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William H. Berge Oral History Center Interview with Mary Wattenberger Smith October 5 1981 (1981 oh 137) Conducted By William Berge Transcribed by Laurie Wilcox

WILLIAM BERGE: The following is an unrehearsed taped interview with Mrs. Mary Wattenberger Smith. The interview is conducted in Corbin Kentucky in Mrs. Smith's home on October 5, 1981 at 3:30 pm. The interview was conducted for the Oral History Center of Eastern Kentucky University by William Berge of the Oral History Center of Eastern Kentucky University.


WILLIAM BERGE: Mary I want to thank you for letting me come down here today to talk with you. I know you've been busy all day and working hard and got a house full of sick people and all that kind of business. But it's really going to be a help for us to get to talk with you. Let's start off by you telling me your present name and where you were born and when you were born if you don't mind.

MARY W SMITH: Alright. I was born in--my present name is Mary Smith.


BERGE: Okay.

MARY W SMITH: Uh, I was born in Crummies, Kentucky in 1931.

BERGE: Alright Crummies, C-R-U-M-M-I-E-S?

SMITH: That's correct.

BERGE: Okay and what was your maiden name?

SMITH: My maiden name was Mary Wattenberger.

BERGE: Spell it.


BERGE: Alright. Now what was your father's name?

SMITH: My fathers name is Carson Wattenberger.

BERGE: Uh huh. Where was he born?

SMITH: He was born in um Martins Fork.

BERGE: Where's that?

SMITH: That's ah, about ten miles from Harlan, the county seed. Uh it's a, a different fork. It's located on a different fork from, from the fork that's Crummies Creek is located on.

BERGE: Uh like how far was it from Crummies? Do you want to go in and take care of that?


BERGE: Now how far was Martin's fork from Crummies, do you remember that?

SMITH: Martins fork is about uh fifteen miles from Crummies.

BERGE: Were his, were his folks from there or did they come from Virginia or something?

SMITH: No his folks came from Greenville, Tennessee.


BERGE: Oh, Greenville, Tennessee. Was his father a miner?

SMITH: No his father was not a miner.

BERGE: What did he do?

SMITH: He was in logging business I think.

BERGE: Do you remember him?

SMITH: I never knew him.

BERGE: He was dead before you were born?

SMITH: He was dead before I was born. Uh huh.

BERGE: How about his mother, grandmother?

SMITH: I knew my grandmother on my mother's side

BERGE: but not your--

SMITH: But not on my father's side.

BERGE: Alright. Now what was your mother's maiden name?

SMITH: My mother's name um maiden names was Ollie Irvin. I-R-V-I-N.

BERGE: Where was she from?

SMITH: She was from Martins Fork also.

BERGE: Oh. She was from over there.

SMITH: Um hm.

BERGE: Were her folks from there too.

SMITH: Her, ah, yes they were from there.

BERGE: What did they do?

SMITH: They were in the logging business also.

BERGE: I guess everybody were timbering over there than?

SMITH: Right they were all doing timbering.

BERGE: And you remember her mother, you remember your grandmother?

SMITH: Yes, I remember.

BERGE: But you don't remember . . . .?

SMITH: No I didn't know either of my father parents. And I didn't know my mothers father.

BERGE: Do you remember what year your parents were born, or married I mean?

SMITH: I could figure it up um.

BERGE: Approximately within say a couple of years.


SMITH: The year they were married?

BERGE: Yeah.

SMITH: Must have been about uh . . . oh gee my oldest brother.

BERGE: Yeah that [unclear].

SMITH: Was 68 and they were married about two years before he was born so that would have been--

BERGE: So about twenty years before you were born.

SMITH: Right

BERGE: Is that right? Approximately.

SMITH: Approximately, uh huh.

BERGE: So probably about 1911 or something like that?

SMITH: That's right uh huh.

BERGE: Alright now. What, what did you ever knew when your father and mother came to Crummies Creek

SMITH: No. How long did they live there?

BERGE: Yeah like before you were born, how long?

SMITH: They were there about uh six years before I was born.

BERGE: And was your father always a miner?

SMITH: My father was always a miner.

BERGE: Okay, now. Just tell me the names of your brothers and sister. From the oldest one.


BERGE: You don't have to remember the years so much.

SMITH: Okay. My oldest brother, uh his name was Lolas Wattenberger he.

BERGE: How did you spell that?


BERGE: Uh huh.


SMITH: He was uh he just turned 68 years old. And my next, the next one is a girl. That's Georgia Hansel. She is uh 66 years old. The next one is uh Jamaca, J-A-M-A-C-A. She is uh 64. The next one is Ruby Watkins uh she's, must be about is 62. The next one is Elsie Kirby, she is uh 60. The next one is uh let's see Herman, that's a brother, he is uh 57. And I'm the next one and I'm 50.

BERGE: They got tired of children after Herman [unclear] [laughter -- smith].

SMITH: [laughing] They must have, let's see the next one is Charles, he's uh 48.


BERGE: I can't believe he's 48.

SMITH: He is. And that's, that's all that's living. They had a younger son who passed away when he was 18 months old. And then they had a son...

BERGE: Do you remember that?

SMITH: Yes I remember that child, he was.

BERGE: Why, what did he pass away from?

SMITH: He, well he was born uh late in life for my mother and he never was real healthy. And he got pneumonia after having whooping cough.

BERGE: Um hm. Do you remember if a, generally do you remember much about uh healthcare and doctors and stuff like that when you were a kid?

SMITH: We had very good healthcare. We didn't have very good dental care but we did have doctors.

BERGE: [unclear]

SMITH: Yes we had a, uh camp doctor . . .

BERGE: In Crummies Creek?

SMITH: At Crummies Creek. And uh--

BERGE: Did he travel in there or did he stay there?

SMITH: He stayed there. He just serviced that community. And uh was very good. They had from one to two doctors and from one to two registered nurses in the office at all times.

BERGE: Did they have kind of a hospital or an infirmary?


SMITH: No it was just like a little infirmary. Just a little doctor's office that you went to, and then they would make house calls. Often times I remember them making house calls.

BERGE: If you had to go to the doc-the hospital Mary, where would you have gone?

SMITH: To Harlan, which was about twelve, thirteen miles away.

BERGE: Now. . .

SMITH: At that. . .

BERGE: Okay go on.

SMITH: At that time they had a very good hospital there.

BERGE: Who was the uh, who owned the coal camp at Crummies?

SMITH: L. P. Johnson.

BERGE: And what was that? Was that the name of the coal company?

SMITH: No the name of the coal company was Crummies Creek Coal Company but the man who owned the coal company, his name was L. P. Johnson.

BERGE: Did he own a lot of coal companies up in there or?

SMITH: No he only owned Crummies Creek.

