Page 1

J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

Ashbourne Farms PLUS Bat B&Bs Summer Festivals Renee's Bridal

Display until 8/14/2018

Saving farms for the future Since 1982, Kentucky has lost more than 600,000 acres of farmland to development. American Farmland Trust has led the fight to save family farms. We’ve helped protect more than 6.7 million acres of family farmland from destructive development and implemented conservation practices on millions more nationwide. Today, we continue to be the nation’s leading advocate for family farmers and the farmland that provides our communities with fresh, local food.

Join us in our mission to protect America’s family farms. Visit us online at to get your FREE No Farms No Food® car magnet today.

No F No arms Foo d ®



In This Issue

20 Departments 2 Kentucky Kwiz 4 Mag on the Move 6 Across Kentucky 8 Oddities at the Museum 9 Music Kentucky Fiddle Sisters 10 Cooking Farmers Market Finds 33 Kentucky Travel Industry Association’s Signature Summer Events 41 Off the Shelf 42 Field Notes 43 Gardening 44 Calendar

Featured Fare 14 For the Love of the Land

Austin Musselman continues his family tradition of land stewardship and hospitality at Ashbourne Farms

20 Lace, Crystals, Tulle and TLC

Renee Miller searches each bride’s heart to create the perfect gown

26 Kentucky Time Warp

Tired of 2018? Visit the Jane Austen and Kentucky Highland Renaissance festivals, and escape into the past

30 Boarding Bats

Lexington entrepreneurs build classy accommodations worthy of nature’s exterminators

34 A ROMP to Remember


Music writer Laura Younkin relates her adventures at ROMP Fest

3 Readers Write 38 Past Tense/ Present Tense 56 Vested Interest


Fred Gross


Drone photo of Ashbourne Farms by Andrew Hyslop




Test your knowledge of our beloved Commonwealth. To find out how you fared, see the bottom of Vested Interest or take the Kwiz online at

6. Lexington artist and poet Henry Faulkner was often accompanied by who or what when attending parties?

1. When Draffenville-born actress Chrishell Stause’s mother went into labor at a Shell gas station, Chris, the attendant, called for help, leading to her unique first name.

7. How many of the members of country music combo Halfway to Hazard are from Hazard?

True False 2. Born in Louisville in 1873, Madame Sul-Te-Wan was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1986, nearly 30 years after her death. She appeared in fellow Kentuckian D.W. Griffith’s controversial 1915 drama Birth of a Nation, but is known as the first black actor, male or female, to do what? A. Speak on film

A. His sister, Frances

© 2018, Vested Interest Publications Volume Twenty One, Issue 5, June/July 2018

B. A bourbon-drinking goat C. William Shatner

STEPHEN M. VEST, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

A. One B. Both C. Neither 8. Bowling Green’s Duncan Hines was best known as an expert on good food and often associated with cake mixes, which led to his book, Adventures in Good Eating. What was Hines’ favorite evening meal? A. Steak and potatoes B. Ham and eggs

9. Courier-Journal columnist Joe Creason often referred to Benton as:

C. Sign a contract as a featured performer

A. “The only town in Kentucky where I was born”

A. Right to assemble B. Right to bear arms C. Right to privacy 4. In June, Winchester and Clark County celebrate the 1940s creation of which Kentucky delicacy? A. Ale-8-One B. Bourbon balls

B. “The only town in Kentucky without a water tower” C. “The only town in Kentucky with a Tater Day” 10. Academy Award-winning film producer and screenwriter Lucien Hubbard—the brother of Harlan Hubbard, who lived most his life off the grid—is credited with being the first filmmaker to do what? A. Film in color B. Act in his own film C. Portray Native Americans in a favorable light

C. Beer cheese

Business and Circulation BARBARA KAY VEST, Business Manager JOCELYN ROPER, Circulation Specialist

JULIE MOORE, Senior Account Executive MISTEE BROWNING, Account Executive MIKE LACEY, Account Executive JIM HEIDER, 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, Kim Butterweck, 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, Walter B. Norris, Kasia Pater, Dr. Mary Jo Ratliff, Barry A. Royalty, Randy and Rebecca Sandell, Kelli Schreiber, Christopher E. and Marie Shake, Kendall Carr Shelton, Ted M. Sloan and Marjorie D. Vest. Kentucky Monthly invites queries but accepts no responsibility for unsolicited material; submissions will not be returned. (888) 329-0053 P.O. Box 559 100 Consumer Lane Frankfort, KY 40601

A. Zachary Taylor B. Daniel Boone C. Jefferson Davis Duncan Hines

K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8


Kentucky Monthly is printed and distributed by Publishers Press, Shepherdsville, Ky.

5. When the USS Kentuckian was christened in 1910 by Nancy Johnson, the daughter of U.S. Rep. Ben Johnson, she used “sparkling spring water” from the former farms of Abraham Lincoln and which other native son?


Editorial PATRICIA RANFT, Associate Editor DEBORAH KOHL KREMER, Assistant Editor MADELYNN COLDIRON and TED SLOAN, Contributing Editors JESSICA PATTON, Art Director CAIT A. SMITH, Copy Editor


C. Grits

B. Live at the Motion Picture Actors’ Home

3. Louis Brandeis, the namesake of the University of Louisville law school, is credited with advancing which embattled right of United States citizens?

Celebrating the best of our Commonwealth

VOICES THANKS AND A SUGGESTION Just a note to let you know how much I enjoy Kentucky Monthly. Every issue is packed with interesting pieces/ information. I hope the “paper version” will continue—it’s so nice for travel, bedtime reading and quick reference to back issues. Thank you for the excellent quality and best wishes for continued success. Liz Jeffiers, Taylorsville

I want to let you know how much I love this magazine. We are relatively new to Kentucky. I found a copy of Kentucky Monthly in a doctor’s waiting room and again in a bookstore. I was so intrigued by the content that I purchased the current issue and a couple of back issues the bookstore had on hand. I have since subscribed to the magazine as well and sent an appreciative note along with the subscription. The magazine content covers so many aspects of life, culture and, in particular, Kentucky life—Kentucky history, food/restaurants/recipes,

holidays, travel, regions of Kentucky, art, music, crafts, literature, science, education, some sports, bourbon and brews, calendars of events and so much more. For me, it seems the only thing not covered on a regular basis are pets or animals, other than the popular racingrelated activities, and I am truly a fan of those. It would be nice to see some animal-related articles on a regular basis. I did search the magazine archives and found some interesting articles about animals—loved the Megson’s white Thoroughbreds (April 2016 issue, page 14) and the Primate Rescue Center (March 2015, page 46)—but those types of stories seem periodic rather than a regular feature. Linda Bruce, Georgetown

Readers Write FASCINATING HISTORY In keeping with my usual practice, the first thing I turned to in my May Kentucky Monthly was Bill Ellis’ article (page 44). This one was on Francis Preston Blair Sr., which I found most interesting. But I really got excited when I saw that he was going to write on the Beauchamp-Sharp tragedy for the next issue. Having been born and reared in Simpson County and lived here most of my adult life, I am well acquainted with the subject, but am learning that most folks are ignorant about it. I am sure the article will stimulate interest on what I believe is a fascinating episode in our history (story appears on page 38). Thanks to Mr. Ellis for all he has contributed and continues to contribute. Bill Harris, Franklin

Counties featured in this issue n

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

You don’t have to stop living to stop cancer. Compassion and warm-heartedness are essential to the way we treat cancer, because we’re doing so much more than curing disease. We’re healing people. And that requires care that goes beyond the most advanced treatments and technology. It requires a level of quality care so unique and comprehensive, it carries the Ephraim McDowell name. For more information about our center and our family-centered healing plans, call (859) 236 -2203.

J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY





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! Take a copy of the magazine with you and get snapping. Send your high-resolution photos (usually 1 MB or higher) to

First Lady’s Luncheon Group

Washington, D.C. Kentucky family and friends who were guests of Kansas Rep. Kevin and Brooke Robinson Yoder attended the First Lady’s Luncheon and took in some sights around the nation’s capital. The group included T.J. Keller, Brenda Robinson, Stacie Banks, Lauren Griffith, Brooke Yoder, Kristie Robinson and Linda Banks.

Tressa and Darrell Vincent Cuba

Ginny and Roger Roeding Italy

Bill and Cyndi Wickerham Israel

Since the Caribbean country has become increasingly tourist friendly, more of Kentucky Monthly’s readers have visited the island. Bowling Green residents Darrell and Tressa are among them.

Ginny and Roger of Crestview Hills in northern Kentucky enjoyed a trip to Italy given to them by their four children. The couple appear here in front of the Colosseum in Rome.

While visitng Israel, the Owensboro couple stopped by the brook where David picked up five stones to kill the giant Goliath in the valley of Elah. And yes, they brought home five stones!


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

Travis White and Holly Valentine Georgia

Vanda Galen and Kathy Williams Slovenia

Travis and Holly, who live in Corbin, home of the Harland Sanders Café and Museum, paid a visit to the giant chicken at the KFC in Marietta, Georgia.

Vanda, an “exile from Morehead” now living in Minnesota, traveled to Eastern Europe with Kathy to check out Bled Castle in Bled, Slovenia.

Karen “Sissy” Wommack Germany Benton resident Karen enjoyed a Viking Cruise on the Danube River from Budapest, Hungary to Passau, Germany, where she is pictured.

Erin Carr Hungary

Marie and Michael Anderson Scotland

Bob and Judy Adkins of Madisonville sent in this photo of their granddaughter Erin, left, with friend Rachel in Budapest, Hungary. The pals were on a mission trip from Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana.

The Morehead couple visited the infamous Loch Ness on their travels to Scotland. They appear here with a statue of “Nessie,” also known as the Loch Ness Monster.

J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


B I R T H DAYS JUNE 6 Phillip Allen Sharp (1944), Falmouth-born and Union College-educated Nobel Prizewinning geneticist and biologist. 6 Darrell Griffith (1958), basketball player known as “Dr. Dunkenstein” who led the University of Louisville to the 1980 NCAA Championship. 9 Johnny Depp (1963), Owensboro-born actor best known for offbeat characters such as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates Darrell Griffith of the Caribbean film series. 11 Frank X Walker (1961), Danville-born writer/professor and past Kentucky poet laureate 13 DeVore Ledridge (2001), Lexingtonborn actress who stars as Amelia Duckworth on the Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark. 21 Griffin Myers (1987), Pikeville-born actor best known as one of the Pacific Vista cheerleaders in the film Bring It On: All or Nothing. 27 Brereton C. Jones (1939), 58th governor of Kentucky (1991-95) and owner of Woodford County’s Airdrie Stud. 28 Sena Jeter Naslund (1942), best-selling author who served as Kentucky’s poet laureate for 2005-06.

J U LY 3 Tom Cruise (1962), Golden Globe Awardwinning actor who spent part of his youth in Louisville. 5 James Morris (1952), Hall of Fame wrestler from Bowling Green, known to his fans as “Hillbilly Jim.” 6 Ned Beatty (1937), film actor with credits in more than 100 films. 8 Jim Gifford (1944), author/publisher and executive director of the Jesse Stuart Foundation. 8 Joan Osborne (1962), singer-songwriter best known for her 1995 hit “One of Us.” 8 Mark Stoops (1967), head football coach at the University of Kentucky. 13 Frank Ramsey (1931), Hall of Fame basketball Joan Osborne player and University of Kentucky All-American from Hopkins County. 21 Crit Luallen (1952), politician who served as Kentucky’s 56th lieutenant governor. 22 Gurney Norman (1937), Kentucky’s poet laureate for 2009-10. 24 Crystal Wilkinson (1962), a founding member of Affrilachian Poets.


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8


Across Kentucky


ust in time for summer, the Kentucky Department of Tourism and Kentucky State Parks have unveiled a sampling of their new Culinary Trail. Several state park chefs were on hand in early May at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park to present the new program to tourism leaders from across the Commonwealth. Nine serving stations highlighted an abbreviated menu of what would be served this summer at several state parks. In the works for more than a year, the Better in the Bluegrass initiative features signature Southern meals of the state’s nine designated tourism regions. Each region selected a complete meal that best represented their section of Kentucky. “This program encourages locals and visitors alike to explore every corner of our great state to taste all of our signature dishes,” Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum said. The culinary trail is a joint effort by chefs, farmers, food producers, historians and tourism professionals throughout Kentucky. “We want visitors to have fun traveling across Kentucky and tasting our delicious foods,” Branscum added. “They can interact with the program by picking up a special Culinary Passport at any state park.” Guests can then get the passport stamped after eating one of the featured meals at all nine parks on the trail. Participants with completed passports will receive a special gift. The signature meals will be served through Oct. 31. Here are some of the foods and drinks visitors can sample at the nine parks: Kentucky Dam Village, Calvert City – country ham, fried fish, white beans, sweet corn, green beans, banana pudding and local craft bourbon. n Pennyrile Forest, Dawson Springs – burgoo, mutton barbecue, baked beans, slaw, potato salad, peach cobbler and strawberry lemonade. n Rough River Dam, Falls of Rough – Bibb salad with benedictine dressing, Hot Brown, succotash, bourbon biscuit pudding and old-fashioned cocktail. n Blue Licks Battlefield, Carlisle – tomato pie, goetta, potato cakes, transparent pie and Kentucky Rain cocktail. n Natural Bridge, Slade – beer cheese, beef, grits, spoonbread, limestone Bibb salad with sorghum vinaigrette, bourbon-chocolate dessert and Ale-8-One. n Jenny Wiley, Prestonsburg – soup beans with cornbread, salmon patties, fried potatoes, cucumber/tomato/onion salad with Italian dressing, blackberry jam cake with caramel icing and coffee. n Pine Mountain, Pineville – chow-chow and pickled beets, soup beans, fried potatoes, cornbread, green onions, apple stack cake and milk or moonshine. n Lake Cumberland, Jamestown – pinto beans with spider cornbread, fried fish, real mashed potatoes, collard greens, slaw, fried apple pie and Ski soft drink. n Barren River Lake, Lucas – local cheeses, pork shoulder/pork chops, sliced tomatoes, sweet corn, green beans with ham hock, fruit cobbler with local ice cream and apple cider. n

Each one of these dishes has a story to tell with its history and connection to the region. For more information, visit and select the Taste drop-down menu. — Gary P. West

RETURN OF AN ALL THINGS BOURBON OLD FRIEND he fifth annual Kentucky Bourbon Affair takes place June 5-10 in Louisville T and includes events presented by more than 20 distilleries. One of the more innovative and educational presentations of Bourbon Affair une 14 marks two occasions related Jto Kentucky’s native spirit: is the Higher Proof Expo, which was introduced last year. The June 9 expo, a National Bourbon Day and the return of Old Forester Distilling Co. to Louisville’s Whiskey Row. Following a ceremonial opening, the distillery at 119 West Main Street will be open to the public for tours and tastings. The only downtown distillery with a fully operational cooperage, the “new” Old Forester is housed in a 70,000-squarefoot space. Guests will be guided through the bourbonmaking process, from fermentation and distillation, to the barrelmaking, aging and bottling of America’s first bottled bourbon. Old Forester, which will be open weekly Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., will join 10 other distilleries as official members of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. “Nearly 150 years ago, my greatgreat-grandfather, George Garvin Brown, signed and sealed Old Forester with a pledge to craft bourbon of the highest quality and utmost consistency,” said Old Forester President Campbell Brown. “We’re thrilled to return to our former home and share with the world the spirited story of the hometown bourbon of bourbon’s hometown.” For further information and to purchase tour and tasting tickets, visit

daylong, hands-on workshop with unique educational, culinary and tasting sessions, features 19 exclusive learning sessions; lunch and pop-up experiences with the best of Louisville and Kentucky’s food and drink; and retail for the bourbon aficionado. The expo was ranked as one of the top experiences of the week last year, according to KBA Director Mary Gratzer. “That’s a high compliment given the elite, behind-the-scenes access that the Kentucky Bourbon Affair offers.” For more information, visit


New Friends Rabbit Hole, which opened its state-of-the-art distillery during Derby Week, will host the Bourbon Salon at Oxmoor Farm on June 6. LuxRow Distillery and Preservation Distillery, both in Bardstown, also recently held wellattended ribbon-cutting events. J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY






Vent Haven Museum


s the only—yes, only—museum in the entire world dedicated to ventriloquism, northern Kentucky’s Vent Haven Museum has quite a collection of rare and unique items. Although the museum has thousands of these puppets, each one has a story. We asked the curator to choose just one item from the collection that we could spotlight. Farfel the dog is one of these iconic pieces. Farfel was featured in Nestlé’s Quik commercials from 1955-1965 with his creator, Jimmy Nelson, and Nelson’s other ventriloquist doll, Danny O’Day. Farfel was known for providing the final word of the jingle: As Danny O’Day would sing, “N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestlé’s makes the very best …” Farfel would chime in with a low, deadpan voice: “Choc-late.” “Farfel the puppet was put into perilous situations in some of these commercials, so rather than risk harm to Farfel, Nelson created a stunt Farfel for those ads,” said Lisa Sweasy, curator and director of Vent Haven Museum. “The Farfel in our collection is the stunt double.” The collection includes dummies and collectibles from well-known ventriloquists such as Edgar Bergen, Shari Lewis and Jeff Dunham, as well as some early prototypes dating back to the 1820s. The museum began as the private collection of William Berger, who was not a ventriloquist. Berger began collecting ventriloquist dolls in the early 1900s, and by the late 1940s, he had to renovate his Fort Mitchell garage to house all the puppets. In the 1960s, the collection outgrew his garage, so he built an additional structure on his property. After outliving all his heirs, Berger turned his collection and outbuildings into a charitable foundation, which is now Fort Mitchell’s Vent Haven Museum. The museum opened in 1973 and is home to more than 900 dummies, as well as ventriloquism-related memorabilia. The museum is open by appointment only from May 1 through Sept. 30. — Deborah Kohl Kremer


