Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with William T. Young, Sr., January 3, 2002

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Transcript

 YOUNG: Like an idiot in that, uh, as far as judgment goes. I forget the details, but that was my reaction, and uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, Mr. Young as I was saying, uh, before I turned on the tape recorder, it's uh, this is our 15th session by my calculations, and we have about 20 hours of interviews, and I want to thank you again for, for doing this.

YOUNG: You must be unemployed to do this.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)-- It's a great opportunity to do this.

YOUNG: It's been my, been my great pleasure, Terry.

BIRDWHISTELL: Thank you sir. What I thought uh--I'd been looking forward to talking with you about your role in the development of something that's extremely important to the University and that's the Library, and I thought it fitting to save for the last session unless we come up with something else we want to talk about. Uh, your involvement in the uh, uh, development of the, of the W.T. Young, William T. Young Library, and uh, I wanted to sort of go back, 00:01:00and I think, uh, uh, the documentary evidence shows, and the oral histories show that your role in philanthropy and community support goes back to the early days in your business with supporting the Y and all the different things in town. Your role at Transylvania University we talked about and it's well documented. --(clears throat)--I wanted to sort of start off today by talking about your, your uh--as a UK grad and an alum, uh, how you became involved in supporting the University of Kentucky and, and, uh, how that evolved over the, over the years.

YOUNG: Well, it's an interesting subject, and I suppose it's one that's uh, near and dear to my heart. There's something about your alma mater that's uh, 00:02:00more than just a cliché, that uh, that's where your heart is, I think that uh, most of us uh, uh, do have a soft spot in our heart for our alma mater, no mater whether it's Harvard or the University of Kentucky, I guess. And, uh, uh, I feel, and uh, I feel even more keenly today, that uh, what success I have had --(clears throat)--uh, if you put your finger on any one thing, it has to be the education I got as an undergraduate. Uh, and I got that at the University of Kentucky, in uh, in tenuous times, if you will, from 1935 to 1939--


YOUNG: --but the interesting thing to me over the years, and even in the early 00:03:00years, that I never felt at a disadvantage to anyone, and I mean anyone when I was climbing up the ladder, if you will, uh, from an educational standpoint. That included the few boys that I knew went to, went to Harvard and went to Yale, I was exposed to all of the schools, but I never felt any feeling of inferiority whatsoever, and uh, so it made me realize, or at least come to believe as I got older, that I received just as good an education as, as I would have if my family, uh, could have afforded Yale or Harvard--


YOUNG: --or what not. All it took to get in those years, Terry, was the tuition.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--That's right.

YOUNG: The ACTs and all that didn't exist.


BIRDWHISTELL: They hadn't been invented yet.

YOUNG: And it didn't make any difference. All they were looking for was a, was a check that wasn't cold. And uh, uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: But anyway, I've always had that debt, plus the fact that uh, even at the time I realized, and it certainly as I got older, that they were perhaps the four most glorious years I ever spent.


YOUNG: We were all footloose and fancy free and naïve, and uh, I enjoyed school, uh. Motivation is a, is a separate subject to talk about, and I have my own ideas on that, I think you're born with motivation, to put it in a sentence, and I was born with motivation. Uh, I was a good student.

BIRDWHISTELL: Motivated at birth.

YOUNG: Yeah, the University of Kentucky, as far as I know I made straight A's at the University of Kentucky, I think I had 4 B's, this, since it's--this is the 00:05:00last session, I'll be a little candid.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: I can even remember the subject they were in. They were jack-ass subjects--

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: --one was boxing.

BIRDWHISTELL: Boxing. --(laughs)--

YOUNG: What can you expect of a guy that weighed 127 pounds? I got a B in boxing. --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- I got a B in Public Health, and I must have just gone to sleep on the test or something, that was a lecture course. --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- And then I think I got a B in another phys. ed. course or something, and then I did get a B in analytical geometry, which is a serious subject that I'd had in high school, and uh, to this day, I don't know why I got a B, I knew it just as well as anybody else--but anyway that was--the point I'm making is that they were still glorious days, and I never missed a Saturday night dance. I had the time of my life in college.


YOUNG: And I came from a poor family and I had to live at home, but my senior 00:06:00year I was president of my fraternity, and that, what, what, uh--a free room at the house went, went with that office, so I lived in the fraternity house my senior year, and uh, that gave me additional interesting exposure and fun, but uh, I reckon the point is I think you can be serious in school and still have a good time. I don't think I missed anything in school, I dated and met my wife at a, at the military ball in 1936 I reckon, we married 10 years later, but if I hadn't been taking in dances, I never would have met her in a calculus class.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: So, uh, anyway, I have fond memories of those years, and an appreciation of them, and uh, uh, I might say I didn't miss a thing in graduate study, that's 00:07:00another subject that I'm prejudice in, but uh, but I got a third training in uh, in the basics, and my undergraduate education that stood me in good stead all these years. And, uh, I've always felt a debt to the university. As I've gotten older, I always wanted to do something for the University. But then I come up to the practicality of things, uh, it's very difficult to give to a public university.


YOUNG: We may have touched on this before.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's sort of--we, we have touched on it, but we're focusing on it today.

YOUNG: I'd say that 9 times out of 10, any request that I had from my alma mater, University of Kentucky, is to contribute to something that is blatantly and obviously the responsibility of the state and the legislature. That doesn't mean it's, it's bad, but it means that you're wasting the private money. 00:08:00There's only so much private money. Seemingly, there's no limit to public money. --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- But uh, if I give a million dollars to the college of engineering to build a building, which they wanted me to do, that means a million dollars would be saved uh, uh, the legislature in Frankfort, that's their responsibility to do it, and nobody's better off except that my million is gone forever.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right, and there wouldn't be a net gain at that.

YOUNG: There's no net gain. And uh, I think private money should be--in the public university should go for uh, the quest for excellence, basically, uh, and not compete with public money. And I waited until I damn near died 'til they came up with this library thing, and they approached me, and my rationalization was--just like a, like a flash of light in your brain, here was something that 00:09:00it doesn't, doesn't, didn't, didn't look like was going to become a reality without private money. And even though it was authorized by the legislature. The legislature in the next session declined to fund it.


