Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Onda Lee Holbrook, September 11, 1988

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:04 - Childhood and family

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Partial Transcript: Um, Miss Holbrook tell me your whole name.

Segment Synopsis: Holbrook talks about her ancestry and where her parents were from. She talks about her childhood and the early memories she has of Auxier--including playing with friends, school, church activities, and what Christmases were like. She talks about her mother and father's work history and activities. She makes general remarks about what the community of Auxier was like.

Keywords: Ancestors; Auxier (Ky.); Brothers; Christmas; Churches; Community; Family; Fathers; Home economics; Mothers; Parents; Webbville (Ky.)

Subjects: Appalachian region; Appalachians (People)--Kentucky--Social conditions; Country life; Families; Genealogy

00:06:01 - Women in Auxier

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Partial Transcript: When you were here did you know of any women that worked for wages?

Segment Synopsis: Holbrook discusses what roles women played in the coal camp at Auxier, and talks about how they were expected to do most of the housekeeping and cooking. She talks about not being allowed to do as many things as her brothers or the other boys when she was growing up.

Keywords: Education; Gender roles; Home economics; Working

Subjects: Appalachians (people)--Kentucky--Social conditions; Family; Marriage; Women--Appalachian Region; Women--Employment

00:10:08 - Leisure time in the coal camp

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Partial Transcript: Uh, what did women do with their leisure time?

Segment Synopsis: Holbrook talks about the kinds of things she and her family would do in their leisure time. She recalls her father being off from work for 6 months because of a mining strike. She talks about traveling to visit her father's sister in Louisa, Kentucky in the summers and sometimes at Christmas.

Keywords: Family; Home economics; Louisa (Ky.); Mining strikes; Travel

Subjects: Appalachian Region; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Appalachians (People)--Kentucky--Social conditions; Coal miners--Kentucky--Auxier; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky--Auxier; Mining camps

00:12:54 - More about life in Auxier

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Partial Transcript: Did, uh, anybody come into town to give polio shots or any kind of medical care?

Segment Synopsis: Holbrook talks in more detail about what life was like in the coal camp at Auxier. She recalls women from Alice Lloyd College bringing Christmas gifts to hand out to children in school. She talks about how funerals were handled by her family and others in the community, and explains that when her father passed away he was brought to her house. Holbrook talks about the divisions in the community, with the "bosses" and wealthier people living on one side of town, and the other families living on the other side. She talks about the United Mine Workers, and how everyone in Auxier supported the miners. She recalls that her father was involved in the union, possibly as Secretary.

Keywords: Christmas; Community; Funerals; Medical care; Money; Social classes; United Mine Workers

Subjects: Alice Lloyd College; Appalachians (People)--Kentucky--Social life and customs; Coal miners--Labor unions--Kentucky; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky--Auxier

00:20:35 - Sexual education / marriage

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Partial Transcript: Now this question is, uh--might be, um, sensitive, you know, or embarrassing.

Segment Synopsis: Holbrook talks about the lack of formal sexual education while she was growing up in Auxier. She says that she learned most things from the other girls in school, and feels that it was accurate information. She talks about how most women had a doctor come to their home when giving birth, rather than using a midwife. She recalls that most women that she knew had happy, equal marriages, including her mother.

Keywords: Childbirth; Divorce; Health; Sex education; Women's healthcare

Subjects: Appalachian region; Appalachians (People)--Kentucky--Social conditions; Families; Marriage; Sex instruction

00:26:57 - Travel / changes in the community

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Partial Transcript: Did you ever think about moving away from Auxier permanently, and, uh, living somewhere else--

Segment Synopsis: Holbrook says that in recent years she's considered moving away from Auxier, but thinks she's too old. She talks about traveling to 48 states, Canada, and Mexico with her husband. She talks about her own children, and says she was more open about sexual education with them than her mother was with her. Holbrook talks about some of the changes she's seen in the community of Auxier, saying people worry more now than they did while she was growing up.

Keywords: Children; College; Education; Monterrey (Mexico); Mount Rushmore (S.D.); Niagara Falls (N.Y. and Ont.); Sex education; Travel

Subjects: Appalachian region; Appalachians (People)--Kentucky--Social conditions; Families