Transcript Index
Search This Index
Go X

0:39 - Mt. Vernon Signal

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Mrs. Anderkin, I'd like to start the interview out by asking you some questions about your personal history.

Segment Synopsis: Anderkin gives an overview of the paper and how it functions day to day.

Keywords: Mt. Vernon Signal

Subjects: Deadlines Newspaper employees Newspaper presses Newspaper--Circulation

10:32 - Reporting

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: What kind of editorial policy, if any, does the paper have?

Segment Synopsis: Anderkin discusses editorials and reports. She talks about people trying to intimidate the paper so that they will not print a story.

Keywords: County Judge; Mt. Vernon Signal

Subjects: Circuit courts--United States County attorneys County government Editorials Newspaper reporting

19:05 - Local politics

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Have you talked to him?

Segment Synopsis: Anderkin discusses local politics and political intimidation in Rockcastle County.

Keywords: County Judge; Mt. Vernon Signal; Rockcastle County

Subjects: County government Democrat Newspaper reporting Political campaigns Political parties Republican party (Ky.) School boards

38:44 - Newspaper duties

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: What do you see as the paper's responsibilities to the people of Rockcastle County?

Segment Synopsis: Anderkin discusses the newspaper's duties in the county. She also talks about employees of the paper.

Keywords: Mt. Vernon Signal; Rockcastle County

Subjects: Newspaper editors--United States Newspaper employees Newspaper reporting


Title: Interview with Perlina Anderkin Identifier: 1979oh095 Date: 1979-02-12 Interviewer: David Smith Project: Kentucky Newspaper Editors Project

The following is an unrehearsed taped interview with Mrs. Perlina M. Anderkin, editor of the Mount Vernon Signal. The interview was conducted by Mr. David Smith of the Oral History Center at Eastern Kentucky University. The interview was conducted at Mrs. Anderkin's office on February 12, 1979, at 9 a.m.

Smith: Mrs. Anderkin, I'd like to start the interview out by asking you some questions about your...about your personal history. Uh...Where you were born, when you were born, some questions about your family and your parents...and...

Anderkin: OK.

Smith: ...and brothers and sisters? If you could just kind of tell us a little.

Anderkin: Well, I was born in Woodford County. The youngest of six children. Uh... I came here with my husband in 1966. At that time, I had a...beyond high school we had...I had two semesters of college, is all. We took over the paper in January 1966 from his brother, who had owned it for...about fifteen years prior to that. And...uh... After that we...the first year we had a manager. And then, I took some courses...and...well, a couple of journalism courses is all. Then I took over editing the paper in 1967. And, did that until we hired Jane...oh, about a year ago. [Phone rings] [Tape stopped and restarted]

Smith: If I could get back to some when you were growing up in Woodford County. Did you go to school in Versailles?

Anderkin: Yes.

Smith: Woodford County?

Anderkin: Versailles.

Smith: Uh...What did your father do?

Anderkin: Uh... Dad worked as a tobacco plant in Lexington. And, my mother went to work there when I was ten or so. But...uh...but they worked in Lexington.

Smith: Were they both natives of Woodford County?

Anderkin: No, they were both natives of Casey County. They had come to Woodford County in 1929 to do work on a farm there. A [unclear].

Smith: So you say in 1966 you and your husband moved here and took over...took the...

Anderkin: Yes.

Smith: ...running of the paper over.

Anderkin: Right.

Smith: And you took a few courses in journalism? Where did you...

Anderkin: I took a couple courses in journalism at Somerset. They didn't have a whole lot to offer and still don't, I don't think. But, I took what they did have to offer. It's mainly telecommunications is what they stress there.

Smith: So, 1967 you became the editor of the paper.

Anderkin: Right.

Smith: And you did that until last May...I think...

Anderkin: Yes.

Smith: ...when Jane said she was hired?

Anderkin: Yes.

Smith: Uh... How long had your...had your husband's brother owned the paper? Fifteen years or so?

Anderkin: I believe...I believe it was something...yeah, that...that'd be right, about '51.

Smith: Had the paper been in...been in...their family prior to that?

Anderkin: No, no, he bought it, then. It's the first time it had been in our family.

Smith: Approximately what's the circulation of the paper now?

Anderkin: Uh...Forty-four hundred.

Smith: Has it gone up much since you...?

Anderkin: Yes, at the time that the time we came down here in '66 there was opposition. There has been one other time since then. At present we don't have any. But, my husband's brother did not feel like that he could clean his subscription list, so to speak, because we did have opposition. Or, he did. So we came down in January. The other paper folded up in April, and I cleaned the subscription list, which took it down to about fifteen hundred at that time. That's about where we started from. And we increased it to forty-three hundred now and...uh...since '66.

Smith: Is it still increasing?

Anderkin: It's leveled off. And, it's increasing, but a lot more slowly. Um... We got up know, forty-three...forty-four is the highest we've been. But it's sort of leveled off.

