Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Doug Castle, March 4, 2003

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00

CASTLE: Okay.

BIRDWHISTELL: And uh --

CASTLE: You're going to ask me questions?

BIRDWHISTELL: I sure am.

CASTLE: That'll be fine.

BIRDWHISTELL: And uh, it's what, March, uh, March the fourth already, isn't it?

CASTLE: March -- yes, sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: March 4th 2003. And, uh, Mayor Castle, I appreciate you letting me come over here and, and, and talk with you. As I explained on the phone, we're doing a project with the League of Cities, going around and interviewing mayors.

CASTLE: Yes, sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: And uh, trying to find out what the secret of you all's success is for making these cities run so well.

CASTLE: I see. (Birdwhistell laughs) Fair enough, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: But, uh, before we get to you to-- being mayor.

CASTLE: All right, sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: One of the things I'd like to do is, uh, find out a little bit about your -- your background --

CASTLE: Okay.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- and uh, you were born in Johnson County, weren't you?

CASTLE: Yes, sir, Johnson County, in Paintsville, yes sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. And, uh, let's see, I had the year written down somewhere.

CASTLE: Four, nineteen, twenty-seven.

BIRDWHISTELL: Nineteen twenty-seven.

CASTLE: Seventy-five years old, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Seventy-five years young, yeah.

CASTLE: Seventy-five years young, yes.

BIRDWHISTELL: (laughs) Tell me about your uh -- tell me about your, uh, 00:01:00family, uh, there in Paintsville, and uh, your parents, and what they did.

CASTLE: All right, sir. My father was a coal miner at the -- in the -- at a coal mining camp in Thealka, Kentucky.

BIRDWHISTELL: He was?

CASTLE: It's, uh, about two miles outside of --

[Pause in recording.]

CASTLE: And he, uh, I guess he actually worked in the mines all his life, and uh, he, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Was he -- he was from there originally?

CASTLE: Yeah, he was from, uh, from, from Paintsville and Johnson County originally. And, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: How long do the Castles go back in that county?

CASTLE: Uh, I would say they go back, oh, probably, probably 100 years or more I imagine.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: The, uh, of, uh, my grandfather, who was from Paintsville, uh, Tom Castle, and then, uh, I guess all of my family's from around Paintsville, and, uh, and Thealka, the coal mine the-- camp down there, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: What was your mother's maiden name?

00:02:00

CASTLE: My mother's maiden name, she was a Puckett. Georgia Anne Puckett, she was, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Georgia Anne?

CASTLE: Yeah, her -- now her, her, uh, -- her ma-- her mother lived to be about ninety-four years old.

BIRDWHISTELL: Really?

CASTLE: And still was at home and doing -- up until she -- until she died, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: But then my mother, my real -- my mother died young, she died --

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, she did?

CASTLE: Uh, uh, sixty-two, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: My dad lived to eighty-one.

BIRDWHISTELL: They stayed in --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did they -- did you live in town, or did you live outside of town?

CASTLE: We lived, uh, about, right outside of town. We lived about, actually, we lived in this, uh, mining town, about two miles --

BIRDWHISTELL: Okay.

CASTLE: About two miles out of town. It's, uh, it's, uh, company-owned home, uh, houses?

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: We rented them, and uh, we lived there, uh, well, we lived there up until I left, uh, I went to, uh, from a -- went to a local school 00:03:00there in, uh, Thealka, and then they done away with that school, and uh, I went to Paintsville, uh, eighth grade, and then they gave me a scholarship for football in high school. They uh, we lived -- didn't live in a school district, you had to --

BIRDWHISTELL: Pay the tuition?

CASTLE: Yeah, they had made tuition, so I got to play football at Paintsville, and baseball.

BIRDWHISTELL: How do you spell the name of that camp? Coal camp?

CASTLE: Uh, Thealka, T-h-e-a-l-k-a.

BIRDWHISTELL: A-l-k-a?

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Thealka.

CASTLE: Thealka.

BIRDWHISTELL: Now at some camps, you got paid with scrip rather than money?

CASTLE: Yeah, they did, they paid with scrip there, yes, sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: And they had company stores where you bought --

CASTLE: Company store, yes sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm. Um, and in some company towns, uh, there's been a lot written about --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- coal towns, coal camps.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: And uh, about how well workers were treated with -- (Birdwhistell clears throat)-- regard to healthcare, and education --

00:04:00

CASTLE: Um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- and all of those things.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: How would you evaluate, uh, back looking at your youth, how, how that was done?

CASTLE: They, uh, I guess at, at the -- at the time, they was, I guess they uh, they done a pretty good job, this company did. It was, uh, they, uh, well, we lived, we lived in a pretty nice home, and then, uh, they, uh, as far as I can remember, they took care of things pretty well. I can't, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: You had a good childhood in other words?

CASTLE: Yeah, I had a fairly good childhood, yes sir, uh-huh.

BIRDWHISTELL: Brothers and sisters?

CASTLE: Yeah, I had, uh, three, uh, brothers and sisters, uh, original, original, and then my father and mother were -- each had -- my father had two -- my father had four children, my mother had two, and then they married, and they had four more.

BIRDWHISTELL: Really?

00:05:00

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: So both of your parents had been married before?

CASTLE: Yeah, both of them had been married before, yes sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that right? We don't hear that that much at that point.

CASTLE: No, that's true. You had, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Were they divorced, both of them?

CASTLE: I, I don't remember for sure. Where -- I, I believe, I believe their, uh, spouses died, I believe. Yeah. Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh-huh, yeah, that would --

CASTLE: And uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, they're lucky they found each other.

CASTLE: Yeah, that's, that's true, I guess they were --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- and then, uh, and now they have -- of course, they, uh, they both, uh, are dead now. And uh, I have an older sister that lives in Springfield, Ohio, and a, and another sister living in Wabash, Indiana.

BIRDWHISTELL: Springfield, Ohio.

CASTLE: And all the rest of them are passed away, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: I'll go up to Springfield soon, uh, my daughter's interested in Wittenburg, which is in Springfield.

CASTLE: Oh, is that? Yeah, uh-huh.

BIRDWHISTELL: (clears throat) Um, did your father like being a coal miner, is that -- did he do it because that's how he could earn a living?

CASTLE: Well, I guess he, I guess he enjoyed it, and, uh, probably to, 00:06:00uh, probably to earn a living also. It, uh, he, uh, he seemed to, uh, he seemed not to mind it, if I remember right.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: We had, uh, we raised a, raised a garden, had a couple of cows, and uh, usually raised a hog, and, uh, and kill it in the fall, and, uh, and, uh, and it seemed like, as far as I can remember, we got along pretty well.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, so you're, you're drawing that in the depths of the Depression that you've got food on the table.

CASTLE: Right, yes, sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: You've got sausage and ham, and -- (laughs)

CASTLE: Sausage and ham, and yeah, that's true.

BIRDWHISTELL: Don't have to smoke out to get what you needed? (laughs)

CASTLE: Yeah, that's true, that's true. Yeah, I remember, I had a -- it seemed like it was in the, I guess in the forties, must have been 1940, they had a huge strike with the telephone company, I mean, excuse me, the -- the uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Coal company?

CASTLE: Coal company, and, uh, they went on, it seemed like it went on forever, but uh, during the time, we, uh, we, we got along pretty well, 00:07:00I don't know.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, you had to.

CASTLE: Yeah, you had to. (Birdwhistell laughs) There wasn't much you could do about it, that's right.

BIRDWHISTELL: (laughs) You didn't have much choice.

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: And so you went to elementary school there at the, at the coal camp, and then, as you said, you got a -- they gave you a tuition waiver to --

CASTLE: Tuition waiver at Paintsville High School, yes.

BIRDWHISTELL: Paintsville High School, because -- how'd they know how good a football player you were?

CASTLE: Well, that's a --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- I guess I was a pretty good-sized boy --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- and then, uh, we played a little roughing football down in the -- down in the -- in our school down there, I guess. And, uh, and we had two boys from that camp had gone up there, gone to Paintsville.

BIRDWHISTELL: Ah, so they --

CASTLE: So I guess they recommended me prior.

BIRDWHISTELL: Your reputation preceded you.

CASTLE: Yeah, that's true, I guess so. (Birdwhistell laughs) We had, uh, we had five of us from that coal camp that went to Paintsville High School.

BIRDWHISTELL: What was it like, like you said, the coal camp wasn't that far from Paintsville.

CASTLE: Right, yeah.

00:08:00

BIRDWHISTELL: But was there any kind of stigma, or was there any kind of social hierarchy, or were you all treated well when you went to Paintsville?

CASTLE: Well, uh, I, I believe we were. It seemed like a, uh -- I didn't have any trouble myself, and I don't think, uh, as I remember, I don't think the rest of them did. We -- it's, it's about two miles outside of Paintsville, where it was, and uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: And so being from there, out there, ---------(??) --

CASTLE: We just blended in, and if I remember right, they, they didn't -- didn't nobody give me any trouble, and I didn't give anybody else any trouble.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, like you said, you were a big guy, they weren't going to give you much trouble. (laughs)

CASTLE: Yeah, that's right. Yeah, that was -- I guess for my age, I was a pretty good-sized boy at the time, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did your brothers and sisters get to come to Paintsville as well, or --

CASTLE: I had, uh, one -- the youngest sister went to Paintsville, yeah. Eileen (??), she, uh, she went to Paintsville, they, uh, let her come along with me. And, uh, she went a couple of years, and then she, uh, 00:09:00she didn't finish, so I went out and -- when I went in, uh, finished, I had, uh, let's see, they played -- 1943, I played in eighth grade. I went to Paintsville in eighth grade. '43 and, uh, and '44, and then 1945, I joined the Navy, and spent, uh, eighteen months in the Navy, and then came back and graduated from high school.

BIRDWHISTELL: So you came back?

CASTLE: I went back to school, and graduated in 1948, yes sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: You did?

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: So what, what prompted you to, to join the Navy while you're in high school? You didn't have to.

CASTLE: Well, there was about seven of us, decided to join the, join the Navy.

BIRDWHISTELL: Couldn't wait any longer, could you?

CASTLE: It, it just seemed like we couldn't wait any longer. (Birdwhistell laughs) It was, uh, I was only seventeen, and, uh, and, uh, but, uh, I told my dad I was going to join the Navy and he said, "No, you don't need to," so, uh -- but he did finally consent, uh, at that time, I had to have papers signed because I was only seventeen.

00:10:00

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. Then they let you go.

CASTLE: So he let me go, and we went to Ashland, and I had -- you had to go to Ashland to the recruiting station. And, uh, funny thing, we went -- I told him I wanted to join for six, and he said no, join for two, and then if you want anymore, you can rejoin. That was pretty smart.

BIRDWHISTELL: That was nice, wasn't it?

CASTLE: (laughs) Yeah. If I'd went into the regular Navy, I'd have had to stay all six years.

BIRDWHISTELL: You might still be there. (laughs)

CASTLE: So I went two, and that was reserve. (laughs) Yeah, that's true.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um, had you traveled much prior to joining the Navy?

CASTLE: No, I hadn't traveled too much at all, just mostly in the, in the state of Kentucky. I had never been in, oh, up into Columbus, Ohio a few times, and uh, around the state. But I hadn't travelled too much, unh-uh.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you have relatives up in Dayton, Cincinnati, or Detroit (??)?

CASTLE: Yes, I had, uh, relatives in, uh, Columbus, and uh, had a, uh, uncle that lived up there, and uh, then I had my, one of the half- 00:11:00brothers moved up there, and was working on a -- he was a tenant on a farm, that had a huge amount of corn that he raised and everything, it was a tremendous -- I had never seen so much corn in my life when I went up there. (Birdwhistell laughs) We had, what little field we had, it was on the side of a hill, you know? (Birdwhistell laughs) But you go up there, and there's just corn as far as you can see, it was amazing.

BIRDWHISTELL: On the horizon, I know.

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. Well, I guess your father never considered going off to work in the factories up north?

CASTLE: Never did, unh-uh. No, he never did. He always -- he stayed, stayed right there and worked, uh, all of his life until he retired, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. So you get in the Navy, and, uh, where do they send you?

CASTLE: Well, from, uh, I went from, uh, first, I went to Louisville, and, uh, passed all physicals, and then they sent me there to Great Lakes, and I spent, uh, of course, all through boot camp there, and then went to, uh, Norman, Oklahoma Naval Air Base. And they closed 00:12:00that down as the war was ending right about that time. And then, uh, went from there to Livermore, California, the Naval Air Base. And, uh, then Treasure Island, around San Francisco. And uh, then we, uh, everything was kind of marking down, so they came in, and told us that we, uh, they tried to get some volunteers to go on a mission, and uh, I didn't volunteer, and I found out later that it was the atomic bomb was being dropped.

