Interview with Jack Rivel, March 16, 1993

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:39 - Early Appalachian Volunteer projects

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Partial Transcript: How 'bout we start with the, uh, early AV projects. Tell me what was going on and how everybody reacted to them.

Segment Synopsis: Rivel talks about early Appalachian Volunteer projects. He talks about having difficulty recruiting college students from the area. He goes on to talk about the response and support of the Office of Economic Opportunity and school superintendents in regard to early AV projects.

Keywords: AVs; Community; OEO; One room schools; Projects; Reactions; School renovations; School superintendents; Support

Subjects: Social reformers--Appalachian Region; United States. Office of Economic Opportunity.

00:10:30 - Criticism of education staff

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Partial Transcript: You said the education professors were the wrong people to talk to. Wh--what do you mean by that?

Segment Synopsis: Rivel discusses the problems he had with education professors in the area colleges.

Keywords: Education professors; Problems

Subjects: Education--Appalachian Region; Union College (Barbourville, Ky.)

00:14:06 - First community action program in Barbourville, Ky. / relations between outsiders and locals

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Partial Transcript: What was the, uh, the goal of the school refurbishing projects? Was, was it beyond fixing the existing structure?

Segment Synopsis: Rivel talks about when the Office of Economic Opportunity first set up a community action program in Barbourville, Ky. He goes on to discuss the relations between volunteers (i.e. outsiders) and the locals. He also talks about outsiders coming into the region and exploiting the people and region.

Keywords: Appearances; Community Action Program boards; Community relations; Control; Exploitation; Hiring issues; Jim Kendrick; Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO); Presidents; Volunteers

Subjects: (Barbourville, Ky.); Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Berea College

00:24:01 - Outside and summer volunteers / becoming more issue oriented

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Partial Transcript: If, uh, you couldn't get the eastern Kentucky kids to help on your projects but you could get the kids from...

Segment Synopsis: Rivel talks about how outside volunteers were accepted by the locals. He also talks about summer volunteers from the region. He goes on to talk about when the Appalachian Volunteers refocused and became more issue oriented. He also talks about how the AV field-men picked their summer volunteers.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Community acceptance; Drafting volunteers; Enrichment projects; Influence of the community; Issue organizing; Outside volunteers; Summer projects; Summer volunteers

Subjects: Social reformers--Appalachian Region

00:30:40 - Other organizations' response to Appalachian Volunteers issue organizing

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Partial Transcript: How did the, uh, other--the, the same, the same organizations that you talked about before...

Segment Synopsis: Rivel talks about how other organizations involved in the War on Poverty reacted to the Appalachian Volunteers' change in philosophy, mentioning the Council of the Southern Mountains and Office of Economic Opportunity.

Keywords: Anti-poverty organizations; Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM); Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO); Relations

Subjects: Social reformers--Appalachian Region

00:34:52 - Council of the Southern Mountains / community action technicians

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Partial Transcript: Could you describe a distinct Council philosophy as opposed to the AV...

Segment Synopsis: Rivel talks about the philosophical differences between the Council of the Southern Mountains and Appalachian Volunteers. He also talks about the community action technicians.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); CATs; CSM; Differences; Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO); Relations

Subjects: Social reformers--Appalachian Region

00:39:11 - Local power structure / split with Council of the Southern Mountains

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Partial Transcript: How did the, uh, county power structures react to your issue organizing?

Segment Synopsis: Rivel talks about how the local power structures responded to the Appalachian Volunteers' issue organizing. He talks about the AVs' split from the Council. He goes on to talk about local leaders.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Local leaders; Local power structures; Relations

00:43:59 - Local community leaders

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Partial Transcript: What about the, uh, the issue leaders in the mountains themselves? What role did the AVs...

Segment Synopsis: Rivel talks about the Appalachian Volunteers' support of "local issue" community leaders.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Relations

00:45:21 - Political control / success of issue organizing

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Partial Transcript: You said earlier that some of the county political leaders feared losing control. What do you mean by that?

Segment Synopsis: Rivel talks about the political culture in the region, mentioning that the power structure has a certain amount of political control over people. He goes on to discuss the success the Appalachian Volunteers had in issue organizing. He talks about various issues they organized around.

Keywords: Advocacy; Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Community organizing; Legal project; Political control; Politics; Social workers

Subjects: Appalachian region; Social reformers--Appalachian Region

00:50:27 - Reasons behind local people issue organizing / role of Appalachian Volunteers in issue organizing / maximum feasible participation

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Partial Transcript: Why, why is it that people started to speak out, the mountain people themselves, when the AVs were there?

Segment Synopsis: Rivel talks about why people in Appalachia began to speak out and organize as a community. He talks about the impact the Appalachian Volunteers had on spurring locals to issue organize. He goes on to talk about the participation of the poor.

Keywords: Control; Issue organizing; Jobs; Locals; Motivations

Subjects: Social reformers--Appalachian Region

00:55:28 - Community and issue organizing

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Partial Transcript: How did, uh,--or why and how did the sort of sense of fear that the people had...

Segment Synopsis: Rivel talks about the power of community organizing.

Keywords: Community organizing; Impact; Issue organizing; School consolidations; Small communities

Subjects: Community action.

00:58:57 - Sedition arrest in Pike County, Ky.

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Partial Transcript: Do you know anything about the sedition arrest in Pike County?

Segment Synopsis: Rivel talks about the sedition arrest of Joe Mulloy and Al McSurely in Pike County, Ky. He talks about the possible motivations for the arrest and the turmoil it caused in the area. He also talks about the public's reaction to the sedition arrest.

Keywords: Al McSurely; Joe Mulloy; McSurelys; Paranoia

Subjects: Pitino, Rick; University of Kentucky--Basketball

01:10:45 - Vietnam War and the Appalachian Volunteers / VISTAs

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Partial Transcript: Why do you think the Volunteers--I mean they kind of fell--by '68...

Segment Synopsis: Rivel talks about the impact of Joe Mulloy draft situation on the Appalachian Volunteers. He goes on to talk about VISTAs.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AV); Joe Mulloy; Resisting the war; VISTAs

Subjects: Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Volunteers in Service to America

01:15:42 - Relations with federal authorities

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Partial Transcript: Did the AVs have much contact with, uh, Carl Perkins or John Sherman Cooper...

Segment Synopsis: Rivel talks about the AVs' connection to John Sherman Cooper and Carl D. Perkins. He also talks about Jack Ciaccio.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Jack Ciaccio; Ky. Congressmen; Relations; Support

Subjects: Cooper, John Sherman, 1901-1991; Perkins, Carl Dewey, 1912-1984

01:22:23 - Bob Coals / Dan Fox / Milton Ogle

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Partial Transcript: What about--Bob Coals was from the--he was the Harvard...

Segment Synopsis: Rivel discusses his feelings on Bob Coals, Dan Fox and Milton Ogle.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Personalities

Subjects: Social reformers--Appalachian Region