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Features

  • Rosemary Humkey was a woman ahead of her time. Celebrating 30 years of barbering Sept. 29, she joined the once almost all-male profession in the fall of 1980. She became the first female barber in Nelson County when she started her career at The Headquarters Barbershop under Bill Boone.

    And the trend toward female barbers shows no sign of stopping.

    Today, there are about 50 active barbers in Nelson County and 34 are female, making it a 2-1 ratio of females over males.

    Humkey always wanted to cut hair. She attended cosmetology school at age 18.

  • Historic Preservation Administrator Pen Bogert was cleaning up the former Historic Preservation office beside the Sutherland Building recently when he made an interesting discovery ee" a set of glass negatives. He scanned and reversed them and discovered scenes from a street fair in downtown Bardstown, probably in the mid-1930s judging from the signs of the businesses on North Third Street.

  • Cornhole’s rise in popularity in recent years may have come at the expense of horseshoe pitching, but that doesn’t mean folks aren’t still out at the pits throwing ringers.

    In fact, world-class pitchers compete regularly right here in Nelson County, and you can join them.

    “We are expecting 200-300 people here for the state tournament” Sept. 5-6 and 12 at the Nelson County Fairgrounds, said Laurie Ritchie, secretary of the Bardstown Horseshoe Pitching Club. Hosting tournaments also results in a good economic spin-off for the area.

  • Step onto the front porch and enter into a taste of nostalgia when you visit Mama’s Touch Nursery and Landscaping.

    You feel at home in a rocking chair sitting across from Sarah Ann Medley, relaxed and serene in her recliner, as she gives you a piece of her heart with a tour of past, present and future.

    Mama’s Touch Nursery & Gifts was a creation of Medley and her son, Chris, more than three years ago. Her adventure began after she retired from Fredericktown Elementary School as cafeteria manager of 23 years.

  • Sometimes Beth Ballard takes her healing on the road. And recently, she took it to Anne Moran’s antebellum home in Cox’s Creek.

    Ballard, of All of Tulip Moons off Court Square in Bardstown, does not like to be referred to as a psychic, because that’s not what she does. She communicates with those who have passed on and gives their loved ones messages of love and support.

  • From fashion design to marketing and advertising, Elise Matteson has had her hands in art her whole life.

    Matteson moved to Bardstown five years ago, but spent the majority of her years in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She first attended the University of Iowa as an art major with desires to be a fashion illustrator.

    “At that time, magazines and advertisements routinely featured artistic drawings of the products, possibly alongside a photo of the item,” Matteson said.

    Matteson then attended the Vogue Fashion College on Lakeshore Drive in Chicago.

  • Some people go through life wishing and hoping for a better job. According to a Conference Board study, employees are increasingly unhappy at work, with only 50 percent of people satisfied with their jobs today. That’s down from 79 percent in 1985.

    Diane Thompson, Nelson County Circuit Clerk, is in that 50 percent but she deserves a category all by herself.

    Thompson isn’t just satisfied with her job. She’s passionate about it. She’s grateful for it and she can’t imagine her life without it.

  • Almost a year to the day after the groundbreaking on a $3.5 million expansion and renovation, St. Joseph School is having an open house 5-7 p.m. Tuesday for families with preschool, kindergarten or first-grade students.

    Money for the project was raised through the St. Joseph Parish “A Time to Build” campaign.

    “Excitement is building at St. Joseph School as we near the completion of our own extreme makeover and addition,” Principal Michael Bickett said.

  • Lots of communities in Kentucky have museums, but few compare in size and quality to the 15-year-old facility in downtown Cynthiana.

    And, with soon-to-be 90-year-old Harold Slade in charge, it’s nearly certain none are as secure.

    The Harrison County native calls himself the museum’s “hanger-upper,” but to one man, he was also a would-be knocker-downer.

    Last summer, the slender World War II veteran had an encounter with an armed robber who had entered his home in rural Harrison County.

  • Driving by the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, it’s easy to take the scenery for granted. With wrought-iron fence neatly bordering its grass, trees that bloom in spring and a clock tower just below the church spire, when the sky is blue with cottony clouds waiting silently as if for a photograph to be taken, the scene is picture perfect.

    This perfection is precisely why passersby may never pause to think what keeps the clock in that tower ticking.

    For the past 40 years Don Parrish has been the hand that kept the clock ticking.

