Interview with Scott Miller, Jr., March 6, 2006

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

ROMOND: This is a follow-up interview with Mr. Scott Miller Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky, in his office, on March sixth, at 10:30 in the morning. Mr. Miller, how would you categorize your family's social economic status during the Depression?

MILLER: Hm. Well, that's kinda, uh, spread out question, and I tell you why. My dad had a job with a Louisville Title Company.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And my mother hadn't, did not have a job, but she'd gone to Gulf Park College and the UofL, and she did a lot of social work. And the family was big, and you have to do for people who are less needy, and need more.

00:01:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Dad lost his job. The title company went broke.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: He, just the time he start, uh, got out of law school. And so, he didn't have anything else to do but practice law. So, he later said, "I had a lot of business, but nobody had any money." Now--

ROMOND: --yes--

MILLER: --we had been, we had moved into the house that my grandfather owned when my grandmother died.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And I was eighteen months old when she died, so I don't remember her. So, Grandfather, there was a grandfather figure there. Dad, my dad had been orph-, was an orphan. His mother and father had died early, and he'd been raised by a great-, by an aunt who was for(??) all intents and purposes, my grandmother.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I mean, my Aunt E was the greatest thing in the world to me. Well, we lived fairly comfortably. We didn't have any money, but we 00:02:00had a house. And I had cousins living next door to me.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I had cousins all over the place.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I think I had ten or twelve cousins within a two block radius.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, we didn't have any money, but I didn't realize we were poor, because, uh, we had never lost a meal. And, uh, I did, do know that all my new clothes were the clothes my cousin next door outgrew.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And so, um, we went through that. And then, later on, Dad would built a, a cabin out on the river. So that we could have a place to go on the weekends, and we did, and we'd go out there and spend the weekends on this camp. And I got my flatboat, and we had, I had a lot of fun growing up. And everybody, nobody had any real money in those 00:03:00days. I went to school and I was, I've been blessed because I went to school and I didn't know we didn't have any money. Most people didn't--

ROMOND: --well, a lot of people--

MILLER: --have any money--

ROMOND: --that's right at that time.

MILLER: And, um, I remember we, we were very frugal about things. We had one telephone in the house and we thought we were really pretty well off because we did not have a party line.

ROMOND: Wow.

MILLER: It was in the center of the house. And, uh, we were expected to go to school, go to church--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --and behave ourselves. And, uh, no movies on Sunday; that was grandfather's order.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And as things got better, I guess, um, we started doing things. Uh, like once we took a trip to Florida to visit some relatives in Florida.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But by the time I went in the Navy and graduated from high school, I think I'd counted I'd been in ten states, including gonna 00:04:00Chicago once. Uh, so, it was, you really didn't have that much exposure to the real outside world.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But we had a great thing going. We, we had good school system here then. We had good teachers. They were very strict. They were, uh, they, they, they didn't tolerate disobedience.

ROMOND: Right.

MILLER: And I was a little bit rebellious.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, so, um, I didn't like junior high school. I thought it was horrible. And when I get to high school, I'd said absolutely loved it, you know, there were--

ROMOND: --really! What did you love about it?

MILLER: Well, we went to boy schools.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: The public schools here were boys and girls.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, well, they had football teams, they had basketball teams, they had tract teams. Uh, the teachers would really look at 00:05:00you and say, "I don't want you to mess around with this. I want an answer." And you knew you had to study. And you rode a streetcar or a bus, and you got to school. The nice thing about it was you got to meet people from all over the city of Louisville.

ROMOND: So, you, you learned to get along with a lot of people.

MILLER: And so, then high school was fun, of course, during the war, and we'd, most of it we'd built model airplanes and did things like that, and.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: We were waiting for the Germans to come, they never came. And then, then when we graduated from high school everybody immediately went in the service.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: We were forced to do that, so. Growing up in the Depression was, um, I knew things were bad.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Because my dad used to say, he would, we had one car. He'd ride the streetcar down and people, he could see people sleeping in store 00:06:00windows and things like that.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And mother was always taking something to, down to the poor people from the church, and do things like that, so, that was part of the regiment that we went through.

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm. Do you know what your family thought about President Roosevelt and his New Deal programs?

MILLER: Well, my family were Republicans.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, I think at the time, they didn't like Roosevelt. I thought that they thought a lot of his programs were wasted money.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: That it wasn't efficient. And there were so many of them. Looking back on it, I think some of them were really good programs. Uh, Social Security is a good program. Uh, my goodness! I'm getting it. (laughs) And I'm still working.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: But if you go in a bank in the country, it's the greatest source 00:07:00of income out, out in the rural areas than there is.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: It's something I think must be sustained. I have a little theory on it. It is the greatest thing Roosevelt did, was the Social Security program. Politically, George Bush realized that we're gonna run out of money. Bill Clinton, President Clinton said that. Everybody knows we're gonna run out of money. There're not gonna be that many people working. The opposition now believes--and this is never been said, but it's inherent in it, that they don't want him to do this, because if he got this program going, his party would ride this horse for generations, just like the other party did. And I think that's one reason we haven't gotten the program going, extending the program, we have to do this.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: This, whether this President does it, or not, then next 00:08:00President is gonna be faced with it. The people are gonna be faced with it. The longer we put it off, the more it's gonna to cost.

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm.

MILLER: So, I, I think the WPA, uh, there was a lot of wasted time, but in those days, people did it with picks and shovels and. Uh, there were people would, they were common laborers. I, I saw them building, uh, US 42, and the schools, Barret Junior High School where I went to school was built with WPA. It's still there. Very structurally sound.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Um, we got a lot of things for our money back in those days. It was done with cheap money. Courthouses, hospital, bridges, everything. So I, those were two good things. Uh, Roosevelt also had some flaws but I think those are two good programs.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um, what, how do you feel about the quality of your 00:09:00education that you got along the way, looking back at it, and, um, where are the, any fellow classmates that you know about, from grade school, or high school, or?

MILLER: Well--

ROMOND: --law school--

MILLER: --I have lunch with, uh, once a month with some of the fellows from my high school class. Uh, we still get together. Um, of course we're very proud of our high school. It's ranked, I think, second or third in the whole country for public schools.

ROMOND: What was your high school?

MILLER: Manual High School.

ROMOND: Manual.

MILLER: Uh, it used to be two high schools and then there's a boy's Catholic high school--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --was Mayo, Manual, and St. X back in those days(??). And, uh, then there was the girl's high schools.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, Mayo High at one time was supposed to be strictly college prep and they had an ROTC program. Manual was college prep, pre-engineering, and then they had an industrial thing. It was not 00:10:00really, not as many boys from Manual went to college as were Mayo. Uh, there was tremendous rivalry between the two schools; they were only four blocks apart.

ROMOND: Really!

MILLER: And we used to ride the streetcar or the bus with them. And we knew each other, other than, other than(??) kid next door may go to one school, we go to another school, and so on.

ROMOND: How did you choose your school? Did you choose, or which school you would go to, or was it--

MILLER: --well--

ROMOND: --open citywide, did you ever want to go--

MILLER: --it was open citywide. Uh, my father went to the other school, Mayo.

ROMOND: The other school. (laughs)

MILLER: The other school, as I call it(??). (laughs) Well, in Louisville is a, it's kinda unusual. People don't ask you where you went to college.

ROMOND: Oh.

MILLER: Which, where did you go to high school, huh? (laughs) Um, my dad said, um, "You probably want to be an engineer." I don't know why I thought that. My cousin wanted to be an engineer, he lived next door, he's older than I am. And I had some uncles that were engineers. So, 00:11:00okay, I'm gonna be an engineer! Well, algebra was not the greatest thing in the world for me.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And so, um, I went there. Manual had, uh, I took four years of mechanical drawing. They had an extra semester of chemistry there. We took physics, electricity, all these other things, and, um, yes, you had to take English, and all the math up through Trig. And I said, um, so my, one of my favorite teachers, Mr. Bischoff, who was one of the greatest guys in the world, he said to me, "Miller, come here. You stay after school today." " Well, what did I do?" "Today you didn't do anything," he said, "but, I want to tell you something: you're never gonna be an engineer." He said, "Go to law school, you will be a lawyer. 00:12:00And I want you to take surveying. Mike, I'll teach surveying, I want to take it, it'll be a good course for you. Come in handy." It did!

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: One of the best courses I've ever had. So, I left, went in the Navy. When I was in the Navy, I thought, Yeah, I'll go to law school, my dad was a lawyer. He told me the law was a dog's life, and--

ROMOND: --he didn't want you to be a lawyer.

MILLER: He really didn't really push me, Mother said "No," you don't know how tough it was, people couldn't pay you, people, some of them just didn't want to pay you. People tried not to pay you, you know, all those things like that. I got my flatboat, for example, from a man Dad did some work for, who worked for the Corps of Engineers and couldn't pay him.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So he said, "If you'll give me the lumber, I'll build a flatboat for your son." So, that's how I got a flatboat. You know, there were a lot of that.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And even when I started practicing law I had a branch office 00:13:00out in the country. I, I got a couple of hams, and, um, a side of beef once, and a load of bricks. (laughs)

ROMOND: That's real payment.

MILLER: Yeah. (laughs) No taxes. (both laugh) Well, they didn't show up--

ROMOND: --on the up side.

MILLER: Well, you know, people just bring them in and say, um, "Here, I thought you might like this." You know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: "You were good to me." Uh, they bring you a ham. I thought, Well, that's fine.

ROMOND: Um-hm. What influence would you said your father had on your world view, on your politics, and personally?

MILLER: Well, we always talked about world issues. Of course the war was going on.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And Dad was a great believer in history.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, my dad was only twenty-three years older than I was. 00:14:00So he was a very young father.

ROMOND: He was young, yeah.

MILLER: And, um, Grandfather was a great believer in geography, and we got the National Geographic, so every time--

ROMOND: --did you--

MILLER: --he, he would get it; I would get it when he was through with it. Grandfather got it first.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And I kept the maps. I still have some of them that I kept when I was a kid.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: And so, um, that, I have formed a real fondness for geography and history at that early age, so.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And so on.

ROMOND: Did your grandfather get to go very many places with his interest in geography?

MILLER: No, Granddad didn't go many places. Uh, Grandfather, they made pipe organs.

ROMOND: Oh.

MILLER: And the work, the Depression came along, and nobody was buying pipe organs.

ROMOND: Sure, they wanted supper for their table.

MILLER: That's right, so the factory was doing some other things. I don't know what. It's really, uh, I think fell on the hard times and 00:15:00was later sold. But, uh, Granddad did take one trip; he went to Rio on a freighter back in the late thirties. And then right before the war, he took a trip to France, went to Paris, and, and England. Now, he was of English stock; they were from Dover.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And he went around to see every church you can see in England, I believe. We'd heard great details about each church, and the choir loft, and this, that, and the other, and the organ, and what they did, and so on, and so forth. So.

ROMOND: Um, did your family get the newspaper when you were growing up?

MILLER: Oh yeah!

ROMOND: Did you have a radio?

MILLER: We had a radio.

ROMOND: Did you listen to Roosevelt's fireside--

MILLER: --absolutely--

ROMOND: --chats?

MILLER: I can still hear some of the voices. I heard that, and I heard 00:16:00Church-, Churchill. Uh, oh! We had a radio on the living room, and then I had one of those set up over the garage.

ROMOND: Ah.

MILLER: And we later got small radios for the rest of the house, so, so I could listen to baseball games and ----------(??)--

ROMOND: --was the radio a family entertainment?

MILLER: Oh yes.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Did you listen to--or yeah, listen to shows like Gangbusters and Green Hornet, do you remember any of the other shows?

MILLER: Jack Armstrong, Little Orphan Annie, Jack, uh--

ROMOND: --Amos and Andy.

MILLER: Dick Tracy.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Oh yes.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Clara Barton.

ROMOND: Really?

MILLER: You know who Clara Barton is?

ROMOND: Nurse.

MILLER: Yes.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: She's our counterpart to Florence Nightingale, I guess--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --yeah. And oh yeah, I remember all those.

ROMOND: Did your family eat together--

MILLER: --oh yes--

ROMOND: --when you were growing up, that was a--

MILLER: --breakfast and dinner--

ROMOND: --kinda sacred time.

MILLER: Breakfast and dinner. Breakfast was kind of hurried usually 00:17:00cause we had to go to school.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: We always had dinner together, all five of us, Grandfather.

ROMOND: What did you talk about?

MILLER: Well, Grandfather first had to said the blessing.

ROMOND: Okay.

MILLER: Then whatever Grandfather wanted to said was said first. And then, um--

ROMOND: --he sat at the head of the table?

MILLER: Yes, he did.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, u, a, as things got a little better during the Depression, um, Grandfather had, was a widower and he, he had some property, uh, where some of his other children live, so, he would give mother enough money so that we had a maid five days a week.

ROMOND: Wow.

MILLER: We weren't rich, but we had a maid. You got, you got to remember, a maid was five dollars a day and car fare. And she would get dinner, too.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And take her, if she wanted to take it home, she would take it home--

ROMOND: --right--

MILLER: --but she got, you know, so she would show up and be there. 00:18:00And so.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I don't know that she too(??) much of a maid, but she, she, most of them could cook anyway. And they would boss you around, too.

ROMOND: (laughs) How aware were you of what was happening in the world in the thirties during the Depression and then early forties?

MILLER: I don't think, really, I understood too much about the early thirties, because I was too young. But, uh, as the thing grew on, I knew people weren't making a lot of money. And most people didn't have but one car.

ROMOND: Right.

