Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with W. Terry McBrayer, July 26, 2006

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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SALMONS: Mr. McBrayer, I want to thank you for the continuing opportunity to interview and continue to get some additional information.

McBRAYER: All right. That will be good.

SALMONS: Last time we spoke, we went over a lot of your views on the political problems in the state of Kentucky and a lot of the issues. So I would like to go back to something we talked about in one of our first interviews, if you don't mind.

McBRAYER: Go ahead.

SALMONS: Okay. When we spoke of your first election and how hard you worked, you said it came from your background and the people around you.


McBRAYER: Right.

SALMONS: One of things you said was, when you were young, people in your area were equal but not in equal circumstances. Would you mind explaining that and following up on that a little bit?

McBRAYER: Well, of course, there was, even in a small town of twelve hundred people, they were equal in that nobody knew the difference between a person of color or not, or race, or creed or whatever, or religion, as far as that was concerned, because generally speaking, they were all reasonably equal on the economic basis and so no one had very much money. Everybody had middle income type jobs, working on the railroad, working at Armco Steel, or if they lucked out, they got an Ashland Oil job. But most of them that I was raised with were all pretty well of equal economic status. So it didn't-you know, although a lot of them didn't 00:02:00have the support from the family that I did-the support being moral support, encouragement to move on, and improve your life like others did-and generally speaking, those that didn't have that family encouragement did not do as well in the community. Then, that migrates to the next, their family, and goes on and goes on, and until you can break that mold, it continues, they just feed on themselves and it's just kind of a self destruction. So they never rise above their living or rise above their learning or rise above their existing family because all they know is that, all 00:03:00they know is the status quo. They don't know that there's opportunity out there. If there's nobody putting their shoe to your butt, you know, you're not gonna do it. I saw that, it was unfortunate, but I saw that a lot.

SALMONS: Do you think that early attitude was one of the reasons that when the welfare system was developed that lead to the multigenerational families living on the-

McBRAYER: Oh, yeah, there's no question about that. Then, of course, the challenge is to rise above that and break the mold and get out of it and then the next generation benefits and you change the-you change the trend. So many don't know-then, there's no reason kids 00:04:00can't go to school today and get more education. Very, very difficult, unlike my father's time or even in my time, so, it's much easier to do it. So if you don't get it at home, you got to get it at school, and if you don't get it at school, I don't know what you're gonna do. If you don't get it at home, you don't even stay in school. A lot of them don't. They just continue to be very mediocre in their way of life, and then the cycle just continues again. Once you start out uneducated and then unemployed and then married and pregnant and on and on, you can't-just the odds are so great against, you can't rise above it.

SALMONS: Do you think our schools do enough to recognize those at-risk students and focus on them to help them break the cycle?

McBRAYER: Well, I think, in large, they are doing a lot better than they used to be. I 00:05:00don't think that probably Kentucky's focused on education enough and that we talk a good game, but we don't put our money where the mouth is. That's pretty much it, you know. It's- you got to-I don't care whether it's an automobile or a TV or a school, you got to-you only get what you pay for and you got to make the additional sacrifices to be able to improve your situation. I don't play golf but they always say talking about improving your lie, improving where you landed. You always need to be striving to improve that. When there's no dynamic teacher that helps you, or there's no dynamic person in your family, or there's no minister, or there's no nobody in the support group, then you're gonna just flounder and start looking for an 00:06:00everyday job in a sewing factory or whatever. They don't-those type jobs just don't pay enough to support a family, much less encourage a family or the children of the family to break out of that and improve themselves, and their quality of life.

SALMONS: In one of our earlier interviews, we talked about your early law practice.

McBRAYER: Right. Yes.

SALMONS: One thing we didn't cover is what was the most important factor in your early success in the courtroom?

McBRAYER: Hard work. I've always been an advocate of hard work. I've said this- probably repeated myself-but I said a young person under the age of forty years old, the word "tired" should never be in their vocabulary. I'm not sympathetic to a person, a younger person that says, "Oh, I'm so tired. I can't do this. I can't do that." They don't get a whole lot of 00:07:00sympathy from me because of my work ethic. I think, you know, hard work and determination will overcome other distractions or other inabilities. I mean, if you know assume that you got average IQ or up above average IQ, you can compound that with hard work and make it, compensate for it, make up the difference. I always had about a strong, a fairly strong IQ, but I think it was my work ethic that, that drove me to be whatever successes that I have had today. So I think that's the number one ingredient. If that's not instilled in you, it's hard to pick it up. 00:08:00You've gotta, you know, somebody else has got to instill that in you. It's very difficult for a young person to be self-motivated, or pull yourself up by the bootstraps to develop a work ethic that maybe your parents or your family or grandparents did not have.

SALMONS: What was the most important early lesson that you've learned in your practice of law?

McBRAYER: Well, early lessons were-you work hard, treat people right, you respond to their problems. I learned early that although you, as an attorney, might have two hundred fifty problems, that person sitting in front of your desk has one problem. And it's the most important problem before that individual. Therefore, you, as his or her advocate, need to make 00:09:00that, at that point in time, your most important issue or problem that needs to be addressed. I tell young lawyers around our office all the time, you've got to respond, you've got to respond quickly, you've got to, you've got to complete the work, you've got to communicate with the client and make them-we all charge too much, but so the least you can do is make them comfortable with what you're doing. Keep them informed of it, and no surprises to them. Though, it's a combination of those things but that pretty much says it all.


SALMONS: You said something interesting there about the cost of getting legal help. We spoke earlier, you said in your early law career you had to do a lot of pro bono work.

McBRAYER: Yeah, right.

SALMONS: Does your young lawyers here still have to do that type of pro bono work?

McBRAYER: We do a lot of pro bona work. Yeah, we do a lot of pro bono work. We have a pro bono office here. See, back then, they had pro bono, I mean you could do a completely on all the criminal things, but no one, there was no pro bono program to help folks, poor people who had civil problems. I mean, the court was required, you had a constitutional right to an attorney, and the court had to on a criminal matter but not on a civil matter, not when it was somebody was trying to cheat you out of your home, or repossessing your vehicle and you had made the payments, and things of that sort. So it was not until much later that the bar 00:11:00association finally set up a way to assist people on the civil side as well as the criminal side. But no, we feel that obligation to our community and we do a lot of-we're involved in twenty-five different organizations, at least, here in our law firm just here in Lexington. I mean, whether it's Hospice of the Bluegrass, Council on Aging, the Headley/Whitney Museum, the United Way, Chamber of Commerce, and on and on and on. We're-one or two, one or more of our lawyers is involved in that, from our law firm. Very active also in the pro bono program, and very active in the bar association, and the Young Lawyers Association, and many other things.