YOUNG: And they never did fund it. And even today, there's no public money in the u--the, the new $60 million dollar library at the University of Kentucky. So--

BIRDWHISTELL: You, you know, at the time that you were uh, so involved with Transylvania, and doing so much good work for them, --(clears throat)-- that's the time when UK went from raising hardly any private money, to getting their development operation really up and running, and that was under Dr. Singletary's uh, administration that that really got going, and it sort of corresponds with the continual decrease in the percentage of the UK budget that is state funded. 00:10:00I mean, that the university realized that it had to go out and seek private money, and uh, and uh, I think the--you know, it's interesting in your relationship to the University, because of your attachment to the university, but being chair of the board of Transy, I think probably some people wondered uh, you know, how, how would we uh, come up with something that Mr. Young would, would be interested in. Otis Singletary tells the story that uh, that uh, as he was getting ready to leave office, he had a conversation with you about uh, supporting the University, do you remember that, that conversation?

YOUNG: Well, just vaguely, not specifically.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well he, he was, uh, uh--

YOUNG: I probably told him the same thing I just said.

BIRDWHISTELL: He uh, he says that uh, uh, he knew you were a great friend of the university and, and that he had asked you if you hadn't given because of him. --(laughs)--


BIRDWHISTELL: Do you remember that conversation?

YOUNG: Yes I do.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well it sounds like Dr. Singletary doesn't it, and he's, and how 00:11:00he does that, and that's when that uh, uh, you gave your first major gift to the University. I think that was set aside in, in, in waiting for a project that came along that would be uh, something that you would want to be involved in. Is that, is that an accurate story?

YOUNG: That's vaguely accurate. Otis and I were very close friends, and I admired him enormously, I thought he was a great university uh, president. And I was on the committee, even maybe an informal member, that had talked him into coming.


YOUNG: We entertained Otis when he came up from the University of Texas, and uh, uh, he was an interesting person. My guess would be, uh, Terry, that uh, uh, this private money, that, that Otis was probably the first to get it, I, my guess, if you analyze it, my guess is that ninety percent of it uh, simply 00:12:00relieved Frankfort and didn't help the University of Kentucky, that's a very broad statement, but I believe if it were analyzed, I, I, I, you'd find it to be correct, uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: But I know he was still pleased with--

YOUNG: --but, uh, uh, my love for University never--interest in the university is a better word, never evaded, because my involvement with Transylvania, it was never an either/or proposition, and it turns out that perhaps in a lifetime, if I look back to my giving, I would say I've given as much to the University as I have Transylvania and vice versa, but you know, you don't keep score over stuff like that.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--You don't have a running tab on that.

YOUNG: But uh, but anyway, the first time any serious--request they made of me, that, that I didn't, it, uh--that fit my criteria, uh, was the library, and uh, there wasn't a lot of discussion on it, uh, Charlie Wethington approached me and 00:13:00interestingly I did go down to Otis's house and talk with him soon after Charles approached me. And he told me, he said, "Bill," he said, "I think that fits the bill completely for you and I recommend you did it, do it," and I did the next morning.

BIRDWHISTELL: The next morning.

YOUNG: And uh, it wasn't any big decision, it uh, it was just sitting there waiting, waiting to do it, and uh, then after the library was built, I gave $5 million to start the campaign off, and they raised of all together about $22 million, and then uh, uh, I think Charlie just faked the rest of it --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- he got the uh, he, he got the uh, city to, to use their bonding authority, now why he never used the University bonding authority has always been a mystery, and I don't reckon I've asked him directly why, but 00:14:00there must have been a compelling reason.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's a good question. I don't know.

YOUNG: But the most surprising thing that Charlie did, and the only credit to education that I ever, ever have had in 84 years of athletics, the only one, damn if he didn't talk them into, into funding the bonds that comes out of the athletic money. That's the only athletic money to my memory, or to my knowledge, that I read anything on that subject where athletics has contributed to, to the academics. But the University athletic department, by golly, from football to basketball games, they're paying off that debt, what, whatever I forget the size of the note, I don't know whether bonding was either twenty-five or thirty million, but that's where the money came from. Then when the uh, uh--I didn't pay much attention to the building of the library, except I was on the building committee. I reckon I was on the committee that picked the 00:15:00architect and we visited--I went to Rice University, for instance, I remember, and some of the other members went here and yon to check out these architects. And we finally decided on the architects uh, that Michael McKinnell, I forget the name of the firm, but he was a senior member, and we picked him out, and uh--and interestingly, the first submission of that firm for the library, that uh, that committee is made up of ordinary mortals like myself, we turned it down, we didn't like it. And they went back to the drawing board, interestingly, and came back with the present design, which I think is magnificent.

BIRDWHISTELL: What was the original design?

YOUNG: I don't even remember, I just didn't--none of us liked it.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh-huh. Did you have a--before you saw the design concept that was eventually approved. Was there a--did you have a sense of what you thought it should look like?

YOUNG: Oh no, no, no. None of us--

BIRDWHISTELL: It was just so big that--


YOUNG: None of us had the imagination, especially for a library building, but--and that's the reason we, we tried to hire the best architect in the world to do it. And I think by fate that we did. And uh, I've done a lot of building, I have a very critical eye, and uh, I can't find anything wrong with it. I tell McKinnell that occasionally, and uh. I can, I was, is, is--there's not even a door I would change, and uh, but I think they did a magnificent job, and then uh, the university had the foresight to--for 50 years to accumulate that site from hundreds of houses they had to buy--

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you think that was a good site from the start?

YOUNG: Oh yeah, it's it's a commanding site, it's almost in the middle of the campus, it's, it's a, it's a commanding site. And after the building was built, I was so knocked out with the architecture and the site, that it scared me to 00:17:00death that the long range plans at the University showed six academic buildings on that sight.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm. Um-hm. Three-story buildings I believe.


BIRDWHISTELL: Three-story buildings.

YOUNG: Well they were multi stories, yeah, I say 3 stories, and all of them backed up to the library. So that meant all the trash and all the parking would be in the library's front yard. So I went to Charlie and told him that uh, uh--of my concern, and uh, in fact told him that uh, I had gotten by too cheaply for five million in view of the magnificence of the, of the facility, and it's uh, worth it to the--all libraries in Kentucky as well as the undergraduate population at uh, at UK, and uh, so I told him that if the trustees would sanctify that site, that thirty acres, and change the long range plan, and keep 00:18:00it clear of anything that was non-library related, that I would undertake to uh, to raise uh, an endowment that I felt was necessary to keep the library on the cutting edge of excellence.

