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00:00:04 - Family history

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview on November thirteenth, 1991 with Norman Strunk.

Segment Synopsis: Strunk gives brief accounts of his family history as well as how the Barthell Coal Camp and surrounding areas have changed over the years.

Keywords: Barthell (Ky.); Co-Operative (Ky.); Marsh Creek; McCreary County (Ky.): Barthell Coal Camp

Subjects: Coal miners; Coal mines and mining; Families; Farm life; Immigration and emigration; Rural conditions; Rural schools

GPS: Site of Barthell Coal Camp in McCreary County.
Map Coordinates: 36.686389, -84.525278
00:08:04 - Camp houses and neighborhood

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Partial Transcript: Did you live--when you were born there and lived there until you were eight, did you live in one house the whole time?

Segment Synopsis: Strunk describes the layout of his family's house in Barthell Coal Camp, as well as some of the surrounding space and his neighbors.

Keywords: Coal; Coal camp houses; Indoor plumbing; Plumbing; Stilts; Wells

Subjects: Appalachian region--Social conditions; Coal miners and mining; Farm buildings; Farm life; Furniture; House construction; Rural electrification

00:19:06 - Home economics and indoor plumbing

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Partial Transcript: Did, um, your family keep any animals, or?

Segment Synopsis: Strunk describes some of the livestock families like his had at Barthell, and how they kept perishable food items like dairy products from spoiling. He also describes the camp's introduction to indoor plumbing and outhouses.

Keywords: Boarding houses; Chicken house; Chickens; Eggs; Indoor plumbing; Outhouses; Refrigerators; Spring refrigeration

Subjects: Cattle; Farm buildings; Farm life; Home economics; Livestock

00:24:30 - Shootout with town sheriff

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Partial Transcript: A very interesting story, if you w--if you just briefly want the story.

Segment Synopsis: Strunk tells a story he remembers of a Christmas day shootout between his uncle and the local sheriff, which ended with both mortally wounding each other.

Keywords: Law enforcement; Sheriffs

Subjects: Coal miners and mining; Country life; Poetry

00:27:36 - Pastimes as a child

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Partial Transcript: I was gonna ask you more about, sort of, childhood entertainment, things like that.

Segment Synopsis: Strunk recalls the many ways he kept himself entertained as a child living in Barthell. Many examples involve children re-purposing refuse from the mines into toys, but Strunk also recalls camping and hearing music with his family.

Keywords: Amateur musicians; Barthell Hilltops; Bows and arrows; Camping; Carbide; Fishing; Flip gun; Flying jenny; Guitars; Mine water; Slingshot; Snakes; Swimming

Subjects: Appalachian music; Child-rearing; Childhood; Coal miners and mining; Country life; Explosives; Musical instruments; Pollution

00:46:02 - Radio and other media

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Partial Transcript: Radio was the center of everything.

Segment Synopsis: Strunk describes entertainment media available to him and his family as they lived in the coal camp. He notes that the radio was the primary source of news for coal miners, and that radio theater and films offered a stimulating experience for children's minds.

Keywords: Amos 'n Andy; Battery powered radios; Console radios; Inner Sanctum Mystery; Lum & Abner; Movie theaters; Radio news; Shortwave radio; Stearns (Ky.); The Shadow; World War II; World War Two

Subjects: Cinema; Coal miners; Country life; Newspapers; Radio; Rural electrification

00:51:23 - Social gathering places

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Partial Transcript: But would you all, like, ride the train cars into Stearns to see a show?

Segment Synopsis: Strunk describes a number of social spaces in Barthell, including the general store, the schoolhouse, and, of course, the mine.

Keywords: Christmas programs; Flagpole; Schoolhouses; Stearns (Ky.); Trains; World War II

Subjects: Churches; Coal miners and mining; Coal mines; Country stores; Holidays; Patriotism; Railroad; Rural schools--Kentucky

00:59:13 - Segregation / bridges

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Partial Transcript: There were eight or ten Black families that lived right here in Stearns.

Segment Synopsis: Strunk recalls the segregated living areas in Barthell, noting that relations between Black and white workers were generally amiable, and that members of his family made friends with Black workers. He also talks about the bridges crossing the creek, which he remembers well from his youth.

Keywords: Atlas Parsons; Magistrates; Racial slurs; Railroad workers; Stearns (Ky.); Sweetheart rock

Subjects: African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions; Coal miners and mining; Integration; Poetry; Tall tales

01:08:03 - Friends and childhood

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember the names of some of your best pals that you played around with at the time?

Segment Synopsis: Strunk remembers the names of his boyhood friends and describes the free reign children were given over their entertainment when parents were working during the day.

Keywords: Rabbit tobacco; Schoolhouses; Swimming; Tobacco; Winter

Subjects: Amusement; Childhood; Smoking

01:16:12 - Miscellaneous places around Barthell

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Partial Transcript: Um, had you ever heard anything about a barber shop?

Segment Synopsis: Strunk discusses some of the small businesses and stores around the camp, such as barber shops and bath houses. He and the interviewer speak at length about maps and photographs of the camp.

Keywords: Barber shops; Bath houses; Furniture; John Coffee House; Pianos; Schoolhouses; Tipple; Trains; Wells

Subjects: Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Coal mining machinery; Irrigation; Maps; Photographs; Poetry; Railroad accidents; Small business

01:34:37 - Coal miners and accidents

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Partial Transcript: My dad was a motorman.

Segment Synopsis: Strunk discusses his father's career as a coal miner. He notes that in spite of seeing several deadly accidents in his career, his father and other miners had a strong appreciation for coal mining and would always be reluctant to give it up.

Keywords: A. B. "Happy" Chandler; Asphyxiation; Mining accidents; Motormen; Strikes; United Mine Workers of America

Subjects: Coal miners and mining--Kentucky; Coal mines; Coal mines and mining Accidents; Coal mining machinery; Strikes and lockouts--Coal mining