Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Fred Lewis, June 14, 1991

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:01 - Clearing mountain land for a farm

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay this is Zack Lewton. I'm talking to Fred Lewis in his living room, I guess.

Segment Synopsis: Lewis reads a story he wrote about clearing the land for farming. He talks about how they chose the land to clear.

Keywords: Clearing land; Farming; Fields; Hoeing; Mountain living; Planting; Timber

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Family farms; Land use, Rural--Kentucky

00:05:46 - Family / church

Play segment

Partial Transcript: No, I want you to tell me some more, if you would, about--

Segment Synopsis: Lewis reads a letter that he wrote to his children about their mother and about how much he loves them. He reads a thank you letter that he wrote to the church when he was in the hospital.

Keywords: Children; Friends; Letters; Preachers; Religion

Subjects: Churches--Kentucky; Families.; Rural churches

00:12:27 - Lewis's stepfather

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, I'll tell you about what I was going to ask you about was growing up and all about your mom and dad, and what they did, and what you did as a child, your chores, and that.

Segment Synopsis: Lewis reads a story he wrote about his stepfather.

Keywords: 1920s; Farming; Ginseng; Kentucky; Logging; Lumber; Money; Moonshine; Mountain land; Whiskey; Working; Writing

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Families.; Family farms; Land use, Rural--Kentucky

00:20:56 - Life, work, and religion in rural Kentucky

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Let me try reading some of it here.

Segment Synopsis: Lewis reads what he wrote about his life and his family. His story also talks about typical life in rural Kentucky. He talks about religion before official churches.

Keywords: Attitudes; Building; Children; Community; Death; Farming; Grandparents; Houses; Illness; Logs; Lumber; Preachers; Sickness; Wood

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Religion; Country life; Families.; Family farms; Housing; Land use, Rural--Kentucky; Rural conditions

00:31:12 - Logging in Kentucky / hunting

Play segment

Partial Transcript: They came here to log the virgin poplar.

Segment Synopsis: He reads more of the story that he wrote about the logging industry.
[Interruption of reading.]

Keywords: Bees; Building houses; Dams; Dogs; Helping; Hogs; Hounds; Hunting; Lumber; Meat; Money; Sawmills; Timber; Working

Subjects: Logging; Sawmill workers; Sawmills.

00:38:26 - Fencing the gardens / raising crops

Play segment

Partial Transcript: All the hillside farms and gardens had to have a fence around them.

Segment Synopsis: Lewis reads about building fences around gardens and farms to keep animals out. He reads about the food that they grew on the farm. [Recording interrupted] He talks about how houses were set up, and what they did for recreation.

Keywords: Barrels; Canning; Changes; Entertainment; Fences; Food; Houses; Pickling; Planting; Preserving; Seeds; Slats; Smokehouses; Wildfire; Wood

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Family farms; Farms, small; Housing--Appalachian Region; Recreation

00:45:12 - Colloquial language / cattle

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I said a few things about some words.

Segment Synopsis: Lewis talks about the different kinds of slang that they used. He reads a story about cattle.

Keywords: Cows; Feeding animals; Sayings; Vocabulary; Words

Subjects: Beef cattle.; Colloquial language.; Country life; Dairy cattle; Livestock--Appalachian region; Slang

00:53:08 - Chickens / writing, mining, and museum work

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Are you ready to quit?

Segment Synopsis: Lewis reads a few stories about mother hens. He talks about trying to publish some of his writings. He talks about his children. He talks about working in the coal mines, and the old money that he's collected.

Keywords: Artifacts; Black lung; Children; Collecting; Eggs; Family; Hens; Jobs; Mining unions; Money; Museum; Publishing; Scrip

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Chickens.; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky--Harlan County; Families.; Livestock--Appalachian region

01:04:29 - The veterans hospital / antiques

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So the veterans hospital took pretty good care of you down there?

Segment Synopsis: Lewis talks about going to the veterans hospital. He talks about some more of the items he's collected and some of the furniture he's made.

Keywords: Collecting; Collector's items; Making furniture; Old money; Scrip; Veterans hospitals

Subjects: Antiques.; Furniture; Handicraft--Kentucky; Medical care--Kentucky; Money.

01:13:08 - World War II / Lewis' children / tobacco

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So how long were you in the war?

Segment Synopsis: Lewis talks about being in the war. He talks about his children and his adopted son. He also talks about raising and chewing tobacco.

Keywords: Adopting children; Children; Draft; Tobacco; WW2; WWII; World War 2; World War II; World War Two

Subjects: Adoption--Kentucky; Families.; Tobacco farms--Kentucky; United States. Army Air Forces; World War, 1939-1945

01:17:40 - Using resources / costs of living

Play segment

Partial Transcript: You see, everything had its purpose.

Segment Synopsis: Lewis talks about how people throw away more trash today than they used to. He talks about how much it cost to buy supplies.

Keywords: Coal mining; Junk; Money; Paper; Plastic; Strip mining; Supplies; Table scraps; Trash; Traveling; Wagons

Subjects: Economic conditions; Pollution.; Water--Pollution

01:22:36 - Keeping animals / women working in the homes and the community

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Do you have any other livestock?

Segment Synopsis: Lewis talks about keeping livestock, and his mother making clothes and feather beds.

Keywords: Animals; Changes; Cleaning; Cooking; Creeks; Feathers; Gardens; Geese; Knitting; Mother; Wool

Subjects: Clothing and dress; Livestock--Appalachian region; Women--Kentucky