BIRDWHISTELL: You know, Mr. Young I will never forget the first time I, somebody told me that--and I don't know how it was, they said, "Mr. Young feels like he got off to cheap on this." I thought--I didn't know you then, and I thought that said so much about you though--here's a person that had given five million dollars to the University, and yet you would uh, you would have the sense that maybe that you hadn't done enough for the University. It's an interesting--

YOUNG: Well now--well, that's the way I felt, but anyway uh, much to my delight and maybe surprise, their board of trustees with uh, Charlie's uh, recommendation, uh, reacted with alacrity, and they agreed to uh, to leave that 00:19:00site sacrosanct for library purposes. Which means it'll probably never be touched, because the long range architectural plans that the architects have for that library, if it's expanded say another 20,000 feet, it would to be done underground.


YOUNG: I don't know why, but that's the way it was--they didn't want to disturb the outside.

BIRDWHISTELL: I think that's a great plan though.

YOUNG: I think it is a great plan.

BIRDWHISTELL: Because you go out that back and go underground--

YOUNG: So, anyway they agreed for fifty years, that's in black and white, and I'll be dead, but uh, surely somebody, if they build a stupid building on that building, they'll take the University to court, and there's six--there's three or four buildings on there, they're mostly fraternity houses owned by the University, they have agreed to remove them within ten years. Now, the quid pro quo of the contract, uh, we had uh, we had a few million dollars in residue 00:20:00funds from the original drive for books and that type of thing--I'd say it was well under ten million, and today we--I have taken that endowment single-handedly, I don't say that with any, any self-congratulatory--the goddamn university, to be blunt about it, hasn't helped me at all in the endowment, I've raised every penny of it. And, with the matching funds that uh--Governor Patton is very happy with that use of the funds, that, that endowment today is sixty-five million dollars. And that's the second largest endowment in the United States, second only to Harvard. And Harvard is one-hundred and sixteen million, and uh, I can't get the University even in this six-hundred million dollar campaign, to carve out say twenty-five million that the state would 00:21:00match, and to, and, and--to give them the incentive to do that, I, I, they have an offer for three years, it'll be alive for three years, whether I'm dead or alive, for another five million that would go--if, if the University will chip in, if they'll designate twenty-five million, I'll put five with it, the state'll double it, that, that's sixty million, with sixty we have, it'll give you, give you the biggest endowment in the United States of one-hundred twenty-five million. Harvard's about a hundred and fifteen million. And uh--but I can't, I'm still agitating and uh, getting right nasty with them really, but I, I just think that the uh,uh--and of course, Charlie assigned number one priority to this endowment when we uh, started it, what, a couple of years ago, and uh, but that's where it stands, and uh-- But I think with such 00:22:00an endowment, you never need any more money to keep you on the cutting edge of research, if you like, and especially technology, and uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: And it makes the whole university better.

YOUNG: That's right. And it also benefits every library in Kentucky. So--but that's on the table, uh, and I don't reckon anyone'll ever listen to these tapes anyway, so I'll just say, if that comes about, my total contribution to the University over recent years will be thirty million dollars.


YOUNG: In the land--the endowment itself, I've already put fifteen in. I put five in to begin, I put fifteen into the endowment, and, and, and, if they take the other five that's twenty, and I've given them another five principle for that fraternity house, and uh, uh--and, and, and I feel good about it. But it 00:23:00uh, uh, it was very difficult money to raise, and I, I, I didn't solicit but anything but the large givers, and uh, I probably approached maybe seventy people, I asked them for seventy million dollars, and I got twelve and a half.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: So I consider my efforts a failure, really. So--

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: But, but anyway, that's there, the nuts and bolts and figures of the thing, and uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: Well I think that, you know, I was uh--not long after the new library opened and I was at a library associate's program and, with your daughter-in-law Barbara and we were talking about the building, and, and uh, I said uh--and this was right after the building opened and I, you'd announced the endowment drive, and I said, "Barbara, you know, that as wonderful as that 00:24:00building is, as spectacular is that building is, as much needed as that building was," I said, "the endowment drive that's underway is, has so much long term impact on this university, it's just hard for people to appreciate, I think, what, what that means to the University."

YOUNG: See, the thing that bothers me about the uh, six-hundred million dollar campaign which is a little bit of, of myth, I think they're just adding up the money that's flowing into the University, if it hits six-hundred million, they'll say they're there.

BIRDWHISTELL: Declare victory.

YOUNG: See, they maintain that all gifts are designated, but a donor doesn't designate something unless he's persuaded to do it.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right, right. --(laughs)--

YOUNG: And uh, there is no--of the six-hundred million, I've seen no break out, and I was on the committee that set the six-hundred million, but I haven't been active on it except with the library, uh, but there's no, there's no break-out 00:25:00as to where that money goes, like a hundred million to arts and science, or this that and the other, and uh. But I've been ineffective, but I'm, I'm like uh, I'm I'm, I'm pretty persistent, uh, uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: But I think that the University, uh, if they truly feel, the uh, as you point out, uh, believe in the importance of that endowment, which I agree with, I keep thinking all they have to do is issue an edict, that out of the six-hundred million somewhere they ear-marked twenty-five for this.

BIRDWHISTELL: Seems like it.

YOUNG: And if they do, why the state'll pour in twenty-five and I'll pour in ten with the matching, so--but as long as I'll living, I won't--I'll get irritated, but I won't let them forget it, but uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)-- Well, it's such an opportunity for the state.


YOUNG: But I, I think this, it interests me when I go over to the library which I do once in a while to show it off, uh, Paul Willis tells me that seven or eight-thousand students are in there every day.


