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1978-05-17 Interview with Glenda Davis, May 17, 1978 FNS001:1978OH152 FNS 12 01:30:23 Frontier Nursing Service Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Frontier Nursing Service, Inc. Rural health services Glenda Davis; interviewee Carol Crowe-Carraco; interviewer 1978OH152_FNS012_Davis 1:|11(2)|35(10)|44(7)|56(12)|94(5)|110(12)|142(3)|157(2)|177(1)|199(5)|229(2)|242(8)|261(6)|280(9)|294(3)|339(1)|363(3)|371(7)|388(3)|401(7)|419(5)|447(13)|463(5)|470(4)|478(6)|497(13)|524(8)|559(6)|580(7)|598(1)|619(10)|648(14)|681(4)|689(7)|712(7)|730(1)|744(10)|758(8)|771(12)|804(6)|846(4)|868(14)|879(11)|890(6)|915(3)|932(4)|957(7)|969(1)|998(4)|1023(6)|1046(4)|1065(10)|1087(10)|1096(7)|1129(7)|1149(2)|1180(6)|1199(10)|1216(10)|1227(4)|1235(3)|1266(2)|1292(11)|1316(12)|1339(5)|1364(9)|1372(7)|1383(12)|1408(5)|1437(7)|1457(2)|1467(3)|1476(1)|1496(11)|1515(9)|1533(11)|1570(7)|1579(7)|1591(3)|1604(4)|1613(7)|1656(1)|1676(8)|1690(12)|1712(8)|1735(3)|1752(3)|1762(2)|1788(13)|1820(3) audiotrans FNSColl interview CROWE-CARRACO: If you don't mind, let me just kind of start out and ask you to tell me your name and where you were born. DAVIS: Glenda [Glenna?] Sams Davis, and I was born in Clay County on the Red Bird River near the mouth of Hector. Lived on a farm and I'm from a large family. I had eight brothers and sisters. One little sister died in her first school year. And I have always thought, since I've been older, that she could have been saved if we'd have had medical help that we have now. She was a little beginner and she ran across the playground and a ball was batted and struck her in the stomach, the batted ball,-- CROWE-CARRACO: Goodness. DAVIS: --and she lived a week. And, you know, something ruptured, probably, on the inside and wasn't attend to and she died. CROWE-CARRACO: I see. May I be real rude, I suppose, and ask you about what year you were born? DAVIS: Nineteen hundred and nineteen. CROWE-CARRACO: Ninet---oh, you're a young girl, my father would say. DAVIS: Oh, (laugh--Crowe-Carraco) not so! CROWE-CARRACO: Have you lived here in the Red Bird Valley all your life? DAVIS: With the exception of three years. Our first three years of marriage we lived in Hamilton, Ohio. That was during the war days, you know, and my husband was rejected and--from the war-- CROWE-CARRACO: ----------(??). DAVIS: --the army--the army because of high blood pressure. But he was able to work for a time in the war plants that--and then there came the time that his blood pressure was so high they said he would have to get out of the shop. So we came back and he started working for the Ford Motor Company, which the Ford Motor Company--the Clara Ford Center was donated through this Ford family. And he worked nine years with Ford. But in the--about the middle of those years, he--his blood pressure just went out of bounds and the--he had to get help. He went--he checked himself into a Lexington hospital and they kept him about eleven days for observation. And they found that he--finally that there was a tumor in the adrenal gland that was causing his blood pressure. And they had never done surgery like this in Lexington, and their--at that time--this was in the '50s, I can't remember the exact date--there--there had been just about three in the United States. CROWE-CARRACO: My goodness. DAVIS: And though they--they called a council of doctors, about ten, and they worked on this and they were willing to try--attempt it, you know, and he was willing for 'em to. He wanted--he knew something had to be done. And the surgery was a great success. The tumor was removed and he--in six weeks he was able to go back to his work, and he's never had the blood pressure problem again. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, wonderful! DAVIS: And so he was just one of the fortunate few. CROWE-CARRACO: Well, you know, we've just talked about him as your husband. What is--what's Mr. Davis' name? DAVIS: Joe. CROWE-CARRACO: Mr. Joe Davis. DAVIS: Mr. Joe Davis. CROWE-CARRACO: And when were you all married? DAVIS: In '42,-- CROWE-CARRACO: In 1942. DAVIS: --December of '42. CROWE-CARRACO: Here, in the-- DAVIS: In--in this section. His parents live just a mile below us here. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh! DAVIS: And I wanted to go on to say that Dr. [James B., Jr.] Holloway was his doctor in Lexington, and I notice he's on the--is it the Board of Governors? CROWE-CARRACO: Board of Governors. DAVIS: And he told me--I was in Lexington in the '60s, somewhere in there, and--with my sister in the hospital, and she had room--he had a patient just a room down. He recognized me and he told me then that Joe's surgery was the highlight, had been then, of his career, and that he still had his tumor preserved. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh! (laughs) Well, did the FNS send him to Lexington-- send Mr. Davis, or did he go on his own? DAVIS: He went on his own. He had doctored with FNS, he had doctored with different doctors, and medicines just wasn't the answer. CROWE-CARRACO: Um-hm. Well, I think Mr. Davis must be a smart man to just take himself up to the medical center. DAVIS: He--he knew--well, that's right. He had worked at Fl---and climbed the mountains, which the doctors had told him to get out of the shop and get out into the fresh air, you know, and he--and this just got to be--he just couldn't cope with it anymore. It was 240 over--I don't--I can't remember. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, my gracious goodness. He was just a heart attack-- DAVIS: Um-hm. Yeah. CROWE-CARRACO:--looking for a place to happen. DAVIS: Right. CROWE-CARRACO: When was the first time that you heard about the FNS, as a girl or as a young-- DAVIS: As a child in my elementary school years. The center had been established here, the Clara Ford Center, and our little one room elementary school was about three miles below here by horse then, you know, and--as it was. And they set up clinic days and came to our school and gave us our-- CROWE-CARRACO: Well,-- DAVIS: --injections. CROWE-CARRACO:--you-- DAVIS: And I still have my big old-- CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, yes, you've got-- DAVIS: --scar. CROWE-CARRACO:--a nice scar there. (laughs) DAVIS: Now, this was the very first. CROWE-CARRACO: And you were probably in elementary school then. DAVIS: Yes, about fourth or fifth grade, somewhere I guess. CROWE-CARRACO: All right. DAVIS: And then they held a dentistry clinic here and they singled out- -they came and selected children from the schools, and I was one. I got some dental service, the first I'd ever had in my life and it was free. And then my mother had her last baby in her late forties, and she'd always had a midwife. And the midwife came, and she was in labor so long they--it looked like they were gonna lose her. Now this--I was a--still a child and didn't know too much then, but then I've heard the story from my mother. And they--they called the nurse. In those days they didn't call, they had to ride a horse and go ask 'em to come. And a nurse came and it was Mrs. Ma---Mathum--Matthis--Mathums? CROWE-CARRACO: Sounds all right. There was a MacKinnon, but I think she might have-- DAVIS: No, it was--and she came and they had a successful delivery. CROWE-CARRACO: Were you at home or did they-- DAVIS: No, I was at-- CROWE-CARRACO:--send the children away? DAVIS: --I was at school, and we met on our way home--we knew--I was old enough, I knew what was happening, you know. This midwife was there when we left for school and it'd been going on all through the night and all that day. And the nurse, we met her riding her horse and we couldn't wait to get to the house, you know, to see what had happened, and there we had a little brother. CROWE-CARRACO: A new baby brother. DAVIS: Um-hm. CROWE-CARRACO: The--the midwife had delivered the rest of you children then, huh? DAVIS: Yes. CROWE-CARRACO: All right. Was she willing to call in the Frontier Nurse because she couldn't do it? DAVIS: FNS, she was. Now, there was one delivery. This midwife, Lee Hoskins, that lived across Red Bird, my mother--the second baby, she was due and there was this big tide in the river and they couldn't get across to get word to Lee. And the school teacher, a lady, came and delivered this baby. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, the school teacher did? DAVIS: The school teacher did. CROWE-CARRACO: My goodness! DAVIS: Martha [Britton?]