April 2020 | Kentucky Monthly Magazine

Page 1

Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail APRIL 2020

Plus... Wilkinson Kidnapping, Part II

Jockey-TurnedCommentator Donna Barton Brothers

Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown Rescue + Reinvent Hermitage Farm Display until 05/12/2020


ON THE COVER Hermitage Farm’s Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown; Anna May Photography

in this issue DEPARTMENTS 2 Kentucky Kwiz 3 Readers Write 4 Mag on the Move 10 Oddities 11 Music 12 Across Kentucky 14 Cooking 47 Gardening 48 Past Tense/ Present Tense 50 Field Notes


52 Books 56 Vested Interest Due the coronavirus outbreak and the numerous cancellations of events and activities, Calendar does not appear in this month’s issue.


19 April 19




Farm, Reinvented

Bourbon by Foot

From the Horse’s Back

A conservationist couple rescues Hermitage Farm and invites visitors to experience life surrounded by history

With an emphasis on walkability, Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail drives new bourbonthemed business

Donna Barton Brothers’ former career as a jockey prepared her to work as a track reporter on racing’s biggest stage


The Mystery of the Wilkinson Kidnapping The second installment of a two-part article on a bizarre crime story involving a future Kentucky governor

k e n t u c k y m o n t h l y. c o m 1

kentucky kwiz Test your knowledge of our beloved Commonwealth. To find out how you fared, see the bottom of Vested Interest. 1. Bill Mott, the trainer of 2019 Kentucky Derby winner Country House, is best known for his work with which non-Derby-winning horse? A. Vape B. Cigar C. Rolling Tobacco 2. Tommy Lee Jones plays Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn in the film Coal Miner’s Daughter. “Doo” and Loretta Lynn seem perfect together in the film, but the first actor tapped to play her husband in the film was: A. Harrison Ford B. Harry Dean Stanton C. Warren Oates 3. Born Oct. 1, 1956, in Ashland, Gina Cheri Haspel is the director of what? A. The Boston Symphony Orchestra B. Macy’s Department Store in New York City C. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) 4. In 1961, Wendell Cherry and David Jones founded Extendicare, which today is known as what?

named for Col. John Grant, who led a 1799 party of settlers to Grant’s Station, which today is located in what other county? A. Bourbon C. Boone 7. Wayne County’s Lesley Wake Webster is the creative force behind television shows such as Life in Pieces and Speechless. Her latest show, Perfect Harmony, is about a competitive church choir from the fictional town of Conley Fork, which is probably in which southern Kentucky county? A. Lincoln B. Pulaski C. Adair 8. Big Singing Day, the oldest continuous Southern harmonystyle sing day, is held in which western Kentucky city, famous for its Tater Day? A. Benton B. Crittenden C. Princeton

A. Commonwealth Insurance B. CareSmart

A. UK basketball trading cards

C. Humana

B. Dippin’ Dots C. Canceled checks

A. Martha Layne Collins B. Allison Ball C. Crit Luallen

10. Alberta Odell Jones of Louisville was the first AfricanAmerican woman to do what?

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Stephen M. Vest Publisher + Editor-in-Chief

Editorial Patricia Ranft Associate Editor Rebecca Redding Creative Director Deborah Kohl Kremer Assistant Editor Ted Sloan Contributing Editor Cait A. Smith Copy Editor

Senior Kentributors Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley, Bill Ellis, Steve Flairty, Gary Garth, Rachael Guadagni, Jesse Hendrix-Inman, Kristy Robinson Horine, Abby Laub, Brent Owen, Walt Reichert, Ken Snyder, Joel Sams, Gary P. West

Business and Circulation Barbara Kay Vest Business Manager Jocelyn Roper Circulation Specialist

Advertising Lindsey Collins Account Executive and Coordinator John Laswell Account Executive For advertising information, call 888.329.0053 or 502.227.0053

KENTUCKY MONTHLY (ISSN 1542-0507) is published 10 times per year (monthly with combined December/January and June/July issues) for $20 per year by Vested Interest Publications, Inc., 100 Consumer Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601. Periodicals Postage Paid at Frankfort, KY and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to KENTUCKY MONTHLY, P.O. Box 559, Frankfort, KY 40602-0559. Vested Interest Publications: Stephen M. Vest, president; Patricia Ranft, vice president; Barbara Kay Vest, secretary/treasurer. Board of directors: James W. Adams Jr., Dr. Gene Burch, Gregory N. Carnes, Barbara and Pete Chiericozzi, Kellee Dicks, Maj. Jack E. Dixon, Bruce and Peggy Dungan, Mary and Michael Embry, Wayne Gaunce, Frank Martin, Lori Hahn, Thomas L. Hall, Judy M. Harris, Greg and Carrie Hawkins, Jan and John Higginbotham, Dr. A. Bennett Jenson, Bill Noel, Walter B. Norris, Kasia Pater, Dr. Mary Jo Ratliff, Barry A. Royalty, Randy and Rebecca Sandell, Marie Shake, Kendall Carr Shelton and Ted M. Sloan. Kentucky Monthly invites queries but accepts no responsibility for unsolicited material; submissions will not be returned.

A. Attend the University of Kentucky B. Pass the Kentucky bar

6. Celebrating its 200th birthday this year, Grant County was

© 2020, Vested Interest Publications Volume Twenty Three, Issue 3, April 2020

B. Owen

9. The April 3, 1974, tornadoes killed 31 people in Brandenburg, and in nearby Irvington withdrew which items that eventually would be found in Ohio, linking the storms together?

5. The first Kentucky constitutional officer to give birth while in office was:

Celebrating the best of our Commonwealth

C. Appear before the U.S. Supreme Court


readers write 2020 GIFT GUIDE

SOUVENIR SHOES I was intrigued by the Oddities column in the November issue (page 8) because my late father, Jesse L. Puckett, brought home a pair of what the column called Bahuykabo, which were described as souvenir shoes. They have always been on display in our home, along with small woven baskets, as well as a large woven hat and purse. My father was a staff sergeant in the Army during World War II, serving as a medic in the Philippines, New Guinea and Fiji Islands. I wore the shoes as a teenager on certain occasions, thinking they were “cool.” After Dad died in 1995, I passed along the shoes to one sister and a woven basket to the other. Thank you for providing the name and information about our keepsake from Dad. Reader Duanne Puckett’s Bahuykabo

Duanne B. Puckett, Shelbyville

NASLUND A TREASURE I have read and cherished all of Sean Jeter Naslund’s books—each one so incredibly different but all such great reads. I wish she had written more. Thanks for recognizing this amazing writer (February issue, page 11). I once stepped up to her residence at St. James Court during the annual Street Fair, hoping to see her, looked through the glass entrance and then chickened out! I will send a letter to her soon and thank her for hours and hours of enjoyable reading. While not a native of Kentucky, she’s still a Kentucky treasure! Russ Hatter, Frankfort

We Love to Hear from You! Kentucky Monthly welcomes letters from all readers. Email us your comments at editor@kentuckymonthly.com, send a letter through our website at kentuckymonthly.com, or message us on Facebook. Letters may be edited for clarification and brevity.

featuring ky made products

SMOKE & SPIRITS shopsmokeandspirits.com Making home décor, jewelry and barware from reclaimed wood is a great idea … but what if that wood comes from used bourbon barrels? Sounds like every Kentuckian’s dream. Smoke & Spirits owners Matt and Chrissy Rippetoe use the charred oak barrels to produce wall décor and create earrings from staves and barrel lids. If you breathe in deeply, you can still smell the wonderful aged bourbon in the wood grain. Find more of our favorite products in our gift guide at kentuckymonthly.com.



Featured in this issue

Did you miss a past issue? Visit us online for articles, blogs, recipes, events and more!


k e n t u c k y m o n t h l y. c o m 3


Take a copy of the magazine with you and get snapping! Send your highresolution photos (usually 1 MB or higher) to editor@kentuckymonthly. com or visit kentuckymonthly.com to submit your photo.



Cruising Friends

Even when you’re far away, you can take the spirit of your Kentucky home with you. And when you do, we want to see it!

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GERMANY Bendia and Steve Boughton of Newburgh, Indiana, and Dr. Jane Brake and Anna Mayne of Frankfort enjoyed a cruise along the Middle Rhine River.

Sightseeing Crew SICILY Pat Evans (second from left) formerly of Frankfort, with daughter Rosanne Evans Radke, son-in-law Paul Radke (second from right), formerly of Murray, and friend Joe Seminara visited Palermo, Sicily, Italy..

Ben and Mark Wells with Larry Poole SCOTLAND

Pat and Gene Slaughter

Mark, center, and son Ben, left, with friend Larry played golf at Carnoustie Golf Course and at the Old Course at St. Andrews while visiting Scotland.

BALTIC CRUISE The Crestwood couple stopped for a photo on a windy day during a cruise to Russia, Denmark and Sweden.

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MAG ON THE MOVE Ronnie and Elaine Gunterman PARIS, FRANCE The McLean County couple celebrated their 50th anniversary in Paris in 2018 with friends, family and Kentucky Monthly. They are seen here with Notre Dame in the background, months prior to the cathedral’s devastating fire.

Celebratory Vacation

Bonnie and Ed Negola



Susan Gordon, left, and Kathy O’Nan, both of Mayfield, on Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico, celebrated their retirement from teaching in the Mayfield Independent School System and Kathy’s election as the in-coming mayor of Mayfield.

The Negolas of Danville aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Escape on a voyage to New England.

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Friends in Flight NAGS HEAD, NORTH CAROLINA John and Ann Sizemore of Louisville, Lou and Peg Volk of Knoxville, George and Jean Armstrong of Cincinnati, and Jim and Deb Branscum of Brighton, Michigan, visited the Wright Brothers National Memorial.

Debbie Armstrong and Everice Shewmaker SOUTH DAKOTA While visiting South Dakota, these Harrodsburg friends checked out Wind Cave National Park. Their Kentucky shirts and magazine were a big hit with other visitors.

Farm House Inn Bed & Breakfast

735 Taylor Branch Road, Parkers Lake (606) 376-7383 www.farmhouseinnbb.com

k e n t u c k y m o n t h l y. c o m 7



Von Hilliard PORTUGAL Von, a resident of Independence, traveled to the world-famous Rock of Gibraltar.

Join us on April 19th from 4-6pm for our 2020 Art as a Part of Healing member showcase, celebrating the artistic endeavors of our members and the work they have done with this year’s art projects. Bridgehaven Mental Health Services 950 South 1st St www.bridgehaven.org

Cassie and Corby Lambert COSTA RICA Cassie, of Warsaw, and Corby, of Bowling Green, visited scenic Tortuga Beach in Ojochal, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

Colonial Cottage Restaurant 3140 Dixie Highway, Erlanger 859-341-4498 thecottagenky.com

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Wildlife Excursion WASHINGTON STATE Whale watching in the Pacific Northwest in Anacortes, Washington, were, from left, Lawrenceburg residents Scott and Heather Shepherd, Captain Carl holding Kentucky Monthly, and Frankfort residents Linda and Tommy Young.

