Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Rita Tabor, May 12, 2022

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


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00:00:00 - Tabor's childhood and career

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Partial Transcript: I'm Kopana Terry, and it is May 12th, 2022, and I'm talking with Rita Tabor.

Segment Synopsis: Tabor is the only person in her family who was born in Scottsville. They moved to the area from Owensboro because of the school system, where her father was offered a teaching position and they never left. Dr. Halcomb delivered her when she was born, but then later on he would visit her home whenever she had breathing problems as a child. Her family thought he was wonderful.

Keywords: Allen County Hospital; Dr. Francis Joseph "F.J." Halcomb, Jr

Subjects: Childbirth.; Doctors.; Education.; Families.; Farms.; Occupations.; Owensboro (Ky.); Scottsville (Ky.); Siblings.; Teachers.; Teaching.; Vocations.; Work.

00:02:09 - What inspired Tabor to become a nurse

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Partial Transcript: Tell me a little bit about your career.

Segment Synopsis: Tabor worked as a nurse, briefly at another hospital and then in Scottsville for the rest of her career. She remembers working with Dr. Halcomb and how good he was to her and his patients. Tabor first got into nursing because of Dr. Halcomb, but also because Mariola Halcomb, her Sunday School teacher, encouraged her to do it.

Keywords: Allen County Hospital; Dr. Francis Joseph "F.J." Halcomb, Jr.; Mariola Shrewsbury Halcomb; Medical care--Kentucky; Rural health--Kentucky

Subjects: Careers; Childbirth; Churches; Doctors; Nursing; Occupations; Rural health services; Scottsville (Ky.); Sunday schools

00:05:41 - Memories of the Halcomb house

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Partial Transcript: Tell me, tell me some of your times with Mariola.

Segment Synopsis: Tabor remembers swimming with Mariola Halcomb at the country club in the summer, and helping her to wrap Christmas presents. Tabor says that the house feels smaller to her now than it did when she was a child, but otherwise it seems the same. She talks about how Mariola Halcomb would do things the way Dr. Halcomb asked, but when he was gone she took care of the house in her own way.

Keywords: Dr. Francis Joseph "F.J." Halcomb, Jr.; Mariola Shrewsbury Halcomb

Subjects: Christmas.; Churches.; Country clubs.; Country life.; Families.; Holidays.; Homes.; Houses.; Relationships.; Sunday schools.; Swimming.; Women.

00:09:08 - Dr. Halcomb's pranks

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Partial Transcript: Well, tell me some more about--about Dr. Halcomb.

Segment Synopsis: Tabor recalls one of Dr. Halcomb's pranks, where he would hide on the porch for thirty minutes, then come back in and scare her.

Keywords: Dr. Francis Joseph "F.J." Halcomb, Jr.

Subjects: Jokes.; Pranks.

00:10:47 - Tabor recalls her nursing career

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk a little bit about--about your nursing career.

Segment Synopsis: Tabor describes going to nursing school at Western Kentucky University. She says she wanted to work in Scottsville, but there weren't jobs available when she started her career. Tabor mentions that she did not enjoy her first job in Greenville, and only stayed for nine months while working on the night shift. She says that she was forced to work nights because she was from Scottsville, so she resigned and came to work at Allen County Hospital. Tabor says Scottsville was a much kinder work environment, it was easy to find Dr. Halcomb and he and the nurses would collaborate on patient care. She talks about how Halcomb delivered most of the babies, especially after Dr. Oliver stopped.

Keywords: Allen County Hospital; Dr. Earl Oliver; Dr. Francis Joseph "F.J." Halcomb, Jr.; Halcomb & Oliver Clinic

Subjects: Childbirth.; Education.; Family doctors.; Greenville (Ky.); Nursing.; Scottsville (Ky.); Vacations.; Western Kentucky University.

GPS: Allen County Hospital
Map Coordinates: 36.76156185603959, -86.21556418853116
00:15:01 - Memories of time spent at the house

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Partial Transcript: Well, did you spend a lot of time here at the house?

Segment Synopsis: Tabor says she spent a lot of time at the Halcomb house, where they would play games and Mariola would fix food for the children. She remembers Dr. Halcomb would see patients in the room at the back, but he never brought them into the rest of the house. Tabor mentions that her favorite memory of Mariola is the way she would play with the children, like there was no difference between them.

Keywords: Dr. Francis Joseph "F.J." Halcomb, Jr.; Mariola Shrewsbury Halcomb; Medical care--Kentucky; Physicians--Kentucky; Rural health--Kentucky

Subjects: Childhood.; Dolls.; Education.; Families.; Food.; Games.; Relationships.; Rural conditions.; Rural health services.; Women.

00:19:48 - Memories of Tabor's father

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Partial Transcript: You said that your dad came down here to take a job teaching.

Segment Synopsis: Tabor talks about how her father moved from Owensboro to take an agriculture class to raise chickens, but he wound up staying in Scottsville. She says he met other people in Sunday school before she was born, and he'd play pool or talk with people in the superintendent's office. Tabor mentions that they were one hundred miles away from Owensboro, and Tabor's mother was upset about the decision. She talks about her father's career in the school, and Dr. Halcomb's involvement in caring for the student athletes.

Keywords: Noble Allen

Subjects: Agriculture.; Allen County (Ky.); Churches.; Education.; Families.; Football.; High school.; Marriage.; Middle school.; Owensboro (Ky.); Rural conditions.; Science.; Scottsville (Ky.); Sports.; Sunday schools.; Teaching.; Travel.

00:23:54 - Mariola was Tabor's favorite teacher

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Partial Transcript: Is there anything else that we haven't talked about, with Dr. and Mrs. Halcomb, that you want to share with me?

Segment Synopsis: Tabor describes how Mariola didn't visit the hospital a lot except to visit patients. Tabor knew Mariola more from spending time at the house. Mariola taught her Sunday school and took her swimming, and she was Tabor's favorite teacher.

Keywords: Mariola Shrewsbury Halcomb; Rural health--Kentucky.

Subjects: Country life.; Education.; Hospitals.; Rural conditions.; Sunday schools.; Swimming.