Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Clint Schiavone, November 8, 2015

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - How did you hear about Elkhorn City, Kentucky?

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Partial Transcript: This is Jacelyn Sturgill and Matt Uyeda interviewing Clint Schiavone on November 8th, 2015.

Segment Synopsis: Introduction to Mr. Clint Schiavone, and more information on how Clint found himself in Elkhorn City.

Keywords: Friends; Rivers

Subjects: Elkhorn City (Ky.)

00:00:30 - Things to do in Elkhorn City, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: And what do you do there?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Schiavone discusses the things to do in Elkhorn City, Kentucky, including things like camping, kayaking, and other types of outdoor recreation.

Keywords: Camping on the river; Cloudsplitter; Hundred-mile; Races; Staying with friends; The Breaks; Trails; Volunteering

Subjects: Elkhorn City (Ky.); Kayaking.; Outdoor recreation.; Rivers--Kentucky

00:02:18 - Important things about Elkhorn City

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Partial Transcript: So what do you think is important about Elkhorn City?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Schiavone talks about the importance of Elkhorn City, and its ability to become a major player in the kayaking and recreation scene.

Keywords: Growth; Jobs; Kayaking; People; Potential; Trail Town; Work

Subjects: Economic development.; Elkhorn City (Ky.); Outdoor recreation.; River tourism.

00:04:28 - Weaknesses of Elkhorn City

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Partial Transcript: Um, you touched on this a little bit, but what would you say are the weaknesses of Elkhorn City?

Segment Synopsis: Elkhorn City has several ideas for changing its reputation, however the townspeople can not decide. Indecision unfortunately plagues the town.

Keywords: Coal; Contingency in direction; Economic future; Future; Money; Restaurants; Staunch coal support; Support for newcomers

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Economic conditions; Community development.; Economic development.; Elkhorn City (Ky.)

00:05:52 - What does Elkhorn need?

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Partial Transcript: So, um, what's something that you think Elkhorn needs, then to support?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Schiavone talks about ways to improve Elkhorn City's condition, including the idea of legalizing alcohol.

Keywords: Dry counties; Legalize alcohol; Outfitter's Store; Pikeville (Ky.); Potential

Subjects: Alcohol--Law and legislation--Kentucky; Appalachian Region--Economic conditions; Community development.; Economic development.; Elkhorn City (Ky.)

00:08:13 - Elkhorn City's economy

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Partial Transcript: So when people are planning to spend a weekend at the Breaks, or a weekend on the river, they don't--you say they don't really spend money in, in the town?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Schiavone laments that there is a lack of options for spending money in downtown Elkhorn City.

Keywords: Art; Food; Hangout; Lack of places to spend money; Money

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Economic conditions; Community development.; Economic development.; Elkhorn City (Ky.)

00:09:05 - The river

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Partial Transcript: What about the river like would you say that makes it so cool?

Segment Synopsis: Schiavone discusses the beauty of the river and the Red River Gorge, and discusses the reasons people don't stay in town. He also wishes for a more consistent water release.

Keywords: Beautiful; Clean; Dam releases; Hiking; Natural wilderness; Scenic; Special properties about the river; Untouched; Water; Whitewater

Subjects: Outdoor recreation.; Red River Gorge (Ky.); Rivers--Kentucky

00:12:31 - Keeping Elkhorn from "selling out"

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Partial Transcript: Uh, you suggested that, uh, like they try to keep it--like they don't "sell it out" you said.

Segment Synopsis: Schiavone suggests a way to keep commercialization from destroying the natural atmosphere of Elkhorn City. He says that Elkhorn City takes "slow and steady" too seriously.

Keywords: Avoiding cheap commercialization like other cities; Carnival; Cheesy; Genuine; Tourist traps

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Economic conditions; Community development.; Economic development.; Elkhorn City (Ky.); Tourism.

00:13:42 - Hangout spots in Elkhorn City

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Partial Transcript: So where are like the top hangout spots?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Schiavone gives the best places to hangout like a local, including food and recreation.

Keywords: BP; Carson Island; Food; Fourth of July; Hangouts; Kayaking; Mexican restaurants; Pine Mountain Trail; Pizza; Pull Point; Ratliff Hole; Running; Tubing

Subjects: Communities.; Elkhorn City (Ky.); Outdoor recreation.

00:15:57 - Local environment

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Partial Transcript: How about, like you personally? How do you feel like the, uh, the locals have treated someone who comes in to, you know, enjoy?

Segment Synopsis: A lot of people in the city are welcoming, happy people. Schiavone has an obvious connection with the locals of the river.

Keywords: Accepting; Friendly; Gerald Long; Grew up; Helpful; Hidden gems; Need friends; Pine Mountain; Steve Ruth; Welcoming

Subjects: Communities.; Elkhorn City (Ky.)

00:17:12 - History of the river and its people

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Partial Transcript: Is that like cross-generational?

Segment Synopsis: Schiavone talks about the history of both the people and the gorge itself.

Keywords: Changes; Hidden gems; History; Kayaking; Mining; Original logs; The Gorge

Subjects: Big Sandy River (Ky. and W. Va.); Red River Gorge (Ky.)

00:19:38 - River accommodations

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Partial Transcript: Who all does the river accommodate?

Segment Synopsis: Unfortunately, the river is not as accessible as others are, and the only real ways to get there are hiking for hours, kayaking, or climbing.

Keywords: Accessibility; Army Corps of Engineers; Climbing; Dam releases; Difficulty; Hard; Not many people

Subjects: Big Sandy River (Ky. and W. Va.); Outdoor recreation.; Rivers--Kentucky

00:24:02 - Trust in the kayaker community

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Partial Transcript: It's good to have people with you in case something happens, you know. So that builds a lot of trust.

Segment Synopsis: Schiavone shares the beauty of the kayaker community, and how accepting and connected the entire group is to people from across the country.

Keywords: Connections; Culture; Friends; Traveling; Trust

Subjects: Communities.; Kayaking.; Outdoor recreation.; River tourism.