Interview with Lois Combs Weinberg, October 17, 1990

Lois Combs Weinberg, the daughter of former Kentucky Governor Bert T. Combs, talks about growing up in Prestonsburg, Lexington, and Frankfort, Kentucky. While a second-semester senior at Randolph Macon Women's College in Virginia, she was interviewed by Gibbs Kinderman, who was a recruiter for the Appalachian Volunteers (AV) organization. Weinberg states that what interested her in the organization was her own personal commitment to being of service to people, and atmosphere of the times. Weinberg describes her activities teaching school as an AV on Paynes Creek during the summer of 1965. She and another AV, Judy Martin, lived with a mountain family in a home with no running water. To avoid being treated differently Weinberg would not tell people who her father was. She states that her involvement in community work caused some awkwardness with her father and his friends. At the end of the summer, Weinberg moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked as an evaluator for the Office of Economic Opportunity. She states that she did not like the city or her job, but she believes it gave her a better perspective on how removed the administrators in Washington were to the people they were supposed to help. The next summer she went back to Paynes Creek, and in 1967 Weinberg was hired to administer a Community Action Program (CAP) in Lynchburg, West Virginia, a primarily African-American, urban community. She believes her greatest contribution in this position was helping to forge a bridge between the black community and the white power structure of the county. Weinberg also discusses her community involvement since her marriage. She provides her opinions regarding the ineffectiveness of the CAP program, male-female relationships within the Appalachian Volunteers, images of Appalachia resulting from the War on Poverty, and the tensions that existed between the local population and the "outsiders."

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