BERGE: About how many people lived there, do you remember?

SMITH: Oh I would say, you mean how many houses or how many persons?

BERGE: Yeah like how many, no like how many houses.

SMITH: Okay there must have been about uh, oh, 300 maybe.

BERGE: Yeah. It was a big coal camp.


SMITH: Right it was a good sized camp.

BERGE: And the most all of the miners that who worked for that mine lived there?


BERGE: Very few traveled in.

SMITH: Very few traveled. A Few lived over in Pennington Gap and a few lived like at Caywood. But usually if they lived past Caywood they would be employed like at Chevrolet or Mary Helen, in that area.

BERGE: How long--did, did you live in the same house all the time you were there?

SMITH: We lived in the same--no we moved one time, while I lived there. We moved once and that was after my father passed away. We moved to a smaller house.

BERGE: Could you tell me, ah, when your father died, I'm sort of getting ahead of the story and I'll want to get back to it, but when your father died you moved to a smaller house, was anybody in your family mining then?


BERGE: But they let, they allowed your mother to stay there in the camp.

SMITH: They allowed her to stay uh huh.

BERGE: Did they give her the same kind of rent she have had if she was a miner?


BERGE: That was pretty good. Did they usually do that Mary?


SMITH: Uh, yes I think they did. If they had

BERGE: They had the place for it?

SMITH: If they had the place for them. And at that time they did.

BERGE: Now how long did the Johnson, or how long did the company own those houses? Right to the very end or, do you know?

SMITH: They owned them, um yes until the mines closed. And then they sold the houses to individuals who wanted to buy them.

BERGE: Did your mother stay there then?

SMITH: No we, before, ah, before the mines closed we moved to town. Cause I was, ah, at that time I was out of high school and my brother was out of high school.

BERGE: The two youngest were out of high school.

SMITH: Right and the others were married. So it was just my brother and my myself at home and my mother. So we moved to town because we were working in town.

BERGE: Do you remember Mary, uh where you started school?

SMITH: I started school at Crummies. Went all my elementary years at Crummies.

BERGE: What kind of school was that?

SMITH: It was a four room.

BERGE: Eight, eight classes?

SMITH: Eight classes, uh huh.


BERGE: Two classes to a room?

SMITH: Primer through, well it must have been more than two because there was primer, at that time which is.

BERGE: Like kindergarten?

SMITH: Considered kindergarten now uh huh. Ah kindergarten through eighth.

BERGE: Did you stay there through eighth?

SMITH: Stayed there through the eighth uh huh.

BERGE: Do you remember your teachers?

SMITH: I remember part of them.

BERGE: Who were they?

SMITH: Okay my first grade teacher was uh Mrs. Roge--Miss Rogers. Margaret Rogers. One of the others, and I can't remember really in sequence um which one she was, was Nell Carter. And uh

BERGE: Did you ever have any men teacher there?

SMITH: Yes I had, there were two men teachers there and I had both of them. Uh one of them was a Mills but I can't think of his first name.

BERGE: Where were the teachers from, were they local people?

SMITH: They were mostly, yes they were local. The farthest away uh was the Mr. 10:00Mills and he lived at uh Wallins Creek.

BERGE: How far was the school from your house?

SMITH: Oh a mile maybe.

BERGE: And you walked?

SMITH: We walked.

BERGE: Do you uh, where did you go to high school then?

SMITH: Hall High.

BERGE: Did you rid a bus?

SMITH: Rode a bus.

BERGE: Uh huh, and you rode a bus until you graduated?

SMITH: That's right.

BERGE: Now Hall was a county school?

SMITH: A county high school.

BERGE: Uh huh. Do you remember right off about how many people were in your classes, when you went to school there?

SMITH: In elementary?

BERGE: Uh huh.

SMITH: Oh, I dare say 50 maybe. Maybe more. I'm not real sure, because there were two to three classes in a, in a room and the rooms were tremendous. They were very large.

BERGE: Uh huh. So it was a big school?

SMITH: It was a very large school.

BERGE: Now uh do you think you had a good education in that school?

SMITH: Yes, I think we had a very good education. In fact why my oldest daughter 11:00went to Lansdale elementary which is a, a non graded school. And I feel like uh probably the school I went to compared to what she went to, because it was opened class rooms and on the same type teaching system that they had a Lansdale elementary.

BERGE: Uh uh. And, and you know that people you went to school with did well [unclear]?

SMITH: Right, right there's lot of business people come from that area.

BERGE: When you uh went to Hall High School did you think you had any disadvantages because you were being bussed in from the coal camp, than you would say if you'd been a town girl or anything like that?

SMITH: Not really. The only disadvantages were, uh you know, would be like we 12:00didn't have a band because the kids couldn't stay after school because of busing. And uh they did have a football team but they had a special bus that took those kids home.

BERGE: Took those kids home. And basketball you said--

SMITH: Basketball.

BERGE: In fact there was probably more for boys to do than for girls to do?

SMITH: That's right there was very little for girls to do.

BERGE: How about in the camp itself when you were a kid. Did get, did you go into town much did you get into Harlan much?

SMITH: Not very much. On weekends often you'd go.

BERGE: Uh huh. Were the roads good into Harlan then?

SMITH: Oh yeah they were real good. They were blacktop roads just like they are today.

BERGE: [laughing] The same roads, in fact.

SMITH: The same roads, right. Probably in better condition because they kept them up more.

BERGE: And then did didn't have as quite as big of trucks driving on them, that sort of thing.

SMITH: That's right.

BERGE: Did the train run down in to Crummies?


BERGE: Did you ever ride the train?

SMITH: Now the, no the passenger train didn't run to Crummies. The passenger train didn't run past Harlan.

BERGE: So you, they only brought that in for the coal.

SMITH: Right but they had busses. Now, they had bus service every thirty minutes you could catch a bus from Harlan to Crummies or vica versa.

BERGE: But, you didn't go into town too much thought just for,

SMITH: No not until I started working there. Now after I graduated from high 13:00school I started working, before we moved to town I caught the bus, but you could catch the bus every thirty minutes.

BERGE: Uh huh. Who owned that bus was it a public bus?

SMITH: It was uh privately owned, the Middleton's. There was ah. . . .

BERGE: Did they run to a lot of these coal camps?

SMITH: They ran to all the coal camps, on the same schedule.

BERGE: Half hour.

SMITH: Half hour. Sometimes on like a weekends it would be every fifteen minutes.

BERGE: Then more people would go in.

SMITH: Oh yeah.

BERGE: Tell me this uh what was in the camp beside the houses and school?

SMITH: There's a commissary

BERGE: Uh huh. Company owned?

SMITH: The Company owned it. It had uh it was just like a uh big discount store I guess you would compared it to today. It had uh a meat department and of course . . .

