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0:46 - Background

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Partial Transcript: Let's start out by telling me about yourself.

Segment Synopsis: Trimble discusses her family, education, and early career.



5:33 - Tompkinsville News

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Partial Transcript: How did you get back to here?

Segment Synopsis: Trimble gives an overview of the newspaper and how it has changed since she and her husband purchased it.

Keywords: Monroe County; Tompkinsville News

Subjects: American newspapers--Ownership Newspaper presses Newspaper--Circulation

14:29 - Reporting

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Partial Transcript: Do you ever withhold news?

Segment Synopsis: Trimble discusses what the newspaper typically reports and what areas she would like to cover more.

Keywords: Monroe County; Political endorsements; Tompkinsville News

Subjects: Newspaper reporting School boards

24:34 - Monroe County issues

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Partial Transcript: What would you take me around and show me in this county?

Segment Synopsis: Trimble discusses the biggest issues in Monroe County as well as local industry.

Keywords: Monroe County

Subjects: Roads--Construction

35:53 - Arts council

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Partial Transcript: You and some other people have been involved in an arts council.

Segment Synopsis: Trimble discusses an arts council that she is part of.

Keywords: Monroe County



Title: Interview with Blanche Trimble Identifier: 1980oh135 Date: 1980-05-28 Interviewer: William Berge Project: Kentucky Newspaper Editors Project

The following is an unrehearsed taped interview with Blanche Trimble, editor of the Tompkinsville News, in Monroe, Kentucky. The interview was conducted by Dr. William Berge, for the Oral History Center of Eastern Kentucky University. The interview was conducted at Mrs. Trimble's office on May 28, 1980, at 9 o'clock a.m.

Berge: Ms. Trimble, I want to thank you for letting me come down here today. I know that people who do what you do for a living are awfully busy on Wednesday. And, it's good for you to give me the time. Let's start off by telling me about yourself. Tell me your name, and when you were born, and where you were born, and that type thing.

Trimble: Bushong Trimble, and I was born here in Monroe County.

Berge: What was your maiden name?


Trimble: Bushong.

Berge: Spell that.

Trimble: B-U-S-H-O-N-G.

Berge: Is that a fairly...uh...well, there's a little town and a little community by that name, isn't there?

Trimble: Uh...that's where I'm from. [Laughing]

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: Uh...but there used to a post office there. There isn't now. It was called Bushong at that time.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: But, um... That name is relatively rare except just in this section of the state.

Berge: Yeah, I never heard it before.

Trimble: Um...and I...I was born 1935 and went to high school here. to college at the University of Kentucky.

Berge: What was your father's name?

Trimble: Uh...Ronald.

Berge: And your mother?

Trimble: Grace.

Berge: What was her maiden name?

Trimble: Marshall.

Berge: Where are they from? Around here?

Trimble: Yes.

Berge: I guess your father is for sure.

Trimble: Um...My father's ancestors came to this county in 1792, I believe.

Berge: Really.

Trimble: Uh... We live on part of the Revolutionary War...well, we don't now, my mother does. Revolutionary War land grant...

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: ...that...uh...

Berge: Your father's family got.

Trimble: Yeah, right. There were about three brothers came.


Berge: And, did they all come here?

Trimble: Yep. Uh...They settled in...and from what I've been able to learn, other people are more in to that than I am, but...uh...they were French Huguenots, first came to Pennsylvania and then here.

Berge: Um-hum. That's uh...I've heard the name one other time, but...uh...this...this is the first time I've ever heard it in Kentucky.

Trimble: Um, there's a dentist in Owensboro, I think.

Berge: By that name?

Trimble: Uh-huh. Uh...and I...but I think I've heard that his folks are originally from around here.

Berge: Where did you go Right here, in the...

Trimble: Yes, county.

Berge: ..county? County high school?

Trimble: Uh... We have two high schools in the county. Uh...I went to Tompkinsville High School. We also have Gamaliel High School in the southern half of the county.

Berge: Are they both county schools though, or...or is one of them a city school?

Trimble: Um...they...

Berge: Is there a city school board?

Trimble: No. No.

Berge: Just one school board.

Trimble: Just one school board.

Berge: OK. So there really...

Trimble: There's just two high schools.

Berge: OK.

Trimble: Which is terribly confusing...

Berge: Yeah.

Trimble: ...for a newspaper editor with one paper in the county.


Berge: Yeah. Where did you go...uh...which one of the schools did you go to?

Trimble: Tompkinsville.

Berge: OK. And what year did you graduate?

Trimble: '52.

Berge: And you went to UK.

Trimble: Right.

Berge: What'd you take there?

Trimble: Um...started out as a undecided arts and science major, and...well, no. Went up there to major in journalism and then decided I didn't want to major in journalism. Then I was undecided about two and a half years. And, I ended up English major, journalism minor...

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: the time it was all over.

Berge: Did you graduate?

Trimble: Yes.

Berge: Uh-huh. What year?

Trimble: '56.

Berge: OK. Now...uh...when were you first interested in the newspaper business?

Trimble: Oh, probably soon as I could read. [Laughing]

Berge: Hm-hum. Did you have somebody your family in the business?

Trimble: No. No. Just...

Berge: When did you start working at this paper?

Trimble: Um.... Well I never really worked here until three years ago when we bought it and came back. But, I news and sports when I was in high school.

Berge: For this paper?

Trimble: Yes.

Berge: So you've been around, floating around here [unclear]...


Trimble: Yeah.

Berge: ...for...for some time.

Trimble: [Laughing] Uh-huh.