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

If You Go: Vent Haven Museum 33 West Maple Avenue Fort Mitchell, (859) 341-0461



Fiddle-Inspired Friendship W

inning beauty contests isn’t easy, but Kentuckians Laura Jones and Chapel Tinius had the same secret weapon: fiddles. In 2016, Jones won Miss Kentucky, and Tinius won Miss Kentucky’s Outstanding Teen. For the talent segments of their pageants, both played fiddles. The ladies toured the state together as title winners, playing together quite a lot. Eventually, it seemed natural to record, and they put out a CD called Kentucky Fiddle Sisters. Fisherville native Jones said she and Tinius, from Bowling Green, are close and have known each other for years. Jones remembers the friendship really starting one time when Tinius was having some difficulties. “Her violin broke onstage once when she was in a preteen show, and I fixed her violin,” Jones recalled. The friendship blossomed from there. “We’ve both been playing for years,” she said, and the idea to record together “evolved over time.” They recorded the CD in Scottsville (Allen County), and all proceeds go to the Children’s Miracle Network, Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization and Miss Kentucky’s Outstanding Teen Scholarship Fund. Jones and Tinius saw the CD and the money made from it as a chance to pay back the Kentucky community. Both have copies of the CD they sell, and it also is available to download on iTunes, according to Jones. Jones started out playing classical violin but realized that pageant judges and audiences were more responsive when she played bluegrass and old-time fiddle tunes. It was an easy crossover for her to make, thanks to her great-great-grandfather. Although they never met, he had the most influence of any Kentuckian on Jones’ music. “He played fiddle, and I am still playing his violin,” she said. The instrument is now more than 200 years old, and Jones values its history. Her other favorite musician with a Kentucky connection is Stephen Foster. “Stephen Foster and ‘My Old Kentucky Chapel Tinius and Laura Jones Home’ have been so special to me because on their 2016 album Miss Kentucky was something I aspired to be,” Jones said. She started in Miss America-related pageants at 13, and 10 years later, she won the title of Miss Kentucky. Jones said every appearance as she traveled the state included a rendition of “My Old Kentucky Home.” “That’s the anthem when you’re Miss Kentucky. It means a lot,” she said. At the events she and Tinius attended during their year together, Jones often would ask people to guess their talent. “People would guess singing or dancing,” she said. “People were in disbelief at first” that they played fiddle. Music, though, was a magic skill, especially when talking to children or nursing home residents. “If I couldn’t get kids to listen to me talking, I could get them to listen to our music,” she said. She found that both groups savored the chance to hear live music. Tinius is still competing in pageants, but Jones got engaged on the same night she turned in her crown. She currently lives in Alabama, where she is a children’s ministry assistant, and her fiancé is a youth pastor. Although happy with her new life, she misses Kentucky. “It’s been a big adjustment to live out of state,” she said. Although she doesn’t play as often as she used to, she said her music is therapeutic for her when she’s stressed and also is a way to express her faith. And one of the things most important to Jones is that she has lived her great-great-grandfather’s dream. “He wanted to travel and play but never got the chance to. That’s why it means to much to me,” she said. — Laura Younkin J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY






K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8


t’s hard to resist the array of vegetables offered at farm stands and markets across the Commonwealth. Even though we may grow gardens ourselves, there is always something succulent that calls out to us. Aside from the basics like corn, tomatoes and green beans, less familiar vegetables can show up to catch our attention, such as shiitake mushrooms, fresh garlic and exotic-sounding peppers—ghost, Dragon’s Breath or Carolina Reaper. Take time to check out this summer’s vegetables that are making their way to nearby markets. Enjoy them fresh and uncooked, or include them in your warm-weather meals. — Janine Washle

Fresh Corn Casserole ½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter, sliced 5 cups fresh corn kernels 1 cup onion, diced 1 jar pimentos, diced 2½ cups fat-free half-and-half (or regular) ¼ cup cornstarch 2½ cups mild cheddar, grated 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper ¼ teaspoon dry mustard

5. Pour half of the mixture into prepared casserole dish. Top with additional one-third of the butter slices. Pour in remaining mixture. Smooth the top and place remaining butter slices evenly over the top. 6. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes. Serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place one-third of the butter slices in the bottom of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass casserole dish. Set aside. 2. In a medium bowl, stir together corn, onion and pimentos. Set aside. 3. In a medium saucepan, pour ½ cup of half-and-half, then whisk cornstarch into it. When smooth, whisk in remaining half-and-half. Heat over mediumhigh, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. It will be thick, but the corn juices will thin it out considerably. 4. Turn heat down to medium-low and whisk in grated cheddar by the handfuls. Whisk until smooth. Stir in salt, pepper and mustard. Lastly, stir in corn mixture.

Photos by Jesse Hendrix-Inman. Recipes provided by Janine Washle of CloverFields Farm and Kitchen and prepared at Sullivan University by Ann Currie. J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY




Farmstand Quick Pickles Makes: 3 half-pints Savory Brine: 1 cup white vinegar ½ cup water 2 tablespoons kosher or pickling salt 8 black peppercorns 4 whole allspice 2 large garlic cloves, optional 2 tablespoons mirin (rice wine), optional

Tip: Before cutting the vegetables, measure them against the jar to determine the length needed. Cut off as necessary to fit. If using a hot pepper, stuff it in the center of the arranged vegetables. Variations: Replace one of the vegetables with fresh ginger cut into sticks. Substitute yellow squash for zucchini. Substitute small green beans for carrot sticks. The brine also can be used to pickle cherry or grape tomatoes.

Vegetables: 2 small zucchini, cut into sticks 2 pickling cucumbers (Kirby variety), cut into sticks 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into sticks 1 small hot pepper like ghost, Thai or Carolina Reaper, quartered, optional 1. Combine brine ingredients plus the garlic and mirin, if using, in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir until salt is dissolved. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. 2. Working with one washed and sterilized jar at a time, place the jar on its side to easily arrange the sticks. 3. Once all the vegetables are packed into the jars, pour the brine into a heat-proof measuring cup and carefully fill each jar to just under its neck. Seal and refrigerate. The pickles will be ready to eat after 24 hours and should be consumed within one month.

Italian Meatloaf Stuffed Peppers 4-5 medium-tolarge peppers—bell, Anaheim or Italian 1 pound 8 percent fat hamburger ½ pound ground chicken ½ pound sweet Italian bulk sausage 1 cup onion, chopped ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped 2 large garlic cloves, minced ½ cup plain breadcrumbs ½ cup milk 1 large egg 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, optional 1½ cups water 1 jar prepared marinara sauce or 4 cups homemade tomato sauce 12

K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut peppers in half and remove seeds. Rinse to remove any remaining seeds. 2. In a large bowl, combine hamburger, chicken, sausage, onion, basil, garlic, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, rosemary, parsley and fennel, if using. Use a sturdy wooden spoon to combine all of the ingredients until well mixed. 3. Using clean hands, hold a pepper half in one hand. With the other hand, scoop some of the meat mixture and press it into the pepper. Fill the pepper, mounding the mixture. The meat will shrink when cooked. 4. Place in a large shallow baking pan or roaster. Continue with remaining peppers. All peppers should be placed in a single layer. Squeeze them in to fit, if necessary. 5. Pour in water to provide a moist environment and place pan in the oven. Bake for 1 hour or until the internal temperature when an instant-read thermometer is placed halfway into the center of a pepper reads 155 degrees. 6. Pour marinara sauce over the top of the peppers. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees. Serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tomato Bread Pudding

8 slices home-baked or top-quality bakery white bread (do not use supermarket sandwich bread) Olive oil ½ teaspoon dried thyme 6 large garden-fresh tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks (overripe tomatoes work great) ½ cup chopped onion ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley 2 teaspoons granulated sugar 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Lightly spray a 13- by 9-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray. Set aside. 2. Cut crusts off of bread slices and discard. Cube the bread to get 16 cubes per slice—four cuts lengthwise, then four cuts widthwise. 3. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place bread cubes on foil and drizzle olive oil over top. Don’t be heavy-handed, or the cubes will be soggy instead of crispy. 4. Sprinkle thyme over the bread cubes. Using your hands, toss cubes to cover with oil. Arrange in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour or as long as needed to produce crisp cubes, which should not be soft in the center. This can be done the day before and covered once cooled. After removing bread cubes from oven, turn oven up to 375 degrees. 5. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, parsley, sugar, salt and pepper. Add bread cubes to bowl and lightly toss. Pour into the prepared casserole dish. 6. Cover the top with a piece of parchment paper, then cover tightly with a piece of aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer. Serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers. Variation: Using the back of a serving spoon, make six wells in the tomato bread pudding. Break an egg into each well; salt and pepper each egg. Do not use the parchment paper. Create a foil tent and secure tightly around the edges of dish to keep the foil out of the eggs. Bake for 25 minutes, covered. Uncover and bake 20 minutes longer to set the eggs.

Summer Snack Cake 1½ cups all-purpose flour ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder ¾ teaspoon baking soda ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 cup homemade tomato sauce ½ teaspoon orange zest 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 3 tablespoons water or orange juice 2 large eggs Orange cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting: 4 ounces (½ of a regular package) cream cheese, room temperature 3 tablespoons, unsalted butter, room temperature 1 teaspoon orange zest 1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted

Garnish: 15 mandarin orange segments, patted dry 3 mini marshmallows

1. Using a mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Add orange zest. Gradually add powdered sugar. 2. Incorporate on low speed, then turn speed to high and beat for 2 minutes. Spread over top of the cake, covering it completely. 3. Garnish by arranging 5 mandarin orange segments in a flower shape on top of frosting. Repeat, making 2 more flowers. Place a mini marshmallow in the center of each.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8- by 11½-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. 2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. 3. Pour tomato sauce in the well, followed by orange zest, vegetable oil, water or orange juice, and eggs. Whisk vigorously until batter is smooth and falls in a ribbon from the whisk. 4. Pour batter into pan. Place pan in oven and bake for 2530 minutes or until top is firm and sides begin to pull away from edges of pan. Cool completely before frosting. Cake keeps well for 4-5 days covered in refrigerator.

Tip: Serve chilled. This cake is perfect on a hot summer’s day along with a tall glass of sweet tea. J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


For the

Love Land of the

Austin Musselman continues his family tradition of land stewardship and hospitality at Ashbourne Farms By Lois Mateus Photos by Andrew Hyslop


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8


t’s been more than five years in the making, but Ashbourne Farms, one of the most storied farms in Kentucky, has opened its gates as a first-class wedding, meeting and entertainment venue. Anticipation mounts as you drive into the entrance on U.S. 42 at 3801 Old Westport Road in Oldham County and up the curving road, alongside rolling pastures and farm fences, to the top of a hill and the surprise of a hidden valley below. It’s immediately apparent that this is a place where plants and crops, livestock and wildlife flourish in harmony.

Under the watchful eye and deep determination of Austin Musselman, the grandson of W.L. Lyons Brown and Sally Shallenberger Brown, years of thoughtful planning have gone into restoring this fourth-generation farm rooted in the Brown family’s tradition of hospitality and fine bourbon, and grounded by their love of farmland and conservation. “We have repurposed and preserved the wonderful old buildings on this historic farm into a variety of event and meeting spaces, while recapturing the legacy and hospitality standards of my grandparents,” Musselman explains.

J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


Austin Musselman ••• The farm has a rich family history. Shortly after Lyons and Sally married in 1935, they found and purchased 150 acres of land along Harrods Creek, just 20 minutes from Louisville. Sally’s grandfather, Ashton Cokayne Shallenberger, a farmer and the 15th governor of Nebraska, presented the couple with a wedding gift of several Scottish Shorthorn cattle and a bull. Lyons and Sally named their farm Ashbourne after Gov. Shallenberger’s farm in Nebraska, where he raised Shorthorns for a living. His farm was named for the town in Derbyshire, England, where the Cokayne family originally lived. The newlyweds developed Ashbourne Farms from the ground up, suffusing the land with a deep love for animals and nature. With his brother, George Garvin Brown II, Lyons was busy running Brown-Forman Distillers Corporation, but by 1945, the brothers had become the nation’s premier Shorthorn breeders. People flocked to the farm, as numerous high-profile cattle auctions and sporting events were held there. Over the years, more acres were added. After Lyons died in 1973, Sally maintained her love of the farm and eventually protected it with a land trust. As Sally aged, Musselman’s mother, Ina Brown Bond, intent on keeping the family’s farm tradition alive, purchased Ashbourne Farms in 1998. Musselman and his wife, Janie, have expanded 16

K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

Ashbourne Farms to 2,250 acres by purchasing adjacent land. This is significant, since Oldham County farmland is disappearing faster than farmland in any other county in Kentucky. Today, the entire farm is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is protected from future development by conservation easements. ••• Knowing that his grandparents’ old Ashbourne Inn once was a much sought-after lodging destination with fine Southern food—an original farm-to-table destination— Musselman’s goal became making today’s Ashbourne Farms an authentic farm-to-table hospitality destination. The couple restored the charming 1882 farmhouse that takes center stage in the valley, painting it Sally Brown’s favorite shade: pale yellow. Next came the renovation of the old, hand-hewn timber frame show barn, which they repurposed into a massive 15,000-square-foot masterpiece, with meeting and dining spaces and a new wall of windows opening to views of native prairie grasses and terraced patios leading down to a tranquil pond. The main hall of the show barn can accommodate dinners served for 300 or receptions for 600. Other variously sized rooms are easy to adapt to multiple uses— large and lavish or small and intimate. From the luxurious

leather-lined library to the rustic, paneled conference and private dining rooms, old corncribs and two cleverly refitted silos, everything about the place retains the look and vibe of Kentucky farmstead vernacular. Surrounding the buildings are carefully manicured lawns, fields and outdoor ceremony spaces that offer breathtaking, uninterrupted views of farmland. An architect has plans on the drawing board for cozy cottage lodging options. “Whether it is a wedding, a corporate retreat or a special occasion in the show barn, the farmhouse or out in the fields, Ashbourne Farms offers unique experiences and memorable farm-to-table meals with gracious, friendly and professional service,” Musselman says. “Our team can tailor menus and locations specifically to each client’s needs, from barbecues to formal dinners, private dove hunts and dinners, backcountry campouts, sporting clays competition, fox hunts and more.” ••• It takes more than owning land to accomplish what is happening at Ashbourne Farms. It takes the commitment and passion of an entire team. Quality events require superb coordination to run smoothly, and it is a big undertaking to nudge community-supported agriculture programs to deliver efficiently. There are daily and weekly schedules to be met, appointments and records to keep.

The experienced Ashbourne team creates authentic farm interpretations and practices sustainable artisanal techniques. Everyone is service oriented. They strive to share the natural beauty of the farm through world-class event and dining facilities, working farm and outdoor sporting experiences. Musselman says that he “searched for the best person to be our general manager and found Rodney Wedge, a hospitality professional who has launched many successful restaurants and agritourism destinations. I convinced him to move his family to Kentucky. Rodney is keen on attention to every detail of managing our overall operation.” Wedge and his family are already in love with Kentucky. “Ashbourne Farms is a place you feel genuinely lucky to be, but you also feel a responsibility not to undermine what’s been built over the last 80 years,” Wedge says. “There is the constant push-pull activity of a farm—the seasons, the weather. I daily consider with precision how all the pieces of the farm and hospitality program fit together.” Sales and event director Annie Cobetto, who has lived all over the world and has extensive high-end catering and hospitality experience, graciously connects with clients to produce flawless, one-of-a-kind experiences and memorable events. “Ashbourne Farms is such a welcoming, promising place,” Cobetto says. “We have so many stunning, special, unique locations for entertaining, from elegantly plated,

J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


W.L. Lyons Brown and Sally Shallenberger Brown white-tablecloth dinners to rustic outdoor bonfires. We want our guests to leave inspired by the magic of Southern hospitality at a real Kentucky farm.” Chef Jason Jones, who trained at the New England Culinary Institute, heads the culinary team. Assisted by Patrick Roney and Nokee Bucayu, Jones creates familiar Kentucky dishes and desserts reworked in delicious, creative ways. His menus are dominated by what is grown in the farm’s gardens. ••• Musselman, 46, speaks with a Southern drawl and smiling enthusiasm at what has been created. One cannot help but be impressed by his sincere desire to take care of the land and his thoughtfulness about doing things right. He knows the soil, its orientation, its water sources, the plants and the wildlife. “Nature is how we learn to empathize with other creatures and to respect the web of life that creates us all,” he says. He admits that growing up, he didn’t have a lot of interest in father Billy Musselman’s devotion to golf or even team sports. The family had a place near Bernheim Forest, and as a kid he was obsessed with nature and wildlife, tagging along with his dad to hunt and fish. Austin Musselman attributes his love of the farm to his grandmother, Sally Brown. “My grandmother was a great conservationist who taught me my first lessons about farm life. After college, propelled both by memories and instinct, I became intrigued by the prospects of farming and told my mother and grandmother I wanted to own Ashbourne Farms.” As a young father, he heard author Michael Pollan speak, read Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma and became interested in the quality of food we eat. The farmto-table concept was still new back then, but Musselman started to think about the crops and animals already at Ashbourne Farms. “I wanted my kids to eat well but to also know and 18

K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

appreciate where good food comes from. We began to provide farmers markets in Oldham and eastern Jefferson counties with locally grown produce and pasture-raised meat,” he says. “My children got involved, and we started a CSA [community-supported agriculture] shares program that was the first of a large scale in the area.” Ashbourne Farms has always been a working farm, and today’s farming methods and hospitality programs reflect the same care historically given to the land. Musselman’s aim is to feed others well. That means the soil is nurtured, the produce grown is native to the area, and organic practices are used. The farm animals are pasture-raised and never supplemented with antibiotics or added hormones. Eggs are gathered fresh each day from chickens that free range in a nearby pasture. “This farm is a defining aspect of my identity,” Musselman says. “Having grown up in the Brown-Forman family, I am very much aware of the importance of brands, and we are creating a brand here with an insatiable, ingrained desire to protect and preserve this place. Our goal is to resonate deeply with the community, to create memorable experiences with simple, direct and honest food. Land is a limited resource—all the more reason to protect it.” The modern version of Ashbourne Farms is a reminder that history can live side by side with the present as an agribusiness operation with both elegant and rustic experiences, the verdant fields a mosaic backdrop to gardens, crops, animals, orchards and fields. ••• Reflecting the owners’ love of nature, the farm is balanced with wildlife conservation efforts to improve crops and water quality. Committed to conservation, Musselman pays close attention to the biodiversity of the land and is careful to protect the Harrods Creek watershed and restore habitats for native species such as endangered migratory birds.

