Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with William B. Keightley, October 28, 2005

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
Transcript
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Index
Search this Index
X
00:00:02 - Educational background

Play segment

Partial Transcript: The following is an unrehearsed interview with Mr. William Keightley for the University of Kentucky Libraries Charles T. Wethington Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project.

Segment Synopsis: Keightley talks about the schools he attended in Lawrence County, Kentucky. He talks about how the school schedule was affected by farming schedules. He talks about his first teacher in a one-room schoolhouse, Oneida Phillips. He talks about the consolidation of schools and his transition to high school.

Keywords: Advantages; Bonds Mill School; Community; Competitions; Consolidated schools; Consolidation; Elementary schools; Farmers; Farming; Grade levels; High schools; Kavanaugh School; Missing school; Ms. Onieda Phillips; One-room schoolhouses; One-room schools; Preparation; Sand Spring School; Schoolyear; Speaking contests; Spelling bees; Sub-freshmen

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Communities.; Country life; Education--Kentucky; Family farms.; Farm life.; Farmers.; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Recreation; Rural children; Rural conditions; Rural schools--Kentucky; School attendance.; School discipline; Schools; Subsistence farming; Teachers--Kentucky; Traditional farming

00:06:40 - One-room schoolhouse

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Describe that one-room schoolhouse for me.

Segment Synopsis: Keightley describes the one-room schoolhouse where he attended elementary school. He talks about chopping wood for the fire, walking to school, and bringing his lunch to school.

Keywords: Bonds Mill School; Brothers; Coal; Collapsible cups; Distance; Duties; Elementary schools; Fires; Lunches; Ms. Onieda Phillips; One-room schoolhouses; One-room schools; Pony; Potbelly stoves; Recess; Sand Spring School; Students; Walking; Well water; Wood

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Country life; Education--Kentucky; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Rural children; Rural conditions; Rural schools--Kentucky; School attendance.; Schools; Teachers--Kentucky

00:09:38 - Discipline at the one-room schoolhouse

Play segment

Partial Transcript: How about, um, uh, discipline in those one-room schoolhouses?

Segment Synopsis: Keightley talks about being disciplined by being paddled at school.

Keywords: Bonds Mill School; Community; Elementary schools; Ms. Onieda Phillips; One-room schoolhouses; One-room schools; Paddles; Paddling; Punishments; Reputations; Sand Spring School; Tough times

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Communities.; Country life; Education--Kentucky; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Rural children; Rural conditions; Rural schools--Kentucky; School discipline; Schools; Teachers--Kentucky

00:11:32 - Kavanaugh School--Boarding school

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, um, if you could, uh, tell me about Ms. Kavanaugh.

Segment Synopsis: Keightley talks about his teacher and principal at the Kavanaugh School, Mrs. Rhoda Kavanaugh. The school was a regular day school as well as a boarding school for more affluent students. He talks about the boarding students' lives at the school.

Keywords: Affluent families; Annapolis (Md.); Basketball; Boarding schools; Cooking; County schools; Evening classes; High schools; House boys; Kavanaugh School; Mrs. Rhoda Kavanaugh; Ms. Kavanaugh; School principals; United States Military Academy; United States Naval Academy; West Point (N.Y.)

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Education--Kentucky; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Military education.; Rural schools--Kentucky; School attendance.; Schools; Teachers--Kentucky

00:14:44 - Naval Air Corps exams

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, and I do, I do recall, you know you asked me about had I ever considered that...

Segment Synopsis: Keightley talks about his decision to try to join the Naval Air Corps because he knew a military draft would be inevitable due to World War II. He talks about taking an exam as well as a physical examination, which he failed due to having flat feet. He talks about catching the chicken pox from a child on the train on his way home.

Keywords: Chicago (Ill.); Chicken pox; Examinations; Exams; Flat feet; Marine Corps; Military draft; Naval Air Corps; Physical examinations; St. Louis (Mo.); Test scores; Trains; World War II

Subjects: Draft.; Education--Kentucky; Rural schools--Kentucky; Schools; United States--Armed Forces--Recruiting, enlistment, etc.; United States. Marine Corps; World War, 1939-1945

00:20:31 - Kavanaugh School--Ms. Kavanaugh

Play segment

Partial Transcript: But, uh, yeah she, uh--

Segment Synopsis: Keightley talks more about teacher and principal Mrs. Rhoda Kavanaugh. He gives a physical description, talks about her personality, and tells a story about her love of soft drinks. He talks about her family members who also worked at the Kavanaugh School.

