Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky

23
Oct
09

Listening to gourds

By Jonna Spelbring Priester

Once, a customer looking at one of Lynn Horine’s pine needle baskets was puzzled.

“Is that leather?”

Bedford resident Lynn Horine working on a pine-needle gourd basket. Photo by Jonna Spelbring Priester

Bedford resident Lynn Horine working on a pine-needle gourd basket. Photo by Jonna Spelbring Priester

No, Horine told the customer. It’s a gourd.

“What’s a gourd?”

She’s a country girl now, but Bedford resident Lynn Horine grew up in the city.

Because of her own experiences, she’s not surprised by the questions some of her customers ask.

“I got to thinking back — I spent the first 21 years of my life in a city. I thought milk came from cartons, not cows. The questions aren’t silly, they just don’t know.”

Horine moved to Trimble County from Long Beach, Calif., with husband George 43 years ago. She worked at Bedford Bank several years and then took a position with Wal-Mart, where she unloaded trucks for a living before working her way to assistant manager.

And then suddenly, in 2004, the effects of degenerative disc disease left Horine incapacitated. Overnight, she was bedridden and needed help with the most basic tasks. The disease required three spinal fusion back surgeries, which themselves resulted in a small stroke.

Continue reading ‘Listening to gourds’

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23
Oct
09

Multimedia collection at NKU will feature artifacts, photos and stories of tragic Beverly Hills Supper Club fire

By Feoshia Henderson

The night of May 28, 1977, tragically turned the national spotlight on Southgate, Ky., after a deadly blaze ravaged the Beverly Hills Supper Club. It was the third deadliest night club fire in history.

For most, the fancy night club that drew famous acts forever will be synonymous with the horrifying deaths of 165 people, most from northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. Sparked by faulty aluminum wiring, the fire historically changed state and federal fire code and inspection standards.

Behind those headlines, however, are the people of the northern Kentucky region, many whose family members, friends or acquaintances died. And 32 years later, memories remain of escaping the chaos, smoke and flames on that dark night. Others have fond remembrances of the club, which hosted special family occasions like wedding and anniversary receptions and birthday parties.

Those stories, and others, are being preserved at Northern Kentucky University’s Steely Library, where a multimedia special collection will capture memories of the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire — the events that followed, the people who died, and those who were left behind.

Continue reading ‘Multimedia collection at NKU will feature artifacts, photos and stories of tragic Beverly Hills Supper Club fire’

23
Oct
09

Images of life: Campbellsville University project catalogs nearly 100,000 images of Taylor County

Country comedian Minnie Pearl mingles with the crowd during homecoming at Campbellsville College in November 1984. Photo courtesy of Central Kentucky News-Journal, Campbellsville University

Country comedian Minnie Pearl mingles with the crowd during homecoming at Campbellsville College in November 1984. Photo courtesy of Central Kentucky News-Journal, Campbellsville University

By Stan McKinney

Crammed into a dozen or so bright yellow boxes, each of which originally contained 500 sheets of 8-by-10-inch photographic paper, are images of life that span two decades in Campbellsville, Ky.

The boxes are stacked in a large metal cabinet and a wooden overhead cupboard. Inside them are dozens of legal size envelopes. And inside each of those are varying numbers of glassine envelopes containing strips of 35mm negatives.

I took all of these photographs between January 1980 and July 2000 when I was the news editor of the Central Kentucky News-Journal. It’s difficult to know exactly how many images are contained within those boxes. Based on the number of rolls of film I usually shot each week, I estimate there are at least 100,000.

The glassine envelopes are acid free. They have provided some protection for the delicate emulsions from time, heat and humidity. The oldest negatives, however, are already showing signs of deterioration.

That’s what concerns me. It is literally a race against time to preserve these images.
Continue reading ‘Images of life: Campbellsville University project catalogs nearly 100,000 images of Taylor County’

01
Oct
09

Our Lincoln DVD on sale now!

If you weren’t able to travel to Washington, D.C., to see Our Lincoln at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, never fear. We’re bringing the experience to you.

DVD coverThe Kentucky Humanities Council, in partnership with Michael Breeding MEDIA, has produced a DVD of the musical, historical and theatrical performance that thrilled its audience in the nation’s capital on Feb. 2. Nearly 1,500 people from six states and D.C. purchased tickets to see this celebration of the life of Kentucky’s most beloved president, Abraham Lincoln. Our Lincoln featured more than 350 performers, many of them Kentuckians — including Metropolitan Opera stars Angela Brown and Gregory Turay, violinist Mark O’Connor, the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, UK Symphony Orchestra, the Lexington Singers and their Children’s Choir, Kentucky Chautauqua performers and the American Spiritual Ensemble. Public radio broadcaster Bob Edwards was master of ceremonies, and Nick Clooney was a narrator for the performance.