Berge: When, were telling me about when you came back so obviously you did some other things between the time you graduated...

Trimble: Right.

Berge: ...and the time you came back here. Would you mind giving...

Trimble: Several. [Laughing]

Berge: sort of a rundown on what you've done?

Trimble: Uh...OK. When I got out of college I went to work for Kentucky Farmer magazine. Well, OK. First I did some feature writing for...uh...Progressive Farmer....

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: ...magazine. And...

Berge: Feature writing is a very good background for a editor of a paper like this. Isn't it?

Trimble: Yes, definitely. If one had time to write features.

Berge: Yeah.

Trimble: [Laughing] But...uh...and...uh

Berge: Because if you can write features you can write anything.

Trimble: Yeah. Uh... But, I did that right out of school living at home. They were wanting some features done in Kentucky.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: And, I went to work for Kentucky Farmer, and I worked there a year and a half. And, then I went to Japan on a...a international farm youth exchange trip, which was 4-H sponsored. I was there for... I was gone for eight months. I lived with farm families.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: And, I came back and...well, part of our obligation was to give talks 5:00about our trip.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: And, after that...I did that I went to work the University of Kentucky in the the College of Agriculture's Public Information Department.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: And, I was there for eighteen and a half years.

Berge: Oh. Until you came back here then?

Trimble: Yes, right.

Berge: Hm-hum. When'd you marry?

Trimble: Uh...Five years ago.

Berge: To somebody from around here?

Trimble: No. No. From Lexington.

Berge: OK. Now, uh...when... How'd you get back to here...get this paper? I you mind?

Trimble: I really don't know. [Laughing] No, um... Well, it's sort of weird. We...we laugh about how we got into it or wonder how we got into it. Uh...I have one sister, and she's here in the county. She's... was...uh... at that time married to the extension agent here. He has since gone into business for himself. But, she was running a...uh...greenhouse, well a business. And, anyway 6:00she brought an ad up here. And...uh...the editor here was...uh...who'd been here for years had been quite ill.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: And said... She told him he looked terrible ought a get out of this. Said she got home that night and he called her and said maybe...thought maybe she was...she was trying to tell him something. Did she think and my husband might be interested in buying because he'd been thinking about selling.

Berge: Um-hum.

Trimble: And they were coming to Lexington that sister. So she came in...they had our life all planned. They walked in the door, she said oh you all are going to buy the paper.

Berge: Um-hum.

Trimble: I said, you're nuts. You know.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah.

Trimble: And, it just sort of evolved from there. My husband was a...uh...telecom major at UK, but he'd never worked in it. He's in the insurance business. And knew nothing about printing...

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: ...other than what few journalism courses he'd had. But, he...

Berge: So this is his first experience. Huh?

Trimble: Yeah. And, he's the printer. Uh, we do much more...

Berge: Does he like it?

Trimble: Well, when he has time to breathe. I think. [Laughing]


Berge: I know you do job printing. I saw that...

Trimble: Yes, we do...uh...have a much bigger operation than usual for a county paper.

Berge: Yeah.

Trimble: Uh, we've got fourteen people, and...uh...of those...

Berge: Oh, really.

Trimble: ...three of 'em work on the paper and the rest of 'em are in the job printing business.

Berge: Ohhh. And the name of the paper is the Tompkinsville Times.

Trimble: Tompkinsville News.

Berge: News rather. Tell me this. Uh... You were lucky to get the paper because ...most...most times these chains are gobbling these things up, aren't they?

Trimble: They would have gobbled this one up immediately if they'd known it was on sale. Really.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: There was...uh...Waggener. I'm sure.

Berge: Oh, god no.

Trimble: And, uh...Al Smith, both, I understand would have jumped on it immediately. It's just...uh...well the former editor...former owner....really wanted it to stay local.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: And...uh...well, actually, he...he was a printer. He didn't care that much about the newspaper. When I got ...

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: ...out of college, he had tried to convince daddy to buy me the paper. Uh, at that time daddy told him he wasn't going to buy me no newspaper. [Laughing]


Berge: Yeah. He should have. It'd been lots easier.

Trimble: Oh, I don't know. [Laughing] I...I couldn't have taken it then. But, now...

Berge: Hm-hum. Tell me this, uh...who prints your newspaper?

Trimble: Uh...Macon County Times in Lafayette, Tennessee.

Berge: In Tennessee.

Trimble: Yes.

Berge: OK. The...uh...uh...Is the paper an old paper?

Trimble: Uh...Nineteen three.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: Uh... The...uh... There had been a paper here before, but the Tompkinsville News under that name started in nineteen three.

Berge: How long did the previous owner have it?

Trimble: Uh...Bought it in '48 I believe.

Berge: Hm-hum. What was his name?

Trimble: Uh...Clarence Martin. He still works for us [laughing] in the job printing.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: He's...

Berge: So, you still...uh...he's still here?

Trimble: Hm-hum.

Berge: Uh...When you bought this paper three years ago what was the circulation?

Trimble: Um...well, let me...I'll have to think a minute, I think it was around thirty-one, thirty-two hundred.

Berge: What's it now?

Trimble: It's...uh...

Berge: How much circulation have you lost in the last three years? [Laughing]


Trimble: OK. We...I...I was figuring it up for an ad, and including rack sales...uh...last week it was thirty-eight five.

Berge: That's a good...that's a good increase. [Unclear] It's really great for three years.

Trimble: We were...

Berge: Why do you figure? Because the product? Or, have you had any subscription...

Trimble: Partly.

Berge: ...gimmicks? Or...