Join us for Kentucky Reads! Book Discussions 4/20/20 Louisville

6/02/20 Russellville

4/20/20 Lexington

6/16/20 Versailles

9/28/20 Mt. Washington

4/25/20 Monticello

6/16/20 Sulphur

10/11/20 Lexington

4/28/20 Harrodsburg

6/17/20 Lexington

10/22/20 Glasgow

5/02/20 Greensburg

6/22/20 Louisville

10/29/20 Paducah

5/14/20 Danville

8/06/20 Mayfield

11/07/20 Bedford

5/19/20 Murray

8/10/20 Georgetown


5/19/20 Hindman

9/13/20 Paris

6/01/20 Winchester


9/22/20 Lebanon



For more information visit kyhumanities.org. All book discussions are free and open to the public.

Kentucky Reads is a program of


k e n t u c k y m o n t h l y. c o m 9


Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind BY DEBORAH KOHL KREMER

The World Book Encyclopedia in braille

Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind 1839 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville 502.895.2405 sites.aph.org/museum


or people who have vision loss, reading with braille has been a ticket to a world they cannot see. A system of raised dots that represent letters, braille enables blind individuals to read by skimming their fingers across pages. Since 1858, Louisville has been home to the American Printing House for the Blind, one of the largest producers of braille materials and visual aids in the United States. The factory, which produced 17 million braille pages last year, creates textbooks, cookbooks, dictionaries and other reading materials, such as magazines like Reader’s Digest and even menus for McDonald’s. About 25 years ago, the organization began putting some of its items on display, eventually forming a museum. This month’s Oddity is a big one. Filling 145 volumes and nearly 40,000 pages is the World Book Encyclopedia in braille. “In the late 1950s, the American Printing House for the Blind began the largest braille project ever attempted,” museum director Michael Hudson said. “It took a couple years to complete.” The museum includes many things to touch and explore, which helps to show how students learn when they cannot see. It offers tactile maps, talking books and even a braille typewriter on which visitors are

encouraged to type their names. Also on view at the museum is Helen Keller’s desk. Keller, who was both blind and deaf, grew up to become an author and advocate for those with disabilities. She used the desk at the American Foundation for the Blind in Arlington, Virginia, where she worked for 44 years. Other Keller mementos on display at the museum include her 1955 Academy Award, her Presidential Medal of Freedom, and correspondence she received from people ranging from regular folks to U.S presidents to Mark Twain. The museum also is home to a piano that once belonged to Stevie Wonder. The American Printing House for the Blind offers 1½-hour factory tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The tour includes watching braille printing and the recording of audiobooks. After the tour, guests can spend as much time as they would like in the museum. Aside from the tour, visitors can stop by the museum to peruse the exhibits from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free. “Although visitors may be intimidated by blindness when they arrive, they will quickly understand that we are more about can than can’t,” said Hudson.

Photo courtesy of the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind.

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Multigenerational Musical Match



ne of the beautiful aspects of music is that it can cross so many boundaries. Just check out Joslyn and the Sweet Compression, an R&B and soul band out of Lexington. The band is a glorious mix of ages, races and talents. Joslyn Hampton, who is in her early 20s, is the lead singer. Her stepfather, guitarist Marty Charters, is an experienced musician who saw the special talent in his stepdaughter. Charters has spent most his life as a musician. He went to Henry Clay High School in Lexington, then attended the University of Cincinnati and played music there. While in Cincinnati, he played with blues bands, eventually hooked up with Chicago bluesman Junior Wells, and toured with him. It was a golden era for Charters. It was when “white English rock guys,” as he referred to them, were exploring the blues, and the legendary blues artists were having a heyday. “We toured the whole world. It was a blast,” Charters said. Wells eventually took an extended hiatus, and his band was put on hold. “Chicago is a big, expensive town to be broke in,” Charters said. He returned to Cincinnati and “sort of drifted back into playing covers to make money. I was making a living,” he said. He could support himself, but he’d lost interest in music. After moving back to Lexington and getting married, he witnessed

Kentucky Monthly


Joslyn develop as a singer. “I’m nearing the end, and she’s in her prime,” Charters said. When they decided to form a band, it was a good match—his experience with her fresh talent. Assembling a band that was multi-gender and with ages from 22 to 50 made sense. “We found young, hungry talent. They couldn’t do what we’re doing without our experience. We know how to navigate,” Charters said, while the young folks have an energy and passion that inspire their elders. The band plays R&B and funk that is loose and fun and makes an audience dance. “We harken back to the ’70s, when music was made by real people with real instruments,” Charters said. “It’s not computer generated.” The crowd response is what Hampton loves best about being on stage. “That energy that I get from the crowd—it fuels me, and I try to give it back, and we just keep feeding each other,” she said. Charters and Hampton write songs together. “If we like it, we proceed with the belief that our crowd will like it, too,” Hampton said. “You never feel sure until you’ve tried it out before a live audience, though.” The band is gaining in popularity and touring more. “We’re too busy on the road for these current jobs and not successful enough to leave them” yet, Charters said. But with the number of performances increasing every year, Charters feels good about the band’s future. “We’re trying to take the project as far as it will go,” Hampton said. “I’m not sure commercial radio will ever go for our unwillingness to be trendy, but we hope to make a splash on the indie circuit, making records and playing live all over the country and overseas.” To check out the band’s schedule, visit joslynandtsc.com or joslynandthesweetcompression.com.

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across kentucky

B IRTHDAYS 8 Barbara Kingsolver (1955), Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame inductee who grew up in Carlisle 8 Kenny Bishop (1966), Dove Award-winning gospel singer from Richmond 10 Laura Bell Bundy (1981), Broadway actress/singer from Lexington

2020 Has Henderson’s Number It’s a quirk of the 2020 calendar, but Friday, April 24, 2020, is Henderson’s zipcode when expressed 4.24.20. Some folks in this western Kentucky city on the Ohio River are interpreting that fortunate fate of the calendar as an ideal day to celebrate community spirit—and all things Henderson—on 4.24.20. The date, which falls a week after the community’s first big warmerseason event, the 33rd-annual Breakfast Lions Club’s Tri-Fest street festival, is shaping up to be an entire weekend—not just a day—of distinctly Henderson events. Activities on the final weekend of April include Arbor Day, Night at the Races at Holy Name School, Ohio Valley Art League’s annual Kitchen Tour, an induction ceremony for a new honoree at the Women’s Honor Court, and John James Audubon’s 235th birthday. Audubon spent part of his adult life in Henderson, and the John James Audubon State Park Museum houses a world-class collection of his work. For a complete list of events, ranging from a community bike ride beginning at 4:24 p.m. to a live concert by The Sellouts and a party at Rookies, visit hendersonky.org. — DONNA STINNETT

Sharing the Message In honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, widely recognized as the founder of modern nursing, the World Health Organization in 2019 proposed that 2020 should carry the designation of the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, a proposal approved by the World Health Assembly. The goal is to increase awareness of the importance of nurses and midwives around the world. Kentucky’s Frontier Nursing University is furthering this international mission by bringing attention to the need for more nurses and nurse-midwives in the United States. FNU has educated nurses and nurse-midwives for 80 years, providing much-needed health care professionals with an emphasis on serving women and families in diverse, rural and underserved populations. “We are very excited to share the message of the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife,” FNU President Dr. Susan Stone said. “Greater awareness of our health care disparities and identification of the potential solutions are essential steps in improving the reach and access to health care in this country … One of the important objectives for us this year is to define the role of the certified nurse-midwife and the certified midwife so the public understands the broad scope of services these professionals provide.” 12 K E NT U C K Y M O NT HLY APRI L 2 0 2 0

14 Loretta Lynn (1935), country music legend known as the Coal Miner’s Daughter 15 Chris Stapleton (1978), multiple Grammy- and CMA-awardwinning singer/ songwriter from Staffordville (Johnson County) 15 Sam Bush (1952), Bowling Green mandolin player, father of the progressive bluegrass music 17 William Mapother (1965), Louisville-born actor and cousin of actor Tom Cruise 23 Melissa McBride (1965), Lexington-born actress best known as Carol Peletier on The Walking Dead 24 Al Cross (1954), political columnist, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues 24 Rebecca Lynn Howard (1979), country music singer/ songwriter from Salyersville, now a member of the country-rock group Loving Mary 28 Bill Goodman (1946), executive director, Kentucky Humanities Council


AWARD-WINNING DISTILLERY In Kentucky, buffalo carved a pathway followed by early American pioneers. On the spot where the buffalo migration route crossed the Kentucky river, this National Historic Landmark has been making legendary bourbon whiskey for over 200 years. Today, Buffalo Trace crafts the best collection of bourbons and whiskies in the world by honoring tradition and embracing change.

Distilled and bottled by Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY. Alcohol by volume varies by product. www.buffalotracedistillery.com. 1-800-654-8471. Please Drink Responsibly.

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g n i t r a St y t r a P the Considered by many in the Commonwealth an unofficial holiday, the first Saturday in May brings together friends and family from near and far. If you aren’t among the throngs of fans attending the Kentucky Derby this year, chances are you’re planning to either celebrate the Run for the Roses at a get-together or host one yourself. The following Derby brunch recipes—including one for the event’s signature cocktail— are courtesy of Louisville’s legendary Brown Hotel. They are guaranteed to get your party started.

Recipes prepared at Sullivan University by Grace Alexander.

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The Brown Hotel Mint Julep

Vanilla Belgian Waffle



2 ounces bourbon WA F F L E

2 ounces mint simple syrup (recipe below)

3½ cups all-purpose flour 6 tablespoons granulated sugar

Crushed ice Club soda

2 tablespoons baking powder

Fresh mint springs, for garnish

½ teaspoon salt

Powdered sugar, for garnish

4 eggs, yolks and whites separated 1 cup oil

1. Fill a tall glass with crushed ice. Pour in bourbon and mint syrup. Stir gently.

3½ cups milk 2 tablespoons bourbon or plain real vanilla Fruit (optional)

2. Add a splash of club soda, garnish with fresh mint sprig, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Whipped cream (optional) BOURBON MAPLE SYRUP

2 cups real maple syrup


1. Combine equal amounts sugar and water and several sprigs mint in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and syrup thickens slightly. 2. Remove from heat and allow mint to steep until syrup comes to room temperature. Strain to remove mint leaves. Refrigerate until needed.

½ cup favorite bourbon

1. Preheat waffle iron as directed. In a medium mixing bowl, add the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a whisk to combine. Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients. 2. In a second medium bowl, use an electric hand or tabletop mixer to beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the egg yolks, oil and milk to the dry ingredients, and use the whisk to slowly combine wet and dry ingredients. Stir well until smooth.

3. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer’s directions. 4. Heat maple syrup at low and stir in bourbon. Pour bourbon maple syrup into serving dispenser. 5. When the waffle is done, carefully place it on a serving plate. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve waffles hot with your favorite topping, such as fruit or whipped cream, and drizzle with bourbon maple syrup.

