Interview with Jerry Workman

Kentucky Historical Society

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0:00 - Early life, education and exposure to the arts

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Keywords: Berea College; carpenter; Hugh Bailey; Kentucky; Pine Mountain Settlement School; pottery; Pulaski County; weaver

4:21 - Getting involved with the KY Guild / becoming a director of the Guild Train

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Keywords: Berea; Guild Train; Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen; Pine Mountain Settlement School

7:57 - KY Guild Train stops at Fulton, KY / demonstrations on the Guild train

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Keywords: Fulton; Guild Train; Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen

12:20 - Communities respond positively to the KY Guild Train / local artists involved

15:31 - Types of crafts on the Guild Train

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Keywords: functional crafts; Guild Train; Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen

16:41 - Workshops

18:49 - Guild Train funded by the state and the railroad company

22:10 - Cities would advertise the Train

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Keywords: education; Guild Train; Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen; schools

24:17 - Transitioning from the Guild Train to the Guild Fair / Involvement with the Guild

25:57 - Why the Guild Train program stopped

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Keywords: Guild Train; Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen

28:34 - Craft Fairs / classes for Guild members

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Keywords: art fairs; classes; craft fairs; education; Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen; workshops

32:39 - Bringing arts and crafts to communities through the Guild Train

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Keywords: Guild Train; Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen

34:35 - Purpose of the Guild

36:07 - Importance of craft guilds

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Keywords: fellowship; Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen; marketing

38:24 - Working for the Save the Children organization

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Keywords: Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen:Guild Train; Save the Children

0:00



WILLIHNGANZ: Maybe you can tell me about yourself a little bit.

WORKMAN: I grew up in a rural community in Pulaski County. My mother was a weaver and my father was a carpenter. She always believed in making use of whatever was at hand. With this in mind, I came to Berea College. And at Berea, I worked in the Pottery Department under the auspices of Hugh Bailey, which was, he was a great teacher on that. And when I graduated from Berea College, I had gone to Pine Mountain Settlement School in Harlan, Kentucky, to do my student teaching. And the Dogwoods were in bloom. And it was a beautiful place. And I wanted to go back there. However, I married a, I wanted to marry 1:00a Yankee. And so, I waited until this next spring, and we went back there, and we decided that would be a place we’d like to go. And when…while I was in Berea, I got a book of the [unintelligible] handicrafts of the southern highlands, and I took that to Pine Mountain with me - went along with Ellie. And we did a lot of just…on the weekend…just taking the book, going up the Hollow, or up the creek, seeing what we could find, seeing where a weaver was, or where a chair maker was, or a basket maker, or if anyone knew anything about them, or like that. So along with teaching school there, I also had great exposure to the Appalachian area.

WILLIHNGANZ: Now what classes were you teaching there?

2:00

WORKMAN: I was teaching elementary school. I had 7th and 8th grade, and then during the summer we had a program where I taught art and science and swimming, to four and five year olds, and this was at Pine Mountain Settlement School. I was employed by the Harlan school system, but I was…they owned the facilities there. So, we were able to rent from them, and use their facilities

WILLIHNGANZ: And were you doing craft work during this period?

WORKMAN: I was, probably the first… I had been weaving just as a boy growing up, making rag rugs, making some money, too. So I could have some spending money, on my mothers loom there. But, I was very interested in crafts. And we 3:00went…probably my first exposure, real exposure, was when we went to the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild Fair. And, at that time, it was held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. And I saw a lady there who was dyeing wool with plants. And so, I came back to Pine Mountain and discovered that in talking to people, “Oh yes we used to dye wool, and we did this”. And so, I just started off dyeing small samples of wool until a break came with the Arrowmont Craft School in Tennessee. They said we would like for you to dye a hundred pounds of wool. I had no idea how much a hundred pounds of wool was, so I said okay. So, we 4:00took our little car down and loaded up a hundred pounds of wool, which the car was full, came back to Pine Mountain. And then, during the next summer, I spent the…doing all the dyeing and the plants on there, and getting them back to the school.

