Interview with Scott Miller, Jr., January 17, 2006

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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ROMOND: The following is an unrehearsed interview with former state senator Scott Miller Jr. who represented the Thirty-Sixth District of Jefferson County from 1958 to 1974. The interview was conducted by Jan Romond for the University of Kentucky Library, Kentucky Legislative Oral History Project, on January 17, 2006, in the office of Mr. Scott Miller in Louisville, Kentucky, at--

MILLER: --don't you want the, the address?

ROMOND: The time.

MILLER: Oh, 1:30.

ROMOND: At 1:30 PM. Thank you.

MILLER: Unless you want the nautical time or military time.

ROMOND: Oh, okay, which would be--

MILLER: --13:30.

ROMOND: 13:30. This afternoon I'm talking with Mr. Scott Miller Jr. Mr. Miller, could you tell me where and when you were born, and did 00:01:00you grow up there?

MILLER: I was born March 15, 1927, in Louisville, Kentucky, and I grew up here. And lived here until I went into the service. Came back, went to U.K. Came back from there and went to U of L law school, and been here ever since.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Who were your parents?

MILLER: Well, my parents was Scott Miller, who grew up in Louisville and was an attorney here. My mother was Helen Piltcher(??) whose family, she grew up in Louisville. Her father was head of the pipe organ company here.

ROMOND: Really?

MILLER: Pipe organs. And so, they were married in 1925.

ROMOND: Um-hm. And what about extended family? Did you have aunts and uncles, other people who lived here? Grandparents?

MILLER: I had one grandparent here. I had a brother that lived here. I had beaucoup cousins and aunts and uncles all over the place. Growing up I had, I think close to ten cousins within a block.


ROMOND: A block?


ROMOND: Wow. So, um, could you tell about your grandfather who you mentioned lived with you when you're growing up?

MILLER: Grandfather ran the pipe organ company, and he was a very rigid, stern person. Not an unkind person, but I didn't get to know him, because he wanted more orderly house than I enjoyed. And so, I was always outside whenever I got the opportunity. He died when I was oversees in 1946.

ROMOND: So, that was the only grandparent--

MILLER: --only grandparent--

ROMOND: --that you ever really knew?

MILLER: The only one I came close to was my great aunt, who raised my father, who was more like a grandmother, and a very sweet dear lady.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And Um-hm. I was crazy about her.

ROMOND: Did she live in Louisville?

MILLER: She lived in Louisville and died in '63.

ROMOND: Huh. What were your parents', um, background?


MILLER: Well, Mother grew up as the youngest of six children. and she went to Kentucky home school, and Gulf Park College, and then U of L. She did social work, always social work. I remember during the Depression she was always volunteering, and we were taking baskets here and baskets there, and it was, we have to take care of people who are not as well off as we are.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm. How far back do your family roots go in Kentucky? Where do they start?

MILLER: Well, my dad's family got to Kentucky about 1800. Went to Mammoth Cave and made gunpowder. And eventually they came to, his grandfather came to Louisville. Well, you've got to remember my grandparents, both my grandparents, my grandfathers were alive during 00:04:00the Civil War.

ROMOND: Your grandparents?


ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And so, Grandfather Miller came here in, gosh, when? Just before the turn of the last century.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Went and had a farm out in the eastern part of the county here, and, um, owned part of the old, um, the old Willard Hotel here, which was where the political activity started in, in Louisville.

ROMOND: Um-hm. How old were your grandparents during the Civil War?

MILLER: Oh, let's see. I can tell you. Um, Grandfather Miller was born in 1855, so he was just a youngster.

ROMOND: Oh, so it--

MILLER: --and Grandfather Piltcher was, let's see, he was born in 1859. So, he was a young--

ROMOND: --so they were children during the Civil War--

MILLER: --they were children--

ROMOND: --they wouldn't have fought in it.

MILLER: No, oh no, no.

ROMOND: Do they have any memories at all that they passed along to their 00:05:00families about the Civil War?

MILLER: The only one I can remember was my grandfather, my dad told me, that his father told him that they lived down near Horse Cave.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And following the Battle at Green River they heard the Confederate forces had lost. And he told, he was told to take the cattle out and tie them out in the woods, different places, so the troops wouldn't find them.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Troops passed on to the south and were gone, and that was the only thing I remember.

ROMOND: Huh. What are your memories of the place that you grew up? The actual, a neighborhood that you grew up in?

MILLER: Well, it was on Crescent Avenue and Crescent Hill, which I think it's, I look upon it as very, uh, idyllic I guess. My grandfather and grandmother divided the home property in, into a court and built some 00:06:00bungalows.


MILLER: They were gonna rent them out when they didn't farm anymore around there. It backed up to the St. Joseph Orphanage. so that there were cows and things out there. I used to see the orphans bringing the cows in, and I later found out most of them weren't orphans, just Depression, and, um, they didn't have a place to go. So, I got to see that, and what happened when the Depression came along, I had a lot of cousins that lived in these bungalows, so that's why I had cousins everyplace.

ROMOND: So you had aunts and uncles--

MILLER: --yeah--

ROMOND: --who had the bungalows?

MILLER: I used to say that, um, we had a compound before the Kennedys, but it wasn't quite as elaborate. (Romond laughs)

ROMOND: The Louisville version.


ROMOND: Well, I know that you had cousins, relatives that were your neighbors, but do you have memories of other neighbors?

MILLER: Oh yeah, they were all over the place.

ROMOND: Um-hm.


MILLER: And, uh, it was a very, it was a fun, Crescent Hill was a fun place to grow up.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Was there a sense of community amongst the people there?


ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And we were taught to be real tolerant of other people because we had Presbyterians up the street, Baptists down around the corner, Catholics down here. Uh, who else, who else was around? Methodists. So we had to learn that they are people who do things differently, and we all got along pretty well, cause we didn't know any better.

ROMOND: What did you do for fun, when you were growing up?

MILLER: Well, there were woods across the street, and there were lots of kids. So, we would play in the woods. We would play in the cow pasture during the winter when the cows weren't out, and we'd fly kites over there, ride sleds over there on the hills.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, and then, we were not far from, um, going down where you could get to the river as we grew older.

ROMOND: Um-hm.


MILLER: And, uh, I later had a flatboat my dad gave me. And, uh, we would go--

ROMOND: --how old were you when you got your flatboat?

MILLER: Twelve.


MILLER: Oh, there's Six Mile Island there. That's where we spent a lot of time. And later, Governor Ford hired me to buy it for the state. (laughs)

ROMOND: He did? (both laugh) And you were quite familiar with it.

MILLER: Of course, he says, "You're gonna do this as a community matter, aren't you, you're gonna do it free, aren't you?" And I said, "Now Governor, you know we get along all right, but, uh, you know, I do have a family to feed." So he said, "Okay." He gave me a kind of personal service contract to acquire the land.

ROMOND: Oh my. What a wonderful memory. A boat memory.

MILLER: Oh, we, we had, we had, it was fun growing up where I did.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm. Did your family ever go anywhere together?

MILLER: Well--

ROMOND: --did you take trips or vacations?

MILLER: Oh, it was during the Depression. We didn't go. One time, I 00:09:00think, I got an aunt and a cousin and Mother and Dad--Dad didn't go. Mom took us to Chicago to see the World's Fair.


MILLER: I must have been--

ROMOND: --do you remember it--

MILLER: --I was about seven or eight, I guess.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, I had another cousin who, uh, family had made more money. They had rented a house over in Virginia Beach, and my aunt and uncle wanted to go someplace, so they had my mother bring us over and mother stayed with them. We played, played out there for awhile. That's about the only time I remember going anywhere.

ROMOND: To Chicago?

MILLER: Chicago and Virginia Beach.

ROMOND: How did you get there?

MILLER: Drove.

ROMOND: You drove? Um-hm.

MILLER: It was kind of interesting, because we got into traffic there, you know, it's '34. And, um, we, we had never seen a one-way street.


MILLER: And we were going the wrong way on a one-way street. (laughs)

ROMOND: Oh, you didn't know there was such a thing?

MILLER: We didn't know there was such a thing. And so, a policeman 00:10:00stopped us and said, "Where are you, what are you dumb people doing?" And he said, my aunt said, "We're from Kentucky. Can't you read the license plate?" And she fussed at him. And he said, "What are you doing?" And my mother said, "I only know one way out of town." And he said, "I'll tell you what. Follow me slowly and I'll take you a block, and we can get you on a street going the right way." So he got us out of town, some Irish cop got us out of town.

ROMOND: Yeah. He was good to you. Yeah, I was trying to think. I was trying to imagine the definition of traffic in 1934 compared to traffic now.

MILLER: My, it's, it's hard to even think about it. Not only the roads are terrible, the cars weren't much. And, um, I don't know. I did go to Washington once. Dad had to go up there on business. And, uh, he took me along. I must have been nine then. My mother took me to the Capitol, and she said I embarrassed her, and she rushed me right out. 00:11:00I said some, apparently we walked up to see the Senate going in the session, and some big fat senator walked in. And I said, "Look at that fat guy," you know, my mother said, "Shhh. Get up, you're out of here."

ROMOND: You're out of here. (both laugh) What was your father's business in Washington?

MILLER: Well, it was during the Depression. The Homeowner's Loan was refinancing homes so people wouldn't lose them.


MILLER: And, uh, Dad would handle the closing and real estate transfers on a lot of the mortgages, back and forth, and getting new smaller mortgages, spread them out over a period of time. So, that's what he did early part of the Depression.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: It was something(??).

ROMOND: He was an attorney?

MILLER: He was an attorney.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm. And was he a circuit court judge?

MILLER: He was later the circuit court, he was elected while I was in the service as the circuit judge.

ROMOND: Did he like that?

MILLER: Yes and no. He didn't like the domestic cases. Um, he had a 00:12:00lot, there was a lot of labor trouble. They had, he had, he seemed to have a lot of those. And, uh, he once issued an order that President Truman exceeded his authority to issue some executive orders. The next thing we knew, the Justice Department was down here en masse, and not fussing at him, but trying to work out a settlement between these two people he had ordered to do certain things. And they, they got it done. (laughs) But all of a sudden, I saw, you know, I think I was getting ready to go to law school then. And, and, um, all these Justice Department people came down, and were telling him what the law was. And he said, "Well, this is what we have to do here now. Now, you, if you can work out a settlement between these people, that's fine." And they did, so. But I got to see the government coming down en masse then.

ROMOND: You got to experience the government--

MILLER: --oh yes--

ROMOND: --close up and personal. Where did you go to school? Like first 00:13:00grade school?

MILLER: Grade school? Well, there were two of them. Uh, we lived on the boundary between two schools. And, depending upon which one had the heavier load that year, I went to George Rogers Clark for, through the fourth grade, or the three and a half or fourth grade. Then, I went to Emmet Field School, which is a few blocks, you know. We were about in the middle between the two of them.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Then, I went to Barrett Junior High School and then Manual High School.

ROMOND: Do you have memories of school? Even early grade school of teachers?

MILLER: Oh, yes.

ROMOND: Who were memorable?

MILLER: Yes, I had a teacher. I was in her first class. She'd graduated from U.K. And I was in the fifth grade. And she would sit there, and she would come by, and if you weren't paying attention, she would pull your hair, make you sit up straight. And, uh, I was crazy about her, but I used to have to bring home daily report cards. 00:14:00(Romond laughs) And, uh, later, she'd bring her classes to Frankfort, and be up and watching the legislature. And I'd always introduce her as my forward(??) teacher, what, what a wonderful teacher. I have fond memories of Mrs. Booker, yes.

ROMOND: Fifth grade?

MILLER: Fifth grade, yes. And then I had three of them in junior high, and I despised junior high school. But I had three.

ROMOND: How come?

MILLER: I think it was a bad age. You know your--

ROMOND: --just in general?

MILLER: Yeah, you're starting to go through puberty, and you're, you know, oh, everything is kind of crazy in your life. And, um, I had an English teacher named Mrs. Cox, who taught us Lady in the Lake and Julius Caesar, and all those things. She made quite an impression on me. And then I had a homeroom teacher named Mrs. McNealty who was very good in visual aids. And she set the stage for them. Excuse me. (coughs) And, um, later the government used her services a lot. and, 00:15:00um, she was very tolerant of me, and followed me all the way through school. Another one I had was Mrs. Nohl who taught geography. I loved it, she had these window shade maps that you could pull down. And those are three teachers that I really thought were fantastic. So.

ROMOND: Did you have subjects that you especially liked all along in school or any part of school?

MILLER: Oh, history and geography, I was crazy about.

ROMOND: History and geography. Do you have any that you didn't like?

MILLER: Um, Algebra.

ROMOND: Algebra, in high school?

MILLER: Junior high and high school.

