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0:38 - Background

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Partial Transcript: You can tell me your name, when you were born, and where if you wouldn't mind.

Segment Synopsis: Boone talks about her family and career.


Subjects: American newspapers--Ownership

9:07 - Overview

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Partial Transcript: This paper was established in the 1800s.

Segment Synopsis: Boone gives an overview of the Todd County Standard.

Keywords: Todd County Standard

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

20:47 - Reporting

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Partial Transcript: Is there any kinds of stuff you don't print?

Segment Synopsis: Boone discusses the paper's editorial policy and political endorsements.

Keywords: Political endorsement; Todd County Standard

Subjects: Editorials

25:36 - Ownership

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Partial Transcript: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of locally owned papers like yours?

Segment Synopsis: Boone discusses the advantages of owning the newspaper.

Keywords: Todd County Standard

Subjects: American newspapers--Ownership Newspaper employees

34:34 - Todd County

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Partial Transcript: Has your relationship been a good relationship with the schools?

Segment Synopsis: Boone discusses issues in Todd County as well as who the most influential people are in the county.

Keywords: Todd County Standard

Subjects: County governments Newspaper reporting Political campaigns School boards School superintendents

54:24 - Kentucky Press Association

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Partial Transcript: I guess you belong to the K.P.A?

Segment Synopsis: Boone discusses the benefits of belonging to the Kentucky Press Association.

Keywords: Kentucky Press Association; Todd County Standard

Subjects: Journalism--Societies, etc


Title: Interview with Evelyn Boone Identifier: 1980oh172 Date: 1980-05-20 Interviewer: William Berge Project: Kentucky Newspaper Editors Project

The following is an unrehearsed interview with Mrs. Evelyn Boone, publisher of the Todd County Standard, in Elkton, Kentucky. The interview was conducted by William Berge, for the Oral History Center at Eastern Kentucky University. The interview was conducted in Mrs. Boone's office on May 20, 1980, at 9 a.m.

Berge: Ms. Boone, I want to thank you this morning for letting me come by here. I know people like you are always busy. If you don't mind, we'll get started. You can tell me your name and where you were born, and when if you would

Boone: My name is Evelyn Morgan Boone. I was born in Falmouth, Kentucky, in 1927.

Berge: OK, now Falmouth is a pretty little town.

Boone: Falmouth is a pretty town.

Berge: Yeah. Uh... Your maiden name was Morgan?

Boone: Um-hum.

Berge: Uh-huh. What was your father's name?

Boone: Raymond.


Berge: Your mother?

Boone: Minnie.

Berge: And what was her maiden name?

Boone: Hunter.

Berge: Was she... Are they both from Falmouth?

Boone: No. Uh, Daddy was born in the Williamstown area, and mother was born in Owen County.

Berge: Oh, Owen County.

Boone: Hm-hum.

Berge: Sort of on the periphery of northern Kentucky...

Boone: That's right.

Berge: ...both of you...both of them.

Boone: That's right.

Berge: What did your father do?

Boone: He was cable supervisor for the Cincinnati Telephone Company.

Berge: Uh-huh. Falmouth?

Boone: No. In Covington. He had a whole lot of area.

Berge: Oh, but he lived in Falmouth?

Boone: No, we lived in Covington. I was born in Falmouth but moved to Covington when I was six months old.

Berge: Did you go to Holmes?

Boone: Sure did.

Berge: Hm-hum. You graduated Holmes?

Boone: Sure did. Getting ready to go back for our thirty-fifth anniversary the last of June.

Berge: [Laughing] What year did you graduate?

Boone: Nineteen forty-five.

Berge: Yeah. Uh...the uh...when you graduated from high school in nineteen forty- five, what did you do?

Boone: I worked one year...uh, in Cincinnati, and then, uh, came to Bethel College in Hopkinsville, which at that time was a female, Baptist college. Two 2:00year junior college.

Berge: Well, I didn't know about that school.

Boone: Yeah.

Berge: Do you mind? [Asking permission to light tobacco product; sound of lighter]

Boone: No.

Berge: And...uh...did long did you stay there in Bethel?

Boone: Two years. It was a junior college.

Berge: And you finished there?

Boone: Hm-hum.

Berge: Then what'd you do?

Boone: Went to work as...

Berge: Now that was in '48?

Boone: Uh-huh. Went to work as a youth director and church secretary at First Baptist Church in Hopkinsville.

Berge: Um-hum. And, how long did you stay there?

Boone: Five years.

Berge: Then what'd you do?

Boone: Then I went to Nashville to the Baptist Sunday School Board and worked about eight months in the student department.

Berge: Um-hum. And then what?

Boone: Married.

Berge: Where's your husband from?

Boone: My first husband, Norris Bell, was born in...uh...Oklahoma, but his family was from here. And, they came back here when Norris was a real small child.

Berge: Oh, Todd County.

Boone: Yes, um-hum.

Berge: So that's how you came to Todd County, right? Marriage...

Boone: By marriage.

Berge: Hm-hum. And what was his name again?

Boone: Norris Bell.

Berge: Bell.

Boone: Hm-hum.

Berge: How long were you married to Mr. Bell?

Boone: We were married twenty years.

Berge: And then what?

Boone: He died.


Berge: Uh-huh.

Boone: And, uh, I have one child.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Boone: And, uh...

Berge: Is your child a Bell, I guess?

Boone: That's right. Well, she's now a Sharp. She's uh...she's now married. Uh...uh... Norris was in Farm Credit and had the...uh, whole western part of the state down as far as Smithland with Farm Credit. And, uh, after his death...

Berge: What year was that?

Boone: '73.

Berge: Uh-huh.

Boone: And, uh...then...then Boone and I married and...uh...uh, we were married eleven and a half months when he died. And, I...

Berge: So you're a twice widow?

Boone: Twice a widow. And, um... During the eleven and a half months that Ben and I were married, we had put two houses into one, and sold his, daughter had married, and his daughter had graduated from high school and was getting ready to go to college. And, we had remodeled our house and I was going to learn about the newspaper in a slow and easy fashion. And, we were Orleans and he had a heart attack and he was there a month and 4:00died. And, I came home to a newspaper that I knew very little about.

Berge: Hm-hum. So that was really your...marrying...marrying...uh...Mr. Boone was your first shot at a newspaper really then, wasn't it?

Boone: Sure was. Sure was.

Berge: So tell me, long have you been running the paper now?

Boone: Five and a half years.

Berge: Do you like it?

Boone: Love it.

Berge: Have you...have you ever regretted that you weren't in the newspaper business earlier? Or, do you think you learned...

Boone: I don't think so. I...I really don't have many regrets about anything that's happened. Uh...

Berge: No, I didn't mean it that way.

Boone: I...uh...

Berge: Do you like the newspaper business so well...

Boone: Oh, yes. Yes. Um...I think that, you know, the...the first...I think the foremost prerequisite for newspapering is liking people. And, um...I love Todd County.