WILLIHNGANZ: How did you get involved with the Guild?

WORKMAN: The first craft fair that they had in Berea, I came to it as a representative from Pine Mountain Settlement School, and so I was at the very first craft fair that they ever had. At that a particular point there was an opening with the Guild for the Train; to be a director for the Train, and so it was a good offer. And, we had young children then, and so we moved back to Berea.

5:00

WILLIHNGANZ: Now, as the first…I am not sure what the title was, but the first conductor of the Train, so to speak, the first person who managed the Train, what did you do with the wife and kids?

WORKMAN: I left them at home. There was a place on the train where you could live, but the problem was that it was… I don’t know how much you know about the train. The train was composed of two cars, and one car was set up as an exhibition car, and the other car was set up as a demonstration car. So in one car, the exhibition… You pull into a town, you would set up the exhibit, and you would open it up to the public. And then in the other car, was a 6:00demonstration where that there was a loom for weaving, there was a potters wheel, there was different kinds of tools; leather tools and things like that, that you could demonstrate to people. And, also at the same time, one of the other purposes that I was trying to do was, who are the local crafts people in that area, and how to get them in, and how to get them to demonstrate, and how to get them involved into the Kentucky Guild on that.

WILLIHNGANZ: Now. When you got involved with the Train, it hadn’t run yet at that point?

WORKMAN: No. I was not the first one, I was the third director.

WILLIHNGANZ: And so, the exhibits were pretty much already set up when you were there?

WORKMAN: No. I set up the exhibits. There had been exhibits set up, but then I contacted the people and got the exhibits, and like that. And then, all we 7:00had to do before we went into that community, was to get a local agency to sponsor us, like either the men’s club, or the women’s club, civic club or whatever it might be. And then the electrical company would come and turn the electricity on. The water and sewer people would work on that. So, it was a community based thing that the community had to support it coming in like that. One of the problems that we ran into, during the period of a year that I was working there, was that the areas that we really wanted to go into…so many of those the train services had been cut, and there was no longer a service. So, that you could get into, into the more isolated areas of Eastern Kentucky.

WILLIHNGANZ: What areas did you go into?

WORKMAN: Our first - after we set up the exhibit, the first place we went to 8:00was Fulton, Kentucky- for the Banana Festival, and it was quite an experience. It was my first one, so everything had to be taken down and packed, and then it had to be… You had to call. They came and got it. You didn’t know when they were going to get it, but they would take it and set it up things, like that. And then, after it arrived, then everything had to be unpacked and set back up as an exhibit. And all the PR stuff had to be done for the opening, and all like that. We got it set up. We got it moved. We got the exhibit set up, taken down, packed, got it moved, got it onto the track, got it set up. The people were getting ready to come in. And, we had a person come to us and say, 9:00“We are sorry sir, we have you on the wrong track.” So, we repacked and put it…and got it all back together. Community people helped…repack on that, put it back together, and then moved it to another track, and that’s were the first opening was.

WILLIHNGANZ: So, when you got set up, and what not…then you had your wheel set up; potters wheel, and had your leather work demonstrations going on, did you demonstrate each one of these things?

WORKMAN: I demonstrated, as well as also trying to get people in the community who could demonstrate. Like in particular, I would try and find out as much as I possibly could ahead of time, were there craft people there? And get them involved, and get them to come in. We generally were also open on, like a Thursday or a Friday, for school children. We had - schools would bring…because in many of the areas that we went into, there was not a museum, 10:00there was not a craft shop at that particular time. So, they would come in, classroom after classroom. Then on Saturday and Sunday, I would keep open, because that’s when we would get the families in. And so, we get some of the older people that would be coming in…

WILLIHNGANZ: So, when you went into a town, how long were you typically there?

