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The Women of El Toro

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    The Women of El Toro is a free iOS app that augments The City of Irvine Orange County Great Park with stories from women Marines who served at El Toro and wives of Marine vets stationed there during World War II. The El Toro Marine Air Corps Station was once on the very same grounds where the Great Park sits in Irvine, California. We made this app to amplify women’s voices captured by the Center for Oral and Public History (COPH) at CSU Fullerton after the close of the El Toro base in 2006/07. We selected quotes by many of the women interviewed by COPH and coupled them with various park activities, including: the hot air balloon, Hangar 244, the carousel, the kids park, the soccer field, the reflection pond, and the visitor’s center atrium among others.

    Unlike many augmented reality (AR) projects, reality is not modified by edits to the visual field. Instead, present-day reality is changed by way of audio that relocates the user to a different time period. The women whose stories you will hear served in the U.S. Marines or were wives of Marines stationed at El Toro in the 1940s.

    We hope to make people more aware of the history of Southern California, the Great Park, El Toro, and the often-ignored role of women in the military. Our partners at COPH have made great strides in this area and we are excited to make their archives accessible in a new way to the public.

    We also want to give Great Park visitors a way to explore the park and discover places they might not otherwise visit. The Great Park is beautiful but huge, especially if you're walking. There are so many reasons to visit the park but not one experience that connects all the parts of the Great Park together. Our app gives visitors a fun, interactive way to visit the park and become inspired to come back again after discovering the Farm + Food Lab, athletic fields or reflecting pond.

    We read more than 60 interview transcripts and chose small clips from interviews with the following women:

    Denise Borne
    Barbara Brockman
    Suzanne Brewster
    Pauline Buzan
    Junamay Leatherby Coffey
    Maxine Composto
    Ann Brown Erb
    Patricia (Pat) Herber
    Dorothy Dormandy Hoey ("Dottie Hoey")
    Joyce Jensen
    Jeannette Kerr
    Alice Marshall
    Sofia Meznarich
    Ina Mitchell
    Florence Nagler
    Goldie Nannes
    Vera Nelson
    Marie Proulx
    Ann Quilter
    Arlene Swinford
    Peggy Thompson
    Patricia Young
    Nita Bob Warner
    Maxine Wehry
    Katie Wilker

    This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org.This project is the product of a Community Stories grant. Community Stories gives expression to the extraordinary variety of histories and experiences of California’s places and people.

    xtine burrough is an Associate Professor at UT Dallas, and Dan Sutko is an Assistant Professor at CSU Fullerton. xtine's creative practice includes interventions with crowd workers, and recoveries of feminist texts through mediation. Dan studies emerging technology, culture, and innovation with an emphasis on mobility, power, and social justice. James Burka was our App Developer Extraordinaire. Brianna Shepherd was the Digital Audio Producer among many other roles.