Oral History Interview with Lou DeLuca

Kentucky Historical Society


Transcript Index
Search This Index
Go X

0:33 - Family background, early life and education

Play segment Segment link

Keywords: Harvard Law School; Wilmington, Delaware; New England; railroad; train; Phillips Exeter Academy; Yale University; Political science; Law School; University of Colorado Law School; Urban Planning; Harvard Planning School; Richard C. Lee

4:59 - Searching for a fulfilling career path / Urban planning

Play segment Segment link

Keywords: architecture; urban planning; Richard C. Lee; Harvard Planning School; New Haven, Connecticut; Zoning director; City planning at Yale School of art and architecture; assistant dean; Paul Rudolph

7:45 - Urban Renewal

8:32 - Yale School of Art and Architecture

10:52 - Creating low income housing in Eastern Kentucky

Play segment Segment link

Keywords: Pat Gish; Eastern Kentucky Housing Corporation; Whitesburg; Tom and Pat Gish; Whitesburg Mountain Eagle; Ben Gish; Bill Richardson

13:31 - Working in Whitesburg, Kentucky

Play segment Segment link

Keywords: Whitesburg Mountain Eagle; Tom Gish; Pat Gish; Ben Gish

14:52 - Bill Richardson and Appalshop / Becoming Director of the Mountain Program at UK

Play segment Segment link

Keywords: University of Kentucky Architecture School; Mountain Program; Paul Issacs; Pence Hall; Eastern Kentucky; Foster Petit

20:08 - Purchasing land in Anderson County and building a dome

22:25 - Governor's Design Assembly / Working in KY State Government

Play segment Segment link

Keywords: Kentucky Arts Council; Nash Cox; Governor's Design Assembly; Julian Carroll; John Y. Brown; Phyllis Brown; Fran Redman; Martha Layne Collins; Crit Luallen; Arts Commissioner; Wallace Wilkinson; Jack Simms; Citizens for the Arts

27:10 - Department of Education / Governor's School of the Arts / Working at the Kentucky Arts Council

Play segment Segment link

Keywords: John Brock; Crit Luallen; Marty Newell; Marilyn Moosenik; Fran Redman

32:13 - Deputy Secretary Education of Arts and Humanities

34:38 - Beginnings of the Berea Artisans Center / Meeting Victoria

Play segment Segment link

Keywords: Tamarac; West Virginia; Ken Gastineau; Victoria Faoro

41:26 - Learning how to weave after retiring

44:55 - Building a dome house



Interview with Lou Deluca

Interviewer is Mary Reed

Videographer is Daniel Coy

October 16, 2022

Berea, Kentucky

Mary Reed: My name is Mary Reed and I’m interviewing Lou Deluca in his home is Berea, Kentucky. Today is Sunday, October the 16th, 2022. This interview is part of the Kentucky Craft History and Education Association’s (KCHEA) mission to document and preserve the development and ongoing impact of crafts in Kentucky. Our videographer is Daniel Coy.

Reed: Hi Lou. Let’s start out by telling us a little bit about yourself and your family and an introduction into who you are.

Lou Deluca: I grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. Just a small family. Mother, father and a sister. Mother was from New England. Massachusetts and my father was from Wilmington, Delaware, first generation, Italian American. His father immigrated. So, he was one of the stories that you could do in those days. He ended up in Harvard Law School being an Italian kid whose parents at home didn’t even speak English, but if you did well and got through college, you’d find yourself in a place like Harvard Law School and that’s where he met my mother. Because she was living in Cambridge at the time and going to work in Boston ( ) hospital. So, they got married and I spent a lot of time going back and forth to New England, because that’s where her parents were and her family, so early on I got to know that part of the world 2:00as well as Delaware. And when you live in Wilmington, Delaware, you’re on the railroad and you can go down to the railroad station and you could go anywhere, you know, you could just go down there, the next train would come in 20 minutes and you could go to Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Washington...It was that kind of a wonderful public transportation corridor at that time.

Reed: About what year was this?