Smith: Is that about what you think it's...

Anderkin: Yeah...there's a couple areas in the county where we're skimpy. But, it's's areas where people...they're not reading people. You hit areas like that in counties. Uh...Route 2 area small...very small compared to the other routes but it's because, of one thing, there's not as much population in that...along those routes. And then another, the land is not as rich and therefore you have people who aren't as well educated. I think, maybe, it's part of the problem there.

Smith: How many people work here at the paper?

Anderkin: We have me and my husband and Jane, and Anita Pruitt our typesetter. My son works part time and that's it.

Smith: Could you define kind of the responsibilities of everyone?

Anderkin: All right, my husband takes care of the advertising, soliciting advertising, and the business part of it, the financial end of it. Anita takes care of the typesetting and...uh...subscriptions...working on subscriptions. I take care of makeup, primarily. And...uh...That's about it now. Just sort of general office work. Of course, Jane does the writing. And, uh, my son is just sort of a fill in wherever he's needed.

Smith: Whatever needs to be done.

Anderkin: Right.

Smith: He picks up the slack. When you...uh...took over as editor what were your primary responsibilities? Other than I know you have to get the paper out. But, what are the...

Anderkin: Well...

Smith: One question that I ask the...wait go ahead.

Anderkin: No, that's all right, go ahead.

Smith: One question I usually ask all the editors I talk to is kind of the logistics in getting the paper out. What do you do on a...say a typical Monday and Tuesday.

Anderkin: Well, we...we've managed in the last couple three years to get a little bit organized. It used to be ...

Smith: It was chaos?

Anderkin: Oh, it was terrible. You know, like you start on Wednesday morning and say we better get a paper...we better start working on the paper now.

Smith: [Laughing]

Anderkin: But, now, um...Jim, we still got's set up where he can't get a great many of his ads he gets until Tuesday, which makes it kind of rough. Monday is a light day and really shouldn't be, but we have our deadline set a little bit late. We've got it set for noon on Tuesday, and that's when people wait to get you stuff. But, Mondays...uh...Anita sets type, and I proofread primarily and try to get a little bit idea of what we're going to have for the paper. Of course, the number of pages that you have depends on the amount of advertising that you have. And that, you can't hardly tell, as I say...

Smith: Until Tuesday.

Anderkin: ...Tuesday and, so any way, Monday's a regular working day. I just come in, proofread, and try to straighten the place up generally. Anita typesets. Jane works on stories, of course, she...she starts on Thursday usually for the next week paper. Uh...then on Tuesday we come in, and we start making up ads. I...or I do. And, uh...Jim starts making his calls. He covers... 'cause people are expecting him a lot of them have them ready. Uh... So that all he has to do is walk in and pick it up.

Smith: Uh-huh.

Anderkin: And then, he has a regular run and if anyone isn't on that run normally they'll call us and say, hey come by I got an ad. So he takes Tuesday and picks up everything, goes to make all his rounds. He goes to Berea occasionally. He doesn't go every week. That's one of the big changes that we've made since we've been here. When we came down, our advertising, primarily, depended on Madison County. Now, it's very, very small percentage of our paper.

Smith: So you've almost shifted completely your dependence...

Anderkin: We've almost shifted completely...

Smith: here.

Anderkin: this county. But, we've had several chain stores to come in or several good businesses to come in since we came that weren't here before. But, then on...we work on Tuesday night almost all the time. We normally close at four. On Tuesdays we're here until five. We go home, eat, see that the children are taken care of, we come back. And, we stay until eleven, eleven thirty, twelve...depending on how much we have to do. Then we start again on Wednesday around five, five thirty, or six, because we're supposed to be in London between ten and twelve to have it printed.

Smith: That's where it's printed.

Anderkin: We never make it.

Smith: [Laughing]

Anderkin: But we're supposed to be there. And we try to hit it as close as possible. It's usually about one by the time that we get down there. And, uh...then we...if we leave there at twelve thirty or one we can get back at about two thirty or three and we can get our county mailing done and our papers delivered to the stores.

Smith: Uh-huh.

Anderkin: And, that way we've gotten rid of about three thousand of them on Wednesday afternoon. Of course, then we finish mailing the out of town on Thursday morning. And, then we start all over again. [Both laughing]

Smith: And you said Mondays is a day that's usually kind of a light day.

Anderkin: It's Mondays and Fridays are usually pretty light. Of course, Thursday you've got your mailing to deal with.

Smith: Yeah.

Anderkin: And everything. Mondays and Fridays are normally, oh, you've got plenty to do, but there's no pressure, there's no deadline.

Smith: Has the...uh...paper always been printed in London?

Anderkin: No, uh...just for the last three years. Uh... Before that we went to Danville with it. And, uh...we decided to make the switch to London, it is closer, the road is better there. And...uh...we thought we might get a little better quality printing job from London. Um...

Smith: Has it turned out...

Anderkin: Yeah. It's turned out...