MILLER: And, uh, a lot of people didn't have, a lot of people had, uh, party lines. And, um, people didn't have the number of clothes they have now. They certainly didn't have that.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: People rode buses a lot.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Um, I was acutely aware of the fact that many times grandparents lived with the children, their--

00:19:00

ROMOND: --right.

MILLER: There would be a grandparent in the home.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Of course people didn't live as long in those days either. Um, and, uh, my, the world I, I wasn't, I didn't know what was going on in Frankfort.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I didn't know what Congress was really doing until I guess the war came along.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Then I remember Lend-Lease. Uh, swapping destroyers for bases, the buildup to the war.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Where were you and do you remember what you were doing when you heard about Pearl Harbor? What was your reaction, your family's reaction?

MILLER: We were eating Sunday dinner.

ROMOND: Really.

MILLER: Grandfather was there. We had baked chicken every Sunday. It was cheap, you know, a big chicken -----------(??) Grandfather carved it and that was it. And the phone rang. And Grandfather was very annoyed that the phone rang. So I ran and answered it. And, and it 00:20:00was my, one of my, my best friend. And he's still one of my better friends. And he said, I answered the phone I said, "Hello." He said, "The Japs just bombed Pearl Harbor!" I said, "You're kidding!" "No, I'm not! Turn on the radio!" I said, "Okay." So I went running back to the dining room, they said "Where are you going?" I said, "The Japs just bombed Pearl Harbor," and I turned the radio on, and there it was, and they, everybody was shocked.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So we, we listened all day long. I went to sleep at night listening to the radio and fell asleep. And, uh, the next day we were in school, and they had a, an assembly, and we heard the President ask for a declaration of war. And Mrs. McMilty(??), that sweet dear Mrs. McMilty(??) who was my home room teacher, uh, had us up, and she had a 00:21:00radio set up.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: You know(??), unheard of in those days for a radio in school.

ROMOND: Right.

MILLER: And we listened to the roll call, Congress voting for war, we could hear so-and-so from Kentucky vote, "Aye," and so on and so on. And, uh, so, that was that day and I--

ROMOND: --what year were you in, in school?

MILLER: I was in the ninth grade, I guess, then.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Of course, we all want to go to war, you know.

ROMOND: Immediately.

MILLER: Yeah, you know, I was fourteen years old. (laughs)

ROMOND: Did anyone in your extended family, uh, enlist--

MILLER: --well, I was the old--

ROMOND: --or your--

MILLER: --I was the oldest child. Um, next door, my cousin was a bomber pilot in the Eighth Air Force. He had two sisters who were both married to naval officers. One was on an aircraft carrier; one was on, in a submarine far out in the Atlantic. Uh, and a couple of other cousins other places were in. I had an uncle who was a flying 00:22:00instructor down in Florida.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So, we were very much up on what was going on in the war.

ROMOND: Was enlisting ever an issue for your father?

MILLER: Well, Dad was really right at the age where they weren't gonna take him, I don't think.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: He was too young for the First World War, too old for the second--

ROMOND: --yeah, he was right in between there.

MILLER: So, um.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: But he figured that the war went on long enough, I'd be in it, so.

ROMOND: And you were.

MILLER: And I was.

ROMOND: Yeah. Um, did you follow the progress of the war on the radio, or in newspapers, both?

MILLER: Both. I had maps on the wall and I'd--

ROMOND: --did you--

MILLER: --draw(??) and put pins in it. I, I can tell you, do you know where Sidi Barrani is?

ROMOND: No.

MILLER: It's an old town in Egypt. I remember the battle at Sidi Barrani and Tobruk, I followed all that.

ROMOND: You followed the progress of--

MILLER: --Followed it all--

ROMOND: --the Allies. Did you listen to Walter Winchell?

00:23:00

MILLER: Yes, but there were others that I thought were better. Uh, Colton ---------(??).

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Beau Carter, who were some of the others? Edward R. Murrow, of course, "This is London," you know.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: Very dramatic.

ROMOND: Was anyone in your neighborhood, or in your frame of reference, personal frame of reference, killed or wounded in the war?

MILLER: Couple people that I went to school with, were a couple of years ahead of me, like I, they were seniors in high school when I was a sophomore.

ROMOND: Right.

MILLER: Uh, yes, um, a number of people on the street were in the service. I don't think anybody on our street was killed. Uh, I knew of peo-, several people who, uh, was dating a girl whose brother was killed.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And it just ripped the families apart but--

00:24:00

ROMOND: --yeah--

MILLER: --they, they went on. I mean, there was no question. We have to end this war, we're--

ROMOND: --yeah--

MILLER: --we're gonna, we're gonna through with it(??).

ROMOND: Yeah. Did you know all through high school that you would be enlisting when you graduated, if this war was still on?

MILLER: Well, I didn't even graduate before I enlisted.

ROMOND: Oh.

MILLER: I, um, I was, my birthday is March the fifteenth. I was graduating in June, but it was in my senior year, and if you finished your first grading period, and your grades were acceptable, which mine were acceptable then, uh, they said "Okay, if you're go, join the service, you will graduate." So, I did.

ROMOND: Okay, so you could leave then.

MILLER: So I left, and my dad went and got my diploma, and he said, "I had to listen to the most boring speech. It was a hot night, just to get and your diploma." (laughs)

ROMOND: So, when did you finish school?

MILLER: Nineteen forty-five, my--

ROMOND: --I mean, when did you actually leave school? Was, was it in 00:25:00March--

MILLER: --March--

ROMOND: --when you--

MILLER: --[nineteen] forty-five.

ROMOND: So, on your birthday you could leave, if you had done the, met the criteria.

MILLER: Yes

ROMOND: Um-hm. And your family supported you.

MILLER: Well, they knew it's either that or be drafted in the Army. (laughs) And so and they knew I prefer--

ROMOND: --so one way or the other--

MILLER: --I, they prefer, knew I preferred the Navy, so they, they backed me on that. There was no question about that.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Did rationing during the war cause any hardships for your family?

MILLER: No, we had, um, my grandfather had to have more sugar than most people, so Mom and Dad quit using sugar in their coffee. And, um, Grandfather, we were outgrowing our shoes and Grandfather wasn't wearing his shoes out, so we would use his stamp for shoes for the kids and, uh, that way.

ROMOND: They made it work.

MILLER: They made it work.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Do you remember any scrap drives, like scrap metal, or--

00:26:00

MILLER: --oh yeah, yeah--

ROMOND: --rubber drives?

MILLER: I remember the rubber drive; I remember the scrap metal drives, oh yes.

ROMOND: What about gas rationing?

MILLER: Well, that was a critical point for high school kids, you know.

ROMOND: Driving places.

MILLER: My aunt, um, I shouldn't tell this on myself. My aunt was in next door. Now, her son was flying over Germany, her two son-in-laws were both at sea.

ROMOND: Oh my.

MILLER: And she had a nervous breakdown. So she's in the hospital. My uncle was running a factory making what parts for the war, so he was busy. And it, there was a car sitting there. And he said "Well, I can't give you gas, but you can get gas." So, um, we would work around. So I would work it, work in the afternoons at the gas station.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And if people come, they'd say, "give me fifteen gallons of gas," they were passing through, and the car would only hold thirteen 00:27:00gallons. I'd still have to take tickets, stamps for fifteen gallons. So I'd take them, put them in a little thing, now I backed my little car out, and I put two gallons in my car and paid for it. (Romond laughs) Then I'd have two gallons. So, that way we, um, and of course, then one of my friends had a, his father was an undertaker. And, um, a couple of times we siphoned some gas out of their hearse. (laughs) So, so we could go to the football game in Lexington or something like that. (laughs)

ROMOND: Going places being a priority at that age?

MILLER: It was. (laughs) Well, there was a lot of double dating and things like that. And you would pick up a date for somebody else. You know, you were closer to her house, so you picked her up for him or something.

ROMOND: Um-hm. You have mentioned your mother being a person who helped out other people all the time.

MILLER: Mother was one of those always needed to be needed.

00:28:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: You know. My daughter is a ----------(??). Stephanie, um, was very close to Mom, always, and Mom, being the first grandchild, my mother said, "Now, you know, everybody has to be equal, but there's something about your first grandchild." (both laugh) She told me that right before she died, so.

ROMOND: Oh.

MILLER: So, Stephanie was her pet. And she was, she was really very close to Mom, so, so.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Did your mom ever work outside of your home or go to college?

MILLER: Um, Mom went to college.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: She didn't work outside of the house until after we were grown, and then she started her own real estate business.

ROMOND: Really. What did she study in college?

MILLER: What did people study in the twenties in college, I don't know. 00:29:00(laughs) Girls, you know, they didn't, they just went to college, I don't think they really studied, according to Mother.

ROMOND: And then she eventually started her own company.

MILLER: Um-hm. At one time she had, uh, I think, twenty-some-odd women working for her. I said--

ROMOND: --wow--

MILLER: --"Mom, how do you control twenty women?" She said, "I just tell them what I expect." "Okay, Mom!" (laughs)

ROMOND: Kinda like being a mom. (both laugh)

MILLER: Okay.

ROMOND: What ship did you serve on in the war?

MILLER: It was small aircraft carrier called the USS Badoeng. B-a-d-o- e-n-g Straight. It was a, it was named after a very minor battle then on, what was then the Dutch East Indies.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And they named ships after famous, some of the bigger ones 00:30:00were named after famous battles in early American history, like the Lexington.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, the Concord and things like that. And then they started naming them after famous people, like, well, there's an Eisenhower, a Truman.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, Ronald Reagan, aircraft carriers now.

ROMOND: What was your work in the Navy?

MILLER: I was a "swab jockey."

ROMOND: I don't know what that is--

MILLER: --I was a sailor! I was just a sailor!

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And what's an eighteen-year-old kid do? I mean, they gave us a lot of tests, they said--by that time they had so many sailors. We were gearing up for a big naval war against Japan. They said, "Well, what do you want to be?" I said "I want to be a quartermaster," the, they work with the navigator. They said, "We got so many of those we don't know what to do." Some of them finished college, they weren't even commissioned, so. I ended up being in the weather gang, doing the weather.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Cause we were on an aircraft carrier, we needed to(??) know how 00:31:00much winds we were gonna have--

ROMOND: --sure--

MILLER: --and so on and so forth. All I did was put maps out and send balloons up and things like that. (laughs)

ROMOND: Wow. When were you discharged?

MILLER: July 27, 1946. I didn't stay in the Navy that long. The war ended and they said they didn't need me anymore, I got out!

ROMOND: Um-hm. What was your rank when you were discharged?

MILLER: Seaman First Class.

ROMOND: Um-hm. And what did you plan to do then when you got out?

MILLER: Well, I came home and Mom and Dad said, Dad said, "What are you gonna do?" And I said "Well, I'm gonna law school." He said, "Do you really think you can go to law school?" And I said, "Yeah, that's what I want to do!" He said, "It's a dog's life!" Mom said, "It's tough! You know?" And I said "Well, I'm gonna to try it." So, they said, "Well, where you going?" And I said, "I don't know." So, I went up to UK and they said, of course everybody is coming to UK--

ROMOND: --sure--

MILLER: --all of the sudden. But by today's standard, it wouldn't be 00:32:00that much. They were, I think eight thousand of us then. Five guys to every girl, you know, that was tough.

ROMOND: What a deal.

MILLER: "If you can't find a place to live, you can come here," they said. So I found a place out on Hanover Street. Some little old lady who taught piano, her, her, she was an old maid, her brother was a bachelor. He taught at the university. And my roommate and I, he'd come out of the Navy, too. We had a room up in their house and we roomed there for two years.

ROMOND: Um-hm. And what about the G.I. Bill?

MILLER: The G.I. Bill was one of the greatest things passed. And the government did a good job because they've gotten far more money back from taxes that these people have earned--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --than they ever will(??), and plus they trained an awful of people. Excuse me. I don't have a cold, as I tell you. Um, I have 00:33:00allergies. I don't know what I'm, um.

ROMOND: Did that pay for law school for you, the G.I. Bill?

MILLER: I was the only guy at UK that was not on the G.I. Bill.

ROMOND: Really

MILLER: I said to my dad, "Dad, I don't have enough to pay all the way through. And law school costs more. And my brother will be gonna college then. And I'll, I'll pay for that if you'll pay for UK." He said, "Okay." Uh, so.

ROMOND: So, that's how you worked it out.

MILLER: That's how we worked it out.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: So, I can tell, I worked my way through school. (laughs)

ROMOND: Yep. Did you ever join the reserves after the war?

MILLER: Uh, very briefly. And I, then I got decided, I don't want to be a part of this. They said, "Well, you can go on and do this." And I said, "No." They said, "Well, if, once you go through school, you, you 00:34:00can get a commission. Would you like that?" I said, "Well, if I can be a commissioned officer, yeah, that wouldn't be bad, but right now I got to concentrate on getting through school."

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: So I, I didn't. And some of the guys I knew went back into the service when the Korea came along.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: Yes. I didn't. By then I was married.

ROMOND: Did you ever think you'd be called to active duty for Korea, for the Korean War? MILLER: No, I was, I was married. And, um, I guess Stephanie was born in '51, so I was--

ROMOND: --you had a family--

MILLER: --pretty well insulated by then.

ROMOND: Yeah, yeah.

MILLER: And Johnny was born the next year, so we had Irish twins, as we call them.

ROMOND: Yes, yes. (Miller laughs) What did you and your family think of Senator Joseph McCarthy's red scare hearings, in the fifties?

MILLER: I think Senator McCarthy was a disgrace to the country. And 00:35:00I used to, people would say, "Well, what do you think of that? He was a Republican." I said, "You have to ask the people of Wisconsin, they elected him, I didn't."

ROMOND: Right.