BERGE: Clothes.

SMITH: Clothes, it had clothing. The post office was in the commissary.

BERGE: Do you remember how the prices were compared to say the prices in Harlan?

SMITH: Well it was about the same other than uh maybe clothing. The clothing was 14:00more expensive.

BERGE: Did you use company money?

SMITH: Yes, which was called scrip.

BERGE: Uh huh. Did you uh, do you uh do you remember when you were kids did you get much money?

SMITH: No we didn't have very much money.

BERGE: What did you, what kind of work did your father do.

SMITH: He ran the conveyors, and uh he was outside the mines really. The conveyors that he ran, there's two sets of conveyors at that time. He worked at the top of the hill. Which carried the coal from the top of the hill down to the tipple.

BERGE: So the coal was really coming out of the mountain and out of the top?

SMITH: Yes, on this conveyer. All he did was operate the conveyors.

BERGE: And it went to the down to the bottom.

SMITH: Right.

BERGE: Now, how old were you when he died?

SMITH: I was about 17.

BERGE: Oh, so you were just you were about through with school almost.

SMITH: That's right; I was almost through high school.

BERGE: Do you mind telling me about how he died?

SMITH: Uh, he had a heart condition. His heart condition was uh not just an 15:00average heart condition, it was caused from an accident that he'd had in the coal mines. He had uh gotten a fall, he goten tangled up in the conveyor, no in a bucket wire, and had gotten a, a fall. And there had been a blood clot around the heart area and he, oh he suffered with a heart condition for three or four years. Severe heart condition.

BERGE: Oh so he was working then?

SMITH: Uh, yes he was working then.

BERGE: And uh working with there in the, in the mine, at the same job?

SMITH: Right.

BERGE: Uh huh. Now did your mother ever work out of the house?

SMITH: She never worked out of the house.

BERGE: Did any of your brothers ever work in the mines?

SMITH: Yes, my all my brothers except the youngest one worked around the mines. 16:00They, not, my brother next to me, two years older than I am. Three years older I am. No more than that even.

BERGE: Five or six?

SMITH: Five or six. Uh he worked in the coal mines for a short period, maybe two years. But he didn't like the inside.

BERGE: Worked for the same company?


BERGE: There at Crummies?

SMITH: Uh huh.

BERGE: Mary do you remember any strike incidents?

SMITH: Oh yes. I . . .

BERGE: Do you remember when they were, do you remember much?

SMITH: Yes I remember distinctly the strike, ah, strike situation when they were trying to organize the mines. I was a youngster and I can't recall exactly how old I was but I must have been in third or fourth grade.

BERGE: Going to school?

SMITH: I was going to school and we lived about a mile from the school. But the strikers would come in, the pickets would come in, in truckloads. So we would go to school in the morning but if the pi--pickets came in, they, our, my mother would send our older brothers and sister to school to pick us up.

BERGE: To get you home?

SMITH: To get us home, because it was like a little war going on. And toward the 17:00end of this, um, this uh striking time, uh, the national guards were brought in. And we lived on a hill which was a little bit, a little distance from the, from the tipple. So they'd brought a machine guns in and planted them at the bottom of our hill. It was on our lot actually, where we lived. And of course the kids thought this was great fun.

BERGE: Having a machine in the front lawn. [laughing]

SMITH: Right. And there were several houses near the tipple so those folks would come up to our house and sleep. The children and mothers.

BERGE: Cause they were gong to blow up the tipple or something?

SMITH: They were afraid that, ah, yes they were too close to the tipple. Because 18:00that's were the fighting was going on. There and at the commissary now. Uh, I remember one incident. I was in about the fifth or sixth grade, I guess, at that time. Because I wasn't in, in the room that this happened in but, but at one time they didn't get us home before the fighting actually started so uh, this one miner was shot and he came to the school to get away from the pickets and uh he attempted to climb up in the uh ceiling to get away from them at this school. And I just remember seeing this man staggering, you know, bleeding . . .

BERGE: Did you know him?

SMITH: I didn't know him.

BERGE: Did the pickets come in after him?

SMITH: No they didn't come after him.

BERGE: Because the school probably.

SMITH: Right probably.

BERGE: Because then they would have had more trouble than they bargained for.

SMITH: Right.

BERGE: Mary did you ever see any of the fighting?

SMITH: No not really. I, I can remember seeing the ambulances come in and carry them out. And I remember at one time there were so many that they were taking them out, so many wounded that they were taking them out not only in ambulances but were in cars.

BERGE: Did you hear the shooting [unclear]?

SMITH: Oh yea you could hear the shooting. The shooting was at the commissary 19:00and the commissary was located oh, uh about a city block from the school. And that's where the shooting, there and at the tipple. And they tipple was about half way [cough --Berge] It was about three city blocks from the school.

BERGE: So how long did this last, do you remember?

SMITH: How many years?

BERGE: Um hm.

SMITH: Four or five maybe.

BERGE: But it wouldn't be constant it'd just be. . .

SMITH: It would be sort of seasonal; it would be you know like ah. . .

BERGE: In good weather [laughing]

SMITH: Right yeah.

BERGE: Did, ah was your father involved in any of that?

SMITH: My father was not a, um not involved. Well my father was a salary man so he worked anyway and he was one of the ones who would be on, on the job when the strikers would come in . . .

BERGE: When the fighting world start.

SMITH: When the fighting would start. And uh I know that was a big worry for my mother.

BERGE: That was what I was going to ask you.

SMITH: Right, it was a big worry for my mother. And, and uh this is the families 20:00of the salary men are the ones who would come to our house and uh stay during. . . .

BERGE: So what and how would, what would be the relationship between your father, and people like your father who were salaried people and the other miners say after it was over?

SMITH: After it was over it was, ah, after a while it was okay. But at first it was--

BERGE: It was a bad day for a while, okay.

SMITH: Yes it was very resentful for a while.

BERGE: How about the kids of the two different groups?

SMITH: I don't think the kids; I don't think it made any difference to the kids. I can't remember any ill feelings at all.

BERGE: You'd remember if there was I'm sure.

SMITH: Right.

BERGE: Mary what did girls like you do, uh I don't mean specifically [laughter] what did you do generally for fun when you were kids in the camp? Like what would you do ah?

SMITH: Well we had 4H Club, we uh had scouts, we had everything that they. . .

BERGE: About the same kind of things your kids do?

SMITH: About the same things you do today, uh huh. We didn't; have oh, like 21:00dance in schools and that sort of things but we did have Girl Scouts and Brownies and uh 4H clubs and that sort of thing.

BERGE: Was there a church in the school? I mean in the camp?

SMITH: Yes, there was a non-denominational.

BERGE: Nondenominational. Did the company build it?

SMITH: The Company built it.

BERGE: Uh huh. Do you remember the preachers?

