Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Alice Chandler, March 15, 2007

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:05 - Background

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Partial Transcript: This is Kim Lady Smith.

Segment Synopsis: Chandler provides an overview of her family, including the life of her father and grandfather. The horse-oriented background of Chandler's family is emphasized.

Keywords: Aunts; Beaumont Farm, Lexington (Ky.); Family; Fayette County (Ky.); Horseman; Land; Lexington (Ky.); Thoroughbreds; Uncles

Subjects: Cattle; Childhood; Early life; Families.; Farmers; Fathers; Grandfathers; Horses; Mares; Mothers; Parents; Princeton University; Stallions; Strokes; Tobacco

00:08:02 - Father's work / Childhood

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Partial Transcript: Now, you said your father's, uh--was primarily interested in racing and horses to race. Now, did he also breed and, and sell at all, or?

Segment Synopsis: Chandler discusses the work of her father in the horse industry. Additionally, Chandler articulates what her childhood was like.

Keywords: Family; Half-sisters; Keeneland sales; Lexington (Ky.); Saratoga (N.Y.); Saratoga Sales; Siblings

Subjects: Cattle; Childhood; Families.; Fathers; Horse industry; Horses; Keeneland (Ky.); Life; Mothers; Twentieth century; Work

00:14:29 - Early life

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk about your childhood.

Segment Synopsis: Chandler further examines her childhood, focusing upon her education as a young woman.

Keywords: Boarding schools; Catholic schools; Cincinnati (Ohio); Convents; Harold Fallon; Jockeys

Subjects: Catholic; Cattle; Childhood; Dice games; Early life; Education; Fathers; Tobacco; Work

00:19:51 - Keeneland and her father / Mother and siblings / Family farm

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Partial Transcript: What were some of the things--(??) now in '36 was when Keeneland was being built and you spent a lot of time there as a child.

Segment Synopsis: Chandler reflects upon her first memories of Keeneland, including the racetrack's opening day in 1936. Subsequently, Chandler describes her mother and siblings and their respective levels of interest in horses. The interviewee then briefly talks of what her father's farm was like when she was a child.

Keywords: Breakfast; Opening day; Ponies; Pony; Sisters

Subjects: Brothers; Childhood; Farmers; Fathers; Horses; Keeneland (Ky.); Life; Mothers; Work

00:27:48 - Establishing Keeneland / Education

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Partial Transcript: Um, I'm going to take you back to Keeneland just for a few minutes here.

Segment Synopsis: Chandler briefly explains her father's role in the construction and foundation of Keeneland in Lexington. Chandler then summarizes her education at various boarding schools in the U.S.

Keywords: Boarding schools; Cincinnati (Ohio); Construction; Convents; Ethel Walker School, Simsbury (Conn.); Farms; Financing; Louie Beard; Strict; Warrenton Country Day School, Warrenton (Va.)

Subjects: Education; Fathers; Friends; Horses; Keeneland (Ky.); Kitchen; Nuns; Reading; Travel; Writing

00:34:59 - First marriage

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Partial Transcript: Well, alright, go ahead and tell me the story.

Segment Synopsis: Chandler chronicles her first marriage, which began during her last few weeks of boarding school. Chandler describes her first marriage and life during World War II.

Keywords: Boarding schools; Boyfriends; Ethel Walker School, Simsbury (Conn.); Ethel Walker Smith; Farms; Florida; Horse sales; Principals; Sanford (Fla.); Saratoga (N.Y.); World War II

Subjects: Children; Divorce; Education; Fathers; Friends; Keeneland (Ky.); Life; Marriage; World War, 1939-1945

00:42:03 - Memories of her father / Demographics of the workforce in the horse industry

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Partial Transcript: Um, but let's go back to your childhood a little bit. I know that you were clearly extremely close to your father. What are some of your other memories of him?

Segment Synopsis: Chandler shares her memories of her father during the 1930s and 1940s. Additionally, Chandler reflects upon the demographic changes throughout the years in this country that have impacted the racial composition of the horse industry workforce.

Keywords: Airports; First National Bank; Great Depression; Hispanic; Kentucky; Land; Latino; Lexington (Ky.); Racetracks

Subjects: African Americans; Change; Depressions--1929--Kentucky; Employees; Fathers; Horse industry; Horses; Keeneland (Ky.); Maintenance; Memories; Women

00:47:00 - Her father's later years / Her mother

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Partial Transcript: Talking about your father again, uh, clearly he, he--his involvement with Keeneland continued until his death.

Segment Synopsis: Chandler articulates the role of her father in the operations of Keeneland racetrack. Chandler also summarizes her father's life in the years leading up to his death. The influence of Chandler's mother upon her life is considered.

Keywords: Albany (Ga.); Betting; Land; Lexington (Ky.); Yearlings

Subjects: Brothers; Children; Death; Education; Fathers; Health; Horse industry; Horses; Keeneland (Ky.); Marriage; Mothers; Taste; Training

00:53:07 - First two marriages

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Partial Transcript: So tell me about your life, um, I guess from your first marriage.

Segment Synopsis: Chandler details her first two marriages and what her life was like during this time. Subsequently, Chandler talks of her divorces, and her return to her father's farm in Kentucky during the late 1950s.

Keywords: Beaumont Farm, Lexington (Ky.); Farms; Florida; Houston (Tex.); Southwest Supply Co.; The Lexington School, Lexington (Ky.)

Subjects: Children; Divorce; Father; Horse industry; Horses; Life; Marriage; Oil fields; Son

00:59:21 - Her children's relationship with her father / Her father's death

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Partial Transcript: Your grand--your father, uh, how close was he to your children? Was he an influence on them, you think?

Segment Synopsis: Chandler characterizes her children's relationship with their grandfather (her father). Then, Chandler recalls her father's death, which occurred at Keeneland racetrack in 1962.

Keywords: Barns; Family; Georgia; Heart attacks; Tack rooms

Subjects: Children; Death; Families.; Fathers; Horses; Keeneland (Ky.); Sons

01:04:52 - Life after her father's death

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Partial Transcript: Alright, so we're up to, to 1962, a very important year in your life.

Segment Synopsis: Chandler illustrates what her life was like in the years following the death of her father. The land inheritance that she received and the maintenance of her father's horse farm are discussed.

Keywords: Barns; Boarding; Construction; Farm managers; Farms; Friends; Income; Land; Mill Ridge Farm, Lexington (Ky.)

Subjects: Fathers; Horse farms; Horse industry; Horses; Life; Money; Training; Vanderbilt University; Work

01:12:36 - Chandler's farm

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Partial Transcript: So, what was it like those first few years? It just sounds like a lot of hard work.

Segment Synopsis: The evolution of Chandler's farm, Mill Ridge Farm, is explored. How the farm's operations have expanded throughout the years is also mentioned.

Keywords: Ambassadors; Clients; Horse breeding; Ireland; Irish Derby (Horse race); Mill Ridge Farm, Lexington (Ky.); Raymond Guest; Sir Ivor (Race horse); Thoroughbreds

Subjects: Fathers; Horse farms; Horses; Keeneland (Ky.); Mares; Selling; Stallions; Travel

01:19:46 - Raising horses

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Partial Transcript: What do you think is special about how you raise them?

Segment Synopsis: Chandler examines how she achieved success in raising winning Thoroughbreds.

Keywords: Inheritance; Land; Lease; Mill Ridge Farm, Lexington (Ky.); Passion; Sir Ivor (Race horse); Thoroughbreds

Subjects: Brothers; Fathers; Horse farms; Horse industry; Horses; Love; Nature; Selling; Staff; Tradition