MILLER: Uh, I, I'm not happy with him, I haven't been happy with a lot of senators. But somebody said, I wasn't happy with Senator McGovern. I thought he was just sort of out in left field some place, but people of South Dakota sent him up there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So.

ROMOND: Did you see any parallels to the McCarthy hearings in the early fifties, um, to being asked by Governor Nunn to chair the committee on un-American activities--

MILLER: --no, no--

ROMOND: --in the late sixties.

MILLER: Now, the, the thing they came up at in the sixties was--and I'm, you know, I'm writing a paper on this, because I was talking to my brother when I was out visiting him recently on my way home from my vacation. And I said--he's living in Washing, the state of Washington 00:36:00now. I said, "If,"--Bill's very, well, he is almost a socialist. He's, I mean(??), way out. He said, "Why did you get into that?" I said, "Well, you got to understand the time." There was a lot of unrest then. There was a lot of turmoil going on. Washington was having riots; they were having riots in Washington.

ROMOND: In the sixties.

MILLER: In the sixties, and I said, um, "We're having marches here. We had a, we had a riot here in Louisville." Um, the, um, busing was gonna to be happening. Now, Kentucky never had a problem when Brown v. the Board of Education came along. Governor Chandler says that's the Supreme Court says that's the law of the land, that's the way it is, and when there was a little trouble down in West Kentucky, he sent these National Guard down there and that was it!

ROMOND: Right.

MILLER: I mean, he didn't tolerate it. But there was a lot of unrest, and I know Governor Wetherby told me, he, when we were on the 00:37:00committee, he says, "You know, things are really bad out." And, of course, he still had his connections out in Kentucky. And he said, uh, "I think George Wallace will carry Kentucky in the '68 election." I said, "You can't be serious, Governor!" He said, "Yeah." He says, "Things are, there's a lot of turmoil." So, all of the sudden here is this bill, it was, actually it was a resolution to create an un- American activities committee. And I remember it went buzzing through the House and people said, "Look, you can't vote against this. You're voting against the flag, motherhood, and, you know, Stars Spangled Banner," you know, everything. So, got to the Senate, and then all Senator Frymire down in west Kentucky, fine guy--

ROMOND: --hm--

MILLER: --who was also had, later was our adjutant general. Kentucky has an adjutant general and a very dear friend of mine. We were on 00:38:00opposite parties, but we were good friends. He said, "Scott, how in the heck can we stop this thing?" I said, "I don't know." Well, we tried to delay it several times in passing it back and forth between the House for enrollment, and this, that, and the other.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Passed the last night of the session. We tried to delay it and it got the, the, the people for it were really bird-dogging it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So then, Nunn says, "Now, look, fellows, I don't like this. I have to deal with this legislature to get money for the schools. I can't alienate everybody and get bills passed I need." So it became law. Okay, so, he then had to put five members of the House and five from the Senate on there. So he called up me, said, "I want you on that." I said, "I don't want to be on this thing, Governor, I think it's silly!" He said, um, "I want you on it." So I said, you know, 00:39:00it's like I had to explain this to some of my family. If the President calls you and tells you he wants something done, you, more or less, have to do it. If the Governor calls you and tells you he wants you to do something, you don't have to do it, but if he says he wants you to do it and he'll help you down the road if you want something, and I wanted something down the road--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --I didn't get it but I'm afraid you had to, if he supported me, he said, "I want you on it." And he sup, appointed Cliff Latta--if you haven't talked to Cliff, you ought to talk to him, May-. Prestonsburg. He's a fine guy, and he's only served one term. But he was a great guy and he's a lawyer up there. I think he is retired now. Charlie Upton who was from Williamsburg, who was a good lawyer. He's dead. Wetherby and me, we're the four lawyers on there, and he said, "Now 00:40:00fellows," that's before open record law. He got the four of us down here, he said, "Those guys in the House'll go nuts! I'm looking forward to you all controlling this thing. Do we understand each other?" "Yes, sir, Governor, we'll do it." My wife was livid. "I don't want you on that thing. No(??) communist here." It ------------(??)---------- communist were every place, you know. Some of the people would say, "You know, better get those communists. Start of subpoena them, get them!" I said, "Wait a minute, fellows. I remember, I remember the, the Dias Committee, the un-American activities committee," and then all the heck that went through, I even remember back when Germany was, we didn't like Germany but we weren't in war. There was a family named Bodenshot(??) here, a German family.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Um, I don't know their background. FBI arrested them one 00:41:00night, one Saturday night. They were out(??) in federal court. Judge ----------(??) who used to be in his office and had just retired, he was a junior partner in that firm then, they represent them. He never understood what it was all about. They finally, they never really convicted him of anything, but it, there was an awful lot of uneasiness about them.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: So then we had this riot here and this and that and the other and people saying, "Hey, you know, they're, the communists are every place." Well.

ROMOND: People were seeing communists--

MILLER: --oh yeah--

ROMOND: --everywhere.

MILLER: Yeah. I'd go to the boat club out here, and they'd say, "I hope you get those damn communists." And I say--

ROMOND: --this is in the sixties.

MILLER: Yeah! I said, "Well, where are they?" "Oh they're everywhere!" You know, it's like what's that child's thing, they're here, they're there, they're everywhere, you know. Oh, okay. So I said, um, to Latta. I said "Cliff," he was getting, get, going through a divorce then. He said, I said, "Look, this is silly. Let's go to Washington 00:42:00and talk to the council for the un-American activities committee and see what experience they've had, what they've learned, what they shouldn't do, what they do, how to do it, and so on and so forth." He said, "Okay, let's go!" I said, "I'll take you as my opposite number."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I was the chairman. Now why they made me chairman? I didn't want it; I didn't even want to be on it. And I said, um, so we went up there. Cliff said, "I'll go with you!" Because he'd just gone through a divorce, he was dating this girl who'd transferred from Wa-, from Frankfort to Washington.

ROMOND: Good reason to go.

MILLER: So, he's, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll go!" (both laugh) So we go, we went up there. And, uh, it was like two country boys went walking down the halls in the House, or the House office buildings. I had been to Frank-, Washington enough that I thought I was reasonably sophisticated but I wasn't. So here's these two country boys come down there, and 00:43:00they said, "Well, that, their office is in the such and such a room." And I go, opening this door, it wasn't the door you were supposed to go in, I opened it, and there is this nice little lady sitting there. She had her shoes off and she was sitting on the floor going through a file. And she jumped up and I said, "Ma'am, I'm sorry to bother you, but I come," told her what I was, and so on. She said, "You want to see Mr. Smith." Oh, yeah. She said, "He's not here right now, but he'll, he'll be back in about an hour." So she said, "Would you like to wait?" I, we said, "Well, we don't have any place to go and it's air conditioned in here. We'll suffer out there--(both laugh)--so we said, "Yes." So, she was very nice to us. And, um, so, um, he came in and he couldn't be nicer. He said, "Now, look, you don't want to subpoena people, you don't want to go out and call them names, you don't want to"--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --"direct it at people. If you gonna to do anything, you want to investigate something that's happened, you want to create 00:44:00legislation for."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Okay, so, so, Cliff and I agree.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And we went back to see Mr. Smith the next day. I think we spent several days there. And, uh, then we went, came back home, we got the committee together, and I said, "Now, here's what we got to do." "NO, NO, NO! They're, they're communists everywhere!" And so I said, "I'll tell you what fellows," I said, "Cliff, let's take the whole bunch to Washington." Oh, they thought that was great! We're going to Washington, see? So we go to Washington, and we tell our congressman we're coming, and they, they ca, they all showed us around. You know, they were very nice, you know, they always view the fact, here maybe somebody that fouls against me, later on. I wouldn't ----- ------(??) so. We get up there. And, um, Mr. Smith sat down and told them why they shouldn't do this. And the, the experience that they'd had and what would happen to them and they could get sued. Meanwhile 00:45:00we did get sued!

ROMOND: By who?

MILLER: The Black Community League of Kentucky. And of course, being the chairman, I was the first named person, Black Community League v Miller.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: We went our here to Judge Gordon and Judge Gordon threw it out.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: They took an appeal and went to the supreme court. So there's the case in there, in the supreme court, Black Community League v. Miller in the supreme court. I had to hire a lawyer!

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: We worked, he and I worked on it. And he said, "I'm not gonna get paid too much on this. The Governor don't want to pay me too much." I said, "I understand." A good lawyer in Frankfort, I said, uh, "All right. Now we got to sign it." He said "Scott, I've never been admitted to the supreme court. I've just never taken the time."

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: So I had to sign it. Well, you know, the, the old thing, if you 00:46:00represent yourself, you have a fool for a client? Okay, it looked like that -----------(??). (both laugh) I signed on the thing, proceed, and so it comes up there, and we made a motion to throw it out, and they, they threw it out.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But we, we had a couple of hearings, which were not related to anything except where we had a hearing in Frankfort about the riots in Louisville. We had some things we thought should be done. Don't interfere with the fire department, if they're gonna put out a fire. Uh, so it's a crime to do this, uh--

[Pause in recording.]

ROMOND: We were talking about the un-American committee. How long did that committee was that committee active?

MILLER: They were active until the Governor, the Governor finally said, "Fellows, I'm not gonna fund it anymore." We had a lawyer and an investigator.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, um, we had an hearing up in Pikeville--I may have told 00:47:00you about this--and they were the Appalachian Volunteers up there, and probably a well-meaning group but they had no direction, no, no real purpose, I guess. And they'd stirred up a lot of agitation in, in getting in political fights and, uh, one area they were trying to cur, build a water district, because all the wells had been polluted, and they were fighting this because they said poor people can't afford to pay the cap(??) on fees. And the banks were gonna waive those, you know, those(??) kind of things. So there was a lot of agitation up there. So we went up there to hold a hearing in Pikeville. Now Pike-, have you ever been to Pikeville?

ROMOND: I have, um-hm.

MILLER: Okay, you know what I mean. (laughs) It's not a place I'd like to go back to. I know when there's a new federal judge, they make a younger one always go to Pikeville, and they said, "When are you gonna get another judge, so I can get out Pikeville!" But anyway, we went up 00:48:00there. And there is some agitation up there. Apparently some of the volunteers, Appalachian Volunteers, they'd gotten involved with some of the college students up on the hill. And the word was, you know, they were having nude parties up there. Okay, they packed the courthouse. And I said before it started, I said, "What's this all about?" "Well, we want to hear about this party going on up there." I--

ROMOND: --so, wait a minute. Why was the un-American activities committee brought in?

MILLER: We were brou-, we weren't brought in by that; we were coming in to talk about what was happening, why they were interfering with building this water district, and they--

ROMOND: --oh, okay--

MILLER: --and, but this is aside-line, that's what the people really want to hear about.

ROMOND: That was the main interest.

MILLER: So I said, um, we had(??) a packed courthouse! The judge said, "Take, use my courtroom." -----------(??)----------- Governor Wetherby says, "Sit, sit on my judge's chair!" I, I went and sat in there, 00:49:00and they were all in the jury box, and I said, um, "Call everybody up before we start the official hearing." And I said, um, "I'm gonna to tell you something. This talk about this, these wild parties is very interesting, and I'm sure everybody wants to hear about it. But there's nothing un-American about it, so we're not gonna introduce or let any evidence come in because you can imagine what that would do to a community." They(??) said, "But we're not gonna hear anything about this." Everybody got up and left!!! (both laugh)

ROMOND: So then you knew what the real agenda was.

MILLER: And we knew what the real agenda was(??). So we finished that up, we came back and finally I, I called the Governor, and I said, um, "Governor, I think we've done our job. We do not, we haven't found a lot of communists. We, we found a few nuts." (laughs) He say, "Well, we knew that!" And I said, "But there're no, there nobody out there, there's nobody gonna take care, overthrow the Governor by, government 00:50:00by force and violence." Uh, so I said, "Tell you what we're gonna to do; we're gonna write a report saying what we found, what we haven't done, or what we've done, we haven't done, what we don't want to do. And, uh, said to the, the legislature wants to do that, they should fund it and do it, otherwise it should cease."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: The report was filed, nothing was ever done, it just.

ROMOND: Um-hm. So that was the end of it.

MILLER: That was the end of it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: It quietly disappeared.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And I said, I told somebody, I said, "We got them all!" (both laugh) I said, you know, we realized, if you give people that you think are nuts publicity, they thrive on it! And that's what they want. If you don't said anything about them, what, they go away.

ROMOND: Um-hm. How did you get to work on Senator John Sherman Cooper's campaign?

00:51:00

MILLER: Oh! Well, I kinda like Senator Cooper. When I first started running for office, he was running, uh, for reelection. He'd won a special term. That was my first, um, I was voting for the first time, I was twenty-one then.

ROMOND: Wow.

MILLER: And, um, my dad had been a circuit, was a circuit judge, and Cooper had been a circuit judge before he was senator.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And I think Dad introduced me to him once and I liked the old guy. I guess he wasn't that old but he was single then. And he was working on a tobacco bill, which was big in Kentucky. And did a darned good job, everybody thought he was a very good job. And so I voted for him, and I went to work at the polls, and I liked him, and then he lost! That was in '48. Well, I later found out, he said he didn't know what he was gonna do. He'd been a country boy. And, um, President 00:52:00Truman appointed him to the UN and kinda made him(??)--and then in'52 he was, ran again with Eisenhower and was elected for--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --another two-year term. And I voted for him but nothing much of it ----------(??). By that time I was trying to make a living and I didn't do much. [Nineteen] '54 came along and I knew he was in a tough fight because he was fighting Senator Barkley who had been Vice President.

ROMOND: Ah.