Smith: ...better job?

Anderkin: ... that way. We're pleased...

Smith: Happy with the....

Anderkin: ...with the quality that we get down there.

Smith: Is that...does the Sentinel-Echo?

Anderkin: Um-hum.

Smith: Is that where you...?

Anderkin: Right. They print uh...they print about five.

Smith: Do they?

Anderkin: Including their own. Yeah. They print Barbourville. And, out of Clay County and one out of Williamsburg. And theirs.

Smith: What kind of editorial policy, if any, does the...does the paper have?

Anderkin: Well, we've never set...set down and formulated policy except there have been occasions when ... I don't know whether you buy into this or not, but in smaller towns newspapers have a much harder time than in large towns. People, that's been one of the major things that we've encountered. People tend to take news personal. Or, uh...your news gathering attempts personal, you know. You're out to get me even when all you want to do is report the news. About the only things we've ever actually said, this is the way it is, and there's no relaxation of it, is when was we were printing court news. Either we printed it all or we didn't print any of it. And we've had...we have a judge that would say, well I can't stop them from putting your name in the paper for being drunk driving, the newspaper call and ask. Which all he had...

Smith: He put it off on you.

Anderkin: Right. All he had to do was say they don't do that. They print it all. Course, then they would call. And, of course, then I'd call my husband. [Laughing] You tell them we're going to print their name, [both laughing] which he normally did. But, we...since the new court system, we've never gotten into the...uh...gotten into printing it again yet. We're going to,'s just something that we just ...

Smith: Haven't gotten back to.

Anderkin: ...haven't started doing. It makes life a lot easier when you don't do it. And, I don't really...we've...we've always waivered as to whether it's a good thing or not. I personally think it is. Jim...Jim doesn't know.

Smith: He doesn't...he hasn't decided.

Anderkin: [Laughing] He hasn't decided. We...we can see both sides of it. But, we...we do the court news, of course. The deeds recorded and the marriage licenses and...and Jane follows circuit court and...she's followed district court, their trial days, recently. But, as far as...

Smith: You finally got your own judge, didn't you?

Anderkin: Yeah, well he's not really...he's not our own. We...

Smith: You share him with Pulaski.

Anderkin: We share him with Pulaski, but least we've got one now that will come over here. We went for a long time without...

Smith: Kind of without one. In fact they used...

Anderkin: Well, you ask around on that because there were a lot...there's a lot of things going on that...

Smith: You want to elaborate on that a little bit?

Anderkin: I don't care to. But, uh...all of a sudden, we didn't know it. We have a lawyer friend next door, use to have offices here. And on one Monday he came and said do you realize that they haven't had district court in four weeks. And, of course there's a lot of offenses that you have to have a trial for. And, if you don't have bail money or if they decide they don't want to give you bail, you sit in jail...

Smith: You're in jail.

Anderkin: ...until they decide they want to let you have a trial. Which is terrible. So I told Jane, I said go look into it and see what's going on. And she did, and she was informed that we can't have it, we don't have a district judge, we don't have a public defender. Uh...It wasn' was the public defender thing at that case. We had the judge. But, we didn't have a...a public defender. Of course, I know local lawyers [unclear]. I can't really say I blame them. The pay's terrible. And,'s just a nuisance more than anything. But still. And then we were told they weren't getting the funds from Frankfort for a public defender. You know, this is strange. So we thought we'd call Frankfort. Jane called them. Yes, check number so and so, dated so and so, went to Rockcastle County on this date. And they have received it, and it's been cashed. Well, we talked to them again and still, no, we haven't gotten it. So we ran a story that they had gotten it. Of course this...we were getting this information out of ...uh...county judge-executive's office and the court clerk's office and that's what they were telling the circuit court upstairs...

Smith: That they hadn't gotten...

Anderkin: That they hadn't gotten any funds for it.

Smith: And Frankfort said they'd known they'd cashed the check.

Anderkin: And Frankfort said they had. Right. So we ran the story and...uh...Denise Cummins, whose husband is Circuit Court Clerk, said wait a minute, let's look into this. When they did, of course, they found they had received the check. It had gone in the general fund. It had...uh, been...they...they'd not been notified that there were funds there for a public defender. And, when the story hit the newspaper then they did. They got busy and found a defender real fast. He was out of Madison County, but at least we had one. They could have trial.

Smith: Who did you get from?

Anderkin: Darryl Henley.

Smith: Yeah.

Anderkin: Uh...Was for a while. But, then they wouldn't pay him. [Both laughing] They had to go back again and say wait a minute. Because even then they tried to say we don't have the funds ... for this...

Smith: Don't have the money.

Anderkin: Right. They finally did. I understand finally, he's left, we still don't have a public defender.

Smith: I haven't seen him.

Anderkin: No, I understand he's left the practice, not left the practice of law, I don't think. He's gone to work for one of the...uh...RECC [Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation] outfits or something. But, he's not available any longer. And what we'll do for one I don't know. They just don't want it. There's not enough money in it to pay them to use their time for it.

