Title: Interview with Blanche TrimbleIdentifier: 1980oh135 Date: 1980-05-28 Interviewer: William Berge Project: Kentucky Newspaper Editors Project
The following is an unrehearsed taped interview with Blanche Trimble, editor ofthe 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. Iknow 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: OK...um...Blanche Bushong Trimble, and I was born here in Monroe County.
Berge: What was your maiden name?1:00
Berge: Spell that.
Berge: Is that a fairly...uh...well, there's a little town and a littlecommunity by that name, isn't there?
Trimble: Uh...that's where I'm from. [Laughing]
Trimble: Uh...but there used to a post office there. There isn't now. It wascalled Bushong at that time.
Trimble: But, um... That name is relatively rare except just in this section ofthe state.
Berge: Yeah, I never heard it before.
Trimble: Um...and I...I was born 1935 and went to high school here.And...um...went to college at the University of Kentucky.
Berge: What was your father's name?
Berge: And your mother?
Berge: What was her maiden name?
Berge: Where are they from? Around here?
Berge: I guess your father is for sure.
Trimble: Um...My father's ancestors came to this county in 1792, I believe.
Trimble: Uh... We live on part of the Revolutionary War...well, we don't now,my mother does. Revolutionary War land grant...
Berge: Your father's family got.
Trimble: Yeah, right. There were about three brothers came.2:00
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 areoriginally from around here.
Berge: Where did you go to...uh...school? 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 toTompkinsville 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?
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.
Trimble: Which is terribly confusing...
Trimble: ...for a newspaper editor with one paper in the county.3:00
Berge: Yeah. Where did you go...uh...which one of the schools did you go to?
Berge: OK. And what year did you graduate?
Berge: And you went to UK.
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...
Trimble: ...by the time it was all over.
Berge: Did you graduate?
Berge: Uh-huh. What year?
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 in...in 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 webought it and came back. But, I wrote...oh...school news and sports when I was in high school.
Berge: For this paper?
Berge: So you've been around, floating around here [unclear]...4:00
Berge: ...for...for some time.
Trimble: [Laughing] Uh-huh.
Berge: When, uh...you were telling me about when you came back so obviously youdid some other things between the time you graduated...
Berge: ...and the time you came back here. Would you mind giving...
Trimble: Several. [Laughing]
Berge: ...me sort of a rundown on what you've done?
Trimble: Uh...OK. When I got out of college I went to work for Kentucky Farmermagazine. Well, OK. First I did some feature writing for...uh...Progressive Farmer....
Trimble: ...magazine. And...
Berge: Feature writing is a very good background for a editor of a paper likethis. Isn't it?
Trimble: Yes, definitely. If one had time to write features.
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. Theywere wanting some features done in Kentucky.
Trimble: And, I went to work for Kentucky Farmer, and I worked there a year anda 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.
Trimble: And, I came back and...well, part of our obligation was to give talks5:00about our trip.
Trimble: And, after that...I did that I went to work the University of Kentuckyin the Department...in the College of Agriculture's Public Information Department.
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? Imean...do 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.
Trimble: And said... She told him he looked terrible said...you ought a get outof 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 that...uh...me and my husband might be interested in buying because he'd been thinking about selling.
Trimble: And they were coming to Lexington that weekend...my sister. So shecame in...they had our life all planned. They walked in the door, she said oh you all are going to buy the paper.
Trimble: I said, you're nuts. You know.
Berge: Yeah. Yeah.
Trimble: And, it just sort of evolved from there. My husband wasa...uh...telecom major at UK, but he'd never worked in it. He's in the insurance business. And knew nothing about printing...
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]7:00
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.
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 jobprinting 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 wason sale. Really.
Trimble: There was...uh...Waggener. I'm sure.
Berge: Oh, god no.
Trimble: And, uh...Al Smith, both, I understand would have jumped on itimmediately. It's just...uh...well the former editor...former owner....really wanted it to stay local.
Trimble: And...uh...well, actually, he...he was a printer. He didn't care thatmuch about the newspaper. When I got ...
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] 8:00
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.
Berge: OK. The...uh...uh...Is the paper an old paper?
Trimble: Uh...Nineteen three.
Trimble: Uh... The...uh... There had been a paper here before, but theTompkinsville 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: So, you still...uh...he's still here?