Trimble: We...we don't...haven't had any subscription drives. We don't even have an ad salesman. Just what walks in the door. We're averaging fourteen, sixteen pages a week...uh...full...full of ads. So...uh...if we had a ad salesman we'd be running twenty-four to thirty a week and I couldn't fill it up by myself. But, uh...uh...there was several factors. Once was about...uh...eight, nine years ago a competition paper came in. And...uh...uh...of course, you're probably aware of the politics in this county.


Berge: Oh, yeah.

Trimble: And...uh...uh...the previous owner considered that it was a direct affront to him and it was taking an anti-Carter stance politics so he went the other way.

Berge: You mean an anti-Tim Carter?

Trimble: Yeah. And, well...and, uh...he went the other way. He hadn't been as much that way since. And, so, a lot of polarized... the people.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: You had people that were taking both, you had...

Berge: This was a Carter paper, and the other was an anti-Carter.

Trimble: Yeah, right. And, uh, it...he improved his paper considerably while the other one was here because of the competition.

Berge: It has...It does that to you, doesn't it?

Trimble: But...uh...the other paper lasted about four years. And...uh...

Berge: That's a long time for a Democrat in this county, isn't it? [Both laughing]

Trimble: Well, they...they weren't Democrats, they were just...

Berge: No, I...OK.

Trimble: We have various factions. [Laughing]

Berge: Oh, yeah. I'm positive of that.

Trimble: And,, uh...I think that was a whole lot of it because he a time when a lot of place...places were building subscriptions about all he was building was out-of-county subscriptions.

Berge: Which...

Trimble: And, uh...

Berge: ...advertising doesn't help you any.

Trimble: Right. Right.

Berge: I guess you have a lot of people though who have moved away and keep the paper, don't you?

Trimble: Right, we have...

Berge: Like a letter from home, so to speak.

Trimble: Um...I think I figured out when I was doing that for that ad back there, that there was something like a third of our subscriptions are out of county.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: Or out...out of the immediate area.

Berge: Uh-huh. So this is a weekly and you come out every Thursday, I guess. Um...You said you have three people...uh...workers.

Trimble: The equivalent of three...

Berge: Yeah, yeah.

Trimble: ...full time.

Berge: What percentage advertising do you run?

Trimble: Um...I'd say average around fifty-five.

Berge: Yeah, I bet...I bet you could get illegal in a hurry if you...if you wanted to get busy.

Trimble: Yeah, really.

Berge: 'Cause you said if you had a...

Trimble: Uh, but, uh...


Berge: manager you'd'd have to be picking stuff up off...

Trimble: Yeah.

Berge: ...the floor to print.

Trimble: But, now, I...I don't know. Right now I have more stuff...local stuff every week than I can get in.

Berge: Oh, really? That's good.

Trimble: It's...uh...I...I have made it a point that I'm going to put everything local in. Anything non-local is filler as far as I'm concerned.

Berge: Uh-huh. Well, that really is...the...the, uh...what a...what a weekly...local weekly is about anyway.

Trimble: That's what I feel like.

Berge: If they want state news they can buy it...

Trimble: That's right.

Berge: ... in another paper. And, probably do.

Trimble: But, now, I don't do as much of that as I should considering the isolation of this county.

Berge: Yeah, and it really is isolated. Isn't it?

Trimble: Um, that's one reason I...when we get somebody selling ads, I...we need to do much more state news because the TV coverage here is out of Nashville.

Berge: You betcha. I noticed that last night.

Trimble: Uh... there's not that many daily papers come in here.

Berge: Who gets...what...well which...uh...daily do people get mostly? I got 13:00the Courier...

Trimble: Courier, right.

Berge: ... here today. OK.

Trimble: Uh...

Berge: Well, that's surprising you know.

Trimble: But...uh...everybody keeps saying, well the Courier's priced themselves out. They're upset with 'em because they're getting the sports news late.

Berge: A da...a day late.

Trimble:'s not that many subscriptions here in the county.

Berge: And, I guess nobody from here takes the...say that Bowling Green paper.

Trimble: No. Now, there'a few people take the Glasgow daily. But, not a lot.

Berge: Not many.

Trimble: And Glasgow doesn't make a big effort to get much coverage over here. So, it's really pretty media isolated actually.

Berge: Do you do court records?

Trimble: Yes.

Berge: All of them?

Trimble: Uh, no, but I'm going to. [Laughing]

Berge: You'd have to do 'em all or none of 'em, don't you? You can't be selective.

Trimble: Well, right now, all I'm doing is district court. I'm doing everything.

Berge: But, you do all of the district court.

Trimble: Right, uh...I've... had not [unclear] the stuff out of the county court clerk's office, but I've got to start doing that before the next election.

Berge: People like to read those. People like to read 'em.

Trimble: I keep intending to, but that's just...

Berge: Uh...People who do this tell me though if you print any of those things you have to print 'em all.


Trimble: Yes, definitely.

Berge: You can't be selective or you get somebody upset with you.

Trimble: Right. You can't...uh... I get calls every week...oh, just...

Berge: Don't

Trimble: My name in.

Berge: My son's a good boy and don't put his name in for that.

Trimble: And, I say...uh...we print 'em just the way they come down here from the judge's office.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah.

Trimble: He...the judge tells 'em to talk to me, and I tell 'em talk to him. [Laughing]

Berge: Yeah. Yeah.

Trimble: So, we lay it on each other.

Berge: Because you are a community newspaper, and you are...I mean, that's essentially what...what you've got. you ever withhold news because you don't think it would anybody any good?