WORKMAN: From the time that the train arrived, until the time that the train left. You are talking about probably a week. But the…cause when it went in, then it would take a day to a day and half to get it hooked up with the water, electricity, with heat, and all like that. And then, you have to set the train up, and of course the cleaning, and going through all that. And then, you had then…you had to pre-schedule to have someone there that would be doing your 11:00pre-scheduling, to get the kids coming in on a basis, on like that, but the schools were very cooperative.

WILLIHNGANZ: So, you didn’t actually do the logistic work for the set up?

WORKMAN: Not as far as for… It was the responsibility of the community. If they wanted to have the train there, it was their responsibility to help to sponsor and to set up the train on there. Now, not physically set it up, but they knew what the connections were. They knew how to get it on the radio. They knew how to get it in the newspaper. They knew how to get into the churches and all like that. They knew who to contact at the schools and all that. Not me; I was an outsider coming in.

WILLIHNGANZ: And you had water hooked up, and heat hooked up to the train? Did you have actual bathrooms on the train?

WORKMAN: Yes.

12:00

WILLIHNGANZ: And then the kids and the people would come through? Were you selling items?

WORKMAN: No. This was completely educational. It was for; it was funded by the state, so there was no selling items on that.

WILLIHNGANZ: What kind of response did you get from people who came through?

WORKMAN: Very good. They were… Every area that we went into, we were swamped; always swamped on there. Basically, many of the areas that we went into, there was not a whole lot to do. Like, we went into a little place like Irvine and Ravena, and opened up the train, and well “What is this?” So people… It was a curiosity to us too. “What is this thing these two cars that are connected together, and what’s there?”

WILLIHNGANZ: I assume there was no admission charged to this?

13:00

WORKMAN: No admission.

WILLIHNGANZ: Did you get a lot of artists involved locally?

WORKMAN: It’s according to how you define the word “a lot”. We got artists involved, and the other thing that this led to, it led to having workshops where that we would get people from the outside of the area. Like for instance, Persus Grayson from the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild, came in and did a workshop at one of the schools that…where that we had, had the train there…Pineville. So, we did a number of workshops like this. That, so that it was an educational…It, it…One of our, our main purpose was education.

WILLIHNGANZ: Did you find that this appealed more to one particular group of 14:00people, or class of people? Were there mostly people who were pretty well off who came through it, or did the people who were dirt poor; just had nothing else to do, came in?

WORKMAN: I think a quilt, is a quilt, is a quilt. I think that the…it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve got. If you got a handmade quilt, then, whether you’re poor or whether you’re rich, it’s still a handmade quilt.

WILLIHNGANZ: Well. I wonder what the interest level was from different groups.

WORKMAN: It varied. It was it, yeah I don’t… I couldn’t say that there was one particu… Most of the time the people who sponsored us to come in, were the more sophisticated people; the people that were organized, that had a, had a, an organization that they belonged…the Women’s club or whatever it might 15:00be, but people that came through was not like that.

WILLIHNGANZ: Did you get a sense that, that people who came through hadn’t been involved with crafts, were now getting involved because, or were likely to get involved, because of what they saw?

WORKMAN: That would be something I would hope for. But, as to whether or not that happened or not, I don’t know. Because this was their first experience you know.

WILLIHNGANZ: So, were there a lot of people who hadn’t ever seen these types of crafts before you saw?

WORKMAN: We had two different…We had two or three different types of crafts. We had the traditional crafts where…that you had the baskets, the quilts, the hand made chairs, and things like that. Most of the older, middleclass, and the older- middle age and the older people had seen these things. Many of the 16:00younger people had seen them, but it was more like in somebody’s closet. Or, it was one, a chair that was used on the porch or something or other. They had never seen anybody really get down and take a raw piece of wood, and actually shave it out, and hue it out, and work it out. But they never seen anybody actually get on a loom and weave a piece of cloth, even though there was a coverlet in their home, or in their granny’s home.

WILLIHNGANZ: Did you return to the same places from time to time?

