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William H. Berge Oral History Center Coal Company Towns Project Interview with Janet Butcher December 3, 1982 (1983 oh 047) Conducted by William Berge Transcribed by Ed Wilcox

WILLIAM BERGE: I want to thank you for letting me come here this early this morning. You're probably in the office an hour before you generally wake up from all the stories I've heard about you.

JANET BUTCHER: Hmm mmm. That's true.

BERGE: [laughing] Let's start off by you telling me your name and who your parents were and where, when you were born and all that type of stuff.

BUTCHER: My name is Janet Ruth Butcher. I was born Van Lear, Kentucky January 11, 1936.

BERGE: Uh, were you born at home?

BUTCHER: Yes I was.

BERGE: Uh, what was your father's name?

BUTCHER: Charles Hod Jasper.

BERGE: And where was he born?

BUTCHER: He was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

BERGE: All right. And what was your mother's maiden name?

BUTCHER: Mary Connelly Jasper.

BERGE: And where was she born?

BUTCHER: She was born at East Point, Kentucky.

BERGE: Hmm mmm. And that's of course in Johnson.

BUTCHER: That's in Johnson County.

BERGE: All right. What was your first, and this is a hard question to answer 1:00because usually people don't think this way generally but sometimes they do. If you think back on your life, what are the first clear memories you have of what?

BUTCHER: Most of the memories that I have before I started to school I can remember everything that when the other kids done they always accused me of doing it because it usually would be maybe they would pack the my uncle's lunch for the, to go to the mines then next morning the night before and I would sneak behind the couch and eat their lunch out of the lunch pail and I can recall getting whipped quite a bit for that.

BERGE: Did you do it?

BUTCHER: Yes I did it.

BERGE: [laughter] What, when your uncle worked in the mines, did you uh think 2:00of, what did you think of, did you think of his job as being an easy job, a hard job, a dangerous job, what did you think about his job or did you not think about it much.

BUTCHER: I think I just took it for granted that they were going to work and they would return home.

BERGE: Because, I guess, everybody worked in the mines you knew just about, didn't they?

BUTCHER: Yes. Uh huh. They were all, it was a steady pace for everyone to either work at home or if they wasn't working in the mines, they were during the summer were farming and were gone most of the time.

BERGE: Did anyone who lived in Van Lear work out of Van Lear or did they all work for Consolidated in the mines? Do you remember?

BUTCHER: You mean did most of the people work in the mines or did they work at other jobs at.

BERGE: Uh huh.

BUTCHER: I would say the majority of the men worked at the mine.

BERGE: Now, it was a big camp--

BUTCHER: Yes sir.

BERGE: and it was a long narrow.

BUTCHER: It was spread out, uh huh.


BERGE: Was there certain parts of Van Lear considered to be a better place to live than others?

BUTCHER: Yes, I think in the areas where the mines, the superintendents lived, which was probably from Silk Stocking Road on down to what we call Bradley Crossing.

BERGE: Where was that?

BUTCHER: Bradley Crossing is in the area that you were in last night. Just the next street from where my mother lived.

BERGE: Where you put--

BUTCHER: On the left.

BERGE: Where you turn?

BUTCHER: Mm hmm.

BERGE: [unclear] Ok. Now, down where you lived, which was on one end of the camp, was that considered to be a better place or a worse place than way up the other end of the camp where we turned around.

BUTCHER: No uh. Where I lived, the majority of the people, all the people worked 4:00and everyone got along well and it was, it was a loving community. If one needed help, the other went.

BERGE: Well, was there any parts of the camp where your parents told you not to go or anything like that? Do you remember?

BUTCHER: When I was smaller, in the area where Loretta Lynn speaks of, I don't think I was ever in the area when I was younger.

BERGE: That was a long way away though wasn't it?

BUTCHER: Hmm mmm. And I think it's due to the fact that it was a long way to walk.

BERGE: So far, oh yeah.

BUTCHER: Hmm mm.

BERGE: That's a couple of miles, I guess.

BUTCHER: Hmm mm. More.

BERGE: Or more, yeah.

BUTCHER: Hmm mm.

BERGE: When you were young and the men in your house, like your uncle, by that, 5:00what, what did your uncle do for social things. Did he was there a place that he went and talked with other men or did he go to ball games? What did the men do?

BUTCHER: Well, both of my uncles that were the eldest uncles at that time, well not when I was growing up, but they both played football, I can remember all of them, all of them . . .

BERGE: Oh you did? Did you see them play?