YOUNG: It really is the heart and soul of--and I'll talk to a student occasionally, I'm not very erudite or sharp about interviewing, but I'll ask them how they like it, and they say, "oh," they say, "it's the greatest place in the world to study," I think they can seat at one time something like five or six-thousand students.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, it's un--yeah. Good seating--

YOUNG: --and, and, and Paul says the later it gets, the more the kids that are there studying, and uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, I think from midnight to--

YOUNG: As contrasted in to nineteen--in the 30's, we had the library, it was so depressing, and uh--that I'd say in four years I never darkened the door.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: --never went to libraries. I don't know what I missed, because I did 00:27:00all right, did all right in school, I didn't need it, but uh--but anyway it's there, and I feel good about it, and I'm a little embarrassed that I've gotten so much credit for it, my name's everywhere, and, but uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: I think it's uh, I think it's proper and, and, and fitting, and I'm curious, you know when, when things happen like the William T. Young library, it's uh--if people don't look at it, they think, "well that--look how that just fell into place," you know, and, and for big things to happen it takes big people to do big things, it seems to me, you know, and the coming together of you and Paul Willis who had been pushing for that library for as long as I've known him, and uh, and for Charles Wethington to make that the number one priority of his administration, going in and--

YOUNG: That's all he had to do, he didn't need to do anything else to leave himself a legacy.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right. But things had to come together.


YOUNG: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: In a way uh, with people committed uh--

YOUNG: I don't know they did, because I wasn't, I wasn't an early participant coming back the years when Tom Clark crusaded for it for so long, and Paul Willis is the unsung hero. Uh, obviously the most important part of the library is what goes on inside, not the façade. And I'm, I'm told, and I can't--I'm in no pos--not qualified to judge, but I'm told that they absolutely are on the cutting edge technologically, uh with that library, and I give all the credit to Paul Willis.

BIRDWHISTELL: Here's a, here's an article from the paper and it's about the event down at Heritage Hall when your gift was first announced, and what's interesting about it Mr. Young is that your gift came at a time when, when the library campaign could have gone either way.

YOUNG: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, remember, it was on the ropes because of the state funding--


YOUNG: Well, the state took a, took an extraordinary position, I forget, who in, who in the world was governor? And this is, this is dated what, '91?

BIRDWHISTELL: '91, so it would uh--

YOUNG: '91.


YOUNG: I don't know, Brere--

BIRDWHISTELL: Wilk, Wilkinson was in uh--

YOUNG: Well John Y was--John Y was there in '82 and then Martha Layne to '86--

BIRDWHISTELL: '87 and then Wilkinson comes in--------(??)

YOUNG: And Wilkinson to '90, I reckon Brere [Brereton Jones] was uh--


YOUNG: But uh--but how they could authorize a project and not make some attempt at funding--

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, it got caught up in some hard-nosed Frankfort politics didn't it? But your gift comes in at a time that, that allows the University to come up with this--

YOUNG: Well, Charlie--if Charlie hadn't come up with that twenty-two million, I reckon the thing wouldn't be there, and I reckon my five million is bound to have had a big impact on the other seventeen--


BIRDWHISTELL: It was the key.

YOUNG: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: And everybody uh, uh, says it was. As uh, as the project developed with this uh, created financial plan, were you comfortable with how that was developed? YOUNG: I didn't get into that, I didn't--

BIRDWHISTELL: You sort of stayed--

YOUNG: I left that up to Charlie, and Charlie doesn't get enough credit for that, I think he was the lone ranger on that.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. You know, I was interviewing him at the time, we would do these types of sessions about two or three times a year, and uh, and uh, you know I'd ask him at the time, you know, "doctor aren't you concerned about--aren't you way out there on this one?" And, and, and you know, he said, "this is something we've got to do, and we've got to find a way to do it," and I always admired that about him, that you know, he was uh, he was--------(??)

YOUNG: As I say, I think he was one of the best presidents I've ever seen, and he's gotten more--been vilified as many--as much as--they all, all have been vilified that I know of.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's right. --(laughs)--

YOUNG: But he particularly--

BIRDWHISTELL: You know, in the editorial--


YOUNG: But I just don't believe that uh, I just don't believe he's ever been given credit for the tenacity and foresight of that one project. And if he screwed everything else up that came before the University--

BIRDWHISTELL: He's still got that.

YOUNG: He got that, he still would have to have a very successful ten--uh, tenure.


YOUNG: I've had more experience, and I've learned more about people in fundraising than any other activity. I think either the best or the worst comes out in people when you ask them for money. I think you really, that's as close to the heart as you could get.

BIRDWHISTELL: There's no middle ground, is there? YOUNG: Uh, this is a summary of the gifts that, since we're recording this for posterity, this shows that we've raised right at sixty-three million--I think it's sixty-five now, and I requested--I requested these people, there must be about seventy of them, 00:32:00they've all got money, obviously, and I asked them--I don't mean just sent them a letter, I worked on them uh, including my own gift of fifteen million, I asked for s--ninety-two million dollars, and I got twenty-six, so that means I raised about eleven and a half, now the seventy people that, uh, I solicited, I got one, two, three, four--seven, eight, nine--twenty-three gifts.


YOUNG: That's a pretty low percentage.

BIRDWHISTELL: Hmm. Do, do you think in development that's a low percentage?

YOUNG: I don't know what it is, but it's uh, uh--my criticism of the University, they never followed up on this, I think with double pressure we'd 00:33:00have gotten a little more in, uh-- But you've got some surprising things. I went to the horse industry that--those that have property, major property in Fayette County, I feel that they're, they're at least a visiting citizen. And for instance I approached uh, Khalid Abdullah from Saudi Arabia, he owns uh, uh--oh, I forget the name of the farm now, he's a big operator, but anyway I asked him for a million dollars, and he wrote back and thanked me for asking me and gave me a million.

BIRDWHISTELL: Really. Thanked you.

YOUNG: Most of them I didn't even hear from.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: I shouldn't be talking. I asked Ashland Oil for five million, and by the hardest I got a million, and they take great pride in supporting the University of Kentucky, you will find that relatively they are a small giver.


YOUNG: I hope no one listens to these tapes, --(Birdwhistell laughs)--but if John --------(??) gave me a million, I asked him for five. Where is Chris 00:34:00Sullivan? Well, I, I got a lot of nerve, I asked Chris for five but I got two, but I feel better about him than I do Ashland. But Chris graduated in '71 I think, and I graduated in '39, how much difference in age is that, thirty years? BIRDWHISTELL: thirty--thirty-two years.