MILLER: And so, uh, I went to see him. And I said, um, "I'd like to do what I can for you." "Oh, well, fine, fine." Cooper was a wonderful guy and a great senator, but he was not an administrative genius.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So finally, several of us here decided, well, let's go out and take a couple of days off and campaign for him. So we went out and put a loud speaker on a car and went and tried to drum up crowds.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

00:53:00

MILLER: And Cooper liked that idea. So then we organized a bunch of teams that would go out, a couple of guys would go out, and a few who'd come in, a couple of guys would go out.

ROMOND: This is locally?

MILLER: Yeah, we--

ROMOND: --here in Louisville--

MILLER: --we were from Louisville, but we went all over the state.

ROMOND: Oh, you did!

MILLER: And I went over eighty counties that year. And, uh, so, uh, he lost, and then Senator Barkley died! And he was then and, Cooper was then ambassador to India.

ROMOND: My.

MILLER: And so, Eisenhower calls him, and said "John, I want you to come back and run for the Senate." So he said, "Well, all right." His wife, he'd remarry, he was married then.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: His wife was from a wealthy family, and she said, "Well, John's gonna run and we want him to win," so she called all of her friends in New York and Boston and California, and money started coming in. He was funded for the first time. And he called me and he said, um, "I wonder if you'd be my advance man."

00:54:00

ROMOND: Hm.

MILLER: "Okay, senator." So I s, I would go out and three or four days ahead of him and arrange meetings and--

ROMOND: --um-hm, set things up--

MILLER: --talk to the people, talk to the pa-, uh, papers and the, get bands organized. And then he offered me a job in his office. "I, I don't want a job in your office, I don't want to be a bureaucrat!" I said, "I got a family to raise, a law practice!" He offered me a job as assistant U. S. attorney and I said, "No, I'd be that for awhile, and I'm, I'm making that much money now, I don't want to do that."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So, um, I said there, I, maintained my friendship with him, and then every time he ran, I'd work for him a little bit.

ROMOND: Um-hm. What was he like as a person?

MILLER: Well, he was one of those genuine people you've ever seen. He couldn't hear.

ROMOND: Really.

MILLER: He couldn't hear a thing. Uh, he could tell, he knew how the 00:55:00people thought before they did. He could sense what people would think. And how things would ride in this area, and he just had a, a sense for those things. And, um, he, a remarkable guy, he, he was tall and lean. He could go down in the mountains wearing a Chesterfield colt and nobody thought anything about it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I went down there and did that they'd think, Who's this nut down here at doing that, you know. (Romond laughs) He's, so, right to the end of one of the campaigns, I was riding up the Big Sandy River Valley with him, we'd come out of Ashland, it was the last few days of that great '56 campaign. And he said, "Well, you've finished your job. Come on and ride with us and see the fun." So I thought it was a pretty beautiful October day, and I said, "Okay." So we were riding along up the river valley, and he was riding, and he said, "See that house up here about half a mile?" I said, "No, I don't see it yet." "Well, you will. Stop there! I want to go see those people." So, he 00:56:00got out of the car, walked down there. So, and he said, um, "John! How are you?" ---------(??)------- "Fine!" he said "ya." We got back in the car later on. I sat in the car and waited. He said, "Big family. Must be twenty of them." (Romond laughs) So we go then to the rally. Then he called me one day and he said, um, "I want you to go down to Knox County. There's something going on down there." We go to a place called Bailey Switch. Where is Bailey Switch? He said, um, "Well, ask somebody out there." Well, I go up there and I go to the county seat and ask where's Bailey Switch. "Go down this road three miles." I go down three miles, I don't see anything, I go four miles, I don't see anything, I went five miles I didn't see anything. So finally, I asked 00:57:00somebody. He said, "Go back this road, two miles." (Romond laughs) So I go back two miles.

ROMOND: You had already been through it.

MILLER: And, and I never see anybody, see a Bailey Switch. So finally I asked a third person and the fellow say, "Don't move a damn inch. You're here." (both laugh) There wasn't a sign, there wasn't nothing(??). I told him, "I want to see so-and-so." He said, "Why?" I say, "Well, I'm looking for him. Do you know him?" "Why you want to know?" I say, "well I'm coming down here for(??) Senator Cooper and I want to see him." He said, "Yup! That's me!" (both laugh) But they wanted to know why I was coming down, but when I said, "Senator Cooper," he said, "Okay."

ROMOND: Um-hm, then he was right with you.

MILLER: He was right with me. (laughs) But people trusted the man.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: He, he, he had an affidavit face, if you know what I mean.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: People just--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --and people get mad at him, "John, you, you're so damn liberal! What's wrong with you?"

00:58:00

ROMOND: What was the campaign advice that he gave you? Do you remember?

MILLER: He said, "Keep smiling, don't said anything bad about anybody, and try to keep your speeches short, to the point." I said, "Well, I don't know what to talk about!" He says, "Just said something nice and smile at people." That's what he said.

ROMOND: What was he like as a campaigner?

MILLER: Oh, he was tough.

ROMOND: Was he?

MILLER: He was, he was a tough campaigner. Told the same, if you follow with him--

ROMOND: --sure--

MILLER: --you'd hear the same stories time and time--

ROMOND: --yeah--

MILLER: --again. I could get where I could--

ROMOND: --you could do it.

MILLER: I could've of given the speech, not with the emphasis he did. (Romond laughs) But it, he, he would give this speech to people, "Yeah, that's John!" But he was always running behind time. So, I remember the one campaign this fellow--(laughs)--now we're up there. 00:59:00It was a gray Saturday day, it was late in October, and we were in Williamstown, Kentucky. Now, have you ever been to Williamstown?

ROMOND: Been through.

MILLER: Down by Cumberland Falls?

ROMOND: Oh.

MILLER: Near Cumberland Falls.

ROMOND: No, I'm thinking of someplace else.

MILLER: Williamsburg, I mean. William-, Williamstown is up in another way.

ROMOND: Up 75.

MILLER: So, we went down there and there was a crowd around the courthouse. Oh, it was a big crowd. Five, six hundred people just milling around the yard.

ROMOND: Oh.

MILLER: I went down there and said, "Why(??) that's a good crowd for John." They weren't looking for, waiting for John; there was a murder trial going on.

ROMOND: Oh.

MILLER: So, we went in, the guy with me, says, "Oh, that's so-and-so. I remember meeting him!" So we went in and introduced ourselves to the judge. The jury is out, waiting to bring in a murder verdict. I told him what we were there for, and John, he said, "John is running late, isn't he?" "Yeah, your honor, Judge, John, John is running late." He said, "Tell you what I'll do: we will hold the jury until John gets 01:00:00here and can make the speech." (laughs) So, so--

ROMOND: --what an opportune moment.

MILLER: (laughs)--so Cooper comes, says, "What a great crowd!" (laughs) So, we left, he said, "You all did a good job getting the crowd together." (Romond laughs) I said, "Judge,"--I mean--"Senator, I hate to tell you, but they were waiting for the verdict on a murder trial." (both laugh) He just howled at that, but.

ROMOND: But he got the crowd anyway.

MILLER: He got the crowd, he got to talk to them, and he entertained them--

--right--

--while they were waiting for the verdict. (both laugh)

ROMOND: Oh, my God.

MILLER: But I, a couple times, he was very close, I was felt very close to John. And I never called him John to his face though. He was "Senator," although he had been ambassador and everything else, but, uh, he's the godfather to one of my children.

ROMOND: Really

MILLER: And, uh, couple times I spent the night at his place.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, um, his wife was out of town, and he was, he was kinda, he was interesting. He'd sit by the fire in his library, and he'd have a couple of bourbons, and he'd lean back and talk about stories of this, 01:01:00that, and he told me some great stories, one of which I remember. He and Jack Kennedy were very close, very good, personal friends.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And he said, he remembered one night at, right after Kennedy was in office, in the White House, the phone rang. He said it was eleven o'clock at night! He said, "Jackie was out of town," and it was his President. He says, "John"--Jack Kennedy--"Mr. President, what, what can I do for you?" He said, "John, would you mind coming down, I want to talk." You know, here's the President of the United States--

ROMOND: --right--

MILLER: --uh, a senator from the opposite party.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But he was on the foreign relations committee. He said, "I want to talk." So he said, "Well, I, I, I'll see if I can get a cab." Cooper didn't drive.

01:02:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: He was just awkward at that.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, he said, um, "If you'll look out your door"--(laughs)-- "there's a limousine waiting for you." (both laugh)

ROMOND: Oh my.

MILLER: The President had sent one out. So he said, "Of course I went down," he said--

ROMOND: --yeah--

MILLER: --"they ushered me right in to, uh, we went up the family quarters." He said, "He looked like a little boy. The President looked like a little boy that was unsure of himself. And he wanted to talk to somebody he felt he could trust. Not one of the people who would give him the answer, you know, the, they thought he wanted to hear, but"--

ROMOND: --right--

MILLER: --"but somebody he could talk to." He said, "I stayed there until three o'clock in the morning." And he said, he says, "You know, I enjoyed having relationships like that. Now, I didn't always agree with him"--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --"but he, he, I, I knew where I stood with him and he knew where I stood. So we say, we had, we had a wonderful relationship." 01:03:00Uh, so he was, he was very clos-, uh, he's still, well, still close to the Kennedy family when he, when he died. So.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Did he influence your political philosophy and, and what is your political philosophy? Do you think about that?

MILLER: Well, I don't know that you can pigeonhole.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: There're people in the Republican Party who think I am a left winger.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: There're people in the other party that think I am a right wing.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I, um, I view myself as a moderate; I am, um, against right- to-work bill. The Governor and I we disagree on that. I, uh, I think we need a social security reform. I support the President on the war because I think he got the best evidence he had, which was apparently flawed, but he got it, he relied on it, and now we are there, and I think we got to finish it. So, I stand there with that. I think, um, 01:04:00yeah, we made a lot of mistakes; I've made a lot of mistakes.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: As someone said, "Scott, when we, the end of the session you probably voted seven hundred times on the motions, and this-that- and-the-other, or amendments, or something, do you think you made any mistakes?" I said, "I'm sure we've made a lot of them."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: "But somebody can straighten them out later if we've made a bad mistake." Um.

ROMOND: Did, did Senator Cooper influence you politically?

MILLER: You mean as to my thinking?

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I don't think so directly.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I think we thought somewhat alike.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Do you know who or what prompted him to run for the state Senate?

MILLER: Who? Cooper? You mean the U.S. Senate?

ROMOND: I mean the--

MILLER: --U.S. Senate?

ROMOND: Um-hm, U.S. Senate.

MILLER: Well, it was after the war. And, of course, I, I, I can only 01:05:00know this from what people told me because, you know, he was elected in 1945 as a circuit judge, same -----------(??) my dad was elected. And it was a sort of a, there was a feeling of--Cooper was in Germany, and he got elected, didn't even come home to get elected to circuit judge.

ROMOND: Really!

MILLER: And of course, when he got elected, he was immediately discharged from the Army. So he liked that, you know, he had been a captain in the Army. And, uh, so the next year, they're looking for somebody to run for the U.S. Senate. There was a vacancy, I think. It was an open seat.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, um, the party leader, he had run for Governor once before the war in, in the primary and was defeated. And they came to him and, uh, said, "John, we want to run." Of course eastern Kentucky Republicans were still there, and John was a big, tall, distinguished- 01:06:00looking and he ----------(??).

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So he said, "Well, all right. I don't know what I'm gonna to do, but I'll run." And he got elected. Oddly enough he beat John Y. Brown, the old man.

ROMOND: Huh.

MILLER: John Y. ran against him back in, again in six, '66. But was destroyed in it. I mean, Cooper just beat him like a drum(??).

ROMOND: Hm.

MILLER: Um, and Cooper established himself in that two-year period by getting a tobacco program for farmers. And he voted on the right--oh, no, on, on the, on the Taft-Hartley Bill was--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --there'd been a lot of labor trouble up until then. Taft- Harley Bill passed. President Truman said it was a slave labor act. And Cooper voted for it. It's later, it's still the law. (laughs) So it's held up pretty well, we don't have much labor problems here, many 01:07:00labor problems. And Cooper told me while, while down the mine, mining country, he thought, sometimes he was worried about physical violence for a while after that, but then it settled down, and he said, uh, some of the older miners kept it from happening.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But, uh, he said those were, those were some tough times down there.

ROMOND: What got you interested in running for the state Senate?

MILLER: Well, I always liked politics. Just the thought of it, you know, I like Churchill. And I like, I liked, I just like the banter(??) of it. And somebody said to me one day, he said, "Do you really like that stuff?" And I say, "Oh, I think it's interesting!" And he say, "Well, you know," everybody I knew was in the other party was getting assistant there, assistant county attorney, just a prosecutor here, you know, little jobs that helped them along the way. I said, "I think I'd like to run for the state Senate." "Why, why would you rather be that?" 01:08:00And then they, the party offered me a seat in the House, which was a lock seat, I mean, you could have it for the asking, almost.

ROMOND: Hm.

MILLER: I said, "No, I want to run for the Senate." Uh, the incumbent won by less than four hundred votes the last time. And I think he's, probably because the Governor didn't like him. And I don't know(??), my dad is a circuit jud-, was a circuit judge.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And I was, I was a judge's kid.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And somebody said, "Why don't you get a title of your own?" (laughs) So, when I ran, nobody called me the judge's kid anymore. (laughs)

ROMOND: Had your own title.

MILLER: (laughs) They call me the kid senator, you know, nobody's gonna take you seriously, but they--(both laugh)

ROMOND: But it was a title.

MILLER: It was, it was kinda fun to be the, the youngest one up there.

ROMOND: Who were the heavyweights in the Republican party--

01:09:00

MILLER: --ooh--

ROMOND: --in Jefferson County at the time that you ran?

