Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Jennifer O. Henderson, November 6, 1989

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Henderson's grandmother / Henderson's grandfather

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Partial Transcript: Um, this is Nola Hadley. I'm interviewing Jennifer Henderson, at her home here in...

Segment Synopsis: Henderson shares memories of her grandmother on her mother's side. She also talks briefly about her grandfather.

Keywords: Alcohol; Attractiveness; Copperheads; Dancing; Graffiti; Grandparents; Houses; Rocks; Social security; Stamp (Ky.); The Rock Pile; Work

Subjects: Childhood; Public welfare; Single-parent families; Snakes

00:06:13 - Genealogy

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Partial Transcript: Do you have any idea where they, where they came from before Kentucky?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson talks about her genealogy, discussing both sides of her family.

Keywords: Cherokees; Emma Doherty; France; Gertrude Doherty; Grandmothers; Grandparents; Ireland; James Doherty; Monuments; Netherlands

Subjects: Depressions--1929; Depressions--1929--Kentucky; Families; Genealogy; Immigrants

00:10:00 - Genealogy on Henderson's father's side

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Partial Transcript: Now my grandfather... I don't know much about him. I, I really liked him and I really would like to find out more about...

Segment Synopsis: Henderson shares more about her genealogy on her father's side. She discusses her great-grandmother in particular.

Keywords: Grandfathers; Grandparents; Land; Land ownership; Rug binders; Rugs

Subjects: Covington (Ky.); Depressions--1929; Genealogy

00:13:16 - Henderson's mother / a family cemetery

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Partial Transcript: In terms of your own parents, do you know how they met?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson discusses her mother, and her childhood. She also talks about a family cemetery that some of her family members wanted to buy so that they could preserve it.

Keywords: Barmaids; Bars; Cemeteries; Fathers; Grandmothers; Head lice; Lice; Mothers; Uncles

Subjects: Cincinnati (Ohio); Parents; Pediculosis

00:19:12 - Henderson's parents early relationship

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Partial Transcript: Well, let's, let's take you back up to your parents' generation. Uh, so, do, did you ever get the story of how they met?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson tries to remember how her parents met. She states that her mother was originally her uncle's girlfriend.

Keywords: Bars; Fathers; Mothers; Parents; Uncles

Subjects: Families

00:21:58 - Henderson's father's work history / family mealtimes

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Partial Transcript: What kind of work did your Dad do?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson briefly discusses her father's work history, and describes what her family's mealtimes were like when she was a child, including the food that was served.
[there are loud background noises]

Keywords: Beans; Fathers; Food; Math; Mathematics; Meals; Mealtimes; Mothers; Navy beans; Rabbits; Restaurant businesses; Squirrels; Stews; Wild game

Subjects: Cooking; Desserts; Education

00:27:40 - Childhood memories

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Partial Transcript: Could you describe, like uh, your first house that you lived in?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson discusses her childhood home, and some of her memories from when she lived there. These include putting coffee in her soup, and stealing candy.
[there are loud background noises]

Keywords: Coffee; Grandmothers; Lollypops; Soup; Tables

Subjects: Home; Houses

00:31:05 - First childhood home

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Partial Transcript: The coffee tables, one of them old tables that... had the -----------(??) on top, and the little skinny legs...

Segment Synopsis: Henderson describes the house that she lived in when she was a small child.
[there are loud background noises]

Keywords: Bathrooms; Coffee tables; Cold; Couches; Dolls; Kitchens; Living rooms; Walls; Winters; Yards

Subjects: Houses

00:34:20 - Second childhood home

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Partial Transcript: Uh, after, after that place, where did your family go to?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson describes her second childhood home in great detail.
[there are loud background noises]

Keywords: Bedrooms; Couches; Ducks; Fires; Floors; Gladstone; Houses; Kitchens; Living rooms; Mobiles; Porches; Roads; Rooms

Subjects: Housing

00:38:06 - Elementary school education / other early memories

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Partial Transcript: Where did you go to school for the first time?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson talks about her early childhood education at Highlands School, her kindergarten teacher, and some of her other early memories.
[there are loud background noises]
[there is a break in the recording]

Keywords: Fathers; Gladstone; Highlands School; Injuries; Kindergarten; Money; Pianos; Sisters; Testing; Theft; Trees

Subjects: Education; Teachers

00:43:32 - Henderson's mother's work and writing abilities

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Partial Transcript: You'd been talking about your father cutting his arm.

