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2008-05-19 Interview with Allan Steinberg, May 19, 2008 CC001:2008OH125 CC 48 01:29:42 History of Kentucky's Community Colleges Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Jefferson Community College Allan Steinberg; interviewee John Klee; interviewer 2008OH125_CC48_Steinberg 1:|19(13)|67(14)|102(5)|129(4)|166(5)|203(4)|243(12)|266(1)|306(3)|344(6)|384(5)|431(9)|461(2)|484(8)|519(7)|566(2)|626(4)|654(3)|692(3)|727(8)|759(8)|794(13)|831(2)|850(3)|877(4)|896(9)|928(3)|977(4)|1011(11)|1062(5)|1083(9)|1119(6)|1145(4)|1164(12)|1186(10)|1216(4)|1262(4)|1288(2)|1316(1)|1339(2)|1377(3)|1403(3)|1438(11)|1456(13)|1495(2)|1533(7)|1573(1)|1604(5)|1626(6)|1661(5)|1684(13)|1716(2)|1768(2)|1799(13)|1827(11)|1855(9)|1871(13)|1909(4)|1932(6)|1966(6)|1989(8)|2011(1)|2031(6)|2052(10)|2076(4)|2100(1)|2121(11)|2153(10)|2185(2)|2210(5)|2240(9)|2268(7)|2291(7)|2331(2)|2369(13)|2402(5)|2428(7)|2475(10)|2495(6)|2516(8)|2542(8)|2570(9)|2604(2)|2623(4)|2644(9)|2671(5)|2690(3)|2716(2)|2743(14) audiotrans CommuColl interview KLEE: The following is an unrehearsed interview with, uh, Allen Steinberg by John Klee for the University of Kentucky libraries. This is part of the University of Kentucky Community College, uh, System history project. The interview is being conducted on May 19, 2008, at Mr., uh, Steinberg's home on, um, Peterson? STEINBERG: --Peterson Avenue KLEE: --Peterson Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Steinberg, if you would start, just tell me a little bit about your personal background. STEINBERG: Okay. I'm a native Louisvillian,-- KLEE: --Okay. STEINBERG: -uh, born on Groundhog's Day, February 2, 1941. It's hard to believe the years go that quickly--(Klee laughs)--and, uh, grew up in the downtown area old Louisville. And in fact when I started at JCC, I used to walk to school to work. Jefferson was at, uh, First and Broadway, and I was at First and Oak so it's a nice, uh, walk,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --and that's even before gas prices went up. KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --but, um, I, uh, went to school for a couple years Indiana University, ran out of money, came home--(Klee laughs)--, graduated from the University of Louisville. My brother went to the University of Kentucky.--(Klee laughs)--We always pulled for the teams until they played each other. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: Um, but they represented the state and city and-- KLEE: --What, what about your family? Um, they were here in Louisville? STEINBERG: Yes, uh, both parents are deceased;-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --I do have one brother. Uh, he's a pharmacist,-- KLEE: --Okay. STEINBERG: --and also, uh, native, uh, of course, to this area. And we both went to Louisville Male High school-- KLEE: --Louisville Male, huh. STEINBERG: --which was downtown, and we lived across the street from it, too-- KLEE: ------------(??) STEINBERG: --on Brook Street and, before we moved to First Street, but, uh, Louisville all our lives. Love the city,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --love Kentucky. KLEE: Right STEINBERG: And, um, I really enjoy being a part of it and try to contribute to it in positive ways, I hope. KLEE: And you went to University of Louisville, you said? STEINBERG: Yes. KLEE: Uh,-huh. What, uh, your major, what did you decide? STEINBERG: Okay. My first degree was in political science-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --because I thought someday I might want to get involved in government (laughs)-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --and then my Master's was in counseling-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --and student services, and of course I took that degree with me and it opened the door at Jefferson Community College, uh, in 1967. So, uh, I do have two degrees and part of a specialist degree in, um, special ed, but I decided to put a backpack on and go to Europe for three months and get my education that way, and I never did pursue that other--(Klee laughs)--third degree. KLEE: The, uh, what, what, uh, what kind of decision process was there as far as going into counseling? What were you thinking about at that time? STEINBERG: Well, you know, I really believe that there, in our family, there was just sort of a theme of trying to help others. Uh, it might sound corny, but it's really true. I remember in the third grade-- third grade, coming home and telling my mother, "Well, you know, Joe"-- and that wasn't his name--"doesn't eat lunch. He just eats cookies and milk." And from that day forth, third grade, Mrs. Chip's class, Engle Heart Elementary School, I took two lunches, and I put his lunch in his wooden locker and mine on mine. So the philosophy of giving to others and helping I think was instilled in our family early, early on. And, also, not having a car 'til I was twenty-seven, not having some of the amenities that other people had, gave me appreciation for the needs of others and counseling just was a natural. KLEE: What about your fam- uh, or your father and mother's profession, uh-- STEINBERG: Uh, father's, uh, a pharmacist also;-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --mother a saleswoman. She worked for-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --Vicks Women's Shoes in Louisville-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --for years, and I think Vicks put, uh, shoes on our feet. (Klee laughs) And, uh, to be honest, uh, my mother really raised my brother and I more. Our father, uh, our parents divorced, which was a little unusual in a Jewish family. KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --I am of the Jewish faith. KLEE: Uh-huh. STEINBERG: Um, and I realize all this is in record, but I think my mother is due the good, uh, applaud that she deserved for raising us,-- KLEE: --I see. Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --so I'll just be that frank with you. KLEE: Sure. Downtown, you essentially lived downtown then. You didn't have a car, you said 'til you were twenty-seven? STEINBERG: Yes. Right. KLEE: What, what was that--(Steinberg laughs)--environment like? STEINBERG: Well, I would, uh, then I was going also to the University of Louisville taking some graduate courses and things, and-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --I would see how fast and far I could go before a bus arrived and see how close I could get to the university. (Klee laughs) The library downtown, we used that facility. Of course it wasn't the computer era-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and didn't have that, but, uh, you know, when we went out on a date or something like that, we would double in those days. Uh, it was just a different world, as you know. KLEE: Sure. STEINBERG: But, um, it, my brother finally got a car. He was a couple years older than I, but when I borrowed his Ford and went out to get some ice cream with friends, um, it caught on fire. The carburetor which they don't have today--(both laugh)--but, uh, I remember we were, uh, in Saint Matthews, a little town area, you know,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --outside the city of Louisville at that time. It's now part of the city. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: Uh, but the, the fire, it happened,--(Klee laughs)--and I had to go back home and tell my brother that his car was on fire. KLEE: Oh! (laughs) STEINBERG: (laughs) But, uh, anyway I, I got along. I mean it wasn't a problem. I didn't feel the ne- necessity for it. We then got a '47 Nash, uh,--(laughs)--family car and that-- I don't know if you've heard of the Nash,-- KLEE: --I've heard. STEINBERG: --but we had a special hand signal. You know, today they use-- well, they're supposed to use signals. KLEE: Sure. STEINBERG: People don't so much because their cell phone's in one hand and one hand on the steering wheel,--(Klee laughs)--but the signals you have for right, you know, you would bend the arm one way and for left another. KLEE: Right STEINBERG: But, we had another signal for our Nash and that's where we would flick the hand like, Come around me buddy. (Klee laughs) Come on around me because this is all the faster I could go. KLEE: Is that right? STEINBERG: So we called that, uh, he car's name was Herkemer,--(both laugh)--and that was, uh, a part of our life. KLEE: I see. Um, you were, uh, raised in the fif-- I mean, you were a child in the, uh, uh,-- STEINBERG: --Yeah, the fifties-- KLEE: -- adolescent in the fifties STEINBERG: --and early sixties. KLEE: Uh-huh. STEINBERG: Uh, graduated in 1959 from high school-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STENIBERG: --and, uh, so, you know, it was those days. KLEE: Right. How did, how did your life and, uh, uh, the community college intersect? What was the first-- STEINBERG: --Yeah. I have to tell you, the community college, uh, opened up its doors at First and Broadway, and as I said I lived, uh, our second home, uh, house/apartment was on First Street. KLEE: Mm-hm. STEINBERG: So I was at First and Oak, Ormsby area and walked, you know, a couple miles to First and Broadway. At the time the college opened in this one building I was with the Louisville and Jefferson County Youth Commission,-- KLEE: --Okay. STEINBERG: --and so I had a job. I was working for eight thousand a year and coordinating programs for the city, uh, in their youth program. KLEE: Let me ask you about that. Uh, this was, um-- what, what was the function of this youth commission? STEINBERG: The youth commission, uh, f- function was to create programs that were constructive for the youth in the neighborhoods. Uh, we started reading programs. For example, we would buy paperback books and we-- they would read Anne Frank and they would read, uh, you know, just good books, and we used high school students as student leaders. KLEE: Uh-huh. STEINBERG: And then the students, we told them they could build a little library, so we tried to do that incentive. We also took vacant lots and converted it to constructive parks, put in horseshoes and things like that and a park bench, uh, and table for picnic. But we did this in some areas of the city that didn't have this type of facility,-- KLEE: --All right. STEINBERG: --so we tried to do, back then, uh, a green spot within the urban setting-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --and I really enjoyed that. KLEE: I was going to say, how did you find that work? How successful was it? STEINBERG: Oh, well, I tell you I have, um, a scrapbook of pictures of some of our achievements, so, yes, it, uh, it was very successful. Uh,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --we had to meet with parents' groups and neighborhood associations, and then we wanted to involve the kids so, uh, they were, you know, helping us develop the park and that way we would cut down on vandalism because-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --if they helped cut the weeds, develop it, then they're not going to, you know,-- KLEE: --Yeah. STEINBERG: --trash it we had hoped. And it worked out often that way. KLEE: They had a sense of ownership ----------(??). STEINBERG: Yes. Exactly. KLEE: Of course, Louisville is, um, a bi-racial city. Uh,-- STEINBERG: --Yes. KLEE: --as, and of course you were, you're working with African American youth I'm sure. STEINBERG: Absolutely-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --and, you know, uh, I really received an education by doing that. You know, I would speak at an African American black church and, you know, right now in 2008 there are people that are saying, uh, the white portion of our population doesn't understand the amen-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and so on of the church. Well, I have been amen'd.--(Klee laughs)--I have spoken from the pulpit of a black church both as a city worker and then later as a city councilman-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --which we call aldermen in Louisville. But I had that for five years so, you know, I mean it was, um, it was an education for me and a delightful one. KLEE: Right. And, and probably helped to give you, uh, important experience for your next position. STEINBERG: Absolutely,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --absolutely. KLEE: Well I'll take you back then; w- th- you were telling me about, uh, how your connection to the community college first started. STEINBERG: I would walk by JCC very frequently and, uh, you know, I, I, uh-- the building--[Phone rings] Oh,-- KLEE: Yeah, that's fine. STEINBERG: One moment please. KLEE: ----------(??)