Berge: Um-hum.

Boone: And I love the people in Todd County. And um...I...I'm interested in all the things that go on in Todd County. I'm interested in all the little interweavings of...of people and their lives and all these good things that go on that you really get a keen insight to a small 5:00county that sometimes...for instance, I...I never felt this way in Covington.

Berge: No, I can imagine a difference.

Boone: You know. in Hopkinsville. Now Hopkinsville has grown enough that, you know, that...that, uh, I'm not real sure. But, um...I've had a good staff, I've had hard working people, and I had a lot of good friends in Kentucky Press that...that really helped me through the first year, year and a half. And, I remember...uh, two people in particular. Uh... Al Smith, who at that time owned the...

Berge: The paper in Russellville.

Boone: ...paper in Russellville and is now with the, uh... federal government in the Appalachian program. Uh... and Bob Carter...

Berge: Over in Hopkinsville.

Boone: ... in Hopkinsville. And Judge Wilson, who for years owned the paper at Irvington and was secretary of KPA [Kentucky Press Association] for a long time and is now retired. Uh...and Warren Fisher in Carlisle, Kentucky, uh, all said to me, you know, if you want to keep the paper, we'll help you. We'll answer anything because there won't be any dumb questions. And when you have friends like this that are willing to help you...and...and there were some dumb 6:00questions because I started, you know, there was only one way for me to go and that was up because I started at line one. But, I...I enjoy the don't know that, um..., well I guess if you were wise enough look down the road and know where you were going to end up that maybe, you know, would do a little differently in your college work. My daughter had she known all that was going to happen she would have majored in journalism rather than in social work. But, uh... she has a real interest in the paper and the community, and I'm not sure that her degree social work would not stand her in good standing for newspaper work.

Berge: And, I'm not sure that you have to take [phone rings] you need to answer that? I'm not sure that you need to take journalism to work in a newspaper either. I think maybe good general education or good liberal education might be better.

Boone: I think that...that this is particularly true in a county newspaper.

Berge: Mr. Hopkins and I were talking about that yesterday when I was over there. The...uh... One of the reasons we're doing this project is that...because 7:00of some talks I had with Al Smith. It was sort of his idea that I do this any way. The...uh...the...uh...the a very interesting thing. Do you think you might have gotten into it even if your husband hadn't...uh... passed on?

Boone: Oh, yes.

Berge: You were gonna...

Boone: Because our intention was that...because...uh...Ben was not...uh, well. He had a heart condition, and he was diabetic. And, he was...he was functioning as well as he could be, and we thought we had a long life ahead of us.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: But, uh...yes, our intention was I was that I going to work one or two days the winter after the girls had left home. was going to keep the books, which know, really funny when I didn't like bookkeeping in high school at all. But, uh...yes, I would have...I probably would have ended up right where I am only a little later down the line.

Berge: Does your...uh...daughter live in this town now?

Boone: Yes.

Berge: How about your step-daughter? Is she living here?


Boone: No, my step-daughter is now in California. She married a young Marine, and...uh...they're the Marine base south of San Diego.

Berge: Oh, so she's married, too?

Boone: And, she's married...yes. They both...she married two years ago this summer.

Berge: OK. Now...uh...when you were in high school and college were you ever involved in the school newspaper or anything like that?

Boone: In junior high school, I took a...because I think I thought it was an easy thing and everybody said they had fun doing it...I took a one semester, and we wrote the school newspaper, which, you know, doesn't really give you much qualification. [Laughing]

Berge: But, you had... It's not that you were uninterested or anything like that?

Boone: No, now, of course, when I worked with the church...uh...both in Hopkinsville and, you know, you do everything when you're the church secretary in a small

Berge: You got to write stuff.

Boone: I wrote letters, and we wrote articles for the bulletin and [unclear] news releases and all. So it was not as foreign as it appears on the surface.


Berge: Hm-hum. Tell me this. Uh... You're... How old's this paper?

Boone: Uh...this paper...

Berge: Do you know anything about the history of it?

Boone: Yes. This paper was established in the eighteen hundreds and...uh...there were several people back of it. Ben bought the paper in...uh...fifty...fifty...fifty- six, fifty-seven. Uh... Ironically, Ben didn't have much more experience in the newspaper business than I did. Ben was...uh...he...he was born and raised here. His family, as you probably know, goes back in the history of Todd County. And...uh... At the's daughter, Dell, was just a baby, and he was traveling with a shoe company. Was a good salesman. And, he came home one weekend and ...uh...he has a daughter by a previous marriage, and he had missed her growing up because he had been in service. he came home one weekend and he said I'm just not going to miss Dell growing up because this is the last one. the paper at 10:00that time was owned by Reuben Petrie, who, ironically, uh...was kin both to Ben and...and to Norris.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: It's one of these, you know, family...interweavings...

Berge: Small town.

Boone: That's right.

Berge: Small town.

Boone: Connections. And, so, uh...Lu, Ben's wife, knew the paper was...that Reuben was looking for someone to help operate the paper. So, Ben went up and talked to Reuben, and they came to an agreement. And, Ben called the shoe company and said...uh... I'm sending my satchel in, I've gone to work. had had one semester of journalism at Vanderbilt.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: And, he operated the paper another eighteen months, I guess, Reuben and Maude Petrie both were burned to death in a...a home fire.'s will read that should anything happen to him that the that time Ben had begun to buy in to the paper. And, 11:00uh...Reuben's will read that should anything happen to him why Ben was to inherit the paper. So this is how the paper came about.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: How our owning it came about.

Berge: Has it...has it had this name for a long time?

Boone: Uh, yes. Since the early nineteen hundreds.

Berge: Hm-hum. What's the name of it again?

Boone: Todd County Standard.

Berge: Standard. Yeah, that's a strange name. I mean...not a strange name, but you don't see it very often. Standard. For a paper. It's a nice name though. It's catchy.

Boone: Well, we hope everybody remembers it.

Berge: Yeah. What's your circulation?

Boone: the county...uh...we have around twelve hundred subscriptions. We also distribute somewhere around eleven...twelve hundred papers to various...uh...agencies throughout the stores and drug stores where people can pick them up on racks.

Berge: About twenty-four hundred.

Boone: Uh-huh. And then we...uh...have right at...oh six or seven hundred copies going out to all over the country.

Berge: People...people who use to live here?

Boone: Yes. Yes.

Berge: So, you know ... circulation about three thousand.

Boone: Three thousand. Sure do.

Berge: That's a pretty good circulation for a county this size. Isn't it?

Boone: We think it's good. We...we estimate that...that the figures already 12:00know that...uh...particularly in a county paper, that three or four people see one issue. So we feel like we are really...uh...our motto is "Covering the news in Todd County," and we feel like we do this pretty well.

Berge: Hm-hum. Hm-hum. The uh, your...what's your paper generally? About...uh... twelve... fourteen pages?

