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0:54 - Background

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Partial Transcript: Just tell me your name and where you were born and when you were born- that type of thing.

Segment Synopsis: Nolan discusses his family and education.



7:26 - Printing press

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Partial Transcript: Now, when you graduate from UK in '60, what was your first job?

Segment Synopsis: Nolan talks about purchasing a new press and printing other papers.

Keywords: Manchester Enterprise

Subjects: Newspaper presses Newspaper publishing

13:08 - Reporting

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Partial Transcript: Why do people like the weekly paper better than the daily?

Segment Synopsis: Nolan discusses the Manchester Enterprise's reporting. He says that the local police will often call to let them know about stories.

Keywords: Clay County; County Judge; County Judge Executive; Manchester Enterprise

Subjects: County government Newspaper reporting

22:44 - Circulation

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Partial Transcript: What kind of circulation do you have?

Segment Synopsis: Nolan talks about circulation and his relationship with a competing paper. He feels that the competition has led to better reporting and selling more newspapers.

Keywords: Manchester Enterprise

Subjects: Advertising, Newspaper Newspaper editors--United States Newspaper reporting

27:41 - Employees

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Partial Transcript: What's your most popular column or feature?

Segment Synopsis: Nolan discusses newspaper employees.

Keywords: Manchester Enterprise

Subjects: Newspaper employees Newspaper reporting

30:33 - Clay County economy

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Partial Transcript: Have you noticed much change in your accounting in the last couple of years since the coal boom?

Segment Synopsis: Nolan discusses Clay County's economy and what it needs to succeed.

Keywords: Clay County

Subjects: Coal mines and mining

34:00 - Kentucky Press Association

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Partial Transcript: Do you belong to the Press Association?

Segment Synopsis: Nolan discusses why he did not like the Kentucky Press Association.

Keywords: Kentucky Press Association; Manchester Enterprise

Subjects: Journalism--Societies, etc

39:23 - Clay County

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Partial Transcript: If you had the ability to give the county something, what would you give it?

Segment Synopsis: Nolan discusses the needs of the county and the most influential people in the county.

Keywords: Clay County

Subjects: Bankers Coal mines and mining Water districts


The following is an unrehearsed interview with J. Frank Nolan, editor of The Manchester Enterprise, Manchester, Kentucky. The interview was conducted by William Berge, for the Oral History Center of Eastern Kentucky University. The interview was conducted in Mr. Nolan's office on the 27th of March, 1979, at 5 p.m.

Berge: Mr. Nolan, I want to thank you for allowing me to come down here this afternoon, which is the busiest afternoon of your week, no doubt, 'cause your paper gets out in the morning. to you a little bit about yourself. Just tell me your name and where you were born and when you were born. Things like that. Something about your background.

Nolan: Uh...James F. Nolan Jr. is my entire name. I go by the name...nickname of Jim. I was born in Perry County, Kentucky. A little...the county seat of Hazard. Uh...Lived there until I...

Berge: Were you born in Hazard?

Nolan: I was born in Hazard.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: And, moved from there to Lexington. And, at that time I was in the eighth grade. Stayed in Lexington 'til I finished the University of Kentucky. I graduated there in journalism. And, came back here then went into the service. And, then came back here again, and I've been here ever since.

Berge: OK. Let me ask you some questions and fill in the blanks then.

Nolan: All right.

Berge: What's your dad's name? Same as yours?

Nolan: Same as mine.

Berge: All right. What was his dad's name?

Nolan: Sherman.

Berge: Sherman.

Nolan: Hm-hum.

Berge: OK. Where were they from? Perry County, too?

Nolan: No, my grandparents, best I can determine, were from Harlan County.

Berge: Oh. OK.

Nolan: Now, whether he...he came to Clay County originally from Harlan County...

Berge: And, then went to Perry.

Nolan: And, uh... My grandfather came from Harlan to Perry.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: Uh... But, my dad was born here in this county.

Berge: Oh, he's a Clay...

Nolan: He's a Clay Countian.

Berge: So, that's how you really got to be Clay County then.

Nolan: Right. And, well, I mean...I said...Well, my grandfather came here.

Berge: Yeah. OK.

Nolan: And, this is where my father was born. He left here and went to Perry County, that's where I was born.

Berge: Where...where were your mother and father married?

Nolan: Hazard.

Berge: What was your mother's maiden name?

Nolan: Campbell. She's from Perry County.

Berge: What's her first name?

Nolan: Mousie.

Berge: What was her parent's name, do you know?

Nolan: Uh... Her father's name was Jack...

Berge: OK.

Nolan: ...but I'm not sure what my grandmother's name was.

Berge: OK. Mousie. That's know, that's a Harlan County name. You know a lot of women in Harlan County with the name Mousie. Funny you mentioned that.

Nolan: But, I think that their...I think their family is pretty deep rooted in Perry County.

Berge: Uh-huh. OK. Now, do you remember the na...the schools you went to in Perry County? You went there 'til eighth grade you said.

Nolan: Right, uh...went

Berge: Just Hazard City...

Nolan: Upper...what they called the Hazard City Schools. Uh...Broadway and Upper Broadway.

Berge: Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Do you remember that?

Nolan: Yes, very well.

Berge: What year was were born?

Nolan: '36.

Berge: '36.

Nolan: I was born in '36.

Berge: So, you probably started to school in the early '40s then?

Nolan: Right.

Berge: Um... Your...your first recollections then are of the war probably?

Nolan: Right. Right.

Berge: Uh-huh. You remember the war very well.

Nolan: Uh...I remember seeing a lot of the...the billboards with the battle ships...

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: And, people...Uncle Sam pointing saying he needs you and that sort of thing.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah.

Nolan: Hearing the news reports on the radio. The things like that.

Berge: Do you remember any of your early teachers?

Nolan: Yes, I remember several of my early teachers.

Berge: Which ones do you remember as being fairly influential in your life? Any? [Pause] You know in the sense...

Nolan: Well...uh...

Berge: really were impressed with them? Or...

Nolan: Uh... I guess a teacher that...uh...I remember pretty vividly is one that...uh...criticized me very severely in first grade for painting tree trunks black instead of brown.

Berge: [Laughing]

Nolan: And...uh...she argued with me that tree trunks were brown and not black.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: And, uh...I knew better because there was a big maple growing right in my front yard that had a black bark on it. But, I never could convince her and she never did convince me.

Berge: What was her name?

Nolan: I don't remember her name.

Berge: Uh-huh. But, you remember her pretty well.

Nolan: I remember her pretty well.

Berge: When you went to Lexington... Well, what did your dad do when you were a kid?

Nolan: He ran a newspaper.

Berge: Oh... In Hazard?

Nolan: Right.

Berge: What...which paper?

Nolan: We ran a...we ran a couple of papers. We ran a paper called the Union Messenger, which had nothing to do with the Union.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: But, that was the name of it? And, then we went to a...uh...that... [Both talking - not clear]

Berge: The Union Messenger, was that an old paper?

Nolan: It was a paper that he originated there.

Berge: Oh, your father started it.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: So, he just come up with the name.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: It had nothing to do with the Civil War or anything like that.

Nolan: No, nothing at all. Nor nothing to do with the union that was there...

Berge: OK.

Nolan: ...with the railroad...

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: ... and the mining industry. Uh...then we...uh... That was a weekly paper, and we changed that into a daily.

Berge: Did your dad do that?