MILLER: Well, we had, had Senator Morton, who later, Senator Morton who was, had been our Congressman, and was, um, assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, and later ran for the Senate, and he was elected to the Senate.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, ooh, there were a lot of old timers that are dead now. Um, Walter Jacobs, who was a friend of my dad's, and a client of my dad's. Uh, old man Brown, Brown Hotel, Brown, he was, he was one. He used to get after me out on; he was always against giving waitresses money. "You didn't do right last session," you know, things like that. And, uh, Charles I. Dawson, the great Judge Dawson. Had been a federal judge, and he, but throughout a lot of the New Deal legislation, and 01:10:00finally he got disgusted, he quit.

ROMOND: Really?

MILLER: Just quit! And started practicing law. And I had clerked in the firm he was in. And I heard him when he was in the, when I, I was a, I was a junior in law school, I was a clerk there. I'd come in at noon and do what I was supposed to do, whatever. (laughs)

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And he was running for the Senate.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And I hear him in practicing his speeches and--(laughs)--was screaming and hollering and--(both laugh)--slamming his fists down. And I thought it was kinda fun watching him. He didn't win. But he was, um, he was a pro-Taft Republican. And a very bombastic-type person.

ROMOND: Did the Republican Party help you with your first campaign or other campaign?

MILLER: Well, the, the thing was how to get the nomination.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And they finally said, they narrowed it down to several of us 01:11:00for that, and then they offered me the seat in the House. They said, "You're too young." I said, "No! I spent four years getting ready for this. And we'll have a primary if you're not gonna, if you're not gonna give it to me." I was bluffing. And so the other guy who wanted the seat said, "Give me the House seat, I'll, he can have the Senate seat. I got a sure thing; he's got to work for his." So, I took it and gambled and won.

ROMOND: So there was not a primary.

MILLER: I did have a primary somebody--but once you have the party's blessing, you're, you're--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --what they call slated.

ROMOND: Okay.

MILLER: They put out sample ballots with your name on it through the precincts, and--

ROMOND: --right--

MILLER: --the precinct workers. Suppose to be loyal workers and--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --vote that, so. I won that one, that was pretty easy, but I went around to make sure I spoke to all the precinct workers. Every night I would be out talking to them before the primary, and every Saturday. Never on Sunday, that.

01:12:00

ROMOND: So there was a primary.

MILLER: There was a primary.

ROMOND: But you had the support of the party.

MILLER: Party, so that was, that wasn't hard. Um, my dad rode around with me on primary day, he said, "Well, son, it don't look like he has you, people working for him." I say, "Let's try, check another precinct, Dad." (laughs) Dad said, "You sure you want to do this?" (both laugh) I said, "I'm in it now, I got to go." (both laugh)

ROMOND: Too late.

MILLER: Too late. (both laugh)

ROMOND: Did you have an opponent in the general election?

MILLER: Yes, I took on the incumbent.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Who was a fine man and a good senator. Very good senator. But he was an old man, see, he didn't have time to campaign ------------ (??)--okay, I'm kidding when I said he was an old man--excuse me--I done knock you off. I, he was fifty years old--(both laugh)--I was thirty.

ROMOND: At the time.

MILLER: He, he didn't have time to campaign, and, um.

ROMOND: What were the issues at that time for you and your opponent in that?

MILLER: Well, there weren't really that many issues. There was a big 01:13:00fight over a water district, who was, people weren't happy with him, they wanted the Public Service Commission to take jurisdiction over. And we had about six hundred people out Valley High School, that area.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And he got up and he said, very probably so, "I've had some experience with the Public Service Commission, and if you want just to introduce, I'll introduce it. I don't think it will do you any good."

ROMOND: Right.

MILLER: And sat down. They called on me. Here I am, brash. And I said, "I've had some experience in the public service, ah, I've been up there a couple of times, you know, on various, minor things." And I said, "I disagree with my opponent. And I think we need to be on the public service commission, and if I am elected I'll introduce legislation to that effect." And I got a standing ovation to that effect, so I thought, Okay. The thing was, the party was gonna to get 01:14:00so-many X number of votes.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: My point was, don't make any mistakes. Don't said anything really stupid--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --too-off base. And work around where your strength lies, which was in the eastern part of the, my district, and see what I can do. So, it worked out, and plus my opponent, the Governor hated my opponent--

ROMOND: --hm--

MILLER: --although they were in the same party.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So, um, when I--

ROMOND: --did you--

MILLER: --when I was elected--(laughs)--they, the press called the Governor and said, "What do you have to say? So-and-so was defeated." He said, "Parting is such sweet sorrow." (laughs)

ROMOND: He did? (both laugh)

MILLER: It was Chandler who said that. (both laugh) So, I go up there the first day and Happy comes up, I never met the man! He put his arm around me and gives me big hug, you know, I mean--

ROMOND: --you're already a friend--

MILLER: --here's the Governor hugging me, you know. (both laugh)

ROMOND: When you campaigned, did you go door-to-door, did you have, did 01:15:00you use the radio at all?

MILLER: No, didn't have radio. I didn't have any money. You ran on a ticket--

ROMOND: --just person-to-person--

MILLER: --you ran on a ticket, and you tried to. and I always stressed that you push the ticket, push the ticket, push.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: You don't, if you go out just being for you, then everybody's put them, it didn't work. But, um, I worked in a certain area and shook hands with a lot of people in certain areas with--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --and, uh--

ROMOND: --what kinda help did you have? Who helped you in your campaign?

MILLER: Oh, my wife enrolled a lot of her friends--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --and mailings and things like that ------------(??).

ROMOND: Um-hm. Family and friends.

MILLER: Um-hm.

ROMOND: What did your family think of your running for office?

MILLER: They thought I was crazy.

ROMOND: Crazy.

MILLER: My aunts and uncles all thought, "I hate to see you get involved with politics and all of that," you know(??).

ROMOND: What was it like when you won? What was it like? Do you remember that moment?

01:16:00

MILLER: I couldn't believe it. (laughs)

ROMOND: You were surprised.

MILLER: No, I thought I would win.

ROMOND: Oh, you did?

MILLER: But when it happened, I thought, Now, I really got to do something. (both laugh) Now I've got to--

ROMOND: --no kidding--

MILLER: --so I immediately wrote all the precinct workers. Immediately.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I had some special stationery printed out, Senator Elect, ----- -----(??)----------. And, uh, wrote them and thanked them, each one of them, and some of them remembered it years later.

ROMOND: Oh really.

MILLER: "I remember that you wrote and thanked me right away. You're only one that did," you know, they said that. So, then you have a worker, you know--

ROMOND: --sure--

MILLER: --that believes in you.

ROMOND: Yeah. Do you remember how much you spent on your first campaign? And--

MILLER: --no, I don't remember but it was, I never spend over a thousand dollars on any race.

ROMOND: Um-hm. And then compare it--

ROMOND: --oh--

MILLER: --compare it to current--

MILLER: --I had one--

ROMOND: --campaign costs--

MILLER: --one opponent that spent--this was back in '65--he spent, 01:17:00admittedly six-, between fifty and sixty thousand dollars. He had all three networks for a half hour, bad mouthing me, telling me what I was a, a left-winger. He was a John Bircher! He had a John Birch support. And several, there were some Republicans that were against me. They said, "We hear, you, you're too, you're too liberal. Well."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: "Well, we're not sure about you, Scott; you're not really one of us," you know.

ROMOND: If you were a young lawyer today, would you want to get involved in politics?

MILLER: No, no.

ROMOND: No.

MILLER: It's, it's, it's too messy now. Oh, I mean I have, I still have friends that were in the other party. They're good friends!

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And I, I enjoyed them, there were some good people there. But 01:18:00now they tell me, I, I've got one lawyer I know who I serve with, and down West Kentucky, and I do some business with him, he said, "Scott, it's just not like it used to be up there. People don't even talk to each other. They don't have friends. Uh, they're always fighting with each other over things that really don't need," uh, that's just too bad.

ROMOND: Um-hm. It's a different kind of job.

MILLER: It is, I mean, we've had, probably get UofL in the state system, we had to have every vote we could get from, everybody we hear scrounge up and every pa-, party.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, um.

ROMOND: Do you recall your first day in the legislature?

MILLER: Oh yes.

ROMOND: What was it like?

MILLER: ----------(??) said, I was sitting there, my two old-, my, well, the only children I had then, my mother was there, my dad had to be on the bench. No, he didn't have to be on the, he was on the bench then, but he had to, something he had to be and he couldn't be there. And my 01:19:00godmother went. (laughs)

ROMOND: Really?

MILLER: Yes, and she went with me. And, uh, they went with Mom, and they were there, and then, uh, that night they had the Governor's reception, and I went to get my coat at the Governor mansion, and it was gone! (Romond laughs) And it was snowing outside and I was, and here I was without an overcoat. And I thought, Boy, they play dirty up here. (both laugh) I know it was an accident when I--(Romond laughs)-- somebody(??) walk off with my coat.

ROMOND: This is your first day.

MILLER: My first day up here, I thought, Wow. My dad said, "I told you it was gonna be tough up there, son." (both laugh)

ROMOND: You never saw that coat again?

MILLER: Never saw that coat again at all. Isn't that awful(??)--(both laugh)

ROMOND: Well, being in the minority, how were you received by the veterans who had been there a while, like Foster Ockerman and Richard Moloney?

MILLER: Well, Richard Moloney, I don't know was he, he was in the House 01:20:00then when I was in the Senate. He had been majority leader in the Senate, earlier on, when I was in college, he was the majority leader in the Senate.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And I later served with his son.

ROMOND: Ah.

MILLER: Uh, Dick--Mike, I knew Dick, his other son. Um, the funny thing about him, when Mike came in up there, he got out and went, early on, and he said something foolish, and was going on, and I walked back to him, and I said, "Mike, don't do that. Your dad wouldn't do that." He looked at me, and he stopped talking. Later he thought it over, and he came over, and said "Thank you. I appreciate it." So, a couple of days later he was handling a bill up on the floor, and doing a real fine job. I went over and I said, "Mike! Your old man would be proud of you!" Tears started coming out of his, you know, he's Irish, you know how they are, you know. (laughs) And, uh, and we became very good friends.

01:21:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But, you know, you, you got to learn to tru-, most of them were very kind to me when I first went there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Like, okay, kid, you're, you're here, here's your seat.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: You know, we, we got somebody sitting by you, telling you not to do certain things. (laughs)

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: Uh.

ROMOND: How long did it take you to figure out how things worked--

MILLER: --oh well, you learn very quickly--(laughs)--

ROMOND: --in the General Assembly--

MILLER: --you learn pretty quickly.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: You see how things go down, the guy sitting next to you'll say, "He shouldn't have done that, that guy shouldn't have done that." And I had a, a nice Democrat on one side and a Republican on the other side, so they put me right in the middle of it. And then there were a couple of older people around here that were very kind to me. One fellow from Louisville who hated the Governor, although he later got to be a friend of his again--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --they had been early on friends and he'd served in the Frankfort back in the thirties, from west Kentucky and then he moved 01:22:00to Louisville. And he was very kind to me, and old Senator Kidwell who was the President pro-temp, uh, from up in Gallatin County, uh, was very kind to me. And, uh, he gave me advice sometimes.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: He said, "Don't pay any attention to a lot of this stuff that goes on. Just vote the way you think it ought to be and, uh, don't make a lot of talk." Said, "I don't(??) like to speak anyway, you know, at first, I'm."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Then after a while, you sort of(??) get into it, and committee meetings, you get to know people, and talk up a little bit and so.

ROMOND: In your early days in the legislature, where were the informal places that people gathered?

MILLER: Well, it used to be, there was all these(??) bars. (laughs)

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, back in those days, there was, before the Holiday Inn was built, it was down at the Capitol, the old Capital Hotel.

01:23:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: They used to call it the watering hole, or the dark hole of Calcutta. Uh, people would meet there. And then later, it was the Holiday Inn, up on the hill. And, uh, then toward the end, I think, um, I know during that Nunn(??) administration, Wetherby, and Latta and Upton, and myself, and I think one or two others, maybe, sometimes we would, uh, meet out at the Frankfort Country Club.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, Latta's cousin--they were raised like brothers--was president of the country club, so.

ROMOND: Ah.

MILLER: Immediately he said, gave us membership of the country club for the session.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And privileges to sign tickets there, you know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So we would meet out there and, uh, discuss.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: We'd have dinner and a few drinks and what we thought, what do 01:24:00you need, why do you want this, can you amend this?

ROMOND: Right.

MILLER: And we'd get a lot of things worked out there.

ROMOND: So, real work actually got accomplished in the informal--

MILLER: --I remember one session I gained fifteen pounds. Well, you know, you, you're staying up late and eating too much, and you're going into bed, getting up the next morning and starting all over again.

ROMOND: Working and--

MILLER: --it's a, it's--

ROMOND: --socializing and eating.

MILLER: Yes.

ROMOND: Um-hm. What was it like to be serving in the legislature and raising your family in the, in the upheaval time of the sixties?

MILLER: Well, the kids were young enough that they weren't really too much involved with that, in the school.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, my wife was annoyed because I wasn't home more. And she still reminds of this.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: "You're were never home when I needed you. And the kids 01:25:00were acting up." Oh, I came home late one night, and then I got up for breakfast the next morning, and looked at the kids, and I said, "Pam(??), who are these big kids? Where'd they come from?" (both laugh) She didn't think it was funny.

ROMOND: What was your reaction to the civil rights movement and to Martin Luther King?