Boone: Fourteen. Sixteen pages.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: We... This week particularly we are...we are anxious and proud of our paper. This will carry our graduation supplement.

Berge: Oh, yeah.

Boone: And, uh...we have a supplement at graduation time in which we carry all the pictures of the graduates and as many activities as we can. And...uh...the young men who work for me when they make pictures throughout the year at sporting events and...and anything pertaining to the school, we try to get enough pictures to put new pictures in the supplement.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: And then at Christmas we carry what we think is an attractive the issue just prior to the closing for Christmas.

Berge: I imagine the graduation supplement is a very popular...uh...thing.

Boone: We think...a lot of people...when you mention children's names and pictures you've got a winner. [Laughing]


Berge: What day do you...uh...come out?

Boone: Wednesday.

Berge: On Wednesday.

Boone: Hm-hum.

Berge: Uh, where...where's your paper printed?

Boone: Hopkinsville at the New Era.

Berge: Oh, at the New Era.

Boone: Hm-hum.

Berge: the circulation pretty stable?

Boone: Yes.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: Yes.

Berge: And...there's not that many people living here that it makes it worthwhile for you to knock yourself out trying to have circulation contests or anything because most everybody gets it anyway.

Boone: We've tried it, and it just doesn't work.

Berge: Oh, there's nobody there to...

Boone: That's right. People...people know the paper. They want the paper because you know...there's no reason and no way that we can carry world news unless, you know, everything comes to a shrieking halt on Tuesday. But, uh...we...we try to carry local news...uh, well, not try to we DO carry local news. Then we try to carry as much area news as we can. And, then, um, of course, we get a pack of state news each week, which we pull from and things of real interest to the people. But, this is a agriculture are interested in their churches and their schools and this is the type of news that we...


Berge: What's the most popular part of your paper? Of...not just one thing, but what things do you have that people really like?

Boone: Our sports.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: Our farm page. And our classified page.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: We have a...a good size Mennonite community just south of us.

Berge: Oh, I didn't know that.

Boone: Between here and Guthrie. Yes. And...uh...these people are...are avid readers. Um...they love a good sale.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: They have a lot of interesting things to sell. And...uh... they tell us that...that they pick up the newspaper and turn to the classified page.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: And...uh...this has proven to be interesting to us. Uh...They... They read a lot and they...they look for good sales and they know good things.

Berge: Do you have you have any columns that are popular in the paper?

Boone: Uh...Yes. We carry on our editorial page, we carry two columns that...uh...that people apparently like because we hear about it a great deal. Uh...Russ Metz, who you probably know. We carry Russ's column. And, uh... then 15:00we have a column Cousin Cliff that takes world events and national events and...and in a pokes fun really at...

Berge: Whose...who writes that?

Boone: That I can't tell you. [Laughing]

Berge: Oh, but is it local? That's what I meant.

Boone: No.

Berge: Oh, it's not. OK.

Boone: is entitled...uh...

Berge: Is this carried in other papers?

Boone: I don't know. is's called...uh...uh... "Cousin Cliff from Clifty."

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: And, it's just a good

Berge: [Unclear] Yeah. Yeah.

Boone: Four farmers sitting around the...the stove in the local grocery store.

Berge: And that's real popular?

Boone: It is. Hm-hum. And then, um...the young man who writes...who is my managing editor, Mike Finch, uh...during the football and basketball season writes his own column...uh...with both local and...and Kentucky sports...UK...

Berge: And people like that, huh?

Boone: This is uh...If you've not discovered already, this is a hotbed of UK enthusiasts.


Berge: Yeah. Yeah.

Boone: popular...this column has been well received since Michael has been with me.

Berge: Hm-hum. How long has he been with you?

Boone: Uh... Two and a half years.

Berge: Where'd he come from?

Boone: Hopkinsville.

Berge: Hm-hum. Uh... So you've tried to... When you talk about sports I guess you're talking primarily about high school sports. You're talking about Little League and all that stuff?

Boone: We're talking about any sporting activity...we've just, of course, finished up basketball season. We're now working with the golf team and track and...and then we have a new city/county park here...uh...that just opened last summer. And we carried pictures of the Little Leagues and...and scores and some pictures of the other activities out there at the country club.

Berge: the paper about what percentage do you run advertising?

Boone: Right at fifty percent.

Berge: Would you like to be a little higher? Or does that...does that make you happy?

Boone: Um... Of course...personally I would like to have a little more.

Berge: About sixty-eight. [Laughing]

Boone: But, I think we have to understand that... know, people also 17:00want news.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: So I think you have have to also...

Berge: Of course, in a town this size there's only so much advertising.

Boone: That's right. That's right. And of course we go to Hopkinsville and...and...uh... Clarksville. And...uh...pick up some from Russellville and Muhlenberg County. But...uh...I'm...well I'm not content, because I don't suppose we're ever content, but...uh...fifty...fifty-two percent makes me happy.

Berge: So that's about what you shoot for and hope to get.

Boone: Hm-hum. And usually do. [Laughing]

Berge: How many people do you have working for you?

Boone: I have...uh...five full-time employees and two part time.

Berge: So you have a pretty big staff then for this size paper?

Boone: I have a lady who comes on Monday and Tuesday and sets type for us and also a young lady who comes on Monday and helps with the paste up.'s a...she's a great young girl. She has a lot of talent. She's worked for Al Smith in Russellville. wants to work part time. Just suits me fine. But, she has done enough that, you know, you can give her most anything and she goes off and does a good job.


Berge: So when you take your stuff over to Hopkinsville to be printed what kind of condition is it when you take it over there?

Boone: It's on paste up.

Berge: Oh, it is.

Boone: It's just on sheets all ready to shoot. Hm-hum.

Berge: So it's ready for them to...

Boone: It's ready for them to shoot and...

Berge: OK.

Boone: ...get back to us.

Berge: This is all stuff you learned, too, in a hurry, isn't it?

Boone: [Laughing]

Berge: You developed a whole new vocabulary in...

Boone: I really have.

Berge: ...about two weeks, didn't you. Yeah.

Boone: No, it's still a learning process. Every so often something comes along. But, uh, you know... when...when're faced with five people looking at you for a salary and a community looking at you for a newspaper, you learn pretty fast.

Berge: Yeah. Do you print the court records?

Boone: Yes.

Berge: All of them?

Boone: Hm-hum.

Berge: Uh, people like that? Except when their name's in it maybe. You get much gaffe about that?

Boone: I think so. For a long time we printed on the front page.

Berge: Hm-hum. Do they ever try to get you to...not to put something in the paper?

Boone: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. You know, uh...regardless how much of a reprobate you may be...uh... somebody loves you. And, you haven't done any wrong in their 19:00eyes. And, um...of course, parents just can't believe that their precious one has been picked up by the trooper, you know. But, uh...Ben use to tell the tale, and I think it's...I think it's a valid reasoning. Uh, oh...some eight or ten years ago we had a young man in the community who just really couldn't get his foot off the gas pedal. And, the trooper was picking him up...

