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1992-02-01 Interview with Keither Endicott, Jr., February 1, 1992 Leg001:1992OH028 Leg 041 01:55:17 Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Legislators -- Kentucky -- Interviews. Coal mines and mining -- Kentucky. Political planning. Kentucky. Governor (1979-1983 : Brown) Kentucky. Governor (1983-1987 : Collins) Inez (Ky.) Morehead State University Kentucky. Education Reform Act (1990) Coal trade Abortion. Collins, Hubert, 1936- Apportionment (Election law) Dawahare, Hoover, 1928-2004 Brown, John Y. (John Young) Jr., 1933- Collins, Martha Layne Martiki Coal Company Inez High School Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) coal industry political philosophy Kentucky Child Restraint Law role of legislators Preston, Ray redistricting Mountain Caucus bipartisanship coal severance tax women in the legislature Tobin, Marjorie Bendl, Gerta Cooper, Robin legislative independence annual sessions Banking and Insurance Committee Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee Transportation Committee legislative process privacy legislation fair market lease value Key Legislation: Privacy bill, fair market lease value, Kentucky Child Restraint Law (1982) Term/District: House (1982-1984), 97th district Counties in District: Martin County (Ky.), Lawrence County (Ky.), Johnson County (Ky.) Keither Endicott, Jr.; interviewee Judy K. 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Could you say something? ENDICOTT: Testing, one, two, three. BOWEN: That's good. Hey, everything is hooked in right, I haven't done this in a while. The following is an unrehearsed interview with former state representative Keither Endicott Jr. who represented the 97th District in '82 and '84. The interview is being conducted by Judy Bowen for the University of Kentucky Library Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project on February 1, 1992 in Inez, Kentucky at his home at 10 a.m. Could you tell me when and where you were born? ENDICOTT: I was born in Inez, Martin County, January 17, 1949. BOWEN: Okay. And could you tell me your parents' names and what they did for a living? ENDICOTT: My father was Keither Endicott. My mother was Josie Maynard Endicott. My father was a coalminer in the '40s and early '50s and then become a local businessman until he retired, until his death. And my mother was a housewife and mother up until the mid '50s and she joined my father in the family business and ran that and she is still living. BOWEN: What was the business? ENDICOTT: It's a restaurant, Endicott's Restaurant, just around, about five hundred feet above my house here now. It's a little gas station, grocery store, restaurant. BOWEN: Okay. And that answers the next question, did your mother ever work outside of the home (laughs)? Do you remember your grandparents, who they were and what they did for a living? ENDICOTT: Both my grandfathers have passed away early on. And my grandfather on my mother's side was a mail carrier in the Inez- Rockcastle area for years until he passed away, and then my grandfather on my father's side was a timber man, lumber, land, different things he bought and sold and lived down in Rockcastle also until his death. BOWEN: Okay. And your grandmothers? ENDICOTT: Grandmothers just basically at that time housewives and they both passed away in the, on my mother's side in the early '60s, and my grandmother on my dad's side in the mid '60s. BOWEN: And how far back in Kentucky do your roots go with your family? ENDICOTT: Mine go all the way back to the first Endicotts that came into Kentucky. The first one in east Kentucky came in 1840. I trace my family tree back to them, those I believe came from central Kentucky around Cynthiana, but I never made the connection. It's either the Endicotts in Cynthiana or a group that went on to Posey County, Indiana. So we've been in east Kentucky, in Martin and Lawrence County for about fifty years, or a hundred and fifty years. BOWEN: Okay. And how many people were in your immediate family? ENDICOTT: I have three sisters and myself. Had one brother passed away when he was a year and a half old in '41. BOWEN: And do you have aunts and uncles who live around here? ENDICOTT: Yeah I have, all my mother's family has passed away except her, all her brothers and sisters. My father, all of his brothers have passed away and I have two aunts who live in Martin County, Lucy Perry and Wildie Fitch, and then I have one aunt who lives in West Virginia, Narry Demon(??). BOWEN: Okay. And how extensive is your kinship network all the way around in Martin County and in the district where you served, in all the counties? ENDICOTT: Oh we're, my grandpar--, mother on my father's side was a Horn. Mother's father was a Maynard, her father was a Moore. We go back to grandma Maynard's parents were Bowens, mother was a Bowen, and we go back to the Moores and the Mills and the Combs and just about any other, and Maynards, and any family in the county go back far enough we're kin to them. BOWEN: Okay. So, it's pretty extensive? ENDICOTT: Yes. BOWEN: So you had a lot of people to work with you on your campaign and everything through your family? ENDICOTT: Right. This is a typical eastern Kentucky family at the time. Everybody just about knew everybody and everybody was kin to each other one way or the other. BOWEN: Um-hm. Where did you live when you were growing up? You lived here, right? ENDICOTT: Lived in, right next door. We moved here when I was five years old from Lick Branch. I was born down there in Lick Branch and then we moved here. My father took over the business when I was about five, and lived here ever since, except for, oh, I lived in Indiana a couple of years and taught school. BOWEN: [Talks to child: Oh, you want to give me both of them! Thank you.] And what do you remember most about your childhood growing up? ENDICOTT: Oh, I know, there's a lot of things-it's quite a different time back in the early '60, late '50s than it is now, it was a lot slower, a peaceful time. You knew everybody around, you and one of the biggest things, you weren't as afraid, looking back on it I wouldn't have been as afraid for my children out playing as I would be today. Today I worry more about them going outside. I know when I was growing up I would be gone all day in the hills and around but you just didn't seem to have the problems associated with society at that time. BOWEN: I agree with that totally, totally. And where did you go to school? ENDICOTT: I went to Inez grade school and high school. Graduated from Inez High School in '66, graduated from Morehead State University in 1970, at Indiana State University a graduate program for a while and then Morehead graduate program, and unfortunately I never did finish. Went to work for the coalmines in 1975 and education unfortunately took a second priority to work and never quite, never finished my masters which I regret. BOWEN: Okay. And I want to go back to your high school and go through each section, and what were your courses that you took and everything. When you were in high school what were your favorite subjects? ENDICOTT: The different science classes: chemistry, physics, biology, anything that had to do with science. That led on to my earth science major in college. BOWEN: Okay. And did you ever have a civics course when you were in high school? ENDICOTT: Yeah. We had civics, I think it was sophomores, we had civics, that's getting a long time ago- BOWEN: Oh yeah (laughs). ENDICOTT: but we had civics and then we had an American history class, and that's the closest to a government class as I ever had. BOWEN: Okay. And did you have a favorite book when you were growing up? ENDICOTT: Favorite book? BOWEN: Uh-huh. ENDICOTT: I wasn't much of a book reader and I'm still not. I'm more of a magazine, newspaper person. Of course, all the textbooks that you have to read, Moby Dick when you're in grade school and do book reports on and stuff like that, I read all of them. But I never was a reader person except in short stories, magazines and newspapers. I keep up on current events more than I want to read about the past. BOWEN: Okay. And did you ever have a favorite historical figure, or present-day figure, either, during your lifetime? ENDICOTT: I think if I had a historical figure, and which is not real old, it's probably Dwight Eisenhower. He worked himself up and became a commander-in-chief of the armies at the time when we need him and then he went on and became president. I think he just showed what Americans could do, you know, from-he had fairly humbling beginnings and worked his way on up and that's what America is really all about, anybody can succeed like Dwight Eisenhower. And he was in my lifetime, I can remember him, and so he's probably one of my, he's not an old historical, but modern historical characters I guess just because he just, I think he epitomized everything that an American could be if he wanted to. BOWEN: I agree with that totally. He's one of my favorite people too. When you look back through your high school years, was there a teacher that made an impression on you? ENDICOTT: Oh yeah, Owen Chafens. He was my American history teacher in Inez and he's just a, he still lives in Inez. He's retired him and his wife and he's just a fabulous gentleman. Taught in a way that you wanted to learn, made it come alive to you, and had a way of correcting you that didn't put you down but you knew your place, and he could put you in your place very quickly and, but he was a fine gentleman and a great teacher that I still have the utmost respect for him. BOWEN: I think if I'm not mistaken he was my brother's teacher, my oldest brother's teacher. ENDICOTT: Who is your brother? BOWEN: William Bowen, he's twenty, he's about twenty-seven. He graduated in '84. ENDICOTT: I can't place him offhand. [Talks to child: Christopher!]. You have to move everything, he'll get everything you have. BOWEN: That's okay. He can't hurt anything, I don't think (laughs). When you were in high school did you participate in any extracurricular activities? ENDICOTT: I played in band up until, I guess, my junior year and then intramural sports and stuff. Played on the high school baseball team my sophomore and junior year. High school yearbook my senior year and just odds and ends like that. And that's, never really outstanding on a lot of things, I wasn't much of a sport person at the time. I wasn't really an outgoing person at the time, and so did a few little things and liked to stay in the background, I guess, a lot. BOWEN: [Talks to child: That should fascinate you for a while (laughs). The keys are in there if you could find them.] Now, you don't have to answer questions about your religious background if don't want to, you know- ENDICOTT: I don't care. BOWEN: I know with some people it's something they rather keep private, so it's your choice whether you want to answer these questions or not. When you were growing up did you attend church? ENDICOTT: Yeah, we attended Inez Free Will Baptist Church which is about a mile down the road, Sunday school and church. BOWEN: Okay. And well, that answers (laughs) that question. ENDICOTT: Free Will Baptist. BOWEN: Oh, yeah (laughs). And do you think your religious upbringing had any influence on your political philosophies? ENDICOTT: Oh yeah. The early upbringing in Free Will Baptist Church- there for a while I got to know a guy named Gaby Moyer which was a pastor at the Inez Methodist Church as a teenager, and he had a big impact on a lot of young boys at the time. And I learned the values I took on into what I thought about the bills I voted on and stuff and the early years made a real impact, just as I can think they do on anybody, you know. You don't think they do at the time but when you look back you can see how you're molded and shaped and my early church years in Sunday school had a lot to do with my decisions. BOWEN: Okay. And you said you went to Morehead State for an earth science major? ENDICOTT: Right, major in earth science and minor in geography. BOWEN: Um-hm. And do you recall some of your professors from college and did any of them make an impression on you as being good professors? ENDICOTT: Oh yeah, Garden, John Garden, was a geography instructor at Morehead. He was one of the first thirty-seven, forty-seven some men sent into Korea when the North Koreans invaded. Was a POW for like four or five years all the way during the war. Had Kentucky Geography and Southeast Asia. He lived in the area and he was just another one of those great teachers that could, was a communicator more than a teacher. And he could, brought geography alive because he lived it the hard way. Then had a geology instructor by the name of H. W. Straley III. He was quite an old gentleman in the '60s. I guess he was in his late 60s when I had him in '68, '69 and as a geologist he worked for Patton going up the Rhine. He mapped out Patton's route for his tanks which would be the safest and quickest route through the geology of the area. So those two were, they were real friendly and unique gentlemen that, most teachers are stern and just lecture and don't get involved with their students, and these two wanted to get involved and wanted to help students in any way they could. BOWEN: I think that's very respectable in a college professor because nowadays, you know, you don't get, especially in bigger colleges you don't get that kind of personal attention, something I think, sometimes, especially when you're first going in there and you're so young and in need the help you make it through those first semesters. Because that's when you, I know that's when I thought about coming home when I was at Berea because I was, you know, a hundred, no, two hundred miles away when I was at Berea and you know, when you are used to that family unit and you're taking out of that. And I was only seventeen when I got there (laughs), and everybody else was so much older than me and they were doing other things. ENDICOTT: Yeah. Well, in the mid '60s when I went to college in '66 and I was seventeen. In the mid '60s people had not, did not leave Martin County like they do today and travel to Lexington and places. If they traveled anywhere it was to Paintsville or ______(??) to shop and most children had never been outside of Martin County that amount to anything so the ones that did go off to school, it was a horrendous experience for them to be away from their family. [Mrs. Endicott: Hi!]