Deluca: This is in the 40s and the early 50s. And then when it was time for me to go to high school... I went to public school through the 8th grade, but my mother being from New England (laughs), she didn’t think there was any education outside of New England worth a darn outside of New England, so I was enrolled in Phillips Exeter Academy, which is in Exeter, New Hampshire. It didn’t feel so strange because I had been going back and forth to Massachusetts. So, you’re a boarding student, which amazes me now that I’m a parent. You let your kid go away when he’s 13 years old for high school and just come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is remarkable to me, but I loved it. I sort of thrived there and had a good time and a great education. So, from there, because of Exeter’s reputation, you could pick a college...

Reed: Was it all male or it was co-ed?

Deluca: Everything was all male in those days (laughs). Even the colleges, you know, I mean...Anyway, we’re talking the late 40s and early 50s. So, it came time to go to college and I went to Yale because I was given that, sort of, springboard by going to Exeter that I could do a thing like that and enjoyed being in 4:00New Haven, but it was not a place I thought I’d ever end up in. To my surprise, I did. It was one of those things too, where you could take the train to New York and be there in 15 minutes and go down and listen to some music or ... It was a remarkable opportunity to be able to do those things.

Reed: What did you study at Yale?

Deluca: It was political science; my father was a lawyer...the Harvard Law School thing. For a while I thought that was my route. Political science, then I’d go on to law school. Graduated from...started out in Virginia (which was also all male) and ended up in...and said I’m not doing this anymore and I went to investigate Colorado Law School and transferred immediately because it was co-ed and it was wonderful (laughs). It was a very good law school and I did that and gradated and came back and worked for a federal judge for a year...

Reed: And where was this?

Deluca: In Wilmington, Delaware, back home. And sort of helped out at my father’s law office and things like that, but it was a...Got my feet wet and thought, “This isn’t for me. I’m not made for this law business”. I kept thinking of design and other things (laughs). So, I said, “How can I mix these things together, sort of, architecture and ... I’d had a wonderful teacher at Yale in architecture, the history of architecture, which sort of infected me forever. So, I said, well, urban planning, how about that? That’s something that combines both the legal that I’ve had and design, so I went about trying to get into an urban planning school and was lucky as heck because there was another lawyer on the faculty at Harvard and he was partial to me being a law 6:00student and being one of his students, so I was lucky as hell there too. Excuse me. Got into Harvard planning school and did that for two years and then of all things, the job offer that came was from New Haven Connecticut (laughs), which at that time it was ’63, 4, 5 and that’s when New Haven was red hot as the center of urban planning and urban renewal and they had a really progressive mayor, Richard C. Lee. And he was able to sit still for somebody coming into his city planning department who was coming from somewhere else, with different credentials and a different background. So, I was zoning director, city planning assistant, city planning director, then I sort of moved through and realized pretty early on that all the decisions were made in the mayor’s office (laughs), not in the city planning office. So, I ended up being the mayor’s assistant, which was a great education, unbelievable education, because he was in demand around the country to speak, to counsel, whatever. So, I traveled with him and went everywhere and got to meet a lot of people and that was a great experience.

Reed: And this was New Haven?