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that right?

CASTLE: Yeah, we, uh -- I'm glad I didn't take it.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's right.

CASTLE: But quite a few took it. But at the time, we didn't -- at, uh, I guess it was just as well as I didn't.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: Because, uh, then I, from a-- left San F-- San Francisco there, they, I -- went on and got discharged out there, and then, uh, took my 00:13:00time wandering home. I got, uh, one of these train tickets you can get off and on.

BIRDWHISTELL: Any time? Yeah.

CASTLE: I'd just -- I'd get off, I think I got off in Denver, and Salt Lake City, and --

BIRDWHISTELL: Just hung out?

CASTLE: Just hung out, spent a couple of days, and looked around.

BIRDWHISTELL: Wearing your uniform, right? (laughs)

CASTLE: Yeah, yeah. I didn't put my ruptured duck on, so they thought I still knew -- you put that ruptured duck on, they wouldn't -- you, you lost your, uh, service respect, I think. (laughs)

BIRDWHISTELL: So you --

CASTLE: Then I come on home, and, uh, and, uh, as I said, I went back to high school, and finished school, and then went back to play football that last year. Played baseball, and then, uh, and, uh, made all-state in football in 1947.

BIRDWHISTELL: You did?

CASTLE: And uh, we had, uh, we had quite a few players that came back and finished, uh, in that. One good tale I always say. A guy, we, we were playing in Fleming-Neon, Kentucky, way up in the --

00:14:00

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: -- mountains.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: And, uh, this guy came over to me and he said, "Are you Doug Castle?" And I said yes. And he said, "I'm married and got three kids, and you're still playing ball?" (both laugh) I said, I said, "Well, I'll tell you," I said, "I've been -- I've spent a couple of years in the service." He said, "Well, I was going to check on your eligibility." (both laugh) But, uh, so he said, well, you know, he's glad to see me, and we talked a little bit on the sideline, but he --

BIRDWHISTELL: That's funny.

CASTLE: I guess it was a little unusual. Because when the -- the service people can play until they was twenty-one. And, uh, and --

BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??)

CASTLE: -- I played right up -- and I couldn't play baseball my last year, on account of, uh, uh, twenty-one, and in spring ball, you couldn't play, uh, so I, uh, just helped coach. (laughs)

BIRDWHISTELL: Did Paintsville seem a little smaller after you'd been away?

CASTLE: Oh yeah, it really did, it kind-- it seemed like it was. Yeah, you, uh, spend time in San Francisco, and, and, uh, Oakland, and around 00:15:00in there, and then you come back, it kind of seems pretty small.

BIRDWHISTELL: What were your plans after high school? What did you want to do?

CASTLE: Well, I had, it was, it was an amazing thing, I had, uh, a scholarship at Morehead.

BIRDWHISTELL: To play football?

CASTLE: To play football, and I had, uh, a sk-- I had, uh, the Philadelphia Phillies had an A team in the Mountain League, and they offered to, uh, I could play baseball with Philadelphia. And then the South Central Bell Telephone Company called me, all in about the s-- two weeks. And I had a --

BIRDWHISTELL: Decision time.

CASTLE: I had a big decision to make. So, uh, at the time, the telephone company was a big -- was a really a good job at, at that time, and up there. And, uh, I went on and took the job at the telephone company, on May 24 1948.

00:16:00

BIRDWHISTELL: So why did they contact you, the telephone company?

CASTLE: Uh, well, that's another thing. There are a lot of guys that, uh, that knew me, that was working with the telephone company. Uh, we had, uh, a guy by the name of Gene Ray Colvin, and uh, two or three other guys that worked with the company that, uh, knew me, and knew I was right out of school, and, and they were looking for some telephone people at the time. So they, uh, contacted me and told me that they'd like for me to come to work for them. So, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: And the company name was?

CASTLE: South Central Bell at the time.

BIRDWHISTELL: It was that, that's what it was called then?

CASTLE: Yeah, it was, uh -- well, no it was really Southern Bell at that time.

BIRDWHISTELL: Southern Bell, at that time.

CASTLE: Yeah, it was Southern Bell, uh-huh. They didn't change the South Central until a few years later, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Of course, as, you know, as you fast forward, you had a very successful career with the phone company.

CASTLE: Yes, yes, I went, uh -- I hired in, and uh, Paintsville, and 00:17:00they sent me straight to Maysville. So --

BIRDWHISTELL: But did you ever -- have you ever looked back and thought --(snaps)-- doggone it?

CASTLE: Well, I have a few times, yes, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Because, you know, you could've played football and --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- and gone to college --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- or who knows what would've happened in baseball. How good were you in baseball?

CASTLE: I was -- I was pretty good. Ac-- I was, I was caught -- [telephone rings]-- and that -- made, uh, all-state in, uh, in baseball in nineteen forty, uh, '46, I believe, '45, in the state tournament. And, uh, so, uh, I was pretty good. I was catcher, and I hit in the .300's, and, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you really?

CASTLE: Yeah. So I'd done pretty well, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Wow. Do you need to get that?

CASTLE: No, I'll let the recorder get it, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Okay. Um, so when you went to work for, uh, for the phone company, what type of work were you doing?

CASTLE: I was a lineman. Yeah, I was, was -- went in as a lineman at the time.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh-huh, so you learned it from the ground up.

00:18:00

CASTLE: I learned it from the ground up, yes. (Birdwhistell laughs) I went in, that -- I went into lineman at, uh, w-- Maysville, and then the headquarters was in Winchester. Came back to Winchester and worked there, uh, off and on for three years, and worked over the state. Worked in the western part of Kentucky, and, uh, we had, uh, I was just telling somebody the other day, had a -- we had a sleet storm in 1950, about like we had --

BIRDWHISTELL: Really?

CASTLE: -- in, uh -- and we had, uh, and I think we worked about twenty- seven consecutive days without a day off, and it was just a -- and it was -- of course, it wasn't as -- you didn't have as much stuff at the time, but we had enough that it was -- and you had your old telephone lines in, in the crossarms, you know?

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: And it was a lot, it would tire down easier. And so you had a lot of those that we had to put back up, broke off, and --

BIRDWHISTELL: You didn't have those bucket trucks then either, did you?

CASTLE: Didn't have the bucket trucks, no. We had to climb the pole 00:19:00with hooks, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Were you a pretty good climber?

CASTLE: Yeah, I done pretty well, yeah, pretty well, but, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: And you weren't afraid of heights?

CASTLE: I never did really get completely comfortable with it, but I --

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. (clears throat)

CASTLE: -- I, I got up there.

BIRDWHISTELL: My grandfather was an electrician, and before that he had helped put in the electric lines down through east Kentucky.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: But I can always remember going into his house and seeing his climbing -- with his stuff, his gear --

CASTLE: Yeah. Yeah, Um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- you know, those spikes and everything.

CASTLE: Yeah, hooks and, uh-huh.

BIRDWHISTELL: Very impressive.

CASTLE: Right, yeah. Yeah, that's true.

BIRDWHISTELL: And obviously, you were physically up for that job because you were an outstanding athlete.

CASTLE: Yeah, I was up, I was up to it, and then I worked that, and then I went into installing, install and repairman, and, uh, went to Maysville and stayed there four years, and then came back to Paris in, uh, 1955.

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that the first time you lived in Paris, 1955?

CASTLE: Yeah, 1955, yes sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: And you came here to do what?

CASTLE: I came here as an install and repairman with the telephone 00:20:00company.

BIRDWHISTELL: Installer.

CASTLE: And then, uh, of course, the, uh --(clears throat)-- in the meantime, at -- my wife Pat is a -- Pat Evans, she was -- she -- her -- and we -- she went to Paintsville, and we dated a little there, but uh, then I got back with her at Eastern. She went to -- she was -- she went to Eastern College.

BIRDWHISTELL: Really?

CASTLE: I was working in Richmond with the telephone company.

BIRDWHISTELL: Ah, I was wondering, I was trying to find out -- figure out how you met up with your bride here because you were all over the place? (laughs)

CASTLE: Yeah, it -- uh, she left, uh, she left from Paintsville and went to Eastern, and we hadn't known each other t-- too well. So from there on, we went to -- we dated some up there, and then uh, we got together again at Richmond, and, and, uh, starting dating regular, and then, uh, and wound up getting married in, uh, January twenty-second in, uh, 00:21:00'49, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that right?

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Wow, that's great.

CASTLE: We've been married, uh, gosh, fifty-three years, I guess.

BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??)

CASTLE: Yeah, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's wonderful. And so you all had been married six years by the time you moved to Paris?

CASTLE: Yes, uh-huh.

BIRDWHISTELL: (clears throat) And she -- did you like all of that moving around?

CASTLE: Well, it was, uh, the way I figured, it was a little better job each time.

BIRDWHISTELL: Each time, you were making more money?

CASTLE: Each time, we'd make a little -- yeah, a little -- a better job and, uh, a little better ta-- a little better job and a little better pay, and, uh, of course we got here, she didn't want to leave, and her family was from Paris originally.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, they were?

CASTLE: Yeah. He was a telephone man also.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, really?

CASTLE: Yeah, he was a -- he was -- he worked in Winchester, and Harlan, and Pineville, and, uh, Maysville, and Winchester. He moved an awful lot.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh.

CASTLE: But so, she, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: So she had grown up partly here in Paris?

CASTLE: Yeah, she had grown up from here -- she went to -- see, she 00:22:00went to -- I guess she went to high school here her first, probably her first year, and then went to Harlan, I think, for, uh, a couple of years. And then finally she graduated from Paintsville in '47, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: So you'd seen a -- quite a number of Kentucky cities by the time you'd come to Paris?

CASTLE: Right, yes sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: You come to Paris in 1955.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: What did you see? What was Paris like in 1955?

CASTLE: Well, Paris, in 1955, seemed like it was awful-- an awful quiet town. It was really, it was more -- it was a little more, uh, quiet and down-to-earth than Paintsville was, really.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: I mean, was, uh, Paintsville was a little more active it, it seemed like, and Paris was kind of a -- and, uh, Paris is the type of city that you have your older people, and they have, uh, I guess the horse farms people and all of this, it's hard to get acquainted with. 00:23:00They're -- they kind of stay to their self, you know?

BIRDWHISTELL: A little bit closed?

CASTLE: A little bit closed, it took a long time to -- I got into the Jaycees --

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, yeah?

CASTLE: -- and the Jaycees, and I got, uh, in, uh, let's see, 1956, I guess, we've got, uh, organized Little League baseball here, uh, the Jaycees did, and I helped, helped organize that, and got, uh, got that started. And then the Jaycees put on some, uh, variety of shows, Mae Bunning got the kids, uh, uniforms, and baseballs, and everything. And we kept that show going for years.

BIRDWHISTELL: How did you get into Jaycees? Did somebody mention it to you, or did you know about it, or --

CASTLE: Well, I knew about it from Maysville. I didn't join down there, but I knew about it. And, uh, I was more a-- active in the Legion than Maysville, I was commander of the Legion down there in, uh, 1954. And then, uh, but I knew about them, and I heard about them, and I knew the. the boys. And when I came here, uh, the uh, I knew about it, and 00:24:00I heard about it, so I kind-- I guess, I don't know, I might've went and just asked them to join or something, I can't remember exactly, but, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, you didn't know a guy named Wendell Ford?

CASTLE: I knew him well, yes sir. (Birdwhistell laughs) Yeah. Yeah, I helped Wendell Ford get elected the national, national commander. The national president, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: I figured you did.

CASTLE: Yeah, I sure did. And in fact, I had Wendell come here one time and speak.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you really?

CASTLE: Yeah, he came here one Sunday afternoon and spoke to the Jaycees and a, a group of people.

BIRDWHISTELL: He was something, wasn't he?

CASTLE: He sure was.

BIRDWHISTELL: And still is.

CASTLE: He is. (Birdwhistell laughs) I was, uh, 1974 --(Birdwhistell clears throat)-- I was campaign -- campaign manager for him here in, in Paris.

BIRDWHISTELL: Were you really?

CASTLE: Yeah. (Birdwhistell clears throat) When he ran for governor, I believe it was '74.

BIRDWHISTELL: One of the things, mayor, that, uh --(clears throat)-- that interests me, uh, and especially with you mayors, you all -- 00:25:00you're just involved civically.