SMITH: Well the preachers were mainly lay persons who were sent in from different churches in the, in the city.

BERGE: Do you, you've, you've talked to people I guess from other coal camps?


BERGE: Do you uh think your situation was better or worse or about the same as theirs?

SMITH: Oh I think it, I think they were all very similar. Crummies was uh one of the nicer coal camps I'd say. It was one of the larger ones and, and not all of them had their own doctor's office and uh commissary, and this type of thing. Well, all of them had a commissary but not all of them had a doctor's office.

BERGE: Or didn't have a doctor either probably, the companies didn't. Do you, uh 22:00did you, your mother talk you much about it did, did she seem to uh would you say she sort of liked her life in Crummies?

SMITH: Oh I think she did.

BERGE: Did she, did she stay close to some of her friends or another when she moved away or?

SMITH: Yes we kept in contact with some of the friends from there. But you know, in a little place like that its a you have a lot of family there also. And I know all of mine, well not all of them but t--one of my sisters and her husband lived in the community

BERGE: In Crummies?

S: Uh huh, and raised their children there. In fact my brother in law was killed in a, in a mines on Crist Creek which just it was near Pennington Gap. It's between Pennington and Harlan.

BERGE: Was that Hanson?

SMITH: Uh huh, Taylor Hanson.

BERGE: How was he killed?

SMITH: He was a superintendent of a, of a mines and they were ah, they had this 23:00night watchman who had uh been sent there from a penitentiary really to more or less reform him you know. Let him get going back in, in the community. And ah Taylor was exceptionally good to the man, he was an older man and Taylor was a young man and uh Taylor would pick him up and take him shopping and buy clothing for him and this type of thing. Because he didn't have very much clothing. But uh one morning Taylor went to work and uh they were going back in the mines. He and some of the other men had just gotten inside the mines and uh they heard shooting and uh Taylor said 'let me go out and spot the motor and we'll go through the mines'. That particular seam they could go through and out on, on another fork and not have to come back out where he was. So when Taylor stepped 24:00out of the mines this man open fire on him and shot him. He was just shooting, shooting at random; he didn't intend to shoot . . .

BERGE: It wasn't.

SMITH: . . . particularly at Taylor, no. But uh he did shoot him and kill him.

BERGE: It wasn't, it was not a union problem?

SMITH: It was not a union problem. No this man they decided had just gone crazy.

BERGE: Crazy, uh huh. Mary, do you know of anybody getting killed in the union problem?

SMITH: Oh yeah, there were se--several men got killed in union problems.

BERGE: Anybody you knew?

SMITH: No, not really. I had a distant cousin who was killed, but I really don't, you know, I didn't know him that well.

BERGE: But you, a lot of people you knew of got killed?

SMITH: Oh yeah. There were a lot of people in the community that got killed.

BERGE: Do you think, ah, that was I guess that was a unsettling kind of thing for the people who lived there?

SMITH: Yes, it really was.

BERGE: Do you remember the house? How would you, how would you describe the 25:00house, the houses you lived in in the camp? Would you consider them pretty good houses say for Harlan County generally then?

SMITH: Oh yeah. They were well kept houses, uh huh. [Phone rings]

BERGE: Do you want to answer that?

SMITH: One of the girls will get it.

BERGE: Do you ah like for instance how big were they?

SMITH: Well ours was like, ah, it wasn't very large. It was like five rooms. Outdoor bathroom facilities.

BERGE: Did you have water in the house?


BERGE: Where did you get the water?

SMITH: we had a a.

BERGE: Compound sort of?

SMITH: No it wasn't a, no we had our own well. It was like a well. No it was more of a spring I guess because you'd dip the water out instead of pumping it out. It was a spring.

BERGE: Do you uh remember what kind of ah, did you have electricity?

SMITH: Oh yeah we had electricity.

BERGE: Did ah, were the say the homes in the mining camps comparable to homes in 26:00the county that weren't in the mining camps, were they better, worse or about the same or what?

SMITH: They were better kept up because the ah, the ah, company, you know, who owned them painted them each year. They, they kept the houses up real good. And most of the people kept them up inside.

BERGE: And that's just, [unclear] you could call someone and fix the roof and that sort of thing.

SMITH: That's right.

BERGE: And if you had it yourself you might not be able to.

SMITH: Fix it.

BERGE: Do it all the time. Do you remember ah much about like do you have any idea how much rent your mother and father paid?

SMITH: Oh maybe uh $15 a month.

BERGE: Uh huh but you don't remember thought really?

SMITH: I think that's about what it was.

BERGE: Oh really, when you were in school?

SMITH: Uh huh.

BERGE: So probably even cheaper maybe then.

SMITH: Probably.

BERGE: When they first moved there, than before you were born.

SMITH: Probably.

BERGE: Um hm. And what about electricity, did they pay for that? Or was that part of it?

SMITH: I think [unclear]. They, they yes, they paid, they paid some electricity but it wasn't very much. It seems like it was like $3 a month or something like that.

BERGE: In other words, they didn't pay the electric company they just paid the. . . .

SMITH: They paid the commissary.

BERGE: The commissary for the


SMITH: Paid for the commissary. You paid your ah, like a doctor service, monthly. And that was like $2.50.

BERGE: Whatever, no matter how may times you went?

SMITH: That's right. You could go as many times as you wanted to and that covered all shots and medication, everything. You got your medicine and everything.

BERGE: Uh hm. What percentage of the children went to school? Did many kids quit school?

SMITH: No most of the kids went to school. Very few kids quit school, I'd say not even uh two percent quit school.

BERGE: Were the parents like their miners and their wives, did they seem to be actively interested in the school?

SMITH: Oh yeah, they really did.

BERGE: Everybody wanted it so their children wouldn't have to work in the mines and all that kind of stuff?

SMITH: That's right.

BERGE: Did your father ever talk like that?

SMITH: Well my father encouraged us all to go on to high school and college.

BERGE: How many of you went to high school?

SMITH: We all graduated from high school.

BERGE: Everyone?

SMITH: Uh huh.

BERGE: Did most of your friends graduate from highs school?


SMITH: Yes, all my friends graduated from highs school that I can recall.

BERGE: Uh huh. Let's go back to what I asked you before about what, what you and other little girls did, like what kind of games did you play do you remember?

SMITH: Hopscotch and jump the rope a lot, and a lot of outdoor games. Didn't play too much indoors, hide and seek.

BERGE: Did they have a baseball team for boys?

SMITH: No. There were no organized sports in the community.

BERGE: The school didn't have it either?

SMITH: Seems to me, yeah they did have um; yeah the school did have some basketball. I think that's all they had was a basketball team.

BERGE: Did they play it outside?

SMITH: Uh huh, on a dirt court.

