Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Scott Faulkner, March 9, 2016

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Ben Zickafoose

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Partial Transcript: Alright, it is March 9, 2016.

Segment Synopsis: Keith introduces Faulkner and Faulkner resumes telling a story that he started before the recording began. He tells about a man named Ben Zickafoose who worked for Appalshop, Inc. alongside Faulkner for a bit, but then left to join the Navy as a fighter pilot.

Keywords: Background; Ben Zickafoose; Card counters; Casinos; Copper Creek; Fighter pilots; Intelligent; Photography; United States Navy

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Employees.

00:03:05 - Growing up in Corbin, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: And I want to, um, start with--actually long before Appalshop.

Segment Synopsis: Faulkner discusses his childhood growing up in Corbin, Kentucky and having a close knit family. He talks about the technology that was available to him as a child, as well as what his parents did for a living to sustain their family financially. He mentions that while poverty was present in his hometown when he was a kid, it wasn't usually talked about and the people that were considered to be poor weren't made fun of.

Keywords: Accidents; Apple trees; Austin Alfred Faulkner; Baseball players; Bread business; Cable company; Cane; Carl Wilder; Channel 5; Claude Faulkner; Coal; Coal mines; Cotton; Cumberland River; Dolly Parton; Football; Gossip; Grocery stores; Ice houses; Jim Ferguson; Joy Colleen Wilder Faulkner; Kentucky; Little Rascals; Maude Faulkner; Media; Midwife; Party lines; Peas; Pepsi Cola plant; Piano; Porter Wagner; Poverty; Railroads; Roundhouses; Slaves; Soap operas; Sorghum; Sugar; Television; Theater; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Childhood; Corbin (Ky.); Families.; Family histories.; Farmers.; Rural conditions; Singing.; Tunica (Miss.); Whitley County (Ky.)

00:21:57 - Popular things in his hometown

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Partial Transcript: --(Faulkner coughs)--I did think of probably one of the most conspicuously fancy-acting guys that's from around there...

Segment Synopsis: Faulkner discusses the most well-known person from his hometown, Harland Sanders (later to be known as Colonel Sanders), as well as the local programming that was available to him as a child.

Keywords: Bill Monroe; Cash Walker; Country; Fried chicken; Gospel; Harland Sanders; Harland Sanders Cafe; Radio; Ralph Stanley; Revolutionary; Three Stooges

Subjects: Childhood; Corbin (Ky.); Music

00:24:50 - His limited education at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: What was it that made you think you wanted to go out to west Kentucky when college came around?

Segment Synopsis: Faulkner discusses his time spent at the University of Kentucky pursuing a degree in theater. Although his time there was cut short, he came there on a full scholarship and gave it up because of an instance of culture shock. He worked several jobs, was a part of the counterculture at the university, and was offered a job at Appalshop, Inc., which led to his leaving college.

Keywords: Apartments; Ballgames; Bears; Cocaine; Colleges; Commercial; Counterculture; Elizabeth Barrett; Film making; Goose Creek Symphony; Herman Melville; High schools; Hippy shirts; Jewish camp; Jobs; Kentucky Kernel; Marijuana; Media classes; Memorial Coliseum; Movies; Parachute; Playboys; Plays; Rock 'n' roll; Scholarships; Student Union; Teachers; Terry Faulkner; Theater professors; University of Kentucky; Western Kentucky University

Subjects: Corbin (Ky.); Education; Education, Higher; Film.; Music; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Whitesburg (Ky.)

00:35:48 - Making films with Appalshop, Inc.

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Partial Transcript: Tell me a little bit about, uh, meeting Elizabeth and going down to, uh, to Whitesburg.

Segment Synopsis: Faulkner discusses coming most of the way to Appalshop, Inc. with Elizabeth Barrett, but then having to hitchhike the rest of the way. He talks about making the "Ramsey Trade Fair" film project as well as the "Letcher County Hog Butcher" film project, formally called "Woodrow Cornett: Letcher County Butcher".

Keywords: "Ramsey Trade Fair"; "Woodrow Cornett: Letcher County Butcher"; Anthony Slone; Bartering; Ben Zickafoose; Bill Richardson; Cameras; Crawford house; Directions; Editing rooms; Elizabeth Barrett; Expensive; Federal government; Flea markets; Goals; Grants; Grocery stores; Interviews; Kentucky River; Landlords; Lenses; Light meters; Marijuana; Mimi Pickering; Movies; National Endowment for the Humanities; Nixon speech; Pigs; Ramsey Trade Market; Sound; Techniques; Telephones; Woodrow Cornett: Letcher County Butcher (documentary)

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Documentary films.; Film.; Whitesburg (Ky.)