CASTLE: Right, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: We talked about it on the phone the other day. You know, it's --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- people, or I was telling somebody about it, about how you end up being mayor because of your involvement --

CASTLE: Um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- in different things. So here you are, a young man, uh, come into Paris, you've lived in lots of different places, but yet you immediately get involved in the Jaycees, you get involved in other things --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- sports for kids, and --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- all types of civic activities. Why did you want to do all of that? What about you --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- what is it about you that made you want to get involved --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- in your community?

CASTLE: Well, uh, it seemed like, you know, you, uh, you, you wanted to be doing -- you wanted to be doing something -- I worked with the telephone company, and I knew, I got to knowing some people, and then I said, and I got -- I said well, you know, let's get involved with the 00:26:00Jaycees, and we got going there, and, uh, and then we, uh, just liked -- I just liked working with people, and, uh, enjoyed and enjoying with people, really. Actually.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: Uh, I went on to be the president of Jaycees, and then, uh, the state vice president of Jaycees in 1963.

BIRDWHISTELL: Really?

CASTLE: And then, uh, I didn't -- at the time, I didn't have the type of job I could've gone for president because it's too -- too much complicated, you know?

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: And, uh, so I just, uh, didn't try to go any higher, and then I just -- and then of course, I think at age thirty-six, you're out of the Jaycees.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right.

CASTLE: And I went into the Quantas Club from there, and, uh, stayed in the Quantas Club for-- forever, I'm still an active -- not an active member, I'm still a member, but, uh, I was president in '71 of the 00:27:00Quantas Club. And then, uh, served, uh, four years on the school board here.

BIRDWHISTELL: What years were those, do you remember?

CASTLE: Yeah, it was '66, six-six, six-seven, '68, '69.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: And, uh, well actually, I guess it was only three and a half years because 1969, the, uh, city commission, and the mayor came to tell me and wanted me -- one of the commissioners died, and wanted me to be a city commissioner. So, uh, I went as finance commissioner of the city in, in, uh, August 5 1969. And then I ran, that fall, for City Commissioner, and, and took over in 1970, as the ----------(??).

BIRDWHISTELL: So four years --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- on the commission?

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Hmm.

CASTLE: So, uh, four years, and then, uh, I led the ticket, and that way 00:28:00I was mayor pro tem in 1970. Uh, then I ran, uh, 1974, I ran again, won as mayor pro tem, again, led the ticket. And then that was, uh, we, uh, the mayor died here in, uh, that thing is off -- it just rings.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's all right, it doesn't matter.

CASTLE: And uh, it just, uh, the mayor died here in January of '74. Of course, uh, I'm mayor pro tem, they moved me up to being mayor. So, uh, and, uh, I took over as mayor here in, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that Mayor Emil Raines?

CASTLE: Yeah, Emil -- yeah, Emil Raines.

BIRDWHISTELL: Ema-- Emil.

CASTLE: Emil Raines, yes, sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: Emil Raines.

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: And so he died in office?

CASTLE: Died in office, and uh, sure did, in, uh, January of '74.

00:29:00

BIRDWHISTELL: And you took over then?

CASTLE: Took over then, and uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Never looked back?

CASTLE: Moved on from there. Uh, I was mayor pro tem for two years, and then I had to run for the next two years.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, so it's a two-year term?

CASTLE: Two-year term, the first time, and after that, it's a four-year term.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you consider yourself, uh, sort of a political person as you were -- before getting involved in city government? I mean, were you involved in political campaigns? You were obviously under city political process --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- because you were getting elected within the Jaycees, and, uh, those --

CASTLE: Right, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: And that's, that's a training ground for --

CASTLE: It's a training ground, and, uh, I guess the reason why I was, uh, successful in, uh, politics, that, uh, I just went in and I, I spoke to people, and shook hands with them, and talked to them, and just --

BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??)

CASTLE: Just if I didn't even know them, I walked up and shook hands with them, and --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- introduced myself, and told 00:30:00them what I was there for, and what I was doing or something, and just, uh, just kept, uh -- and then, uh, just actually, you get into it, and you actually -- you have to enjoy it. If you don't, it's not there, but I, I always enjoyed it myself.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you run for the school board because you had kids in school here?

CASTLE: I had, uh, two -- I had -- yeah, all three of my children graduated from Paris High. The way I got involved in the school board is, uh, I came home one afternoon, about -- after five o'clock, I had twenty people standing in my living room --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- and they said, "You're going to run for school board."

BIRDWHISTELL: (laughs) You said, "What?"

CASTLE: And, uh, Pat said, "There's a bunch of men in there." So, uh, we lived down on Creekview then, and, uh, I said, "What in the world do they want?" She said, "I don't know, they didn't say." So I said, "What do you all want?" They said, "Well, we're -- we're not leaving 00:31:00here until you say you're going to run for school board." (Birdwhistell laughs) They already had me signed up, and had paid my interest fee and everything. All I had to do was sign the paper --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- and I was on the ballot.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's quite a compliment.

CASTLE: Yeah, well, I thought, I thought it was too, really. So, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: So you'd already proven yourself to that group of--

CASTLE: I guess so, I'd already proven myself to them, yeah. So, uh, I served -- I went on the school board then. I said, "Okay, I'll go." Vince my boss was in the group. (both laugh) So I said I guess he's going to give me permission being as he's here. (Birdwhistell laughs) So, he said yeah. They said, "Yeah, he's one of the -- he's one of the ring leaders." So, so I got into that state, in that. uh -- and, uh, actually, the first -- about the first year I was there, I said we're going to have to do something to this football field because it was an old rock quarry d-- over there. So I said, "Let's split the money 00:32:00in the budget to, uh, rework the football field." So we got in there, and, uh, hauled in -- I think we hauled in eighty-seven loads of dirt and refilled the -- and, uh, reworked that field, and, uh, put drainage under it, and, uh, and got it fixed up real good, and then, uh, where the guys wouldn't get hurt on the field. Because one of my oldest boys, he -- it was, it was rough, you'd get rocks and things in there so, uh -- then my next youngest son, he, he played, and then, uh, we got the field fixed up real good, and got it going. We got people out of the University of Kentucky to come down and look at it, tell us what to do, and, uh, we got it fixed up and really going real good. Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Football's been big over here for a while.

CASTLE: Yeah, it was, it was. We had a couple -- we've had three state 00:33:00championships, yeah. '73, I think, '81, and '82, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh, and you served on the school board six years?

CASTLE: No, three and a half years.

BIRDWHISTELL: Three and a half.

CASTLE: Yeah, three and a half years. As City Commissioner, I guess, uh, four and a half years.

BIRDWHISTELL: So when you first moved to town, where did you live?

CASTLE: We lived -- I lived right down on Sixteenth Street.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you?

CASTLE: Right down there at 128 Sixteenth Street.

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that right?

CASTLE: The street right ov-- over here. I lived there, that's, uh, lived there that summer. We moved in here August -- no, we've been here in July -- July the sixth, I think, in '55. And then, uh, they had down on Creekview was a, a new subdivision going in. Of course, installing telephones, I knew I installed it in a lot of those houses 00:34:00down there.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right.

CASTLE: So, uh, I was installing phone in this house, and, uh, I said, "Is this house for sale?" And they said, "Yeah, this is going to be for sale." So, uh, a guy by the name of -- of McConnell, he was a real estate man, and, uh, and the builder. And I said, "Well, I'd like to apply for it." I said, "I'd, I'd like to app-- like to apply for this house." So, uh, I took my wife down to look at it and after, after I got back from work, and we, uh, of course, and, uh, being a veteran, I went through the Veteran's --

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: -- Administration.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: And got my loan, and we bought it, and moved in there in November of, uh, '55.

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that right?

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Where is that in relation to where we are now?

CASTLE: It's, as you come down on the left, there's a street up here, it's back this way, and down -- it's -- go back out, Kentucky Avenue's 00:35:00on the right, and then Creekview's on the right, the next one. It's down in, uh, down in there. It, uh, used to -- it's Creekview, and then down in the bottom behind is Rio Vista, yeah. Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Now when you were living down on Sixteenth Street --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- and you'd drive by these houses on Cypress --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- that was uptown wasn't it?

CASTLE: That was uptown, yes, sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yes, sir.

CASTLE: Yeah, it was a--

BIRDWHISTELL: These are beautiful homes.

CASTLE: Yeah, this is a beautiful home here, this, uh, a lawyer owned this, uh, Dodo, uh, Baldwin owned this home.

BIRDWHISTELL: Who?

CASTLE: Baldwin?

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, one of the Baldwins? ----------(??)

CASTLE: Yeah, uh, actually, they say it was, uh, Bill Baldwin and, uh, --

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: -- it was a brother, and, uh, and they called him Dodo -- (Birdwhistell laughs)-- but I can't think of his--

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, that's horrible.

CASTLE: Yeah, and I can't think of his--

BIRDWHISTELL: But he was still Baldwin's brother?

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Okay.

CASTLE: Bill Baldwin's brother.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh-huh. Um, of course the Baldwins were well-known in town.

CASTLE: Right, yes sir. ----------(??)

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you ever think when you lived down on Sixteenth Street 00:36:00you'd live in this house?

CASTLE: No, I never thought. Unh-uh. I always thought that big pretty front porch out there, that big porch, that you see those, there's children playing ping-pong on that porch and everything.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, and you thought man, oh man.

CASTLE: Yeah -- yeah, never, never even thought about it, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: And here you are.

CASTLE: Yeah. (Birdwhistell laughs) That's true. We bought -- I bought this house in 1972.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, did you really?

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, that's wonderful.

CASTLE: Yeah. Yeah, she was, uh, I saw a U-Haul -- it, move-- out there, and I, I was going home for lunch, and, uh, I pulled in, and I told her, I said, "You selling your house?" And she said, "Yeah. You're the third one who's asked for it, and the first two don't have it, you can't have it."

BIRDWHISTELL: So you had to wait?

CASTLE: I had to wait. They had Buck Woodford, who's president of the bank here now. And, uh, and, uh, Dr. Copeland, who's a veterinarian, doctor.

BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??)

CASTLE: And both of them were supposed to have gotten married, and they 00:37:00didn't get married. (Birdwhistell laughs) They'd --

BIRDWHISTELL: How'd you arrange that?

CASTLE: I don't know! (Birdwhistell laughs) I never could figure that out. (Birdwhistell laughs) I asked -- I asked Buck about that not too long ago, we were on the industrial committee together, and I asked him about that. And he said, "I don't know what happened there." And he said that, "We just postponed our wedding for about a year, and decided I didn't want a house." So, uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: You sure lucked out, didn't you?

CASTLE: Yeah, I did. She called me and told me you can, you can have the house. My wife said, "What are you go-- how are you going to pay for it?" I said, "Oh, I don't know, we'll, we'll, we'll figure out some way."

BIRDWHISTELL: (both laugh) Stretched you at first?

CASTLE: Yeah, stretched me at first, yeah, it did. (Birdwhistell laughs) But I went to -- down here at the bank, it's the National Bank at that time.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh-huh.

CASTLE: And I told them, I said, "I need a little money so I can sell my house." (Birdwhistell laughs) And I was fortunate that my house sold within a month's time down there in Creekview, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Now the Pritchards lived right down the street, didn't 00:38:00they?

CASTLE: Who?

BIRDWHISTELL: Pritchard? ----------(??) family?

CASTLE: Yes, ----------(??)

BIRDWHISTELL: Ed Pritchard's family?

CASTLE: Yeah, I believe so.

BIRDWHISTELL: They lived right back up this way.

CASTLE: Yeah, uh-huh, right.

BIRDWHISTELL: Or maybe I'm -- maybe -- maybe not right in here. Maybe more off of downtown up on that hill there somewhere.

CASTLE: I'm not for sure where they lived. I know they lived in this area, and, uh, Mr. Kirkpatrick, superintendent of the schools lived across the street here at that time over there. He was -- they was over there at, uh, one of the old ----------(??). Superintendent of schools here for years, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Since you were interested in politics, and you had gotten immersed in the culture of, uh, Paris and Bourbon County, what, what did you hear about Ed Pritchard, what did you know about Ed Pritchard, and --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- what did you think about Ed Pritchard?

CASTLE: Well, I'd heard that the worst part, at that time, was about him, uh, uh, vote fraud here in Paris.

00:39:00

BIRDWHISTELL: Right, the Clintonville ballot.

CASTLE: Yeah, uh-huh, that was in the -- I guess, uh, that was, when I came to town, that was the big rumble, you know?

BIRDWHISTELL: Let's see, that was in '48, and you get here in '55, so it's still rumble.