Smith: Uh-huh. Um...Did you get many calls back when you were publishing the court records? You say...

Anderkin: Yeah. Not many, but we did get...

Smith: Just enough...

Anderkin: periodically. Just enough. And, of course, they'll call you, they'll say, well, I'm going to lose my job over this. And, of course, my stock answer got to be, I'm sorry, you should have thought of this before you...

Smith: Did it.

Anderkin: went out and did it. [Both laughing] But, it's sort of bad, 'cause you've got somebody with seven kids and're going to be the cause of them losing their job. And then we've been threatened, too. There were occasions...uh...when we were up at the other office building. It's... an old one anyway, it could have burnt down and nobody would have ever thought anything about it except that it just died of old age. But, there was a man up for uh...bootlegging charge, and it was third time for him. Of course, that's automatic [unclear]. And, he came over and asked us not to print it. And Jim said, well, man, you've got to be kidding me. He said, why not. They printed it the other two times what's wrong with now. Of course, Jim and I were new to the community and I think he thought maybe he could pull a fast one. And he said, uh...stood there and looked around the building. He said, "Well, it would be a shame if this place was to burn down sometime overnight, wouldn't it?" Jim said, "It certainly would." And he said, "If it ever does, I'll know who I'll come see about it." And he said, "You couldn't prove anything." And Jim said, "I wouldn't worry about proving anything." [Both laughing] Do you like you do. I'll do it my way. [Both laughing] Of course, they went ahead and printed it. But, yet, there's a few calls. And then, well, you have these things were... We had a judge, Judge [Charles C.] Carter, here. Just a patriarch in this county as far as politics go. And, the last time he was county judge was about six years ago now, seven years. Judge [Hubert] Thacker's on his second term and Judge Carter was in before he started. And, uh... He would...he wouldn't give you any information whatsoever.

Smith: That's Carter?

Anderkin: Right. I mean you had to drag it out of him. Everything you got. Unless it was something that would benefit him politically. And then he'd call you over and [unclear] let me tell you about this.

Smith: [Laughing]

Anderkin: And he...we... It's always been the policy not to, uh...on...on a dismissal, unless we've put in something about the first time, then we don't come back and say so and so was dismissed because there's no point in it. You know. And there was a prominent man here in the county that was picked up on a drunken driving charge. And this happened on...after the paper came out and before the paper came out again he had been given a Breathalyzer test and uh...the charge was dismissed and never got to court. Well, he...he didn't want it to dismissed. And, he was highly upset with whoever was in charge of that sort of thing when it happened because he didn't like the man politically. So he called me over there, "I got some news for you. Come over and see me." I can't believe it, but I went over and he said, "They dismissed this charge against this man. I want you to put in the paper that the county attorney...." Mr. [William D.] Gregory next door here, and, of course, all he could do was what the court recommended, or the prosecuting attorney, I suppose it was Harold Rogers out of Somerset. "But they recommended that we turn this man lose." [Unclear] "And I want you to put that in the paper." And I said, "No. We don't do that." "You're not going to print all the news?" "No, because we did not print that he was arrested to begin with." And I said, "Now there's no point in doing this." I said, "If we print that [name not clear] was arrested for drunken know...last Thursday night...but upon the results of a Breathalyzer test was...." I said, "There's no...there's no sense in it because it was dismissed. And you're doing the same thing if he had been convicted because then everybody's going to know about it." And, I said, "There's no sense in it." Of course, he was highly upset over it. Oh, most irrational man you ever encountered in your life. Oooh, he's dangerous. [Unclear] Have you talked to him?

Smith: No, not yet.

Anderkin: Prepare yourself. You have a real treat coming.

Smith: Do I? [Laughing]

Anderkin: Yes.

Smith: Can you think of any questions I should ask him?

Anderkin: I could get awfully smart-alecky, but I won't. Um...he'll probably refer you to Catlett Craig like that because believe you me, a puppet county judge. I know that isn't funny, I don't care. A puppet county judge-executive you've never see the like of in your life.

Smith: Who...uh...really acts as the...?

Anderkin: Like I say Gatliff Craig has a lot to do with it.

Smith: What is his position?

Anderkin: He is the director of the Cumberland Valley Area Development District. Very powerful man. And, he has always supported the judge in his attempt to be elected the first time when he didn't get elected. And the campaign...

Smith: Judge Carter beat him then?

Anderkin: Yeah, he did. Judge Carter [phone rings] I don't think he was re- elected 'cause I don't think he'd been in office. I don't think Judge Carter's ever been reelected, but he's been... [Phone rings] [Tape stopped and restarted]

Anderkin: ...uh...I think the real power behind that is, and then he has a Democratic son-in-law, William K. (?Bolton?) who is, uh...and he thinks quite highly of his opinion and...uh...I think he has a great deal to do with running the office. And then the school board was very, very instrumental in putting him in office.