YOUNG: thirty-two years, but I think Chris is one of the outstanding university uh--he's a Kentuckian, got his undergraduate degree that's all he needed--

BIRDWHISTELL: Now is he the Outback?

YOUNG: He lives in Tampa.


YOUNG: Yeah, he uh, founded the Outback steakhouses, and that's--they do about 2.1 billion dollars a year, but he's an outstanding person. Warren Rosenthal gave me two-million, I asked him for two, Warren is a--I don't, I reckon Warren 00:35:00went to UK, I'm not sure, I believe he's an alumnus. Warren is the most generous citizen I know. I put him in a class by himself. He founded Long John Silvers.

BIRDWHISTELL: You could probably make a case that this money you raised uh, is money that UK wouldn't have raised on it's own. I mean, because you worked hard to--

YOUNG: They might have gotten some of it.

BIRDWHISTELL: But not to the extent that you--

YOUNG: I, I suppose not, I don't know.


YOUNG: But it's like in Casablanca--you remember that famous, that famous movie of about fifty years ago, and uh, I forget who was the inspector, that, what actor had his place?

BIRDWHISTELL: I don't remember that.

YOUNG: But anyway, when they were--the hero, you know, was trying to escape the 00:36:00Nazis or whatnot and came through Casablanca, said, "round up all the old fal--suspects," which meant they were--

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: That was like the end of the--you don't remember, you're too young.

BIRDWHISTELL: I remember the airport scene, yeah.

YOUNG: Well, these were all the old suspects.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: But anyway it's been very rewarding. But the beauty of this money, and I thin--I talked to, to Paul Patton, and I think he's delighted for the brai--Bucks for Brains to match this money, and he should be because his matching money together with this money will never be dissipated.


YOUNG: It'll work forever. And it'll work for uh--they're, they're key on research uh--the library is probably the first source of almost any kind of research, whether it be technical or otherwise, and uh--but I feel as good about 00:37:00the library as anything I've ever done in a lifetime, and I feel like my efforts may have been worthwhile in the sense that they may have made a little difference. And uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: I think so. Did you get involved--I was reading a story out of the archives this morning and the materials we have on the development of the library, and at one point, president Wethington goes to Frankfort trying to lobby to get them to break loose for the funding of the, of the library, and he goes to meet with Don Blanford, and they have like a fifteen minute meeting where President Wethington lays it on the line, this is what we need, this is what you have to do, and Blanford just blew it off, said, "no, we're not doing that," did you try to use your influence in any way--

YOUNG: I wasn't involved at that stage.

BIRDWHISTELL: That was before your--

YOUNG: I was never involved, never got into that. But I really gave the money 00:38:00and backed away from--as I say I was on the building committee, which we basically selected the architect, and then I never took a lot of interest in it while it was being built, I did watch it go up, but uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: Y--you know, it's interesting when, when--memory's funny, when you look back it's like, "well, Mr. Young gave the money in '91 now the library's built," well, that was a long stretch of time, you gave the money in October of '91, construction doesn't start until '94. It--was that hard watching the events unfold? Or were there just steps that had to be taken along the way?

YOUNG: Oh, it was in competent hands, I never gave it any, any thought. I knew once that uh, once we committed and once Charlie got it financed that it would, it would be a reality. We knew what it was going to look like, we had models of it, but it still wasn't as magnificent--

BIRDWHISTELL: I think when that brick went up--


YOUNG: --in our vision as it, as it turned out to be.

BIRDWHISTELL: --when the brick went up with those accent things on the--------(??)

YOUNG: Well it's uh, it's got a Georgian accent to the design, but it's unique, it's uh--one of the things that makes it unique is it's exposed on all four sides. So any, any façade is very, very attractive.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm. It's amazing how you can see the library from a distance--

YOUNG: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: --especially this time of year with the leaves off the trees.

YOUNG: Yeah, the site, the site makes it--

BIRDWHISTELL: I was coming back from Transy last night, as you get up on Maxwell you can look over and see--you can see it coming across Virginia Avenue--uh, the uh--tell me about, as you get near to the opening of the library and that wonderful dedication day--uh, let me turn this over.

[End of tape 1, side 1]

[Beginning of tape 1, side 2]

BIRDWHISTELL: Tell me about what went through your mind the day of the 00:40:00dedication, when, when all this sort of comes to fruition and the --------(??)

YOUNG: Oh, when you get a magnificent project like that, you think that certain people have inspired thoughts and reactions--it was just another day, uh. I looked forward to it, and I was proud of what had been done, and uh--I was concerned primarily with the few remarks I was going to have to make, I wanted them to be appropriate and uh, modest, if you will, and uh, I'm not much of a speaker, but I, I, I do better than I think--

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: --because uh, I basically don't say any more than I feel, and I try to say it succinctly and I thought it went off very well, they had Father Hessburg 00:41:00was the speaker that night, I thought he was good. I don't know where they got him, I suspect John Gaines talked him into coming down there, but he was good. It was just a good program and I invited a handful of my friends, I had a table and I had 15 or 20 people I particularly wanted there, and, and uh, I'd say it was one of the highlights--I don't uh, I don't maybe put it in the same category as the Kentucky Derby--

BIRDWHISTELL: I wasn't going to make you compare it with the Kentucky Derby. --(laughs)-- I wasn't going to make you choose between which was the best day.

YOUNG: I never have thought--I never have had--I've always thought I've gotten way to much credit, you know uh, I, I wouldn't have given 5 million if I didn't have it to give. It's very easy to write a check--

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, but you didn't have to give it.

YOUNG: No, that's right, but it's hard for people to--it's harder to give of 00:42:00yourself, and I think in the, in the endowment, even though I've given much more money, I think I've given a lot of myself in the endowment.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's right. Well that's what I was saying earlier, you know, with the people, your active involvement, that this wouldn't have been a reality. And it goes back--it's interesting to me, Mr. Young, because it goes back to your, your views on motivation and, and uh, your sort of world-view that--you know, it still interests me, as much as we talked about it, that at this point in your life and career that uh, you would say--well how much is Harvard's endowment?


BIRDWHISTELL: That you would say, "how much is Harvard's endowment, why can't we, why can't we do that?" See, Kentuckians don't think like that all the time.