WORKMAN: No. Not necessarily. I returned with…what I was talking about…with the workshops and the follow up…with the people who were there, who were interested in the crafts and were interested in getting something done; 17:00working with the crafts on it. That also was the kind of time that where that the train was being moved from one position; one town to another town, that I would have time to do workshops or to facilitate workshops being set up to work with, such as like in Butterfly in Eastern Kentucky. We did a workshop on hooked rugs. And years later, probably fifteen years after that, a package arrived in the mail. And one of the ladies had mailed me the rug that she made in that class.

WILLIHNGANZ: Oh, that must have been wonderful for ya. Did…you said you go back for the classes. I assume that was not with the train, you just went on your own?

WORKMAN: No. I just got back to, to … Most of the time it was in a basement 18:00of a church, or it was in a one room school, or it was in some kind of… There were very, very few community centers, where that you could actually do things that.

WILLIHNGANZ: So, these were very rural areas you were going to? And did you conduct the classes yourself?

WORKMAN: Some of them, yes, and some of them I got somebody else in. And, a lot of time these people that would come…we would get them for…they would make charges for expenses, since it was a non profit organization - educational organization. They considered it as part of their responsibility to do that.

WILLIHNGANZ: The costs for the train were borne pretty much by the state, and the railroad, of course, who moved it around?

19:00

WORKMAN: Yes.

WILLIHNGANZ: They paid for the heat and the electricity and the operation?

WORKMAN: No. The heating, the heat and all that, that’s where you contacted that city. And then the city -whoever that sponsoring organization was, they contacted the electrical person. They contacted the gas person. They contacted the water person, and basically it was a proposal to them. “Here is our opportunity to have this train to come in and in order for us to do this, then we need to provide these requirements for the train to come in.”

WILLIHNGANZ: Was it a hard sell, was it difficult to get the…?

WORKMAN: I didn’t sell any of it. It was a thing that was open and advertised. And then, if a town was interested, then they would contact me and they would say… So I didn’t feel like it was something that I should be selling. I felt like it was something they should be buying.

20:00

WILLIHNGANZ: I take it you didn’t have any trouble lining up bookings?

WORKMAN: No. No. No. Because the problem that we ran into was not… Many, many places that wanted to, but because as I said to you earlier, the train line had cut out so many of these lines going into the these small towns, we could not actually go into the areas that we really wanted to go into.

WILLIHNGANZ: Did you stay overnight in the train?

WORKMAN: Yes. There was an apartment there that had a bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom; like in end of it, very small, one person.

WILLIHNGANZ: So, you’d go out there and you would be gone four or five days?

WORKMAN: But most of the time, what happened was, that when I got out there, I was a guest of the community. Someone was having me over for dinner, and 21:00someone else was saying, “Well now, you need to stay with us. We would like for you to stay with us tonight”. Then, we will holler about lunch tomorrow. So, it was you know, it was a very…it was a community supported thing.

WILLIHNGANZ: That’s terrific, but it still must have been a stress on your family?

WORKMAN: Well yes, because when you… I was gone probably at least three days out of the week; and sometimes four. So I had small, small child at that time, but very understanding wife.

WILLIHNGANZ: Well, I guess you did. How long were you in that position?

WORKMAN: One year.

WILLIHNGANZ: And what was the title?

WORKMAN: I was the Director of the Train.

WILLIHNGANZ: Did you go through any specialized training in order to do this?

WORKMAN: No. I learned the hard way.

22:00

WILLIHNGANZ: Did you have pretty much your own leeway in terms of how you set up?

WORKMAN: Yes, yes, very much so.

WILLIHNGANZ: How would cites advertize that you were coming?

WORKMAN: Most of the smaller ones would be using their newspaper or radio. And then, if it was a, an organization that had a good rapport with churches and things like that, and schools and everything… But we had almost every community that we went into; we would have anywhere between…Well we would have… I would say probably 95% of the children in that school came through the train.

WILLIHNGANZ: Wow.

WORKMAN: So, if you are talking about a school of 400, then you are talking about, you know, over 300 children would come through the train. So it was, it always, it always had people coming through there.