Trimble: I can't think of any case except when it has to do with this factory that's coming in here.

Berge: Is that Belden?

Trimble: Yes.

Berge: I was wondering who in the hell is Belden. I kept seeing all those signs.

Trimble: OK. They make coaxial cable. Um...They have a plant in Monticello. They make...uh...uh... They're a division of [unclear], something like that. 15:00But, they're a division of a bigger...

Berge: Uh, Oxide? Or, no...

Trimble: I've got it down back there. But, the guy's coming in later on today, and I've got to get some more details. But, uh...

Berge: You're not going to do anything to drive those...them out.

Trimble: Right. Right. Uh... And, also, one of the...the guy with the Chamber of Commerce that was very instrumental in getting them here is sort of paranoid about news leaks. And, he was so scared we were going to print something that would scare 'em off.

Berge: Yeah. Well, that's what I meant though. Because of...uh...because this in fact is a community newspaper, you have a community responsibility and...

Trimble: Right.

Berge:'ve taken that into consideration.

Trimble: But, uh...but as far as...court news...

Berge: Well, have they sewn it up? Are they going to have 'em?

Trimble: Had a ground breaking. [Laughing] And, uh... They...they're building is supposed to be in here. It's a prefab...

Berge: Okonite? Is it? Is it part of Okonite?

Trimble: No, no...uh...I...I can't think.

Berge: OK.

Trimble: I've got it written down back there some place. But,

Berge: OK, I'm thinking of cable maybe.

Trimble: It's supposed to hire three hundred...around three hundred people, which a...

Berge: Oh, that would be a big deal for this, wouldn't it?


Trimble: ...sorta changes the whole county.

Berge: Is there any other industry in the county?

Trimble: Uh...we have some garment factories mainly, and pallet mills.

Berge: Women industry.

Trimble: Yeah.

Berge: Well, I know pallet mill...pallet mills. Yeah.

Trimble: But, uh...those are the two major industries here.

Berge: Yeah. Wonder what these counties are going to do when they've cut up all their oak and they don't get...make pallets anymore?

Trimble: I don't know. That...pallets just bother me really and truly.

Berge: Well, it's...all the counties that I deal with it seems like there's pallet mills. And, it is...well, I don't know if they're just taking it know...they're taking out things that never grow back in your lifetime or mine.

Trimble: I know. And...and...throwing it away after it's used once.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah.

Trimble: It really bothers me. But, I don't know what the solution is.

Berge: Yeah. Plastic pallets, I guess.

Trimble: Hm-hum. [Laughing]

Berge: The uh...

Trimble: And, they're not biodegradable.

Berge: No, they're not. Tell me... Tell me this, can't think of any other kind that you'd withhold except for...that's the only thing. You all endorse candidates? I guess...

Trimble: No.

Berge: You have though in the past here in this paper?

Trimble: No...uh, yes.

Berge: He did, I'm sure.

Trimble: Um...we even registered Independent when we came, which blew 17:00everybody's mind. There's no such animal.

Berge: That means you don't ever get to vote when it counts.

Trimble: Right. I know it bothers...that bothers me. But, in a county like this...

Berge: It's also smart.

Trimble:'s the only way to survive.

Berge: Yeah.

Trimble: Really. Because this is a very political county.

Berge: Oh, yeah...I know...I've known that all along although this is the first time I've ever been in it. Uh... You don't endorse political candidates, and you don't think you ever will.

Trimble: Uh...doubt it very seriously.

Berge: Particularly local?

Trimble: Yeah.

Berge: That's a...that's just asking for trouble.

Trimble: Right.

Berge: Just asking for somebody to put another paper in, too, isn't it?

Trimble: Uh, far as I'm concerned, you lose your credibility immediately. Because, here you take sides, one or another, and that immediately puts you in a political faction.

Berge: Are these factions that you have here generally permanent factions? The same people are in 'em all the time?

Trimble: Ummm...used to be.

Berge: But, they're not so much anymore?

Trimble: Uh...the times they are a changing around here.

Berge: Uh-huh. OK. Uh...Do you...I guess you yourself set all editorial policy. 18:00You're the one that does the paper.

Trimble: Right.

Berge: OK. Do you think that the printer would ever get involved with that? Your husband?

Trimble: Uh... He suggests sometimes [laughing] and fusses at me sometimes about what I put in. But...uh...I don't think that's...that's much of a problem because we think enough alike on these things.

Berge: Yeah. What's your opinion of chain newspapers?

Trimble: some areas, I guess there's nothing wrong with them. I... The one's that I am familiar with don't seem to put enough emphasis on the community. I mean their emphasis is...

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: ...getting their ads and getting the paper out. If you follow me.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah. Sure.

Trimble: That may not be...

Berge: That's the bottom line.

Trimble: OK. Um...uh... I know...used to know some people worked for the Shelbyville paper. They seem to be doing an awfully good job up there. Now, some 19:00of the others I've seen...

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: ...that were chains were not.

Berge: Let me just turn this off a minute, I want to say...ask you something.

Trimble: Yeah. [Tape stopped and restarted]

Berge:, you think that's there's a possi...that there's chains and then there's chains.

Trimble: Yeah. Right.

Berge: And some chains you feel more strongly about than others, although even the best of 'em they probably don't have the same kind of community...

Trimble: I wouldn't think so.

Berge: ...feeling.

Trimble: But, could get a for example, if somebody bought this paper, not a chain, individual, without a Monroe County background and come in here, well, in the first place, they'd a been dead...not dead, but, I mean, financially dead in...