Segment Synopsis: Henderson describes her mother's work when she was growing up, as well as her mother's talents in writing.
[there are loud background noises]

Keywords: Flaws; Injuries; Letters; Mistakes; Mothers; Reading; Tendons; Writing

Subjects: Families; Public welfare

00:45:53 - Henderson's parents and politics

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Partial Transcript: Uh, did your... it seems like both your parents were kind of... up on things. Did they ever express any attitudes...

Segment Synopsis: Henderson talks about her parents' lack of interest in politics, and current events, especially her father.
[there are loud background noises]
[there is a break in the recording]

Keywords: Arts scholarships; Curfews; Dishonorable discharges; Fathers; Fishing; Homework; Math; Mathematics; Mothers; Politics; Riots; Scholarships

Subjects: Education; King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968; Military discharge; Stay-at-home fathers--United States; Voting

00:51:12 - Race relations and riots / family religious views

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Partial Transcript: Let me t, uh, take you back to something your mentioned. Um...

Segment Synopsis: Henderson states that she was not really aware of the race riots until some years after they occurred. She also shares her family's feelings toward religion, including her father's negative experience with his church.
[there are loud background noises]

Keywords: Bullies; Church; Churches; Curfews; Easter; Fathers; Honesty; Ministers; Mothers; Prejudice; Racial slurs; Riots; Sisters; Tithing; Truancy

Subjects: African Americans; Baptists; Education; Pastoral care; Race riots; Religion; School

00:58:26 - Henderson's family members' views on men

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Partial Transcript: What about any, um, attitudes that your parents or your grandparents expressed about men and women?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson talks about how her family members shaped her views on men, often negatively.
[there are loud background noises]

Keywords: Arguments; Attitudes; Gender; Grandmothers; Men

Subjects: Alcoholism; Divorce; Divorced women; Sex role

01:02:04 - Chores / family holidays / being disciplined as a child

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Partial Transcript: Were you required to do any kind of chores when you were growing up?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson discusses her chores as a child, some of the holidays her family celebrated, and how her family, especially her father, handled discipline.
[there are loud background noises]
[there is a break in the recording]

Keywords: Abuse; Anger; Celebrations; Chores; Christmas; Church; Discipline; Easter; Fathers; Mothers; Punishment; Work

Subjects: Discipline of children; Holidays; Housekeeping

01:07:32 - Family disagreements / Henderson's father's being laid off

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Partial Transcript: How about, how did your fam, how did your parents handle disagreements?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson discusses disagreements that occurred within her family, and how they were usually handled. She especially talks about the disagreements between her parents. She also discusses her father's being laid off when she was in kindergarten.
[there are loud background noises]

Keywords: Accidents; Anger; Arguments; Babysitters; Car accidents; Cars; Discipline; Fathers; Fights; Fist fights; Grandmothers; Injuries; Layoffs; Mothers; Tables; Workplace injuries

Subjects: Chicago (Ill.); Discipline of children; Family; Marriage

01:13:46 - Violent behavior during junior high / first period and sex education

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Partial Transcript: When, when, where did you go to high school, I mean junior high school?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson talks about her violent behavior in junior high, for which she was expelled. She also talks about getting her first period, and her lack of sex education as a young teenager.

Keywords: Anger; Eastland Hills; Expulsions; Tomboys; Violence; Walter Peeples (??)

Subjects: Menstruation; Sex instruction; Teenage pregnancy

01:17:06 - Teen pregnancy / running away from home

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Partial Transcript: I got pregnant right before I was fourteen.

Segment Synopsis: Henderson recounts getting pregnant at age thirteen, running away from home, being propositioned by a much older man, and finally being found and brought home again by her mother.

Keywords: Abortions; Fathers; Friends; Mistresses; Mothers; Runaways

Subjects: Homeless children; Pregnancy; Runaway children; Teenage pregnancy

01:22:13 - Henderson's first wedding

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Partial Transcript: And so then you had your, your first child. Were, were you still living at home, or did you...

Segment Synopsis: Henderson recalls her first wedding, in which she was eight months pregnant.

Keywords: Assault; Champagne; Dresses; Fighting; Judges; Peasant dresses; Receptions; Thunder; Thunderstorms; Weddings

Subjects: Marriage; Runaway children

01:26:23 - The birth of Henderson's first child

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Partial Transcript: Eh, were you prepared for birth? Did anybody tell you about...

Segment Synopsis: Henderson recounts the birth of her first child, which was also her first time in a hospital.