Nolan: Yes.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: that time there were four newspapers Hazard.

Berge: Well, that's something, isn't it?

Nolan: And, at the time we left Hazard there was only ours and one other.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: And...uh...

Berge: What'd he do? Sell?

Nolan: He sold out.

Berge: And, then where'd he go?

Nolan: He went to Lexington.

Berge: Uh-huh. And, what'd he do there?

Nolan: Uh... Went to Lexington, I think, to retire.

Berge: Oh, I see.

Nolan: Uh... But...uh...there was an old commercial printing plant that was on down...on Main Street in...on uh...East...on West Main. In...uh...

Berge: Job printing you mean?

Nolan: Job printing. They printed the Blood-Horse magazine.

Berge: Oh, yeah.

Nolan: They went broke...

Berge: I remember were that was.

Nolan: They broke...they went bankrupt. And, he went in and bought a lot of the equipment that they had.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: And, we started a commercial printing shop there in Lexington. Uh...

Berge: What was that? About '47? '48?

Nolan: 'Bout that. 'Bout that. And, then some people from here came down to see us.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: And, uh...they encouraged him to come back here and start a newspaper. And, he did.

Berge: And, that's this one?

Nolan: And, that's this...well, no, we started another paper. I'm trying to think what the name of it was now. Hmmm. Can't even remember right off. I'll think of it in a minute. But, anyway we started it.

Berge: And this is more...this is an older paper, was it?

Nolan: And, then...uh... this paper was also in existence here at that time. And...uh... And, then...uh... this paper was owned and operated by Garvis Kincaid.

Berge: Oh.

Nolan: And, dad then met with Garvis in Lexington, and...uh... they got together on a buy or sell agreement, and he decided to buy the newspaper from Garvis.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: So, they came...and that's...uh... about the time that I started coming up here in summers and working in the summer in the newspaper business.

Berge: Were you fairly young when you decided you were going to go in the newspaper business?

Nolan: Yes. I was...

Berge: It sort of got in your blood like they say?

Nolan: Right. That's the only thing I knew.

Berge: Do you like job printing aspect of it or do you more like the newspaper best?

Nolan: I like the newspaper side the best.

Berge: You know it's...I notice when I talk with...uh...people like you, second generation newspaper people, you find that they're either... like the one part of it better than the other. You know, and...uh... But, you...but, you...because of maybe journalism training and...

Nolan: Background... All of my training is in the newspaper side.

Berge: In the newspaper. Yeah. Do you do job printing here?

Nolan: Yes, we do.

Berge: You do, don't you?

Nolan: Quite a bit of job printing.

Berge:, when you went to...uh...high school in Lexington, where did you go?

Nolan: Went to Lexington Junior...uh...Junior High and then went from there to Henry Clay High School.

Berge: The old Henry Clay.

Nolan: Right, on Main Street.

Berge: On Richmond Road. Yeah. OK. Uh... Even then you knew you were going try to go to... journalism?

Nolan: No, I thought at that time I wanted to be a dentist.

Berge: Oh, you did?

Nolan: And, uh... I decided I didn't like chemistry, and calculus, and some of the mathematical courses I had to take.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: So, I decided there was some easier way to go. And, uh...picking the path of least resistance I fell into this...occupation.

Berge: Of course... You'd already been working in it, hadn't you?

Nolan: Everything was...I had a big background in it...wasn't any problem and....

Berge: What year did you graduate from high school?

Nolan: Oh...about... '50...

Berge: And college.

Nolan: In '54 and from UK in '60.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: Or '56 and '60. Four years later it was.

Berge: OK. '56 and '60. Now, when you graduated in '60 from UK, what was your first job then?

Nolan: I came back here.

Berge: To work in this paper?

Nolan: To work in this paper.

Berge: Uh-huh. Was you dad still here in the paper?

Nolan: Yes. He was here in the paper business at that time.

Berge: So you just came back and worked for him at that time?

Nolan: Right. Right.

Berge: Well, when did you be...when did you start...take over the paper yourself?

Nolan: I took over the paper about...uh...five years ago.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: Basically.

Berge: What have been the biggest changes in the paper since you've been here?

Nolan: Uh... Equipment. We've...uh...gone through three cycles, through three revolutions of equipment.

Berge: In fact, just recently you've...fairly recently you changed.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: 'Cause I live... I live part time in London, and I get your paper over there. And, uh... A store over there. Where do I get it? Quick Start Market?

Nolan: Yes, we have about twelve stores over there that sell them.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah. I get the paper there.

Nolan: Right. But, we've uh...used...uh...started out, when I first game it was letterpress equipment was old. The equipment that was bought in a commercial printing plant.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: It was designed for commercial printing, not newspapers.

Berge: In other words you print your own paper here.

Nolan: Yes, we do.

Berge: Do anybody else's paper?

Nolan: Oh, yes. We do four other newspapers here.

Berge: Whose...whose do you do?

Nolan: We do...uh...a paper for Owsley County. Do a paper for Jackson County. We do a paper for...uh... Leslie County. And, we do another paper for Jackson...two papers for Jackson County.

Berge: You do both of them over there.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: Uh... what's the name of those papers?

Nolan: Uh... the Jackson County Sun and Jackson County Eagle.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Now, the Eagle is just about to go out of business. It's oper... operated by a fellow that's ...uh...really not journalism minded and...uh...

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: Not very much of a businessman either.

Berge: He's just barely getting the paper out.

Nolan: He's just existing. Right.

Berge: Well...does that...that doesn't tie up your press too much, does it? To do four other papers?

Nolan: No. No. With the equipment you've got now...uh...started out to tell about the letterpress equipment we had. We reorganized all that and put in... I bought one of the first offset newspaper presses that was installed in this part of Kentucky as far as I know. There was one other, but it was not operational.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: And, uh... We were one of the first newspapers...uh...this side of...uh...Georgetown, that I know of, to go offset.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: Now, there were some newspapers that...uh...there was a...a big printing plant at Middlesboro and some printing plants at Harlan.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: And other places. All of them were letterpress. Uh... There was a...a paper at Pineville, Kentucky, that had an offset press, but it was not functional.

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: And, I think they were printing their paper somewhere else.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: we try to...what we call a sheet fed...uh...newspaper press, which prints...uh...just a big flat sheet of paper and then you take it out...turn it over and print it right through the press again.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: And, that was not satisfactory. Then, we then bought...uh...the web fed newspaper press that we have today.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: And, at the time I bought it, I thought that I had...

Berge: Lost your mind?

Nolan: Lost my mind.

Berge: [Laughing]

Nolan: In fact, I really felt good because the man who came to install it, we flew him in to London.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: And, the first thing he said when he walked in the door, he says I want to meet the fool that put a press like this in a town like this. So...

Berge: [Laughing]

Nolan: I kinda smiled at him. I said you're looking at him. He's the guy that's going to be paying your salary so you might want to change your attitude.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: But, uh... He thought it was ridiculous.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: But, it's been very successful for us.

Berge: 'Course, you need those papers to print then, don't you?

Nolan: No. Not really.

Berge: You don't?

Nolan: At the time I put the press in we only had our own paper.

Berge: No, but I mean it really helped you to have them.

Nolan: Oh, yes.

Berge: That's what I meant.

Nolan: Oh, yes.

Berge: I don't mean you need them absolutely.

Nolan: Yes. Right.