Berge: Somebody'd start another paper, and they'd have a local paper.

Trimble: Yeah.

Berge: Yeah.

Trimble: Uh...Just because...uh...maybe it's the unique characteristics of the county, but they would've...uh...there's...I would have been in over my head so if I hadn't at least known who to go ask.

Berge: And where the skeletons were so to speak.


Trimble: Right. Right. But...uh...uh...I think non-local ownership, in any case, has some disadvantages. Even though I'd been gone eighteen years, I still had ties here, were familiar with what was going on.

Berge: you think is the main responsibility of a smalltown newspaper like you've got?

Trimble: Uh... Whoo. That's a good one. Uh...

Berge: I mean, what do you think you're doing here besides trying to make money?

Trimble: Uh...

Berge: Well, I think you're trying to make money. You know.

Trimble: Well...trying. Uh... [Laughing] The...well, you're supposed to tell the community what's going on. this county, in particular, this is the only source of any kind of detailed news.

Berge: All do you find out news?

Trimble: [Sigh] I don't know. [Laughing] It just depends.

Berge: People run in to it?

Trimble: Yeah. I...I pick it up. There's a...the grapevine system here is fantastic.


Berge: Yeah.

Trimble: [Noise] This is my husband [unclear].

Berge: I will...I will hurry it up because you've got to get going.

Trimble: A lot're talking about...uh...I do a lot of personal type news, you know.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: Weddings and birthdays and this sort of thing. And, of course, that's brought in. We do not have, any more, any regular community correspondents. I'm not sure whether that's good or bad.

Berge: People like 'em.

Trimble: I know...

Berge: They're hard to get though.

Trimble: ...I know they like 'em. But...uh, well, we had one who, thank heavens, retired about a year or so ago because she was getting to where she rambled on and on and on and on and on...

Berge: Yeah. Yeah. And you didn't want to hurt her feelings if you did something with it.

Trimble: Right. But, uh, I kinda wish we had more of that sort of thing.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: As far as the other news goes, it's just what I can run down.

Berge: Do you go to fiscal court meetings?

Trimble: Um...fiscal court meets on Wednesday. I send somebody. That's the only thing I don't cover myself.

Berge: All right. But...but, somebody goes there?

Trimble: Yes. They tape it.


Berge: All right. Do you go to the school board meeting?

Trimble: Yes.

Berge: Uh... How about city government? Do you have city government here?

Trimble: Yes. City council.

Berge: Do you go to those meetings?

Trimble: Yes.

Berge: Hospital board?

Trimble: No. And, we should. But we just have not so far.

Berge: Uh-huh. I'm a...I'm sort of speeding you up because, you know, you've indicated you need to ...uh...get...uh... get going.

Trimble: Uh, one thing, well, of course, there's...Tompkinsville's the main town, but we also have Gamaliel. I do not cover their city council, and I should.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: But, there's just not enough of me.

Berge: Yeah. When...uh... What do you think are the most popular features of your paper? What do people like?

Trimble: Well, everybody tells me the first thing they read is district court. [Laughing]

Berge: Uh-huh. And they'll...and they'll like land sales, too, and that sort of stuff?

Trimble: Yeah. Right. Uh... But, get the impression that everybody reads everything.

Berge: Yeah, they do. You don't get to do any features. You don't do any features, do you?

Trimble: Not very often. I...uh... Wish I could.


Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: Every now and then I...I do one. I have more time in the summer, and have more space in the summer.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: But, right now I just don't have any space to put 'em in even if I had one.

Berge: People like 'em, too.

Trimble: I know.

Berge: Yeah. Of course, your problem is you have to be writing most of 'em.

Trimble: Um-hum. But, see, I'm...I do all the writing. And, I do all the editing and practically all the picture taking. So...

Berge: You're busy. do you get along with the people at the school board? Do they give you pretty good cooperation most of the time?

Trimble: Uh... Pretty fair.

Berge: How about the fiscal court?

Trimble: Well, they could really care less. They don't mind us being there. They don't... It just...[laughing]...doesn't faze them.

Berge: Do they go into a lot of executive sessions so you don't know what they're doing?

Trimble: No. Now, school board is more prone to do that than anybody else.

Berge: They are, uh?

Trimble: Hm-hum.

Berge: How 'bout...

Trimble: Now sometimes, depending on the mood they're in, they'll say...uh...well, say...if you want to stay in here, you can. You just know it's 24:00off the record. Sometimes. If it's not anything really controversial.

Berge: Uh-huh. But...uh...but which of'd say...which would you say is most cooperative most of the time? The school board or fiscal court?

Trimble: School board definitely.

Berge: They're more...they're more cooperative.

Trimble: Uh-huh.

Berge: OK. Uh...what are...let's say you and lived Lexington...and I lived... and I lived...let's say...I was living in Richmond and you and your husband and my wife and I were good friends...and...we came down here to visit you to see what you're doing down here. And...uh... What would you take me around and show me in this county if you were going to show it off? For the... [Door opening, sounds as if something being moved in. Berge says "excuse me" to. Section unclear.]

Trimble: Ohhh...[unclear].

Berge: Yeah. Yeah. [Unclear]

Trimble: Tompkinsville City Park.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: Which is...uh...fairly new...was a Soil Conservation District/city joint effort. And is a very...very nice park. Especially for this 25:00this size. Uh...the river...down on the river...

Berge: Probably...the...uh...

Trimble: And ,Turkey Neck Bend [not clear]...just a section down...that's kind of isolated...

Berge: Yeah. That's very pretty, too.