Keywords: Babies; Bedpans; Birth; Embarrassment; Good Samaritan Hospital (Cincinnati, Ohio); Hospitals; Husbands; IV's; Intensive care; Labor; Mothers; Pain; Smoking; Tranquilizers

Subjects: Childbirth; Nurses

GPS: Good Samaritan Hospital (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Map Coordinates: 39.13966,-84.521443
01:32:50 - Getting an abortion

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Partial Transcript: I tried to breastfeed her. That was, that was an experience cause you know, what I was doing...

Segment Synopsis: Henderson talks about aborting her second child, which she did at a Planned Parenthood clinic.

Keywords: Abortions; Babies; Baby formula; Clinics; Formula; Jealousy; Jobs; Money; Mothers; Neighbors; Possessiveness; Vacuum abortions

Subjects: Abortion; Breastfeeding; Planned Parenthood Federation of America

01:36:50 - Becoming Pro-Life

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Partial Transcript: This is Nola Hadley. I'm interviewing Jennifer Henderson at her home in Cincinnati, and it is...

Segment Synopsis: Henderson describes how her own experience of getting an abortion influenced her to become a part of the Pro-Life movement.

Keywords: Abortions; Christianity; Friends; Rallies; Regret; Sisters; Tools

Subjects: Abortion; Pro-life movement

01:40:22 - Lack of choice at the abortion clinic

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Partial Transcript: Okay, we were just discussing abortion.

Segment Synopsis: Henderson states her opinion that she was not presented with any real choice when she went to get an abortion. She tells why she regrets her decision to go through with the procedure.

Keywords: Babies; Choices; Guilt; Laws; Letters; Murder

Subjects: Abortion; Adoption; Children

01:44:10 - Life as a teenage mother / drug use

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Partial Transcript: In terms of your own history, after, after that point... after the abortion, did, at that time, did you say anything to any of your friends?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson talks about her second abortion, her experiences as a teenage mother, and her use of drugs at that time.

Keywords: Abortions; Babies; Consent; Drugs; Friends; Grandmothers; Husbands; Joints; Money

Subjects: Abortion; Children; Drug abuse; Hippies; Teenage mothers

01:49:16 - Musical talent / Ibeers Hacker (??)

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Partial Transcript: You have this great voice and this interest in music. When did that kind of evolve?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson discusses her singing ability, the kinds of songs she liked to sing, and her love of music from a young age. She sings an excerpt of a song. She also talks about Ibeers Hacker (??), a minister who tried to get her to go on the road with him when she was a teenager.

Keywords: Eastern Community Learning Center; Fathers; Ibeers Hacker (??); John Denver; Ministers; Musical instruments; Performances; Preachers; Robins; Shows; Singers; Songs; The Gong Show; Ukeleles

Subjects: Music; Musical ability; Musicians; Singing

01:56:20 - East End Community Heritage School / earning a GED

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Partial Transcript: How did you find out about the East End school?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson shares more about her education, including earning her GED at East End Community Heritage School, in Cincinnati.

Keywords: GED; General Education Development; Husbands; McMillan Learning Center; Politics

Subjects: Art; Children; East End Community Heritage School (Cincinnati, Ohio); Education; Pregnancy; Schools

GPS: East End Community Heritage School (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Map Coordinates: 39.187994,-84.463127
02:00:39 - Early religious experiences and faith

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Partial Transcript: Also, just in terms of your life, when, when did religion become... hm, I, I know y, you said something...

Segment Synopsis: Henderson talks about her spiritual life, including her early conversion as a child, and her return to faith in her late teenage years.

Keywords: Abuse; Attire; Christ; Christianity; Church; Churches; Husbands; Spirituality; Ten Commandments

Subjects: Children; Marriage; Religion; Wife abuse

02:04:19 - Baptism and attending church / divorce

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Partial Transcript: And I had no one to reach out to. I was out in the boonies.

Segment Synopsis: Henderson shares how she began to attend church again when she lived in Goshen, Ohio, eventually being baptized. She also touches on her divorce.

Keywords: Abuse; Babysitters; Bus ministries; Church; Goshen (Ohio); Neighbors; Redemption; Sin

Subjects: Baptism; Divorce; Grief; Pregnancy; Wife abuse

GPS: Goshen (Ohio)
Map Coordinates: 39.233599,-84.160895
02:08:44 - Suffering from eating disorders

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Partial Transcript: But to get back to the bulimic business...

Segment Synopsis: Henderson discusses her struggle with eating disorders.