ROMOND: Oh, junior high and high school.

MILLER: I took four years, two years of algebra.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: We had two years, and, or a year in junior high, and a year in high school. And, um, the last part of the second year you had trig, 00:16:00which is okay.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But algebra, I didn't like.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Chemistry I could tolerate. Physics I could tolerate. But mechanical drawings, I was not that great at mechanical drawing.

ROMOND: When you look back at school, do you see the influence of any particular teachers or people in terms of, um, what you chose to do as a profession or in terms of choosing politics?

MILLER: Well, I think Mrs. McNealty who taught me civics. I guess they called it that in junior high school. Um, start teaching us about, went back to the Seventy-Seventh Congress, it went that far backward. Where now in the, what are we, the 108th Congress, or something like that? So, I'd been watching it awhile. And then, she taught us when 00:17:00Congress convenes, and legislature convenes, the rudiments of it, she really knew it. And, um, I think she piqued our interest in politics. And then when the war came along, she would have us in to hear the president speak to the nation, asking for a declaration of war or Churchill's great speeches.

ROMOND: She brought that into your classroom.

MILLER: Yeah, she would just say, "We're having a little mini-assembly," and she would have a radio set to hear all these things, if it was during the day. So, uh, we got to hear all of this great speeches during the war, and, you know, it thrilled all the kids and then.

ROMOND: You felt like you were right there?

MILLER: Oh, yeah. We were building model airplanes then(??).

ROMOND: What kind of activities do you remember in school outside of 00:18:00your classroom?

MILLER: Well, junior high or high school or what?

ROMOND: At any place along the way, like sports, or clubs, or?

MILLER: Oh, we all played in sports all year, whatever the season for it, whether it was in the neighborhood or when. I tried football in high school and broke my leg, and did things like that, but I, but I loved it. And I loved track. I, I really enjoyed all of that. It was probably good for us.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: It kept us off the street.

ROMOND: Um, did you work while you were in high school?

MILLER: Uh, well, my senior year I did work in the afternoons a couple days a week at a service station, uh, to get some spending money. You know, that's, and during the summer, I'd always worked. That 00:19:00was mandatory.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Um, when I was fourteen, my dad said, um, "I'll tell you what you're gonna do this summer." I said, "What is that?" He said, "Well, you're too young to really get a job. You're too old to have you hanging around here."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, "You're gonna the farm." His brother had bought a dairy farm, and "You're gonna work on a farm all summer." So my uncle would pick me up at six o'clock in the morning, take me to the farm. And I was throwing bales of hay around and doing that. And I did learn to drive a tractor that summer. And then I formed an opinion that I did not want to be a farmer. (Romond laughs) And, uh.

ROMOND: It helped in career selection.

MILLER: Yeah. And it was, you know, we were making a dollar and a half a day and, um, lunch. And lunch.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, at the end of the day you're so tired, you didn't want to do anything, so that was one summer. That summer I grew, and I think 00:20:00between the eighth and ninth grade. Next summer I, I had a better job. I worked in a drug store delivering things and stacking stuff. And so, I think I made twenty-five cents an hour then, and but--

ROMOND: --twenty-five cents--

MILLER: --at least I was not doing any heavy work. And eating all the ice cream I could eat. (Romond laughs) Then the next year, I think I went to work. It was my first real job, at a the war plant running a blue print machine, which I did.

ROMOND: Here in Louisville?

MILLER: Um-hm. And the next year I did the same thing. In the fall, after that I went into the service.

ROMOND: Right after high school you went to the service?

MILLER: Matter of fact, I didn't finish high school. Uh, I, I went, they gave you sort of your diploma in the middle of the last semester, but I had to go in or be drafted. So, I choose to go into the navy.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, um, they gave me a diploma.


ROMOND: And where were you during the war?

MILLER: Well, I was in boot camp a Great Lakes when the war, when Germany surrendered.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Then we were fitting a ship out to go to Japan and when Japan surrendered. So, we sailed around the Pacific for a year, and then came back, and I got back in time to start, '46, at, uh, U.K.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I had to find a place to live, but.

ROMOND: So then you were at the University of Kentucky for undergraduate?

MILLER: Um-hm.


MILLER: --well, I didn't finish there though.

ROMOND: Oh, you didn't?

MILLER: In those days you had to , you didn't have to finish to go to law school.

ROMOND: Oh, how much did you have to do in undergraduate?

MILLER: I got three years in, and two years for going to summer school.


MILLER: And getting credit for some of the stuff I did in the navy. And, except for my languages, I didn't take all the languages. Although then I, the last summer, I took off and spent my war bonds, and went to Europe, because I'd never seen Europe. And went to the Hague 00:22:00theoretically to study international law, but it was a fun summer.

ROMOND: So this is in a law school you're talking about?

MILLER: It was before I went to law school.

ROMOND: Before I went to law school.

MILLER: And then--

ROMOND: --so, do, did the war bonds work?

MILLER: Well, I had saved all of them I could before I went into the service, and then all--

ROMOND: --okay--

MILLER: --and I had saved them while I was in the service.


MILLER: So, I just cashed them in and went on a student trip to, uh, Europe, and, um, spent the summer in Europe.

ROMOND: Was it, who was sponsoring the student trip?

MILLER: I think it was(??) a student trip that sailed out of Quebec, and there were kids from every place. I was gonna the, the Hague to school, and there was, they would put you up with a Dutch family for very little money, because I guess the Dutch needed it. And, um, as a matter of fact, I met my wife on the, on the ship going over.

ROMOND: Is that right?


MILLER: Um-hm.

ROMOND: And where was she from?

MILLER: She was from Philadelphia. She had just gotten out of high school. (laughs)

ROMOND: How did you find out about this ship going to the Hague?

MILLER: I don't remember how I did it. It was through one of the political science courses at U.K.

ROMOND: So it wasn't, it was not sponsored by U.K.?

MILLER: No, no.

ROMOND: But that's where you found out?

MILLER: Found out about it. I think from Dr. Vandenbosch(??). Do you remember that name? Have you ever heard of it? Well, he used to be head of the political science department.

ROMOND: What was the Hague like?

MILLER: Well, it had been bombed a little bit. It was right on the seashore.


MILLER: Um, I'm not, I lived about a half a mile from the seashore. Um, it was pleasant. They had something for you to do every afternoon. Morning classes. Um, there were all kinds of students there from Egypt, from every place, you know--

[Pause in recording.]


MILLER: --I was dating a Dutch law student. And, um, I had dated a Danish girl whose father was a naval attache, until he found out that I had been an enlisted man in the service. And he said, "You cannot do that. You cannot go out with former enlisted men," you know. I thought, Oh well, so, okay. (laughs) And she was very sweet and pretty, but we were just kids there for the summer. And I had a roommate, uh, who was from Pennsylvania, who was kind of just traveling around Europe. I don't know if what he was, going to school here and there, and he was very pleasant, and so, and we had a great time. They had receptions for us. And there was the beach there, and so it was, um, I drank gin there--

ROMOND: --it sounds wonderful(??)--

MILLER: --and I'd never know what gin was like. -----------(??) Drink Royal Dutch gin, you know.

ROMOND: Part of your education?



ROMOND: Yeah. And you met your wife there?

MILLER: On the ship going over, you know.

ROMOND: So, she was there that summer too?

MILLER: She was travel, she was in France traveling around. So, we had some time off before the classes started.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So, I went down and went to Belgium and Paris with her. Saw her down there with her group. And, um, then at the end of the session there was another week. So, I went down to the south of France to the Pyrenees.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And saw her. And we came back on the same ship. And by that time my money was exhausted. I was down eating two meals a day, walking everyplace. So, my mother had warned me. She said, "Now watch out, cause the Europeans, you know, it was after the war. Watch out for women." Okay. I'm twenty-one years old. And, um, so I thought I don't know how I'm gonna get home from Hoboken. And so I'm, I wrote Mother, and said, "Dear Mom. Guess what? I met a girl over in Paris. 00:26:00She's blonde, blue eyes and speaks beautiful English. And she's coming home on the same ship." My mother said to my dad, "We got to go to New York." (laughs) So, when I get there, my mother and dad are there, and her mother and dad are there, and so, um, we met. My mother and dad bring me home, and they were dropping my brother off at Purdue, and then came home. And Dad said, "Now look boy. You had a great summer. Now if you're gonna start law school, I've got a job for you." "Fine, Dad. What's that?" "You're gonna work for a law firm." "What am I gonna do?" "Whatever they tell you." "How much do I get paid?" "You don't get paid but you'll learn a lot." So that was my introduction to going to law school. In the afternoon I would go in there and sit there, and if they wanted you to go someplace, you had to find the courthouse, and, uh, they would take you around and show you things, and you could use their library and, uh, so on. So, that was law school.


ROMOND: That was before you started law school?

MILLER: That's, that's when I started.

ROMOND: That was how you started?

MILLER: That's how I started first day. He said, "After class you go here."

ROMOND: I see.


ROMOND: So as soon as you got back from the trip, you started--

MILLER: --there was law school.

ROMOND: There was law school.


ROMOND: Wow. And when did you get married along the way here?

MILLER: The next year.

ROMOND: The next year?

MILLER: It was a real awakening. My father told me I was too young to get married. And, um, my mother thought it would settle me down. My, uh, dad said, "Okay. But you're on your own once you get married." Well. I didn't realize he meant it. And so, I, um, I was working. I was oiling freight cars down the freight yard at night and gonna school in the daytime. So, he let me do that for, um, oh, I guess, better part of a year, and then he decided, well, he talked to one of his 00:28:00friends and one of the firms hired me as a clerk.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And I could come in and help clean hands, and sit there, and run errands, and look up law, and do whatever they told me.

ROMOND: So you were married when you were in law school?

MILLER: After the first year.

ROMOND: After the first year. Um-hm. So then you finished law school and what did you do then?

MILLER: Well, the firm I was with sent me for a year's training to the Louisville Transit Company to learn how to prepare cases for trial. And, you know, then when I finished that, I went back to the firm, and they, and they were gonna hire me, but they were gonna pay me less than I was making at the transit company. So, I thought, I better learn whether I am gonna make it or not. And so I had to, my dad said, "I'll give you a desk to see what you can do." So, uh, I started out, and 00:29:00every now and then he'd give me something to do, so.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm. Well, how did you get involved in politics?

MILLER: Well, I always kind of liked the thought of it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But one of the things, I, I was tired of being the judge's kid. There weren't that many judges around. Oh yeah, you're the judge's kid. So, I thought I had better have a title of my own. So I, that's why I ran for office.

ROMOND: Um-hm. How did you actually get into it? Did you--

MILLER: --well, I had campaigned for Senator John Sherman Cooper a couple of times. And the senator and I had gotten to be good friends. And, um, I had helped him in one of his campaigns, and then I decided I would run for office, and he, he gave me some advice on what to do, what not to do, and so on. So, I just thought, I'm young enough that if I don't win, and I'm taking on an incumbent, it won't hurt me.


ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: If I win it will help. And I, I enjoyed it right, right away.

ROMOND: And you were very young when you first ran?

MILLER: Yeah, I've heard there were people that young before but I, I didn't, I didn't know any of them. Excuse me. (cough) I don't know why I do this. My wife says I talk too much.

ROMOND: Well, how old where you when you got elected?

MILLER: Thirty. The minimum age.

ROMOND: Is it still?


ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Twenty-four in the House; Thirty in the Senate.

ROMOND: So, when you, when you first went to the Senate, what was your idea of what it would be like?

MILLER: I didn't know.

ROMOND: What did you expect?

MILLER: I didn't have any idea. I knew that there were, there was fighting between the legislature and the governor. And I'd follow that 00:31:00pretty much in the paper. and I didn't want to get involved in, most of it was a fight in his own party. And, um, I was trying to stay out of that. I didn't really have an idea of what I could do or not do. I had a few little bills I introduced that probably didn't amount to anything right away.

ROMOND: Well, when you campaigned, did you get ideas from people about what they expected from you ------------(??)?

MILLER: Well, we had certain things. Like, there was a Louisville Extension Water District. My district took in all of Jefferson County outside the city and parts of the city. So, it was a very large district as far as population.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And it was three times the size of most of them. And so, there was a problem out here about a water district, and they had a big meeting about 1,000 people at one of the high schools, and my opponent said, "I've had some experience with a public service commission, and 00:32:00I'll introduce a bill to do what you want, but I don't think it will help you." And so, "What do you have to say young man?" I said, "Well, I've had some experience with the public." I had been up there a couple of times. And I said, "And I disagree. And I will introduce a bill to this and I will do that," so I got a bigger applause than he did. And later on, I thought I will keep it going that way. I'll try not to make any big mistakes. And then I'll go around, and do the grassroots, and shaking all the hands, and promising we would run things better. I didn't know what we were gonna do, but we were gonna do things better.