MILLER: Well, I knew he was gonna get what he was after. I thought the people down South were being foolish. And, of course, he had some--I think, I guess he had to do it. Some of the, his followers caused him more trouble than he did. The ones they called outside agitators that would come in. Uh, I knew some of his followers here. Uh, one of them 01:26:00campaigned for me when I had the John Birch person against me.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, her son later became a congressman.

ROMOND: Really.

MILLER: Yeah. For a term. And, um, I think Martin Luther had some bad people around him. Unfortunately, but, you know, in any movement there're gonna be followers.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And those are the people that cause you trouble. As, as Governors have told me, it's not your enemies you got to worry about, it's your friends. Your friends want something, and then they want to overstep their bounds.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I don't know if I ever told you the story, Louis Nunn had this guy that just worked and worked and worked for him. He wanted a job! Louis said, "Well, I'm giving him some, but he is not qualified for anything."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

01:27:00

MILLER: "How do we work this out?" Some old wise owl said, "Give him a state car and a credit card and he'll screw up in a week and you can fire him." So he did and he--(laughs)--that's what happened, a week they fired him.

ROMOND: That really is what happened?

MILLER: Yeah! "I hated to let you go, but, you know, you know better than this. You should've done, you don't embarrass me." You know(??), and fired him. (laughs)

ROMOND: Oh my. (Miller laughs) Oh gosh. Did you have many African- American constituents in your district?

MILLER: Um, not many. Um, they were in little groups, one or two precincts here and there. Um, there're more now. Uh, there's one group out in, um, near Prospect.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I was very, campaigned with them, shook hands with all of them. And was able to carry that precinct, those precincts. And I remember, 01:28:00one time they asked me to speak--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --in their church on prayer meeting night. So I went out. I didn't know what to say, but I was, you know, I'm going out there and we are all Americans--this is where I think they're wrong now--when we grew up, we weren't, we are not Irish Americans, German Americans, Russian Americans, we're Americans!

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Why are they African Americans? So, we're all Americans now.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: There was a time when Catholic schools, or Catholic churches were(??) Irish or German.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: If you were Irish, you didn't go to a German church. You may live next door to it. Judge -----------(??) was German; he used to represent the archdiocese. He was telling me, all those were the Irish, we didn't have those in there. Now, you know, who knows what anybody is.

01:29:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I think they're making a big mistake. So I went out there to speak. And the preacher said, "Now Mr. Miller is our speaker tonight." And he said, "Though his skin is white, his heart is black." (laughs) I voted for some self -----------(??) Yeah! (both laugh) I told it to some of our friends, they said, "Well, they knew he knew pretty well then!" (laughs)

ROMOND: Oh my gosh! Giving you credit where it was due. Do you remember where you were, um, and what you were doing when you heard that JFK had been assassinated?

MILLER: I do. I remember exactly where I was. I was at the airport having lunch at, with a--well, a guy who was later my partner.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: He later became US Magistrate Judge George Long. And he is now retired. And somebody came rushing in.

01:30:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: There was a, a restaurant out there called the Luau Room.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: We were having lunch there. I don't know why we happened to be there and they came rushing in to tell us. So we were finishing about that time. So we paid the bill and went down and got in the car, turned the radio on. By the time we got downtown and parked, he was dead.

ROMOND: Hm.

MILLER: And of course everybody just sat there and sort of, so I said, "You know, George, we didn't agree with everything Jack Kennedy did, but we don't dispose of people this way in this country."

ROMOND: That's right.

MILLER: And George has remarked about that several times, "Do you know what you said? This is not the way we do things here."

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm, um-hm. Being a veteran, what was your view of the war in Vietnam?

MILLER: Well, I guess I bought into it originally because I thought, you know, we're gonna, we made a treaty, we're gonna have the, there'll be a takeover every place, and if we break our treaty, then nobody will 01:31:00ever agree with us again or trust us. And then Senator Cooper, as the thing went on, he sort of broke with them. And I didn't always agree with him. And I don't know whether I agree with him on that, but, uh, there was a question of whether we could've won it or not. And I think the real problem went in, and I, the more I think about it, I think it was really one of the most bungled-up things we ever did, because if you read Senator, uh, McNamara's book, which I read, and I, it, it made me so mad every twenty pages, I have to put it down. He said, admitted, "Early on, we knew we couldn't win the way we were fighting this war." Now, why do you send people over to be killed, the young kids to get killed, if you know you're not gonna win the thing. You do something different. And, and so, I, I can't forgive him for that. Uh, Johnson, I guess, was caught, and he didn't know what to do. And 01:32:00you either, people either love Johnson or they hated him. And, uh, some of his programs were good.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And he rammed them through that nobody else could've ever rammed them through. And I take my hat off to his ability to do that. I mean, he, well, he went to see Richard Russell, his friend, his colleague, his mentor, and he said, "Dick, now listen to me. You know I know how you feel, I know how your people feel, but you know, this is wrong. Do you Mabel use, works for us?" ---------(??) He said, "We were driving home once and she said "Mr. President, would you pull over on the side of the road?" And I said "Well, Mabel, what are, for?" She said, "Well, I need to go to the bathroom." He said, "Well, Mabel, why didn't you go when we were back at the gas station?" She said, 01:33:00"Well, I can't!" He said, "Now, you know that ain't right." He would stay "ain't." And he, he would use the n-word--

[Pause in recording.]

ROMOND: We were talking about President Johnson. And your memories.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Strong President. You, you had to admire his stamina, his attack, you know, he, um, he died awfully young, for all he accomplished. He was, you know, he was on the go all the time.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I mean, I don't he ever relaxed and enjoyed anything really. Except politics. I think he made some money on the side, but I mean he--(Romond laughs)--uh, he was, he was a doer. I mean, uh, he, um, absolutely hated Bobby Kennedy, you know. Everybody knows that.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: You know, after, there, there's a story--and I, I'm digressing 01:34:00because if you don't want to hear this, that's okay, because I really only heard second-, third-hand--but old man Kennedy, Joe Kennedy.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Told Jack, "You need Johnson on that ticket to carry the South." Reluctantly they went and told him, and Johnson said, "All right."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Then the liberals got to him, talked Bobby, and Bobby said, "We can't have him." So Bobby went down to tell him ----------(??) off. And he said that Johnson reached down with his hands and grabbed Bobby by the collar, by the lapels, picked him up, and said, "You little son-of-a-bitch. If Jack doesn't want me on it, you tell him to be man enough to come down here," and then threw him against the wall. Jack 01:35:00didn't come down. (laughs) But that, that set the stage.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: For the feeling that they had and he just despised him. And, uh, they didn't like each other at all. (laughs)

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm.

MILLER: So.

ROMOND: Um, what do you recall about Georgia Powers?

MILLER: Georgia Powers, a very able, strong woman. She was the first black American--I'm using the term now--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --shouldn't use it--in the Senate.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: You couldn't vote against Georgia. Georgia--

ROMOND: --really--

MILLER: --knew how to play the game. She knew what she wanted, how to get the people to vote for it, and she got everything(??). I liked Georgia.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But Georgia's tough. You don't want to cross Georgia. I mean, 01:36:00she was--(laughs)--she's, she's, she's an alley fighter. She's, but, but I saw Georgia not long ago. She walked in next door when I was having lunch with my daughter. And I said--she walked by, and she said, I said, "Hello, Senator!" And she said, "I thought I knew you." (Romond laughs) She ---------(??), and so I got up. We hugged and I introduced to my daughter. And she, very able, very able lady.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, I had a couple of bills I wanted and she helped me on and I, there's no reason, most of the bills that Georgia and I, outside the special ones that she wanted, uh, uh, she voted for everything we agreed on, like UofL. I'll tell you one thing about Georgia that I really admire her for. You know, it came up about, um, oh, what is the, um, the disease that comes up that only black kids?

ROMOND: Sickle cell?

MILLER: Sickle cell anemia.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, she introduced a bill to have them all tested.

01:37:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And some of people were ag-, some of her own people, why do you make it restricted to us? We're trying to stop this problem and correct it when we know it and this is the only way to do it is to have them tested.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And she, she was gutsy enough that she went ahead and did it. Course she's tough anyway. I mean, I'd always wanted her on my side, if I could--(laughs)--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --if I could get her. Um. Yeah, she's a very able lady.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And I like her.

ROMOND: What about Gene Snyder and Marlow Cook?

MILLER: Marlow was the best county judge we ever had.

ROMOND: Really?

MILLER: I served in the legislature with Marlow for two terms. Then he ran for county judge. And he was the best county judge we ever had. He started off getting the city and county together, and had a lot of 01:38:00charisma, and did a great job.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, and then he went on to be a senator--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --for a term. Uh, it was fun working with Marlow. He was exasperating at times. (Romond laughs) Cause he always changed his mind.

ROMOND: Oh.

MILLER: Uh, but, but he was smooth.

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

MILLER: You never sure what he said, because--everybody said, "You know, he really told it like it was." And I said, "Yeah, what did he say?" "I don't know, but he told like it was." You know that kind of thing.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But he had a gift for gab.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I hear he's not real well now. I'm sorry he's in assisted living down in Florida, I understand.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But, he, best, buddy(??), best county judge we ever had. And did a lot for this community.

ROMOND: Did you know--

MILLER: --Marlow(??)--

ROMOND: --did you know Gene Snyder?

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Yeah, I knew Gene.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I know Gene.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Let's leave it at that.

ROMOND: Okay. Uh, what about Wilson Wyatt?

01:39:00

MILLER: Wilson Wyatt was an unusual man. Wilson Wyatt went to high school with my dad. Went to Male High School, the, the other school.

ROMOND: The other school.

MILLER: The other school. (Romond laughs) Wilson's very bright.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Extremely bright. Uh, he was, um, of course, the other party and he was situated so he became a, a very young mayor. He was mayor of Louisville when he was thirty-five.

ROMOND: Hm. That is young.

MILLER: He, uh, Wilson is, well, he's strange in a lot of ways. Able.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Energetic.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, never forgets anything. His, tactically he sometimes makes mistakes. Example, he called Judge Bossmeyer(??), "Judge, I'm running for the Senate, US Senate. I want you on. I'll have the Catholics." 01:40:00Goes to somebody else. A big Baptist.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: "Get you, oh yeah, I got the Baptists." Gets somebody else. "I got the labor unions." But they don't follow(??), you know. Every Catholic doesn't vote the way Judge Bossmeyer does. My god, he's a, he's a dinosaur(??). I mean, he's a, I love him dearly. We practiced law for thirty years together, but he's a dinosaur. Sorry(??). He, he's grouchy. (laughs) Loveable, but grouchy, you know. Uh, Baptists, you can't tell the Baptists what to do, even though they all have their own ideas. And--(laughs)--so, um, he, he had this problem. He, um, he's unique person. Lot of ability, Truman called him when he was mayor to be a fed-, federal housing expeditor after the war.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, we need a housing, you know, these people were coming back 01:41:00and we hoped to have a lot of jobs and building houses, and he's the federal housing expeditor. But Truman liked him. He was a, LDA(??), which was the -----------(??) of -------------(??) group. And, um, Truman called him and said, um--well, I heard this from his family, from Wyatt's family, too, um, um--"Like for you to manage my campaign in 1948, for reelection."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Wyatt comes back and talks to people in Louisville. And he said, "I don't think Truman can win." So he turned him down. Truman won.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: He could've been on the Supreme Court.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Four years later, Adlai Stevenson was running against Eisenhower. And Wyatt's in there, he's, he's Stevenson's campaign manager. (laughs)

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Okay. Barry Bingham, nice man, used to run the Courier-Journal, 01:42:00one of the nicest guys in the world. Great citizen. His father was ambassador of the Court of St. James.

ROMOND: Ah.

MILLER: Mr. Bingham--and I know his son very well; he goes to our church--um, or we go to the same church, I should say. Um, wanted be ambassador to the Court of St. James. Wilson Wyatt could pull off getting, you know, you could be ambassador to the court of St. James. Well, it didn't happen, you know.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: So then, Wyatt wants to be Governor. Well, he was running. Happy Chandler's man was running. And it was close. So, they just, they get together and they form, Bert Combs is running for Governor, Wilson Wyatt's running for Lieutenant Governor. This is engineered by former Senator Earle Clements.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

01:43:00

MILLER: A really power. You know, mean--and I, I, I like Earle.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: He, he could be, if he didn't like you--

ROMOND: --hm--

MILLER: --he'd get you and you'd(??) tell he was gonna get you.

ROMOND: Wow(??).

MILLER: So, he engineered that. They're elected overwhelmingly. And Clements is then commissioner of highways. And he likes to build roads.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Well, there was a truck deal that came up. It was a little bit of a scandal. And Clements got the blame. And he blamed Wyatt through the Courier for putting the blame on him.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So then Wyatt decides, he's gonna run for United States senator, against Morton.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Morton's very able. Morton is not a warm, fuzzy type, like 01:44:00Cooper, but Morton can talk. He can make a speech. The business community's behind him. Okay, I was sitting in Cooper's office on a Saturday afternoon. Nobody's in the Senate office building except John Cooper, mulling over something, fumbling over how to get some funds for this, that, or the other. He's gonna take me to lunch. One of the clubs that he belongs to--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --in Washington. You know, I'm duly impressed. And bang! The door flies open. And here comes Earle Clements. Now, Earle Clements's a former senator. Former assistant floor leader. Has privileges of the floor anytime he's been there, you know. And, and he comes in, "John, what in the hell is Morton?" "Well, I don't know, why?" He says, "My god, we're trying to get him elected, and we get Wyatt," and he says, "And here's Morton's out doing something else. We can't find 01:45:00him." (Romond laughs) Clements had never been for any Republican ever before in his life.

ROMOND: Really?