Trimble: Yeah.

Berge: I've seen pictures of it. Uh, probably you would take me also to see the new...uh...building you have...

Trimble: Yeah. Right.

Berge: ...for the new factory and all that kind of business.

Trimble: The new factory, right. Um... We have a new hospital going up right beside where the new factory is.

Berge: Oh, really.

Trimble: Um-hum.

Berge: What...what are they going to do with the old one?

Trimble: They don't know yet. They're still talking.

Berge: Make it a community center. [Laughing]

Trimble: Well, that...that's a possibility. I... That is not a major priority with a lot of people, though the county judge is a little bit interested in it.

Berge: In recreation?

Trimble: And...uh...

Berge: Or a community center?

Trimble: Uh...he mentioned this possibility of a community center to me...uh...he's had some heart problems and is having to exercise a whole lot and I think this has probably got him to thinking about this.

Berge: Sure. Sure. Is there much recreation in the county?


Trimble: No.

Berge: That's a problem? Huh?

Trimble: Um-hum. Definitely.

Berge: Uh... and, of could always use industry and roads like everybody else.

Trimble: We drastically...

Berge: Your roads are pretty good.

Trimble: ... need access road. There is no way in here or out of here.

Berge: Except the two lane, twisty road.

Trimble: Right. And we get a tremendous amount of heavy truck traffic out of Tennessee. Cuts off I-40, comes up through here. Just an enormous amount of big trucks come through here.

Berge: Trying to save some...time.

Trimble: Yeah. And... We need it bad.

Berge: When people leave here to shop, where they usually go?

Trimble: Uhhh...Nashville, Glasgow, Bowling Green.

Berge: Whereabouts most of the time...Nashville?

Trimble: Umm, depends on how affluent they are. Nashville if they're...

Berge: You need a quick access to the Cumberland Parkway, don't you?

Trimble: Yeah.

Berge: There needs to be an exit...

Trimble: Straight through.

Berge: need it straight up there.

Trimble: Right.

Berge: Around Edmonton.

Trimble: Uh-huh. That's uh...

Berge: That's where it...there needs to be one.

Trimble: There's been... for fifteen years people have been throwing out 27:00proposals...and they...

Berge: Now, I always assumed there would just be a good road in here from like Wolf Creek Dam or...uh... Burkesville or some place, and I looked on the map and there wasn't.

Trimble: Uh-huh. We need a road coming from around Edmonton and going on down to Tennessee hitting this quarter of the [unclear].

Berge: Yeah, I know what you mean. Sure. So that is a big problem then?

Trimble: Possibly this factory being here might help get that.

Berge: I...I think you're lucky to get the factory without having the road.

Trimble: Oh, yes. Truly we are.

Berge: You know, you really needed the road to get the factory it looks like. You got good water supply and all that kind of stuff?

Trimble: Uh...They just got our county water district since we've been here. Uh... Finished since we've been here.

Berge: Um-hum. Who's the biggest employers in the county?

Trimble: Um...

Berge: School system?

Trimble: Schools.

Berge: School system. Uh... Do you belong to the KPA?

Trimble: Yes.

Berge: Kentucky Press Association.

Trimble: We have only been to one meeting though, because the way it is right now, we just can't get away.


Berge: Yeah.

Trimble: Maybe in a year or two.

Berge: You won't get to go next week then or whenever it is?

Trimble: We haven't really decided, except I was looking at the program and decided there wasn't anything on there that I wanted to hear bad enough to drive to [unclear][laughing].

Berge: Drive all the...

Trimble: But...uh...of course, I was very active in the professional organization in Lexington. Uh...American Association of Ag College Editors. I was a national director and'm...I really believe...

Berge: You like that kind of thing.

Trimble: ...I really believe that we should be...

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: ...but it's going to be a year or two before we can get away enough to be active.

Berge: What do you think would be the major benefits to be derived from say something like KPA?

Trimble: Uh...well, from past experience I'd say talking to other people who have the same problems. You know,

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: that way.

Berge: Yeah. And, of course, they have a little more clout in Frankfort...

Trimble: Right.

Berge: ...than individual...uh...people would have. Uh, what do you think is the most unique thing about this county? What do you like about it?

Trimble: [Unclear. Sounds like "fun."]

Berge: Yeah. It's pretty, too, I think.

Trimble: Yeah, it's pretty. Very...uh...and I think part of it is...we were 29:00talking about the roads...part of its...uh...advantage is its isolation, but it's a little too much so, you know. There ought to be...

Berge: There's too much advantage. [Laughing]

Trimble: ...a happy medium in there some place.

Berge: And...and...just a decent road would make that.

Trimble: Right.

Berge: I have just one other question I want to ask you and I'm going to turn this over and ask you... [Tape changed]

Berge: ...that I ask everyone is about...uh...the decision makers in this county. Like, who are the...the power structure or the elite or whatever you want to call it. And, I don't really know, specifically want names or anything like that.

Trimble: Hm-hum.

Berge: But, what kind of people are the decision makers? And, by that I don't mean just the people who get things done, but also the people who keep things from getting done. Every...every county has them. They're a little bit different 30:00in every county depending upon how people make their livings. Now, here, it's obviously...a lot of its political because this is a very political county. How would you answer that?

Trimble: Um...I would say here, have to mention names here. Too many.

Berge: OK. Mr. Carter would obviously be the most obvious one.

Trimble: Right. Uh...they...

Berge: Are all these other Carters kin to him? Like the...the superintendent of schools and the judge and those people?