Berge: But, I mean it's crazy not to when you've got that kind of equipment.

Nolan: Oh, yes. ... You have to... When you've got that kind of investment have to have something to keep it busy.

Berge: Do you mind telling what we're talking about in terms of money?

Nolan: Well, at the time that I bought that press it was in the neighborhood of about sixty some thousand dollars.

Berge: Hm-hum. What would it cost now?

Nolan: Today the same press is close to a hundred thousand.

Berge: So you used good judgment by buying it when you did because everyone else is trying to now. Aren't they? More and more people are trying to get their own.

Nolan: Yes. Yes. Right. That press, incidentally, is...uh...I guess one of the most popular presses in Kentucky, but I didn't know it at that time.

Berge: Uh-huh. How did...How'd you ever come to make the decision?

Nolan: Well, we had to do something. We...we were forced into it really.

Berge: And, because of where you were you couldn't really take your paper anywhere else to get it printed? Or anything.

Nolan: No. Not at that time.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: It was kind of funny, uh...after I had...uh...ordered the press and was having it installed I learned that...uh, that...uh...two other presses like this one were ordered for the same area of the state.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: So, if I'd known that or if we'd been coordinated with one another we might have...uh...saved some money there. But...

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: I...I don't regret buying my own press.

Berge: And, you'd do it all over again? If you...uh...

Nolan: Definitely.

Berge: You've had to...well, in addition to that aspect of it, know, the actual printing and physical part of it. What are some others changes you've seen in the years you've been in the newspaper business?

Nolan: Well, again, equipment changes have made it possible to produce newspapers much faster.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Uh...but... You have a easier...uh...job of producing quality newspapers. Uh...the... uh... mechanics of it have become more sophisticated.

Berge: The number of hours you work... The number of hours you work has hanged, too, because of it. Hasn't it?

Nolan: Very much. Very much. Uh...we can now...well, for example, now we start on Monday to produce a...a thirty-six page paper and we have it out by noon Wednesday.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Uh... When I first came here, we started out immediately after the paper was printed to produce the next paper.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: And, it took all we could do to get it printed by the...Wednesday afternoon.

Berge: How long does it take you to make your run now?

Nolan: Well, it takes us about forty-five minutes.

Berge: What did that use to take?

Nolan: It used to take about four hours.

Berge: Hm-hum. Without breakdowns?

Nolan: Without breakdowns. [Laughing] Problems...and everything.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah. Lot of...lot of night work in newspapers in those days.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: Do you ever re... Have you ever felt that you'd like to have a daily? Or do you like the weekly?

Nolan: No.

Berge: You like the weekly.

Nolan: I like the weekly.

Berge: What...Why do you like the weekly? A lot of weekly people like the weekly paper better than the daily.

Nolan: The get tied to national news a lot.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Because...

Berge: Use filler.

Nolan: ...most communities just don't have the activities in them to cover events day by day.

Berge: Um-hum.

Nolan: use a lot, as you say, filler material.

Berge: Yeah. Um-hum.

Nolan: The, uh... And, get... uh...on a get stuck with...uh...individualized jobs like you report the police court, the county government or something. You never get away from that. In a weekly you do the whole scope of the thing.

Berge: If you think...if you were ...uh...a young, let's say you had a child who wanted to be in the newspaper business. Would you advise him to start working in a weekly?

Nolan: Yes. Definitely.

Berge: And if they wanted to change?

Nolan: Go to a daily.

Berge: Change.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: In other words they can learn a little bit about all of it doing this kind of work?

Nolan: Right. You learn the value of public relations. Uh... Confidences with your sources. All kinds of things that you don't learn with a daily.

Berge: Is it getting harder or easier to make a living in the newspaper business? Say in a small weekly like this.

Nolan: I'd say it's getting harder.

Berge: Really? Why do you think?

Nolan: Uh... Competition is greater. Uh...Your...uh...your competition is for your advertising dollar. That's where your revenue is.

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: You have...uh...television is making deep inroads into this.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Uh...your national companies are going strictly to television more than they used to. They still use...uh... newspaper advertising and newspaper advertising still maintains a bulk of their budget, but most of that budget goes to big dailies that cover an entire state. Here like the Courier-Journal or the Lexington Herald.

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: If Pillsbury, for example, decides to run a coupon ad, they run it in one of those two papers if not both.

Berge: They don't do it in yours?

Nolan: They don't do it in the small weeklies. Now...uh...

Berge: Do you think they'd be better off doing it in the small weeklies?

Nolan:'s been proven that they would be, I think.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: It's a little more expensive for 'em.

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: And, it's a little harder for the advertising departments that...that...

Berge: Do the work.

Nolan: ...set the thing up for it to do their work. So they take the easy way out.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah. Do you get any of this national advertising though through the press association?

Nolan: Yes. Yes, we do.

Berge: So, that's still...

Nolan: We still...

Berge: helps that way.

Nolan: We still maintain a lot of that.

Berge: OK. Uh...I...I'm gonna sort of skip around...

Nolan: Sure.

Berge: ...because I want to ask you about a lot of different things. Now, on this business of ...uh...having a weekly paper, I guess...[interrupted by question from employee] I...I think that it would be safe to say that you consider yourself to be what we call a community newspaper?

Nolan: Definitely.

Berge: Now, as a community newspaper do you feel that maybe you have community responsibilities that say maybe a larger more impersonal paper doesn't have?

Nolan: I do.

Berge: Does it ever get in your way?

Nolan: Yes.

Berge: In other words, it does cause you problems...

Nolan: Sure.

Berge: ...deciding what to print and what not to print.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: How do you handle this?

Nolan: Well...

Berge: It's pretty hard to answer.

Nolan: Somebody has to...Yes...Sometimes it depends on the circumstances.

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: But, everything has to be evaluated somewhere. And, basically, uh...the...the fellow that works here helping gather the news...who's really serving as more the editor right now than I am.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Because I'm more of a publisher now.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Uh...We get together and discuss things and we outline policies...

Berge: Do you do this together?

Nolan: Right.

Berge: What's his name?

Nolan: His name is...uh...uh...Jimmy Wilson.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: And...uh...he, uh...we talk about...uh...the criteria to judge these things.

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: And, the biggest thing we have decided is it best for the overall...uh...image of the community.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Now, a lot of things happen that are not necessarily best for the overall image of the community.

Berge: And, you still put it in the paper.

Nolan: But, that we still use. But, in the long run, we have to analyze is it better or not better.

Berge: What kind of stuff. Do you mind telling me? A lot of people do. I mean...I don't mean specifically...

Nolan: Right. Right.

Berge: I don't want to say like...

Nolan: For example, we had a...a county...our former county judge was accused of...uh...misappropriating some...

Berge: Yeah. What was his name?

Nolan: Uh...Herman Lewis.

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: The rumor was that he had misappropriated a lot of federal funds that had been allocated to the county.

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: And, uh...the work programs that they had. Uh...There was a federal grand jury or federal investigation as a result of that. We knew that the federal investigation was underway. But, we never printed anything about the investigation. Uh...Simply, because we felt that the judge had not yet been convicted...

Berge: I understand.

Nolan: ...of that. And, if he had been convicted we would have run the story. Uh... And when he was acquitted we did run the story.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: It was found that he had not misappropriated any funds.

Berge: In other words, you feel that vindicated you, too.

Nolan: Well...

Berge: By not running it.