23:00

WILLIHNGANZ: So, did the kids ask a lot of questions?

WORKMAN: Oh, yes. Oh, yeah. They were very, very interested. And, I also had a place of where that they could work with the clay, and could just use their hands with it.

WILLIHNGANZ: Oh, that’s great. Did you let them take any of it?

WORKMAN: Oh, absolutely.

WILLIHNGANZ: That’s wonderful. So who would pay for the materials, the clay and stuff that you used?

WORKMAN: We had a number of grants, from different uh, companies. Like the potters wheel was given to the uh…since we were a 501c3, that was given to the Guild. The loom was given to the Guild, and we had…on our board…we had people who raised funds, and things like that.

WILLIHNGANZ: Now, you were there for one year. How many years total did the train actually run?

24:00

WORKMAN: I am not sure. I don’t really know. I think about five, but I am not sure.

WILLIHNGANZ: Yeah. The impression I’ve gotten is, that it was like five or seven years; something like that. Did you - after you quit being the director; did you stay involved with the Guild?

WORKMAN: Well, see. What happened the year that we pulled the train into Berea, at the very end…and then I worked with Richard Bellando, who was the Director of the Guild then, and we set up the second Fair. So basically, what I was doing…I was still working with the Guild, but I was working with the craftsman fair and setting it up.

WILLIHNGANZ: Okay, and then in the years after that, did you stay involved with the Guild?

WORKMAN: Oh, yeah. I was a volunteer for many years with the Guild…

25:00

WILLIHNGANZ: Did you serve on the board?

WORKMAN: Yes.

WILLIHNGANZ: What positions did you serve on the board?

WORKMAN: I don’t remember. I just know that I was a member of the Guild, but I don’t remember, I don’t think, I had a position other than being a member.

WILLIHNGANZ: Well. You certainly were someone who was very knowledgeable about how the train worked, and what not, and you must have been on the board and very active during the time when it ceased working.

WORKMAN: Well at the time, at the time that the train was operating, there was a board of directors. And then I, as an employee of the board of the directors of the Guild, would be reporting monthly to them what was happening, what our plans were, and how things were moving along over there. So, I was an employee of that board.

WILLIHNGANZ: But, after you ceased being the director of the train, you’re still active with the Guild, and it was during that time that train stopped 26:00functioning. Can you tell me a little bit about what happened there, or why that happened?

WORKMAN: Well the main reason why it happened… One of the reasons it happened is, because that the areas, as I said to you before, that where it needed to go, the tracks weren’t there. The second thing was the funding on it. It had been through a number of different types of funding, and the funding just wasn’t there for it.

WILLIHNGANZ: So, the State basically ceased funding for this project?

WORKMAN: That is correct. Yes.

WILLIHNGANZ: Was there a change in the Governor at that point?

WORKMAN: You know, I really don’t know. I can’t remember.

WILLIHNGANZ: Well. I have been trying to look at what this contributed historically to the state, and to awareness of craft work, and how it affected 27:00the state. It seems to have been an extremely positive and very well received program. It got a lot of backing initially, and then for a reasons that I have yet to be able to put my finger on, or find out out about, at some point support for it got withdrawn.

WORKMAN: That’s our government.

WILLIHNGANZ: Well, yes. That certainly is our government. And you might ask, “Why does our government function like that?” Or, it would be an appropriate question. But that’s what I am trying to look at in terms of what happened to make that transition.

WORKMAN: We had, and I don’t know who, but we had a committee to come down from Ohio. And, they patterned a train after the Kentucky Guild operation. Now, I don’t know whether it’s still in operation or not, but it was… And 28:00the other thing we tried to do, that we could never get through because of a lot of different problems. We tried to go, to get it to go to other states, because we thought this would be a great thing to do. But, we ran into all kinds of problems, with the railroad and insurance, and all of those kinds of things that you run into when you start crossing the state lines.

