0:00

LOVELY: --that'll be great. I'll just end up leaving it, so one of you all will have to help me out, okay? I get all excited about what I'm doing and I forget all these little details. That's why I'd never be a very good journalist, I'm sure. (Lovely and Rogers laughs) First of all, you know about City Magazine, and you know that we published it. Leslie, I don't know if you've ever seen it or not.

UNIDENTIFIED: I have actually ----------(??)----------.

LOVELY: Well, I'm real proud of it. And it's about two years old, and it's really gaining an audience. And we're sending it to about everybody we can think of. In fact, I take it out to, I don't, personally, but I have it delivered out to the big bookstores in the larger cities, and I go out and people are taking it off the shelves, and they're reading it. And the whole idea behind it is leadership. It's not aimed at the members. It's not aimed at, necessarily, at city officials. In fact, they send in names of their chamber folks, and we're sending it out as a service. Because what we want to do, you know, my passion is --. I was born in West ----------(??). I was born in Frenchburg, I don't know if you knew that or not, but I come 1:00from that part of the country, and I'm on the Morehead Board, Morehead State, and thank you, by the way, for everything you've done for Morehead, that's a phenomenal tracking station and all of that--

ROGERS: Yeah.

LOVELY: -- is just great.

ROGERS: I'm very pleased with that.

LOVELY: But what I want to do is profile you as a leader in City Magazine. So what I wanted to start out with was, and this wasn't necessarily on this list, but, you know, one of the things that I'm always passionate to find out about people like you is how you got interested in public service. You know, was it a family that was always in public service? Or you just a --. How did you come to get so interested, and to become--. You know, I mean, you could have done anything, but here you are.

ROGERS: I don't know. Uh, I, no, my family was not. Well, my dad ran for county judge one time ----------(??)----------. But, nah, we did not, that ----------(??)----------. Ugh. Well, I don't know, I had, 2:00my, my one of my older sisters married a guy, a lawyer, it was Lloyd Taylor. And, uh, I really admired him, especially as a young guy.

LOVELY: Uh-huh.

ROGERS: And, uh, that sort of intrigued me about law. And, uh, so eventually I wound up in law school. And, uh, about that ------- ---(??) time, ironically, came along John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign, and I didn't know any philosophy at that time, or politics. I had no politics. But, you know, he was a dashing ----------(??).

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: --leader, and that, that sort of inspired a lot of people my age. And, then, uh, then I went back home to Monticello. I came ---- 3:00------(??)---------- Somerset. Having turned down a job offer from John Y. Brown Sr. to go to Louisville and practice law with John Jr., who at the time was selling encyclopedias.

LOVELY: So you turned it down?

ROGERS: Yeah, I turned it down. But boy, I'd be, I'd be a rich cat today if I didn't. (Lovely laughs) And, uh, so I went back to Somerset and got active in the local Jaycee chapter.

LOVELY: Jaycees. Isn't that interesting?

ROGERS: Uh, which was a, at that time, a real good looking outfit right here in Somerset. And, uh, that, I was a rather shy, and reticent--

LOVELY: Were you really?

ROGERS: Ye--, yeah. And, uh, but Jaycees encouraged you to get on your feet and speak -----------(??).

LOVELY: Oh yeah.

ROGERS: And they brought up a discussion, came up with ideas and projects, worked on projects, got involved in public problems -------- --(??)----------. And the one that really got me going was a, I had to 4:00leave when I, when I graduated from high school in a ----------(??) in one county. Like everyone else, you had no choice but to go somewhere and get a good job. So, I headed up the highway to Cincinnati, ----- -----(??)---------- looking for a job. Seventeen years old, and found it to be unsucc--, unsuccessful with the recession going on, and like I said, seventeen years old. So I spent a long time up there looking for a job, but was unsuccessful. So I came back and wound up in college. But it, it still burdened me that kids had no choice in that part of the world--

LOVELY: Uh-hm.

ROGERS: --than to leave home. So, in the Jaycees back in Somerset, I, uh, I noticed Northern Kentucky Industrial Foundation. At that time, the only one, I think, in the state, was really having success 5:00in recruiting factories with jobs. And so I made the motion in the Jaycees, and we adopted it, to take on the project of raising $50,000, which at that time, was a lot of money, especially for a--

LOVELY: Yeah

ROGERS: --Jaycee chapter.

LOVELY: Oh yeah. Oh yeah!

ROGERS: And starting an industrial foundation, and find a way to create business and industry. So we went out and begged the money, $100 a share stock in this--

LOVELY: Oh, so you did it like stock?

ROGERS: --Pulaski County Industrial Foundation.

LOVELY: (laughs) I love that.

ROGERS: And, but we really were begging. (Lovely laughs) Because no one really had any idea--

LOVELY: Uh-huh.

ROGERS: ----------(??)----------. So we raised the $50,000. We bought 47 acres of land, and, uh--

LOVELY: Now, these were young people.

ROGERS: Yeah.

LOVELY: I mean, you were young.

ROGERS: I was, I was--

LOVELY: ----------(??)---------- eighteen.

ROGERS: Well, that was 1966, 7--

LOVELY: Yeah.

6:00

ROGERS: I was in my 20's, I guess. Yes. And, uh, yes, uh--[noise]- -and, and yeah, it was just young people. And, uh, then we began, we formed the board of directors, and so forth, and began to recruit. American Metals Products came on our, on our tract.

LOVELY: Uh-hm.

ROGERS: And so did other people. I watched every brick go up in that place. It was a thrill to see something happen --------??------.