CASTLE: Yeah, it's still rumble, yes, sir, uh-huh. (Birdwhistell laughs) And then, of course, I got to know some of his relatives who was pretty nice people and everything, but I didn't -- I didn't bother--

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you know his father?

CASTLE: Huh?

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you know his father?

CASTLE: I guess that probably was his father, he run a dairy farm out here, and, uh, I knew him fairly well.

BIRDWHISTELL: Had a big distributorship and ----------(??).

CASTLE: Yeah. I knew him fairly well. And then, uh --(coughs)-- I, I'd done a little off and on, I guess I'd been with him in some, some way around, and he seemed like a pretty nice guy. And he was kind of -- wanted his own way, but he's a pretty nice guy in a, in a way. You could talk around him --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- get him to come around.

00:40:00

BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??)

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: So they were all mixed up in the Pritchard problems?

CASTLE: Yes, Judge Artery (??), yes sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: Phil Artery (??) had been a great friend of Ed Pritchard. Did you know the Arterys very well?

CASTLE: I, I didn't know them too well, I knew them fairly well, but I didn't know them too well. I knew, uh, a guy by the name of, uh, oh, let's see, uh, Bill Collier was tied in with the --this vote fraud. And, uh, he, he told my -- my wife's aunt beautician that the night of the -- he said he walked the floor all night looking for them to come get him. (both laugh) Because his wife said Bill walked the floor all night, they -- figured they'd come get him because he was tied in with that, uh -- with -- tied in with all of that, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: They got the one they wanted?

CASTLE: Yeah, they got the one. I guess, I gu-- Pritchard probably took the blame for all of them, I guess. But from what I hear in the -- 00:41:00over the years, you know, that a lot of other people are involved, but he took the blame.

BIRDWHISTELL: But in a small community like this, that -- you know, having Judge Artery, and Phil Artery, and Ed Pritchard --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- and his father, and his mother, you know, being a prominent member of the community --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- that's just a big turmoil for this type of town.

CASTLE: Oh yeah, it was, it was, really was. It, uh -- well, it got -- I guess it got to where the people just didn't have any trust in anybody for a while, yeah. And, uh, when the -- I know when -- when I went in to, uh, mayor, when I got elected mayor, uh, I had a construction company who was up here the next day wanting to blacktop my driveway.

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that right?

CASTLE: Yeah, free, no charge.

BIRDWHISTELL: (laughs) What'd you tell them?

CASTLE: I said, "Thank you just the same, but I'll -- when I want it, I'll, I'll let you know, and I'll pay you for it." (Birdwhistell laughs) Because I think this is what happened to Paris years ago. They 00:42:00couldn't -- you couldn't get any industry, because people was fighting it. And uh, you get, you get in there and get the mayor tied up in something, and then he couldn't do nothing, you know? I said, "I'm with the telephone company, and, uh, I don't have any strings attached, and, uh, as long as they let me do my job, I'll do it. Both ways, and I'll be the -- I'll do the best for the community, and I'll do the best for the telephone company, so." I didn't have to. I didn't have to answer to the horse farms, or the construction people in the --

BIRDWHISTELL: The money ----------(??).

CASTLE: It didn't bother me, that's -- I just, I wasn't, wasn't interested anyway in anything they had. And I had my -- in my -- all of my campaigns, I didn't have any of the -- I didn't spend a whole lot of money on any of them. I went into it. If they want me, okay, if they don't, okay. That's what happens. Felt about it.

00:43:00

BIRDWHISTELL: It's a wonder that since, uh, the moneyed interest found out that you couldn't be bought --

CASTLE: Um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- but they didn't try to replace you.

CASTLE: Well, that's true.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did they?

CASTLE: They tried to, they tried--

BIRDWHISTELL: Did they run candidates against you?

CASTLE: Yeah, they ran candidates against me, and they, they let -- had their offices open at night, people calling out of there hom-- out of there -- using their phones to call people, to uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: Phone banks --

CASTLE: Yeah --

BIRDWHISTELL: -- to campaign against you?

CASTLE: -- phone banks out of their offices. And, uh, the people would tell me that they got a call last night wanting them to vote for somebody. And, uh, and, uh, I said, I told him, and I thanked them just the same. And, uh, I guess I had enough of a -- back in -- thought of it a lot, away, bought it away, yeah. Yeah, the, uh, Mr. Hinkle was, of course, the construction guy. He, he, he, always -- from the start, after I wouldn't let him blacktop my drive, he was everything -- he 00:44:00ran -- he was against me every time. (Birdwhistell laughs) I know the last time I run, he was coming out of the bank one day, and I came out and said, "Uh, Mr. Hinkle, I sure thank you for your help during the election." (Birdwhistell laughs) So he said -- he didn't know what to say. And actually, uh, one thing -- we had when, uh, Governor Wallace spoke at the courthouse one night, and, uh, he uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: Governor Wilkinson?

CASTLE: I'm sorry?

BIRDWHISTELL: Wilkinson?

CASTLE: Yeah, Governor Wilkinson. And of course, we was working on Paris Pike at the time, I was trying, I'd been, I'd been on that committee since it started in 1967.

BIRDWHISTELL: Time began.

CASTLE: Yeah. And, uh, I'm still on it. And, uh, and, uh, they said, "We're having a party out here, we'd like for you to come along." And I said, well, I said, "I'll, I'll come if Mr. Hinkle don't come, because I'm, I'm -- I don't want to bump heads with him." They said, Well, 00:45:00okay, he won't come." (Birdwhistell laughs) "You come on, he won't come." (Birdwhistell laughs) And I went, and he wasn't there, so.

BIRDWHISTELL: What about the Claiborne Farming group? Did you get along okay with them?

CASTLE: Yeah, I got along -- I got along pretty good with the Claiborne Farm.

BIRDWHISTELL: Because they're another big influence.

CASTLE: Yeah, they're -- right, a big influence, and they, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Now is part of that farm actually in the city?

CASTLE: Yeah, they was at one time. Now, the -- part of it at -- on the Georgetown Road was in the city. They, they've since sold that though.

BIRDWHISTELL: I see.

CASTLE: Now they -- they're out on the Winchester Road now, all in the -- all -- area out there.

BIRDWHISTELL: Okay, all right.

CASTLE: But they're not in the -- they're not in the city limits out there. They're part -- they bought, off of Georgetown Road on the right, uh, they sold that a couple of years ago.

BIRDWHISTELL: One of the things, as I've interviewed mayors around the 00:46:00state, each city --(clears throat)-- literally has its own personality, its own set of issues.

CASTLE: Um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: And, you know, it might be Bill Gorman trying to find enough flat land to build anything.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: (clears throat) You know, it might be, uh, a, a town off of the interstates trying to do certain kinds of things, or they have certain challenges.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: Or like, uh, Mayor Haug trying to keep Anchorage --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- from doing anything. (laughs)

CASTLE: That's right.

BIRDWHISTELL: You know, from being -- who wants it to stay the same.

CASTLE: That's right.

BIRDWHISTELL: And I guess, since the time I interviewed him about Anchorage, Paris is the closest to that in the sense, although Paris is a regular-type city --

CASTLE: Um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- not like the way Anchorage is.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: Not that Anchorage is irregular, but everybody knows what I'm talking about.

CASTLE: Right. Yeah, no industry --

BIRDWHISTELL: -- It's a residential.

CASTLE: -- it's all residential.

BIRDWHISTELL: But Paris is a, is a regular-type community, yet the, the dynamics of the community about growth, and change, and --

CASTLE: Um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- history, and the future is a, is a very volatile issue, 00:47:00and has been, I don't know, it seems like the whole twentieth century.

CASTLE: Yeah, it is for, for ever -- since I can remember.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: Because anything you had to do here, you had to fight for it really.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: You had to fight against somebody.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right.

CASTLE: Because, uh, somebody was always against it. Well, they still are really. The, uh -- I did -- we did -- our -- and I would -- I tried to get an industrial park here for years, and I couldn't get any land for the industrial park. I finally did get, uh, off of Georgetown Road back to the left, uh, the, uh, about a few years -- well, they got out there, and this land, I know was for sale and everything. And we got the, uh -- finally got in the -- on the inside track for the land. And we had to keep it quiet because the city was buying it, and they 00:48:00were afraid somebody else would come in and buy it out from under us.

BIRDWHISTELL: So you couldn't develop it?

CASTLE: Yeah, yeah, so we, so we couldn't develop it. The, the, uh, it seemed like they thought -- that's one thing that farms, horse farms was afraid that you'd take their cheap labor away from them if you brought the industrial in, that was their biggest worry. They were afraid that if you have -- came in with industry, they would -- people would leave them and go to the work in the industrial plant, so, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: That's pretty sad, isn't it?

CASTLE: Yeah it was, it was pretty sad. And, uh, and we knew that, and we had to work around that. So we, uh, we, we bought this land out there, and it finally got, got it settled and everything. And then, of course, everybody was against the rezoning, and then the, uh, the night they had the rezoning, it was awfully crowded, it was. (Birdwhistell laughs) So, uh, that's the only time Ms. Hancock ever -- I guess ever bumped heads with us, really. She came in and was, was against it and everything. And the zoning board, they voted, and they voted 100% 00:49:00for it.

BIRDWHISTELL: Wow.

CASTLE: And she left, and she said, "This is all your fault." I said, "Well, I wished it was, ma'am," but I said, "I think I had a little help along the way." (Birdwhistell laughs) But, then --

BIRDWHISTELL: I thought you were going to say you told her, "I can take all of the credit." (both laugh)

CASTLE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I, I probably did in a roundabout way everything.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, that's what I'm saying, yeah. "I can't take all of the credit."

CASTLE: "Can't take all of the credit, and we had -- I had a little help."

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, absolutely.

CASTLE: So right after that, we got -- we had, uh, Monessen, we've got Monessen in -- out there now, and it's a big company. And we've got, uh, Prime Finish, and we've got a lil-- uh, got another big, uh, company out there, it's a, uh, tires -- mounts tires on, uh, rims, complete -- from the complete all the way through, and come out the regular, regular -- to mount on a car.

BIRDWHISTELL: Ready to go.

00:50:00

CASTLE: Yeah, ready to go. They're shipped to Georgetown everyday to Toyota. They have three or four shipments everyday.

BIRDWHISTELL: When you were on the -- when you got on the City Commission --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- and, uh, Mayor, uh, Raines was the mayor --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- uh, how did the commission members get along with him?

CASTLE: Well, they, uh, they, they got along with him pretty good. Except, when he was the mayor, I don't know, he let the -- he let them rattle on and go too much. We would meet from seven o'clock to twelve and one o'clock.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, okay.

CASTLE: And uh, he just let them, I guess, didn't, he actually didn't have much control over them. And, uh, I got along pretty good with him, and I, I kept telling him that we had to shorten these meetings, you know, they're too long, you know? So uh, we finally got to -- got them down to where we was getting out about ten o'clock. And, uh, he 00:51:00was, uh, he was really -- himself, was easy to get along with. He was at the city office everyday, he had an office and he was every day, he was a --

BIRDWHISTELL: He'd retired from selling stock or something?

CASTLE: Yeah, I believe he -- yeah, he came in here from Indianapolis. And he was -- I think he came in here to buy sheep --

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, sheep.

CASTLE: -- and stayed. Yeah, uh-huh. Came in to buy sheep, and stayed, and bought a laundry here.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, he did?

CASTLE: Yeah, he bought a -- he was in, in the partnership with, uh, Davis in the laundry business, I believe. No, it may not have been Davis. It was in -- on Main Street, it was the Ba-- Paris Laundry.

BIRDWHISTELL: You know, that, that raises an interesting question, mayor. When, when I, when I was doing some background research before I contacted you --

CASTLE: Uh-huh.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- that I was going to interview the mayor of Paris, I'd 00:52:00assume any mayor of Paris would have family going back to the Civil War.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: And, and I was surprised to find, obviously, that you were not from here.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: And now I'm finding out that Mayor Raines wasn't from here.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: Doesn't that seem a little odd for this type of town --

CASTLE: Yes.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- that two outsiders were running it for so long?

CASTLE: Yes sir, it, it -- I guess it really does, it really does.

BIRDWHISTELL: So how does one explain that?

CASTLE: It really does because, uh, now I guess, uh, Mayor Glass was from here, I'm sure he was from here, his family is from here and everything. He was, he was -- he worked for the, uh, ----------(??) company, the rentals, the ----------(??) company. And then the guy following him was, uh, Buddy Case, who had a four year term. I guess he was from here, he was an insurance man.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh-huh.

