Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Jim Howe, June 24, 2019

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries

 

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00:00:00 - Early education and high school athletic career

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Partial Transcript: I'm here today with Jim Howe from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Jim you have a very unique, uh, history at the University of Kentucky.

Segment Synopsis: Jim Howe talks about where he grew up, where he went to elementary and high school, and his high school athletic careers in basketball and football.

Keywords: Adolph Rupp; Bear Bryant; Childhood athletics; Childhood sports; Coaches (Athletics); Early education; Fort Thomas (Ky.); Grade schools; Highlands High School (Fort Thomas, Ky.); Newport (Ky.); Paul William "Bear" Bryant; Ralph Carlisle; Ruth Moyer Elementary (Fort Thomas, Ky.); Ruth Moyer Grade School (Fort Thomas, Ky.); State tournaments; Young athletes

Subjects: Basketball players; Basketball players--Kentucky; Basketball.; Bryant, Paul W.; Childhood.; Elementary schools; Football players.; Football.; Growing up; High school; High school athletes; Rupp, Adolph, 1901-1977; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball; University of Kentucky--Football; University of Kentucky--Sports--History

00:03:39 - College recruitment processes

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Partial Transcript: Well, describe the recruiting process.

Segment Synopsis: Howe describes what it was like to undergo college recruitment for both basketball and football. He talks about why the University of Tennessee was his first choice school, why he decided to go to the University of Kentucky instead. He describes his first impressions of Adolph Rupp, then head basketball coach, and Albert D. Kirwan, then head football coach at the University of Kentucky.

Keywords: Ab Kirwan; Adolph Rupp; Albert Dennis "Ab" Kirwan; Basketball coaches--Kentucky; College decisions; Decision making; Decisions; First impressions; Football coaches; Head coaches; Personalities; Reputations

Subjects: Basketball players--Kentucky; Basketball.; Coaches (Athletics); College athletes; College athletes--Recruiting; College choice; College sports--Kentucky; College sports--Scouting; College sports.; Football players.; Football.; Kirwan, Albert Dennis; Rupp, Adolph, 1901-1977; Scouting (Athletics); University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Sports--History; University of Tennessee

00:07:12 - First impressions of University of Kentucky / Football housing and scholarships

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Partial Transcript: So you end up--so you tell Tennessee you're going to go to Kentucky and you're going to play basketball and football at Kentucky.

Segment Synopsis: Howe describes his first impressions of UK's campus and his impression of football coach Ab Kirwan. He talks about being a mechanical engineering major. He talks about student housing arrangements for football players and availability of athletic scholarships at the time.

Keywords: Ab Kirwan; Albert Dennis "Ab" Kirwan; Athletic scholarships; Bear Bryant; College majors; Dormitories; Dorms; First impressions; Football housing; Football practice; Football practices; Football scholarships; Mechanical engineering; Studying; Training.; War drafts; World War II

Subjects: Bryant, Paul W.; Coaches (Athletics); College athletes; College campuses.; College costs.; College sports--Coaching; Football coaches; Football players.; Kirwan, Albert Dennis; Scholarships.; Student aid; Student housing; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Sports--History

00:11:29 - Freshman year at University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: So you, you have this--you play your freshman year at UK and you had a bad thing happen your fresh--did you start?

Segment Synopsis: Howe recalls his freshman season playing basketball and football for UK. He talks about a football injury, Coach Kirwan's retirement from UK football, being a freshman starter for UK basketball, and Alex John Groza, a fellow UK basketball player.

Keywords: Ab Kirwan; Adolph Rupp; Albert Dennis "Ab" Kirwan; Alex Groza; Alex John Groza; Athletic ability; Basketball--Coaching; Centers (Basketball); Dale Barnstable; Family connections; Football careers; Head coaches; Interpersonal relations.; School rivalries; University of Tennessee

Subjects: Basketball players--Kentucky; Coaches (Athletics); College athletes; College freshmen; College sports--Coaching; College sports--Kentucky; College sports.; Football coaches; Kirwan, Albert Dennis; Rupp, Adolph, 1901-1977; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball; University of Kentucky--Football; University of Kentucky--Sports--History; Wounds and injuries.

00:16:46 - World War II draft and experience

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Partial Transcript: Yeah, he was drafted in World War Two.

Segment Synopsis: Howe talks about being drafted into the United States Army for World War II in the middle of his college experience. He talks about training; going to Okinawa, Japan; and being kept on to teach bayonet and physical training.