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 aroundthirty-one, thirty-two hundred.
Berge: What's it now?
Berge: How much circulation have you lost in the last three years? [Laughing]9:00
Trimble: OK. We...I...I was figuring it up for an ad, and including racksales...uh...last week it was thirty-eight five.
Berge: That's a good...that's a good increase. [Unclear] It's really great forthree years.
Trimble: We were...
Berge: Why do you figure? Because the product? Or, have you had any subscription...
Berge: ...gimmicks? Or...
Trimble: Uh...no. We...we don't...haven't had any subscription drives. We don'teven 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. 10:00
Berge: Oh, yeah.
Trimble: And...uh...uh...the previous owner considered that it was a directaffront to him and it was taking an anti-Carter stance on...uh...in 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 asmuch that way since. And, so, a lot of people...they...it polarized... the people.
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 whilethe 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...so, uh...I think that was a whole lot of it because he11:00had...uh...at a time when a lot of place...places were building subscriptions about all he was building was out-of-county subscriptions.
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 thepaper, 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 backthere, that there was something like a third of our subscriptions are out of county.
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 youwanted to get busy.
Trimble: Yeah, really.
Berge: 'Cause you said if you had a...
Trimble: Uh, but, uh...12:00
Berge: ...ad manager you'd have...you'd have to be picking stuff up off...
Berge: ...the floor to print.
Trimble: But, now, I...I don't know. Right now I have more stuff...local stuffevery 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 puteverything 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 aweekly...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 theisolation 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...weneed 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 got13:00the Courier...
Trimble: Courier, right.
Berge: ... here today. OK.
Berge: Well, that's surprising you know.
Trimble: But...uh...everybody keeps saying, well the Courier's pricedthemselves out. They're upset with 'em because they're getting the sports news late.
Berge: A da...a day late.
Trimble: And...um...um...there'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?
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 countycourt 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 thingsyou have to print 'em all. 14:00
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 put...my...
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 fromthe 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'sessentially what...what you've got. Uh...do you ever withhold news because you don't think it would be...do anybody any good?
Trimble: I can't think of any case except when it has to do with this factorythat's coming in here.
Berge: Is that Belden?
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 Chamberof 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 thisin fact is a community newspaper, you have a community responsibility and...
Berge: ...you'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 buildingis 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.
Trimble: I've got it written down back there some place. But, uh...um...
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?16:00
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.
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 alltheir 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'spallet mills. And, it is...well, I don't know if they're just taking it out...you 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, uh...the...you can't think ofany other kind of...uh...news that you'd withhold except for...that's the only thing. You all endorse candidates? I guess...
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 blew17:00everybody'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: ...it's the only way to survive.
Trimble: Really. Because this is a very political county.
Berge: Oh, yeah...I know...I've known that all along although this is the firsttime 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?
Berge: That's a...that's just asking for trouble.
Berge: Just asking for somebody to put another paper in, too, isn't it?
Trimble: Uh, as...as far as I'm concerned, you lose your credibilityimmediately. 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? Thesame 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.
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 sometimesabout 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: Uh...in some areas, I guess there's nothing wrong with them. I... Theone's that I am familiar with don't seem to put enough emphasis on the community. I mean their emphasis is...
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 theShelbyville paper. They seem to be doing an awfully good job up there. Now, some 19:00of the others I've seen...
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: The...it...so, you think that's there's a possi...that there's chainsand then there's chains.
Trimble: Yeah. Right.
Berge: And some chains you feel more strongly about than others, although eventhe best of 'em they probably don't have the same kind of community...
Trimble: I wouldn't think so.
Trimble: But, now...uh...you could get a non-local...like for example, ifsomebody 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: Uh...Just because...uh...maybe it's the unique characteristics of thecounty, but they would've...uh...there's...I would have been in over my head so quick...so... if I hadn't at least known who to go ask.
Berge: And where the skeletons were so to speak.20:00
Trimble: Right. Right. But...uh...uh...I think non-local ownership, in anycase, has some disadvantages. Even though I'd been gone eighteen years, I still had ties here, were familiar with what was going on.
Berge: What...uh...do you think is the main responsibility of a smalltownnewspaper 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?
Berge: Well, I think you're trying to make money. You know.