. BOWEN: Hi. ENDICOTT: This is my wife, Nancy, and this is Nicholas, this is Judy Bowen. BOWEN: Hi. It's nice to meet you. [Mrs. Endicott: Nice to meet you. Come on Nicholas. Let's get you something to eat.] ENDICOTT: Okay. So, you know, it was a different time. Most people won't, even adults had never been outside the county or adjoining county and so it was harder. I remember a girl from Moorefield, she was walking down the street, we got there on Sunday evening, on a Sunday night saw her walking down the street and crying with the president's arm around her shoulder trying to tell you that it would be alright that she would enjoy it. But she didn't last quite twenty-four hours. BOWEN: Yeah, it's, I know for me it was an experience. My mother took me down there and dropped me off at the dorm with my suitcase (Endicott laughs) and the head resident, bless her heart, she was really good to me, you know. She took me to my room and I, at that time Berea had some singles that were available to freshmen. They kept freshmen in a different tower of the same dorm than they did upperclassmen because they didn't really want them associating. And when I got there the funniest thing, I walked in the door and I went in my room and I was looking around and everything and it was a single and I walked down and Mary Ellen Smith and Tonya Ayers were sitting there and neither one of us knew that the other was coming because Tonya had moved in our freshman year to Tennessee after her father passed away, her and her mother moved down there. And Mary Ellen, I really didn't know her that well and she was there and it was so funny, I never expected to walk in there and find someone you knew. And even though there were three of us there and quite a few more too at that time, Cheryl Cox was there- ENDICOTT: I've heard of that. BOWEN: and a couple of other people. I ran into her the other day too (laughs). ENDICOTT: Mary Ellen is Nick and Chris's Christian Sunday School teacher now. BOWEN: Yeah, she's a biologist teacher up here too and- ENDICOTT: Right. She is a fine little girl. BOWEN: Oh yes, she is. And it's so hard now to think about, you know, she is doing that, she is doing the teaching now. And it does seem not that long ago that we were sitting in Mrs. Callier's biology class and chemistry class together. ENDICOTT: It's quite a few years, I don't know if you want to teach when, I found when I come back here and the kids I had in '73 are now adults with children. And it's quite a change when you see them. BOWEN: Most of my friends have children. You know, I'm twenty-four and most of them now are settled down with children, husbands that I never even, it never occurred to me to do that because I'm still trying to find a career that I really want to do because it's so hard now with, my degree is political science and even with a masters degree it's hard, you know- ENDICOTT: Yeah. BOWEN: you just-[Talks to child: Don't put it in the fire. That would be real bad for my keys (laughs)]. ENDICOTT: There's a screen in front of it. BOWEN: I see him now, he just look like, hey, that'd be funny. And then you went to Indiana State and you did some masters work? ENDICOTT: Yeah, I moved to, I graduated at Morehead in '70, the fall of '70 or after summer school in '70 and I wanted to get away from east Kentucky and my sister lived in outside of Gary, Indiana. So I found a job teaching in a middle school, teaching earth science and so I moved, lived up there for two years, and I guess my roots were calling me back home, and decided to come back home to Martin County and start teaching in Sheldon Clark. It was the first year Sheldon Clark was open, and- [Mrs. Endicott talks in background; pause] So I spent two years there and it just, they were nice people and they was friendly but it just wasn't the mountains, and I think the mountains called me back home and I came back. BOWEN: So you had your teaching degree also? ENDICOTT: Yes. BOWEN: Your teaching certificate- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: from Morehead State? ENDICOTT: Yes. BOWEN: And then what was your, what did you work on your masters in? ENDICOTT: I started in earth science when I was in Indiana. Indiana State had an earth science graduate program and when I left there and came back to east Kentucky, unfortunately Morehead didn't have that. So I had to go to the more traditional educational guidance counselor route, and that's one of the drawbacks to a lot of, I think, education around here is, it's geared so much towards traditional teaching and education that people that want to go into a different field have to go somewhere else, and hopefully it'll change over a few years. But even to finish my masters and my major I had to go, I have to go back out of state or go to West Kentucky or UK or somewhere, not somewhere close. BOWEN: Yeah. I know that now we have quite a few people from eastern Kentucky that are teaching over at Pike County and at Prestonsburg and stuff and they have a real hard time because they have to come in the summers to take graduate courses and that gives them a very limited choice of what they want to take because they have families back here- ENDICOTT: Sure. BOWEN: and they don't want to leave them, which I can understand that you don't want to leave your children for a year to come and do your masters degree or whatever. Because I know if I had children I won't leave them for a year, and so they're limited to come in for just the summers to work on that. And it takes them so long because now they have that thing where teachers have to show progress in their education in order to get the raises which puts people a long distance away from graduate schools in a really hard bind to (unintelligible)- ENDICOTT: Now, the Educational Reform Act which goes along with, you know, I don't think I would fit in in teaching today. I don't agree with a lot of the things they're trying to do in education. They're trying to get too sophisticated and get away from the basics of teaching. And when I taught in Indiana we were observed, I mean you were watched, you were observed, and if you didn't cut it you were fired, when you first came in til you got tenure. And even tenure teachers were observed and studied. I mean they just didn't put you in a classroom and forget about you. I just pulled that off there. [Talks to child: Get down from there!]. This one's a climber (Bowen laughs). So, you know, I think they're on the wrong track as far as education reform in Kentucky. BOWEN: Yeah. I know a friend of mine right now his girlfriend is very afraid that he's not gonna get, he's not gonna get his job back. He teaches in Virginia and now there's a very big thing that if you fail children especially in PE and health that you're not a good teacher, and he told them at the beginning of the semester they had ten days that they can miss. And I think that's a pretty giving person- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: to say you can not dress out for ten days. Because he's teaching thirty girls and he knows that during that particular time in their life they're having a lot of, you know, trouble and stuff like that. And he failed two thirds of his class. They missed like twenty days, fifteen days because it was eight o'clock in the morning and they didn't want to mess their hair up- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: and their makeup and I thought, well, at twelve years old you shouldn't be wearing makeup anyway. ENDICOTT: Times have changed. BOWEN: Yeah, oh (laughs), I can tell that just by looking at these twelve-year-old girls now I can tell it's changed and she's afraid that he's, and he's afraid that he's gonna get his job back because he didn't flip his morals on what he thought was enough days to miss for girls. ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: You know, his boys were different, he said, "You know, the boys only have five days because they don't have the kind of problems that girls do at twelve and thirteen." And he understood that and gave them ten and they still would not dress out and he said, "There is only seventy days that they have to dress out," during the entire year that they have to dress out and they wouldn't do it because they only have PE three days a week. And he said, "Just could bring themselves to do it." ENDICOTT: Yeah. BOWEN: He said, "I even tried step aerobics for them and they wouldn't even do that." ENDICOTT: They don't want to mess up their looks. BOWEN: No, and that's scary to me. I even didn't it high school and my mother didn't even let us wear makeup- ENDICOTT: Yeah. BOWEN: til we were sixteen, that was just like, and now they're wearing it at twelve and thirteen, it scared me. And in college were you involved in any extracurricular activities? ENDICOTT: Not outside intramural volleyball. Got involved in judo classes as a, not an intramural sport, but just an outside entertainment. A member of the fraternity at that time-when you lived here at that time and I guess it's a lot of the kids today, you came home every weekend. So, college life was from Sunday night to Friday evening and I didn't spend that many weekends down there so you didn't get really good into the social life that much unless it went on during the week. I don't know if it's a drawback or not. Sometimes I think it is and sometimes I think I was better off coming home on the weekends than staying there. I got in enough trouble as it was sometimes without have spending more on campus, but eastern Kentuckians are I think different people. They want, even though they leave for a while they want to come to their roots and they want to come back to their home area and even during college the kids would want to come home on weekends. Just like, "I've been gone away long enough." BOWEN: Yeah, I got to go back. I think it's more family oriented here than it is in other places because I know I have friends who see their parents once a year, twice a year maybe- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: and call them once every month, a month and a half and it's kind of scary, I mean, you think people who are not close to a family what happens if something happens, you know, where do you go? If you get real sick or something, where do you go? I mean you can't stay by yourself or something like that. I worry about people who do that especially a lot of my friends who do that. ENDICOTT: Well, people came down from New York and New Jersey to school to Morehead at the time and they would go home at Christmas and they'd go home with spring break and that'd be it for the year. Maybe twice a year is all they'd ever go home and, of course, it's a different- Northerners it's a different grade of people. They, when I lived in Indiana, once you graduate from high school your parents would charge you rent if you stayed at home with them. So I mean it's different. An east Kentuckian would never think of charging his child rent. BOWEN: My parents, I mean were just, accepted that especially the girls would stay at home til they got married or went away to school and my sister stayed at home, my sister definitely stayed at home til she got married and that would be silly to move away and pay apartment rent and everything unless you really wanted to do that. ENDICOTT: But their philosophy was that they're on their own when they got out of school and were working part time or whatever they paid rent to their parents and that was totally foreign to me of anything I ever heard of. BOWEN: That to me is kind of strange although one of my friends' parents is doing that to him. You said in '75 you, wasn't it '75 that you started to work in the coalmines? ENDICOTT: Yeah, I started in June of '75. I left teaching after only about three months at Sheldon Clark. I was used to a more progressive school system that had books and had equipment and even though we had a fancy building, it was all Sheldon Clark was. It was an empty shell of a building. [Talks to child: Chris! Get off the tape recorder, son.] It was just an empty shell, it was just a pretty building but there was nothing in it to work with. I started the year without science books in freshman's science. No equipment whatsoever. So, you know, I got disillusioned pretty quick here and so I left and went to work in mental health for a couple of years and became property evaluation administrator in Martin County. And then decided that politics was not my fulltime life and went to work with Mettiki Coal in June of '75 and been there ever since. BOWEN: And what do you do up there? You're a coalminer or a supervisor? ENDICOTT: I am a land manager now. BOWEN: Okay. ENDICOTT: I take care of all the property, the leasing of coal, and mining of property and any complaints that we have with our neighbors. BOWEN: [Talks to child: When you say (laughs)! I was thinking as I hid something on him.] Okay, so you've been working that job ever since? ENDICOTT: No, I started out in the sampling in the office in '75 purchasing warehousing at preparation plant, and then I moved into land in 1981 as a land agent and moved up as the only one, land manager in '84. And I've been mostly doing the, being the land manager for Mettiki and Pontiki and all mountain coal east Kentucky since '84. We've got one large strip mine and one large deep mine, and about 50,000 acres of land I take care of. BOWEN: Okay. And do you do the reclamation too? ENDICOTT: No, I just take care of the leasing of the property and any problems of neighbors' blasting complaints. I'm sort of a PR person too. If somebody would complain I actually go and take care of it. BOWEN: And when did you get married? ENDICOTT: I've been married three times. BOWEN: Oh (laughs), okay. ENDICOTT: I married first in '73 and I have a, the oldest son is fifteen and lives in Columbus, and I married again in '80 and, and then my present wife I married in '84. And we have these two boys, Nicolas who's four and Christopher is sixteen months. BOWEN: (Laughs), and they will hear them on the tapes, so they'll know which one is which. Okay now I want to move and talk about your political philosophy- ENDICOTT: Okay. BOWEN: and things like that. Have you been active in the community here? ENDICOTT: Been fairly active on the fire department in Inez and I was chief for five years, and I've been on and around the fire department for about twenty years. And I've had to cut back some because of my job, but I'm still assistant chief on the fire department. And I tried to stay involved in community affairs as much as I can, that my job and time will allow. BOWEN: Okay. And when did you get