Interview with Robert Lee Lootens, July 22, 1986

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:08 - Father's background

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Partial Transcript: Uh, could you tell me, Mr. Lootens, about your father and, and where he came from and--

Segment Synopsis: Robert Lootens shares his father's background as an immigrant from Belgium working in Canada and settling in Kentucky.

Keywords: Belgium; Canada; Coal camps; Columbus Mining Company; Company stores; Farming; Leatherwood, Kentucky; Railroads

Subjects: Coal mines and mining; Emigration and immigration.; Immigrants--Kentucky

00:04:43 - Education and career

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Partial Transcript: And how did you end up in, in Leatherwood?

Segment Synopsis: Lootens shares his own background as a graduate of EKU and his work as a teacher and administrator in school systems.

Keywords: Hazard (Ky); Hazard High School (Ky.); Interracial marriage; Vicco (Ky.)

Subjects: Eastern Kentucky University; Education; Teachers

00:08:45 - Family stories and history

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Partial Transcript: Did your dad ever talk about how immigrants were treated in this part of this Kentucky in his day?

Segment Synopsis: Lootens recalls stories of his grandparents from Belgium and his father's business of making and selling concrete blocks.

Keywords: Belgium; Concrete blocks; Napoleonic Wars; Naturalization; Race discrimination

Subjects: Families.

00:14:26 - Concrete block production

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Partial Transcript: Uh, could you tell m--go into more detail on how you make the blocks.

Segment Synopsis: Lootens details how to make concrete blocks. He talks about money management skills.

Keywords: Retaining walls; Work ethic

Subjects: Concrete blocks.; Money management

00:19:26 - Recreation / mining union

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Partial Transcript: Did your father ever compare Eastern Kentucky with his homeland of Belgium?

Segment Synopsis: Lootens shares more of his father's life including his patriotism, what he did for recreation, and his feelings towards the UMWA.

Keywords: Dance; Entertainment; Patriotism; Polka; United Mine Workers Association

Subjects: United Mine Workers of America

00:23:57 - Father's education

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Partial Transcript: How about your father's education--

Segment Synopsis: Lootens tells of his father's educational background and other skills.

Keywords: English language; Farming; French language; Gardening; Gardening techniques; Mathematically minded; Naturalization

Subjects: Education; Immigrants

00:28:05 - Catholic Church / politics

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Partial Transcript: How about the Catholic Church? Uh, was that real important to your father?

Segment Synopsis: Lootens shares his father's and his own belief in the Catholic Church. He tells about his father's life during the Great Depression. He talks about making home brew.

Keywords: Distilling; Home brewing; Prayer; Rosary

Subjects: Catholic Church; Depressions--1929--Kentucky; Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945; Wine and wine making

00:34:24 - Gender roles in household

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Partial Transcript: How about, uh, then interactions with, with Americans?

Segment Synopsis: Lootens answers a series of questions about the roles that members of his family play in the household.

Keywords: Divorce

Subjects: Canada; Families.; Gender and society; Sex Roles