SALMONS: I know that you have some offices in Eastern Kentucky such as Greenup.

McBRAYER: Right.

SALMONS: In that area, I know the most common law is disability law.

McBRAYER: Right.

SALMONS: Are you involved with that, or do you still?

McBRAYER: No, we're not involved in disability law. It's generally is a-we did do some disability and some worker's compensation cases and also we've done some Social Security cases in the past. But it's generally pretty specific area of law and there have been a few who up there that have specialized in that and the process is so cumbersome and slow that we've chosen not to get into that area of law in recent years.

SALMONS: We were talking about your early law career. Do you remember the case that had your most surprising decisions?


McBRAYER: Well, early on, I tried some murder cases, armed robbery cases, and things like that. Sometimes you would get a not guilty verdict on cases that you thought they might find guilty, and then the other way, you'd get cleared on cases or you'd get a guilty one you're not-but when I tried-John McGinnis, my law partner and I tried a murder case up there, a big murder case. It was packed and both sides of the-you know, you've got two sides in a murder case. Two different big families up there, and we took the case and tried it several days and jury went out and came back and found him not guilty. We slipped very quickly out of 00:14:00the courthouse and ran over to our office, which was upstairs over a little grocery and turned the lights out. The families came downstairs and were yelling and everything at us, but they finally didn't think we were there and they went away. But I've tried literally hundreds of lawsuits in Eastern Kentucky, and you never know what a jury's gonna do exactly, but you kinda get a feel for it after a number of years. As you go, you get better but I think that murder case was one of them that we didn't know where it was going but we felt that he had done it in self-defense, and we won it. We've had-I would be representing people and had a jail break and this guy-we'd just lost the case, I believe. But he'd just gone to jail, and that night the sheriff called real fast 00:15:00and said that this guy had just broken out of jail and they didn't know where he was going to head. Said he might go try to whack his lawyer. So we got on the lookout for that, but those are things that are not too unusual in that area of the state.

SALMONS: You made a statement that I find very interesting; I was hoping you would elaborate on it. You said early on that you were very idealistic, what lead to the lost of this idealism?

McBRAYER: Well, the reality of the law, the reality of a courtroom, the reality of a jury. Of course, the law's changed to the point now the process, it's-it's way too much process. It's way too much preparation, too much lawyering as we would say, that it gets way too expensive for the average guy to ever get to court, in a civil case. But as I say, when you're in a 00:16:00courtroom everyday like I used to be-I'm not that way anymore-but when you're in and out of a courtroom, all the realities of law kind of come to bare on you. So you see all the practical side of it. Then, you know, the economics of law practice kick in and you can't spend a hundred hours of work on a small case, and you really want to treat all the clients equal and spend basically equal amount of time. Unfortunately, you just can't do that from the economic standpoint. So you lose some of your idealism. When it kicks in that you have to pay the bills, and as you grow, and we've continued to grow a little bit and expanded but. I think the reality 00:17:00of running a law practice and the economics of it is where you get into the practical application of business. You have to inject your business techniques in it and try to not be so idealistic.

SALMONS: How do you instill in your young lawyers the ability to balance between the big case that has a lot of money behind it and the little case they make get their heart behind? How do you instill in them-

McBRAYER: Well, younger lawyers are, you know-I think I've said this before but the smartest person in the world is a senior in law school, and the dumbest person in the world is a first year practicing lawyer. That applied to me as well as everybody in here. That we've had-you try to teach them some practices that they start early. If you wait too long, they never 00:18:00do pick up the habit of returning their telephone calls that day, try to address the mail that they've got before, dictate at least a letter in reply or response, or those type things of communicating with their clients, returning all the phone calls before they go home, having a good strong work attitude and ethic, early. Then come in Saturday morning, Sunday evening, get their desk cleared off, ready for Monday. Have dictation on the machine when the secretary comes in on Monday morning instead of she sitting there basically doing nothing until you've dictated something on Monday. Those kinds of things, you just try to instill the practical and 00:19:00make them suggestions and things that I've seen throughout the years. Also, they've got to- they know that their bread and butter is on bigger cases, but at the same time they've got to be able to give attention to these others. So you can't disregard the small one because they say much of you new business in a law firm comes from your existing clients. Even though it's a small thing this time, it might well be a big thing the next time, and if you've done a good job on the small one-given it the attention that it deserves-then they walk in with a major problem and then you're in a position to address that. So it's those kinds of things, tips, I take them all to lunch frequently, and also when I see they've done something a little different or should have done something, I try to explain to them why and in a kind of in a teaching mode to assist them 00:20:00so they can learn early rather than learn the hard way late.

SALMONS: What do you feel is the most important basic principle of law?

McBRAYER: Well, be honest, number one. You've got to be honest; you've got to be straight. You've got to, you've got to be able to-your word should be your bond. When you tell a judge the law, you think what the law is, you don't distort that. When you give your word to another lawyer in a case on the other side, that such and such, that's got to be backed up by the truth. You can't mislead lawyers or other lawyers or judges or whatever cause it comes back to haunt you later on. So I think as much as anything that, the honesty and the directness that is 00:21:00required of an advocate, one that would, a person who would take-if you're gonna handle that matter pursue it with all you've got. Doesn't mean you need to spend a hundred hours on a DUI case, but it means that you've got to give that client the very best effort that you can in, in that matter within boundaries of reason and economics and such. As much as anything, it's the honesty and fair play that that come into the law and a straight forward application as it applies 00:22:00to the law. You've got to be able to address issues before a court, or before a jury, or just across your desk in a straight forward, clear, concise, well-structured way, so your client understands it. He feels like he has gotten a fair shake or whatever. That you've articulated his situation and that you're earning the money that you're charging him. He can see results, even though you lost, he knows that you gave it all you had in that instance. I think it's difficult to answer that in a one word type thing, but it's in that area where I think that answer lies.


SALMONS: You spoke a lot about the fees lawyers charge.


SALMONS: What do you personally think would be a fair fee for a lawyer to charge?