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Fried chicken 4 large eggs

Blue Grass BLT

½ tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce 1½ cups allpurpose flour ½ cup cornstarch ¾ tablespoon granulated garlic


1 teaspoon Bourbon Barrel Foods Bourbon Smoked Paprika

Fried green tomatoes (recipe follows)

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 slices thickcut bacon

¼ teaspoon oregano

Bourbon maple glaze 2 slices 1-inchthick brioche bread 2 tablespoons regular mayonnaise or aioli 2 pieces whole butter leaf lettuce BOURBON MAPLE GLAZE

¼ cup real maple syrup 1 tablespoon bourbon

¼ teaspoon thyme 1. Lay out strips of thickcut bacon on sheet pan and cook in 350-degree oven for 12 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and place on a cool top. Brush with maple bourbon glaze. 2. Toast brioche slices in a wide-slot toaster. Spread mayonnaise or aioli over one side of each slice. Place one lettuce leaf on each bread slice and one slice of fried tomato on each bread slice. 3. Lay the slices of bacon across one slice of bread. Take the other bread slice and place it inverted on top. Cut sandwich in half, corner to corner, and place toothpick frill in the center of each sandwich half to hold it together. Serve immediately with fries, fruit or favorite side salad.

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1 egg 1 large green tomato, thickly sliced Seasoned breadcrumbs 1. Whip egg in bowl. Dip tomato in egg mixture and pad in seasoned breadcrumbs. 2. Place in deep fat fryer at 350 degrees for 2 minutes. Or place on a coated sheet pan and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Once cooked, place on paper towel and set aside until sandwich assembly.

1¼ tablespoons kosher salt ½ teaspoon black pepper 8 boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved Vegetable oil SLIDER

16 mini brioche buns 16 individual small waffles (around 3 inches in diameter) Whipped butter Coleslaw, tangy or spicy Spicy mayonnaise Maple syrup, to taste Spicy pickle chips, to taste

Fried Chicken Waffle Slider 1. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add hot sauce and set aside. 2. In a separate mixing bowl, blend flour, cornstarch, garlic, paprika, red pepper,

cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, kosher salt and black pepper evenly to create seasoned flour mix. Set aside. 3. Dredge chicken in seasoned flour, dip coated chicken in egg

mixture, and dredge again in the seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour and place on holding tray. 4. Cover bottom of a 6-quart saucepot with 1 inch of oil and heat to 360 degrees.

Fry battered chicken in two batches until golden brown, minimum 12-15 minutes. Chicken should be sizzling in pot. Turn over chicken halfway to cook evenly to a golden brown. 5. Once done, carefully remove chicken to a clean holding tray on top of paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer measures 165 degrees, or slice chicken in half and make sure that there is no pink. Repeat process with second batch. Set aside to serve on waffle immediately. 6. Split bun and place waffle on bottom portion. Top with a spread of whipped butter and drizzled maple syrup. Stack chicken on top of waffle and add a spoonful of coleslaw and pickle chips. 7. Spread spicy mayonnaise on the top portion of the bun, and place top of bun on the sandwich. Serve immediately.

k e n t u c k y m o n t h l y. c o m 17


Shrimp and Grits SERVES 5

1. Bring water to a boil in a medium pot. When it begins to boil, add grits, cover with a lid and cook 20 minutes on low heat, stirring often.

1 cup Weisenberger Mill white grits 4 cups water 8 tablespoons butter

2. Once the grits have thickened, add 4 tablespoons butter, shredded cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until butter and cheese have melted. Remove from heat and set aside, keeping grits warm.

2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese or your cheese of choice 1/3

cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons garlic, minced ¼ cup celery, small diced ¼ cup white onion, small diced ¼ cup red bell peppers, small diced ¼ cup green bell peppers, small diced 2½ cup chicken stock Salt and pepper, to taste 1 quarter lemon and orange (optional)

3. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a small pan. When it is melted, add flour and cook on low 8-10 minutes until it’s golden brown, stirring often to make a brown roux. When the roux looks similar to peanut butter, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. 4. Add celery and onion to roux and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in peppers and cook 2-3 minutes.

12 pieces cleaned and deveined shrimp, preferably wild caught Cajun spice, to taste

5. Once all the vegetables in the roux have cooked through, add chicken

broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer 8-9 minutes. Remove pan from heat and season with salt and pepper. 6. Add a squeeze of lemon and orange to the sauce if you prefer, for a little acidity. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more chicken stock. 7. Season shrimp with your favorite Cajun spice and sear it for 2 minutes on each side in a hot sauté pan. Deglaze the pan with the sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook the shrimp in the sauce for about 5-6 minutes on low heat and serve atop grits.


and the rest is history.

K E N T U C K Y Fudge C O M P A N Y



S A N D W I C H E S + S O DA





History comes alive... housed in the beautifully restored Dedman Drugstore in Harrodsburg, The Kentucky Fudge Company is a 100+ seat fast casual restaurant with lots of charm.

K E N T U C K Y F U D G E C O M P A N Y. C O M C L O S E D S U N D AY + M O N D AY

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Reinvented A conservationist couple rescues historic Hermitage Farm and invites visitors to experience life on a working farm

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The Barn8 team, from left, Bourbon Steward Adam Walpole, Horticulturist Stephanie Tittle, Executive Chef Alison Settle, Director Matthew Bailey, Owner Steve Wilson, and Food and Beverage Director Erin Delaney P H O T O : M AT T S T O N E


’m a farmer at heart,” says Steve Wilson. This is not the way most people would expect the creative founder of 21c Museum Hotels to describe himself, but Wilson, 72, is deep in spring pastures these days, having just completed the reimagining of the historic Hermitage Farm in Oldham County into a compelling agritourism destination. Here, visitors can encounter horses, relish farm-to-table food and bourbon, and enjoy art, nature and wildlife. Wilson and his wife, Laura Lee Brown, concerned by the hodgepodge development eating up farmland throughout the county, purchased the well-known Thoroughbred farm in 2010. “We were totally engaged at the thought of saving the historic Hermitage Farm from development,” Wilson

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says, noting that with their passionate commitment to conservation, the couple has placed conservation easements on 2,500 acres in the county. Inside Hermitage’s landmark black fences, the two contemporary art enthusiasts have curated a multifaceted Kentucky farm experience with their typical boldness and unsentimental, tacit agreement to save and share, much as they did at their nearby Woodland Farm but with hands-on experiences and learning opportunities for visitors. With their creation of eight 21c Hotels, Steve and Laura Lee are proven entrepreneurs, yet deep down, it is their love of farmland that commands the place. “We are deep conservationists masquerading as hoteliers,” Laura Lee says with a laugh.


how it began The tale of today’s reinvented Hermitage Farm is like so many stories in Kentucky. This one started with the owners’ respective experiences growing up on farms— hers a prize-winning Shorthorn cattle farm near Prospect, and his a river bottom along the Ohio River in Ballard County. That’s where Steve first came to love horses and the crops and the soil. He was 15 when he decided horses would always be a part of his life. Riding horseback from the family farm near Wickliffe to the Kentucky State Fair that summer proved the point. A half-century later, after a career in public relations and event planning—and also founding and growing a successful hotel chain—this award-winning equestrian’s love for horses and farming has come full circle. In one of Steve’s famous light-bulb moments, it occurred to him that Louisville tourists and convention attendees must drive to central Kentucky to see a real horse farm. He pondered about the best way for these visitors to experience such a farm without the long drive. What if there was a place near Louisville for a real equine experience? And what if that location also could

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tap into the bourbon industry (Laura Lee is part of the Brown-Forman family), create an authentic Kentucky farm experience, serve good locally grown food, and display art that could be at home in nature? “Hermitage Farm is located only 16 miles east of Louisville on U.S. 42 and a few miles north of Interstate 71, just past La Grange,” Steve says, “so I began to think seriously of the possibility of this place becoming a real farm tourism attraction, an experience that takes all the wonderful features of a legendary horse farm and expands it to tell the story of Kentucky agriculture without sacrificing any of the existing historic buildings and landscape.”

hermitage’s history The roots of Hermitage Farm run deep. Gen. Hugh Mercer of Virginia came here 240 years ago to claim a land grant of more than 3,000 acres as a reward for his service in the Revolutionary War. Just four other families have owned the land in all the years since. History abounds in the main house, circa 1835. It started with a log cabin, an unusual horizontal corncrib and outbuildings.

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So many consumers fail to realize bourbon is an agricultural product A D A M W A L P O L E , H e r m i t a g e ’s c e r t i f i e d b o u r b o n s t e w a r d

Mercer’s family sold the land to John Henshaw, and it remained in the Henshaw family until 1935, when Warner Jones Jr. acquired it. A renowned Thoroughbred owner and breeder, Jones guided the farm in its successes through much of the 20th century, launching integral crop diversification measures that pivoted hay and grain fields to a horse farm. Jones bred numerous stellar Thoroughbred racehorses, including 1953 Kentucky Derby winner Dark Star. Those were the years that Hermitage Farm cast a long shadow on horse racing at Churchill Downs and Keeneland Race Course, and then across the nation and even internationally. Queen Elizabeth came to look at horses and have tea at the farm in 1986. Horseman Carl Pollard purchased Hermitage Farm in 1995, following Jones’ death the previous year. Pollard owned the property until the 2010 sale to Steve and Laura Lee.

much more than a horse farm For Laura Lee and Steve, Hermitage has been a labor of love from the start. No longer just a horse farm, these days the 680 acres are a large-scale, carefully organized bevy of farm experiences. The miles of black plank fences hint of the farm’s rich horse racing history. “Steve is never happier than when he is masterminding an event or experience to entertain and

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please others,” says Matthew Bailey, Hermitage Farm director. “He is always the most creative, imaginative person in the room; that is his blessing and our challenge. “These days, I can’t help but think this farm is so real and full of experiences, but if someone else had bought it, there would be houses here by now.” At the axis of the farm’s main entrance, visitors are greeted by a giant Corten steel sculpture, “Here and Where” by French artist Jean Dupuy, standing boldly against the horizon. One immediately sees the lush pastures with horses grazing. There’s the main house up ahead and, to the left, the big, redtrimmed black stud barn, where a worldclass collection of antique carriages is housed, including one used in Gone With the Wind that has the MGM label still attached. The new visitors center, a gathering and orientation spot also housing a gift shop, is tucked into a landscaped swale apart from the historic farm outbuildings that gracefully engage with the land. Other black barns house tack and memorabilia of the farm’s champion horses, each item a piece of museum-worthy equine history. There’s already a huge buzz about the unusual restaurant in Barn8 (yes, that is its historic name), with its Kentucky-inspired menu, communal dining options, and charming, old wood paneled stalls repurposed into private dining spaces. The upper-level Hayloft event

k e n t u c k y m o n t h l y. c o m 23

space—with a 20-foot crystal chandelier and a massive window opening to the gardens, woodlands and art walk below—can seat up to 200 guests. A breathtaking 3,400-square-foot custom greenhouse overlooks the wildflower and native grass nature walk along a branch of Harrods Creek. “Barn8 is a restaurant that daily demonstrates the importance fresh local food plays in our lives,” Executive Chef Alison Settle explains. “There’s real joy to preparing food when there are gardens nearby and a real greenhouse designed for growing and experiencing the pleasure of eating in the same enclosed glass space.” Steve’s goal to include a bourbon experience is realized with the wall of barrels from select Kentucky distilleries and tasting bourbons handpicked by Hermitage’s certified bourbon steward, Adam Walpole. “So many consumers fail to realize bourbon is an