ROMOND: So water was a big issue to people who lived out in the county?

MILLER: Yeah, it's not now. Later on there was legislation that we introduced, that the Louisville Water Company bought these little water extension districts and took them all in. They were taking, getting exorbitant rates out there, and not giving very good service.


ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So, um, it was one of the little things you had.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Annexation was a big thing too. The city wanted to take in most of the county, but not give them a tremendous services, but tax them. So, that was always a fight. So, there was some of that going on.

ROMOND: Um-hm.


ROMOND: What were your surprises? Do you remember what surprised you that first, especially that first term?

MILLER: First?


MILLER: The wrangle between legislature and governor. And it was over part of the budget. When it got down, it was about half of 1 percent of the budget. It wasn't a big item but there're a lot of little things in there. And, of course, he was gonna move the health department, which was in Louisville to Frankfort. So, um.

ROMOND: Is this Happy Chandler?

MILLER: Happy Chandler. Who was a charming guy. I mean, if, if you met him, you, you'd would like him. You know, immediately, if people 00:34:00----------(??) him. But I remember one time he called down. If I'm digressing too much, let me know.

ROMOND: No, please.

MILLER: He called me down, and he said, "Son, come in and sit down in my chair. So you'll know how it is when you're governor." I said, "I, I, I don't want to be governor." He said, "Oh, everybody wants to be governor." He said, "Sit down," and he was pushing me in his chair. He said, "Now, son, I need your help. I need your help." It was a picky little bill that he was fighting with his own party about. "And can you help me?" And I said, "Well, governor, I'll think about it." I said, "I don't know." You know, the governor calls you down and tells you want he wants, and why he wants you to do. He says it in such a way it's almost believable, you know. So he says, "You come over to the mansion for dinner tonight. Momma. I'd love to have Momma meet you and we can talk some more." And so, I go back upstairs, and I kept thinking, I can't do that, I can't vote for that bill. So, about that time they call the bill up for a vote, I vote no. About five minutes later, the 00:35:00doorkeeper tap, comes in, taps me on the shoulder, and said, "Senator, The governor says don't bother to come to dinner tonight." (both laugh) Two days later he sends for me again. I said, "Well, Governor, you got mad at me last time," and he said, put his arm around me, and he said, "Son, I spoke in haste." (both laugh) But later on, I, I, I had, I'd met him years later, and somebody said, "Isn't that Happy Chandler?" at a restaurant. I said, "Yes, would you like to meet him?" He said, "Yeah." I said, "Well, I don't know if he will remember me or not." So I go over there. I see him, and he comes running over, "Senator," and comes and hugs me. I introduce him to these people and he says, "You're so and so's grandson? I remember him back in the thirties." And talks like that. This guy said, "My god, this guy is unbelievable." 00:36:00Here he was, old, out of office, duh, duh, duh, and he was charming.

ROMOND: Had an amazing memory.

MILLER: Oh, he was.

ROMOND: Yeah. Tell about, um, the time that Happy Chandler wanted you to help him get votes when he had, he needed--

MILLER: --oh, that's when he wanted the budget?

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Well, he needed a budget passed. He had to have, he'd gotten it through the House. He needed twenty votes in the Senate, and he only had about fifteen he could count on. And there were fifteen he couldn't count on. So he was getting some Republicans down there. So I got in this room, this conference room. And, "Come on, son. Sit down by me." And I go up, "Okay, governor," you know, what are you gonna say to him? Okay, governor. I mean, a couple of his aides were in there, and he said, "Okay, Sit down by the governor." I did. So, he starts around, he said, "Denver, your daddy was up here when something 00:37:00happened. The little school house burned down." "Yeah." "Didn't I build it back for him back when I was governor?" "Yeah, governor, you did that." "That's what I want to do. Build more school houses." Looks over, "Joe, your uncle was up here when the bridge across Green River fell in, remember that? You don't remember that, but your uncle would. Didn't I build it back for him?" "Yeah, governor. He told me you did that." "That's what I want to do, I build more roads." Now, he had gotten the money for the interstate system on nine to one basis. So, and he got it very quickly, at good rates. He kept the commonwealth in good shape. And so, he said, "We'll build a billion dollars worth of roads." (laughs) Was a hundred million dollar bond issue, "but it was a billion dollars worth of road," he said. And, "I'm gonna build roads every place. Your children and your grandchildren will have the finest 00:38:00places to go." And so, he goes around and he says, "Can I, can I count on you? Can I count on you?" So he comes around, and he's 23 out of 24, and he looks at me. He hadn't even asked me how I felt. He said, "Son, I didn't need your vote. I just wanted to see how it was done." And I go back out and I say, "Governor, you're remarkable." I said, "This was a lesson I'll always remember." He said, "Well, son, we'll always be friends, I hope." (both laugh)

ROMOND: That's a good one.

MILLER: Later, later on, he did me a great favor, but, uh, that was years after I was out of the legislature. Um, I was trying a case in Lexington. And, uh, it's when they were burning down the school. And, uh, Governor Nunn had called out the National Guard to restore order. And the governor was mad, because some of the faculty was backing the people who were the students.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And so--


ROMOND: --was this at(??)?


ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So when they sued the governor, the governor was just irate. Excuse me a second. (cough) This shouldn't happen to me. Um, I have, he happened to call me, Nunn, this is Governor Nunn. "These damn students over here and this damn faculty." I said, "Well, governor, what's the attorney general say?" "That's another thing I want to talk to you about." The attorney general was not a friend of his; he was in the other political party. Well, the irony of it was my cousin had married the brother of the attorney general. He said, "You and your shirttail relatives." He said, "I want you to represent me." So, I sat 00:40:00between the governor and the attorney general, and both of them would poke me, do this, do this, ask this, say this. Happy Chandler sat right behind us. He was on the board.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And some kid had grabbed his tie as he was coming out of a meeting, a board meeting. And Happy punched him right in the nose. He said, I said, "Well, what happened governor?" He said, "I separated him from it right quick." But all the time we are going through there, I would be cross-examining somebody, and he'd say, "Good, good. You've got him now, you got him now, you got him now." (both laugh)

ROMOND: You had a cheerleader.

MILLER: So, when it was all over the, they rested their case, and I made a motion, I think, "Judge, they haven't proved their case. I move they dismiss it." The judge said, "Well, we'll think about it." So he takes a break and comes in and dismisses it. Happy Chandler says, "Scott, you did it. You call the governor and tell him." He wasn't there, 00:41:00because I, at that time I wanted to be a district, federal district judge. He said, "You call the governor." Happy Chandler went back to Versailles and called the governor and bragged on me. He said, "Now he did it. That boy did it. You ought to help him." I'd never been an ally of Happy's, but he, he did me that favor at the time. So I have a kin, kind feeling toward him.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

MILLER: So that was, that was Happy. That was the first, first two years I was there.

ROMOND: First governor you served under?


ROMOND: When you look back at the people in your life before you went to the Senate--

MILLER: Um-hm.

ROMOND: --uh, family, um, church people, teachers, what kind of values do you think that you got, and, and do you remember specific people, um, that helped, that you brought with you to the Senate, that you 00:42:00needed, qualities you needed to have in order to be successful there?

MILLER: I think, um, of course, my dad and mother. And then I think, um, my old boss at the Transit Company used to take me aside, and he was about my dad's age, and he would, he almost adopted me as a child or son. And he told me, "Now, look, I don't want you to do this; I don't want you to do that." He trained me about how to take a statements, how do this. And if I would go off half-cocked on a case, he'd say, "Now, calm down, calm down." Until he got real sick and died, I looked upon him as a dear friend, and I would occasionally call on him and ask him some things. And, um, that, and my old teacher in high school who, um, told me to go to law school.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I became very dear friends, as I got older, and he, he kind of 00:43:00retired. He was a gruff, old rascal but I got along with him. And, um, I think, uh, if you, if you were around that, and, um, those kinds of people, you heard, you heard so many things. You know, you would hear, there were, the judge that lived up the street, who had been on the court of appeals for many years. He had been an attorney for my grandfather before my dad became a lawyer. And, uh, they'd talk to you.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, um, it was just, it's a different world out there than it is now.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: It was.

ROMOND: What did they teach you? Like what qualities would they?

MILLER: You better say--

ROMOND: -- ----------(??)--

MILLER: --do what you're gonna, say what you're gonna do and do it, or try to do it. And remember what you tell people, they're gonna remember, and you're gonna live by that. Back then, every lawyer in town, you knew whether you could rely on him, or depend on him, or not.


ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Now you don't. There're so darn many of them, I don't know most of them anymore.


MILLER: And we're kind of isolated in the kind of work I do. So, um, everything has to be done by written agreement, or it's, it's more complicated now. It's not as easy.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm. Was church a part of your growing-up life?

MILLER: I went, I was not part of what I would, I was not a real good churchgoer.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: My brother was, my mother was.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Dad was, but, um, I, I went.

ROMOND: So, the values that you learned that you took with you, are really more from your family? People in your family?

MILLER: Well, you heard the same thing at church. Of course, my wife was a Quaker, so I got her thoughts on the--now she, I converted her.


MILLER: There're not many Quakers down here.


ROMOND: No. Who were the other governors that you served under, and, um?

MILLER: Combs was the next one.

ROMOND: What do you recall about him?

MILLER: Bert Combs was a mountain boy.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Um, very strong governor. Uh, he did everything that Governor Fletcher is doing now and getting criticized for. I mean, he put his own people in and that was it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Now, he got a lot of credit for education and things, and he, he did raise taxes, put in the three-cent sales tax. And I was there then.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I thought that was gonna destroy us as getting business here. It didn't.

ROMOND: Gave money to the state.

MILLER: Well, yeah, for the foundation, for--

[Pause in recording.]

MILLER: --like I say, Combs was a strong governor. He, he ran things.


ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And papers liked him. He got, he could do no wrong.


MILLER: Um, he got awful angry with me one time when I, bunch of us were holding up a bill of his. We held it up for a day or so, and he got very angry.

ROMOND: Do you remember what the bill was?

MILLER: I don't have any idea what it was.

ROMOND: Just remember how he felt about it.

MILLER: We were just, we were laughing about it over at the Holiday Inn there. "The governor's mad today," ha-ha-ha, you know. One guy came over to me and said, "Scott, don't drive home tonight." I said, "Why?" He said, "Governor wants you picked up tonight." We were in there having drinks. So I said, "Oh, okay." Jokingly, I said, "Hey fellows, let's have one for the road." We had another drink and I went out and around the Holiday Inn and went back up to my room, called my wife, and said, "I'm not coming home tonight." (both laugh) So the next morning I come 00:47:00down for breakfast. I say, "Where in the world were all those state troopers out running around last night on the road?" He said, "Were you out riding?" And I said, "No, I didn't even go home." I was having. So, later, later I, um, I got my own first bill passed that session, I think it was. And, uh, or maybe it was the next session. And, um, he said, "I've been looking at that bill of yours. Senate Bill 31. Yes, I've been looking at that. The boys don't understand it." I said, "Well, what is wrong with it?" He said, "I don't know, what's it all about?" It was a condominium bill. It was the time we created condominiums. We had them before Florida did. So finally, he signed the bill and it went through. That was my first piece by myself that I got through. And, um, then nobody built them for six years. (laugh)


ROMOND: Well--

MILLER: --but, oh, we had some fights, by that time, the situation in Jefferson County had changed, and the administration had switched over. And there were things that we needed to do.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Or we thought we needed to do. And it's, was the beginning of metropolitan government without a lot of agreement between the city and the county. And at that time, I was the only lawyer from Jefferson County up there, except my Democratic counterparts. And, um, Senator Duffy, who was the Democratic guru, I guess, up there, and I used to fight, although we later became very good friends. And I remember, remember him very kindly. And we went to several funerals of other 00:49:00people that went on. We, he was a very able man, and I liked him, very straight shooter. He was just a high-headed Irishman, but he was, he was a good man. And, uh, we had, we had a couple bills that we got through, uh, I remember. One was related to a water and drainage bill, sewer drainage bill. First time he went through with it, it didn't fly.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: We got beat by three votes, I think. So, I remember the county judge, who's a very able county judge, later went on to be U.S. senator. Was a better judge than senator. I shouldn't say that but he was. And, uh, the mayor said, "Okay, we're gonna do this right." They hired bond council in Chicago that does that kind of work nationally. And he spent two years working out a very comprehensive, complicated 00:50:00bill that would allow us to build sewers throughout the county and sections, as needed. But it was a difficult bill if you looked at it.