. CROWE-CARRACO: I see. DAVIS: So you can kindly [sic kind of] see that we really did have a need. CROWE-CARRACO: Yes, you did. Was the--was the baby brother named for the nurse or anything by chance? DAVIS: No, he was named for his grandfather, John. CROWE-CARRACO: John Sims. DAVIS: Yeah, Sams. CROWE-CARRACO: Sams. Sorry. As a--as a young girl then, did you go up to the Clara Ford Center periodically for--for checkups or for other vaccinations, or did the nurses come to your house? DAVIS: They continued to come to the school. No, they didn't come to the homes. They would--they made their contacts in the school. Sometimes, you know, if a child that wasn't in school age had tonsillitis or something, a mother would bring them to the school on the day that they were to come. So the school on that day was just kind of a clinic. And--and then the other times that I was at the center as a child was at Christmas time. CROWE-CARRACO: Can you tell me about Christmas at Clara Ford Center? DAVIS: They had always had, I thought, the most beautiful tree, and in those days children didn't have everything like they have now. And they really appreciated it if it was a book. We were hungry for books to read and--because then reading material was scarce in this section. We just didn't have it. And I have read stories and I'd get near the end and I would be heartbroken because my story was (laughing) gonna end. CROWE-CARRACO: So your Christmas present from the nurses then often times had books in it. DAVIS: Yes. CROWE-CARRACO: What about toys or fruit or-- DAVIS: Well, they had always candies and--and fruits. But the presents that I remember most were books. CROWE-CARRACO: Did Mrs. Breckinridge ever come to these Christmas parties? DAVIS: No, I never did see her at a Christmas party, and I never did see her until we moved back into this section and we were asked to serve on the committee for--at a very young age, you know, and we started going. In fact, my baby son now is thirty years old, and I took him as a little toddler. And the other one-- there was three and a half years difference in their age--he was in school at that time. So our meetings generally were in the afternoon. We'd have lunch together. In those days the committee meetings were just more or less a social get- together. And today we've had to completely redo, and the committee now is kind of a link, working together with the Service and the community. CROWE-CARRACO: So you think back in--I guess thirty years ago would be about 1948, when you had your committee meetings it was primarily a dinner? DAVIS: Yes, that's what it was-- CROWE-CARRACO: Did-- DAVIS: --and-- CROWE-CARRACO:--did you all take food? DAVIS: --we all took the food. Uh-huh. And--but every--we seldom ever saw Mrs. Breckinridge except at these occasions, and she was certainly the star of the show. She--everybody just loved her and she always gave us, you know, a talk on the Service. And then it was just booming. CROWE-CARRACO: Can you tell me what Mrs. Breckinridge looked like in the 1940s? DAVIS: Well, she was graying. I can show you a picture now. And the best that I can remember, when I began seeing her, was something like that. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, I see. DAVIS: And--and then later on, as time went on, she--this--the last time I saw her, we went to--we were invited to a--our committee was invited to Wendover. And she was confined to her room then and just three or four, enough at a time, to visit with her. But this time they served us a delicious meal there at Wendover. CROWE-CARRACO: Well, it looks like in this picture here she's got her hair kind of balled up. Did--do you remember her having it like that? I always thought-- DAVIS: No. CROWE-CARRACO:--her hair was cut-- DAVIS: It was short. CROWE-CARRACO:--short like mine or-- DAVIS: It is-- CROWE-CARRACO:--something. DAVIS: --it was. Well, I think-- CROWE-CARRACO: Maybe that's-- DAVIS: --that this is just as short, but she's kindly pinned it back. It was. CROWE-CARRACO: I see. DAVIS: Every time--I never saw her with long hair. CROWE-CARRACO: And were you aware that she had a bad back by just watching her walk, or was she stooped and using a cane in the late '40s? DAVIS: She--well, no. She didn't use the cane till in her later life-- CROWE-CARRACO: All right. DAVIS: --very much. CROWE-CARRACO: In the--in the '40s,-- DAVIS: But-- CROWE-CARRACO:--when she came to--to the committee meetings, did she tell the children stories or did you all keep the children at home? DAVIS: No. We had--like I said, I took my little boy with me, you know. In fact I wouldn't have been able to have gone had I not taken him. And she--children really stood out to Mrs. Breckinridge. CROWE-CARRACO: I-- DAVIS: This was the very thing that caused her to come to the Kentucky mountains to-- CROWE-CARRACO: I have read somewhere that she used to gather the children around her after dinner and tell giant-- DAVIS: Stories. CROWE-CARRACO:--stories. Do you remember-- DAVIS: She had her stories. CROWE-CARRACO:--her telling stories? DAVIS: And right there--the chairman of the committee had a little grands---that's Mr. Chris Queen. He was their chairman until he moved away in, oh, let's see, the '60s, somewhere in the '60s. And they had a little grandson, and he was always there with Billy--Pat and Billy. And these were her two little gents. And, you know, there was one thing about Mrs. Breckinridge that always reminded me of my grandmother on my father's side, my Grandmother Sam. My grandfather died at a very early age with a heart attack, and my grandmother had six children that she reared on her own then. But--and most of these children were boys. She had two daughters and four girls [sic boys]. And she always--the men in the family were first. I don't know why. But--and to Mrs. Breckinridge, the men came first. CROWE-CARRACO: I see. DAVIS: And--but I can see how Mrs. Breckinridge got what she wanted. She told a story and--you know, just in her way, she--people realized that there was the need and--and that's all she had to say, you know. She got the job done by just simply telling the story--the need as she saw it, you know. CROWE-CARRACO: Did Mr. Queen ever call a meeting of the committee, a kind of pre-committee meeting before the--you got together with the nurses and Mrs. Breckinridge? DAVIS: Well, if he did, I wasn't in on it. CROWE-CARRACO: All right. In these early meetings in the late '40s, the--in the committee meetings when Mrs. Breckinridge came or perhaps she didn't, perhaps somebody else did, with the nurses, were you women allowed to say your piece, or was it kind of a male dominated thing? DAVIS: Well, it's more male dominated because the ladies--we were there and willing to do anything we could, but the men generally spoke and did--took care of the business. It was-- CROWE-CARRACO: What kind of business did you take care of? DAVIS: Well, in--always there were problems, like problems with their water systems, you know, at the different centers, and problems with the roads up to the centers, and things like this that they would discuss, you know. And we had one--they'd drill two or three different wells up there at the Hyden Hospital and they work--worked--either they were dry holes or there was too much mineral or something that--and we had one member of our communi---committee that was a water witch. Do you know what that is? CROWE-CARRACO: I know what a water witch is. DAVIS: And I remember them bringing up this problem and Mr. [Will?] Spurlock spoke up and said, well, he would be willing, you know, to volunteer his service and go and try to locate a spot for another drilling. CROWE-CARRACO: What kind of a--a limb did he use, do you remember? DAVIS: I believe it was a peach tree limb. Was that what you mean? CROWE-CARRACO: I think so. I-- DAVIS: I think that's what it was. CROWE-CARRACO: But he--was he able to find a--find a good place-- DAVIS: Well,-- CROWE-CARRACO:--that year? DAVIS: --so far as I know, they did. I don't remember that it was brought up anymore. CROWE-CARRACO: Was there a problem about clinic hours? DAVIS: No. Clinics, in those days, were any time that somebody came and had a need. And then I think this really hurt the service when they settled down into routine hours, and people went with their sick children and they had to be turned away because it wasn't clinic hours. This hurt. CROWE-CARRACO: People's feelings were