Nolan: Right. We would have...we could have done him some...some harm by running it. He was...uh...there was nothing really evidence that he had done anything wrong.

Berge: Hm-hum. Hm-hum.

Nolan: Uh...but, uh...of course...the rumors were...

Berge: How did the investigation get started? Somebody report...

Nolan: Politically. Politically motivated we think.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: We're not sure. But, uh...

Berge: Well, was he a long time judge? Eight years?

Nolan: He was here two...yeah, about eight years.

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: Fine fellow.

Berge: When did he leave the office?

Nolan: He was elec...he was defeated the last election.

Berge: In other words, he was the last county judge.

Nolan: Right. He was the last county judge.

Berge: OK. And, since then the county judge-executive is someone...somebody else?

Nolan: Right.

Berge: Was that his opponent then?

Nolan: Yes.

Berge: OK. So in other words, the present county judge is the...the political opponent of the former county judge?

Nolan: Right.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: But now...he...the...the man who is in office now did not start...uh...

Berge: No. OK. I understand that.

Nolan: That's... That's totally different.

Berge: I understand that. But, I mean this...

Nolan: Right.

Berge: But, they were...did they...they did run against him, though?

Nolan: Right.

Berge: So, the... probably the investigation hurt him even though he wasn't...

Nolan: Right. It hurt him.

Berge: Stuff like that always does.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: And, you could have hurt him even more probably by...

Nolan: Sure. Oh, yeah. Definitely.

Berge: Any other kinds of things? Juvenile stuff? Does that cause problems?

Nolan: No, not basically. We don't have that much of a problem with that.

Berge: Uh-huh...

Nolan: Uh...

Berge: What kinds of crime do you have mostly in Clay County?

Nolan: Small time crime.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Uh... Not anything...

Berge: Breaking and entering.

Nolan: Breaking and entering. That sort of thing. Uh... Very seldom do we have any...we have some serious crimes, but not...

Berge: Oh, yeah.

Nolan: ...what we'd call big time crime.

Berge: Do you you get pretty good cooperation from enforcement agencies?

Nolan: Very good. Very good. We make it a point to. We...we meet and talk with them, discuss with them.

Berge: Like who do you do?

Nolan: We meet with the state police. Try to meet with them one night a week...

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: just to sit down on the... at the rendezvous points where they might be...uh...meeting...

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: ...and talk to them about what's happened during the week and why it's happened. And, a lot of times we know when investigations that are going underway where nothings been developing...

Berge: Do you get along pretty well with the state police?

Nolan: Get along real well with them. No problems at all.

Berge: How about the local police?

Nolan: Very good.

Berge: What do you have here?

Nolan: We have a city police and...

Berge: Oh, you do.

Nolan: ...a sheriff's department.

Berge: Oh, you have both.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: Uh... And...are they fairly...fairly free with you in all...

Nolan: Very free. Very free. In fact, this afternoon they called us and had...uh...Jimmy go out with them to make a raid.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: And...uh...

Berge: On what?

Nolan: I'm not sure. I haven't talked to Jimmy yet.

Berge: So, you don't know what it is.

Nolan: So, I don't know what it is yet. Whether it was [unclear] whiskey or what.

Berge: That's...that's really good...drugs or whiskey, probably one or the other. That's pretty good then if they let you in right from the bot...

Nolan: Right.

Berge: ...from the beginning like that.

Nolan: Uh... We're right there...and...the...the thing about it is they initiated the call. They just pick up the phone and call us.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: They do this because they recognize first that we're for law enforcement.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: And opposed to...uh...any...uh...destruction of our law enforcement agencies.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: We recognize them as being the only thing that stands between...uh...the private citizen and the outlaw.

Berge: Oh, I see.

Nolan: And, we take that stand.

Berge: Uh-huh. I think in Eastern Kentucky...uh...this is maybe more apparent than it is a lot of places.

Nolan: It may be. I'm not sure.

Berge: Uh-huh. I''s sort of a lawless element. I don't mean...

Nolan: Right.

Berge: know, I don't mean they're shooting each other the streets.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: You know, but, I mean there are people who sort of take the law in their own hands...and this type thing occasionally.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: do you get along with the...uh...judicial system? Do you... do they keep you pretty well informed? The judges and...

Nolan: Yes. Yes.

Berge: The courts?

Nolan: Uh...They... The... The new district court system removed the local court concept a step further away from the local contact really.

Berge: What do you think about that?

Nolan: Of course, now you have a district judge...

Berge: What do you think about that?

Nolan: Uh...the reports I've seen on it indicate that it's...uh...much more economical.

Berge: Uh-huh. And, you say...

Nolan: I had thought that it was going to be pretty expensive on the taxpayer.

Berge: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

Nolan: Uh...I don't think it's the answer to the court system though.

Berge: No. You don't. Huh. What do you think is?

Nolan: I'm not sure. I'm not smart enough to really tell.

Berge: Well, do you ever talk to, say, the circuit judge or anybody?

Nolan: Yes. Yes.

Berge: What does he think?

Nolan: Uh... He's so busy with the backlog of cases he has that...uh...

Berge: This is one of the busy...

Nolan: [Unclear]

Berge: He has one of the busier...uh...reg...uh...courts, I think.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: A three county area. Is that right?

Nolan: Right. He has three counties.

Berge: Leslie, Jackson, and Clay.

Nolan: Probably one of the biggest case loads of any district judge in our...

Berge: I think second biggest.

Nolan: OK.

Berge: Madison County may be the biggest.

Nolan: OK. So...uh...I know that it's very busy. And...uh...he's...uh. He thought this district court would...uh... solve more of the cases for him then it has.

Berge: But, it's solved some though.

Nolan: It has helped some, definitely.

Berge: Uh-huh. Well, do you get a lot of cooperation from this court?

Nolan: Yes.

Berge: And how about the district judges, too?

Nolan: Very much. Very much.

Berge: OK. Did you ever have any trouble with the old judge system?

Nolan: No.

Berge: Did you ever get the feeling that the...uh...that the county judges were a little less judicially oriented than they should be because of their...their political problem of being elected...

Nolan: I did.

Berge: ...and that sort of thing?

Nolan: They look out for themselves and perpetuate their own office.

Berge: They almost had to, didn't they?

Nolan: It''s just like we look out for our paycheck and our job.

Berge: Yeah. The...uh...I...I hear a lot of time when I'm talking to newspaper people I hear them talk about, oh...such value of their newspapers, because people buy and sell newspapers all the time. Does the value of your newspaper go up constantly?

Nolan: Yes.

Berge: Hm-hum. What kind of circulation do you have?

Nolan: We've got...uh... approximately six thousand, fluctuating...

Berge: how big a county?

Nolan: In a twenty thousand county.

Berge: Well...that's...

Nolan: But, now [unclear] ...

Berge: ...that's a pretty good circulation

Nolan: ...some of that circulation is outside the county.

Berge: Oh, I understand that. But, still pretty good circulation.

Nolan: Very good. We figure we reach about...uh...about three out of every four homes in our county.

Berge: That's pretty good.

Nolan: Very good.

Berge: The other...uh...the other sev...twenty-five percent. Do they buy a newspaper?

Nolan: I don't know. Apparently not ours. [Laughing] I couldn't say.

Berge: Uh-huh. Well, I mean...

Nolan: Right.

Berge: you think they buy a Courier? Or a...

Nolan: No. I doubt...I doubt it. No, I...I...