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Oldham County Farm Experiences In addition to Hermitage Farm, Oldham Farm Tours showcases 13 other locales May-October, and visitors will find more than a couple of destinations that engage their interest. Guests can stay on a horse farm, milk a cow, feed a baby lamb, make an alpaca souvenir, pet retired racehorses and visit a botanical garden. Second Stride Retired Horse Farm offers a tour that enables visitors to get up close and personal with award-winning horses available for adoption. A Hallmark movie favorite, Windy Meadows horse farm features hands-on tours that showcase several horse breeds and include the lead character in the 2018 movie, Orphan Horse. Acorn Lane Farm and Petting Zoo at Boone Gardiner has a tour that focuses on plants, animals and honey-making that are a part of the 11-acre farm. Guests at Bluebonnets and Bluegrass Alpaca Farm can climb into the pen with alpacas, then learn the process of felting as they make a souvenir.

agricultural product,” Walpole says. “Selecting and sipping bourbon near real farm fields of corn and grains that go into the product is an eye-opener.” Architect Haviland Argo, who has been the project manager for reinventing Hermitage Farm, sums it all up: “The land and the animals and the gardens and the restaurant are all viable agriculturally, but the aesthetic, teaching and learning elements are just as complete, showing visitors how history and farming and biodiversity coexist on a farm.” Acres of land across the Commonwealth being eaten up by development make for an old story, but Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown are giving this tale a new ending. It is their intent that Hermitage Farm, retooled, helps people pay attention and think about the long-term repercussions of the loss of farmland. Q

Hemmer Hill Sheep Farm raises purebred and registered St. Croix hair sheep from the Virgin Islands, and those taking a springtime tour may get to feed a baby lamb. At the same time, Woodland Bison Farm offers a wagon tour overlooking the Ohio River that teaches about pasture-raised bison, heritage pigs, organic produce and heirloom orchards. Visitors can marvel at the enormous fluorescent rabbits and hot pink snails in the trees— examples of the fascinating contemporary art on the farm. Organic farming is alive and well at Rootbound Farm, a certified organic farm that produces vegetables and Katahdin sheep for its community-supported agriculture program and farmers markets, as well as Louisville’s best farm-to-table restaurants. For a complete list of Oldham Farm Tours, visit TourOldham.com.

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bourbon by foot With an emphasis on walkability, Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail drives new bourbon-themed business

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fter a tour of the Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. in Louisville, a group of seven guys settled in, side by side, at the tasting room bar. Throughout the tour, it had become obvious this wasn’t their first Kentucky bourbon experience. One, wearing glasses and full of astute questions, had said he was a home brewer. Another wore a shirt proclaiming, “You Had Me at ‘Bourbon.’ ” Yet another had wanted to know if there were any locations in the rackhouse that produced better barrels than others. Clearly bourbon enthusiasts, it turned out the men also were longtime neighbors from Cincinnati who had taken a weekend trip to Louisville to enjoy the distilleries and bourbon-related businesses concentrated downtown. “Having a strong downtown attracts people to come to a place to enjoy a memory with friends,” said Perri Kostecki, one of the Cincinnati crew. “You can just walk and let the trip happen.” The walkable bourbon experience in Louisville is no accident—its density and variety have been encouraged by the Urban Bourbon Trail. With membership including bars, restaurants and hotels that feature more than 50 bourbons, the Urban Bourbon Trail has been a driver for growth in new bourbon-related businesses. According to Jordan Skora, marketing communications manager for Louisville Tourism, the Urban Bourbon Trail has drawn more than 25,000 visitors since 2008.

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“Coupled with seven distilleries in the downtown corridor, Louisville has become the walkable Napa Valley of bourbon and a unique tourism destination,” Skora said. Dave Schaefer, the home brewer who visited Peerless with his group of neighbors, said the density of bourbonthemed businesses downtown makes the bourbon experience in Louisville that much more organic. “It’s about the memories you make,” Schaefer said. “Last night, we all went out, and all the facades are friendly, alluring—they just make you want to go inside. We stumbled into Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen and ran into a set from Kaleb Cecil, an up-and-coming country artist, and he was phenomenal.” While not part of the Urban Bourbon Trail (the trail focuses on bars and restaurants, not distillery experiences), Peerless is one of many businesses that have seen the collateral benefits stemming from it. Cordell Lawrence, director of global marketing and strategy for Peerless, says the Urban Bourbon Trail has played an important role in honing Louisville’s image as a tourist destination. “You have this rich cultural center that is Louisville and a simultaneous influx of new hotels like Omni, Hotel Distil and Moxy, right on Whiskey Row,” Lawrence said. “All these perfect pieces are falling into place to drive foot traffic to culinary destinations like restaurants and distillery experiences.” Around 75 percent of Peerless visitors come from out of state, Lawrence said, and he doesn’t mean nearby states.

Visitors are predominantly from the East and West coasts, and a sizable number are international. As he continues to see growth, the Urban Bourbon Trail has been “a huge economic driver,” Lawrence said. “Our business partners and distributors who come in from out of state frequently tell us that, even when there is not a convention going on in Louisville, they struggle to find a hotel room on a Tuesday or Wednesday night because there are so many people coming here as a tourist destination. There’s room for growth—more restaurants, more bourbon bars, more hotels.” With 46 participating businesses, the Urban Bourbon Trail offers visitors a broad range of experiences, including familiar names like the Old Seelbach Bar, the Brown Hotel Bar and Jockey Silks. The trail also highlights newer arrivals—hotels, bars and restaurants that put their own spin on Louisville’s bourbon tradition. Following are just a few places to stay, sip and sample what downtown Louisville has to offer.

Whiskey Dry Whiskey Dry draws visitors who want to experience a creative menu and huge bourbon selection painstakingly crafted by Chef Edward Lee. A multiple finalist for the James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Southeast, Lee has earned an Emmy Award nomination for hosting season

three of PBS’ The Mind of a Chef, authored two cookbooks, produced a documentary, and opened a total of five restaurants in Louisville and Washington, D.C. Unlike Lee’s flagship Louisville restaurant, 610 Magnolia, Whiskey Dry is a casual affair, devoting significant menu space to reimagined burger-joint staples. Several selections include a nod to Lee’s Korean heritage, like the spicy gochujang chicken wings or the fried chicken sandwich with kimchi, maple-soy glaze and hot sauce. The eponymous Big Ed Burger, however, is a straightforward Southern barn-burner: two beef patties, fried green tomatoes, “comeback sauce,” lettuce and pickle. It’s the extensive bourbon list and fine-tuned cocktail menu that earned Whiskey Dry a place on the Urban Bourbon Trail. Curated by Bar Director Stacie Steward, the Whiskey Dry bar offers a collection of whiskeys in a library-style bar that “weaves through the history of the production of whiskey starting in Scotland, to Ireland, to American whiskey and, of course, Kentucky bourbon.” “Not only is Whiskey Dry the only locally owned restaurant in the 4th Street Live! entertainment district, but we also boast over 200 whiskeys from all over the world, including hard-to-find Indian, French and Taiwanese whiskeys,” said Whiskey Dry General Manager Mara Brown. Brown said the Urban Bourbon Trail encourages a sense of camaraderie among downtown businesses and highlights the mutually beneficial relationship between

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Urban Bourbon Trail 101 Launched in 2008, the Urban Bourbon Trail is a collection of bars and restaurants with a significant bourbon culture and offering more than 50 bourbons. To begin your Urban Bourbon Trail experience, pick up a passport at the Louisville Visitor Center or at any of the 46 participating businesses. With any purchase at a participating organization, you’ll earn a stamp in your passport. When you’ve scored six or more stamps, congratulations: You’ve won an Urban Bourbon Trailblazer T-shirt! To get your shirt, redeem your passport in person or by mail at the Louisville Visitor Center. View all the stops on the Urban Bourbon Trail: bourboncountry.com/ things-to-do/urbanbourbon-trail.

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hotels and restaurants. “Foot traffic is very important, being a restaurant located downtown, as we generally rely on tourists that are staying in hotels nearby,” Brown said. “Giving tourists a fun ‘challenge’ by having to visit multiple venues opens us up to more people who may have not known about us prior to reading our bio in the Urban Bourbon Trail passport.”

Hotel Distil and Repeal Restaurant Offering a unique guest stay in the heart of Louisville, Hotel Distil is housed in a historic building on Whiskey Row, steps away from the dozens of distillery experiences, bars and restaurants available on the Urban Bourbon Trail. The hotel isn’t officially on the trail yet—it opened last October—but, based on the seriousness with which it takes Kentucky’s signature spirit, it’s only a matter of time. “We’re about bourbon,” said Hotel Distil General Manager Dana Orlando. “We have a bourbon culture. Everything we do throughout the hotel is bourbon. When you go into the guest room, there’s a bourbon experience. We have to embrace this Urban Bourbon Trail for us to thrive.”

Orlando, who previously worked for hotel brands like Ritz-Carlton and Waldorf Astoria, said she appreciates the combination of opportunity and small-town charm that Louisville offers. “Because I’m from the luxury hotel industry, they expect you to put these really creative packages together to have interest for people traveling East Coast/West Coast,” Orlando said. “But honestly, when I just simply share this bourbon tourism, the Urban Bourbon Trail and how large it is, they’re just interested in that. I don’t have to create crazy packages or anything that’s out of the box. Simply what we have is what they want to have.” Bourbon opportunities are on Hotel Distil’s doorstep, but they don’t stop when you enter the building. The hotel’s popular Repeal Restaurant uses staves from empty Old Forester barrels from just next door to fuel its oakfired grill. During warm weather, guests can enjoy Bitters End, the only open-air rooftop bar on Whiskey Row. In addition to a well-stocked bar, Hotel Distil offers hardto-find libations in its “rare cabinet,” with selections that, at the time of this writing, included a 2007 Eagle Rare 17-year, a 2002 George T. Stagg and a 1967 Weller’s Gold Vein Antique Reserve. “We claim to have a rare selection,” Orlando said. “We have a rare cabinet that people look at and say, ‘I’ve always wanted this, and now I can have a taste.’ ” k e n t u c k y m o n t h l y. c o m 31

Moxy Louisville and Zombie Tacos

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Sharing a building with Hotel Distil, Moxy is a hotel for the young, the young at heart and, really, anyone who wants to try something new. Billed as a hotel with the heart of a hostel, Moxy welcomes guests by way of a cocktail bar and a taco shop. Moxy Louisville is the first Moxy in Kentucky and only the 19th in the United States. It’s the first dual Moxy Autograph Collection hotel in the world, according to General Manager Justin Weeks. “The idea is really comfortable beds, great shower experience, big TVs,” Weeks said. “You can drop your stuff and hang out in the living room. You can check in at the front desk, or you can check in at the bar. You get a cocktail on us when you arrive. “It’s really driven for people who are looking for a different experience. Especially for those road warriors, coming to a Moxy will add a bit a flair, a little bit of excitement to your life.” In addition to its youth-centric furnishings, Moxy Louisville offers events that cater to a younger crowd, including a live DJ series, a happy hour called “Adulting Is Hard,” and an “Anti-Brunch” on Saturdays that substitutes more traditional beverages with tequila shots. And don’t forget the taco shop, Zombie Taco, which is open 24/7 and offers an outdoor order kiosk. (The thick-cut bacon jalapeño taco lives up to the hype.) Like Orlando, Weeks said the Urban Bourbon Trail, distillery bourbon experiences and foot traffic in general are driving downtown business growth. While Moxy doesn’t have the same emphasis on bourbon culture that Hotel Distil offers, it still benefits from ongoing growth in bourbon tourism. “This weekend was huge for us,” Weeks said during an interview in February. “We sold out Friday night, and we’re selling out tonight. Everyone is doing distilleries or the Urban Bourbon Trail. People are coming in specifically for that.” Q

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THE STILL OF THE FARM. THE THRILL OF THE TRACK. Catch a foal relaxing on a bluegrass farm or take in a thundering race at one of Kentucky’s horse tracks. Come experience the sights and sounds of the Horse Capital of the World.



