Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Charles W. Frazier, October 22, 1988

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

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Partial Transcript: Um, Mr. Frazier tell me your whole name.

Segment Synopsis: Frazier gives initial biographical information, and talks about the changing name of his home town.

Keywords: Balna (Ky.); Birth; Coal towns; Elsa Coal (Ky.); Hot Spot (Ky.); Premium (Ky.)

Subjects: Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; United States--Armed Forces--Kentucky

GPS: Hot Spot (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.1275, -82.916667
00:02:33 - Family background

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Partial Transcript: Uh, oh, what is your mother's whole name?

Segment Synopsis: Frazier explains his parents' economic situation and their family backgrounds. Later, he details the home that he grew up in.

Keywords: Family planning; Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Land inheritance; Land tenure; Letcher County (Ky.); Middle name use; Names; Single mothers; Terms of endearment; Widowed wife; Widows

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Families

00:11:09 - Employing help

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Partial Transcript: And, uh, I, I, I do remember that uh, uh--now as the first, uh, eight years, uh, I mean yes, eight or nine years, she--uh father left her with a team and she would hire that team to the coal company and, uh, we had a man to, uh, live there with us, and, and, uh, drive the team.

Segment Synopsis: Frazier details how his mother maintained income after his father passed, and what it was like to have a hired hand living on the farm.

Keywords: Alcoholism; Family dynamics; Hired man; Live in employees; Military pensions; Team drivers

Subjects: Families.; Traditional farming--Kentucky

00:16:05 - Reading and books

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Partial Transcript: Where did he get his books?

Segment Synopsis: Frazier talks about how to his family could get books, and how the process evolved throughout his schooling.

Keywords: American Observer; Knotty pine; School library; Upper grades weekly reader; Webster's new dictionary

Subjects: Books; Libraries.

00:18:08 - The Great Depression

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Partial Transcript: Now was your--did you say your birth date was 1919?

Segment Synopsis: Frazier describes his view of the stock market crash in his home community.

Keywords: Company stores; Great Depression

Subjects: Depressions--1929--Kentucky; Stock Market Crash, 1929

00:22:08 - Mineral rights, family properties, and the death of an uncle

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Partial Transcript: Was there an oil boom there?

Segment Synopsis: Frazier explains how some of his family retained their mineral rights and others sold them for needed cash flow.

Keywords: Death; Land speculation; Mineral rights; Oil; Timber; Whiskey

Subjects: Land use, Rural--Kentucky

00:32:22 - More on the Great Depression

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Partial Transcript: As poverty, uh, set in of course with the Depression and we, uh--you had--only bought a few things from the store. We grew practically everything we ate. We--

Segment Synopsis: Frazier talks about how his family fed themselves off the land during the economic depression.

Keywords: Great Depression; Poverty

Subjects: Depressions--1929--Kentucky; Subsistence farming

00:33:08 - His parents and their background

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Partial Transcript: How do you spell her name?

Segment Synopsis: Frazier details his mother and father's relationship and why they waited so long to get married.

Keywords: Cancer; Ulcers

Subjects: Marriage

00:35:04 - Mother's typical day during the Great Depression

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Partial Transcript: What would--can you sort of describe a typical day of your mom's, say when you were ten years old, say the year of the crash.

Segment Synopsis: Frazier details his mother's typical day during his childhood.

Keywords: Breakfast; Daily routines; Double wool blankets; Food; Smoked apples; Smokehouses

Subjects: Depressions--1929--Kentucky; Stock Market Crash, 1929

00:39:48 - Mental illness / community views on marriage

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Partial Transcript: And then in the thirties, uh, the Van Frazier, uh, cousins of both my father and my mother. Uh, that sounds like my mother and father were kin--

Segment Synopsis: Frazier talks about his experience with those who had mental illness, and the community's view on marriages between cousins.

Keywords: Cousin marriages; Mental illnesses

Subjects: Marriage; Mental health.; Mental illness.

00:44:51 - Family chores and responsibilities

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Partial Transcript: So your mom would be responsible for getting, uh, the dinner on the table--

Segment Synopsis: Frazier talks about daily chores and the inequality of the expectations placed on his sisters to do more chores than himself and his brothers.

Keywords: Cooking; Food; Gender roles; House chores; Washing; Wood

Subjects: Sex role.; Sexual division of labor.

00:53:22 - Farm dependence / pork chops

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Partial Transcript: That carried me back to him. Uh, he, uh, was the type--he, he was the most farm dependent person I ever saw.

Segment Synopsis: Frazier talks about food, and a local school teacher and farmer who was one of the first to make pork chops himself.

Keywords: Food

Subjects: Subsistence farming

00:58:33 - Education

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Partial Transcript: We had, uh, one year, uh, college at our little dr--uh, country school once.

Segment Synopsis: Frazier talks about his education as well as his siblings' experiences in education.

Keywords: College; Country schools; Family education; Nursing school; Schooling; Student loans

Subjects: Adult education--Kentucky; Agricultural education; Education; Morehead State University