---------- if you want to. Yeah, we're doing fine. [Pause in recording.] KLEE: You were-- STEINBERG: --J-- KLEE: --speaking about walking by, uh, JCC's campus. STEINBERG: Right. Um, and, um, you know, I heard that this college was going to open there, and what is interesting-- the building where JCC first began was called the Old Presbyterian Seminary building,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --and it was gonna be torn down and a gas station was going to be built there. KLEE: My goodness. STEINBERG: And the city of Louisville voted at that time a large half- million dollar bond issue to buy the property and renovate it for JCC,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --for Louisville's first community college. So the citizens of Louisville voted on the bond issue, it passed, the building was saved, it was renovated and it was to open in January 1968, which it did, but they were anticipating four hundred students and there were eight hundred students. So, uh, but prior to that I remember being interviewed for the job and actually Dr. Jelley, the first president of the college, Herbert Jelley-- KLEE: --Now, how do you spell that? STEINBERG: Uh, J-e-l-l-e-y. KLEE: Okay. STEINBERG: I believe is correct. KLEE: And before I,-- STEINBERG: --Um-hm. KLEE: --uh-- I forget things. Do you remember, was there a lot of community-wide support for this? What-- STEINBERG: Absolutely,-- KLEE: --was the ----------(??)? STEINBERG: --absolutely. There was. Uh, you know the community college system, of course, was under the University of Kentucky auspices-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --then, and, uh, they wanted it, too, because-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --it would be looked upon probably as a feeder,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --uh, for the main campus in Lexington. Absolutely good support for this, uh, school. KLEE: Didn't hear any backlash from U of L? STEINBERG: No, because at the time they were going to cooperate. I have stationery, uh, not to show you today,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --but it's here in this house and I can find it. It says "University of Kentucky, University of Louisville in cooperation for the Jefferson Community College." KLEE: Is that right? STEINBERG: And to have both their names on one piece of stationery-- (Klee laughs)--, I think, is a rarity. KLEE: I think so. STEINBERG: (laughs) But I do have some of the stationery. So U of L was supportive because it was going to be a co-op. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: But the politics of it, uh, took it more to the University of Kentucky, and U of L dropped back. KLEE: Right. Now you talked about Dr. Jelley. W-- y-- STEINBERG: Yes. Dr. Jelley interviewed me for the first position of the first counselor at JCC, and the interesting thing-- there was another program that I coordinated called Youth Speaks. KLEE: Mm-hm. STEINBERG: And Youth Speaks was in Louisville and Jefferson County area, and you have to understand that this started 1952 and for the first time it brought black and white together in dialogue. It brought the Louisville public schools, the Jefferson County public schools-- there were two systems then-- the parochial schools and the private schools, and you would have representatives of each of those schools on TV, talk shows, Livingston Gilbert, WAVE TV, moderated, and I used to formulate the questions and, uh-- along with other people; they did it, too, uh, on topics for them to discuss and they would have workshops. Well, I convinced Dr. Jelley that I knew at least two students in every school in Jefferson County in high school-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --which was true. I knew the principal. I knew a faculty sponsor, so I felt I had a entree for JCC. KLEE: Sure. STEINBERG: And he agreed, and interesting enough, uh, at the time he offered me the exact same salary I was making. KLEE: I wondered about that. (laughs) STEINBERG: And, uh, eight thousand, and I said, "You know, I really want this job, and in my heart I would have taken it, hm, for that but I said I didn't want it to be that low.--" KLEE: -------------(??) STEINBERG: "--I'd like for it to be up the ladder." He said, "I'll see what I can do." He went back to the University of Kentucky, which was coordinating this primarily at that time, the salary, and he got me five hundred dollars more, so I took the job for eighty-five hundred. (laughs) KLEE: You mentioned this Dr. Jelley, and I'm trying to get, you know, background and, and information about those, some of those early people. What kind of individual was he? STEINBERG: Very, very friendly. KLEE: Mm-hm. STEINBERG: Uh, I would have to say low-key,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --and I think if the truth be known, the reason he left is because he was too pro-JCC and not so pro-University of Kentucky,-- KLEE: --I see. Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --and he would battle with them. And, uh, he finally decided that there were some headaches that he didn't want to put up with-- that's my opinion-- and so he left. But with the faculty and the students, very friendly, I mean, uh, and very down to earth. He wasn't haughty or-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --anything. I, I really liked him, to be honest. KLEE: Was he a local fella? STEINBERG: No, and I, I'm not sure. It seems-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --like it, he might have come from the west a little-- KLEE: --Okay. STEINBERG: --bit, but, uh, no. Not local at all. KLEE: So when did you start at, uh, JCC? STEINBERG: Well, interestingly, though the college didn't open until 1968,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --I started in 1967. This-- when I retired, the, uh, counseling staff gave me this, uh, stone. KLEE: I see. STEINBERG: I'm glad they didn't put my name on it. Uh, 1967 to 1997-- it would look like a tombstone,-- KLEE: --Right. (laughs) STEINBERG: --but, uh, this, uh, says, "JCC 1967-1997." Uh, in 1967 a couple of months before the school opened in '68, January, the faculty, including counselors were-- a counselor-- was put together, and so, uh, that's when, uh, I started -----------(??)-- KLEE: --And you said January '67? STEINBERG: Uh, no. I, uh, no, I would say mid-year-- KLEE: --Okay. STEINBERG: --'67;-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --we had faculty and staff meetings to plan to, to open in January '68,-- KLEE: --January '68. STEINBERG: --but just a couple months before. KLEE: Now was, um, Dr. Jelley pretty much hiring these individuals by himself? STEINBERG: Yes. Yes. KLEE: Wasn't search committees, of course;-- STEINBERG: --No. KLEE: --wasn't anybody there. STEINBERG: No. Right. And w- maybe the faculty being hired, there'd be about twenty-five or thirty, and we had a faculty meeting. Uh, we met in his office with the overflow sitting out in the hallway--(Klee laughs)--which was being painted, and we kind of kid because we think, Were we sniffing paint? because they, uh, during those early faculty meetings-- but that was sort of a faculty joke, I think. KLEE: Uh, and, um, that was in the building that was the Old Seminary? STEINBERG: JF, third floor. Yes. That was the only building that existed for the whole college at that time. KLEE: You said, uh, JF? STEINBERG: Uh, JF Building standing for Jefferson,-- KLEE: --Okay. STEINBERG: --uh, and, uh-- KLEE: --Okay. And you were just on the third floor? STEINBERG: Uh, for the, f- uh, administration,-- KLEE: --I see. STEINBERG: --and that's where the faculty meetings were held. KLEE: Okay. STEINBERG: Now the classrooms were on the first and second floors-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --on each wing. Interesting enough, you can't walk-- it's a U-shaped building, very-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --nice architecture,-- KLEE: --Yes. STEINBERG: --built around 1905 in several stages, but you can't walk from one wing to the other. You had to go outside and up, you know, the stairs. It just was the way the building was designed,-- KLEE: --Yeah. STEINBERG: --but I want to tell you, uh, there were not enough chairs for our first classes so you would see students taking folding chairs from one class to another and, uh, so they would not have, uh, to stand. But we had more students than expected. KLEE: So when you, when you met there early on, what kind of plans were you making? I--what, what were you, what did you have to, uh, prepare for? STEINBERG: Well, the main thing was, uh, we had students in the early years who were coming in from both U of K and U of L--(coughs)--excuse me. KLEE: That's fine. STEINBERG: Uh, individuals, uh, that wanted to get back on their feet academically. KLEE: Mm-hm. STEINBERG: We had new, uh, students returning to education for the first time in many years, the non-traditional student, uh, and so we had a older student body more than the young, eighteen-year-old-- KLEE: ------------(??) STEINBERG: --primarily. So it was,-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --uh, uh, people retooling for new careers and getting back on their academic feet, and in counseling, my role was to try to help them to transfer to schools and not lose credits and also to help them with other concerns like, uh, vocational concerns, choosing a career, academic concerns, keep, uh, grades up and then personal concerns. KLEE: I see. STEINBERG: That was a big one, too, because of the finance, but, um, I want to tell you, I did at that time probably more advising than counseling, per se, because I had appointments every twenty minutes-- KLEE: -------------(??) STEINBERG: --almost and you know you can't really help-- of course, there's some students that came back-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --for a second round and I could help, but it was just getting them on their feet as quickly as possible. KLEE: So you, you were running the whole gamut as a counselor-- STEINBERG: --Yes. KLEE: --the academic advising, the personal advising, trying to-- STEINBERG: Well,-- KLEE: --give them-- Yeah. STEINBERG: --uh, John, there were, uh, faculty members doing, uh-- KLEE: --Academic. STEINBERG: --academic, too, but I,-- KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: -- I'm saying that's one of the hats that I also wore,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and then coordinator of student activities, too. KLEE: Oh, my. STEINBERG: That was another hat. KLEE: I wanna come back to that, but let me ask you about the early faculty. Are there some individuals-- just give me a little litany, if you don't mind, of some people that were there from the, the, at the start and, and a little bit about their personalities? STEINBERG: Well, uh, Dr. Sullivan, uh, taught history. Um, I'm sorry; the first name I would have to-- KLEE: --That's fine. STEINBERG: --check, uh, but, uh, he was really known as really being a stickler and students would say, He's too hard. They would come to me, but he really knew his subject and he wanted them to really learn it. So he was, uh, a good person. Uh, Mrs. Conklin, uh, she taught, uh, geology, and her husband, Dr. Conklin-- both of them, I think, had their doctorate-- taught at U of L and they'd written books on the Falls of the Ohio and so on. Uh, at that time-- this was 1968-- she had traveled to China, and, you know, that was before China opened its doors. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: Uh, so, um, she was just really very, very dedicated. KLEE: Mm-hm. STEINBERG: Um, the-- I just think there were, uh, a lot of people that cared about the students. Uh, Millie Byrd, uh, is her name in English- -B-y-r-d-- um, golly, Susan McCray. There were just so many people. Uh, Hazel Bolen,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --uh, she worked with, uh, uh, business division, African American. Um, we had a family,-- KLEE: --Yeah. STEINBERG: --and it was really special helping to found the college, I have to tell you. KLEE: I was going to ask you, too, uh, uh, community colleges were still relatively new in 1968 nationwide,-- STEINBERG: --Right. KLEE: --uh, and you were essentially inventing a college. What, what kind of background did you have or what, what-- I mean, did you-- STEINBERG: --To do that? KLEE: --have any directions or missions or-- STEINBERG: --Well, you know, I was really fortunate because, uh, I was sent to California to workshops-- I think I was out there for about two weeks to visit the community colleges out there,-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --and this was exciting. Uh, in other words, I was given an opportunity to participate in an established community college system-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --because in California-- everything begins-- KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: --in California, as they say. And, uh, so I did pick up ideas and techniques out there-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --by just a couple weeks, but it really helped me. Then I had my own ideas and the desire to really help students, and I was really determined to be the type of counselor that I didn't have in college. I would go, particularly at IU, to try to get some counseling,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --and the person there would say, "Well, what do you want to take?" And I said, "Well, I also wanted to talk career." "Well, just choose some courses." Well, in other words, Get out of my office as quickly as you can,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and I decided I was not going to be that type counselor. KLEE: Mm-hm. STEINBERG: And, in fact, I like to put a phrase that I use in, like, general and that is "People first." For example, they knock on the door to the counseling center. They'd say, Allen, do you have a minute? Well, I have something I have to do. I have-- KLEE: ------------(??)-- STEINBERG: --all these papers, but wait. Yes. Come on in, and if we have to we'll s- set up an appointment. But you don't say no because they might not ever come back,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --so and then when I got to hire other counselors and things like that, uh, I helped promote that philosophy so the people had the same working, uh, ethic that I did. KLEE: Right. You said you were, uh, also coordinator of student activities. When these community colleges started, what was-- I'm, and I'm-- this is a leading question, not the kind of question I'm supposed to ask. (Steinberg laughs) But they, I think some people saw them as, uh, miniature colleges and they were going to have, uh, maybe sports and-- STEINBERG: --Yeah. KLEE: --different kinds of things. Tell me about that. STEINBERG: Okay. Very easily I can address that because the students would come to me and say, I know we don't have fraternities; I know we don't have sororities, but we need some type of activities. And I agreed, so we did put together intramural sports. Now, I want to tell you, I'm one that when I donate to a university, I donate to a library. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: I'm not gonna buy a football helmet, I'm sorry. But I realized that athletics is an attraction for many people; it keeps many people in school, maybe to graduate, and it also brings money. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: But my personal philosophy was the book. Okay. So, uh, though I knew it was important for some of these, uh, kids, I'll say, uh, to have activities, believe it or not at JCC with the help of faculty members we had a cross-country track team; we had a golf team; we had a flag football team; we had a baseball team and also a music choral group. So, um, these type activities did give an outlet to the students. It wasn't of the quality maybe that they wanted, but we raced against other community colleges like in-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --cross-country and go out to Somerset and out in the state. Uh, basketball, we put together faculty versus students,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --and, of course, the faculty cheated, you know, like they would put it on the shoulder of another faculty member and then dunk the basketball. (laughs) So, um, I, I want to tell you that we thought it was important to have activities and we, we did. KLEE: How did-- facility-wise, what did you do? STEINBERG: Well, we used other, uh, areas. Like, we, uh, for basketball and things, we went to Spalding University which is on Fourth Street. We were on First. Uh, they used church, uh, gymnasiums. We used facilities like that. Now, I have to tell you about a Mud Bowl. Have you heard of the famous Mud Bowl? KLEE: Someone told me about it, but they did not have firsthand knowledge. STEINBERG: I have firsthand because I was the women's coach. KLEE: (laughs) Okay. STEINBERG: Um, the Mud Bowl was a student protest. It was a football game on the site where the Hartford Building is now. KLEE: Okay. STEINBERG: There was a parking lot there. There was a mud, uh, not even gravel but a mud surface, and that was the student parking lot. If it rained, they had to call tow trucks to get the, um, cars out. Well, the students wanted this to be paved or graveled, so we put together-- I was trying to channel their energies and frustrations, so we had boys versus girls, and it was a Mud Bowl. And the thing about it, though, is, uh, we didn't know it was going to make the front page of the Courier and, uh, cause a little hoopla in, uh, Lexington which was overseeing us. So basically, it was a student protest, uh, of this terrible parking condition, and I do want to tell you within a couple weeks we had that, uh, surface there that we needed. KLEE: Paved. STEINBERG: Now it wasn't paved, but it was graveled-- KLEE: --Right. Right. STEINBERG: --and leveled. But I do want to tell you I was almost court- marshaled because of that activity because I was in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, and I had on my Coast Guard hat. KLEE: Oh. STEINBERG: And the picture appeared in the paper, and when I had my reserve meeting, the officers called me in and said, um, "Steinberg, we see that you disgraced the uniform, because it had mud on it." Well, to be honest, it all was a joke on their part of the Coast Guard. I didn't know, though. I was a peon, and these offices called me in. And, uh, in fact, uh, it turned out to be okay, but I did have the Coast Guard hat. And you know, it said U.S. Coast Guard on it. KLEE: Just a few more details. Wha- when wa- when was that? Uh-- STEINBERG: You know, let's see. The Hartford Building-- gosh, I really don't know the year it was built. I was wondering, but it was very early, um, uh, seventies. I don't know. KLEE: Early seventies? STEINBERG: Yeah. Uh, maybe around '71? KLEE: Of course, I guess these kids had been pulled out when it rained. Somebody came up with the idea, We ought to play, it would be fun to play over there. STEINBERG: Yeah. And have a protest and you slip and slide, and I have some pictures that you wouldn't believe. And I couldn't-- KLEE: --Couldn't find. STEINBERG: --find them in this morning, but, uh, but I think the Hartford Building, though, was, uh, built, uh, late sixties. And we opened up in '68,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --so pretty soon thereafter that tower was built. KLEE: Who was the, who was the other coach? Coached the men's team? STEINBERG: Don't remember. KLEE: Don't remember? STEINBERG: I think they were sort of on their own. KLEE: On their own? (laughs) STEINBERG: I will have to tell you also-- I'm just remembering-- there was an individual who was a football player for Male High School who was attending JCC. His name was Maurice Piper, and he played on the women's team. KLEE: Oh, so-- STEINBERG: --So-- KLEE: --you had a ringer! STEINBERG: --I wore a wig and played for the women's team, and he could carry the football. KLEE: Well, sure. STEINBERG: And a couple of times he threw the football to me, and I thought, Oh, no. I don't want to be tackled, so I threw it to someone else real fast. The Mud Bowl, but it got us a parking lot. KLEE: Right. And then they bought that, uh, Hartford Building there. STEINBERG: Right, named after Dean Ellis Hartford who was a dean in the community college system, uh, like a coordinator;-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --they had different titles then than they-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --do now, but he was a very nice gentleman, too, uh, and-- KLEE: --You met him? STEINBERG: Yes. I did. He, uh, was always smiling, handshaking and friendly. KLEE: Okay. STEINBERG: He really was. KLEE: I want to ask you about the, the early connection to University of Kentucky. Did that make a difference to you when you were employed there? STEINBERG: Well, you know, it didn't at first. I mean, uh, even though I was a U of L graduate, uh, it did not, but when it began to make a difference was when Dr. Jelley or the director or whoever was heading the community college had to call the University of Kentucky and say, You know, it's warm in Louisville. Can we turn on the air conditioning? That type of thing began to get, uh, irritating,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --that we had seek permission to do every little step, and, uh, I think, again, that's what frustrated Dr. Jelley and, uh, maybe other administrators. I wasn't an administrator. KLEE: Mm-hm. STEINBERG: By the way I do have, did have faculty rank. Uh, started out, you know, as an instructor, assistant professor,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --associate and then full professor and that is because of Dr. Jelley. He said, "Allen, do you want faculty or staff?" and he just asked me, and I said, "Oh, I think faculty--" KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: "--because I-- and I'll teach some too." So, now, uh, other counselors have that today because of that one question he asked me in 1967. KLEE: Is that right? They just, that just fell into line? STEINBERG: Just like that. KLEE: Well, that was important for a lot of people-- STEINBERG: --Absolutely. KLEE: --because of tenure. STEINBERG: Because of the retirement-- KLEE: --Right STEINBERG: --and tenure-- KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: --and benefits,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --uh, but, I was, uh, not ever anti-U of K, just frustrated with some of the directives we got from them. KLEE: It seemed, uh, you were on a tight string and tight budget and-- STEINBERG: Yeah, and, uh, you know, we just didn't have the freedom for vocal decisions that I think, uh, we were seeking. KLEE: Sure. Tell me about that, uh, first semester. You all had some prep time in the fall of '67 and then you took students in mid year. STEINBERG: January of '68, again, as I said, uh, eight hundred students and we registered them by pencil and paper. The line went out the front door of the JF building, the Old Seminary Building, through the courtyard, took a right on Broadway, went down Broadway, took another right on First street. It was, the, the lines and the pictures of it, uh, again, appeared in the local newspaper, The Courier. Uh, and we're saying one or two at a time, Yes, and what's your name? And we'd write it down and, What do you want-- it was, you know, they had already been admitted-- KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: --and they had some ID and credentials, but we were choosing their class cards and handing them out. It was unbelievable, but-- okay, go ahead. KLEE: Well, you said that, um, there was pretty good community support, and I guess this building and the system starting and all that came together. Uh, do you remember any of the political background was, uh, I-- when they were talking about a community college system I guess Louisville was a-- STEINBERG: --It had support; it really did. KLEE: Yeah. STEINBERG: The, uh, local newspaper again editorially, educators. Uh, I don't know anyone that said, "No we don't want a community college in our community." KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: I don't think we knew it was going to grow so quickly, you know,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --up to around ten thousand students. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: Uh, we knew it was a urban area, but we didn't have all the extended campuses now like Southwest, Carrollton, Shelbyville Road-- which JCC has these extensions now-- but, uh, people came from Bullitt County, from Shelby County. I remember students, they were farming and they were taking classes at JCC. The Dedman family, D-e-d-m-a-n--I can't believe I just remembered their name now, but--(laughs)--that was a long time ago, but, you know-- and, and, in fact I didn't, I got to know this one student and I didn't know how to milk a cow. I'm from Louisville, so I went to the farm with him one day-- KLEE: --Is that right? STEINBERG: --and his family, yeah and, um, milked a cow. (laughs) KLEE: (laughs.) It's a good opportunity. Sure. STEINBERG: So, this counselor knew how to do it. Uh, John, w- there are two areas that I think I want to tell you how students affected me, that affected the college, that was so positive. One was, we had a deaf student, and, uh, she came in and she could read lips a little, sign and we wrote back and forth on paper. And I decided that I need to learn sign language, so I went to the Jefferson County Public School Extension Programs, where they have adult, uh, programs and learned sign language-- KLEE: --Hm. STEINBERG: --so that I could, um, you know, communicate. I'm not professional,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --but, uh, I'm just better than average, I hope. And so that was one thing that helped me be a better counselor. KLEE: Sure. STEINBERG: Uh, and then the other thing is, I had a student come in who later became an attorney in Louisville and she said, "What are you doing about the drug education program?" And I said, "Well, um, you know, we have this literature--" and she in no uncertain language said that wasn't enough. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: So, we created a group that could meet and, believe it or not, it was called the DAMN program, D-A-M-N. Drug Abuse Means Nowhere, DAMN. So I would go around and go into the classrooms and say, "Have you heard about our DAMN Program?" And people weren't used to Allen Steinberg talking that way and I'd get their attention. KLEE: Sure. STEINBERG: And we got a nurse, Mrs. O'Daniel, to come in and head it because I didn't feel qualified. I later went to seminars and found out I was a great enabler. (laughs) I like to help people and, boy, did I have a lot to learn. So-- but we had this program that would meet and that was really, uh, a good thing, but this is because students came to me and said, "What are you, Allen, doing?" And I, "Hmm, okay, I'm not doing anything in that area." So they helped me. KLEE: Let me ask some, uh, some, uh-- they're kind of corollary to the college, but that was, uh, uh, a tough time in Louisville in some cases with race relations. How did that work at the college? Was that, I mean, were there tense times, or-- STEINBERG: --No, we didn't have problems. Uh, I think we had, of, uh, course, uh, proportionate to the population a majority of white students, but no. We had black students in student government, um, and student leaders so, we-- it wasn't, uh, a problem that, uh, that the, uh, there was never, uh-- I never felt racial tension on our campus. KLEE: Right. And, and the drug abuse thing, that was, that, of course, that was the era of that and, uh, um-- STEINBERG: --There were people who, uh, made me realize how naive I was to that scene. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: Uh, I happened to be a non-smoker of anything--(laughs)--and still am today, uh, but, uh, I had, um, long hair on where it would grow on the sides and I had lamb chops, so, uh, oh yeah. If I showed you pictures-- in fact when I, uh, ran for office, uh, for, uh, alderman I'd knock on a door and people would say, Oh, yeah you used to be that hippie. I had never realized it, but I guess I was just into the sixties. KLEE: Sure. Right. STEINBERG: So, uh, but I one time had a student come in and, uh, he really appreciated all my help and he said, "Allen, hold out your hand," and I held out my hand. He said, "Here's some Acapulco Gold." It was pot. (both laugh) And it was by that name-- it had names-- today people just say pot, pot-- and I said, "Get that out of here! This is illegal. You'll get us both kicked out." But he was just so sure I smoked-- KLEE: --Sure,-- STEINBERG: --and participated KLEE: --just your look--(laughs) STEINBERG: --because of my looks, uh, the long hair and lamb chops. But, so the-- that was interesting. But, um, no, you know the Vietnam era, uh, we had a lot of people coming on campus, coming back and-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --there were some problems with people, emotional things and all, in classrooms and that-- and the war itself and conscientious objectors. I went down to the draft boards with people who wanted to be CO's, conscientious objectors. Uh, you know, they really felt that, um, and, um, so tho- that was an interesting era too. KLEE: So they had touched base with you as a counselor and you, you went with them? STEINBERG: Yes, yes. Uh, beca- uh, th- if, I really knew them,-- KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: --you know,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and had worked with them, uh, I went down to Broadway; I think it was around Eighth and Broadway at the time. KLEE: So you had, had students, particularly male students, that were in college probably to stay out of the war-- STEINBERG: Right. KLEE: --and then you might have returning veterans same time? STEINBERG: Exactly. And then we had some of our students go to Canada. Absolutely. KLEE: Uh-huh. STEINBERG: I wonder what happened to them. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: Now I don't know. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: But, that was the era. KLEE: What about the physical location of the college? Um, I guess the city wanted to save the building, but it, it did cause some problems, I guess. STEINBERG: Well, there's no parking. (laughs) There's not today; there wasn't yesterday. There's not enough. There are parking meters, and it's so unfair. A one hour meter-- a class would last an hour, not just fifty minutes as some colleges, and people are running out and putting nickels and dimes and now quarters I guess. So, uh, that has always been a problem. There was the dream of a multi-story parking facility-- KLEE: --Ah. STEINBERG: --which never did come into reality. KLEE: Mm-hm. STEINBERG: But I must say that to be centrally located though is positive because of public transportation. Those taking the bus, they can come, get off at First and Broadway and they're right there. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: So now, of course, they, uh, cover, they go over to Chestnut and, uh, First Street and Second Street and, uh, it's, there are many more buildings. But, I, it's not a green, green campus because there's not room for lawns and all that, but they do have trees and do a good job with the limited space they have. The Southwest campus, out Dixie Highway, beautiful campus, but it's in a rural or more rural setting. KLEE: Tell me about the, uh, change-over. And after Dr. Jelley who came? Who was the president after, uh, or director I guess, was-- STEINBERG: Let me see. Was that Dr. Smith I believe? KLEE: That's right. Dr. Smith. STEINBERG: Dr. John T. Smith, and he was also a gentleman; very good to communicate with. You could knock on his door; you could make appointments; you could see him. Um, and sometimes he might not been as aggressive as I think a director might be,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --but that was his, uh, method of getting things done. He was more a diplomat. Uh, got along well. He was always supportive of the counseling, uh, center and, um, the library is named after him today, or, uh, they call it, uh, the John T. Smith, I think, uh, Resource Center-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --or something like that. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: But, uh, he was a African American and a inner city school and that was good. He was not prejudice against whites. Uh, it's really interesting with political elections going on in 2008-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and all the racial issues-- and I realize this will be timed differently when this is, uh, uh, listened to or viewed-- but, uh, it's just interesting that, um, we looked at a person's brain and heart, it seemed a lot more than some people are doing today-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --in looking at skin color first. KLEE: Well, you know that, uh, and, and I think people that didn't live in that age-- there was, there was quite a bit of idealism that was, you know-- King had just been assassinated or that time period and, and I, I think you're right. In some ways things had deteriorated a little bit. Um, Horvath followed him, I guess? STEINBERG: Yes. He came from, I think it was called Broom College. I think it's up in Pennsylvania, somewhere up east. I always thought Broom-- I, I don't know. It's a little different; I guess a person's name. Uh, he was, uh, more aggressive, more disciplinarian, uh, you know, a little, uh, more difficult maybe initially to communicate with because he was more formal. And-- KLEE: --I see. STEINBERG: --I, as a counselor, sort of, used to hide and loosey, you know, to be loose, but-- I started to say loosey-goosey, but I wonder what that's going to look like in print. (both laugh) Okay anyway, uh, the, um-- but he was very, very professional,-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --and he really cared about the college and, uh, he got things done. And, uh, he communicated well, I think, with the community college system. KLEE: Mm-hm. STEINBERG: And, uh, I think he mellowed, uh, a little bit as years went by. KLEE: And you were able to work with him very successfully? STEINBERG: Oh, yes, yes. KLEE: Tell me about the expansion that counseling center. Uh,-- STEINBERG: --Well, when we-- KLEE: --when were you able to get help? STEINBERG: Yeah, began, it was, uh, I think, uh, I was there, by myself, for the first year and probably a couple months. I'd have to check the records,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --but, I would, uh, be interviewing and-- by the way, we had an interracial staff and, um, I remember, uh, getting people who I thought would fit in to the community college concept of really caring about people. KLEE: Mm-hm. STEINBERG: And, uh, I think we have a good staff today. The-- it's very diverse. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: Uh, I really, uh, remember, you know, interviewing people because, uh, we wanted, I felt, the, the best that we could offer and we could be choosy because you would put out that, uh, there was an opening and you'd be flooded with applications. So, you know, we just-- KLEE: --Wonder what that was. I guess just the job market at the time and higher ed-- STEINBERG: --Yes, uh, and people who were excited about wanting to work in a community college, a new school, so sort of being a founding member of that. (laughs) KLEE: Tell me about some of the incremental changes, uh-- well, before I do that, were there, were there institutions or individuals in the community that were particularly important to the college? Patrons or people you could turn to or did you have to do that? STEINBERG: Well, let's see. That's a good question. I mean, there were, uh, people who, uh, helped us. I'll have to be honest. As I said, "I'm a non-smoker of anything,--" KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: "--but Phillip Morris was in Louisville and they gave us money for scholarships for the non-traditional students." KLEE: I see. STEINBERG: Uh, I remember that it was called the Phillip Morris, uh, Scholarship and though I don't promote in any way-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --any tobacco product,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --uh, I, uh, want to tell you they were very helpful. Uh, that's really one of the first ones that comes to mind, um, right now. KLEE: Okay. Um, was that kind of a, a new concept? Were people surprised that so many non-traditionals showed up? STEINBERG: I think so. Uh, we didn't know what type students we're gonna have. I guess, uh, initially we thought there would be the new high school graduates, but they still wanted to go to the university that had fraternities, sororities-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and ball games. And I want to tell you, this is something even today. There is a philosophy: Oh, you're going to a community college? I still, uh, fight that concept that it's a secondary education because I think it's a primary that a p- a person can get on their feet. I sometimes call this JCC's Peterson Branch because I want to tell you, as recently as last week, there was a person whose, uh, uh, their family called and said their daughter's going to JCC and do I still know anyone down there. Who should they talk to? I mean it's really funny after all these years. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: But, I'm glad to do it. But I want to also tell you a thing that frustrated me. There would be people who'd want me to be a reference for them as they went on to another school, as they went on to a job interview, and under education, they wouldn't list JCC. They would put their other school, like they formally attended, U of L, U of K, uh, Bellarmine, uh, and they graduated from one of those schools. I told them I will not write a reference unless they put JCC, freshman year, 1970, whatever. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: I mean, bec-- but, I said, "It shows how you developed. You started out at community college then you went to a four-year institution. You graduated. Be proud if that." But it's almost like they weren't, and I really have, uh, stuck with that. KLEE: Uh, was it harder over the year-- or did, did more people, uh-- did that attitude grow over the years that, that a, uh, uh, a good academic, uh, high school student, uh, saw a community college as, as not a good option? STEINBERG: Well, that wasn't there right at the very beginning I don't think because people needed very badly that institution for them to continue their education, to be readmitted because they had been suspended somewhere-- KLEE: Ah. Okay. STEINBERG: --and things like that. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: So it wasn't. But as time went on, it was, uh, I don't want to go to community college, you know. KLEE: Yeah. STEINBERG: And then some of them wanted to live in dorms and get away-- KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: --from home. KLEE: Right STEINBERG: Um, but, also we had to sometimes work with the University of Louisville to educate them that our students and our graduates, uh, from our two-year associate degree programs were strong and, and deserved to be considered for U of L. Uh, one of my sabbatical projects from JCC was to do a transfer guide that this course at JCC equaled that course at U of L, U of K. You know, I mean, we've had such diversity-- KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: --and I think it's gotten better, uh, but, uh, through some, uh, legislation-- KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: --but, um, you know it was hard to get them to accept our students. They considered it, uh, second class at JCC, and there are some people, I think, at the University of Louisville that still feel that way,-- KLEE: --Right STEINBERG: --honestly. KLEE: Mm-hm. Well, and the University of Kentucky, too. STEINBERG: Yes. KLEE: Yeah. (Steinberg laughs) But you had, you had people going both directions, I guess. STEINBERG: Oh, absolutely. Uh, more initially to U of K because people wanted to get away from home-- KLEE: --I see. STEINBERG: --and they wanted to go, but, then, then U of L began to be the flow. KLEE: Tell me about, uh, the community college's connection to the community as far as, uh, community events or, I mean-- STEINBERG: Yeah, there are a couple things that come to mind. One, uh, politicians, when they were campaigning,--(Klee laughs)--they would come to our campus. Uh, Ron Mazzoli-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --who later became a wonderful congressman from the third congressional dis-- [Tape 1 ends; tape 2 begins.] STEINBERG: Are you on the air? KLEE: Yeah. STEINBERG: Okay. KLEE: This is side two of a tape, uh, with, uh, Allen Steinberg at his home. We're talking about Jefferson Community College, and he mentioned that one of the thing, one of the connections to the, uh, to the college community was, uh, political campaigns. And you mentioned Ron Mazzoli. STEINBERG: Yes. Uh, he came and visited our campus, and I was a supporter of, uh, his candidacy, a Democrat, and, uh, took him around to meet people. And then he came to, uh, I think it was called, the Spring Fling. KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: Uh we-- oh, did I-- KLEE: No. You're fine. STEINBERG: Um, see we-- the North/South Expressway, as it was called, uh, was part of, uh, our campus because our students and faculty parked under the expressway, but when we had an activity, rain or shine, we could be under the expressway on that paved lot. So I remember taking him around,-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --and he was, uh, very supportive of, uh, education and things. Also, um, I want to tell you I remember Nelson Rockefeller-- KLEE: --Boy! STEINBERG: --was going to run-- see I'm going to keep this balanced; KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --he's the other party. (laughs) KLEE: Right. (both laugh) STEINBERG: Uh, he, uh, was going to be in town and he was on the Belle of Louisville, and our students, the Young Republican Club-- we had a Young Democratic Club, a Young Republican-- uh, went down and I went with them and we were on the Belle of Louisville with Nelson Rockefeller. Of course he didn't--(Klee laughs)--go, uh, for, uh, I mean, didn't get to the presidency, but-- KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: --I remember that. Um, and, uh, so that was some things like that, but let me tell you a community way that JCC got involved. Um, uh, I also was-- with another hat that I wore--was interested in working with special needs people, and of course, now we have an office of disabilities, which I helped establish at JCC. But, um, there were students, and it was then called the Leroy Stephens School for the Retarded. KLEE: Hm. STEINBERG: I know this is, uh, the era-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and it was located on Armory Place, um, between Fourth and Fifth Street, I think, and it was a school for, quote, "retarded youths." Well, one day I went there and said, "Are there some recreational programs that maybe our students at JCC, you know, could get involved?" He said, "Well, I don't know. Uh, maybe guitar." Well, I couldn't play the guitar. I do well playing the stereo, but--(laughs)--anyway, I thought, uh, maybe bowling. So, there was a downtown bowling alley which has since been torn down called Broad Brook. I went over there, and I said, "We would like to have some of our students come over with some, uh, special needs individuals." And he said, "Well, they might scare the customers away. I'll tell you what. You can come while were closed and-- let's see-- I'll give you a lane free." Well, the owner got so into it we did it on a weekly basis. KLEE: Is that right? STEINBERG: It was called the 4:30 Bowling League. (Klee laughs) We had three or four lanes. KLEE: Uh-huh. STEINBERG: The individuals-- I had to put a different type-- we got shirts and I had to get a different color for the collar of the shirts of the instructors because sometimes you couldn't tell them apart, the instructors from the students. (Klee laughs) But this was, uh, many of the people came from a sheltered workshop. The people had to attend sheltered workshop very, uh, diligently, be good workers or they wouldn't go to bowling,-- KLEE: --Ah. STEINBERG: --and that, so in other words, it was the incentive,-- KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: --so, it really helped them. And then we had students major in special ed-- KLEE: --Right STEINBERG: --and learn, uh, so-- you talk about community. That was something that I know really helped some people grow,-- KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: --and this, again, was, uh, early on, you know, working with special needs. So that, that was a good community involvement. KLEE: What about the economic impact down there? I mean, did the students-- and I don't know what the town, the, the city was like in, in the sixties there, but I assume those, uh, a lot of your students and, and faculty ate downtown and-- STEINBERG: --Yes. Uh, there weren't as many places as there are today, uh, but, um, Fourth Street, sometimes then called Fourth Avenue, you did have places they could eat. And because the Presbyterian building, the old seminary building, became the JF Building for the school-- looked like a church; people would come in there all the time thinking it was a church and wanting, uh, a meal. (Klee laughs) So, what I did was establish with a restaurant by the name of Frisch's on Fourth Street because I was not going to give three or four dollars to a person-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and have them walk out and who knows where it went. KLEE: Sure. STEINBERG: But I said, "Do you really want a meal?" And they said, "Yes." I said, "Here, take this ticket and you go--" and it had the address on Fourth Street and they could go over there and up to a certain amount, get a free meal. There was some people who turned me down. "Well, I don't want that." KLEE: --Right. Yeah. (laughs) STEINBERG: They want money, but they didn't get it from me. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: So, um, but, yes, people would eat downtown. Um, there was a restaurant, a little grill, called Kleffesses, and people, uh, would, uh, you know, go for a meal there. KLEE: Mm-hm. STEINBERG: We has a little-- didn't have a cafeteria in early days. They had a microwave and, uh, ping pong table and a few things in the lower level of, uh, the, uh, JF Building, but they had to close that because it only had one entrance and exit and that was a fire hazard. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: But, uh, uh, I think a lot of people, few people brought their lunch, too. KLEE: Mm-hm. Um, you, you mentioned that, uh, you went down to Frisch's. I don't know-- did they just donate those meals or did you get-- STEINBERG: --Oh, no, no. No, no. I, uh, had a running tab with them. I'm sorry.-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --I wasn't clear. So I went there, and I said up to, like, say, five dollars, which was a lot of money then,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --um, you know, a person could get French fries, a Frisch hamburger, a Frisch--- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and milkshakes or something like that. KLEE: Something to eat. Right. STEINBERG: And then I would, uh, they would call me and then I would pay it-- KLEE: --Oh, gosh. (laughs) STEINBERG: --within a couple weeks. Yeah, well, it's like in education, you know, teachers-- everybody gives a little more than the-- KLEE: --Right STEINBERG: --the institution allows, uh, in the budget. KLEE: I was gonna, uh, ask you, too, about you talked about some of the early activities. Did you make some of those treks to other community colleges? STEINBERG: Oh, yes. I loved it. I liked, uh, I like, uh, going to, uh-- KLEE: --Did you do the Mountain Dew-- STEINBERG: Um-- KLEE: --uh, in, uh, Prestonsburg? STEINBERG: Went to Prestonsburg and went to Somerset and, uh-- I'm trying to think. Um, yeah, Prestonsburg. I remember going on a car trip down there at, uh, Mountain Parkway. KLEE: That was a, that was a big event. STEINBERG: Yes. KLEE: I think all the colleges-- STEINBERG: --Right. KLEE: Mm-hm. What, what did you think-- Uh, those things just kind of faded away-- I guess there wasn't a, uh, uh-- STEINBERG: --There was just so much-- KLEE: --an actual decision. STEINBERG: --Yeah-- on everyone's calendar. I don't know. You know, we had a couple activities. I'm trying to think if some people came from other colleges, but I-- one thing that I started at JCC was called the Jefferson Cinema. Now we didn't have DVDs. We didn't have digital, so we had to rent films-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and then someone had to run the projector. KLEE: Sure. STEINBERG: And then I got Steve Cruse who was a jazz pianist in town, uh, played the piano at half-time--(Klee laughs)--and, uh, he was a high school student, too, and he won a scholarship to learn piano under Gabe Duran, an instructor at JCC. There was a competition;-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --so then, he, you know, gave back by playing the piano, but w- the pictures of us watching, uh, of the first cinema-- and again, one day, John, I'll have to show you some of these pictures, you know, if you want to get back. But, uh, so we had the Jefferson Cinemas, but I don't think there was interaction with other community colleges to take part in this. One area where they did-- did you ever hear of the Corn Island Story Telling Festival? KLEE: I have. Uh-huh. STEINBERG: Okay. That started at JCC. The idea for the storytelling festival was Lee Pennington's. KLEE: Mm-hm. STEINBERG: Lee, uh, has been in the community college system forever, probably a good person for you to talk to down the road. KLEE: Okay. STEINBERG: Um, he had the idea for it, and I, being interested in history, came up with the idea of Corn Island. So I helped name it, and he helped implement and create it. But the Corn Island Storytelling Festival is still going today-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and people come in, and now, of course, they have to pay for certain activities. But the first one was at JCC. First couple of them were there, and we met in the faculty lounge, and we lit a candle in the middle-- probably a fire--(Klee laughs)--regulation we broke. And, uh, there were about twenty-five people at the first storytelling festival just going around and participating-- KLEE: --Is that right? STEINBERG: --and then it grew to hundreds who would go. And then they went on the Belle of Louisville and things like that. KLEE: Now, was Pennington at U of L, or, uh, JCC at that time? STEINBERG: Yes. Yes, he was. KLEE: Uh-huh. STEINBERG: Yes. He and his wife, Joy Pennington, both-- you talk about faculty members; they were each-- uh, they taught English. And, uh, he was, uh, a writer, and, uh, they really care about students a lot, too, and they were early faculty members. KLEE: There was a shift in this time period toward, towards the community colleges offering more technical degrees. How did that effect you and, and, and when-- STEINBERG: --Well, that came a little later, but, uh, you know, I really believe that everyone has to find the road that's best for them. As a counselor, for some reason people must have thought that I was trying to-- I'm going to give you an example why I say this, to, pers- I, that my job was to persuade people you absolutely need an associate's degree; you need a four-year degree. I think it's great to have the education if that's what you want. I had a father bring his son to JCC-- true story-- and uh, he said, "Allen, I want you to talk to so- and-so, and, uh, see if you can be of help." This person happened to be a pharmacist, and he wanted his son to go into pharmacy. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: So I had the father wait outside, had the counseling session with the son. Kid wanted to go into social work and I want to tell you, uh, you know, he just didn't like chemistry, math, not like that. Well, anyways, so I encouraged him to go for what he wanted in ------- ---(??). I got a phone call at my home from that father that night. He said, "Allen, I used to think you were a good counselor." (both laugh) But because I didn't convince his son to go into that field-- um, so we need a variety. I know a student who is graduating this year, '08, and he's going to go to JCC in the fall. Talked to him and, um, he will probably go into the electrical program. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: And he will be good in that area. He doesn't need to go in the other and this is what he wants, so I think we need to have these other technical degrees. We even had one in forestry at one time. KLEE: Uh-huh. STEINBERG: They went to Quicksand,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --Kentucky,-- KLEE: --Right. Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --and, uh, I said, "I hope you don't sink there, but, uh, good about getting that forestry program." KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: So you have to change with the times. KLEE: And, I guess, the nursing program was a big addition? STEINBERG: Yes. The Allied Health always was, uh, very demanding and filling up and competitive program, and, you know, they just dedicated for a new building that the legislature voted on last year; they didn't do too much this year for higher ed. And they are going to build a multi-million dollar building, taking up some of the parking on Second Street, but it's going to be a new Allied Health one, so I'm really glad-- KLEE: Yeah, well, as you said, that's where the demand is for employees-- STEINBERG: --Oh, health medical services. Absolutely. KLEE: Yeah. Were there some personalities over the years on campus, uh, students or faculty or custodians that kind of stand out? The, the Mud Bowl is, uh, is one of those big events,-- STEINBERG: --Right. KLEE: --but I was thinking about any people. STEINBERG: Well, there was a security guy-- I don't know his name, and I'm not going to be, uh, uh, negative-- I just remember he always kind of thought he was under cover. He was an elderly gentleman, but he carried a billy club, a stick. KLEE: --Ah. STEINBERG: --And it would, uh, he wore a, like a coat, uh, say a, uh, jacket, and, uh, the club would always go below it so you could see he's walking around with this billy club, I think they call it. And he thought he was incognito, no one could see him. It just was, to me, funny, so he was a little bit of a character. Um, again, uh, we had student leaders who, uh, were very active and competitive. You know another thing that I started-- gosh you're really bringing back memories-- KLEE: --Good. STEINBERG: --um, it was called the 7 AM Forum. Number one, if a student and faculty member is going to come at 7 o'clock to talk about a subject then they were interested in that subject. I would supply orange juice and cookies. No problem. My expense. We didn't have an expense account. Uh, but, uh, and they would, they could talk on anything, and we had those vital issues of the day and that was really neat because I said, "Free forum, 7 AM," and they would come s- we'd have about seven or eight people, not large numbers-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --but it was nice to have that outlet-- KLEE: --Just faculty and students talking about issue, huh? STEINBERG: Yes. Yes. Right. And sometimes they were talking about the college and the lack of this facility-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and the parking. It was a gripe session for some-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --and others, it might be current events. KLEE: We're sitting in this, um, uh, in your home here. It's a beautiful place with, uh, I guess, arts and crafts features-- STEINBERG: --Yes. It is. Uh, 1907 is when it was built, so it's a hundred years old. KLEE: Some beautiful stained glass and so forth. How, when did you come here? STEINBERG: I moved here about twenty-five years ago,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --and, uh, before I moved here I lived in a duplex across the street.-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --but, uh, basically, uh, I'm a inner city guy and I like to take people on tours of-- walking tours, of old Louisville or downtown, the historic buildings. And we didn't discuss, but in 1979, while a counselor at JCC, I ran for public office and was elected to, uh, be an alderman; that was the word we used. Now we have a council and, uh, councilmen and women, but we had twelve people and I represented this district. This was called the First Ward, and my first election was a citywide election and I was not-- uh, yeah; it wasn't by ward or district, and I was the underdog. In fact, the Democratic Party came to me and said, "Allen, we think you ought not to run yet. We have our candidate and then after you're a precinct captain--" which I never was-- "and got involved with the party, in a few years we'll support you." And I said, "No, I'm gonna run now because I really think I can make a difference," and I said, "When I'm an alderman I'll represent you." Long story short, I won and then another term, second term, and then I didn't go for a, um, a third term. But there was, uh, this was, uh-- to show you some funny pictures of years ago, that's when I was an alderman, but I was mayor that day because whenever the mayor went out of town-- there were twelve months, twelve aldermen. I had the month of January. Then there was talk about me running for mayor. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: But, it took money-- ha-- that, this was funny. This was, uh, I said seventy thousand. Now it takes hundreds of thousand,-- KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: --but, uh, Mayor Abramson was thinking about running the primary, I was thinking about it, and we both served the, that same type of people, neighborhood and all, so I decided to support him and didn't run. But those are just part of the things of being an interest, but, um, I was able to help the college sometimes by being on the board of aldermen, the city. There were things with the alley closure and things like that that I could get help-- KLEE: --Well, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna pursue that a little bit and back you up. What was the, uh-- you said '79 was the first election? STEINBERG: [Nineteen] seventy-nine to '83, uh, I, and then I did not seek another term. KLEE: What was the stimulus? Uh-- STEINBERG: --Ah, to make a difference. (laughs) Now, I wanted to make a difference. The alderman for this area was Mr. Milburn Maupin, and he moved out of the city to the county. So the people said, "Look, you, uh, you, you can't be living in the county--" Now we're metro government, though-- "and be on our city council." So he said, "Well, I choose to stay in the county," so he wasn't going to run. Well, I saw him Thanksgiving Eve in the lobby of, uh, the Hyatt, downtown on Fourth Street. I said, "Oh, Mister, uh, Maupin, um, are you going to run?" And he said, "No, I'm not gonna run for reelection," because he would have been the incumbent-- KLEE: --Right STEINBERG: --and I said, "Well, I'm gonna run," right there in the lobby. I remember telling him, I said, "Then I'm gonna run for alderman." He said, "I'll support you," and, uh, and, and I ran. I remember Thanksgiving Day I announced to my family, I said, uh, "I'm going to run for alderman." I had not been in politics, and, uh, we, the students and faculty, they all worked with and for me. We had students at polls working because it was citywide. We had people registering and then before people for the election,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --calling them all. And Mayor Harvey Slone got the most votes; Allen Steinberg got the second most than the other eleven aldermen, and, uh, I came within a couple thousand of what the mayor got. And I remember them asking, you know, who was my campaign thing, but it's just, we were sincere. And I still am sincere but I'm also enjoying not having all those daily phone calls and things. KLEE: Right. So, I mean, uh, you were, you were working full time at the college--STEINBERG: --until 4:30, quarter to five, then I'd go to City Hall. KLEE: And, and, well, a-- even during the election-- I mean, I guess you had to pound the, pound the streets. You went out and worked-- STEINBERG: --And, uh, Dr. Smith I think it was originally, and maybe part of Dr. Horvath, one of them said I had to keep a log because if I w-- oh yes. So I was, my time was documented that if I was off the campus at a luncheon debate from 12 to 1:30 then I worked 'til 6 PM-- KLEE: --Oh, my goodness. STEINBERG: Oh, John, it, it was-- KLEE: --A little different than it would be today. STEINBERG: Oh, I'm telling you, yes. (Klee laughs) I had to keep a log of time off campus and involved politically-- I mean, he wanted me to win and they wanted, you know, me to be there, knew it would be nothing but helpful, but at the same time I was a state employee and all that time had to be documented. KLEE: They didn't want to have any subject to criticism or whatever. STEINBERG: Right. KLEE: You mentioned as, as, as, uh, you introduced me to the area here, uh, I, I came upon a brick street and, uh, and saw a beautiful home on the, on the left. Can you tell me-- STEINBERG: --Yes. That was, these were other reasons I got involved in public service. Uh, one, the old home is called the Peterson-Dumenil House, and it was and is a stately old farm house. And, uh, the Peterson family, uh, who live downtown in Louisville-- and they run a tobacco business-- would come out here way out to Crescent Hill--(Klee laughs)--, about twelve minutes by car now-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and-- for their summer home. And, um, the Board of Education, Louisville Board of Education wanted to tear down that house and make a soccer field out of it, and I remember debating with the superintendent and the building and grounds people and all. And then the Board of Aldermen, of which I was a member, appropriated fifty thousand dollars to start a foundation to save the house which is there today, and the, July 4th they'll have about four thousand people over there celebrating. I mean, it's just a neat thing. The city also wanted to pave the brick hill. The hill was built in 1902, and it used to be, if you had, a, uh, old Model-T you would take it out there. And the expression was "see if your car can pull Peterson," and if it can pull Peterson,-- KLEE: --It was a good car. STEINBERG: --you'd buy it. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: So the city wanted to pave that street, and now it's a historic landmark; they can never pave it. And, uh, that was another thing that, uh, you know, a little way to make a difference, and I do want to tell you-- I don't know if you've heard of the legislation the state has to give, uh, families who want to save their land and keep it green and get a tax incentive, they can join a program. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: Honestly, I don't remember the name of it but the very first one in Kentucky is here at Grinstead Drive, the lower end of Peterson Avenue,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and that land the family donated, uh, I mean it's a state, uh, piece of greenery. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: The school across the way is Barret Middle School. They can go over there for botany and biology-- KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: --and classes and all, but it's going to be green forever. And, um, you know, so these are things-- now that's here locally. I love to go in different parts of the city and see, uh, signals for the blind because the blind school was part of my district. Oh, let me tell you one thing that I did, uh, find interesting. It's, a big Cadillac, a big limo is nothing today, you know, that kids, they go to proms in it; two or three-- KLEE: Sure. STEINBERG: But, in the seventies it was a big thing--'70, early eighties. So when the mayor was out of town and I was mayor for the day-- you couldn't hire or fire, but you were mayor and you, uh-- actually this, uh, picture sitting-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --at the mayor's desk. And, of course, I made my mother a distinguished citizen, so--(both laugh) KLEE: Good! STEINBERG: --a nice thing to do. KLEE: Sure. STEINBERG: But I want to tell you, uh, I took the old limo with the mayor's chauffer; uh, I went to the school for the blind and picked up their governing officers, and at that time they had never seen a car that big, you know, they could run their hand down-- Whoa, how many doors are on this? It's so big-- and I took them down to City Hall, gave them royal treatment. And I said, "Let the Courier-Journal see if they're going to get on me for taking the Kentucky School for the Blind senior class," because that car was a gas guzzler then and that was always in moth balls they say. But, uh, for the KSB, Kentucky School for the Blind kids and, uh, so one of them is working there. She is, uh, legally blind. She's working there as a receptionist, and she remembers that. KLEE: Remembers that trip. STEINBERG: Yeah. So, you know, you have a chance to do things for other people. KLEE: Tell me, you mentioned just briefly some ways in which the, um, uh, the Aldermen, uh, Council work intersected with the college. STEINBERG: Well, this was, uh, some things-- like I said, one was an alley closing at one time. There probably were other parking issues. Uh, if there w-- if there was something, like, with a code or something that they needed information or they needed a little more time or something like that, you know, then the president could ask me-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --to see what I could do, and so I would try to intervene on the behalf of the, uh, of the school. KLEE: You mentioned some of the, uh, political heavyweights of, uh, Louisville: Harvey Slone and, and Mayor Abramson. Uh, what w-- what were the political connections and how did, how did, how did the leadership look at the college? STEINBERG: Well, I mean, you know, I think, uh, they were really very supportive because it was, uh, you know, they're always trying to promote education, promote education-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --in the community, and I remember them, you know, coming on campus. Sometimes they would be a speaker in a classroom, uh, and, uh, maybe even at graduation. They're always invited. But, um, you know, I can't think of any real flag waving, uh, incident, but, uh-- KLEE: --Were there any, uh, outside the city leaders, were there any legislators, uh, that the college had to depend on for, you know, trying to get funding-- STEINBERG: Funding-- KLEE: --for new buildings. STEINBERG: Yes, and they would be invited to visit the campus. And let me tell you, some of the legislatures-- legislators today are JCC graduates, like Senator Tim Shaughnessy. KLEE: Really? Great. STEINBERG: Yeah. Um, he, uh, it-- he helped get the nursing building that they're going, they dedicated just last Friday,-- KLEE: --I see. STEINBERG: --and, uh, so-- yeah, we've had people, uh, connected that way. KLEE: Mm-hm. Do you think the relationship with the college community has changed over the years? STEINBERG: Well, I think in a positive way, yes. There are still some students that say, "I want to go to a campus; I don't want to go downtown only." Uh, but, uh, once they do, they see the smaller classes, they see the individualized teaching, they see the individualized counseling and they don't have a regret. I don't know of anyone that I've really encouraged to go there say, "Boy, I'm really sorry I made that decision." I think they really are supportive, and, uh, there are business-- uh, Dick Wilson, uh, worked for UB-- UBS. Is that the financial group? KLEE: Yeah. STEINBERG: Uh, uh, I-- KLEE: --Maybe. I don't know. STEINBERG: --or USB. I get them mixed up-- KLEE: --USB maybe. Uh-huh. STEINBERG: Well, he is a graduate. He was, uh, involved in student government, and he had a motorcycle, and he had long hair, and he was a photographer and, and I was his counselor. And now, you know, he has more zeroes by his name than I'll ever see,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and he is on the, uh, Board of Directors, and he is helping with the alumni and he's helping establish scholarships. Uh, I'll have to tell you, uh, you know, we have groomed, uh, some civic leaders. Maybe they all weren't there years ago and, um, I guess I should be embarrassed to tell you this, but he remembers some of the things that I did and he gives me more credit than he should for helping-- that he has, uh, established the Allen Steinberg, um, you know, Special Needs Fund,-- KLEE: --Great. STEINBERG: --and the director of the college-- I mean it's not, it's for a person; not just a scholarship for books but a person who might have to quit school because they can't pay their electric bill-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --or they need four tires because they, their car doesn't-- so, uh, and then, so it's already a couple thousands of dollars-- KLEE: --That's wonderful. STEINBERG: --and that has established, and the last thing that modestly, I'll tell you, but I'm telling you. Uh, when I left JCC in '97, the special dis--, the disabilities, uh, group, uh, established the Allen Steinberg Humanitarian Award for a faculty member or staff that gives to, uh, a little special needs, to, uh, special services to the people who have special needs. And they tricked me and I got the first one.- -(Klee laughs)--And I'll show it to you later, but I'm embarrassed to put it out here because it says "The Allen Steinberg Humanitarian Award awarded to Allen Steinberg,"--(Klee laughs)--and it looks like-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --I made my own plaque. (both laugh) So I hide it, but, uh-- KLEE: --Uh, I think when I was down there interviewing some people-- uh, it's been several, several months ago-- I think I saw a, a flyer up for nominations-- STEINBERG: --Yes. KLEE: --or something was coming up-- STEINBERG: --Right. KLEE: --and I saw your name there ----------(??) STEINBERG: They vote, uh, for a faculty member or staff-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --person who gives above and beyond to the students at JCC, and that's ten years ago. They did it as a nice goodbye, and I thought, Well they did it this year and-- KLEE: --It'll be-- STEINBERG: --they'll vote, but it's been ten years now-- KLEE: --Yeah, and they're still doing it. STEINBERG: --and that's nice, so I'm glad they're re-- a-- awarding it. KLEE: I wanted to ask you about, uh, we were talking about some of the community leadership. Were there some early members of the advisory board that stand out in your mind? Did you have any contact with them? STEINBERG: Well, that's a good question. I'm trying to think, uh, some of the people that were on there. Um, I even served as a faculty rep to the board,-- KLEE: --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --too, but, uh, there were just, there were varied people, I think, various people like Ed Hassenour at that time. He's passed away now, but he had a restaurant and we had a culinary arts program,-- KLEE: --Ah. STEINBERG: --so they tried to get people who could also help, and they did help. I can't recall-- I mean if I saw the names I,-- KLEE: --Sure. Yeah. STEINBERG: --I would be-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --able to-- KLEE: --Yeah. STEINBERG: --maybe tell you, but I'm sorry-- KLEE: --That's fine. STEINBERG: --it's been a couple years. (both laugh) KLEE: Were there any-- we, we talked about the Mud Bowl-- were there any crises or humorous events that stand out in your mind? STEINBERG: Well, let's see. The, uh, um, I'm trying to think of, uh, things that might have happened. Um, I, I know that, uh, there are people who feel that in that old building of 1905 that there might be, uh, ghosts or spirits,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --and people would hear noises and they would come running. "Hey, did you hear that, that? I was down--" especially the night classes. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: But, uh, oh gosh, I can't remember a real, a belly laugh one right now; might, uh, think of something later. (laughs) KLEE: Yeah. Wasn't any crises that you remember in particular? I mean-- STEINBERG: No. Uh, the, you know, tuition, you know, like even here in 2008, like when I heard that the council was considering thirteen per cent, I was gonna go speak out against it. I mean, who are they hurting? And taxing, they might not want to vote a tax on the cigarette, the legislators, but they want to pish-- push it onto students. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: But I think they finally went with a five per cent-- KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: --or something, and, uh, so, uh, there are always financial crises, uh, at the community college that I remember. I mean, so many students that really just needed sixty dollars to buy a sociology book to study poverty that they were living. KLEE: Right. (laughs) STEINBERG: So, you know, that was the crisis that I faced, and that's why Dick Wilson started this other scholarship because often we couldn't find monies and faculty and staff, myself included, would pay for this for the students. KLEE: I, I, I'm deviating from my interview role and you mentioned a set of tires even for a student. I walked out in my parking lot one day, and a, a girl-- her hands were bleeding and I wondered what was going on. She was changing her tire. It was so bald that the steel cables-- STEINBERG: --Oh! KLEE: --were coming through and she was-- but people don't understand what it's like if, uh, if they need to replace a tire. It's a crisis for some of our students. STEINBERG: Absolutely. I know. I appreciate you sharing that. I, I do understand that, and I know you, working at a community college, realize and were sensitized to this. KLEE: You said you had an interesting history and, uh, became active in a historical-- STEINBERG: --Yeah,-- KLEE: --league, you said? STEINBERG: --Right KLEE: Tell me about that. STEINBERG: Uh, well in 1971, Father Clyde Crews, professor of theology at Bellarmine and I, Allen Steinberg,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --co-founded the Louisville Historical League. And we called it a league-- we didn't want to say society because we didn't want people to think it was uppity--(Klee laughs)--but we wanted to make people aware of the history in their own backyard. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: And, uh, it was funny. A person who participated in one if our activities knocked on the door campaigning-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --just a short time ago,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --so the world is small. Uh, but, um, we started out we had bike hikes, walking tours to make people aware of the history,-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --and now there are more than six hundred members-- KLEE: --Good. STEINBERG: --and, uh, we call it white collar, blue collar and no collar--(Klee laughs)--so we want all people to participate, but that was something that I'm really glad to see established. KLEE: And your activities are primarily aimed at what? STEINBERG: Well, every, one Sunday a month, they will make people aware of history. Like, they might go into a business that is, uh, in a old building and, uh, industrial building, and it's been re--uh--done to serve a new purpose but the facade is oh-- uh, it's to make people aware of the importance of history. Don't tear down everything old; find the balance; uh, renovate, restore, uh, the neighborhood concept. And they give awards to people who adapt, find an adaptive use for an old building and make it, uh, you know, serve a new purpose. So it's an educational thing. They have a slide presentation-- or now PowerPoint-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --going into the, uh, schools, and they have contests and all to make people aware of history in our community. KLEE: Did you lose something as Jefferson got bigger and bigger as far as staff and faculty? STEINBERG: Well, without a doubt, you, we old-timers feel that. Uh, we had the camaraderie of twenty-five or thirty people in the first faculty and knew everyone by the first name, and-- KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: --as you get bigger and you have more campuses you can go to a joint faculty meeting and, Who is that over there? So, yes, you do, but I think the people who work in the community college are still dedicated to what I would hope they are, and that is the student. And even though you don't know them personally-- like, uh, we gave this award, the Allen Steinberg Humanitarian Award, to a person that's named, I think his last name is Friendly. A nice name. And he's a math teacher and he evidently gives-- and I met him for the first time, but he, you know, um, it, it was good to know that the students and faculty thought that there was a person still of that caliber that we wanted. But yes, you lose that, uh, closeness. KLEE: What went into your decision--of course, uh, you started in '67, and '97 was a nice round number as far as thirty, but what, what were you thinking about as far as, uh-- STEINBERG: --I knew I wasn't going to retire-retire, but they had that buyout. KLEE: Ah. STEINBERG: You, Allen Steinberg, have six months to decide. Do you want health care? Yes. Do you want, uh, this and that? Yes. And you have until such a date to decide. Now what that means, John, is they wanted to bring someone in at x-thousand cheaper, show me the door-- KLEE: --Mm-hm. STEINBERG: --and I just hope that next person would be as dedicated as I tried to be. (both laugh) KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: But, um, they, they, I, I had been there thirty years, and they had this buyout. I am fortunate for that because I do have the, uh,-- I pay, but I have, uh, a premium that I pay monthly, but I still have a health care program that's through Jefferson Community College/University of Kentucky,-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --uh, that I wouldn't have and we all know the cost of health care today. So that was a decision. But I was retired for three weeks and then-- KLEE: -- Before you go on I want to, uh-- that was right in the midst of the, the switch over from, from UK to this new system, so there were a lot of unknowns and-- STEINBERG: --Yes. KLEE: --And as far as-- STEINBERG: --You either were gonna be a part of that system, this system and, and didn't know what was going to happen,-- KLEE: -Sure. STEINBERG: --and I figured that I knew the University of Kentucky, primarily a system that I was a part of with health care and all, and so that was a major decision. It was a tough one. I mean, I had thought, Gosh. I mean I almost woke up in the morning, and I felt like I should get in my car and drive down Broadway, you know, because that's where I went to work. So, it was a big adjustment after thirty years. KLEE: Uh, did you already have any something lined up at that point? I mean-- STEINBERG: --Nope. No, I didn't, but I was on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky School for the Blind Charitable Foundation and I am past president of it. And, John, again, I'm sounding a little braggadocious; I'm one of the founders of that foundation,-- KLEE: --I see. STEINBERG: --uh, and, uh, about twenty years ago-- so here, I help; I'm one of five co-founders of the foundation that I volunteered for, became president of and then worked for them as a salaried individual. (laughs) So you might want to start a foundation. KLEE: Right. (laughs) STEINBERG: But, uh, the board-- KLEE: --So you went to work in 196-- or 1997 for the Kentucky School for the Blind-- STEINBERG: --On a part time basis, initially. KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: And then, uh, we began to grow, and it's walking distance down here on Frankfort Avenue so I could walk to work-- KLEE: --Is that right? You could walk to work? STEINBERG: Yes. Now if I needed my car for a meeting, I would drive. But one of the things, uh, is that, uh, they began to want a full time, so they asked me to resign from the board and become its first executive director,-- KLEE: --I see. STEINBERG: --which I was until, uh, February 2008. And now there's a new executive director, and I do free consultation with him. KLEE: Tell me about the, uh, challenges and accomplishments in this, in this, with that group. STEINBERG: Well, basically educational programs. Uh, blindness; Kentucky has a high degree in eastern Kentucky of R.P., Retinitis Pigmentosa. Uh, it's just inherited. You have fathers, children that have this, and it's a gene that they're trying to do research on to find out what is causing it. But eastern Kentucky has one of the highest-- KLEE: --Really? STEINBERG: --in the nation of R.P. Uh, also, uh, we have 120 counties in Kentucky so you do have educational programs, and I would go around and speak about the foundation. Uh, we had educational scholarships, we would buy Braille writers-- a Braille writer, which is a pen for you and, and for me-- well they need a Braille writer, maybe, and it costs six hundred dollars and not everyone could afford it. So the foundation would give it on permanent loan; you know, we buy these and give it to people. KLEE: So, even though they're, you, you were the, uh-- this organization is, is a part of the Kentucky School for the Blind, but you were doing outreach around the state. STEINBERG: Oh, gosh. Absolutely. Oh yeah, the Kentucky School for the Blind is the only blind school in Kentucky, so the children, kids, young people come from all over the state;-- KLEE: Okay. --Uh-huh. STEINBERG: --so we serve the whole state, not just Jefferson County. Obviously, being in Jefferson County, you probably tend to go heavy there, but, uh, you know, we have Braille writers all over the Commonwealth. In fact, I have a map at work-- I had a map at work; I'm not there now-- with pins where they are: Eas-- Eastern Kentucky, uh, the Lexington/Covington area, gosh. Lots of blindness, uh, individuals being served by the foundation there. And Bowling Green, the western part of the state. So, basically, it was, uh, a good opportunity to help people who were vision impaired and blind, adults as well as young people. KLEE: Uh, you explained this a little earlier in the, in the taping, just an affinity for people that had, uh, problems kind of outside their control-- STEINBERG: --Uh, you mean, uh-- KLEE: --Disabilities and, and, uh, you, you've learned, uh, to speak with, uh-- STEINBERG: --I don't know;-- KLEE: --the deaf and blind. STEINBERG: --I feel comfortable, uh, with-- you know, there are individuals that meet a blind person, they don't know should I shake his or her hand. And yes, you should reach down, particularly if they sort of put theirs out-- they don't have a hand out there and you not take it-- or they won't speak to a blind person or they're afraid to use the word see. You don't say, Well, I'll hear you later. Bye. You see, See you later. And they watch TV, not to listen-- but I really am so comfortable, uh, and I feel fortunate because one, they feel comfortable in return and then, I mean that, you know, we can dialogue and so forth. And then secondly, I can help educate other people. So if I have a blind friend-- which I have more than one-- and we go out to eat and they're with someone who's never gone out to eat and a blind person's present, then they become more educated and all. So it's just a little by osmosis that I feel like maybe I'm changing the world and-- KLEE: --Right. STEINBERG: --a little, a little at a time. We each do our share. KLEE: And, of course, you did that with students, and you mentioned some of the students. Were there, was there anyone else that, uh, you know, kind of, one of, kind of-- do you, do, has the community college had an impact, do you think, on the community? STEINBERG: Oh, yes. Uh, look. There is a builder in town that, uh, builds homes, and he was a fire fighter and he was a JCC student. He was in his twenties, and, uh, I came to know him because he wanted to have long hair and the fire department said, "You've got to cut it over the collar or we're going to fire you." Well, so they came to me for counseling. We became friends and, um, he, uh, basically did well, gradu-- left JCC, uh, became a builder, has sons who are builders in town now. But what he did was build a house-- and I still kept in touch with him, as I said-- uh, and gave the net profits to the Kentucky School for the Blind Charitable Foundation. KLEE: Does his name come to mind? STEINBERG: Oh, I know, yes-- Bob, uh, Greenwell. KLEE: Okay. STEINBERG: Sure. I just was, sort of-- KLEE: --Sure. STEINBERG: Uh, but, uh, Greenwell. Uh, and, uh, the thing I'm saying, he-- I didn't know him, but he was a JCC student, then he, you know, is a citizen and then he's a, a builder and, and now, he's giving back. KLEE: Right. STEINBERG: So that's just an example of being there and connecting. And then I, then Dick Wilson with his-- he's establishing other things, too, at JCC. He really cares about it, so we have groomed, I think, uh, a group of people that will see that JCC stays on the map. KLEE: Right. Were there questions that I should have asked you that come to mind? STEINBERG: Gosh. You've covered it pretty thoroughly. And the only thing that I think is funny-- that one note that I had here-- is that, um, we didn't know wh-- if we were going to have a mascot, and we did. And the student body voted on it, but they don't abide by it today; the St. Bernard. Uh, they were going to call us the saints, and, uh, they put all these different animals and things up and the, the officially voted by student body was-- and, uh, I, guarantee you they don't know that today-- is that the St. Bernard's the mascot and the colors are chestnut and gold. KLEE: Is that right? STEINBERG: It's brown and gold, and Chestnut Street is one of the areas that--. KLEE: --Well, that's good. STEINBERG: And, uh, by the way, Jesse Stuart was one of our speakers at graduation on the Belvedere outside downtown Louisville. Jesse Stuart came and spoke, and that was through Lee Pennington. He was the acquaintance. KLEE: Is that right? Huh. STEINBERG: So, uh, those are just-- Oh! We had, uh, you know, we have ADA, American Disabilities Act, that says you have to have ramps and all. There was one step into the west wing of the JF Building, just that one building, and we had a person in a wheelchair and it was hard to get her in and out. So, I wrote the, uh, uh, president, you know, and then building and grounds, and so we had a ramp. But we put that in and we weren't mandated by, uh, Congress to do it-- but, uh, I'm just saying we were sensitive to the need, to the need that we had to have a ramp. So, we did. KLEE: I appreciate you talking to me. STEINBERG: Thank you very much, and good luck to you. KLEE: Sure. Thank you. [End of interview.] Oral history with Allan Steinberg, counselor at Jefferson Community College, 1967-1997. Interview discusses childhood in Louisville, education at University of Louisville, thirty year work with Jefferson Community College, political work as city alderman, and recent work with Kentucky School for the Blind. Highlights include early campus buildings, faculty and programs at the college as well as student activities and athletics. Impact of Vietnam War on enrollment and class room discussions are detailed. Concludes with Steinberg's work with students at the college as well as additional work with Louisville Historical League and the Kentucky School for the Blind. insert here