Berge: Regularly.

Boone: ...almost weekly. And...uh...and that time the records were on the front page. youngster would come and just beg Ben not to put his name in the paper. That daddy would cut off his allowance and take the car away and all these things.

Berge: Which would have been good for him.

Boone: Which would have been fine. And, so Ben finally told him...just said, you know said...the youngster got to the point where he thought Ben was really, you know, just...

Berge: Out to get him.

Boone: ...really out to get him, you know, and he was the only one. And Ben said, you know, said...I...I'm not out to get you. But said, you know, if your 20:00daddy doesn't know this, somebody needs to tell him because, he said, you know it's a lot better for your name to be in this column then in the obituary column.

Berge: Yeah. Sure.

Boone: And, you know, I don't think that we have ever knowingly gone out to get someone. You know, my...What I tell people is that if you have done this, I'm sorry.

Berge: Hm-hum. And one of the problems that people like you and this kind of paper have, that say somebody in a large city daily doesn't have, is that you see the people every day you write about. And you know 'em, and you like 'em.

Boone: That's right.

Berge: And that gives you a certain amount of responsibility and makes it a little bit harder sometimes.

Boone: Exactly true.

Berge: Because of this, and because you feel a sense of community responsibility and involvement so keenly, and I know you do. Is there any kinds of stuff you don't print because of this? Some people tell me there is, and some people tell me there isn't.

Boone: I don't...uh...I don't believe that we have ever knowingly kept any real 21:00news out of the paper. Now, uh...many times if you pick up a larger, for instance a daily, and...and you've had a murder or a horrible accident in the community, they will go into great detail.

Berge: Show pictures...

Boone: And show know.

Berge: You don't show pictures?

Boone: Almost count the drops of blood.

Berge: You're not going to take a picture of somebody lying next to their car or...dead or anything like that?

Boone: Probably not. Um... We have had several instances here in the county where people...uh...have committed suicide. Well, in the first place, in a town this size, in a community...

Berge: Everybody knows.

Boone: ... this size there's no way you can get the paper out fast enough.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: And, I feel is that the family has already been hurt and in some cases embarrassed suff...

Berge: So you just announce the death.

Boone: And, we just...well and we state the cause of death, but you know, you don't go into the doctor said and the family hadn't noticed and all this that 22:00you read...which is, you know, that's fine for a daily paper. They've got six chances to, you know...

Berge: His friends and wife [unclear] and cried. [Laughing]

Boone: That's right. You We...we try not tell the truth and go on.

Berge: Without being sensational about it. I understand.

Boone: That's right. That's right.

Berge: Uh. Do you all...does the paper endorse political candidates?

Boone: Um...on occasion. It's not's not a...

Berge: Very common thing.

Boone: ...regular practice.

Berge: Have you done it since you've been publisher of the paper?

Boone: [Pause] I don't think...I don't recall that I have. My feeling is that it...that it becomes more important for people to vote, and we have at each election reminded people that, you know, the time is now and this is our privilege, and it's also our responsibility. And, particularly in local elections, it's a matter of your voting.

Berge: Hm-hum. Not so much...

Boone: Because you know the people. You know what...what you can expect from them and what you want them to do.'m...I'm dismayed at the 23:00fact that so many people sit home and don't vote and then spend the next two or four years criticizing.

Berge: Complaining about who...

Boone: And my theory is go vote and then you have a perfect right to if...if the candidate you wanted wins and doesn't do what they promised you can say, look, I voted for you...I worked for you...this you said and this you're doing. You know, think probably in local[pause]...I think under certain circumstances I would...I would make a real endorsement in a county election.

Berge: If there was somebody that you thought was outstanding.

Boone: Yes. But...

Berge: If the people were running against somebody who wasn't.

Boone: But, this is nothing like you were saying while ago about the obituaries. You know, these people, whoever gets elected, I need to have a open door to the courthouse. You know, and...and...for instance in the last sheriff's election we had nine...ten people running. We ran material for them, we printed cards for them and finally someone said, well, can't...some people 24:00were in here and one of the candidates was in here and I was nice to him and they said, Evelyn, you know you don't want him to win. How can you be nice? And I said, you know, what I want personally and what I want for the community may be two different things. But, regardless with who gets in the sheriff's office I need to be able to pick up the phone and say what's going on and let me know and, you know, you can't, you know, just get out and ride the band wagon.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: But...uh...there are...

Berge: You do job printing now, I take it?

Boone: Yes, we do.

Berge: OK. Uh...the you every write editorials.

Boone: Yes.

Berge: About how often?

Boone: Uh... There's no rhyme or reason to it. Uh...

Berge: Twice a month? Once a month?

Boone: Uh...maybe once a month. Probably [unclear].

Berge: What kind of things do you get your typewriter out and write about? I mean what are the things you are apt to write editorials about?

Boone: Uh... Real often I think there are people and situations in the 25:00community that demand an applause that I feel they don't get.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: Uh...I think the paper across the board to...uh...point up the faults, as they should.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: But, I think we need to just as quickly say thank you for a job well done.

Berge: So you do more positive than negative things in the editorials.

Boone: Yes. 'Cause I think you catch more flies with sugar than you do with vinegar.

Berge: Hm-hum. Hm-hum. You're probably very right. Of course, the paper is locally owned and you're the owner. Uh ... What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of locally owned papers like yours and chain newspapers like Al's. ... Or maybe not even Al's. Other kinds of chains. His...his chain isn't very typical.

Boone: No, and his still very grassroot.

Berge: They're mostly like...

Boone: ...very grassroot.

Berge: They're mostly local.

Boone: That's right. [Pause] I think you lose a lot of local color. I'm not 26:00sure that people feel as responsible to a

Berge: They're not as apt to come running in with stuff to you?

Boone: That's right. Um... I notice that a lot of papers that are owned by chains they, you know, you look at one you've seen 'em all.

Berge: I even know chains where, uh, not around here, but I know chains where except for the front page paper... every paper in the chain is exactly the same.

Boone: That's right.

Berge: They just change the front page.

Boone: think one of the things is that, you know, as you say, when I get ready to get my typewriter out and lambast or congratulate someone...this is mine. I'm going to get all the compliments and all the ...

Berge: And all the grief...

Boone: ...complaints.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: Um... The story is told through Kentucky Press, and I'm sure you're familiar with it, of paper that was bought by a chain and the...and 27:00the owner who was going to become then the manager was assured that they'd have free reign. This is still your paper. Well, you know, there just can't be two bosses to most anything.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: And so, a local situation came up and the past owner, the present manager, sat down and wrote this great editorial just, you know, taking everybody to task. And the owners called and said that, you know, that's not what we think.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: And, he said well that's what I think, and you told me I could...

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: know. Well, you can't. You know, this is completely... Well, you know, this man was in the community, and the owners were off somewhere else.