CASTLE: And then, uh, then Raines came in after that, and then, of course, Raines was there eight years. And then of course, I was in 00:53:00twenty-nine. So it's unusual that an outsider would come in, and get elected, and end up in Paris, really --

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: -- with the type of setting it is, right.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. Um, so once you decided to -- you became, after Mayor Raines died --

CASTLE: Um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- you became mayor, then you had to run on your own.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: How do you go about running for mayor of Paris that first time?

CASTLE: Well, that first time I ran, I guess I, I went around, I knew some people, and I went around to ask them, you know, "What do you think? I should run for mayor?"

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: "You think, uh -- would you, would, uh, think-- uh, would you be interested in voting me for mayor?" And quite a few of them said that 00:54:00yeah, that they would back me if I ran. And, uh, and then, uh, I just ran some, uh -- started running some ads.

BIRDWHISTELL: In the newspaper?

CASTLE: In the newspaper. And, uh, then, uh, we went from the, uh, the guy that ran against me was, uh, Ben Ferguson. You might've heard of him. He was a --

BIRDWHISTELL: No, who was he?

CASTLE: He was -- at that time, he was a farm owner, actually in Georgetown, in Scott County. He owned a big farm out there, his family did.

BIRDWHISTELL: But he lived here in Paris?

CASTLE: They lived on Duncan Avenue over in Paris, in a real nice home over there. His mother and father passed away, and he was living by himself at the time. So we spoke in front of the, uh, Rotary Club. And, uh, I guess most all of the clubs we went around to, they had us bumping heads with each other.

BIRDWHISTELL: Would -- why did you tell them you wanted to be mayor?

CASTLE: Well, I told them that I'd been the City Commissioner and the 00:55:00school board, and, and I wanted to be a mayor for, uh, to try to get industry in the city of Paris, and I wanted the city of Paris Pike completed while I was in there. I'd like to see it four-laned, and I didn't, and, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah?

CASTLE: And I told them I didn't want to take -- everybody was worried about the trees and everything on the, on the four-lane. And I told them we would take -- the way I would -- planned it, we would take this, the least that we could over the area, and, uh, try to not make a huge -- uh, sidelines and all this. Just take what we needed, and make a nice road. And, uh, I thought that would give us more transportation in and out of Paris to the interstate. And, uh, more or less in that area, talking to the me-- trying to help the future of Paris, and 00:56:00bypasses around Paris and all of this, which we eventually got to.

BIRDWHISTELL: What was your opponent for?

CASTLE: I'm sorry?

BIRDWHISTELL: What was your opponent for?

CASTLE: Well, he was a, he was a big guy, he was big in the fire department. He was a volunteer fireman, and he was big in the fire department. He would tell them what all he would do for the fire department, and then all of this and everything. And, and, uh, and he said if -- I think one of his statements was that he -- if he was out on the farm, he would have a siren on his car and everything, and he would, he would bust in from Scott County with the siren blowing and everything. (Birdwhistell laughs) So I think, then I said, "Well, I won't have any sirens."

BIRDWHISTELL: "I'm already here." (laughs)

CASTLE: " I'm here if you need me, they can call me, the phone, and I think that would be easy enough." So, we, uh, and of course they asked you a lot of different questions, and he just -- everyone would come 00:57:00up, you'd go -- you would go along and try to answer them the best you could.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you like public speaking?

CASTLE: I, I enjoyed it for a while. Then it got -- at the end, it got old. (Birdwhistell laughs) But, uh -- I, I guess I've done pretty well with it, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??)

CASTLE: I got along with it pretty good, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Now, the question that comes to mind is kind of an awkward question to ask mayors, but, uh, you know, you guys, you, you work so hard to get elected. Then the job's so hard, it takes up so much time.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: And if you'd have taken the same amount of time and worked to earn more money.

CASTLE: Um-hm, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: But yet, you -- you know, the pay you got as, as mayor, especially early on --

CASTLE: Yeah, true.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- didn't compensate you for the amount of time that it took, did it?

CASTLE: Not at all, not -- not here in Paris.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, or in most places?

CASTLE: No, no, no -- that's right, in most places really.

00:58:00

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: Now Paris is, uh, they're about the lowest, I guess. Because when I left, I was only making $6,000 a year, and, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: So, how -- why --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Why -- why do people do that?

CASTLE: I guess, it's just a -- you get, uh, working with it, and you get interested in it, and the more you do, and you can see what you've developed, and see what's, uh, what's become of your work. And, uh, I guess just something you, you en-- have to enjoy. If you didn't, you wouldn't do it, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Of course, uh, your job with the phone company kept getting better and better, I assume.

CASTLE: Right, uh-huh.

BIRDWHISTELL: And I guess the other thing that came to my mind, mayor, is that it speaks well of the phone company that --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- they supported you in this. Is that right?

CASTLE: Yes, I, I, I think that's true. Uh, I had, uh, I had -- well, I had thirty-five years with the telephone company. And then when, uh, Mr. Harris, uh, Charlie Harris was my manager here. And, uh, I worked 00:59:00out -- when I got, when I got elected mayor, I was working out of the business office. So that way I had more time for the job, and I had people stopping in all of the time, and just sitting --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- coming into the telephone office, you know, talk to me about the city --

BIRDWHISTELL: That's what I'm saying, they'd have to go along with the --

CASTLE: Yeah, they had to go along with pretty -- he went along with it pretty good. And, uh, he was the big realtor in, and he, uh, in fact, he had served on the school board at one time in the early years, so -- he, he can -- I guess we got along pretty good, he, he, he went along with it pretty good. And then after that, he, uh, he retired, and they, uh, they, uh, my boss was out of Louisville. I'd report to Louisville, but I stayed here in Paris. And, uh, they didn't, uh, in fact, uh, my boss out of, uh, Birmingham, he, he, he enjoyed -- I think 01:00:00he kind of enjoyed me being mayor because he -- I talked to him quite a bit, he would call me about different things.

BIRDWHISTELL: (laughs) He'd want to know what was going on.

CASTLE: Yeah, he'd want to know what's going on. And, uh, and, uh, I said, "Well, one thing about it, if, if I'm mayor, you can -- if you have any trouble, we, we can handle it a little better around here with -- through the telephone company." (laughs)

BIRDWHISTELL: That's right, that's right. Um, at the time you get involved in city government, uh, there's not much growth.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: There's not much industry.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: The traffic is horrendous in the downtown area because you've got all of these trucks coming through, and making turns, and heading toward Indiana, and going up to Maysville, and those types of things.

CASTLE: That's right, yes, sir.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um, and you've got some, uh, you've got some areas in 01:01:00Paris that are really underdeveloped, uh, you've got --

CASTLE: Right. Claysville.

BIRDWHISTELL: Um-hm, Claysville.

CASTLE: You've got, uh, Claysville, it's a real rough area over there that, uh, I had to -- we got, uh, federal money for it, and we cleaned that whole area out. We took all -- we just moved all of those people out, and went in there and bulldozed those houses out, and rebuilt all of those homes over there on a, on a 3% government loan.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: And put them all back in, put new streets in over there.

BIRDWHISTELL: And Newtown area would be another area.

CASTLE: Yes, Newtown area, across from the Hardee's. We went in there and tore all of that out, put all new homes in there.

BIRDWHISTELL: Now was that primarily African-Americans or whites in those areas?

CASTLE: Uh, that was all Af-- African-Americans at that time.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh-huh.

CASTLE: But, uh, now it's both in that area. We've got, uh, African- 01:02:00Americans and whites in those apartments, and they, uh, they're real nice apartments. They, they, they, uh, we've actually -- we've dedicated those just to senior citizens in the last few years because it's so easy to get in and out of.

BIRDWHISTELL: I was telling somebody the other day, one of the things, interviewing your generation of mayors --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- and basically, I'm interviewing people, you know, who are about your age, and were mayors during the sixties, seventies, and eighties, and nineties.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: And there had been such neglect of certain neighborhoods in all of these cities --

CASTLE: Um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- that when you all came in, you were faced with this really horrendous, difficult --

CASTLE: Sure, um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- because you had neighborhoods with no sewers, no sidewalks, no --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- streetlights, no -- none of the traditional city services, you had to take it inside the city limits.

CASTLE: Right, that's true.

BIRDWHISTELL: And, so, here you were stuck with this issue. And I guess the federal money was very important in, in addressing that, wasn't it?

CASTLE: Yeah, it was really, really important in addressing that. We 01:03:00have -- we've got, uh, 90% federal money, and, uh, and uh, we couldn't have done it without it, really. We had, uh, Claysville, uh, Newtown, and, uh, Ruckerville, over off of, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, Ruckerville.

CASTLE: -- Second Street. We went in there, they --

BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??)

CASTLE: Those people, all, uh -- uh-huh, yeah, 1970, uh-huh. That, uh, area over there, people lived in homes with dirt floors.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: And, uh, I've visited them.

BIRDWHISTELL: What'd that make you think when you -- when you went into those neighborhoods, obviously, uh, as a city official, as a person campaigning, what -- what did that tell you about the community, that that had existed for so long?

CASTLE: Well, that showed you that people wasn't interested in the -- in that, some people, you know?

BIRDWHISTELL: Right.

01:04:00

CASTLE: They was interested in ,uh, just a certain amount of people, and didn't -- they didn't worry about everybody, it didn't look like. So, uh, they, uh, seemed like they, uh, just had their own little group, and they just, uh, said, you know, day to day, you know, and not worry about spreading out and taking in these other places, and getting them straightened out and everything. Because, uh, actually, when you annex anything, within five years, you're supposed to give them city services.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: And um, I'm sure that (both laugh) they hadn't done anything in years. And, uh, in fact --

BIRDWHISTELL: Of course there was no African-American representation on the commission?

CASTLE: No, that's right. They wasn't--

BIRDWHISTELL: I'm sorry I interrupted you, said, "In fact?" They hadn't had anything in years, and I interrupted you.

CASTLE: Yeah, that's okay. They, uh, they, uh, they hadn't had even tried to do anything, I guess. In 1974, I got a letter there from, uh, 01:05:00go--, uh, President Ford, where we got in on the community development project. And, uh, and we about the -- I guess the first city in Kentucky that really got in deep on it. And, uh, I got some, we had some -- Reverend Smith, who was a, a black minister here, had him, it was kind of a public relations man, explain to those people what we're going to do over there when we go in and take their homes, and, and, uh, tearing them down and redoing them.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, that's pretty tricky, isn't it?

CASTLE: It was pretty rough, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: But you're able to convince people that you're looking out for their interests?

CASTLE: Yeah, we were. And we had another lady, Mrs. Brack, who was a black lady, that she was real good. And then, uh, we had, uh, Haddox (??), the guy that was working with us. And, uh, I guess we convinced 01:06:00the people that we, what was doing, it was doing it for them, and they would have eventually have the first choice to come back. That's what we told them, we, you know, you have the first choice to come back to the neighborhood, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: That put a lot of pressure on you because your word --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- was at risk there, wasn't it?

CASTLE: That's true, it sure was. It was -- it was, uh, that's what I was telling them. I said, "Now, are you sh-- are you sure we can do this?" (both laugh) But all of us working together, and uh, and keeping a pretty good eye on it because it was a whole lot of work there.

BIRDWHISTELL: By the time you go on the school board, the schools are desegregated, right?

CASTLE: Yes, uh-huh, they had just -- had just, uh, yes. I guess in '62, Paris, uh, the city, and uh, they had one, uh, western school over there on the -- off of, uh, Seventh Street. We -- we went in there, 01:07:00and remodeled that, and tried to make it, uh, the junior high. But, uh, it didn't last, it was -- you never could get the smell out of it, really. So we had to eventually just, uh, close it down, and--

BIRDWHISTELL: You'd been letting it run d-- run down so long that--

CASTLE: Yeah, it had run down so long and been -- that it was, uh, just bad -- it was, uh, you just, the windows and everything, there's so many windows to replace, that we decided that we're throwing money away. So we decided that we'd better stop and take our losses, and start all over again, so.

BIRDWHISTELL: Thinking back at that time, when the country, and the communities had come so far with race relations --(clears throat)-- what did it make you think in terms of the city had let these neighborhoods run down, the black schools had been in terrible condition? Where were you in regard to race relation at that point? How 01:08:00would you describe yourself?

CASTLE: Well, I guess, you know, in Paintsville, you don't have any African-Americans.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh-huh?