MILLER: So, we got all of the senators from the Jefferson County area. Both parties agreed to sign the bill. It only applied to Jefferson County. So, they wanted to bring an expert up to explain, although it was about seventy pages long. If needed, it goes to the committee. You know, what would happen? The chairman said, "This apply only to Jefferson County?" "Yes sir." "All of you agree to it?" "Yes, sir." "I'll entertain a motion that we vote it out with expression, it pass." The guy said, "Do you want me to say anything?" I said, "No." (laughs) "You're ahead. Don't say anything." It went through. I couldn't take any credit for it, but it went on through. But that's the kind of 00:51:00stuff we had to fool with.

ROMOND: Yeah. What about, uh, Ned Breathitt?

MILLER: Went to school with Ned.

ROMOND: Did you really?

MILLER: We went to college together. He lived down the street from me. I am very fond of him. Um, he wasn't as strong as Combs.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, he was a good man. He passed some civil rights legislation.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Um, he had some problems with taxes. The, the court of appeals had said we have to assess property at the full value.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Which would triple our taxes on the real estate. So, we had to cut it back. But he wanted to add 10 percent to it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: At the same time--I don't know why my throat is all choked up today. (coughs) Excuse me.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Good thing I'm not on TV. Um, at Jefferson County school system 00:52:00needed money badly. He said, well, he would entertain us to tack that onto his bill, it was only a percentage of our occupational tax--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --if we would do it--now, that's the only time I had a fight with Ned. I said, "Ned." I, I didn't call him Ned; I always called him governor.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And he said, I said, "Your two votes shy. I have the two votes. I'll tell you I'll do. You put it in as part of your bill, because I'm facing an election in six weeks." This was a special thing. "And I'll vote for it." He said, "We can't do that, Scott." I said, "Well, I 00:53:00guess we can't." So, um, later, he sent somebody out, and said, "We'll do it." I said, "I'm not gonna, I don't want to do it standing alone. I'm facing a tough election." Because I, this was the meanest election I'd ever been through, right before election. I had an opponent that year. And that, that, this was my third term I was up for. I'm getting ahead of myself there. But, uh, he was accused. I had a John Burch Democrat running against me, telling me that I was a Red, I mean, I was far to the Left, I had all these supports of radical groups, and I said, "I didn't know that." I did. (laughs) And, uh, so, it was--.

ROMOND: --were people believing that?

MILLER: Well, some of them did. Of course, some of the Democrats 00:54:00didn't, but, uh, yeah, there were some people that were right angry with me. Republicans were angry, "You left-winger, you know, you're not really one of us."

ROMOND: Was that your toughest election?

MILLER: It was the nastiest one. It was, it, it ended up, I won easily, but it was, it was a, um, it was a sweep that year. Not so much to my credit, but it was just the whole thing went nicely. But it was the nastiest one I went through. The rest of the people, I got along with my opponents, I got along with fine.

ROMOND: Um-hm. What was that like for your family to go through that?

MILLER: Oh, they, they weren't happy about it. I know, um, Congressman Snyder's brother was one of them. And we were at some rally and he pushed my oldest son around. My son hit him in the head with-- (laughs)--a stick, uh, we were carrying signs, and he, and he hit the 00:55:00Congressman's brother in the head with a--(laughs)--it was.

ROMOND: So it got really physical?

MILLER: Well, it, it went down as an accident, you know--(Romond laughs)- - it went down as an accident. You know, Johnny was probably fourteen then, I guess, so it. I said, "Johnny, don't do that." (both laugh)

ROMOND: He was sticking up for his dad.

MILLER: Oh, so. Yeah, I, I got over that, and the next year, um, Governor Nunn--

ROMOND: --Nunn, yes--

MILLER: --backed me for reelecting. I didn't have any problem with, with Nunn. I'd, Nunn and I had gone to law school together, so there was never a problem there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: We had been allies in a lot of the campaigns. But I'm digressing into me, not into the legislation you're talking about.

ROMOND: Well, about the governors. That's what I was asking about, the 00:56:00governors -----------(??)----------- --

MILLER: --Breathitt was a nice man. He was as not as strong as some people. As a matter of fact, sometimes he vacillated.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: He tried to do well. Uh, he had been put up by Combs to beat Chandler when Chandler wanted to be governor again.


MILLER: And he did beat him.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And many years later--well, it wasn't that long ago, because I had a law suit. And it was in Lexington, and we were mediating it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And it was in the office of his firm, the firm he was with. And we were taking a recess, and I called his secretary, and I said, "Is the governor in?" And she said, "Yes." I said, told her who I was, I said, "Tell him I, I have a break here and I would like to come down and say hi to him, and see how he is." So, um, we went down and we spent about thirty minutes chatting and laughing. And it wasn't long after that he 00:57:00died. So, I was glad that I did take the time to go by and see him--

ROMOND: --that you had that time with him.


ROMOND: Yeah. What about, uh, Louie Nunn?

MILLER: Louie Nunn was, um, depends on who you talk to about Louie. Louie was tough. One of the toughest people I've ever seen.


MILLER: Smart. He always had a quip for everybody. Uh, he had to fight for everything he got. Uh, so he made a lot of enemies. But he did a lot of good things. Uh, I mean, he kept the schools open. He, uh, realized when he got there the state was broke. And I mean broke. Ned had spent everything. The paper denied that he was, we were broke, but we were. And so, Nunn asked that we raise the sales tax to a nickel. Five cents. Which was, they later coined the phrase, "Nunn's nickel." 00:58:00It was an extra two cents. And, um, I remember he made the speech in the, to the legislature. And I'll never forget it. It was at night, and he said, told what he had to do and why we had to do it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: "I didn't come here to raise taxes. But I have a duty to uphold, and I'm gonna do what I can. Now I have drained the bitter cup." So, he asked some of us over to the mansion afterwards, and I looked at him and I said, "Now governor, you and I have known each other a long time. You didn't drain that cup; you just passed it to us to drink." (Romond laughs) So, he said, "Are you gonna support it?" And I said, "I don't think we have a choice, but anything but to pass it." I've never voted for a tax at that time, except the occupational tax. And, um, so, he was having real trouble getting it done.


ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Because he had a lieutenant governor who was of the other faith, who succeeded him.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And they wanted to have an alternate program. Well, lo and behold, this was, this was for saving the schools. Guess who appears in the legislature, sitting in the galleries? The president of Morehead State, former speaker of the House, big Democrat, the president of Eastern, Bob Martin, big Democrat who had been superintendent of public instruction, and the president of Murray, another big Democrat. And they were sitting up there. And the paper took a picture of them, and they called them, "Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod." (both laugh) And they went around, they would grab a hold of legislators, twist their arms, "You vote for this, or I'll tell everybody in your district that every 01:00:00school teacher will be out to get you." They helped pass the bill.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: It went. Then, they immediately got on their horses, went back where they came from, and talked, just castigated Louie Nunn for what he did. (laughs) He didn't give enough to the schools and raised taxes. And they came out, oh, crucified Nunn. He got him hurt so bad, that when he ran for the Senate he lost.


MILLER: But he did his job.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, um, he was, he went out doing the right thing. Now, he had all kinds of people sniping at him the whole time, but, um, he could stand his ground.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And he'd laugh at them, and call them over, and say, "This is what I'm gonna do. Now I tell you what I am gonna do tomorrow. I am gonna introduce a bill to do this, that, and you won't like it. But I think we got the votes to do it." And he, people say, "Don't 01:01:00tell them what you are gonna do." He, by that time, he had maneuvered around, and he'd, he'd got what he wanted. He got down to the last, he said, "Boys, we are down to the last ten days." He said, "Try to delay anything that's bad, but if you can't stop it, I can take care of it." (Romond laughs) ---------(??)--

ROMOND: --what about--I'm sorry. Go ahead.

MILLER: No, he called me up there one day, and he said, "Scott, here's of your bills here." I've forgotten what it was. Uh, he said, "I'm gonna sign it." I said, "Well, I thought you should. Usually governors ask the people to come in, have their picture taken, and you haven't done it. But that's okay governor." So he signs it, and he says, "While you're here, I got another one. You might like to see me veto it." And he did. (laughs) And I don't remember what it was. (both laugh) But, uh, the big thing Louis did, which he didn't get enough 01:02:00credit for, he put U of Lin the state system.


MILLER: Over the objection of U.K.

ROMOND: Really?

MILLER: They fought it. And he didn't give them all the money he wanted, they wanted at first, but he got them in the state system. It needed to be done.

ROMOND: Why didn't U.K. want U of Lin the state system--

MILLER: --oh, they want, they would, they realized that they were the demographics, were where U of L would just explode then. And they wanted to be the premier flagship without any competition.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

MILLER: You know, educators are have vanity, too. Have you noticed that? And, uh, so that's what, that's what a lot of it was. Then, we had one guy who was our former mayor. Mr. Farnsley. He's a nice old guy. He was against it. He wants it to be a private school and be 01:03:00Vander-, uh, Vanderbilt on the Ohio. I said, "There's no way that can be done, Mr. Farnsley."

ROMOND: Oh, he wanted Louisville to be private school--

MILLER: --yeah, he wanted it to be totally private. (laughs)

ROMOND: That was his plan.

MILLER: That was his plan. So, we, um, but that was the bitter thing that took a lot, that took more time and energy to work that out than almost anything.

ROMOND: During Nunn's?

MILLER: Nunn's administration.

ROMOND: Administration.

MILLER: Except the dirty trick he played on me, when he had me be chairman of the Un-American Activities Committee, which I did not want. I don't, you haven't gotten any, you haven't gotten any old bills? What do you got there?

ROMOND: Um, I do have some bill questions coming up.

MILLER: Go ahead.


MILLER: I'll take as long as you want.

ROMOND: Wendell Ford.

MILLER: Able, very able governor.


ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Very able governor. Um, smooth.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: You know, don't think he ever went to college, but he was smart as he could be. And he ran the state very well without any, of course, he followed Nunn. He didn't have anybody picking on him very much. Julian Carroll was the lieutenant governor. Julian wanted to be governor, so he was just staying there minding his own business. He had run with Bert Combs to try, Wendell had beaten Bert Combs in the primary, which was a bitter primary.


MILLER: And they beat Combs on the idea, why have a, would you give an up a lifetime job as a judge on the Sixth Circuit, making more money than the governor makes for, give it up for a four-year term?


MILLER: And people think, Well, and, and, of course, he'd gone through 01:05:00a divorce. And his new wife wanted to be the governor's, you know, first lady. And Wendell beat him pretty decisively. And then became governor, which I think, uh, I think he, he probably handled it better than any governor other than Nunn, as far as running things, knowing what was going on, and doing it smoother.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Then went on to be a senator, which he was a top-notch senator.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I was very fond of Ford. Didn't always agree with him, but I mean, we never had any personality. Of course, I served with him on, when he was on the State Senate, and when he was lieutenant governor, so, uh, I knew Wendell pretty well.

ROMOND: What do you think were the main issues that Kentucky was dealing with as a state, uh, during the time that you served as a senator?


MILLER: We were a poor state. Comparatively small state.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Yet, things in western Kentucky are not like they are in Floyd County.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And we're, eastern Kentucky drags us down just because of, not because of the people, it's just that they're so poor up there. There is no way it's gonna get much better, because you don't want to send your kids to school up there. You don't want to live there. What do you do when you're up there? They don't have good schools. They don't have good sewer systems. They don't have, I mean, I had a family in, in, uh, Perry County that owned everything. They didn't have any, any relatives that were attorneys. And I'd gotten to know them on some of the campaigns, and they said, "Come up here. We'll set you up. And you'll represent both banks. You'll represent this, you'll do that." 01:07:00I went up and spent a week, and we were going home Sunday. And I had I think Stephanie was about eight then. And my wife said, "Well, what do you think?" I said, "We're not gonna live there." And she said, "I'm glad you said it because I wasn't gonna live there. And the kids don't want to live there, so." We, um, that was the end of that.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I have some nice friends up there. I served with a couple of fellows that are, that were very able senators. Uh, Cliff Latta one of them, extremely able fellow. He's still a good friend. He's still alive. Charlie Upton, who's gone now, he was a good trial lawyer up in the mountains. Boy, he was a mountain boy.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, I served with, um, another governor in the Senate, uh, 01:08:00Wetherby, who had been governor.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: He was governor when I took the bar exam. And, uh, he was a very able fellow, and, and good friend of mine, and he had gone to school with my dad. So, uh, I liked all, I didn't dislike any of the governors. I didn't feel very comfortable with Combs, because he was a mountain boy, and he let you know it. And we could not agree on several things.

ROMOND: Um-hm. So, you saw poverty as really a major issue the whole time--

MILLER: --oh, it still is--

ROMOND: --issue for Kentucky the whole time you were there?


ROMOND: Did you see any progress?