BUTCHER: No I didn't see them play but then the other brothers would have to go. 6:00My grandmother would send them, I've heard her say, because when my uncles all the time seemed to get hurt. He, the position that he played and so she sort of, she sent the other brothers as protection from them if they sometimes they would get in fights if they would play up in towards the Belfry area and Pike County they were kind of the type that wanted to fight. But when I was growing up, only about three of my uncles were still there and they, two of them was in service and as soon as they came from service within, I imagine six months to a year, they were married. But one of my uncles was there while I was growing up and he went to, they had to sometimes they would have dances with the school or they'd go to the movie at that time. They had friends that had cars and but what I can remember mostly and children doesn't do that, there was parties, birthday parties constantly in the community every Saturday night but they played more spinning the bottle then than they do now.

BERGE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, I don't guess these kids know what that was.

BUTCHER: Hmm mm.

BERGE: The bottle would just get in the way.


BERGE: Tell me this, when you were young, what, your recollections of, do you 7:00have any recollections of your mother and your aunt? What they did for social events?

BUTCHER: No. Ever since I can remember my mother worked all.

BERGE: But I didn't, did they ever go to any kind of, as they, when they were older, I mean. Now, I don't mean when they were girls, but like when you can remember, like when you were a teenager did your mother and your aunt ever socialize with other women? Or did they . . .


BERGE: Uh huh. There wasn't much of that going on?

BUTCHER: They were home. No. They were they stayed home.

BERGE: Was there much of that up there in Van Lear? Did they have many women's things?


BERGE: Where would women meet to talk? I mean, surely they did.

BUTCHER: Well, no, in the uh.

BERGE: In the yard hanging up clothes or.

BUTCHER: In the upper part of Van Lear where, like the Silk Stocking Road and on 8:00past the Van Lear High School, I've heard a lot of the women say that uh they would on Saturday nights get together and they would play rook. But.

BERGE: In other words, some, some places in there they did play cards and that type of thing.

BUTCHER: Right. When my grandmother was against playing rook so.

BERGE: Yeah. Uh huh. Well, I figured she was, you know, from the way you talked about he being, how active she was in church and all this type of thing. Of course, so that, but that was the thing that restrained them, it wasn't the fact that women in the camp didn't play cards or anything like that?

BUTCHER: No. The, most of them did meet, uh huh.

BERGE: I wasn't think of that though so much. It's just women talking with women and gossip and stuff like that did they?


BERGE: Where did they meet? At the store or?

BUTCHER: Well, I can remember the, one lady that she lived in the same street that--

BERGE: You did?

BUTCHER: my grandmother, uh huh, same house, same row of houses, and so she came 9:00up to the house one day and of course my mother that, I can remember her telling this, my mother was a teenager at that time, and she would go, she was married, this lady was, and she would take a coffee cup and go from house to house to visit. And so she came in and she said Ms. Connelly, she said, does Mary have any true stories? And my grandmother was a very solemn person.

BERGE: True stories?

BUTCHER: Uh huh.

BERGE: I've never heard that?

BUTCHER: You know that's for true romance. That.

BERGE: Oh, I see. I see.

BUTCHER: Uh huh. Magazines.


BUTCHER: Ok and they had a book at that time that was called True Stories.


BUTCHER: And my grandmother said no, Mary doesn't have any true stories. Which Mary was my mother.

BERGE: Yeah. Uh huh.

BUTCHER: And my grandmother says, I do. And so she goes in and gets the bible. She says this is the only true story I know.

BERGE: [Laughter]

BUTCHER: So my grandmother could quote the whole chapter of Acts in there so, 10:00that we were raised under that environment.

BERGE: So if, if there was a lot of that going around, you wouldn't have been aware of it anyway.

BUTCHER: That's right. She, she, she always um, we didn't live by her rules but she always said if you can't speak something good don't speak at all.

BERGE: Tell me this. When you were a girl, I guess then you went to church all the time.

BUTCHER: Hmm mm.

BERGE: Where did you go to church?

BUTCHER: Church of Christ at West Van Lear.

BERGE: At West Van Lear, which is across the bridge?

BUTCHER: Right, we had to walk.

BERGE: Ok. Was West Van Lear part of the Consolidated?


BERGE: That was not. Were there any churches in Van Lear?

BUTCHER: Yes at that time there were the First Baptist Church which was right beside the Van Lear High School. It wasn't there at my mother's growing up but it was in later years. Where we had our graduations. And then there was the Methodist church--

BERGE: And that was near your house?

BUTCHER: Which was across the street from my mother that at that time before the 11:00church was built at West Van Lear or before that they had ways of going to be in church they did go over there.