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: You know, to keep kids at home. Young people at home. Uh, and then later Tecumseh came to our center tract. They've since left, but ironically last Saturday, I spoke at the dedication, ribbon cutting out at a new factory that is located now in the renovated Tecumseh 7:00building, on that same ----------(??).

LOVELY: Things come around. (laughs)

ROGERS: Yeah, except 40 years later, though.

LOVELY: How exciting.

ROGERS: And, uh, so that sort of got me. And then, lawyers are, uh, want to get involved in politics, and it's just sort of a natural, uh--

LOVELY: Yeah, sort of a, yeah.

ROGERS: --laws, uh, public people and so on. So, the circuit judge down there at the time, who was John Sherman Cooper's uncle,--

LOVELY: Uh-hm.

ROGERS: --Roscoe Tartar, was circuit judge, and he was the political boss of the county, as well as being circuit judge. And, uh, he did not like the incumbent county attorney.

LOVELY: Uh-hm.

ROGERS: Uh, and before I knew it, he had me running for county attorney. I just thought he saw me as somebody he thought could ----------(??)-- -------- beat the incumbent guy. Which I did.

8:00

LOVELY: So he sort of recruited you.

ROGERS: Yeah, he did. And, uh, so I was elected county attorney or rather nominated county attorney in May, but then there was no democrat running at all. But in the meantime, the Commonwealth's Attorney was appointed to the court of appeals. And he was ----------(??)------ ----. And he was running unopposed. So, my party then nominated me for commonwealth's attorney for the, for the November election. So I won for county attorney in the primary, and was elected in November as Commonwealth's Attorney. (Lovely laughs) So, I served 11 years as Commonwealth's Attorney. And then, you know, you get this stuff in your blood,--

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: --and there you go.

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: I started working on other's campaigns, and managed Tim Carter's campaigns a couple of times, Hubert Jones for secretary of state one year, and then Emerton Post one night, it was that campaign in '71, 9:00and uh, and so forth. Electorate state, uh, being the Republican chairman, uh, uh, managed, uh, uh, uh, President Ford's state campaign in '76. And, uh, Bush's campaign in '88. But then in '79, I ran for lieutenant governor. That's when my ----------(??) at that time.

LOVELY: But you were undaunted. (laughs)

ROGERS: I was undaunted. (laughs) And that was over, and immediately, we were , in fact, we were having our going away party for the staff for my campaign for commonwealth's attorney in my, for lieutenant governor in my law office, when I got a call saying Dr. Tim Lee Carter 10:00was going to be retiring.

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: And, so we, we blew out the candles,--

LOVELY: You were blowing ----------(??)----------

ROGERS: --kept the champagne, and went back to work on the congressional campaign.

LOVELY: So, you really didn't hesitate?

ROGERS: No.

LOVELY: You went right on. I mean--

ROGERS: No. This was, this was really what I always wanted to be.

LOVELY: Is that right?

ROGERS: From the early time on.

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: Congress was just, I had a lot of admiration for Tim Lee Carter--

LOVELY: Uh-hm.

ROGERS: -- and what he had stood for, and all that. And patriotic through and through and--.

LOVELY: I'm always fascinated by how people are, like you, are undaunted by challenges, you know, and you go on. I mean, you don't make a decision to fall by the wayside or go another direction, and you must have had opportunities to do that.

ROGERS: Oh yeah. Uh, yeah. Well--

LOVELY: And, that is part of leadership, is perseverance, and moving on.

ROGERS: Yeah, you've got to have, you've got to have a, a gryo-, 11:00gyroscope, if you will, that motivates you, that gives you a lot of, you know, goal and--

LOVELY: Yeah, a poster child or something--

ROGERS: A goal. Yeah, the goal, it was to try stop this out-migration of young people. And just, may not turn a lot of people on, but it did me.

LOVELY: Uh-hm.

ROGERS: --because I experienced that, and saw, all of our kids still have, but we began to reverse that last census.

LOVELY: I know we have. And I think we have an even greater opportunity.

ROGERS: Last census, my district gained population. First time in who knows when.

LOVELY: Yeah. Do you have any thoughts on, I know, I want to get to, by the way, how long do we have? Because I don't want to impose or take more than enough--

ROGERS: We're doing okay.

LOVELY: Okay, you just let me, I know you'll let me know. You talk a lot, you know, because I share that passion. My father had to leave Kentucky, went to the promised land, it was Ohio at the time, just like 12:00you did, and he worked at National Cash Register for 30 years, and was laid off eventually from there, but he was able to have a middle class life, and I guess, it's always frustrated me that Kentucky, it's sort of like if communities provide three things to people, they provide connections to one another and to the outside world, and provide pride, but jobs are such an important piece, because mom and dad have to have a job, and Kentucky couldn't do that for my father. Did you ever think about why Kentucky lagged so much? Or is, do you think that it lagged?

ROGERS: Yeah. Yeah.

LOVELY: Wonder what it didn't do? What did you see a need to fulfill at that time?

ROGERS: Ok. Well, uh, uh, alright I love Kentucky. But. It's truly a home state. Uh, we fell behind in, uh, in infrastructure development, roads, and good transportation. Uh, we have not had a really good 13:00business climate in the state. Uh, state hasn't, uh, lot of places like Tennessee and North Carolina and Georgia, and some other southern states especially just have grown leaps and bounds, we've stood flat ----------(??) still for all these years, 30 years or more. Uh, and then, you know, we've got some hard terrain, there's not much flat land to locate a factory in Eastern Kentucky, so that hampered us. And, we did not have the airports, the rail, uh, good highways to get your raw material in and your product out. Uh, nowadays though, new information age, ironically it's, it's changing these age-old--

LOVELY: Right.