Berge: In other words, every... most people that are reading you sell a paper.

Nolan: Right, I think so

Berge: Now, does this new newspaper...does that hurt you?

Nolan: It's helped.

Berge: Really has, huh? How do you figure?

Nolan: Well, we were...we've been going over our books. Uh... A couple of things. One's, uh...uh... when there was no one here but us you become lackadaisical.

Berge: You think...

Nolan: More relaxed.

Berge: ...your paper is better because they're here?

Nolan: Definitely.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: No question.

Berge: You're doing a better job?

Nolan: Yes.

Berge: Huh.

Nolan: Just you sharpen your pencil a little more...

Berge: Yes.

Nolan: ...and attention...

Berge: Yes.

Nolan: things a little closer.

Berge: Excuse me. I'll turn... [Tape stopped and restarted]

Berge: Interesting that you know, that the paper would probably help you... Have you...has it helped you financially?

Nolan: Yes.

Berge: You think you're selling more papers?

Nolan: Oh, yes. There's no question about it.

Berge: How about advertising? Has it hurt you in ads?

Nolan: Oh, we', we're up in our advertising.

Berge: Huh. That's something, isn't it?

Nolan: We...we. He and I, fact, had lunch together today.

Berge: The...the other editor and you?

Nolan: Yes. And, uh...and, uh... We didn't talk about that particularly.

Berge: Are you going to coexist pretty well?

Nolan: Oh, yes. I think so. It de... I don't know what his situation is. I know it's a...been a benefit to us.

Berge: Does he say anything about that?

Nolan: Uh...He just made a comment to me at one of the other meetings that he thought I...he should still be on my payroll 'cause he used to work here. We taught him the newspaper business.

Berge: Oh. Oh.

Nolan: And, uh...that, uh...that he'd seen the improvement that his...uh...providing another paper had done for us. looked like he was doing us more good than he was harm.

Berge: Yeah. Do you think he's going to be able to stay in business?

Nolan: I don't know. I really don't. I couldn't say.

Berge: Who prints his paper?

Nolan: Uh... He's printed in a neighboring county.

Berge: Uh... Laurel?

Nolan: Yes, uh-huh.

Berge: Well... I knew they had that big thing over there.

Nolan: Right. They have a... They print over there.

Berge: Uh-huh. They... And, but you and he aren't...bit...

Nolan: Bitter enemies. No.

Berge: ...bitter enemies or anything like that?

Nolan: Uh-huh. No. We're competitors, but we're not enemies.

Berge: Oh, yeah. Uh-huh. Do you sometimes get the same advertising?

Nolan: Oh, yes. Hm-hum.

Berge: So, that's really...

Nolan: In fact, we...we're both running grocery store ads together now.

Berge: Oh, that's interesting. Yeah. And, you're haven't lost any because of him...

Nolan: No.

Berge: ...or he hasn't lost...

Nolan: Not at this point. Not at this point.

Berge: Do you think it's going to make any difference? ... What's his circulation?

Nolan: I think it's...I think... I don't know. Well, I...I do know, too, but since I'm not suppose to know I better not say. But, uh...

Berge: Well, I'm going to talk to him tomorrow. Maybe he'll say.

Nolan: [Laughing] OK, maybe he will. Uh...

Berge: His is not as big as yours?

Nolan: Oh, no.

Berge: Uh.

Nolan: Well, he couldn't be. He's only been in business about a year.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: And, it takes a long time to build a circulation.

Berge: Do you have any circulation gimmicks where you sel...go out and sell subscriptions...

Nolan: No.

Berge: ...or anything?

Nolan: None at all.

Berge: You ever thought of any?

Nolan: When we originally began a newspaper here we tried some. And, when we were in the newspaper business at Hazard, we tried some.

Berge: Do they work?

Nolan: Um...some of them do, some of them do not. Uh...

Berge: You ever hear of that young couple over in...uh...Cumberland County talk about how they do it? Of course, they picked it up from the guy they bought their paper from.

Nolan: I'm not familiar with...

Berge: Branhams. They have a...Sonny Branham the guy's name is. He has a...they have a contest every year. And, they're ...they're local...what do you call correspondents or... Do you have those people?

Nolan: Yes.

Berge: They have a contest to sell sub...two year subscriptions. And, I think the one that sells the most subscriptions gets a prize. Something like that, and that's how they do it. And, they sell quite a few sub...few...few subscriptions every year.

Nolan: Uh...there's a lot of ways you can do it. You can have...uh...professional firms come in. There's a lot of things we can do. We...uh...really feel that our circulation is strong enough right now that we don't need anything to push it beyond that point.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: Uh... At this point if we pushed hard on subscriptions the only thing we would be doing, would be gaining the number of years a person subscribes...

Berge: I see.

Nolan: ...rather than gaining a new subscriber.

Berge: The same people. Yeah. JN. So, there's, you know...

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: ...there's not much to gain there.

Berge: Uh... Are most of your newspapers sold through the mail?

Nolan: Yes.

Berge: What percentage? Do you have any idea?

Nolan: I don't really have that percentage. I'm...

Berge: More than half?

Nolan: About half.

Berge: Uh-huh. And then the rest are sold mostly in newspapers.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: I mean stores.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: to house delivery or anything?

Nolan: No house to house delivery at all.

Berge: OK. Uh... This...uh...what do you charge for your newspaper now?

Nolan: We... The local...county subscriptions are five dollars and a quarter per year.

Berge: How about over the counter?

Nolan: Uh... They're twenty cents per copy.

Berge: Uh-huh. You're selling those cheaper,'re selling your mail subscriptions cheaper than most people are.

Nolan: Oh, yes. Uh...

Berge: Some of them have gone up quite a bit you know?

Nolan: Right. When our... Our out-of-state subscribers are paying eleven dollars.

Berge: Uh-huh. How many out of state do you have?

Nolan: Uh... I'd say...uh...about a third of our papers go out of state.

Berge: Uh...former residents?

Nolan: Right.

Berge: They love these papers, don't they? [Unclear]

Nolan: Oh, yes. Very much.

Berge: What's your...what's your most popular column or feature or whatever you want to call it?

Nolan: Uh... We have a lady that... one of our country correspondents that writes, uh...and...uh...she's by far, I guess, our most important columnist at this time.

Berge: Yeah, who's that?

Nolan: Uh... Gal by the name Myrtle Shoupe.

Berge: Yeah, I've read that. Yeah.

Nolan: And, she was quoted quite often on the front page of the Lexington Leader when he had a little thing called "Cornered."

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: As he ran down here.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah.

Nolan: The editor down there would pick up some of her little country sayings and run them quite frequently.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I heard of her years ago from Ms. (?Muncie?).

Nolan: Right. Right.

Berge: She'd tell me about her and ask if I'd ever heard of her and this sort of thing.

Nolan: She's a fine lady.

Berge: That...uh...these many correspondents do you have like Ms. Shoupe?

Nolan: We have about eight or ten.

Berge: Are they hard to get?

Nolan: Very hard.

Berge: Much harder than they used to be, aren't they?

Nolan: Yes. Um-hum.

Berge: How come, you think?

Nolan: Uh... Modernization of things. Uh... There's more demands put on people's time today.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: Uh... People tend, I think, to get away from the personal aspects of living.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: Uh... this was a very rural community where...uh, and still is...where everybody knows everybody else.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: And, uh... small situations here make good news because of that.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: And...but these people don't have the time to sit and gossip over the backyard fence that they used to have. Now, the wife has to work about as much as the husband to pay the bills.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah. And, uh... Do you think that the...uh... that as years go by you'll probably end up with fewer correspondents?