Smith: You said the school board was instrumental in seeing that Judge Thacker elected judge?

Anderkin: Yes, the time that he ran the first time for office, which would have been about ten years ago now.

Smith: '69?

Anderkin: What is this...'79? Yeah. Ten years ago. Right. Uh, Neureul Miracle had just went out as superintendent of county schools. And it was her policy to go to...or she and her husband went to Florida every winter and spent most of the winter there. And, he received a letter from her. I saw the letter. That she would be back in the spring and they would elect him county judge. Of course, she was still real, real...uh... instrumental in...uh...

Smith: Was she a pretty dominant force?

Anderkin: Oh, very much so. When we came down here in '66 the first headline of the January issues was "Signal barred from school board meeting." And, we were. I wasn't. We had an editor at that time. But, he went out to attend the school board meeting, as was his right, and her husband barred the door on him. You know?

Smith: [Unclear]

Anderkin: Right. And, uh... It caused some shakeups when we did that. We managed to get some people on the board that wouldn't have gotten on otherwise. But, anyway she had controlled it for a long time.

Smith: Did she switch over?

Anderkin: She handpicked her successor. They've always done that.

Smith: Mr. [Charles] Parsons?

Anderkin: Mr. Parsons. And...

Smith: Is he in the same...

Anderkin: Excellent administrator.

Smith: ...mode?

Anderkin: Excellent administrator. They don't come any better. They really don't. Uh... Fine politician, too. And, uh... He's thrown his support behind Judge Thacker. And, of course, he's our biggest payroll in the county. And, their jobs are...of course, they don't realize once they get tenure that there's no problem...

Smith: That they've got it.

Anderkin: ...that they've got it. 'Cause they...they're so glad they gave them the opportunity to get tenure that we'll do anything for you.

Smith: [Laughing] [Someone comes in office] [Tape stopped and restarted]

Anderkin: There have been occasions when I have...I know one time personally, when we were trying to elect an opposition school board member, Wayne VanHook, former county judge here...and...they pulled all the stops out...believe me.

Smith: What did they do?

Anderkin: Well, as a personal example, I was in the courthouse the day of the election which is where one of the voting machines was, and I happened to come up behind Mr. Parsons talking to a man, I don't know who he was. Mr. Parsons had his back to me...if this ever gets back to him I'll kill you. [Laughing]

Smith: Naw...I won't.

Anderkin: Anyway, he...uh...had his back to me. And I stood there just for a second, instinct, you know. I stood there and watched them, I was a little distance away. And Mr. Parsons reached his hand in his pocket and came out with some money. Well, about the time that he did I thought....naw... [Both laughing]

Anderkin: And the man that he was talking to me recognized me. And said something to him and Mr. Parsons turns around and looks at me and they take off. Course, I take off right behind them. You know, you're not getting away from me. I'm going to follow you. They went to the men's room.

Smith: [Laughing]

Anderkin: You know, what are you going to do? You got to stop somewhere. You can't keep going.

Smith: [Laughing] They blew your mind, there.

Anderkin: Right. But, he...he has there's been a couple of times when we have openly done more with him. One time particularly. This was over a...uh...a deal at Roundstone...when they got rid of Roland Mullins. I don't know if you ever encountered Roland or not? But he's director of the Cumberland...wait a minute...uh...Cumberland River Mental Health/Mental Retardation Center. It's quite a big thing. And he's in charge of the entire package out of Corbin. But he was principal at Roundstone. Now Roland's a very bright young man. A lot younger than he is now. About my age, I guess. We were all a lot younger then. This was about '68 or '69. Anyway, he...oh, just a real fine school administrator. That's all he ever wanted to be. His wife's a teacher. And...uh... he made a bid for the county chairmanship of the Republican Party, prior to this, about a year, six months prior to it. And, that he didn't make it. And, that hadn't set well because he's a very nice looking man and very personable. And, some of the party leaders, I think, thought him very much a threat. So, they decided to get rid of him. And they did. And not in a very good way either. They had some teachers that they...ganged up and said some pretty bad things about his character. Just that a Simon Legree, and he cursed them, and a few things like this, which anybody that knows him knows that it's completely against his personality to do this sort of thing. He's just not that way. Now I'm sure if he wants to get you, he can. But, he would be very much a gentleman about doing it, you know. But, anyway, we...we did battle with them over it. Don't regret one minute of it. It cost us money because it cost us the school board' supplies...job printing. We've never gotten it back. No big deal. Don't care.

Smith: It didn't matter to you?

Anderkin: No...uh...At that time it did, now, because we were a much tighter budget than we are now. It was much more shoestring operation then. And it made a difference.

Smith: What was Parson's role in it?