McBRAYER: Well, that all depends. It's just like anything else. The practice of law is no different. It's a commodity, although it involves people, but it's the economics of it. It's just the question of, what is the issue and how bad do they need you. It's all set by the same business principles that you set a washing machine-or I don't want to compare them-but it's no different than that in that regards. What are you internally paying for the service, how much does it cost you everyday to operate this law office, and then, you've got to figure out the-you know, that's after employees and everything. Then you've got to determine what's a fair fee. 00:24:00It's all on the economics of it. It's frankly no different, it's just a business. It's a business, we have accountants. We have, you know, we do the whole work, and we know at the end of the year, we have budgets. We have budgets in all of our offices. We know exactly what we did last year, what we're trying to do this year, those income and expenses. So, we know what it takes to run the office and so you factor that in and then you build on that throughout the years because you know after you've been around a number of years like we have, you know what it cost you last year, and what your overhead's anticipated to be this year, and you know what you charged them last time, so-your rates, we generally, normally have standard hourly rates of different ones. The younger, the lower the rates. So, that's the kind of way you determine it. It's not, there's no magic formula to it at all.


SALMONS: From our conversations, I've noticed you have two great interests in your life. One being the law and the other being your outdoor life.

McBRAYER: Right. Sure.

SALMONS: Okay. Does your wife share in your love of the outdoors?

McBRAYER: Well, she does. She's busy, but she does share a lot of it. We stay at our cabin in Sadieville a lot. We were out there Friday night and stayed. She also goes to Canada with me and fishes. She's so busy, she probably would do more, but I think she understands I need a little time to myself every now and then. So it works out that ways. She participates in parts of it, which is good. It's healthy for a marriage and whatever, but she does like it. She likes the water. She likes to water ski and things of that sort. I think my water skiing days are over but also she enjoys fishing. We were gonna go fish Saturday morning, a matter of fact, and 00:26:00it stormed the night before so bad we didn't do it. But yeah, she certainly shares it and recognizes that I need it, as I say, I need that therapy to get to be able to be by myself, be with a friend or fishing, or whatever. It just kind of clears the air, clears cobwebs out your brain.

SALMONS: What do you think about current wildlife regulations, are they enough?

McBRAYER: I think they are. Yeah, I think that the wildlife laws are pretty good. You've seen a lot of return of a lot of animals. Wild turkey, elk in Eastern Kentucky, deer population is even overpopulated now, and the geese, ducks and geese seem to be in abundance, 00:27:00and it's because they have been regulated and restricted. Even on catch and release, you've got lot of-like in Canada-and I'd like to see them do this in Kentucky-but in Canada, the fishing license, they'll sell it for half price if you agree to not keep any fish. That encourages people not to catch fish, keep fish. But no, I think the fish and wildlife folks both at the federal and state level both do a pretty good job. People don't tolerate the poachers and whatever like they use to. So I don't think a lot of that's going on now. Most of it, you know, that are fishing, you have slot limits and that means that certain fish you can take out of a lake have to be a certain size. Otherwise you leave them in there because that's breeding stock, and whatever. I think those 00:28:00things are honored pretty well. It's become more of a sport than it has a kinda have to fish to eat, you know, so to speak, or hunt to eat. I think it is pretty well regulated. It seems to do a pretty good job.

SALMONS: What's your feeling about the reintroduction of species that have went extinct in this area?

McBRAYER: Now say that again.

SALMONS: What do you thing about the reintroduction of species, like you said the elk, the wild turkey, and stuff like that?

McBRAYER: Yeah. I think it's terrific. You know, I think it's terrific and that's where the federal like federal duck stamps. You buy a federal duck stamp. All that money goes into the duck program, the duck/goose program, just like the fishing and hunting license here in Kentucky go to the fish and wildlife association, and it's kind of an independent stand-alone 00:29:00organization, which is very good. In other words, the Governor or whomever can't meddle with their funds. They always like to look at them because they've got some trust funds over there, but thus far so far they haven't touched them. This Governor and other Governors as well.

SALMONS: I know the game issue is good to introduce but a lot of the natural predators that were there for those species are gone. Do you feel they should also introduce the predatory species?

McBRAYER: Well, in certain balance, you had to try to get the balance. Yeah, then you get into the issue like on the elk. You get into the issue of black bear and they've introduced some black bear and they're not killing these animals like they used to. Just like the eagles they've done, the eagles have come back and fish hawks, you see the red tailed and making it a federal crime to shoot a red tailed hawk. Well, they're not shooting red tailed hawks like they use to and so now they're coming back. The falcon and all of those, it's because of the laws and 00:30:00that people, at least in that regard, are conscious of these animals. It's unfortunate that though they are not as conscious about the environment and ozone's and all of those levels things, but they're very conscious about animals and the protection of them, fishing and animals as well. But they kind of skip over the reality of the ozone levels and all the many, many of the catastrophes that we have here are brought about by these environmental changes and we're not addressing that. You know, even the flight patterns of ducks and geese have changed. That's all because of the heat and cold. Those patterns, and so the migrations are completely different 00:31:00now, but it's all caused by the environment, and we're not doing much about it.

SALMONS: Well, that [is] kind of interesting. That leads into my next set of questions.


SALMONS: What is the greatest environmental problem that the Greenup and Eastern Kentucky area faces right now?

McBRAYER: Well, most of its contamination, you know, the Big Sandy and the Ohio River and the heavy industry that used to be there is not so much anymore cause Armco's cut back. All of those have cutback. The major chemical plants have higher standards these days and not emissions, you know, the fish kills and those sorts of things, but it's emissions into the atmosphere that seem to be the worst problem we have. Our water has been-we're doing much better on the water, but it's the emissions into the air that contributions in the ozone levels and 00:32:00the carbon monoxides and all the fumes that are going into the atmosphere that are causing this. You know, I mean when we have plain and clear evidence about the Antarctica and Arctic Circle and other places where it's melting and the water levels are down the ice levels are down. Icebergs are melting and water levels changing. It's a very serious problem, not for me, but it sure is for my kids and certainly my grandkids.

SALMONS: With the current educational and infrastructural level of Greenup, what kind of blue collar industry could they attract that they are not attracting?

McBRAYER: Well, probably Greenup and Ashland areas are a little more attractive to 00:33:00industry than on up, you get into east Kentucky. I think where I come from is kind of northeast Kentucky and so you had the Ohio River, and you had a four lane highway, and you've got a railroad. So you've got all three there, and I'm a little surprised that more has not developed in recent years. They're trying to do more at the river ports, but as I say, I'm a little surprised that in some of those river bottoms where they're right next to the highway and right next to the railroad and all that, that more has not developed, even on down into Vanceburg and down that way. But it hasn't. Then you've got the huge Addington track that's trying to attract some people. But the problem, it seems, you know, about all they're able to attract were some call centers. They attract some call centers and things like that. But then most of those are going off 00:34:00shore. They're going overseas, India, you know, and other places. It's a right serious problem and the jobs we've been able to get generally don't pay very much. They're kind of almost jobs for the second person in the family, the second breadwinner, not just the primary breadwinner. So they don't pay enough to really support a family, if you're the primary breadwinner in the family. It almost has to be a secondary, second to a wife or a husband that's working a second job, not the first.