BERGE: Did the other team [unclear]

SMITH: We had cheerleaders. We had cheerleaders too.

BERGE: In the camp, like the [unclear]

SMITH: Seventh and eighth grade, uh huh.

BERGE: Did uh, do you remember like when your mother would go to the commissary 29:00or send one of you to the commissary for vegetables or whatever, did you charge that or did you pay it or how?

SMITH: We charged it.

BERGE: And then you'd settle up on payday and that kind of stuff. Was that very common?

SMITH: Oh yeah it was very common. At the end of the month you would get a, ah,

BERGE: A balance sort of?

SMITH: You'd get an envelope, sort of like um, that told you how much your charges were and how much all of your expense were. In fact I have one here.

BERGE: Would you mind if I see it?

SMITH: I'd be glad for you to see it.

BERGE: I'm going to turn this over.


BERGE: I notice on this uh pay sheet you have it; it says that he made, ah, 30:00$281.12 for that month and that is. Uh, I guess it's a month Mary. Yeah it says for month ending 8/31/48 so this is for month. He made $281.12. Well comparing to the value of money that was pretty good payment.

SMITH: Yeah it was.

BERGE: Out of $281.12 your father had $149.94 worth of merchandise, old age benefit tax was 281, withholding tax was 9.20. That's pretty big percentage for holding, withholding compared to now isn't it?

SMITH: [laughing] Yeah.

BERGE: $6 rent per month. The lights were $4.02 and the burial was $2. For a total of $231.47, so, and he had a cash advance of $50, so he got $49.65 cash that month. And that's literally, probably would be fairly normal, wouldn't you think?

SMITH: Right.

BERGE: So you didn't see a lot of money?

SMITH: No. We really didn't use a lot of money though. Because we bought all the 31:00groceries at the commissary and uh we didn't drive a car because we walked in the community everywhere we went.

BERGE: Was the first money you saw script, when you were a kid, or did you see real money?

SMITH: Oh no, we, I've seen, I saw real money.

BERGE: Yeah, but which did you have most of?

SMITH: Oh we had most, scrip.

BERGE: Because, you had more use for that?

SMITH: Oh yeah.

BERGE: That was a uh, that's and interesting thing. [Unidentified male making noises in the background] Good thing you kept that, cause that, you know. First of all you saw that you were charging your parents $9 a month to much rent when you said they paid $15 . . .

SMITH: [laughing] well I was thinking.

BERGE: [laughing] maybe it was toward the end.

SMITH: I think it was toward the end. There was some insurance on um, on some of them too toward the end. Not insurance but uh doctor expense. That might be covering other things.

BERGE: That $2 might be.

SMITH: That might be burial insurance.

BERGE: Might be burial might be medical insurance too.

SMITH: Could be.

BERGE: See now in the winter you'd have had something for fuel. You know, you 32:00had coal. You did not have any coal that month.


BERGE: Now it's up here. Medical is $3

SMITH: Okay.

BERGE: It's already printed in. Hospital is $2.50, we just didn't see that.

SMITH: Right okay okay.

BERGE: So the medical and the three dollars a month for the doctor and the $2.50 for the hospital.

SMITH: And you could go to the hospital if you wanted to.

BERGE: Where's you father buried?

SMITH: He's buried at Grave Knob.

BERGE: Where's that?

SMITH: It's about four miles from Harlan.

BERGE: So you think this burial was an insurance policy?

SMITH: Oh yeah, that was an insurance policy.

BERGE: Okay, Okay.

SMITH: Now he passed away ah, oh yeah he would have been buried with that.

BERGE: Where was, your, where was, was there bank there a bank there in the camp?

SMITH: No there's not a bank closer than Harlan.

BERGE: So then if somebody from there wanted to put to bank what would they do, go into town or send it in maybe?

SMITH: Well I guess you could have mailed it but I think most people took it in. '


BERGE: Did your did your father ever own an automobile?

SMITH: Oh yeah we owned an automobile.

BERGE: When you, you can remember having a car?

SMITH: When I grew up we always had a car, I can remember.

BERGE: But you didn't use it except for going into Harlan?

SMITH: That's all the time we really had a need to use it, uh huh.

BERGE: Mary do you remember the first time you ever went out of Harlan County?

SMITH: Out of Harlan County?

BERGE: Uh huh.

SMITH: No, not really the first time because I had an aunt that lived in Tennessee that we went to see quite often and I can remember as a young child going there. You know, I guess I was three or four years old.

BERGE: Do you remember the first time you ever went out of the county besides to visit your aunt in Tennessee?

SMITH: Um, no not really.

BERGE: Well I mean it wasn't very common?

SMITH: Oh it wasn't very common, no. I guess the, the farthest away I went was 34:00when I was around, maybe in the neighborhood of 12 or 13 years old. I had a sister that lived in uh Winchester and she had . . .

BERGE: Up in that back country.

SMITH: That flat country. So we started going to Winchester quite often.

BERGE: Um hm, to see her?

SMITH: To see her.

BERGE: Alright. Let's, ah, do, do you need to check that?

SMITH: No that's fine.

BERGE: Okay. When ah you went to uh high school did you take a secretarial courses and that kind of stuff there or did you just take the regular say. . .

SMITH: I just took regular classes. I did take typing but I did not take uh like shorthand or regular secretarial work.

BERGE: When you were in high school did you ever think about what you were going to be after you finished high school or did you just go to high school and then decide after you finished what you were going to do?

SMITH: Well while I was going to high school I was working on weekends.

BERGE: What kind of work did you do?

SMITH: In a department store, in Harlan. And I at that time knew I could not go 35:00on to college because after my father passed away there was no income and I knew I had to continue working. As soon as I got out of high school because I still had a brother in high school. And at that time when you became a certain age, and I can't remember what the age was, my social security was cutoff.

BERGE: Probably 16 then, maybe it was 18.

SMITH: I'm not sure. It may have been 18 because I think I was a senior, maybe ah when it was cut off. But if you didn't go on to school it was cut off sooner. I think maybe it was cutoff at 16

BERGE: Yeah, if you had quit school.

SMITH: As long as you were in school I think you could draw it until you were 18. Uh, so I knew that I wasn't going to college. I knew there was no way I could go to college because at that time there were no state or federal programs to. . .

BERGE: Loans or grants or anything like that.

SMITH: No, no. To assist kids and my mother had never worked so she didn't go to work.

BERGE: What year did you finish high school?

SMITH: 1950. '49? '49 I think.


BERGE: What year did your father die?

SMITH: He died in '48 so I must.

BERGE: What month do you remember?

SMITH: It was in the springtime. Must have been about March or April.

BERGE: Well this must have been somebody else then.

SMITH: What year is that?

BERGE: It says uh 8th month 31st '48, must be your.