BERGE: Well, do you know that those, if those churches in Van Lear were they, were they built by Consolidated or were they built by the people who attended them? Do you know?

BUTCHER: They must have been built by the people that attended them because there is a First Baptist at West Van Lear and a First Baptist here in Paintsville which when that church was torn down the people, the members either went to West Van Lear or to Paintsville and at that one time, I think the Paintsville church First Baptist helped support that church until it was torn down.

BERGE: When you went to the uh Church of Christ over in West Van Lear who were, where the people who preached there, where were they from?

BUTCHER: The one gentleman, Brother Honeycut, which he was the one that 12:00performed the ceremony of the picture I showed you of my grandmothers fiftieth--m

BERGE: Yeah, uh huh, the one.

BUTCHER: Anniversary. Uh huh. He lived at Auxier, Kentucky.

BERGE: Auxier.

BUTCHER: So at the time, going to Auxier is on 23 South of Paintsville but at the time to get to Prestonsburg that road wasn't in existence. So you'd go towards like you were going to the lake, the Jenny Wiley lake on the upper part of Van Lear and you could cross the river and he crossed by boat.

BERGE: Oh. Uh huh.

BUTCHER: And he came to preach that way.

BERGE: Now when you were a, and you have two sisters is that right?

BUTCHER: Yes I do.

BERGE: Were they older or younger than you?

BUTCHER: They're older.

BERGE: Ok. When you and your sisters were girls and living there at home with 13:00your aunt and your mother and your grandmother I guess was still living.

BUTCHER: That's right.

BERGE: All right, how did your grandmother react to you all going to parties where they would play things like spin the bottle and stuff like that? Did she know about it?

BUTCHER: No. It usually we went to it was a neighbor's home. I suppose she, she thought that was a part of growing up. I don't think she resented that.

BERGE: She didn't. As long--

BUTCHER: Because we had always . . .

BERGE: as long as you weren't play cards.

BUTCHER: We always had adult chaperones.

BERGE: Yeah, ok. Tell me this. When you were a girl what games did you play? Do you remember?

BUTCHER: At what age?

BERGE: Any age.

BUTCHER: Ok. Well, when I was smaller I can remember the adults getting out and jumping the rope with us and playing horseshoes, um hopscotch.

BERGE: Mm hmm.

BUTCHER: And but the night, even the adults would, we'd all get in a circle, 14:00we'd play a different type of games.

BERGE: Did you ever play jacks?

BUTCHER: Yes. Played jacks all the time.

BERGE: Were you good at it?

BUTCHER: Pretty good, uh huh.

BERGE: My wife remembers playing jacks for while. Do you remember ever wanting something you know badly that you couldn't afford? Was there anything you really wanted and you didn't have? What was the thing you really would liked to have had that you didn't . . .

BUTCHER: Well, at of course, my mother only drew a small veteran's pension. She 15:00drew nine dollars a month for us children each plus I think around forty dollars for the widows pension and then she would take in washings and ironings plus my grandfather helped supplement the income. The, I didn't have like ice cream, potato chips, and all of snacks like the other children did so this girlfriend of mine we were just nine days difference in our ages we'd walk back and forth to school. Well, she lived with her grandfather and he worked in the mines and she could charge at the company store. Well one day, she would, she would share with me though we were best of friends and one day she got a cone of ice cream and I really wanted a cone of ice cream. So I charged it to my uncle's account and at that time he had been married maybe six months, he had no children so I think I got even potato chips or candy or something. So when he got his store bill they always went down the line . . .

BERGE: And itemized it.

BUTCHER: And itemized it and they made sure, and each party made sure that the 16:00store accounted it correctly and so on and so he said to his wife, he said, they've got us charged with a cone of ice cream, potato chips and so on and he said, I bet some child has come in there and asked for that and they thought that it was our child. And they were just in normal talking about it they didn't care so they of course were talking about it up to my grandmothers so my mother said uh oh.

BERGE: She knew didn't she?

BUTCHER: So she questioned me and everything and of course I got a spanking for it but I did do it and I wanted that, I mean I wanted that bad enough but she whipped me so hard if I, if she hadn't of done that, then it might be in some I'd have been in constantly, if I got by with it once I would have done it again.

BERGE: Did, when you were little, did you ever think about the future like what 17:00you were going to do when you got older or anything like that?

BUTCHER: Yes. When you were talking last night, my mother ever said she wanted to go someplace else this girlfriend and I, we had talked when we graduated we wanted to go to Ohio or somewhere, share an apartment and work in more or less I guess wanted to see what the other parts of the world look like.

BERGE: Did you ever do it?