Deluca: Yea, he was mayor of New Haven, but we went everywhere, because people asked him. And I got to see what Urban Renewal really was, which was not it was all cracked up to be, because I was close 8:00to it and I began to see in the uprisings in the ’67 and ’68 that there was a valid case (laughs) on the side of the people saying, “Wait a minute, wait a minute, what are you doing here? Knocking all of the buildings down and driving us out of town.” So, I said, “I think I need to make a shift here, pretty soon”. As long as they’re going to double down on Urban Renewal, I don’t think I want to do that anymore. So, I investigated Yale. I had friends there and ended up on the faculty of city planning at Yale School of Art and Architecture, which was a blessing in disguise, because they also had a new dean who had no design background. So, I got a double appointment as assistant dean and associate professor of city planning. And we were all in Paul Rudolph’s brand new - I guess it opened in ’65 - art and architecture building. So, I was in there with architects, artists, graphic designers and city planners, and it was a building designed by Rudolph to intersect all those things and make them run into each other and see each other. Like there was a great big well in the middle and you could see the architects up here and you could see the ... (laughs) and my office was right there ... so anyway, that was a great introduction to those arts in a deeper way for me. And I liked them all. So, I got to know a lot of people in the architecture school, as well as planning and then there was a shift at Yale, because it was moving towards urban studies. City planning was sort of getting on a low limb, the same way that Urban Renewal was. Like, what are these planners doing to us? (laughs) Who’s educating these people? So, Yale was going to be moving towards 10:00urban studies and it was going to be undergraduate and I knew I didn’t have those credentials. So, we got things going and then ’68, if you remember and ’69 everything just blew up and the center in a lot of places was the architecture and the art schools. (laughs) So, here I was, supposedly, still wearing a coat and tie and being an assistant dean, but once again, I was seeing the point of view of these students who were only ten years younger than me. Wait a minute here, what are we doing with education for these people? Shouldn’t they be more apprenticing and out there helping and doing things in the cities and whatever? So, I got to know a bunch of students who were building structures in New Haven for low-income people, as a way to learn architecture...

Reed: Hands on...

Deluca: Hands on. Some very brave professors went along with it. And then there was a group that had ties to Kentucky and they said, we’re going to go live in Kentucky, work with those people. The Eastern Kentucky Housing Corporation of Pat Gish and all that’s happening there...because you know, the poverty program, what was it called?


Reed: Christian Appalachian Projects?

Deluca: Well, that was part of the federal one, you know, that was... just a poverty program, it was called. Lyndon Johnson’s. There were people sprinkling into Eastern Kentucky. Welcome or unwelcome (laughs) to help. So, these guys saw the danger in that too, and said we’re going to go down there and we’re going to listen to people and we’re going to see where they need buildings. So, they ended up building some part structures and then they moved into building some low income houses for people and then advising maybe how that could be done on a larger scale and they had an advisor in the architecture school, but he couldn’t do it the next year and he couldn’t do it, so they came to me and said, “Would you be our advisor?” and I said “I know nothing about Kentucky, but I know what you’re doing and I believe in it, so I’ll go.” So, we came down, I think it was in’69, and from Louisville, we stopped there to talk to people at U of L, came to Lexington to talk to people in the architecture school, Chuck Graves for one. Dean Graves. And then we went on, you know, east all the way, stopping everywhere you could think of along the way. Hazard...Into Whitesburg. Because of the Gish’s, Whitesburg was the center place for this group of people to work.

Reed: When you say Gish’s, is that a name?

Deluca: Tom and Pat Gish.

Reed: Spell that for me, please.

Deluca: G-I-S-H. They were both from Lexington, but they were journalists. They bought a newspaper. They bought the Whitesburg Mountain Eagle. So, we’re talking 14:00about when the Mountain Eagle became a newspaper of progressive record, was the Gish’s. And they were really helpful to these kids, these architectures students, and to me and to anybody that they sensed was trying, really, to listen before they did something (laughs). Listen to the people there.

Reed: So, they were from Lexington, but they...

Deluca: They bought the Mountain Eagle...

Reed: In Whitesburg...

Deluca: And the family still owns it. Ben Gish is still the editor. Their son. So, they had connections all over the county. This is a remarkable network that the Gish’s were able to introduce people into. And part of that group was Bill Richardson. So, Bill Richardson went back and he said ... They all graduated in ’69. They were all given degrees (laughs) because the school was in such chaos, people were just given degrees.

Reed: This is at Yale?

Deluca: At Yale.

Reed: And he’s an architect?