14:00

ROGERS: --impediments that we've had. And now, you know, you can locate a call center, or a data processing operation, or new age type industry, you can locate them anywhere. All you need is a satellite dish, computer hookups, the mountains disappear, and the lack of airports and railroads and highways are not needed, because your product comes in that satellite dish, or computer line, and goes out the same way, and what you need is well-motivated work ethic employees, and gosh knows we've got those. So that's what we're going after now, in my area, big time, is that type of work because, uh, uh, it negates all of our disadvantages that's hampered us in the past.

LOVELY: Umm. You call it silicon holler.

ROGERS: Silicon holler.

LOVELY: Yeah, I love that. I was going to have that somewhere in a headline. What's your concept of that? What kind of, because, you know, 15:00we also lagged in educational opportunity, or attainment, or, for some reason, and I guess it's purely academic to speculate why. My father was typical, he didn't get a great education, good work, work ethic, and [noise] ----------(??) than the land and connected to the land.

ROGERS: Well, we found that, that, uh, uh, well, number one, the education attainment level is increasing a lot,--

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: -- we know that we're going to have to stay in school, and get your diploma, and so on, and the GED program. Uh, but based, impediment that we've encountered in the new age job qualifications is just simply typing. The lack of typing skills. We, uh, we, uh, enticed ----------(??) Gentry, a company based in London, Kentucky to locate nine different data entry plants throughout our region. And one 16:00of them, we, uh, wanted to go to Letcher County, there's a, they need jobs, terribly ----------(??)----------. And they did. But they had trouble, uh, uh, getting people who could type, for the data entry.

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: And, uh, so, so we finally turned to the school system, not the vocational school, but the school system, and teamed up to train typists. But otherwise, the skills we have, we can, we can train for new age plants. For example, I'll give you a couple, several things. Uh, we have, uh, we've, we've asked the former INS, Immigration and Naturalization Service, now Department of Homeland Security--

LOVELY: Right.

ROGERS: --back then, to, uh, they needed a national call center. 17:00Information center. And so we, we talked them into going to a, to Barbourville. Still there, and growing. And they were absolutely amazed, company got a contract ----------(??)----------. They were absolutely amazed at the work ethic and the education level --------- -(??)---------- college. They've got college graduates working there, where in California, or Miami, they have dropouts. So, so they're absolutely thrilled. Uh, and, uh in Corbin, uh, a company is making all of the laser imbedded identification cards for aliens visiting the country. Uh, very sophisticated. The most sophisticated card known to man. Fool proof, tamper proof, imbedded with all sorts of biometric data, you know, handprints,--

18:00

LOVELY: Right.

ROGERS: --finger prints, eye scan,--

LOVELY: Eye scan. Yeah.

ROGERS: --you know, and all of that. And I recently went down to San Diego on the border and, and, a spent the day there. The part of, what I watched was 25,000 people a day walking across the border there. Not to mention 100,000 by vehicle. Swiping this ID card made in Corbin through the, uh, swipe machine, and the, uh, guard carrying a big picture of the person's face, and their finger print data and so forth, so that it works. That's bigger than, uh, Corbin. U. S. State department now has their national visa center, information center in Williamsburg.

LOVELY: Yes. Oh wow. That's neat.

ROGERS: And they've got a computer there that rivals the one out here.

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: And it's a huge operation. And they're, that's unreal. Uh, in Hazard, the SBA is processing all of the low ----------(??) loans they 19:00make east of the Mississippi, processed in Hazard. And all of these is because, you know, you can have a computer line or a satellite dish, or whatever, and the mountain is disappearing.

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: You're disadvantage is gone away. We're making the highest tech locks the government uses, locking up ICBMs, Fort Knox, everything else around the world, embassies and all that, lock is made in Breathitt County. And the brains for it is made in Williamsburg. NUCSAFE Company, N-U-C-S-A-F-E Company based in Oak Ridge, has just moved a local branch of their operation into Corbin. And they make nuclear detection devices, uh, for Homeland Security that can detect, on a ship 20:00whether or not there's a nuclear bomb, or on a train, or a truck, or what have you. Uh, and those things are now beginning to work their way--

LOVELY: And they make them--

ROGERS: --into Corbin and, and in Oak Ridge. And then I mentioned ---- ------(??) Gentry, who has contracts with the National Weather Service, and others here--

LOVELY: That's a local company, isn't it?

ROGERS: Yes----------(??)----------.

LOVELY: I think I met those fellows the other day.

ROGERS: Yeah. ----------(??)----------.

LOVELY: You know.

ROGERS: -- and they beat out got nine plants down through our, uh, region. Some of the most, uh, job needy places ----------(??)

LOVELY: ----------(??), yes.

ROGERS: Electric company in Monticello. They're opening one in Hyden, and so on. And, that's, that's just for starters, and I could go on.

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: But that's new age things that we can do, irrespective of age- old handicaps.

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: Now there's bad roads, lack of trains, airports, and what not.

LOVELY: That's right.

ROGERS: So, we're entering the new age with new hope. First time every 21:00that eastern Kentucky, or Kentucky, for that matter, where the jobs are coming to us, rather than us going to the jobs.

LOVELY: Um-hm. Well you're so instrumental to that. I have to tell you a side story. I was touring the Port of Los Angeles about a month ago (laughs) and they took us out on, in these huge ships, and they were trying to figure out how, you know, they're going to screen these huge cargo ships. But when they found out I was from Kentucky they started asking me about you. (laughs)

ROGERS: I had just been out there, yeah.

LOVELY: Really?