00:48:31 - Attitudes of local and outside people towards Appalshop, Inc.

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Partial Transcript: People, you know, back in those--there was, there was a, a good bunch of people who just hated Appalshop.

Segment Synopsis: Faulkner talks about the opposition that Appalshop, Inc. faced, as well as the support they got, from local people as well as some famous people.

Keywords: "Bonnie & Clyde"; "Candid Camera"; Bill Richardson; Coal; Community Film Workshop; Guns; Gurney Norman; High schools; Hippies; Larry Adams; Musicians; Newspapers; Parties; Rural people; Visitors

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Film.; Whitesburg (Ky.)

00:56:18 - Traveling with Appalshop, Inc.

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Partial Transcript: It's fine. I mean, I mean, like, I remember going to New York...

Segment Synopsis: Faulkner discusses traveling with Appalshop, Inc. and the opportunities that became available to him because of his association with the company.

Keywords: Bourbon; Chicago Art Institute; Documentaries; Famous; Fred Wiseman; Nervous; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Teaching; Travel.; Universities and colleges.

00:59:09 - The "Nimrod Workman: To Fit My Own Category" film

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Partial Transcript: The next thing I really want to talk about is, is Nimrod Workman, so I'll wait until you're, you're, uh, sitting down...

Segment Synopsis: Faulkner discusses how he met Nimrod Workman, who was an elderly coal miner, and the reasoning behind the way he shot the film made about Workman. He talks about strip mining and the revolutionary spirit of the 1970s.

Keywords: Academy Awards; Accents; Anthony Slone; Audience; Australia; Black Lung; Budgets; Carter film; Chicago Art Institute; Coal; Credits; Elderly; Energy; Experiments; Generous; High quality; Jack Wright; Mine ponies; Mineral rights; Molly Workman; Movies; Musicians; Narration; Nimrod Workman; Old people; Pistols; Revolutionary spirit; Robber barons; Roy Skinner; Sales; Strip mining; West Virginia coalfields; Working conditions

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Coal miners; Coal mines and mining; Documentary films.; Film.; Motion pictures--Social aspects.

01:11:45 - Living with Appalshoppers

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Partial Transcript: I guess we were damn near communists in some ways.

Segment Synopsis: Faulkner discusses the conditions under which he lived during his time at Appalshop and the close knit bond that everyone had with each other.

Keywords: Bill Richardson; Communists; Doctors; Emmett Kiser; Frugal; Generous; Herb E. Smith; Houses; Jack Wright; Jeff Kiser; Nasty; Rooms; Suicide; Toilets; Water

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Families.; Music.; Sharing.

01:17:48 - The "Ourselves and That Promise" film

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Partial Transcript: Well we talked some about "Nimrod: To Fit My Own Category," 1975 and, and that's one of the films that your, your name is, is on.

Segment Synopsis: Faulkner discusses the "Ourselves and That Promise" documentary that he helped film with Robert Penn Warren, James Still, Ronnie Criswell, and Billy Davis. He mentions Wendell Berry and discusses reaching out to Berry to include him in the film as well, but Berry declined. He also talks briefly about firing Anthony Slone from the "Sunny Side of Life" film and the relationship he had with Slone.

Keywords: "Ourselves and That Promise"; "Ramsey Trade Fair"; "Run for the Albertas"; "Sunny Side of Life"; Agricultural secretary; Anthony Slone; Benefits; Billy Davis; Billy Reed; Cameras; Cherry trees; Disturbances; Editing rooms; FedEx; Fun; Gene DuBey; Herb E. Smith; High schools; Intelligence; James Still; Joe Gray; Lonely; Media; Miserable; Nimrod Workman; Private; Richard Nixon; Robert Penn Warren; Ronnie Criswell; Time; Wendell Berry

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Documentary films--Production and direction.; Documentary films.; Filmed interviews.; Motion pictures--Editing.

01:29:34 - His trips with Gurney Norman

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Partial Transcript: Well, actually we're ba--we're to the late seventies so I'm curious if you could tell me a little bit about that trip with Gurney that you told me some about, uh, on the phone last night.

