Oral histories are diverse and you never quite know what you are going to hear. The opportunity to listen to a variety of people tell their stories in their own words and the randomness of the conversations are some of the reasons why oral histories are so appealing and fascinating.
The KY Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) Retirees Oral History Project is one collection with a lot of unique stories. It seems like a fitting collection to highlight as summer begins and we want to spend more time outdoors. Perhaps the title may not immediately capture the attention of someone who isn’t interested in gaming or wildlife. However, listening to the stories of these retirees of the KDFWR provides the opportunity to learn about some of their great and unusual work experiences including dealing with all kinds of strange pets and unexpected wildlife.
Take this example of KDFWR retiree James Durell’s story about a lion in Frankfort:
This is just one of the many stories that can be heard by listening to the interviews of the KDFWR Retirees Oral History Project. In addition to stories about lions, pet deer and other animals, the retirees also discuss the establishment of conservation and wildlife education initiatives including the Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort, Camp Earl Wallace on Lake Cumberland and Camp Robert Webb on Grayson Lake. Interviewee Don Isom also tells some stories about the pranks staff members played on each other including one about hiding a dead fish in someone’s car. Listen to more of Durell’s stories and interviews with other KDFWR Retirees to learn more about their experiences while working to preserve, restore and protect Kentucky's natural resources on Pass the Word.
Here’s another audio clip related to animals from the Veterinary Medicine in Western Kentucky Oral History Project that I hope you’ll enjoy:
Whether you are looking for animals, natural resources or another topic, Kentucky’s oral history collections deal with a wide variety of topics that can be searched through Pass the Word, Kentucky’s new, online, oral history discovery tool.
Are you ready for your 2nd Pass the Word challenge? Relating to this week's theme about animals and natural resources, the challenge this week is to find which national park in Kentucky that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009. Find an interview with someone who was directly involved with or affected by this park’s creation on http://passtheword.ky.gov and include the person's name as part of your answer.
Submit your answer through the About section on Pass the Word. Here’s where to find the About section on the Pass the Word homepage:
Your name will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a professional quality digital recorder when you respond to a challenge with a correct answer. Make sure to include “Pass the Word Challenge” in the subject line and submit your answers by 8am EST on Friday morning. Only correct answers submitted via this method will be eligible to be entered into the drawing. Correct answers for the weekly challenge will be posted to the site’s homepage on Friday afternoon. The results of the drawing will be announced at the end of August.