SALMONS: You're speaking of the location in an area of the river, the railway system, and the highways. What do you think the rise in fuel cost will do for the railroad and the water industry?

McBRAYER: Well, it probably helps them. Because they carry, they haul in bulk where 00:35:00trucks haul in smaller deliveries. I have watched the stock market and whatever about it, but there's more-the stocks are doing well in the areas of rail cars, shipping in bulk, because at a given point, the cost goes up more on trucks. The higher cost of diesel or gasoline affects more adversely truck haulers more than it does rail or water. So, generally speaking, you'll find that they benefit more when the fuel goes up, that's where the better activity is. I follow stock here 00:36:00that every time oil goes up, this rail car company goes up. They manufacture rail cars and it's that use of the rail cars, that's what, you know, causes it to go up. Because the shift is over to that.

SALMONS: One of the industries that is located in that area is the healthcare industry. Why do you feel that the healthcare is so expensive at this time?

McBRAYER: Well, first, the healthcare industry is located everywhere, and it's a huge expenditure. It's very difficult to put your finger on the massive cost. That's what, I mean, people all over the United States have chased that and tried to figure it out. The Clintons, you know, when President Clinton first took office, well, they like to have ran him out of town on a 00:37:00rail because they were trying to address the healthcare issue. Nobody really wants to address it in a big way. Cause they don't want to face the realities of some of them. But, you know, you've got to-you've got big hospitals and you've got a lot of expense in them and I've just often wondered why we couldn't do more cookie cutter type of stuff. Just like I never could understand on schools why you couldn't-if a school, if you needed a school or a hospital for five hundred children in a school or two hundred patients, why you couldn't build those basically the same, and same standards, same a little bit of everything, but our standards have been so high and so the cost-of course, medicine is another challenge. Cost of medicine, you know, if you go to Mexico, it's obviously less lot less expensive, and Canada, and whatever. I 00:38:00understand pharmaceutical companies say, "Well, you all are supporting our research," and I understand that. But those things have got to be addressed. You've got to have a more level playing field in that regard. But when you've got forty-three or forty-four million Americans that don't have any healthcare, why it's-you know, that just makes the healthcare really go up more because they just go to the emergency room, have to take care of them, those types things. There's no easy answers on that one. I don't really have the answer to it. But I know some more dramatic changes have got to be made before-otherwise it's just totally like Grisham's runaway jury, you know.

SALMONS: We spoke last time of something that's called the "brain drain" in Eastern Kentucky. What would it take to stop the young educated people from leaving the area?

McBRAYER: Well, it's got to be obviously a concerted effort to hold them there, but 00:39:00you've got to have a reason to hold them there. You've got to have a quality of life to hold them there. Generally speaking, Eastern Kentuckian are very family oriented, you know. They're always going home. But they've had to go away to get a better education. So the challenge is to keep them at home, after they're, return them. I am not so certain that they shouldn't start a program like the physician program and a rural scholarship program and get them to require them to come back home. You could certainly do that with teachers and maybe others. But sometimes, somehow to get them back home, that person with that college degree back home, who will influence others in turn, and that sort of thing. But until you [do], I've always thought 00:40:00that maybe we really try to put industry on the fringes of Eastern Kentucky and let those Eastern Kentuckians drive out to the industry or transport them somehow to the industry. If, in fact, they're not gonna go, industry's not gonna go to Eastern Kentucky, it's because of geography because of no water and sewer, utilities, flat land, educated work force, et cetera, et cetera, and you could, at least, start by the fringes of east Kentucky and place the plants there, hopefully, and then they provide them transportation to and from work every day.

SALMONS: Do you think the state of Kentucky is doing enough to bring Eastern Kentucky on par with Western and Central Kentucky?

McBRAYER: Well, it's always easy to get the industry in the Louisville, Lexington, and Northern Kentucky than it is any place else. Western Kentucky is suffering as well. They 00:41:00have not been done very well in area of economic development, and they have their own problems down there. Lakes area down there did not develop as some had thought to-the tourism industry itself did not develop to the magnitude or the quality that they had anticipated, even though they have those two wonderful lakes down there. They don't have the handicap that Eastern Kentucky does. They have a little better, certainly qualified work force. They have flat land and the utilities and whatever fairly close, and they've got TVA power down there and on the upper end they have the Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee River. So, Western Kentucky's doing better than Eastern Kentucky is. But part of that is, again, there's no level playing field, fortunately enough, unfortunately as I say. You just can't get these plants that are 00:42:00paying high paying jobs to go into Eastern Kentucky because of the geography, because of the utilities, because of the work force, because of the transportation system, and whatever. So it's really a very, very tough job. A lot of people have tried it over the years to try to make a sustained effort to get industry in but it's really been tough.

SALMONS: One of the issues I've read about that Eastern Kentucky lacks is-and West Virginia, Ohio-[is] an international airport. What would it take do you think to get an international airport in the area to bring in the business?

McBRAYER: Well, there's been discussion, you know, put an international airport centrally located because-but, of course, a new airport would take twelve to fifteen years to build and cost in excess of a billion dollars. So that's one of the problems with that just the cost. 00:43:00But, you're right, the air service is really important. Air service is important to executives to get in and out of town and that sort of thing, and particularly as more international plants like Japan and others that locate in the state because of our heavy, heavy investment in automobile factories. The satellite plants, all a lot of them are foreign, or operated by foreign people with native people working there. Ashland Oil always had the problem of getting executives to come and work at Ashland because there was no quick way out of there, whether they did want to do other things. You had to go to two or three different airports to get a long flight, or whatever.

SALMONS: In one of our previous conversation, we were talking about your early 00:44:00political career. If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to change gears and start focusing a little a little bit on that. Okay. When you first went to Frankfort, after your election in 1955, what initial expectations did you have of what you could accomplish? What were your initial goals?