WILLIHNGANZ: I understand that. When the train ceased operation, then did the Guild sort of shift its focus more toward the art fairs and classes they were doing?

WORKMAN: Well… at the particular time the craft fairs that…the one craft that they were having in May, was an extremely important thing, and that’s 29:00basically where that the emphasis was on it. So, I would say yes, even though with the craft fairs, its still was an educational organization, it still had to go through meeting the requirements of a 501c3.

WILLIHNGANZ: And the craft fairs, of course, were at that time, they were two a year?

WORKMAN: One.

WILLIHNGANZ: There was just one.

WORKMAN: Only one in May.

WILLIHNGANZ: At one time did they switch to two a year?

WORKMAN: Oh, it’s about six or eight years later.

WILLIHNGANZ: So, that would have been in ‘75 to ‘76.

WORKMAN: Well. I think probably we had change of directors, and I think that that’s when I was no longer there, and I think that’s when they started 30:00having two a year.

WILLIHNGANZ: This is when Richard left?

WORKMAN: Yes.

WILLIHNGANZ: Okay. So they started at that point having two a year. Were they doing classes at that time?

WORKMAN: Oh, yeah.

WILLIHNGANZ: And these were classes, primarily in basic marketing for crafts people, or what?

WORKMAN: Well, no. Because… Not necessarily, because there was a lot of different kinds of needs at that particular time, that the crafts people had on it, and so it may be a class in design, it may be in production, it may be in some particular item, but not necessarily just in marketing on there.

WILLIHNGANZ: So, were there classes in specific disciplines like leather work?

WORKMAN: Yes, there were.

WILLIHNGANZ: Was that a source of revenue for the Guild?

31:00

WORKMAN: I don’t think so, not really significant.

WILLIHNGANZ: More break even.

WORKMAN: It was a…Yeah right, uh huh, or maybe even a supplement, because it may have been at that particular time that they were able to get a national endowment grant, or a Kentucky grant from an organization in order to do that.

WILLIHNGANZ: Did they make money from the craft fair?

WORKMAN: That’s how that they supported the craft fair; the Craft Guild.

WILLIHNGANZ: You mean that they made enough money that they took in…

WORKMAN: From the admissions.

WILLIHNGANZ: From the admissions, and basically support the Guild and its work in various areas. At what point did you decide you basically didn’t want to 32:00continue being a volunteer with the Guild, or are you still active with them?

WORKMAN: Uh, at what point? I don’t really remember, because I had probably been with the Guild for about twenty-five years, and somewhere along there I got old and had children and grandchildren and other things.

WILLIHNGANZ: It just sort of dropped away for you, looking back on your experience with the train, are you really glad you did that or…?

WORKMAN: Oh, yeah.

WILLIHNGANZ: Did it mean a lot to you?

WORKMAN: Oh, yeah.

WILLIHNGANZ: What was it like for you?

WORKMAN: I think it… There was self-satisfaction that you get whenever you go 33:00out and you see people who could not afford, or did not have the means of going to a museum or going to an art show…and children who were coming in, and they were seeing…they were being able to see the works of art that they would not have been able to have done. It’s that there is a sense of satisfaction there. It was not for the money but just -- of - you felt like that was a good day; things happened right.

WILLIHNGANZ: What is your relationship at this point with the Guild? Do you …

WORKMAN: Very little, no.

WILLIHNGANZ: Do you go to their art fairs once a year?

WORKMAN: Yes, most of the time I do. I was also…I am a member of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild, and I was on the board of trustees of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild.

34:00

WILLIHNGANZ: When was that?

WORKMAN: Twenty years ago.

WILLIHNGANZ: But, it was after you were the Director of the train, and after you were on the Board there.

WORKMAN: Yeah. Things are coming well together as to separating them out. It’s kind of like a piece of fiber, you know, that the people get twisted in with the events, and they get twisted in with all kinds of things that happened.

WILLIHNGANZ: So. Do you think these guilds contributed significantly to the culture of the state?

