Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Bertha Mae Lacy, March 18, 1994

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - Biographical background

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Partial Transcript: We are in, uh--today is the--today is March 18th, 1994.

Segment Synopsis: Lacy's grandmother, from North Carolina, came to Big Sandy to work. Lacy mentions her mother Belle, the mines, and the death of her uncle.

Keywords: Big Sandy (W. Va.); Cooks; Mines; North Carolina; Roderfield (W. Va.); Stillbirths; Tuberculosis; Tunnels; West Virginia

Subjects: Families.; Genealogy; North Carolina; Stillbirth; Tuberculosis

GPS: Big Sandy (W. Va.)
Map Coordinates: 37.464167, -81.698056
00:03:42 - Marriage and children

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Partial Transcript: And then I got married in nineteen hundred and thirty four (1934).

Segment Synopsis: Lacy, remarried after the death of her first husband to tuberculosis, had eleven children with her second husband.

Keywords: Divorced women; Mine inspectors; Tax accountants; Tuberculosis; United Parcel Service (UPS); Welch High School

Subjects: Divorced women; Families.; Tax consultants; Tuberculosis; United Parcel Service; Welch High School (Welch, W. Va.)

00:08:25 - Education

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Partial Transcript: Um, when you were growing up, did you--uh, what kind of schooling did you have?

Segment Synopsis: Lacy describes education at Kimball High School, which was a segregated high school.

Keywords: All-Black schools; Buses; Hemp Hill; Integration; Kimball; Poverty; Race discrimination

Subjects: African Americans--Segregation; Blacks--Segregation; Poverty; Race discrimination; Segregation in education

00:11:45 - Husband's work for the railroad

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Partial Transcript: And your, and your husband worked for the railroad.

Segment Synopsis: Lacy's husband worked seven days a week for the railroad. Two out of three days, he did not sleep. He started as a track worker, and later became a track inspector.

Keywords: Pensions; Track workers; Walk track

Subjects: Railroad; Railroad tracks--Inspection

00:12:57 - Children's education

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Partial Transcript: So did all of your kids graduate from high school?

Segment Synopsis: Lacy describes her children who graduated high school. Lacy's oldest son was killed.

Keywords: Dope; Homicides; Kimball; Welch High School

Subjects: Drugs, Nonprescription; Education; Welch High School

00:14:47 - Earning spending money

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Partial Transcript: And, tell me what it was again, you were talking about the uh, uh, about the aprons. You said that you did, uh--what was it you did for extra spending money?

Segment Synopsis: Lacy describes saving money for vacations and Christmas by selling aprons. Her children sold newspapers.

Keywords: Aprons; Ebony; Shopping; Spending money; Vacation money; Welch Daily News

Subjects: Aprons; Women--Employment

00:16:53 - Travel pass from the train company

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Partial Transcript: And you said that the, um, you said that the, um, the train company would give you--what, what was the name of the train company?

Segment Synopsis: Lacy explains the Norfolk and Western Railroad benefit that allows workers' families to travel without cost.

Keywords: Discounts; Norfolk and Southern; Norfolk and Western Railroad (N&W); Passes; Trains

Subjects: Norfolk and Western Railway Company

00:18:20 - Beulah Baptist Church

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Partial Transcript: Uh, well you had a--tell me about your--what church did you all go to?

Segment Synopsis: Lacy describes the start of the Beulah Baptist Church. She discusses rationing during the war, raising hogs for meat and lard, and canning food.

Keywords: Beulah Baptist Church; Canning; Hogs; Lard; WWII; War rations; World War II

Subjects: African American Baptists; Canning and preserving; Lard; Rationing--United States; Swine; World War, 1939-1945

00:21:26 - Second marriage

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Partial Transcript: Uh, uh, that was just a joy for me, and my husband too, because we, we, we thought we was young, and we still think it.

Segment Synopsis: Lacy describes meeting her second husband, and her marriage. They were married 46 years. Her husband came from the farm directly to his job with the railroad.

Keywords: Divorce; Employment; Marriage

Subjects: Divorce; Marriage; Men--Employment

00:24:44 - The future

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Partial Transcript: Um, well, as you've looked over all your life and everything and everything that's happened here, what do you see happening in the future?

Segment Synopsis: Lacy considers the future. She feels respected and well-known in her community. She considers her family to have been blessed because she raised them well.

Keywords: Families; Jail; McDowell County (W. Va.); Parenting; Respect

Subjects: Families; Jail; McDowell County (W. Va.); Parenting