ROGERS: Yeah, toured the harbor, I was there.

LOVELY: Yeah! You're already familiar with it. And anyway, it was, made me feel like a bit of a celebrity, you know. (laughs) "How is Morehead?" I mean, you are doing some wonderful things with Morehead and the world doesn't know about it.

ROGERS: Yeah. Yeah.

LOVELY: That tracking station, and that, you know, what, what a wonderful thing?

ROGERS: Yeah.

LOVELY: I mean, you now, you know, tell me about your vision, Morehead State University, and the Rural Development Center, and how those two things can connect up, if you think they do--

22:00

ROGERS: Well, they do.

LOVELY: To, uh. What do they bring to the table?

ROGERS: They do. Well, the center is a story in and of itself. Uh, the center is a roof over a lot of developmental organizations that we've developed over the years. The first was the Center of Kentucky County Development Council, which was a regional effort to try to recruit business and industry to the region, much the same as the old industrial foundation started in Somerset.

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: This is technically the same for the region, with great success. So, uh, good staff, plus ----------(??)----------. And they brought thousands of jobs into the region. Uh, ----------(??)---------- of course, it's not headquartered there now, but is one of those regional groups. Uh, we have a similar group working on ag diversification, another group that works on tourism promotion, a lot of companies coming with a huge staff in the center that works on regional promotion, and 23:00regional tourism. Uh, and, of course, Pride is headquartered there,--

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: --and as is UNITE, the anti-drug--

LOVELY: Right, I was going to ask you about Pride and UNITE.

ROGERS: And all of those are headquartered there at the center, and the center, then, has developed this capability to, to telecommunicate across, practically, every one of those forty counties, and------- ---(??). So we have town meetings. We have meetings ----------(??) organize the groups through the air. Again, negating the hazards of mountains and floods and all of that. Lack of good highways. We can all talk as a community, which we never could do before. And then Morehead is one of those ----------(??) in the center, and of course, has now, has their own ----------(??) facility, somewhat like the center.

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: And they're linked up together. And then Morehead has, of 24:00course, their own, their own vision for some of the things to, to take place. The, uh, tracking station, uh, I think will, will be a symbol of a regional university looking way out in the future ----------(??).

LOVELY: Oh yeah.

ROGERS: But also ----------(??) some physical capabilities with it. A lot of the university ----------(??). Our--

LOVELY: A market niche almost.

ROGERS: Yeah.

LOVELY: What can cities and communities do? I mean, you do so much, and you are such a power in bringing things to them. What do you think they can do better to help you out? What could they do better? What could organizations like mine, or others, get in there and help them become more aware of their need to do things?

25:00

ROGERS: Think, envision. Everything that I do is somebody else, usually somebody else's idea.

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: And I, my, my goal is to try to enable people to make their dreams come true.

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: And so, the communities that are doing well, are doing well because they have thought of a good idea. Uh, they have a vision, and are brave enough to ask for it and try to do it. But, the biggest detriment is people who take things as they are for granted, and don't have a desire to make things better.

LOVELY: Don't dream big.

ROGERS: Yeah, don't dream big.

LOVELY: Never see possibilities.

ROGERS: Yep. So, be big dreamers.

LOVELY: You think every little tiny place can do that?

ROGERS: Absolutely!

LOVELY: They have to ban together--

ROGERS: Yeah.

LOVELY: --and do things together?

ROGERS: Yeah. I could give you lots of examples of that.

LOVELY: Yeah.

26:00

ROGERS: Over there in Harlem County. Tri-cities.

LOVELY: Uh-huh.

ROGERS: ----------(??)---------- not very big. In fact, you know, they've ----------(??)---------- population ----------(??)----------. But, got together and they dreamt big, and there's that museum there, bed and breakfast there,--

LOVELY: Lots of people come in there.

ROGERS: --and so on, and the Southeast Community College has been a big driver in all that. So, yeah, this applies to communities big and small.

LOVELY: What about tourism? You mentioned that, and I know that is, you know, you think about Harlan, it's like Harlan almost competes with mountain towns in Colorado, or, you know, it's not like you're going to get a Toyota or anything like that. What, what about tourism? What's your vision?

ROGERS: I think it's, I think tourism in east Kentucky, in the mountains is, especially the mountains, but I think the whole state is ------- ---(??)----------. I think tourism is our best and brightest (Lovely 27:00sneezes) opportunity. If you look at what happened to, uh, western North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee, ----------(??). I worked in a radio station in Franklin, North Carolina in 1956. A little old town called Franklin. Good old, little bitty, tiny town in the mountains. Deader than a doornail. You go back there now, and the biggest homes in the country are on those mountains. I mean, and they're rolling in money.

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: Uh, and they prospered by attracting retirees and tourists. Mainly retirees. Same mountains, same people. Vision. And so I think tourism in our, in our part of the country, and retirements offers the best, biggest investment we have. Sooner or later, and we're seeing it, and many counties change even as we watch.

28:00

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: Coal, we are seeing economically--

LOVELY: Right.

ROGERS: --in importance, because of the machines taking over the mens' work, uh, converting as we go. And so we started this group called Company's Coming. Well, it was actually called, what's it called?

LOVELY: Southern and Eastern Kentucky ----------(??)----------.

ROGERS: Tourist Development Association, uh--

LOVELY: Yeah, I went down for a grand opening.

ROGERS: Yeah, we got all the people together, like we started all these other groups, we got the tourist active people together in forty counties, ----------(??)---------- area.

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: And then we hired a very good firm out of St. Louis to come in and tell us, not study us, we want an action plan. (Lovely laughs) Yeah.