The DVD is $21.20 plus shipping and handling (price includes tax). Order your copy today by visiting the Kentucky Humanities Council’s Web site and filling out the order form.

01
Oct
09

Chautauqua characters Harlan, Green featured at battle reenactment

Oct. 8 marks the 147th anniversary of the Battle of Perryville — the most destructive Civil War battle in Kentucky. Kentucky Chautauqua performers and father-and-son duo Ed and Ethan Smith will participate in reenactment events this weekend, Oct. 3-4, as they portray Justice John Marshall Harlan and Orphan Brigade soldier Johnny Green.

Johnny Green was 19 when the Civil War broke out, and was one of the only soldiers in the Orphan Brigade alive when it ended. Orphan Brigade soldiers were unable to return to their home state of Kentucky until the war was over — lest they be tried for treason — because they chose to fight for the Confederacy. Though he had learned to love the Union, as his mother was from Boston, Green felt passionately that states should have the right to govern themselves. And when President Abraham Lincoln called for men and arms, Green left his job in Florence, Ala., to travel to Bowling Green, Ky., to join the Confederacy on the day before his 20th birthday. Green’s story, as detailed in a journal he wrote for his daughters years later, provides extraordinary accounts of courage and bravery, and brings the story of the Orphan Brigade to life.

During his 33-year tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice John Marshall Harlan dissented in some of the court’s most important civil rights cases, earning him the title of “The Great Dissenter.” In one of the most famous dissents in U.S. Supreme Court history, Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld the constitutionality of segregation, Harlan wrote: “Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows or tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law.”

His words were an inspiration during the Civil Rights Movement to Thurgood Marshall, NAACP chief counsel who would later be appointed to the Supreme Court. Marshall cited the dissent as he argued to end segregation in the 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education. Though Harlan was born in Boyle County to a prominenty slaveholding family, and was once a slaveholder himself, he fought for the Union during the Civil War after graduating from Centre College and earning his law degree at Transylvania. As he became involved in Kentucky politics—being elected as county judge of Franklin County and Kentucky attorney general, and running two unsuccessful campaigns for governor in the early 19702—his political leanings shifted, and he became a major force in the Republican Party. He was often chastised for contradicting himself politically, being once a slaveholder and later one of slavery’s biggest opponents. But Harlan always maintained that the law afforded him the right to change his mind—and his support for equal rights after the Civil War never waned.

For information and an event schedule, visit Perryville Battlefield’s Web site. For information about Kentucky Chautauqua, click here.

02
Sep
09

Speakers in central, western Kentucky this weekend

The Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers Bureau will feature talks in central and western Kentucky this weekend by two very interesting presenters — state historian James Klotter and Kentucky NPR commentator Georgia Green Stamper.

In Winchester, Klotter will offer his presentation “A Power Trio: Henry Clay, Mary Todd and Honest Abe,” in which he explores the unique relationship between these three influential Kentuckians. Klotter’s talk begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, at the Clark County Public Library, 370 S. Burns Ave, Winchester.

In Greenville, Stamper will tell you about “Extraordinary Ordinary Kentuckians.” A seventh-generation Kentuckian, Stamper is in love with Kentuckians and their unique stories. From farmers in bathrobes who taught her the true meaning of the Christmas story, to a shell-shocked housepainter who took her to Hell on a train, Stamper’s real-life characters will stir the hearts of those in the audience. Her talk begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, at the Muhlenberg County Library History Annex, 117 S. Main St., Greenville.

02
Sep
09

He, too, was a Kentuckian: See him in Munfordville

The Hart County Historical Society, together with Kentucky Chautauqua, presents Abraham Lincoln: “I, too, am a Kentuckian” Chautauqua at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 at the historical

Abraham Lincoln portrayed by Jim Sayre

Abraham Lincoln portrayed by Jim Sayre

society museum, 109 Main St. in Munfordville.

Born on a farm in what is now LaRue County, Ky., Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) spent his early years in the Commonwealth. When he was 7, his family moved to Indiana, and later Illinois. But as his native brilliance and burning political ambition carried him to the presidency and

greatness — a panel of historians recently chose him as the most influential American who ever lived — Lincoln always had connections with his native state.

In his law office in Springfield, Ill., he had a partner, William “Billy” Herndon, who hailed from Greensburg, Ky. His best friend in Springfield was Joshua Speed from Louisville. His wife, Mary, was from Lexington, a daughter of the prominent Todd family. And his political role model, a friend of the Todd family, was the Kentucky statesman Henry Clay. During the Civil War, Lincoln was unpopular in Kentucky, but when he said, “I, too, am a Kentuckian,” no one could dispute it.

Continue reading ‘He, too, was a Kentuckian: See him in Munfordville’