Trimble: Uh...well...OK...the, uh...county attorn...the circuit judge is his brother...uh, the county attorney...

Berge: The circuit judge is Tim Lee Carter's brother?

Trimble: Uh... The county attorney's his brother.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: Uh... The chairman of the school board is his brother...or, his nephew, excuse me. Uh... Now the superintendent of schools...

Berge: He's a Carter.

Trimble: They are cousins.

Berge: OK.

Trimble: Um...and the rest of 'em are cousins or...

Berge: Is the county judge, is he a cousin, too?

Trimble: Umm, yep...but he's...he's on the side...same side of the family the superintendent is.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: Uh... There's...uh...been a split in the Carters in the last four or 31:00five years. And, it's making things very interesting...nobody...

Berge: How did Mr. Carter...How did Dr. Carter ever get to be so powerful politically? From a town like this? How did he ever get to run this district?

Trimble: I don't...I don't really know. Uh, I just don't really know. I don't... he was not that powerful, of course, he was in there a long time.

Berge: Yeah.

Trimble: Uh, but, uh...

Berge: Kind of really like Carl Perkins, say.

Trimble: Yeah, but, of course, had been circuit judge for years and years [unclear] the same district.

Berge: So they knew everybody.

Trimble: That was part of it, too. But, uh, of course, I was gone even though I was hearing a lot of this, but, so I really don't know. Uh...

Berge: Do you think that when...uh...something happens to Dr. Carter the...the things going to collapse...that kind of...?

Trimble: Not...not quickly, but...

Berge: It's going to.

Trimble: It's going to. Uh...

Berge: Of course, he's ill, too.

Trimble: ...There won't be as much...uh...power over things. You can can already see this considerably.


Berge: Of course, he got your new courthouse before he...

Trimble: Uh, He... He didn't particularly want that.

Berge: He didn't?

Trimble: Well, he wanted a new courthouse, but like a lot of us he wanted the old one kept.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: But, he was not willing unfortunately to come out and say that because a lot of...all the rest of his relatives did. But, that only came up...uh, you know, in the last two or three years, really, and his wife is really in to keeping the old courthouse. And, one of his sisters.

Berge: Was it pretty?

Trimble: It was interesting...

Berge: It was just old.

Trimble: Yeah. It was an interesting building, and it should have been kept and made a museum or something and put the courthouse someplace else.

Berge: Where does he live?

Trimble: Uh...See...Did you come in past Big Star?

Berge: We came in from...uh...Edmonton.

Trimble: OK. Uh... As you go out there, there's a new shopping center that has Ben Franklin and the Big Star.

Berge: Yeah. OK.

Trimble: He lives right across the street.

Berge: Oh.

Trimble: But, uh, now there are...uh...


Berge: Does he have any...political opponents?

Trimble: ...there's a lot of money in this county.

Berge: Yeah. Does he have any political opponents in this county? Like big people who've been outspoken against him all along?

Trimble: Ummm.

Berge: Or, do they just sort of keep a low profile.

Trimble: Yeah. But... but, allegiances shift.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: Uh, as I said, right now there's this split in the family and that's...uh...

Berge: Uh-huh. That's always...

Trimble: That's going to be interesting, too.

Berge: Makes it interesting for people like you... Yeah, Makes it interesting for people who do what you do though, doesn't it?

Trimble: But...uh... It's interesting to watch

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: But, now, there...there are a number of millionaires in this county surprisingly.

Berge: How'd they make their money?

Trimble: Umm... timber some of 'em.

Berge: Uh-huh. Making pallets?

Trimble: Yeah. And, uh...and then some of them came from fairly well-to-do families and just built it up. Uh... Business people. Uh... The business community really does...doesn't seem to get dreadfully involved in politics 34:00much. Um...there's one thing kind of...that I kind of sensed, that...up until recently a lot of people have felt like...well, they just haven't been able to get anything done so they'd sort of given up, you know, on...on change. On any... But, uh... I think that's changing a little bit to.

Berge: I was just sort of wanting to know how, say, powerful Congressman Carter was. Like, for instance, he...does anybody ever get in the courthouse that he doesn't want? Or anything like that?

Trimble: Sometimes. We have a Democrat county court clerk at this point in time...

Berge: Huh.

Trimble: ...which just flabbergasted everybody. [Laughing]

Berge: Is the guy real popular? Or what?

Trimble: Uh... He knew everybody in the county. And, it was just so...

Berge: And, they voted for him.

Trimble: Yeah, it was really a surprise... I don't know whether he'll... He's still very well liked. And, uh...I don't whether he'll get elected next year or not, but it was sort of interesting.

Berge: At least it happened once. Huh?

Trimble: And, we had a Democrat county judge or eight years 35:00ago...which...for two or three terms, which everybody was...

Berge: Huh. Well, that's strange. Isn't it?

Trimble: He just... Nobody else was Democrat. He just...

Berge: What percentage of people in this county are registered Republican?

Trimble: Uh... I had those figures last year at election time. Ummm..

Berge: Sixty?

Trimble: No, it's more than that.

Berge: Seventy.

Trimble: I mean as far registered voters I'd say you've got probably seventy-five percent or more.

Berge: Hm-hum. So, it really is a Republican county then. Well, look then, Mrs. Trimble, I want to thank you for letting me come by here. I know you've been rushed. And, it still is a...very...uh...makes me happy to have had this time to talk with you and everything.

Trimble: Well, I've enjoyed talking to you. Wish...wish I wasn't in a dith...dither as I always am on Wednesday. [Laughing]

Berge: Well, I can understand. Wednesday's a bad day. [Tape stopped and restarted]

Berge: You and some people have been involved in an arts council.