Keywords: Algebra; Children; Clothing; Daughters; Dr. Kavanaugh; Dress; Family; High schools; Kavanaugh School; Latin; Laughs; Married; Mrs. Rhoda Kavanaugh; Ms. Kavanaugh; Personalities; Personality; Rocking chairs; Soda pop; Sodas; Soft drinks; Spanish; Stern; Student population

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Education--Kentucky; Families.; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Rural schools--Kentucky; Schools; Teachers--Kentucky

00:24:53 - Kavanaugh School--Extracurricular activities

Play segment

Partial Transcript: --(coughs)--We, we did all of the economical things.

Segment Synopsis: Keightley talks about chopping wood for the stoves at the school, talks about school functions, and attending chapel services every day.

Keywords: Chapel services; Cutting wood; Drama; Extracurricular activities; Gymnasiums; High schools; Kavanaugh School; Mrs. Rhoda Kavanaugh; Ms. Kavanaugh; Old Time Religion (Song); Oratory; Parents; School functions; Sports; Stoves; Wood chopping day

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Education--Kentucky; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Recreation; Religion; Rural schools--Kentucky; Schools; Teachers--Kentucky

00:28:19 - Kavanaugh School--Quality of education

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, sounds like you feel like you got a, a good, solid foundation for your education.

Segment Synopsis: Keightley talks about the quality of education he received at Kavanaugh School and talks about being class president.

Keywords: Athletics; Class presidents; Colleges; Extroverted; Grades; High schools; Kavanaugh School; Mrs. Rhoda Kavanaugh; Ms. Kavanaugh; Quality; Speeches; Students; Studying

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Education--Kentucky; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Rural schools--Kentucky; Schools; Teachers--Kentucky

00:31:43 - Kavanaugh School--Basketball

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Talk about your playing days in, in, in athletics.

Segment Synopsis: Keightley talks about playing basketball at the Kavanaugh School. He talks about their facilities, their coach Ralph Carlisle, and other players on the team. He talks about the style of play at the time which was very different from modern basketball.

Keywords: Aggie Sale; Athletics; Baseball; Brothers; Centers; Coaches; Community pride; Facilities; Football; Forest "Aggie" Sale; Frankfort High School; Gymnasiums; High schools; Indoor facilities; Injuries; Kavanaugh School; Mrs. Rhoda Kavanaugh; Ms. Kavanaugh; Points; Protective gear; Ralph Carlisle; Scores; Set shots; Starters; Style of play; Track; Underhand free throws; University of Kentucky alumni

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Basketball; Basketball coaches--Kentucky; Basketball players--Kentucky; Basketball--Coaching; Education--Kentucky; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Rural schools--Kentucky; Schools; Teachers--Kentucky

00:38:04 - High school basketball facilities across Kentucky

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Tell me about other places you played.

Segment Synopsis: Keightley discusses the facilities of the other schools they played and the attendance at the games. He tells a story about Mrs. Kavanaugh walking through their locker room. He talks about dead spots in their court.

Keywords: Attendance; Bald Knob High School; Basketball courts; Basketball teams; Dead spots; Facilities; Fans; Gymnasiums; Harrodsburg High School; High schools; Kavanaugh School; Locker rooms; Midway High School; Mrs. Rhoda Kavanaugh; Ms. Kavanaugh; Naked; Rupp Arena; Shoes; Showers; Uniforms

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Basketball; Basketball coaches--Kentucky; Basketball players--Kentucky; Education--Kentucky; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Rural schools--Kentucky; Schools; Teachers--Kentucky

00:44:09 - Kavanaugh School--Memorable basketball games, players, and coaches

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So what, what were some of the more memorable games you played in besides the Frankfort game?

Segment Synopsis: Keightley names memorable players, fellow teammates, and coaches from teams he played across Kentucky.

Keywords: All-Americans; Basketball games; Football players; High schools; Kavanaugh School; Teammates; University of Kentucky alumni

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Basketball; Basketball coaches--Kentucky; Basketball players--Kentucky; Basketball--Coaching; Education--Kentucky; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Rural schools--Kentucky; Schools

00:52:08 - Players' style of dress

Play segment

Partial Transcript: --yeah they, they dropped the ball on that.

Segment Synopsis: Keightley talks about the change from players wearing sport coats, ties, and slacks to wearing sweatpants and other less professional clothing when arriving at basketball games.