Berge: Looking...looking at a profit and loss statement.

Boone: That's right. You know. And... And, I think you're going to have a little county newspaper, a country newspaper if you please...

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: is exactly what it ought to be. And, I can't see that, um... I really don't see many advantages to chain ownership. I think it places 28:00you sort of in the realm of, you know, not being an employee and not being the owner and...and you're sort of floating in the midst of nowhere and I would think would be confusing.

Berge: Yeah, you...

Boone: Now. Now, let me...let me say that...that in the past years when paper has been so scarce, I have friends who own their paper and do their own printing and...and they have been caught short with paper supplies. Fortunately, Bob Carter never got in this place. And I'm sure that there are times that a small newspaper finds themselves, you know, on the brink of disaster. Fortunately, I have not gotten to that place.

Berge: Has, uh... Has this always been the plant of this paper ever since you've been involved with it?

Boone: Ever since I've been, yes.

Berge: It's a...

Boone: This building was built in '66.

Berge: Oh. It's's a new building then?

Boone: Yes, yes. Prior to that, just two doors up the street, space. And it was an old building and the owner didn't want to do very much about repair.


Berge: This is a very...uh... nice looking plant. You have...

Boone: Thank you.

Berge: You have a nice office here.

Boone: Thank you.

Berge: Uh...Do you have local correspondents? Community reporters? That type of thing?

Boone: Yes, yes.

Berge: How many of them do you have?

Boone: Present time I have three.

Berge: Hm-hum. People like those?

Boone: You better believe it. We had an old lady out in the...uh...Sharon Grove area, Claymore area, that...uh... several years ago decided that she was just too old and needed to quit and...and did. And, we made note of the fact and said that...uh...she was retiring and we were looking for someone.

Berge: Hold on and let me turn this over, would you please? [Tape changed]

Berge: You were telling me then you announced in the paper that the lady was going to retire and she wasn't going to...

Boone: And, it... It took a few weeks to find someone and the letters began to pour in from all over the country, you know, that if she wasn't going to report the news out there they were going to cancel their subscriptions because they wanted to know... I find that young journalists sometimes do not want to fool 30:00with this or they want to write... Of course the charm of the article is, you know, that Aunt Sally ain't feeling so good...

Berge: Yeah.

Boone: She's got diarrhea. [Laughing]

Berge: So, you don't edit them. write ' write 'em the put 'em the way she writes 'em, you know.

Boone: Because this is, you know, this has got more charm...

Berge: Yeah.

Boone: ...and the greatness of it. And...

Berge: That's what makes your paper different from other papers.

Boone: That's right, you know. And...

Berge: Between you and the New Era.

Boone: And, this is another time when we're serving the county.

Berge: Tell me this now, you have...uh, in addition to these...uh... community correspondents, you try to beat the bushes out there yourself for areas where you don't have community correspondents or does people just sort of send that stuff in here?

Boone: People bring this sort of thing in. And, and I am fortunate in...uh...having an employee who lives in Trenton and her husband is the principal of the school at Guthrie. So this pretty covers...pretty well covers the south end of the county for us. She has enough friends and knows enough of the activities that she's able to bring us leads and...or bring us even material. We have friends who bring her material all the time and she brings it 31:00to us. So, we really are fortunate in this situation.

Berge: Do you all do many features?

Boone: Uh...not as many as a lot of papers do. I think we do...I think we do enough.

Berge: People like them though, don't they?

Boone: People like features. Uh...I guess one of the problems is, you know, if you start it, where do you stop? And pretty soon you can pretty well fill the whole paper with features.

Berge: You can write something about everybody in the county, too?

Boone: That's right. I say, um...we have a lot of characters in Todd County. And, uh, I...I'm anxious that our oral...that our local oral history get on its feet, and we get some of these things on tape.

Berge: Oh, yeah.

Boone: Um... Right now we are working on a story...

Berge: Is the historical society working on oral history at all?

Boone: Uh... We have all the equipment. We just haven't done much about it. Uh, we...

Berge: Are you involved in that?

Boone: Uh... Superficially. I'm a member of the society and, well, I guess really I'm as active as anyone because we're really aren't doing very much at 32:00this point. But, we have a lot of...oh... right of the top of my head, you know, you can think of...I can think of ten or twelve people who...who have all these interesting bits of history and...

Berge: Well, this Mennonite community you were talking about would be great. Has anybody ever done anything with them?

Boone: Uh... We have to some extent. Um... These are very interesting people. They're very private people. Um...Ben was head of a project. One of the young men in the community had a...uh, malfunctioning kidney. And, the winter before Ben this was brought to his attention. And, uh...we along with Mr. Louis Buckley in the Guthrie community spearheaded a drive...uh...which eventually went all over the country and...uh... we got right at $50,000 for this young man. And, a kidney transplant eventually took place. Um...They're...They're not prone talk very much about themselves...


Berge: I know.

Boone: This almost is worldly.

Berge: I'm from Pennsylvania so I know a little bit about that.

Boone: Yeah. [Laughing] Uh, interesting people and when...when you win their friendship and confidence they're...they're great.

Berge: Hm-hum. They are. And we need people like you would be good people that get some of those people on tape before it's too late. About how many of them live here?

Boone: Ohhh...I would say we probably have families.

Berge: Oh, really.

Boone: Hm-hum.

Berge: And where are they now?

Boone: Down here on the road to Guthrie right...right on the main road they bought some of the...

Berge: About how far from here?

Boone: Oh...five... six miles.

Berge: Wow.

Boone: There is a lumber yard owned by two of the men. Uh...they have dairy operations. Uh... There is a pallet mill. Um...The women do beautiful cakes and handwork, and...uh...

Berge: Do they sell their things down there?


Boone: Yes. Yes.

Berge: They have shops to sell them in?

Boone: Um-hum. There is a bakery...uh... in one of their yards. And, then there is a little store.

Berge: Would it be open today?

Boone: Yes. Yes.

Berge: How far is it from here? My wife would like to go down there. She's with me.

Boone: Oh, maybe five or six miles.

Berge: On the right or left?

Boone: On the right side just past the little [unclear]. There's a big sign in the road. On the road, um-hum.

Berge: Well, I'll tell her that. Uh, I showed me a copy of that graduation...uh...supplement. your relationship been a good relationship with the school system?

Boone: Yes.

Berge: Have they been pretty open?

Boone: Yes.

Berge: You mentioned that...uh...Mr. Bush has thought he was a good superintendent. Is that right?

Boone: Bob Bush has given twenty-nine years of his life to Todd County. as a teacher and as principal and now as superintendent. This is one of the good people and one of the good things that's happened to Todd County. Bob was superintendent during the time of our integration. And, this could have been a real problem and it wasn't. Because of 35:00him and because of a man on the school board. And because of good parents.

Berge: Has the school board been fairly stable thing or has there a there big changes on that?

