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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

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Lorene Gatton

Father's Country Hams

Originally from Owensboro, Kentucky, Lorene Gatton and her late husband, Charles Gatton, Senior, began their married life together in 1939, on his family farm in Bremen, Kentucky. A city girl, Lorene had never spent time on a farm, but she quickly adapted to rural life. She eventually mastered gardening and butter churning, but she never quite got used to the annual hog killings. In 1950, her husband got into the ham and bacon-curing business full swing, and Lorene was by his side. For the next forty-six years she worked in the ham house, packaging meat and shipping orders. Times have changed, though, and Lorene says people don’t want whole hams or slabs of bacon like they used to; they want it all pre-sliced and precooked. Lorene has hung up her apron. Today, son Charles Gatton, Junior, carries on the business that his father began.

Date of interview:
2005-08-23 00:00

Amy Evans

Amy Evans

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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