Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Charles W. Berger, July 18, 1991

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - Family and growing up

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Partial Transcript: This is Charles Berger being interviewed by Zack Lewton on July 18th, 1991.

Segment Synopsis: Berger talks about where his parents came from. He talks about growing up in the coal mining camp and the house he grew up in.

Keywords: Bedrooms; Brothers; Coal mines; Coal mining camps; College; Fathers; Growing up; Harlan County (Ky.); Houses; Mothers; Parents; Rooms

Subjects: Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Families.; Housing--Appalachian Region

00:07:23 - Education

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Partial Transcript: Well tell, uh--was it your parents' decision to send you boys to military school or do you remember whose--

Segment Synopsis: Berger talks about going to school in Harlan, and going to military school. He talks about going to college.

Keywords: College; Discipline; Fathers; Georgia; Harlan schools; Law schools; Military schools; Millersburg Military Institute; Respect; Spanking; Sports; Students; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Discipline of children; Education, Higher; Military education.; School discipline

00:15:06 - Parents' new house / father's farm / family's farm

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Partial Transcript: Okay, you said your parents moved when you were, I think, a freshman in college?

Segment Synopsis: Berger talks about his parents moving and the house they moved to. He talks about his father working as a postmaster, owning and renting farm land, and selling horses. He talks about going to his grandmother's farm as a child.

Keywords: Bedrooms; Cattle; Chickens; Crops; Eggs; Farming; Farms; Grandmothers; Hogs; Horses; Houses; Mothers; Moving; Parents; Postmasters; Prices; Rooms; Selling; Shelby County (Ky.); Stone cutters; Stone work; Tenants; Uncles; Wells

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Families.; Housing; Livestock

00:34:24 - Working / education in Harlan County

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Partial Transcript: Well what did, did your parents make you get out in the garden when you didn't like it, did you ever--

Segment Synopsis: Berger talks about working at home and at a job. He talks about the Harlan County schools. He also talks about his mother teaching. He talks about the Korean War.

Keywords: Brothers; Canning; Cattle; Clearing land; Coal mining camps; Cows; Cutting grass; Driving trucks; Gardens; Harvesting; Hogs; Jobs; Korean War; Milking; Mothers; Planting; Weeds; Working

Subjects: Coal mines and mining--Appalachian Region; Education--Kentucky.; Gardening--Appalachian Region; Harlan County (Ky.); Lumber trade.

00:41:16 - Marrying and working

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Partial Transcript: Well tell me about how you met your wife.

Segment Synopsis: Berger talks about meeting and marrying his wife. He talks about his political and law career. He talks about working with his wife.

Keywords: Attorneys; Baptist churches; College; Economy; Harlan (Ky.); Home; Law practice; Letcher County (Ky.); Marriage; Politics; Senate; Senators; Wife

Subjects: Kentucky--General Assembly--Senate; Lawyers--Kentucky

00:50:12 - Going to church / raising children

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Partial Transcript: Okay, well you were talking about the Baptist Church. Was your family growing up, were you in the Baptist Church, or?

Segment Synopsis: Berger talks about going to church growing up. He talks about transportation growing up. He talks about raising his daughters, and their education.

Keywords: Baptist churches; Bus lines; Buses; Cars; Children; City schools; College; Daughters; Discipline; Honesty; Independent schools; Lincoln Memorial University; Methodist churches; Parents; School buses; Teachers; Transylvania University; Travel; Truth; Tuition; University of Kentucky; Wife

Subjects: Education, Higher--Kentucky; Religion; Transportation--Kentucky

01:04:20 - Gardening / canning

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Partial Transcript: Well let's get to what you grow now that you--how did you get into doing some farming?

Segment Synopsis: Berger talks about gardening. He talks about canning with his wife.

Keywords: Animals; Beans; Daughters; Family; Farming; Gardens; Heirloom seeds; Land; Plants; Renting; Sharecropping; Turner beans; Wife

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Canning and preserving; Gardening; Land use, Rural--Kentucky

01:14:48 - The future of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: What do you think about the future of Eastern Kentucky in that sort of, you know--

Segment Synopsis: Berger talks about the outlook of the economy of Kentucky.

Keywords: Coal Severance Tax; Diversifying; Economy; Future; Jobs

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Economic conditions; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky

01:17:53 - Organic gardening / learning about gardening

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Partial Transcript: Well let's get back to your garden here. I think we're just about out of tape, so.

Segment Synopsis: Berger talks about his experience with and perspective on organic gardening. He talks about learning about gardening from other people.

Keywords: Organic gardening; Pesticides; Shuck beans

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Gardening--Appalachian Region; Organic farming--Kentucky