For more information, visit As vice chairman of the Bluegrass Land Conservancy and former president of Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, Musselman is at the center of nearly every land conservation issue in Kentucky. He was named Wildlife Conservationist of the Year by the Kentucky Wildlife Federation in 2011. “Austin has nature streaming through his veins,” says Dr. Mark Wourms, executive director of Bernheim. “He is happiest outdoors and has been involved in wildlife conservation and habitat restoration for decades. We at Bernheim are proud of Austin’s support of our stewardship programs, as with his involvement with conservation at Ashbourne Farms and elsewhere in Kentucky.” Billy Van Pelt, a director of development at American Farmland Trust, adds, “Austin is carrying on the legacy of Sally Brown, a great conservationist and tireless advocate of sustainable agriculture and farmland conservation.” “I once heard a quote attributed to Wendell Berry: ‘The best fertilizer for land is footsteps.’ There have been a lot of footsteps on this farm. It takes a lot of footsteps to operate it and to love it like I do,” Musselman says. “These days, our guests’ footsteps please me as they walk about, eat, drink and enjoy a real farm we are able to share with them. “Janie and I are very aware that we are only the guardians of this land. A farm continually rebuilds itself in the passage of time. “Generations of my family and friends have walked these fields, attended cattle sales, fox hunted and enjoyed the legendary hospitality of Ashbourne Farms. What I care about most is saving this place for my children and future generations to explore and enjoy.” Q

Be Involved Stay Informed Education • Practice Improvement Solutions • Resources Independent Practice Association (IPA) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) Group Purchasing • Association Health and Benefits Trust Advocacy • Networking

Grow your knowledge and your business as a member of the Kentucky Primary Care Association. The KPCA is committed to improving access to comprehensive, community-oriented primary healthcare services for the underserved.

Contact KPCA today to find out how membership could benefit you. 502-227-4379 •

Ashbourne Farms will host a James Beard Foundation Taste of America Dinner on Oct. 19. The event, featuring all-star chefs, will be a four-course meal benefiting the foundation. Visit for more information about the evening. J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

Lace, Crystals, Tulle, & TLC Renee Miller searches each bride’s heart to create the perfect gown Text and Photos by Abby Laub


alking into Renee Miller’s opulent Renee’s Bridal Shop in Mt. Sterling is like walking into a cloud—a friendly, purple-hued cloud. “I’ve always loved purple; it’s my color,” said Miller with a charming smile. Her clients walk out the door with dresses in purple garment bags. It’s just one of the touches she puts on each of her custom wedding and special event gowns. She’s been known to surprise her brides at their weddings to help them get ready. Her charisma and personal touch have landed Miller—a North Carolina native who came to the Bluegrass State by way of Pensacola, Florida—on multiple reality television shows. Her Kentucky-based fiancé, who is in the horse business, is responsible for luring her here. But Miller’s adventures in designing and creating dresses started in 2001 in Pensacola. “It’s been 17 years of a wonderful adventure,” she mused. “I had to learn; I had to grow. No one taught me the ins and outs of this business, nor did I start out saying, ‘I’m going to have a bridal store.’ I sold jewelry and accessories, and a bride one day asked if I could get her five necklaces, and I didn’t even know she was a bride. She said they were for her bridesmaids, and I remember calling my mom that night and saying, ‘Mama, I know how I’m going to put a roof over my boys’ heads. I’m going to have a bridal store.’ ” At the time, Miller was a young, single mother of two boys, who are now 19 and 26. They are the motivation for everything she does. “And my mother, in her wonderful Southern way, said, ‘Well, Renee, how in the world are you going to do that?’ So it was a very humble beginning,” Miller recalled. “Good things come out of people who are poor and in need—if they want good things to come out of that. My ‘why’ and ‘when’ merged together.”

••• This philosophy inspired Miller to establish a fabulous business. She’s now a full-fledged independent designer who creates by hand every gown that leaves her shop. “I design for my individual bride; I don’t carry any national brands in my store,” she said. “They’re all designed by me, but I started out buying from the manufacturers. Then a customer said what she needed, and we put together a gown, and I realized I could do that myself. “I didn’t know I could until she asked. I had no fear, so I did that, and then I thought, ‘There’s something to this individual custom designing.’ My heart wasn’t really happy until I turned my store fully into an independent, customdesigned wedding store.” Miller has some hired help, but the work is all hers, and much of it is done right in the front of the store at a little desk in the large window that customers can see from the street. She got the opportunity to introduce her designs to the world thanks to multiple cable television appearances on TLC and UP TV. It started when the Duggar family of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting heard about Miller through a friend when she was still in Florida. “It’s just been magical ever since,” Miller said. “Knowing that I do custom designs, and I can give [the Duggar daughters] the dress they’re looking for with the modesty aspect was part of the draw for them. My motto is that whoever walks in my door, I want to give them the desires of their heart. “So many stores often are driven by what the manufacturers are selling and what they’re saying is hot and what the market needs to be, and [customers] have no choice but to buy those dresses.”

J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


So far, she has completed four wedding dresses for the Duggar family, most recently Jinger’s last November. In December, she completed a wedding gown for Tori Bates of UP TV’s Bringing Up Bates. Miller still has more big TV deals under wraps for this year and “can’t say enough” about the producers she’s worked with so far. “They allowed me to get into my zone and be who I really am,” she said. Mt. Sterling was buzzing with the celebrity visitors. “They bring a film crew here to the town, and then I get texts, and then we started seeing people circling the square,” she said with a laugh. “We always keep it quiet; then the buzz gets out. The Duggars and Bateses were so generous and kind, visiting the other stores, eating at the restaurants. They truly do care about the town, and I appreciate that.” Miller has been on national television 10 times and counting and said she’s humbled by it. It’s all a far cry from when she was thinking about providing for her children. “This was hard work and involved tears and many sleepless nights—still some,” Miller said. “My brain is always turning. But it’s definitely been a love journey, because my ‘why’ has always been my two boys.” ••• Danville native Sarah Hillin is one of many brides to have been part of Miller’s journey of love. It took Miller a year to complete Hillin’s dress—the largest she’s ever made. It featured a 13-foot-long train and weighed 30 pounds. “This dress, like all of my dresses, was truly a labor of love, but this one took my whole heart, soul, body, mind and anything else I could offer up,” Miller recalled. Hillin, who is a legal research consultant at Lexis Nexis in Ohio, is married to Air Force Staff Sgt. Nathan Hillin and found Miller when she was still in Pensacola. She searched far and wide before finding Miller and knew they’d be a perfect fit. At the time, Miller was already dating her Kentucky boyfriend, so she and Hillin had the state in common. “Renee was fantastic,” said Hillin, who was married in June 2016. “When we sat down with her, she said, ‘I don’t have the dress you want, but I can make you one.’ From there on out, it was perfect, and we found out we had so much in common.” She said until she met Renee, all of the wedding dresses she tried on “looked like prom dresses that happened to be white” and that she wanted a “big poofy” dress elaborately decorated with beads and crystals. It was a match made in heaven for Miller, who said she’s a fan of all things “lace, feathers, tulle, taffeta, beads, sequins, crystals and ruffles.” “It was the ultimate dress … It’s everything I could have asked for and more,” Hillin said. “To have it all come to life and to have that relationship with Renee was very special.” Soon after, Miller was in Kentucky full time. She said her West Main Street shop previously was abandoned for 20 years, and she noticed it the first time her now-fiancé brought her to Mt. Sterling. “It’s all been so nice and different,” Miller said. “I was nervous because, any time you make a business move like that, you don’t make those decisions lightly. But I also knew that the area needed a bridal store and a formal wear store. We’ve truly been blessed. The community has opened their arms wide for us. It’s a great town.” ••• Miller feels the TV appearances have given her business a boost, but many of her brides were already traveling to work with her. Just this spring, she had people contact her from the United Kingdom and Australia. 22

K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTS Kentucky Crafted sets the standard for artistic excellence and quality craftsmanship. Juried artists are both nationally recognized and locally loved. A little traditional, a little contemporary, all Kentucky Crafted. To learn more about our artists or apply to the program visit

Amelia Stamps


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

Mt. Sterling Chamber of Commerce Director Sandy Romenesko said that the city is excited to have Renee’s Bridal in town. “We’ve been working on downtown revitalization for a few years now, and Renee’s shop and window just adds beauty to downtown,” she said. “Also, she’s brought a lot of attention from outsiders to downtown, so we’re thrilled that she chose to come to Mt. Sterling and help beautify our community.” Miller said she is humbled and has to “pinch herself” from the attention. She said she just tries to be her true self when dealing with her clients. “I’m really real,” she said. “I’m really real with my brides, whoever’s in front of me, and I really feel that that is what they’re looking for. I’m someone who is going to be honest with them, and I’m excited. It never gets old seeing their face and the hush that comes over the crowd when they put their dress on.” After doing TV shows, Miller said she had a bride call and thank her for giving her the exact same attention and care that she gave to her TV brides. “That was huge to me—I almost started crying,” she said. “That meant a lot to me because I put a lot of heart into my dresses.” Miller’s design process is simple: Follow the lead of the brides. Some of her dresses have premade parts, like skirts or bodices that can be interchanged to make custom creations more efficiently. “We always sit down and have a chat first,” Miller said. “This is when I get to know the bride and hear her heart, and her heart will lead me to the right dress and right style for her. It’s one-on-one. I have one bride at a time in my store. We’re creating right there in that moment, and my bride is my design board.” Her own personal style is full-on feminine, she said. “Ever since I was 5 years old, I liked pretty things. I’ve always liked dressing up. I used to make my Ken and Barbie get married every Saturday, so it’s just fitting that I’m in this business. I’d make Barbie an outfit with my daddy’s handkerchief. Maybe this was God’s ideal plan for me.” Now, most of her dresses take about two months to make, but she prefers four to six months to work on each creation. Miller said she’s seeing a lot of different trends this year, including a movement away from traditional white and ivory. “I still feel lace is strong; lace is still a strong component to all dresses, but right now I’m seeing a lot of rose gold colors in the dresses—almost like blush pink, but rose gold just sounds more luscious. And I have done some ice blue—heavenly blue.” Miller is designing her own wedding dress now. “It’s a dress I’ve always wanted to make that I haven’t made yet for any of my brides,” she said. “The hardest part is that I love everything, from ostrich feathers to heavy crystals to lace to ruffles. I love all of it; I’m not kidding. They all have a purpose, but not all in one dress. “I never really truly dreamed I would marry again, but I always have had a love for this style of gown, so it’s going to be beautiful, and I hope everyone else enjoys it.”Q

Renee’s Bridal 10 West Main Street Mt. Sterling, (850) 291-2174 24

K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

Photo: Rob Taber


Watch performances online at and on WKU-PBS (check your local listings)

Listen on the radio and online at every 1st Thursday of the month @ 8/9e


Monthly concert series at the historic Capitol Arts Center in downtown Bowling Green. Visit us online for concert and broadcast information. J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


A Trip Through Time Tired of 2018? Visit the Jane Austen and Kentucky Highland Renaissance festivals this summer and escape into the past Text and Photos by Joel Sams


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8


he fragrance of fresh dill filled the air while Jane Sterner rocked a dark-handled knife over the feathery green sprays during the 2017 Jane Austen Festival in Louisville. It wasn’t lunch; it was a “repast” featuring cold chicken salad, jam tartlets and a “Bennet Sisters’ Tea Tart,” with each ingredient representing a character in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice: chocolate for Lydia, vanilla for Kitty, lavender for Jane, Earl Gray tea for Lizzy and cream for Mary. Just under 40 miles away in Eminence, Ed Frederick traversed his domain at the Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival, spreading good cheer and a jovial disregard for historical correctness. Frederick is a founder and co-owner of the fair, providing unabashed escapism for the motley bands of jesters, fire breathers, traditional musicians, vendors and thousands of guests who visit each summer for a creative taste of the Scottish Highlands, circa 1306. They may be worlds apart in style and time periods, but the Jane Austen Festival and the Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival are two poles of the same impulse—imaginative engagement with history. From jousting knights and fire-eating jesters to tea and twilight shopping, this summer’s festivals provide an imagining of times past.

The Jane Austen Festival

Top, Jane Sterner prepares an afternoon repast of cold chicken salad, jam tartlets and her special Bennet Sisters’ Tea Tart; middle, honoring the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, the festival organized a Regency funeral procession in 2017; above, guests re-enact a naval encampment, featuring re-enactment group HMS Acasta.

Coming up on July 13-15 at historic Locust Grove, an 18th century Georgian mansion, the annual Jane Austen Festival celebrates Regency history, fashion, literature and all things Austen. Sponsored by the Jane Austen Society of North America, Greater Louisville Region, it is the largest festival celebrating the author in North America. It brings thousands of attendees each year from across the United States and around the world. Stepping onto the festival grounds is like entering another dimension. Guests in period clothing stroll across the manicured lawn. Two of several white tents—the Shoppes of Meryton and the Regency Emporium—sell period-authentic clothing, fabrics, teas, spices and more. Others display historical items from the period. In 2017, a “cabinet of curiosities,” curated by Julie Rockhold, featured items that would have been collected and displayed by wealthy Georgian families, including fantastical items such as “The Skull of Julius Caesar as a Child.” Celebrating 10 years, the 2018 festival will also observe the 200th anniversary of Persuasion, Austen’s last fully completed novel. A wide range of planned events includes lectures on literary and historical topics, four-course teas, a Regency fashion show, twilight shopping, a grand ball and much more. Guest speakers for this year’s fest are author Patrick Stokes, a direct descendant of Austen’s brother, Charles Austen; author Ann Buermann Wass; Jeremy Strong, professor of literature and film at the University of West London; and Zack Pinsent of Pinsent Tailoring in Brighton, England. “I’ve been to many places, many re-enactments, and there’s nothing like the Jane Austen Festival—everyone being united over a love for one author,” said Catherine Meisburg, who attended the 2017 festival. “Her books are so fun, and they’re so relatable.” More than 200 years after Austen’s death, what is it about the British novelist that continues to fascinate? “For me, she was so ahead of her time as a woman and as an author,” said Heather Huffton, from Virginia Beach, Virginia, who attended last year’s festival. “She really spoke to the heart of many people, and I think that’s why her work endures. She was really good at understanding characters and how people really are, and you read her books today, and there are probably people in them that you know.” Jane Austen Festival fans attend for many reasons. Some love the costumes. Others, like Meisburg, follow sewing blogs and can’t wait to meet their favorite bloggers in person. Some J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


are military history buffs, intrigued by events like last year’s naval encampment (a portrayal of the crew of HMS Acasta). Many attend lectures by guest speakers, diving into research that spans fashion, literature, history and politics. Not everyone goes to the festival in costume—attire runs the gamut from shorts and sneakers to parasols and cravats—but those who do participate in re-enactments take their historical details seriously, from clothing to food to mannerisms. “It really allows people to go back to a literary and historical time,” said Sterner, the guest who prepared a period-correct luncheon of chicken salad and jam tartlets. “You are changing up totally who you are. The words you might say in our modern day if you stub your toe, you don’t say here. It allows a different lens to look through.” Inhabiting a historical period, even for a time, is more than a hobby or even a learning tool. It’s also an exercise in seeing with different eyes and forming an intellectual sympathy with a vanished time. Contrasting the Regency era with our own, Sterner thinks we could all learn a thing or two. “Our own time seems much less genteel, much less courteous,” Sterner said. “I think that courtesy and respect for other people’s space is quite lacking.” But does re-enacting Jane Austen’s era change anything? Does it alter, even slightly, the way we engage with our own time? “I hope so,” Sterner said. She smiled, picked up her knife and resumed chopping fresh herbs for her afternoon repast.

