Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with George N. Reynolds, April 8, 1976

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project

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Partial Transcript: -- of Kentucky interviewing Mr. George N. Reynolds, alumni of the University of Kentucky class of 1950, in St. Louis, Missouri in the Chase Plaza Hotel at 8:30pm.

Segment Synopsis: George Reynolds is introduced. The interviewer, Charles Atcher, explains the purpose of the Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project.

Keywords: Centennial; Memories

Subjects: Oral history.

00:03:01 - Decision to attend the University of Kentucky and first impressions

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Partial Transcript: We can just start out as, uh, as, uh, something to, uh, to talk about, uh, I, uh, noticed that you were a member of Alpha Tau Omega.

Segment Synopsis: Reynolds talks about growing up in Cynthiana, Kentucky, visiting the University of Kentucky campus with his high school music groups, and his impressions of the campus. He talks about why he decided to attend UK.

Keywords: Alpha Tau Omega fraternity; Busy; Cynthiana (Ky.); Football games; Impressions; Journalism schools; State music conferences; Writers

Subjects: Campus visits; College choice; College freshmen; College majors; University of Kentucky. School of Journalism

00:07:55 - University of Kentucky School of Journalism

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Partial Transcript: Now some of the professors who were on campus that time in journalism was Niel Plummer, McCauley, Marguerite McLaughlin, uh, M.B. McMillan, William Moore, Vic Portmann who is still living, J.P Stanley and R.W. Wile.

Segment Synopsis: Reynolds discusses the University of Kentucky School of Journalism, including the quality of the instructors and his relationships with them.

Keywords: Bill Moore; J. Ardery McCauley; Leonard Niel Plummer; Marguerite McLaughlin; McMillan; Professors; Victor Portmann

Subjects: College teachers--Rating of.; College teachers--Social conditions; College teaching.; Educators; Journalism, College; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; University of Kentucky. School of Journalism

00:11:39 - Greek organizations and other campus groups

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Partial Transcript: You must have been a--(coughs)--a rather, um, good student because you were elected to Omicron Delta Kappa, honorary leadership fraternity, and you were editor of the Kentucky Kernel 1949, 1950.

Segment Synopsis: Reynolds talks about his affiliation with Omicron Delta Kappa, an honorary leadership fraternity. He talks about being made editor of the campus newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel. He talks about joining the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He talks about some of the other members of the campus groups that went on to be people of prominence, like politician Ned Breathitt.

Keywords: Bill Hall; Boardinghouses; Buddy Thompson; Charles Coburn; Community; Edward T. Breathitt; Grades; Independents; Interests; Joe Craig Smith; John Owsley; Kentucky Kernel newspaper; Legislature; Lexington Herald Leader; Newspaper editors; Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK); Outstanding member; Pledging; Relationships; Royce Pulliam; University band

Subjects: College environment; College student newspapers and periodicals; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Greek letter societies.; Journalism, College; Student housing; Veterans--Education (Higher)--Kentucky; World War, 1939-1945--Veterans.

00:19:50 - Living conditions after marriage / journalism

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Partial Transcript: I--you see, I, uh, uh, I got married.

Segment Synopsis: Reynolds talks about how he met his wife. He says that he was not very interested in politics during his time as a student. He talks about the places he and his wife lived while attending the University of Kentucky after their marriage. He talks about a fellow journalism student, Jerry Finch. He talks about working as the assistant sports editor for the Lexington Herald Leader.

Keywords: Apartments; Assistant sports editor; Blind dates; Harry S. Truman; Jerry Finch; Lexington Herald Leader; Linda Neville; Living conditions; Main Street; Married; Mary Beth Kalbreier; Neville Hall; Politics; Presidential campaigns; Sugar Bowl

Subjects: College buildings.; College environment; College facilities.; College publications; College student newspapers and periodicals; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Employment.; Journalism, College; Universities and colleges--Periodicals.; University of Kentucky. School of Journalism

00:25:56 - Atmosphere on campus during the 1940s

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Partial Transcript: Course all, uh, students on campus, um, during the four year period, um--some have a, a more reflection on issues but I thought maybe I could ask you a question since you were, uh, writing for the Kernel and, uh, I'm sure you were involved in conversations with other people on campus.

Segment Synopsis: Reynolds describes the general feeling at the University of Kentucky, which he says was affected by the Great Depression and World War II. He talks about the attitude of the students who were veterans of the war and how their outlook affected other students.