Deluca: He’s in the school at Yale. He’s goes back and says, “What am I going to do? I’m graduating”. All of a sudden across his desk, because he used to try everything. He had video cameras around the school of art and architecture, so it comes this thing that we’re going to start film workshops all over the country. The poverty program is. ( ) And they’re all mainly in minority places of color. We need a place that is not like that and we found it, perhaps 16:00Whitesburg would be a place. And Bill said, “Well, maybe I’d be interested in starting a film workshop”. So, he took the job and married Josephine and they came to Whitesburg to start the Appalshop. They had maybe 10 kids the first time. Marty Newel was one of them, people like that, anyway. While they were doing this Whitesburg thing, they were also setting up a connection to University of Kentucky Architecture School, through Graves. They started a program called the Mountain Program at UK Architecture School, but they couldn’t do that and the other. They all had their own lives and they wanted to go on and do other things and they said to me, “Would you be interested in being the director of the Mountain Program at UK? And Dean Graves said “Welcome, we’d love to have you come”. So, I said, “Well, I’ll come down for a year or to”.

Reed: This was what - ’69?

Deluca: Yeah, ’69. So, I arrived in ’70 and Paul Issacs, do you know Paul Issacs?

Reed: No.

Deluca: He was a recent graduate from the law school and he was on board too, because we were going to have sort of a legal aid ... all kinds of professional connections to Eastern Kentucky through the law school, through the architecture school, through anything else we could do. So, Paul Issacs and I were the Mountain Program housed in the 18:00University of Kentucky School of Architecture. Pence Hall. First floor down at the end, which is where people like Wade (Christensen) and Robin (Reed) and everybody used to gravitate to say “Who’s this? Who’s this new kid in town?” So, I got to know, you know, Dennis Carpenter and Robin and Wade and Joanne (Kurtz) and everybody right away, because that’s such a small little society (laughs), I mean Pence Hall was.

Reed: Yeah, it’s its own world.

Deluca: So, that was my real initiation, because then I had to set up a program where kids at UK could learn a little bit about Eastern Kentucky. All I am is a broker, but I take the information given to me by the Gish’s, by these students, but people we meet and we start bringing people to UK to talk about what’s happening in Eastern Kentucky. And along with them come the kids from Appalshop as students at UK. So, their sort of home away from home was my office. So, all the Appalshop films that were being made, we would show those at UK, as soon as they came out. So, some faulty would see them and I remember Foster Pettit, who was mayor of Lexington, he came to see some of those films. So, that helped Appalshop get a real foothold in Lexington where there was some financial help and whatever. So, I did that for a couple years and then Dean Graves retired and in comes a guy with sort of an English Beaux Arts background 20:00that was just the ... this was now ’72, if you remember how things switched from the ‘60s to the ‘70s. And I said “No, I don’t think I want to stay here, so I’ll looked for something else to do.” So, that was when I decided to take some time doing that, I had a little bit saved up and that’s when I bought a piece of land in Anderson County and because Buckminster Fuller had always been somebody very dear to me and actually, we brought him to UK to speak, I don’t know if you remember...

Reed: I don’t remember...

Deluca: Anyway, he came to UK through the student council association because I asked them if they would do that and they said, “Yes”.

Reed: Nice.

Deluca: And I’d seen him first at Harvard when I was there and then he came through Yale, too, when we were all there so I’d gotten to know him a little bit. He was at Southern Illinois then, as a visiting professor and he finally decided to live in a dome (laughs). So, he put one up maybe in the late ‘60s or maybe it was ’71 or 2 or something like that. When he was there, I said “How did you decide to ... What did you do with that dome?” He said “Well, I worked with the ( ) woodworking company to get the most out of a 4 by 8 sheet of plywood to build a dome, so that we built it on that. And he said “I’ve got one in Carbondale” and I said “What was the name of that company?” (laughs) So I got in touch with them and said I’m interested. And you could buy ... It was like pre-fab housing. You could buy the components of a dome and they’d put it on a tractor trailer 22:00and they brought it from Plattsburg, New York to Waddy in Anderson County. And we took the pieces down on a farm wagon and the tractor and Mike (Christensen) and myself and whoever else was there. And that’s when we put the dome up, it was in ’72, which is now 50 years ago. And then, I had to have some income, (laughs) so I started sort of consulting with the Kentucky Arts Council and Nash Cox and she got some money and she needed to run the Governor’s Design Assembly and nobody knew what that was and Nash Cox came to me and said, “Would you consult and help run the Governor’s Design Assembly?” I said, “Sure!” It was work and it sounded like fun. So, ended up having this big design assembly and that way I met a lot of people in state government and got to work even more with the Arts Council.