K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8


From the Horse’s Back

Donna Barton Brothers’ former career as a jockey prepared her to work as a track reporter on racing’s biggest stage

Barton interviews jockey Victor Espinoza following his triumph aboard Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic. PHOTO: CAL SPORT MEDIA / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

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here’s an old saying in business: The best thing you can do for your career is learn to think on your feet. For Donna Barton Brothers, that has meant thinking with her feet in the stirrups of a saddle atop a horse, with an audience of up to 16 million watching and listening. Gulp. If she makes interviewing the winning jockey annually following the Kentucky Derby look easy, there’s more to it than meets the eye. The riding is perhaps the easiest part, and in her case, it should be. A former jockey with a sparkling career, Barton Brothers rode the winners of 1,130 races for some of Thoroughbred racing’s top trainers, including D. Wayne Lukas. She retired from race riding in 1998. Her start in television broadcasting was at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, where she was asked to interview the winning connections of stakes races on weekends. In 1999, at the conclusion of the winter Fair Grounds meet, she traveled north to Louisville and Churchill Downs with her husband, trainer Frank Brothers. The late John Asher, then the on-air racing analyst at Churchill, asked if she would want to take over his job. She couldn’t have been in a better place at a better time for what was to come. “I was doing that when NBC came to Churchill Downs to observe the Derby, because they had signed the contract for the following year,” she recalled. “Unbeknownst to me, they were looking for a reporter on horseback.” Also unbeknownst to Barton Brothers was that longtime racing analysts Tom Hammond and Mike Battaglia had recommended to NBC brass that they watch her on-air work from the paddock and consider her for the mounted-reporter position. “My first show was that fall, the 2000 Breeders’ Cup that was at Churchill Downs, and then my first Derby with NBC was in 2001,” she said. The sport’s principal trade magazine, The Blood-Horse, reviewed the broadcast coverage. Anticipating a good review in her first work for NBC at the Breeders’ Cup, Barton Brothers was in for a shock. “One of the things written about me was, ‘I don’t know why NBC continues to insist on using these fluff interviews on horseback after a race,’ ” she recalled. Her riding background, at that point, provided just what she needed. “As a jockey, you deal with criticism all the time. Sometimes it’s constructive, and sometimes it’s not so much,” she said. “But if you’re a good jockey, you’re going to ask, ‘Is that a valid critique? Were the interviews fluffy?’ “There was not a single question that I asked of any of the Breeders’ Cup jockeys that day that I couldn’t have asked of any of the other ones—‘Tell me about your trip. What’s it mean to you to win this kind of race?’ It was because of the harsh review that I started to put myself in the rider’s position, especially for the Derby.” The lesson was that, while a Derby or other Triple Crown race win is going to be highly meaningful to riders, “it’s going to mean something a little different to each one,” she said. Determining that is the heavy

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lifting behind the job: to have specific questions prepared for 20 riders. sss

That is only a part of Barton Brothers’ preparation. In the days leading up to the Derby, she is at Churchill Downs for early morning workouts, assessing each starter with observations and details that might escape someone without a riding background. The disposition of each horse is noted, as equine nerves of steel are necessary to run before a crowd of more than 150,000 Derby fans. “I need to see that so that I can report before the race on anything unusual in their temperament,” she said. The running style of each horse also is taken into account. She will know who the front-runners are, the “stalkers” running near but not at the front, and the “closers” who, as the word implies, save energy for a late homestretch burst. She will know if the winning horse and rider had an unusual or unexpected trip to Derby glory or ran to form. Despite being on horseback on the track during the Derby and with the gigantic video board showing the race on Churchill Downs’ backstretch, Barton Brothers sees very little of the race, relying heavily on the call of the race by track announcer Larry Collmus. “I get on my horse in the tunnel when the horses are in the paddock after I’ve done my walkover with the trainers,” she said of her Derby routine. “I go stand out on the racetrack where the other lead ponies are and wait for the horses to come out, and then I just watch them all walk out. I want to see how they’re handling everything. I stay there right in front of the grandstand, and I watch them all get through ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ and see who’s handling it, who isn’t.” She then follows the Derby starters behind the starting gate, watching them gallop out and monitoring for any unusual behavior to report. As the last few horses are loaded into the starting gate, Barton Brothers begins going the opposite way around the turn to the backstretch, away from the Derby horses and the race’s start. By the time she has ridden out of the turn and is on the backstretch, the Derby field is heading toward her and the outriders. “We’ll stop there at about the half-mile pole and stand there on the outside fence facing the horses,” she said. “That’s a really important moment for me because it gives me a sort of a quick snapshot.” Even with the video board above her head, she often doesn’t watch until maybe the final sixteenth of a mile to see if the race is a tight finish or is won easily. She then gallops clockwise around to the first turn to join the winning rider and horse and the outrider escorting them to the winner’s circle. sss

Barton Brothers’ take on last year’s Derby, when Maximum Security, with Luis Saez up, was disqualified after crossing the finish line first, offers a glimpse into the immediacy of live television. “I feel like everybody experienced it in the way that Luis Saez did,” she

...they were looking for a reporter on horseback... recalled. “They felt that joy. It was part of the story and how it unfolded, and that they won.” Even though the moment was short-lived, it was still that result in that moment. Barton Brothers explained, as well, that the objections lodged by jockeys claiming their mounts were interfered with by Maximum Security did not come until after her interview. That most unusual Derby for Barton Brothers can’t surpass what she thought was her worst interview. She interviewed a tearful jockey Calvin Borel after his 2007 win aboard Street Sense, not expecting to get caught up in Borel’s high emotion following his first Derby victory. “I totally forgot all my questions,” she admitted. “All I could do was talk to him about what he had just said. I thought at the end of my interview with Calvin I just totally blew it.” To her surprise, one and then another NBC producer approached her separately after the telecast to compliment her on what they thought was a great interview. Brothers recalled Hammond telling her it was great because of two things: “Number one, the fact you just listened to what he was talking about,” she remembered him saying. “And the other thing is, when you threw it back to me, you said, ‘Obviously an emotional win for Calvin with the tears streaming down his face.’ ” NBC hadn’t gotten a closeup of Borel but quickly did so to capture the raw, unbridled emotion of the great jockey. Thinking on her feet—or actually not thinking, in the case of the Borel interview—brings to mind another old saying in sports that applies to Barton Brothers: The great ones make it look easy. Q

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What Really Happened? In the second installment of a twopart story, a Lexington attorney in the middle of the alleged Wallace Wilkinson kidnapping says the affair was even shadier than once thought BY GARY P. WEST

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n June 6, 1987, Intertech/Northeast, which specialized in financial and corporate investigations, was retained by Robert Gable, then head of the Republican Party of Kentucky, to investigate the relationship between Wallace Wilkinson and the late Jerome Jernigan. A month before the governor’s election, on Oct. 5, 1987, the Providence, Rhode Island-based company presented a 13-page report to Gable and Lexington attorney Bobby Wombles, who represented the Jernigan estate. Originally, investigators were asked to concentrate on the alleged kidnapping and extortion of Wilkinson by Jernigan three years before. However, the investigation was broadened to include the complex financial dealings between the two men, as well as circumstances surrounding Jernigan’s death in 1984. The report alluded to “scores of witnesses [who] have been interviewed and hundreds of pages of documents [that] have been collected.” It mentioned Italian investors and how they were able to get money to Wilkinson illegally through bogus log purchases from Jernigan’s wood-veneer business. Rose Jernigan told the private investigators the plan was for payments to Wilkinson to be made by deposits into a Swiss bank account, avoiding taxes in the United States. Wilkinson, Jernigan and a banker friend made trips to Italy. The report added that two Lexington women joined them later. l



Wilkinson continued to do business with the Italian businessmen, and in 1978, several central Kentucky farms were purchased by newly formed corporations whose stock was then endorsed and transferred to entities in Switzerland. The complexity of the transactions was such that even the U.S. Department of Agriculture struggled to determine the actual ownership of the farms, even though Wilkinson was listed as the owner and operator. The investigative report revealed secretly recorded phone conversations; frequent Lexington meetings attended by Wilkinson, Italian investor Sergio Colombo and a Lexington prostitute; and witnesses so fearful of talking they were given code numbers. Two were known as W-3 and W-4. There may have been others, such as W-1 and W-2, but they are not mentioned in the report. “Jernigan,” the report said, “had become increasingly bitter over his situation, jealous that Wilkinson was living a seemingly prosperous life from the proceeds of the Italian contacts Jernigan had arranged.” The report continued: “When Jernigan went to Wilkinson’s office to put the alleged kidnapping in motion, Jernigan said he revealed to Wilkinson pictures showing two women with Wilkinson and Colombo. He then told him he [Jernigan] was going to commit suicide. Wilkinson, [Jernigan] said, invited him to take a ride in an attempt to dissuade Jernigan from suicide.” Today, Wombles has an interesting take on the bizarre episode. “There was never a kidnapping,” Wombles, still a

practicing attorney in Lexington, told Kentucky Monthly in early November 2019. “I knew Jerome well enough that he gave me the whole story behind what happened. They did stay the night in Frankfort, but the next morning, they ate breakfast in the restaurant downstairs. If Wallace was being held against his will, he had several opportunities to get away when he went to the buffet alone.” Several waitresses later said that Wilkinson “acted normal,” according to Wombles. “Jerome got in over his head when he met Sergio Colombo,” Wombles said. “Colombo came up with an idea to ship drugs overseas to sell. The plan was to hide them in the logs.” l



