Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Elizabeth Manzi, Fred Manzi, April 10, 1986

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:04 - Life before Christian Appalachian Project (CAP)

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Partial Transcript: Actually I wanna start before we even get to CAP.

Segment Synopsis: Mr. and Mrs. Manzi talk about their lives before they found Christian Appalachian Project (CAP). Mrs. Manzi says they were both raised in New Jersey and they wanted a change of scenery so they looked for farms in other states such as Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arkansas. They ended up moving to Rockcastle County, Kentucky and living on a farm. They explain that they had young kids when they moved but it was easy for them to adjust to the changes such as language differences and just being in an entirely different state.

Keywords: Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Farms; Moving; Neighbors; Reading; Relocation; Roundstone Elementary School; Vernacular

Subjects: Agriculture; Appalachia.; Culture shock.; Education.; Families; Kentucky--Social life and customs.; Kentucky.; New Jersey; Rockcastle County (Ky.); Sussex County (N.J.); Travel.

00:05:59 - Finding out about Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: So how did you first learn about CAP?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Mr. and Mrs. Manzi talk about finding Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) and how they got involved with the program through the Family Life Center. Mr. and Mrs. Manzi left their farm, moved to the Family Life Center and lived in the building fostering teen girls in emergency situations. They talk about some of the girls they've fostered and what their situations were like.

Keywords: Christin Appalachian Project (CAP); Directors; Emergency shelters; Family Life Center; Foster homes; Home; Ken Craven; Language barriers; Moving; Praying; Strength; Teenage girls

Subjects: Agriculture; Appalachia.; Berea (Ky.); Berea College.; Children.; Electricians; Families.; Financials; Foster parents; Kentucky.; Lexington (Ky.); Mount Vernon (Ky.); Nonprofit organization.; Older people; Poverty.; Social work.

00:18:22 - Experience being foster parents

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Partial Transcript: Did you work with any of the other CAP projects?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. and Mrs. Manzi talk more about being foster parents. They say that they were pretty flexible with who they took in to their shelter at first but they ended up being just an emergency shelter for girls for a while until they moved back to the farm. Mr. Manzi explains that they left the Family Life Center because things weren't working out with being foster parents, so Mr. Manzi started working with the home repair project. Manzi says there were a lot of issues they encountered while fostering, such as runaways and problems with getting girls established in school.

Keywords: Adaptation; Boys; Christian Appalachian Projects (CAP); Emergency shelters; Establishment; Family Life Center; Farms; Foster homes; Group homes; Harrison's group home; Home repairs; Institutional; Leaving; Manipulation; Moving; Runaway; Spousal abuse; Structure; Teenage girls; Temporary arrangements

Subjects: Appalachia.; Berea (Ky.); Education.; Families.; Foster parents; Kentucky.; Nonprofit organizations; Schools.; Social work.

00:25:59 - Home repair projects

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Partial Transcript: Well, um, when you were at CAP--well, you worked with several of the different projects then.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Mr. Manzi talks about working with the home repair project with Christian Appalachian Project (CAP). Manzi says that a lot of the homes were inadequate and needed a lot of work. He says that there were a lot of older people, people with disabilities, and impoverished people they worked with. They did mostly basic work because there wasn't enough money to do any big repairs. Manzi says they would meet people's basic needs, such as repairing roofs, building wheelchair ramps, and repairing floors and windows. He says there was a set budget for the homes but sometimes they could get more money for the projects if people needed more work done.

Keywords: Budgets; Christian Appalachian Projects (CAP); Cosmetic; Home repairs; Homes; Painting

Subjects: Appalachia.; Disabilities; Financials; Fund raising.; Kentucky.; Nonprofit organizations.; Older people; Poverty--Appalachian Region; Poverty.; Real estate development.; Rural conditions.; Social work.

00:33:33 - Community responses / Social work

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Partial Transcript: So do you think most people, um, accepted CAP, in, in the communities?

Segment Synopsis: In this section, Mr. and Mrs. Manzi are asked about the community's acceptance of Christian Appalachian Project (CAP). They explain that people that needed the help were accepting but there was resentment for the Catholics, even though CAP was non-denominational. Mr. Manzi says some people responded negatively to the social work aspect, but he says that he understands that people need help, especially living in rural conditions. Manzi talks more about having to put a limit on some of the things they can do to people's homes and how the home repair jobs were mostly about meeting basic needs.

Keywords: Acceptance; Baptist; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Christianity; Employment; Flooring; Home repairs; Jobs; Protestants; Resentment; Roofing; Rural Kentucky; Services; Windows

Subjects: Appalachia.; Beiting, Ralph W.; Catholics; Communities.; Community development.; Community-based social services.; Kentucky.; Older people; Poverty--Appalachian Region; Poverty.; Rural conditions.; Social work.

00:43:40 - Coming to Kentucky / Farming

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Partial Transcript: When you first got there, was it what you expected?

Segment Synopsis: In this section, Mr. and Mrs. Manzi say that they bought their farm in Rockcastle County without ever seeing it or coming to Kentucky. They explain that they are glad they had the experience of living on the farm because they learned how to take care of themselves during hard times, and how to deal with circumstances such as having no running water or being stuck in the house in the winter. They compare the people and living conditions in Kentucky to New Jersey, saying that people in Kentucky are more willing to help each other out and can relate to each other better.

Keywords: Arkansas; Bell peppers; Butter; City; Expectations; Experiences; Family; Farming; Green peppers; Ice cream; Income; Maple syrup; Profits; Quilting; Relocation; Sewing; Soap; Tobacco; Violence; Winter

Subjects: Agriculture; Appalachia.; Children.; Community; Culture shock.; Financials; Kentucky--Social life and customs; Kentucky.; Lexington (Ky.); Lifestyles.; New Jersey; Poverty.; Prayer.; Rockcastle County (Ky.); Transportation.

01:00:49 - Local economy and impressions of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned that there was unemployment. What, what was the main means of income there?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. and Mrs. Manzi talk about unemployment in Kentucky and how local people made money. They explain that during tobacco season a lot of people had work, but during the winter was when people struggled. Mr. Manzi also explains that credentials and degrees don't always get you very far in life and sometimes all you need is life experience and common sense. Manzi explains that he got pretty far with Christian Appalachian Project without going to college or getting a degree.

Keywords: Changing; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Common sense; Degrees; Home repairs; Learning; Life experience; Middle class; Schooling; Tobacco; Tobacco season; Winter

Subjects: Agriculture.; Appalachia.; Financials; Growth.; Kentucky.; Nonprofit organizations.; Poverty.; Prayer.; Religion.; Rural conditions.; Social work.; Teaching.

01:09:13 - Final thoughts about Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: Is there anything else about CAP you want to tell me?

Segment Synopsis: In this section, Mr. Manzi talks about some final thoughts he has about Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) and more comparisons of Kentucky and New Jersey. He says that he made a lot of good friends and memories at CAP but he doesn't really think the formalities are necessary with the organization. Manzi also explains that adjusting to living in New Jersey again is difficult because people have different lifestyles and don't look out for each other as much as they did in Kentucky.

Keywords: Attitudes; Business atmosphere; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Experiences; Family; Formal; Formalities; Friendships; Language; Learning; Modesty; Relocation; Respect; Values

Subjects: Agriculture; Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Christianity.; Communication.; Community; Culture.; Education.; Faith.; Growth.; Kentucky.; Morals.; Nonprofit organizations.; Relationships.; Religion.; Social work.; Spirituality.