MILLER: But he certainly knew what to do with Wilson Wyatt. Now, Wyatt was naive. Very naive person. He'd thought he cover all his bases by getting a big Catholic, a big Baptist, and, you know, that brings everybody together. It doesn't work that way. People still vote the way they want to.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And Wyatt had faculty(??), and, and I liked Wyatt.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I, I, I fought him a lot of times. And we had some close, mean arguments in Frankfort. But later on, he gave money to the university. You know, I was on the board and I went out of, out of the meeting, and went and thanked him. And he, we, we had a few minutes of just general chatter. And I got to like him, and I knew his son, and I knew his daughter, and so on. But he was a very strange man. Now, he's a 01:46:00guy who's grew up, came to Louisville, graduated top of class in high school. His father ran a streetcar.

ROMOND: Hm.

MILLER: Came from the same county my grandfather came from.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Hart County. When you're running for office, you capitalize on the fact that your family came from humble origins.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Or do you say, "I'm a big, corporate attorney," which he did.

ROMOND: Ah.

MILLER: And he never realized what happened to him!

ROMOND: That who could identify with that.

MILLER: No, no, who likes big lawyers! Nobody. (laughs)

ROMOND: What about Ed Pritchard?

MILLER: Ed Pritchard probably was one of the brightest people. He had a 01:47:00ego. I, I only knew him by reputation early on. Cause about the time I was starting to go, he got in trouble. You know he got convicted of stuffing a ballot box up in, um, Bourbon County. And, uh, went to prison for it. And he has suffered more for his crime than I think anybody ever suffered for a crime in his life. So, it, he ultimately never had a good law practice. He was used by almost every Democratic Governor that ever sat there. They would call him to write speeches for them, to do this, to head this, to head that. He did it. He later got credit for a lot of things that he did.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But he never was able to recover and go on and be the great lawyer would've been. And--

01:48:00

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --had he not got in that trouble as a youngster.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And it's a shame because, it's, you know, people get in trouble and they--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --they don't serve much of a sentence, but his sentence went long beyond after he--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --got out, out of prison. That was, it's too bad. I guess everybody should be told that story, so they don't screw up when they're young.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Was there such a thing as a Louisville caucus?

MILLER: (laughs) Not really. Um, sometimes there was a little delegation and we would get together on certain things, like, we had a sewer bill, we had to have. It only related to this county, we would get together and get all the members to do that. UofL. I--

ROMOND: --so it cauc--

MILLER: --we had a group that called it, the Delegation, but we didn't really caucus.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

01:49:00

MILLER: Mayor used to have some of us over on Saturday mornings, say, "I need this bill. I do this"--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --"and that." But it was not a Louisville caucus. A lot of Louisville boys, I think made mistakes not being friendly with the rest of the state.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: They always saying, "Well, we don't get the money we should." Um, they kinda learned to get along with the state--we're not gonna get the money that we, that's generated.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: That doesn't happen in any state. I mean, Chicago doesn't get the money that's generated in the rest of Illinois, for heaven's sake. They're the only big city in Illinois. Uh, that just doesn't happen. But, you know.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And a lot of the guys say, "Well, I'm from Louisville." And they drive back and forth. And then that's the end of it. And, uh, you know, they know the rest of the state.

ROMOND: Do you think there was a mountain caucus, or do you think it's like you describe in Louisville? It's people get connect-, from the same area get connected over a specific issue, or project, or.

01:50:00

MILLER: Nah, I think they, more over a specific area, they get on a particular issue and that's about all.

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm.

MILLER: Um, there's a, there's a thing in the mountains, though that I, there's some, some, there's some mountain meanness(??) up there. There's some people up in the mountains that are really mean. And, uh, you don't want to cross them. I've seen some of them. And, uh--

ROMOND: --you mean in the General Assembly?

MILLER: No, there's people--

ROMOND: --in general--

MILLER: --people up there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I mean, threatening federal judges. Threatening to kill two federal judges up there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I mean, you know, killed a prosecutor not long ago. Uh,

ROMOND: Do you think the geographical nature of Kentucky makes it a hard state to govern?

MILLER: Well, all states are hard to govern, I guess, each in its own way. They--

01:51:00

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --take the New York state. People in upstate New York don't have much truck(??) with the people in Manhattan. Uh, people in Illinois, people down in southern Illinois don't know anything about what goes on in Chicago.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I don't know what happens with(??) the rest of them. Um, I'm sure California got the same problem. Northern Californians don't talk much to the southern Californians too much.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: It's, you know, just governing people is a job.

ROMOND: What about the role of lobbyists in Frankfort? What was that like when you first started?

MILLER: Well, there were certain lobbyists up there that knew where all the bodies were and all of the skeletons were, if there were any skeletons. They knew the rules. Uh, they had a, they had rungs. Uh, they knew everybody. They knew the Governors. And they made a point 01:52:00of knowing the Governors and all the commissioners that they needed to know. Um.

Who were the most powerful ones when you, do you remember any of them--

MILLER: -- ----------(??)--

ROMOND: --in the early days?

MILLER: L&N railroad.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Kentucky Utilities. Uh, the rest of them were pretty disorganized. Unions always had somebody there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, Kentucky bankers did, but they never could get their act together.

ROMOND: Um-hm. What about compared to lobbyists now?

MILLER: I don't know what it's like now. They tell they're--

ROMOND: --really(??)--

MILLER: --they don't dare do what they used to do. Um, I knew the, the Louisville Gas and Electric Company did not have a lobbyist when I first went up there. They later had a person there that they didn't call a lobbyist, but he had a suite of rooms at the Holiday Inn. And I knew him.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So, I knew who he was. And, uh, he would say on the way, "Come 01:53:00by and have a drink." Wasn't any ----------(??)---------- to go by and have a drink.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: He'd never asked us to do anything. He would just say, "Is there anything going on down there?" Well, he knew what was going on down there. Um, well, one story I'd have to tell you about one of the guys who was chairman of public service, of the public utilities committee. He was from the mountains. And, uh, he would bring bills up. Asked them what they thought of them.

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm.

MILLER: Now, I could understand that because he wasn't a lawyer. And most of them was somewhat technical. And I remember one time, they said, "John, this is a bad bill." "Well, what should I do with it?" They said, "Well, bury it." You know, bury it in a committee, you know.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: A week later, he calls and he was in Florida and he said, "I buried it. Down in a beach here in Florida." (laughs) "John"--(both 01:54:00laugh)--"bury in committee." "Oh, oh, okay." (both laugh) He literally dug it and put it in the sand. (both laugh)

ROMOND: He was a literal interpreter.

MILLER: Yes.

ROMOND: Do you think annual sessions are a good idea?

MILLER: No.

ROMOND: No.

MILLER: I do not. A matter of fact, I should've campaigned against them. And I'm ashamed of myself for not doing it. I, I, I, and I'll tell you why I think they're, and maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm--it got to be a burden for me to go every other year, in my practice. You know(??), clients are sometimes angry with me, other people in the office, say, "Why aren't you ever here to do what ----------(??)"

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: You know, I'd try to come in and do things and sometimes I couldn't finish them and somebody else would have to do it. And my family was after me, so. I finally said, "No, I've, I've had it, I've burnt out, and time to go." You get annual sessions and you either 01:55:00gonna fall into two things: you either gonna professional legislators--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --and I don't like that. This is--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --people's branch. Or you get the people who don't have anything else to do, or don't know anything, and you're gonna get that(??). Now, I'm not casting dispersion on any person. But I don't think we need it. If we have to have something done, the Governor can call a special session and we could have, you can get, pass a bill--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --if you need it. Or a special, some kind of, something like that(??) happens.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: We've had a number of special sessions when I was up there. We don't interfere with anything that much.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Now, I just don't think we need them.

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm. How powerful was the horse industry in Frankfort?

MILLER: The what?

ROMOND: The horse industry?

MILLER: Well--

ROMOND: --how influential was that?

01:56:00

MILLER: They weren't as powerful as they probably should've been. Uh, they tried, some people tried to give them some problems, I understand, that caused, what was it? BOPTROT?

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm, um-hm.

MILLER: They wanted, was a group that wanted, um, what was it? What? Trotters and things like that to interfere with some of their meet-, days of meeting.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Horse industry, I think, just wants to be left alone really.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: You know. I, I, if we have an industry and it's a good industry that would be with the thoroughbreds. The others are fine, if they do something, but those, some of those guys got in real trouble up there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And caused a lot of problems, unnecessarily.

ROMOND: What do you think was the influence of the University of Kentucky in Frankfort?

01:57:00

MILLER: Oh, well, they're the flagship. You don't want to cross them.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: University can get almost anything it wants in Frankfort. The only time we've ever had any, -----------(??) we never, they never really said anything. They just, the University needs this and --- -------(??)---------- got. The only time you ever have any problem, they really didn't want UofL to be a big gun. They wanted to be the flagship.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: It's not that UofL wanted the big gun, they just said, and we got a lot of students here, they're not being taken care of and a lot of them can't afford to go away to school.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: That was a big argument. And it costs going to a private school, it's horrendous for them.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And the demographics of it that they needed another school. You know? Indiana has one. Tennessee has a whole bunch of them.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Um, I think a lot of them thought, up there(??) thought, We 01:58:00don't want any competitors. But it hadn't worked out that badly, you know. Most people against things find out that ultimately--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --it's not half as bad as they thought it was gonna be, or it's not half as good as the other side thought it was gonna be.

ROMOND: Hm. Did you know Frank Dickey?

MILLER: Yeah, I met him.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I didn't know him very well, but I met him. I knew Otis Singletary.

ROMOND: Did you?

MILLER: I was in the, uh, law suit up there when they had the, the burning down of the--

ROMOND: --oh--

MILLER: --part of the school down there. Uh--

ROMOND: --the administration building?

MILLER: They were burning down the Barker(??) Hall, the old Barker(??)--

ROMOND: --oh, the theatre.

MILLER: Yeah, the theatre, the ROTC, one of the ROTC buildings.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: It was during the, the Vietnam War. And, uh, they were burning it down and, um, the Governor called out the National Guard.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Nunn. And some of the student leader and the faculty people 01:59:00sued the Governor. And Nunn was not happy with the attorney general, who was not happy the Governor.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And I told, didn't I tell you the story of, this attorney general's brother was married to my cousin, who lived next, had lived next door to me growing up. And.

ROMOND: Hm.

MILLER: So, um, Governor called me, and said, um, "Would you represent me?"

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: "Yeah, Governor, this is Saturday morning." "Well, I just got sued." "Well, which is, have the police bring the papers down to me."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: "Yeah, I'll send them right down." So, I wasn't at home then.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So, um, my wife called me a little while later and she said, "What's going on?" I said, "What do you mean?" She said, "The state trooper just pulled up in here and handed me some papers for you." 02:00:00(laughs) "You're supposed to be at the University of Kentucky tomorrow afternoon at two o'clock. Do you realize it's Mother's Day? And your mother will be here?" "No, I didn't realize that. I'm sorry. But duty, honor, country," you know. (laughs) My mother understood, but I don't think my wife understood. So, I was up there and we met with Otis. Very able man.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: He had his head straight, but he had, he had problems with some of his faculty. You know, they were, what are we gonna do about this?

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, um, so, Monday morning we start the trial. ----------- (??)--------- didn't file a response. The Governor said, "I'm -------- ----(??)------------- said, "We'll, we'll deny everything of record and start now."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So we start. We ----------(??) all week. It was fun though. I 02:01:00lived in the Governor's mansion for a week.

ROMOND: My!

MILLER: Told the Governor, I said, "You know, you could get used to this, Governor." (both laugh) You know, people waiting on you, and all this stuff, you know.

ROMOND: Not bad.

MILLER: No.

ROMOND: Did you know Jack Oswald?

MILLER: Uh, not well, I did--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --meet him, but I didn't know him well. Um, I, I don't know him, didn't know him well enough to comment on him. I, I knew Singletary well enough, Singletary was outstanding.

ROMOND: Um-hm. In your years in the state Senate, who were the people that you looked up to, especially when things got tough?

MILLER: I think when things get tough, you're kinda put on your own. You got to, because some of the people that you're very fond of, may be on the other side of an issue.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Doesn't mean that you're mad at them, but you're on the other side of an issue. Um, too bad you didn't get to see Vernon McGinty; 02:02:00he's dead now. But, um, Vernon was one of our senators who was extremely able man.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Just hard-working guy. And worked at G&E.

ROMOND: Hm.

MILLER: Dedicated. He studied everything. I mean, he didn't ---------- (??)---------- gloss, gloss over.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I mean, he would just--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --he would pick things to pieces. I said, "Vernon, you can't do that too -----------(??)." But Vernon was good, he was a good man. We all liked him. We used to call him the Iron Man. (laughs) Um, I think you, it depends on what the issue was, who would you go to.

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm.

MILLER: A lot of times I would talk to Wetherby, I would talk to, uh, Wendell Van Hoose, who was our floor leader from, uh, Tudor Key, Kentucky. Do you know where Tudor Key is? Up in Johnson--

ROMOND: --no, I don't--

MILLER: --County. Uh, I don't know if he's still alive or not. Um, and 02:03:00he was just sort of a down-home type. Talked to him. Uh, sometimes it just, just depends. But there was usually somebody you could talk to.

ROMOND: Um-hm. What was your relationship with the press?

MILLER: The press was pretty easy to get along with then--

ROMOND: --and the Courier-Journal--

MILLER: --I did not, I did not, uh, they hated Chandler. And I didn't take sides with Chandler, so, and I was young. And, um.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I got along with most of those guys that were young. You know, guys and these ----------(??) like, uh, you see them on TV now.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, Ron ----------(??), uh. Howard, uh, Fine, people like that used to cover Frankfort. Now they're on national TV.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, Bill -----------(??), here's a guy was with Rolling Stones later on. I see him. Uh, I got along with them all pretty well.