Boone: No. It's fairly stable.

Berge: When you have a local elections here, which elections generally generate the most excitement and heat? The courthouse elections or the school board elections?

Boone: [Unclear]

Berge: The courthouse elections?

Boone: Courthouse by far.

Berge: Uh-huh. The...uh...are...are the courthouse people and the county government people been as open with you as the...and the city government people have been open with you as say the school board over the years? Now they have to be pretty well?

Boone: some instances yes and other instances no.

Berge: Um-hum. In other words, just as much as the law allows...I mean the..

Boone: Just barely.

Berge: demands. You know.

Boone: [Laughing] Just barely.

Berge: They have a lot of executive sessions then?

Boone: Yes.

Berge: More than you'd like.

Boone: Well, they try. Well. A great deal of it is...and I understand part of a community this size, you know, it's mighty hard to meet two or three people that you serve with or have a real interest in the city or in the county that, you know, you begin saying, well goodness man, we need a street fixed or pretty soon you're into...without really meaning to get in business.

Berge: Small talk.

Boone: But...uh... We found... Oh, I guess it was spring a year ago now. We night I got a call that I should drive by the courthouse. And, it so happened Mike was still here. when we arrived, all of the fiscal court was there. Uh... They just happened to meet. But you know it's sort of strange that all of you would happen to go to the courthouse on Monday night.

Berge: Did you go up in there?

Boone: Mike did.

Berge: How'd they act when they saw him?

Boone: Well, they didn't think they were doing anything wrong. They, you know, uh... But, we took them to task about it. Reminded them of...of...


Berge: Of the sunshine laws and things like that?

Boone: And they said, well, you know, they really weren't meeting. But, you know, now... When all members of a group meets some place it, even in a place this small, it isn't an accident.

Berge: No. No. When you get a specific elected group like that.

Boone: But the school board for instance, during this time of...of hunting a new superintendent, uh...they...we have known every time they met. Uh... In fact, I'll add that Mr. Bush...

Berge: Have they hired his replacement yet?

Boone: No. No. It's just...just almost. They are meeting again tonight. I talked to the superintendent Sunday afternoon at a open house for Mr. Bush. And I talked to the chairman of the board and...uh...he tells that they're just right at making a decision. But, probably not tonight but within the next few days.

Berge: Um-hum. The uh... Let's assume that you and I have been long time friends like thirty ... forty years and I came to visit you for the first time 38:00in Todd County. And... If you were going to...uh...sort of show off the community, you know, tell me or show me what's unique and nice about the county and the area what would you take me to see?

Boone: Hmmm.

Berge: I mean if you're kind of busy what do you take 'em to see and what do you tell 'em about?

Boone: Well, of course, I start with my own office. [Laughing]

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: Um...I would take them to Fairview to see the monument. I think this is a real part of...of Todd County and sometimes I think we do it...

Berge: Almost in Christian County. Isn't it?

Boone: Yes, but it's in Todd County.

Berge: Yeah, I know.

Boone: And...uh... Sometimes I think we don't do enough bragging about it and enough...

Berge: About Jeff Davis?

Boone: That's right. And enough using it as a... We tried last summer have a play because there are no...there are no dramas west of Elizabethtown.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: And, uh... There was an association formed here and two young women in Hopkinsville wrote a beautiful play about it. Uh... We showed it...and...and it 39:00was successfully received. And, things have sort of fallen apart, which is too bad. But, I would...

Berge: You think it should have been an annual thing?

Boone: Yes. And I think we should have worked it and...because we saw a lot of good things about it. We saw some things that needed to be corrected. And, and we hoped that it would become a mini-sesquicentennial really is what a lot of us dreamed. But, I would take you to the monument. I would bring you back, and I would show you our community house.

Berge: Why did it fall into need? Financially? Was there... Did you need money or?

Boone: Uh... We needed money and um...

Berge: Well, the Kentucky Humanities would probably give you some money.

Boone: Yes. We...we know this. But, you know, you need a...a good strong steering committee...who...who...

Berge: You need a strong person.

Boone: not bashful.

Berge: You need a person.

Boone: That's right.

Berge: Everything needs one person...

Boone: That's right.

Berge: do it.

Boone: That's right. And this is one of the things that we...I don't feel like we had. And...uh...uh...I...I hope that we can regenerate the interest, and...uh... Well, I...for instance, this Shaker Festival Auburn. Uh...we 40:00could meet the needs of a lot of people, particularly in this time when people are not going away on vacations. And they're not going clear across the country. You know, this is the time it seems to me that's ripe for us to really jump in and say look here what we've got. All of you said, if you came to visit me, all of us have company all summer. Uh... This is one of the things that has amazed me about Todd County. If you've ever lived here, you come back and you pick up where you left off last summer. You know, if...I have a friend in Florida now who, you know, when she comes this summer she's going to say Evelyn, what color did you decide to do the bathroom? Because this is what we talked about the last visit. You know, there's no...there's no time space in here. And, with all these people coming I think, you know, we could generate a lot of...of traffic through Fairview. And, and the people would go away with some information, and...and the community would go away with some money.

Berge: I think you should take me down and show me that Mennonite community.

Boone: I would show you the Mennonite community. I would show you our old courthouse that we're proud of and we're in the process of renovating. I would 41:00show you our community house. Um...I would show you the factories that we have.

Berge: You have some industry here?

Boone: Yes. Yes. We have three plants here in Elkton. We have a clothing plant that has been here for a long, long time. We have Elkton Die is about fifteen years old. Uh... We have Arco, a big plant out here on sixty-eight that you probably saw as you came in this morning. Uh...there are three or four good sized plants in Guthrie. would show you some of our beautiful churches. I would show you some of the pretty old homes. We...uh...have a home just...uh...three blocks from town that belonged to...uh...Chief Justice [James Clark] McReynolds. He was born here. Uh... We're proud of this. Uh... We have an old home down in the south end of the county, down in the Trenton area, um...that belonged to the Meriwethers. Dorothy [Elizabeth Meriwether] Dix. If you remember...

Berge: Oh, yeah.

Boone: She was the original Ann Landers, I suppose.

Berge: Yeah.


Boone: would show you the good farm land. We have beautiful farm land in Todd County. Good farms. Big farm operations.

Berge: Then, then, if we were really good friends you might also tell me what you think are some of the problems of the county. And, what would they be? What are the things you'd like to rectify if you could?

Boone: Oh, I'd change our tax rate structure so that we could have a few more of the things, not we want, but the things we need.

Berge: Service.

Boone: That's right. I...I would hope there'd be a closer relationship between...not necessarily the people in the county, but the officials in the county and the city...uh...uh...and not always the officials, but the people behind the officials. Because, as you know, in a small county there's somebody in the back room that you may never see or know that are pulling the strings.