CASTLE: We, uh, we didn't have any in the school, we didn't have any -- it wasn't, uh, I don't think, there's not a family of one in Johnson County at that time. And then you get down into here and you have so many that you, you know, you wonder well, why can't, you know, you've got the -- the way I see it, uh, we've got to treat all of these people alike. We, you know -- we've got to do something about this. We've got to try to help these people, and, and, see if they can't -- if we can help them, maybe they'll help themselves, and we'll get a better home for them, a better education. And, uh, I know, uh, Chief Reed, he was, uh, the football coach, and principal at, uh, Western High, and I brought him in as -- talked him in to bringing him as an assistant principal at Paris.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, really?

CASTLE: I said, that way, I think that will help us with the, with the, 01:09:00with the other school, with the other children. They can feel better with him, you know, and we can work with him. So they brought him as assistant principal, and gave him a little authority. And then, uh, we gave him, I think, one class to teach. And, uh, that, that, helped us a lot, because we hadn't -- we didn't get a -- they didn't get a good start from '62. And, uh, and, '66, '67, we had, uh -- then we got -- we kind of got more, uh, more of them interested in sports, playing with the whites, and they got, uh, started getting along pretty good, and they -- it, it worked out real well. We got a -- brought a, uh, Homer Goings, football coach in from -- he was in Maysville at the time. We 01:10:00brought him into Paris, and he was -- he was rough, but he was firm, and he treated everybody the same, so that helped us an awful lot.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's what you needed, wasn't it?

CASTLE: Yeah, it really was.

BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??) advice? (laughs)

CASTLE: It -- it, uh, they understood that, uh, he was -- treated everybody the same, and it didn't make any difference what color he was, that you was, uh, had to do what you're supposed to. And, uh, that -- and then with, uh -- and we helped -- we had a good superintendent, Paul Polly, who was pretty strict. And he, uh, overall, we had, we had, we, we -- we got the pretty good -- pretty good reign on them, and held it pretty tight. And I think that it set the whole -- it helped the whole city in the, in the long run for the -- kind of got everybody working together.

BIRDWHISTELL: What -- during the time you were mayor, what was the 01:11:00percentage of the African-American population of Paris, do you remember?

CASTLE: I would, ah, I would say -- I don't know, we, uh, I would say at least, uh, 15 to 20 percent, I'd say.

BIRDWHISTELL: Really? Fairly high ----------(??)?

CASTLE: Yeah, it was pretty high, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: I know the sch-- the school got up into the thirties, thirty-- 37 percent at Paris High at one point.

BIRDWHISTELL: Now when you're--

CASTLE: So it was -- so I'd say it was -- I -- probably close to 20 percent, I'd say.

BIRDWHISTELL: When, uh, when your opponents would run against you --

CASTLE: Um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- would they try to get the black vote?

CASTLE: Oh yeah, they always -- they always went over and tried to buy the black vote, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: So what'd you do to counter that?

CASTLE: Well, I we-- I went over and talked to them. And, uh, uh, in fact, uh, I think one time I went over, and uh, gathered, gathered 01:12:00around a little grocery store over there, and I, I, I think I gave him a little money to -- just to , uh, campaign for me over there. And, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: You have to do that.

CASTLE: Yeah, the more -- you have to do that, yeah, especially when you know the rest of them is doing it, yeah. (Birdwhistell laughs) And, uh, he, uh, I don't know whether he'd done any good or not, but I had enough -- I think over the, over the years through the Little League program that I worked with, I had enough friends, black friends through the Little League baseball, and, and, and knowing me through the years, through the telephone company and, uh, that, uh, that, that, that pulled a lot of weight, and then I worked a lot with them. I would go to their, uh, programs and things, and, uh, I spoke to a lot of them, to the churches, the Christian church, and the St. Paul ----------(??) in the church, spoke to them on Sunday, and after their meetings and 01:13:00everything.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you feel yourself changing as a person as you worked more with the black community? Did you have a greater appreciation for that situation?

CASTLE: Yeah, I think -- I think you really did. You, you had a -- you kind of was hoping that you could do something to help them, and you -- felt a little bit more toward, uh, trying to help them all you could, and put out you co-- all of the efforts you could make to do that, yeah. The, uh, some of them were pretty hard to work with. So you just had to forget that and go to work with somebody else, and --(Birdwhistell laughs)-- maybe they could work with them. You know, that's the way I tried to do it.

BIRDWHISTELL: Your glass is always half full, isn't it?

CASTLE: Yeah, that's right. (Birdwhistell laughs) Just tried to -- tired to work around the, around the vet person, and then bring, bring somebody in around to get him later, so. (Birdwhistell laughs) I was 01:14:00-- I was trying to -- all the time, trying to think a little ahead, what the next step would be, you know, but, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: It's hard to be a successful mayor if you're a pacifist, isn't it?

CASTLE: Yeah, yeah. It really -- oh, yeah, you can't --

BIRDWHISTELL: You've got to believe things can be better.

CASTLE: Oh yeah, you've got to believe it. You can't, uh -- yeah, because, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: You just can't wish for it either, you've got to work for it.

CASTLE: Yeah, you've got to work for it, you, you can't wish for it. You've got to --

BIRDWHISTELL: But you've got to believe you can make it better.

CASTLE: You've got to believe you can make it better, and you've got to, uh -- you've got to keep, keep -- every day you've got to keep looking for, uh, uh, grant money to help you out, and the different things, and try the different s-- different ways to, uh -- that you can, uh, get ahead in, in some direction. Of course we've got, uh, in 1977, we got the bypass around Paris, and then that helped downtown, as you're 01:15:00saying.

BIRDWHISTELL: That was huge, wasn't it?

CASTLE: It was really huge, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: How hard was it to get?

CASTLE: It was, it was pretty rough, it was pretty hard to get. So, but, uh -- we worked hard through Frankfort, and, uh, and through our representative. And, uh, finally, they'd come in here and say, "Well, we think you look like you may really need one, so."

BIRDWHISTELL: So the state helped you?

CASTLE: Yeah, the state built it, yes, uh-huh. State built it.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, that was a good time to get it because there's a lot of money in state government.

CASTLE: Yeah, that's true, yeah. It was, it was --

BIRDWHISTELL: Probably hasn't been more -- any more money in state government in that time ----------(??)

CASTLE: Not since. (Birdwhistell clears throat) They -- they kept wanting us to put Main Street back two ways. It's one-way down, you know, and then circle the court, have to come back up High Street.

BIRDWHISTELL: Why'd they -- why'd they want to do that?

CASTLE: I don't know. They kept insisting on -- they tried to tie that in with the bypass, and, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: I don't understand why it would make any difference.

CASTLE: I don't either, but I kept going along with them, for as far 01:16:00as we could go, and then I said, "No, we -- it -- it just, there's not enough room with parking on both sides for two-way traffic up and down."

BIRDWHISTELL: It's a very narrow, what is it, uh --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- I've seen the figures on how it's --

CASTLE: Yeah, it's pretty narrow. Uh, uh, I'm not for sure on the figure, to tell you the truth. I know, we just reworked it a couple of years ago.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: We'd reworked Main Street, and we got all new lights, and the, no -- all the wire's underground now, and the new -- went back to the new -- original lights down there.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh-huh.

CASTLE: And, uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: Thirty-two feet from curb to curb.

CASTLE: Thirty-two feet, yeah, that's about right. Some -- only about two or three different places there's thirty-four, so that's right. And it's a -- it's in the city limits, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Was that the city limits when it was built?

CASTLE: No, it was -- we had to annex it then. We had to, uh, it was -- actually, I doub-- over doubled the size of Paris in annexation 01:17:00while I was in there. The, uh, we only went up to about Twentieth Street with the City of Paris. And then I annexed everything out to the bypass. And then -- and that -- excuse me, on Ford Road -- Fords Mill Road on -- by the bypass, that area back in there went all the way into the creek, I annexed that, everything there. And then, uh, out the, uh, Clintonville Road, and, uh, Bethlehem Road, we've annexed way out there. We've -- that's where most of our new homes is, down the Bethlehem Road and the Clintonville Road.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, yeah.

CASTLE: We annexed all of that area down in there, and, uh --we've over -- doubled the size of Paris, we went from, I guess from about, uh, seven thousand when I went in, to --we're almost ten thousand now, city 01:18:00limits is, yeah, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. And a lot more space?

CASTLE: Yeah, and a lot more, uh huh.

BIRDWHISTELL: Was that part of the problem with the bypass, the annexation?

CASTLE: Yeah, it probably was at the time, yeah. They wanted, uh, they wanted it in the city limits for some reason. So we got, got it annexed without any trouble, so, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Now was that before the stringent annexation laws went into effect, or--

CASTLE: That was -- I guess a little before, yes, uh-huh.

BIRDWHISTELL: It got more difficult?

CASTLE: Yeah, it got more, got more difficult in the last four or five years, yeah. Yeah, but right now I think it's, uh, what, fif-- you have to have about 55 percent of the people that's, uh, -- it's, uh, yeah, it was, it got, uh, it got real, real strict. And, uh, right now, mostly, your annexation, most -- people more or less have to ask for.

01:19:00

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: You've got a developer or something who wants some land, he, he has to come in and ask for it, and they'll go in that direction really.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah. Um, of course the merchants were concerned that if you put all of those cars going around town and, you know, gas stations, and --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- all of this stuff as you go down --

CASTLE: Go down through town.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: Yeah, they was awful worried about it. Really, the merchants was against it. Some of the merchants were against it, really.

BIRDWHISTELL: But, you know, when you're in Paris now, it's a constant stream of traffic down that street.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: And a constant stream of traffic around.

CASTLE: Around, that's true.

BIRDWHISTELL: It's hard to imagine before it was there.

CASTLE: It. it really was, it really was. And before, uh, I know before '75, [editor's note: Route] 27, every Friday was tremendous coming in off of 27 through -- on A Street, and on down, it was -- you almost had to have a policeman at the A Street stop sign there --(Birdwhistell 01:20:00coughs)-- to let them in and out, the traffic would back up so far.

BIRDWHISTELL: Now when did Paris make Main Street one way and utilize the other street? What's the other street?

CASTLE: Uh, High Street.

BIRDWHISTELL: High Street.

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: When did you all do that?

CASTLE: Now that was, that was done before I went on City Commission, really, so --

BIRDWHISTELL: That was a long time earlier.

CASTLE: -- so it must've been in the--

BIRDWHISTELL: Sixties, maybe?

CASTLE: Probably in the -- sixties or late fifties it was.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, that was some time ago, wasn't it?

CASTLE: Yeah it was, some time ago. And, uh, the merchants didn't want -- didn't want the parking taken off of their side of the street.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right, right.

CASTLE: We tried to convince them to go -- we went down and talked to them to take off a parking lot on one side, but they didn't -- "Why don't you take it off the other side," you know? I said, "Well, we decided just -- it was better to leave parking on both sides, and have it one way, because it don't -- it's not that big, it don't make 01:21:00that much difference." You can always come up a side street and park somewhere. And we have good, uh, good parking lots now, we have plenty of good parking lots.

BIRDWHISTELL: Which you used to not have?

CASTLE: Oh, unh-uh, no, we didn't.

BIRDWHISTELL: No places to park there.

CASTLE: No, there wasn't. Now, we -- that's one thing I've done, we got some good parking lots. We got Eighth Street, Seventh Street, and down at Fifth, and also at Fourth, we've got -- and over beside the city office, uh, we've got, uh, fifty-five parking spaces over there for twenty-four hour parking. So we've got plenty of parking, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: You've always been an advocate for your downtown, your, your, uh, uh, colleagues who are in the mayor's office during the time you were. You all did Main Street projects, you tried to --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: you tried to beautify your downtown.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: You put utility lines underground. What about the person -- what about the cynical person, mayor, who says, "Who cares what happens to downtown?"

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: "There is -- we've got Wal-Mart, we've got Kmart, we've got --we've got Speedway out on the ----------(??), we've got 01:22:00everything we need, why don't -- why don't you just let the lawyers sit down there, and hold court, and leave it alone? Why does it matter?"

CASTLE: Well, uh, you, you have, uh, you have those people that think that way. (Birdwhistell laughs) They say, they don't, "I don't, I don't ever go downtown, what are you, what are you worried about that for?" (Birdwhistell laughs) But, uh, I, I always argue you have to have a good, good downtown, and you don't want to -- you don't want to get, uh, you want to keep your downtown at least as best you can. And we had a -- actually, we still have a -- it's a fairly active downtown, we don't have the, uh, choices that we used to have. We lost Penny's a few years ago, they was there for years. They came in there in '28, I believe.

BIRDWHISTELL: Wow.

CASTLE: And stayed until about four or five years ago.

BIRDWHISTELL: You know Wendell Ford worked in Penny's when he was a young man.

