Interview with Mark Wides, March 18, 2016

Project: Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Wides describes his family history and relations in Kentucky. He provides a history of the Wides Scrap Metals company, established in 1946 after his father returned from World War II. He got a loan from his grandmother and opened the business with his brother, Ed Wides. He shares some photos from the original Wides Scrap Metal company, and talks about the process of collecting and processing scrap metal.

Wides describes his experience growing up Jewish, including his connections to the larger Jewish community through summer camps in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and New York. Although he used to be involved with Temple Adath Israel, including teaching Sunday school, he is not as active anymore. He remembers the holidays with his family and celebrating the holidays with his Gentile friends. Wides describes his experience as a Jew at the University of Kentucky during the turbulent era of the 1970s, and his role in the establishment of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi.

Wides describes his life as a Jew in Lexington, his involvement in the Jewish community which included a tenure on the board of the Jewish Federation of the Bluegrass, and his children's relationship to Judaism. Although the Lexington community was relatively open to the Jewish community, Wides describes the range of his family's attitudes, from delight to hostile, towards his marriage to his wife, who is not Jewish. Wides describes how the Lexington community has become more accepting of the Jewish community, particularly in business. He also explains how Jewish values employed in Jewish businesses, such as compassion, a strong work ethic, and a balance between work and family, has permeated to non-Jewish businesses.

Interview Accession

2016oh047_jk015

Interviewee Name

Mark Wides

Interviewer Name

Janice Crane

Interview Date

2016-03-18

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Wides, Mark Interview by Janice Crane. 18 Mar. 2016. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Wides, M. (2016, March 18). Interview by J. Crane. Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Wides, Mark, interview by Janice Crane. March 18, 2016, Jewish Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7x959c8g5f