Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with John Blakeman, November 29, 2010

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Family and farming

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Partial Transcript: Okay, my name is Dennis Tekrony and I'm a volunteer for Hospice of the Bluegrass.

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman discusses the family farm where he grew up, as well as a brief history of his parents and how they came to live in Nicholasville.

Keywords: Multiple sclerosis; Nicholasville (Ky.); Tractors; Vanderbilt University

Subjects: Farming; Petroleum products; Service stations; Universities and colleges

00:08:27 - Schooling / early jobs

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Partial Transcript: I went to school, Nicholasville Elementary.

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman discusses his years in school and a few careers he considered shortly after finishing high school.

Keywords: Computer programming; Kentucky State Police; Nicholasville (Ky.); Truck driving

Subjects: Employment; Public schools; Vocational guidance

00:11:26 - Meeting his wife and engagement

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Partial Transcript: Bunch a boys riding around, you know, at night and everything.

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman talks about hanging out with his friends as a teenager, driving around town. He talks about meeting his future wife on one of these drives. He talks about going on dates, and deciding to get married while watching a high school football game. He talks about shopping for an engagement ring. He tells stories about his future wife meeting his parents and grandparents.

Keywords: Dating; High school football; Wedding rings

Subjects: Courtship; Homeownership--United States; Marriage proposals

00:21:10 - Blakeman's wedding

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Partial Transcript: Did you get married in, uh, Nicholasville?

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman recalls his wedding, specifically a humorous story involving the wedding car.

Keywords: New Circle Road, Lexington (Ky.); Nicholasville Christian Church

Subjects: Weddings

00:24:02 - Raising a family / selling the family business

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Partial Transcript: And we went to Gatlinburg on our honeymoon.

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman describes his honeymoon, raising a family, and his father's business. The business became his after his father's death and was passed to Blakeman's son-in-law after Blakeman was immobilized due to multiple sclerosis.

Keywords: Daughters; Honeymoons; Multiple sclerosis; Snowstorms; Sunday school

Subjects: Families; Parenting; Truck driving

00:34:07 - His daughter Melissa and social work

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Partial Transcript: The other daughter, she was going to college.

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman discusses his daughter's career in social work and the success she's had in that work.

Keywords: Daughters; Kentucky State Police; Men's breakfast group; Social work; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Parenting; Universities and colleges; Vocational guidance

00:39:44 - Grandkids / livestock shows

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Partial Transcript: So back to the oldest girl, she's had two grandchildren.

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman talks about his grandchildren who enjoy riding ATVs and raising show-cattle.

Keywords: Livestock shows; Motorsports

Subjects: Cattle--showing; Grandchildren; Livestock; Parenting

00:50:45 - Grandchildren Matthew and Emily

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Partial Transcript: She have a horse too?

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman relates more stories of his grandchildren and he imagines what they will be like as they continue to grow.

Keywords: Donkeys; Multiple sclerosis; Racehorses; Tractors

Subjects: Children; Farming; Horses; Livestock; Parenting

00:56:44 - House calls in the gas business

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Partial Transcript: I, I wanna ask you, uh--I wanna go back a little bit.

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman tells several humorous stories from working in the fuel business, specifically encounters with clients in their homes.

Keywords: Fayette County (Ky.); Fuel tanks; Jessamine County (Ky.)

Subjects: Customer services; Petroleum products; Truck driving

01:05:20 - Breakfast group

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Partial Transcript: I, I wanted to ask you, uh, about the breakfast group.

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman talks about the men of his weekly breakfast group, whom he met with regularly until his multiple sclerosis symptoms prevented him from going.

Keywords: Frisch's Big Boy; Multiple sclerosis; Nicholasville (Ky.)

Subjects: Breakfasts; Male friendship

01:10:38 - More about his grandchildren / more on the gas business

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Partial Transcript: What, what, uh, what about, um--hat are your concerns for these grandchildren as they get older...

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman expresses hope for his grandchildren, then talks at length about how he maintained the fuel company for many years after his father's death.

Keywords: Blakeman Oil Service, Inc., Nicholasville (Ky.)

Subjects: Grandchildren; Parenting; Petroleum products; Truck driving

01:20:51 - Raising children / more on meeting his wife

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Partial Transcript: Well, I don't, uh--I, I was going to ask you, uh, what, what's probably been the most enjoyable ten years of your life?

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman reflects on the ways he raised his children, particularly his preference for discipline. He also recalls when he met his wife and when his daughter was married.

Keywords: Childrearing; Discipline

Subjects: Marriage; Multiple sclerosis; Parenting

01:32:24 - Old age / vacations

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Partial Transcript: Well it sounds like, sounds like, you made the--made some good, some good choices.

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman reflects on how his illness and old age have prevented him and his wife from enjoying retirement as they had planned, though he also recalls memories of vacations their family has taken.

Keywords: Class reunions; Cruise vacations; Highway traffic; Old age

Subjects: Hospice care; Multiple sclerosis; Vacations

01:45:22 - Potential homes away from Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: I think, uh--I, I was gonna ask you earlier, uh, what, what have you liked--

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman calls Kentucky his home, but he lists two possible other places he would live if given the chance.

Keywords: Bahamas; Castaway Cay; Cruise ships; Florida; Fort Lauderdale (Fla.)

Subjects: Kentucky; Paradise; Retirement

01:50:19 - Friends and humor

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Partial Transcript: Well, I, I think, uh--I've enjoyed it.

Segment Synopsis: Blakeman remembers friends from work who played practical jokes on one another.

Keywords: Caretakers; Hospice of the Bluegrass; Joke books

Subjects: Best friends; Hospice care; Practical jokes