Trimble: Well...trying. Uh... [Laughing] The...well, you're supposed to tellthe community what's going on. In...in this county, in particular, this is the only source of any kind of detailed news.
Berge: All right...how 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.21:00
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 of...OK...you're talking about...uh...I do a lot of personaltype news, you know.
Trimble: Weddings and birthdays and this sort of thing. And, of course, that'sbrought 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, thankheavens, 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 didsomething with it.
Trimble: Right. But, uh, I kinda wish we had more of that sort of thing.
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 onlything I don't cover myself.
Berge: All right. But...but, somebody goes there?
Trimble: Yes. They tape it.22:00
Berge: All right. Do you go to the school board meeting?
Berge: Uh... How about city government? Do you have city government here?
Trimble: Yes. City council.
Berge: Do you go to those meetings?
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'veindicated you need to ...uh...get...uh... get going.
Trimble: Uh, one thing, well, of course, there's...Tompkinsville's the maintown, but we also have Gamaliel. I do not cover their city council, and I should.
Trimble: But, there's just not enough of me.
Berge: Yeah. When...uh... What do you think are the most popular features ofyour 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, ...uh...you get the impression that everybodyreads everything.
Berge: Yeah, they do. You don't get to do any features. You don't do anyfeatures, do you?
Trimble: Not very often. I...uh... Wish I could.23:00
Trimble: Every now and then I...I do one. I have more time in the summer, andhave more space in the summer.
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 theediting and practically all the picture taking. So...
Berge: You're busy. Uh...how do you get along with the people at the schoolboard? 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 whatthey're doing?
Trimble: No. Now, school board is more prone to do that than anybody else.
Berge: They are, uh?
Berge: How 'bout...
Trimble: Now sometimes, depending on the mood they're in, they'llsay...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 the...you'd say...which would you say ismost cooperative most of the time? The school board or fiscal court?
Trimble: School board definitely.
Berge: They're more...they're more cooperative.
Berge: OK. Uh...what are...let's say you and I...you lived Lexington...and Ilived... 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.]
Berge: Yeah. Yeah. [Unclear]
Trimble: Tompkinsville City Park.
Trimble: Which is...uh...fairly new...was a Soil Conservation District/cityjoint effort. And is a very...very nice park. Especially for this size...town 25:00this size. Uh...the river...down on the river...
Trimble: And ,Turkey Neck Bend [not clear]...just a section down...that's kindof isolated...
Berge: Yeah. That's very pretty, too.
Berge: I've seen pictures of it. Uh, probably you would take me also to see thenew...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 rightbeside where the new factory is.
Berge: Oh, really.
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 prioritywith a lot of people, though the county judge is a little bit interested in it.
Berge: In recreation?
Berge: Or a community center?
Trimble: Uh...he mentioned this possibility of a community center tome...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...in the county?26:00
Berge: That's a problem? Huh?
Trimble: Um-hum. Definitely.
Berge: Uh... and, of course...industry...you could always use industry and roadslike everybody else.
Trimble: We drastically...
Berge: Your roads are pretty good.
Trimble: ... need a...an 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 ofTennessee. 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?
Berge: There needs to be an exit...
Trimble: Straight through.
Berge: ...you need it straight up there.
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 out27:00proposals...and they...
Berge: Now, I always assumed there would just be a good road in here from likeWolf 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 downto 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?
Berge: School system?
Berge: School system. Uh... Do you belong to the KPA?
Berge: Kentucky Press Association.
Trimble: We have only been to one meeting though, because the way it is rightnow, we just can't get away. 28:00
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 anddecided 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 professionalorganization in Lexington. Uh...American Association of Ag College Editors. I was a national director and so...so...I'm...I really believe...
Berge: You like that kind of thing.
Trimble: ...I really believe that we should be...
Trimble: ...but it's going to be a year or two before we can get away enough tobe active.
Berge: What do you think would be the major benefits to be derived from saysomething like KPA?
Trimble: Uh...well, from past experience I'd say talking to other people whohave the same problems. You know,
Trimble: ...so that way.
Berge: Yeah. And, of course, they have a little more clout in Frankfort...
Berge: ...than individual...uh...people would have. Uh, what do you think isthe 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 were29:00talking 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.