BERGE: Have you ever regretted not?

BUTCHER: No. I, I probably would, couldn't have stayed away from home but you know you thought you wanted to at that time.

BERGE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I wonder why you talked about it.

BUTCHER: At that time uh she lost her father when she was young and I think we had lived such a secluded life and everything we kind of wanted to see . . .

BERGE: What it was like outside of the holler?

BUTCHER: And wanted maybe pretty things or.

BERGE: Yeah. Now, this is hard to put your finger on because and I've talked 18:00with a lot of people from different places but it, I get the feeling and I don't know why that maybe, maybe the girls who lived in some of the company towns felt a little more trapped there than the boys did. Do you think that's true?

BUTCHER: Yes, uh huh. Even if the girls, at my aunts.

BERGE: It's harder for them to get out for one thing.

BUTCHER: They used to, this is kind of a gesture, but my aunt, the younger 19:00sister that you said looked like my mother and her best girlfriend that lived across the street from us the boys from Paintsville would call them Thunder and Lightning because when it looked like it was going to come up a storm they couldn't even go up to the recreation center if it looked like it was even going to storm much less so they named them Thunder and Lightning. But you always had to take a brother along with them even if they were on a date so it was a, the boys were, I think, from my grandmother having all the boys and just three girls, that she let the boys sort of be a shelter for them.

BERGE: There really was, yeah, there really was a kind of a double standard, you know, the way you treated your, your boys and your daughters, isn't it?

BUTCHER: Mm hmm. Yes. The boys were, back in my days, men were always looked up to.

BERGE: And they were a little freer to come and go as they wanted to, weren't they?

BUTCHER: Mm hmm.

BERGE: Uh, it seems to me that some of the women like your age particularly, younger women who lived in the camps, they, they seemed to feel like that, that if they really wanted to get out there it was harder for them to get out than it was, their brothers could join the Army of something and go somewhere but they were just sort of stuck unless they really just picked up like doing what you and your girlfriend were talking about and left and generally they had some trouble with their parents or their grandparents when they decided to do that.

BUTCHER: Mm hmm.

BERGE: What do you think your mother and grandmother would have done when you, 20:00if you and that other girl had just announced that you were going to go to Hamilton, Ohio and get an apartment?

BUTCHER: Well, they'd have told me to sit down, I wasn't going to go.

BERGE: Yeah.

BUTCHER: And I would respect, I would have, I didn't have any money to go anyhow but this is just kids talking.

BERGE: Yeah. When, when you got to be a younger woman there, you graduated from Van Lear High School?

BUTCHER: Yes I did.

BERGE: What did you do the year you graduated from high school?

BUTCHER: Ok. I went to, in my senior year, I went to Van Lear High School, the first part of the morning and then afternoon I went to Mayo Vocational School.

BERGE: Ok. And what did you take there?

BUTCHER: I took a business course.

BERGE: Business course.

BUTCHER: And I started working at the Savings and Loan the same year I graduated from high school.

BERGE: Oh really? I mean, you've been working for this?

BUTCHER: Since '54.

BERGE: Ah ha. That's the year you graduated from high school?


BERGE: All right, let's go back then. You started in Van Lear School?


BERGE: What kind of school was in Van Lear then?

BUTCHER: It was independent school.

BERGE: And how many, was it a big school?

BUTCHER: Yes. It had two, it had the grade school and the high school.


BERGE: When you went to grade school, was there just one grade to a room?


BERGE: So you never.

BUTCHER: I was not combined.

BERGE: You were never in a school where there was a combination of grades?


BERGE: Ok. What was your favorite activity in high school that had nothing to do with classes? What was, did you have clubs and things like that?

BUTCHER: No. We didn't have any clubs. Mostly just participating in the plays and getting a chance maybe to go down to the recreation center. I played some basketball in high school, girls' basketball.

BERGE: I was going to ask you if there were any girl sports when you were in high school.

BUTCHER: Yes. Mm hmm.

BERGE: Was that the only one?


BERGE: How many boy sports were there?

BUTCHER: Just basketball. There wasn't any football when I went to school.

BERGE: And no baseball either.


BERGE: That surprised me about Van Lear and not having baseball. It surprised me 22:00last night when I was talking with your mother. That's usually a fairly easy sport to have because they had a field probably.

BUTCHER: Yes. Mm hmm. Yes, the field now, the older men played baseball.

BERGE: When did they play? Sundays?

BUTCHER: Saturdays and Sundays because I would, my grandfather owned the land where they played but it was like men that was married and would that would have a team and I sold pop at a little stand, sold pop and cakes and things for the [unclear].