Reed: So, what do you mean by design assembly?

Deluca: That’s what I had to invent.

Reed: Oh, okay.

Deluca: I was all inclusive. I was all inclusive which really upset a lot of the art’s establishment, because of course craft is art and of course a stone wall is an art form, so we...

Reed: The old argument, yeah.

Deluca: We put that all into the Governor’s Design Assembly and I don’t know how many people sort of got with that part, but we did enough with design and buildings around Frankfort and what state government is doing with design 24:00and so anyway, we got people... It was Julian Carroll who was governor and he loved it (laughs). He said “I’m going to make a commission and would you help shepherd that commission into existence?” So, we had a Governor’s Design Commission for a while, as long as he was governor and he began to think about ways to improve design with state government, which was really fun to be involved with. But then he lost (laughs). That’s what happens when governors leave, every program they tried to start is ignored, so that was gone. So, I ended up sort of just doing the newsletter for Nash Cox of the Arts Council...

Reed: Blue Moon

Deluca: No, that was when I got there. We’re talking before that. So then, here comes John Y. Brown and Phyllis and I just have to be direct about this, the arts establishment people and even the Arts Council were not thrilled about this lean towards crafts. I mean, it was questioning...how...that’s not art. So, I was in that building with Nash Cox when Fran (Redmon) first came in to help Phyllis George get a Craft Marketing Program up and going and they were given space by the Arts Council and they kept that space for a long time. She then, with Phyllis, started making the Craft Marketing Program and I was 26:00watching and rooting for it to become all part of one umbrella someday, instead of two separate things, but Martha Layne Collins helped out when she got elected. People were a little nervous about an arts commissioner instead of an Arts Council executive director, but when they met Crit Luallen who was made the arts commissioner, they said “Well, this may not be so bad after all. So, I had moved... If you remember Wallace Wilkinson, got elected in between there, and I moved from the arts world ... I was also was in the beginning of the Kentucky Citizens for the Arts, ended up being its director after Jack Simms left. He was the original director. The Citizens for the Arts began to be a pretty good statewide thing and I got to know more and more about the state, but then it was time for me to make some money again (laughs), because Wallace Wilkinson basically said that he didn’t need the arts department the way it was and he brought in Lanette Thurman and other people came with her, so I went to the Department of Education because they were trying to start an arts unit, so I went over there and helped create the arts and humanities unit at the Department of Education. This was in Alice’s day. Alice Montgomery. It was a crazy time and John Brock was there. But anyway, I got to see 28:00the school systems. Now I’m traveling, as we try to bolster arts programs everywhere, I’m traveling the whole state. Going to public schools, going to school board meetings, I mean everywhere, trying to get things upgraded because then came education reform and in that legal opinion, the judge actually said that the arts were part of a basic education. He put it in writing, so all of a sudden, the arts had a leg up because before it was always difficult to get anything done in the arts, even teachers hired and kept on. So, it was fun to work on that, because it became music, visual arts, dance and drama. And from that Martha Layne said “Ok, now we want to do Governor School for the Arts” and by now, Crit has asked me to come over and be her deputy at the Department of Arts, so together, with her leadership and Governor Collins, we put together the Governor’s School for the Arts and hired the first director.

Reed: I had no idea. Wonderful.

Deluca: And got that up and running and it was excited from the first year, actually, a woman who was in the first-year class is now executive director of the Kentucky Center for the Arts.

Reed: You know, it put value on the arts, where it had no value prior to that. Yes.

Deluca: So then, I guess Marty Newel resigned from the Arts Council and I was still at the Department of Education 30:00and we had things up and going pretty good and we got the reform stuff in place, so I applied for the arts council job and got it. I had applied once before and didn’t get it, so it was a nice change for me because a lot of people thought I was too political (laughs), because I knew politics and had come from politics. So, I got to the Arts Council ...

Reed: But you weren’t from Kentucky (laughs).