By the mid-1980s, drugs had become a major criminal activity in the Lexington area. With some of central Kentucky’s elite right in the middle of the drug scene, it would be easy to make a connection that would lessen any chances of this being discovered. “Jerome thought Wallace might go for it,” Wombles said. “He told me he thought the two of them could make a ton of money.” Jernigan’s attorney said his client and the future governor flew to Glasgow to collect money from the bank to be used as part of the scheme to ship logs with hidden drugs to Italy. “When they got the money in Glasgow, Wallace was going to fly on to Louisville, and Jerome used the banker’s car to drive back to Lexington with the money,” Wombles recalled. “Wallace then had second thoughts and dreamed up the kidnapping story. I would have sworn that Wallace was never kidnapped.” Jernigan’s association with the Italians, mainly Colombo, and their introduction to Wilkinson to invest in farms in central Kentucky were not working out to be as profitable as Jernigan and Wilkinson had hoped. Inflated land and log prices made it difficult for them to see any kind of return on their investments. The summary report from the Rhode Island private investigator revealed the Italians lacked any knowledge of American land and commodity values, and that Wilkinson had induced the group to buy his cattle at “very high, over-market prices.” The investigators reported that the Italians became upset. “I received a phone call from Sergio Colombo to meet him for breakfast at the Hyatt [hotel] downtown,” Wombles said. “It was short and to the point. He told me, ‘When you are business partners, and one of them does not do what is expected, it is not unusual to find him dead.’ I was shocked he said that. He stood up and left. I never heard from him again.” In Wombles’ mind, Colombo was talking about his client, Jernigan, and he immediately told Jernigan of the meeting. “I will probably be found dead now,” Wombles remembers Jernigan saying. “They have a way of making it look like a heart attack. Be sure to call the police if this happens.” Several weeks before his death, Jernigan told his family, several attorneys and a Continental Inn employee that he feared for his life. k e n t u c k y m o n t h l y. c o m 45

The investigators also revealed this in their report: “On July 17, 1984, Continental Inn employee Ray Allen met Jernigan at approximately 7:30 p.m. in the hotel lobby as Jernigan was going to his room. Allen commented that Jernigan looked happier than he had seen him in the several months Jernigan had lived at the hotel. Jernigan told Allen he was happy because he had found the last piece of evidence he needed to clear himself [of the Wilkinson kidnapping]. Allen said Jernigan told him the evidence was in the blue binder with a University of Kentucky or Kentucky state seal he had in his hand as the two spoke. Jernigan then headed toward his room.” Late the next evening, Jernigan’s son, Randy, found his deceased father at the Continental Inn. The Lexington Police Department conducted an investigation. The state medical examiner performed an autopsy, and death was determined to have resulted from natural causes. l



“Police came to my house that night,” Wombles said. “I told them of my meeting with Sergio Colombo and that Jerome had predicted the fact and manner of his death.” The police report indicated that Wombles had told them there was no reason to suspect foul play, which the attorney later denied saying.

The private investigation revealed the Lexington police did not advise the medical examiner about Jernigan’s death predictions. Furthermore, the toxicologist was not directed to perform screens beyond those to determine the presence of alcohol or Valium and other routine tests. And what about the blue binder the hotel employee had seen in Jernigan’s hand the night he died? It was never found. “As far as I know, nothing else was ever done in Jerome’s death,” Wombles said. “I really don’t know what [the private investigators’] purpose was, or what they did with the report,” Rose Jernigan said. “Bob Gable and the Republican Party hired the investigators to find out whatever they could about Wallace. I had nothing to do with hiring them. Bob did give me a copy of the report. “I think they were just trying to get info as to Wallace’s business dealings, hoping to make him look as bad as possible and perhaps keep him from being elected governor.” In November 1987, Wallace Wilkinson was elected Kentucky’s 57th governor. Q

Part I of this story appeared in the March 2020 issue.

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gardening by Walt Reichert

Get Ready for Jack Frost


very year presents different challenges for the gardener. Last year, there was too much rain in the spring and not enough rain the rest of the growing season—in my garden, anyway. I’ve noticed that relatively mild winters are followed by up-and-down temperatures in late winter and early spring. Instead of plants being damaged by harsh winters, as they were in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, they now seem to be more commonly damaged by late winter/ early spring frosts, freezes and ice. While winters have been milder during the last decade, springs have been a roller coaster of temperatures that can hit 70 degrees one day and 25 the next. Thus, frosts and freezes kill fruit tree blossoms, wiping out the season’s crop; burn the foliage of bulbs and perennials that emerge too soon; and murder tender plants that the antsy gardener planted too early. While the savvy gardener can’t do much to defend against harsh winter weather, putting strategies in place to protect against frost and freezes is a good idea.

FROST DAMAGE A frost can occur when air temperatures reach 32 degrees or lower. An hour or two of temperatures at 32 degrees or slightly lower will result in a light frost that will not do much damage except to the tenderest of plants, like tomatoes, peppers, impatiens and begonias. If the temperature reaches 28 degrees for more than an hour or so, a hard frost or freeze occurs. Blossoms will die, and foliage will burn. Frosts and freezes damage plants by bursting cell walls and causing the plants to become dehydrated. Even though there is enough water in the ground, the plant’s roots can’t take it up after a frost or freeze. The damage will manifest itself in a drooping plant, followed by browned, dessicated foliage. Tender plants will die. Bulbs and hardy

plants will survive but may show the signs of frost damage throughout the growing season. Trees that are blooming during a frost event may lose their fruit or nut crop for the year. Peaches, cherries, plums, nectarines and apricots are especially vulnerable to losing their blossoms to frost, because they tend to “wake up” too early in spring. Apples and pears tend to have better sense; they usually bloom later and not all at once, so they are less likely to lose an entire year’s crop to frost damage. Frost occurs on clear, cloudless nights that follow an afternoon of falling temperatures. Cloudy skies and winds prevent frost damage by mixing air and holding the heat of the day near the ground. (That’s why you rarely need to scrape your car windows on a cloudy morning, even if the temperature is below freezing.) FOILING FROST There’s not much gardeners can do to prevent damage to plants from particularly harsh winters, but there are strategies to avoid losing plants and crops to frost. Some of those strategies are cultural; others are mechanical. Don’t jump the gun and plant too soon. This holds true for triggerhappy tomato growers who must be the first on the block with a red tomato. Many frost-sensitive plants will start appearing in garden centers in early April. But even if it’s 80 degrees outside, planting those near the beginning of the month is a major mistake. Frost is still likely, and the ground is too cold. Those in far southwestern Kentucky need to wait until at least April 20 to plant; those of us in the middle of the state need to wait until early May (traditionally Derby Day), and those in the mountainous northeast should wait at least until May 15. Don’t plant in “frost pockets.” Cold air flows downhill like water. If your garden is in a low spot

(compared to the surrounding land), you need to wait several days, even weeks—longer than the safe, or frostfree, date for planting. Ideally, put your garden on higher ground. Low spots also are prone to poor drainage, and that’s a no-no as well. Choose late-blooming or staggered-blooming varieties. Many plants, such as strawberries and peaches, will survive a hard frost just fine, but their fruits won’t. However, if you choose peach and strawberry types that bloom late or over a long period, you will be less likely to lose your fruit crop. Take advantage of “warm spots” for frost-sensitive plants. Planting near a structure, such as a house, grants a few extra degrees of warmth that may help plants survive a frost. Stone, brick and dark wood are especially good at absorbing the heat of the day and radiating it back out at night to keep the plants slightly warmer than the surrounding air. Wash off the frost. Weird (and uncomfortable) as it sounds, getting up before sunrise on a frosty morning and washing off the frost with a blast of water will protect plants from frost damage. Orange growers in Florida have learned that coating the trees with water that turns to ice before a frost or freeze actually will protect the harvest. It takes a bit of discipline and dedication, but it works. Cover up. If frost looms, plants’ foliage and blossoms can be protected by covering them with a cardboard box, bushel baskets, old sheets or spun garden fabric will gain a few extra degrees in temperature and save plants from frosts. A few words of caution: Do not cover with metal or plastic; those will burn the plants. Also, do not cover the plants with anything so heavy it breaks down the plant. And remember that while Jack Frost is likely lurking just around the corner, spring can’t be too far behind.

Readers may contact Walt Reichert at editor@kentuckymonthly.com k e n t u c k y m o n t h l y. c o m 47

past tense/present tense by Bill Ellis

Pranks, Mischief, Mayhem and Lawlessness in the Bluegrass State “Have you got Prince Albert in a can?”


f you are as old as I am, you may have pulled this prank in a telephone call to a local grocery store somewhere back in the Dark Ages, circa 1950s. If the proprietor of the store answered yes to “Have you got Prince Albert in a can?” you replied: “Then, you’d better let him out. Ha! Ha!”* Early in the history of the nation and our Commonwealth, jokes, pranks and other mayhem were considered good fun. Brawls were quite common. There weren’t organized sports for the masses. Even the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, bested Jack Armstrong of the Clary’s Grove Boys, well-known for his foul tactics, when the young native Kentuckian “fairly lifted the great bully by the throat and shook him like a rag,” according to biographer William Herndon. Pranks could be both benign and injurious. For example, early 19th century papermaker Ebenezer Stedman of Lexington told stories of Frank Hofstutter, “the town’s most celebrated practical joker. His ‘tricks & Pranks [were] Enjoyed by Evry Body that day in Lexington’.” Once, this miscreant put a plug of tobacco into soup at a Lexington tavern. When the patrons who ate the soup commenced vomiting, the event was declared to the The Best Joke of the Season. Apparently spiking food and drink with laxatives or emetics was considered great sport of the times.

The arrival of Constantine Rafinesque on Transylvania University’s campus in 1819 was undoubtedly one of the highlights of education in Kentucky. Brilliant to a

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fault, Rafinesque packed his classrooms at a time when the school ranked alongside Yale, Harvard and Princeton Universities. One of his classes drew “108 paying students.” Unfortunately, Rafinesque eventually ran afoul of President Horace Holley, probably the result of two brilliant minds not exactly in cohesion. The Constantinople-born scientist left Lexington in 1826, placing a curse on Holley and Transylvania. In 1924, what may or may not have been Rafinesque’s remains were reinterred in a crypt in the basement of Old Morrison. Today, around Halloween, Rafinesque Day is set aside for innocent student frivolity and the reenactment of folkloric fears, mostly tongue-incheek, that the “spirit” of this unique individual still prowls the campus. Students at one of the earliest law schools in state, the University of Louisville, were not above playing pranks. During his lectures, Professor Charles B. Seymour would quench his thirst with brownish Ohio River water. One day, a group of students substituted beer for his water. The victim of the prank, who claimed never to have consumed liquor in any form, took one sip of the brew, spewed it toward the class, and launched into a temperance lecture. The University of Louisville is one of the oldest continuously operating medical schools in the region. According to the official history of that school, in the 19th century “townspeople had no reason to like medical students, except for the money they brought into the local economy. Contemporary accounts reported that students drank, gambled and engaged in public brawls. Some even carried firearms.” UofL School of Medicine catalogs for the early 1870s listed Simon Kracht as janitor. However, as a

“resurrectionist,” Kracht also made late-night forays to rob graves in local cemeteries. Such trips were vital to the training of physicians in the days before cadavers for dissection were legally procured.