Berge: I have just one other question I want to ask you and I'm going to turnthis over and ask you... [Tape changed]
Berge: ...that I ask everyone is about...uh...the decision makers in thiscounty. Like, who are the...the power structure or the elite or whatever you want to call it. And, I don't really mean...you know, specifically want names or anything like that.
Berge: But, what kind of people are the decision makers? And, by that I don'tmean 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, that...uh...well...you have to mention nameshere. 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 ofschools and the judge and those people?
Trimble: Uh...well...OK...the, uh...county attorn...the circuit judge is hisbrother...uh, the county attorney...
Berge: The circuit judge is Tim Lee Carter's brother?
Trimble: Uh... The county attorney's his brother.
Trimble: Uh... The chairman of the school board is his brother...or, hisnephew, excuse me. Uh... Now the superintendent of schools...
Berge: He's a Carter.
Trimble: They are cousins.
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 thesuperintendent is.
Trimble: Uh... There's...uh...been a split in the Carters in the last four or31:00five years. And, it's making things very interesting...nobody...
Berge: How did Mr. Carter...How did Dr. Carter ever get to be so powerfulpolitically? 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.
Trimble: Uh, but, uh...
Berge: Kind of really like Carl Perkins, say.
Trimble: Yeah, but, of course, his...uh...brother had been circuit judge foryears 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 Iwas 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...thethings 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 canstill...you can already see this considerably. 32:00
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 theold one kept.
Trimble: But, he was not willing unfortunately to come out and say that becausea 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 andmade 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 hasBen Franklin and the Big Star.
Berge: Yeah. OK.
Trimble: He lives right across the street.
Trimble: But, uh, now there are...uh...33:00
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 bigpeople who've been outspoken against him all along?
Berge: Or, do they just sort of keep a low profile.
Trimble: Yeah. But... but, allegiances shift.
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 interestingfor people who do what you do though, doesn't it?
Trimble: But...uh... It's interesting to watch
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-dofamilies 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 Carterwas. Like, for instance, does...is 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...
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'sstill 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 about...oh...seven or eight years35:00ago...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..
Trimble: No, it's more than that.
Trimble: I mean as far as...as registered voters I'd say you've got probablyseventy-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 adith...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.36:00
Trimble: Um... No drama groups. But, there is a lot of talent as far... notonly, uh...well in crafts...
Trimble: And, arts as well as crafts.
Trimble: Both. And...um...for various reasons, about a year ago some of usdecided 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 whichonly a couple of 'em didn't work here. [Laughing]
Trimble: Um... And...uh...we have a membership of about thirty-five. We startedlast 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: Uh...how many quilts...what...did people bring in quilts that they did?
Trimble: Yeah, right. Or, well, you...you didn't have to have done it yourself.
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 inthat. 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 becauseright now it's the only place that...uh...older people...the library has a good meeting room upstairs but no elevator.
Trimble: And, we figured a lot of little old ladies wouldn't be able to get upthe steps.
Berge: Yeah. Sure.
Trimble: But...uh...next 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 toget something going like Burkesville has.
Trimble: Uh...that...uh...Of course, they started fairly small.38:00
Trimble: We're...we're working on...
Berge: Yeah. Well, those things are very popular. and they're very good for thecommunity, too.
Trimble: Uh...just been amazed at the people who have shown some interest inthis. And... [Interruption by someone needing to talk with Trimble. Tape stopped and restarted.]
Berge: You were...you were saying.
Trimble: Um...well, there's just...uh...what...when...uh...we had some peoplefrom 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 weretalking 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 places39:00where they sell some of the stuff that's made locally.
Trimble: Uh... We had a suggestion week or two ago that I'm really excitedabout 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 thatare 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 withoutdisturbing any of the...
Berge: Yeah. Might be a rather nice...uh...natural amphitheater there where theland lies.
Trimble: I...I think there possibly is. But, uh...that's... Somebody justmentioned that they'd always thought that'd be a good idea.
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 workwith something like that.
Trimble: But, that's something that...
Berge: Is there much interest in local history here?40:00
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. Uh...in fact part of 'em...one 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 issomething 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.
Berge: It's not bad business to be involved in something like that. I don'tthink. Do you?
Trimble: No, definitely not. And, uh...well and as the arts coun... commissionpeople 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 Ifeel 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 talkwith 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]