960s.

Judi’s family owned a store downtown and her parents were very active in the downtown Mount Dora scene of that era.  Her mother was a community and political activist.

Ozell came from a prominent family who lived in the Northeast, active civic leaders and business owners – same time period.

As youngsters, they no doubt crossed each other’s paths on numerous occasions.  But they never met until several decades later on the deck at One Flight Up in downtown Mount Dora.  Blacks and whites simply didn’t socialize in the Mount Dora of their youths.

Professional videographer and friend, Tom Benitez filmed as Ozell and Judi shared what it was like to grow up – in the same place, but in the two different worlds of a segregated Mount Dora during the 1950s and 1960s.

No script, just two friends talking, reminiscing and relating a time gone by.  Hope you enjoy Part 1 of 3, below. (Judi uses a bit of profanity, be prepared.)

Thanks to Tom Benitez for the fantastic video work, titles, and editing.  If you have a story Tom can help you to tell, email him at beniteztom@gmail.com.