BERGE: You showed me that little store where you worked.

BUTCHER: Mm hmm.

BERGE: You told me you made about thirty-five dollars a month or something like that?

BUTCHER: That's, I started working when I was in seventh grade and I'd have to climb up on a crate box to reach the top shelves.

BERGE: Who owned that store?

BUTCHER: Proctor William.

BERGE: So that wasn't the company store.

BUTCHER: No it wasn't. It was individual.

BERGE: Was it in Van Lear?

BUTCHER: Yes sir. Right where I showed you, that little building.

BERGE: How come he could have a store there? Did he own the land?

BUTCHER: Well, family was incorporated but they didn't zone commercial.

BERGE: They weren't that strict around down there.


BUTCHER: No. You just, they were strict on other like your animals and things like that or.

BERGE: When was that store there?

BUTCHER: Well he had owned it uh; I started working when I was in the seventh grade.

BERGE: So what, year would that have been?

BUTCHER: Ok I would have started school for about '49.

BERGE: About '48 or '49.

BUTCHER: Mm hmm. And he had it.

BERGE: Of course, the company had already sold most of the houses.

BUTCHER: Right. And at that time, there were tipples still working and a lot of people still were working in the mines. We did a real good business.

BERGE: I wonder if he had that store when the company still owned the houses.

BUTCHER: I don't think so.

BERGE: So that was a newer store there? Ok.

BUTCHER: Right. Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

BERGE: Ok. Now were you old enough to be conscious of the change when they sold the, when the company sold the houses to your grandfather and things? Do you remember mines?

BUTCHER: I can remember them auctioning off.

BERGE: So you remember when they bought the house there.


BERGE: Uh huh. Did the house look, did your, did your folk's house look like it 24:00does now when the company owned it or does it look better now?

BUTCHER: It looks better now. They kept them painted mostly gray or green or something.

BERGE: They all looked the same.

BUTCHER: Same color. Right. They would paint, I think every other one.

BERGE: A different color?

BUTCHER: Uh huh. Well, kind of stayed with basic colors, but if they painted one gray then maybe they'd paint the next one green and they'd go to the next one gray. Sort of a in a row together that sort of thing.

BERGE: So they didn't look all the same color?

BUTCHER: Mm hmm.

BERGE: I guess it looked better that way, didn't it?

BUTCHER: The, they kept them up and everything and uh but at that time the walls, they were plaster but people did wallpaper and, and you didn't see any carpet.

BERGE: When did the whole place look better? Now or when the company owned it? 25:00The whole, you know the whole town.

BUTCHER: Well, the whole town possibly when the company owned it. But parts of it, now because some people take an interest in the property and some don't. There's parts of it that when the company owned it, that it looked better then than it does now.

BERGE: But the houses are it. Well, like your house inside is more distinguishable as a, as your house now than it was before because you can do the things with it that you want to, I guess.


BERGE: When you were, when you were young, what was the most exciting, before you finished high school? For instance, what was the most exciting thing you could do? What did you look forward to doing? What was the big thing? Was it going to Paintsville or were there, was that a big deal for you or not?

BUTCHER: Yes. Uh huh. Come to, I went to the movies when I was smaller with 26:00maybe some of the neighbors but.

BERGE: Where did you go to the movies, in Van Lear?

BUTCHER: Up to Van Lear, uh huh. I can remember . . .

BERGE: Do you remember how much it cost?

BUTCHER: Andy Divine played in one movie but uh I believe it was nine cents.

BERGE: Do you remember the first time you went to a movie in Paintsville?

BUTCHER: I would have, I would have been probably fourteen or fifteen.

BERGE: You remember that? Was that a bigger deal than going in Van Lear or was that the same?

BUTCHER: Well at that time there wasn't a theater in Van Lear by that time.

BERGE: Oh, I see. When did they close the theater in Van Lear? Do you remember?

BUTCHER: I, I would think, let's see if I was [unclear]. I would think that it, 27:00I don't remember the theater being there after Consol sold out because we would go up there and have all of our plays and that's the only time that that stage was used.

BERGE: So in other words when Consolidated sold out--


BERGE: that was the end of the movies?

BUTCHER: And I don't even remember uh the fountain looking, the recreation looking like it did another because it was just a meeting place and it was just for you to eat just like it would be in any other restaurant at the time that I can remember it.

BERGE: When uh, when you were young and you were, you know, involved in moving around and this sort of thing, did any of the young people you fooled around with, boys or girls, have automobiles to use?