YOUNG: Well, I just uh--I've always likened it to the race-horse biz [sic], if you come in second--

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: --my favorite reply is, "it's like kissing your sister," --(Birdwhistell 00:43:00laughs)-- uh, when I was in the first grade or when I was in college, why wouldn't you make an A?

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: It's there to be made, and uh, I don't know what motivates you--

BIRDWHISTELL: Right. But it's interesting--

YOUNG: It'll be, it'll, it'll be a disappointment to me and I will feel like that I have basically been a failure in this library endowment if we don't get a hundred and twenty-five million, and I'm beginning to doubt that we'll get it, and that bothers me. I can't get any movement at all out of the University, all the money we've raised, they haven't contrib--haven't raised a dollar except one bequest of several hundred thousand that Charlie, it must have been undesignated, he did mark it for the library, and that's the only, the only money that's come in there. And uh, uh--well I'm afraid that everything has it's day, and people think that the library is there, and even when they look at the 00:44:00endowment and the sixty-five million, they ooh and aah and say "how wonderful," but I think, I think we're only halfway there. I think that my efforts to build the endowment have been an abject failure.


YOUNG: I think this report that we're scanning uh, really shows a very poor performance.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, you've set some tough goals. That's uh--

YOUNG: Well, I had, I have some tough goals.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: Bank One, I couldn't get a dollar out of any bank in Lexington. I've been associated with Bank One for thirty years, big shareholder. I asked Bank One, for what? Didn't ask them for much, I asked them for four-hundred thousand. 00:45:00That was--I was trying to get a million dollars from the Lexington banks. I didn't get a goddamn cent. Bank One, their, their proportionate share would have been, been four, four-hundred thousand, that's--they have about forty percent of the market, and I talked to the chairman in Chicago, but uh, they were cutting back, so, but I expect he'll lose four-hundred thousand just in my business over lifetime, so--

BIRDWHISTELL: So, you'd been better off to--

YOUNG: But that's, that, I shouldn't even say that; especially when you're recording this for posterity, but I'm human.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh, yeah, the interesting thing to me about the building and the endowment, I think going back to and, and it's, I think why you, you said, it's 00:46:00why you were attracted to the project, is that this gift has tremendous implications for generations to come--that the students at the University of Kentucky in 2025, 2050, 2075, continue to benefit from that endowment.

YOUNG: That's right.

BIRDWHISTELL: And uh--and it doesn't matter if they're in engineering or in English, or if they're in agriculture.

YOUNG: That's right.

BIRDWHISTELL: And so you're--

YOUNG: It's a non-political fund, that they don't uh--just gives them a large income each year that can be properly--even the administration of it was set up meticulously. Uh, when I embarked on this, we entered into an agreement. I think it's between my personal foundation and the University. And uh, there are five trustees to administer the, the money. Two of them were appointed by the 00:47:00University of Kentucky, and two of them are, are, are appointed to my foundation, they're outside people, and the swing man is to be Paul Willis, or whoever holds his position. But that keeps the University from going crazy, and brings some, some fresh perspective from the outside, and I'm very comfortable with that. And uh, so, that, now, as to the investment of the money, the University does as well as any other university that I read about, in the uh, in the administering of their endowment funds. So, the University really worries about the investment. But to spend a dollar of any of that money, you'd have to have, obviously, the majority of the committee of five, and that's--and the University president can appoint--I don't know whether he appoints them for a 00:48:00year at a time, or five years at a time, but my interests, uh, that's the only control, and that's a very loose control, except it brings that outside perspective. Uh, so, the University can't just go in and say, "we're going to spend this money like this," because they could easily divert it to something that, that really wasn't pertaining to the library.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: If it were among the University funds, but it can't be done.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right. I think that was smart.

YOUNG: And they can't even load the committee.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: Now they can get, they can get forty percent of the committee loaded, but they can't load the whole--well, they do with the, with, with the library they do control it, so uh, but that's reasonable, and so-- But it's uh--it's very satisfying, and what I've done at Transylvania has been equally satisfying. 00:49:00At Transylvania, every dollar they have comes from private money, so you don't have that dilemma, but I think that I--my efforts there with the uh, student scholarships that my dear friend uh, Otis Singletary always scoffed at, and then later after he retired, as I pointed out earlier, they put the same merit scholarships in the University of Kentucky and name them in his honor.

BIRDWHISTELL: And he loves them. --(laughs)--

YOUNG: And then the second thing is uh, is the Bingham Program which gives a, a handsome reward, not a nominal reward, to a professor for achieving excellence in the eyes of his selected peers, not his peers, but his selected peers. And if he's adjudged to be a superior teacher then for five years, he enjoys this. But the stipend is, is unlike an endowed chair, which I despise, it's not tenured.



YOUNG: Now, if you get a Bingham award for five years, you have to go before the same group in five years and persuade them you're still good.

BIRDWHISTELL: Still working. --(laughs)--

YOUNG: That's right. And uh, that's the most--that's the most unique, and it's been highly successful at uh, Transylvania, and I get a lot of pleasure out of that.


YOUNG: That's got twenty-seven million in that one endowment.


YOUNG: Started with five. I put two in, and the Binghams put three in, it's now twenty-seven.

BIRDWHISTELL: See I was, I thought last night when I was at the Clive Beck opening, that the way these things are so cumulative, is that what you did at Transy built a foundation to make that happen, and you can just see it, you can sense it, if, if one knows anything about---and I'm privileged to--heard this 00:51:00story about how, how the development of these things at Transy worked, but last night as I walked through that door, it just seemed to me that that center is connected to the center across the street which is connected to the scholarship which is connected to the faculty--

YOUNG: The beauty of that center, and the reason, I think, that uh, Graham and Rhona Beck bought onto it, is that it's for every student. It's not just for their athletic teams, and uh, you do have to have leadership, and I can't ask people for money unless I'm willing to go on the line. If I'm not dedicated, how can I expect you to do anything? And I went to Graham Beck he gave me two million, I asked him for two million, and I wanted to name it in honor of his son, and I volunteered to match him, and then Warren Rosenthal put in a million--it was Warren's idea.


YOUNG: Ought to have Warren's name on it probably. I told Warren last night if 00:52:00he'd given more money, it could have had his name on it.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: And then we decided not to cut any corners and we all doubled our contribution.