MILLER: Oh, yeah. You look around now and you see people living in various counties. They don't live in shacks anymore. They have brick houses. They have roads that go there. They still have good schools. They have electricity is one of the big things. Most of them have 01:09:00running water now.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, there's, there's definitely progress. Oh, yeah. Electricity is one of the big things, and housing.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And most people have jobs now. When I started up, there were so many more poor people.

ROMOND: Um-hm. What events in state government do you feel the best about being there either to support or de-, or defeat? What meant the most to you?

MILLER: Personally?

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Of things I did?

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Well, I think what I got more pleasure out of was getting U of Lin the state system.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: That was, that was, that took the whole session, practically.


MILLER: Because we had to go through committees and make kind of deals. And I remember we had to make a deal with Northern to, uh, let them 01:10:00have a law school, uh, to get their votes to be on, and things of that kind. So it was, um--

ROMOND: --was it a bigger deal than you thought it was gonna be on the outset, trying to get U of Lin the state system?

MILLER: Yeah. No, we had a lot of support. A lot of people were for it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I happen to be the prime sponsor on it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Only because we started in the Senate. And the governor wanted it to be headed by a Republican, if we were gonna do it, so he could take that much credit for it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But I, I had support from an awful lot of people. Um, Senator Duffy was good. One of the finest fellows, who's dead now, is Senator McGinty. I don't know if you ran across his name anywhere. He was there eight years. He was so conscientious, somebody said, "He is so conscientious he shouldn't be here." (both laugh)

ROMOND: Uh, what about issues that were brought to the legislation that 01:11:00you, that you felt best about being defeated? Things that you, you felt strongly needed to be defeated? Or not passed as law?

MILLER: Well, actually, there're an awful lot of things that just didn't get passed.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And I, I don't really have a real feel for those now. I don't know.


MILLER: Um, one of the bugaboo's that comes up every two years is this, it seems like, the right-to-work bill. Which I think is not got a good idea, and goes back to Senator Taft, who passed the Taft-Hartley Bill, didn't think it was a good bill. It divides too many people. It doesn't accomplish that much. Uh, I'm glad that didn't come up, get to the floor while I was there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.


MILLER: Hope it doesn't come up and get to the floor again. Uh, one of the biggest fights that I remember, which, uh, went on during the Combs administration, uh, and I know I'm jumping around here, uh, was, uh, the reapportionment.


MILLER: I think I got called more bad names during that than during anything.

ROMOND: And that was when Combs was governor?

MILLER: Combs had not, did not reapportion the General Assembly, and it hadn't been, it hadn't been done for twenty years.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: We were malapportioned. Jefferson County wasn't getting their proper representation. Lexington wasn't getting their proper representation.

ROMOND: People with more population?

MILLER: And the rural counties were emptying out, a lot of them. Um, I had 300,000 people in my district, at least, more than there were in Can-, in Alaska at that time. (Romond laughs) And, um, somebody said, 01:13:00"Well, that's nice you, you've got all these people that you represent. Isn't that a good feeling?" "It's not right, it's not right," so, uh, I had, there was a case going on in the Supreme Court. Baker v Carr, I'll never forget it. The little city of St. Matthews hired me as a lawyer to file amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court, to try and break it up, and I did, and I outlined the problem, and filed a brief there. I think they paid the expenses of it, but that's about it. But I was running for reelection, you know, and by then I'm thirty-four years old, and I'm running for reelection, you know. And, um, I'm pointing out, too, my district as being way too many people. And, um, so the Supreme Court came down and said, "You must do it."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So then Mayor Cowger, who said, "Okay." The next year in '62, 01:14:00when I had been elected--excuse me, I don't have a cold. I don't know why this is bothering me.

ROMOND: That's okay.

MILLER: Hope it doesn't bother.

Said, "File a suit and represent the city of Louisville. Their special attorney." I said, "Okay." So, we got together and worked on filing a suit against the governor. The governor--

ROMOND: --this is while you're a senator?

MILLER: Yeah, and the governor was not happy. It was Combs. I tried to mandamus, tried to get the court to direct him what to do, and the court said, "Well, we will see." Anyway he filed a state suit in a state court, saying, "We can't do what Miller wants to do, because we can't join this, that, and the other." But it was coming up in federal 01:15:00court. So we're set for trial, and this starts in June, it's December, right before Christmas. The judge, the little judge, as we call the governor, came down that day. I saw him go in the back door and talking to the judge. I said, "What the hell is he doing that for?" The presiding judge comes out and he says, "This was set for trial. Now, we didn't have a pretrial conferencing." He says, "I think the governor would like to say a few words and we will treat this as a pre-trial." I thought, and there were three judges sitting there--

ROMOND: --this is the judges hearing this?

MILLER: Yeah, from Sixth Circuit and two from, one from the eastern district and one from the western district. And, um, judge, judge, little judge Combs, or Governor Combs gets up and says, "Judge, I'm gonna call a special session of the legislature in February to do just 01:16:00this." So then, he gets somebody from U.K., some political science person who had taught me, and he outlines the program, which takes care of Lexington completely, but shortchanges Louisville. They gave them more seats, but not, so that I was on TV program and, with several of them, and I disagreed with all of them. I told, I said, "Professor, when I was at U.K. that isn't what you taught us." (both laugh) Afterwards, he said, "You shouldn't have done that to me." I said, "Well, you did." (Romond laughs) So, we had our own plan and they didn't adopt it, but they adopted the governor's plan. We got more, and I thought they were gonna cut my seat after I was just castigated, but the, um, Majority Floor Leader Moloney. This is Senator Moloney's son, or father, Dick Moloney--


ROMOND: --okay, right--

MILLER: --was the majority floor leader in the House then. Said, "Don't cut up any more seats than you have to." And they left me alone. They took two-thirds of it and formed other districts.


MILLER: And left me alone in a real safe Republican district. That's what counts. And then the next time I had these right-wingers picking on me. So. (laughs)

ROMOND: It's all relative

MILLER: It, it was, so. (both laugh)

ROMOND: Was there ever a time that you felt like your personal values or agenda was in conflict with your constituents?

MILLER: No, I don't think so. Um, my people, people in my district, most of them don't know who you are when you're up there, unless they want something.


MILLER: Someone's gonna write you a letter, they know who you are. They pass you on the street, they don't know who you are, except people, you know, political people, and some ---------(??) lawyers. I knew that 01:18:00most of them liked daylight saving, and that was never a problem for me. I like daylight saving. I like long summer evenings. People here like it. Most of them like it. Um, they wanted the highways finished, they, where they hadn't connected all the interstates yet. Uh, they wanted the school system taken care of. People really don't want, they don't, they didn't bother you an awful lot.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: The Courier at that time was very kind to me. Um, I don't know why, but they were, but. (laughs)

ROMOND: What are your memories of the presidents, United States Presidents who were in office during the time that you served as a senator?

MILLER: Well, Eisenhower was president when I went up there, and, of course, I still was under the idea that Eisenhower was just the 01:19:00greatest.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So, I didn't have any problem with him. I think history will show that he was a good president. He kept us out of war, and he kept things going calmly. And we had labor peace and things went smoothly along. So, I think he was good. Jack Kennedy was a charming person. I mean, you couldn't help but think this guy is the most charming person in the world. And he was, I mean, he'd get on TV, and he was like Roosevelt, I mean, he, he could sell Eskimos, you know, refrigerators. Uh, we all know that he was fairly conservative in what he did. Uh, he didn't have a chance to really do that much. He was cut down before he was there. But nobody really disliked the guy. He was charming. You know.

ROMOND: Johnson?

MILLER: Johnson is one of those--


ROMOND: --had that, won(??) the War on Poverty--

MILLER: Johnson, you either hated him or loved him.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Senator Moloney's, the Senator Moloney I served with, would've been on Johnson's staff. He loved him. Uh, Johnson was tough. He was probably the toughest one we've had, that I ever, ever remember. I mean, if he didn't like somebody, he went after them, and would cut them up, and he was, could be vengeful. Uh, but a lot of the things he wanted and did I think were good things. I mean, he's the only one who could have passed the civil rights act. Now, he used the aura of Jack Kennedy to do it. But I mean, he got senator from down there in the south, and he said, people that were his friends, and he said, "Now, I'm gonna pass this. I'm gonna run over you. I'm gonna break your filibuster." "How are you gonna do that?" He said, "Now, I was taking 01:21:00my family back to Texas." This is what Senator Cooper told me. He was, he heard the conversation, and he said, "We stopped for gas." And he was president, and of course, the entourage. "We hadn't gone far, and Mabel, a colored gal that worked for us for years, lived with us, said, 'Mr. President, and you pull over someplace? I need to go to the bathroom.'" He said, "Well, why didn't you go when we were back there?" She said, "I couldn't; we're down south." He said, "Now Senator, that isn't right. And we're gonna correct that."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Then he would say, he said, "Well, you're gonna put Thurgood Marshall on the, on the, on the Supreme Court?" "Yeah," he said, "it's not gonna go well with some of the southern senators." Now you gotta, 01:22:00I'm, I'm gonna use the bad word. He said, "Listen: when I put a nigger on the Supreme Court, I want everybody to know he's a nigger. I'm gonna get every nigger vote I can out of this."


MILLER: And he did. And he knew what he was doing. He knew how to get it done. And he hated Bobby Kennedy. That was obvious to everybody. Other than the Vietnam War, and I think he got lead astray on that. And I guess probably Kennedy was partly responsible, and then McNamara. I blame McNamara. Of course, you ask me as a state legislator, and here I'm telling you about national politics. But that's what did him in. And it's a shame, because he accomplished so darn many things that needed to be done. I mean, he did a lot for education. He did a lot for the health. Uh, he did a lot for a lot of people. Did a lot for 01:23:00Texas, too. Actually, he did a lot for Kentucky.

ROMOND: With the War on Poverty?

MILLER: He did a lot for Kentucky on the War on Poverty. We didn't get the benefit of it right away.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But he built facilities for us.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: John Cooper got more locks, and dams, and lakes, and things like that than, than anybody, but, Texas's the only one who got more than Kentucky, as far as public works.

ROMOND: Um-hm. , during Johnson's administration?

MILLER: Oh, yeah.

ROMOND: Wow. And Nixon?

MILLER: Too bad about him. He had a personality problem. He was bright. He was, he was positioned so he could've been a great president. He accomplished some good things. He held inflation down. He opened the road to, to China. He did all of that thing. But he couldn't help being so paranoid he destroyed himself. And I can't 01:24:00really forgive him for what he did to the country. Because I think it wasn't good. And Ford paid the price for it when he pardoned him, which he, Ford did the right thing, but he, he paid the price for it.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Were there any connections or friendships from your days in the General Assembly that are especially memorable? People who stand out?

MILLER: Oh, yeah. There's Duffy. I like Duffy. Uh, Charlie McCann was sort of a joke around here. Charlie's dead now. He's, he was the one who wanted a lottery on the Derby. He was the quintessential sort of a joke. He was a big Irishman, lovable, you know. Vernon McGinty, who, uh, was like a brother to me. "Scott, why don't you, you never been here before I have, what can I do?" Uh, uh, guys out in the state, uh, 01:25:00I was crazy about old Wetherby, Cliff Latta, uh, down in Madisonville, uh, oh, Dick Frymire. They were all top notch people who're still very good friends of mine. Uh, let's see. I was talking to one of them, and they said, "You know, Scott, it isn't like it was when we were up there. We, we'd work on bills together. Sometimes we would oppose them, then we would go out and have dinner and have drinks together. Uh, there was not any acrimony as far as that was concerned."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I made it a point when I got there, I said. There's always the feeling that people don't like Louisville. I'm the youngest one, so as soon as someone would come in, a new person, I would go up and speak to them first. Tell them who I was, what I was, glad to see them. And 01:26:00some of them were from out in the state seemed to appreciate, I think, you went out of your, went down and speak to them because some of them were new.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Did they not expect it from you?

MILLER: I don't know if they expected me, I just went up to speak to them.


MILLER: Uh, there were very few people I really didn't like.

ROMOND: Where there divisions that was kind of there all the time, or sometimes even in the legislature?

MILLER: They would form and dissipate periodically. (laughs)

ROMOND: According to the issues?

MILLER: To the issues.

ROMOND: Um-hm. I mean, obviously, there's Democrats and Republicans, but issues about where you're from in the state?

MILLER: There wasn't too much of that, I don't think. Uh, no, I genuinely liked most of them.

ROMOND: Um-hm. You were on many, many committees. Do any--


MILLER: --I was there a long time.

ROMOND: (laughs) Uh, do any of them stand out in your mind as committees you especially enjoyed?