02:04:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: They were easier to get along with then. They weren't, they weren't trying to nit-pick everybody in, and nail them to the cross like they are now.

ROMOND: Were you a member of the Black Sheep Squadron in 1978? In the state Senate that challenged--

MILLER: -- ------------(??)--

ROMOND: --Governor Carroll's power?

MILLER: Well, '78 I was gone. I was gone by then.

ROMOND: Oh, okay. When was your last year?

MILLER: Hm, '73 was my last year in Frankfort. Julian Carroll was, um, Lieutenant Governor.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Ford was Governor.

ROMOND: Okay.

MILLER: And Ford had two more years to run, and, um, he called me up and said, uh, "Scott, you and I have not had too many arguments." I said, "I know, Wendell." Wendell would start off as a state senator, so I knew him--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --I knew him well. And then he was Lieutenant Governor. I 02:05:00said, um, he said, "Why don't you run again?" I said, "Nah, I promised my wife I wouldn't." He said, "Come on and run." He said, "We can't beat you." I said, "Well, thanks a lot." (Romond laughs) He said, "We probably wouldn't try too hard." I said, "And what do you want for that?" He said, "I just don't want you do anything bad to me." I said, "Why? I haven't done anything bad to you yet." And he said, "No. Um, why don't you run?" I said, "No, I really can't. I, I promised Ann I would not do it." So, I came back and said, "I told Governor I wasn't running again," so I then told Gene Stewart--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --who was in the House. "Gene, I'm not gonna run again, so I know you want my seat, so you go ahead." So he, he did. Took it and handled it very well.

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm.

MILLER: And course he's not with us anymore. So, I, I'm sorry of that. 02:06:00He was a friend of mine. I like, I, I knew him when we were kids. So.

ROMOND: Um-hm. What was that like, the last year that you were in the last session, knowing, cause you knew it was gonna be your last session?

MILLER: Well, I decided not to make a farewell speech. I decided just to quietly leave.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So I left.

ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm. Looking back, do you think it was a good time to leave?

MILLER: Oh yeah, it was the time to leave.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Course, had I known--(laughs)--that they were gonna pass a retirement package that--

ROMOND: --oh--

MILLER: --was much nicer I've stayed a little longer, cause I would've--

ROMOND: --did you just miss it?

MILLER: Well, I, I got, I got a little bit of it, but not much. It would've, uh, it would've been ten times as much as I'm getting. (laughs) So, I, I just, for four more years, it would've wonderful, but I, I didn't go. So, I, I don't have any regrets. I, I enjoyed 02:07:00every bit of it.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Looking back, there're times I didn't like it, but I, looking back, I think it was a wonderful experience for me.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Do you think that legislative independence be-, because of legislature became more independent and the lessening of the power of the Governor, was a good thing to happen?

MILLER: Well, the Governor probably had too much power to begin with. The problem I have now is the legislature ought to realize they're part of government, they're, they want to have a head-on collision with the Governor.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Some of them. And the two houses want to fight now. Of course, that's unusual. Kentucky never had, the state Senate never been controlled by Republicans before.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And there're certain people who can't get used to that.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: You know, bankers down in Kentucky, what do you(??), I mean(??),why are you a Republican, you know? You know.

02:08:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I, I think it's wrong that we've been controlled by one party. No, no matter which party it is.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Cause I think it held the state back.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Uh, were your children ever interested in politics?

MILLER: Oh, yes. Son, Johnnie(??), um, worked for, uh, Cooper as an intern one summer.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, he later became, uh--(laughs)--when he was, when he was in law school, woke, woke up one morning and I was reading the paper, and I said to my wife, "Would you come look at the paper?" "Why?" I said, "I want to read your son's name in the paper." "Why?" "He just filed for Congress." "What!" They talked to him the last night, got him 02:09:00to file against Ronnie Mazzoli. Now, Ronnie and I are friends.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So I call him and said, "Johnnie, what's wrong with you? Have you lost your mind?" (Romond laughs) I said, "You can't beat Ronnie; he's entrenched! He's got a staff, he's got his funds, raising," said, "You're, you're listening to a bunch of nuts talked to you. Were you all drinking beer last night?" "Well, we had a couple." (Romond laughs) "You come down here and you call Ronnie and tell him that you're withdrawing." "I can't do that." I said, "You come"--so I call one of his friends was, uh, Charlie Farnsley, I don't know if you're, Charlie Farnsley was the earlier congressman, and been a mayor of Louisville. He was a friend of Johnnie. And as a matter of fact, he introduced Johnnie to his wife. So, um, I said, "----------(??), take him over and make sure he withdraws." Well, Johnnie withdrew. (laughs) And 02:10:00what, then Gene Snyder got mad at me. Said, blamed us for not having a candidate that fall and all that ------------(??). I was just ----- --------(??). Um, but that's another story. Johnnie later went on, uh, and practiced law with me for about less than a year, and he came in, I came home one day, and I, or I came back from a trip and he said, um, "Dad, I'm giving you two-week notice." "Were do you think you're going, son?" He said, "I'm leaving for Washington, Lisa"--his wife--"and I are going up there. And we're going to work for George Bush. He's running for President against Reagan." I said, "He ain't gonna get elected." So, Johnnie ended up working for him, and then when he lost, they picked him, Bush up to be Vice Presidential candidate.

02:11:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Johnnie was his tour director.

ROMOND: Hm.

MILLER: And, um, then Johnnie had some jobs in Washington. He ended up, worked with the state department and then later worked for the Reagan White House. Was a deputy chief of staff.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, um, now he's out of his own, doing other things in Washington.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: So, uh, yeah, he liked it.

ROMOND: He's still involved in politics?

MILLER: No, not really.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Uh, although he was, when the Reagan funeral came up, uh, Mrs. Reagan asked him to come up and helped. And he was there.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: He was--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --he says, "Reagan was just a wonderful guy to work for. He was very warm and light to everybody around him. And was very, really nice guy."

ROMOND: Hm. Um-hm.

MILLER: Um, Scottie thought about it but, uh, the middle son, but he didn't, he's now, uh, he works in the state department. And then, uh, later he's now working for a utility company, he's got a very good job.

02:12:00

ROMOND: Is he an attorney also?

MILLER: No, he's not an attorney; he, he had a master's in, um, foreign relations from, uh, George Washington.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, and, uh, but they both liked politics. And we talk about it.

ROMOND: Um-hm. And your daughter is--

MILLER: --she's left wing, she's left wing.

ROMOND: I see.

MILLER: She's become a dark -----------(??). I, Stephanie, um, Stephanie ran off from home when she was young. Had two children and came back and then she's, but she, she was in law school after that.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And she, um, lost her sight. She's legally blind.

ROMOND: Really.

MILLER: And she went through law school being legally blind. And so she, she can, she functions very well, except she can't drive.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, uh, so she's thinks that there's not enough done for the 02:13:00disabled--

ROMOND: --um-hm--

MILLER: --and the, um.

ROMOND: What an incredible, what incredible determination.

MILLER: Well, she's tough.

ROMOND: Yeah, yeah.

MILLER: There's, her brothers say, "Dad, she's the toughest one of the boys." (Romond laughs)

ROMOND: Um-hm. Were your children born before you ran for office or during, how, what was the timing of?

MILLER: The first two were born before I ran for office.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: The last two were born while I was in office.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Um-hm. Did you ever consider running for another office, over the years, like, Governor or congressional seat?

MILLER: Never wanted to be Governor--

ROMOND: --federal court.

MILLER: Never wanted to be Governor. Uh, Cooper mentioned to me running for the House, after he lost the House in '58, for the, the seat here. And I talked about it and my wife and I said, "Look, you'd have to live 02:14:00up there six months, down here six months. It doesn't pay enough."

ROMOND: Hm.

MILLER: Ultimately, you probably lose and then where are you gonna be. And so we said, "No, not gonna do that."

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Um, only other thing I wanted to be was federal district judge.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I came in second, so. (laughs) But I, I think I made more money not being.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But it would've been a nice job.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: No hard work. I mean, hard work, no heavy lifting. No outside work. (Romond laughs)

ROMOND: Did your wife have any influence on your political thinking, on issues, like, equal rights, civil rights?

MILLER: No, I think we agreed. I don't think she ever influenced any of them. She never tried to.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

02:15:00

MILLER: Uh, we don't always agree on everything, but she doesn't try to, uh, she didn't tell me how to vote up there.

ROMOND: Sure.

MILLER: Some of them had that problem, you know.

ROMOND: Really?

MILLER: Oh, one guy had that problem. And she told him, his wife told him not to do, vote for the, a tax bill, which we needed. And he did. After we told him he'd be mistake, he'd make a mistake if he didn't, and he came up and reluctantly voted for it. His wife was living in another city, came racing down to Frankfort and just gave him --------- --(??) the devil.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And, um, of course, the mountain boys, they say, "Hey, can't you control your woman?" Woman, never, never wife. "Can't you control your woman?" (laughs)

ROMOND: Hm.

MILLER: Yeah, so, you know.

ROMOND: Were you ever afraid for your family's safety? Was, was your family or you ever thre-, were you threatened because of a stand that 02:16:00you took on any particular issue?

MILLER: No, my wife was worried about me during the un-American activities, I was never really worried about it.

ROMOND: Um-hm. Okay.

MILLER: They never bothered us. A lot of, most people didn't even know where I lived. You know, they can look you up in the phone book, but most people didn't know where you lived. Oh, sometimes you get an irate person calling you.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: But, uh, it didn't(??)--

ROMOND: --that's different than--

MILLER: --yeah--

ROMOND: --feeling threatened.

MILLER: A couple nasty letters.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I had one time, I was handling a zoning case. And, uh, it was a lawyer, you know. Some guy didn't like it. And so when I, when I ran next time, he was out trying to get in the voting machine, and he said, "No, he didn't live in this district, I want to vote against him, I want to vote against him!" (both laugh) That precinct captain called me, said, "Some guy was out ready to tear a machine up cause you 02:17:00weren't on our ticket. He wanted to vote against you." (both laugh) Oh, that can happen.

ROMOND: Do you have any memories of very funny, anything happening at the General Assembly, or, or around your job as a state senator?

MILLER: Oh, a lot of funny things happened. I can't think of them all. (laughs) Uh, uh, a lot of humurous little things happened.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Nothing real bad.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: We used to have an Ides of March party.

ROMOND: At the legislature?

MILLER: Yeah, you know, Caesar was killed on the ides of March in the--

ROMOND: --yes--

MILLER: --Senate. And I was born on the ides of the March. So we have an Ides of March party. And we would give a dagger to the person who had done something unkind. And, um, we'd give it usually to somebody in the press. And they all--

ROMOND: --oh--

MILLER: --laugh about it. And, um, one time we had this one fellow up 02:18:00there and he had, um, broken a commitment to several people, including the Governor.

ROMOND: Hm.

MILLER: And he thought we were gonna give it to him. And so he came up to me, he said, "Please, please, Scott, don't give it to me."

ROMOND: Oh!

MILLER: And I said, "Oh, we're not, we got important people to talk to." That hurt his feelings.

ROMOND: Oh! (both laugh) Um, what do you recall about attempts to join the counties, to reduce the number of counties in the state of Kentucky?

MILLER: It never really got anywhere. Not in my day.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: You said Norb(??) before. It, it, it would be a good idea but, you know, people don't want it. Coming from Louisville, that just puts the kiss of death on it.

02:19:00

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: Right away.

ROMOND: Oh.

MILLER: I mean, if it came from Lexington, they wouldn't like it either, I mean.

ROMOND: Anywhere.

MILLER: Anywhere.

ROMOND: What advice would you give to young, aspiring candidates?

MILLER: Don't take yourself too seriously.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: And remember there's another day. Don't make enemies of people you don't have to make enemies with. And, um, you're not gonna change the world, just try to, uh, a little, do a little something for the world.

ROMOND: Um-hm.

MILLER: I, I, you're not gonna change it. You're not gonna change the world.

ROMOND: Hm.

MILLER: But you're always gonna have problems. They're just different problems. Somebody said once, "Nothing ever changes in Frankfort except the faces." Names and faces.

ROMOND: Puts things in perspective.

02:20:00

MILLER: Some old newsman told me that one day. He was a, "Nothing's gonna change up here."

ROMOND: How would you like to be remembered as a state senator?

MILLER: Well, I know one of the guys down here in the office asked Judge Bossmeyer, who was chairman of the Democratic Party when I, when I was a senator--(laughs)--it was before we got together and started practicing together. He said, "Well, Scott tried to do the right thing, just didn't always do it." (laughs)

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: So, I don't know. I, we did what we thought we could accomplish and that was about it.

ROMOND: Um-hm. And it sounded like you enjoyed yourself along the way.

MILLER: Oh, I've been enjoying myself--

02:21:00

ROMOND: --not every--

[Pause in recording.]

ROMOND: Something your father said.

MILLER: He said, "Son, you know, sometimes you can give me some moments of thought. You wrangled me sometimes," but he said, "I don't think I know anybody who enjoyed themselves any more than you have." So, I figured that coming from Dad that was a compliment.

ROMOND: Sounds like a great compliment.

MILLER: Well, we had a good time together.

ROMOND: Yeah.

MILLER: I had great parents. And I have no regrets about that.

ROMOND: Hm. Thank you for your time and your memories.

MILLER: Well, thank you.

ROMOND: For your reflections--

MILLER: --well, thank you. You brought--

ROMOND: --I've really enjoyed it--

MILLER: --a lot of things back to life that I sometimes that I hadn't thought about in a long time.

[End of interview.]