Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Abby Marlatt, February 1, 1999

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Childhood musical activities

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Partial Transcript: --Abby Marlatt. Today is Monday February first, 1999.

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Abby Marlatt talks about attending music lessons as a child which were run by the Kansas State College Music Department. She talks about playing in a children's orchestra, and performing concerts.

Keywords: Auditorium; Children's music; Concerts; Fire escapes; Music classes; Music departments; Orchestras; Piano lessons; State contests; Viola; Violin

Subjects: Arts and children.; Childhood; Kansas State University; Music and children.

GPS: Kansas State University
Map Coordinates: 39.191667, -96.580833
00:05:57 - Childhood clubs and recreation

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Partial Transcript: What kinds of, uh, other activities were you involved with as a child?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Marlatt talks about her other childhood activities, including Girl Scouts, church groups, and reading. She talks about her social life during her early days in school.

Keywords: Books; Camping; Carnegie public library; Church clubs; Church missions; Code of behavior; Girl Scouts; Methodist Church; Movies; Parties; Personal library; Popularity; Reading; Social set

Subjects: Childhood; Recreation

00:13:54 - Parents' social attitudes

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Partial Transcript: Were your parents Democrats or Republicans in the 1930s, during the Depression?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Marlatt talks about her parents' political views, and their attitudes regarding civil rights.

Keywords: Abraham Lincoln; Attitudes; Black churches; Black community; Democrats; Eleanor Roosevelt; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Kansas; Mothers; NAACP; New Deal; Republicans; Views

Subjects: African American churches; African Americans--Civil rights; African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions.; Integration; Politics and government; Race discrimination.; United States--Race relations.

00:18:16 - Family vacations

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Partial Transcript: Did you, um--well I g--it was the Depression but in any case, did you and your parents go on vacations together as a family?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Marlatt talks about some of the trips she took with her parents during her childhood, including visiting relatives in California and Washington D.C., and travelling alone by train to Chicago as a young child.

Keywords: California; Chicago (Ill.); Day trips; Picnics; Trains; Traveling; Visiting relatives; Washington D.C.

Subjects: Childhood; Families.; Family vacations

GPS: Chicago (Ill.)
Map Coordinates: 41.836944, -87.684722
00:25:06 - More on childhood recreation

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Partial Transcript: Did you and your mother and father ever play your instruments together?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Marlatt talks more about her childhood, including slumber parties with her friends and joining a 4-H garden club, and describes some of the pets she had, including a hen.

Keywords: 4-H Club; Cats; Friends; Garden clubs; Hens; Jumping on the bed; Mothers; Music; Slumber parties

Subjects: Childhood; Pets.; Recreation

00:30:57 - Sex education

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Partial Transcript: Um, did your mother ever talk to you about "the birds and the bees?"

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Marlatt talks about her mother teaching her about sex, and talks about attitudes within her community about pregnancy prior to marriage.

Keywords: "The birds and the bees"; Abortions; Attitudes; Community; High school; Mothers; Pregnancy; Public Affairs pamphlets; Sex education

Subjects: Sex instruction.; Sexual health.; Sexually transmitted diseases--Study and teaching.

00:35:25 - Social life in high school

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Partial Transcript: What kinds of, uh--when, when you were a senior in high school what were the graduation activities that you--besides, you know--was there--

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Marlatt talks about social activities in high school like dances and parties, and says that she did not date much. She mentions her participation in graduation ceremonies as an administrator at UK, and describes the topic of her dissertation.

Keywords: Boyfriends; Clubs; Dances; Dating; Director of the School of Home Economics; Dissertations; Graduation ceremonies; High school; Homecoming; Invitations; Kansas State University; Parties; Prom; Social life; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Dance parties; Dating (Social customs)

00:41:40 - African American housekeeper

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Partial Transcript: Um, I wanted to jump ahead to--the last time we talked you said that, um, from 1967, after your mother died, that you had a Black woman who came in for about fifteen years at least once a week to do housekeeping?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Marlatt talks about how she came to hire Elizabeth Smith as her housekeeper after her mother's death. She talks about their relationship, and describes Smith's life and personality.

Keywords: Awareness; Character; Church; Civil rights background; Cleaning; Domestic workers; Dr. Thomas D. Clark; Elizabeth Smith; Employees; Family; Housekeepers; Networks; Personality; Private schools; Public library; Relationships; Religious; Retirement

Subjects: African American families; African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Civil rights movements--United States; Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.

00:51:27 - Norma Perry

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Partial Transcript: Would you let me ask you about Ms. Perry?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Marlatt talks about how she met Norma Perry, and discusses Perry's career. She talks about why Perry left Kentucky, when she returned, and when she passed away.

Keywords: Childhood education; Death; Graduate school; Health issues; Hiring; Manitoba (Canada); Mothers; Norma Perry; Recuperation; Respiratory infections; School of Home Economics; Surgery

Subjects: College administrators; College department heads; College teachers--Selection and appointment.; College teachers--Tenure.; Educators; Universities and colleges--Administration.; Universities and colleges--Faculty.; University of Kentucky

Hyperlink: Norma Perry
00:59:45 - Relationships

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Partial Transcript: Was Nor--was your relationship with Norma then, was that your only serious relationship in your life?

Segment Synopsis: Dr. Marlatt discusses her relationships with men and women throughout her life, and says that her most longstanding relationship was with Norma Perry. She talks about dating, the terms "lesbian" and "bisexual", and talks about why unmarried women with careers often chose to live together. She talks about emotional versus physical relationships. The interview ends abruptly.

Keywords: Dating; Eleanor Roosevelt; Emotional relationships; Garden cottage; Kansas State University; Living together; Norma Perry; Professionals; Relationships with men; University of California at Berkeley; Unmarried women

Subjects: Bisexuals.; Couples.; Friendship.; Interpersonal relations.; Intimacy (Psychology); Lesbians.; Man-woman relationships.