CASTLE: Is that right?

BIRDWHISTELL: In Owensboro. (laughs)

CASTLE: Yeah, is that right? Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: So, yeah, it was hard, almost impossible to maintain those 01:23:00kind of stores?

CASTLE: Yeah, it was. And then when, uh, we wanted -- we got in on the Renaissance Program to, uh, to rework downtown. The, uh, it was, uh, we got, uh, we had raised a hundred thousand dollars, uh, the, uh, city did, to, uh, go in with the federal and state money to do that. So we, we got a Chamber of Commerce, we got started, and, uh, we raised -- we raised a hundred thousand dollars to match the grant money to get downtown going.

BIRDWHISTELL: Wow.

CASTLE: It took us about a year, but we, we got it done, we got it done.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's hard work.

CASTLE: Yeah, it was, it was pretty rough work. I know my wife and I put in, uh -- I think we put in a hundred dollars to get it started.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you really?

CASTLE: And, uh, and then we said, you know, we'll take any, any 01:24:00donation. So we had quite a few hundred donations. And then the city clubs put in some money, and then we had some companies, federal, some, uh, industries put in some money, and so we -- we finally got it going.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, that's very important.

CASTLE: Yeah, it's, it's, it's looking mighty good down there, I hope they can keep it up, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: You were quoted as saying that the, uh, the bypass opened up, uh, opportunities for development, and that you thought that without that, that the pharmaceutical company probably wouldn't come ----------(??) --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- without that type of access.

CASTLE: Yeah, well, it's, it's probably -- probably not the truth I would say. Uh, you had Mallinckrodt Pharmaceutical, that, uh, they, uh, they liked that -- when they went around that bypass, they picked the place where they wanted to -- when we got them in here looking at 01:25:00the industrial prospect. We spent the night with them at the, at the Continental Inn talking to him.

BIRDWHISTELL: (laughs) Working him!

CASTLE: Working him. (Birdwhistell laughs) All -- all night long. And then we brought him over to the country club for breakfast.

BIRDWHISTELL: Because you weren't their first choice.

CASTLE: No, we weren't their first choice, I'm sure they had other choices, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, yeah.

CASTLE: And we, uh, Guy Hornsby was the judge at that time. And he was a -- and he and myself, and, uh -- so we brought them to the country club for breakfast, and then they -- and we took them around town to show them a -- at that time we didn't have an industrial park, so -- but the county owned that land that they're on.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh-huh.

CASTLE: So, uh, when they come around there, this one guy, he said, "That'd be a good place for our factory right there on that."

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, really?

CASTLE: Yeah, he s-- he -- he spoke up and he said, "That'd be a good place for--" his name was -- last name was Miller, I remember -- I can't remember his first name. But he said, "That'd be a good place 01:26:00for our factory." And I said, "You -- you can have that land there." (Birdwhistell laughs) "We can get you that land." I said, "We, we know the people who own that, and we can get it for you." And, uh, and he brought his wife back, about, uh, two or three weeks later, and let her look at it. And sh-- she said, uh, she said, "That'll be-- that'd be fine." So, then we started working with them, and, uh, they were out of St. Louis. And we got them in here, and got them, got them going on that. And once we got, we got them, then the Ramset came in right after that, about a, about a year later, further on down the bypass. And, uh, they came out of New York -- New Jersey and New York. I remember going up and signing the bonds for them in New York.

BIRDWHISTELL: Really?

CASTLE: We spent three days up there on the bond issue. I went to St. Louis and signed the bonds for Mallinckrodt, and uh--

BIRDWHISTELL: That's good.

CASTLE: And then, of course, after that, we got, uh, we had Weaver 01:27:00out here at the time, was going pretty -- pretty good at that time. And then we had, uh, Kentucky Textiles, they've been off and on, but they're -- they've always been run pretty good. Wayne Shumate owns that. And then they got, uh, the Japanese company we got in there, Central Manufacturing. At three, I had, uh, a head of commissioner, and, uh, and, uh, two commissioners, and, uh, and our city attorney was working with them. And, uh, they had, they had been working with them, so I just -- they didn't want but three people in, so I said, "Well, you all go on, and, uh, we'll -- I'll wait." We waited out -- waited on them. So, when they came out, they said they hadn't made any decision. I said, "What's your trouble?" They said, "Well, they want -- we 01:28:00wanted fifteen thousand acre, but they only offered us twelve.

BIRDWHSTELL: Hmm.

CASTLE: I said, "We'll take twelve." (Birdwhistell laughs) "Don't let them get away, we'll take twelve." (Birdwhistell laughs) So I told them, I said, "We'll take twelve." So they said, "Okay, we'll take it." So, then they came in, of course, after the first company, then they brought another company in after that. So they've got Central Manufacturing, and Central Light Alloy, they've got two big factories out there now. And I said just the difference for that little bit of money, and, uh, and we've got the payroll tax on that -- on them now, and you're getting the -- it, uh, you can't, uh, I said, "I would've let them have it for nothing."

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, you know, it reminds me of all of the criticism, uh, Governor Collins took for the incentives to Toyota.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: And now he can't get anybody to talk about that anymore. (laughs)

CASTLE: No, that's right, that's exactly right.

BIRDWHISTELL: Not only what it did for Georgetown, but Paris.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: And I mean, all across the state.

CASTLE: Oh yeah. The whole -- yeah, the whole state.

BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??)

CASTLE: Well, I think -- well, I guess, well, they got, uh -- how many 01:29:00thousand people do they have over there working there, I don't know for sure.

BIRDWHISTELL: A lot.

CASTLE: Probably -- I know fifteen thousand anyway.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's a lot.

CASTLE: Yeah. Well, I know Mayor Varney real well from Georgetown. And he says he can do without them, you know? (Birdwhistell laughs) Yeah, we've got, uh, here in Paris, we have about fifty Toyota people who work in the city of Paris -- that live here in the city of Paris.

BIRDWHISTELL: Wow.

CASTLE: Driving back and forth everyday.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, ----------(??)----------.

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: The, uh, when the bypass was built, you, you said -- it says here, but Castle said the city and county don't plan to allow unlimited development along the four-lane four mile stretch of highway.

CASTLE: Um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: Out on the bypass end. Certainly, it hasn't developed. I mean, it's no New Circle -- or New Circle in Lexington.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: I mean, it's a lot -- it's fairly undeveloped in a sense, isn't it?

CASTLE: Yes, it is. It's -- it, uh -- you've got, uh, gambles on most 01:30:00of the land, see. It's old family, and there's ten, ten -- the mother and ten boys, I think.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did they own it before it went through there?

CASTLE: Yeah, I guess. Yeah, they've owned it before, I guess, we finally got the right of way from them, but --

BIRDWHISTELL: But they own -- that was their land it went through?

CASTLE: Yeah, and, uh, they had never -- had never sent it to anybody to open it up, you know. They've, uh, they've just haven't sold anything. And then on, on down farther, you've got, uh, Doctor Copeman, he owns part down there. And, uh, of course, Claiborne Farm owned part, the horse farm. And then, uh, Ruggles, Ruggles was up for development, but he never -- I guess he had it too high, I know -- nobody never did take it. So, uh, this, uh, where Central Manufacturing is, it was the -- the Bowens -- it was a Bowen farm, it was, I think three hundred acres 01:31:00there. I tried to get the city to buy it when it was up -- went up for sale. We could've bought it for three thousand dollars an acre. Wound up paying eleven thousand. (both laugh) But I said, "You know, we ought to buy that -- we ought to buy that three hundred acres, because we can use that as industrial park."

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: But, no, they -- too much money, and they, they, they couldn't, they couldn't see it. So three or four years later, we went and bought the -- bought it paying, uh -- I think we had to pay eleven thousand dollars an acre for it.

BIRDWHISTELL: And of course, you've got one large -- rather large shopping center out on the bypass.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: You've got a nice school out on the bypass.

CASTLE: Right, yeah, uh-huh.

BIRDWHISTELL: So it's not like there's something -- there has been some growth out there.

CASTLE: Yeah, there has been some growth, yes sir, that's right. But that's -- uh, I don't know, the gambles coming off of, uh, [editor's note: Routes] 68 and 27, on the bypass going around. I don't know, I 01:32:00guess, probably, uh, I don't know whether sometime they'll turn that loose or not. They're still farming it right now, they've got, uh, one of them farming it, and the other. The guy that's in charge of it is a --(clears throat)-- judge in, uh, Louisville, Judge Gamble, he's a federal judge, I believe. And, uh, he's, uh, he's the one we got the industrial park from.

BIRDWHISTELL: I see.

CASTLE: He, he and Mrs. Cleaver, uh, uh, old lady that, uh, owned that land, and she, uh, we got talking to her, and she, uh, said that that would be a good, good thing that she could leave to Paris, and, uh, I think we, uh, I believe we, I believe we only paid five thousand dollars an acre for that industrial park.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, that's good.

CASTLE: And she, she more or less donated some to us. We named the 01:33:00street down through there for the -- the Cleveland, Cleveland Street.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: Her family, and she, she liked that, you know? (both laugh)

BIRDWHISTELL: In, uh, 1973, uh, there was a report from the local chamber about improvements that can be made in both the way the city's run and the way the county's run. Do you remember that? There was a--

CASTLE: It seems like I do remember something yeah, uh-huh.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, it was, uh, uh, the local government committee of the Paris Bourbon County Chamber of Commerce, and they proposed a City Managing Agent.

CASTLE: Um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: You all had tried a city manager before.

CASTLE: Yeah, right.

BIRDWHISTELL: And it hasn't worked out, so you weren't going to call him a city manager, but you were going to have somebody working and helping the mayor.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh, you wanted -- they wanted to reapportion the physical court's eight magisterial districts.

CASTLE: Um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: They wanted uniform fiscal, budgetary, and personnel 01:34:00policy to be drawn up. And that's another issue your generation of mayors had to deal with.

CASTLE: Yeah, sure was.

BIRDWHISTELL: When you walk into office --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- these things were just all over the board, weren't they?

CASTLE: That's true. Yeah, we didn't, uh, we had a, uh, city manager -- uh, had an agent, was an older guy in his, I guess, late sixties. He didn't worry too much about it. (both laugh) Because I know when I went, I used -- excuse me, when I went as mayor, he uh, he just set up there, he had -- by the time he read his paper and eat his doughnuts, and uh, it was almost lunch time. (laughs)

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, and then you've got to go down to the grill and have lunch.

CASTLE: Yeah, you've got to. (laughs)

BIRDWHISTELL: By the time you get back --

CASTLE: Yeah, by the time you get back. (both laugh) So, when I, I got -- I talked to the Chamber of Commerce about getting a full-time city manager.

BIRDWHISTELL: Right.

CASTLE: And, uh, we got -- got it on the -- it had to be voted on by the city, by the, uh, people. You know, we got it on the ballot, and 01:35:00they voted in the City Manager, a former governor. He went from a city -- from a commissioner form of government to the city manager form of government.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh-huh.

CASTLE: So, we -- we went in to city manager form of government, and I want to the Bluegrass ADD, Mr. Seacon, and I told him I needed a city manager. So he paid for the city manager for the first year.

BIRDWHISTELL: Is that right?

CASTLE: The ADD did, they paid --

BIRDWHISTELL: That was smart.

CASTLE: They took applications, and, uh, and narrowed them down to five, and then the city commissioner interviewed the last five, and went hard on a guy by the name of Jones, uh, David Jones. He was out of North Carolina. And he stayed with us two years.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did that work out okay?

CASTLE: Worked out real good. And he went to Ashland City Manager.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, he did?

CASTLE: Yeah. And then, uh, and then I got, uh -- had to try again, and got a guy by the name of, uh, Rex Taylor out of Iowa. He came in, and 01:36:00he had some background in the electric too, and we own our own electric plant.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, that's interesting.

CASTLE: So, uh, he had some experience in that, so that helped. We got him, hired him in, he stayed with us four years. And, uh, he'd done a good job. He was j-- a professional city manager, he'd done a good job.

BIRDWHISTELL: Hmm.