McBRAYER: Well, of course, I was new obviously at the job. It was-I was twenty- six, I think. So I was brand new in a lot of ways. I wanted to learn the system first and try to figure out what, you know, what was going on, or try to figure out how the system worked, and how I could benefit my area of the state. My area of the state was heavily union at the time, very influenced by railroad unions, and steel workers. My father was a railroader as well, and so I 00:45:00was influenced by labor issues, but more importantly I got in, finally moved into consumer protection, consumer legislation, open meetings, open records-those kinds of things that were the things that have come into play in, you know, the last ten, fifteen, twenty years. I worked extensively in all of those during the legislature many years ago. But I was slow to take issues. Then I got into a leadership position. My second term, I was in a leadership position.

SALMONS: What leadership position was it?

McBRAYER: I was the speaker pro tem [tempore] my second term, and-

[Tape 1, side 1 ends; side 2 begins.]

SALMONS: We were speaking earlier, before we had to change sides of this tape, that you were one of the youngest ever in certain positions. What were they again?


McBRAYER: Well, in '68, I was speaker pro tem [tempore] and then '70 was majority leader. Both of those are-speaker pro tem [tempore] is elected by the entire House. Majority leader is a partisan party floor leader job. Is one that runs the legislation, decides what's heard, and what's not, what's called up, and what's not called up, and that sort of thing.

SALMONS: How does someone as young as you and with such a comparative small amount of experience in the House end up in positions of this power?

McBRAYER: Well, you know, I really don't know. I think maybe some of them thought I had some potential as a statewide candidate later, or whatever. But also I really worked hard. They knew I did the job. Then, when I came in John Y. Brown, Sr. was the floor 00:47:00leader. He didn't take a great interest in it, and I helped him a lot. So I worked out in, I just worked with him and did all the work that-he was really busy trial lawyer, and whatever. I helped him with all of the legislation and getting it ready to call up and lined his schedules up every day, and that sort of thing. I think I learned a lot from him. So it helped me later on because they saw I was willing to, you know, make the special effort the extra effort to do it.

SALMONS: When you left the House of Representatives, was it in '76, or seventy-

McBRAYER: I left in '75. Retired, I mean. I left three months early because Governor Ford was stepping up the United States Senate and Governor Carroll was-Lieutenant Governor 00:48:00Carroll was stepping up and so they asked me to be in charge of the transition of government from over Ford to Carroll. So I took an office on the first floor of the capital and handled all the transition from Ford to Carroll. I did all of that by myself. Maybe I had a secretary. So I handled all that by myself, and then when Governor Carroll took over, I was his chief of staff while he was running for a full four-year term. I did that for him for six months after he was elected. After he received the nomination, which was tantamount to be elected, I quit and went back to practice law.

SALMONS: Did you have any further political aspirations after leaving the House?

McBRAYER: Well, yes, I was, you know, I thought I had the opportunity. I had been 00:49:00president of the Young Democrats of Kentucky. I had leadership positions in the House, and then Governor Carroll and I were good friends and his group, and I helped him get elected, and then helped the transition of government, and then stepped back out. So I went to practice law but then I went back, after I was chief of staff, I went back later as commissioner of commerce to pay a stint there because everybody thought that I was it would be a good political move, and at the same time I could do some good and travel the state and try to get new industry et cetera, et cetera. That's what I did at that time, and so then after I was commissioner of commerce for about eighteen months, I resigned that job and then shortly thereafter I announced for Governor. 00:50:00So that's how I ended up, that was the political route that I chose to end up, you know, that to announce and then I ran in 1979. I announced in the fall of '78 and then I ran in the primary of 1979.

SALMONS: After your run for Governor-


SALMONS: I still see that you had a lot of involvement in Kentucky politics.

McBRAYER: Yeah, I was good, but when I ran for Governor and got defeated, I was completely broke. I had-I was-I had tried to prepare myself to be a Governor at least twenty years. I did a lot of reading, studying, active in legislation, whatever, and so when I was 00:51:00completely broke and so Brent Rice, my wonderful friend, who had driven me in the campaign- brand new lawyer out of school. He and I went over here and opened an office, and we didn't have law books, we didn't have walls, we didn't have anything. Very slowly and methodically, we built a law practice to where we are today with forty-five lawyers and five offices, and whatever. So, which I am very proud of, but at the time, it was extremely tough. John Y. Brown [Junior] had defeated me fair and square. So anybody that wanted a lawyer thought I was a politician and anybody that wanted a politician, hire a politician or whatever, they knew that Brown had defeated me. Then even the phone book came out and listed my home address, my home phone, so even to call me, you had to call my house. It was a very difficult time for a 00:52:00while there, until we finally got started, but it was-it was extremely tough and I also had a debt of one hundred sixty thousand dollars at the time. That's when interest rates went to 23 and 24 percent. I finally got it paid off; but-but even then, I tried to deduct the interest that I had paid on it. I put the one hundred sixty thousand dollars in the campaign, I had to borrow the money, and that was a lot of money in 1979, and that's all I had. So, then the IRS wouldn't even let me even deduct it from my taxes, the interest, because they said that really was a contribution to your campaign. Anyway, all in all, it was tough but I didn't look back, never regretted anything. I held my head high and went forward. I handled my loss, what I thought, very well and shook 00:53:00hands, and, you know, I was defeated fair and square, and, you know, that's what democracy's all about. So then, I got to work on building my law practice and trying to refund my children's education account, which I had spent during the campaign.

SALMONS: After the run for Governor, I see that in 1995, you served as chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party. How was that different this time through?

McBRAYER: Well, I wasn't the candidate. It was different in that Paul Patton, who'd been a friend of mine for years, and who had supported me when I had ran, was one of my co- state chairmen, asked me to do it, and he caught me at a weak moment and I was really bored at law practice at the time. I never thought he would win. But I went over by June the first, or 00:54:00something like that, and took over, helped run his campaign and became state chairman, and I thought I could work three days a week and be over there four days a week or something. Well, it was just all consuming and so I ended up spending seven days a week, seven nights a week, full bore ahead, and lo and behold, we actually won. I never thought we were going to win and it surprised me greatly that we won. I was thrilled to death about that. Felt that I had played a part in that. So, then I resigned as soon as right after he won, and came back and tried to make a real living, you know.

SALMONS: How does it make you feel to know that many people credit you for the success of that campaign? They say, without you he could not have won.

