Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Vicie Combs, June 10, 1992

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Family origins / life in the mining camps

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Partial Transcript: Okay. I think it's doing it.

Segment Synopsis: Combs talks about where her family came from. She discusses life in a coal camp. She discusses the relationships between white people and black people in the coal camps, as well as relationships between newcomers and homesteaders. She talks about the work that black women did in the coal camps. She talks about her grandparents.

Keywords: Ancestry; Coal camps; Company stores; Crackers; Equality; Fathers; Grandfathers; Grandmothers; Grandparents; Hazard (Ky.); Marrying; Midwives; Mines; Mothers; Moving; Parents; Pension; Railroads; Strikes; Wooton (Ky.); Working

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Appalachian Region; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Country life; Genealogy; Race relations--Appalachian Region

00:14:24 - Housing in the mining camps / segregation

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Partial Transcript: Um, what kind of a house did you live in? Tell me about Wooton and then tell me about Hazard.

Segment Synopsis: Combs describes the houses that she lived in at the different mining communities, and living with her grandmother. She talks about her mother's death. She talks about the company store. She discusses segregation in the schools. She says that she believes that prejudice is taught by adults and that children don't have those prejudices.

Keywords: Baptism; Bedrooms; Children; Churches; Coal camps; Commissary; Death; Electricity; Grandmothers; Hazard (Ky.); Houses; Mothers; Preachers; Prejudice; Segregation; Sickness; Stores; Swimming; Teachers; Water; Wooton (Ky.)

Subjects: Country life; Families.; Housing--Appalachian Region; Race relations--Appalachian Region

00:27:35 - Christmases with her grandmother / uncle's marriage

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Partial Transcript: Um, what can you tell me about Christmases?

Segment Synopsis: Combs talks about her grandmother's cooking at Christmas. She talks about her uncle fighting in World War II and meeting his wife. She talks about how they had difficulty living in Manchester because she was German.

Keywords: Army; Chestnuts; Fruits; Grandmothers; Outhouses; Persimmons; Uncles; WW2; WWII; Wooten (Ky.); World War 2; World War II; World War Two

Subjects: African American families; Christmas--Appalachian Region; Country life; World War, 1939-1945

00:36:31 - Working together / Christmas for her children

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Partial Transcript: Well let's see. Let me get back here to, um--let me ask you this.

Segment Synopsis: Combs talks more about living in coal camps and segregation in movie theaters. She talks about women working together to make lye soap, apple butter, and lard and doing laundry in the river. She talks about men working in the mines. She tells a story about Christmas when her children were young.

Keywords: Christmas; Coal camps; Hazard (Ky.); Houses; Lanterns; Laundry; Lye soap; Movie theaters; Murders; Santa Claus; Segregation; Wallpaper; Women

Subjects: Coal mines and mining; Country life; Families.; Mining camps; Race relations--Appalachian Region

00:46:32 - Doctors in the country / mining strikes / important people in the community

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Partial Transcript: Okay we're ready to begin here on this other side.

Segment Synopsis: Combs talks about how there weren't doctors in Manchester and having to go back to Hazard for a doctor after a car accident. She talks about a strike that happened in Hazard. She talks about some important people in the community.

Keywords: Charity; Children; Coal camps; Doctors; Elderly; Hazard (Ky.); Manchester (Ky.); Strikes; Unions; Wooton (Ky.); Working

Subjects: Coal miners--Labor unions--Kentucky; Country life; Families.; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Mining camps