LOVELY: Are you tired of being studied? (laughs)

ROGERS: We got all those things on the shelves. (Lovely laughs) We wanted, we wanted an action plan. And boy, they really great. They 29:00gave us an action plan. Then we hired Sheila Cuscko to, to run it. And, uh, they adopted the name, Company's Coming. This was -------- --(??) under the Pride Cleanup Campaign. I kept saying, you know, I'm, I'm, for Pride, to motivate people to clean up for the Pride campaign. And I said, "Look, we can't do it, we can't attract factories, we can't attract retirements, or tourists, until we clean this trash up. And dumps. They won't come to see your wrecked car debris." Uh, so then, Company's Coming was a follow along to the Pride Clean-up Campaign. And it's going great places. We've got a huge staff down at the center ----------(??). Real pros. They have gone to every, and then the, the tourists firm did a deep analysis of the region, with our local people and with their experts. And we divided the forty counties into nine corridors. Uh, highways that had something in common across 30:00the ----------(??)----------, for example. Uh, out at Cumberland Gap, Bell, Harlan, and Knox. And a county in Tennessee, and one in Virginia ----------(??). Their corridor they called the First Frontier.

LOVELY: Ah.

ROGERS: And so all along that highway, all of the advertisers will be consistent with that theme.

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: Uh, they'll have close ----------(??) simple restaurants that are just alike, promoting that theme. They'll have video tapes and they'll have audio cassettes, and that, that Wilderness Trail has one of the three national scenic byways that we just got named up here. Uh, another one was Country Music Highway ----------(??)----------.

LOVELY: Uh-huh.

ROGERS: That's another national scenic byway. They'll all be 31:00advertising the same thing. So, they, they had a common goal. Red River Gorge is the third national scenic byway, which is also one of our corridors. So there's nine of those corridors. And we, we give them money. They come up with ideas for a project, and we judge them and, and, uh, uh, the ----------(??) development group awards grants, ----------(??) grants, for videotapes of the region to give to, sell to tourists, give to tourists, kiosks for tourist audio tapes, tours, and so on. Brochures, maps, placemats, whatever. We give small amounts of money by the dozens of grants out to those corridor groups, and they're all hustling, they've never had anything like this before, they've had to beg money, and didn't have any. They've had those ideas all along, they just couldn't afford it.

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: And had no common theme, and no one sort of tooting their horn. 32:00And, so that tourism thing is going like crazy. In fact, the last, the last few years I saw with tourism down after 9/11--

LOVELY: Right.

ROGERS: -- ours is up.

LOVELY: Ours is up.

ROGERS: Then we've done a lot of individual things. Cumberland Gap National Park,--

LOVELY: Right.

ROGERS: --where we did the tunnel in the mountain. One of the great, uh, benefits of that was we could then take an ----------(??)---------- across the Cumberland Gap, take it out, and restore it to the Boone Trail, which we've just done. Now you can ride a wagon across the Boone trail.

LOVELY: Oh how fun. (laughs)

ROGERS: Then we renovated the visitor's center at the, at the park headquarters, and hired a Chicago firm to, to make a documentary on doing this, it'll knock your eyes out, it's--

LOVELY: Really?

ROGERS: Oh, it's spectacular. 22 minutes. Uh, and nominated for a 33:00national award.

LOVELY: So you can go into a kiosk or something at the park and you play this video?

ROGERS: Go into a theatre.

LOVELY: Oh!

ROGERS: We built a theatre with stereophonic surround sound, all of that stuff in this, in the visitor center for this film. And one byproduct of that was we commissioned a painter in Tennessee, just across the line, to paint a new painting of Boone leading the settlers through the gap, which now has been declared the official state ,by the state legislature, as the official Boone portrait that replaces Fess Parker, you know.

LOVELY: Right. (laughs)

ROGERS: And this, when I first saw this oil painting, which we opened up down here, it, I actually had tears. It's beautiful.

LOVELY: Oh, I can't wait to see this.

ROGERS: And the movie, wait until you see the movie.

UNIDENTIFIED: The movie's great.

LOVELY: Really!

UNIDENTIFIED: Because, I mean, it's, it looks like a Hollywood production.

34:00

ROGERS: Yeah.

LOVELY: Oh wow.

UNIDENTIFIED: And this is a Chicago outfit.

ROGERS: Yeah. You've got to see that, it's really spectacular.

LOVELY: I'm really interested in doing a few more things in video. I think you can really convey a lot of, in fact, there are some of us who are scheming about your capitol tour. (Rogers laughs) You know? He gives this great capitol tour. If we could capture some of that, you know, on video? Oh. Anyway. More about that later.

ROGERS: Yeah. (Lovely laughs) Yeah.

LOVELY: But you know, tourism is, one of the things that is in the news all the time. Our jobs are leaving, you know. Call centers are going to India, and the people are adopting Kentucky accents, so they sound like they're hometown folks, you know. But tourism is an interesting thing, because it is an indigenous industry, and I'm thinking of the folks in London and all of that. How many ----------(??), you know, the world is changing, and one of the huge things we have to do is help our folks retain their sense of identity, and the importance of place. At the same time, they have to get more global, and understand that the global world is just going to be there in their face. So how do 35:00you, are you thinking about, like, the London firm, you know, or the tourism, how do you encourage people to start their own jobs, if they get laid off or a factory leaves?

ROGERS: Entrepreneurs? Entrepreneurs?

LOVELY: Yeah, how do we do that?

ROGERS: That's, that's a really good question. And, it's, it's especially important in the, in the coal producing areas of the state, that all of their, all of their existence has been dominated by U. S. Steel,--

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: --Bethlehem Steel, or--

LOVELY: Big egg,--.