McBRAYER: Well, he said that. Others have said it, and I was I was a part of it. I was 00:55:00able to energize a lot of people that hadn't been energized or asked to do anything for a number of years. I think I had an ability to relate to a lot of people out in the counties that I've known throughout the years. All my life's been involved with people in one form or another, and so I do think I helped. I don't know that I was the sole reason for his victory. He was very bright man. It's unfortunate the personal things that have happened to him that cast a shadow over all the other good stuff that he did, but-and that's unfortunate. I hope history will show him better than just the personal situation he got into. But-I was honored by that and they had a 00:56:00huge party for me with over one thousand people and honored me in Frankfort one night. So, it was a proud moment in my life.

SALMONS: In 1992 and 1996, you served as President Clinton's authorized representative in Kentucky. What kind of experience was that?

McBRAYER: Well, I've known the Clintons. I knew Hillary Clinton for twenty years or so, almost twenty years, and I knew him, Bill, through her, and when he was Governor of Arkansas, we spent some time together. Then, I worked for him in both campaigns and we were able to carry the state. Then I was in and out of the White House quite a bit, and I knew him on a first name basis. I worked with Vince Foster-who later committed suicide-I worked with 00:57:00him very closely in the White House on appointment of federal judges and on education lawsuits, and whatever. If he had lived, I would have been probably far more active in the White House, but he obviously couldn't handle the pressure and committed suicide. And he was a great friend. I had a lot of respect for the Clintons and liked them very much.

SALMONS: How was it to work with someone who is charismatic as President Clinton was?

McBRAYER: Oh, he was overwhelming. He's all consuming. It's just-it's just, a fascinating, extremely bright individual. People don't like him, or the people don't like her or whatever, but you can't say that they're not extremely intelligent. That he-during his tenure as 00:58:00President, this country did very well, prospered very well, and it's been downhill ever since. I'm totally complete depression right now as to the mess we have our country in right now, all over the world. It greatly concerns me. No one can take away from the Clintons the fact that we had-the American people had a wonderful eight years with him-economically, socially, quality of life, and whatever. It's been all destroyed since then. We had what, five or six trillion dollar surplus and now we have a five or six trillion dollar deficit. It just goes on and on and on. 00:59:00There's not enough time left in this interview for me to express all my painful thoughts about that.

SALMONS: If you wish, I can, we can do that, and I would be glad to come back again.

McBRAYER: No, that's fine.

SALMONS: Okay. What do you think about Mrs. Clinton's? I should say Senator Clinton's chances of running for the President?

McBRAYER: Well, my wife and I were with her the other night when she was in Louisville and then we flew to Chicago with her. She was just a fascinating lady. Extremely bright, and for whatever reason, there are a large number of people in the United States that say they don't like her. But they don't know her. I often wonder about people that get opinions of people and they don't know them. They never met them, or frankly probably never read anything about them, but they don't like them. There's a bitterness there. A kind of a deal that you either love her or hate her. And I often wonder if people you hear say, "I hate that person." 01:00:00How in the devil do you know you hate the person? Do you know them? "Well, no, I never met 'em. I just know I hate 'em." You know, well, you can hate a movie star or TV or something, but people that are live human beings that I just hate to hear people express opinions of political leaders-either side. Say, I hate that person, or I detest that person, and they don't even know them. I don't like a certain person's policies, that's fine. I don't agree with so and so. That's fine. But just because you don't agree, "I hate that person." Although I believe, if I was the father of a son who'd been killed in Iraq, I'd be damn close to saying I really am upset big time with the President of the United States, and those around him. But again, that's another day, 01:01:00another story. But it's gonna get worse before it gets better.

SALMONS: Do you think do you feel that Senator Clinton will run though?

McBRAYER: Well, I think she certainly wants to. She's got an ability also to raise money. More and more people are having a hard time denying that she's extremely bright. Then, if she could get a Vice-President, that's got a little softer impression out there, like an Evan Bye, or somebody go into middle America and try to find-the problem is that the United States Senators have not been successful in Presidential races in recent years. Governors have. You think about it: Clinton-


McBRAYER: Bush, Jimmy Carter, you know.


SALMONS: Reagan.

McBRAYER: And Reagan, of course. They're all Governors.

SALMONS: There's many stories out right now and many names going around that, that you may consider going back into the state politics. Is there, is that a true rumor or is that just a rumor?

McBRAYER: Well, by the time this is made public they'll certainly will know. But- I'm not certain-I'm sixty-eight years old. There's a loud cry for mature and responsible leadership in Frankfort right now, regardless of the reason. I really think there's gray and white hair, there's a great need for gray and white hair over there. Some people can see the big picture and understand and know where the pitfalls are, and to put the train back on the track and run it 01:03:00on time. And then build toward the future. But a lot of repair needs to be done over there, and I'm not critical of Ernie Fletcher. He's a friend. He's a nice guy, I think, but whoa, have the mistakes been made. Big major mistakes. So our country, our state has not progressed any in the last two to three years. Then, at the end of Patton's administration, we had that personal thing. So it's been kind of floundering. I just think Kentuckians are ready for a more senior person to run it. I don't know whether I'm that person. I have not made any decisions about it. I think about often. I have a lot of people call me and we just kind of a wait and see. It's almost August first now. I think you'll see a lot of things happen after the November election. When 01:04:00they decide in Washington and whether it's a Democratic majority takes over the House and that would affect Ben Chandler, whether Jerry Abramson would be interested in as mayor of Louisville-both of them are personal friends of mine. Whether Hal Rodgers leaves the House, if he drops from the majority to the minority, he would run. A lot of dynamics but most of them will be take place after November seventh.

SALMONS: If you were to be approached, what position would you be interested in? Would you want to be Governor, or Lieutenant Governor?

McBRAYER: Well, I would just probably run for Governor, I would think. I don't know that there would be a scenario where I would run for Lieutenant Governor. I'm at the point in life where I don't need it. My ego doesn't need it. I'm very comfortable in my station in life, in what I do, in what I do every day. So, you know, sometimes people run for the wrong 01:05:00reasons. Those reasons are to run for one job so they can get another job, or their ego has to be fed, or it will help their business, or whatever. I'm in that position where I don't need any of those things. I don't need more money. I don't need fame. I don't need ego massaged. I'm not running for anything else. You finally get to the point where you develop strong principles, strong philosophy, air of independence to you, and a strong integrity that, and a do right attitude. So when you get those, sometimes that makes a good candidate. The problem is that by the time 01:06:00you reach that maturity in all those areas, you lose the zeal. Young guys have the zeal. The old guys and gals have the experience, knowledge, the background, the maturity, the philosophy, the attitude, et cetera, et cetera. Young folks don't have that, haven't developed it. When I ran before, I hadn't developed it. I've said I probably wouldn't have made a very good Governor too, because I really wasn't as strong in judgment, principle, philosophy, and whatever. But now, I know I would be a good Governor. The question is do you want to do that. Is that what you want to do for your productive years that are left? I'm sixty-eight. I would be seventy when I was elected, and that's not old; I don't consider myself old for any means. But it will take away most of your productive years or most of them that you have left, whether it is four 01:07:00years or eight years is, you know, not out of the question. So, I've got good seats at the Derby; I've got UK basketball tickets; I've got good U of L basketball tickets; so I don't need any of that. I've been to the Derby forty times. I'm just saying that I don't need any of that and so you could really do it right and run for the right reason, feel very comfortable about it. Then the question is-it gets right down to you personally-do you and your wife want to do that at this point in your life? That's a very, very difficult question to answer.