The University of Kentucky was not immune to student riots. On Oct. 23, 1913, the Wildcats were thoroughly thrashed 27-7 in a football match. According to an early history of the school, “several hundred students paraded through the streets of Lexington, tearing down signs, taking over beer wagons, and stopping streetcars.” Later that night, faculty members finally got the students under control. Burning couches today after a winning ball game at UK seems rather benign compared to a student riot. President James K. Patterson, who served at what became UK from 18691910, often suffered the indignity of having his carriage horse taken to the second floor of the main building on Halloween. There, his horse usually was painted some shade of green. More than once, visiting dignitaries had the wheels taken off their buggies when they were on campus. At Central University in Richmond in the late 19th century, students occasionally painted the buggy horse of Chancellor Lindsay Hughes Blanton alternating stripes of black and white to resemble a zebra. On other occasions, they took a calf to the roof of the old main building and abandoned the poor animal. Perhaps the most serious of all campus uproars occurred at Georgetown College in 1861, just after the attack on Fort Sumter. Tempers flared as pro-slavery advocates clashed with Unionist students. Faculty figured a debate would solve the issue. They were wrong. After a

makeshift Confederate flag was hoisted atop old Recitation Hall, college trustee and Unionist Stephen Gano and his slave tore down the flag. Miraculously, only minor fisticuffs disrupted the peace. President Duncan Campbell reviewed the situation, determining that “on account of the increasing excitement among the students caused by the agitated condition of the country,” there appeared to be no solution except to close down the college. Many of the students marched off to war.

I’ll admit that I am not above initiating practical jokes. When I heard of the impending birthday of my favorite publisher a couple of years ago, I appeared at his office with a scythe and wearing a black robe and black cloth over my head with only my eye holes. You guessed it: I was The Grim Reaper. The publisher’s wife and his associate editor broke up laughing. One practical joke got turned back on me. Way back in the 1980s, the university building on the Eastern Kentucky University’s campus had a vacant classroom for a few months. That rarely, if ever, happened. Feeling the need for a little frivolity, I placed beside the doorway a notice that the space was now occupied by Dr. Aardwolf, professor of Icelandic studies. (By the way, the aardwolf is a native of South Africa, not Iceland.) When students looked at the notice with some curiosity, I then decided to have even more fun. I posted notices when the building was vacant. “Professor Aardwolf is on an expedition to the Arctic.” “Professor Aardwolf is suffering from frostbite, and his classes are canceled until warm weather returns.” “Professor Aardwolf was last seen being chased by a polar bear on the Arctic icecap.” “We regret to inform his many students and colleagues that all contact has been lost with the professor.” This went on for months. I watched students with perplexed expressions. Some got the joke and began posting notices of their regret for the professor’s disappearance. “I need Professor Aardwolf to change my grade to A-,” one wrote. Another

volunteered for an expedition to find the professor. This ended when a young lady entered my office one day inquiring about the professor, explaining that she had spent time in the United States Air Force in Iceland and wanted to enter the Icelandic Studies Program. I tookai15823220819_FRAZIER down the last half remaining page vertical.pdf 1 notices about the professor. I will

always believe that one of my colleagues put this student up to this task. Touché. Did you ever pull a prank and engage in other mischief? Have you ever taken part in a practical joke? Or had a practical joke pulled on you? *Prince Albert pipe tobacco was quite popular in those days.

2/21/2020 4:54:42 PM








© women's march on Washington by Mobilus In Mobili


k e n t u c k y m o n t h l y. c o m 49

field notes by Gary Garth


The Challenges of Carp


n a cloudy February morning, with temperatures touching the high 40s and a chance of rain, a collection of biologists, scientists, politicians, reporters, security personnel and VIP onlookers gathered in the parking lot at the Pisgah Bay boat ramp near the Hillman Ferry campground on the northern end of Kentucky Lake. Quietly sporting his political celebrity status and dressed for the event in blue jeans, a flannel shirt and down vest zipped to the neck, Sen. Mitch McConnell headlined the gathering. Gov. Andy Beshear, in a crisp white shirt and bright-yellow tie, also was in attendance, as was casually dressed Kentucky 1st District U.S. Rep. James Comer. Lyon County Judge-Executive Wade White had a front-row seat. Dr. Jim Reilly, current director of the U.S. Geological Survey and former NASA astronaut whose resumé includes three trips on a space shuttle and five space walks, looked on. Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Rich Storm and several agency department directors, including former fisheries director and current agency “carp czar” Ron 50 K E NT U C K Y M O NTHLY APRI L 2 0 2 0

Brooks, chatted with the crowd. A handful of media members, each there by invitation, milled about, along with about two dozen other invited guests and officials. Surveying the crowd, I concluded that only carp could pull together such a mix of political bedfellows. Asian carp have invaded much of the upper and middle Mississippi River watershed, including the lower Ohio, Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. The carp, primarily of the big head and silver variety, are a problem that is not going away but might be controlled. No one knows how many carp are in the lakes. What is known is that they are changing, and possibly damaging, the sport fishery. White has spearheaded local efforts to combat the carp, and Brooks is one of the country’s most knowledgeable carp experts.

We had just witnessed a demonstration of something Paul Wilkes described as the modified unified method of controlling and removing Asian carp. It’s a technique that has been employed in China, where the fish originated, for years

but on much smaller bodies of water than Kentucky Lake. Its effectiveness is yet to be determined. Federal funding of $26 million, which McConnell’s office largely helped secure, made it possible. The funding is shared among several states, but McConnell seemed confident that, if more is needed, it will be forthcoming. “This is really an experiment to remove Asian carp on a level that just far exceeds our current abilities,” said Wilkes, who, before being named acting fisheries director, served as the state’s first aquatic nuisance species coordinator. He knows his way around carp. “The modified unified method is our latest attempt to remove Asian carp.” The labor-intensive technique is fairly straightforward. Pisgah Bay, where the method of carp collection was demonstrated, could be measured in city blocks. It’s a large embayment. Asian carp—which are extremely sensitive to sound and often leap from water, occasionally colliding with boats and boaters—are driven inside a netted area. Through sound herding and pulling in the nets, the fish are collected into a relatively small space, then vacuumed into collection nets and removed. The vacuum-like device, which Wilkes referred to as a “fish pump,” is about the size of a combine. It was adapted from a tool used in the Northwest to assist salmon in their upstream migration. We watched from outside the containment net that reached across the bay as about a dozen workers gradually gathered and collected the fish into smaller, more manageable areas. “The short and sweet of this process is, essentially, we block off an

embayment, and we drive Asian carp to an area where we want them,” Wilkes explained. “Then block the embayment off behind us, drive those carp a little farther, and block it off again until we’ve moved all those fish into a smaller location, where we can try to seine them out en masse.” Wilkes said sportfish are not as susceptible to sound herding as carp and usually escape the entrapment. Those that don’t are released. The demonstration was impressive and effective. But whether it can be successfully employed to control unknown numbers of carp prowling a 160,000-acre lake is questionable. There is little doubt it will be helpful, though, especially when coupled with the carp removal efforts of commercial fishermen and other strategies. “There are a lot of potential directions we can go from here and use this as a tool to see if we can

move fish out of here in larger numbers and more efficiently than we currently can,” Wilkes said. “We can also use it potentially to evaluate just how many [carp] are in the lake.” In a collaborative tone reflected by each official who spoke, including Beshear and Comer, McConnell sounded optimistic. “We’re hoping that the modified unified method will give us a chance to get rid of them,” he said, adding that efforts are continuing to find and expand commercial markets for Asian carp. “But this is a day to celebrate the beginning of getting rid of this problem. This is a good cooperative effort.” No one was pretending or suggesting that Asian carp can be eradicated from waters where they have invaded and become established. But they can be controlled. Reilly, who noted that the USGS is

acting as the “research arm” of the project, indicated that a long-term solution might be at the “environmental DNA” level. “There’s not only containment but control,” the former astronaut said. “But this is not going to be a shortterm process.” Fishermen and businesses whose lifeblood flows from the region’s multimillion-dollar sport fishing industry may have the most to lose to Asian carp. Wilkes offered encouragement. “I would tell fishermen to be optimistic,” he concluded. “The fisheries are still outstanding. And we removed more carp last year than we ever have out of these waters, and we’re on pace to shatter that record this year. There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic. Come out here and fish. Don’t let it hold you back.”

Readers may contact Gary Garth at editor@kentuckymonthly.com

Kentucky Gateway Museum Center

215 Sutton Street

Maysville, KY 41056



of the Rich and


Open Tuesday – Saturday 10am to 4pm

s s e e Sham l

A PortrAit of the roAring 20s

Now on Display Open through May 16, 2020

Maysville Pottery and Stoneware Exhibit Opening April 21, 2020 k e n t u c k y m o n t h l y. c o m 51

off the shelf

(P)-Paperback (C)-Clothbound (H)-Hardback

Early Kentucky Art politics and war, so that our children may study geography and agriculture, to give their children the right to study painting, poetry, and tapestry.” The book is artistically designed, its pages rich with full-color photographs of often-ornate Kentucky longrifles, along with stories of the families and individual gunsmiths who built and used these iconic American firearms.


n his new book, Into the Bluegrass: Art and Artistry of Kentucky’s Historic Icons, collector and historian Dr. Mel Stewart Hankla showcases examples of the Commonwealth’s early material culture and knits the images together with stories of Kentucky’s early frontiersmen and women who carried names like Boone and Kenton and Craig, and soldier-statesmen like Clark and Shelby. Hankla writes that the emergence of art, skilled engraving, fine silverwork, furniture craft and architecture in early Kentucky was made possible by a culture that had, as its backbone, the iconic Kentucky longrifle, which evolved into a distinctive art form of sculpted wood, iron, brass and silver.

Hankla’s crisp and engaging writing style makes for a lively read as he unravels stories such as the personal architectural flairs of William Whitley’s Sportsman’s Hill estate, known as the “Guardian of the Wilderness Road.” Or a tale of the impressive Chippendale secretary crafted for early settler John Cowan around 1796—a piece of furniture that sold in modern times for nearly a half-million dollars. In a chapter on the Revolutionary War’s Battle of King’s Mountain, Hankla shares the intriguing story and sharp photography of the finely crafted British officer’s saber that was surrendered to Evan Shelby after the Kentuckian’s 1780 victory.

The theme of “strength and security as a foundation for art and culture” is established early in the book. Hankla enlisted Dr. Richard Taylor, Kentucky’s Poet Laureate of 1999-2000, to author the introduction. Taylor writes:

Weaponry design—such as that of sabers, rifles and tomahawks— enabled the evolution of the Kentucky artistry that extended to decorative household items. Gracing the pages of Into the Bluegrass are silver ladles, teapots and julep cups by silversmiths Marsh, Blanchard and Ayres; Isaac Thomas stoneware; case clocks owned by William Calk and Reuben Mock; prison-made furniture; textiles; fine paintings, and engraved Timothy Tansel powder horns.