Deluca: Oh, I know. Sometimes I’d seen more of Kentucky than a lot of Kentucky folks, by that time. Even though I didn’t have roots, I had been schooled with these trips all the way to Western Kentucky all the way to... everywhere. Every school system I think I visited. So, off we go with Marilyn Moosnik as the chair of the council and we begin to try to blend things together. We get Fran (Redmon) in an office right next to us, she had been separate, so that we could work together a little bit. So, we were both together in Fountain Place (laughs), in that funny facility. But we started to...Fran became part of the Arts Council meetings and became a little bit more, even though she had her separate budget, we had a separate budget, we worked together on some things and she began to see that people like Crit Luallen could be really good help, Marilyn Moosnik could be really good help. So, together we did that and I got to know about the Craft Marketing 32:00Program even though it wasn’t in my purview, it was hers. So then, here comes Paul Patton. He gets elected, so things are beginning to change because he’s putting together a cabinet and he taps Roy Peterson and Juanita Peterson was on my Arts Council board and they came to me and said, “Would you be deputy secretary with Roy?” and I said, “Sure, let’s make a go of that. Let’s go.” After three years at the Arts Council, which is not very long and is much too short to have accomplished a whole lot, but I did get more education and the arts together, anyway...Off I went to the office of Secretary of Education Arts and Humanities and I did that for 8 years and retired from that.

Reed: When did you retire?

Deluca: ’03.

Reed: I just remember... I came into the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program in 1981, when they did their first Craft Marketing show and it was at the Kentucky Horse Park. But every, every four years, the Craft Marketing Program was moved to a different cabinet, it seemed like.

Deluca: Of course.

Reed: Yeah, it depended on who was in power and who wanted it and who didn’t want it.

Deluca: Without Phyllis George Brown, it was like, “What is that?” (laughs)

Reed: Right, right. It kind of felt like, as a crafter and exhibitor it didn’t make 34:00a whole lot of difference to us, but it was confusing to us. And the logos changed and, what was it? Pure Kentucky and what was the one before that...it was a hand. We even had that on the side of our cargo van, so then you’ve got....You know, I mean I’m just saying that it was very confusing to that degree, you tried to be supportive and promote wherever you went and then....(laughs)

Deluca: The arts never have an easy road. So, just before I retired, I got involved in the creation...because way back Crit wanted to have something like the center in West Virginia...

Reed: Tamarac?

Deluca: Tamarac. So back even when I was working for Crit, we took a group up to Tamarac. Everybody said we needed to do this and one of the people was Roy Peterson who went on that trip. So, we got serious toward the end and we said, “Let’s”... Berea had a tornado and Ken Gastineau and a bunch of people got together and said “We need to upscale things here in Berea and make it more of a center. because people are going to think maybe we got blown away or we need to...(laughs)”. So, they got working on an artisan center and they came to us at the cabinet for help. So, we helped them get going on what they might think about doing and then we said “But we’re not really facility runners”. So, I went over to Tourism to Anne Ladder, Secretary of Tourism and she and Roy sat down and said, “Would you take it in your cabinet? 36:00Because you run facilities.” And she said, reluctantly in the beginning, “Okay” (laughs). But then she ended up loving it so it became part of the Tourism Cabinet and still is. That facility.

Reed: And under Paul Patton, there was surplus funds.

Deluca: Oh yeah.

Reed: Yeah, three major things happened.

Deluca: Ancient days. The mayor of Berea wanted it. Shinn, the president of the college wanted it and Ken Gastineau got together this group and Cheryl Stone was at EKU and she could spend time really coordinating this whole thing and getting people together and moving them around and helping and then of course, Randy Stone, who she married during this time, was city administrator of Berea. So, with all that... and I guess it was ... I forget...I can’t think of the name of representative from Richmond in those days, but he made it his priority with Paul Patton. When Paul Patton said to every single legislator, “What project do you want?” He came up there with...

Reed: I think I know who you are talking about...

Deluca: Yeah, it’ll come up later...

Reed: And I think Ken was on the city council in those days.