hurt-- DAVIS: Yeah. CROWE-CARRACO:--and their children were still sick, huh? DAVIS: Um-hm. Right. I think they realize that now. And they're going to--at our center, since our two centers, the Flat Creek and Red Bird Center have combined now, they're going to try to be open more than they have been, and I think this will help. CROWE-CARRACO: Do you remember back in the late '40s or even back in the '20s and '30s when you were a girl, was there a health service fee? Was there a yearly fee that you paid? DAVIS: I think at first it was one dollar a year, and this included all the services that you would get. Like some member of the family was sick at home, they made home visits. The children got all their injections, their inoculations, and this was all covered under that one dollar. Then I remember very well when it went up to two dollars. CROWE-CARRACO: Do you remember about what year that was? DAVIS: Well, my baby son was born in '48, and I think at that date we were paying two dollars a year for the service. And our oldest child- -I mentioned earlier that we lived in Hamilton, Ohio for three years, and he was born there. And I went to the Mercy Hospital, and it was--I went to the la---out of the labor room, you know, into the delivery room and they gave me anesthesia, and I don't--I was just about blank from there on out, and I woke up in hysterics. And I didn't get to see my baby until--that was at ten o'clock today and I didn't see the baby until the next morning because I was not in any condition. And Miss Minnie [Geyer?], the FNS nurse, was my nurse. She was at the Red Bird Center for my second baby. And I had all the prenatal care, you know, they offered and she came to the home to make the delivery. And, of course, she knew about my first delivery. I had told her. And she told me after this second delivery, she says, "I really must commend you." She said, "I was dreading you, (laughs) having--had this help the first time." But, I'll tell you, there was all the difference in the world in the two deliveries. And I would recommend the natural birth to the first one wholeheartedly because my baby was born at six o'clock in the morning. She came, I think, at two o'clock, and she was there until six, the baby was born, and by nine o'clock I was feeling fine. Had my baby, you know, and-- CROWE-CARRACO: You didn't have all that sickness from-- DAVIS: No. CROWE-CARRACO:--the anesthesia,-- DAVIS: That's-- CROWE-CARRACO:--either? DAVIS: --right. So that one was just--I was real pleased. And then she came to the home for ten days, every morning. She gave me a bath, the baby a bath. Well, you know, after I--the mother gets to where she's on--and for ten days, you have all this good care. Now, they get you-- it's altogether different. CROWE-CARRACO: Yeah. (laughs) They sweep you into the hospital-- DAVIS: Yeah. CROWE-CARRACO:--and you're out in-- DAVIS: Sweep you-- CROWE-CARRACO:--three days. DAVIS: --right out. CROWE-CARRACO: Do you remember what the midwifery fee was for your second son? DAVIS: I think that it was just five dollars, with--and--no. She brought--she'd always bring a layette that had been prepared for each baby that they delivered. And I think the layette was five dollars. And I just can't remember what, but it wasn't anything much. CROWE-CARRACO: ----------(??) for or all the care you got. DAVIS: Yeah, right. And then for a whole month she came once a week, you know, to make a check on me, to see that everything was going all right. CROWE-CARRACO: And then when your baby was a little bit older, did you start taking him to the clinic-- DAVIS: Um-hm. CROWE-CARRACO:--for his--for his shots and other things? Did she--I know you were probably not noticing things like this, but when she came to deliver your baby in 1948, was she riding on horseback or did she-- DAVIS: Well, see we lived right out there-- CROWE-CARRACO: And she didn't have to, huh? DAVIS: --and the center was--right, she walked down the hill. My husband had to walk up there and get-- CROWE-CARRACO: Get her. DAVIS: --her, though, because we had no phone. CROWE-CARRACO: Did she still carry saddle-bags or did she-- DAVIS: Well, she-- CROWE-CARRACO:--have a satchel? DAVIS: --had her--they had a grip-like that they carried when they walked. Some--now, like she had patients in the head of this hollow that she would walk and go to. She carried her little grip. But then when they rode horses in those days out on the main roads, she carried her saddlebags. CROWE-CARRACO: I see. So your experience having a baby delivered by the--the Frontier Nursing Service was so much better than the Hamilton hospital, huh? DAVIS: Um-hm. It was. And I--now today, they don't do as many home delivers as they did because they have the hospital and with the-- CROWE-CARRACO: Better roads. DAVIS: --roads, telephones and all, they can get in and out, and they can always get to the hospital in time, you know. So I've not heard, but I--I don't believe they deliver very many in the home now. CROWE-CARRACO: You and your husband became active in the committee when you came back here, you said,-- DAVIS: Um-hm. CROWE-CARRACO:--I guess about 1945, after the war, I guess? DAVIS: See our first baby was born in '44 and we came back in '45. He was nine months old when we came and I came as a teacher in the elementary school. I didn't tell you that--I told you were from a large family, and my father made our living on our farm. And in the winter--fall after the farm had been tak---the crops had been taken care of, he did logging in the--and they brought the logs out to the river by mule. They had dumped--sometime if it would--they would dump 'em onto the hill to the river bed, and then they would make the rafts. And this was our money crop (laughs) in those days. We didn't grow tobacco like they do today. CROWE-CARRACO: Did your father ever take those rafts on to Frankfort? Did he ever go on that-- DAVIS: Yes. CROWE-CARRACO:--far? DAVIS: Yes, he has. And it was on one of these rafts that his father died with a heart attack. And my dad was on the raft with him, and he was fifteen year old. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, my! DAVIS: And he got to him, he saw--and he said he died in his arms. But he continued to take the--and they would have to walk back. They would ride down the river and then they would be three or four days getting back home walking. CROWE-CARRACO: I guess the steamboats had quit running by then and didn't bring anybody back,-- DAVIS: No. CROWE-CARRACO:--did they? DAVIS: No, they walked back. And this was the time that we children always looked forward to seeing the big tides come because Dad would be going down the--and we just thought that was something. We'd go over to the ford where the main road led over to the river, the crossing, and we would stand and wave and watch for his raft to go down, you know. CROWE-CARRACO: How large were those rafts? I've been told that maybe sometimes you would have, oh,--oh, they might be-- DAVIS: Wide? CROWE-CARRACO:--two or three hundred feet-- DAVIS: Wide. CROWE-CARRACO:--really. DAVIS: Long--long, I guess. I'd say they were that long. And then they were the length of a--oh, twenty--about as wide as this--this house, I think, is about-- CROWE-CARRACO: That's a pretty good-- DAVIS: Yeah. CROWE-CARRACO:--pile of logs. And I guess they were all hard wood, probably walnut and poplar-- DAVIS: Beech. CROWE-CARRACO:--and beech. DAVIS: Um-hm. And we had--we were brought up very meager but we had love in the home. And my dad always said, "Well, I've had to work so hard. I want a better life for my children." And he--out of the eight that were still in the family, I had one mentally retarded sister, see- -let's see, the third child down, and all--there were seven others then. Six of us got a college education and-- CROWE-CARRACO: That's wonderful. Did you go to Berea or-- DAVIS: No. I went to Lindsey Wilson Junior college. CROWE-CARRACO: In-- DAVIS: I graduated-- CROWE-CARRACO:--at Columbia? DAVIS: --Columbia. I went to Oneida Institute and graduated there. [End Tape #1, Side #1] [Begin Tape #1, Side #2] DAVIS: Well,-- CROWE-CARRACO: That must have been a trip-- DAVIS: --during the-- CROWE-CARRACO:--over the mountains. DAVIS: --it was. We--I--the reason I went to Lindsey Wilson, a cousin that played basketball was invited to come to Lindsey Wilson to play basketball, and he came back with all the thrilling stories, you know, of Lindsey Wilson. When I graduated from Oneida, I was awarded a scholarship. I rated the second highest in my class and--because there were two of us, my brother and I, in the same class. I got a scholarship and it really--it was paid by the Woman's Home Missionary Society, the Southern Baptist [Convention?]