Keywords: Appetite; Food; Husbands; Self esteem; Spirituality; Thinness; Weight; Weight gain

Subjects: Anorexia nervosa; Bulimia; Eating disorders; Marriage; Pregnancy; Religion

02:13:18 - Expectations of marriage / reasons for marriage / end of Henderson's last marriage

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Partial Transcript: Before all this happened, like before even before the first baby and first marriage, did you have any visions or...

Segment Synopsis: Henderson discusses her expectations about marriage before she was actually married, and her reasons for getting married. She also shares how her most recent marriage ended.

Keywords: Abuse; Expectations; Husbands; Insecurity; Rejection; Relationships; Security; Single parents

Subjects: Children; Families; Marriage; Single parent families

02:19:00 - Recovery from eating disorders / seeing a counselor

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Partial Transcript: Do you, do you have friends and stuff that you can talk to about it, or how do you get support?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson discusses the process of recovering from her eating disorders, as well as the counseling she has received.

Keywords: 12 step programs; Counseling; Daughters

Subjects: Counselors; Overeaters Anonymous, Inc. (U.S.)

02:24:02 - The Fountain Square Fools / singing and evangelism

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Partial Transcript: Oh, uh, let me ask you about the, the Fountain Square Fools. How'd you hear about them?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson describes how she became involved in the Fountain Square Fools, a touring Christian theater group. She shares how her singing allows her to witness to others about Christ.
[there is a break in the recording]

Keywords: Christians; Contests; Country music; Fountain Square Fools; Gospel music; Ministry; Poetry; Theater; Touring; Traveling; Willie Marsh Kelly (??); Writing

Subjects: Christianity; Music; Singing; Witness bearing (Christianity)

02:30:15 - Work history / financial problems and their resolution

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Partial Transcript: Well, I only have a few more questions. Um, and one is, if you could talk a little bit about your, your working life...

Segment Synopsis: Henderson shares her work history, including working in restaurants, housekeeping, and caring for the elderly. She talks about the stress associated with balancing work with taking care of her children. She also discusses her debt, caused mainly by her husband, and tells how she sold her house the day before its scheduled foreclosure.

Keywords: Babysitting; Bible colleges; Cleaning; Debt; Elderly people; Foreclosure; House cleaning; Houses; Husbands; Jobs; Nursing homes; Restaurants; Stop-N-Go; Stress; Work; Working

Subjects: Food service; Home care services; Older people; Visiting housekeepers

02:37:08 - Moving to Texas / moving back to Cincinnati

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Partial Transcript: I forget, how did you come to be in Texas?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson talks briefly about her life in Texas, and the spiritual revelations she experienced that convinced her to return to Cincinnati.

Keywords: Abuse; Bible colleges; Businesses; Counseling; Husbands

Subjects: Abusive men; Church; Cincinnati (Ohio); Families; Holy Spirit; Marriage counseling; Older people; Texas; Theology; Wife abuse

02:41:19 - Experiences at Bible college

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Partial Transcript: Uh, the, the Bible school? It was hard to leave my church, period.

Segment Synopsis: Henderson discusses attending Bible college, including some of the things that she learned there. She talks especially about learning to evangelize.

Keywords: "Soul winning"; Bible colleges; Bible schools; Bible studies; Church; College classes; God; Husbands; Learning; Spelling

Subjects: Education; Evangelistic work

02:45:50 - A church bus ministry

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Partial Transcript: So you left um, you left Texas and came back here.

Segment Synopsis: Henderson describes her work with her church's bus ministry, which ministers especially to children. She tells why she feels this ministry is important for the children.

Keywords: AAA; Bus ministry; Bus routes; Buses; Experience; Fathers; Parents; Surrogate parents

Subjects: Children; Counseling; Discipline of children

02:51:14 - Social class / being discriminated against

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Partial Transcript: Uh, I only really have, like two other little bitty questions.Then I'll let you go since we're way over here.

Segment Synopsis: Henderson talks about her social class and how others react to it. She states that she has been discriminated against because of her lack of a formal educational background.

Keywords: "White trash"; Class; Eastern Hills; Ignorance; Middle class

Subjects: Appalachians (People); Discrimination; Education; Families; Poverty; Prejudices; Social classes


02:55:30 - Thoughts on the role of women / the women's movement

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Partial Transcript: Do you feel you've been discriminated, experienced discrimination as a woman?

Segment Synopsis: Henderson shares her views on the role of women, and on the women's movement, tying these in to her pro-life stance. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Abortion; Babies; Bible; Men; Mothers; Rights; Shirts; Submission; Tomboys; Women's movement; Women's rights

Subjects: Discrimination; Education; Families; Feminism; Pro-life movement; Sex role; Women