BUTCHER: Well, not, not till we got in high school and there was several of the 28:00girls in high school that their parents let them drive their car but they always had their own friends, I didn't have any girlfriends that had cars.

BERGE: They had cars.

BUTCHER: But of course I started dating some in high school that were mostly.

BERGE: Did those boys had cars?

BUTCHER: Yes. But he was, he was older.

BERGE: All right, when you dated in high school, say on a Saturday night, you and your boyfriend are on a date, this would be in the early '50s, where'd you go? Let me turn this over. [Recording paused]


BERGE: Like where, you and your boyfriend, when you dated, where would you go?

BUTCHER: Most of the time, he just came to the house and we stayed home or if we went somewhere we most of the time my sisters and the family would go with us.

BERGE: Did you ever go into Paintsville to a movie or anything like that?

BUTCHER: Yes. Uh huh. Or go out to eat.

BERGE: Like, where would you go to eat? I guess that's a little . . .

BUTCHER: Just mostly what we called a little drive-in restaurant.

BERGE: Where?

BUTCHER: There was what you'd call the Tiger Drive-In Restaurant that Sophie was 29:00speaking of at that time it uh.

BERGE: That's in Paintsville?

BUTCHER: Right. You just, you just pulled in the parking lot and they had what you call curb service.

BERGE: Of course, this is, this is after, uh this is after Van Lear was a company town then. This was when it was a.

BUTCHER: Right. And I was going to tell you the reason that we didn't have the theater, I forgot, our recreation center burned down even before I graduated from high school in early '50s so maybe that's when the theater was no longer in existence.

BERGE: All right. When you finished school in '54, you said you came to work and the First Federal. How did you get that job? How come you came to First Federal and wanted to work? Did you know?

BUTCHER: Ok. At the time, I attended Mayo, uh this was after I graduated from 30:00high school, I went, enrolled back into Mayo and for a few months and my aunt run the dining room, managed the dining room of the Hotel Herald.

BERGE: Who was that, Sophie?

BUTCHER: That's here in Paintsville. No it's my great aunt; it's my grandmother's sister.


BUTCHER: And so I would work during my lunch hour while I attended Mayo to, for my meals. And sometimes work in the afternoon, help her serve suppers. So our, the appraiser at that time here, belonged to Kiwanis. And one of the, Mr. Cox which was our manager, his son also, they had their Kiwanis meetings at this Hotel Herald and I served also at those meetings. And uh.

BERGE: And these men worked at First Federal?

BUTCHER: Right. And they liked my personality and they said, won't you try, 31:00won't you change jobs, they knew I was going to Mayo working my way through and so they called me to work.

BERGE: When you came here to work then, what was your first job?

BUTCHER: I was a teller.

BERGE: And how long did you, were you a teller?

BUTCHER: I was a teller up, all the time up until '75. But in my job as being a, I was up a teller probably up until '73 but during those times that I was teller, I also did the collection of the, on the delinquent accounts. I typed loan papers and then I did closing of loans up until '75 until I became the loan officer.

BERGE: So really what you were doing was you were doing just about everything, yeah.

BUTCHER: Miscellaneous, at that time we wasn't, we were more versatile, we could 32:00work at different fields. Now we're, its kind of a, we've grown so large, why we pretty well have to stay at our department.

BERGE: You became a loan officer in.


BERGE: Who was the loan officer before you?

BUTCHER: Robert Porter.

BERGE: Are you the first woman to have this job here?

BUTCHER: Yes I am.

BERGE: Uh huh. Do you like this job better than being out there where you see people or not?

BUTCHER: I like this job but I really like people.

BERGE: So you did like being out there and uh.


BERGE: In the big room, so to speak?


BERGE: All right. Now you came here to work and you were single. Did you still live in Van Lear?

BUTCHER: Yes I did.

BERGE: Did you commute every day?


BERGE: How'd you commute?

BUTCHER: It was the Paintsville bus line. Charlie Williams owned it.

BERGE: And it went to Van Lear? Was it pretty good service?

BUTCHER: Yes. Uh huh. It run, it made a round trip about every hour.

BERGE: Oh, it did?

BUTCHER: Mm hmm.

BERGE: So you could catch it anytime in and out.



BERGE: Did it go right by your house?

BUTCHER: Yes it did.

BERGE: What did it cost to come in here on a bus?

BUTCHER: I believe it was around thirty or thirty-five cents.

BERGE: So you were spending.

BUTCHER: That was a round trip.

BERGE: Oh, a round trip? Oh, thirty-five cents a day, then. That's not too bad. Now how long did you, how long before you married?

BUTCHER: I married in '60.

BERGE: So you lived in Van Lear up until you, you married?