If You Go Jane Austen Festival - July 13-15 Historic Locust Grove, Louisville (502) 727-3917 | Tickets: Friday – $6; Saturday or Sunday – $15; two-day Saturday and Sunday admission – $25. Children under 12 are admitted free with an adult. Online advance registration begins June 6 at 5 p.m.

The Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival Elbow to elbow, a crowd teems under a tent in the hot July sun. Some spill out from the shelter, shielding their eyes with their hands and focusing their attention on the fenced-off field before them. Heralds, bedecked like plumed birds, whip up the crowd to cheer for their champions. Across the field, lords and ladies watch the action from a shady stand. When two mounted knights charge into view from opposite ends of the field, the crowd roars with one voice and keeps up the volume as the warriors spur their horses, breaking lances against shields. For just a moment, the crowd has forgotten that it’s the 21st century, not the 14th—and that this Field of Valor is in Eminence, Kentucky. “I just love watching people escape,” said Ed Frederick, founder of the Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival, held June 2-July 15 this year. He sat at a wooden table outside a pub at the fairground, clad in a lace-collared white shirt with the figure of a golden hound suspended from his neck by meshed chain maille. The festival began as a passion project for Frederick. He fell in love with Renaissance fairs while living in Texas and, after moving back home to Kentucky, realized the Bluegrass State didn’t have one. Creating the festival was a natural decision, especially given his family heritage. “My family is Scottish from my grandmother back, and my wife is Scotch-Irish from her mother back,” Frederick said. “All the other fairs do Queen Elizabeth or Henry VIII, but we wanted to do a true Scottish fair. It’s King Robert the Bruce every year.” As important as heritage is to Frederick, the real point of the Kentucky Renaissance Festival is imagination. A Renaissance fair set in 1306 is your first clue that “have fun” is the festival’s operative rule. You want to be a medieval Highlander? Sure. A Renaissance troubadour—why not? A werewolf, unicorn or water sprite? Go get ’em. Frederick sees the Kentucky Renaissance Festival as an opportunity for guests to take a break from their workaday lives, let their hair down (literally and figuratively), and have a roaring good time. “It’s pure escapism,” Frederick said. “People come in mundane clothes, and you’ll see them—the first thing they

Above, two knights participate in a mounted joust; top right, cast members Belinda and Charles Hinton play Lady Christina Bruce and King Robert the Bruce; right, performing as Fool Hearty, Mark and Tara Reed delight audiences with juggling, jokes and fire-swallowing tricks.


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

do is buy a big sword, and then they’ll carry this big sword around for the rest of the day. And before the end of the day, a lot of them will buy an outfit, and they’ll be carrying their street clothes out in a paper bag. It’s just fascinating to watch that.” There is entertainment for practically every age group. Kids love the enchanted fairy forest, complete with puppet shows, a cast of woodland characters, giant bubbles and more. Older guests can enjoy costumes and replica items for sale, including a full array of medieval arms and armor; food and drink; dances and live music; jousting; and traditional Highland games such as ax, star and knife throwing (all carefully supervised), and an archery tournament. “I love the Kentucky Renaissance Festival because the general atmosphere is very family friendly, fun and enthusiastic,” said Noelle Sekanic, who attended last year’s festival with her husband, David, and daughter Charis. “There’s something for everyone. You can come any weekend and feel embraced, no matter your style. You can be a pirate; you can be a medieval maiden; you can be a fairy. You can do whatever you want, and everybody embraces you.” Charles Hinton, a cast member playing King Robert the Bruce, said the temporary personal transformations of the Renaissance Festival are what make it special. It’s all about creating space for personal exploration. “No matter how your mundane week is going, when you cross the gate, you’re a whole different person,” Hinton said. “You can leave all your cares and problems outside the gate and be yourself here. People who come here are so blown away by how friendly everyone is, and even the cast members keep coming back and say this is the friendliest fair they’ve ever been to. Most members of the cast were originally patrons who fell in love with it.” The event draws performers from across the U.S., lending an authentically medieval air of minstrelsy and entertainment. Two musicians play a hammered dulcimer

and a harp under the trees. Another artist draws haunting harmonies from crystal glasses. Others, like Mark and Tara Reed, play for laughs, delighting the crowds with their juggling, jokes and fire-swallowing routines. Performing as Marquise and Ima Nutte with their troupe, Fool Hearty, the Reeds have performed on the road full time for more than 20 years. “We love the audiences here in Kentucky,” Mark Reed said. “We love them, and we keep coming back.” Q

If You Go Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival June 2–July 15 (Saturdays and Sundays only) 955 Elm Street, Eminence Tickets: Day pass – $12 adults/$7 ages 6-12; weekend pass – $20 adults/$10 ages 6-12.

For more Kentucky festivals, as well as an exclusive recipe for the Bennet Sisters’ Tea Tart, visit



829 W. Main St., Louisville, Kentucky © The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s


J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Bats Lexington entrepreneurs build classy accommodations worthy of nature’s exterminators By Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley


e’ve all heard the horror stories: Bats carry rabies! Bats are just pests and need to be exterminated like mosquitos or fleas! Bats will attack if you’re walking outside at night! Vampire bats really do suck human blood! Well, two guys from Kentucky say all of the above are myths perpetrated in popular culture. To prove the creatures actually are beneficial, they’ve built habitats that will attract the winged mammals to your yard. “Ever since Bram Stoker brought Dracula back a long, long time ago, he could have picked any other animal to demonize, but he had to pick a bat,” said Christopher Rannefors, one of the creators of BatBnB, the Lexingtonbased company that sells bat-friendly habitats designed to give the small animals homes when they come out of hibernation. “Everyone is afraid of bats for no good reason.” Bats have gotten a bad rap, but in reality, Rannefors said they are excellent for pest control—they can eat more than 1,000 mosquitos in an hour—and they are actually clean animals that groom themselves much like cats. It’s extremely rare for a bat to bite humans, and if it does happen, it’s typically in self-defense. “The odds of getting rabies from a bat are so infinitesimally small, you’re more likely to catch leprosy or get killed by your own lawnmower than [be harmed by] a bat,” Rannefors said. “What we wanted to go and do is change the branding around bats, especially at this time when they’re so badly in need of our support.” Rannefors and his business partner, Harrison Broadhurst, researched and developed a new kind of bat house that not only would provide a suitable home but also would be aesthetically pleasing to their customers. BatBnB was introduced to the market in July 2017 via the crowdfunding website Indiegogo, and sales exceeded the pair’s expectations by 200 percent in the first month. 30

K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

“We had a really hot start, and we got some good press,” Rannefors said. “We continue to be successful … and sales are still rolling in.”

In the Batginning … Rannefors and Broadhurst were bored and wanted to find something to do while their wives completed their medical degrees at the University of Kentucky. “We had a kind of 9-to-5 situation going on. In the evenings, our wives would still be working, so Harrison and I would often get together and play video games, just hang out, just take it easy,” Rannefors said. “Then we looked at ourselves and said, ‘You know what? We should be more productive with our lives.’ We didn’t originally know what we wanted to do, but we knew we wanted to do something … I’ve always been excited about product innovation and design, and Harrison’s an amazing architect and planner.” That was 2016. After months of brainstorming and being bombarded with stories of the Zika virus, West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, the two settled on finding a way to improve pest control. Rannefors tapped into his childhood memories of helping his dad build bat houses. Broadhurst’s mother was a biology teacher who often taught her students how bats affect the environment. With further research, they realized just how critical a role bats play as Mother Nature’s mosquito exterminator. They also discovered the mammals are facing hard times. For the past decade or so, bats have been dying by the hundreds of thousands due to deforestation, the proliferation of wind turbines and the nationwide spread of white-nose syndrome. “[It’s] unfortunate, because wind turbines are a great form of alternative energy, but what happens is that the

wind turbines draw a lot of insects, which draw the bats to the insects,” Rannefors said. “The bats go near the blades of the fan, and there’s actually a decrease in air pressure that causes internal bleeding in the lungs of the bats.” Rannefors said there’s a movement to encourage operators to reduce the fan blade speed by a “small percentage,” which would lead to a 60 percent decrease in bat lives lost. “But that small decrease costs lots of money,” he said. “It’s a tough negotiation [with the turbine industry].” Then there’s white-nose syndrome. A fungus that’s believed to have come from Europe grows on the bats’ noses and disrupts their hibernation. Without adequate food and low fat reserves, the bats starve to death before spring—the time when they’re supposed to come out of hibernation. According to Texas-based Bat Conservation International (BCI), millions of bats have succumbed to the disease, causing “massive” population declines of multiple species. BCI is working with several conservation groups to help locate and identify where the disease is spreading in an effort to prevent otherwise unaffected bats from getting the deadly fungus. A third, and more commonly known, cause of the bat population decline is the removal of traditional bat habitats. Merlin Tuttle, a leading bat conservationist, said that, while white-nose syndrome is a concern, he’s troubled by the loss of bats’ best roosting sites due to deforestation, urban development and even the decline of wood as a building material. The Texas resident said bats would typically “follow the wood” and make their new roosting homes in log cabins and wooden structures. “There were lots of old wooden barns where bats lived, and now you look at your modern structures, and they’re mostly metal and not suitable for bat roosting,” Tuttle said.

Taking Flight After they learned of the predicament of the bat population, Broadhurst and Rannefors became convinced they needed to do something that would help not only humans but also a species critical to the environment. “We worked very closely with [Tuttle] on our product line … and it was very important to us to have his blessing as we made this product because we wanted it to be right for the animals,” Rannefors said. Tuttle described the BatBnBs, which are manufactured in Missouri, as “nicely designed” and mentioned that they satisfied the need to provide an attractive addition to backyards while giving bats a safe place to hide from their natural predators, snakes. “They’ll climb up and get in the roost to eat bats,” Tuttle said of snakes. “And if the bat is in a roost where the partition is no more than three-quarters of an inch wide, the snake will poke his head in to get the bat, and the bat opens his mouth, covers the space, and the snake just ends up sticking his nose in the bats mouth and gets bit. [Rannefors and Broadhurst] went to special effort to combine aesthetic and architectural beauty in a bat house to make it something you might want to put up on your property and look at, and it meets the needs of bats.”

An Attractive Safe Haven Rannefors said they wanted their customers to buy something “pretty” for their home. “That may sound silly, but it’s actually really valuable,” he said, “because most bat houses on the market are boring, small, plain boxes, and they’re ugly and not nice to look at. If someone is inclined to get a bat house, they will buy one of those, and they will stick it out in the back of their yard, behind some tree, really far back where no one

Rannefors and Broadhurst pose with their product. J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


is going to see it. That defeats the purpose. “I want people to buy something they can really be proud of and put in their yard and enhance the beauty of their home and add to the beauty of their yard.” Rannefors calls it a win-win situation. “You’re offering an amazing, safe habitat for an animal that needs it,” he said. “In turn, they’re going to eat so many mosquitos and so many pests and garden bugs and things that you don’t want in your garden or around you and your friends.” It’s also a way to educate others and dispel the myths surrounding the often-maligned creatures. “Anybody who puts up a bat house is obviously saying, ‘Hey, I don’t believe this stuff,’ ” Tuttle said. Buyers spend roughly $200 to add a BatBnB to their yard, with the money going directly back into the business. “We might be able to make some money out of this one day,” Rannefors said. “But at the end of the day, we started this because we were really excited to help these animals, and the more that we can grow the business and get the bat houses out there, the happier we will be.” Q

For more information and to purchase a bat house, visit


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

BatBnBs not only provide a practical purpose, but the designs also look great in any location.


KTIA Signature Summer Events ach quarter, the Kentucky Travel E Industry Association spotlights Signature Events for the season. Following is a sample of the state’s prime activities for the summer. Ice Cream and a Moovie, June 1-Sept. 22, Chaney’s Dairy Barn, Bowling Green, Ice cream: the perfect summertime treat! Bring your picnic blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy this family-friendly film experience. Kids can romp on Chaney’s playground and then watch a free film, with ice cream and other delicious food available for purchase. Kentucky Hemp Days, June 9, Cynthiana, (859) 234-5236. The first annual Kentucky Hemp Days celebrates the history and future of the hemp industry in the Commonwealth. It features legislative and educational panels on current hemp issues, hemp history education, live music, local hemp farm tours, hemp and artisan products, food, beer and more. W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival, June 13-16, Audubon Mill Park, Henderson, (270) 826-3128, Selected as a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 event, it has become one of the largest free music festivals in the nation. Hear a wide variety of blues styles, plus Zydeco music. This year, a new merchandise trailer is on hand, as well as jumbo-vision screens, allowing more people to enjoy the fun. Well Crafted—Brews + Bands, June 16, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Harrodsburg, Well Crafted—Brews + Bands celebrates the quality and diversity of Kentucky’s music and craft beer cultures, with a flavorful mix of regional craft breweries and favorite local musicians in a venue like no other. Sample dozens of brews while enjoying live, toe-tappin’ music on two stages. Saturdays on the Square, July 7-Aug. 4, Greenville, (270) 338-1895, The town celebrates its 10th season of Saturdays on the Square with the biggest lineup yet. Featured are Grammy Award winners, contemporary Christian music’s hottest artist, a classic car show and more. Slated to appear are Zach Williams, 12 South, Phil Vassar, The Louisville Crashers and Lee Greenwood.


Georgetown/Scott County Airfest, July 14-15, Georgetown, Whether you enjoy flying high or looking up to the sky, this is an event you won’t want to miss. It includes aircraft demonstrations by a B-25 Mitchell and P-51D, GhostWriter and Vampire airshows, rides by Huey Helicopters, a spectacular ground display and other family-friendly activities. You can meet and greet top pilots and experience flying like you’ve never experienced it before. Cruisin’ the Heartland, July 27-28, Elizabethtown, (270) 765-6121, During Cruisin’ the Heartland, downtown Elizabethtown is transformed into a sea of fancy paint jobs, with loud, souped-up V-8 engines in every make, model and color imaginable. In addition, visitors enjoy mouthwatering fest food and the sweet sounds of live music. Soul of Second Street Festival, July 28, Danville, (859) 236-7794. With live music, food and historical information, this event celebrates the historic African-American business district of downtown Danville. Locals contribute old photos for display, while the town remembers lively Second Street in style. There will be plenty of music, beer and even a space for the little ones to have fun. Tri-Five Nationals, Aug. 9-11, Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, thetrifivenationals. com. The American Tri-Five Association and Title Sponsor Danchuk present the annual celebration of the Tri-Five Chevrolets. This event pays tribute to Chevys built in 1955, ’56 and ’57. Included are a huge swap meet, drag racing, autocross and gasser gathering. Pioneer Days, Aug. 17-19, Old Fort Harrod State Park, Harrodsburg, pioneer-days. This fest offers live music, demonstrations, a car show, food vendors, inflatables, an animal corral and more than 100 vendors. It’s a family-friendly community festival celebrating the heritage of Old Fort Harrod State Park.

The Kentucky Travel Industry Association names its Signature Events four times a year. To be eligible, festivals or events must be recommended or produced by a KTIA member. A panel of impartial judges selects the winners for each season.