interest in politics? ENDICOTT: Oh, I don't know. I, some time or another in the late '70s I decided I want to be a school board member I think it was first. And I ran for the school board and I got beat. Of course, I didn't campaign much, I didn't know what to do. And then I got registered for magistrate one time, see what that was like, and got beat. And then I'm not, I was not really a politician, I'm not one who, I think people ought to get more involved to see, having a person have to come and campaign I think people ought to learn about the candidates and so I'm a little different politician. And then in '81, the representative race came up and nobody from Martin County was going to run and there was like four people from Johnson County running, or three, and I kept asking around and I don't what put the bug in me about the state representative race. It just was wrong to me that nobody in our county wanted to run for an office and we were just gonna give it to somebody else without any effort. And so I filed and it was one of those things, six months ago I couldn't spell representative and now I are one- BOWEN: Yeah (laughs). ENDICOTT: I went out and through my father and my family helped me campaign a lot, and at the time we had all jobs in Martin and half of Lawrence County and I won. BOWEN: Do you think that was part of the, do you think it was partly due to the fact that there was four people running in Johnson County? ENDICOTT: Yeah. I said, well, there was three not four, I'm sorry, it's three. And, yeah, I actually won without a vote outside of Martin County, I got enough votes in Martin County, I didn't need the other county and a half. But at that time campaigning was a lot easier because we had the speak-ins and after the '82 and '84 they switched the timing of the legislative races around where we never ran again with county officials ran so it made it harder for somebody in Martin County to get reelected. BOWEN: Yeah because you can't tell people, I know when the county people are running and you can go to Tomahawk or wherever you want to and this and everybody stand up and speak, and I don't, I can honestly say I don't know where anywhere else they do that now except in eastern Kentucky. Because I know like in Lexington you have to, I had to write to these people and say, well, you're a Republican, you are running for this, would you please send me information on your platform and stuff, because I didn't know who in the world to vote for. I had to write to everybody and have them send me the stuff. ENDICOTT: The people out here don't want to speak as it is but, and that's, it's an old thing but I think it's a great way to campaign. It's a great way to meet the candidates and it's a great way to tell, even though half of the people don't listen to what you're saying (Bowen laughs). There's some people that are and I could mingle and mix with a large crowd at one time. BOWEN: I remember the last time I was home and there was election, I went with my mother and listened to a bunch of people talk and it was real, it was interesting because everybody was more interested in eating hot dogs and drinking cokes and trading knives than anything else than listening to other people. But you still got to meet everybody and try to figure out who was running for what and what they were doing. ENDICOTT: Speak-ins in the last couple of times have not been as big as they used to be. I've been to Pigeonroost before, in a ball field at Pigeonroost, I don't know if you've ever been there? BOWEN: Uh-uh. ENDICOTT: And see the bottom full of people at speak-ins. And when today, you know, if you have one up there you have a good size crowd but you don't have nearly the crowd that you used to have. BOWEN: Yeah, everybody used to, I mean-had anybody else in your family ran for office before you? ENDICOTT: Not that I can ever remember. My wife's father was a magistrate in Inez a couple years ago, but not in my father's side or mother's side I can't remember any of them ever been in. Of course, daddy was always active in politics or always liked to talk politics. I guess I was the only black sheep in the family. I did run a campaign. BOWEN: You're a Republican, right? ENDICOTT: Yes. BOWEN: Good (both laugh). Have you always been a Republican? ENDICOTT: Yes. BOWEN: Okay. And were your parents Republicans? ENDICOTT: Most definitely. BOWEN: Okay. Was your whole family? ENDICOTT: Yeah. BOWEN: Okay. And now I want, this is like a three-part question about why you ran, okay? And what professional qualifications, personal qualities, or personal experience do you feel that you brought to the General Assembly? ENDICOTT: Being in touch with the people, I think. I don't think you have to have so much professional qualifications or anything. They don't set, cite qualifications except the fact you be a certain age and a resident of your county. Too many people think that a representative has to have, be a professional person, a lawyer or a doctor or something like that, somehow educated. But the Constitution really doesn't say that, and I think I just brought the fact that I was grew up where I did in and learned things in east Kentucky and was just, I think, more in touch with the people than a lot of the past representatives. I think just being an east Kentuckian, being in Martin County and growing up here that gave me my qualification. Because I knew what people needed and what they wanted because they needed and wanted everything that I wanted, which was a better place to live and stuff for their families. BOWEN: Okay. And what do you think you brought to the job that made you effective? Just- ENDICOTT: The fact that I didn't take politics as a life and death situation. I worked well with both Democrats and Republicans in Frankfort. I was not a such a diehard Republican that if a Democrat proposal came up, and it was good for my area, I could support and work for it and vote for it. So, I guess, the ability to compromise instead of confrontation is one of the best things that I had. I still have a lot of friends that are Democrats in the legislature and we got along real well because I would compromise with them, and if they had a bill up that would affect east Kentucky in any way and help it, I would support them and support it. And the only times we'd ever conflict would be on party issues, everybody voted to party lines, but being able to comprise. Too many people want to be confrontation and if it's a Republican bill, great, if it's a Democrat bill, forget it. And I wanted to do what was best for my counties. I didn't care whose bill it was or what it was. BOWEN: [Talks to child: Unintelligible]. Before you went to Frankfort the first time what did you think the role of government was? ENDICOTT: Really to tell you, I was quite ignorant. I had the government classes, you know, civics and whatever, but high school and the only social studies class I had in college was geography, my minor, so I got out taking the American history and all of that stuff. So I really got away from government to a certain extent. And government to me, or government to most Martin Countians, is when am I gonna get gravel for my road or when am I gonna get my bridge fixed? And that's government to people in Martin County. And I think I was a little more knowledgeable than that but I was quite ignorant, I guess, of what the job of representative was until I got down there and got involved in it and learned more about itand actually what they did. But I had a lot to learn and learn quick. I didn't profess to know everything when I went down there. BOWEN: Yeah. How did you, how intrusive did you think that the state government should be in a person's life? How far do you, how far did you think that they should go to legislate how people should-I know one thing that I'm concerned with is how people treat their children. I mean how far did you think government should step in and say, well, if you do this then we'll remove your child from your home if you don't treat him this particular way, or if you don't provide their education to this extent, you know, if you don't let him go to high school or grade school or whatever? ENDICOTT: I think government has to be intrusive to a point. I was an individualist, I guess, in a lot of my ideas, and I remember we had the child-restraint law that was in '82. When it first came up and I was against it because I didn't think it was the government's right to tell a parent that they had to buckle their child in a seat, you know, a safety seat. Well, unfortunately, I learned in time that government has to take responsibility because a lot of parents are ignorant, they don't think and they don't care enough, they don't care, they're just ignorant of what can happen. And I changed my stance a lot since then, because government has to be intrusive to the point of protecting the welfare of people who cannot protect themselves. So I think there should be ways of government setting standards that if you don't feed your children properly, you don't provide them proper housing or send them to school that they can take them away from you because the child is a citizen and has just as much rights as the parents. And I think the problem we run into is social workers and people who do things personally instead of being objective about their job, and they forget what they're really there for and begin to think that they're an almighty god themselves and they can do as they please. It's not so much government and the laws, it's the people that fulfill them. But I think government has to step in and be, to a lot of people which is intrusive and come into their home, you know, people don't like it. The government has to be there and it has to be in an orderly fashion. And we not like all the laws but most of them are for our benefit. BOWEN: Yeah. I agree about, I know when I went first into college I was very concerned because I had a class on children's rights and I figured out that in some states children had no rights- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: the parents can treat them anyway they see fit and the children cannot protect themselves. You know, a little baby can't protect itself and (laughs) get itself into trouble. ENDICOTT: That's exactly right and they can keep them home for what, you know, they used to, you keep your kids home because you had the farm, that's why we don't have school during summers, it's because of helping on the farm, be on the farm when they're growing up but government has to take responsibility. [Talks to child in background]. See what you have to look forward to (Bowen laughs)? Government has to take the responsibility to look after the welfare of those who cannot take care of themselves, whether it's a child or someone that's handicapped or whatever the case may be, an old person. You know, children and old people are a lot alike, especially when they get to a certain age because they just cannot take care of themselves either. So, government has to step in whether we like it or not and regulate things. BOWEN: I definitely agree with that. I know that was one of my most, things that I worried about when I had that class, just because I thought that the children be protected, that, you know, the welfare people would come and take them away if you didn't provide things for them and take care of them. That's what I learned in high school that that's what the welfare program was there for- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: especially for children. But I figured out in college that it's not true, that sometimes parents can go very far in, you know, abusing their children and beating them before anyone would report them and they would have to come in and find out if that really was happening. And I thought that was just really terrible and it- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: it scared me for all the kids. It really scared me. When you went to the legislature what did you think your role was in it? ENDICOTT: You know, to be quite honest, I really didn't know. I knew legislators pass the bills and they regulate everything in the state, but I went down with an open mind and to learn everything I could as quick as I could. At the time that I was elected you went right from the November election til in January you had a session and we started passing laws. Now it's reversed, in your first year you go through committees and then the second part of it you're office is the session. Well, mine was just reversed so I went from November just getting elected for January and to sit there and vote on bills, stuff I never heard of, never been around. So I just went with an open mind and tried to learn as quickly as I can what my role was and I found that my role was being one of those people who had to look out for the rights of other people. Because people really don't care about the legislature. They don't know anything about it, unfortunately. One guy once told me that there's two things you don't want ever see made: one is sausage and one is laws. And I agree with him. If most people went through the process, they would never trust their government, but I think everybody ought to go through the process to see how hard it is to pass a separate little- BOWEN: [Talks to child: Why don't you give that to me? Especially since we aren't really sure what that is.] ENDICOTT: I think it's popcorn or something. BOWEN: I think it is popcorn. ENDICOTT: You'll find out when you have kids. BOWEN: They can find anything. ENDICOTT: Oh, yes. This one loves the garbage can. We've got to keep it tied up (Bowen laughs). I didn't go with any preconceived notions that I was gonna right all the wrongs in the world. I wanted to go to learn and I know I had a three year term which was the only time that has ever happened instead of a two year term. So I knew I had time and to get along with people I had to be a listener instead of a doer starting out. I found out if you go down there real cocky, think you're going to set the world on fire, then you accomplish nothing for your people. But I quickly learned that I was making decisions that affected the lives of everybody in my district, whether they knew it or not. I was one of 138 people that decided what they did and that was, I guess it was a stark realization when it come to me that I had that power. You know, I didn't realize when I first went down there that you quickly get into abortion, pro-life, pro-abortion, everything from a, whether or not they can get their license to when they can abort