Keywords: Alex Groza; Alex John Groza; Bayonets; Bernie A. Shively; Cadres; Camp Atterbury (Ind.); Fort McClellan (Ala.); Infantry Replacement Training Center (IRTC); Military cadres; Physical training; Program requirements; Recommendation letters; Requirements; United States. Navy.; WW 2; WW II; WW2; WWII; World War 2; World War II; World War Two

Subjects: Draft.; Infantry Replacement Training Center (Fort McClellan, Ala.); Training.; United States. Army; United States. Army. Infantry.; World War, 1939-1945; World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Japan--Okinawa Island; World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American

00:18:49 - University of Kentucky basketball Christmas trip / Impressions of Adolph Rupp as a coach

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Partial Transcript: Oh yeah, that, that's where Rupp and I had a problem.

Segment Synopsis: Howe talks about a Christmas trip the UK basketball team took to play against three different universities in New York and Pennsylvania. He talks about why he quit UK basketball at the end of the trip. He discusses his impressions of Adolph Rupp as a coach.

Keywords: Adolph Rupp; Away games; Basketball games; Buffalo (N.Y.); Christmas; Coaching styles; Communication styles; Communication.; Interpersonal conflicts; Long Island University; Madison Square Garden (New York, N.Y.); Madison Square Garden Amphitheatre (New York, N.Y.); New York (N.Y.); Philadelphia (Pa.); Professional conflicts; Radio shows; Relationships; Reputations; Temple University; University of Wyoming

Subjects: Basketball coaches--Kentucky; Basketball players; Basketball players--Kentucky; Basketball teams; Basketball--Coaching; Basketball--Tournaments; Basketball.; College athletes; College sports--Coaching; College sports--Kentucky; College sports.; Kentucky Wildcats (Basketball team); Rupp, Adolph, 1901-1977; Travel.; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball; University of Kentucky--Basketball--History; University of Kentucky--Sports--History

00:26:03 - Governor Happy Chandler

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Partial Transcript: Happy Chandler, was he involved in your draft status?

Segment Synopsis: Howe describes the role Happy Chandler played in his World War II draft status.

Keywords: Army careers; Connections; Draft statuses; Family assistance; Family connections; Kentucky senators; Senators; U.S. Senators; United States senators; WW 2; WW II; WW2; WWII; War drafts; World War 2; World War II; World War Two

Subjects: Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991; College athletes; College students.; Drafts; United States. Army; United States. Army. Infantry.; World War, 1939-1945; World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American

00:27:02 - Post-war athletic career at University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Well so you--now you come back to UK and you've got to decide are you going to play basketball again, are you going to play football, what are you going to do?

Segment Synopsis: Howe talks about choosing between playing football and basketball at UK after returning from his service in World War II. He talks about the 1947 season, getting married, the football team strategy, and George Blanda.

Keywords: Adolph Rupp; Athletic ability; Athletic performance; Bear Bryant; Football games; Football seasons; George Blanda; Great Lakes Bowl; Interpersonal relations; Marriage; Redshirting; Roommates; Scholarships; Student aid; T formation; Team strategies; Wives

Subjects: Basketball coaches--Kentucky; Basketball players--Kentucky; Basketball players.; Basketball--Coaching; Basketball.; Bryant, Paul W.; College athletes; College sports--Coaching; College sports--Kentucky; College sports.; Football coaches; Football players.; Football.; Kentucky Wildcats (Basketball team); Rupp, Adolph, 1901-1977; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball; University of Kentucky--Football; University of Kentucky--Sports--History; World War, 1939-1945--Veterans.

00:36:09 - 1948 University of Kentucky football season

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Partial Transcript: Now, you go into forty-eight, the 1948 season, and your team goes--and I, I should point out, uh, and I didn't, you all won that Great Lakes Bowl twenty-four, fourteen.

Segment Synopsis: Howe summarizes highlights from the 1948 UK football season.

Keywords: College seniors; Football games; Football seasons; George Blanda; Graduation; Great Lakes Bowl; Victories; Wah Wah Jones; Wallace Clayton "Wah Wah" Jones; Wallace Clayton Jones; Wallace Jones; Wins

Subjects: Basketball players--Kentucky; Football players.; Football--Tournaments; Football.; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Football; University of Kentucky--Sports--History

00:37:29 - 1949 University of Kentucky football season / Athletic program development

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Partial Transcript: Well, so now you're--you know, we're going to move into the next year, which is 1949.