Deluca: I think he was and they were suspicious of Ken like they were of all of us outsiders, but anyway (laughs). We got it going and all of a sudden, it’s being built, this Kentucky Artisan Center. It had a mixed reception in Berea, which happens everywhere 38:00to the arts, it seems. You think you’re trying to add to the community and they think that maybe you’re overpowering the community, but at the same time, people started going out there. Local people started going out there. Local artists started to demonstrate there and it became, slowly, part of the fabric of Berea. I hope it stays that way.

Reed: So, did you help with the design of the building?

Deluca: Yes, I mean, I was on the design committee, but what that means really is we ... an architect was selected by the state and then we work with that architect. The greatest luck for me was that I was then beginning to have a relationship with Victoria (Faoro).

Reed: That was my next question.

Deluca: She was at the quilt museum and Crit would look at me and say, “Who’s going to run this thing?” And I’d say, “Well I know a candidate, maybe.” And there are other candidates. So, she said, put an application in, you know, we’ll look at them all. So, when they looked at Victoria’s credentials and what she’d done, they selected her to be the director, so that meant that we could work together on this as she was going, so I had all this history in my files and she came up there and was part-time in the beginning as we planned this thing from nothing. From nothing to a structure and a display and an interior decorator. The interior design was not part of the architect’s design, so all the interior design was basically 40:00Victoria and consultants and making it into a commercial place, plus the cafe, there had to be food. So that’s how we got started and knew we had to move to Berea. So, we moved here. And then it was neat for me, because I had retired, but I still had this connection to something that I really worked hard on and enjoyed seeing come into existence, so it was great fun for me to have her there and still have my toe in the water.

Reed: You were in the know. Yeah. I can remember working with Victoria on a project, an NEA grant that I was involved with. They had her office in the broom closet of the Russel Acton Folk Center and I was just in there this summer and did a workshop and I opened that door and thought, “This is where Victoria was.” And it’s a broom closet today (laughs).

Deluca: For a while, she was in the basement of City Hall next to a jail cell (laughs).

Reed: Oh, that’s the old City Hall. Not the new one.

Deluca: Anyway, that all worked. People in Berea really chipped in and made it work. The real fun is that ‘Okay, I retired. What am I going to do?.’ Former wife, April Rooks, now April Smith had a loom that she never did much with. It was in my attic when I moved to Berea. I said, ‘Wait a minute. If I move to Berea, I either have to sell that or use it’. So, I went to John C. Campbell and took a weaving program 42:00and met a wonderful rug weaver and it took immediately and I came back home and moved the loom up there, which is a beautiful rug loom and have been making rugs ever since. And after a while, I even applied to the Craft Marketing Program and got accepted.

Reed: Yay!

Deluca: So, I’m a Kentucky Craft Marketer.

Reed: You’ve come full circle.

Deluca: Full circle.

Reed: Absolutely. That is wonderful.

Deluca: I served some time here on the Arts Council in Berea, but now I’m on that Berea Urban Farm as a board member there. Trying to help them get going. Our interests have shifted a little bit - or expanded. Victoria is teaching cooking through the extension program and I’m working with that farm to help people grow their own food in Berea.

Reed: Are you selling your rugs?

Deluca: Not anymore. For a while, they were down at the Top Drawer Gallery and did fine, but I didn’t want to keep up with that kind of inventory, so I make them now for auction. Arts Council, whatever cause in Berea is having an auction. Because they always have auctions of crafts...

Reed: As fundraisers. So, you’re donating them.

Deluca: I put those in.

Reed: Okay. How do you feel that you have made a difference in the lives of artists and craftsmen through your career work? It’s a tough one, isn’t it?

Deluca: I have no idea. I could see some teachers and their faces; 44:00I could see students at the Governor’s School for the Arts just overwhelmed with how happy they were. And I could see some things in Whitesburg happen. Appalshop. Watch that grow from days when we were on a shoestring, so it’s been fun to see the Artisan Center function and see people come from all over the world or all over the country and stop there and be impressed by all the Kentucky crafts, I mean, they don’t...It’s an introduction to them. It’s an education that Kentucky is much more than they ever thought when they look at what’s being done here. So that’s been fun.

