Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with James Edward "Ted" Bassett, December 4, 2006

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:16 - Overview of life

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Partial Transcript: Alright, this is Kim Lady Smith.

Segment Synopsis: Bassett introduces himself and provides a brief overview of his life including where and when he was born, his education, his military service in the Marine Corps, and his various jobs and occupations. He also describes how and when he met his wife.

Keywords: Family; Jobs; Kent School; Schools; Wives

Subjects: Childhood; Education; Families.; Kent School

00:02:34 - Family history / Kent School

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Partial Transcript: Uh, let's go back to, um, to your earliest years and tell me a little bit about, uh--tell me your father's name.

Segment Synopsis: Bassett describes his father and mother and their background and family history. He discusses his immediate family and his childhood growing up. He tells of how he attended Kent School in Connecticut from the time he was twelve until graduation. He describes Kent School, why he wanted to go there, and what he liked about it. He also discusses Kent School's routines and structure. He says that Kent School influenced him greatly and played a large part of who he is today. He says that he had a very high quality of education. He says that he played many sports, including football, basketball, baseball, and rowing.

Keywords: Athletics; Family; Family history

Subjects: Childhood; Education; Families.; Kent School; Kent School (Kent, Conn.)

00:24:17 - Impact of the Great Depression

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Partial Transcript: The, the Depression, uh, still left its mark on me.

Segment Synopsis: Bassett describes the impact that the Great Depression had on both himself and his family. He tells the story of how his mother took him and his brother out of dancing school due to the cost. He says that the Depression affected his grandfather greatly due to his career as a president in the banking industry.

Keywords: Economic conditions; Family; Family history; Grandfathers; Great Depression; Mothers

Subjects: Childhood; Depressions--1929; Families.

00:27:24 - Greentree Stud Farm

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Partial Transcript: Your father--so Greentree Stud was the first farm he worked on?

Segment Synopsis: Bassett describes how his father began to work for the Greentree Stud Farm. He also describes his father's relationship with the farm's owner, C.V. Whitney. He says that they played tennis, badminton, and polo. He also says that his father loved working around the horses as the farm manager. He describes the farm as having roughly 750 acres.

Keywords: Employment; Family; Family history; Fathers; Greentree Stud Farm; Jobs

Subjects: Childhood; Families.; Farming

00:33:46 - Role of absentee farm owners

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Partial Transcript: What kind of an impact would, um--I'm getting a little off topic but I'm learning so much about, uh, the horse industry here--

Segment Synopsis: Bassett describes the role of absentee owners of Kentucky horse farms. He says that they did not play a large role in politics at all. He says that the owners treated their farms as hobbies. However, he says that their farms played a very large role in the Kentucky economy. He says that horse farming is the largest agri-business in Kentucky.

Keywords: Economy; Horses; Kentucky; Ownership; Politics

Subjects: Economy; Horse farms; Kentucky; Politics

00:38:13 - Father's role at Keeneland / Introduction to horses

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Partial Transcript: But your dad, I also read that he was involved with Keeneland, was the vice-president of Keeneland.

Segment Synopsis: Bassett describes his father's time as the vice-president of Keeneland Racetrack. He describes how his father first got involved at Keeneland. He says that he sold bonds in order to raise money to start the company. He also describes how he had no interest in the horse industry as he grew up.

Keywords: Childhood; Horse farms; Horse racing; Horses; Kentucky

Subjects: Horse racing; Horses; Keeneland Association (Lexington, Ky.)

00:45:02 - Involvement with police force and public protection

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Partial Transcript: So you learned about horses from your wife's family, about the horse industry?

Segment Synopsis: Bassett tells the story of how he became involved with the police department in Kentucky. He also discusses some of the political leaders that he came in contact with and their relationships. He discusses John Ed Pearce and Al Smith, among other notable public officials.

Keywords: Al Smith; John Ed Pearce; Law enforcement; Police; Politics; Public protection

Subjects: Police; Politicians--Kentucky; Politics

01:03:15 - Mother and church

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Partial Transcript: When did your mother pass away?

Segment Synopsis: Bassett discusses his mother, including her younger life and death. He tells of her relationship and marriage with Dudley Stewart. He talks about how she died in Florida and he tries to attend the church where she was buried once a year. He also discusses his church, Union Christian Church. He says that he has attended Union Christian Church for 41 years and that he is a devout Episcopalian. He says that he grew up attending Second Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky because his grandfather was an elder there. He says that he became an Episcopalian after attending Kent School.

Keywords: Childhood; Churches; Family; Family history; Mothers

Subjects: Families.; Religion

01:14:41 - Time as the head of the Kentucky State Police

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Partial Transcript: I have a few more questions f--about your early years and of course we haven't gotten to Yale yet.

Segment Synopsis: Bassett discusses the period during which he was the head of the Kentucky State Police. He says that it was a very difficult time and there was a lot of dysfunction and bad policies. He also discusses law enforcement at Eastern Kentucky University.

Keywords: Eastern Kentucky University (EKU); Kentucky State Police; Police

Subjects: Eastern Kentucky University; Kentucky State Police; Police