their kids, I mean it's these far extremes and it was awe inspiring that you had that much power and too many people use it corruptly. You know, I'm not saying I was a great representative or a good representative, but I tried to listen to people and tried to use my upbringing in my decisions because I felt like I was an average Martin Countian and I felt like that they, most people believed how I felt, and I could communicate with them. So, it was a stark reality there for a while realizing that there was so much power in that office that people don't care anything about. BOWEN: Did, when you first went there did you think that you were elected to vote for what you thought was in the best interest of your constituents or for what they actually told you. If your constituents came to you and said, "Well, I want you to vote this way on a bill," and you thought it would hurt them would you vote that way anyway? ENDICOTT: No. In fact that got me in trouble a time or two. I felt like that the people should have a voice and I would try to ask. There was a weekly radio show in Paintsville at the time, and I was on every Monday morning. And I would give frank comments to questions of people who would call in and I would take people's opinions but I realized that people, certain people, who hollered the loudest a lot of times were in the minority. And they, although they sound like the majority they're actually very minority groups. So I would take people's opinions and then weigh them against my own personal beliefs I'd come up with the best decision. Sometimes I went against what people said because I felt what they wanted was not in the long run good for them. All they could see was, like a horse with blinders on, tunnel vision, and all they could see was a very narrow perspective. And I think as representative you have to look at a broad perspective, you just can't have tunnel vision. So I tried to listen to the people, but when it came down to the voting sometimes I voted what they wanted to and sometimes to keep a clear conscience I had to go against them. BOWEN: I can understand that. Did you have a legislative agenda that you wanted to accomplish when you went there? ENDICOTT: Not really, I- [End of Tape #1, Side #1] [Begin of Tape #1, Side #2] ENDICOTT: a great wrong that nobody wanted to run for representative in Martin County. I registered last week for the office again because nobody in Martin County wants to run for the office. BOWEN: Oh, last week? ENDICOTT: Yeah, I registered last Tuesday the 28th. So, around eight years later, doing the same thing again, because nobody wants to run. They don't care about the office and it's really a powerful office that can help the people or can hurt them. But I think that people should get involved more than just voting. I don't think a candidate should ever go unopposed. BOWEN: Who is the person you're running against? ENDICOTT: Hubert Collins is the one that's in the office. BOWEN: Is he a Republican or- ENDICOTT: He's a Democrat. There is a Republican, Ray Preston, who beat me in '84, is running a Republican ticket. So I'd be running against Ray in the primary, and if I win I'd go against Hubert Collins in the fall. BOWEN: Ray is from Prestonsburg though, isn't he? ENDICOTT: No, Paintsville. BOWEN: Paintsville? Oh, that's why I can't find him then (laughs). ENDICOTT: He lives just north of the red light on 23 and 460, on the right, a little grey house. BOWEN: Okay. I had a name down, but they had him down from Prestonsburg. So I was looking in the Prestonsburg directory, I've got to look in the Paintsville one now. I was looking in the Prestonsburg directory for his name and address so I could write, you know, either write him a letter or just call him on the telephone and that's (laughs)- ENDICOTT: He lives in Paintsville. BOWEN: that's a good reason why I couldn't find him in Prestonsburg then (laughs). ENDICOTT: But, you know, I like to see-democracy fails not when people don't vote but when people don't run for election, for elective office. And I think that is what's gonna take this country down if anything is when people quit getting involved and quit wanting to run and change, because the half of, let's see how, half of the senators are up right now. Senators, half are up on the odd year and half on the even year and of the half that are up a third or more are unopposed. BOWEN: Yes, so they're just gonna have a free ride right back in there. ENDICOTT: Right. No matter what they think or what they've done or how they voted they're unopposed, whether a Republican or a Democrat it doesn't matter to me. Nobody should go unopposed to whether or not they have to tell you what they think. BOWEN: There's something strange about that though, there's a guy from London, I can't remember his name right now to save my life, it starts with an H, I know that. They redid his district, he's a Democrat but he's been a great sen--, a great representative, they have redone his district to where they moved it over to an all Republican district. They remapped it so he wouldn't get put back in there, he'd been there, I guess, ten years, ten or fifteen years and I cannot for my life remember his name right now- ENDICOTT: I don't right off hand, but yeah they do that. BOWEN: I mean they redistrict him so he probably will not get reelected. So my roommate, she's a Democrat but her mother is a Republican and her mother voted for him, said, "Oh, he is just the best man that ever came along, because he does what we need him to do." But they redistrict him so he can't, I mean the chance of him being reelected are not (laughs)- ENDICOTT: Not good. BOWEN: are not real high there. ENDICOTT: Well, they did that to Martin County to an extent. They've cut out three precincts in Martin County: ______(??) went to the Pike County, and John Davidson and Sam Moore went to Floyd County. BOWEN: Yeah. ENDICOTT: So, in effect Martin County had three representatives. Then there is all Johnson County and then they brought in three precincts from Magoffin County. BOWEN: So, that's three, for the smallest county, one of the smallest counties right now in Kentucky, it's been divided three ways- ENDICOTT: Yes. BOWEN: pretty much. ENDICOTT: Purely on politics. They take out three big Republican precincts and brought in three big Democrat precincts from Magoffin County. You know, that's politics at its zenith, I guess, is cutthroat politics is when certain people get an office they don't look for the welfare of the people, they look for their own political gain and that's the way I look at what the Democrats-or not so much the Democrats as Hubert Collins has done. He's trying to make a Republican district a Democrat district for his own personal gain to keep him in office, and not so much letting the people vote and did I do a good job and get reelected. So, hopefully that's one of the reasons I, there in too that if the court cases that are filed against the redistricting don't win I can, if I can get reelected I can change that and put Martin County back altogether. BOWEN: Yeah, it would make more sense because there is not really that many people here, I mean there is a lot of land but there is not really that many people. ENDICOTT: Well, first of all there's nothing that makes sense in politics. BOWEN: Yeah (laughs). I didn't-it's so funny in college you study political science you study what it should be like, not really what it is like and you don't see that until you go get out and talk to people. I mean, in these interviews I have learned more than I have learned (laughs) in four years of college and three years of grad--, it's practical experience. ENDICOTT: Sure. BOWEN: And it's something that's totally different than you learn because in school you learn that, yeah, you have to make connections and make them work for you but you don't realize what some, what length some people will go to get what they want. And that's the part that scares me, what type of person would go to such length to get a county divided so they could be a representative. ENDICOTT: Yes, it's a person who doesn't care about anything except himself, and you're ready for that in any level of politics, not just in representative-and you're ready for it when you go into the House or the Senate. That they'll do anything that they can for whatever they want, and they don't care if they step on or whatever they do, they'll do it. And it makes very dangerous people. BOWEN: Um-hm. How long did it take you to learn the ropes after you went there, after you went to Frankfort? ENDICOTT: Just a few weeks, a short period of time, because you either learn or you die, you know. I wanted to learn. I kept my mouth shut, made friends with people, and listened to older people that had been there, whether they were Republican or Democrat. And listened to things to do and things not to do. BOWEN: Did you talk to Hoover Dawahare because he had been since '74- ENDICOTT: Yeah, Hoover and I served on a committee together. So I got to know Hoover and I'd listen to him and a lot of other people that had been there, you know, ten, twelve, fourteen years. And the biggest thing I learned from them is to keep your word. If you promise somebody that you're gonna vote a certain way, another representative, you have to vote it no matter what the consequences are for you. Because once you lose the other people lose trust in you, you might as well step out of the House. And that's what being a representative, a lot of it is, down there in getting bills passed is trust. You know, "you vote for my bills and I'll vote for yours." Boy, when it comes time to vote for a certain bill you got to do it, or you're finished. And the biggest lesson I had to learn, not that, I think I was a very trustworthy person anyway, is that that is what the whole bond is down there, even between Democrats and Republicans. You have to be able to be trusted, and if they cannot trust you then you might as well go out of the House and get your paycheck, because you're not gonna accomplish anything, they aren't gonna listen to you. And so I learned very quickly the basic ropes and then I worked on fine tuning, getting in with certain people, committee chairman. If you have a bill you want to get in that goes to a certain committee and you want to get in with that chairman, because whether people believe it or not one person can stop a bill if he doesn't want to bring it up. So, I learned quickly the basic ropes and then you had to fine tune them. It's an ongoing process. BOWEN: Yeah, if you're in a committee and you're the chairperson, if you're not put on the agenda then no one is ever gonna talk about it. ENDICOTT: That's correct. BOWEN: Yeah. So that does have, that plays quite a role in it. Have you ever heard of the Mountain Caucus and were you ever- ENDICOTT: Yeah, we were part of the Mountain Caucus when I was down there and it was sort of a loose fitting caucus, it never was tight- knit because it was made up of Republicans and Democrats, labor and industry, and workers and labor, I guess. So it was a loose fitting caucus whose main goal in life was to bring back more severance tax. The Mountain Caucus was always outvoted, but from time to time we could get most of the guys together we would compromise with other people in the larger areas and bring about bills that were good for us. But it's hard getting a group like the Mountain Caucus that's so diversified, Republican and Democrat, liberal, conservative, to get them all together to agree to support something to get votes from another area. Jefferson County and Fayette County has more representatives than all of east Kentucky, two counties, or as many. So, you know, we're just outnumbered. And we tried to make a difference but philosophical differences between so many people it's hard to, for the Mountain Caucus to be really effective, I think. It's just too much differences in the people, in their philosophies and their politics. BOWEN: Yeah. And (unintelligible) eastern Kentucky has a lot of land, a lot of counties, but not enough people to make up for the amount of people that are in Lexington. ENDICOTT: That's right. You know- BOWEN: That's, and Lexington is getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And it's scary because I live in one little area about a mile by Fayette Mall and in the time period that I've been there, two years, I can see the inner city moving out toward me (laughs). I said to my roommate, "Next year we're moving out because (laughs) we're moving as far out in this county as you can get," because you just cannot, you can't get stay away from the inner city and the violence and stuff like that. ENDICOTT: But cities have a birth and death cycle- BOWEN: Oh it's, to me it's terrifying going out at night, because luckily I have a friend who comes over a lot and we can walk out together-well, my roommate and I walk out together in the morning especially because in the last six months in Lexington my roommate's best friend works with the Rape Crisis Center, there have been eleven women abducted from the Lexington area that have been reported, you know, abducted and raped, and one of them was killed, the first person who was killed in Lexington in the new year. And it was just, to me, you know, she called me and she said, "You know, I want you all to be very careful because a lot of it is going on." We don't live in a bad area, you know. It's not, the people are nice, upper middle, you know, upper middle class and middle-class working people, they're not violent. It's the inner city is moving out of the north side is moving out there's so many more people over there that are already in the section that we're in and it's just, you know, it's terrifying to sit there and watch it move towards you, watch the people and the violence come toward you. ENDICOTT: Now, that's where, you know, that has hand in hand with the legislature. As you get a lot of liberal people in there to voting, then the laws, the consequences and the punishments are liberalized to the extent where there is no punishment for the crime. BOWEN: But the thing that scares me is the Tyson situation. You got an eighteen year old kid pretty much, a girl who was fresh out of high school, wasn't even out of high school at the time, the time period this happened. And a man who's thirty-two years old, wasn't he thirty- two or something like that? ENDICOTT: Something like that. BOWEN: Something, you know, he knows better (laughs), he knew better. And you got a person who's probably not gonna be punished, I don't, there's a good chance that he won't be punished- ENDICOTT: Well- BOWEN: because it's her word against his and he's got six million dollars backing him up, you know. ENDICOTT: Well, but when it comes down to it, it's believability, and she's been believable. And he's got, he wasn't gonna go on the stand but now he has to. BOWEN: Yeah, but you've got a Sunday school teacher, high school student (laughs), straight A, young black woman who was raped by somebody who is from the inner city ghetto who has repeated violations against women, and sex crimes in general and it's just-I'm afraid he's not gonna be, look at William Kennedy- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: there's a good chance that he did rape that girl or that woman, I mean there's a good chance. Even though she put herself in that situation but he didn't get punished for it because he had all the Kennedy's and the money backing him up and they believed him over her because he had the money, I believe. ENDICOTT: True. BOWEN: I mean I really did. And I'm afraid they're gonna do that with Tyson too although I think that she was stupid for believing, you want to come up to see my etchings- ENDICOTT: Yeah. BOWEN: and you want to come up and discuss politics, right? No! ENDICOTT: No. BOWEN: When you're eighteen I guess you don't know. ENDICOTT: It's a whole different world when you're eighteen and when you look back when you're twenty-five. BOWEN: Yeah (laughs). I know because I told my roommate, she said, "Judy, I did stupid stuff like that." And I said, "I know, and I repeatedly told you not to do it." She said, "I know. So you were smarter than I was." And I said, "No. Not smarter, I guess I had more common sense." You know, because you just know there's some things that you instinctively know whether to believe a person or not and I think that she just made a judgment in error because he was so famous. ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: Or, I don't know, it just scares me the thought that he may not be punished for that and the violence in our society now, everything scares me like that. ENDICOTT: Yeah. BOWEN: Because I'm used to living in a county where if somebody gets killed, you know, it's usually an accident. ENDICOTT: Um-hm. BOWEN: There's not that many murders. ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: Although when I was a sophomore at Berea and we were all sitting down there and we all heard that Judy Howard had been killed, and that's, we didn't think it was the same person until they gave her address. We thought there is no way that that would happen to anybody from Martin County. ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: And there was at that time six of us down there who graduated with her, and we were all just like, this is impossible, you know, it can't be true and they gave her address as Davella, Kentucky and you're just like, "Well, there's not really that many Davella, Kentucky's in Martin County. There's only one." So you pretty much knew, and they got her parents and everything, and we were just devastated by the thought that that could happen to someone who was so young, I wish- ENDICOTT: We are not used to it around here, we aren't used to, but we're getting used to it because it's happening more and more. BOWEN: Yeah, especially like the violent deaths, because I know when I was at Berea a little girl from the Berea High School went to France and was killed in the elevator. There was a mass murderer in France at that time and no one thought about letting her go down the lobby by herself and she was in the elevator on the way down to the lobby. Three floors down, she was killed when the floor, when they opened on the third floor and she was dead, strangled and we were just like, "Oh, this can't, you know, this cannot happen to Berea." Because Berea is just as small, you know, it's not, it's smaller than Paintsville but not, smaller than Paintsville but not as small as Louisa- ENDICOTT: Okay. BOWEN: somewhere in between there. It's college, you know, it's got a college there. But there's only one Walmart, you know (laughs), and there's nothing else but Walmart and a few restaurants cause we're right off I-75. ENDICOTT: It's not the fast lane. BOWEN: No. I would not call it fast-lane, you know (laughs). Okay, kind of slow. Were there many women in the General Assembly? ENDICOTT: Yeah, there was, I don't want to use the term several, but there was, I think about eight or ten at the time. And one of them went on, my seat mate Marjorie Tobin, to be state auditor after we served together. And she is back now running for state senator. So there was several and a lot of them made the real comment, I mean not comments-I'm trying to say additions of, a lot of help to the General Assembly and to their constituents. A lot of people looked on women as not being very productive, but some of these women were quite more powerful, and when they talked you listened. Gerta Bendl, who has since died, was really a pusher for reform on house, nursing homes, and when she spoke you listened, because she was almost an authority on nursing homes and nursing home reform. Another woman, I since forgot her name, was a workers' right person, and when they spoke, women have become more of a focus and more, I can't think of the words I need to, the cold has got my mind, more important, I guess, to government life because they bring a perspective in that men don't have, you know. And there needs to be a balance what, you don't have to have all men, you don't have to have all women, but there should be a balance in the legislature. If you don't you'll miss out the women's viewpoint in a lot of things. There was only one Republican woman at the time and a lot of times we would discuss the bills and she would bring out the female viewpoint on something that we would totally miss, and we would have to change our decisions on some bills. So they shaped a lot of laws even though they might be a small number, they can help shape a lot of the laws that are passed. BOWEN: Okay. And did you feel like, I know you said that, you know, the legislature listened to some of the women, but did you feel like it was easier for a man to get something done down there than it was a woman? Just on something general not- ENDICOTT: In general nature, yeah. Some of the women who had more power had been there so long, and they were well liked and real respected. In general, I guess in general you could say that, but a lot of women got a lot of bills passed and some of the men didn't get anything passed. So, you know, I can say general in nature because there was more men it's easier, but I think the Kentucky legislature kind of respected the women and took them for what they were, because they didn't use their sex to gain what they wanted. They were there as a representative and not as a woman. And so I think, you know, I said that men have a better shot at it because they have just the numbers, but the women had a great impact over down there. And they probably just had about as good a chance as anybody because the men respected them. BOWEN: Okay. I want to ask you a few questions about your campaigns. ENDICOTT: [Talks to child: Chris!] Go ahead-[Talks to child: No, Chris!] BOWEN: Nineteen eighty-two was your first election that you ran in 1981- ENDICOTT: Yes. BOWEN: in November. ENDICOTT: I ran in the primary, May of '81. BOWEN: Right, okay. And how did you organize your campaign? ENDICOTT: It was really disorganized. I never ran a campaign in three counties. I was working fulltime. I was working twelve, fourteen hours a day. I didn't have a lot of time. So it was basically just, I'd campaign when I could and my father went out, campaigned a lot for me, he was alive at that time, and my family. I found out that it's just pretty close family that's gonna help you campaign over two or three counties, because most people just don't get involved because this office doesn't bring anything concrete to you, like magistrate gives you gravel or gets a bridge built. A state representative, what does he do? And most people don't have the faintest idea what I did or what they do, that's why they don't care about the office. So it was a disorganized campaign. I was not very good at organization. I know the fellow, if I was gonna be elected I had to get everybody in my county vote for me. So at the speak-ins at that time I just, what little organization my campaign was I just hammered on the issue, "if you want anything for Martin County you've got to vote for a Martin Countian. Three people out here at the speak-in trying to get Martin County votes, and I just set it on my activity on Martin County, and at the speak-ins it was easier, I just said, "If you want something for Martin County people you got to vote for me, if you want something for Johnson County vote for them." So there was no, no organization because I'm not an organized person. BOWEN: What was the, at the time in 1982, what was the local political situation? Was it mostly Republicans? Was it, you know, just, is it mostly white in Martin County, religious background? ENDICOTT: What do you mean? I'm missing the gist of your question. BOWEN: Just like the general statistics of the county, is it mostly white- ENDICOTT: 99.9 percent white. There's probably three or four blacks and maybe a few Hispanics or whatever in the county here who moved in with people. There's a couple of Asians. So it's basically a white community. Most of the county, half of the county, probably a third at the time, was low income. I forget exactly how many was on the welfare rolls. There was about 3,400 homes in the county. Mostly Baptist religion, there's a few Catholics in the county, Methodists, but mostly Protestant religion. At the time there was a lot of political turmoil going on after I was elected, at the school board races and more politics out here than anything. And there's a lot of political turmoil going on in the school board races after I got elected. It was kind of quiet in the county at the time, really, politically in these county races and after the county races are over in the primary. There is no Democrats that run at that time. John Karem was the only Democrat elected at that time as county judge and everyone else was just Republican. I didn't have a Democrat opposition in the fall. So once you won the primaries for representative at the time you were in if you were a Republican. BOWEN: Who was the Republican that ran against you in '82? ENDICOTT: Doc Blair, Neal Price, and Chuck Melton, all three from Magoffin County. And Doc Blair had been representative before. Leo Marcum had beaten him, and then Leo decided not to run for election and then I was running after Leo decided not to run, I believe that's how it was. BOWEN: Yeah, because I, when I was talking to him, he said that his twins at that time were real young (laughs) and his wife was at home with twins and I think they have one other son- ENDICOTT: Yeah, an older son. BOWEN: Yeah. He's my brother's age- ENDICOTT: Yeah. BOWEN: Scott. And he said he felt like he should be at home helping her (laughs), I can't imagine having twins. Can you image having two of him (laughs)? ENDICOTT: No, I don't want to imagine. You know, I have a lot of reservations of running again, what happens if I win, you know? You're gone about a week a month and then every other year you're gone three months. You're gone from Monday morning til Friday evening at least, but hopefully I will, I'll take them with me. I'll rent an apartment down there and I just move them to Frankfort with me for the three months I'm gone so I'm not gonna leave them here if I can. BOWEN: Oh, Frankfort is a long drive to make even on the weekends- ENDICOTT: Um-hm. BOWEN: because I know when I drive home on the weekends I'm tired, when I get home on Friday night, I don't want to-and of course, your kids are gonna be, "Oh, daddy is home!" And be real excited, and wanting to talk to you and play and stuff like that because I went home on Friday night my dad wanted me to come over last night and I was so tired (Endicott laughs). And we went and played Bingo (laughs). I was tired after that and I wanted to go home and go to sleep, but-and I went over there anyway because he usually does, you usually do what your parents want you to do most of the time. ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: Let me see. We talked about your opponents and stuff like that during the primary in '82. Did you have anything to do with the local Republican Party? ENDICOTT: Not except for voting. You know, getting into politics was just sort of an accident for me, getting in as representative, and always voted. We always voted in any election either if it was for somebody or against someone should always vote. And then my philosophy started changing, you know, ya'll should always vote but also there should be somebody running for every office. So my getting into politics was really an accident. Nobody else wanted to run, so I did, and there I was, and I was elected. So whatever I did or got, it was really quite by accident. It's timing. Timing is about half of winning an election. And so I really didn't get active in anybody else's campaign, I'm not a worker, a grassroots worker as you might say in politics. I like to talk politics but I'm not an every-day worker in it. I'm a voter, I guess you might say, but I'm not a worker. BOWEN: And for your second election who did you run against? Were there any Democrats? ENDICOTT: Yeah, in the primary, Ray Preston ran against me and Sharon(??) Marcum from here in Martin County, and then Robin Cooper was a Democrat when he was running at that time from Johnson County. BOWEN: Is that a male or female, Robin? ENDICOTT: Is a male. BOWEN: Male? Because that name can go either way (laughs). ENDICOTT: Yeah. So it, and we, at that time there were two from Martin County and only one Republican from Johnson County. So the tide was sort of reversed on me from when I won in '81, and so I lost in the, and then Ray Preston went on to beat Robin Cooper, the Democrat, in the fall. Because at that time people were more voting party lines than they do today. BOWEN: Oh, so you only served one term- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: you served the three-that confused me on one other person too is- I interviewed her, oh, I can't remember her name right now. I'm about half, this morning, I'm tired this morning, I'm just like-her husband was Speaker of the House. ENDICOTT: Bill Kenton- BOWEN: Thank you. ENDICOTT: Carolyn Kenton. BOWEN: Carolyn Kenton. I interviewed her twice, and she was elected and served that three-year term too that everybody else served, switched it over- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: and that confused me too. So I wrote down that you'd served two terms instead of one. ENDICOTT: No. It's actually just one. BOWEN: Okay, but it was the long one. ENDICOTT: Right. I got two sessions- BOWEN: Yeah. ENDICOTT: in one term. BOWEN: Right. ENDICOTT: You usually just get one session in a term. BOWEN: That's what I was going on. Me and my supervisor and I both made that mistake through, we both had forgotten the, there was a switch- over time- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: where they were changing the election times. ENDICOTT: Uh-huh. BOWEN: Okay so, and you're running again, you're gonna run again this time? ENDICOTT: That's correct. Going to run against Ray Preston, the guy that beat me in '84 in the primary. Hubert Collins is the incumbent, a Democrat. BOWEN: And he's from? ENDICOTT: Johnson County. BOWEN: Johnson County. Okay. When people talk about the governor of Kentucky, there is like so many different ways that they can operate. Before John Y. Brown Jr. they said that the governor was a strong governor, that he sent over an agenda that was passed by the state legislature and put into law because they didn't really have a choice to go against the governor because he was so strong and his party backed him so much. And they said that after, a lot of people say that after John Y. Brown Jr. and Martha Layne that the governor has become very weak, and that the legislature has more power and it's a balanced relationship instead of the governor saying, "Well, you all do this and then do what you want for your counties." It's a more balanced relationship and compromise. How do you feel about that? Do you think that's correct or- ENDICOTT: Yeah. When I first went in it was the first time a legislator had an office. Before they had a lounge and to use a phone they had to wait their turn to call anybody, and they didn't have an office so the legislative reform had started right before I got there. And John Y., I give him credit for doing that because he said it's hands-off. All governors before him sent over a list of bills and said, this what to pass, this is what not to pass and everybody just rubberstamped them. Well, and then this move started with John Y. and it just kept mushrooming into the point where they decided that we're equal and not subordinate to the governor. We're an equal partner of the governor just like the constitution says. The legislative, the executive, and the judicial branch has their equal power and they balance each other out but they're all equal. So he started it and Martha Layne tried to go back on it a little bit. She tried to regain some of the old Julian Carroll politics of being dominant. I remember she threatened to close that cafeteria down, the legislative cafeteria, if we didn't do something what she wanted (Bowen laughs). That was the wrong thing to do. When people get a taste of freedom like in Russia you can't go back. And that's what the legislature did; they got a taste of freedom under John Y. and they would not go back to the old way. They decided that we're just as equal, we're just as important as the governor. And so I think now you got a more balanced process in Kentucky than you ever had before. Today you've got 138 people making real decisions on the laws instead of one guy, the governor. So it's the greatest thing that ever happened to this Commonwealth of Kentucky was John Y. Brown in the fact of having that legislative independence. Now, when something had come in, he wanted a bill, he would call you in and talk to you, but when he first came in he just said, "Hands off, it's ya'll's job over there." And if he hadn't been there it'd probably come in time anyway, because with the younger people getting in and deciding, "Now we're, the legislature is important too." But yeah, the change came on and I, and I got to see the change up hand and close and see the difference that it made for Kentucky, it made for a better life in Kentucky. BOWEN: Okay. And do you think that, I know a lot of the legislators have been there for years, you know, twelve or fourteen years some of them and some of them more than that, some of them served and then passed it to their sons. Do you think that making the legislature a career is a good idea? ENDICOTT: Oh, I don't know if it's a good idea or not. It's not a bad idea. You're a citizen in the legislature, it's not a fulltime position. I don't know if that's what you mean, if it should be a fulltime position or not. BOWEN: No, it's whether, should people serve fourteen years, twenty years- ENDICOTT: I think if they do a good job. I think it goes back to the fact that people should run against them to make them do a good job. Most people who serve fourteen years and longer and never had opposition. That's why they're there. The people don't want to get out and run. I think when you have opposition it keeps you honest, because you've got to do the right thing and keep the people on your side if you're gonna get reelected. But most people had never been down there and very few had been there twenty, but there was a couple at that time were getting in their twentieth year or their eighteenth year and they hadn't any opposition for ten or twelve years. I mean it was just a deed to the office. And that's because the people at home just didn't get involved. But I don't think that there's anything wrong with it as long as they've had competition they've had to stay in touch with their constituents. If you do a good job, keep somebody in. If he didn't do a good job, you vote him out. BOWEN: Do you think it's a good idea to have annual sessions? ENDICOTT: I mean sixty days every two years, some people say, yeah, make it two days every sixty years (Bowen laughs). You know, some people say, the legislature comes to town, the people get all their kids and their dogs and everything and lock them up in their house and protect them, that there's legislators in town. But it's gonna go to annual sessions because it's hard to budget for two years. You know, people don't like that but at some point in time it's gonna go to it because the money crisis, a good example, the budget this last time was balanced and state budgets have to be balanced, you cannot have a deficit, and then you are now between Wilkinson leaving the office and Jones coming in where you went from 55 million to 200 million dollars in debt, you know, shortfall. So I think it's gonna go to it to make the legislators still more co-equal with the judicial and the governor. I don't think it has to go around the clock because we can't afford it, the state cannot, but I think annual sessions are, would be better for the state. BOWEN: One idea I heard was thirty days every year instead of the three months, instead of ninety days just thirty days every year to get everything done that year that you want to get done. And when I was listening to the State of the Union address I thought, "Well, you give them sixty days to get something done"-a friend of mine said, "Well, gosh, they can't even sit down and talk in sixty days, you know." It takes them ninety days to even get into the position, a point where they want to talk about passing anything. And I think that's true at the state level too that it takes a while to get anything done because of the, well if, because of the compromises you have to make- ENDICOTT: Um-hm. BOWEN: or if you vote "yes" on this then I'll vote "yes" on yours. And neither one of them are bad bills, but it's just you need to get that support behind you to do it, and it takes a long time go through everybody to do that I think. ENDICOTT: Lots of times most of the bills are passed in the last month. BOWEN: Yeah, I mean they talk about it (laughs), talk about it for two and then pass it in the third. I noticed that looking through the records and it's really funny that everything is introduced and in the last thirty days you see a lot of passage, I mean you see more turnover- ENDICOTT: Well, it takes time, a lot of them are no bills and they are not been pre- filed so they got to go through a committee action, and got to have a hearing and stuff. And if they're not controversial and there are minor changes they can usually progress pretty quickly. But sometimes you have bills that seemed minor changes that are actually be major changes once you get into them, and then somebody sees a way of amending them and making it even more of a major change. So it takes time; it's a process that can't work overnight. BOWEN: If the Supreme Court, this is just one of my own questions, if the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade and may abortion not protected under privacy, what do you think the state of Kentucky would do? Which way do you think it would go? Do you think it would legislate against it or for it? ENDICOTT: Oh, I'm a pro-life person if you want to call, if you have to stick a label on somebody. BOWEN: Yeah, I hate those labels because I'm, you know, I'm not for abortion at all because I think that, I know I can never do it, but then I look at a lot of people who've been raped and are pregnant. They don't want that child; they don't want anything to do with it because it's not, they don't really see it as their child, it was forced upon them and I can't say that if someone wanted to do that and wanted to abort the baby or put it up for adoption, I couldn't be against it in that situation because I don't think-I think that would be the most difficult thing you ever did in your life was to carry a baby nine months for someone that, you know, someone that raped you or something- (unintelligible) what way Kentucky would go? ENDICOTT: Abortion is, I think it would go pro-life. There's a big pro-choice movement. I was down there Tuesday, the pro-life people in town had a big rally. Abortion is an issue, like most issues, people have put blinders on and they can't see right nor left, they just fix their mind on one thing. I think it was '84, we had the In Vitro Fertilization bill and state funds for it and, of course, the pro-life people were against it because during that process there are so many eggs that are discarded after being fertilized and only one is implanted. And it was, you know, I could, you know, to me that was for people who couldn't have children and they were gonna raise a child- BOWEN: That was the best chance they had. ENDICOTT: and the only chance they had. And I'll never forget the Speaker of the House Bobby Richardson asked to step down from the speaker as, and the speaker pro tem to take his place. And he came out on the floor and gave one of the most moving speeches I've ever heard in my life on In Vitro Fertilization, because his wife, that's the only way they had a child. And I cannot fathom people and I don't like to deal with people who are, who have one tunnel vision. I'm pro-life if I want to be stuck with that label and would never vote for an abortion bill to allow people to abort unless it, the mother's life was in danger, rape, or incest or what, you know. And people say, well, that's a compromise and you're really for abortion. No, I think there are certain instances where things, the woman has a choice, but as abortion being a birth control that's- BOWEN: To me, in the Soviet Union right now abortion is used as a birth control method because the pill that is so cheap here, I mean I don't, and to me I don't think in the United States that abortion should be totally legal. I think it should be legal in instances where a person, or especially a child, was raped and is pregnant and can't do anything about it. But I think when you're old enough to making the decision you should protect yourself. And that's one thing that I've always hated is people, "I accidentally," and you know. No you did not accidentally- ENDICOTT: Did it. BOWEN: do that thing, you know. You, it was your choice not to protect yourself and it's your fault, live with it. I mean that's what I want to say but then I think, what would that child be raised? They wouldn't be loved- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: they wouldn't be, you were an accident. ENDICOTT: Well, people say, well, there's all kinds of people that adopt. Well, there's a strong bond, and even though you don't want the child, that goes between the mother having a baby, whether it's, you know, by rape or whatever anyway, there's a, you know, and incest. It's a traumatic process to go through that and be forced to go through it, but pro-life people are just as bad as pro-choice people because they can only see one way and you can't vary from that path or you're the other side. BOWEN: You're wrong. ENDICOTT: Yeah. And I had a lot of arguments with people over that, that I was for In Vitro Fertilization and pro-life would be just down on you. They'd call you murderers and everything else. And I say, "Well why?" I mean, I'm against abortion but you got to be 100 percent their way. So I think Kentucky is a pro-life state when it comes down to grassroots, when the basics of it comes through. BOWEN: I agree with that too. I think that one thing that I always disliked in college was one of my professors said that you couldn't be pro-choice, I mean I, guess he put it down to me, I mean he said either you're-if you had to be black or white would you chose pro-choice or pro-life? And I thought that must've been, I don't have to go for pro-life, but there have to be certain instances. He said, "No," he said, "if you go pro- choice, if you think," he said, "why do you think that you shouldn't be allow and have abortion?" I said, "Because I think honestly that unless there's situations, you know, as in rape and everything, I think it's wrong, because I don't think you should kill a baby just because you feel like it, you know, because you made a mistake." And he said, "Well, if you think it's murder in just a regular case, it would be murder when it's, you know, rape or incest." And I said, "Yeah, logically that's the way it follows but," I said, "life is not totally logical. I mean you can't be (unintelligible) in life." ENDICOTT: You know- BOWEN: that's not logic, that's illogical you- ENDICOTT: People like him are very narrow minded- BOWEN: Yeah. ENDICOTT: and they want to impose their narrow mindedness on everybody else. People have to make decisions and choices in their life and sometimes it's difficult choices, and I think basically Kentuckians are pro-life people but they realize that there are things that it can happen that you have, the decision has to go the other way. And there's more people out there that are, that have that open belief than they are the pro- choice or the real advocate pro-life but they just keep their mouth shut. BOWEN: Yeah. I think most people would just go, well, oh well, whatever I'm not gonna ever do this or I'll never gonna be in that situation, but the thing is you never can tell. ENDICOTT: Yeah. [Talks to child: Christopher, yeah, put that up. Go to your room. Go to your room. You mind me real well, don't you? (Bowen laughs)] Okay, go ahead. BOWEN: Do you remember what your first speech was? ENDICOTT: My first speech. No, because most of them come up quite by accident. A bill will come up and you'll realize that you just can't be for it and you want to explain your vote or explain why you're against it or for it, or just try to kill it on the floor. Usually when a bill comes to the floor it's gonna pass unless there's really something controversial about it. BOWEN: Yeah. Let me just switch this tape real quick. [End of Tape #1, Side #2] [Begin of Tape #2, Side #1] ENDICOTT: Most speeches are not playing by most legislators on the floor and bills come up and usually if a bill comes before the leadership feels like it had the votes to pass it. It's not very often that you get enough debate on the floor to actually kill a bill. Sometimes you can. I remember I gave a little-sometimes asking a question can destroy a bill. I'll never forget what I did to a Democrat from Louisville. A very innocent looking bill was coming up that would raise a felony-[Child in background: Daddy!]