ROGERS: ----------(??)----------

LOVELY: --company job. Big brother

ROGERS: That, that do everything for you. They provide your home, grocery store--

LOVELY: Company towns.

ROGERS: Company towns. That attitude is still there, and you've never had to think about, uh--

LOVELY: Starting your own thing.

ROGERS: Starting their own thing. So there's, there's, and, I've had a 36:00lot of conversations without a doubt, how do we, uh, find and promote and help entrepreneurs start their own business? I don't think there's a cookie cutter answer to it.

LOVELY: No.

ROGERS: Uh, it's motivation, it's the profit incentive, it's seeing an opportunity and, and a tourist, Company's Coming thing. One of the big things they're doing out there is stirring people to think about how to entertain tourists, for the business. And all tourism businesses are small. Whether it's a restaurant, or ----------(??)----------.

LOVELY: That's right. Perfect for mom and pop.

ROGERS: Yeah. It really is. And we're seeing more and more of that now. And, and, and, the more small businesses that start up like that, the more they'll think about expanding, a second location, or growing ----------(??)----------. So, we're beginning to see that now. Ironically, the Pride Campaign was about picking up trash and litter. But the biggest bonus out of it that none of us--

37:00

LOVELY: You really didn't know pride.

ROGERS: --thought about it, was we, we took the lid off the genie bottle, I mean the--

LOVELY: Yeah. Yeah, you're right.

ROGERS: --that whole Pride spirit. Now they say, "Hey, I can clean up, you know, I can put a store over here."

LOVELY: Yeah. Maybe you're right.

ROGERS: So we've got people thinking--

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: --feeling good about themselves. "I did something." So, it's self-confidence, and pride, self respect, all of that,--

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: --that makes an entrepreneur.

LOVELY: Yeah. That's the interesting, leads to an interesting question about image, you know. I know as a Kentuckian, I grew up in Ohio, lived with the joke, "take your shoes off at the Ohio River," before we came home on the weekend, you know, a lot of people think that image, and the fact that we have bought into the image, is part of our problem. The lack of pride.

ROGERS: Well, I think you're exactly right. And it's been hammered into us by the press, the media. Uh, and unfortunately some of our state media, uh, promote that old stereotype, and refuse to print things that 38:00show that we're changing and we're no longer part of that stereotype. In fact, that's one of the biggest obstacles we're having to overcome, is getting our own state leadership, particularly the media leadership, to see a different vision.

LOVELY: It's like we're creating our media. (laughs)

ROGERS: What?

LOVELY: That's why we're creating our own media.

ROGERS: Thank God.

LOVELY: You know, you've got to tell your own stories.

ROGERS: Yeah. Off the record here.

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: the Lexington paper ----------(??) Courier Journal, the Lexington paper refuses to come down there and print any of these stories we're talking about.

LOVELY: I know. I know.

ROGERS: Their name is ----------(??)----------

LOVELY: I agree.

ROGERS: --they didn't show up.

LOVELY: They're so cynical.

ROGERS: Because, you know, I, they have this stereotype that we're backward, and ----------(??) all that, and that sells newspapers.

LOVELY: It sells more newspapers.

39:00

ROGERS: And, if you print something good about the area that doesn't fit that stereotype, you're taking away their--

LOVELY: Yeah. Well, you know, I was in a meeting with Annie ---------- (??) this morning and we were talking about building a water park in the Washington neighborhood, and how wonderful that was. This was a group of people, you know, very sophisticated people, the Herald Leader won't write one decent thing about the water park in Williamsburg, you know, look what it created.

ROGERS: I know.

LOVELY: Look what it did--

ROGERS: I know.

LOVELY: --for people. And right there off the interstate. It was like--

ROGERS: Well, there's two reasons why they won't print a story. One is the stereotype--

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: -- thing. And the other thing is it's named after me. (both laugh) And I had nothing to do with it.

LOVELY: I know. I know. But anyway, uh--

ROGERS: Look at the Somerset mayor's going ----------(??)----------

LOVELY: I know he is.

ROGERS: Yeah. We're real excited about that.

LOVELY: Oh, ----------(??)---------- become kind of, uh, a big thing, ----------(??)----------.

ROGERS: It brings a lot of tourists.

LOVELY: Oh yeah, no doubt it does. And homeland security is something 40:00that is kind of lurking out there, there's a couple affronts on Homeland Security, I know your UNITE program, the ----------(??)----- ----- talks about the homeland, the security issues within, his, clear up this drug thing. And I admire this UNITE thing, because you're modeling it after a very special program that you did get some really good press in the New York Times with, so you know, that's a good thing. Uh, but UNITE is really taking something, and, talk to me a little bit about that, because that's young people, and that's--

ROGERS: Yeah.

LOVELY: --that's the future, the ones who stay, and you know, what do we do?

ROGERS: It is such a sad story. We're not alone in that, but I think it got a big, got a quicker start, the Oxycontin abuse in our region than anywhere else, but has spread everywhere. But this wonderful drug, Oxycontin, a 12 hour pill that relieves--

LOVELY: ----------(??)----------. Yeah.

ROGERS: For severe pain. But unfortunately the FDA allows it to 41:00be prescribed for moderate pain, so doctors can prescribe a, for a toothache. But it's extremely addictive. And the, the, uh, people have learned that you can crush that and snort it, and you take a whole 12 hour delayed reaction, and you get a quick high right now. And that's extremely addictive. And we've had dozens of young people, especially die. I mean it's, uh,--

LOVELY: Tragic.