WORKMAN: I think the main thing that the guilds did and do is, that they keep alive the tradition of the crafts. They keep things going on that…moving on that. I think it’s become more and more difficult for guilds to operate, 35:00because, at one time the competition for the guilds was not there. They had a shop, a craft shop, and there were not very many craft shops in Kentucky. And so they, they were able to go ahead and contribute, and continue to contribute to keeping alive the history part of the Guild, the crafts out there. And, to encourage new craftsmen coming along; a new craftsmen graduates from college and he is out in the world, and most of the time his first thing is to go to a craft fair. So, and then that becomes his education. He learns what he should have done, what he should do, and were to go next, and makes contacts. Contacting I 36:00think was very, very important for a craftsmen.

WILLIHNGANZ: Now, you have known the Guild over a lot of years here obviously, and it’s had ups and downs.

WORKMAN: That’s true.

WILLIHNGANZ: Membership going up, and membership going down, and various financial and political crisis, and what not. Do you feel like it’s still a viable contributing organization? Is it worth while and valuable?

WORKMAN: You asked about three questions there.

WILLIHNGANZ: Yeah. I probably did. Sorry.

WORKMAN: So, why don’t you break that down?

WILLIHNGANZ: Well. I guess what I am getting at is, is the Guild an important organization today?

WORKMAN: I liked to answer it this way; guilds are very important today. Craft 37:00guilds are very important. They are important not just for marketing, but they are important also for the fellowship, the relationship that craftsmen have, for the kind of connections that they get because of the organization.

WILLIHNGANZ: Okay. How about the Kentucky Guild, is it important?

WORKMAN: Why, absolutely.

WILLIHNGANZ: I’ve heard various people who are concerned that it may not be with us much longer because it was sort of over the brink, and I have heard other people say it’s always been on the brink, that’s how we live. That’s nothing new.

WORKMAN: Well. I don’t really see myself as making a judgment about the 38:00Guild as much as I do about the train.

WILLIHNGANZ: Well. I am certainly glad that you had the history you did, and were able to share that with us. I do appreciate that. Are there any other comments or anything else you would like to add?

WORKMAN: The train was a jumping off point for me. I was in Eastern Kentucky, and I was teaching school. And, it gave me a place of where that I came to…Berea, and I was exposed to statewide…to the craft thing on that. After that, I started with an organization that I worked thirty-two years for, because of that.

WILLIHNGANZ: So the train actually gave you…

39:00

WORKMAN: A bridge.

WILLIHNGANZ: A bridge to …?

WORKMAN: Save the Children,

WILLIHNGANZ: Save the Children. That’s interesting. I wouldn’t necessarily connect those in my mind. How did that connection come about?

WORKMAN: I had quit the train. I had resigned and I got a call. And the director said, “I hear that you are unemployed at this point”. And, I said, that’s correct. He said, “Are you looking for a job?” And I said, “No. I am on vacation.” He said, “Would you like to have dinner today?” “Oh, no.” “Lunch tomorrow. Would you like to have lunch tomorrow?” I thought well, I better, since we only had probably about $180 in the bank, and so we had lunch, and the next day I started working for the Save the Children.

40:00

WILLIHNGANZ: Did he find out about you through the train?

WORKMAN: Well he, he had found out about…I started an organization that’s called Appalachia Fireside Crafts, and there is the Appalachia Fireside Gallery here in Berea. I was the one who started that.

WILLIHNGANZ: I see. Well that’s terrific. How long has that been going on?

WORKMAN: Oh, about thirty years.

WILLIHNGANZ: Wow. It must be wonderful to build something, and see it’s still alive and function thirty years later. That’s terrific. Most of us don’t get that opportunity.

WORKMAN: Most of you are not as old as I am.

WILLIHNGANZ: Some of us are pretty darn close. Okay. I think that’s all I needed for right now, unless there’s anything else that you might like to comment on…

Workman: No, that’s it.

[End of recording.]