For more information, phone (502) 223-8687, email or visit Illustration by Annette Cable. J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



ROMP to Remember

Music writer Laura Younkin relates her adventures at ROMP Fest


aybe it was finding myself smack dab in middle age, but last year I made my first-ever bucket list. I made it specific—it’s my Kentucky Proud Bucket List. Kentucky is such a beautiful and amazing state that I came up with a list of things I think every Kentuckian should do before dying. Or moving to Indiana. My list includes wearing a Derby hat, seeing Cumberland Falls, hiking the Red River Gorge and more. Last summer, I talked an old college buddy into joining me in putting a checkmark on my list next to “Attend ROMP Fest.” If you’re not familiar with it and you love music, you’re missing out on something special. ROMP Fest, presented by the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum (formerly International Bluegrass Music Museum), is an Owensboro music festival at Yellow Creek Park that’s been held at the end of June for the past 14 years. It’s a musical buffet for fans of bluegrass, old-time country and Americana music. It’s affordable and it’s fun, with amazing bands and singers performing live for four days. This year’s festival is June 27-30 and features Alison Krauss, Sam Bush and Leftover Salmon. Rhiannon Giddens is back, and Robbie Fulks and Parker Millsap are there for the fans of the more offbeat side of Americana. Last year’s festival brought some of my personal favorites, such as Los Lobos, Giddens and Dailey & Vincent. Just those three acts offered Tex-Mex Americana, a bit of rap and a banjo breakdown. The Punch Brothers, led by Murray’s Chris Thile, performed, as well. It was enough to bring this music lover to her knees. With an eye on keeping costs down, I opted for camping rather than a hotel. I hadn’t camped since a weekend at Kentucky Lake when I was 5, so I figured this would be an adventure. Fortunately, Brenda, my longtime friend, grew up in a family that camped. That was perfect, because I come from a mixed family: My mother’s side of the family hunts deer with bows and arrows, while my father’s side of the family considers barbecuing in the backyard with a glass of bourbon in hand roughing it. In fact, when I was a child, my father wanted to buy an RV. My mother was stunned. We were going camping? My father looked equally shocked 34

K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

when she asked that. He told her he just wanted to drive from hotel to hotel in comfort while on vacation. Luckily, the ROMP Fest homepage included a link to Dancin’ Dave’s, a wonderful company that will set up a tent for you, have it ready when you arrive, and break it down when you leave. It was cheaper than a hotel and didn’t require a trip to Cabela’s or figuring out how to get those sticks into the ground and make a tent stand up straight. Feeling flush, Brenda and I decided to spend a little extra for the shower tent, which would be set up right next to our tent. We decided to get there on Wednesday, which is more of a setup day. And what a setup it is. When you get off the parkway, you spot signs leading to Yellow Creek Park. I’m too young to have gone to Woodstock, but I imagine it looked somewhat like Owensboro that day.  There’s a big stage in one field with giant screens behind it. To the right of the stage are food trucks and booths selling festival fare, with vendors’ booths beyond. Behind and to the left of the screens are tents and campers— thousands of them. It’s an entire small village united in the love of music.  After Brenda and I settled into our two-person tent and figured out the lay of the land, I went out to meet people. How people camp at ROMP Fest is as varied as the people we met there. Some people were minimalists with just a hammock and a cooler; others were in portable palaces.  The RV section is divided into folks with generators and those without. One particular crew had me standing outside their compound in wonder. Trailers were pulled together to form a U shape. The middle area (dare I say courtyard?) was shaded with a canopy, and a variety of outdoor rugs covered the ground. A giant, glorious grill was at the edge; there were comfortable camp chairs everywhere; and huge fans—6 feet in diameter—kept the residents cool. I stood awestruck … and apparently a little sweaty, because Josh Franey and Glenn Taylor invited me over to cool off in front of the fan. It turns out they and their friends have been attending ROMP Fest since it began. Now, most of them are married with children and live throughout the state, but they get together every year for

the event and create their own little Brigadoon for a few days. “We relax. It’s vacation. We plan our summer around this,” Franey said. Taylor still lives in Owensboro and works for the family funeral home. A big supporter of the festival, he goes around and assists the volunteers. Over the years, he’s shared 48 cases of Gatorade, 3,000 Popsicles and innumerable funeral fans sporting the music lineup. Taylor said ROMP Fest treats volunteers well and gives them lunch, but he likes to add a little extra to show his appreciation. A visit to the vendor section was next. The area was divided into food on one side, dry goods on the other. The food section boasted burgers and oven-baked pizza, but local foods were the highlight. Chaney’s Ice Cream from Bowling Green and Moonlite Bar-B-Q from Owensboro kept the feeling regional. Owensboro’s O.Z. Tyler Distillery may be up for a humanitarian award for selling cups of ice for $1 and entire bags of ice for $3. That was a true act of kindness on those hot, muggy days. The vendors featured home décor, folk art, clothing and more tie-dye than I’ve seen since the Grateful Dead toured. With three booths specializing in vivid colors, the sellers took care of all your tie-dye needs, from baby clothes to T-shirts to shade blankets. And there was a booth selling patchouli to keep that hippie vibe alive and well. A children’s art area kept the young ones amused. While Brenda and I were expecting something epic, we hadn’t really anticipated the epic rains that came on Thursday. It rained. It poured. The shows were delayed. Then, they were delayed a little more … and a little more. We decided exploring Owensboro sounded better than sitting in a tent in the rain. We treated ourselves to Wonderburgers at Wyndall’s Wonder Whip, met a drag queen at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics who was buying feather boas for her costume, and even fit in a movie at the local theater before heading back to camp. Finally, the clouds cleared, the music started and the magic began. Bluegrass icon Peter Rowan played with his band, while Giddens performed a powerful set, her songs often chilling in their stark beauty. Los Lobos made accordions absolutely cool.

After the last set, Brenda and I slogged our way back to our tent. The mud was thick, but people didn’t seem to mind. Full disclosure: I did. I found out camping wasn’t for me. I didn’t care for sharing porta-potties with hundreds of people. I was surprised to discover our shower was more like an IV drip hanging in a changing booth. I’m a real wimp when there’s no air conditioning in an enclosed in area, and I didn’t think the Franey/Taylor crowd would want us crashing their Kennedyesque campground. Brenda, kind soul that she is, was fine with heading home to Louisville. So with somewhat heavy hearts and super soggy shoes, we packed up after the show and headed out of town. I got some sleep in a real bed and drove back and forth for two more days of music. It was worth every mile. There are so many ways to do ROMP Fest. You can stay in a tent you bring yourself or one that Dancin’ Dave provides. You can bring a big RV for luxurious glamping or a pop-up camper for a simpler stay. If camping’s not your thing, there are shuttles from the festival to two hotels in downtown Owensboro. You can stay in town but leave the driving and traffic to someone else. You can drive back and forth daily for the festival or buy a one-day pass and make a day trip of it. The only wrong way to do ROMP Fest is to not attend it at all. Q 

If You Go ROMP Fest June 27-30 Yellow Creek Park, Owensboro Ticket prices vary from $60 for a one-day Thursday pass to $160 for a four-day pass. The website includes reservations for campsites and information on music lineups and artist workshops.

J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY




SENSATIONS Summertime means new adventures and exploring new locations. Here are some of our picks for places to check out for an amazing experience!

Drive a Corvette on a racetrack for touring laps or an in-depth instructed experience. Take a hot lap ride with one of our pro drivers in a Z06. Pilot a high-speed go-kart.

NCM Motorsports Park

I-65 Exit 28 505 Grimes Road, Bowling Green, KY 270-777-4509

Nestled in the beautiful Red Lick Valley in Central Kentucky just 20 country miles east of Berea. Conveniently located 45 minutes from Natural Bridge State Park, Red River Gorge and Renfro Valley Music Hall. 1 hour from Lexington, Keeneland and the Kentucky Horse Park.

Snug Hollow Farm Bed & Breakfast 606-723-4786


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

A visit to Paintsville, Loretta Lynn’s hometown, would not be complete without a tour of “Butcher Holler.” Enjoy live bluegrass music during Front Porch Pickin’ at the Country Music Highway Museum every Thursday at 7 p.m.

Butcher Holler Van Lear, KY 1-800-542-5790

Hug a tree, walk to waterfalls, raft at Cumberland Falls, ride the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, watch birds, catch bass and bluegill from our pond, gather eggs, enjoy a country breakfast, and spend quiet nights at the best bed and breakfast in southern Kentucky.

Farm House Inn 606-376-7383 for reservations




SUMMER Courtesy of

Heart to Heart Publishing, Inc.

How He Touched My Soul

Donna Hix Bewley 128 pgs. | Hardcover | $13.99

If you like poetry, you will appreciate this book written with the Lord’s inspiration. What could be better? Poems meant to soothe the emotions and ignite your love for the Lord, all wrapped up in a beautiful book.

Southern Seasons:

Tiny: The Toy Poodle

Joyce P. Logan 40 pgs. | Hardcover | $14.99 Tiny is moving to her new home with her new “Momma.” This true story of a poodle puppy beginning her life journey is a delight for everyone. Children will love the colorful illustrations and interacting with the story. Place your order toll-free at 1-888-526-5589.

Hot Food & Warm Memories

Barbara Napier 128 pgs. | Hardcover | $34.99

Award-winning vegetarian recipes celebrating the harvest of Kentucky, from the table of Snug Hollow’s Barbara Napier. It’s a testament to the love of truly nourishing food and a mix of artistry, passion, history and home. Coming soon: a book of gorgeous photography celebrating Snug Hollow’s flora and fauna.

12 Months of Tea-licious Recipes & Ideas Linda J. Hawkins 200 pgs. | Hardcover | $29.99 “… charming character shows through in this elegant new book, a marvelously enlightening tribute to tea and a must read for every tea enthusiast!” — Charleston Tea Plantation, S.C. With 300 captivating photos, it is as refreshing as a cuppa the tasty, amber liquid that is so treasured.

Ben Beagle Rides

Donna Finch Slaton 40 pgs. | Hardcover, $18.99 | Softcover, $9.99

Ben Beagle is a joyful pup! The bunnies he chases, animals on the farm and his people all appear in a delightful pair of rhyming stories by Donna Finch Slaton of Madisonville. Donna is available for programs—from preschool to senior citizens. Call Toll Free: 1-888-526-5589

J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Past Tense/Present Tense

A Tale for the Centuries BY BILL ELLIS


xcept for war and major catastrophes, nothing quite catches the public’s attention like a murder case. In the first decade of the 20th century, Kentuckian Irvin S. Cobb wrote an estimated 500,000 words for the New York Sun during the trial of Henry Thaw for the murder of famous architect Stanford White. Apparently, White had dallied with Thaw’s wife, showgirl Evelyn Nesbit, before their marriage, a story told on the silver screen in The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955). This 1907 event proved to be the first sensationalized murder story of the 20th century, long before the advent of radio and television. Think of the media frenzy surrounding the O.J. Simpson case toward the end of the last century. In 1995, a retiree told me he intended to spend much of his spare time watching the Simpson trial on television. A murder in Frankfort on Nov. 7, 1825 established American fascination with such crimes and added new dimensions to literature and drama on the American scene in an age of Romanticism. “The Kentucky Tragedy,” the nation’s first major murder case and trial, still captures the public’s attention well into the 21st century. “From Edgar Allan Poe to Robert Penn Warren, this story of betrayal, romance and death has intrigued generations of writers, historians and citizens generally,” State Historian Jim Klotter wrote me recently. “It is a sad story; it is an American story.” Why this fascination with something that happened so long ago? The story appeared simple enough. Jereboam Beauchamp Jr., an 18-year-old Simpson County lawyer, fell in love with Anna Cooke (sometimes spelled as Ann Cooke, Anne Cooke, or Ann Cook), who was 17 years older than he. Moreover, he had to pursue her vigorously because of her past history, which allegedly included being seduced by Col. Solomon P. Sharp, a prominent lawyer and legislator, and bearing his stillborn child in 1820. Initially snubbing the younger man, Anna soon found she and Beauchamp had an equal interest in romantic poetry and literature. As one of my high school teachers used to say, “The plot thickens.” Cooke had a small estate called Retirement in Simpson County, including land and a few slaves left from the downward economic spiral of her Virginia-born parents’ migration to backcountry Kentucky. Beauchamp apparently, and I use that word with caution, initially sought her love with the best of intentions. Something of a recluse, Anna demanded justice and made Jereboam, also known as Jerry, promise to kill Sharp in revenge for her dishonor. The Kentucky Tragedy, a 371-page record of the events edited by Loren J. Kallsen in 1963, has received much attention over the years. Included are “Beauchamp’s Confession,” “The Letters of Ann Cook,” a transcript of “Beauchamp’s Trial,” and friends and relatives attesting to “Sharp’s Vindication.” After reading this document (twice, in my case), one is left to his or her own opinion regarding the proceedings, which are heart-rending, melodramatic, bizarre, brutal and melancholy. It reads like something from a romantic era long past. Most experts, including my former Eastern Kentucky University colleague Fred Johnson, now agree that “Beauchamp’s Confession” was 38

K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

riddled with lies, later additions and deceptions, and that Anna’s letters were probably fabricated. “Seduction, honor, and revenge dominate the tale,” according to Dickson D. Bruce Jr. in The Kentucky Tragedy: A Story of Conflict and Change in Antebellum America. The roles of men and women were changing in a new age. For some months, Beauchamp and Cooke resided on Cooke’s Simpson County farm, while Sharp lived in Bowling Green or in Frankfort, where he was a prominent politician. A former congressman, state legislator and attorney general, Sharp speculated in western land, as did Beauchamp. At one time, Beauchamp had been something of a protégé of Sharp. Both became embroiled in the Old Court-New Court struggle in the early 1820s, apparently on the side of the relief faction. Sharp was married to a beautiful woman and had small children. Just before his death, Sharp claimed to have found a peaceful solution to the seemingly immutable struggle: hard money versus debt relief. His return to political prominence in Kentucky as Speaker of the House seemed assured. As explained in my last Kentucky Monthly article (May issue, page 44), the Old CourtNew Court struggle originated in the Panic of 1819. Men who had borrowed heavily to buy land, particularly in western Kentucky, were hard-pressed to pay their debts. Politicians and partisans lined up on both sides. Tempers flared as political sides shifted and men claimed some of their friends betrayed them. Increasingly asked to choose sides, nearly every man carried weapons. In this atmosphere, the Beauchamp/Cooke love affair added to the tensions of the era. Beauchamp and Cooke spent long hours together writing poetry and reading classic literature and poetry, particularly that of romanticist Lord Byron. Cooke also followed the ideas of English author Mary Wollstonecraft, who published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792, gave birth out of wedlock, and later attempted suicide. Beauchamp and Cooke married in June 1824. At this point, the story takes on an irreconcilable romantic denouement. Did both become unhinged from reality? Beauchamp—young, ambitious, known to be violent, probably the father of more than one child outside of marriage himself—became obsessed with killing Sharp. Was he living out a romantic fantasy of his and Anna’s choosing? Didn’t he realize he was about to commit murder? Just before the general election, a printed broadside appeared in western Kentucky claiming Sharp was guilty of fathering Anna’s stillborn child and abandoning her. These charges had been made before and seemingly put to rest with an earlier investigation. Rumors also circulated that Anna’s stillborn child had been a mulatto. Beauchamp became even more enraged. He began to plan. After trying to track down Sharp in Bowling Green, Beauchamp found that his archenemy had returned to Frankfort for the opening of the Kentucky legislature. Beauchamp did not hide his appearance in Frankfort but made it appear he was there to conduct ordinary business by making land claims in the West. At 2 a.m. on Nov. 7, 1825,

Beauchamp left a home where he had secured private lodging in the crowded capital on the Kentucky River. His boots covered with cloths to mask boot prints (or in another version, in his sock feet), he donned a disguise outside Sharp’s home, wearing a “black mask” (Beauchamp’s words) to camouflage his appearance. Beauchamp carried an old butcher knife carefully honed on both sides that he knew could not be traced to him. Knocking on a side door of the Sharp residence, Beauchamp disguised his voice and lied about his name as the 38-year-old victim opened the door. Revealing himself as Cooke’s avenger, Beauchamp cried, “Die, you villain!” as he grabbed Sharp’s wrist and stabbed him in the stomach. Sharp staggered and fell, mortally wounded. Beauchamp stayed in nearby cover long enough to be sure that Sharp did not call out his name. He removed his mask and clothes, tied them in a bundle with a rock, tossed them into the nearby river, and buried the knife. He then stealthily returned to his room. “Having accomplished my long settled purpose,” Beauchamp claimed he went to sleep in five minutes. The next day, Beauchamp headed for home—normally a four-day horseback ride—telling people along the way that Sharp had been murdered by an unknown assailant. Beauchamp wrote that as he approached their farm, he saw Anna walking toward him. “I hoisted my [red] flag of victory. She ran to me, and as I alit from my horse I gave her the flag, and she fell prostrate on her face before me.” Soon, a bounty-seeking posse came to the couple’s home and took Beauchamp, who did not resist, to Frankfort. At a stopover one night, he was able to steal some evidence, a bloodstained cotton handkerchief he allegedly wore during the murder, and burned it in the fireplace, unknown to his captors. The whole region was abuzz. There were only two possibilities: Political enemies of Sharp in the Old Court faction, fearful of his ability to sway events, had him murdered, or a vengeful young husband, Jereboam Beauchamp, killed him in cold blood. Circumstantial evidence pointed to Beauchamp. After all, many people knew of his threats to kill the Sharp. The Franklin County sheriff charged and indicted Beauchamp and housed him in a hole in the ground in the county jail, a dungeon with only a trap door. There, in dim candlelight, the young man brooded, began writing his side of the story, and waited for justice. The trial turned into an early 19th-century spectacle, with partisans lining up on both sides. Well-known lawyers and prosecutors took their places, as did a packed courtroom audience. The trial proceeded with Beauchamp lying about his innocence and causing one of his own witnesses to lie under oath. A trusted friend turned against him. The prosecution piled on false testimony and evidence. For example, one of the latter witnesses swore that Beauchamp’s boots matched prints found in the dust at the Sharp home. According to Matthew G. Schoenbachler in Murder & Madness: The Myth of the Kentucky Tragedy (2009), Beauchamp knew that the more the crime appeared to be politicized, the better chance he had for acquittal. “Like any good aspiring Byronic hero, Beauchamp believed himself intellectually, emotionally, and morally above the ordinary run of mankind,” Schoenbachler wrote. Anna is described as a “diminutive fury,” full of independent fervor, who after abandonment by her lover, Sharp, followed a “descent into darkness.” Beauchamp is her brooding hero, and she would stay with him to the bitter end.* After a two-week trial, the jury found the then-23-year-old Beauchamp guilty of murder on May 22, 1826, and he was sentenced to be hanged. Following a brief hearing, Anna was found guiltless, though she knew about the crime. She was allowed to spend time with her husband in the dungeon. Meanwhile, the convicted murderer wrote his deceiving “Beauchamp’s Confession” as they spent hours in their

imaginary world of love, vengeance, lies and deceit. Beauchamp wanted his document published before his sentence was carried out, but it did not appear in print until after his death. Though Beauchamp hoped for a new trial or a pardon from Gov. Joseph Desha, who favored the relief faction, none was forthcoming. Beauchamp faced his death with the romantic view of an unorthodox hero. The couple’s writings reveal they believed—or were compelled to believe, owing to their romantic view of life—that she was seduced by Sharp rather than willingly becoming his lover. Therefore, Sharp deserved to die, not in an honorable duel (quite popular in Kentucky in those days), but by the hand of an assassin. They maintained that belief to the end. Death for the Beauchamps came in a romantic, bizarre way befitting their story. They first tried suicide by taking laudanum “hidden in her bosom” but either took too much, inducing vomiting, or ingested an adulterated variety, causing only sleep. When that failed, they persuaded their guard to briefly leave the cell so that Anna could change clothes. Anna then produced a knife from her bodice, which they used to inflict wounds to their stomachs. After the sheriff and others entered the dungeon, doctors soon declared that Anna was near death. Authorities allowed Beauchamp to bid his moribund wife goodbye, then, not wanting him to miss his appointment with the hangman, removed him to a wagon for the ride to his execution. Just outside Frankfort, not to be denied the spectacle, a crowd of 5,000 silently awaited on July 7, 1826. Sitting astride his casket, the badly wounded Beauchamp played to the crowd. He refused to confess his crime to a group of ministers, ignoring the usual reactions of a man about to be executed. Then he asked assembled musicians to play not the more or less traditional confessional hymn but a popular fiddle melody of the time, “Bonaparte’s Retreat from Moscow.” Schoenbachler concluded: “It all was at once subversive and self-dramatizing, a means of diminishing those around him and magnifying his own Byronic personality.”** According to eyewitnesses, Beauchamp asked for a drink of water and took it, and then men held him in place as the noose was draped around his neck. He did not die quickly, but rather slowly, while “being launched into eternity.” •••