. BOWEN: I'm gonna ahead and pause this-[Pause in tape]. ENDICOTT: Was a very innocent looking bill come up and it was to change the felony offence from $100 to $500, anything under five hundred dollars be a misdemeanor and move it out of the district court up to the circuit court (unintelligible) docket. And the bill was gonna pass. I mean everybody seemed to be for it and everything, and I don't know why I had a little mean streak in me that day or what, but I asked, got up and asked if I could ask the gentleman from Louisville a question. And you never on the House floor refer to anybody by their name, you always refer to them as the gentleman or lady from a certain district, you never call them by their name. It was not etiquette on the floor. And I asked him, I said, he said, "Yeah, I'll yield to a question." I said, "Is this the cost-of-living increase with thieves?" (Bowen laughs). And the bill that was gonna pass 95 to nothing probably went down 85 to 10 or something like that. BOWEN: (Laughs), oh no! ENDICOTT: I mean- BOWEN: And it's true. ENDICOTT: you know, I just didn't have a mean streak because I was asking a simple question. I didn't know I was gonna kill the bill. Had no intention to killing the bill, but it was just a humorous little question and hiss point was and what it's for. But me just making that statement that it was a cost-of-living increase for thieves, scared enough people into voting against it. BOWEN: So it was gonna raise, if you stole something for $500 it was not going be a felony anymore- ENDICOTT: Anything less than 500. BOWEN: anything less than 500 was not going to be a felony- ENDICOTT: A felony. BOWEN: you were just gonna be- ENDICOTT: It be a misdemeanor. BOWEN: Oh (laughs), I guess- ENDICOTT: Well, anything over $100 now is a felony and they were just clogging up circuit court with those petty anny(??) thieves in there, they moved down to district or whatever. And it was a good bill, I guess, and may have passed as I said but I just wanted to ask him a simple little question and he was questioned and I had no intention to kill the bill, it killed it between dinner at four o'clock. And it was history. So you never know what a statement on the floor can do for bills and I would limit my speaking for or against anything because you can be labeled a talker who's only there to talk. If you limit what you say people listen when you get up. But if you speak out or for every bill that comes up, pretty soon they quit listening, talk about the boy that cried wolf. BOWEN: That's strange because I've heard everybody say that if you get up and talk all the time that nobody listens to you, they'll just go-because Carolyn Kenton said, you know, "Some people would get up and talk for half an hour or forty-five minutes and just be snoring by the time they got finished." ENDICOTT: Nobody listened to a word they said. BOWEN: Yeah, you wouldn't hear anything but if you got up and made two or three sentences of a statement, she said, "No, I never made any such, you know, speeches as such." And I haven't talked to anybody who said they made any like speeches. It'd be just like a couple of comments on anything. I think that's probably the philosophy. ENDICOTT: Yeah. BOWEN: Who was the floor leader for your party at that time? ENDICOTT: Art Schmidt was minority floor leader at the time I was in there and he's since went over to the Senate, became a senator instead of a representative. BOWEN: And the speaker of the House was Richardson? ENDICOTT: Bobby Richardson. BOWEN: And what did you think of those two people as leaders? ENDICOTT: I thought they were pretty good. Of course, Art did for my party, did what he could for the Republican Party. He was a real likable person. He didn't demagogue the Democrats on everything that come up. And Bobby was a diehard Democrat, of course, Speaker of the House, but he treated me fairly and respectfully. When I got up to speak he would allow me to speak. Now if it was a straight party issue, you knew where you were gonna be and you were gonna get outvoted, but he, Bobby was the type of speaker that gave people a chance to prove themselves if you wanted to cut your own throat, he'd let you cut your own throat (Bowen laughs). You know, you could get up and demagogue the Democrats any chance you got if you were a Republican but you also have to remember they were 62 and you were 38 in the House. So that was two to one and so we had to learn it. People who spoke out always against the Democrats never got anywhere, nobody ever listened to them. Democrats who always spoke out against Republicans never got anywhere. BOWEN: I think everybody has to realize that today everything has to be a compromise. ENDICOTT: We knew when certain bills came through it'd be party line votes and the vote will be 62 to 38 or whatever it'll be, or it might be 61 to 37 when two people were absent. When it was a straight Republican versus Democrat issue you knew what the vote would be. BOWEN: How many people would you say were absent a day? ENDICOTT: No more than one or two. BOWEN: No more than one or two a day? ENDICOTT: Yeah, there was-and a lot of times it, that had to be, was sickness or death. My father passed away seven days after I went into office. I went in on January the 3rd and he died January the 10th. I spent one week in Frankfort, and so I ended up missing five days in the next week. He died on Sunday morning, then it was only five days that I missed. And the attendance is excellent. Most legislators strive to be there every day and do their job. You always have one or two out of a hundred, which is only one or two percent, that aren't, but the majority of them, you know, try to earn their money and try to do the right thing. BOWEN: Oh, that's always something, I know I took the attendance for, I usually take the attendance for everybody that I interview and I had never come across anybody who missed very much, and I knew that your father had passed away during that time. ENDICOTT: It was only five days I missed and during the interim session on committees I always tried to get held, every committee meeting that was held. BOWEN: What committees did you serve on? ENDICOTT: Banking and Insurance, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and ended up on Transportation also. So I, you know, it's important you go because you'd miss so much in the-I felt that I owed the people of my district by my attendance of being there no matter, you know, if I was sick or there was a lot of problems and stuff I owed, that's what I owed the people to do my job. BOWEN: Do you remember anything that came through your particular committees that were really important, any issues that were really important at that time? ENDICOTT: Well, the banking and insurance bill, the multi-county banking where you could buy banks across county lines was the hottest item we had in Banking and Insurance at that time. It ended up being the grand jury investigation on some people, (unintelligible) kickbacks and stuff and a lot of things went on and I'd promised some people that I would vote for that bill and I, you're talking about asking me about did you ever go against your constituents, and I had some bankers come from these areas that were against it. And I told them I had already given my word that I would vote for it because I was bringing in other votes on other issues that were important for my area. And I didn't care about, for a banker to buy another bank across county lines, that didn't mean anything to me- BOWEN: For the bankers that would be very important to them because if you couldn't you could own all the banks in one county- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: every bank and you wouldn't have to go across county lines to buy anything and people couldn't come into your county and buy anything- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: they'd have to live there to buy it. ENDICOTT: Yeah. And so, but the people that came to me were against the bill. They didn't want the bill to buy and I told them, I said, "Well, I made a commitment, I've got to go that way." And they said, "Well, we're gonna go home and beat you." I said, "Well, go and get your money, because I gave my word and I'm not gonna back on my word." The system, you know, these same people (unintelligible; child crying in background), but they profited by that bill that they were first against. So, sometimes you make hard decisions but it all goes back to if I lied to those people and changed my vote I might as well never run again. BOWEN: Yeah because people would know in a committee whether you changed your vote or not and it'd be very easy to figure out who didn't go the way they wanted. And they can do a roll call vote though too can't they if they want to? ENDICOTT: Yeah, most of the bills are a roll call vote, although resolutions and minor amendments usually are just a voice vote but every bill has a roll call vote- BOWEN: That's what I thought. ENDICOTT: Hold on a sec., let me get him a cookie or something. [Pause in tape]. The roll call vote is the way you can get caught up on, you can tell your constituents you voted one way or another and they'd go back and track your record. It's hard but it can be done. BOWEN: Especially now with the way they have changed-I honestly think they changed the legislative record to make it more confusing. In the '60s and '70s it was very straightforward. You can you look in the index in the back and it would have each person, the page numbers and bills that he voted for, you know, that he had his name on. And you can go look up those bills and on the page number and you could find out whether he voted for them or not it, or not and whether his bill got passed or not. And I'll tell you, after the '80s you can't find anything in there. You find a bill in the back and then you have to go for each page number, it doesn't tell you the progression of the bill. It used to have a chart- ENDICOTT: Um-hm. BOWEN: that went straight through. Did it get out of committee? No, it died here and you could look up, well, no, it died in committee here. When, did it get to the first, second, and third reading? Well, yeah, it did, other action. Now it just got page numbers, the name and the page numbers. And you got to figure out the corrections of the bill, and it is a headache. You just like, okay, this one went how far and you look for forty pages and find out, no, it was mentioned here. And it's, I think it's a more difficult way for people if they want to trace what their state representative is doing or their senator is doing. You can't, you just can't find it. ENDICOTT: No. BOWEN: It's so difficult. ENDICOTT: They made it a difficult process to, a lot of them, to hide what they do. BOWEN: I (laughs), I told my boss that's what they were doing. I said, you know, "I think that they're trying to hide what they're doing because I can't find anything." And I don't think it's the majority. I think it's the minority of people who want to do that. And most people don't think, well, it's not important to change how the state represent," how the state records are kept, I mean it's not a big deal not to put that chart in the back. You know, for most people it's not, but when you're looking specifically for something and you can't find it, you know, then it's a big deal. And it's easier to hide everything because you cannot find the dates when things were taken care of, and it's really kind of strange. John Y. Brown Jr. was the governor during your term, wasn't he? ENDICOTT: Governor the first two year and Martha Layne Collins for the last session. I sat there under two different governors. BOWEN: Yeah. What did you think about both of them? ENDICOTT: I liked John Y. Brown, I didn't Martha Layne. John Y. gave us the independence; Martha Layne wanted to go back to the old way, wanted, she wanted to be governor and control everything, that was my opinion of her. I didn't think she was very effective because of that in her first session, because she tried to rule and dominate and not let the legislature be its independent self, that it was going that way. It was going that way whether she wanted it or not. She tried to change it and I had a lot more respect for John Y. than I did her. BOWEN: Okay. The committees that you served on were Banking and Insurance, Natural Resources, you served on that one, and then Transportation. Did anything come through the other two committees that were very, very important that you thought of, that you thought- ENDICOTT: Natural Resources, Agriculture and Natural Resources we passed the privacy bill where we took over the regulating the coal industry instead of the federal government. It was called privacy. I was always against privacy. The state wanted it because the state wanted to govern our mining industry