Nolan: I think so.

Berge: Are you able to replace the ones now when something happens to them?

Nolan: We've...uh...actually we've been receiving a...a few more correspondents. We've got more now then we...

Berge: You're lucky. 'Cause most people are just, you know, as I've talked to them they're getting fewer and fewer of these people.

Nolan: We had been on a downward trend, but...uh...we've run into two or three good correspondents lately.

Berge: Wonder why? Just, uh...just lucky you think?

Nolan: I don't know. Just...just luck. That's the only thing that I would know.

Berge: Do you try to beat the bushes for them or anything?

Nolan: No. No. There's no way. Well, I have tried just can't go out and convince somebody they ought to be a correspondent.

Berge: Yeah. They're either going to do it or they're not.

Nolan: They're going to do it or they're not.

Berge: Yeah. Uh... What...uh...kind of people make the best correspondents?

Nolan: People that are interested in other people.

Berge: And, it doesn't make any difference about their education? Or...

Nolan: Not as much. That's not a criteria, not in this...

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: ...kind of paper.

Berge: Yeah. I understand. I understand. The, uh...the paper have here, many employees do you have?

Nolan: We have nine.

Berge: That includes the job printing as well?

Nolan: Yes.

Berge: So the whole establishment is nine employees.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: Uh... What percentage? About half and half? Or...

Nolan: We spend most of our time really...uh...we spend about three days a week producing newspapers.

Berge: Uh-huh. The other half...

Nolan: The other...the other two days we print our commercial printing.

Berge: Let me...uh...just turn this over. [Tape changed]

Berge: OK...have you noticed much...uh...uh...change in your county in the last couple years, say, since the coal boom?

Nolan: Yes.

Berge: Can you feel it here?

Nolan: Yes, very definitely.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Our life blood is the coal industry and what happens to it we feel immediately.

Berge: Uh-huh. It's quick...

Nolan: Like a transfusion or a loss of blood.

Berge: It's quick, huh?

Nolan: Very quick.

Berge: Well, would you say things are pretty good right now?

Nolan: No. No. I wouldn't say things are good right now.

Berge: Not as good as good as they were a couple years ago then?

Nolan: Uhhh fact, uh...we were discussing this at lunch today.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: And, it seems like...uh... things are very tight here right now. I don' think all of that's got to do with the coal business, but I think a...a lot of it's got to do with the coal business.

Berge: I understand a lot of coal that's being mined in this part of Kentucky now, they're not being able to sell because of the grade of it. Is that right? Have you heard that?

Nolan: Uh... That's some of the problem. We still have some good coal here.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: The big problem is that...uh...the...uh...the coal operators tell me they lost a lot of their market...uh... to this western coal. And, I don't know whether they have or not.

Berge: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

Nolan: I think quality of our coal has got something to do with it. Uh...but we still have some of the...the low sulfur coal...

Berge: Uh-huh.


Berge: So you do still have some pretty good coal?

Nolan: Some real good coal. That Horse Creek coal that they're mining at several locations right now is very good coal. About the best they can find right now.

Berge: Is that right? What else is there to do in this county?

Nolan: There was some timbering. There is...uh...About six million dollars a year comes in from the...uh... tobacco industry here. Uh...the ...some cattle sales. But, basically it''s coal.

Berge: Uh... Where...

Nolan: Coal oriented.

Berge: Is there any industry at all?

Nolan: There is a...a the county that was hiring up to about two hundred people. I think they've only got about forty on payroll down there now. I'm not sure about that.

Berge: What kind of factory is it?

Nolan: It was a machinist type factory. They produce...uh...appliances like toasters or...uh...popup ovens or something like that.

Berge: Uh-huh. And they're sort of phasing out or something other?

Nolan: No. They're just...uh...between contracts.

Berge: Oh...I understand. I understand.

Nolan: They work for things for Dominion and...uh...some of those...uh...West Bend companies like that.

Berge: I understand. I understand. Tell me what's in this county? Is there any concerted effort to try to attract industry here?

Nolan: The city and the county both are...uh...trying very hard. They've established an industrial park. Uh... They have a Clay County Development Association. They do a lot of things to attract it. Uh...the competition...

Berge: You think the road's going to help?

Nolan: Uh... yes, it's definitely going to help. But, it's not helped that much yet though.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: It's not helped as much as I thought it would. But, I think...

Berge: Or as quickly.

Nolan: will help eventually.

Berge: And the further it goes east the more it's going to help, isn't it?

Nolan: Right. Right. I-75 coming through.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Uh... Daniel Boone Parkway going through.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: All of those have definitely contributed to our economy.

Berge: Uh-huh. The...uh... Who are the kind of people who are involved in the industrial development?

Nolan: Primarily...uh... municipal and...and civic people. Uh...our development...

Berge: People like you? Are you involved in it?

Nolan: Right. We're involved in it. Not that much. But, uh...we do monitor it.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: We don't attend all the meetings. Frankly, they've had so many meetings I've about had all I want of the meetings.

Berge: I understand.

Nolan: When they've got something that's really happening or popping then I'll go help them...

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: ...discuss it with them.

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: But, the...all the little small meetings I don't get in on.

Berge: OK...uh...Jim, let me ask you some questions about newspapers [unclear].

Nolan: All right.

Berge: Uh... You belong to the press association. You said you did, didn't you?

Nolan: No, I do not.

Berge: Oh.

Nolan: I did, but I'm not currently a member.

Berge: Why'd you...why'd you drop?

Nolan: Well, I found that basically that every...uh...that as it is right now, our Kentucky Press Association provides just about as much service to the non- members as it does the members.

Berge: Oh, really?

Nolan: And, when I was a member of the Kentucky Press Association they were more concerned about the support of the large weekly and daily papers.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: Uh... Everything they did was a preponderance in their behalf. The contests were more oriented toward those people. The...uh...the legislative measures that they were proposing were more for those people. And...uh... they really didn't...uh... seem too concerned about the small weeklies at that time.

Berge: How long did you stay in it?

Nolan: I was in about two years after I graduated from high...from college.

Berge: Oh, so you didn't stay in it very long.

Nolan: Very long.

Berge: Un-huh. Who are you think that really in the final analysis there's really not that much reason to stay in it for somebody like you, huh?

Nolan: I think there could be. I don't think there has been.

Berge: Have you ever thought about going back in?

Nolan: Yes, I have. I was...I've gone back to a couple of their...uh...conventions.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: And, I've talked with the people. Uh... But, frankly the last two meetings I attended were...uh...the press association was so...uh...busy...uh...honking its own horn and...uh...explaining the value of...of the press association to the papers that ...uh...they really didn't realize what they were talking about.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: They just haven't produced that much.

Berge: Hm-huh. What about...uh...have you ever heard anything about that new...uh...that weekly press association? That weekly...uh...association of weekly newspapers.

Nolan: Yes. We get some letters from that.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Uh...Uh, If I were going to join, I'd probably join the Kentucky Press rather than the weekly press association.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: They...uh...they tried and... And, newspaper people are independent type people. They're sort of like...uh...businessmen. Sometimes it's hard to get them to work together.

Berge: Yeah. Uh-huh.