SALMONS: That actually led right into my next question. How does your wife feel about your involvement with the issues you are now in going beyond?

McBRAYER: Well, she's a very successful business woman in and of herself. She goes to work mostly before I do and gets home later than I do. I mean, she's a very hard worker, very 01:08:00successful, and runs Kentucky Eagle beer, which has about two hundred employees, and then she has other investments and stuff as well. So, she's busy, active, and we both come home tired of the evening. But she's very supportive. She told me she would support anything I wanted to do. Of course, if I was elected, it would change her. She would have another job, which would really be interesting to see how she could handle it. But she's a workaholic just like I am. So you can always find room for one more job, I guess.

SALMONS: If for some reason you ran-I'm not saying you are-how would that affect your legal practice? Would you be able to make?

McBRAYER: No, I wouldn't practice anymore. I would resign as lobbyist all my clients. I did that when I took over chairman of the party. At some point, I would withdraw. If 01:09:00I got elected, I would withdraw from the firm. But I would have to do that, only if I were elected. But, when I announced, or whatever, I would withdraw from representing anybody, on a government relations, lobbying on either the executive or legislative side.

SALMONS: At one time, I noticed reading from your bio, you're a special justice for the Kentucky Supreme Court. What kind of experience was that?

McBRAYER: Well, it was a very good one. I had a lot of friends on the supreme court and the judge; chief justice would appoint periodically when they had a vacancy. They needed one or another judge, they would appoint to take the place, and they appointed me on it. It was a great experience. My first case I had-I had really read it because I wanted to impress the 01:10:00other judges. So I got down there, I knew I saw that I know more about the case than they did. I asked some hopefully intelligent questions and whatever, to show 'em I'd read the briefs, and whatever. So then we convened we adjourned the chambers and that's when they discuss preliminarily who thinks what. And so I'm there, and so they said, "Well, Terry, you're the special judge. You're the guest here today." Said, "You go first." I said, "Oh, my gosh. No, no. I pass right now." So they go around the table and they get back to me and they all express their opinions as yea or nay. Said, "Well now, Terry, it's three to three. How do you go?" Then, 01:11:00they had preliminary decisions and then they start working on a decision, opinion, but I never did know whether they actually set me up on that and having fun with me, or but they-it wasn't a game with 'em cause it ultimately was a four to three decision on that-but they put it right back on me. "Now it's three to three; how do you go?" But that was a great experience for me.

SALMONS: Do you every consider running for the supreme court and becoming full-

McBRAYER: No, I would not be a good judge because I love to take a side. I could obviously be fairly impartial, but I love to be an advocate. I love to be on a team. I love to just take one side of an issue and go with it.

SALMONS: As we were talking about politics, GOP leader asked Fletcher not to run 01:12:00for re-election. What do you think about Jack Richardson's remark in that?

McBRAYER: Well, there's a whole lot of going on in the Republican party in Kentucky right now. There's another crowd, you know, headed by Mitch McConnell, who is a friend, but they've fallen out obviously. So there's kind of an orchestrated effort against Fletcher right now. It's gonna to be interesting to see whether Fletcher continues, as he is for the time being, and he certainly looks like a candidate. That would be decided next May. But, of course, he has this trial coming up in November, but now if it's dismissed for whatever reason, you know, he'll be off and running harder. I think the McConnell's-see they've all split now. It's kind of a split in the party and I think they're out looking for a candidate to run against Fletcher. Governor 01:13:00Fletcher's not gonna be easy to beat, even though he's got a lot of problems right now. Still, it's tough, it's tough to be an incumbent Governor, I don't care who it is.

SALMONS: How does this help the Democratic party, with him having all these problems and the split in the Republican party?

McBRAYER: Well, of course, it's beneficial to the Democratic party, but generally speaking, Democrats, we never win anything; the Republicans just give it back to us. That's the way it's looking in the Washington and Frankfort, both at the present time, at least. Time will tell as to what that happen. You know, they always say, "I don't-I don't belong to any organized political party. I'm a Democrat." And that's so. But what happens, generally speaking with Democrats, we don't fall out-and I'm generalizing-we don't fall out for as long as Republican do. Republicans fall out a lot on philosophy and they'll stay apart for a long time. 01:14:00Democrats are more on personality whatever and they get back together. So the split is probably a pretty ugly one at the present time. But time will only tell where that shakes out.

SALMONS: Something else I seen that you've done seems very interesting to me. You were a delegate to NATO at one time?

McBRAYER: Delegate to NATO?


McBRAYER: Yes, I went over three weeks when I was a young political leader. Traveled with-spent time at Brussels, NATO headquarters. Spent time in Paris at the Embassy with Sergent Shriver who was the ambassador then. I spent a week traveling with the NAZI party over there. Started traveled a week with Willie Brant and a week with Conrad Kissinger as 01:15:00they were running for the chancellorship of West Germany. It was a great experience and going all over Germany and following them. That was done through, they have an organization called Young Political Leaders of the United States, both Democrats and Republicans. So I was asked to do that. I was in the legislature then. That was a long time ago.

SALMONS: In your life, you've had the opportunity to meet some of the greatest powers in the world, I've noticed. Who would you say is the most influential political person in your life?