SMITH: Must be my brothers.

BERGE: Must have be your brothers.

SMITH: No it says C. W.

BERGE: Yeah.

SMITH: '48. He must have died in 48 then.

BERGE: Yeah but this is late, this is later in the year. Did they, I wonder if they paid your mother a while?

SMITH: No. That was in august of '48, he must have died in '49.

BERGE: That's probably what it was.

SMITH: That's probably; yeah he must have died in '49.

BERGE: Yeah. Now Mary, uh when you finished high school then what did you do? You graduated in '50.

SMITH: I graduated and I started working ah, in a hardware store. I was gong to 37:00keep working in this clothing store and a friend of mine who ran the hardware store asked me if I would like to work around there so I could make more money and I started working there. I worked there oh, two or three years, and then I got a job in a furniture store, in the office. I was cashier and made a good bit more money. And worked there for about three years. And then uh got married, went to school at Eastern.

BERGE: When you got married did you stay in Harlan any time after that or did you do right to Richmond?

SMITH: Went right to Richmond. Well about three months after we got married we went to, went to Richmond and Bruce started school there, and a.

BERGE: And you worked and went to school both?

SMITH: Worked and went to school both. We were only there two years though because he was finishing up school. He had already been to college two years. We were there two years and two summers I guess.

BERGE: You know some places, I don't want to put any words in your mouth but 38:00just listen to what I, I'm telling you. Some places where I've talked to people women particularly who were raised in these camps, not camps like Crummies so much but camps that were more isolated. Where like sometimes they would go for years without getting into the real town. Seems to me that a lot of the women who lived there married, girls how lived there married awfully early. Either to get out of the house or to get out of the camp, you know. Sometimes some guy you know attracts them tells them to get them out of there. Did you notice any of that?

SMITH: Yes there was a lot of that. There was a lot of the girls who married the local boys there. And a lot of the girls married, ah, during the strike while the uh

BERGE: Strike breakers, the, pickets?

SMITH: No, while the uh National Guards were there. A lot of the young women married the national guards.

BERGE: Did they?

SMITH: They, they did yeah.

BERGE: Huh, that's something. I never thought about that.


SMITH: In fact one of my sisters married, no now wait a minute. One of my sisters married a, a three C man. Who was one of the men who were there building bridges and this sort of thing.

BERGE: Um hm.

SMITH: Build--actually what they were doing, they built uh, uh some sort of a house over in, on Cricks Creek and I'm not real sure what it was used for.

BERGE: They did a lot of schools you know?

SMITH: Yeah.

BERGE: No that was WPA built the schools.

SMITH: Yeah they didn't build any schools there.

BERGE: I didn't know three C's built any houses.

SMITH: They did. They built one.

BERGE: Was there a CCC camp down there anywhere near Harlan? Do you remember?

SMITH: Yeah there was one at Cricks Creek. I think this is maybe what they built was the CCC camp there.

BERGE: And she met one of this fellows.

SMITH: And she met one of those fellows.

BERGE: Where was he from?

SMITH: He was from Winchester, that's why they moved back to Winchester.

BERGE: Do you remember the CCC people? Or you were too young for that.


SMITH: I just remember them dating my sisters. That's the way I remember them.

BERGE: Ah huh but some of those girls in fact did marry younger than you?

SMITH: Oh yeah, oh yeah. A lot of the girls there married at 16, 15 or 16 years old.

BERGE: What would you, how would you compare uh your background your life with say your husbands life, Bruce's life. He was uh born and raised in Harlan County but he was born and raised in the city of Harlan. I mean he lived most of his life in the city of Harlan rather than in one of the coal camps. Would you think there was much difference in the way you were raised?

SMITH: Well I really think that maybe if you lived in a the type of coal camp that I lived in you may have had some advantages over the city kids. Because you had a more room to grow.

BERGE: And medical care.

SMITH: Uh huh you had better medical care.

BERGE: And the men who worked in those mines were just about assured of a job 41:00all the time and didn't have to worry abut changing jobs or anything. Your father worked for the same company for years and years didn't he?

SMITH: He worked as long as I can remember.

BERGE: Did that company ever become a union company?

SMITH: Oh yeah, it was unionized. During

BERGE: The strike you're talking about--

SMITH: Toward the end . . . of that strike, yeah.

BERGE: Was that after the war, in the forties? Was it in the last years of your dad's life?

SMITH: Yeah I'd say . . . yes I'd say so.

BERGE: Was there any trouble like that in the thirties before the war?

SMITH: Not that I could remember, there I'm not sure.

BERGE: Let's say I was from instead of somebody who's known you for a long time, 42:00and from maybe not born in Kentucky, you know, but been around Kentucky as long as I have. Let's say I was an outsider. Someone from New York or California or someplace and I came in here and asked you to tell me about Bloody Harlan. Would that bother you? Does that Bloody Harlan stuff bother you at all?

SMITH: No it doesn't bother me, it does bother some people. It doesn't bother me.

BERGE: Did you ever see that movie, Bloody Harlan?

SMITH: I haven't seen that movie.

BERGE: Uh huh. Have you ever talked to anybody from Harlan who had?

SMITH: No not really. I'd like to see the movie.

BERGE: Why do you think it bothers some people?

SMITH: Well I think lot of the men, the young men who would be my age would have been uh closer involved with the actual uh striking problem than I was. Because I think the girls were kind of kept away from.

BERGE: Isolated some?

SMITH: Right uh huh.

BERGE: Did your father ever talk about that stuff in front of the kids?

SMITH: No he never did. He just sort of overly protected us I guess in a way. He 43:00made sure that we were picked up at the school or left instructions for us to get picked up if the uh pickets came in and this sort of thing. But he never really, we never really were made afraid of the situation.

BERGE: Do you remember if you knew when the pickets were coming before they go there or anything like that?

SMITH: Often times we would know, yes.

BERGE: Somebody would phone saying they were on there way.

SMITH: Somebody would call in, uh huh. Because I can only remember two incidents of not getting home before they actually got there.

BERGE: Well how long would you stay in school then if the pickets would get there before you were?

SMITH: Well it might be up in the middle of the morning, 10 o'clock maybe. They would come early, usually.

BERGE: Uh huh. But like that time you were trapped in school you said?

SMITH: Now, that was maybe noontime. Was a little later than that.

BERGE: But you didn't get home by noon, huh?

SMITH: Uh huh

BERGE: How did you get home, your brother come for you?

SMITH: My sister came for us, my older sister.


BERGE: The, ah, what did you do for lunch when you went to school there?

SMITH: We took our lunch.

BERGE: You carried it?

SMITH: Uh huh. If we didn't take our lunch, the commissary had a little, like a little snack bar and they sold sandwiches and soft drinks.

BERGE: Could you go there and charge it?