Nolan: And, uh...that's...uh...part of the problem, I think, particularly among the weeklies.

Berge: Uh-huh. Now, you've been in the newspaper business a long time, considering also your experience, you know, with...uh...before you really got in the paper business you heard your dad talk and that sort of thing. Who do you think have been some of the really interesting and say fine, great, whatever you want to call them, newspaper editors in Kentucky?

Nolan: I really couldn't answer that. I've not followed them that closely. I...

Berge: Who are some of the ones you've dealt with you think are good newspaper editors.

Nolan: There were a couple of good newspaper people that came out of...uh...Hazard, Kentucky.

Berge: Who were they?

Nolan: There's...uh... I'm trying to think of the boy's name. He's with the United Press now in Washington, D.C. And...uh...there's another fellow by the name of Gurney Norman that graduated from UK a couple classes ahead of me, a real good newspaperman.

Berge: Well, there's a lot of really good ones who never really wanted to do anything but do what you're doing. And, who are some of those people that you've been impressed with. You know, your colleagues.

Nolan: Guy Hatfield...Guy Hatfield down at Irvine has been...

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: ...a very good weekly newspaperman. Uh...

Berge: Somebody says that he's not there at that paper anymore. Is that right?

Nolan: Oh, yes. He's there. He's still there.

Berge: Oh. Has...but, he's...what, has he hired an editor or something like that?

Nolan: Oh, well, now I don't know. He...he's had...he's got a staff working. But, he's...he's involved very much in it.

Berge: He still runs the paper?

Nolan: Very much.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: Uh...there's a real good editor and publisher down at,, uh... Somerset. There's a...a fellow that use to be over at Middlesboro that was really good. Uh...then...a lot of people talk about Tom Gish up at Whitesburg with his Screaming Eagle.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Nolan: Uh... I think Tom really is in a sort of an isolated glass house.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah.

Nolan: It's a...

Berge: It's not exactly a normal situation, is it?

Nolan: No. No. Not at all.

Berge: Un-huh. Have you ever known of these others? Have you ever known people like...uh...say Fred Burkhardt over at Casey County? Or any of those people?

Nolan: No, I haven't known Fred.

Berge: It's sort of out...

Nolan: Yes.

Berge: ...out of your area really. Uh...

Nolan: this part of the state we've not had that many good editors.

Berge: Yeah. Do you...what...what do you think of chains?

Nolan: What do you mean by chains?

Berge: Newspaper chains that come in and buy these newspapers like you. Do you think that they do the service that...that small, independent operators like you do?

Nolan: I think... I think that they are in a position where they can do a better job.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: But, I think because they are...they get so concerned about strictly the business aspects of it, that they fail to...

Berge: Cash flow.

Nolan: Tha...that's their major concern rather than the...the community itself.

Berge: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

Nolan: I've watched...uh...several operations...uh. One in Georgetown, for example. I've followed that one. There's one in Hazard. I've followed that one. And, they lose a little bit of the personality of the community.

Berge: Uh-huh. In other words, you think that...uh...what they gain maybe in some technical knowhow and some little bit of money, that they lose in the sense that they're not as community oriented in the...

Nolan: That's right.

Berge: If the...if you could, uh...say, I guess you feel emotionally attached, uh, Clay County. You live here and have lived here...

Nolan: Oh, yes.

Berge: Uh...If, you could give this county... If you had the ability to give this county something that you thought it really needed, what would you give it? What would you pro... give to Clay County? What does Clay County really need in your estimation?

Nolan: I think that...that probably the best thing we need is a broadening of attitudes.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Uh... We've very narrow minded. Very narrow minded.

Berge: Uh-huh. Do you think you help the situation in this respect? Do you try to?

Nolan: I try to. I don't know whether I've helped it or not.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Uh... The things that have rea...helped the most are the...the changing over of our two local banks. And...

Berge: What do you mean?

Nolan: Well, uh...both banks were operated here by people that had run them for years and years and years and were ingrained in the old philosophy of financial management.

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: Uh... In fact, the governor of Kentucky that came from here, Governor Combs, made the statement in a speech once that when he went to borrow money a...a state...uh...celebrity that it took about six other signatures to get money from one of the local banks.

Berge: Yeah. [Laughing]

Nolan: And, that was the attitude that they took. And, the new breed of banker here is...uh...

Berge: More liberal?

Nolan: More liberal, more progressive minded, more willing to help.

Berge: And, you think it's helping the community because of that?

Nolan: It's definitely. Oh, yeah. We've had a housing boom here. We've had...uh...a lot of things that happened that would have not happened otherwise.

Berge: In other words, the banks really did drag their feet then?

Nolan: They stymied the community.

Berge: Yeah. And now... And now the banks are helping.

Nolan: Very much.

Berge: Do you have a building and loan association here? No. No. We do not.

Berge: OK. So that...if you'd had one maybe the banks would have been modernized a little earlier. It would have provided a certain kind of competition...

Nolan: Right. Right.

Berge: ...for them. Uh...This is a hard question to answer. And yet I'm going to ask it to you. This is probably the most important question that I ask as far as my study is concerned. Uh...let's say you and I went to school together thirty years ago down in Lexington, and I went on to New York and you came back here to home. I came to visit you, and we were going to have sort of a reunion and I was going to be here four or five days...three or four days. And, I said, Jim, you know what I'd like to do? I said, I'm really interested in a county like this. I wish while I'm here that you would take me around and introduce me to the two or three or four or five or eight or ten, I don't know how many, or care how many, people that you think are the really important people in this county. Uh, now I don't mean, maybe, the people you like the most or dislike the most. I'm not... And, when I'm talking about important, I'm talking about people who get things done.

Nolan: Yeah.

Berge: People who keep things from getting done. understand what I'm saying?

Nolan: I know what you're saying.

Berge: The decision makers...the people who really run this county. Now, I don't, and I don't want you to be judgmental about it.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: I want...I want to know who are the kinds of people in this county. And, it's a little different in all the counties I noticed as I talk to people. Sometimes it's determined by how money is made here. Sometimes it's something else. But, who are the kinds of people. Uh, names or if you don't want to give me names, sort...

Nolan: Oh, I don't mind.

Berge: ...of descriptions, you know.

Nolan: Uh...I think it would be a credit to anyone you would list in that category.

Berge: Yeah. I think so.

Nolan: Uh...first off, I think probably the most influential...uh...person in our community right now is probably Mrs. Baxter Bledsoe.

Berge: Is that Mallie?

Nolan: That's Mallie. She's a...

Berge: I'm supposed to talk to her tomorrow.

Nolan: She's a former superintendent of our schools here.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Uh...

Berge: Long time superintendent.

Nolan: Long time superintendent. Did an outstanding job. Is really a financial wizard. She and her husband both are extremely brilliant people.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: They have a son that's a lawyer, and he's very brilliant.

Berge: What does he do?

Nolan: He's a lawyer.

Berge: Mr. Bledsoe?

Nolan: Mr. Bledsoe was retired. He's a former lumber man.

Berge: OK. That was his business.

Nolan: And, uh...basically...uh...I think that he had a lot of input into the school system.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: Mallie was more of a forerunner for him.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Um, I think...

Berge: In other words...he may have been as much superintendent as she was.

Nolan: I couldn't...yes, I think that.

Berge: That would be your guess.

Nolan: I wouldn't know that.

Berge: Well, I understand.