CASTLE: So we got, at that time, we got, uh, I got the, uh, we had a -- our pension plan wasn't very good, so I had him to start working on the -- going into the state. We bought into the state plan, and, uh, where our city employees would be on the state insurance, and state, uh, uh, pension plans. It cost us eighty thousand dollars to join, at the time. So we got in, then got that going good, and then got -- 01:37:00we got, and, uh, we got, uh, built up our police department, the fire department. (laughs) I remember the police department, when I took over the mayor, only had two cruisers. It was pretty -- it was pretty sick, really. (Birdwhistell laughs) I, I, I told them, as a joke one time, I said, I went over to the Police Department, and they had two cruisers, both of them had flat tires. (both laugh) So we got. got -- built that up, and I bought a new fire truck. And, uh, I went to Buck Whitford and got a 3% loan on -- for -- on a new fire truck, and got it, got it established, and got that going. And, uh, I think that gave everybody a little new life to see --

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, to see --

CASTLE: -- some new stuff around town. And then they started -- when the, uh, then we started kind of building up our street department, 01:38:00bought some new trucks, and, and we had some trucks that wasn't even starting anymore, and it was pitiful. You couldn't -- you had to push them to get them started. So I said, "Well, you're wasting a lot of time here," so let's get -- so we got them some trading in, got some new trucks, and everything got going together, street department straightened themselves.(Birdwhistell laughs) So it was a --

BIRDWHISTELL: It's pretty basic, isn't it?

CASTLE: It was -- it was pretty rough. Yeah, I got the--

BIRDWHISTELL: When you come in as mayor, the things you have to deal with.

CASTLE: Yeah, it was -- I told them, I said, "I should've had my own company run --"

BIRDWHISTELL: You could've run your own --

CASTLE: Yeah, that's right.

BIRDWHISTELL: Some people are surprised that, uh, at the time you guys became mayor during this period, the city laws hadn't even been codified. I mean, you had --

CASTLE: Yeah, that's true.

BIRDWHISTELL: The laws would be passed all the time, and nobody knew from one time to the next, and you all would be voting on the same one over again without knowing it.

CASTLE: That's true. We had, uh, we had -- it took quite a few, quite a 01:39:00few years to get, uh, all of the, uh, our laws codified, and, and, and, and new books out, and straightened out. We, uh, I know, and I said, "We've got a lot of laws there that we don't use; why don't we just take them out," you know? "If you're not going to use them, take them out." So, we took quite a few out. And, then, uh --

BIRDWHISTELL: Got it straightened out.

CASTLE: Got it straightened out. And got -- we got some grant money for that to get those reworked. And I got those straightened out, and then we got new books now. We get -- about every, I think, about every three or four years they update it, to get it -- keep them, and then update it into a new, new book, yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: The city attorney is a pretty important person for the mayor, isn't he?

CASTLE: Yeah, it really is, really is.

BIRDWHISTELL: Did you have the same person the whole time, or--

CASTLE: Well, I had, had Jim Wilson when I first went in. He was a -- he was from the old school, he was -- he was graduate -- graduating 01:40:00from, uh, ----------(??)---------- Princeton, and, uh, Princeton and Michigan, and the University of Michigan. And, uh, he was, uh, coming, I don't know how he, how he got in here prior, so he come in here. Well, he might've been an original and just went to school there, I think.

BIRDWHISTELL: Ed Pritchard went to Princeton.

CASTLE: Yeah, did he? Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: And then, uh, Jim was one of these guys, uh, you know, I said, I bring up something: "Well, I don't know if that will work or not, but we'll try." (both laugh) He said, "I don't know where that's -- I don't know where that's the law -- I don't know if the law -- would the law will allow that?" But, he said--

BIRDWHISTELL: "We'll give it a shot."

CASTLE: "We'll give it a shot." (Birdwhistell laughs) He was -- he was -- he would take a chance, you know? And then, uh, ----------(??) when Jim left, we got, uh, Jim Lemasters, and, uh, Jim was one of these 01:41:00guys, afraid of everything. (Birdwhistell laughs) He wouldn't take -- he was afraid to. He would say, "You've got some crazy ideas there." (Birdwhistell laughs) "I don't know whether we can do that or not." I'd say ----------(??)---------- Wilson, we would do this. (both laugh) He'd say, "Well, let me check into it." He always had the -- he had -- Jim, uh, Lemasters wanted the facts before he done anything.

BIRDWHISTELL: He wasn't going to commit?

CASTLE: He wasn't going to commit. (Birdwhistell laughs) He's too much of a politician on the state level, you know, he was a --

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, he had to be careful.

CASTLE: -- state representative at the time, and a local attorney, so. But, uh, I told him, I said, "Well, you never know if you don't try, let's try."

BIRDWHISTELL: "Let's give it a shot."

CASTLE: We got -- I said, "That's how we got this far, we, we, we, we, we tried, we made, made moves, and if it didn't work, we'd back up and start again, so --"

BIRDWHISTELL: Absolutely.

CASTLE: And then it was, uh, Wilson, then we got Lemasters, and, uh, 01:42:00now, we've got a guy by the name of Skip Watson. He is, uh, out of Cynthiana. He's a, he, he used to work for the Kentucky League of Cities.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, he did?

CASTLE: So he's got a pretty good background, and, uh, he, he does, he does a good job.

BIRDWHISTELL: What are the things that can get a mayor in trouble about as quick as anything is a police chief?

CASTLE: Yeah, that's true.

BIRDWHISTELL: Uh, how was your experience with your chiefs?

CASTLE: (laughs) Well, I had a -- I had a rough experience with one.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, if you're mayor twenty-nine years, you're going to have one rough experience, right? (laughs)

CASTLE: Yeah, that's right. I had chief -- uh, Chief Garland Jordan, he, uh, first went in. He was in, he'd done a good job. And then when he left, we put a guy in, Johnny Maneer (??). And he, uh, he got, uh, I think he got -- he had some kind of a sickness, and he, he got hooked 01:43:00on the -- the doctor gave him too much pills, too much medicine.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: He kind of got hooked on the dope, really.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: And, uh, I had trouble with him for a couple of years.

BIRDWHISTELL: That's tough.

CASTLE: And he lived the third -- second door over.

BIRDWHISTELL: Really?

CASTLE: And uh, finally, I told him, I told him, I said, "You know, you, you, you've got to get, get off of this," and, uh -- "Or you're going - - we're going to have to -- going to have to bust you back." So, uh, it went on, went on about two years, we had a lot of trouble with him. So when the city -- when Rex Taylor, the city manager came in, he said, "Well, we're just going to have to turn him loose," so. We had -- we fired him, and, and, uh, hired, let's see, from there, we went to --

BIRDWHISTELL: That's hard to do, isn't it?

CASTLE: Yeah, that's hard to do.

BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??) long time?

CASTLE: Because he'd been there a long time, yeah. So, uh --

01:44:00

BIRDWHISTELL: ----------(??)----------

CASTLE: Yeah, yeah, it was pretty rough. (Birdwhistell laughs) But it got around to where the people had got to talking, you know? So, you -- when the people are talking in the community, you knew we had to do something.

BIRDWHISTELL: So you were going to take a hit whether you did something --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- or didn't do something?

CASTLE: Yeah, we had a -- wasn't nothing -- we was -- either way we went, we had to do something, so we did that. We, we had -- we fired him, and he, uh, finally got straightened up a little after that, and got into a -- got into night watch, and some out -- company out of Lexington. So he -- I think he's in Florida now so he got --

BIRDWHISTELL: I was interviewing Neil Hackworth, who'd been, uh, mayor of Shelbyville.

CASTLE: Yeah, I know Neil.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah, Shelbyville, like Paris, has a sizeable African- American population.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: And so, like Louisville and Lexington, always finding out, you're going to have some racial tension, it's going to come to a head 01:45:00with the police force.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: Especially if it it's an all-white police force.

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: How'd you all handle that here in Paris?

CASTLE: Well, I was lucky, I got a, a black policeman, uh, Norman Allen. He's a policeman in Lexington now. But, uh, we got him on the force, and he helped us quite a bit.

BIRDWHISTELL: How'd you recruit him?

CASTLE: He, uh -- well, I -- we, uh, put out applications and he, uh, he was one on there, so.

BIRDWHISTELL: I see.

CASTLE: And, uh, when we interviewed him, he had a pretty good, pretty good interview, so, uh, even though he might've been about the second or third, we hired him because he was African-American, and we needed, needed him, you know?

BIRDWHISTELL: Right.

CASTLE: And, uh, and he turned out, what they call over on the hill, where most of the black live in -- on Seventh Street and, uh, back in that area, he lived in that area. So he, he, uh, he would -- knew 01:46:00the people and he, uh, we got to working with them, and, and, uh, you know, I said, you know, you d-- you just don't treat them no more than you would anybody else, but when you, when you work with them, explain to them that you're the policeman, and they have to do right, and a lot of them have to change their ways over on that hill, or there are going to be a whole lot of people in jail. (laughs) So, so, he, he, he turned out pretty well, and he got to working with them, and, uh, and he left us, went to Lexington. Then we found another guy, and uh, he was a -- kind of a character, but he turned out pretty good. He was -- he liked to have a lot of fun, and he, he, he was a real -- had a good personality and everything, but he -- I don't think he ever arrested anybody. (both laugh) I think he was about half-afraid of it. So he, 01:47:00he worked around a while, and then he retired, he quit, and went in the business for himself. (Birdwhistell laughs) And, uh, we went a long time without one, but we just hired a new one about a year ago who turned out real well.

BIRDWHISTELL: Okay.

CASTLE: We was having a -- this guy came into the City Commission. They was, they was having a smell up in the area where the storm sewer, and he came to a couple of meetings, and, and I noticed that he was -- the rest of them were giving, giving us a hard time, and he was pretty nice, you know? I told them, well, I said, "Well, find out where that gentleman works, maybe he'd make a good policeman." (Birdwhistell laughs) So --

BIRDWHISTELL: You were recruiting!

CASTLE: Yeah, I recruited him. So, we, we brought him in and talked to him, and, uh, and he was, I don't know where he's working, but I said, "Would you like to be a policeman?" And he said "Yeah, I would like to be a policeman," and I said okay. So we're going -- we have to take applications, you put your application in, and we'll, uh, see if we 01:48:00can hire you. So we hired him, sent him to school, and he turned, he turned out real well.

BIRDWHISTELL: Oh, that's great.

CASTLE: Turned out real well.

BIRDWHISTELL: Nice story.

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: You know, when I, when I hear you mayors talk, you know, in today's world, people think federal government can't do anything right --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- state government can't do anything right, affirmative action won't work, yet on the, on the ground in government, at the city level, you all use federal money --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- to help your communities, use state money to help your communities, you've always used affirmative action --

CASTLE: Right.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- to make sure that you can diversify your workforce, and it works pretty well.

CASTLE: Yeah, yeah, it, it --

BIRDWHISTELL: What do you make of the, the cynicism about government --

CASTLE: Um-hm.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- as compared to the success stories that we have in --

CASTLE: Yeah.

BIRDWHISTELL: -- these city governments?

CASTLE: I -- I don't -- I guess they just, uh, lose, uh, contact with the other, other, uh, local people, you know. And, uh, get to 01:49:00Washington and lose -- actually, they don't get back enough to lose -- to know their people, and, and lose -- and actually lose contact, and then -- and they don't realize what's going on a lot of times. And, uh, this is -- I think that's a big thing.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: You have to stay with it, and, and, uh, watch it, and, and, just kind of -- to see what's going on, and be sure you keep c-- control of it, you know? You -- they had, uh, they had that federal money, I can't think of what it was a few years ago, that really helped, uh, they took it away.

BIRDWHISTELL: Revenue sharing.

CASTLE: Revenue sharing.

BIRDWHISTELL: That killed you all ----------(??).

CASTLE: Oh, that was the best thing that ever happened to the cities. (Birdwhistell laughs) Revenue sharing was the best thing that ever happened, that's how we built our street department up, you know? I used that strictly to buy new trucks with, and uh, bought a new ladder 01:50:00--poli-- bought a new fire truck, ladder truck, and bought, uh, all new equipment for cities, for the, uh, street department and everything.

BIRDWHISTELL: Yeah.

CASTLE: And bought some police cruisers, and the -- that revenue sharing was really nice.

BIRDWHISTELL: But you never put your recurring cost on that, did you?

CASTLE: No, unh-uh.

BIRDWHISTELL: Some people did. (laughs)

CASTLE: Yeah, that's what hurt them, you know? I tried to use that strictly for capital -- capital gains, capital improvement.

BIRDWHISTELL: Capital -- yeah.

CASTLE: And that's what helped us really.

BIRDWHISTELL: Well, mayor, we've gone about two hours, and I think that's a good time. And if it's okay with you, we'll stop at this point, if you'll let me come back, and uh, we've got a lot more to talk about.

CASTLE: Oh, well, okay.

BIRDWHISTELL: All right? Is that okay with you?

CASTLE: Yeah, that'd be fine if you want to, yeah.

[End of interview.]