stuff, but my philosophy was the state said, "Yeah, you can have privacy but we're still gonna tell you how to do it." So it's really no privacy. It's just like being a puppet. They still have strings attached which none of us did ever like that. I thought if we were going to regulate, they should just leave us alone. But today you got state inspectors followed up right behind by federal inspectors and, you know, we have privacy, strings are just still attached and they're still controlling it. And I always thought that we just leave it to the feds if they wanted to do it and hire the people, fine, let them and do it. BOWEN: Yeah, I was gonna say you won't have to pay for inspectors too because that's I'm sure very expensive. ENDICOTT: Excuse me. [Pause in tape]. So, the privacy bill and then through Transportation, of course, came all your allocations for the new roads and stuff in the area which was always important, and I'm sure there's a lot more other things- BOWEN: They started working on 645, wasn't it? ENDICOTT: 645 was being finished up and then the Route 3 work, the money was appropriated to start that. So it was really important for east Kentucky. BOWEN: Oh yeah, cause it's much easier. I mean it saves me thirty minutes not having to drive to Louisa on Route 3 (laughs)- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: and trying to get to Lexington, because I remember those roads always made me sick. The new road now (laughs; unintelligible) sick. ENDICOTT: These are the important bills that go through, but some of them were real minor and you never remember them, but they have a major impact on the state and they're lost in the shuffle. The ones that get all the coverage is the ones that you remember. BOWEN: Oh, yeah. Were there any bills that you sponsored that you felt were very, I mean that were extremely important that did or didn't get passed? ENDICOTT: I was not the one to throw out bills out there. I felt like I was a freshman legislator even in my second term that I would be more effective instead of trying to get much of bills passed as seeing the bills that were there and working for or against them and gaining the confidence of the people. I saw some other freshmen that come in and threw all kinds of bills out there, never got nothing passed, got mad and worked totally ineffective from that point on. You got to work the system and when you're in the minority, as Republicans were, I felt like it was better off for my district. I didn't have any special agenda. I'd look to see through the bills and most everything I wanted to do was already introduced at some point in time and level, was to work to get those bills passed whoever sponsored them, and things in my committees that affected my area, not to go out there and try to get my name on something and say, "Here's what I passed." BOWEN: I (laughs), tell you the funniest thing that I ever noticed about people who were, a lot of times who were freshmen. They'd put their name on anything to get it passed. Like one bill and that was introduced by one freshman legislator that I checked on was to make the paper green on St. Patrick's Day. Oh boy, I bet that was important. Or to make the paper pink on Valentine's Day or to honor someone for service that they did in the state of Kentucky which everybody would agree to and it get passed and their name would be in the book. And I thought that was, to me was the silliest thing that I have, because I do not think that it's an important issue, and I'm sure it took that thirty or forty-five minutes in time on the legislature to get that paper pink and green- ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: (Laughs), I mean I can understand honoring someone for services for the state of Kentucky, but that paper was to me not-I mean I can just imagine, you know, "I'd like to introduce the bill today that's gonna make the paper pink," and all the people were going, "That's a good idea." ENDICOTT: Yeah. BOWEN: And I mean it's not a bad idea, but it could be pink anyway without somebody sponsoring the bill. And I don't think, to me that was just, I knew it was a way to get your name on a bill, and I knew that was important to the freshmen legislators but I thought maybe it be more important to have it on something else, you know, something that would be more, I mean maybe it won't get passed but it would still show that you tried. ENDICOTT: Yeah. I cosponsored a lot and I did, I remember sponsoring one on condemnation of roads. They take the minimum pay, very low value for it and (unintelligible) that you can put a bill in and think it's insignificant and get a lot of attention. And I did sponsor a bill that when you condemn the road or a property to take for a road that you paid the fair market lease pay of the coal or pick up for tonnage and pay them their fair market lease value. So instead of getting ten or (unintelligible) a ton, people will get a dollar, a dollar and a half out of the coal on their property that the state would condemn. And it brought the whole transportation department down on me. BOWEN: I'm sure, I mean that's a big thing, I mean if you can, and if somebody really didn't want to sell to the coal company you condemn their property- ENDICOTT: No, I'm talking about building a highway- BOWEN: Oh, build, or even a highway. ENDICOTT: And you (unintelligible), when 645 was built they condemned the property and paid the real low value for the coal- BOWEN: Oh, I'm sure. ENDICOTT: He took it, and then the contractor turned around and sold it at a huge the profit. And I said, "That's not fair for, it just you know, if you're gonna take it then to take it at the fair market lease value in the area." And that's what they did so everybody gets compensated fairly. And I brought the whole state transportation coming down on my back and said it was too cost ineffective and this that and the other. BOWEN: Well, it is when you pay a person twenty cents to take their yard or whole house, I mean, I know Reilly Horne lost his whole house, and they lived there for a long time. Because it, we used to live across the creek from them. My Uncle Bill owns a, he owned a gas station in there. It's not a gas station anymore but there was a house where the carwash is. And we lived there, and I remember at that time they owned the Dairy Queen out there and my sister and I worked at the Dairy Queen. And it was just, I mean every day they'd come over, Well, we're get ready to blast ya'll get under those tables back there, because there were big metal, heavy tables in the back, and then, you know, we had to put up the closed sign and go and get them those tables which I thought was real weird. But the morning the rocks came through the ceiling I didn't think (laughs), I thought, phew, was a good idea. ENDICOTT: Right. BOWEN: And my aunt, cousin was walking to the Dairy Queen and we hadn't gotten there yet and they blasted at six o'clock in the morning and she was going out there to do something silly, I don't remember what it was, wash something or other out there, and the rocks came right through the house, through their house and the Dairy Queen and my other cousin's house was out there at the same time too. I mean it was just, it was just like, oh, because we were getting, we were coming on the way down there. I was just like phew, go that way, really there, we were there one day when the, these were big rocks, not little ones, and, you know, I remember Reilly saying they really didn't pay him enough money to build that new house that he built and to, you know, relocate his family, because the kids really weren't that old at the time. ENDICOTT: Yeah, I- BOWEN: His grandkids at that time were not that old. ENDICOTT: didn't get the bill passed, but I got the attention of the state, and sometimes that's more important that they need to change the way they're doing things and working at a fair way and then maybe getting the fair market coal. But I was never content more than, to have a lot of bills in there because the more you put in, if you do your job it's more work because you just don't put a bill and then it just passes itself. You've got to really work and hustle and I can never say at that time that, you know, I was a die-hard that I had to get in and do, going down if I get elected again and there was things on my mind that I want to work for it. But at that time I endorsed very few and just wasn't big on had to have my name in the spotlight. BOWEN: Yeah (laughs). I could understand that. I can really understand that. Is there anything that I haven't mentioned that you'd like to bring up about anything in the legislature, stories about people, or things that happened down there that you think that could be important? ENDICOTT: I don't know, it's just the legislator is a funny animal. It's, most people don't know what, I'd say three fourths of people in the state of Kentucky have no idea what they do. It's a more powerful office than people think that it is. As some of the last time, Martin County has put up three ways in redistricting, if we'd had a Martin County representative that would never happen. BOWEN: I agree with that. ENDICOTT: So it's a powerful office and people don't understand it, they don't due that it's really, it's due to the office and to the person. But the legislator is a strange animal, it's a funny-it's a system that you got to learn, and either you love it or you hate it. You don't go down there and it become (unintelligible), you either love the system or you hate it. And I liked the system and liked being a legislator. So, you know, most people don't like it because it's, you know, you've got long days and you've got long nights and you're far away from home, but I think for a government to be effective more people needs to get involved in it and register whether they think they can win or not. You can always make somebody tell what they think about something if you register against them. BOWEN: I think that's very true. It's a good check. I know that in anything that you're running for even if you really don't want the office, if the other person didn't tell them what they believe, and you run they're gonna say a heck a lot more than they are with you not being there. I mean if you are not there they're not running against anybody they don't have to tell what they think. They just say, well, don't have to say anything. ENDICOTT: Without opposition I think we lose our democracy and people look at the right to vote as the greatest thing we have and I think the right to run, for anybody to run for office is the greatest thing that we have. And I learned that more after being in the legislature and seeing what power they do have and what, how they real control our lives, you know. They determine, from the district, if your county is gonna be cut up. They just passed one too which gives, if you're fifteen years and nine months, within three months of your birth, sixteenth birthday and get your driving, your learning's permit now. BOWEN: If you're what? ENDICOTT: Three months of your sixteenth birthday you can get your learning's permit now. It passed the House, it's gonna go to the Senate. BOWEN: So, instead of me getting my, I was born in August, so instead of getting mine on the date of my birthday like I did, I got my drivers permit on the sixteenth, obvious I can get it on- ENDICOTT: In June. BOWEN: In June? ENDICOTT: Yeah. BOWEN: Well, I don't think that's right. You're at fifteen and you're driving around-oh, my on the interstate now. ENDICOTT: So there was some argument and discussion on the floor, but it passed the House and whether it does the Senate. BOWEN: Oh my gosh! ENDICOTT: That's a silly little bill, I mean- BOWEN: But it's gonna have a big impact. Who is gonna insure a fifteen year old? Even though you were in three months you're still technically fifteen. ENDICOTT: Yeah. BOWEN: Who is going to insure a fifteen-I know in North Carolina if you're fourteen, it used to be if you were fourteen, you could get a learner's permit, but you would always have to have somebody in the car with you and you could drive two years and then get your driver's license when you were sixteen. And I thought I'm glad I don't live in that place. ENDICOTT: A lot of it is the fact that you go out there at fifteen years and ten months and you're learning to drive some people say, we'll give you two more months to learn how to drive. Other people argue, well, an insurance salesman said, "Let that person have a wreck and your insurance is gonna go sky high, and then anybody who has a child and it gets a permit when they're fifteen years and nine months, their insurance rates are automatically gonna go sky high. So, the size of the stuff that people really don't see. (Unintelligible). BOWEN: Oh. It's just (unintelligible). ENDICOTT: [Talking to Mrs. Endicott; unintelligible]. BOWEN: That's funny (laughs). ENDICOTT: How is his eye? [Mrs. Endicott: He has an eye infection in both eyes. (Unintelligible). It's gonna be a while.] ENDICOTT: Okay. So, I think that's probably the best thing that I wanted is the fact that people need to get involved in the government and run. And that it's not being able to to vote that's so important, it's being able to run. BOWEN: Okay. And my last question is how would you like to be remembered as a legislator? ENDICOTT: As a legislator? I think for the fact that I spoke my mind and I told how I felt, and not to get votes but what I truly felt. I think that help beat me, but I always told people what I truly believed and not what they wanted to hear. And going back Tuesday, I've never been back in years in the Capitol since I got beat and going back, and I still have a lot of friends that I earned their respect because I told them the truth. And that's, if I'm remembered in any way of being that is the fact that I was a truthful person to them and wanted to be trusted. BOWEN: Okay. Thank you very much for talking with me today. ENDICOTT: It's been a pleasure. [End of interview] Endicott (House 1982-1984, 97th district; Republican) recounts his childhood in Inez (Ky.), educational and professional background. Highlights include changes in the timing of legislative races, the “speak-in” tradition in Eastern Kentucky, philosophy of government, the role of State Representatives, and differences in the John Y. Brown Jr. and Martha Layne Collins administrations. Concludes with thoughts on the importance of competition for seats from each county in a district and his re-entry as a candidate for State Representative. Kentucky Legislature