Berge: Now that's the most important question that I ask everyone that I interview. I ask, not only the school superintendents, but newspaper editors, 43:00the county judges, and everyone else I inter...interview. Every county in...has a power elite or a power structure. Sometimes it's very visible, and sometimes it's invisible. And, everyone has an invisible one as well as visible, even though sometimes the vis...sometimes they're one in the same. But, but...there's a power structure there. And, they're all a little bit different, they're all alike, too. But, they're all a little bit different. Like, some places in Eastern Kentucky it's a few coal operators. Uh, I was in one comm... county...oh, seven or eight counties east of here where the county was absolutely run by one physician. I mean... I don't...I don't think the guy was a criminal or anything, but he was...nobody got hired in that county unless he said go on and hire him. You know...I think he had the county's wellbeing at heart and everything else. A couple counties west of here, well, Providence, 44:00you know, that kind of thing. Uh ... What kind of people are they in this county? Are they old farmer, land people? Are they bankers? Are they....

Boone: The power structure?

Berge: ...attorneys? What? What are they?

Boone: The power structure in the county?

Berge: Um-hum.

Boone: Uh...

Berge: Besides you, of course. [Both laughing]

Boone: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Uh...

Berge: Well, like, for instance, Bob Carter in the next county. He's one of 'em.

Boone: I think...

Berge: He's a lot of... He's a lot of clout in that county.

Boone: I think if...if the newspaper does not carry some clout, they need to take a hard look at themselves.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: Uh... Todd County is...well, I was going to say it's unique, but when I get with old newspaper people I find we all have the same problem. Uh...some of the best people in the world live in Todd County. I have had an opportunity two or three times to leave the county and every time I just dig in a little deeper.

Berge: You're not going to let any drummer haul you out of this town? [Laughing]


Boone: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Um... But, we have a strange attitude, I think, about...

Berge: Outsiders?

Boone: Well, yes, that's included. I don't want to change any...

Berge: Are you an insider yet? Somebody from here who came in here just a few years ago, like thirty years ago or something like that?

Boone: Almost. [Laughing] Uh... My brother-in-law, George Boone, tells the tale on himself that...uh...several years ago...twenty-five or thirty years ago, there was a group in the county the community called...uh...the community house supporters or some such title. Anyhow, it was to help the community house and help the community. And, they were at a meeting one night and...and a...a woman who had moved in, a situation came up and she made a very forceful statement and George looked over and said and how long have you been here? And she said ten years next fall. And, George said you're almost ready to 46:00talk. [Laughing]

Berge: Yeah. Yeah.

Boone: This is not as true now as it has been because we've had a...a lot of people come in the county in the last few years. But, we still talk about so and so's old house, you know, and someone said to me yesterday, said you know, I'm just now realizing that most of the tales I know and most of the locations I know, the people have been dead fifty years. You know.

Berge: Yeah.

Boone: Um... I don't want to change any of the charm and any of of the county.''s just a...a charm unto itself. But, by the same token, I wish that we could understand we live in 1980, we can't do things like grandpa did.

Berge: So I would...I guess...I guess what you're trying to say without saying it, your sort of skirting around it is that the power structure are old people...old families.

Boone: No. Not really. Not really. We have a...a group in the county who by 47:00various mean and situations and now probably the...the political power in the county.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: How, I don't know. You can never find anybody that's voted for them.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: Uh... Everybody's out to do away. But, when election time comes they come out the victor.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: Um... We...we desperately...

Berge: Is it... Is it political organization? Do they sort of organize people well and get the...get the voters out? Or, what...

Boone: Uh... This group does, yes. And, they are able to manipulate. And... Um... They have the beautiful charm of talking out of both sides and the middle of their mouths at the same time. Uh, we... I think it's a sin for a county as steeped in tradition and history and...and good things as Todd County is not to have a library.

Berge: We don't ...

Boone: Permanent library.

Berge: ...we don't in Madison County either.


Boone: I think this is a sin and a disgrace and a real indictment against the people.

Berge: And there are not many counties that don't.

Boone: No.

Berge: Madison doesn't, where...where I'm from.

Boone: And I think it's a disgrace.

Berge: And that's a rich county. Madison is.

Boone: We have now a library that, know, goes from year to year. is being used, the bookmobile is being used, and yet we cannot get the members of fiscal court to look at the library.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: To, you know, you have a perfect right to criticize anything after you know about it.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: But, these men have refused. You know, their feeling is if you want to read, read the Bible. If you want a book, go to the school library. Well, the schools are only open five days a week.

Berge: The only people that go to the libraries are old women.

Boone: That's right.

Berge: Yeah.

Boone: You know, know, but you have to go down there on Tuesday afternoon and see the Story Hour with twenty-five or thirty children. You have to ride the bookmobile and know that we have two boys out here on sixty-eight that have never left home because of physical disabilities. The bookmobile stops 49:00every week. And a whole new world has opened up for these two boys because of the bookmobile.

Berge: Do you get you have any problems because you're a woman do you think?

Boone: I don't think so.

Berge: Hmhum. That' that's not a...that's not a...

Boone: Oh, no.

Berge: ...problem here.

Boone: No. Uh... It's not any problem. I also...I don't think I've had any real privileges...uh, you know, because of it. I think that, you know, people...I...I think and I hope that people respect my position and understand that I'm fair and honest and my chief concern is the welfare of Todd County.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: And, that I love it and I love the people and...and I want us to have the best newspaper possible. And, I want people to be aware of what's going on in the county.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: You know, I don't always have to be in favor of it. I just have to report it.

Berge: Do you think there's enough recreation for young people?

Boone: [Pause] Uh...

Berge: Old people, too, for that matter, I mean.

Boone: Well, I think it depends on what you consider recreation. Uh...we now have a new city/county park here on Clarksville Street. Open for the first 50:00school season last year. It has ball diamonds and tennis courts.

Berge: Do you have a movie theater?

Boone: We do not have a theater. Because we are fifteen miles from Russellville and eighteen miles from Hopkinsville and twenty miles from Clarksville. Uh...we...we have churches that are providing recreation, and...uh...I...I...I...I think, I think I get a little discouraged when I, and a little really disgusted when I understand that, you know, somebody in the home needs to begin to provide a few things. And, I think recreation might be one of them.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: And I...I think this is one of the bright lights we're going to see at the end of this tunnel of...of gas shortage.

Berge: Yeah, it could be.

Boone: Is that...that we're going to...we're going to find out that the family exists. And, that mother and daddy know a few things. And, they've got a tongue, and they can talk. And we can play games, and we can make homemade ice cream, and invite the neighbors in.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: Uh...I...I get a little weary that, uh, you know that, uh, you know... 51:00If you're going to bring children in the world, I think you're responsible for a few things. And I get a little disgusted that the church, and the school, and the community are supposed to provide all these things.

Berge: Um-hum.