Anderkin: Well, he was superintendent. And, I'll tell you what we did. We asked the... [Someone in background talks to Anderkin and she responds]

Anderkin: ...We asked the school board member from that district to at least talk to Roland and listen to his side. And, know... they made the decision get rid of him. He wouldn't do it. "Now Mr. Parsons has talked to him and I think he understands and he told me this." You know...and he did not even... And there was a school board meeting very well attended by all the people from that area because the people liked him. He had done a real good job. Roundstone had been run as a very, very lax school, and he stopped that from happening. Teachers would congregate in the halls during the classroom periods, and he stopped that. That was one reason they didn't like him, too. But, they were very much against his dismissal. But, they did anyway. He took it to the KEA [Kentucky Education Association], but he didn't have a prayer. Not a prayer.

Smith: Is Mr. Parsons, you say, he's a...he's a good politician. Does he run the schools in a manner similar to the way his predecessor did? You said she was a... kind of a matriarch.

Anderkin: Yeah...Yes. He' more [unclear] about him. And...very personable man. He's my neighbor, and I like him. I really do.'s just that I can see, you know, the way he does things. And...of course...I get so tired. Not being from here, the first five or six years, very much the outsider. Of course, Jim's from here originally. But, I'm not. And you get this feeling great-grandmother wasn't from here, and your opinion doesn't know...

Smith: [Laughing]

Anderkin: You can go back home any time.

Smith: [Laughing]

Anderkin: And, that's true. And maybe it's typical of all small towns. Of course, Versailles is a small town, but I was born there. [Unclear] encountered it.

Smith: Do you still feel that here?

Anderkin: Not as much, but it still exists.

Smith: I guess to some you're always going to be an outsider.

Anderkin: Right...right. of your inner...uh, people that...uh...that things like that matter to. And there's not quite as many of them as there used to be, and it will always be that way until we get some industry and some more people in here that aren't concerned about that. But, countians constantly get, let's not fight, we have to live together thing. In fact, my oldest son gave me that not long ago. [Both laughing]

Anderkin: They've gotten to him. [Both laughing]

Anderkin: No...his...his ACT scores were back. I knew they were. And, I wanted to know what they were. And we were out of school. And we...we've been teasing him for a long time, and I knew he was concerned because he wanted to do good on them. So I called the high school and I asked them...I they back? Yes. And I said, well, I'd like to come out...I'd like to know what they are. I was talking to the secretary. And the principal, who was handpicked by Mrs. Miracle and...uh... Mr. Parsons, told the secretary who came to the, I'm not going to give those out until I've had a chance to talk to seniors. Absolutely...he wouldn't even come to the phone. And I could tell him that he had no choice. You know, you don' don't decide. If I want to see this...I mean I can see saying, I'd rather not give them to you over the phone. Uh...If you'd like to come out I'll give them to you. Well, I hung the phone up and I told Jim, I said I am so furious. The man had the audacity to tell me that he's not going to give me those scores until he's ready to. And, he said...I said I'm going to call Mr. Parsons. And I said I'm going to tell him to...well...women can't talk to Mr. [Cleston] Saylor...he's... uh...very chauvinistic. Now, you get this LADY...NOW LADY. Of course, Jim can go out and it's...yes, sir.

Smith: [Laughing]

Anderkin: So I told him I said I'm going to call Mr. Parsons and have him inform Mr. Saylor that he doesn't decide when the SAT scores go out. If I want to see them, I have a right to. Well, I couldn't get hold of him. It was their lunch hour. And Rick stood there and he said, oh Mom, don't rock the boat. He said, uh, you've got...of course, I've got five children, Rick's the oldest, and he said you've got the four girls coming along. He said, just let it go. He said, we've all got to live together.

Smith: [Laughing]

Anderkin: [Laughing] Don't give me that. Oh, it kills me. I finally let it go, simply get tired of fighting every once in a while. But, they went back to school in a couple of days and got to see the scores then.

Smith: [Laughing]

Anderkin: But that's...that's what you encounter. You know...know... And I know he's aware that he can't tell me that I can't have the scores. But he did.

Smith: He just did it.

Anderkin: Right, and got away with it, didn't he. I don't know... it'''s...uh...maybe it's, and like I say, maybe it's every small town. But, during this election thing, which we lost by the way... [Tape fades out and then comes back]

Anderkin: ...because there's not an opposition candidate.

Smith: Uh-huh.

Anderkin: He's chairman of the board right now.

Smith: Are the school board elections fairly...uh...highly contested? Or is it just kind of depending on...

Anderkin: There's been a couple of times when they have had some [unclear] in here. Dr. [Jack D.] Lewis ran for...uh...the school board. And he was defeated. He was not a school board candidate. And, normally they go out and...and...uh... pick the one they want to run. They did that with [unclear] last year. And he had no opposition. [Unclear].'re...they're upstanding people. They really are.

Smith: They get good people to...

Anderkin: They get good people to run...uh...for it. But they are also people that coin...whose views coincide with...exactly with theirs. They have one opposition member now. And out of five can't do anything.

Smith: Can't do much.