Keywords: Appearance; Bill Cosby; Budgets; Clothes; Clothing; High schools; Impressions; Kavanaugh School; National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); Neatness; Slacks; Sport coats; Ties; Uniforms; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Basketball; Basketball players

00:55:10 - Segregation

Play segment

Partial Transcript: In fact when you were in, when you were in high school, schools were still segregated, weren't they?

Segment Synopsis: Keightley talks about segregation during his time as a player, but says that he still often played with African American players.

Keywords: Friends; High schools; Integration; Kavanaugh School; Lincoln Institute

Subjects: African Americans--Segregation; African Americans--Social conditions; Anderson County (Ky.); Basketball; Basketball players--Kentucky; Education--Kentucky; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Rural schools--Kentucky; Schools

00:56:22 - Kavanaugh School--Traveling to basketball games

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I was gonna, I was gonna ask you too, when you played on--for Kavanaugh's basketball team...

Segment Synopsis: Keightley talks about traveling on bad roads to get to basketball games and tells a story about using an onion to defrost a car's windshield.

Keywords: Basketball games; Cars; Frost; High schools; Kavanaugh School; Onion juice; Roads; Travel; Windshields

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Basketball; Basketball players--Kentucky; Education--Kentucky; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Rural schools--Kentucky; Schools; Transportation--Kentucky

00:58:14 - Kavanaugh School--More on basketball

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Were you the best player on your team?

Segment Synopsis: Keightley talks about working his way up to becoming the best player on his team. He talks about cheerleaders and fans at games. He talks about the basketballs they played with at the time which were laced up around a bladder.

Keywords: Ability; Away games; Basketballs; Best players; Bladders; Cheerleaders; Fanbase; Fans; High schools; Kavanaugh School; Laced; Patching; Records; Talent; Upperclassmen

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Basketball; Basketball players--Kentucky; Education--Kentucky; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Rural schools--Kentucky; Schools

01:00:58 - Life during World War II

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, um, in our last, um, uh, fifteen minutes or so that we have, tell me what it was like, uh, at that time during World War II.

Segment Synopsis: Keightley describes life during World War II, including rationing of meat, gasoline, sugar, and more. He says the war effort was made easier because everyone was in favor of the war.

Keywords: B stickers; Brothers; Cars; Death; Distilleries; Distillery; Exempt; Family; Fathers; Gasoline; Grease; Hardships; Meat; Military draft; Public opinion; Scrap drives; Stamp books; Sugar; Support; War effort; World War II

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Draft.; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Rationing; United States--Armed Forces--Recruiting, enlistment, etc.; World War, 1939-1945

01:03:48 - Attack on Pearl Harbor

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I'm sure you remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard about Pearl Harbor.

Segment Synopsis: Keightley describes the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He says he was playing basketball all day and didn't find out until the next day at school. He talks about listening to President Roosevelt's declaration of war on the radio at school. He talks about the students' awareness of current events and the scope of the war.

Keywords: Awareness; Basketball; Children; China; Classes; Current events; Daily newspapers; Death; Declaration of war; Farmers; Fathers; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Friends; High schools; Kavanaugh School; Kids; Louisville Courier Journal; Magnitude; Mondays; Mrs. Rhoda Kavanaugh; Ms. Kavanaugh; Neighbors; Newspapers; Radios; Reactions; Speeches; Sundays; Unaware; Understanding

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Education--Kentucky; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941; Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945; Rural schools--Kentucky; Schools; Teachers--Kentucky; World War, 1939-1945

01:09:28 - Being drafted by the Marine Corps

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So you said you were--you paid pretty close attention to what was going on--

Segment Synopsis: Keightley talks about when he became aware that he would likely be drafted into World War II. He talks more about failing his physical exam to join the Naval Air Corps, which led to him being drafted by the Marine Corps. He talks about the experience of being drafted after another physical exam. He talks about the news of his being drafted spreading through his hometown. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: 1945; Armory; Awareness; Bathrooms; Community; Effects; Europe; Examinations; Exams; Graduation; Inevitable; Iwo Jima (Volcano Islands, Japan); Killed in action; Latrines; Louisville (Ky.); Mail carriers; Mailman; Marine Corps; Military draft; Mothers; Naked; Naval Air Corps; Navy; News; Parris Island (S.C.); Physical examinations; Postcards; Volunteers; Worry

Subjects: Anderson County (Ky.); Draft.; Lawrenceburg (Ky.); United States--Armed Forces--Recruiting, enlistment, etc.; United States. Marine Corps; World War, 1939-1945