BERGE: And then when you married, did you move into Paintsville then?

BUTCHER: I moved to, yes. Uh huh.

BERGE: Ok. So you remained in Van Lear until 1960.


BERGE: Do you like it better living in Paintsville than you did in Van Lear?

BUTCHER: Its closer to my work and after, in the last ten years, there have been 34:00no bus lines and its very inconvenient for the people and especially like my family, I have to go get them or they have to, they have to call a cab and if, you know, its inconvenient for me to get to them but most of the time I work my schedule till I can go get them.

BERGE: Well let me just ask you this. And it become pretty hard for you to answer this maybe but try to think about it a minute. After your daughter was born, Terri, and you, and you got to the point where you realized that you had a daughter to raise and this sort of thing, if you and your husband had been living in Van Lear, say, when Terri was born, and got up when she was ready to go to school, do you think you'd have moved to Paintsville? Would you have rather raised Terri in Paintsville or Van Lear? I guess that's what I'm asking.

BUTCHER: Well, at the time, my husband had been, had always lived in Paintsville 35:00and he went to Paintsville school and I imagine he would kind of insisted that she attend Paintsville school.

BERGE: What do you think you'd have thought? I mean, I know it's hard to do that but just pretend that he didn't have that attachment to Paintsville and the decision was up to you. Which, where would you, in the 1960s, like when Terri was born, let's say 1970, she's getting ready to go to school, you know, or the late '60s or whenever she was ready to go to school, if you had to decide where you were going to raise your daughter and send her to school, would you have chosen Paintsville or Van Lear?

BUTCHER: I think I would have chosen Paintsville because, due to the fact, when I was small, we didn't miss any days of school no matter what the weather was. But sometimes they would be out for weeks at a time.

BERGE: Once they consolidated and went to buses.


BUTCHER: Right and that, I think, that by her, now that I can see her being able to go to school every day and having individual attention everything, I think that she was better, more prepared for college.

BERGE: Where do you think, that besides school, where do you think, do you think there are any disadvantages now for a child to be raised in Van Lear? Like for instance, your, your uh nephews, I met a nephew of yours the other day, do you think that he, your daughter was better off being raised in Paintsville than he was, is now being raised in Van Lear?

BUTCHER: Well, if she lives.

BERGE: Not even counting school.

BUTCHER: Uh huh. Yes because, if they have a chance to go to different activities and so on, most of the time it's uh.

BERGE: You can walk from here.

BUTCHER: Right. Well even now, if things they want to do, if their dad's not 37:00home, I go and get them because of not having the transportation [unclear]. But when the, when I was growing up, if the bus lines had still been in existence, it would have been easier for the nephews that I have now if there would be transportation.

BERGE: You think there was a bigger difference between the relation, the advantages and disadvantages of Van Lear now then there was say back in the '30s and '40s, in other words, in the '30s and '40s was Van Lear a better situation for children?

BUTCHER: At the time that, the time that I went to school we had the best of 38:00teachers. But naturally they teach more variety of subjects and the children have a much better opportunity now than we did. We just learned the basics subjects and everything because like over here at Paintsville, my daughter had Spanish in the second grade. Had science in the second grade. And uh.

BERGE: You would, you didn't have those opportunities then?

BUTCHER: No. And not even, of course, we've got some students here that went to the county schools that are excellent and even had a lot better chance than I did but all in all I think that Terri got a better background than my, I'm going by my nieces, and my nephews.

BERGE: When you uh were uh young or whatever, when, when was the first time you saw a television?

BUTCHER: Around '53 or '54.

BERGE: Where'd you see it?

BUTCHER: Went to a house here in Paintsville.

BERGE: They didn't have television in Van Lear?


BUTCHER: They might have been . . .

BERGE: Did anybody have any that you knew of?

BUTCHER: They might have been, not that I knew of because we came over, raffling was a big thing.

BERGE: Yeah, I can remember that.

BUTCHER: We came over to Paintsville to this, they were part of my family and it, to see wrestling.

BERGE: I can remember going to somebody's house when there'd be thirty people there watching wrestling.

BUTCHER: But now my husband, his family had TV way before I did, in their home.

BERGE: When did you, when did, did you, your mother has a television doesn't she?


BERGE: When did they get it? Do you remember?


BERGE: After you moved out?


BERGE: When you were still living there at home, they have them?

BUTCHER: Yes, uh huh. We had it was in the late '50s and.

BERGE: Did they have cable then or did they have--

BUTCHER: No they didn't have cable then.

BERGE: an antenna?

BUTCHER: Mm hmm. Just an antenna.