MILLER: Of course, I, I enjoyed the judiciary committee, because a lot of that was nothing too much out of the ordinary. Amend this bill. Do this, that. Uh, change the circuit, to take this county out, add this county. A lot of it was routine, uh, work that wasn't controversial at all. Took awhile to do it but it wasn't controversial. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the judiciary committee.

ROMOND: Um-hm. You were chair of that?

MILLER: No. I was never chairman. I, we never had control--

ROMOND: --oh, you were chair--

MILLER: --I was vice-chairman--

ROMOND: --oh, okay you were chair of courts and legal?

MILLER: Oh, that's Wilson Wyatt had cute little idea.


ROMOND: --------------(??)-----------

MILLER: He had everybody a chairman of a committee. He had thirty-eight committees. So, there were a couple little bills. And that was sort of a subcommittee, really, of the judiciary committee.

ROMOND: I see.

MILLER: Some of the little bills that they didn't want to fool with, they said, "Okay Scott, you can have it in your committee."

ROMOND: This will be your committee.

MILLER: This is your committee. (Romond laughs) And we'd sit in the same room and say, "Okay. Let's change hats now." (laughs)

ROMOND: You sponsored a bill, um, for mandatory seatbelts?

MILLER: I did?

ROMOND: Um-hm. Which did not pass. But you did. I mean, even when you were in, it was, you were ahead of your time.

MILLER: What year was it?

ROMOND: Let me look it up here.

[Pause in recording.]

ROMOND: Urging University of Louisville to continue evening law program.


MILLER: Oh, yeah, that, that tangle with my former dean. Uh, he wanted to do away with the night division of law school.


MILLER: Saying, "We didn't need it, we had too many." And I said, "Dean, my dad went to night school." They made a deal when they took over, that night school that they would always keep it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: It's the only, it's the only profession I know where a young kid or a poor person can work all day and go get, uh, education. "I think we ought to keep it." And so, the dean later, we're good friends, but he said, "Why did you do that to me?" I said, "I couldn't go home and face my dad if I didn't do that."

ROMOND: Yeah, yeah. It was 1960.


MILLER: Nineteen sixty?

ROMOND: That, um--

MILLER: --I did that--

ROMOND: --it was Senate Bill 61, required use of seatbelts in cars.

MILLER: Sixty-, I don't know.

ROMOND: I thought you were--

MILLER: --well, I thought, I later went through a windshield when I wasn't wearing one.


MILLER: That was, well, that was later.

ROMOND: And then '62 was when you, was a Senate Resolution requesting a corporation(??) of safety devices on motor vehicles, which is a little different--

MILLER: --um-hm--

ROMOND: --than requiring people to wear them.

MILLER: I don't even remember all the details. I remember I thought we ought to do them. I think we were looking at the statistics of what would happen, how many people were injured or killed if you don't wear them.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And it's kind of foolish not to. If you fly in an airplane you wear them.


MILLER: Now, I don't think anybody really questions it anymore.

ROMOND: Yeah. Now, now it's not questioned at all.

MILLER: It's kind of like civil rights now; it's behind us.


ROMOND: Right. And, um, you had a Senate resolution urging relief of states for financing black lung benefits. Actually, that was a, that was an issue that I saw coming up for different legislators, um, at different times. Was the state at that time, was that taking a big chunk of state money?

MILLER: Yeah, it was taking a big chunk of state money, because it's, when you treat someone for black lung, it's just expensive.

ROMOND: Sure, and it's a chronic, it goes--

MILLER: --it is chronic. And I had, I, I think Senator Cooper had more to do with me being interested in that.

ROMOND: Um-hm. MILLER: Um, Senator Cooper was kind of a mentor of mine.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, um, he would talk to me sometimes. Every now and then he would call me and say, "I'm, I'm"--

[Pause in recording.]

ROMOND: This is a continuing interview with Senator Scott Miller who 01:32:00represented the Thirty-Sixth District of Jefferson County from 1958 to 1974. Mr. Miller, when you think back to what the legislature was like, what the General Assembly was like during the time that you served, and what it's like now, what are your thoughts about that? Or what kind of issues people are dealing with?

MILLER: I, I, I see a number of things, and I'm looking at it from outside now.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: One is, I don't see the collegiality that I used to see. There's too much wrangling, and I've heard this from members who're there now. It's just constant fighting. They won't even want to talk with each other. And that's bad. Um, they don't have, the, the governor does not have the control over them they used to have.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: The lieutenant governor doesn't preside of them like he used to. 01:33:00They now have their own presiding officer, which before they used to have the lieutenant governor presiding over them. They now have their own committee rooms. They have plenty of space to work in. I don't know what kind of staff they have, but I think they, they certainly have more than we had.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Um, first thing, they have interim committees that go on time, and they now meet every year, which I think is bad. Because I think there're too many people who won't run who would've run, if they didn't have to go up there every year. And something has to be done. I think you can have special sessions. We had a number of special sessions. And some of them are rather cantankerous, but it was one or two issues, so we'd get it over with, get it done, and get home.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Um, I, I don't I don't see, I don't like to see professional legislators. You're taking away, this is the people's branch of the 01:34:00government.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And it's not getting to be the people's branch anymore. Uh, too many people, I know a lot of the fellows I served with, even though we went every other year, finally just said, "I can't do this any longer." Uh, if you add doing it every year, there're gonna be more and more people that won't run. So, I, I, I don't, I don't think it's a good thing. However, they have more freedom than they ever had. They don't have the control of the governor used to have over them. Um, so, they have a job to do, and it's up to them to do it.

ROMOND: Do you think now being a legislator is more of a career, it's more of your fulltime job?

MILLER: Some of them seem to make it that way and I don't know why. (laughs)

ROMOND: Um-hm. When did that change?

MILLER: Well, it started--

ROMOND: --that the governor--

MILLER: --changing, let's see, it started changing under Governor Brown, I think. That's when they decided, we passed an amendment to the 01:35:00constitution. I don't remember which one it was, but the lieutenant governor doesn't preside over them anymore. And they don't have the control. They come back now after the session is over, a few days, so they can look at any bills he's vetoed and see if they want to override them. Uh, that's good and bad. I don't know. I don't know how it's really working out, but there's something to be said for it, and both against it. So, I don't know.

ROMOND: How did Governor Brown change it or how--

MILLER: --I think Governor Brown, from what I understand, kind of played at being governor. He liked it. And the legislature was feeling their oats, and they said, "Okay, we're gonna have an amendment now to change a few things." And, you know, we had one to change the court system, and it was in kind in the mood to change the constitution.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And it, it, it passed.

ROMOND: And it's been that away ever since?

MILLER: Yeah. The legislature has a lot more power now than they did 01:36:00when I was there.

ROMOND: So the--

MILLER: --when they are in session. Now when they're not in session they don't have any power.

ROMOND: So the governor has the last power?

MILLER: He can still exercise free, he can still be pretty tough on them. This is where it gets to them. "Do you want to hire your brother, your cousins," and so on, and so forth? Happy Chandler was good at that. He had one senator down west Kentucky gave him fits. And his wife worked for one state agency. I don't know what it was. I have forgotten; I did know. Well, he promoted her, and transferred her to Floyd County, from extreme western Kentucky to eastern Kentucky. She took it because it was a big promotion.



MILLER: I mean, he played rough. (laughs)

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Combs did that, Combs could be real rough.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: The governor still has a lot of power. "Do you want this road through here? We can do that for you, you know." That's pretty hard to turn down in the country, where they need roads. So the governor still has power. Um, governor says where he's gonna put state money, in what banks. Bankers just fawn all over the governor for that. Come up to, "Governor, what can I do for you, what can I do for you?" Louie Nunn used to laugh, and say he wanted some money in his bank down there. (both laugh)


ROMOND: What about education? Over the time you were in the Senate and even up to the present?

MILLER: Well, we're much better off. You know, there's so much more money there. We've got better buildings. Some of the, some of the fellows used to say you had the same old school teachers but you're paying them more. You got more, you got books. Uh, you can get to the schoolhouse, as they say. We're better off. And some of the kids, when they still get to U.K., or wherever they're gonna school are not well prepared, but they're better than they were.

ROMOND: Um-hm. So overall?

MILLER: Overall it's--

ROMOND: --in the big picture it's much better--

MILLER: --oh, much better, yeah. We're, we're much better off.

ROMOND: And what about KERA? The Kentucky Education Reform Act?

MILLER: That came in after my days, so I don't know how it has really impacting on it. I can't help but think it's improved things.


ROMOND: Um-hm. And I, you must have seen, even when you were in office, pieces of legislation about education that were leading up to KERA happening, like attention being paid along the way?

MILLER: I can't think of anything specific. Usually what we had was schoolteachers wanted to know if they could have so many more days off for snow days.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Um, a lot of reforms that people wanted to put in are resisted by the educators, because it changes their little playhouse. Now, education suffered from one thing that I think is really horrible. Both parties are guilty of it. In many counties they don't care who's 01:40:00president of the United States, they don't care who's senator, who's Congressman, who controls the school board.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I can give you examples of ones in both political parties where they are controlled by one family. They do this, they, they decide where they're gonna put those teachers, where they're gonna do that, who's hired. And, uh, it's the biggest, um, payroll in the county in some places.

ROMOND: Some counties it is.

MILLER: And some people on the school boards don't have enough sense to read and write. Well, that's, that's an exaggeration, but some of them are very inept.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I won't mention them, but I can think of three or four counties on each side of the aisle that, that it goes to. Heck, I remember one, they actually kidnapped the brother of a United States senator, and 01:41:00held him for four or five hours. They didn't do any physical harm to him, because he was bringing money down for the, the campaign. It was a presidential year. And they didn't want some of it to go to people that were on the opposite faction of the school board.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And they physically held the brother of a United States senator prisoner.

ROMOND: That's pretty extreme.

MILLER: The senator wanted to have the whole bunch of them tried.

ROMOND: Oh my gosh.

MILLER: And the one that's ----------(??), I mean, imprisoned said, "Oh, no. Let it go. I wasn't hurt. And you know, we'll just remember these people," and so on. The issue was sort of forgotten. But I, I was sitting there, what? They did that? I hadn't even gotten to the Senate yet.

ROMOND: Yeah. So the power of the superintendent of schools within 01:42:00the county.

MILLER: Oh, yeah.

ROMOND: That was a big issue?

MILLER: Still is.

ROMOND: Still is.

MILLER: A lot of people won't admit it, but it's still there.

ROMOND: What about health--

MILLER: --it's not in your urban areas, really. I mean, you know, that's, that's, they're not the big employers.

ROMOND: Yeah, there're other jobs.

MILLER: Other jobs.


MILLER: We're trying to get teachers.

ROMOND: Um-hm. What about heath care? Uh, reform in, within the state of Kentucky and, and health care issues? What have been the health care issues? How have they changed? How has the reform in health care, um, helped since you started as a senator?


MILLER: Oh, I think most of that has come down through the federal system. The money's available. There're more doctors, there're more facilities up there now throughout the area. You go down to west Kentucky, there're all kinds of small but relatively good hospitals.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I guess you could say the same thing in the eastern part. I mean, I don't think they perform all the unique operations they might in, in urban areas, but they, they take care of the people generally.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Whether they get, they can pay, these people can get paid, you know, to go there.


MILLER: That's, and the legislature's not gonna have enough money to sort that out. I don't think Congress is. I don't know how they're gonna handle that, but that's, that's very critical. Some of these poor people, they don't know when they are sick enough to go to the hospital and get help.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I remember one little things that really got into it, and I, I, 01:44:00I think I got one of the nicest letters I ever gotten from the mayor of, of Hazard.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Two hospitals up in the mountains had been miner hospitals. And they, the United Mine Workers couldn't afford them anymore, and they're just gonna close them. And I said in a Legislative Research committee, I thought, you know, this is a crime. Senator Moloney said, "Well, do you want to raise your taxes?" And I said, "Well, no, but I don't think it would cost that much. Moloney thought it was gonna be an issue in the next governor's race that I was speaking for somebody else. It wasn't two weeks later Combs issued an order. He wanted to have a special session to explore taking over the miners hospitals. So, he invites the legislative leaders. I was on, I was vice-chairman--no, I was caucus chairman in the interim(??), to, um, come to the mansion 01:45:00for dinner. A summer night. Pretty night you want in the governor's mansion. Someone meets me at the door and said, "Senator," all of them were trustees, you know, from the. "How do you want your steak?" Okay I tell them. So, we finish eating and old Moloney, smart, shrewd Moloney. Said, "Well, Governor, what do you want? You bought me, now what do you want?" Jokingly. And Combs starts talking about the hospitals. He looks at me, uh, Combs looks at me and said, "Scott, what do you think? Suppose a doctor will think this is socialized medicine?" I said, "I wouldn't worry about the doctors. They are just as against this, there's something is wrong with them." Moloney then said, "You know, I think more of you, Scott." We became sort of friends 01:46:00after that. I became very good friend of his son's. The bill went, went through, and nobody raised any objection to it, it went right through. And I got the nicest letter from the mayor of, of Hazard. He said, "I really thank you for bringing that up." Well, I didn't, I didn't do anything really, but he thought so, so--

ROMOND: --he gave you some credit for it.