What are we to make of this story 192 years after the event? What hold did Anna Cooke have over the young, impressionable Jeroboam Beauchamp? There were no drawings or likenesses of the couple made at that time. Why was Anna attracted to Col. Sharp, and vice versa, in the first place? She was described in a letter published by Sharp’s brother “as in no way a handsome woman,” being quite small, “having lost her front teeth” and with a dark spot on her face. Everyone likes a good story but not necessarily a true one, if dull and uninteresting. Schoenbachler concluded: “Sharp did not seduce Anna, but the Beauchamps, with the enthusiastic collaboration of the media, seduced America” into believing their tale. Bruce, in his treatise on the incident, stressed that power was at the base of the story, concluding: “We remain, in many ways, part of the Tragedy’s world. Our admiration for the antisocial, violent hero remains undiminished.” But I reckon you have watched television and gone to the movies lately, so you knew this. Soon after the deaths of Jerry and Anna, authors and playwrights took up the story, which had a universal appeal. Prominent Southern romanticist William Gilmore Simms wrote several versions of the story before and after the Civil War. Edgar Allan Poe tried it as a play, never performed, set in 16th-century Rome, called Politian. Lesser lights could not resist the myth of love blighted by society. At least a dozen dramatic works have appeared in some form, including the most famous evocation, World Enough and Time, written by J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


Kentuckian Robert Penn Warren, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner. A Todd County native, Warren undoubtedly heard the tale growing up in western Kentucky. In 1939, he turned to a western Kentucky setting for The Night Rider, his first novel. So, he knew the region and its history well. Warren read the public record and was struck by the “lies and half-lies and the truths and halftruths” of the story. Published in 1950, World Enough and Time is the story of fictionalized characters Jeremiah Beaumont, Rachael Jordan and Col. Cassius Fort. Warren closely followed the story, except the ending, in which the Beaumonts escape for a time. His ending is more macabre than the true tale. In the end, Jeremiah’s severed head is displayed in Frankfort by a successful bounty hunter. Jeremiah, through the prism of Warren’s interpretation, asks at the end: “Was all for naught?” Would many people read Warren’s book today? Probably not. There is much repetition. Many passages rely on Warren’s expertise in poetry and make good reading, but to me, it was slow reading. There is too much “Kentucky-ese,” an attempt at a backcountry Kentucky dialect that grates on the nerves because it is stressed as the degrading language of the uneducated. However, if you want to read a more or less authentic tale, pick up the book sometime. Kentuckians are always urged to get out and see the state. Why not take a trip to Bloomfield on a sunny (not a somber) day? In Maple Grove Cemetery, you will find a prominent grave—that of the Beauchamps. As requested, they are buried together in an embrace, with her head on his right arm. On the gravestone, Anna’s last poem begins: “Entombed here in each other’s arms, The husband and wife repose, Safe from life’s never ending storms, And safe from all their cruel foes…” About this Kentucky tale, perhaps Shakespeare would conclude as he did in Macbeth: Life “is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” I am reminded of my favorite Bible verse from James 4:14, that properly puts humankind in its place: “You are but a mist that appears for a short while and then vanishes.”

Downtown Bardstown

Historic Distilleries. Legendary Bourbons.

ENDLESS SOUTHERN CHARM. Summer is the perfect season to raise a glass in the Bourbon Capital of the World®. Shop, dine, relax and tour nine world-renowned distilleries in Bardstown, KY.

40 K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 18BART11022v1_KYMonthly_4.625x4.875.indd 1 800.638.4877

* Each chapter of Murder and Madness is introduced by a quotation from a work of Byron. ** Several renditions of this melody are available for listening on the internet. Many folks the age of the author will recall the famous 1949 Pee Wee King rendition of the old fiddle melody, “Bonaparte’s Retreat.” It was made popular again by Glen Campbell in 1973-74.

4/24/18 12:40 PM

Readers may contact Bill Ellis at


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

Off the Shelf


Hitchhiker: Stories from the Kentucky Homefront By Bob Thompson The University Press of Kentucky $29.95 (C)

Bob Thompson really had no choice but to become a storyteller. He grew up in a small McCracken County community that made the practice an art form, informal as it was, and he gratefully absorbed it. In truth, the currency of a well-told narrative will get you “country road cred” just about anywhere you mosey in rural Kentucky areas, and he desired to take part. So when Thompson sits down and writes a collection of short stories, one might do well read the result. Hitchhiker: Stories from the Kentucky Homefront showcases his skills. Sixteen offerings in the 152-page book include such titles as “Hitchhiker,” which tells of Thompson’s adventures on foot in the Rocky Mountains after his vehicle breaks down. In “Tommy,” the writer takes us back to his joy in riding new motorcycles with a cherished friend of his youth, followed by a sudden, searing and tragic turn of events. We learn about Thompson’s neighbors, Hal and George, who are brothers trying to figure each other out; and we also see Thompson trying to figure himself out as he runs with the bulls in Hemingway’s land. The “bully meets his karma” done country-style finishes the collection, but this crafty writer leaves wiggle room for us to feel some mixed emotions, and that’s what good writing can do. — Steve Flarity

Wrapping it Up

A Saving Skill

With characters readers have come to know like family, Granted is the final installment of Granted the May Hollow By Angela Correll Trilogy. Set in a Koehler Books homey, small $29.95 (H) Kentucky town, the interwoven narrative gets readers caught up on the loveable individuals. Annie and Jake, childhood friends who are reacquainted when they both move back home after years away, are working on marriage plans that are getting complicated, as an old boyfriend and a demanding parent come back into the picture. Meanwhile, Annie’s aged grandma, Beulah, and her lifelong friend, Betty, are at odds over the future of their church’s potluck dinners, a situation that likely has played out at many a country church throughout the Bluegrass State. Premiering at Danville’s Pioneer Playhouse this summer, the stage version of Granted will be performed July 10-21. This book follows Grounded and Guarded in the May Hollow Trilogy by Angela Correll, a co-owner of Stanford’s Bluebird Café and owner of Wilderness Road Guest Houses & Rooms.

Set in in Colonial Williamsburg in the tumultuous days leading up to the American Revolution, The Lacemaker The Lacemaker By Laura Frantz features Lady Revell Books Elizabeth $25.99 (H) “Liberty” Lawson and the struggles she is experiencing in deciding where her loyalties lie. Abandoned by her Britishloyal father; missing her radical, profreedom mother who has been sent away; and jilted by her unstable betrothed, Lady Elizabeth quickly needs to learn to survive on her own. Although she has led a relatively sheltered life and has never been employed, she knows how to make artisan lace. The Lacemaker is historical fiction that intertwines imagined characters with recognizable names like Patrick Henry and George Rogers Clark and details the struggles of the Patriots leading to the war for independence. Author Laura Frantz lives in a log cabin in Madison County and has written several historical novels, including The Mistress of Tall Acre, A Moonbow Night and The Colonel’s Lady. — Deborah Kohl Kremer

BOOKENDS How to be a Bourbon Badass hit bookstore shelves and online retailers April 1 and features author Linda Ruffenach sharing her personal journey with bourbon. She give glimpses of behind-the-scenes stories from bourbon industry experts. The book captures the storied history of America’s native spirit, explains the process of making liquid gold, and offers top-notch cocktail, dinner and dessert recipes. “There is no right or wrong way to drink bourbon,” Ruffenach says. She believes all of us have an inner badass, and we just need to give ourselves permission to let it show. From tales of legendary master distillers to stories of women whose lives were changed through newfound bourbon confidence, she will redefine readers’ perceptions of bourbon and those who savor it. Ruffenach is a Louisville entrepreneur and founder of Whisky Chicks, a community of women dedicated to sharing their passion of bourbon. She takes pride in creating experiences that make learning about bourbon approachable, fun and informative. Her sense of community and commitment to paying it forward drive her to empower others. For additional information, J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Field Notes



ummer. And the endless rains of late winter and early spring have, like the dawn dew, largely evaporated, replaced by a relentless heat that builds with a stifling, torch-like crescendo throughout June and July until it presses as an anvil across the Commonwealth through a bleary, humid, sodden August. Summer. And the hazel days of June slowly warm the creeks, ponds, streams, rivers and lakes that drain and dot the landscape. Catfish, their biological movement triggered by the sun-warmed waters and mysteries of the natural world, turn their attention to the propagation of the species. Bluegill, too, return to their spawning beds after their initial seasonal reproductive frenzy that was likely triggered by the May full moon. Bass, recovering from the rigors of reproduction, begin to move toward their summertime deepwater lairs. Bass men, many piloting gaudily colored boats Tim Tipton plies the waters of Otter Creek. powered by triple horsepower engines, follow the fish with electronic, underwater eyes. Whether the high-tech tools directly relate to increased fishing success is debatable. Summer. And the unbridled joy of fishing returns to anglers of all ages, as manifested in a creek or stream. Here, the fishing is as simple and unencumbered as the season that propels it. Step into the creek. The initial sensation is always startlingly brisk, fresh and cool. This is Fishing 101: simple tools (spinning or fly rod; handful of lures or flies); simple approach: probe the pools, riffles and runs, and cast and retrieve. Surprises await. Sunfish. Bass. Catfish. An occasional trout. (They are stocked in a surprising number of waters.) Summer. Following directions we got at the One Stop Market, my friend Lee and I wind our way along a patchwork of blacktop roads badly in want of repair. Potholes jar my Ford to its frame. The county road crews have been busy, but this is probably not a priority stretch of highway. Two more turns and the road becomes gravel and ends at an unlocked gate. The place roughly matches the grocery store directions. We assume the flash of silver visible through the trees is a feeder creek to the upper Gasper River, which flows 38.6 miles 42

K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

through Warren and Logan counties draining a slice of land owned by the friend of a friend who secured permission to fish the creek. It’s one of the few things summers are really good for: wet wading a cool creek. We’re probably at the right spot. We also could be trespassing. Clad in canvas tennis shoes, swimming trunks, a faded T-shirt two sizes too large and a floppy, large-brimmed bucket hat chosen because it will guard equally against the glaring sun and errant hooks, my fishing partner steps into a surprisingly cool creek, crosses a gravel bar and sloshes knee-deep to the head of a pool, where a sidearm cast drops a white, 1/8-ounce curly tail grub across the pool and it vanishes. I start downstream, then stop to watch. He follows the line with his rod tip, waiting for a hesitation indicating that a smallmouth bass has inhaled the lure. It doesn’t happen. He wades to his waist and makes another cast. Another. Then another. Nothing. A water snake about the size of the neck on a wine bottle surfaces in the pool and swims effortlessly upstream. At that instant, the line stops. My friend sets the hook. The line furiously zigzags. The water boils, but the fish doesn’t jump. Probably not a smallmouth, I reason without cause. The fish plunges for deep water, then bolts toward a gravel spit on the opposite bank and again boils the surface. Might be a smallmouth, I think. The fight is spirited, but the fish tires quickly. Holding the rod high and reeling smoothly, my friend brings the fish within arm’s reach. Then as quickly as it struck, it is gone. The rod tip springs free. The line drifts lazily downstream. It suddenly seems oppressively hot. There is no breeze. No cloud cover. The snake is forgotten. Only in summer. ••• Kentucky is rife with flowing water. The Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources lists more than 100 smallmouth streams and 60 trout waters on its website. Many of the state’s creeks and streams flow through private property. You’ll need permission and, unless exempt, a fishing license. Find out more at aspx. Summer won’t last forever. Readers may contact Gary Garth at



Get Some Bloom on This Summer BY WALT REICHERT


ardeners spend the winter months yearning for summer, when I really think it’s spring they’re looking forward to. In Kentucky, most of the flowers that bloom in our gardens have done their blooming by early to mid-June. In fact, midsummer, with its heat and humidity, can be quite dismal in some gardens. Most flowers are gone or fading. Foliage can start to look insectchewed and ratty. Disease starts taking its toll. But out there are trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials that can dress up our summer gardens with all of the bloom power we were yearning for back in our winter daydreams. Let me suggest a few plants that will put the pizzazz back in your summer garden. (By the way, annuals and perennials can still be planted now; just pay attention to watering. It’s best not to plant trees or shrubs until the cooler days of fall—late September at the earliest.)

Trees and Shrubs Most of our favorite blooming trees—dogwood, redbud, serviceberry—have long since stopped blooming by June, but several trees bloom in the summer months. A couple of small, summer-blooming trees are Japanese tree lilac and stewartia. The Japanese tree lilac is also called the silk lilac tree. It is a small tree that blooms with 10-by-12-inch blossoms in mid- to late June. The flowers last for two to three weeks or more. The tree is a tough one and is frequently used as a street tree because it tolerates the abuse of an urban environment. The stewartia is a little more dainty, demanding welldrained, acidic soil, but it can bloom all summer with white flowers that somewhat resemble dogwood blossoms. A larger tree that features yellow panicle blooms in summer is the golden rain tree. It blooms heavily in June, and the blooms are followed by seed pods that look like little Japanese lanterns. The tree has a rounded form and grows to about 40 feet in height. The epitome of the summer-blooming tree is, of course, the Southern magnolia. The tree’s white, sweet-smelling blossoms contrast wonderfully with its leathery, dark green leaves. Once only available as a huge specimen, Southern magnolia can now be found in smaller types that are more tolerant of our cold winters. The tree’s foliage will burn, however, when winters are severe. A summer-blooming shrub that also shares a Southern heritage (and dislike of cold weather) is the crepe myrtle. The crepe myrtle blooms in shades of white, yellow, red and purple from June through September. The tree forms have amazing variegated bark that looks like snakeskin. Another export from farther south is vitex, or chaste tree. Vitex can legitimately be called a summer lilac; bloom shape and color are similar to the lilac that blooms in April. But vitex has a much longer bloom period, and bees and butterflies love it. Clethra, or summersweet, is a native shrub that does not bloom for as long as crepe myrtle or vitex, but it more

than makes up for that with its sweet scent. It is a great shrub to plant near patios or stairways, where the perfume from its white, bottlebrush blossoms can be enjoyed. Probably the most popular summer-blooming shrub is hydrangea. Hydrangeas have been “discovered,” and plant breeders have produced hundreds of varieties that bloom in shades of blue, pink, white and yellow. Some hydrangea species are enormous shrubs, while others are petite and can be placed in front of a shrub or perennial border. The oakleaf hydrangeas sport not only long summer bloom time, but also wine red foliage in the fall and attractive bark in the winter.

Perennials and Annuals Heat-loving perennials and annuals are certainly easier to find than blooming trees and shrubs. Summer phlox is one of the most reliable summer bloomers, especially now that breeders have conquered the powdery mildew issue. “David” is a great white variety. Coneflowers and rudbeckia (blackeyed Susans) are stalwarts of the summer garden. The native coneflowers were purple or orange, but now they come in a rainbow mix of colors and sizes. The “Goldsturm” rudbeckia is one of the finest garden plants developed in the last 50 years. It covers itself in yellow all summer. You might try combining yellow rudbeckia with Mexican sage, which has soft green foliage that gives way to a sea of purple blooms in late summer. For those who want to support our native pollinators, butterfly weed is a must in the summer garden. Its orange blooms on tall plants make a great backdrop for lower-growing perennials, and it would blend well with another native perennial, Joe Pye weed, also beloved of bees and butterflies. Marigolds, zinnias, petunias, begonias and geraniums are staple annuals in the summer garden and literally will bloom their heads off all summer long. But there are a couple of others you might consider. If you have a large container or space in the garden that needs filling, lantana is a great choice. In the tropics, it is a large shrub, but in Kentucky, it is a vigorous but low-growing annual that will fill a bushel-basket-sized space with a plant that blooms in hundreds of small pastel flowers. Hyacinth bean is a vigorous climber that will grow up a trellis or the side of a house and produce hundreds of purplish-white blooms that bees and butterflies love. Even the stems are purple. (The beans are technically edible, but you would have to be hungry!) Another often-overlooked climber is the morning glory. Morning glory sports a more delicate vine than hyacinth bean, but its flowers bloom in a wider range of colors— from pure white to sky blue to deep blue and purple. “Heavenly Blue” is one of the best. Let these guys take the heat of the summer afternoon while you’re relaxing in the shade. Readers can reach Walt Reichert at J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY




Let’s Go

June Sunday





Ongoing Up in Arms, UK Art Museum, Lexington, through July 22, (859) 257-5716







Glasgow Art in the Highland Garden, Augusta Games, Barren Riverfront, River Lake State (606) 756-2183 Resort Park, Lucas, (270) 651-3141

 3.