SMITH: You could go there and charge it.

BERGE: Could you walk in the commissary and charge stuff without having written permission from your parents and anything?

SMITH: Yes you could.

BERGE: Did any kids ever do that?

SMITH: Yes. They did [laughing] . I didn't but there was one girl that did this every day at recess and she would just load everybody in our class down. She'd get cookies and cakes. . .

BERGE: Her father would. . . .

SMITH: I'm sure her father came out in the hole at the end of the month.

BERGE: Um hm. He really did owe his; owe his soul to the company store. [laughing -- smith]

SMITH: She bought pop for everybody.

BERGE: Well do you remember Christmas as a big deal or not?

SMITH: Christmas was always a fun time but we never got a lot of, of toys. We 45:00would get one toy each and uh I guess the biggest treat was uh the, the company, each year would uh give each man's family a tremendous bag, or box of or basket of a. Well it was like a ham and all sorts of uh trimmings. . .

BERGE: Christmas kind of. . . .

SMITH: Yeah, candy and, and fruit. That's I guess that was one of the biggest treats we got.

BERGE: Did they have anything like carnivals or anything like that?

SMITH: The school did, uh huh. Yeah we had uh pie suppers and that sort of thing. Just like they do now, I mean.

BERGE: Did uh, was there a lot of sparking and dating and stuff like that. You, like let's say when you got to be a high school girl, did you date boys from Crummies or did you date boys that you met at school or home or what?

SMITH: Mostly the boys that I met at the high school.


BERGE: Was that very common that girls would date boys from other rather than.

SMITH: Yes, uh huh it was more common to do that.

BERGE: Somebody from out of the camp huh.

SMITH: Right rather than the boy next door.

BERGE: [laughing] In other words you didn't date Joe Cloud.

SMITH: [laughing] No I didn't date Joe Cloud.

BERGE: He is from Crummies isn't he?

SMITH: He lived right next door to me.

BERGE: Oh did he?

SMITH: Yeah.

BERGE: Was he younger or older than you?

SMITH: He was uh two years older than I am.

BERGE: So he'd remember all this kind of stuff that you're talking about.

SMITH: Oh yeah.

BERGE: What did his father do, was he a miner?

SMITH: His father uh worked on the railroad but with the coal mines.

BERGE: For the company?

SMITH: For the company. Uh huh.

BERGE: Well let's, lets. What would what uh would you say were the biggest disadvantages you might have had working there, or living there rather, excuse me?

SMITH: Where are you going?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Outside [unclear]

SMITH: Well who you going with babe?



SMITH: Oh okay. Um. The biggest disadvantages?

BERGE: Say compared to your children. What would be the biggest disadvantages you had? . . . That you wouldn't have had say if you lived in town.

SMITH: The athletics and social life I'd say is the . . .

BERGE: Did you go to movies much?

SMITH: We usually go to the movies on Sunday afternoon.

BERGE: Um hm.

SMITH: And the mo--the theater was a Caywood which was a mile away. And we usually uh walked there and there was a drug store at Caywood. So we'd walk to the movies and go to the drug store.

BERGE: Was Caywood bigger than Crummies?

SMITH: Caywood was a. . . No I guess it was about, no it may have been a little 48:00bit larger. It was a little more spread out but there was no mining.

BERGE: That wasn't a company town was it?

SMITH: No it was not a company town.

BERGE: What did the people who lived in Caywood do for a living? Did some of them mine?

SMITH: A lot of those worked at Crummies.

BERGE: Which would be better, I wonder, would it better to live in a town like Caywood and go to Crummies to work or would it be better to live in the company town I wonder. Surely it like they couldn't beat the rent or stuff like that.

SMITH: No, see the big disadvantage to living in a, a coal mining town is you could not buy your house. And a lot of people who lived in Caywood owned their own homes. That was the best advantage I'd say. [unclear] lived in Caywood.

BERGE: Uh huh.

SMITH: And uh I think this is one of the biggest advantages would be.

BERGE: Of course he was a lot older than you are so [laughing].

SMITH: Yeah your right. He's got a sister younger than he is that's older than I am.

BERGE: Tell me this now, do you, do you remember or did you ever hear anybody 49:00say how much the people had to pay for those homes after the company town closed? The people who stayed in Crummies who bought their homes, do you remember how much they had to pay for them?

SMITH: It seems like anywhere from . . . They were, they were priced differently really. Some of them were around $500 dollars anywhere up to maybe $3000 dollars. It depend on, uh there was one section where they were . . .

BERGE: Where they were and what kind of houses they were, huh?

SMITH: Right, right.

BERGE: The section you lived in, how would that compare say to the best and the worst sections of the camp?

SMITH: That as probably around the $500 dollar.

BERGE: Was it one of the lower ones?

SMITH: It was the lower ones.

BERGE: What's the difference between your house and the $3000 houses?

SMITH: Okay, well we didn't have uh water in our house for one thing.

BERGE: The plumbing.

SMITH: The plumbing and the uh the location. We were nearer the mines; the others were farther from the actual mines.

BERGE: Is that where like the superintended lived and--?

SMITH: The superintendent, right.

BERGE: The doctor?

SMITH: The doctor, uh huh. No the doctor lived down our end but it was the same 50:00type home you would have found on the other location.

BERGE: He lived down there because that's where his work was I guess?

SMITH: Right.

BERGE: How about telephones, do you remember any telephones?

SMITH: There weren't many telephones, not in the homes.

BERGE: Maybe the superintendent had one.

SMITH: Superintendent probably and uh the that's about . . . .

BERGE: Doctor, maybe.

SMITH: Yeah, and the store employees probably.

BERGE: Were those considered to be good jobs the store jobs?

SMITH: Yes, they were.

BERGE: Did the, could you tell the way the kids acted by, could you tell the kind of jobs their parents had from the way they acted?

SMITH: Pretty much, yes you really could.

BERGE: There was a type of caste system huh?

SMITH: Uh huh.

BERGE: Of course people like your fathers job was better than people who worked for hourly wages?

SMITH: Right.

BERGE: And then there were the store peoples jobs were better than your fathers job

SMITH: Uh huh, right.

BERGE: And then foreman and that kind of stuff.


SMITH: The foreman's kids, most of the foreman's kids uh, and the store employee's kids didn't go to the county high school. They were, they were sent to the city high school.

BERGE: The Harlan school?

SMITH: Uh huh. So the city school definitely was a better school system than the county high school.

BERGE: Well that's because all the special people in town made, you know made sure that their the school their children went to was at least thought was better anyway.

SMITH: Right.

BERGE: That way those girls whose father was the town, mine foreman, she could send them where they could met real nice boys like Rich Smith [laughter] Mary I want to thank you--Did, were there any blacks?