Segment Synopsis: Faulkner discusses the trips that he took with Gurney Norman while he worked with Appalshop, Inc. as well as how those trips changed the way he viewed Kentucky, especially his hometown.

Keywords: "Get right with God."; Appalachia; Boring; Bourbon barrels; Buddy Shapiro; Buses; Chestnut; Clint Eastwood; Coal; Coal mines; Country roads; Cyprus; Episcopal Church; Grand Canyon; Gurney Norman; Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS); Mimi Pickering; Natural wonders; Orchards; Play groups; Red Wood Forest; Social issues; Stanford University; Trips; VW; Virgin forest

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; California.; Travel.; Trees.; Whitesburg (Ky.)

01:43:41 - The Roadside Theater

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Partial Transcript: Well, uh, you brought up theater.

Segment Synopsis: Faulkner discusses the Roadside Theater that developed out of plays that he and his fellow Appalshoppers performed in.

Keywords: "Big thing like bread."; "Jack Tales"; Accents; Appalshop language; Cumberland Gap; Don Baker; Elizabeth Barrett; Jane Moody; Jeff Kiser; Lines; Nimrod Workman; Productions; Ray Hicks; Roadside Theater; Sayings; Scholarship

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Languages; Plays.; Theater

01:48:28 - The "Sunny Side of Life" film

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Partial Transcript: Well, uh, uh, to get, to get past the theater for a minute--

Segment Synopsis: Faulkner discusses the "Sunny Side of Life" film in terms of the technical challenges and the aspects of the film that he found interesting. He also compares the technical challenges in that film to other films he worked on, such as the "Ramsey Trade Fair" and "Nimrod Workman: To Fit My Own Category".

Keywords: "Nimrod Workman: To Fit My Own Category"; "Ramsey Trade Fair"; "Sunny Side of Life"; Appalachian culture; Beatrice Smith; Broadcasting; Buck Owens; Carter family; Color film; Humanity; Jack Wright; Janette Carter; Maybelle Carter; Negative film; Radio frequencies; Reality shows; Sons; Technical challenges; Tobacco; Video

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Documentary films.; Film.; Motion pictures--Production and direction.; Music

01:53:43 - How Appalshop, Inc. has changed

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Partial Transcript: What kind of stuff are they making now?

Segment Synopsis: Keith discusses what Appalshop, Inc. is focusing its energies on nowadays and Faulkner tells a story about filming a mountain lion on Black Mountain in North Carolina.

Keywords: "Biscuits and Gravy Show"; Anthony Slone; Black Mountain; Community outreach; Herb E. Smith; Jack Wright; Jeff Kiser; Mimi Pickering; Missions; Mountain lions; North Carolina; Radio; Revenue; Social media; Stories

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Community media; Film.

01:58:08 - Leaving Appalshop, Inc. / Leaving Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Can you tell me, uh, the context for you leaving?

Segment Synopsis: Faulkner discusses leaving Appalshop, Inc. after ten years of working there, as well as leaving Kentucky and not returning. He talks about how his hometown has changed and why he hasn't returned.

Keywords: Anthony Slone; Bill Richardson; Camerawork; Crime; Crowds; Cumberland River; Don Baker; Donna Faulkner; Entertainment business; FedEx; Germany; Groceries; Herb E. Smith; Houses; Jack Wright; Jeff Kiser; Jobs; Kentucky; Kentucky Derby; Levies; Money; Novel; Smoking; Stories; Television station; Training; Video; Woodstock; World's Fair; Wrestling shows

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Careers; Documentary films.; Families.; Film.; Floods.; Marriage; Whitesburg (Ky.)

02:09:51 - The Legacy of Appalshop, Inc.

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Partial Transcript: You talked earlier--I've been trying to--one thing I'm really interested in--you know, I'm a historian.

Segment Synopsis: Faulkner discusses the legacy of Appalshop, Inc. and how he has carried that legacy with him throughout his life. He also talks about the dog he had that is buried by the river next to the new Appalshop, Inc. building.

Keywords: Abstract; Brittany Spaniel; Dog; Dog lovers; Don Baker; Drinking; Exploitation; Interviews; Legacy; Music; Nimrod Workman; Peach tree; Peaches; Powerful images; Puppies; Recordings; Richard Nixon; Rivers; Suzie Baker; Thisby Lynn; Videos

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Documentary films.; Film.; Poetry.