The Return of Kentucky Tinker Doyle, Hemp Days, Pioneer Playhouse, various locations, Danville, Cynthiana, through June 23, (859) 234-5236 (859) 236-2747


Smokey Joe’s Café, Woodford Theatre, Versailles, (859) 873-0648


The Taste of Frankfort Avenue, Mellwood Art & Entertainment Center, Louisville



Father’s Day












Triumphant Quartet Concert, Sand Spring Baptist Church, Lawrenceburg, (502) 517-6268


Dazzling Ft. Knox FCU Daylilies Concert Series Festival, Western presents John Kentucky Anderson, Botanical Garden, Historic State Owensboro, Theater, through June 30, Elizabethtown, (270) 852-8925 (270) 234-8258








Miss Glimmer Appreciation Day, Chaney’s Dairy Barn, Bowling Green, (270) 854-5567

Tamburitzans, W.C. Handy Kentucky and Pappy for Your Well Crafted – Van Meter Blues & the Great War, Pappy, Buffalo Brews and Hall, Barbecue McCracken Trace Distillery, Bands, Shaker Western Kentucky Festival, County Public Frankfort, Village of Pleasant Univerisity, Audubon Mill Library, Paducah, (502) 696-5926 Hill, Harrodsburg, Bowling Green, Park, Henderson, (270) 442-2510 (859) 734-1545 (270) 745-3121 through June 16, (270) 826-3128

Camp Gramp, Paris Landing, Paris, (859) 321-2293

Taylor Swift, Papa John’s Stadium, Louisville, 1-800-840-9227

Garden Tour Fun and Sun Drinking ROMP Fest, Rhiannon and Tea, Day Camp, Habits 2, Yellow Creek Park, Giddens, downtown Old Mulkey Pioneer Playhouse, Owensboro, The Grand Elizabethtown, Meetinghouse State Danville, through June 30 Theatre, (270) 765-2175 Historic Site, through July 7, Frankfort, Tompkinsville, (859) 236-2747 (502) 352-7469, (270) 487-8481

2 K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8


Ongoing Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss, Boone County Public Library, Burlington, through June 30, (859) 342-2665

Exile, Mountain Arts Center, Prestonsburg, (606) 886-2623

Party on the Square, downtown Georgetown, also July 28, (859) 613-2140

July 1.

Summer Motion, Central Park/Ashland Riverfront, through July 14, 1-800-377-6249







Fanfare for the Musical Visions of America, Iroquois Amphitheater, Louisville, (502) 968-6300











Unnecessary Farce, Pioneer Playhouse, Danville, through Aug. 4, (859) 236-2747










Fireman’s Walk in the Fourth of July, Wetlands, John downtown James Audubon Augusta, State Park, (606) 756-2183 Henderson, (270) 826-2247

Lexington Granted, Journey and Bacon, Junior League Pioneer Playhouse, Def Leppard, Bourbon and Charity Horse Danville, KFC Yum! Center, Brew Festival, Show, Kentucky through July 21, Louisville, Festival Park, Horse Park, (859) 236-2747 (502) 690-9000 Newport, Lexington, through July 14, through July 13, (513) 477-3320 (859) 233-7921


Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper, KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, (502) 690-9000


Independence Day


Front Porch Pickin’, Mountain Arts Center, Prestonsburg, also July 6, (606) 886-2623


Berea Craft Christmas in Festival, Indian July, KenLake Fort Theater, State Resort Park, Berea, Hardin, through July 15, (270) 519-1788 1-800-598-5263

The Sound of Music, Shelby County Community Theatre, Shelbyville, also July 20-22 and 26-29, (502) 633-0222


Friday Night Turn the Page Live Concert – Bob Seger Series, featuring Tribute, Mercury Colter Wall, Ballroom, downtown Louisville, Madisonville, (502) 583-4555 (270) 824-2195





Sandy Lee Kentucky by Cruisin’ the ’80s Rocks the Watkins Way of Ireland: Heartland with Dam! Fest, Songwriters An Evening Ray’s Trailer Beaver Dam Festival, various with Michael Sales, downtown Amphitheater, locations, Reidy, Frazier Elizabethtown, Beaver Dam Henderson, History Museum, through July 28, through July 28, Louisville, (270) 765-2175 (270) 823-6012 (502) 753-5663

More to explore online! Visit for additional content, including a calendar of events, feature stories and recipes.

J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

• K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Let’s Go!

A guide to Kentucky’s most interesting events Bluegrass Region

7 The Nelsons and Jeff Stice, Sand Spring Baptist Church, Lawrenceburg, (502) 517-6268, 8 Wheels of Time Cruise-In, downtown Lawrenceburg, (502) 598-3127

Versailles, (859) 879-1812,

23 Bikes & Bans Poker/Dart Run, Bourbon Street on Main, Lawrenceburg, (502) 604-3900

8 Free Movie: Despicable Me 3, Lawrenceburg Green, (502) 598-3127

26-30 Drinking Habits 2, Pioneer Playhouse, Danville, through July 7, (859) 236-2747,

Up in Arms, UK Art Museum, Lexington, through July 22, (859) 257-5716,

8-9 Kentucky Fort Harrod Beef Festival, Mercer County Fairgrounds, Harrodsburg, (859) 734-3314,

28 Rhiannon Giddens, The Grand Theatre, Frankfort, (502) 352-7469,

Onward to Damascus, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, through Oct. 30, (859) 2337921,

8-23 The Return of Tinker Doyle, Pioneer Playhouse, Danville, (859) 236-2747,

30 Party on the Square, downtown Georgetown, also July 28, (859) 613-2140,

Show & Tell – 15 years Demonstrating Artists, Kentucky Artisan Center, Berea, through Aug. 31, (859) 985-5448,

9 Garden Club of Frankfort’s Home and Garden Tour, various locations, (502) 875-8687,



1-2 Wildman Days, Lawrenceburg Green, (502) 930-8242 1-3 Great American Brass Band Festival, various locations, Danville, (859) 319-8426, 1-3 American Truck Historical Society Convention, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, (859) 233-7921, 1-4 Saddle Up with the Arts, Gallery on Main, Richmond, 1-7 Daniel Ludwig: New Works, 2016-2018, Heike Pickett Gallery, Versailles, (859) 233-1263, 2 Cruiz on Main, downtown Harrodsburg, also July 7, 2 Open House, Ward Hall, Georgtown, also June 9-10, July 7-8, and 14-15, (502) 863-5356, 2 Salato Sampler, Salato Wildlife Education Center, Frankfort, (502) 564-7863, 2 L&N Day, L&N Depot, Berea, 1-800-598-5263, 3 Smokey Joe’s Café, Woodford Theatre, Versailles, (859) 873-0648,


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

9 Bike Night, downtown Harrodsburg also July 14 and Aug. 11, 9 Kentucky Hemp Days, various locations, Cynthiana, (859) 234-5236 9 Conch Republic, Lawrenceburg Green, (502) 598-3127 9 Beer Cheese Festival, downtown Winchester, (850) 744-0556, 13 PlayThink Movement & Arts Festival, HomeGrown HideAways, Berea, (859) 979-7827, 15 Pappy for Your Pappy, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, (502) 696-5926,


4 Fourth of July Festival, downtown Lexington, (859) 335-8640, 6 Free Movie: Peter Rabbit, Lawrenceburg Green, (502) 598-3127 9-13 Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, (859) 233-7921, 10-21 Granted, Pioneer Playhouse, Danville, (859) 236-2747, 12-21 Lexington Lions’ Club Bluegrass Fair, Masterson Station Park, Lexington, (859) 259-3944, 13-14 Breyerfest, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, (859) 233-7921, 13-15 Berea Craft Festival, Indian Fort Theater, Berea, 1-800-598-5263,

16 Well Crafted – Brews and Bands, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Harrodsburg, (859) 734-1545,

14 Vintage VooDoo Concert, Lawrenceburg Green, (502) 598-3127

19 Camp Gramp, Paris Landing, Paris, (859) 321-2293,

14-15 Georgetown/Scott County AirFest, Georgetown/Scott County Regional Airport, 1-866-863-6320,

21 Triumphant Quartet Concert, Sand Spring Baptist Church, Lawrenceburg, (502) 517-6268,

19-21 Concours d’Elegance, Keeneland, Lexington, (859) 422-3329,

22 Free Movie Thor: Ragnarok, Lawrenceburg Green, (502) 598-3127

20 LexArts Gallery Hop, downtown Lexington, (859) 255-2951,

23 Bourbon Academy, Woodford Reserve,

24-31 Unnecessary Farce, Pioneer

Playhouse, Danville, through Aug. 4, (859) 236-2747,

1-9 I Am Ali Festival, Muhammad Ali Center, Louisville, (502) 992-5334,

27 Joseph Habedank and The Erwins Gospel Concert, Sand Spring Baptist Church, Lawrenceburg, (502) 517-6268,

2 Day Out with Thomas, Kentucky Railway Museum, New Haven, (502) 549-5470,

28 Soul of 2nd Street Festival, Constitution Square Historic Site, Danville, (502) 863-5424, 28 The Whitney Houston Show, EKU Center for the Arts, Richmond, (859) 622-7469, August

7-11 Living on Love, Pioneer Playhouse, Danville, (859) 236-2747, 11 Crave Lexington, Masterson Station Park, Lexington, 11-12 Walker Montgomery Free Concert, Lawrenceburg Green, (502) 598-3127 17-19 Pioneer Days, Old Fort Harrod State Park, Harrodsburg, (859) 734-2365,

Louisville Region

2 Art & Garden Market, Crestwood Civic Club, Crestwood, (502) 265-0376

Magnificent Mona Bismarck, Frazier History Museum, Louisville, through July 29, (502) 753-5663, Breaking the Mold: Investigating Gender, Speed Art Museum, Louisville, through Sept. 8, (502) 634-2700, Artist Douglas Miller Exhibit, Cressman Center Gallery, Louisville, through Aug. 3, (502) 852-0288, America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far Exhibit, Muhammad Ali Center, Louisville, through Dec. 29, (502) 992-5334, June

1 Jammin’ at Jeptha! Jeptha Creed Distillery, Shelbyville, (502) 487-5007, 1 Magic Men Live! Louisville Palace, Louisville, (502) 883-5774, 1-3 Radio’s Golden Days, Shelby County Community Theatre, Shelbyville, also June 8-10, (502) 633-0222 ,

10 The Taste of Frankfort Avenue, Mellwood Art & Entertainment Center, Louisville, 10 A Kid, A Cop, and A Cause, Fourth Street Live!, Louisville, (502) 584-7170,

2-3 Colonial Trade Faire, Oldham County History Center, La Grange, (502) 222-0826,

15-16 Kentuckiana Pride Festival, Waterfront Park, Louisville,

3 Chart Toppers III, Beargrass Christian Church, Louisville, (502) 968-6300,

16 Old Louisville Sites to See, Old Louisville Visitors Center, Louisville, (502) 636-5023,

3 CFAC Elementary School Art Show, Louisville Visual Art, Louisville, (502) 584-8166,

16 Kentucky Craft Beer Festival, BrownPusey House, Elizabethtown, (270) 765-2175,

5 The Decemberists, Iroquis Amphitheater, Louisville,

16 Russell Dickerson, Fourth Street Live! Louisville, (502) 341-0456,

6 Diana Krall, Louisville Palace, Louisville, (502) 883-5774,

20 Taylor Swift, Papa John’s Stadium, Louisville, 1-800-840-9227,

7 Historic Costumed Walking Tour, downtown Elizabethtown, Thursdays through Sept. 27, (270) 765-2175,

21 Twilight Tour, Conrad Caldwell House, Louisville, (502) 636-5023,

7 Tavern in the Garden, Brown-Pusey House, Thursdays through Sept. 27, Elizabethtown, (270) 765-2175,

22 Billy Currington, Fourth Street Live! Louisville, (502) 584-7170,

8 Cirque du Soir, Pendennis Club, Louisville, (502) 897-3990, Ongoing

(502) 753-5663,

8 John Prine, Louisville Palace, Louisville, (502) 883-5774, 8 Concert in the Park, Rough River Dam State Resort Park, Falls of Rough, (270) 257-2311,

23 Ft. Knox FCU Concert Series presents John Anderson, Historic State Theater, Elizabethtown, (270) 234-8258, 23 Kentucky Craft Bash, Waterfront Park, Louisville, 23 Barn Bash, Blackacre State Nature Preserve, Louisville, (502) 266-9802,

8 Sunset Concert Series, Foxhollow Farm, Crestwood, also July 13 and Aug. 10, (502) 241-9674,

24 Garden Tour and Tea, downtown Elizabethtown, (270) 765-2175,

8-9 Marion County Music Fest 2018, Centre Square, Lebanon, (270) 699-2787,

25 Cedar Lake Golf Tournament, Hurstbourne Country Club, Louisville, (502) 495-4946,

8-17 Annie, Historic State Theater, Elizabethtown, (270) 765-2175,

25 Moonlight Big Band Concert, My Old Kentucky Home State Park Rotunda, Bardstown, (502) 348-4877,

9 Blooming Bardstown Garden Tour, Marketplace and Silent Auction, Nelson County Extension Office, Bardstown, (502) 3489204,

26-27 Louisville Broadway Series: Waitress, Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Louisville, (502) 584-7469,

9 The Stephen Foster Story Opening Night, J. Dan Talbott Amphitheatre, Bardstown, (502) 348-5971,

28 Kentucky by Way of France: An Evening with Guy Genoud, Frazier History Museum, Louisville, (502) 753-5663,

9 Second Saturday – Around the World, Frazier History Museum, Louisville,

30 Murder Mystery Theater, Kentucky J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

• K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Let’s Go

Railway Museum, New Haven, through Nov. 17, (502) 549-5470, July

Center, Louisville, (502) 690-9000,

13-15 Jane Austen Festival, Locust Grove, Louisville, (502) 727-3917,

3 The Pretenders, Louisville Palace, Louisville, (502) 883-5774,

13-15 Forecastle Festival, Waterfront Park, Louisville,

3 Fanfare for the Musical Visions of America, Iroquois Amphitheater, Louisville, (502) 968-6300,

19-22 The Sound of Music, Shelby County Community Theatre, Shelbyville, also July 26-29, (502) 633-0222,

4 Wesbanco presents Founders’ Day Celebration, Freeman Lake Park, Elizabethtown, elizabethtown-founders-day

21 Smashing Pumpkins, KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, (502) 690-9000,

7 Harry Potter Film Concert Series, Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Louisville, (502) 587-8681, 7 Bourbon City Street Concert, North Third Street, Bardstown, (502) 348-4877, 9-14 Hardin County Community Fair & Horse Show, Hardin County Fairgrounds, Elizabethtown, (270) 765-2175, 11 Journey and Def Leppard, KFC Yum!

21 Turn the Page – Bob Seger Tribute, Mercury Ballroom, Louisville, (502) 583-4555, 26 Kentucky by Way of Ireland: An Evening with Michael Reidy, Frazier History Museum, Louisville, (502) 753-5663, 27-28 Cruisin’ the Heartland with Ray’s Trailer Sales, downtown Elizabethtown, (270) 765-2175, 28 Sugarland, KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, (502) 690-9000,

28 Saved by the 90s, Mercury Ballroom, Louisville, (502) 583-4555, 29 Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper, KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, (502) 690-9000, August

4 Kentucky’s Slice of Life, Kentucky Derby Museum, Louisville, (502) 708-1625, 15-19 Cirque du Soleil presents Corteo, KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, (502) 690-9000,

Northern Region

Ongoing Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss, Boone County Public Library, Burlington, through June 30, (859) 342-2665,


1 Live Music, Elk Creek Vineyards, Owenton, also every Friday and Saturday night in June and July, (502) 484-0005, 2 Art in the Garden, Augusta Riverfront, (606) 756-2183, 2 Plantation Tours, Dinsmore Homestead, Burlington, also every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in June and July, (859) 586-6117, 2 Giants in the Sky, Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, Covington, (859) 491-2030, 2 Discovery Dome Planetarium, Kenton County Library, Erlanger, (859) 962-4002, 2-30 Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival, Festival Space, Eminence, through July 15 (Saturdays and Sundays only), 3 Taste of Newport, Monmouth Street, Newport, (859) 292-3666, 6 Party on the Purple, Purple People Bridge, Newport, also every Wednesday in June and July, 7 Summer Concert Series, Behringer Crawford Museum, Covington, also every Thursday in June and July, (859) 491-4003, 7 Live at the Levee, Newport on the Levee, Newport, also every Thursday in June, July and August, (859) 291-0550, 7-9 Newport Italianfest, Riverboat Row, Newport, (859) 292-3666, 9 Women in the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame, Boone County Public Library, Burlington, (859) 342-2665, 9 Lineillism Revealed Exhibit, Campbell County Library, Newport, (859) 781-6166, 9 Local Brews and Grooves, Newport on the Levee, Newport, (859) 291-0550, 12 Tot Tuesdays, Behringer Crawford Museum, Covington, (859) 491-4003, 15 Brother Smith Live, Crestview Town Center, Crestview Hills, (859) 341-4353, 16 Discovery Days, Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, Union, (859) 384-3522,

J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

• K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Let’s Go

17 Burlington Antique Show, Boone County Fairgrounds, Burlington, also July 15 and Aug. 19, (513) 922-6847, 19 Bluegrass Jam Session, Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, Carlisle, (859) 289-5507, 23 Zak Morgan, Boone County Public Library, Burlington, (859) 781-6166,


Beaver Dam,

2-4 Glier’s Goettafest, Newport Riverfront, (859) 291-1800,

1-8 Fantastic Fibers Exhibit, Yeiser Art Gallery, Paducah, (270) 442-2453,

9-12 Great Inland Seafood Festival, Newport Riverfront,

2 Downtown Cruise In, 3rd and Allen streets, Owensboro, (270) 926-1100,

10 Maysville Oktoberfest, downtown Maysville, (859) 338-2946,

23 Rockin’ the Ridge with Gretchen Wilson, Piddle Park, Dry Ridge,

Western Region

2 Rods & Ribs, Lu-Ray Park & Amphitheater, Central City, (270) 754-5097, 2 National Trails Day, KenLake State Resort Park, Hardin, (502) 564-4270,

28 Distiller’s Tour, New Riff Distilling, Newport, (859) 261-7433,

2 Lantern Hike, John James Audubon State Park, Henderson, (270) 826-2247,


6-7 Fireman’s Fourth of July, downtown Augusta, (606) 756-2183,

Ongoing First Class Glass Exhibit, Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Owensboro, through July 15, (270) 685-3181,

12-14 Bacon, Bourbon and Brew Festival, Festival Park, Newport, (513) 477-3320, 13-14 Riverfest Regatta, Augusta Riverfront, (606) 756-2183, 14 Faith and Family Day, Newport on the Levee, Newport, (859) 291-0550,


2 Clement Gem, Mineral, Fossil, & Jewelry Show, Fohs Hall, Marion, (270) 965-4263, 2-3 Market Days, Preservation Station, Owensboro, (270) 925-1124,

1 Rosine Park Festival, First Street, Rosine, (270) 256-6938

7 Turn-the-Page Tour, John James Audubon State Park, Henderson, (270) 826-2247,

1 Oak Ridge Boys, Beaver Dam Amphitheater,

7 Saturdays on the Square, downtown




America’s only launched wing coaster, the #1 wooden coaster in the nation, and the 2 longest water coasters in the world. For reals.