Anderkin: That's Cookie Mason, and she...she tries. But she can't do but very little.

Smith: All right. It sounds like Parsons has continued though with the heavy involvement in politics. But, at the same time I believe from what you say he does do a good job as an...

Anderkin: He does.

Smith: ... educational administrator.

Anderkin: He does. Very good. I think occasionally...I mean we have never, never in this county encountered the financial difficulties that you will find other counties facing...uh, facing. At the same time, we don't provide as many services for our children. Of course, you can't have one without the other sometimes, I understand that. Uh...the...the main concern...or the main fault that I find now with our county school board is that I firmly question them making up days for snow time.

Smith: Uh-huh.

Anderkin: I was very much against the extended day last year. And I was very much against taking the five [unclear] days the...the school...the state department of education gave us. The five the governor gave us. And then making up the day, which amounted to adding about thirty minutes, forty minutes onto the day. I was against it, and I told them I was. And my answer was, well the teachers have to be able to get out so they can go back to school and get their master's. I don't feel like we guaranteed them a chance to go back to school and get their master's or at their convenience anyway. You know, maybe you're going to have to do it at night, or maybe Eastern's going to have to make some provision set it up some other way, because...

Smith: Don't make the children suffer.

Anderkin: Right, and they are, badly. But...the...the...your end of the year test grades were reflected. And I know they were because I've always kept track of my children's. And,'s a big reflection on it.

Smith: As you said...your son for his...sophomore, junior, and senior years.

Anderkin: Sophomore, junior, and senior.

Smith: Just kind of been gutted right in the middle.

Anderkin: And, last year, after they had been out thirty-eight days, they were back in school two weeks when we had KHSAA [Kentucky High School Athletic Association] tournaments. Now KHSAA tournaments take an entire week, all day long.

Smith: school at all.

Anderkin: No school.

Smith: Is it counted as school days?

Anderkin: Yes. And I asked Mr. Saylor, I said how can you justify that? And he said, well I think the [unclear] because, of course, their basketball season revenue was hurt because of the weather. And I said, you don't see anything unusual about this?

Smith: [Laughing]

Anderkin: And he said, well no, we've always have KHSAA tournaments. Of course, we haven't always missed thirty-eight days of school. You know. But they did. They had a week of KHSAA tournaments. I couldn't believe it. Oh!

Smith: [Laughing]

Anderkin: Unbelievable.

Smith: Uh... How important is the Republican Party organization to the...kind of the hierarchy of ...of leaders... like Parsons and his predecessor, Thacker and Carter and...

Anderkin: Well, they've always...their views have always coincided.

Smith: Coincided.

Anderkin: As far as I can tell. Of course, I am not in the hierarchy of either one of them. We are considered something of a rebel, and then like I say, we are outsiders to them...

Smith: Um-hum.

Anderkin: ...and not certain that we can...could be trusted.

Smith: So it's the same...same faces cropping up in the same...

Anderkin: Yeah. Oh yes, very much so. Um...The Republican Party in Rockcastle County is in bad, bad trouble. It really is.

Smith: What's its...?

Anderkin: Well, all right. In the last election, I don't have the figures right here in front of me, but in the last election percentagewise the Democrats outvoted us by a great deal. And, there's only... see if I can remember...there's only around...let's see...we've got...something like seven thousand registered voters and it's like fifty-two hundred to whatever...

Smith: Fifty-two hundred.

Anderkin: ...eighteen or something. They voted...

Smith: Overwhelmingly.

Anderkin: They voted seven or eight hundred of them, and we voted like fifteen hundred, you know. But, it's very, very poor county leadership at this point. And has been, really, for some time now. There''s breaking up. I can see it breaking up quite a bit. There's a split right now. Joe Lambert's running for representative.

Smith: Standing against [William Harold] DeMarcus.

Anderkin: Right, and DeMarcus has always had the support of the county...of every county party. But, the Lamberts always have, too. And, it's going to very interesting to see what happens. I'm surprised at..uh...Joe running, very much so.

Smith: You are?

Anderkin: In fact, I will be surprised if he doesn't withdraw after the filing [unclear]. Because, I can't envision...I can envision them saying, all right, Harold, you know, about time for you to go back to Lincoln County. You've been in Frankfort long enough. It's time for somebody else to take over or to try to. And, he told me, when he was in here, he said, I...I want one more term. He said, then I don't care.

Smith: Harold did?

Anderkin: Yeah. Of course, he's had...what, nine terms I think. And...yeah, I've heard that before, too.

Smith: [Laughing]

Anderkin: And, he said, no seriously, I mean it. He, of course, he was terribly, terribly ill last time and may have never gotten completely over that. But, then all...and I can...I can see him saying that and them saying, all right. You know, or not to cause a big split in the Republican Party we'll go along with that. 'Cause Joe's a young man.

Smith: Yeah. Thirty.

Anderkin: And he's...he's very politically ambitious. But, I can see him waiting two years.

