Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Sue Ella Easterling Kobak, October 28, 1985

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:58 - Resentment towards others / family background

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Partial Transcript: Cou, could you start out--could you talk about the resentment stuff some, that you were talking about last night?

Segment Synopsis: Kobak briefly mentions her resentment of other AVs. She talks about the difference between her mother and dad's families and their motivation for helping others.

Keywords: Background; Differences; Father's family; Mother's family

Subjects: Families.

00:05:15 - Initial involvement with Appalachian Volunteers

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Partial Transcript: Ho, how did you meet Bill Wells in the first place?

Segment Synopsis: Kobak talks about her motivations for getting involved in the Appalachian Volunteers. She talks about the economic and social differences between herself and some of the other volunteers.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Benefits; Bill Wells; Joining; Motivations

Subjects: Morehead State University

00:13:41 - Circumventing power

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Partial Transcript: What was the door into?

Segment Synopsis: Kobak discusses the difficulty she had fighting against the local power structure both in her hometown of Pike County, Ky. and while she was in college at Morehead State University. She talks about how her position in the Appalachian Volunteers provided gave her a certain amount of "imperfect" power.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Impact; Imperfect power; Local politics; Local power structure; Using

Subjects: Education, Higher--Kentucky; Morehead State University

00:21:35 - Personal agendas

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Partial Transcript: You were talking last night some--just like in general about the--talking about the, the "yous", the "mes".

Segment Synopsis: Kobak talks about Appalachian Volunteer field-men's relations with others. She talks about people having their own agenda, including AV field-men.

Keywords: Agendas; Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Awareness; Field-men; Locals; Manipulation; Personalities; Threatening tactics

Subjects: Social reformers--Appalachian Region

00:27:55 - Life in the mountains / politics in Appalachia

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Partial Transcript: In Raleigh County, I remember the sheriff who was th--he was then the sheriff for the third time...

Segment Synopsis: Kobak talks about having a difficult time understanding where other non-local Appalachian Volunteers' points of view. She goes on to talk about life in the mountains, mentioning her father had a difficult time making ends meet while working as a coal miner. She also talks about the politics of the region, specifically talking about Pike County, Kentucky.

Keywords: Alan McSurely; Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Control; Decline; Democratic party; Different:Points of view; Eastern Kentucky; Edith Easterling; Jink Ray; Locals; Power base; Power structures; Republicans; Rise; Thomas Ratliff

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Economic conditions; Appalachian Region--Politics and government; Appalachians (People)--Kentucky--Social conditions; Party affiliation--Kentucky; Pike County (Ky.)

00:41:11 - Social structure within Appalachian Volunteers / firing Joe Mulloy

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Partial Transcript: When, when you talk about "we all", do you think that people that got to know each other, that had lived...

Segment Synopsis: Kobak talks about how Appalachian Volunteers from the Appalachian region were treated differently than AV field-men. She goes on to talk about the situation surrounding the AVs firing Joe Mulloy.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Class structure; Field-men; Firing; Hierarchy; Joe Mulloy; Local volunteers; Power within the AVs

Subjects: Social reformers--Appalachian Region

00:48:39 - Overview of work history with Appalachian Volunteers

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Partial Transcript: So you were involved in, in--with the thing just about from the very beginning.

Segment Synopsis: Kobak talks about her limited employment with the Appalachian Volunteers, mentioning that she was only on the AVs payroll from January 1968 to the spring of 1968 having first worked with the AVs since 1964.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Bill Wells; Funding

Subjects: Employment--Kentucky

00:54:58 - College student involvement in Appalachian Volunteers

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Partial Transcript: When you were a student at Morehead what--how many kids...

Segment Synopsis: Kobak talks about the early student involvement from Morehead State University within the Appalachian Volunteers.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); College volunteers; Personal motivations; Relations; Student involvement

Subjects: Morehead State University

00:58:24 - Student activism / involvement with the Appalachian Volunteers

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Partial Transcript: In, in the last year I had dropped out and went back and when I went back I got involved in...

Segment Synopsis: Kobak talks about getting more involved in other student organizations during her final year in college. She also talks about staying minimally involved in the Appalachian Volunteers, mentioning that she would "hustle" the AVs.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Financial situations; Involvement; John Kobak; Student activism

Subjects: Morehead State University

01:04:55 - Radio programs / sharing stories

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Partial Transcript: I know you have to get cranking here on your day, but could you talk a little bit about...

Segment Synopsis: Kobak discusses the concerns she has with different radio programs. She goes on to talk about people sharing their own stories. [interview is concluded]

Keywords: Control; Criticism; Personal stories; Sharing; Trust

Subjects: Radio programs.