MILLER: He gave me credit for it, so I said, "Okay, I'll take that."

ROMOND: Yeah. Was tobacco and health care an issue during the time you were a senator?

MILLER: We weren't in conflict with each other. Tobacco was the, it was the thing everybody cried for. How is your, what kind of crops do we have to have, you know? What's going on? I remember, um, they had a senator from, um, Carrollton, Harris. Smart. Had a big tobacco farm. 01:47:00Owned a mile of riverfront.

ROMOND: Hm. That's huge.

MILLER: He, uh, he would vote me on agriculture problems. I, I don't know anything about it, you know. "Tom, is this good or bad?" And he was conscientious, but they sold him a bill of goods. I didn't realize he had been sold this until years later, after he was dead. The tobacco companies said they didn't think smoking was gonna injure health. And what they proposed, and Tom sold it, did a beautiful job of selling it, that U.K. was gonna have this program up there. That they, it was a joint agreement bill that they were gonna put a one, one-cent tax 01:48:00on a pack of cigarettes to be used to check out and investigate, once and for all, whether this was gonna be harmful to the health. Okay, passed, the tax levy. Who cares about a penny a pack on cigarettes, you know? Maybe they'll find out. Everybody goes home thinking well, did a pretty good job. The tobacco companies sold that to Tom.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: He thinks he's doing a good job. They have this program and they get some guys up there. Some doctors and they have machines that got ten or twelve cigarettes going at one time. They kept that thing going for ten or twelve years. Now, in the meantime, they stymie a lot of criticism of it. But then the overwhelming majority information comes down, smoking is not good for you.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I'm glad, glad I don't smoke cigarettes. So the thing died, but 01:49:00Tom had been hoodwinked.

ROMOND: Um-hm. By the tobacco companies?

MILLER: By the tobacco companies. We had one man here who retired a few years earlier, and he told them that it came out in the investigation. Am I keeping you from doing something?

ROMOND: No, not at all.

MILLER: That he said, "I know we're doing something that's not right, and we're hurting people." They said, "Oh no, no, no, just keep quiet." And he, he retired and left. He said, "I won't be a part of it." Addison Yeaman was his name. And I'm sure he's gone by now, but he, he's the only one that I know from, I forget which tobacco company he was from, but one of the ones that was here in Louisville. He told 01:50:00them, "This is wrong. What you're doing is wrong." But tobacco was not fighting education--(laughs)--in those days.

ROMOND: That took awhile to.

MILLER: Tobacco was the cash crop. Now, I understand it's marijuana.

ROMOND: But Tom genuinely thought he was--

MILLER: --Tom was sincere--

ROMOND: --trying to do something for the people--

MILLER: --he was sincere--

ROMOND: --he was representing.

MILLER: He, he was very dedicated. He went around and talked about irrigation system for farms, and things like that, and somebody said, "Why are you doing all of this?" He said, "Look, I don't need it. I have a mile of riverfront. I can pipe all the water up here to feed mine, but I know farmers that can't." I mean, he, he was a very dedicated person. And I liked Tom.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, to show you how funny he is, I went to Carrollton one time, 01:51:00and my son was up there, some scout thing at the, the state park. So, I took him up for it. He said, "Well, Dad, what are you gonna do?" "I'll go and see my friend Tom." So, I go down there and Tom takes me in and shows me his tobacco warehouse. Then he tells you, "Tell you what let's do, Scott, let's go get a six pack of beer and sit on my front porch and overlook the river and we can talk." That's Saturday. By Tuesday, somebody calls me from Frankfort and said, "What are you up to?" I said, "What are you talking about, what am I up to?" He said, "I understand you and Tom, Tom Harris, were cooking up something." I said, "Tom and I were having a beer on his front porch; that's the sum total of what we were doing." (laughs) And he said, "Oh, okay. We just thought you were up to something."

ROMOND: Cooking something up?

MILLER: Um-hm. (laughs) No, but, no. Tom didn't mean to hurt anybody, 01:52:00but he truthfully didn't believe it was harmful. But I think everybody knew it was.

ROMOND: Um-hm. What about mining issues?

MILLER: I don't know enough about mining. I think I've been in a mine once. I don't know anything about it.

ROMOND: Was strip mining an issue?

MILLER: Strip mining was coming on strong. Strip mining is, um, oh, it's bad. It just, you know, you tear up the forest, you wreck the streams. Uh, um, you're pouring all kinds of acid into the system. Uh, coal miners are pretty tough people to deal with. Coal people, operators. They are, we don't have that problem here. Eastern Kentucky is burdened with it. Western Kentucky, they have strip mining, but they don't, they don't have the hills that tumble into the mountains, into the streams.

ROMOND: Sure. When you were a legislator, was, um, was mining an issue, 01:53:00even if you didn't initiate bills about it yourself?

MILLER: Black lung was coming on.

ROMOND: Black lung was the issue then.

MILLER: Black lung came on. And, um--

ROMOND: --came to the General Assembly?

MILLER: That was during the Nunn administration it started coming up.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Um, just mushroomed ever since then, and of course, I've seen some of the effects of those people. ----------(??) some in the barge industry, guy claimed, um, that we were causing problems and we found out no, no, no, no. They, they were claiming it was from asbestosis, which is a very similar thing.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, um, we took a bunch of depositions, and I said to this one lady which said, "My husband died from that, you know." "Ma'am, I'm sorry. Did he smoke a lot?" "Yeah." "How long did he smoke?" "All 01:54:00of his life, from the time he was a little boy. I said, "I heard he smoked two packs a day." "Oh, no, that was wrong." "Well, how much did he smoke?" She said, "Three or four packs a day." And, um, x-rays had shown they were, the lungs were just eaten up, so you know, this happens in the mines.


MILLER: I don't know the answer to it. But it's bad. Kentucky has so many things like that, you know. We've got tobacco, and mines, and liquor, and gambling boats.

ROMOND: Yes. What about environmental issues? Were they starting to come up--

MILLER: --just starting to--

ROMOND: --during the time when you were there?

MILLER: Oh yeah, I was very much for a lot of them. I think some of the people going overboard, they just say, "Okay, I'm an environmentalist, and I want to do this that and the other." Um, one of the things I wanted, I got Senator Cooper to kind to go along with it. When the 01:55:00Water Pollution Control Act of '72 came up, he got a provision in there to create river studies centers regionally.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: EPA had authority to do that. They haven't done one of them yet.

ROMOND: Really?

MILLER: To be modeled like the land grant college, to study, you know, how they study agriculture problems, and to be an ongoing thing, so we are training people to study--

ROMOND: --to look at it, yeah--

MILLER: --these problems as they come up. Because, what's happening in Arizona does not like what is happening in Louisville, Kentucky, here. Um, the problems you've got in Lexington, you are gonna run out of water pretty soon. And, um, everybody is saying, "Oh no, there you come with one of the damn water bills again."

ROMOND: Where you introducing some of the earliest bills about water?


MILLER: Yeah, I'm afraid so. (laughs)

ROMOND: Have you changed your mind about, since leaving the legislature, have you changed your mind about any issues?

MILLER: Not really. I don't think so. Um, I get really annoyed at some of the people who--give you an environmental example: um, people wanted to tear down a dam on the Barren River as not being needed. Uh, navigation has ceased to be there because failures down river. And what they're not thinking about, they want a free flowing stream, that impoundment has all the water for Bowling Green.


ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: If you do that, there's, you're not gonna have the impoundment available for Bowling Green.

ROMOND: Right.

MILLER: If you tear them down, some on the Kentucky River, you're not gonna have impoundments for Lexington and Harrodsburg and Danville. Well, Danville is out of, out of, um, Harrington Lake, but some of the other cities up and down the Kentucky River. And I think some of the people who call themselves environmentalists don't think about the full effect of what they're gonna do; they want to break up--

ROMOND: --the big picture--

MILLER: --break up all the damns. But, um, nobody listens to you when you're used to be in the legislature.

ROMOND: You were supportive of the, um, a bill about enacting the Falls of Ohio Interstate Park.

MILLER: Yes, ma'am.

ROMOND: Which passed, and which has since become a park in Indiana--


MILLER: --it's right over there--

ROMOND: --but not here.

MILLER: Not over there. Well, it was, it, was supposed to be a joint project. And Kentucky fooled around with it so much, and really probably really belongs there. They had the space for it over there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And it's very nicely done now. Indiana took credit for it and did it. You know, I, I don't have any argument to pick with Indiana about that.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, but it was something that ought to be. It's not gonna change the world, but just something nice to have.

ROMOND: And it was something that initially was, uh, the idea was to have both states involved in the park.


ROMOND: Because there's fossils on this side, and, as well.

MILLER: And you shouldn't pick them, you shouldn't pick them up and chip on them and do things like that.

ROMOND: Right.


ROMOND: Um, the Falls of Ohio Park is one of the, it's one of the eleven 01:59:00outstanding places in Kentucky in a, in the book of parks.

MILLER: Did Dr. Clark said?


MILLER: Well, he's right. Uh, I had learned enough in geology at U.K. I've been out on the rocks a number of times, and, um, they're quite unusual.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: There's a line like this on the Mississippi at, at St. Louis.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Practically the same type of situation. Ours is more dramatic than theirs is, but it's just about, the rivers have the same type of situation there. It's the big fall on the Mississippi River.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm. Um, do you recall what the time that you were in the legislature was like for your family?

MILLER: Depends on what time it was. (laughs) My wife said we had a lot of fun doing things when we first went there. At, uh, as I, the longer I stayed there, there're some nights I got home very late, and she 02:00:00was very unhappy about that. And she said, "The kids don't see you," and so on and so forth. "You ought to spend more time with the kids." And, uh, that's one reason I think the kids finally said, "Dad, it's time, yeah, it's time; you've been up there enough." That had a little effect about me leaving, I guess. Um, it, it has an effect on you. We had some good times because, um, I went to the National Legislative Conference in Honolulu. And, uh, that was a lot of fun, and, um, I just took my vacation, and we spent two weeks over there. Now the state didn't pay for all of that. I paid for all but the time we were there. But I mean it was, it was fun, you know, stay, go to party at the Royal Hawaiian, and do all of those kinds, you know, it was fun.

ROMOND: So your family got to go?

MILLER: Well, my wife got to go.

ROMOND: Your wife got to go?

MILLER: And, um, I went to the state fair in Seattle when we had a 02:01:00leaders meeting out there. That was kind of fun. Uh, some of the things were interesting.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, yeah.

ROMOND: Were your children interested in your work at the Senate?

MILLER: Older son was. He liked that.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Oh yeah. Well, he was more interested in the legal thing as I did in some of the cases, because when he was at Duke he wrote papers on me, called me. "Dad, get me a copy of this; get me a copy of that," you know. I said, "Don't you do any work of your own? Or do you want me to do all your work for you?" You know. (Romond laughs)

ROMOND: So it was interesting for him?

MILLER: Yeah, I think he, I think he enjoyed it more than any of them.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

MILLER: Poor little Matt, he doesn't remember any of it, so.

ROMOND: Was he the youngest?

MILLER: He's the youngest one.

ROMOND: Um-hm. How old were you at the end of your tenure there?

MILLER: I was forty-six.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I was the dean at forty.


ROMOND: You're the dean at forty. And then you came back to the practice of law or you never had really left.

MILLER: I never really left it, but my dad said, "You know, son, it's time you're gonna decide whether play politics or are you really gonna be a lawyer." I was getting some questions from the guys in the office, and some of the clients. One of them said, um, "I'll bring you some business if you're gonna be there all the time." Well, okay. That had a profound effect on, yeah, I had kids in college then.

ROMOND: Yeah. So you saw it as a choice.

MILLER: Well, and yet to you'd been around there enough that some of the same issues were starting to come around. And it's like--

ROMOND: --getting recycled--

MILLER: --a dog chasing its tail. And you think, I've heard this thing before. Every governor that comes in is gonna reform something.


ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm.

MILLER: And one of the old newsmen used to say, "Scott, the only thing that changes is the name and the faces; everything else is the same."

ROMOND: (laughs) Over in the Senate. Yeah. Is there anything that you'd like to mention on the tape that I haven't asked you about? Old memories? Anything funny ever happen?

MILLER: Oh, a lot of funny things happened. (laughs) Like the governor was gonna have me picked up, and things like that, because he was mad. (Romond laughs) He later laughed about it we were--

ROMOND: --oh good.