. And they wanted me to go and it was intended that I go to the Bethel Woman's School in Hopkinsville. And I just told them that I had fallen in love with Lindsey Wilson--it was just a junior college and it still is--and that I wanted to go there. And, you know, they arranged--they--the Baptist church, [Obie Millum?] was pastor then, so they just called him and they put me in his care and I went to Lindsey Wilson. I was there two years. And I taught two years and was married and went to--this was in a one-room school with all eight grades,-- CROWE-CARRACO: Did you teach-- DAVIS: --but I loved it. CROWE-CARRACO:--over here, when you came-- DAVIS: Yes. CROWE-CARRACO:--back? DAVIS: I taught on Hector-- CROWE-CARRACO: On Hector. DAVIS: --two and a half miles above where I was raised and rode a horse. I bought my own horse. And I crossed Hector Creek, that two and a half miles, I think it's about seven times. You know, in--creeks wind and the road went in and out. In the wintertime, when I would get to school many of a time there was ice frozen on my feet in the stirrups, you know. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, my! Do you remember the Depression? DAVIS: Yes. CROWE-CARRACO: How bad was it? DAVIS: Well, the Depression wasn't bad for us because we lived off of the farm, (laughs) and the farm was still there and we still worked and we still had our food. But for our cousins that were older that had gone away to the cities--a lot had gone to Cincinnati, Ohio to get work, you know--they all came drifting back starving to death. It was bad. And they stayed and worked on the farm and just helped out, and they all ate together. We all survived. CROWE-CARRACO: I read an article that Mrs. Breckinridge wrote and she likened the--the coming back to the mountains of people during the Depression, instead of calling it a "soup line", she called it "a cornbread line." DAVIS: Yeah, that's about the way it was. And people didn't have all the fancy foods they have now, but they survived. They were-- CROWE-CARRACO: Let's talk a little bit more about the FNS, maybe when you were a girl. We'll go back and--and say something else about that Christmas party that they had up at the Clara Ford Center that you remember so well when you got your books. Was there a--a Christmas play as part of that? Did you have a Nativity-- DAVIS: No. CROWE-CARRACO:--play? DAVIS: No, they didn't, but they later--in later years they had the Nativity scene. I believe the first time they began having it was when Skip and Elsie, two Christian ladies that were there at our center, I believe eleven years ----------(??), and they were members of the Big Creek Baptist Church. And they--but in those days it would have been wonderful, because in our section we had church one Sunday a month in the summer and fall. In wintertime the roads were so bad there was no service at all. It was hard-shell Baptist. And it would've--children in those days didn't know the Christmas story. They didn't know. I didn't. CROWE-CARRACO: I was gonna ask if your--if your mother read the Bible aloud maybe to you, or-- DAVIS: Yes. And I remember very distin---my mother was a Christian and I can remember when she was baptized. And--but, now, my father, he had his one bad habit. He liked his booze and occasionally he would get drunk. And (laughs) we dreaded those times, you know, because this made my mother so unhappy, and we were unhappy when she was unhappy. And--but then my father was converted. He tried hard to rid himself of the habit, but he never could by himself. But the Lord got a hold of him, it was gone. CROWE-CARRACO: You need to talk to my mother. She was raised in the mountains of north Georgia, and her daddy had the same problem your daddy had. DAVIS: Yeah? CROWE-CARRACO: In addition, he also made it. (laughs) DAVIS: Yeah. CROWE-CARRACO: So--and a very similar story there. Do you remember if the--the nurses ever had "grab sales" up at Clara Ford Center,-- DAVIS: Well,-- CROWE-CARRACO: Which we call a yard sale today,-- DAVIS: Today. CROWE-CARRACO:--wouldn't we? DAVIS: They did, yes. And-- CROWE-CARRACO: Were the articles pretty good or-- DAVIS: They were good. Very good things. And at Christmas time--now, after my children--this was in the '40s-- each family got a Christmas bag. There were toys for the children, books for the children, there was candy, and there was always an article of clothing, real good. CROWE-CARRACO: For every member of the family or just-- DAVIS: For--no, just the children. CROWE-CARRACO:--the children? Just for the children. DAVIS: It was for the children. And the children--this was a highlight of the year for them. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, I bet it was. DAVIS: Yes. CROWE-CARRACO: Did you--did they have their Christmas party before December 25th or-- DAVIS: Yes,-- CROWE-CARRACO:--did they have it-- DAVIS: --it would be before. CROWE-CARRACO: I didn't know if you all celebrated what we call "Old Christmas" or not here in January. DAVIS: Well, it would--no, it would be a week or maybe--about a week before Christmas time. CROWE-CARRACO: I see. Were there ever parties in the summertime? When you were a girl, say,-- DAVIS: Um-um. CROWE-CARRACO:--do you remember? DAVIS: No, never. CROWE-CARRACO: Do you remember if there were ever knitting classes, say, when you were a girl? DAVIS: No. Well, see, now, I didn't know too much about what was going on at the--there might have been. I live--when you live three and a half or four miles away, that was a long way and we didn't know what all was going on up here, you know. CROWE-CARRACO: So you only saw the nurse when she came to-- DAVIS: Came to us. CROWE-CARRACO:--take care of your little brother. DAVIS: Yeah, and at school. CROWE-CARRACO: And at school. DAVIS: Uh-huh. CROWE-CARRACO: When you were a girl, was there a--a Christmas party at school by the FNS or-- DAVIS: No. But there--we had--Mr. Matt Hensley was our teacher for a number of years, and Christmas was just like another day for him. He wasn't a Christian. But we had--my third year, Mr. Hensley had--somehow he and his niece switched schools. He went to Big Creek. I guess it was a little farther for her to have ridden a horse, so he took the longer distance, and they swapped schools that year. And she had a beautiful tree. You know, that was the first tree we'd had, my third school year. But how well I remember that, and I can tell you some--now the gifts that I got on that tree. (laughs--Crowe- Carraco). And then, in my sixth year, this Mrs. Hensley, she was Miss [Britton?] that delivered our little sister during the tide, she was our teacher one year. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh! DAVIS: She was an adorable lady and she and Estill Spurlock switched schools that year. Now, she lived close to this little school that we attended, and Mr. Spurlock was close to the school that he was hired to teach at London, and they switched. I would have had Estill that year had it--and--and I think I did have him for a few weeks or a month or something, and they switched. She wouldn't have to cross the river, you know, to get to that school, and we loved having her. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, I bet you did. DAVIS: And I remember her at my little sister's funeral. She came and br---now, this baby that died, this little beginner and six-year-old, was her--the baby that she delivered. And she came and brought the one bouquet of flowers that I remember, and they were just cut from her yard, you know. CROWE-CARRACO: So your--so your mother had two children then delivered by the FNS, a little boy and a little girl? DAVIS: No, this little girl was the--the school teacher-- CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, the school teacher-- DAVIS: --delivered her. CROWE-CARRACO:--delivered her. All right. I was getting the story crossed. Well, you've had an exciting life. Here you are a school girl and you've gone off to Lindsey Wilson, came back and taught, and became a bride and went off to Ohio, and came back again. My gracious goodness. DAVIS: And I worked a year in the plant, [Nile?] Tool and Die. And they made planes--parts for-- CROWE-CARRACO: The-- DAVIS: --war planes, and my husband worked in that same shop. CROWE-CARRACO: Was this up at Hamilton? DAVIS: Hamilton. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh. You came back here about '45, I guess, so you've lived back here thirty-three years, right in this area here. DAVIS: Up and down this ----------(??). CROWE-CARRACO: Right up and down the valley. What changes have you seen in the FNS in those years? DAVIS: Well, the roads, I guess, brought on the biggest changes, probably. Getting highways. And this took 'em from the horseback days into motor travel. And this--I guess like I said, in those days--in the early days, three or four miles was a long ways. And then telephone just brought people closer together, you know, communication is better. And we went from two nurses--now, for the last few years we've just had one nurse at the center and, like I say, most of the deliveries are in the hospital, not in the home. CROWE-CARRACO: Would your nurse now say--I think she's Sue Hall, isn't she? DAVIS: Um-hm. Sue H---Sue Hull. CROWE-CARRACO: Sue Hull. Would Sue go into the hospital and deliver the babies now, or-- DAVIS: No, I don't believe she does. I believe they have--the --------- -(??) that's there does-- CROWE-CARRACO: Does that. DAVIS: --the delivery. CROWE-CARRACO: I see. DAVIS: In fact my neighbor that lives right here in our house that we rent, this was our home. This was where our Billy was born, our baby. And she had a delivery this past April and she works for the--at the Flat Creek Center as a secretary, and she worked till the week before her baby was delivered. And Sue--the morning that she was to go in, her husband just happened to be gone. He'd run into town, and the little boy, his six-year-old, wanted to go with him and he said, "No, you better stay. Your mommy may need you." And sure enough here comes the little [Riley John] with a note. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, (laughing) my! DAVIS: Call her sister, you know, that--at a certain number. And I called and she wasn't there. She'd gone into--I got through her mother and she said they would get word to him. She--they would try to locate--they'd send somebody, though, and I sent the note back. Here she came--he came back with another note, "Call Sue Hull at the Red Bird Center." And I called Sue and she came and I went, and we got her ready, and that was after nine o'clock, and by eleven o'clock the baby was born in the hospital. Sue drove her in. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, almost like the good old days,-- DAVIS: Yeah. CROWE-CARRACO:--huh? DAVIS: Almost. CROWE-CARRACO: My goodness, a little bit slower and you all would have had a baby down at your house. Couldn't he (laughs)-- DAVIS: Another baby. CROWE-CARRACO:--with another baby. DAVIS: Yeah. Right. CROWE-CARRACO: Have you or your husband been president or chairman of the Red Bird Committee? DAVIS: Well, my husband is chairman now. CROWE-CARRACO: He's chairman now. How long has he been chairman? DAVIS: Well, for the last eight or ten years, I can't remember exactly. CROWE-CARRACO: What does he have to as chairman? DAVIS: Well, he--there's several things. Before any of the members will go ahead to do anything, they bring their wants and--to him, you know, and they discuss it together. CROWE-CARRACO: Well,-- DAVIS: And--and then these things--we had a committee meeting. Now, like I said, the committee's only met one time a year until recently. CROWE-CARRACO: How often do they meet now? DAVIS: Well, we're meeting once a month. CROWE-CARRACO: Once a month. Do you meet here at your home or right-- DAVIS: Well,-- CROWE-CARRACO:--at the clinic? DAVIS: --we started meeting here at our house, when we really saw that there was a possibility that we might lose our center. And this we just couldn't stand to think of. And we--there were people that weren't on the committee were concerned and they got together with us. And then we started meeting and decided that once a month is better. CROWE-CARRACO: Is it particular night? Is it the first Monday-- DAVIS: We meet on the last Thursday night of the month. CROWE-CARRACO: The last-- DAVIS: But we've had a called meeting just recently and met within two weeks of our last meeting because there was a need. Things that we needed to get ironed out, you know. CROWE-CARRACO: The committee today, your husband is the chairman. Is there a secretary and-- DAVIS: Well, I'm the secretary. CROWE-CARRACO:--and you're--you keep the minutes, huh? DAVIS: Yes, I keep the minutes. CROWE-CARRACO: Is there a treasurer or anything-- DAVIS: We have a treasurer, Mrs. [Doris] Sumner. She's with the Forest--her husband's with the U.S. Forest Service. And they've been faithful members all the time. We have quite a bit of interest from our foresters and their wives. They're located just about a mile and a half above us here. CROWE-CARRACO: Yes, ma'am. You've been keeping the me---the minutes then about ten years? Have you been the secretary-- DAVIS: No, I haven't been the secretary ten year. Let's see, I'd have to think. CROWE-CARRACO: Do-- DAVIS: Oh, Lucy Wright and Walker. Walker and Lucy Wright were members of the committee all the years. They were with Fords, and they were the last of Ford's people to leave this section when Ford sold to the Forest Service--U.S. Forest Service. And she was secretary, and when she moved away, then I became secretary. I didn't want to because I wanted somebody else rather than too much in one family, you know. CROWE-CARRACO: You don't want anybody-- DAVIS: I didn't want to do that. CROWE-CARRACO:--to say that the Davises are running it, huh? DAVIS: Yeah. And--but nobody was willing to do it, so I did it. CROWE-CARRACO: Well, did Lucy give you her minute books or do you--did you have-- DAVIS: She gave me the minute of her last meeting, that was all. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, my! DAVIS: And I left that. And the--we'd had our annual meeting and I was elected secretary, and I wrote the minutes of that meeting. And I left those two minutes with my--the nurse at the center. They always kept it and would type it up. They did that at Wendover. They would get it over there and they would type it up and get it back. They kept a copy and give you a copy. And do you know, those minutes got lost. So then we started out with no minutes. And so I was kindly stubborn. They--I said, "No, I'm not going to leave my minutes. I'll take 'em with me and keep 'em, because I don't want 'em lost again." And so then I've been keeping 'em. Now, these--the last minutes that we had Dr. Beasley wanted a copy, so he asked would I mind to let them take and get a copy for him to use at the board of governors meeting, which was coming up right away. CROWE-CARRACO: Right away in September, I think. So do you keep them in a--what we used to call a "blue horse notebook" or-- DAVIS: Something like that. CROWE-CARRACO: Okay. (laughs) DAVIS: ----------(??). CROWE-CARRACO: All right. I--as a historian, I want you to--to save them. I don't want-- DAVIS: Okay. CROWE-CARRACO:--you to lose 'em. As a historian, I want you to hold onto them. DAVIS: Okay. CROWE-CARRACO: Some--some--some other historian, thirty, forty, fifty years from now will want to see what Glenda Davis wrote down and what was going on. DAVIS: All right. CROWE-CARRACO: Do you think the problems that you have today are the same problems that the FNS had in the early period? Trouble with the roads, if--is--is there enough water, clinic hours. DAVIS: Yeah. Well, in the early days, like I said, the committee and the community didn't know too much about the problems. We didn't have telephones and we didn't have newspapers that carried events that they do today, you know. And we just didn't know, really, much about the problems that they had. CROWE-CARRACO: And I suppose then that your early committee meetings were, as you said earlier, I think, a social event. Maybe Mrs. Breckinridge or the nurses gave their report and everybody smiled and patted-- DAVIS: Yes. CROWE-CARRACO:--each other on the back and went home. (laughs) DAVIS: I want to show you this thing. This is Mrs. Breckinridge, and-- and this was when the lady nurses wore their pant suits. CROWE-CARRACO: Uh-huh. There's Molly Lee. I recognize her. DAVIS: And this was very necessary in those days in that they rode horses. Now, they've got away from this type of suit and they wear navy blue skirts and white shirts,-- CROWE-CARRACO: With the shirts, yeah. DAVIS: --generally, that they wear. CROWE-CARRACO: That's a good picture of-- DAVIS: But, you just see--and you see her hair is short. Now, this is how our--now-- CROWE-CARRACO: You remember her-- DAVIS: --I remember her in this very dress, right here. CROWE-CARRACO: What color was that dress, if you remember? DAVIS: It was that--it had sort of a grayish background with a wine ----------(??). CROWE-CARRACO: Was that what you'd call a [voile?] dress or something? DAVIS: That was voile and we didn't have all these polyesters in those days, and voile was really in for summer, cotton voile. CROWE-CARRACO: Yeah. That's a pretty dress Mrs. Breckinridge has on. Do you remember who that man is? He looks like a--a Kentucky colonel, doesn't he? DAVIS: He does, and I was stupid. CROWE-CARRACO: You-- DAVIS: I had-- CROWE-CARRACO:----didn't write--cut it off. (laughs) DAVIS: --and--yes, and I don't know, and I don't even remember where this was made. But-- CROWE-CARRACO: It's kind of hard to tell there. Today do you think there is a problem about prices charged by the FNS? Are people upset at the cost of medical aid? DAVIS: I'll tell you, people got spoiled. There were those days when everything was, what you may say, free, the services. And they've- -the Service was going in the red, going in the red, going--and they couldn't continue on. They had to raise prices because their patient load was dropping off. And I think one of the big things that hurt our section was the fact that if they went into a medical doctor, you know, they could use their medical card. But before this bill passed, they- -if they came to the nurse and she rendered her service, they had to pay cash. They couldn't use their card. So they went where they could use that card. CROWE-CARRACO: Well, I guess the Appalachian regional hospitals and the-- DAVIS: Um-hm. CROWE-CARRACO:--the doctors. DAVIS: And Memorial Hospital in Manchester got a lot, the Red Bird Hospital at Beverly got a lot. And, of course, they--some of 'em went into Hyden to see the doctor, and that way they could use their card. And then the doctor came out here, just occasionally. Now, this is one change that you're going to see. We're going to have doctors coming more often out to our--they can come as often again because Flat Creek is closed and they'll be coming ----------(??) center, so we will get--and then they're going to work on even better doctor service more. CROWE-CARRACO: Were the--were the people at Flat Creek upset about combining with you all? DAVIS: Well, this lady--Sizemore--Jewell Sizemore, she has worked with the centers. Now, I--for a long--since her children were small, and two of her daughters are--no, well, three. One's a nurse in the Hyden hospital, Barbara--Barbara Sizemore, and this lady that lives in our house down there is one of her daughters, Eileen Williamson. And she worked at Flat Creek. And Clay Bowling's wife, Janet, worked at Flat Creek. Janet is a nurse aide and Eileen is a secretary, and so all these three in that family, their jobs were at stake. And I think they had just seen--Jewell spoke at the committee meeting and said she had seen the Service go down, down, down till she knew it couldn't go on any longer. They ca---they're doing what they had to do, she said. And she said--and their chairman of their committee, Georgia Ledford, spoke up and said, "Well, this is it. If we have an part in FNS. We have no other choice." And she said, "Better to have a little hunk of it than none at all." So she made-- CROWE-CARRACO: She threw her support over-- DAVIS: Um-hm. CROWE-CARRACO:--then. DAVIS: ----------(??) willingly. And we--Joe and I told them we wanted them--if they wanted to use their chairman as chairman, we were ready to step down, or if they wanted to use their secretary, that would be fine. And-- CROWE-CARRACO: So,-- DAVIS: --at our next meeting we will organize our committee, and I don't want--may make changes. CROWE-CARRACO: You may not be secretary and-- DAVIS: May not do that. CROWE-CARRACO:--Mr. Joe may not be chairman-- DAVIS: That's-- CROWE-CARRACO:--anymore. DAVIS: --right. We're willing, you know. We want to work together. CROWE-CARRACO: Um-hm. Do you-- DAVIS: ----------(??)-- CROWE-CARRACO:--think there's any--do you think there's a chance then that Red Bird will close or will this-- DAVIS: No. I believe if we all get-- CROWE-CARRACO: Together. DAVIS: --together and work together,-- CROWE-CARRACO: Together. DAVIS: --but if we don't get the patient load, we may have to close. But we're going to give it a try. CROWE-CARRACO: A try. I see. DAVIS: Combined--with our efforts combined to keep it open. And since our meeting--this was one thing that we thought was a weakness. We didn't have sufficient parking and the road was difficult to get to the center. So some of our committee members went before fiscal court and let their needs be made known. And the county judge sent a bulldozer and three or four men to--and donated eight hours of service, and they worked--I passed by and saw it. Now, I haven't been up-- CROWE-CARRACO: There's--the-- DAVIS: --there yet. CROWE-CARRACO:--parking area is larger than when I was here. WOMAN: I was here last week and it's--it's larger. DAVIS: And so--well, now, we'll still have work to do on that, getting it graveled and ready for winter, you know. But at least it's mapped out--roughed out. CROWE-CARRACO: So you feel like then that the--the FNS and the committee has changed some, and the people are now much more involved than they were-- DAVIS: We were much more aware-- CROWE-CARRACO: Much more aware. DAVIS: --of the need. And I believe--and, too, this passing of this bill that will--home health nurses, such as we have, can take their-- CROWE-CARRACO: Yeah. Now, they can be-- DAVIS: --they will pay. CROWE-CARRACO:--paid. So that should be a-- DAVIS: They'll be reimbursed for the-- CROWE-CARRACO:--that should be quite a big boom. DAVIS: This, I think, will help an awful lot. And they're working, too, on getting more--with the Flat Creek nurse coming down, we'll have two nurses where we just had one. And so their plan, one is to be at the center at all time and one out on the field. And they're working on more--the survey that the committee made in our large area--our area is this big again as the Flat Creek one, that's one reason that they brought them here because they had fewer people---- CROWE-CARRACO: Um-hm. DAVIS: --showed that we have more senior citizens. And so this, they think, is a possibility of getting our home nurse in to some of these homes of the elderly to take care of them on a--maybe a weekly visit or some--you know. And--and the medical cards. See, now, most of these are on social security which is-- CROWE-CARRACO: Medicaid. DAVIS: --Medicare. CROWE-CARRACO: Yeah, Medicare. DAVIS: And they could be reimbursed, the nurse could, for her services going into the home. So this, I think, will help a lot because our senior citizens were used to those days, you know, when the nurse came riding by and she would come in and have a home visit and she'd eat lunch with-- [End of Tape #1, Side #2] [Begin Tape #2, Side #1] CROWE-CARRACO: Just a few more questions, Mrs. Davis, and then we'll get out of your way. If you had to kind of sum up the FNS and what it's meant to you in just a few sentences, would that be hard to do? DAVIS: Well, I'd say that in the beginning it was a blessing to everybody in this--not only--see, they set up these centers in these seven different outposts that they had and it was just--I can see why all the people ----------(??) Mrs. Breckinridge. And it has been such a blessing to the community that she--and I think now that the--we have the hospital in her memory. Now, the community--the communities in all of these different centers worked real hard to put on different drives--money drives to get money to add into this hospital, and we all feel that we have a part in that hospital now. And I'd say that it's just been one of the greatest blessings to this mountainous section that we've ever had. Just has to be. CROWE-CARRACO: All right. Let me ask you, earlier you mentioned seeing Mrs. Breckinridge at Wendover, probably shortly before her death. Would you ex---talk about that again? DAVIS: Yes. We went for this committee meeting, it was our annual, and I have read stories--the Zane Grey stories made me so much think of Wendover, you know, what it looked like. Everybody just bustling around, you know, doing this and doing that, and