Client Blanton

Interviewed by: Mandy Blanton
Date: April 17, 2007

Interviewer: How old are you and when were you born?

Blanton: I was born here in Big Stone Gap, in our little house by the river, located near Cadet. I have lived here all of my life.

Interviewer: Who were your parents and what were they like?

Blanton: Paul and Ruth Blanton were the names of my parents. They were very wonderful people, and they were very determined. If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have had all the great things that we did.

Interviewer: Where did you live as a child?

Blanton: I lived here in Big Stone Gap and moved around Big Stone Gap to different houses a few times.

Interviewer: Did you have any brothers or sisters, how many?

Blanton: I had four brothers and two sisters. Their names were Mark, Doug, Claude, Bobby, Pauline, and Judy.

Interviewer: How old were they and what were they like?

Blanton: They were all older than me, and the oldest was seven years older than me. They always tormented me, but they were also very fun to be around.

Interviewer: Did you grow up on a farm if so what was it like?

Blanton: Yes, I did. It was hard work, but we grew a lot, so we had plenty to eat most of the time.

Interviewer: What did you grow and what animals did you have?

Blanton: We grew just about anything that you could think of under the sun. We grew corn, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, carrots, pumpkins, cucumbers, lettuce, and beets. We had dogs, cats, horses, cows, and mice, unfortunately.

Interviewer: What school did you go to, what was it like, and did you graduate?

Blanton: I went to the school in Big Stone Gap, and no, I didn't graduate because I had to work. I did make it to the seventh grade.

Interviewer: Did you have to walk to get places or could you drive?

Blanton: Well I really wasn't supposed to be driving when I did, but I drove for about four years without my driving license.

Interviewer: When did you get married and to who?

Blanton: I got married; well I believe I was seventeen years old. I married my sweetheart from school, Susie; I think she was only sixteen years old.

Interviewer: How many kids did you have and when?

Blanton: I had five kids: their names were; Rudolph, Jessie, William, Susannah, and Mary. I was eighteen when I had my oldest.

Interviewer: Was it hard having as many kids as you did at the time?

Blanton: We had our rough spots, but I would not of had it any other way.

Interviewer: Did you like where you lived, why or why no?

Blanton: Yes, I loved it. That is why we have always lived there and why we never moved.

Interviewer: Did you have a job, if so how many did you work and did they pay good or bad?

Blanton: Yes, I did have a job. I worked in the coal mines all of my life until I was injured on the job.

Interviewer: What was it like to live in The Great Depression?

Blanton: It was a hard time, having as many kids as we did; we sometimes was short on food and other supplies, but we made it all right, I guess.

Interviewer: What kinds of things did you have to change during it?

Blanton: We had to limit what we ate and the kids didn't have any candy or sweets. I had to wait a year to get new shoes.

Interviewer: Do you like the way things have changed?

Blanton: I think the world has developed more, and it is for the better. Technology has changed so much more. It makes life so much easier and more convenient to do everyday things.

Interviewer: How have people changed, and is it for the better or worse?

Blanton: I believe the people have changed, many for the better of our future, but there has been some really twisted people to do stuff here lately.