MILLER: Well, this was years later. And he was a lawyer again, so he was laughing about it. And, um, Nunn used to laugh about a lot of things. Um, he was the funniest of all of them, I think. He always 02:04:00had a, as a matter of fact, I went to see him right before he died. I was in Lexington and the court had finished earlier than I thought, and I, so I thought, Oh, I wonder what Louie is doing? So, I called him, and he said, "Come on by and see me." So I went by and we chatted for a couple of hours, and told old stories, and had a, had an enjoyable time. It wasn't a month later he died.


MILLER: So, I'm glad I went by to see him. So, I said these guys are dying off on me.


MILLER: Um, the only thing I, let's see. I remember, I guess it was in Louie's first term, first session. We had a lot of killings going on; president had been shot; Martin Luther King had been shot; Malcolm X 02:05:00had been shot; uh, Wallace had been shot. Uh, they were burning down Washington. And lo and behold, here's a bill up in the House to create an Un-American Activities Committee. Frymire looked at me and he said, "Scott, we don't need this in Kentucky." I said, "We don't need this in Kentucky." Well, the bill went roaring through the House. People down there and they were worried about, they had a riot here in Louisville, too. Uh, what's gonna happen?

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, Governor, uh, Wetherby, who's in the Senate then, said, um, "I think," this is before Wallace was shot, "If he's running, he'll 02:06:00get elected, and he will carry Kentucky." That's kind of frightening, too. Uh, there're communist, you know, we hear. I said, "I don't know any communist." So, um, the bill goes through. Frymire, a bunch of us tried to delay it every way we could. The last night of the session we're trying to lose it, as it goes back and forth for enrollment between the committees, we couldn't lose it. So it gets passed.

ROMOND: What was the bill?

MILLER: To create a Kentucky Un-American Activities Committee, five members from the House, five members from the Senate. I didn't like this. I remember, I was just old enough to remember the House Un- American Activities Committee, and what they went through, and started even before World War II with the Dies Committee, looking for Nazis, 02:07:00and they investigated some poor old family here in Louisville. The FBI arrested them; they were pro-Nazi. They weren't. They were just Germans.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Anyway, then they switched to communism. So, it passed. The governor calls a bunch of us up there, and he said, "I want you to be chairman." I said, "I don't even want to be on the daggone committee. I don't want to be on it."


MILLER: "You've got to be on it." Now when a governor asked you to do something, you, you know, it's like a president, you're supposed to do it. He said, "I want you on it, and I want you on it Latta, and I want you on it Wetherby, and I want you on it," I think he had Charlie Upton on it. "I want some lawyers on here to keep it in hand."


MILLER: Yeah, we had the chief justice of the court of appeals swearing us in. My wife was fit to be tied. She was ready to kill me. So I 02:08:00said, "Oh my God." I knew there had been ---------(??) problem. "Let's go find out these communists. You know, Let's go subpoena them, you know." I said to, uh, Latta, his father, his grandfather had served in Congress many, many years ago. I said, "Cliff, I'm gonna Washington and ask the House Council of the Un-American Activities Committee what they do, what they don't do, what they shouldn't do and so on. They've been down that road and sued, and they've been all these things. I want you to go with me because I want an, an opposite number from another party to go with me." And he said, "Okay. I'll go." He'd just gotten a divorce. And there was a girl in Frankfort who'd gone to Washington, and he said, "Well, I can see her." I said, "Okay Cliff, let's go." So he flew out of Huntington and I flew out of Louisville, and we arrived 02:09:00in Washington. We went to the, into the House, one of the House offices buildings, and I don't remember which one. I was knocking on doors. And so this door opens and I put my head in, and there was some nice little lady, looked liked one of these professional people who'd been in Washington forever, sitting on the floor with her shoes off, going through a file. And she was very embarrassed. I said, "Ma'am don't do that, I'm looking for help." So, she got up and she said, "Well, Mr. So and So is the general counsel for the committee. And he's not here right now. But I'll see what I can do to help you."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And so we thanked her. And Latta says, "Ma'am, would you like to go to lunch?" She said, "Yes." So, it's, it was like opening a door. She said, "What do you boys want?" So we told her. She gets, tracks 02:10:00this guy down, and he sits there, and he says, "Don't subpoena anybody. Don't go after anybody personally. If you are gonna do anything, you investigate, because you want to pass legislation to create a, to, you know, do away with a problem. Don't go after people." That sounds like a good idea. So, he gave me a bunch of stuff they had, you know, uh, cases and stuff, a big bunch of stuff. I go back and read it. So, I tell the committee, "Oh, Scott, you know." I said, "Okay, fellows, tell you what we are gonna do. We gonna take the committee to Washington." "Okay." You know, this is like a day of sunshine for them. So we get up there and this guy meets them, and he lays it on the line. Don't do this, don't do that. Listen to your lawyers. So we held a committee, 02:11:00we held a meeting in Frankfort about what happened in Louisville with the riots. Do you know how many people showed up to be against it? One. That's it. Well, we, we had witnesses come. So we had it all transcribed. And then we heard there's a problem in the mountains in Pike County. Appalachian Volunteer, they had a bunch of kids up there and nobody gave them any direction as they go up. They were creating a dissension.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: They took sides in a political issue and did all these things. And they were against this fellow who was trying to put water lines in, because all the wells in his hollow were polluted. These kids were just kids who had been sent up there, no direction, nothing to do. One of them, we found out later had, had a love affair with Drew Pearson. Do you remember Drew Pearson? The writer?



MILLER: Okay. So, um, well, we had better have a hearing on this. And the people up in Pikeville said, "You know, there was something going on up here." He said, "Up there at Pikeville College there's a bunch of kids running around naked." We have a courthouse packed. I'm sitting up there and they start talking about it. I said, "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. This is really interesting. Really interesting. And I know you folks all want to hear about it. But there's nothing in what we are supposed to find out. This is not un-American."


MILLER: "And we're not gonna have any talk about it." They all got up and left. So, the thing kind of died down. We had some more meetings, and Latta said, "Can we go back to Washington?" I said, "What do we want to go back to Washington for?" You know, and, uh, so we didn't. And, uh, nothing more was said. And I said, "Now we've got to write a 02:13:00report for the next general session, assembly." What we put in it, what we had found, and we recommended that they do this, and recommended they do this, and some legislation. And, uh, if you want to keep this going, you must find it otherwise, we recommend it just disappear. Disappeared.

ROMOND: You didn't find any communists?

MILLER: Didn't find any communists. Found, found a few nuts, but no communists. So I thought, Oh God, you know. My dad said, "What are you doing? You're, you know, you're, you're nuts. You know, you're going around stirring up all this trouble." I said, "Dad, we're not doing anything I know. The damn governor got me into this thing." We got sued over it.

ROMOND: You did?

MILLER: Oh, yeah. We got sued by the Black Unity League of Kentucky, saying we were interfering with the constitution right. We never had a, we had never done anything. We had it here. It took us all the way 02:14:00to the Supreme Court. Black Unity League v Scott Miller Jr., Chairman.

ROMOND: How did it get that far? How did it--

MILLER: --you mean to the supreme court?

ROMOND: Or even the committee being formed in the first place? I mean, legally formed as part of the General Assembly business? How?

MILLER: It was a House bill.

ROMOND: I know, but what was--

MILLER: --it was a House resolution--

ROMOND: --going on with people? What was going on with people that it even got that far?

MILLER: Because there was so much unrest around here. People were concerned about--

ROMOND: --people were afraid?

MILLER: Afraid. More fear than anything. Hell, there's a lot of these people that are gonna burn the school down and do this. You know, what they did at the Capitol, you know, Washington.

ROMOND: Because of the collective fear--

MILLER: --fear, yeah--

ROMOND: --from the assassinations and--

MILLER: --yeah--

ROMOND: --riots and protests?

MILLER: So we were sitting there, and I said, "You know, there are a lot 02:15:00of crazy people in Kentucky, but they're not communist. Nobody wants to advocate to overthrow the government by force of violence." I mean they're, we didn't find a single communist. (laughs)

ROMOND: So that was one committee.

MILLER: I didn't want that job.

ROMOND: You did not want to be on.

MILLER: I didn't want to be on that committee at all. (Romond laughs) And I thought--

ROMOND: --was that an actual committee?


ROMOND: Like banking and judiciary?

MILLER: Yes, it was a special committee.

ROMOND: Un-American Activities.

MILLER: Yeah, it was specially created by the legislature, and then I thought, Oh, I don't want this. In the House, they was gonna put a Republican in there and Louie says, "I want you to control this thing." Did he say thank you? No. (laughs)

ROMOND: Was he bothered when it fizzled out? When the committee?

MILLER: No, he was, he was relieved. He said, "Well, you took care of that." That's all he ever said. The only thing exciting that happened 02:16:00when President Johnson was coming down to dedicate a damn up near Pikeville, Fishtrap reservoir. And these people were talking about getting rid of a president by any means possible, these Appalachian Volunteers. And one of the guys said, "Scott, I don't think there is anything to it, but don't you think we ought to at least notify the authorities about this? Notify the FBI." And I said, "I don't think they're gonna do anything, but yeah, probably." Kennedy had just been assassinated, and if we don't do it and something happens, you know what will happen? So I called Louie and I said, "Governor." I told him the story, and he said, "Yeah, why don't you call the FBI," and I said "No Governor, I think it means more if you call them. You're the governor. I think it's your call." So he called him and it wasn't three minutes later the FBI called me back, the Secret Service called 02:17:00me back. I said, "I don't think it means anything. Now, if I can be up there," this was Friday night. "Be up there," or Thursday night, when it was, it was gonna be done on a Saturday. "Uh, I'll be happy to do it. Tell me if you." "We'll take care of it." Do you know what they did? They had some FBI people go up there. They blocked the hollow off. So, these people couldn't get out the hollow to go to protest. They kept them in that hollow until the president was gone and then they just left.

ROMOND: Very practical.

MILLER: Very practical way of handling it.

ROMOND: Who could imagine. You've had some adventures.

MILLER: They were fun. Most of them were fun.

ROMOND: Yeah. And some of them are fun, or funny after the fact.


MILLER: One of the funniest one if you've got a minute. I know you, you've got to go home--

ROMOND: --that's all right, tell me--

MILLER: --and cook dinner. I guess you cook--

[Pause in recording.]

MILLER: It was after I was out of the legislature. I think I was out. I'm sure I was, yeah. And, um, Louie Nunn was out of office and living in Lexington. He was gonna go to Washington, and he said, he called me, says, "Scott, if I can help you be a federal judge, I'll be glad to. I don't know what power I have." I said, "Well, governor, you've got more than I have." [telephone rings] Yes ma'am.

UNKNOWN: Senator, I just wanted to tell you I'm leaving.

MILLER: Okay, would you do me a big favor?


MILLER: Would you fill up my bucket of water?


MILLER: Do you want some more water?

ROMOND: I'm fine.

MILLER: Thank you.

UNKNOWN: I'll come back to get it.

MILLER: Okay. Take that off for one.


[Pause in recording.]

MILLER: So I go up and spend the night with Louie and we get on the plane and go to Washington. So, he takes me in to meet the attorney general.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Mitchell. He has Cline Deans(??) with him. Do you remember those two names? He was assistant attorney general. He said, "Now, Scott, listen, you're gonna go in and meet him." And they were dressed up in morning clothes, because they were swearing in two new justices to the Supreme Court. We were gonna go and watch. So he said, "Now, I'm gonna have you come in, and I'm gonna say a word to Mitchell, and then I want you to come in. Now, I don't want you to act like a damn old country boy that doesn't know what you're doing. I want you to behave yourself when you come in here. You hear me?" (Romond laughs) I said, "Okay, Governor."

ROMOND: What was he afraid you were gonna do? (laughs)

MILLER: I don't know. He just, that's just the way he was, so. We go in and he calls me in and introduced me, this is attorney general, assistant attorney general. So we get out, and we go pay our respects 02:20:00to the senators. And, uh, he said, um, "Well, you did, you, you behaved pretty well." I said, "Thank you." It wasn't six months later the attorney general and assistant attorney general were both going to jail. So I called him. I said, "You told me to behave myself, and now what in the heck were you talking about. Those two guys are in jail. What you?" (both laugh) He, he said, "You know, I had a feeling you were gonna call and say something about this."

ROMOND: Oh my gosh. (laughs) So that is your down-the-road stories.

MILLER: Yes, ma'am. That's my down-the-road story.

ROMOND: It's a good one. Well, thank you.


MILLER: Well, thank you. I enjoyed it. Got to visit some of the things we did before. Over the years.

ROMOND: Some interesting times.

MILLER: Well, you know, some of it goes back forty years, now.

[End of interview.]