One coupon valid for up to 8 discounts. No double discounts. Expires Sept. 15th, 2018.



Greenville, through Aug. 4, (270) 338-1895,

8-30 Live Harness Racing, Bluegrass Downs, Paducah, through July 8, (270) 733-2222, 9 Show & Go Car Club Cruise In, Main Street, Madisonville, (270) 452-1900 9 Dads Rock Lunch and Rock Craft, Trunnell’s Farm Market, Owensboro, (270) 733-2222, 9 Live on the Banks, Smothers Park, Owensboro, (270) 687-8700, 10 OMG!con 2018, Owensboro Convention Center, Owensboro, (270) 687-8800, 13-16 W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival, Audubon Mill Park, Henderson, (270) 826-3128, 14 Kentucky and the Great War, McCracken County Public Library, Paducah, (270) 442-2510, 16 PaBREWcah Beer Fest, downtown Paducah, 22 Friday Night Live Concert Series, featuring O-Town, Ryan Cabrera and Tyler Hilton, downtown Madisonville, (270) 824-2195,

For more information: 1.800.872.9825 or 606.561.5300 (Rentals/Reservations) 606.561.5311 (General Information) 606.561.5316 (Pro Shop/Tee Times)

A perfect summer evening getaway in historically bold Danville!

22-30 Dazzling Daylilies Festival with Balloons Over The Garden, Western Kentucky Botanical Garden, Owensboro, (270) 852-8925, 23 Jason Crabb, Beaver Dam Amphitheater, Beaver Dam,



Enjoy a home-cooked dinner featuring hand-rubbed, hickory smoked BBQ! Experience theatre under the stars in Kentucky’s oldest outdoor theatre!

27-30 ROMP Fest, Yellow Creek Park, Owensboro, July

Five different shows including... Two Kentucky Voices Originals

4 Muhlenberg Miners and Music Festival, Paradise Park, Powderly, (270) 338-1895,

THE RETURN OF TINKER DOYLE by Elizabeth Orndorff Fanciful comedy full of Irish music and dance! June 8 – June 23

4 Independence Day Celebration, Paducah Riverfront, 4-7 4thFest, various locations, Madisonville, 1-877-243-5280,


b r at i





7 Walk in the Wetlands, John James Audubon State Park, Henderson, (270) 826-2247, 7 Sparks in the Park, Beaver Dam Amphitheater, Beaver Dam,

Located on a 455 scenic acre peninsula overlooking and surrounded by Lake Cumberland, the Woodson Bend Resort boasts views of heavily wooded foothills, emerald green waters, and limestone palisades rising over 300 feet above the water. Set among this beautiful backdrop is our 18-hole Championship Golf Course designed by Lee Trevino and Dave Bennett. Complete with luxury amenities such as a 136 slip boat dock (with mechanical boat launch), tennis courts, outdoor basketball and volleyball courts, pavilion and fire-pit, and fine dining, Woodson Bend Resort is simply PAR Excellence!

2018 Danville, KY

GRANTED by Angela Correll Heartwarming play about faith and family! Final in the Grounded trilogy! July 10 – July 21 Make your reservations today! Or call toll free 1-866-KYPLAYS

J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

• K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Let’s Go

14 Christmas in July, KenLake State Resort Park, Hardin, (270) 519-1788 19-22 Sturgis Kentucky Bike Rally, Union County Fair and Expo Center, Sturgis, (270) 333-7244, 20 Friday Night Live Concert Series, featuring Colter Wall, downtown Madisonville, (270) 824-2195, 25-28 Sandy Lee Watkins Songwriters Festival, various locations, Henderson, (270) 823-6012, 27 Dawson Springs Barbecue Festival, Community Center, Dawson Springs, (270) 797-2781,

4 Turnpike Troubadours, Beaver Dam Amphitheater, Beaver Dam, 10-12 The 48-Hour Film Project, Maiden Alley Cinema, Paducah, (270) 442-7723, 11 Furry Friends Pet Trail Hike, John James Audubon State Park, Henderson, (270) 826-2247, 11 Back to School Bash, Beaver Dam Amphitheater, Beaver Dam,

Southern Region


1-8 Emancipation Celebration, downtown Paducah,

Side by Side VSA Art, Kentucky Museum, Bowling Green, through June 30, (270) 745-2592, June

1 Glasgow Highland Games, Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Lucas, (270) 651-3141, 1-2 Ice Cream and a Moovie, Chaney’s Dairy Barn, Bowling Green, also June 15-16 and 29-30, July 13-14 and 27-28, and Aug.10-11, (270) 843-5567, 1-3 Heathers: The Musical, The Phoenix Theatre, Bowling Green, (270) 782-3119,

27-28 Footloose: The Musical, Purchase Players Community Arts Center, Mayfield, (270) 251-9035, 28 ’80s Rocks the Dam! Fest, Beaver Dam Amphitheater, Beaver Dam,

Bowling Green, through June 30, (270) 745-2592,

Ongoing Kaleidoscope: Kentucky Museum Quilts, Kentucky Museum, Bowling Green, through Dec. 18, (270) 745-2592, A Culture Carried: Bosnians in Bowling Green, Kentucky Museum,

2 Bluegrass Draft Horse and Mule Championship Pull, L.D. Brown Ag Expo Center, Bowling Green, (270) 745-3976, 2 National Trails Day, Nolin Lake State Park, Mammoth Cave, (270) 286-4240, 2 Kids Outdoor Day, Green River Lake

State Park, Campbellsville, (270) 465-8255,

2 Hallelujah Summerfest, Hallelujah Hollow Park, Monticello, (606) 340-2254


Don’t miss the boat!

Where your next adventure begins!

2 Celebrity Ghost Hunt, Old War Memorial Hospital, Scottsville, 1-800-604-9101, 2-3 OPTIMA Search for the Ultimate Street Car, NCM Motorsports Park, Bowling Green, 1-800-326-7465,


5 Tuesday Night Street Drag Race, Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, (270) 781-7634, 8 Nadine! the Church Lady, Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, Bowling Green, (270) 904-1880, 8-9 Celebration of Quilts and Quilting, Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site, Tompkinsville, (270) 487-8481, 9 Hot Rod Power Tour, Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, (270) 781-7634,

• June 7 - 9 - U.S. 25 Yard Sale • June 23 - Rockin’ The Ridge (headliner: Gretchen Wilson) • July 20 & July 21 St. Elizabeth Triathlon Finish Line Festival - July 21 -

Grant County: • Home of the Ark Encounter • 35 miles south of Cincinnati • 45 miles north of Lexington

downtown Williamstown - music, vendors, food, Kids Duathlon


12 Tamburitzans, Van Meter Hall, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, (270) 745-3121, 14-16 Holley National Hot Rod Reunion, Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, 1-800-326-7465, 16 Southern Gospel at Its Best, Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, Bowling Green, (270) 904-1880, 18 Miss Glimmer Appreciation Day, Chaney’s Dairy Barn, Bowling Green, (270) 854-5567, 21 Memories of Downton Abbey Flower Show, L&N Depot, Bowling Green, (270) 202-6491 22-30 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Live on Stage, Historic Star Theater, Russell Springs, through July 1, (270) 866-7827, 23 Somernites Cruise and Car Show, Public Square, Somerset, also July 28, (606) 872-2277, 25 Fun and Sun Day Camp, Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site, Tompkinsville, (270) 487-8481,

Summer Events in Western Kentucky

Madisonville Miners Summer Collegiate Baseball June – July Show & Go Car Club Cruise In June 9 & July 14 7th Annual Highway 41 Yard Sale June 22 – 23 Friday Night Live Concert Series featuring O-Town, Ryan Cabrera, & Tyler Hilton June 22 Madisonville 4thFest July 2 – 7 Friday Night Live Concert Series featuring Colter Wall July 20 Dawson Springs Barbecue Festival July 27 14th Annual Pennyrile Area Cyclists Challenge July 28


28-30 The House at Pooh Corner, Phoenix Theatre, Bowling Green, (270) 782-3119, J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

• K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Let’s Go


13-14 Camerofest, Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, (270) 781-7634, 13-14 Master Musicians Festival, Somerset Community Somerset, (606) 875-6732, 14 Seasonal Hike, Nolin Lake State Park, Mammoth Cave, (270) 286-4240, 20-21 Car Craft Summer Nationals, Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, (310) 363-4231, August

9-11 Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals, Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green,

Eastern Region

Blue Ribbon Fox Hunters Lodge, Catlettsburg, 1-800-377-6249,

8 Street Car Drag Race, Wrightway Raceway, Pikeville, also July 20-21 and Aug. 10-11, (606) 633-9691, June

1 First Friday Live & Car Show – Star Wars Night, downtown Ashland, 1-800-377-6249,

9 Carcassonne Square Dance, Carcassonne Community Center, Carcassonne, also July 14, (606) 633-7958 16 Firkin Fest, downtown Ashland, 1-800-377-6249,

1-2 Sally Gap Bluegrass Festival, Williamsburg, (606) 703-0055,

16 Kentucky Opry, Mountain Arts Center, Prestonsburg, (606) 886-2623,

2 Trail Trek Series, Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Slade, (606) 663-2214,

16 International Music and Entertainment Association Awards, Paramount Arts Center, Ashland, (606) 324-0007,

2 Open Rail – Bluegrass Music,

22 Front Porch Pickin’, Mountain Arts Center, Prestonsburg, also July 6, (606) 886-2623, 23 Tyler Childers, Paramount Arts Center, Ashland, (606) 324-0007, 29 Exile, Mountain Arts Center, Prestonsburg, (606) 886-2623, July

1-14 Summer Motion, Central Park/ Ashland Riverfront, 1-800-377-6249, OPEN FRIDAY 117 SAT 115 SUN 1 5 527 GARRISON LANE, BLOOMFIELD | 502.249.1051

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

13 Pam Tillis, Mountain Arts Center, Prestonsburg, (606) 886-2623, 14 Greenbo Summer Music Series, Greenbo Lake State Resort Park, Greenup, (606) 473-7324, 21 Libraries Rock: Battle of the Bands, Floyd County Public Library, Prestonsburg, (606) 886-2981, 26 Bret Michaels, Paramount Arts Center, Ashland, (606) 324-0007, August

2-3 Legally Blonde: The Musical, Parmount Arts Center, Ashland, (606) 324-0007,

For additional Calendar items or to submit an event, please visit Submissions must be sent at least 90 days prior to the event. 54

K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8



April 19 – Sept. 3, 2018



See larger-than-life sculptures of endangered wildlife by acclaimed Artist Sean Kenney!






Display until 2/14/2017

17 Activities for 2017 MacPhail Antler Artist Dan ing Faux Furs Donna Salyers’ Stunn

.com www.kentuckymonthly




J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Vested Interest

Never Forget


Publisher & Editor-in-Chief


ow could anything good come out of something as horrendous as the extermination of more than 11 million people, more than half of them Jewish? To put that in perspective, if you look just at the Jewish slaughter between 1938 and 1945, it would be equal to killing every single man, woman and child in all 120 Kentucky counties and much of southern Indiana. It’s a chapter of world history that should never be forgotten, and thanks to the efforts of several Kentuckians, it won’t be. In March, the legislature passed the Anne Klein and Fred Gross Holocaust Education Act, which requires that the Holocaust and other acts of genocide be taught in all Kentucky schools. In May, the Holocaust came to western Kentucky to a reception no one could have predicted. Nearly 1,000 people of all races and religions came to Madisonville’s Covenant Community Church to see Murals of the Holocaust, a collection of 16 murals created by some of Kentucky’s best students, and to hear Fred Gross, the author of One Step Ahead of Hitler: A Jewish Child’s Journey Through France. Sponsored by the Hopkins County Genealogical Society, the exhibit then traveled to Hopkinsville, Henderson and Owensboro and will continue to schedule trips across the Commonwealth to educate and inspire people with the message that even out of the darkest chapters of our collective history comes hope. Fred Whittaker, a middle-school teacher in Louisville and the 2006 recipient of the Anne Frank Outstanding Education Award, started the effort to make Holocaust education mandatory more than 13 years ago because he believes that only by navigating through the horrors and lessons of the Holocaust can we assure ourselves that something like it never happens again. “Young people understand, and when they get it, it’s life-changing,” Whittaker said. Bowling Green native Ron Skillern, the 2017 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, is the curator of the mural exhibit and escorts his students’ “Never again”-themed panels from his home in Oldham County to any group willing to display them. “They see through their work that it’s important to be open and respectful to other people’s beliefs and to look for the good in others.”

For the 81-year-old Gross, that’s a lesson that took a lifetime to learn. At the outbreak of World War II, Gross and his family escaped Belgium into the false security of France, which eventually deported more than 75,000 Jews to death camps. “Most people don’t understand that they killed the children first,” Gross said. “For one, they had no use for children, and secondly, they didn’t want the children around to tell the story. But I did live, and I am telling the story.” Gross, who spent his childhood running from the Nazis—from Antwerp, his hometown, to Paris, Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice, Grenoble and eventually Geneva, Zurich and the United States—put an emotional shell around himself, and for the next 60 years, he was distrustful of other people and struggled to forge relationships. It was while writing his book that he saw the silver lining. He, his parents and his two older brothers, Leo and Sammy, were nearly caught a dozen times. They spent five years hiding in homes, barns, schools and even an abandoned castle. “As my wife read my manuscript, she was the one that pointed out, ‘These people—not of your faith—risked their lives to save you.’ They are my heroes, and I thank them every day. People who were not Jewish refused to be bystanders. Without them, we would not have survived. “It was then that I saw what Anne Frank said to be true: ‘Despite everything, I think people are good.’ ” Gross’ first memory in the United States came after his family landed in Norfolk, Virginia, when he accidentally used the wrong race-restricted restroom. “I traveled on the freedom ship named the James W. Johnson, named for the noted black poet [who wrote ‘As far as the eye of God could see, Darkness covered everything,’], to a place where people were discriminated against because of the color of their skin. Look at how far we have come.” The lesson, Gross says, is a universal one. “You have to make a difference in other people’s lives, and you can’t let adversity dictate who you are.” Readers, and those looking for a speaker for a church or civic group, may contact Stephen M. Vest at

JUNE/JULY KWIZ ANSWERS: 1. True; 2. C. As a featured performer, she appeared in more than 60 films; 3. C. Before Brandeis, the right to privacy was nonexistent; 4. C. This year’s Beer Cheese Festival is slated for June 9 in Winchester; 5. C. Jefferson Davis; 6. B. Goats are often featured in Faulkner’s sought-after paintings; 7. C. Neither. Hazard is actually halfway between the two singer-songwriters’ homes; 8. B. Ham and eggs; 9. A. Creason was born in Benton on June 10, 1919; 10. C. Hubbard’s film The Vanishing American, remade in 1955, was honored by the Cherokee Nation. 56

K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 8

More than half of Kentucky’s state parks sit along major lakes, so get out and go boating, water skiing, tubing, kayaking, fishing, or soak up the sun during some shoreside relaxation. Enjoy recreation, outstanding golf courses, resorts, cottages, campgrounds, pioneer living, fishing, boating, and plenty more at your Kentucky State Parks. Make your Summer Break plans now! Visit

June/ July 2018 | Kentucky Monthly Magazine  

June/ July 2018

June/ July 2018 | Kentucky Monthly Magazine  

June/ July 2018