  • As he sits down for an interview at Aldersgate Camp & Retreat Center, Lee Padgett has one request.

    Make the story about Aldersgate, not him.

    That’s not going to be easy.

    For the past 20 years, the camp director’s life has revolved around the 310-acre facility near Natural Bridge State Park, where the stated mission is to intentionally provide for the faith development of individuals of all ages in Christ and in Christian community within the natural beauty of God’s creation.

  • Take a good look at the lady in the photo accompanying this article.

    Does Rita Craigmyle look like someone you’d expect to find stripping tobacco in a room illuminated by a single bare light bulb?

    Or would a more natural setting for her be a fancy gallery with oversized crystal chandeliers casting a glow over giant oil paintings?

    Actually, the valedictorian of the class of ’60 at Carroll County High has done both.

    Rita’s Discount Furniture sits alongside U.S. 127 just north of Owenton in what appears to be a barn.

    It is.

  • Before the storms came last Saturday, when it was 75 degrees and sunny, my dog, Eli, and I varied our normal walking route. We usually stick to the north side of the Old Courthouse, but this time we ventured to the south side. Before long, we came to the old cemetery on West John Fitch.

    I checked out some of the headstones and was saddened that many of them have fallen into such a state of disrepair. They’re more than 200 years old, however, and time takes its toll no matter how much we try to prevent it. At least the cemetery grounds are kept pristine.

  • For the past three years, Eileen Peterson has been the Nelson County Public Library’s bookmobile librarian, but the library’s bookmobile had been around much longer than that —11 years.

    That is, until its predecessor, a diesel- run, custom-designed vehicle built on a Ford 1000 chassis, arrived March 10.

    “This one’s much easier to drive than the other one,” Peterson said during the truck’s maiden voyage.

  • Randy Powell was 16 and his bride-to-be 15 when they stood before Judge Bill Noland in the Estill County Courthouse and heard him issue a stern warning.

    “He told us, ‘Don’t you all come back in here in two or three weeks asking for a divorce, because I won’t give you one,’” they recall.

    The love-struck pair he united March 26, 1949, are still together.

    And they’re still love-struck.

  • Two basketball seasons ago, St. Joe’s seventh-grade boys basketball team lost its season-opener to Spencer County.

    “They hate losing — they take it hard,” said Jeff Ballard, the Knights’ head coach.

    “When they lost that game, three-fourths of them were sitting out here in the hallway crying,” he said. “It was a constant reminder (through the) seventh and eighth grade, they didn’t want to lose again, because they remembered that feeling.”

  • While Gladys Coulter, Chaplin, sat in her dining room surrounded by her collection of quilting materials with music softly playing on the radio, she reminisced her time with her late husband, James, to whom she was married for more than 56 years.

    “Time just goes by so fast while I am quilting but sometimes the memories get to me when some of our favorite country songs play and I have to turn the station,” she said.

    The usual pictures and albums used to conserve recollections are found in the array of quilts throughout Coulter’s home.

  • It’s not every day you will see a Volkswagen Thing.

    But for Nelson Countians Tee and Evelyn Watkins, VW Things have become a staple in their lives.   

    About 12 years ago, the Watkinses were looking for an old VW Beetle convertible to fix up as a hobby. In their search, they stumbled upon a 1973 VW Thing and now own three Type 181 Things. Today, they are the only Thing owners in the county.

    “A Beetle is unique, but a VW Thing is more unique,” Tee said. “They’ve become a part of our life.”

  • It’s not every day you will see a Volkswagen Thing.

    But for Nelson Countians Tee and Evelyn Watkins, VW Things have become a staple in their lives.   

    About 12 years ago, the Watkinses were looking for an old VW Beetle convertible to fix up as a hobby. In their search, they stumbled upon a 1973 VW Thing and now own three Type 181 Things. Today, they are the only Thing owners in the county.

    “A Beetle is unique, but a VW Thing is more unique,” Tee said. “They’ve become a part of our life.”

  • Few if any Nelson County residents were pleased when the recent ice storm knocked out power, but for Tootsie Gish, electricity is always an unreliable luxury. It was one of the many things she gave up when she left her home in Louisville to direct a preschool in Botswana, Africa.

    Gish, 65, a lay associate with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, moved to Botswana in June 2006. She arrived Dec. 4, 2008, in the United States for the first time since moving and is preparing to return to Africa as soon as she takes care of a bum knee.