Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Mae Frazier, December 12, 1988

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:06 - Growing up in Letcher County, Kentucky

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I was born May 24, nineteen-and-twelve, at Dalna Kentucky in Letcher County, Kentucky.

Segment Synopsis: Mae Frazier talks about the various names of the community in which she grew up in Letcher County, Kentucky. She discusses how subsistence farming and coal mining dominated the local economy and how that affected culture, diet, and healthcare. She talks about life on small farms and in coal camps. She discusses gender roles in the mountain culture. She talks about how "hired girls" helped with housework instead of men.

Keywords: Coal camps; Coal miners; Coal mining; Cooking; Dalna (Ky.); Diet; Farming; Hot Spot (Ky.); Housing; Log cabins; Medical care; Premium (Ky.); Subsistence farming

Subjects: Appalachian Mountains; Appalachian Region--History

00:05:53 - Religious influences and family life

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, what about church and being saved and all that. Would men and women share that equally?

Segment Synopsis: Frazier talks about her recollections of religious culture in the Appalachian community where she grew up. She talks about the strict sense of discipline within the family. Ms. Frazier relates how her mother dealt with personal issues after the death of her father when she was eight years old. She recalls a few details of her father's personal nature and his relationship with her mother. She says men and women did not make an open show of affection for each other. She talks about her memories of fearing snakes and how her father helped her deal with that fear.

Keywords: Churches; Circuit riding; Discipline; Ministers; Missionaries; Old Regular Baptist Church; Preachers

Subjects: Appalachian Region--History; Religion

00:11:43 - The death of Frazier's father / family discipline

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Did you feel like you could uh, talk about his death as an eight year old, or did you feel like you had to be kind of quiet?

Segment Synopsis: Frazier talks about the impact of her father's death on her mother and the family. She talks about visits from family members and a potential suitor for her widowed mother. She says she was glad her mother chose not to remarry. She describes moving away from the family farm and eventually selling it. She talks about strict discipline within the family and respect for parents.

Keywords: Aunts; Death; Discipline; Remarriage

Subjects: Appalachian Region--History; Family life

00:15:33 - Educating a large family

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Did he just have sons or did he have daughters too?

Segment Synopsis: Frazier recalls the size of her large family which included five daughters and eight sons. She talks about the brief educational opportunities for the daughters relative to the sons. She recalls how her mother enjoyed her role as homemaker and how other women in that generation were educated to be teachers. She discusses how pregnancy typically ended the professional career of women teachers as they chose to remain home.

Keywords: "Necking"; Homemakers; Homosexuality; Lesbians; Nursing; Pregnancy; Schools; Sex education; Teachers

Subjects: Appalachian Region--History; Education.; Women--Employment.

00:22:59 - Mental health and other health issues

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What, what would you say is, uh--what would you say about mental health?

Segment Synopsis: Frazier talks about mental health issues in the community and discusses people from the community who were sent to Eastern State Hospital for mental illness issues. She talks about suffering from menstrual cramps and the remedies she used.

Keywords: Cognitive impairment; Cramping; Eastern State Hospital; Emergency room; Ginger; Herbal remedies; Intellectual disability; Menopause; Menstrual period; Mental retardation; Pain; Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS); Uterus; Whiskey

Subjects: Medical care--Kentucky; Mental health.; Traditional medicine

00:29:49 - Sexual education / life after her father's death

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Ms. Frazier, I want to ask you about, uh, puberty growing up. Do you feel like your mom prepared you for those kinds of changes?

Segment Synopsis: Frazier talks about getting her sex education from her mother as well as her peers. She talks about feeling responsible for her family after her father's death, and says she began teaching at age sixteen after receiving her teaching certificate from Morehead State.

Keywords: High school; Insurance; Morehead State University; Mothers; Puberty; Sex education; Sexual education; Student discipline

Subjects: Families.; Sex instruction.; Teachers--Kentucky; Teaching

00:36:12 - Family celebration traditions

Play segment

Partial Transcript: --ready to go but then we were talking about Christmas cards and how you had so many to send out.

Segment Synopsis: Frazier talks about her large family, and talks about their annual family reunions.

Keywords: Christmas cards; Family reunions; First cousins; Hawaii; Natural Bridge State Park; Postcards; Relatives; Whitesburg (Ky.); Wreaths

Subjects: Families.