“Central to this evolution of a western artistic culture on a rough-and-tumble frontier is the longrifle. To paraphrase John Adams in his May 1780 letter to his wife Abigail: we must study

The book highlights the diverse faces and hands that contributed to life on the early frontier: from Polly Hawkins Craig leading the women whose courage helped Bryan’s Station survive a 1782 siege by the Shawnee, Delaware and Wyandotte; to Chickasaw Chief

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Piomingo insisting that his ally, gunsmith Thomas Simpson, “make [him] a gun like you made for Col. [Gasper] Mansker”; to the recognition paid African-American frontiersman and freed slave Capt. Jack Hart, with the Kentucky legislature’s resolution proclaiming “deepest respect and admiration, homage and tribute” to Hart for his contributions to early Kentucky. In addition to his finely bound hardcover edition, Hankla has produced a special leather-bound and slipcased signature edition, which contains a bonus chapter from noted Kentucky collector J. Macklin Cox titled “An American Story: The Redd Family Portraits.” Here, Cox shares the epic account of the Redd family and their professional relationships with famed Kentucky portrait painters Matthew Harris Jouett and Oliver Frazer, including the Redds’ vow to keep the artists’ collected paintings together. Born, raised and educated in the Bluegrass State, Hankla notes that his fifth-great-grandfather, James Hankla, was a 19th-century contemporary of Kenton, Boone, Shelby and George Rogers Clark. Hankla, a native of Russell County who lives in Carter County, has a doctorate in education administration and is the founder of American Historic Services LLC. He is a noted collector, researcher, writer and speaker. He serves on the museum board of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution, is active on the advisory board of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and is a member of the Kentucky Material Culture Collectors and the American Society of Arms Collectors. By Joe Jansen Into the Bluegrass: Art and Artistry of Kentucky’s Historic Icons, By Mel Hankla American Historic Services, $79.95 (H); $299.95 (leather-bound signature edition)

Recollections of a Star

Inspirational Thoughts

Longtime University of Kentucky basketball fans recall with dismay the March 14, 1970, game when the Wildcats were shocked in the Mideast Region finals, 106-100, by upstart Jacksonville University. On that day, Artis Gilmore scored 24 points and had 20 rebounds, more than counteracting the 28 points and 10 rebounds by UK star Dan Issel. Years later, fans of the American Basketball Association’s Kentucky Colonels were happy when teammates Gilmore and Issel helped lead the Colonels to the 1974-75 ABA championship.

A graduate of the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky in Georgetown, Rev. Pat Ham has written an eminently readable book of short devotionals about the problems we all face. These include “Thoughts About Church,” “Thoughts About God,” Thoughts About Faith,” “Thoughts About Life” and “Thoughts About Other Stuff.”

In Gilmore’s compelling biography, the 7-footer speaks straight from the heart about growing up poor in Chipley, Florida; his decision to go to Jacksonville University; and his reason for signing with an ABA team over an NBA team out of college. The book is most entertaining as Gilmore talks about dozens of past coaches, teammates and the things that have been said about him. By Steve Flairty

The first grouping includes the ideas and qualms most of us have about the place of the church as an institution in our culture and its fallibility. In “Confirmation, Reformation, Transformation,” Ham offers a challenge to the church and to Christians to experience worship, peace and understanding. Each short personal reflection urges the reader to seek practical answers. “Count your blessings,” Ham writes. “Appreciate what you have now and what you have enjoyed so far in life. And when life gives you lemons, God will be there to help you make lemonade … Be slow to anger and quick to love. Be humble!” By William E. Ellis

Here Comes the A-Train! The Story of Basketball Legend Artis Gilmore By Artis Gilmore, with Mark Bruner and Reid Griffith Fontaine, Acclaim Press, $21.95 (H)

Amusing Musings Award-winning author, part-time writer, former preacher and lab technician John Sparks of Hagerhill (Johnson County) has put together a collection of his columns from his short stint as a writer for the newspapers of the Big Sandy Valley. The columns appeared in 2016 in Around Paintsville, Around Prestonsburg and Around Louisa. The musings are sometimes historical, sometimes religious and sometimes contain a lesson, but each has a bit of humor to go along with a message. The wit is there, but sometimes you need to look for it, like a quick wink of an eye. The Common Tater is an easy read— reminiscent of talking to an old friend. Sparks, a graduate of Pikeville College, has written several other books, including Kentucky’s Most Hated Man: Charles Chilton Moore & the Blue Grass Blade and The Roots of Appalachian Christianity: the Life and Legacy of Elder Shubal Stearns. By Deborah Kohl Kremer The Common Tater: Musings of an Eastern Kentucky Newspaper Columnist By John Sparks, Self-published, $12.95 (P)

Life Lessons: What I’ve Learned from the Choices, Changes, and Blessings in My Life By Pat Ham, Christian Faith Publishing, $12.95 (P)

k e n t u c k y m o n t h l y. c o m 53

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Uniting Kentuckians everywhere. Kentucky Monthly Magazine is your guide to the Commonwealth, and the exceptional offerings that make the Bluegrass State such a wonderful place to visit or call home.


Steve Inskeep rescues Jessie Benton Frémont from unfair obscurity and elevates John C. Frémont from the purgatory of brief mentions in history textbooks to give this modern couple their due as consequential figures in America’s story. John Frémont led trailblazing expeditions across the West and had a hand in conquering California for the United States. Jessie took charge of writing colorful accounts of his adventures, making him famous and inspiring untold thousands to set out for the frontier. Inskeep observes that the stories on which they collaborated portray John as “a democratic everyman waging civilization’s fight against nature—often in peril, at times overmatched, but never giving up.” Years later, John was the last man standing in the competition to become the first Republican nominee for president, and Jessie—ambitious, outspoken, savvy and as popular as John, if not more so—served as a key figure in the inner circle of her husband’s campaign. With the elements of an exhaustively researched biography, an action-adventure story, and a political tellall, Imperfect Union relates how Jessie and John ignited a mass migration of settlers to the West, helped set in motion the events that led to the Civil War, and raised the profile of the women’s rights movement. The story of the Frémont helps explain how we got here and illuminates matters of racism, gender inequality and nativism that vex the country to this day.


The award-winning host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and the NPR podcast Up First, Inskeep is a 1990 graduate of Morehead State University.

AUGUST 2019 J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 9


Giants at Bernheim Forest

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First Generation Women Achievers Touring Your Home State Frontier Nursing University Ignite Institute Facts About Kentucky Colleges

Photography exhibit in need benefits women

Display until 9/10/2019


Birding in Kentucky

Display until 8/13/2019

By Ted Sloan

Berea Festival of Learnshops Pioneer Playhouse Celebrates 70 Years www.kentuckymonthly.com

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5/14/19 8:22 PM

K E N T U C K Y M O N T H L Y. C O M

54 K E NT U C K Y M O NTHLY APRI L 2 0 2 0

Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War By Steve Inskeep, Penguin Press, $32 (H)

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United We Stand, Divided We Fall



need to apologize before I even get started. I am at a loss. For 22 years, we have strived to create a magazine that is all about bringing people together. Now, we find ourselves in a time—hopefully brief— where that’s maybe not the best idea. As you read this issue, you’re reading information written in the wake of the announcements that—to limit the spread of coronavirus— schools were taking extended breaks and have canceled the boys and girls Sweet Sixteen. Athletic conference tournaments and the NCAA tournaments have been canceled. The NBA and NHL seasons are suspended. Schools are closing or moving classes online. As I write, I’m STEPHEN M. VEST Publisher + Editor-in-Chief shockingly aware of how often I touch my face. I feel the need to wash my hands every time I use my keyboard or answer my phone. Events such as the Kentucky Crafted Market and the Southern Kentucky Festival of Books have been postponed. Alltech’s ONE Conference

will be held virtually. Churches have stopped passing the peace, modified communion and canceled services. Incoming flights from Europea have been prohibited. At press time, the events in this issue are scheduled to occur. With the situation in flux, as you sit in your home—hopefully safe, secure and well—we realize we may have missed something, maybe even something significant. We ask that, before you travel anywhere, please call ahead. Please double check. If you’ve found something we’ve done incorrectly— left out or left in—before you appear at our door ready to slap some sense into us, please use hand sanitizer (or preferably soap and hot water). It’s a difficult time for Kentuckians. It goes against the grain, cuts through the fabric. Our Commonwealth’s flag—our seal— boasts a handshake, the center of our understanding of social interaction and fair dealing. In the Kentucky General Assembly’s first session, Dec. 20, 1792, legislators ordered the creation of an engraved seal showing “two friends embracing and the motto: United we stand, divided we fall.” David Humphries, a Lexington silversmith, depicted the men in swallowtail coats instead of hunting apparel. Instead of the handshake, he had them hugging. Other depictions followed. The clothing changed with fashions, including different coats and top hats. The men dressed in buckskin and formal attire first appeared in 1857 in the skylights of the House of Representatives’ chamber in Washington, D.C. The artist, whose name is lost to time, placed the pair in front of a row of columns and wearing garments resembling togas as overcoats. “United we stand, divided we fall”

comes from “The Liberty Song,” a pre-Revolutionary song. Many of our forefathers fought in the American Revolution, and land grants awarded for their military service are what brought them to Kentucky. Some say Daniel Boone is the man in buckskin, representative of rural areas, and Henry Clay is the citydweller. Generally, the pair is shaking hands. In other representations, the handshake is with one hand, and the other hand is on the opposite shoulder of the recipient, or the pair shares a supportive hug. Paducah’s Henry Ward, who as commissioner of conservation expanded the Kentucky state park system in the 1950s, said that a depiction with one man’s left hand grasping the other man’s right made them appear like they were dancing an Irish jig. In 1954, Ward asked Louisville artist Ernie Giancola to create a more natural-looking handshake. In 1962, legislators solidified the seal, saying it should depict “a pioneer meeting a gentleman,” and artist Nan Gorman, who later served as Hazard’s mayor after the death of her husband, Bill (who famously served 35 years without a salary), designed the seal we use today. Connections are a part of who we are. “Where you from?” is our mostused phrase. It’s not a nosy question; it’s asked because it’s the foundation to determine how we are connected and whom we might know in common. In our larger cities, it’s “Where’d you go to school?” Asked for the same reason—connections. Kentucky’s first U.S. senator, John Brown, who built Frankfort’s Liberty Hall, said the seal was to show “two friends, in hunter’s garb, their right hands clasped, their left resting on each other’s shoulders, their feet on the verge of a precipice [on the edge of the unknown].” That’s where we find ourselves today.

Readers, and those looking for a speaker, may contact Stephen M. Vest at steve@kentuckymonthly.com KWIZ ANSWERS: 1. B. Cigar; 2. A. Han Solo; 3. C. She is the current CIA director; 4. C. Humana; 5. B. Levi Adrian Swan, the daughter of Allison Ball, is the first child born to a mom in office; 6. A. Bourbon County; 7. B. Pulaski, as the Second Church of the Cumberland’s biggest rival is McCreary Methodist; 8. A. Anything tater is Benton; 9. C. Canceled checks; 10. B. Passed the bar.

56 K E NT U C K Y M O NTHLY APRI L 2 0 2 0

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