YOUNG: So the thing cost fifteen million, uh, Graham Beck put in four million, I put in four million, Warren put in two million, and David Jones put in a million, that's eleven million out of the fifteen million.

BIRDWHISTELL: See I th--you go back to that rising tide lifts all boats--see I think the foundation you established at Transy makes that happen, and I think that's what you're going to see at UK--I think you already see it here. You demand quality, and then they can't just good enough the next one, right? And it's the same with the fraternity house. I mean that, you, you raised the--

YOUNG: If you don't build the excellence in there--I was--we were talking last night about the Beck center. We never cut a corner. The cost reflects it. But that's the only time one'll ever be built.


YOUNG: They wanted to--they wanted to cut the budget and build a sixty-thousand 00:53:00foot facility, when really ninety-thousand is what they wanted. And uh, I insisted it be ninety or nothing. And uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: See that's the, that's sort of what we're talking about here today, and I know you're modest about these things, but it's a leadership--it's a different kind of leadership that you bring to these projects, you know, it's not a political leadership, and it's a--and it's not just because that you're willing to write the check, but it's because you, you, you demand the quality that makes the project so successful. It seems to me that's what makes the library, is that sets up on that little--that uh, spot at the campus, makes it so important beyond--------(??)

YOUNG: Well, just to make a contribution because you have the money, that's the first criterion, obviously, to uh, to making a contribution, but if you aren't willing to uh, uh, put intelligence and uh, intelligent and visionary conditions 00:54:00on it, and give it your personal surveillance, it uh, it's a lesser gift. Now, some things I give to, if Warren Rosenthal or David Jones called me and wanted me to give some money to some, I don't even want to know what it is, I say--I want to know how to make the check out. But I don't uh--but it's up to them to see that it's done--

BIRDWHISTELL: They're the leaders of that project, yeah. But you, you were, you took a leadership role at Transy, you took a leadership role at uh--

YOUNG: Well, it's been very satisfying, and uh, a lot of lip service is given to education, but uh, in a lot of cases that's all it is, lip service, and uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: Well I think that's what history--one--I mean history cannot ignore the fact that uh, you helped both institutions in this community, and even something like uh, Shakertown, where, that's an educational--


YOUNG: Well, it is, it's a different type of--

BIRDWHISTELL: But, but I'm saying you, you made a difference uh, you made a difference there as well, and so it's uh, it's a great story in that uh, in that sense--

YOUNG: Well, we're lucky to live in Lexington, it's not the--my wife says I --(clears throat)-- over uh, overreact, that it's the only place in the world to live. It's --(clears throat)--

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: And my retort it always is, it's the other--it's the best place that I know of to live.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: And uh, I say the University of Kentucky and Transylvania are, are absolute jewels to this, this community, and uh, especially the University of Kentucky, it uh, uh. I, I, I think it's just taken for granted, but it's, it's an enormous asset to this area.

BIRDWHISTELL: So, as you look forward to the future, you're optimistic about the University, and--

YOUNG: Oh yeah.


BIRDWHISTELL: --it's ability to continue to play an important role.

YOUNG: I think so.

BIRDWHISTELL: Let me slide off the topic for just a second, and uh, we haven't talked uh--we haven't done one of these sessions since uh, the events of what's now become known as 9/11, and I'm just curious since this is uh, your life history, and uh, it'd be interesting to me to find out what went through your mind that day and uh, as those events unfolded in uh, New York and Washington--------(??)

YOUNG: Oh, I don't think I reacted any different from anyone else. Being older and seeing some of the other casa, casa--cataclysmic things happening, uh, I didn't overreact, I don't think, I thought it was a--I thought it was almost 00:57:00unbelievable that with so little effort, the loss of nineteen lives, that they could uh, reek such damage to this country, but it was merely a dent when you look at the whole country. It uh--as horrible as it was, and even in material terms, the dollars that it's cost this country are pretty hard to estimate, it'd be absolutely fantastic, but there again, this country can stand almost anything, and uh, uh, I immediately compare it, of course, or soon did, and maybe not that instant, but uh, uh--compared it to Pearl Harbor, and uh, of course the realistic--that was different, the realistic evaluation of Pearl Harbor was that the first bomb that Japanese dropped, they signed their death warrant. And I was part of that extraordinary period following, uh. But it 00:58:00absolutely galvanized this country. I'll go to my grave with a deep impression of what happened. There wasn't any fear particularly, or it jus--there was just determination.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm. Resolve--

YOUNG: And it seemed to me like that the automobile companies, I was in the ordinance, that they stopped making cars on Pearl Harbor day, and by golly they were making tanks, it seemed to me in sixty days, of course they weren't.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)-- But it seemed that way?

YOUNG: But it was uh--it's was, it was just a remarkable, and it galvanized this country. And uh, it's just never--even more than this situation has. And uh, and I was shaky about Bush, and uh, and he still has his limitations, I don't think he--but I think he's risen to the occasion, I think he--I think he's done everything just right. I--you don't have the Japanese or a nation to 00:59:00fight, but you, you, you do have a very shadowy en--enemy, but I think that uh, the United States uh, certainly with its allies can make life damn near impossible. I don't think they'll ever see another hijacking unless they're willing to kill a couple hundred people. So uh, uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm. So you weren't ever--

YOUNG: So I have--I, uh--so much of the world's a turmoil, it seems to me, and travail has, has come from religious sources, particularly radical religions, and uh, I believe that uh, maybe this isn't true of all religions, but those I'm familiar with, which is principally Christianity and, and Moslem are both violent religions. And uh, the only thing of it is that the Christians have 01:00:00calmed down. But I would have hated to be a Spaniard during the Spanish Inquisition, if you didn't join the Catholic Church, the solution was simple, they just cut your head off. But we've gotten away from that.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: But you can justify any kind of action you want from the Bible, and I guess you can from the Koran, but uh, uh, we just have to deal with it. But I think that we have dealt with it uh, uh, very successfully in Afghanistan, and uh, I don't know where bin Laden can hide, but I'm, I'm with Bush, I, I, I--if it takes ten years, I'd never give up the search.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right. Right. It's never over. What about as a business person the impact of the, on the economy or something like that, did that uh, concern you?