ROGERS: --it's the worst thing I've ever seen.

LOVELY: Very tragic.

ROGERS: Every, practically every family is touched by that. You'd be surprised if I mentioned some of the people whose kids were addicted, uh--

LOVELY: What do we do? I mean, that is a--

ROGERS: Well, what, we, we pulled together a group of people, including the chief justice, and U. S. Attorney, and Commonwealth's Attorney, county attorney, a preacher, a father of a kid who's, a kid who died 42:00of Oxycontin in Hazard, and had a whole group of people, and we had sessions about it for several weeks. And, uh, we finally came up with a plan, I've got the money up here, how much was it? Six million?

UNIDENTIFIED: Eight million to start.

ROGERS: Yeah, eight million. First year.

UNIDENTIFIED: Still working on this year.

ROGERS: Yeah. With a three pronged attack, one education, one law enforcement, and one, uh, uh, treatment.

[Tape one, side a ends; tape one, side b begins.]

ROGERS: -- with a plan, I've got the money up here, how much was it? Six million?

UNIDENTIFIED: Eight million to start.

ROGERS: Yeah, eight million. First year.

UNIDENTIFIED: Still working on this year.

ROGERS: Yeah. With a three pronged attack, one education, one law enforcement, and one, uh, uh, treatment. And, the UNITE acronym puts 43:00it together,--

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: --Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment, and Education. And, the law enforcement part, uh, we're going to hire, we're right now in the process of, UNITE is hiring some, over 2 dozen undercover agents at the state officers, to help with local police chairs, uh, arrest people. Uh, the chief justice is helping us to expand the drug force. We want a drug court in every county, and we're well on the way, we've -----------(??) all the circuit judges, and the chief justice.

LOVELY: Oh, okay.

ROGERS: So we're going to try to establish a drug court in every county, which will enable the courts to bring an addict, or a user into the 44:00court, who's not wanted for anything else but using drugs. And, and hold that person under the court's protection, threaten to send him to jail unless he, uh, uh, dries out, and keeps close tabs on that person while he dries out, and if he misses it, we send him off to jail. But as long as he's doing this thing, the court can keep him at home, or at a treatment center under the court's powerful hand, ----------(??)----- ----- for the tough love approach.

LOVELY: Right.

ROGERS: And then, uh, we're forming, in every county, a UNITE coalition of townspeople, of every sort, ministers and politicians, law enforcement, just city people, cadre that will draw attention to the problem, stand up to the kids, uh, go to court and insist on tough 45:00treatment for dealers and so forth. Uh, hopefully we'll be able to be a big brother/big sister for--

LOVELY: Mentoring.

ROGERS: --mentoring kid--

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: --who are--

LOVELY: In danger.

ROGERS: -- in danger, or are already in danger, already with problems. Uh, education, we're going into every school with, uh, speakers, and propaganda and things to try to point out that other dangerous things. Uh, in this--

LOVELY: You're using the same model, aren't you, as the crime model, and the ----------(??)----------

ROGERS: Yeah, yeah, same type of, uh--

LOVELY: You've had that experience already with that phenomenal--

ROGERS: Not the Same people. Maybe, occasionally same people, but the same--

LOVELY: Same structure, yeah.

ROGERS: -- same structure. Same type of structure. The UNITE campaign will attract probably a different group of people than Pride. I don't know ----------(??)---------- some cross, cross membership. But, and 46:00then the treatment is the real problem. There's just not room in the state's treatment centers. Uh, we're going to have to rely a lot on, probably faith-based groups, church groups, city groups, boys and girls clubs, so forth.

LOVELY: Which, actually, I think faith is an inte--, faith community, I think we, you know, as a, as lawyers, I guess, we're both kind of church and state separation,--

ROGERS: Yeah.

LOVELY: --but you know, I think the faith community is coming back into--

ROGERS: Right.

LOVELY: --style.

ROGERS: Yes. And I'm hoping, you know, I don't know yet whether we will have money grants for that type of thing, but we'll have, try to, have to have somebody to help with it. But I'm hoping that church groups, and city groups, and the like will, will do this on their own.

LOVELY: You mentioned, umm, and I've heard Wendell Ford talk about Jaycees, that's an interesting group. Do you think there's anything 47:00cities and communities can do to maybe do more for their youth? I've actually thought about that, like trying to get more revival of chapters of Jaycees and things like that, where kids, in fact, I don't know if you all notice in USA Today, a husband/wife teacher team is featured as one of the top teaching teams in, or, top teachers in the country. Number two is Pikeville. They're teaching in Pikeville. And there's a husband and wife team. It's really neat to read their story. And they do things, like the kids pay to go to school, you know, and it's like they set up a little business like, almost. You know, what could communities do, maybe, or organized some things, maybe, to help you out with this?

ROGERS: Well, the, the political leadership, who's the mayors, and city council people, you know, are the biggest, I mean, they have 48:00the biggest microphone in town. And they can be extremely helpful in helping us start these UNITE coalitions in their community. J. P. Wiles in Somerset is taking, taking a big leap. He's already gone out and recruited different types, you know, a lawyer, teacher, and this that minister, and so on, to form the core of the, of the county coalition, uh, you know. Uh, they can be extremely helpful then in preaching to the churches to become more active in an organized way in helping this, to mentor these young people who are hooked, or who are prone to be hooked, and actually save lives. And also to, to try to give those kids some wholesome activities.

LOVELY: Um-hm.

ROGERS: Uh.

LOVELY: Like Jaycees,--

ROGERS: Jaycees.