BERGE: What stations, what channels did you get out here?


BUTCHER: I can't remember. I think we just got about . . .

BERGE: Where would it come from, Huntington?

BUTCHER: Probably Huntington. But now they get about ten or twelve stations.

BERGE: They're on cable now though.

BUTCHER: Right. My brother-in-law has the cable system.

BERGE: Up there in Van Lear?

BUTCHER: Mm hmm. My husband's brother.

BERGE: When you uh came here to uh Johns, I mean to Paintsville and moved in with your husband's mother, did she, she had television, I guess?

BUTCHER: Oh sure.

BERGE: Was it on a cable then or was it?


BERGE: So, you told me yesterday I think it was, that we, when you were first out of high school, you went to visit someone in Richmond that was going to college down there. Who was that?

BUTCHER: Ray and Gaye Sayer.

BERGE: Oh, Ok. And why, did you ever think about going to college?

BUTCHER: Yes I got a scholarship uh to Morehead or any, they said any college. 41:00Pikeville, that I would want to attend but I didn't have the, the money for miscellaneous items.

BERGE: Did, did you really want to go?

BUTCHER: Yes. Mm hmm. I was, I was salutatorian when I graduated.

BERGE: Did you, have you ever regretted not going?

BUTCHER: Not really, because I like my work. I don't think I could have profited any more.

BERGE: In other words, you, you wouldn't have used it as a way to get out of--


BERGE: Johnson County so you would have been just as happy with--

BUTCHER: No. Right.

BERGE: They way your, what do you, I noticed one thing talking with you and your folks yesterday that you've all been very close and stayed around.


BERGE: What are you going to think if your daughter never comes back to Johnson County?

BUTCHER: That, I've talked about that just.

BERGE: Has that occurred to you?

BUTCHER: Yes, just this week we've talked about that. Especially after I lost my 42:00husband and I don't know what her goals are for next year but I was telling one of the girls here at the office to lose her right now, I don't know where I can cope with or not because she, until she went away to college, she'd never was out of the house for the night or anything.

BERGE: Yeah, yeah.

BUTCHER: It's been a big adjustment but I have done real well.

BERGE: Yeah. Oh and I'm convinced that really if she decided that she, that her life is somewhere else that you could cope with that because that's just the kind of thing you can do but you have thought about it in other words.

BUTCHER: Yes I have but uh I always told them, I said I'm going to be good to my son-in-law so he'll, he'll want to come home.

BERGE: And visit you.

BUTCHER: I'm going to pet him so he'll want to come home.

BERGE: [Laughter]. But you have thought about it then.

BUTCHER: Yes, of course.

BERGE: Of course, I think you can understand why that she would maybe decide to 43:00live somewhere else though, couldn't you? You have to live where you can work, I guess you know that.

BUTCHER: Right. As long as she stays within a radius of two or three hundred miles till I can get to her, I'll be satisfied.

BERGE: Yeah, because you drive and she drives and this sort of thing. When did you learn to drive?

BUTCHER: About '52.

BERGE: Who taught you?

BUTCHER: My boyfriend in the truck. We had four, four forward gears, is that what you call it?

BERGE: When did you get first a vehicle to drive?

BUTCHER: I bought my first car in '55. It was a '49 Pontiac.

BERGE: So really that was a major goal for you when you were a young girl--

BUTCHER: Uh huh. Right.

BERGE: wasn't it? That was one of the things that I was asking about earlier. What was it you really wanted that you didn't have? Maybe it was a car, wasn't it?

BUTCHER: Probably.

BERGE: If you were, when you were a senior in high school, if you could have wished anything for your family that they didn't have, would it have been a car?

BUTCHER: Well, my uncle that lives two houses.


BERGE: No, I mean that, for you and your house, where you could have [unclear]

BUTCHER: Well, he always took us so I didn't miss that.

BERGE: Yeah but, but you couldn't say let me drive your car.


BERGE: You've probably thought about having a car, didn't you?

BUTCHER: Probably so. I imagine. At that time, I was dating, he had a car so maybe I did miss the uh--

BERGE: Yeah.

BUTCHER: the transportation like I would have if there had not been a car available for me to go in.

BERGE: Well, Janet, I want to thank you for letting me come up here and you've given me a lot of time and I noticed it's time for you to get to work. Of course, they don't expect you yet for another fifteen minutes.

BUTCHER: Well no, I can still buy some time.


BERGE: Thanks a lot for letting me come up and I want to thank your, you for taking me out to your aunt's and your mother's too last night.

BUTCHER: You're welcome.

[End recording]