Keywords: Age gap; Crowded; Great Depression; Issues; Maturity; Politics; Serious

Subjects: College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Veterans--Education (Higher)--Kentucky; World War, 1939-1945--Veterans.

00:30:30 - Controversial editorials

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Partial Transcript: But, uh, oh we were not without controversy. As a matter of fact I was invited to, uh, to leave the university if I didn't like it better than I seemed to.

Segment Synopsis: Reynolds talks more about his job as editor of the campus newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel. He discusses two articles he wrote that university president Herman Donovan did not like. He talks about being offered an "invitation to leave" the university and fearing that he would be kicked out after publishing the articles.

Keywords: Bear Bryant; Controversy; Dr. Herman Donovan; Editorials; Football games; Fundraising; Funds; G.I. Bill; Kentucky Kernel newspaper; Kicked out; Orange Bowl; University band

Subjects: College administrators; College environment; College presidents; College sports.; College student newspapers and periodicals; College students--Political activity.; College students--Social conditions; College textbooks; Journalism, College; Universities and colleges--Administration.

00:38:24 - Social activities

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Partial Transcript: Well on a more lighter vein, what were some of your, um, uh, social activities? Uh, oh, like going to Joyland and other places like that.

Segment Synopsis: Reynolds discusses some of the social events he participated in at the University of Kentucky. He recounts a story about John Irvin convincing Ruby Graham to climb a flagpole, which resulted in her being barred from participating in the graduation ceremony. He tells a story about Alben Barkley giving a commencement address. He talks about Homecoming and tells a story about a local character, "Sweet Evening Breeze", who one time rode on a university Homecoming float.

Keywords: "Sweet Evening Breeze"; Acceptance; Alben Barkley; Boonesboro; Cake; Clothes; Commencement speakers; Dances; Dr. Herman Donovan; Drinking; Flagpoles; Football players; Good Samaritan Hospital; Graduation; Homecoming; John Irvin; Joyland; Outfits; Parade floats; Parties; Ruby Graham; Social life

Subjects: Clothing and dress.; College discipline; College environment; College presidents; College students--Alcohol use; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Greek letter societies.

00:45:33 - University of Kentucky sports and athletes

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Partial Transcript: Uh, speaking of stories you, you mentioned to me on the telephone that you were in class with George Blanding.

Segment Synopsis: Reynolds talks about some of the UK athletes he knew, including George Blanding, Ralph Beard, Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones, and the rest of the "Fabulous Five". He talks about the quality of UK football and basketball.

Keywords: "Fabulous Five"; Alex Groza; Basketball; Bear Bryant; Bill Hall; Cliff Barker; Dale Barnstable; George Blanding; History; Jim Line; One-handed shots; Quarterbacks; Ralph Beard; Tutoring; Vito Parilli; Wallace Jones

Subjects: College athletes; College football players; College sports.; College students--Conduct of life.; Kentucky Wildcats (Basketball team)

00:50:17 - College as preparation for his career / family

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Partial Transcript: Let me ask you--(coughs)--this question, George.

Segment Synopsis: Reynolds talks about whether his experiences at the University of Kentucky sufficiently prepared him for his future career in journalism. He talks about some of the famous writers that taught at or visited the university. He describes his family and talks about where his children went to college. He talks about his work with a PR firm and the type of clients he works with.

Keywords: A. B. Guthrie, Jr.; Atmosphere; Careers; Clients; College experiences; Daughters; Fundraising; Influences; Jobs; Married; Mary Beth Reynolds; Music; Newspaper editors; PR firms; Politicians; Politics; Preparation; Public relations; Robert Frost; Sons; Work; Writing

Subjects: College graduates; Families.; Universities and colleges--Alumni and alumnae.; University of Kentucky. School of Journalism

00:59:25 - Campus facilities

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Partial Transcript: Very good. George, uh, I, I certainly appreciate the--hour is just about up.

Segment Synopsis: Reynolds describes the University of Kentucky facilities, especially those for music and art. He talks about trying to have band practice in a Quonset hut. He talks about several buildings on campus that burned down. Reynolds and the interviewer discuss the upcoming construction of the Fine Arts Building. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: "Splinter halls"; Band uniforms; Commons; Cooperstown; Equipment; Fine Arts Building; Fires; Frank Prindl; Guignol Theater; Practice; Quonset huts; ROTC Building; Role of women; Shawneetown; Stoll Field; Ten gallon hats; University band; University of Kentucky Art Museum

Subjects: College buildings.; College campuses.; College environment; College facilities.