Reed: On your dome house. Did you design that yourself or?

Deluca: You don’t design a dome really, a dome you do coordinates and it fits, but Wade Christensen was enormous help, because he was better with the math and the geometry than I was, so we did certain things when we worked with the P’s woodworking company, if you see Bucky Fuller’s dome, which you can go visit it in Carbondale. It’s a 3/8ths dome, so the walls are coming...they don’t come down straight. It’s 3/8’s only. It’s not half of an eggshell or half of a soccer ball, so I said to Wade, “Let’s make it 5/8’s, wouldn’t that work?” It seems to me it would be exactly 46:00the same diameter as 3/8’s. So, we did some calculations and he said, “It is”. So, we ordered a 5/8’s dome, so that’s the design feature that we put and they used to come with little skylights and we said no we want windows, (laughs) so we decided how the windows would go in and did that part and designed that part of it.

Reed: How big was this dome?

Deluca: 39 feet across and 22 feet high.

Reed: So, you had two stories?

Deluca: You can put two stories and there are still two stories and it was built on a full basement. So, it had a...now there is a living space in the basement. Hugh Archer, who now lives there, has created a really wonderful living space down there, so that now, the loft sort of becomes his den and TV watching and (laughs). It’s different. So, the bedroom now is in the basement. There’s a bathroom there. (laughs) When I was there...These were the days when I didn’t have a whole lot of money and we basically had a compost toilet.

Reed: I remember the compost toilet, yeah.

Deluca: Which was... God, that’s a story. Abbey Rockefeller was in Vermont and wanted to do something for the environment and she got into these things of putting these kind of compost toilets in parks and I got wind of that, because these were the days when everybody had The Whole Earth catalog and had a network. So, I got in touch with her and said would you bring one to Kentucky and she said yes. So, she put one in the truck and sent it down and they set it up and other people got to see that in Kentucky and sort of, 48:00feed off that and do some things on their own and that was fun.

Reed: Were you off the grid or did you have electric?

Deluca: We had electric.

Reed: Okay.

Deluca: This was in the day and time when there was Rural Electric and they were really helpful.

Reed: How did you heat it?

Deluca: Wood. (laughs) But there was a backup gas furnace that for years never came on. Matter of fact, the gas people (laughs) said we’re not going to bring anymore gas because you don’t use enough. I said What? I need it when I need it, but I ... So, anyway, they downsized my tank.

Reed: We had the same situation.

Deluca: I just thought that was...Now that seems so archaic, that you were trying to conserve. So, cut a lot of wood, learned how to use a chain saw.

Reed: What about air conditioning?

Deluca: None.

Reed: So, therefore the basement...

Deluca: Actually, Bucky...We made it do that there was a pop top in the top, so the air would in, basically like you’re saying, through the basement. There was a hole for the stairs to the basement and it would circulate up. Heat would rise and come out and cool air would come up behind it, so we never even thought of air conditioning.

Reed: Nice.

Deluca: We were lucky that way.

Reed: Can you think of any other interesting stories that you might want to tell us? (laughs)

Deluca: (laughs) Just working with a lot of governors and secretaries and working with a lot of teachers and superintendents of school... I mean, it was a trip. Totally. I mean Kentucky is a wonderful 50:00place. Everybody is a good verbal storyteller. Everybody, once they accept you in, is super friends and lot of things got done that way, just one friendship... It was fun.

Reed: You stayed in Kentucky...

Deluca: I mean, it’s home. I raised a family here. My son, even though he’s living in Jacksonville, he still thinks of this as home. He’s coming back here someday somehow. (laughs)

Reed: That’s what they say, everybody who is born in Kentucky, comes back home at some day.

Deluca: I will never be from Kentucky until I’m put in the ground at the cemetery. Then, Oh yeah (laughs).

Reed: You’re marker.

Deluca: My marker. I’m here. (laughs)

Reed: Well, thank you.

Deluca: You’re welcome.

Reed: This has been wonderful. I have known you for fifty years and have learned so much today. (laughs)

Deluca: Well, cool. That’s what talking does.