SMITH: Oh yes. In fact there was a little um.

BERGE: I should, I never thought to ask that.

SMITH: There were several blacks. In fact there was one black family that lived just across the road from me.

BERGE: Uh huh. About how many black families in Crummies, any idea?


SMITH: About uh 20 maybe.

BERGE: Did they go to your school?

SMITH: No they had their own school and had their own church.

BERGE: In Crummies?

SMITH: In Crummies um hm.

BERGE: You mean there was a little black school?

SMITH: A little black school and a little black church.


SMITH: It was one little area, with there just one family that lived away from that area they lived right across the tracks from where I lived. Right next door to where Joe lived.

BERGE: Were these uh from, they worked in the mines too?

SMITH: They worked in the mines too.

BERGE: What ever happened to some of those kids, do you know?

SMITH: I know one family the Jackson's, let's see, no they, they didn't grow up in Crummies Creek. No I really don't know what ever happened to all those kids, to many of those families.

BERGE: Do you know of any of those people that you were raised who still live in Harlan County?

SMITH: You mean the blacks?

BERGE: No, any of them.

SMITH: Any of them?


BERGE: Any of the people from Crummies.

SMITH: I know several people who do; well I have my sister-in-law for one.

BERGE: Who's that?

SMITH: Pauline Wattenberger.

BERGE: Okay, where does she live?

SMITH: She lives at London.

BERGE: Oh in London, okay, okay. Who are some of the others now?

SMITH: Okay. My sister Georgia Hansel, she grew up there and lived all of her young married life there, she lives at Lynch.

BERGE: Oh she lives in Lynch.

SMITH: She runs a bookstore at the UK extension, Cumberland.

BERGE: Oh she does?

SMITH: Um hum.

BERGE: Oh. That's southeast.

SMITH: Southeast uh huh, Community College.

BERGE: I'll call her and talk to her.

SMITH: Yeah she'd like to talk to you.

BERGE: Alright who else?

SMITH: My sister who lives at Caywood and her husband, but he's not physically 54:00able to interviewed and she isn't either, really so you wouldn't want to interview them .

BERGE: Okay.

SMITH: Ah I have ah, I can't think of anybody else right off Bill who uh.

BERGE: How about people that you, you aren't related to. Can you think of anyone else, any other people who still live in or around Harlan that lived in a company town?

SMITH: Uh, I think of the Bonds. Who still, she still lives at Benham, her husbands since passed away. Her names ah, Sally Bond, B-O-N-D.

BERGE: Uh huh. What was her husband's initial name?

SMITH: Ewey was his name. E-W-E-Y, I think.


SMITH: Uh huh.

BERGE: And they live in Benham.

SMITH: Uh huh, I'm sure she still does live there.

BERGE: How, old of person would that be?


BERGE: Older than you?


SMITH: Oh yeah, that's my friends mother so I guess she's 70 maybe 65, 65. She's a real sharp lady though she'd be a good one to interview.

BERGE: Did she live, did she live uh in Crummies or did she always live in Benham?

SMITH: She lived in Crummies.

BERGE: Okay.

SMITH: Now most of their younger children have graduated from college. Their older daughter who's my age did not. But, the boys did because they got basketball scholarships and they all uh graduated from college.

BERGE: and you can't think of any other people who are still around Harlan County that lived in Crummies? What, has most of them left do you think?

SMITH: I think most, oh yeah there's very few houses left in Crummies now.

BERGE: No, but I mean have most of them left Harlan County?

SMITH: I think so.

BERGE: Wonder why?

SMITH: Employment I guess.

BERGE: Not because they disliked it so much or.


SMITH: No. No.

BERGE: Of course now you always wanted to get out of Harlan.

SMITH: Yeah.

BERGE: Why, Why did you, why did you think you wanted, I ask a lot of people this, why do you think you were more interested in getting out of Harlan than Bruce was? Because I think Bruce would still be down in Harlan if, if, if he uh been single.

SMITH: [long pause]

BERGE: That's, that's often common with the women are more concerned, interested about getting out than men, I wonder why?

SMITH: I feel like uh it's a not a real um good place really for rearing children. It's sort of backward yet and as far as schools. Well not really the city school has a lot of advantages. BERGE: Yeah I know, I know.

SMITH: But the county schools I think are still behind times.

BERGE: Well even if it weren't for the schools you'd still been interested in getting out.

SMITH: Yeah I guess it just wasn't a, a pleasant place.


BERGE: Do you think it's depressing to go there?

SMITH: It is to me. It's depressing to go back.

BERGE: Yeah, of course I'm from a place similar and it is depressing to me to now but Bruce never was, he never saw any of that stuff.

SMITH: No he didn't, he didn't.

BERGE: He just saw the people that at the drug store and the people in the pool room and that kind of stuff.

SMITH: Right.

BERGE: But I find a lot of time that the women were more interested in getting out of there than men were, and I think it's maybe, because It might be because women are more concerned with, well for want of a better term, maybe the quality of life or.

SMITH: Um hm.

BERGE: Something [unclear]. Some of the men that worked in the mines they just interested in their jobs.

BERGE: Right.

BERGE: How about your mother, was she, would she have been more interested in getting out of Crummies than your father?

SMITH: No my mother loved it there she never wanted to move. Excuse me just a minute.

BERGE: Yeah.


SMITH: She didn't want leave; she didn't want to move when we moved. We sort of conned her into moving because it was not. . .

BERGE: You and Charles.

SMITH: Charles and I. because it was not convenient to live where we were living 58:00and us working in town.

BERGE: Yeah what Charles wanted to do wasn't in Crummies [laughter]

SMITH: [laughing]

BERGE: Well Mary I want to thank you for letting me come over here today, this has been a big help. And you would make a copy of that sometime and send it to me I'd really appreciate it. Or have Bruce make a copy. And uh if you can think of any other people that I might call it would really be helpful to me.

SMITH: Okay. I can think of a young man who lives in Frankfort if you can uh. [phone rings] Excuse me.


BERGE: Mary who was the man in Frankfort you were going to tell me about.

SMITH: His name is Bob Bond.

BERGE: Robert, I guess huh?

SMITH: Well I don't know I think he goes by Bob. And he works for the state department. I'm not sure what department he's in, maybe insurance, I'm not sure.

BERGE: Okay, is he your age or?


SMITH: He's a maybe a year younger than I am.

BERGE: Okay. Well maybe you'll think of some others. I think I'll call your sister Georgia, how old is she?

SMITH: Georgia is uh 66. She, she could tell you a lot of things.

BERGE: And she could tell me a lot of people too.

SMITH: Yes, she could, cause she uh, she grew.

BERGE: Is she [unclear] she's not remarried or anything?


BERGE: Okay. Okey doke then. I want to thank you.

SMITH: You're very welcome.