Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Robert Edward Saunders, February 2, 1990

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

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Partial Transcript: I am Vee Saunders. I am interviewing my brother-in-law Bob Saunders at his home on Stratford Drive.

Segment Synopsis: R. Saunders discusses his childhood and his early family life. He talks about moving to Virginia and his family's return to Lexington, Kentucky. He describes his sister's birth, his early school years, and his earliest memories of the church.

Keywords: Church; Early childhood; Second Presbyterian Church

Subjects: Family life; Presbyterian Church

GPS: Arlington Ave (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.039513, -84.494663
00:04:28 - History of scouting at the church

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Partial Transcript: Were you a boy scout at Second?

Segment Synopsis: R. Saunders describes his involvement as Scoutmaster at Second Presbyterian Church. He shares the story of Dick Allison who was a Scoutmaster before Robert and who taught the most Eagle Scouts of all the Scoutmasters. He explains the activities that Troop 14 were involved in during his time as a Scoutmaster.

Keywords: Camp McKee; Camp Offutt; Camping; Church activities; Community service; Outdoor activities; Scouting; Second Presbyterian Church; Summer camps; Troop 14

Subjects: Boy Scouts; Church; Eagle Scouts; Girl Scouts; Presbyterian Church

GPS: Second Presbyterian Church (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.039722, -84.490556
00:10:23 - Decline of scouting within the church

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Partial Transcript: What do you suppose happened to the Boy Scout program, in general?

Segment Synopsis: R. Saunders reflects on the decline of the Scouting program at Second Presbyterian. He explores the possible reasons why interest was lost in the program, such as competition from other youth organizations. He also briefly describes what became of the scouting rooms at the church.

Keywords: Church activities; Competition; Decline of scouting; Second Presbyterian CHurch; Summer camps; Troop 14; YMCA

Subjects: Boy Scouts; Church; Girl Scouts; Presbyterian Church

GPS: Second Presbyterian Church (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.039722, -84.490556
00:14:42 - Congregation members' community contributions

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Partial Transcript: Well can you recall, uh, some of the members of the congregation and how they would fit into the daily community life during your growing up years at Second?

Segment Synopsis: R. Saunders recalls various individuals who have been members of Second Presbyterian during his time attending the church. He describes their professional lives and how they benefited the community of Lexington. A few of the members were professors, teachers, businessmen, and doctors. He also tells of how Reed Wilson, former mayor of Lexington, was active at Second Presbyterian.

Keywords: Church community; Church life; Church members; Doctors; Educators; Henry Clay High School; Lexington Cemetery; Lexington Herald Leader; Mayor of Lexington; Professors; Reed Wilson; Students; Transylvania University; University of Kentucky; Wilson family

Subjects: Church; Church membership; Community life; Presbyterian Church

GPS: Second Presbyterian Church (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.039722, -84.490556
00:22:44 - Legacy of the Chambers family in Lexington

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Partial Transcript: Would you say they were not only prominent in their professional field, but, um, cared enough about the social shortcomings in Lexington to be, uh, active in the city trying to improve life for all Lexingtonians?

Segment Synopsis: R. Saunders tells about the Chambers family who were members of Second Presbyterian. He explains Dr. Chambers' work at University of Kentucky and how he had a building named in honor of him. He shares a story of one of Chambers' sons swimming in Lake Michigan. Finally he tells of Mrs. Chambers' involvement in the church.

Keywords: Chambers building; Chambers family history; Church community; Church members; Doctors; Lake Michigan; Services; Student health clinics; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Church; Medical colleges; Presbyterian Church

GPS: Student Health Clinic (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.032558, -84.50888
00:27:27 - Leaving to train for World War II

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Partial Transcript: Now you were away from Lexington during the war years.

Segment Synopsis: R. Saunders shares about his time training as a soldier for World War II. He received both basic and specialist training in California. He tells a story about a trip he took home during furlough. He describes some examples of his training and the importance of this specific training.

Keywords: Basic training; Boot camp; Duty in South Pacific; Southern Railroad Station; Training; Traveling; University of Kentucky; WWII; World War II

Subjects: World War, 1939-1945.

GPS: Old Southern Railway Station (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.042589, -84.510018
00:38:23 - Men from Second Presbyterian lost during World War II

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Partial Transcript: Did, uh, you have any young men who were members of Second Presbyterian to, uh, lose their lives in, um, action during the war?

Segment Synopsis: R. Saunders talks about two men from Second Presbyterian who lost their lives during World War II. He shares their stories and their involvement at Second Presbyterian before leaving for the war.

Keywords: Army; Boy scouts; Church community; Church members; European Theatre; Prisoners of War; Second Presbyterian Church; U.S. Marine Corps; World War; World War II

Subjects: Presbyterian Church; Presbyterian Church--Membership; World War, 1939-1945.

GPS: Second Presbyterian Church (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.039722, -84.490556
00:42:43 - Changes in Lexington after the war

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Partial Transcript: Well did you see any change in Lexington when you did come home for good?

Segment Synopsis: R. Saunders describes the influx of University of Kentucky students after the war and how the university accommodated them. He describes the building of Cooperstown and Shawneetown as housing for veteran students. He remembers student families and explains how the G.I Bill worked during this time. He also reflects on the growth of Lexington and the church after the war.

Keywords: "Young bloods"; Business; Campus life; Church growth; Church life; Cooperstown; Dean Thomas Poe Cooper; GI Bill; Lexington (Ky.); Shawneetown; Student housing; Student life; Students; University of Kentucky; Veteran housing; World War II veterans

Subjects: Church; Education; Presbyterian Church; Veterans' families; Veterans--Education; Veterans--Employment; World War, 1939-1945--Veterans.

GPS: Shawneetown Building E (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.017420, -84.510710
00:49:57 - Scout rooms at Second Presbyterian

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Partial Transcript: Something that I wanted to, uh, mention that was about to slip my mind and that is when Dick Allison had, uh, Troop 14, one thing that is important is the meeting place.

Segment Synopsis: R. Saunders describes the construction of the three different Scout rooms at Second Presbyterian church. He explains how the materials were collected or obtained by members of the congregation. He shares why the room was moved and what the room is currently used for now.

Keywords: "Scout rooms"; Church activities; Church life; Construction; Construction materials; Eagle scouts; Scouting; Second Presbyterian Church

Subjects: Boy Scouts; Church group work with children; Girl Scouts; Presbyterian Church; Presbyterian church buildings

GPS: Second Presbyterian Church (Lexington, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.039722, -84.490556