Boone: I grew up in an era and in a home parents took the responsibility of being a parent. And...and they provided recreation. You know, this...this involved inviting their friends and my friends into our home and...and sharing with our neighbors. And, uh, I think there is enough recreation in the families...we have a nice park out in the Sharon Grover area. Of course, there's a nice park...uh...uh picnic facilities at Fairview. And, uh...I think we have recreational facilities because we have enough homes in Todd County.

Berge: You'd be a good one to ask this question, a good Baptist like you. Uh...

Boone: I'm Methodist.

Berge: Oh, you're Methodist now, huh?

Boone: [Laughing]

Berge: You've been ruined. Huh?

Boone: No, I wouldn't say that. [Laughing]

Berge: you think that there'll ever... Have there been any...uh...local option elections in this town since you've been here?


Boone: Not since I've been here, no. And, there probably never will be.

Berge: Hm-hum. And, if there wouldn't change. If there's ever one, you couldn't see any possibility of...

Boone: I would doubt it. Um... I have said through the years that Elkton has to be the wettest dry town I ever saw.

Berge: Well, most of those dry towns are.

Boone: Um... And...and...I'm not real sure where I would stand on this. Uh... It worries me that our young people though the years have had a source available to them and get...bootleg whiskey.

Berge: How about drugs? Is drugs...Or have drugs been a problem here? Not as...

Boone: Not as much as it... Of course, we have a drug problem. Everybody, I presume, in this day and time has a drug problem.

Berge: Some people tell me they think it's getting less.

Boone: I...I think so. I...I... When I talk to the sheriff, uh...he tells me this is not as big a problem as it was say five years ago.


Berge: Hmmm.

Boone: Um...but I...I would so much rather our course, I... first of all I'd just rather they didn't get into it. But, they are going to get into it. And I would much rather if they're going to...that at least they...they go to the right place, you know.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: The local bootlegger through the years has...has been noted that...that even before drugs were as rampant as they are could get drugs and there were a few...uh...girls around. And, uh...and this was known. And he was closed up and fined and...and open before you get the money to the bank.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: And, uh...uh, I think the thing that really upsets me is that...uh...people in the community who make no secret of drinking...uh...would never, never vote...well, as I've told some of my friends, you know, the problem with drinking is not that my preacher knows it is that God knows it.


Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: You know. And, I think...I think we've got our priorities a little mixed up.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: Uh...If, you know, if...if it's such a problem that you can't walk down to the whiskey store, the state-owned store on the corner and buy your whiskey, then I think you'd better take a long look at your drinking.

Berge: Buying...Yeah. Uh-huh. Sure. Uh, the, uh... I guess you belong to KPA [Kentucky Press Association].

Boone: Yes.

Berge: I see them out there that you do. Do you like it?

Boone: Yes.

Berge: What do you think are the benefits to...that are derived from belonging?

Boone: Oh, I think the...the getting together and the sharing of mutual problems. And, and, well, of course, for me I think it''s been a real lifeline of strength. Because, Ben had been president of KPA and...and so this gave me a whole group of people that...that knew me quickly. And, um, I...I think some of the things we have gotten into as a group. For instance, the...the 55:00Sunshine records.

Berge: Yeah.

Boone: Uh, you know, if I just go down to the courthouse and say I think we need to print this...

Berge: Yeah.

Boone: You know, that's not much force.

Berge: No.

Boone: But, if I say look, KPA and...and the state, you know, with KPA's backing, you know, it gives you a little...a little strength to promote the causes.

Berge: Yeah...oh yeah. A little more power.

Boone: That's right. But, I think of the highlights to me has been the friendships and the help and the information that...that I have accumulated not so much at a meeting but because of a meeting as...

Berge: Well, I guess you go to the meetings.

Boone: Oh, yes.

Berge: You go to Kentucky Dam Village next month.

Boone: Yes. Getting ready to go in June.

Berge: OK.

Boone: We also...are you familiar with West Kentucky Press?

Berge: Hm-hum. Tell me a little about it.

Boone: Uh...West Kentucky Press a it says [unclear] western Kentucky publishers. Uh...I think in its early days, long before I was involved in the paper, I think it really was sort of a social the 56:00spring and in the fall. But, as the years have come and gone, uh...we have had...we have gone into the programming bit and...and I've had some real fine programs that pertained because most of us are small papers.

Berge: Um-hum.

Boone: And...uh...sometimes KPA gets, you know, into the daily problems more than...than the county problems.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: And, we have been able to set down as a group really of friends, you know, and say in your paper last week, now why did you do this?

Berge: Hm-hum

Boone: You know, or this was good, or you could have done it...without feeling put down. And...uh...and it's a real strong group and I'm grateful for it.

Berge: Hm-hum. The uh... Are you familiar with the Weekly Press Association?

Boone: Just barely.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: I went to one or two meetings.

Berge: So, get more out of that Western Kentucky Press... because it's both regional and the type of paper that you like. Well, I want to thank you. It's been very informative and very pleasurable hour for me, even though 57:00you didn't tell me who the power structure was in this county. [Both laughing]

Boone: I still got to work here you know. [Laughing]

Berge: Yes. No, I didn', I didn't mean for you to tell me names. I just want you to tell me types of people.

Boone: Well,

Berge: Are they businessmen? Are they farmers? Or what?

Boone: Ummm. They probably are farmers. Um...the county, as you may know, um...for a long, long time almost has been divided by Elkton. The attitude being in the south end of the county that these were old farms, these were old homes, old families...and, um...

Berge: Everything I know about this county I know from Al, from talking with Al. I don't know much about...

Boone: And, the north end of the county, um...smaller farms. Um...Ben used to make the statement that the people in the south end did all the talking and the people in the north end paid their bills. This is not, as you know, is not 58:00exactly true.

Berge: But, it's not untrue either.

Boone: But, it's not untrue either. Uh...people in the north end of the county are reserved. They stay home and mind their own business. They...they take good care of their business. There are no Negroes in the north end of the county.

Berge: Huh.

Boone: Um... They...these are people in a very quiet way.

Berge: Um-hum.

Boone: People in the south end of the county are quick to tell you their long line of ancestors and what all they've done. And...uh...they have, in most instances, inherited the land they own.

Berge: Sure.

Boone: And, they remember when taxes were fifty cents, you know.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: And, they... It's true they do have books in their homes and they, you know, they are able to provide for their children. But...

Berge: They also have alcohol in their homes... [Laughing]


Boone: They... That's right. You know, and...and...they...they...and they're good citizens. I don' know...

Berge: Yeah, I understand what you're saying.

Boone: But, they... They've got theirs most instances, for instance, we have a fine young farmer in the county. Just a...just a hardworking young man. He doesn't know about time on the clock.

Berge: Hm-hum.

Boone: Um... He's worked hard and he's prospered. He has a small child and...uh...because he's bought up a considerable amount of land he doesn't want any part of a change in the tax structure. He can buy his child... [Tape ends at 59:41] [Note: Audio file fades out with no formal closing] [Note: James Clark McReynolds was not Chief Justice. He was an Associate Justice of the

Supreme Court.]