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2006-03-02 Interview with Fred Bradley, March 2, 2006 Leg001:2006OH030 Leg 092 01:28:06 Kentucky Legislature Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries Kentucky -- Officials and employees. Providence (Ky.) Kentucky. Governor (1979-1983 : Brown) Kentucky. Governor (1983-1987 : Collins) Kentucky. Governor (1987-1991 : Wilkinson) Kentucky. Governor (1991-1995 : Jones) Kentucky. Governor (1995-2003 : Patton) Patton, Paul E., 1937- Practice of law Providence (Ky.) Florida Brown, John Y. (John Young) Jr., 1933- Wilkinson, Wallace G. Jones, Brereton Collins, Martha Layne Wallace, George Carter, Jimmy, 1924- Horse racing military service campaigning mandatory seatbelt legislation state employees Merit pay BOPTROT Lobbyists lottery mandatory seatbelt bill lottery bill Senate (1981-2000), 20th district Senate Majority Whip, 1992-1998 Franklin County (Ky.) – Bullitt County (Ky.) – Shelby County (Ky.) – Spencer County (Ky.) Fred Bradley; interviewee Jan Romond; interviewer 2006OH030_LEG092_Bradley 1:|13(8)|33(5)|57(8)|86(3)|109(12)|149(1)|176(5)|203(3)|230(6)|248(4)|265(17)|296(1)|326(4)|364(8)|393(4)|420(3)|448(3)|491(9)|518(2)|544(3)|571(7)|603(4)|629(6)|649(7)|677(9)|697(8)|738(6)|755(1)|784(12)|810(5)|829(4)|858(9)|876(6)|912(11)|948(11)|990(6)|1019(13)|1041(10)|1067(8)|1099(10)|1125(13)|1151(3)|1171(7)|1204(5)|1227(2)|1261(10)|1293(10)|1313(4)|1345(9)|1368(10)|1393(2)|1418(9)|1446(14)|1468(11)|1508(8)|1556(1)|1587(2)|1614(2)|1637(3)|1663(1)|1687(7)|1731(6)|1778(5)|1807(13)|1847(1)|1871(1)|1886(12)|1908(3)|1932(6)|1952(3)|1974(4)|1995(6)|2027(13)|2065(3)|2093(8)|2122(13)|2164(13)|2192(7)|2218(3)|2241(2)|2272(5)|2292(15)|2332(4)|2362(1)|2393(5)|2418(2)|2443(3)|2479(3) audiotrans Legit interview ROMOND: The following is an unrehearsed interview with former Senator Fred F. Bradley, who represented the Twentieth District of Bullitt, Franklin, Shelby and Spencer counties from 1981 to 2000. This interview was conducted by Jan Romond for the University of Kentucky Library, Kentucky Legislative Oral History Project on March 2, 2006, at Mr. Bradley's home in Frankfort, Kentucky, at 2:30 PM. This afternoon, I am talking to Mr. Fred Bradley. Mr. Bradley, could you tell me where and when you were born and did you grow up there? BRADLEY: Well, no, where I was born--I hate to admit this--was in Evansville, Indiana; I'm a Hoosier. I don't tell anybody this, but actually my home was in Providence, Kentucky, west Kentucky, and Evansville was the closest hospital, and my grandfather wanted his daughter to have her, his first grandchild at home. He(??) had one other one-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --to be born in the hospital. So I was, uh, in the hospital the first five days of my life in Evansville, Indiana, at five dollars a day. I have the bill. And, uh, I had to ride the ferry, while my mother was pregnant across the river, and, of course, I came back-- (laughs)--well, on the ferry, uh, because the bridge was not built in 1932 between Evansville and Henderson. So I lived in Providence, which is about forty miles from Evansville. ROMOND: Um-hm. Who were your parents? BRADLEY: My parents was, uh, James Lamar Bradley. He is from, uh, Alabama, Clayton, Alabama. And my mother was Laska(??) Lemon Bradley, and she was born in Shady Grove, Kentucky, but grew up in Providence. And her, her father was a, uh, had a lumber company and a lot of buildings and houses in Providence. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And so, my whole formative years was spent in Providence. I grew up there, graduated from high school there. I was valedictorian of 1949. ROMOND: Um-hm. What was your father's work? BRADLEY: He owned and operated the newspaper. Started out, uh, he, he came there to run it and essentially bought it two years later, about 1933. And he was the editor, publisher, and did everything, all the mechanical work, anything. He was a real good writer. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And a hard worker. And, uh, it was a daily paper at the time. This was before other papers got to, coming into the territory. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And so, we like the Madisonville Messenger or the Evansville Courier-Press. And, uh, we sub-, bought the Dixon Journal, uh, run by Tom Dunkin's(??) mother and father. And, uh, we, from there, we used the output of the paper from a daily to a semi-weekly and ultimately a weekly. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And that was because of the advertising revenue, and just so many things that went on. I, when we had the paper, I was a delivery boy. And I knew every person in town. I can deliver any route in town when I was twelve years old. (Romond laughs) But Providence was a small town; at that time, it was about seven thousand. The coal mines were very, uh, active at that time. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: We had an explosion in 1939, which killed twenty-seven men-- ROMOND: --oh-- BRADLEY: --which was, everybody in town was kin to somebody, it seemed like. And, uh, and, uh, from there we kept on holding on, but finally the town decreased in population to about four thousand. Now it's about five thousand ----------(??) day. But there were no industries in town except coal mines. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: That was it; there was no other industry at all. Finally there was a little small plastic plant came in and operated for about ten years and it went out of business there. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: So it is a, it's a great farming town and I was always hanging around. I was a hunter. And I was always hanging around the, the farm. I, I was riding horses even then. And, of course, in the summer, I went to Alabama where my grandmother lived. Uh, my grandfather, my real grandfather died, uh, when my dad was about eight years old. He was born, uh, in nineteen, and uh, aught-six. And, uh, my grandfather fought in the Civil War. ROMOND: Really. BRADLEY: My real grandfather fought in, at Spanish Fort was the last battle and reportedly he was there. I do know for sure that he fought in the, I have records of it, fought in the Civil War. So, uh, my real grandfather fought in the Civil War. And my mother is a, uh, widow of a son of a veteran; she's a daughter-in-law of a veteran of the Civil War. So that, so that's something to say. ROMOND: Yeah. BRADLEY: We, we, but I loved Alabama then. And, of course, subsequently I moved to Alabama. That was after I retired from everything, though. ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm. Did you know your grandparents? BRADLEY: Well, my grandmother and grandfather real well. A lot of wild stories about my grandfather. He was, he was really something else. He was a gambler, but he, he owned all this property. And, uh, he was a, uh, hard worker, ran some tight businesses and, uh. ROMOND: Which grandparent? BRADLEY: This was my grandfather Lemon, my, my maternal grandparent. ROMOND: Okay. BRADLEY: And, uh, my paternal grandpa, I didn't know him; of course, he died in nineteen, uh, fourteen. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Uh, but my grandmother, I knew her well. She remarried. And they had a little old country farm and a country grocery store, I mean, small. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But I loved to be down there because I got to ride a horse and got to work on the farm in Alabama, which was a different world back in those days. I'd ride the bus down there when I was eleven years old. My, my parents would let me go down there and spend the summer, we couldn't-- ROMOND: --by yourself? BRADLEY: Oh yeah. ROMOND: Yeah. BRADLEY: Yeah, uh, till fourteen I remember I was there for sure. In 1945, as soon as the war was over, I was back. ROMOND: Hm. BRADLEY: And. ROMOND: Did you have extended family around you when you were growing up, aunts and uncles, cousins? BRADLEY: Uh, yes, I have one sister who is eight years younger than I am. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY:, uh, but I had, uh, uh, uncles; two of them there in Providence, one in Michigan, and one had deceased. And had, and I, I had aunts, too. And, uh, one aunt was in New York the whole time. But everybody died off without issue. I have no living blood relatives now, uh, outside of my sister and her, her, uh, son and, and, uh, my mother, who is still alive at 97 in the nursing home. ROMOND: Really. BRADLEY: But she's in bad shape now. ROMOND: Oh. Um-hm, um-hm. How far back do your family roots go in Kentucky? BRADLEY: You're asking the wrong person that question; my sister has does, has done quite a great amount of genealogical research. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, in Ireland, we went to Ireland. I went over there with her and she did genealogical research and I did pub research every day. And so, we--(Romond laughs)--she, uh, but she knows all those answers real well and I should know them myself. I have, uh, pictures of my grandparents over there and I have, uh, dates on them, but I, I, I don't know how long they went back. But they came, part of them came, uh, the McConnell's came out of, part of them, I think, out of North Carolina. I'd just, I, I-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --I'd be hesitant to say. I mean-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --I had grandparents on the maternal side, great-grandparents, uh, in Kentucky, yes, all in Pendleton County primarily. ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm. What are your memories of the place that you grew up, your neighborhood and the people in your neighborhood? BRADLEY: Well, it was a country town; I loved it. It's a country town and, and, uh, uh, I liked to play sports. Of course, I played all, I was captain of all four sports my senior year--baseball, track, football, and basketball. I was not that good at anything except maybe football. A little bit in base-, in track, I could run. I, pretty decent runner, now, uh, in my age group, I mean. And, uh, but I enjoyed that. I did a lot of, and a lot of hunting. I hunted every day. I had, I had three Model-T's I bought for five dollars apiece. A lot of T-Ford's that I'd drive, they would go hunting, they would go through the mud or anything, you know, they're high-wheeled. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And we went hunting every day. We'd go, I'd go in that old Model-T. I'd go fifteen miles away, a long trip to go hunting, you know, every morning at four o'clock we went. I loved squirrel hunting and duck hunting, too. We did, some of the things I hunted for was duck or squirrel. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But I knew, I shot pool at night, and, uh, uptown. Just is a country town, you know, and, uh. ROMOND: How big geographically was it? BRADLEY: Well, from, uh, the end of the highway coming into town, we called it the extension, we called the extension to Highway 41, ------ ----(??) that was the main north-south highway between Chicago and, and the South. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Florida. And we'd go out there to watch the convoys come through, the military convoys, but, uh, I know it was two miles, because I won the, in 1945, I'd gone to the Derby and watched, in 1946, to the Derby, and watched the, them run. And, uh, saw a horse, Jet Pilot, win, break his maiden that day. First start, Maine Chance Farm owned it. And I said, "I'm gonna bet that horse next year in the Derby." Right then I made up my mind, Jet. And, uh, so I, I did. And I bet, you gotta realize the day when this, this is when $1 worth $10 now. I bet, I think, $2 across the board, or something like that, $6. And it won and paid to me a fantastic amount of money cause I was betting horses by then. I've betting horses since I five years old with my Dad. (Romond-laughs) And, uh, my Model-T's were both broken down at that time. That day, and I strapped on my roller skates and I skated--let's see--1947, I'm sixteen years old--I strapped on my roller skates and I skated out to the bookie, which was two miles out of, he had a place at, at the end of the extension. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, to get my, I think, I had something like $60 or $70, I don't know, but a lot of money. And I skated back. And I had to go down a long hill coming back, uh, through the, uh, the section of town populated primarily by the Afro-Americans--I knew them all anyway, didn't matter. "Well, weren't you scared, all that money on you?" I said, "Heck, no, I wasn't scared, I was"--they said I came off that hill about forty-five miles an hour, just flying. (Romond laughs) No, I, I loved it, I loved it. And, and, uh, uh, as I said, I felt more at home out there than I did in other part of the town cause I knew everybody. They all knew me, too. ROMOND: Yes. BRADLEY: And, uh, that was one of my, but Providence was, like I said, we had a good, you know, good teams for sports for a small school, independent district. You know, at that time there were Webster County had, uh, eight schools. They didn't have to have nine; they were down to eight schools. We had our annual county basketball tournament between eight teams. Now we've got Providence and Webster County, just two teams; that's all they've had for the last twenty-five years probably. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: It's a, well, it's a good town. And, uh, my mother, you know, as I said, it was a coal mining town. You gotta realize that. And, uh, my mother started the library there. ROMOND: Really? BRADLEY: And it was just a room upstairs and, and a library. And, uh, uh, I loved to read. I would sit on the curb, I remember, I was eight- or nine years old, reading, uh, those different books. Uh, heroes, you know, to me at that time. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And I enjoyed that real much. And I, like I, we lived, uh, half a mile from my, my grandparents. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And I'd walk there by myself. And, you know, at seven or eight years old they trusted me and(??) I did. And we, I mean, they ----- ------(??), everybody else, you know. And I, I said you could just do anything you wanted to in those days. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I drove-- ROMOND: --you felt safe-- BRADLEY: --I drove a team of mules when I was very young. The guy next door had a team of mules-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --hauling coal in the wagon. And ------------(??) were just starting right at the end of the war, uh, then, the few, we still used teams a lot. And I'd haul coal, he'd let me drive the team, and haul, cause I, I could unload it, I was a lot stronger than he was, the old man. So I, but I didn't realize that, that's why I was getting to do this, I got to unload the coal down a coal chute. And then another Italian had, had the, uh, vegetable wagon that lived down the end of street, across street from us, had the best, best garden and vegetables you'd ever seen, and he had this mare--or not mare--a mule that pulled his vegetable wagon, which the mule knew to stop. He was, you didn't have to say a thing(??), the mule just knew where to stop, for everybody to come out of the house he'd stop for them, and sell them green beans off the rear end of the wagon, you know, and. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I loved it; I got to drive the mule every day. And, uh, uh, in fact, I found a note they sent me, well, --------------(??) early one morning, "Going with Tony on the vegetable wagon and, uh, don't wait lunch for me." (both laugh) Something like that. ROMOND: Yeah. BRADLEY: Or, or don't, don't be a, you know. No, it, it, it was a great experience growing up, wasn't like the city life tod-, you know. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And I went to college. And it was tough for me for awhile to get acclimated to-- ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: --uh, wearing decent clothes. I was used to wearing Levis and t-shirts all, oh, back like you do again, now you do again, but in those days, when I went to college it was unusual, I guess. ROMOND: Yes. BRADLEY: And I learned how to dress, and. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, I was behind on my education. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Uh, really was, I'd never had any chemistry and I was gonna be an engineer, I thought, at first, first semester. And I, I didn't do very well. I did okay; I passed everything, of course. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, my dad really placed the proverbial law on my head, and, uh, I went to war, and then I graduated. Graduated mostly A's and B's, and then in law school, I was fourth in my class, when I came back to law school, and run the law journal. I did better. But it takes a, a little acclamation to take a-- ROMOND: --sure-- BRADLEY: --boy out of the country. ROMOND: Well, do you remember this-- BRADLEY: --my mother is the oldest alum of Transylvania(??) living right now, as I understand it, but she actually graduated at Hamilton College, which was a college for women only. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And a two-year college absorbed by subsequently by Transylvania. And they included her as alumni of Transylvania, so she's been told and, and the woman told me in town that she's the oldest living alum of Transylvania, but actually she graduated from Hamilton College, but, uh, that was absorbed by Transylvania. ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm. Do you remember where you started school-- BRADLEY: --sure-- ROMOND: --you were very young? BRADLEY: Broadway. ROMOND: Broadway School? BRADLEY: Yeah, it's on Broadway. We had(??) Broadway School. And it was the first, it was the first, uh, sixth grade. And I remembered it very well. I, uh, we'd fight and ever-, everything about it I remember it all well. (Romond laughs) I walked to school every day and one, one boy a year older than I was, lived straight, he'd, he'd tell me there wasn't any Santa Claus, and I really got mad about that, and I whipped him. (Romond laughs) And my, my mother finally told me that there wasn't. And, uh, this same, he had a woman, a mother who was always very, very nice, named Christie(??). ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Mrs. ------------(??). And, uh, she'd everyday she'd had something to take them, you'd walk down, you know, dirt paths where, where the sidewalks are today. And she'd asked me how, Mother had double pneumonia. Mother was right sick in the hospital. I didn't know how bad off she was; had no idea. And I came by one day and she asked me, "So, how's your mother today?" And I said, "Oh, she died." This kid, just thought I'd keep her from, of course, she told everybody in town, by the time I got to school everybody in town knew that I told them that. (laughs) And thought she had, you know. ROMOND: Oh, my gosh! BRADLEY: (both laugh) Well, I'd thought it'd keep, keep her quiet for awhile, if I told her that. And it did. She didn't bother me anymore. (both laugh) ROMOND: Oh my, she never, never knew what you were gonna say. BRADLEY: But the, uh, school was a great school, and I remember I was, uh, the principal of the school was a professional wrestler. And of course that-- ROMOND: --really? BRADLEY: But he was a good, he was a good guy, coached our football team. ------------(??) I went, I had him for a football coach, and I loved him. But he, I knew sports and he have me come, when I was in the third grade come to a sixth-grade class and ask me sports questions cause I knew, I could name the lineups, there were only eight teams in each league then, especially in the National League, which I followed. I could name the starting lineup for all eight teams, you know, in the baseball. So I, and he, he liked to show me off and things like that. ROMOND: (laughs) So-- BRADLEY: --and juggle, you could juggle thirty-five times with one hand, you got out of taken the final test. ROMOND: Oh! BRADLEY: He doubted that I could do it, I, I, I could juggle three balls two-handed, one-handed, anything. ROMOND: (laughs) That's incentive. BRADLEY: Still can, still can juggle, as he saw. (laughs) ROMOND: So, the principal of your grade school was a professional wrestler? BRADLEY: Well, ------------(??), well, a professional wrestler, just like it is today, they're all fixed, you know. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But he, he was good. And he had played football at Western, Western Kentucky, superintendent and him both, the superintendent graduated from, uh, Murray--no, it's Western, the one that I had; both of them graduated from Western. That was the closest college everybody went to, Western was-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --Bowling Green. ROMOND: Do you remember any of your teachers? BRADLEY: Sure, Miss ---------(??) was my first-grade teacher, Miss Phelps(??), my second-grade teacher, Miss Wilson, my third-grade teacher, uh, and fourth-grade, Miss Figgins(??), my fifth-grade, Miss Young was my sixth-grade teacher. ROMOND: My. BRADLEY: I can tell you anything, yeah. (Romond laughs) Those-- ROMOND: --do you have any special memories of them? BRADLEY: Oh yeah, all of them. I can, too long, too many stories, you know. Miss, Miss Young, she taught sixth grade and the principal taught sixth grade. I went to her. And she's a good teacher, but I know, she had, she had arts and crafts back then(??). You built a birdhouse, you know. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Everybody's gonna build a birdhouse. Well, I'm no arts and crafts person at all, but I built a birdhouse. And it was, looked like it was built out of, out of two-by-four's, it looked like, I think. It was not the prettiest birdhouse by a long shot, but she felt bad that I didn't get a prize, so she said for, for the sturdiest birdhouse, I won the prize for the sturdiest birdhouse. ROMOND: The sturdiest. (Romond laughs) BRADLEY: The sturdiest birdhouse. (Romond laughs) I knew what sturdiest meant. No, it was, it was, it was very sturdy. I sat it out for years. Nobody ever lived in it, but I, I had it out there. ROMOND: Who were the influential people, the most influential people in your growing up? BRADLEY: Most of the, the principal I just named, Frank White, was extremely influential because I learned to admire him, how hard he worked. And put up with us sh-, he didn't get any, any extra dol-, he coached the track team, too, and I ran the mile in track. He took us to, I know I went in 1946 to see Herb McKinley run in the, uh, Big Ten track meet. He set the world record, I watched him set the world record, Herb's from Jamaica. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, he would take us to track meets like that and big- time football games do anything in the world for us. But he had one daughter ----------(??) by his first marriage. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, he was remarried. And just a great guy, just, I really admired him, and I really miss him. He had a heart, he retired and had a heart attack and died two or three years after he retired. Just terrible cause I was gonna go back home and see him and do things with him and everything. And he was very influential. And then, uh, much, Mr. Ward, who was our superintendent, D. R. Ward(??) was very influential. He's superintendent of schools. Of course, these were(??) small schools, you realize that. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, some, one father came down and Mr. Ward one day and started raising hell with him. That's figurative expression. And, and started to fight, they went outside and fought. And Mr. Ward whipped the heck out of them. He had been a, a professional, he was a real good football player at Western, too. And nice guy, nobody knew he could fight like, so he did. He just whipped them, cleaned the guy out. That's the last time he had any trouble. Or he, he didn't have any trouble with his kids either. (laughs) ROMOND: Oh my gosh(??). BRADLEY: After they saw this. Yeah, but a lot, lot of people were influential. Yeah. And all my teachers, yes, every one of my teachers were-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --and, uh, the ones I just named, they all were. Yes, that's who you have contact with, you know, and respect. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Uh, and our ministers, to a certain extent, but actually my, my teachers all the way through high school were my, very influential. And, and in, especially in high school, they, you know, like Miss Crow(??) who got killed in a car wreck when she was 100 years old. Nice lady, still playing bridge, and she lived, she had moved to South Carolina with her daughter. But she, everything we could memorize, she'd memorize, everybody in the class would memorize poets or anything, she'd memorize that much more. Memorize the same amount. And she could do it, too. We all had, you could pass her class unless you could say ----------(??). Everybody, we had some people had a hard time learning -----------(??) all the way through, but she, she could, she could memorize anything. She was just a great, dedicated. And, uh, uh. ROMOND: Was your family connected to a church? BRADLEY: Uh, I grew up a Methodist; I'm an Episcopalian now. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Not much. And I, sad to say, I didn't have the time to participate in church activities when I was here in Frankfort much. ------------(??)---------- Now, ------------(??)--------- I was junior warden, I'm junior warden, and then, then the one of the ----------- (??), Episcopal church, I'm fundraiser, head of the fundraiser. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Things like that, you know, I have the time now. ROMOND: Um-hm. Um, what did you do after high school, after you graduated from high school, what did you do next? BRADLEY: Went to college. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I worked with my dad all the time on the paper. The first year, I went straight to, uh, uh, college. I mean, I don't know what I did that summer; I worked for my dad, I know what I did. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And I know what I, Dad gave me $100 a month, $1000 a year, $100 a month for ten years, ten months, and I had to pay everything else way through college. And I, uh, I learned to do it. It was good for me. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I joined the Sigma Nu Fraternity. And then I, but I sold, I had a cigarette machine and the flower, I sold the flowers, had the coke machine. I had everything in that, in the fraternity house. Even had a slot machine that I got from a bar that I worked. Uh, Frank's Bar, I had to clean out the ------------(??), when the -----------(??) committee came through. So I, it's out, go(??) back there right now, my ten-cent slot machine. ROMOND: What's a ----------(??)-- BRADLEY: --and I did a lot of things to make money. I was head of the big college annual and the Kentuckian; that was $350. And I worked at a bar and, and, uh, I had all kind other gimmicks too. In fact, when I went into the Air Force, I had to take a cut in pay what I'd been making in college. (both laugh) But my second year in college, I worked for the superintendent of schools. I told you, Mr. Ward, he'd gone to Fayette County, as head of their maintenance for all of Fayette County schools. And he hired, let me, and his son was my closest friend, who died of multiple sclerosis quite a few years ago now. He's a big athlete, played for Western basketball, won the state discus throw. A strong guy got multiple sclerosis. Anyway, we got a dollar an hour for painting. I'd never made a dollar an hour before. And that was one of the big deals of my life. To paint school buildings, I painted every school building in Fayette County. Athens, well, uh, just about, I, I smoked cigarettes then. And I haven't smoked in a long time, but since '67, but, uh, I was on a forty-foot ladder, going up a double extension ladder, painting cornices on buildings. ROMOND: Yes. BRADLEY: And I wanted a cigarette. And I had, I, I rolled mine, I couldn't afford to buy them, I'd rolled them. And I'd climb down the ladder, roll a cigarette, smoke it, and then go back up. The boss finally said it, after three, four, or five, said, "You know, it'd cheaper if the board of education just bought you cigarettes." "Well, let them buy them; I'll smoke them. I won't have to climb down this ladder back and forth every time." (Romond laughs) And I painted flagpoles on holidays for twenty dollars apiece. They were paying somebody sixty dollars to paint a flagpole. And my other guy and myself and his son, we'd figure we'd dig holes in the ground, set the ladder down in the holes in the ground, and tie it to the pole- -dangerous as heck as it turns out now--and tied it up, climb up that ladder, and tie up that ladder to, uh, to the flagpole. And he'd come up, I weighed, I weighed a lot less than he did. He'd follow me up and then hand the paint and the brush to me, I'd reach back and get it, and I'd paint the ball and then work my way down. Made twenty dollars and I could do it in four or-- ROMOND: --sure-- BRADLEY: --five hours. You couldn't believe it. ROMOND: You got good at it. BRADLEY: Huh? ROMOND: You got good at it. BRADLEY: Oh yeah, yeah. I--(Romond laughs)--then the next year I went, had a '32 Buick--wish I still had it. Was a great car. I drove it to Peoria, Illinois; I worked in Peoria, Illinois in the summer, started out working. And the Korean War started, then I was gonna quit and go to pilot school. Had a guy talked me out of doing it. He said, uh, "Finish your college, then go," which I did. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: High school, so I, I worked down in a, I'd, I've always been a real wild driver. At home everybody knew it. I'd race Dad's car with anybody. And they, the garage called me at home and they offered me a job driving a stock car for this one garage. So I quit Peoria, Illinois, came home, drove stock cars that summer and the next summer. I'd drive stock cars in the summer. This(??) old dirt, half-mile track, dangerous as heck. You know just old gasoline tanks would explode. All we had is one old big homemade seatbelt. And I'd wreck, I was going under cars. And I'd wrecked wild, that's what I did, though. It was, I look back when I was, it would be real(??) different if my children did it now, but at the time I didn't think anything about it, you know. (Romond laughs) I didn't tell my parents. Anytime I had a picture in the paper or a story about me, uh, I'd go, I'd steal the paper. He'd say, "Where's the Madisonville Messenger," I'd race in Madisonville a lot. I'd say, "I don't know." I didn't know, I threw it away right quick, I'll tell you. (Romond laughs) But. ROMOND: What college did you go to? BRADLEY: University of Kentucky. ROMOND: At U.K. BRADLEY: Yes, ma'am. ROMOND: Um-hm. And then after you finished, that's when you joined the service? BRADLEY: Yes, ma'am. Yeah, we all(??) went directly in the service in August that was in '53 1953. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Uh, in June of '53, yes. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Went into the Air Force then, yes. ROMOND: And where were you stationed in the Air Force? BRADLEY: Started out in Marianna, Florida, my, as a civilian base, operated by the city but the military people were there, too. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: The civilian instructor that taught me was one of my best friends in my lifetime, and still is; he's out in Phoenix, Arizona now, and he's eighty years old. And, uh, that was Marianna, Florida, primary flying school. I started out in Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, then went to Marianna, Florida. And then, uh, while I was in Marianna, I'd met my wife right before I got out of college. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And we got married in December, I met her in March. She's from Frankfort. And this is, from Marianna, Florida, I went to Greenville, Mississippi, for advanced. And I got out of that and, uh, my wife was going back to college because I knew I would be changing bases three times. I went from there to Perrin Air Force Base in Sherman, Texas. She rejoined me there. And from there we went to Moses Lake, Washington, uh, Larson Air Force Base. And I was flying there F86's, which I loved. Larson Air Force Base and, uh, got out of the Air Force there and came back not knowing what I wanted to do. But I wanted to make some money, so I could buy a farm, didn't know how to do it. I said, "Well, I'll just go to law school on the G.I. Bill." That was before you had to take tests, and you just go, you know. And I went to law school on the G.I. Bill and, uh, uh, kinda liked it. Did well. Well, it, it was a challenge. I, I was sixth in my class starting out in law school, and I made, I was, next it was midterm exams, didn't count anything. And I was fifty-ninth out of sixtieth; the other boy was sixtieth. He had two E's; I had a D and an E. They didn't count. Well, I hadn't been studying, I'll be truthful. I'd been partying like I was in the Air Force. So I, I went to war then. And I graduated fourth in my class and, uh, on the law journal, as I said, and, uh, uh, great experience. I went, I, and I, the more I worked at it, the more I learned to love it, you know. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But I, I went there just thinking, I'll stay a year in law school, then I'll get a job at a bank, something like that, you know. Because I was flying all that time, I driving back and forth on a two lane road to Louisville to fly at the National Guard. I'd joined the Guard; I never missed a day of service time. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, got out of law school, and, uh, uh, in the summer I'd fly, of course. I mean, anytime I could. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And then out of(??) law school, I came to Frankfort, I was, I started out working at the court of appeals. I was going to work for $350 a month and they offered me the same amount of money to go work for the law firm, $350 a month. After five years at that law firm, I was only making $600 a month, and I thought, I can do better than this. I went on my own and I did real well. I did real well. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I, I made a lot more money and worked, and that's, that's the history up-to-date for that time, okay. ROMOND: Well, how did you get involved in politics? BRADLEY: Uh, I was recalled in the Air Force in 1968. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And I was flying, we went around everywhere, and I was, ended up I was flying(??)Korea and Japan. And I had left my law practice. I was a solo practitioner. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I just had to give away all my cases, of course. I was gone for a year and a half or longer. So I knew I got back, I wasn't gonna have anything to get me started. And I had, you couldn't advertise then. You couldn't advertise, "Freddie's Back," you know, or something. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: You, you couldn't do that. So I decided I'll run for county judge. This was under the old system when the county judge had the courts and everything, see. But you didn't have to be a lawyer, even that, to be the judge. So I ran for county judge. I'd been living in this town nine years--well, actually I'd been living here seven and a half; I was gone for a year and a half but my wife was from here and my parents lived here then. They moved up to go to work for Harry Waterfield in insurance company. And, uh, I won the election real handily. I won the election; I beat two other guys two-to-one. And I worked at it, though. I mean, I knocked on every door in this county. Jim Morrison, one of my best friends of my life, from here in Frankfort, and Jim took me around to all the farmers and everything in the world and got me started. And, uh, from there I won, I ran nine times, won them all. I never lost one. And, uh, uh, but not for the county judge and I stayed in that office for four years, and my wife got a brain tumor, and, and they operated, she got really had trouble with it, for some time, they operated on her finally in, uh, Mayo Clinic. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, they told me she'd live six months to a year at the most; she lived sixteen years through the grace of God. Lot of faith and prayers and, uh, good surgeons and good, uh, Dr. Narayana(??) over in Lexington, uh, UK Hospital, good, good radiation. This is before the days of chemotherapy. But she had cobalt radiation. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, did real well. And so, I had did not run for reelection. Of course ----------(??), she got better; they asked me to run for the Senate. We needed a, and so I did. And, uh. ROMOND: Who asked you to run? BRADLEY: Oh, some politicians, you know, around town. ROMOND: Politicians from around here-- BRADLEY: --yeah, yeah, yeah, well, first off, when I ran for county judge, uh, nobody really sponsored me. When I ran for the state Senate is Bill May, who's a famous politician not, running himself, uh, uh, Bill Harrod(??), who's deceased now--they're all dead now--and, uh, uh, Bob Carter. They each put in a thousand dollars. And, uh, I ran for office, you know, but they, they raised the money. ROMOND: What was your campaign like, that first time-- BRADLEY: --my first time-- ROMOND: --when you ran for Senate? BRADLEY: That first time, I wrote my own advertising copy, but primarily in the judge's race, I came back and, uh, I ran ads showing me, and, uh, I'm looking to see one in this room(??). Uh, showing, "Elect a Lawyer for a Legal Position." See, you didn't have to be a judge then, and my two opponents were not lawyers. And, uh, yeah, that's right; they were not lawyers. And, uh, so I made big issue out of that. You know, that I knew the legal system and everyone knew I'd practiced law here in Frankfort. Had done criminal work and everything. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: So I did a lot of criminal work. And so, uh, that was my main, but I, every election I ever ran I knocked on every door in my district. After I got to be winning in four counties, there were a hundred-, it was, it was in the 100,000 people, plus a hundred, a little over. Anytime there was at least two houses together out in the country, I got to them some way. I, I knocked(??) on every door. And I had my, uh, children with me, the lady I was dating then real good at the time she was with me, Rose Gale Hardy. And, uh, uh, we, we knocked on every door. In my first election, the first time my wife was still alive, of course, when I ran for county judge. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And my first election to Senate, she was. And she died in, uh, '87. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But then the last two years were somewhat bad. My children came home, one or two of them at a time and lived here, but she was in a hospital bed right here in this room, and she, uh, uh, got where she couldn't talk, couldn't eat or anything. We had to feed her through a stomach tube eight times a day. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: She could still watch basketball on TV. Three days before she died, she was watching basketball on TV. But she was incontinent. You know, you just, it just, it got pretty bad, I mean but we, we didn't worry, we kept her here at home, we took care of her. For a while, we took her to the hospital, she'd get dehydrated, and my son, they told him about stomach tubes. They were brand new. And they didn't know the formula, what to use. So they, they left them, as I said, pretty bad for a while. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And when the -----------(??), she got used to it, and we, we learned to feed her three, eight times a day rather than four times a day, you know. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, wonderful lady, she was, she was a wonderful lady. And, uh, well, I got four good children because of her. ROMOND: Hm. Hm. What was the local political climate like here when you first ran for office? BRADLEY: Well, it was Democrat for number one. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: We had the Senate, all the time that I was in, I was majority whip for the last, uh, twelve years, I guess. I don't know how long it was. But, uh, but we're still majority party, and thank goodness I, when I left things, I left really, cause we went, the Republicans took over the Senate. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, it's a lot more fun to be a majority party than a minority party, as far as I'm concerned. (Romond laughs) And we got, you know, meet with the Governor, decide what bills we're gonna really push, or which bills really weren't that good, you know, or something, you know. And they, and we're doing the right thing, too. I never did anything that I thought wasn't the right thing for my people. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I've always voted what they wanted to do. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And I enjoyed it but I, I wouldn't have enjoyed it any longer. I was getting tired, worn out, you know. You get, I, I, I, those were the days before the cell phones or before-- ROMOND: --yes-- BRADLEY: --multiple messages on the email and everything, and, but I was still getting a hundred telephone calls a day, and I returned every call I ever got. Never missed a one. I'd have to wait till nine, miss a party and wait until nine o'clock at night, making phone calls. You know, but I believed in doing that. If I was gonna have the job. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And nobody ever called you up and says, "Just wanted tell you, you're doing a good job, Fred." ROMOND: (laughs) Sure. BRADLEY: They'd call you up to bitch. (Romond laughs) They've got some complaint and I know that. ROMOND: Yeah BRADLEY: But, I, I, I, once in a while I lost my temper a little bit, but overall, I did a pretty fair job of controlling my temper and, and talking to my people. And then debating issues with them. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And I really knew how to, I learned how to really judge. I could tell you any vote how much the people were for it or, or against it. I mean, I knew if it was 55/45 or 65/35, I could tell. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Like seatbelts, I voted against mandatory seatbelts the first three times it came up--well, two, the next time I voted for it. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But people were really against it and really strongly against it and I was for them. I, I had six thousand hours in jet air planes, I knew-- ROMOND: --sure-- BRADLEY: --that you needed a seatbelt. And I raced stock cars; I knew how important seatbelts were, but if they didn't want them, that was there, they, they put me there to represent them. ROMOND: Yes. BRADLEY: I was their voice. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And that's one of the, well, that issue didn't happen very often, but that's one that was, that was the way it was. ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm. When you were first elected, um, to the General Assembly, what did you think was the role of government? BRADLEY: Well, I thought first off it was too much, if anything. And one of the campaign speeches I made, used to make all the time, when I started practicing law in 1959 I bought the law book that all the Kentucky laws in it. And it's about, I'd say it's about this thick. And I hold up my hands about twelve inches apart, it wasn't, it wasn't even twelve inches apart, about, about ten inches or eight inches apart. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: One book has all the law. And now today, we got twenty-eight books of laws and another twelve volumes of administrative regulations. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And I said it, it all along, I thought it's too much. We had too many laws, too much, and I did not like very many regulations. I was really against them, because the bureaucracy, the bureaucrats were taking over what we were elected to do, and I wasn't that jealous, it was just a fact that the people wanted us to do it, because they'd passed some administrative regulation. I finally passed a bill, which still in existence, although I have a doubt as to its constitutional validity, but never had, it's never been, every-, everybody's been scared to challenge it. But it says that if any bill is not ratified into law, any administrative regulation by the next session of the General Assembly, it will sunset by two other persons after, it's thirty days after that seventy. You know, anyway, it's worked well, and it's kinda, it really toned down the administrative bureaucracy regula-, regulatory act, I, or that was surrounding all the laws then. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I didn't like that. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, and I thought that not only do we have too many laws maybe, but we had too many contrary to what the people wished, you know, or just too many "politicians." I hold my fingers and quotes over there that vote just what they think people want. And don't, like, surely I believe in the Ten Commandments as strong as anybody, but blatantly to display them is against the Constitution, you know. Now, we, we get around it some way. I told everybody I always made the same(??) speeches, where do you stand? That was the big question. I'd say, "I'm for displaying them if you can find a Constitutional way to do it." "Okay, we're, we're for you." And people, I knew we weren't gonna find a Constitutional way to just blatantly put them out like down in Alabama, the Governor candidate Moore, you know, just-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --just you can't do that. I mean, and I, and I, and I believe that. I think, it's still a Christian nation, but Christian nation includes a lot of other facets, I mean, a lot others, I mean, the Muslims, or whatever you might have, you know. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I, I, I, just can't, no. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Uh, but that was, that was one of the issues and always come up every year. And, uh, most assuredly, I'm God-fearing and God- believing, you know, and, but I, we have to do things--but you could nowadays, people in, in Bullitt County, uh, especially Bullitt County, as it were(??). ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, and I don't mean that in a negative way but they were the worst as far as being arch-conservatives. There were people who moved from Louisville, evacuated Louisville when they had forced busing. ROMOND: Oh. BRADLEY: Or they moved down south to Bullitt County. And that was there history. So they had a history of being that way and I understood them. And I know and, and, and this was their beliefs, and they were strong in it, and I, I, I understand it. But I just couldn't agree with it. ROMOND: Right. BRADLEY: Uh, totally, I mean, to a certain extent. But I finally ended up--excuse me--making, uh, many good friends in Bullitt County-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --and, and, and they understood, really good friends, you know. ROMOND: Yeah, yeah. BRADLEY: That's. ROMOND: When you first started, uh, as a senator, what were your ideas about what you wanted to accomplish, or what you thought you could accomplish? BRADLEY: Well, you gotta realize where we are. We're in Franklin County and there's 35,000 state employees approximately at that time. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Twelve thousand of them resided in Franklin County; two thousand of them resided in Shelby County, another one of my counties. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I had a great, overall, riding obligation to my employees. I mean, they were the bulk of my constituency by far. And so, I really tried to safeguard the merit system, which was really difficult when John Y. Brown was Governor. And, uh, they were gonna destroy it and I fought that and I fought it again when Wallace Wilkinson was Governor. Not, not, not trying to knock them, either one of them--(laughs)--John Y.'s one of my close friend, but I, uh, I was, I couldn't see that merit system destroyed, after we passed it. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, I tried to increase it and I got passed some other good bills. Like the bill I passed--I handled eighty-six bills on the floor in my career in the Senate. A lot, I didn't pick that many bills before; you're in leadership, you don't have the time to take a lot of bills to the floor. And I passed eighty-five of them; the one I lost I meant to lose. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But I meant, I, I didn't want it to get to the floor, but it had to go to the floor for political reasons, I guess. But I knew what I was doing. And, and I wanted at all times to, to be sure that I was in harmony with my overall constituency. ROMOND: Yes. BRADLEY: The last bill I passed, it's probably one of my better bills, the one I told you about the administrative regulations, I always tell was the best one. But the last one I passed was to ensure that state employees had a cost of living index increase in their retirement each time. Now that's a big battle going on today, as we speak, about funding retire, the employee retirement system-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --which I'm part of. (both laugh) But, uh, no, I, I, I really, I really believe in that, that they should have a cost of living index increase. Because I passed the bill my first year, first term, first year I think, to give them a 5 percent pay raise every year. ------- ------(??) that's when the cost of living increase was running 7-, 8-, as far as 11 percent, you know. So that's, and people would criticize me for passing the bill, but I said, "Just wait, it's just a minimum, it doesn't say the maximum." And as it turned out, of course, now we have a 3 percent, you know, 2- and 2.3, or something, percent, cost of living index. Last year was a good year, index increase, I mean. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But that, that was one of my major,, major watch was state employees, their compensation, and, of course, even though it said 5 percent, they didn't get it, because the budget is a subsequent document and the last bill passed is the one that controls and the budget wouldn't allocate the funds for that, so, therefore, they couldn't give it to them. But it's still a big argument ----------- -(??), and I could argue pretty well. But, and then we, I, I passed a bill that, uh, gave them a twenty-seven year retirement rather than a thirty-year retirement, which is like a 10 percent window. We had a window a couple times to get people to retire early. Well, I gave them a 10 percent; I gave them their 10 percent window by giving them three years off. Then I passed the bill, you could buy up to five years, up to five years of time. And, uh, the sharing your, uh, sick days, you could share them with some other employee. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Well, we passed a lot of bills. I could tell you a lot of bills we passed. And but it's not the bills you pass; it's the bills you kill that counts sometimes. ROMOND: Yes. BRADLEY: And they, I'm not, they used to call me killer, cause I'd, I would really try to kill some bills, and pretty successfully at it. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But if you start killing bills, you make people mad at you and you won't pass your bills. They'll, they'll vote against your bills, too, you know, so you've got to realize the political realities. ROMOND: Sure. BRADLEY: And, I'll let(??). ROMOND: Well, were there factions or divisions in the legislature? BRADLEY: Sure. But they were in the daytime. And then(??) we'd all go out and eat together, drink beer together, whatever it might be, and, you know, go to, go to--(Romond laughs)--uh, parties together, before the days when you could've all these wild parties, good parties. But there're always, uh, there were divisions, and we argued like heck in the daytime, but I mean, at night, we'd still get along. Now, I, they don't get along that well now. You know. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I don't like that; I don't like that at all. I think, I don't mean you got to be bosom friends with your seatmates, but you should at least respect them. ROMOND: Would you say that you were part of any particular caucus? BRADLEY: Well(??), the Democrats only. No, I was a Democrat, but I mean, I worked well with Republicans, too. ROMOND: Um-hm. What were the surprises that you had along the way, things you didn't anticipate when you ran for office? BRADLEY: Well, again, realize that I lived here. I've been practicing law here since 1959. So, uh, in, in, uh, the twenty years before I went into the Senate, I certainly knew how the legislature worked. I was over there a lot. I mean, I wasn't a lobbyist or anything, but I had certain bills that I was interested in, and I was there a good bit. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: So, I would, in those days you could, lobbyists wasn't that big, you just go over and talk to them, you know. ROMOND: So when you went to the General Assembly, the process was not new to you. BRADLEY: No, no, I mean, I knew, I knew how it worked. I'd, I'd appeared before administrative regulation committees as a lawyer. I was a law-, I was an attorney for the state race commission for ten years, so I had to go over any of the, any of their, uh, laws or administrative regulations, I had to appear before them. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Yeah, so, I, I knew pretty well, uh, what to expect. It was not new to me. And, and, uh, I knew the political climate, and I knew people that worked in the Capitol. This, you're much better of knowing the secretary than you're knowing the boss. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, I knew them. ROMOND: Um-hm. Um, are any of the committees that you were on particularly memorable to you? BRADLEY: Well, yes, I had, um, uh, of course, I wasn't on committees as, as a chairman after, once I got into leadership, I couldn't chair a committee. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And I couldn't be on A&R, I didn't want--but I's on--I could be but I didn't want to be. B.O.P, business, organization, and professionals, and agricultural and natural resources were both-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --very dear to me, and, uh-- [Pause in recording.] ROMOND: --uh, committees that you were on. BRADLEY: Well, I changed around on some committees, because as I got busier and busier in leadership, I didn't have time to be on some committees. ROMOND: Yes BRADLEY: But I was chairman of business, organization, and professions. And also at, at another time, agriculture and natural resources. And, of course, the B.O.P. is the one that got everybody in trouble-- ROMOND: --yes, what do you remember about that situation? BRADLEY: Uh, more than I can talk about. I was not involved in any manner whatsoever myself, but I had too many friends that were, and-- ROMOND: --okay-- BRADLEY: --uh, ------------(??), some of my good friends got entrapped. You should never have entrapment, but they had entrapment as such. They, uh, I mean, it's free spending here. You could go to any--well, Flynn's Restaurant, or places, and just charge it to the, somebody'd pick up your bill, you know. ROMOND: Right. BRADLEY: And, uh, that was, from there, uh, it, it got bad, and people started swapping money it seems like. And then one time they got them out in Las Vegas. I didn't, I never would go there to this, and I used to live in Las Vegas, flying school, you know, temporarily. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I was in flying school out there, uh, in Red Flag. The people would come up to you and say, that one guy in particular who had been, they caught him good, and he had to go catch others to get a lighter sentence himself, like we, you know(??), have today, same thing. And they would say, they'd buy you a meal out there, and they was perfectly legitimate to go buy you meals and everything(??). But he'd say, uh, "We, we got something else going on right here; take this fifty dollars and go up and by yourself a good(??) dinner." It started out with twenty dollars, and then all of the sudden they're handing out money. This is the way it happened though. ROMOND: Hm. BRADLEY: And they probably spent more than what they gave them. A lot of nights, and, uh, they fixed one or two of them up with women-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --out there Las Vegas women and that was terrible. But, uh, and, and the money was, but they still were entrapped, to a certain extent. You know, they just thought it was part of the general gamesmanship when you got out of town and got, uh, oh, some, and I wasn't there, I didn't see this per say, but I've, though I've been told enough times that I know it's true, and, uh. ROMOND: Were you part of any of the hearings about that? BRADLEY: Oh, I've testified for two, I--in fact, one person came to me the day they, FBI came in and had me go in with them. And, uh, I had no idea he had been getting money. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: So, uh, he was a gambler. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And a great guy, a great friend of mine, but anyway this, and then I saw this happen, I testified, uh, and I saw how bad it was gonna be, and I, I knew that I was, and most of us were totally clear, but there was, like, Dave Boswell, Senator Boswell, who lives in this house, for like seventeen years he lived with me. And he's as honest as, you can't believe it, how straight he is. And, uh, we just couldn't believe what was going on. And they took, and this house at that time, of course, my wife wasn't alive, and I had, uh, several other people who lives, who lives in this house. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And they wanted to entrap this one particular one, I did not know that. And they said, "We're gonna have a dinner." So this lobbyist were gonna have a din--and this is before he got, we didn't know anything about this going on, this lobbyist, everybody thought was the greatest guy in the world, wasn't. And, uh, he had suite of rooms out in, in the Capitol Hotel, the big hotel downtown on the top floor of it. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: "We're gonna have a dinner party, served in the room. Wanted everybody in your house to come." Well, they didn't, had to invite everybody in the house, because they wanted this one guy not to look funny, and wanted, you know, they wanted all their--my son even went, the horse trainer son, Buck(??). He went down too--(laughs)--because he lived here. "Everybody that lives in your house." I said, "Hey, Buck, here's a chance for a free meal, come on." ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: You know, we all went. And they got us to talk, got us drinking and talking. And the waiters just kinda shuffled in and out. The waiters were FBI agents, we didn't know that. One's a black waiter, you know, Afro-American waiter. And we had no, we didn't have any, you know, we'd think, you know, They're waiters. Just like most times(??), those days that was it, you know, that, and he was good, they were all good waiters. (laughs) And the guy they really wanted to catch got up and left half the time, went down the hall to play poker in another room, and they didn't get him. So we all ate well, drank well, and went downstairs. Pretty soon, we, we all kinda ---- ------(??). I'll never forget that episode, though. (both laugh) And what the government would do, they can butcher anything, the government can, but they were trying, and, of course, they caught my friends. Of course, in the House, Don Blandford-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --others and in the Senate, too. ROMOND: Um-hm. In 1998 you sponsored a bill, um, to make it illegal to tamper with, um, a horse, uh, or a pari-mutuel--there, there was some, there were some problems with tampering with race horses? BRADLEY: I don't recall the bill. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: You gotta, you say I sponsored it, was I the co-, the primary sponsor or cosponsor? See, that's the -----------(??) just it, they get you on a lot of bills that you're just a cosponsor on. ROMOND: Oh, um-hm. BRADLEY: And if it's a good bill, you just sign on to it automatically, but you're not really a sponsor, I mean, the primary sponsor, I don't, it could've been, I, it could've been, and I don't doubt it. Something about, that sounds like my line of work and what I should be doing-- ROMOND: --yeah, it does. BRADLEY: But I just don't recall it, I'm sorry. ROMOND: Yeah. Okay. Um, you served under five Governors: John Y. Brown, Martha Layne Collins, Wallace Wilkinson, Brereton Jones, and Paul Patton. Um, what are your memories about them? BRADLEY: Well, memories of some of them would be bad, so I don't want to discuss them. ROMOND: Okay. BRADLEY: And, uh, the good ones, Brereton Jones, in my, in just my, my judgment, was an ex-, a fine Governor, and Martha Layne Collins was a fine Governor. Uh, they, of course, I say that because they worked with the legislature. But Paul Patton could've been a great Governor, if he stayed at home. But he was, he was, he was a good Governor; he worked well with the legislature. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But he messed up badly, he lost all, we lost it all. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Uh, John Y. Brown was too dogmatic. Wasn't there enough. And tried to run the state like a business, and the state's not a business; the state's a service organization. ROMOND: Hm. BRADLEY: And he had it a strictly a business and he brought in people that making -----------(??), I did not like that, and they was gonna kill the merit system, and state employees, and everything. And, uh, uh, I couldn't agree with John Y. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I remember John Y. called me one night, I'm fouling mares. It's midnight. He called me at midnight. And I answered the phone, he said, "Did I wake you up?" I said, "Hell no, I'm down here with my mares right now." He said, "Well, I want to talk to you about the bill," he started talking to me. So, "I can't be for that, John Y." And I don't know, -------------(??), you know. Said, "Why can't you?" I said, "Because I can't." "Well, you can do it for me, can't you?" I said, "John Y., do you know you fired me?" "What you talking about?" I said, "I was attorney for the state racing committee. I'm here because you fired me. I was the attorney for the state racing for ten years, and loved the job. And when you took, you fired me, my son and my son's wife all the same day, June the thirtieth. The earliest you could get rid of us after you became Governor." And said, "We all left the same day. And I didn't forget it, so I didn't have a job anymore, I ran for Senator, so now I'm here. To vote against you." (Romond laughs) And John Y. is still a friend, but he--(Romond laughs)--uh, he, anyway that was John Y. No, I could not, I liked him personally, but I could not go along with his style of administration at all. He was-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --and Wallace Wilkinson's the same way. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I, I could not go the way he wanted to administer things. I didn't like the way it was done. Personally, I'm not saying it was wrong or right, but I, I didn't like it. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Martha Layne was a friend of mine. And did, did an excellent job. And that's a tough job. And I hate to say it like this, but for a woman. Because we hadn't had women before. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, and you had to be strong to, to withstand the attacks on you for being feminine. You know, and, and she was good. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, Paul Patton, as I, and, and Brereton Jones, I crossed swords with him but he was my friend. Always has been, always will be. He was my friend anyway. And he did a good job, I thought. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Really did, he tried maybe over-tried at times to work with everybody, you know. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But he did it. ROMOND: What about the Presidents you've served under? BRADLEY: President of what? ROMOND: I mean, the Presidents who were in office while you were serving? BRADLEY: You talking presidents of the Senate or Presidents of the United States? ROMOND: President of the United States, Ronald Reagan-- BRADLEY: --oh I didn't, I wasn't thinking-- ROMOND: --George Bush-- BRADLEY: --I had, I had all I could handle here-- ROMOND: --okay-- BRADLEY: --on the state level. And don't forget, though, all this time, I was in the Air National Guard and I was a general. ROMOND: Right. BRADLEY: They're my commanders. ROMOND: Yes, they are. BRADLEY: I can't criticize them, I couldn't criticize them, I had to, you understand, uh, and, like, Vietnam wasn't my favorite war, but I mean I, uh, I had to go along with them; they're, they're my commanders. ROMOND: Hm. BRADLEY: That's all there was to it. I was recalled, Lyndon Johnson recalled me for Pueblo Crisis. And I was gone from my family for a year and a half for nothing, to tell you the truth. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But I came near voting for George Wallace that time on a secret ballot, because George Wallace was a pallbearer at my grandmother's funeral. ROMOND: Really? BRADLEY: He'd been county judge in Barbour County where Clayton, Alabama's located. Well, Clayton, Alabama, I mean, Eufaula(??) are both county seats in the same county; it's one of the few counties with two county seats. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: We have that in, in Kenton, Kenton County. -------------(??). Anyway, uh, we did have. Uh, and I liked George Wallace. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And because he was a pall-, pallbearer at my grandmother's funeral, I had a hard time not being for him, I had a hard time criticizing for the stances he took. And he changed. The man I knew he was capable of he changed, he got away from the political arena and became a changed man. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: -----------(??)----------- I, I, oh, Jimmy Carter, now that's a long story, too, but I'll make it real short. He talked at the commander's conference, the senior commander's conference in Atlanta, Georgia. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And after it was over with, he was Governor then; I went up and talked to him. I did it(??) brazenly. I said, "I really enjoyed that, I really did. And I just wanted to tell you that, uh, I've experienced some of the same things on the county judge level that you're talking about, just the magnitude is so much greater." And he was really interesting to talk to. And I said, I came back here and told Bill Cox, who was Governor Carroll's, uh, number one man in his cabinet there, and I told Cox, "You got to get Julian to, to be for this man for Vice President. I think he's got a shot at Vice President. He's, he's very charismatic, and, and he, and he relates to people well. I think he'd do well." So Julian said he would. And, uh, Julian became the second Governor, I guess, to endorse Carter, which really helped us out politically--(laughs)-- ROMOND: --yes-- BRADLEY: --down the line. And, uh, uh, that was my memory of--and I liked Carter. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I did. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Shame he got beat so badly the second time, but he had, he messed it up. ROMOND: Hm. Who were the most powerful lobbyists when you were in office? BRADLEY: That's difficult to name because the most powerful one by far, I thought, uh, was the one that they turned against all of us, that hooked, that got us all turned in. Not me. I say all, all, a lot of the senators turned in and the House members, too. And, uh, was very unfair. He, everybody trusted that man so much. Me, too, I would never believed he did anything like he did. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: By doing it. And, uh, uh, just a shame really, uh, I thought. And, uh, since, before I came in there, the head of the Farm Bureau lobbyists was a very powerful lobbyist. And I'll tell you how powerful he was, he'd retired, uh, ----------(??), I think I'd been there two, three, four years, I don't know. He'd retired and his sons-in-law started lobbying-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --and he helped him a little bit. And his son-in-law had the telephone cellular bill. And his, he was lobbying on behalf of Bell South, Central Bell and another company, I forgot, maybe it's one of the ones in Lexington, I don't know. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And I did not like, they wanted, the bill was to, uh, not have, not have these companies cell phone subjected to regulation by the Public Service Commission. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And I thought that was terrible myself. And I was arguing against the bill, found out that, that the father had talked to all the senators, and had the votes committed, told me what a good bill it was, told them why it was a good bill, and it had some good, some merit to it. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Well, once you commit to a bill, you don't back out of it, see. But I got up and argued that bill, I'll never forget, and the argument was, that was not anything that affected the average person cause a cell phone at that day cost five thousand dollars, the cheapest you could get a cell phone for ten, five to ten thousand dollars, and it had the big bag you carried around, you know. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And they said so it would never affect the average person, you know, they don't need to be regulated because they're too expensive except for a few professionals. And I walked in there and I said I had two adding machines. I said, "Here's the adding machine, my dad runs an office supply store in conjunction with his newspaper. And I bought it from him wholesale at cost. And I pay, this was four years ago, or something like that, and I paid $108 for it." Said, "Here's one I went to Wal-Mart and bought yesterday for $3.50." ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: "That's how far they've come down in, in, from $108 to $3.50 or $4.00," I don't know what it was, something like that. ROMOND: Right. BRADLEY: And I said, "You can see ------------(??) We're gonna have the cell phones. So don't you ever think that they're gonna cost $500. You'll be able to buy one for $500 in ten years." Anyway, you know, I said, that was my argument. And so, I lost the bill. I did, I, I, it was automatic they're gonna vote it; they already had the votes counted. But Martha Layne heard me arguing. She kept a TV in her office. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: So she, she heard my arguments, and so she vetoed the bill. Once a bill's vetoed, all, all bets are off when it comes back for, to override her veto, they weren't, they didn't have to vote for it again. See, they, to override her veto. ROMOND: Right. BRADLEY: You know, they committed the first time but all bets are off then. So, we did not override her veto. And so, the veto stood and the bill died. I made some enemies on that bill. I'll tell you-- ROMOND: --oh-- BRADLEY: --but that was my job. (laughs) ROMOND: But you saw where it was going. BRADLEY: Well, you understand that now. I mean-- ROMOND: --of course I do-- BRADLEY: --they had to be regulated by the Public Service Commission then. It, it should be subject to regulation just like any other telephone, and now they, they're, the cell phones are real phones, you know. ROMOND: Yes. BRADLEY: Yeah. ROMOND: Everybody has a cell phone. BRADLEY: Yeah, and the outlying areas it was costing them thousands and thousands of dollars to build lines to serve one home, you know, or something. And we had the same argument right here, and we, out in the West End of, of Franklin County, the East End-- ROMOND: --oh-- BRADLEY: --of Franklin County, well, they just couldn't reach them; they didn't have phones. Well, now they go out and everybody buys cell phones cheaper, you buy everybody a cell phone out there a lot cheaper than you can put in poles and lines twenty miles. ROMOND: (laughs) What would you say were the, um-- BRADLEY: --we had some excellent lobbyists. Uh, you asked whether or not, we had some excellent lobbyists, and a good, you learned the good ones from the bad real quick. And they'd tell you the truth about bill. They don't have to tell you the bad things about a bill-- ROMOND: --right-- BRADLEY: --unless you ask them. ROMOND: Right. BRADLEY: If what, what's, what's, and you can just say, "What's the worst thing in this bill?" to them. No, they're not gonna say that. But if you ask them, "What about this provision here?" They gotta tell you the truth, and they will! ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But they're gonna tell you the good things. If they ever lie, they're thorough as a lobbyist. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: If they ever lie, they're gone. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And but, uh, there were so many good ones, I'd hesitate even to start to even name the good lobbyists. And I mean, and they were so nice to us, too. And now I realize, good gosh, that I'm a traveling salesman from out truck line, waiting around for people to see them, how much they had to wait on me, but I had to take people in order, you know. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And I had an office full usually. ROMOND: Do you think the role of the lobbyist has changed since you were there? BRADLEY: No. Still, I mean, they enhanced their visibility and availability-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --and knowledge greatly while I was there, the lobbyists did. The lobbyists used to be, started out just good friend, good old boy at night to buy you whiskey, or something like that. But as those days passed, when you no longer, no longer could buy your way into friendship, you had to have some knowledge. And they got good. And they are good. And they can really argue well and really save you a lot of time. ROMOND: Right(??). BRADLEY: Really save you a, you can talk to lobbyists from both sides; you get the picture pretty well, you know, you get. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, oh yeah, I, I value the lobbyists, yes. ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm. When you were serving in the General Assembly, what did you think were the big issues that Kentucky was facing? BRADLEY: Well, the first issue that every time we'd ever go up there was money; that's the big issue. And everything depends on money, and education, of course, depends on money though. And education's a big issue. Wallace Wilkinson got to be Governor by saying the lott-, lottery was gonna take care of education. ROMOND: Hm. BRADLEY: Well, then they sold, then they, people got mad we weren't putting all the money in education. We put all the money in education, just don't get as much money to the general fund. Stayed the same. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: If we reduced the general fund, why, the, the lottery could get a(??), you know, but money, money's always a--I, I've never seen a session yet that wasn't a problem. One time Julian got by, Julian knew the budget better than anybody else, he knew that budget by heart. Julian Carroll, I, I didn't serve under him, but I worked under him. I worked with him; I worked over there a lot. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And he, he was good but Paul Patton was a smart man, real-- well, they all, I don't mean any of them were dumb, but Paul Patton was a smart man. And he understood the governing process. It's just too bad he lost all his credibility. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But, uh, money, I, I mean, I, I-- ROMOND: --the allocation of the funds is BRADLEY: --yeah, having enough money to allocate-- ROMOND: -- ------------(??)---------- -- BRADLEY: --you know, that's, that's a big-- ROMOND: --right-- BRADLEY: --thing, I mean, it really is. There, there's so much to it. And of course every year you have the real arch-conservatives, but the-- ROMOND: --um-hm-- BRADLEY: --the arch-conservative, they, they, they see one side only. They're not a really motivating force as, as much as they're a good conservative. Well, I don't mean they're in bad, but they're many conservatives who can actually discuss bills with you and, and maybe convince you. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: You'll never go in blind. You may, may have your eyes opened. The, uh, the, uh, uh, excuse me. Hold, hold a tight, just a minute. Uh, I was trying to think of something. I can't--there, there was moments in my legislative career was prevailing wage bill, I guess, the last session I was there. And the last two years anyway. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And prevailing wage bill came forward, and everybody assumed to, to repeal the prevailing wage bill, and everybody assumed that I would certainly vote for that. Nobody talked to me about it at all. Union people called me, I had two hundred union people call and talk to me, you know. ROMOND: Yeah. BRADLEY: Not, not to repeal the bill and one guy in particular that was their spokesman. A lobbyist. But he was a bricklayer and had, had just outgrown being able to lay brick. And, uh, from Lexington. And a great, in Frankfort, great person. And let's face it, he was, he was a dedicated bricklayer all his life, a brick mason. And he was good. Uh, he wasn't a public speaker as such or anything like that but he, he came to see me only when I, he'd make an appointment, and if he had five minutes just he'd come and talk to me. And he explained a lot of things to me. And the day of the vote, I committed I was gonna vote probably vote, uh, uh, against the bill. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Against repealing(??) the bill. And, uh, as I got to the floor, the superintendent of the schools in Shelby County called me, said, "Just want to make sure you're gonna be on our side on the prevailing wage." I said, "No, I'm saying I'm not, Leone." "Why, why, why?" I said, "Cause you're the first person that's called me and asked me to be for this bill. And, uh, I've got two hundred and fifty people on the other side who have." "Well, but it's a bad," I said, "I just do what my people want done." Said, "I don't have to do, and I, I personally," I told him, said, "Personally, I think you probably your bill should be passed, personally, but I'm not gonna do it in face of my people, all the ones that, uh," and said, "I'm sorry." And I voted ag-, people didn't like it but I, they were surprised. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Knowing my history. And, uh, when it was over with, that man came to see me that afternoon. And I told him, I said, "I want to want to tell you something," I called him -----------(??), said, "You are the primary reason that bill lost because I've voted against it and got others to follow my lead and told them how important it was." Said, "You're the one that," he broke down and cried. And I started crying. I'm about to cry right now thinking about it, I started cry and I said, I said, "You know, that's the way democracy is, though." ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And he, oh, it was just, he wrote me a letter. Oh, wish I, those things they'll mean a lot to you, those things you remember, things like that, you know. ROMOND: You gave him a voice. BRADLEY: Yeah. And he, he, he deserved it. He'd really worked for it. And, and, if they'd have brought some three-piece-suit man in there, it wouldn't done a bit of good to talk to me. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But this guy, he was good. ROMOND: What issues do you feel the best about being there to support or oppose? You just talked about one of the issues. BRADLEY: What, what's, what's your question again now, exactly? I don't. ROMOND: What issues do you feel the best about being there in the General Assembly to support, put, throw your support behind or to oppose? BRADLEY: Well, as I told you early, I'm much, usually much more proud about the bills that I've beat than the bills I passed. Uh, I, I, there's just too many bad bills. I mean bad bills. And they're, they're put in there politically by some legislator who just come up here first time, and who's told the people back home he's gonna trim the fat. Hell, I've heard that they're gonna(??) trim the fat twenty- five years, and there's fat in every organization we have. In state government, in General Electric, or anyplace else in, in Kentucky, United States, there's fat involved. So you can't eliminate the fat, say, "I'm gonna eliminate the fat." And you can't pass bills, say, "I want to, I want to do this, when I get to Frankfort, I'm gonna clean this, pass this bill." They introduce a bill and you got it, and we'd kill the bad bill, that's part of(??) the function of leadership is to kill the bills and tell them, why we killed them. That's a bad bill. Says, "I know it," but said, "I had to file it, or my friend back home wanted me to." You know, and, uh, so that, those issues got to be pretty easy, the more I, the longer I was there. And, and, and I don't mean, I don't mean for me, but I'd built up a reputation finally. They, people knew I was fair and tried to, and gonna be honest for sure. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, I maybe wrong, but at least I, I was doing it in good faith. And, and they appreciated that, so they would, they would excuse me for my ignorance sometimes. And, uh, but there're many many, I couldn't begin to name the issues. As I said(??), and money I didn't, I never got in great debates about money, except at the end of the session when I was on the A &--I, I was, I was not on the A&R committee, but when they were meeting, I would, whenever they started, then I would be on the negotiating team at the very end of the session on the budget. I learned real fast what was important then. But, that, that's, money is the biggest issue, always will be. And, uh, other things come along, but the, the folks--(laughs)-- ----------(??)- -you can trace it back to money, if you had enough money, you can do it, you know. ROMOND: Yeah. Are there any connections or friendships, uh, from the General Assembly that are particularly memorable to you? BRADLEY: Well, friendship, last night I had my first luncheon, first dinner--I've never been back to the Capitol since I left. ROMOND: Oh. BRADLEY: I mean, I've been in it but not during a session, I mean. ROMOND: Right. BRADLEY: I've been in it once or twice to see somebody, but last night I had dinner with Bob Leeper who is our own and Dave Boswell. Leeper is the only Independent there. He, he was a Democrat, and went to Republican, then went to Independent. ROMOND: Huh. BRADLEY: And, but he's my friend. And Boswell is, too. And they both lived in this house. Boswell and Leeper became bitter enemies when Leeper left the Democrats and became a Republican, and rightfully so. Now, he shouldn't have done that. But and he made many, many enemies in the Democrats, uh, when he switched parties, primarily because the Democrats sponsored him in his election. He used Democrat money to, to win the election. And he won the election but, and it just wasn't right. It gave the--of course he wasn't the only one; Danny Seum made the difference, too. He, he was a friend of mine, too. (laughs) He's crazy. But the, I mean in a nice way, I'm saying. (Romond laughs) Uh, uh, you can't(??), had to understand, they're friends again now. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But it took quite a few years to heal it. ROMOND: Hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, Leeper had to move out because he, Boswell had seniority here, see. You understand. Of course at that time we had only, both my wife and ------------(??)---------- only had one child, now I got three. There's not as much room as there used to be. (Romond laughs) But, uh, so I met with them and tried not to talk about issues at all last night, because a reporter was with us from Paducah. ROMOND: Oh. BRADLEY: But, uh, Bill Bartleman, but, uh, I, which is a friend, too. But we just discussed general things going on in the General Assembly, you know. ROMOND: Yeah. BRADLEY: And, and, but, but Leeper was, has been a dear, dear friend of mine. And just a great guy. In fact I helped, very much helped him, I helped him get his, passed the bill that allowed him to get his chiropractic license, because he went to a school in South Carolina that wasn't recognized by the state of Kentucky, as such. ROMOND: Yes, um-hm. BRADLEY: And I got it recognized, because he'd been such a nice person, his daddy was, too, and his family. And so he, he'd been, he knows that I helped him out much, and he's really been a friend of mine. And if I'd stayed in the General Assembly, he probably would not've switched; I'd have told him no. Ha! (both laugh) He's, he's an independent thinker and he probably would've switched eventually, but, uh, I could've held him up a little while maybe. But that's beside the issue. Anyway, I've had many, many, many great friends in the, in the General Assembly. Dave Boswell being my best one because I've, as I say(??), he's lived here. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: You know, but there're many, many more, too. ROMOND: Hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, I, I would never start to name them, they're my great friends. But Boswell and Leeper were, were two of the best. And, of course, you're much closer to senators than you are House of Representatives, ----------(??)----------. ROMOND: Sure. BRADLEY: That's who you socialize with every day-- ROMOND: --that's who you work with. BRADLEY: You know, you're competitive sometimes with the other body too, as such, you know. ROMOND: Um-hm. What was it like for your family when you were a senator? BRADLEY: Well, my wife died in '87, as I said, right in the middle of my term. My first election though, she helped me; she was walking, out walking streets with me, and everything. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But, uh, my last election, Buff, my son, stayed here and campaigned. It was the day after the election he left; he went to train horses at the racetrack, assistant in Clarence Peak. He'd already told me he was going to. I made him finish college, take him seven years to finish college cause he only went nights. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Late afternoon and nights, he's working at a horse farm all day. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But he's the only son I ever had graduated from college. But, uh, family life, uh, they were all adults, when my first time I ran for office for senator, Anne Russell was, let's see(??), that was in 1980, I think we said, didn't we? Uh, about '80 or '81, okay, yeah. [Nineteen] eighty-one when I campaigned, uh, Margaret was born in '68, so she was twelve; and Anne Russell was born in '65, so she was fifteen or sixteen, I guess. [telephone rings] Cut it off. [Pause in recording.] ROMOND: That's okay. BRADLEY: It is now 4:30. ROMOND: Um-hm. Uh, what did you find most satisfying as an accomplishment during the time that you served? BRADLEY: To be smart, I've already told you three times, killing bad bills. (both laugh) That's why, I mean that. ROMOND: But which particular one-- BRADLEY: --oh, I can't remember any particular bill I killed, you know, that was bad. Uh, that I argued against to beat. Well, I told you the one, the history of one bill that was-- ROMOND: --oh-- BRADLEY: --the cell phone bill, now look what, if that wasn't regulated, good gosh, to any extent. No, that, that, that was just one of the many. But, uh, my constant work(??) beating bills and efforts to defeat the merit system, to eliminate the merit system. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And I had to be on guard every time they'd slip it in some where they could, every session on that. And I, not every session, under certain Governors, as I already enumerated, I had to watch that very closely. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And we were able to. That was very important to me. Other things I did was, as I said, passed the bills to create more competitive and viable stream of income for our state employees and their retirement, retired state employees. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Those were major, major issues with me always. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, I guess that would have to be, as far as accomplishments were concerned, it'd be state employee issue either for or against any, killing bad issues and passing good ones. ROMOND: For the state employees. BRADLEY: Yes ma'am, because after all, that's my great majority of my district. ROMOND: That's your constituents. BRADLEY: That was my constituency. ROMOND: Yes. BRADLEY: Like the four counties we named, now I didn't have those the whole time. ROMOND: -----------(??)---------- BRADLEY: I've always had Franklin County and all of Shelby, except when I had half of Shelby, but I, at the end, they swapped off Bullitt and Spencer, which I loved Spencer County. Oh, I loved it. Used to get 90 percent of the vote there. That was a great county. Of course, now it's a different county, shew! ROMOND: Hm. BRADLEY: But I had Henry County and Owen County. ROMOND: Oh. BRADLEY: In place of them my last session and Jeff-, and part of Jefferson. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Where Valhalla Golf Course is. I never went there but that's what I, I one had one precinct, I think, or two, you know. ROMOND: When you look back to what it's like to service in the General Assembly when you served and what it's like for the politicians now, what are your thoughts? BRADLEY: Well, today, of course, you always look to a different, different-colored glasses, rose-colored sometimes, other times not. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And today, I would not want to serve in the legislature. Uh, I would if, if it's, the issue, if today was like when I went in, I'd probably liked it. I mean, I'd put up with it. But looking back I had a lot more fun, a lot more pleasure, I guess, is the way of serving when I did. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I mean, and just think there's not a politician alive that ain't got some ego. You liked to win the elections. Of course, there's an old saying that's true: I love to campaign, but first you win the election then you gotta serve. And, uh--(Romond laughs)--uh, another saying is, you can't become a great statesman without first winning the election. And so, I realized those things; you had to win. But we had, oh, I just, I made so many good friends and, and close friends. And I enjoyed it so much. And that same spirit of camaraderie is not available now, I don't think, as much. I'm sure it is, certainly. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: But, uh, there's animosity between the parties now. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, it's just different. I, I don't think I would like it as much, but I can't say that, I'm not there. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: It's easy to look on the outside and say that, but not being there, you don't know for sure. ROMOND: Um-hm, um-hm. What advice or wisdom would you pass on to somebody now who's thinking about running for office? BRADLEY: Well, I don't know of your, I don't know how your advice and wisdom compare. I mean, I could give advice, wisdom I don't know, you know, I, I don't, when you give me both words. Advice, how I, what I would tell them, uh, it'd be bad, I would say, don't try to do too much your first session or your second session, but if you don't do some things, you won't get reelected. You know, so there you are. Uh, above all, try to make friend with all your 137 other members. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Above all do that. Be nice to everyone. I, when I got there, some of them wouldn't even speak to me in the House, the leadership in the House, they didn't know, you know, they didn't care who you were. You know, and I didn't, and I remembered that real well, subsequently, you know. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: When I, but make friends with everyone, even your enemies. Make friend with them. And, and try not to antagonize anybody because they got to vote for your bills, too. ROMOND: Right. BRADLEY: And if you expect to pass any. And, and diligent work. Used to, when I first went there, they said read all the bills. It's impossible to read all the bills. They're all introduced at the last. Hey, no, no person can read all the bills, or your speed-reading so fast you don't know what they said. So I, I would never give that advice, read all your bills. Read the ones that are coming up to the floor, be sure and read them before they get there. Read them before your, your bills in your committees. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: They may be dead and never, never see the light of day again, so, so read the bills. That, that you're directly involved with. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And be sure you know your bills by heart. You can answer any question that comes up that you know every word in your bills. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Don't go in with some bill that somebody else has written say, "Introduce this." You better know it. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: No substitute for hard work in this life. I don't care if you're in the legislature or plowing. ROMOND: Yes. What have you been doing since serving in the General Assembly? BRADLEY: Well, see, I was, my great love of life is flying airplanes. As I said, I had thirty-eight years in the Air Force and National Guard and I retired as a general. I was a general the last fourteen years. But I had six thousand hours in jet fighters. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I'm proud of that--well, five thousand hours in fighters. I'm proud of that more than anything. I really, I love being able to serve my country. But, uh, since then the General Assembly, I've been, uh, well, I was, my wife died in '87, and I moved to Gulf Shores cause-- let's face it--I'm single, and I was a hard dog to keep under the porch, I say, at that time. So I, I enjoyed that. And, uh, go to my favorite bars. I don't mean, I'm out here drinking every night getting, I don't get drunk but I, I would go out there, have a good time. I'd go out and talk to these people, and knew them and just made some great friends, some of my greatest friends in Gulf Shores I met in a bar. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Well, my greatest was my wife. And I didn't meet her in a bar; I met her in church. But--(laughs)--my greatest friend in Gulf Shores is Brent Burns, who's a singer and songwriter down there, and we got to be great, great friends. He bought some horses with me now. But we got to be great friends just sitting in a bar drinking beer, talking story, Vietnam, he got shot up real bad in Vietnam. ROMOND: Oh. BRADLEY: But, uh, I play tennis four days a week usually, three days anyways, it's usually four days. And, uh, uh, seven o'clock every morning until ten. And then, uh. ROMOND: And then your horses. BRADLEY: Now, my, well, I'm getting to that. Ride my bicycle but then the rest of my day, I, I visited once when I was practicing law, I think, because every day I'm on the computer or on that phone. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Thank goodness it's free, using this Sprint phone, talking to my, uh, daughter that runs a truck line and my son who trains the horses. ROMOND: Oh. BRADLEY: So I, I stay busy. Yes, I really do. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And enjoy it. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, as I said I have more time for church. I never had time before. I have more time for my church. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And serve them and, uh, I aim to do more even still. We just moved, we built a new house, just moved three weeks ago. ROMOND: Really. BRADLEY: I say we did it; my wife built the house, I wrote checks; that was my job. (Romond laughs) And, uh, she did a good job, though. She knew what she was doing. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Her and her first husband, uh, had a construction business. And he died four years ago; he got cancer and died ---------(??) of six months. You know, he, but he's a friend of mine. I mean, they were both friends of mine. Uh, so that's about it. I come home, uh, two weeks every two months, approximately, sometimes three weeks. And, uh, but two weeks at least every two months. I was home in December. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And, uh, uh, my horses, I follow, of course I've got the TV set, the TV channels, the DISH network, TVG channel on in there, and I can watch the races all. And, and there's all kind of things on the computer now you can do. I don't, I don't know anything about computers. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: I know how to do my stuff. I keep records of all the horses on the computer. And, uh, I read, read about them every night, every morning, and all the horses, and everything. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: That's about it. ROMOND: Tell about Brass Hat. BRADLEY: Brass Hat is, I've owned over five hundred horses, I guess, I know I have in my lifetime, and, uh-- ROMOND: --five hundred-- BRADLEY: --well, you got to remember, I've got fifty five right now, I sold three last week and had three fouls, though. And, uh, they pass through. I mean, they're retired brood mares, where(??) we sell(??) them, and I sold one for four thousand dollars, the other two for a thousand dollars each. And that's all there worth, too. And, uh, uh, I work with them and have so many of them, and they pass through. But maybe it wasn't five hundred, four hundred anyway. ROMOND: Hm. BRADLEY: I fouled over five hundred mares, but we used to board mares, you know. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And I'd be with them then. But, uh, uh, Brass Hat, you just, you can't believe it. He's out of a $5000 mare, a filly that I bought for $5000, resold for $8500 because I got two fouls out of her. Brass Hat's older sister and then paid $3500 for the stud fees, so all I got into that horse is $3500. And they just bought a horse yesterday for $16,000,000, which means they paid $15,996,500 more for that horse than I did for mine. And I'm running against the big boys and winning. ROMOND: Oh my gosh. BRADLEY: So we'll be going to Dubai, March twenty-fifth, we're running for $6,000,000 purse. I never, I never dreamed in my life I'd do this, you know. The winner gets $3,000,000 and something. And, uh, we got a shot. I don't think we're gonna win necessarily but we got a shot. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: And it's just a great experience, all comp, they fly the horse over and back, you get invited, you can't just go run, they invite you. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: They fly us over there; they fly my wife and myself, my son, his eleven year old daughter because his wife is stuck in work. And, uh, we're over there, stayed in this hotel that cost $2100 a night and cause I was gonna stay another day till I found out what it costs. I thought it'd be like $500, you know, I knew it was real fancy. (Romond laughs) But I said nope. And, uh, we have a car assigned to us and a driver the whole time we're there. Just, they just invite three horses from the United States. They get them from Japan, Australia, France, England, Germany, where(??) they might be over there. So, naturally we're gonna go and, uh, cause it, it's a once in a lifetime thing. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: You know, I never expected to have a horse that good. Never expected to have a horse run in the Derby. Hope I do cause I'm breeding better mares now. I mean, I used to never ----------(??) his stud fee was $3500, I never paid over $5000, now I'm paying $10,000 to $15,000 for the, but I got better mares. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Now we've, I kept buying mares and keeping the best ones, you know, for broodmares. And I'll get there, about the time I die, I'll be ready to get there, you know. I'm seventy-four years old, be seventy-five shortly, so but my son heirs the situation, so. ROMOND: Congratulations. BRADLEY: Thank you, thank you. (both laugh) Been an interesting life, I've done a lot of things, uh, things we didn't even talk about. I, I's think of the jobs I've had, things I've done. Whoa. But I've enjoyed every minute of it, I'll tell you that. ROMOND: Is there anything else you'd like to include on the tape? BRADLEY: Uh, come about seven o'clock tomorrow, I'll think of about four hundred more things during the night. (Romond laughs) We'll have dinner, get ----------(??) tomorrow. No, it's been a great life; I've got four great children, and nine, ten great-, ten grandchildren. They're all good. So I, I've got no complaints of this life. ROMOND: Um-hm. BRADLEY: Um-hm. ROMOND: Well, thank you for your time-- BRADLEY: --well, Jan, thank you, thank you-- ROMOND: --and your thoughts. BRADLEY: Oh gladly, gladly. I'm sorry I apologize for talking too fast, but I used to be a reader for the blind for ten years. ROMOND: Really? BRADLEY: And I learned to be quiet, I could talk slowly and read for the blind, you know, down at the Capitol, we had, or wherever it was. ROMOND: Yes. BRADLEY: And, and, uh, so, I, I could do that well. And, but I get to talking, you asking me questions--(Romond laughs)--people get bored hearing your stories, see, so I don't, I, I tell stories fast. ROMOND: It is not a boring story-- BRADLEY: --no, I-- ROMOND: --your story-- BRADLEY: --okay, well, thank you. ROMOND: Thank you so much; I enjoyed it. [End of interview.] Bradley (Senate 1981-2000, 20th district; Democrat) discusses his upbringing in Providence, Ky., family, education, and military service, as well as his law practice, the role of the legislature, impressions of governors, key legislation and the challenges of serving a constituency made up largely of state employees. Interview concludes with Bradley's involvement in the horse industry and family life after the legislature. insert here