Smith: Yeah.

Anderkin: That's all it amounts to. And, uh...there were a couple that could have given him some real problems.

Smith: Could have given Harold some?

Anderkin: Right. Doug [William D.] Gregory. He's the first one that's ever carried the county against Harold. And he carried it last time by three hundred votes. And...uh...Danny Ford is considering running against him. And Danny's a very popular young man.

Smith: He's still very popular?

Anderkin: I don't know. I honestly don't. Uh... He has some problems in that...his dad's been in politics here...

Smith: Yeah.

Anderkin: You know.

Smith: I think he was in... he was in the House before DeMarcus. I don't know if DeMarcus beat him.

Anderkin: Yeah. Right. No, he didn't. I think...I don't know who beat him but it wasn't DeMarcus. But, he's made some enemies, of course, being in office that long.

Smith: Uh-huh.

Anderkin: And...uh...they're going to be transferred to Joe. I don't know. Joe will have...I think...I think the party...if Joe stays in the race, which I will be surprised if he does, I think the party will probably go with him over DeMarcus. And know, I don't know, I really don't, how it's going to come out.

Smith: Do you think that DeMarcus probably would, most likely will win again?

Anderkin: I think he probably will, at least this time around. And then I think he'll quit. I really do.

Smith: You believe that he...he just...

Anderkin: After this term. I really do.

Smith: How old is the guy? Do you...

Anderkin: Sixty-eight...

Smith: Eight or nine?

Anderkin: Yeah. Somewhere in there.

Smith: You kind of laid out the...uh, political scene as far as it exists here in Rockcastle're not...

Anderkin: As I see it.

Smith: you see it. And...and I don't think you've placed yourself right in the middle of it. You're kind of, as you said, a rebel outsider. Uh...And, you mentioned the problem that the district court was having in getting a public defender and getting a judge. Uh...And, it was your story, I believe, that probably did as much as anything.

Anderkin: Yes.

Smith: That brought it to light, or I don't know how...I guess eventually they would have found that the money had been deposited...

Anderkin: [Unclear], yes.

Smith: Some way. But... [She talks with someone else briefly]

Smith: What do you see the paper's responsibility to the people of Rockcastle County? [Pause] I would think that would be a...

Anderkin: We've discussed that, my husband and I have. And it has got to be to try to present as much of what is going on...politically, socially, we can find out as fairly as possible. Now, Jim has always been very adamant about that. The first year that we were here we had an editor, a Democrat by the way... Did a fine job. Very highly educated. Could take absolutely nothing and write a two galley story that, you know, was right interesting. And, uh...but... He also could take something that he felt very strongly about, and word it in such a manner that you couldn't say you've used the front page to express your opinion, but he had. You know. [Laughing] That was sort of the way he was. And, that's the main reason why we decided to do it ourselves. Because Jim feels so strongly about not ever, ever, ever using the front page to editorialize in any way, shape, or form. Now, I...I grant you there have been occasions when looking back at something a year later I would think, ooh, I shouldn't have said that that way. You know, because your opinions come through, you can't help it. It's just one of those things. But, it's something that we strive at constantly, and that is to keep our opinions for the editorial page. When we were having the controversy with the school board over the Roland Mullins affair, we had an editorial just about every week. But, we kept it there. And, we tried to report the school board...and that was one of the hardest things that I ever had to do in my life because I felt so strongly about it.

Smith: [Laughing]

Anderkin: Oh, it's so hard to do. And maybe I didn't manage to as successfully as I thought I did. But, that...that is what we feel like is our responsibility. To make certain that what we pre...that we cover the news as unbiasedly as possible. As unbiased as possible. And, try know news...newspapers have a hard time. And, I'm sure [unclear] encounter this, too. People would really rather not be made aware of...uh...some things that government is doing that they shouldn't be doing. Just like your Watergate thing was blamed on us. all caused that. You told us about it and then we had to do something. Uh... And you run into the same thing here. I've had people say, um...well, if you hadn't of blown it all out of proportion. [Laughing] All I did was present it. Hey, you're getting ripped off like this, you know, and you should be aware of it and do something about it. And then you'll get the people who say, you should do something about this. All right, that's fine. Why don't you do it, and I'll report it. No, no, no. You do it, you know. And then you think, well, I've...I've got their support. I'll go second them.

Smith: That don't happen.

Anderkin: No sir. Because that's your job to do that.

Smith: [Laughing]

Anderkin: We'll sup... we'll back you up. Way back. [Laughing]

Smith: Can't win either way there, can you?

Anderkin: You can't.

Smith: Do you use any local reporters out in the county, or is Jane and...pretty much it.

Anderkin: We use some correspondents for social news. And, then we have some people that will...that are very good about calling and saying, hey, you should know about this. Um... Not as much as we'd like, because people are sort of leery of doing it. [Tape ends at 42:25] [Note: Audio file ends abruptly with no formal closing]