McBRAYER: Well, the most-Bill Clinton, President Clinton, who I'd met many times, but I think he's probably the most powerful influential person that I knew at the time. And in history. But I also knew John Sherman Cooper fairly well. Thurston Morton, Marlow 01:16:00Cook, a lot of-Haley Barbour, the Governor of Mississippi, Trent Lott-I've known a lot of these people in and out. Wendell Ford, a wonderful friend, and all the Governors that go way back in Kentucky and then in other states as well, so I've had wonderful friends. Dick Riley, Secretary of Education in south and under Clinton. One of the dear friend of mine, Jim Hodges former Governor of South Carolina, I just talked with today. Jim Hunt, a dynamic leader, three times Governor in North Carolina, a wonderful friend. People like that, that I've met and remain in contact with that-a lot of former Governors, and almost were's and that sort of thing around the United States that I've had a lot of relationship. Former Governor of New Mexico Governor Campbell is dead now. Ann Richards a dear friend of mine in Texas and so I've known a lot of 01:17:00them over the years.

SALMONS: In your opinion, who has been the most important President of the United States?

McBRAYER: Who has been the most important? I think probably Franklin Roosevelt's probably, at least in the modern era, Roosevelt. I was always impressed with Teddy Roosevelt because he was in love with the outdoors and his love of nature and his protection of nature and conservation. I've read a lot of books on him. But I think Theodore Roosevelt was-the Roosevelt boys were the two-you know, he was president three terms and amazing that he could do all of that and as crippled as he was. What he did in the war with Churchill and Stalin 01:18:00and meetings at Malta [Yalta] on and on and on were fascinating to me. I've read a lot about 'em and their relationships and how did the war-how they conducted the war. But, you know, then along come Harry Truman, little guy from Missouri, "Show Me" state, and does a masterful job. He did little or no expectation but I would say that, you know, after the war that-I mean, how Roosevelt set up all the programs, all the plans, and the self-help programs, and brought the United States back after a terrible war. Depression and then the war, and whatever, and he was masterful at it. I knew LBJ, who was extremely bright political guy. So I've been around a lot 01:19:00of 'em in my lifetime. I was a-my opportunities came, I was a little younger than most. I was in my twenties when I got, you know, meet and worked with Jack Kennedy and his campaign for President. I knew Bobby and Teddy. I've been with Senator Kennedy numerous times. We honored John Cooper, John Sherman Cooper. I was chairman of KET and we had a program in the Kennedy Center in Washington and honored John Sherman Cooper and he died not three months after that. Senator Kennedy was there, whatever, but it was a very nice deal. So I've known a lot of these individuals throughout the years.

SALMONS: Looking back over your political career, which has went well beyond the House of Representatives and well beyond that, what was your most satisfying accomplishment?

McBRAYER: Well, one of the most satisfying accomplishments was elected Paul 01:20:00Patton as Governor for eight years. He did move the state forward, even with the problems he had. I think probably that was it. The other one-I never did much credit for but I spent a great deal of work on it-was introducing and supporting and frankly drafting-others who were allowed to introduce it-but drafting all the consumer protection legislation, open records, and open meetings. I didn't do it all, but I played a major role in all of that, that's now been in on the law books for the last twenty-five years or so. So I think those as much as anything were some of my substantive contributions, or the ones I feel most proud of.

SALMONS: If you were starting over and knew what you knew now about politics, 01:21:00would you still do it all again?

McBRAYER: Well, I think so. I've enjoyed the-because I'm a people person in the first place, and so yeah, I would do I'd do it again. I'd reload the shotgun. I've done a lot of things in my life that's very-my law practice today remains very-different. I mean, I deal with no two things that are the same and I've always been able to be a problem solver and handle a lot of issues and keep a lot of balls in the air, and that's what I've done all my life. So I was always fulltime job, had to earn my money for my kids and my wife and family. I never had any money. There was no money from my family or anybody else always. So I always had to work, and politics is expensive for you. I mean, you don't make any money driving across the state 01:22:00making a speech. They give you a pair of cuff links and you're wearing a short sleeve shirt kind of deal. I mean, you know, it's very expensive to you, and for you to try to get yourself in a position where you run for Governor or whatever. It's an expensive endeavor from out of your pocket, and all mine had to come out of my law office because that was what we had to-that's how I earned a living. You know, I started out by myself and then two persons and then three and built it up over the years. But it came from me. I wasn't making money from anybody else. It was coming from what I had it generate. So if I wasn't in the office, you're not generating any money. You know, as I tried to promote myself politically, I never had the time to stay around, so they'd find out whether I had any sense or not. Because I had to get back to little Greenup and practice law the next morning at 7:30, or here as I moved later. But most of my 01:23:00time, trying to become Governor was spent in Greenup, and so I had to work out of there, and traveling across the state from Greenup to anywhere you go is a long way. Then trying to get back there, so you can be in the office the next morning. That took a toll on me, but it was a rewarding, and I've never ever regretted any of it. Unlike-a lot of guys don't handle their losses very well, I think I did. I always felt very, very good about that. If there was-you asked the question a while ago, if there were any real accomplishments in your political career, whatever, I'd say right up there at the top is handling my loss, well. I mean never looking over your shoulder, holding your head high, be proud because I knew that I gave it every ounce of 01:24:00energy and fought that I had. I was always very comfortable with myself because there wasn't anything else left for me to do. I knew I'd given it all that I had and that's all you can ask out of a person. I felt very good about it. And I pulled myself up again after I had no money. We had no job, no clients, no anything; I pulled myself up. Those are accomplishments as far as I'm concerned.

SALMONS: The final question I always have to ask at the end of the interview process is what advice would you give to someone considering going into politics?

McBRAYER: Well, it's kinda like asking somebody how you become a millionaire in the horse business. Start out being a multimillionaire. The struggle with the politics today is such that it's requires some much money, and statistics show 99 percent of the candidates with the 01:25:00most money win. That's sad state of fact. But it does, but it's money, money, money and TV, TV, TV. It's sad that it's come to that but it has in many ways. So I would say as best you can, establish yourself in your career first and get on solid footing, and go on and get as much education as you can. Go on and get established and whatever you're gonna do. And then take a closer look at politics, rather than start it too early because then you can never have the income or the job or whatever to support it. You've got to have that and if you're not independently wealthy or reasonably wealthy, it's extremely difficult to promote yourself politically, and at the 01:26:00same time try to do your job and work in whatever occupation that you're in.

SALMONS: Well, Mr. McBrayer, I want to thank you for all the time you have given me in these interviews. I really appreciate and I know anybody listening to these tapes will. Whatever you decide to do, good luck on your endeavors.

McBRAYER: Well, thank you very much and I don't remember what I said, but I at that point in my life where I don't have to remember what I said because I just tell it the way I see it. Thank you very much.

SALMONS: Thank you.

[Tape 1, side 2 ends.]

[End of interview.]