LOVELEY: --or boys and girls clubs, or--

49:00

ROGERS: Jaycees. Yeah, Jaycees, or in the churches there's social --- -------(??). And then kids like to go, sometimes don't like to go to a church sponsored thing, and those cities need parks.

LOVELY: That's right.

ROGERS: And playgrounds--

LOVELY: Water parks.

ROGERS: Water parks. (both laugh) Playgrounds and the like to occupy them in their off hours.

LOVELY: We're trying to look in to doing more youth programs to engage youth, and keep them busy during those very, very perilous years they're going through that. Because it's not, you know, it's not a rural problem, it's not an urban one, it's a problem generally.

ROGERS: Yeah. Yeah.

LOVELY: What are some of your happinesses and your frustrations? What are you wanting to do for the future? I don't want to take up much more of your time, but I just, give me sort of a thought on maybe your, you know, what your goals, what you want to accomplish.

ROGERS: ----------(??)----------.

50:00

LOVELY: Yeah. And how does that relate to the rest of the state? You know, you're a hero not only in Eastern Kentucky, but they wanted you to talk in Hopkinsville to a statewide group. I mean, you're in demand everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED: They all want them to be his congressman.

LOVELY: I know they do.

UNIDENTIFIED: They'll call about that every day.

LOVELY: Oh, well I hear it all the time. (Rogers laughs) I mean, that's a neat gift. I mean, that side, joking aside, that's a wonderful gift, when you are being counted as everybody's congressman. It's a big responsibility. What do you see as the--

ROGERS: Well, I really believe in, in regionalism, one.

LOVELY: Oh, great.

ROGERS: We've got too many counties in Kentucky that are too small, that can't afford much on their own. And the only way we've been able to achieve anything down our way is to ban together, pool our resources.

LOVELY: That's right.

ROGERS: We can then afford to hire really good professional staff 51:00and good leadership. So, I, one I believe we need this multi-county joining together. Regional. And, uh, uh, I also believe that the best way to help people is not to do it for them, but to encourage them, sprinkle water on the flower ----------(??).

LOVELY: Yeah. (laughs)

ROGERS: To give an incentive for it. And, let them come up with the idea, and help them work through it. But when it's done, they have a good deal of pride in themselves, and that's the biggest product of all of this, is self-confidence. Because they'll have self-confidence. They will then go out and start a business, start hiring people, and there you go. So I think that encouraging people with help, but not 52:00doing it for them, that old adage about teach a man to fish--

LOVELY: Um-hm. Yeah, yeah, yeah I keep that up on my wall. Because it's the truth.

ROGERS: I really think that means a lot.

LOVELY: So that's sort of your motto.

ROGERS: Yeah.

LOVELY: That's what you would say is, and if people were to help you out, they would need to help you with that, like helping ---------- (??)---------- and thinking.

ROGERS: Yeah.

LOVELY: Helping people seek possibilities. One of my favorite commercials is a Microsoft commercial that shows possibilities, have you seen it? Where it shows a little building and the awnings, they paint the awnings on it, and it says, "people thinking about what it could be?" And--

ROGERS: I haven't seen that.

LOVELY: Yeah, it's a neat thing.

ROGERS: Yeah. Well, everybody has ideas. Everybody has dreams. Uh, most of them, though, unfortunately, preclude that it's impossible to achieve.

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: Uh. But, boy, I've learned from my own experience that you 53:00can do most anything if you dream and set your mind to make it happen. And, uh,--

LOVELY: Well, even that experience of having your party for the staff, and then getting the call, one door closes and another one opens up.

ROGERS: Yeah. It's true.

LOVELY: If you just pursue.

ROGERS: That's true. So, I don't know, the, uh, I'm not yet finished with my dream, dreams. Got a long way to go. But it really thrills me when I see an employer open doors that's now allowing people to live at home, where they want to live, and raise their kids there, and grandma can see her kids at home, rather than traveling to ----------(??)------ ----.

LOVELY: Yeah. My vision is when I see little families eating at Pizza Hut on Friday night in a small town. It's like, "yeah, that's kind of cool." You know?

ROGERS: Yeah.

LOVELY: And they eat out once a week, and you know, they don't need a 54:00lot,--

ROGERS: Yeah.

LOVELY: --they don't want the big things,--

ROGERS: Yeah.

LOVELY: --they just want a nice little life.

ROGERS: Right. We're seeing more and more of that now. It's amazing what, uh, we've got some real booming communities going on around here.

LOVELY: Yeah, which one's come to mind immediately? Like Hazard has really done--

ROGERS: Hazard's been terrific. Pikeville's doing good.

LOVELY: Yeah.

ROGERS: Uh, uh, Corbin.

LOVELY: Oh yeah.

ROGERS: Uh, London, Somerset.

LOVELY: That reporter down there with Corbin, Williamsburg, and London.

ROGERS: The whole, the Lake Cumberland southern, the southern Kentucky region, I mean, that whole region down there has really done good.

LOVELY: All right. Thank you!

ROGERS: Well, I'm sorry I took so long.

LOVELY: Oh, no, that's right. I feel honored just to be sitting here. (laughs)

ROGERS: If I was better, I could have condensed that and saved you a lot of time.

LOVELY: No, I loved every bit of it. (Rogers laughs) And I'm going to write it personally. (Rogers laughs) See, I'm a frustrated journalist ----------(??)---------- like how they do their job. I'm an executive director by profession, I'm a lawyer by training, and I'm a journalist 55:00by design. (laughs)

ROGERS: You're the, we used to call, uh, that person a--

LOVELY: I'm a jack of all trades, master of none or something. I don't know what they might say.

[End of interview.]

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