Nolan: Yeah.

Berge: I understand.

Nolan: Because I know that they would discuss matters, and I know her philosophy was very similar to his.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: But, I know that she made the decisions on the spot and had the intelligence to carry forth with them. Uh, I think that she's still influential in our community though, even though she has stepped down from that office. And, I know that her influence of the reasons that the North Manchester Water District was carried through.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: Because she would say, hey, go talk to these people and she knew the people well enough to know who to talk to and when to talk to them and how to approach them. I think, beyond that, I think...uh...our ex-mayor, uh...Mayor Jack White or his...the current mayor, his brother, Doug White, are probably the next two most influential people.

Berge: Even though they're in the city, you would say in the county they're about the most influential?

Nolan: Oh, yes.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: First, they have a big family base here. Uh...Second, they're...they're...uh...very successful business people that have...have the money to do the things they need.

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: And...

Berge: What kind of businesses do they have?

Nolan: The uh...uh... Chevrolet-Pontiac dealership here.

Berge: Yeah.

Nolan: And, uh...uh...they're...uh...supporters...staunch political people...they...they...

Berge: Now this county...

Nolan: They play background, they don't play foreground.

Berge: Yeah. I understand. This county is a Republican county, correct? Right?

Nolan: Right.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: Right. We do have a...have a str...a Democrat Party that's getting stronger.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: All right. I would probably then say go to someone like our...our county judge.

Berge: Who's that?

Nolan: Uh...who's Ledford Jackson.

Berge: Uh-huh. And, before him the man you mentioned.

Nolan: Right.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: Herman Lewis.

Berge: And, he was powerful the same way?

Nolan: But, now...uh...Herman and...and...uh...Baxter Bledsoe...who, uh...Baxter who was the county Republican chairman for years and years and years, uh...were strong...uh...supporters and backers of each other.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Uh...

Berge: Now, this man, is he a Republican? This county judge now?

Nolan: Yes, he's Republican.

Berge: OK, both of them are.

Nolan: Right. Just about the only thing you'll find in a judgeship here.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah. I understand. I understand.

Nolan: Uh... Then, I would say that you go to...uh...probably, one or two of them are bankers. Probably, first, Harvey Hensley.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: Uh... Who's the president of First State Bank. Because of his...uh...knowledge of...[unclear].

Berge: Is he a local person?

Nolan: He's a...he's a... Yes, he's a local person who left here and then came back.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: Uh... He was a member of Garvis Kincaid's bank group.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: And, when...uh...when Garvis built the local...bought the local bank, well he sent Harvey back in here to run it. And, then we have...uh...Bob Smart who's at the National Bank. And they are...

Berge: Are both of these men civic oriented?

Nolan: Very much.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: Very much civic oriented. And, basically we''ve got...uh...uh...Harvey...uh...who runs the First State Bank here and is...a major part of that stock is held by a big coal operator.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: So you have a con...

Berge: Who's that?

Nolan: That's Jim Rose at London, Kentucky.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: Who's a former resident and a native of Clay County.

Berge: So even though he's from London, he really is a native...

Nolan: Right.

Berge: ...a...a...Clay Countian.

Nolan: And he's...uh...very...uh...interested in things that occur here. So, you have a financial and a business background and you have a political...uh...

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: ...and personality control of it.

Berge: OK. OK.

Nolan: And, I'd say those people are...if you want to get something done, if you can get all of those people on it you better watch out.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: It's gonna get done.

Berge: Let me ask you some questions now. If you don't want to answer these, don't. Because, they might bother you, although I don't think...I don't...I don't intend for them to be controversial.

Nolan: OK.

Berge: Would you say...would it be safe to say that the...that Mrs. ...Mrs. ...uh...Bledsoe and Mr. Bledsoe still are...uh... are still the powers in the school even though Mr. uh...Sizemore the superintendent?

Nolan: I would say they are influential.

Berge: In other words, Mr. Sizemore wasn't an opponent of hers? Right? Or nothing like that?

Nolan: No.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: No. He...he worked for her for years...

Berge: That's what I thought. That's what I thought. So there really wasn't a big change? And, there...

Nolan: Willie has a different philosophy and a different approach to things, but basically...

Berge: And a lot different personality, too.

Nolan: Yes, but basically they follow the...the same...

Berge: Yeah...

Nolan: Uh...same thing. And, I think the [unclear] strong political basis...

Berge: In other words, there was no big...

Nolan: [unclear] from her.

Berge: There was no big change.

Nolan: No.

Berge: Well, uh...are school board races still really big important races here?

Nolan: You never know what's coming up.

Berge: Uh, so, they're not.

Nolan: They're kept down.

Berge: OK.

Nolan: It's a...

Berge: It's not like a lot of mountain counties?

Nolan: It''s intended that way. It's planned that way.

Berge: It's not like a lot of mountain counties where...

Nolan: No.

Berge: ...they're really...

Nolan: There used to be very violent school board races here.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: There's not any more.

Berge: Do you think it's helped the schools or hurt the schools that they're not...ex...

Nolan: I think basically, as far as the...the schools are concerned, it's probably helped. Uh, but I say that because of people that were at that time were running the show were knowledgeable about what the county needed. I don't think that our educational system...uh, the learning technique itself...uh...the interest in perpetuating the education to the student was maybe as good as it should have been. But, it was better than it had been prior to that.

Berge: I understand. I under...I understand. Uh, are there any...uh...the...any other kinds of people that come to mind? I guess you've pretty well exhausted what you think are the real power elite.

Nolan: I think so. I think so. There's not that many in a small community like this.

Berge: How do you get along with people generally? Is it...What... What's your status in the community would you think? Do most people look up to you because you're in newspaper business or not?

Nolan: Well, I hope they don't look up to me. I...I feel like I can meet and talk with just about anybody I want to.

Berge: Uh-huh. In other words...the...people take you very seriously though. They're very...

Nolan: Yes.

Berge: They're very concerned about your attitude and what you print and all that kind of business?

Nolan: Oh, yes. Very much. Very much.

Berge: What do you get your most complaints about on the paper?

Nolan: They...

Berge: When people come here to raise hell with you, what do they raise hell about?

Nolan: Most of the time they raise...they say we play crime up too much.

Berge: They do, huh?

Nolan: That's... They're...they're... They say that...uh...we're too interested the bad things of life. Uh... The raids. Uh...

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: The shootings. The...uh...bad wrecks. Things of that sort.

Berge: Do they ever complain that you don't have the picture of their son making a basket or their daughter...or, uh...

Nolan: We got quite a bit of criticism this past...uh...season on the girls' basketball team. They said we played the boys up more than we did the girls. We may have.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Nolan: It was not intentional though.

Berge: It was inadvertent?

Nolan: Well, I think there's basically more interest in boys' games than there are girls' games.

Berge: Even though the girls' team was very good?

Nolan: We had a very good girls' team.

Berge: The boys' team was very good, too.

Nolan: Both went to the state.

Berge: Which is kind of remarkable for a town like this.

Nolan: Yes, it is.

Berge: Yeah, it really is. Well, Jim, I want to thank you very much for letting me come by here...

Nolan: You're welcome.

Berge: ...and interview you. It's been a big help for me, and...uh... I want to thank you.

Nolan: You're welcome. [Tape ends at 49:39] [Notes: Obituary for James Frank Nolan Sr. (not person interviewed) at:] NPR story on

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