making everybody comfortable. And in those days Mrs. Breckinridge were--was pretty helpless. And as I said, just two or three went to visit her at a time, you know, and it was a great day, I'd say, for her. And she wasn't able, you know, to get out and come down to the meal. Her tray was taken up as it in those days was because she got to where she was unable to leave her room. And-- CROWE-CARRACO: Did you and Mr. Joe go up and-- DAVIS: Oh, yes. CROWE-CARRACO:--see her? DAVIS: Um-hm. We had-- CROWE-CARRACO: Did she recognize-- DAVIS: --and-- CROWE-CARRACO:--you or did you have-- DAVIS: --this is--oh, yes. Her mind was clear as a bell and she talked about things. Now, I can't just recall--I guess you know the date of her death. It was in the-- CROWE-CARRACO: It was in-- DAVIS: --late-- CROWE-CARRACO:--1965,-- DAVIS: --'65. CROWE-CARRACO:--and April or May of 1965. I'm not sure exactly when. DAVIS: And after her death we started having the Mary Breckinridge Day at Hyden. And--well, I think even before her death. CROWE-CARRACO: I think maybe a couple of years before-- DAVIS: Before her death that-- CROWE-CARRACO:--her death 'cause she rode-- DAVIS: --started. CROWE-CARRACO:--in one of the parades, 'cause I saw a picture. DAVIS: Yeah. And I very well remember the first year after her death, our float consisted of a paper mache white horse--a big white horse with her saddle, her saddlebags, and with the stirrups turned-- CROWE-CARRACO: Oh! DAVIS: --her boots in the saddle and-- CROWE-CARRACO: And turned around on the-- DAVIS: --turned around. And she was a lover of yellow roses and we made paper--crepe paper rose--big wreath of roses that she loved. And then our last Mary Breckinridge Day was the fiftieth year, and we made--our wreath was--we--that was the bicentennial year. Now, is that right? CROWE-CARRACO: I-- DAVIS: That was '76. CROWE-CARRACO:--'76. I think the service started in '25, so that would be the fifty-first year, I guess, '76. DAVIS: Yeah. Well, probably in the first part of the year. But, anyhow, our float that year was very patriotic and we had a portrait of her on this. And our slogan then, on that one, was, "From sun to sun, this work is never done." CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, nice. Do you remember m---many changes in the Service when Miss Browne took over? Did it continue very much as it was previously or-- DAVIS: Well, now, about the time Miss Browne took over--well, for a number of years it went on about the same, but then there came the time that we began making these big changes, you know. It's just the change of time, I guess, change of--better roads and--and they got to where, you know, they didn't have the Christmas party for the children. Now, up until--now, they had something for the preschool children all the time up until last year. And our Homemakers, after I retired--I had to retire from teaching in '72 because of the heart condition and my doctor said my nerves were constricting my blood vessels and I'd just have to live a more relaxed life. So we organized a Homemakers, from the U.K. [University of Kentucky] Extension Office, you know, and this was one of our projects, helping put on the Christmas program at our center. And last year when we made inquiry, you know, the nurse told us there wasn't going to be a Christmas party. And we were sad. We-- and didn't know, you know,-- CROWE-CARRACO: Why, yeah. DAVIS: --but things--yeah. And so, hopefully, things will be getting pretty much back in the saddle and we--so this Christmas we'll-- CROWE-CARRACO: Have your party-- DAVIS: --yeah. CROWE-CARRACO:--again. DAVIS: For our children, and--and we had our Nativity scene. 'Course, in this day and time, at the schools they put this on, you know, and most of the small ones go--if they're not in school age, they go to see, and they are aware, you know, of the Christmas story, more than they were in my day when I was child. CROWE-CARRACO: Did you see much change when Dr. Beasley took over? DAVIS: Dr. Beasley was--I think had to take over in a very unfortunate time. The crisis was already developing when he had to take over. And--and we've seen these weaknesses, you know, the things--patient loads dropping. And--and really, I know it's been a big strain on Dr. Beasley and it really hasn't been his fault. CROWE-CARRACO: I have--when I was in England I talked to some of the-- the older nurses who were here in the '20s and '30s, and while they like Dr. Beasley, they'd rather have a woman as head they say. (laughs) DAVIS: Oh! (laughs) Well, it's been a-- CROWE-CARRACO: I think they tell him that, too. DAVIS: --like--something like a woman's organization all the time. But like Mrs. Breckinridge in her day, she surely leaned--leant toward the men. She--but-- CROWE-CARRACO: Did any of the local people get on a first name basis with Mrs. Breckinridge? Did anybody--do you remember anybody calling her Mary? Or was she-- DAVIS: No. CROWE-CARRACO:--someone you just-- DAVIS: She was ----------(??)-- CROWE-CARRACO:--didn't call Mary? DAVIS: --she was Mrs. Breckinridge. Now, Chris Queen, he was near her age--he's dead now--he's--his wife's still living in North Carolina, and Celia Markham, she's one of the board of trustees ----------(??), and she lives in Lexington. But they didn't--I never heard them say-- CROWE-CARRACO: Anything-- DAVIS: ------------(??). It was Mrs. Breckinridge. CROWE-CARRACO: I went with Dale the other day to see an old herb doctor named Matt Gray. Do-- DAVIS: Yes,-- CROWE-CARRACO:--you know Matt? DAVIS: --I know Matt Gray. CROWE-CARRACO: And he told me that he called her "Grandma" and I didn't want to call him a liar, but I--I wasn't--I didn't quite believe that. Now, do you think that he would have called her "Grandma" and got away with it? (laughs) DAVIS: I don't--I doubt it. CROWE-CARRACO: Yeah. (laughs) DAVIS: I doubt it. You just have to--because Matt, hat's just probably one of his tall tales. CROWE-CARRACO: Yeah. (laughs) I thought maybe it might be. I wouldn't- -I don't--I wouldn't go argue with him, but I didn't--that didn't sound too true to life. Is there anything that I haven't asked you that you need to tell me, or would you like to tell me? DAVIS: Well,-- CROWE-CARRACO: You think the future of the FNS is bright, huh? DAVIS: I believe. I believe this bill that has recently passed is going to help FNS a lot, because in all these outpost centers they use nurses. Not doctors but nurses. And--and I think this is going to really be a spark in the future of our centers. And--and I think, too, be ----------(??). Now I said--well, we didn't know that--you see, I didn't go to the center very often because when I developed my heart condition, it was--I went to the nurse, she says, "Yes, I do believe you've got a heart . . ." It's funny. One day I got off--out of the car that I rode with my neighbor--she was a teacher in the same school and we--we shared rides--and I would always get out at my mailbox to get our mail, and the nurse came along. This is Lucille Lebeau. And she said, "How are you?" And I said, "Well, I'm just exhausted. I don't know whether I'll be able get up this hill or not." And I told her, I says, "I've been thinking I'd come to school," that was in about April, I guess, and I said, "come to see--see what you do for me to spark me up a little to help me get through this last month or two of school." She said, "Well, come on in tomorrow evening and we'll check you out." And I told her, you know, I'd been having chest pains and I'd been puzzled about that. And she said, "Well, now, naturally you think it's your heart but," she said, "it could be a number of things besides your heart." So just her checking me over, you know, she said, "Yes, I--I believe you've got a problem with your heart and," she said, "I'd like for you to go see our doctor in Hyden." So Saturday--that was Thursday, on Saturday I had my appointment to go to Hyden and, you know, as they have doctors coming in from different sections of the country maybe just for a weekend or something or a week, devoting their services to the Service, and it just happened there was a doctor in from up east, Massachusetts, I believe. And Dr--. hmm, who was the doctor? CROWE-CARRACO: Well, I guess it doesn't matter. He was a good one, though, huh? DAVIS: He was a good one. He checked me out. So he called this other doctor in to check me. And they decided together that I did have a problem. They did E.K.G.s [electrocardiogram] and they--they kept me, and they did two, one in the morning and one in the evening. Did X-ray and--and they decided that I needed a specialist. So they referred me to one in Lexington and they--this was on Saturday and they couldn't call then. The secretary was out that took care of the appointments, and so early in the week they called and got this appointment for me. It wasn't until after school was out in May, the last of May, I think. And so this doctor, you know, decided what was right. But that was- -that's why I didn't--I kept going into Lexington because they referred me, you know. And I didn't know that the patient load had just fell off to nothing. We just--we had a change of nurses too often. I think that hurt. CROWE-CARRACO: Do you remember any of the nurses up at Red Bird particularly? DAVIS: Oh, I especially remember Minnie Geyer that delivered my baby. CROWE-CARRACO: Right. DAVIS: She was there seven or nine years, somewhere--a long-- CROWE-CARRACO: Was she-- DAVIS: --period. CROWE-CARRACO:--an American or was she one of the English-- DAVIS: Oh, yes. CROWE-CARRACO:--girls? DAVIS: She was from up east. And she was heartbroken when she had to leave our center. They had a-- CROWE-CARRACO: Why did she-- DAVIS: --she left the center--the Service. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh! She transferred someplace else. DAVIS: Yes, she went to Georgia. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, my, that's where I'm from. (laughs) DAVIS: Yeah, she went to Georgia, Minnie Geyer. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, maybe--maybe she lives in Atlanta. Is she the lady in-- DAVIS: Well,-- CROWE-CARRACO:--Atlanta? DAVIS: --I don't know. I'm not sure that it's Atlanta. And then came- -well, the--we had several in there for a year or two. Jane [Furnace ?] and Miss Miller were up there. I remember them. And then, of course, I remember Skip and Elsie. ----------(??). CROWE-CARRACO: Do you think the-- DAVIS: Lucille Lebeau. CROWE-CARRACO:--do you think the younger nurses--oh, the nurses of the last twenty-five years, are liked as well as the older ones were in the beginning? DAVIS: Well,-- CROWE-CARRACO: Do you think the Service has changed? DAVIS: --the Service has changed in the fact--now, these girls in the older days got to know the families. They had a family tie, and it just--you know, patient loads, I guess, have been dropping. They quit visiting in the homes. And this just did something to our--the people--the older people that were used to old way, they couldn't get over this, you know. They missed these home visits. CROWE-CARRACO: Did any of the nurses every marry local men? DAVIS: Yes. We had--this was an English girl. Primrose. Primrose, she married one of our committee member's son. And-- CROWE-CARRACO: Did she stay in the Service or did she retire? DAVIS: She worked in the Service for some time and then she left the Service and she went to Perry County and worked for the--he worked as a postal service man ----------(??),-- CROWE-CARRACO: Well, I had always wondered if the-- DAVIS: And--they--she worked there until his death. Now, he--and then she is now at Somerset with the hospital service somehow. I don't--she worked as--at the County Health Department in Per---in Perry County, I think. CROWE-CARRACO: I'd always wondered if the nurses dated the local boys because-- DAVIS: And then we had another. Um-hm. Just--she was a British girl, Margaret Wheeler? CROWE-CARRACO: Wilson Wheeler? DAVIS: I believe it was Wheeler. CROWE-CARRACO: Wheeler. DAVIS: And she--oh, she was, I'd say, thirty-five. And she married a little boy that was just graduating from high school. (laughter) And, now, they went away to Ohio and she got a job in a hospital there and worked until she was expecting. And she came back and lived with her grandmother-in-law. This boy's mother had died. His grandmother had raised him and--and I was astonished that Margaret didn't get the Nursing Service to do her delivery. But I visited that home when we made the survey for the Service, and she was registered with a doctor in Richmond. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, my! That's kind of a long way to go-- DAVIS: Uh-huh. CROWE-CARRACO:--to have a baby, isn't it? DAVIS: And-- CROWE-CARRACO: Well, I had always wondered if-- DAVIS: --I don't-- CROWE-CARRACO:--the nurses dated the local boys, and if they didn't date the local boys, they didn't date at all, I was gonna say. DAVIS: Yeah. CROWE-CARRACO: Did you all always call the nurses "Miss This-- DAVIS: Well,-- CROWE-CARRACO:--or Miss That" or-- DAVIS: --we did until Skip and Elsie came. They called themselves Skip and Elsie to us, and we--they were just one of us. They were in and out of our home. They had a need, we went to them, and we had a need, they came to us. And--and they were in our church, you know, working with our young people. When--while they were here we owned this field across the river there in front of the Nursing Service, and we kept cattle over there. And they had been blackberry picking and had picked blackberries up there, and they came--noticed there was something wrong with the cattle, they were all scared to death. So they came back to tell us. And we went over there and we don't know what happened. There was one big steer that was--had been gouged nearly to death and he was--flies had--had bloated. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, my goodness. DAVIS: And we found one that was up on a fence stob. He had reared up there and this post was through him there. Well, Skip and Elsie forgot their berries. And they--we went to work trying to save those cattle. This big steer died, but the one we got off of the post lived. CROWE-CARRACO: Did Skip and Elsie help you? DAVIS: They helped us, sure they did. And then there was their blackberries. And next day's clinic I said, "Just leave your blackberries here, and I'll bring you jars and I'll make you jelly." CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, how nice! DAVIS: So, this is how we-- CROWE-CARRACO: Yes. DAVIS: --worked together. CROWE-CARRACO: It sounds like the old days,-- DAVIS: Yeah. Um-hm. CROWE-CARRACO:--when--when they--the nurses were--were the veterinarians, almost. DAVIS: Um-hm! Then another time, our old dog Cricket was fifteen year old and he had just grown up with our children, you know, and he was just like a member of our family. And he--on a Sunday morning, I always remember, we missed him. And Joe went out and looked and found him way down here in the field going around in circles. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh, my. DAVIS: And he'd--Skip said he'd probably had cer---cerebral hemorrhage, because in his bed there was some blood. And then he just had no more mind, you know, and he was blind. So we said to Skip, "Well, now, what should we do?" "Well," she says, "the only thing you could do is to have him put to sleep." And she says, "Now, I'll come right down. I can do it." She came down and put him to sleep. CROWE-CARRACO: Oh. Well, that was very good of her. Well, do you--can you think of anything else you want to tell me, or are you totally-- DAVIS: Well, I'm-- CROWE-CARRACO:--exhausted? You know,-- DAVIS: --right now-- CROWE-CARRACO:--when we leave you'll think-- DAVIS: I'll think-- CROWE-CARRACO:--about-- DAVIS: --of something. CROWE-CARRACO:--about a million things. DAVIS: Yeah, right. CROWE-CARRACO: Well, Mrs. Davis, I want to thank you very much. I don't know if I said in the beginning of this tape, today is Thursday, May 17th, 1978, and we do appreciate it. Thank you. DAVIS: Well, it's just a pleasure to-- CROWE-CARRACO: And we may be back, I warn you. (laughs) DAVIS: Okay. If you feel like it, you come back. CROWE-CARRACO: Thank you. [End of Interview] Glenda Davis was born in 1919 in Clay County, where no professional medical assistance was available. As a child, she became acquainted with the Clara Ford Center in her district; as a young adult, Davis served on a local FNS committee. At one point a new water source was needed for the hospital, and the services of a local "water witch" were successfully employed. Six out of nine children in her family attended college, and Davis taught a one-room school in Clay County after she graduated. She talks about her Cincinnati cousins coming home to the farm to work during the Depression. Davis describes FNS activities and gives her recollections of Mary Breckinridge as well as other FNS personnel. insert here