Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Betty Costagnaro, Guido Costagnaro, Joseph M. Costagnaro, July 18, 1986

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:14 - Family background / boardinghouses

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Partial Transcript: Mr. Costagnaro could you tell me about your background, uh, your parents, your family, that type of thing?

Segment Synopsis: Guido and Joseph Costagnaro recall when they came to Appalachia from Italy. They talk about the boardinghouse their mother operated.

Keywords: Boarders; Coal mines; European immigrants; Great Depression; Hazard (Ky.); Italian immigrants; Italy; Sex roles

Subjects: Boardinghouses; Emigration and immigration.; Immigrants--Kentucky

00:07:58 - Mining methods

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Partial Transcript: Uh, were these mines, uh, all operated by, uh, track mines?

Segment Synopsis: Guido and Joseph Costagnaro recount methods of coal mining, including the motors that hauled the coal carts and the sorting of coal in a tipple.

Keywords: Coal carts; Electric motors; Immigrant foreman; Sorting coal; Tipples; Track people

Subjects: Coal mines and mining--Technological innovations

00:13:23 - Immigrants in Hazard, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Do you have any idea how many immigrants would have been in, in--around Hazard at--

Segment Synopsis: Guido and Joseph Costagnaro recall people who moved and those who remained in Hazard. They discuss the talents of the Italian immigrants working in the area.

Keywords: Italian immigrants; L and N Railroad; Louisville and Nashville Railroad; Stonemasons

Subjects: Immigrants--Kentucky--Hazard; Migration, Internal

00:17:24 - Producing wine

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Partial Transcript: How about wine making? Did, did immigrants make wine?

Segment Synopsis: Guido and Joseph Costagnaro recall helping their father make wine.

Keywords: Home brewing; Personal use

Subjects: Wine and wine making

00:20:45 - Working in the mines / education

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Partial Transcript: Did, did you all ever--did you all work in the mines a lot?

Segment Synopsis: Guido and Joseph Costagnaro remember the work they did in the mines. They discuss their early education.

Keywords: Coal companies; English language; Immigrant children; Tipples; World War II

Subjects: Coal miners--Kentucky--Hazard; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky--Hazard; Education; Segregation

00:26:08 - Mining union

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Partial Transcript: Could you talk about him, then, being the boss?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Costagnaro recalls positive sentiments towards immigrants and his own attempts at promotion through an engineering certification.

Keywords: Mining companies; Mining engineering; University of Kentucky; Work ethic; World War II

Subjects: Immigrants--Kentucky--Hazard; United Mine Workers of America

00:30:26 - Immigrating to America

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Partial Transcript: Could you talk a little bit about immigrant families?

Segment Synopsis: Guido and Joseph Castagnaro share their experiences coming to America on Ellis Island. They talk about meeting General MacArthur.

Keywords: Ellis Island (N.J. and N.Y.); Families; Hazard (Ky.); Immigration enforcement; Italy; MacArthur, Douglas, 1880-1964; War stories

Subjects: Emigration and immigration.; Immigrants

00:36:14 - Recreation / church

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Partial Transcript: Were there any immigrant clubs in, in Hazard or near Hazard that you remember?

Segment Synopsis: The interviewees remember recreational activities in the coal camps. They discuss church life.

Keywords: Basketball; Catholic churches; Coal camp baseball league; Entertainment

Subjects: Recreation; Religion

00:43:19 - Sentiment towards immigrants / Harry Caudill

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Partial Transcript: Uh, Betty, could you tell me a little about yourself?

Segment Synopsis: Betty Costagnaro talks about her family and how she met her husband, Guido. She talks about her perception of positive sentiments towards immigrants in the area. She discusses her disdain toward Kentucky legislator Harry Caudill.

Keywords: "Shiftless"; Courtship; Families; Mexican immigrants; Social acceptance; Work ethic

Subjects: Caudill, Harry M., 1922-1990; Immigrants--Kentucky--Hazard

00:51:39 - Making use of the land

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Partial Transcript: Would you say then, just to sum up, that immigra, immigrants, uh, became mountaineers after living here a while?

Segment Synopsis: The interviewees describe how immigrants used the land to garden and raise livestock.

Keywords: Growing vegetables; Italian gardeners; Land restrictions; Livestock

Subjects: Gardening.