Trimble: The... There are no arts groups at all in this county of any description.


Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: Um... No drama groups. But, there is a lot of talent as far... not only, uh...well in crafts...

Berge: Yeah.

Trimble: And, arts as well as crafts.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Trimble: Both. various reasons, about a year ago some of us decided we were going to try to start some sort of organization just to promote arts and crafts and local talent. And...

Berge: How many people were involved in this?

Trimble: In the beginning I would say it was probably five or six, of which only a couple of 'em didn't work here. [Laughing]

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: Um... And...uh...we have a membership of about thirty-five. We started last August. Uh...We put on a play, put on "The Christmas Carole." We...uh...had 37:00a quilt show this spring, both of which were amazingly successful. We're just so pleased with ourselves.

Berge: many quilts...what...did people bring in quilts that they did?

Trimble: Yeah, right. Or, well, didn't have to have done it yourself.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: It had to be locally owned. And...

Berge: And, sort of handmade quilts. Yeah.

Trimble: Yeah. Yeah. Right. And...uh...'cause there's a lot of interest in that. And we had, oh, I'd say three hundred people came through in the two days we were open to see the quilts.

Berge: Where'd you keep them?

Trimble: We had it in the Sportsmen's Club building out here mainly because right now it's the only place that...uh...older people...the library has a good meeting room upstairs but no elevator.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: And, we figured a lot of little old ladies wouldn't be able to get up the steps.

Berge: Yeah. Sure.

Trimble: year we'll have...

Berge: Maybe have it in the old hospital.

Trimble: We'll have twice as many next year.

Berge: Maybe you can have them in the old hospital.

Trimble: That...uh...If we had...if they worked on that.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah.

Trimble: But...uh...we're planning an arts and crafts fair this fall, hoping to get something going like Burkesville has.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Trimble: Uh...that...uh...Of course, they started fairly small.


Berge: Sure.

Trimble: We're...we're working on...

Berge: Yeah. Well, those things are very popular. and they're very good for the community, too.

Trimble: Uh...just been amazed at the people who have shown some interest in this. And... [Interruption by someone needing to talk with Trimble. Tape stopped and restarted.]

Berge: You were saying.

Trimble: Um...well, there's just...uh...what...when...uh...we had some people from the state arts commission come down when we were trying to get organized. And, we never did convince them...they were used to going in and working with groups that had a bunch of little arts groups and they were trying to get them together in the county group. And, we kept trying to tell 'em, we didn't have anything, we were trying to start one [unclear].

Berge: Yeah...yeah...there was nothing here to start with.

Trimble: But, we have been...uh...very pleased so far, and as some of us were talking the other day that we were going to be spoiled, we'd been so successful so far we were probably going to think you didn't have to work at it.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah.

Trimble: But, we have. A lot of people...

Berge: You know some places they've actually gotten...setting up little places 39:00where they sell some of the stuff that's made locally.

Trimble: Uh... We had a suggestion week or two ago that I'm really excited about the possibility of. Possibly putting in a amphitheater of some sort...small one out at...uh...Old Mulkey.

Berge: Yeah. That would be great place.

Trimble: And...uh...making it...

Berge: Have a little gift shop there or something like that.

Trimble: Right. And possibly having...uh...since we do have some people that are really in...into drama...having...

Berge: Yeah. The grounds are really pretty out there.

Trimble: And, there's... I think there's enough land to do it without disturbing any of the...

Berge: Yeah. Might be a rather nice...uh...natural amphitheater there where the land lies.

Trimble: I...I think there possibly is. But, uh...that's... Somebody just mentioned that they'd always thought that'd be a good idea.

Berge: Yeah.

Trimble: And, everybody we've said anything...I'm sure grant money'd be available.

Berge: Sure. Oh, God, yeah. The...people gobble that stuff up.

Trimble: Yeah, really. So...uh... But, that's something that...

Berge: Probably even the endowment for the humanities would be anxious to work with something like that.

Trimble: But, that's something that...

Berge: Is there much interest in local history here?


Trimble: Yes. Uh... Well, among certain people. But, there's...

Berge: Is there an active historical society?

Trimble: Uh... There is a historical society, it's pretty...

Berge: Not active.

Trimble: ...inactive at this point. fact part of ' of the ...uh...guys who was pretty active in that is one of the ones that helped start the arts council. And, there's several of the little old ladies who are very upset with me and him because they think we've deserted the historical society.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And after all our grandfather was in the Civil War.

Trimble: Right. [Laughing] But, uh...the...well, this is...the arts council is something that I've spent time that Joe sometimes thinks I ought to be spending on the paper.

Berge: Yeah. Yeah.

Trimble: But, I think it's kind of important...

Berge: It's good public relations, too.

Trimble: Yeah.

Berge: It's not bad business to be involved in something like that. I don't think. Do you?

Trimble: No, definitely not. And, uh...well and as the arts coun... commission people said, you know, when they found out that I ran the newspaper, and they 41:00said, oh, all that free publicity. [Laughing]

Berge: Yeah. Yeah. It's true, too.

Trimble: But...uh...uh... That's one of the things...the tangible things that I feel like I've accomplished.

Berge: Do people seem interested in it?

Trimble: Yes. Uh... I've really been surprised at how much interest there's been.

Berge: Well, look it, I want to thank you again. It's been a pleasure to talk with you. And, uh...I'll...maybe I'll see you again sometime.

Trimble: Come back this direction some time.

Berge: I will. [Tape ends at 42:06]