Segment Synopsis: Howe summarizes highlights from the 1949 UK football season. He discusses the relationship between coaches Bear Bryant and Adolph Rupp. He discusses the relationship between football and basketball players on campus. He talks about program budgeting, UK support of athletics, key football players, and his football playing style.

Keywords: Adolph Rupp; Animosity; Athletic programs; Bear Bryant; Bob Gain; Charles Youmans McClendon; Charlie McClendon; Cotton Bowl (Football game); Don Cooper "Dopey" Phelps; Dopey Phelps; Harry John Ulinski; Harry Ulinski; Interpersonal relations; Orange Bowl (Football game); Personalities; Playing styles; Powerhouses; Professional relations; Program development; Robert Gain; SEC champions; SEC championships; School support; Southeastern Conference (SEC); Sugar Bowl (Football game); University support

Subjects: Basketball coaches--Kentucky; Basketball players.; Basketball--Coaching; Basketball.; Bryant, Paul W.; Coaches (Athletics); Football coaches; Football players.; Football teams; Football--Tournaments; Football.; Program budgeting.; Rupp, Adolph, 1901-1977; Southeastern Conference; Sports facilities.; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball; University of Kentucky--Football; University of Kentucky--Sports--History

00:48:20 - 1950 Orange Bowl / Bear Bryant after University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Alright, so now you're going into the, the last--your last football game.

Segment Synopsis: Howe recalls the outcomes of the 1950 Orange Bowl and what that game taught Bear Bryant and the UK football team. Howe compares Bear Bryant to other football coaches and tells stories about Bear Bryant as a football coach.

Keywords: Charisma; Comparisons; Football games; Football--Tournaments; Interpersonal relations; Losses; Mentors; Motivation; Personal encounters; Personal narratives; Personal stories; Professional relations; Reputations; Santa Clara University (Calif.); Stories; Team strategies; Tough losses; Training.; Travel.

Subjects: Bryant, Paul W.; Coaches (Athletics); College sports--Coaching; Football coaches; Football players.; Football.; Orange Bowl (Football game); University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Football; University of Kentucky--Sports--History

01:00:52 - Professional football draft

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Partial Transcript: Well you go on now--your, your career ends with the Orange Bowl and you get drafted by the Green Bay Packers.

Segment Synopsis: Howe talks about his experience with the football draft and his decision not to play football professionally.

Keywords: Children; Choices; Daughters; Marriage; National Football League (NFL); Personal decisions; Personal priorities; Priorities; Professional athletes; Professional athletes--United States; Professional sports.; Sons; Wives

Subjects: Career moves; Careers & opportunities; Families.; Football draft; Football players.; Football teams; Football.; Green Bay Packers (Football team); University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Football; University of Kentucky--Sports--History

01:02:00 - Post-graduate career

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Partial Transcript: So let's, let's go into what you did decide to do, because you have a very successful post-graduate life, okay.

Segment Synopsis: Howe talks about his career in selling surgical blades. He talks about eventually starting his own business, Big Chief Supply Incorporated.

Keywords: Band heaters; Big Chief Inc.; Big Chief Supply Incorporated; Cartridge heaters; Christy Blade; Electric heaters; Family connections; Fathers-in-law; Immersion heaters; Manufacturing plants; Processing heaters; Salesmen; Surgical blades; The Christy Knife Company; Trip heaters

Subjects: Business enterprises.; Career moves; Careers & opportunities; Careers.; Cincinnati (Ohio); Factories; Occupations.; Professions.; Promotions.; Sales.; Vocation.; Work.

01:07:15 - Family

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Partial Transcript: Now, I know, you know, you, you've obviously had a lot of highlights.

Segment Synopsis: Howe talks about how important his family is to him. He talks about his marriage, his wife, and his children.

Keywords: Family businesses; Family dynamics; Family relations; Highlights; Importance; Life highlights; Life priorities; Personal reflections; Pride; Priorities; Wedding anniversaries

Subjects: Careers.; Children.; Daughters.; Families.; Family-owned business enterprises.; Marriage.; Satisfaction.; Sons.; Wives.

01:08:55 - Love for tennis

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Partial Transcript: Jim, anything, you know, that we've left out that you want to get on record here?

Segment Synopsis: Howe discusses his later involvement in tennis, how he started playing, and his love for the sport.

Keywords: Chain link nets; Cincinnati (Ohio); Clay courts; Family influences; First impressions; Hard courts; Impressions; Joe Lightsey; National rankings; Senior athletes; Senior tennis players; Tennis professionals

Subjects: Athletes; Passions; Sports.; Tennis courts; Tennis players; Tennis--Singles; Tennis.