YOUNG: Oh, you've got all your--you read this stuff, and I read the newspaper 01:01:00every day, if you read the Wall Street journal they all predict this, that and the other. This country is so big, and so vast, and our economic system and social system is so liberal, and so motivating, it ain't nothing going to happen to us, unless somebody--only thing could happen, if they started dropping the atom bombs on us, why we'd be messed up.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's, that would be--

YOUNG: There's no question about it, uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: Thinking about the changes over time in business, did I read that the uh, Proctor and Gamble's going to quit making peanut butter at the plant?

YOUNG: No, they uh, the--they, they're not quit making it, they, they uh, they're an interesting company. They had taken peanut butter as far as they could do in the world, they couldn't get the Chinese to buy peanut butter, they don't like it, so they finally concluded that they could get more money by selling the brand and taking that capital and putting it into something new, and 01:02:00they had, and build it up. And uh, they sold it, they sold that and Crisco, and Crisco is a much older brand than the peanut butter, and they sold those to the Smucker Company for a billion dollars.


YOUNG: So they take the billion and reinvest it into, into a product that they could build, so it was a good deal all around. At the same time they made Smuckers a remarkable company. Smuckers, a little company in Ohio, now has--

BIRDWHISTELL: They have an entire sandwich--

YOUNG: They've got three--they've got three leading brands, they've got Smucker's Jellies and Preserves, they've got Crisco, and they've got Jiff Peanut butter.

BIRDWHISTELL: And so they're going to keep making it.

YOUNG: And so that's a--that's a great plus for Lexington.


YOUNG: Proctor and Gamble was only a nominal citizen of Lexington, the peanut butter was so small in relation to the overall business, maybe one percent, it 01:03:00was just a factory. And anything they did outside the United Way, you wouldn't know they were here. Now, Smucker has over forty percent of their business located in Lexington.

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that right? I didn't know that.

YOUNG: And they will become a major--I have a luncheon at uh, Christmastime every year for old friends, and I invited uh, the, the CEO, and--

BIRDWHISTELL: So did they come?

YOUNG: And chairman--yeah they came down, yeah, you had, you had a couple of hundreds--one-hundred fifty of the top people in Lexington and uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: I think that's great.

YOUNG: So, uh, I just, I just wanted to do it. But there's a lot of courtesy in, in a lot of these companies, the chairman of uh, Proctor and Gamble, who I don't know, before he sold Jiff Peanut Butter, he called me before it was announced, and said uh, he wanted me to know in advance.


YOUNG: It wasn't an obligation at all, but it was a very gentlemanly thing--

BIRDWHISTELL: Pretty classy isn't it?

YOUNG: It was, yeah. I thought he was pretty high class. Yeah, so--

BIRDWHISTELL: I like that. I like that.

YOUNG: So that, that's a big plus for Lexington.


BIRDWHISTELL: Good. I didn't know--when I read it, I guess I didn't read it carefully enough, I didn't quite understand--

YOUNG: That's all they did, it was just a shifting of assets. A company like that, they, they look at a larger scale than you and I would look at.

BIRDWHISTELL: So you wish you'd have hung onto it and sold it for a billion dollars?

YOUNG: Oh no. I never would have done it.

BIRDWHISTELL: --(laughs)--

YOUNG: Sometimes you should sell, sometimes you shouldn't. John Y. Brown should have never sold Tucky Chick, Kentucky chicken. And he had the whole market when he sold out. I didn't have but one or two percent of the market. I was just too vulnerable.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's great. That's great. Hmm. Well it's uh, you know, through these interviews uh, it's been a pleasure to document a remarkable journey. You know, I once--my first question to you when we started this was how far is it from your boyhood home to Overbrook farm, and I don't know if you recall, you 01:05:00said, "Well, if that's a serious question, it's about eight miles." --(laughs)--

YOUNG: That's right. That's right.

BIRDWHISTELL: But it's been a remarkable journey, you know, and what's uh, great about it is it's still going strong, with uh, your efforts to improve the community, and--

YOUNG: Well, it keeps me alive. I just feel sorry for people that uh--that really uh, uh, have no control over their retirement. Now you work for the University, and whatever those policies are, you have to start thinking about it right now. Well, I didn't have to think about it because I just knew I wasn't going to retire and I didn't have to retire. And I think that's the only thing that's kept me alive. I lead a very simple life. I have time on my hands, people say, "well, you're too busy, I didn't want to call you," I'm not busy at all. --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- I got nothing but good people around me. That's all I've ever had around me. And uh so--


BIRDWHISTELL: You can live with that. But I, I--as I said, I appreciate your sharing your life story because uh, in many ways you've led a very private life, and uh, it's great to have your thoughts and your explanations of what you've done, what you've tried to do for this community, for the state, and uh--on the record so that generations from now, people can benefit from that.

YOUNG: Do you think anybody'll listen to this stuff?

BIRDWHISTELL: Yes sir, I --(laughs)-- I can guarantee you. I can guarantee you they will. --(laughs)--

YOUNG: --(laughs)-- Well, I'm flattered. Boy, I hope my English has been cleaned up a little bit, I don't know.

BIRDWHISTELL: You've done fine. Actually, we got all the interviews transcribed except this one, so we're, we're right on top of that. So it's a--

YOUNG: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Are you going to publish that? Or what do you do with a transcripts?

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, we uh--they'll be in the archives, and we--

YOUNG: Well you ought to give me a copy for my grandchildren.


BIRDWHISTELL: Well we will.

YOUNG: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: No, we will. We'll have to edit them, in terms of--making sure that what was actually transcribed is--

YOUNG: Accurate.

BIRDWHISTELL: --is accurate. And, and I was thinking about that today, we need to, need to move to get those in your hands, because that, the first beneficiary of those things are the family, because uh, uh, it's a chance for them to--some of the stories, I know--------(??)

YOUNG: Well, a lot of people that flatter me and say that "you ought to write a book," but that's hard to do, and uh, unless you wrote it first-hand I think it would--well, it'd be difficult to write.

BIRDWHISTELL: It's a great story.

YOUNG: Well, you're nice to say so.

BIRDWHISTELL: And uh, I thank you for doing it.

YOUNG: Well, it's been a pleasure to know you.

[End of interview]