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Contents:
Program 1116

1. agate, the gem of the hills
2. nature photographer Soc Clay
3. an international dinner in Somerset
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Season 11 Menu

Fayette County

For more information:
Kentucky’s Official State Rock: Agate, from the Kentucky Geological Survey
KentuckyAgate.net, maintained by rockhound John Utterback, includes numerous photos of polished agate and agate jewelry and links to other resources.
• Rachel Savané, Savané Silver, 401 W. Main St., Suite 218, Lexington, KY 40508, (859) 455-8111

Producer: Dave Shuffett
Videographers: Brandon Wickey, Dave Shuffett
Editor: Jim Piston


The Gem of the Hills

Kentucky agate

In 2000, the Kentucky General Assembly declared Kentucky agate to be the official state rock. The Kentucky Geological Survey once called this designation “unfortunate”—not because the organization has anything against this semiprecious gem but because, scientifically speaking, agate is a mineral, not a rock. However, agate could not be named the official state mineral because two years earlier, coal—which, scientifically speaking, is a rock—had already been named the official state mineral.

But while the geologists and the lawyers argue those points, a lot of agate fans just go right on collecting this lovely variety of quartz. Unremarkable on the outside, agate reveals its beauty only when you saw it open. Then you find translucent bands of yellow and blue, greens, pinks, oranges, or, if you’re really lucky, the prized red and black. When polished, Kentucky agate makes for a stunning display, either left within its rocky shell or extracted and mounted in jewelry.

The best place to look for Kentucky agate is in the streambeds of southeastern Kentucky, especially Estill, Jackson, Powell, Madison, and Rockcastle counties. Our own rockhound, host Dave Shuffett, goes hunting with agate collector Roland MacIntosh in this segment, then visits Savané Jewelry in Lexington to see some mounted examples of “the gem of the hills.”

Watch This Story (11:13)




Greenup County

Producer, videographer, editor: Treg Ward


Rod, Reel, and Camera

Nature photographer Soc Clay

Earlier in this season of Kentucky Life (Program 1103, to be exact), Dave took a canoe trip on northeastern Kentucky’s Tygarts Creek with writer Soc Clay, during which the two shared their profound love for fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. This time around, we spend a little more time with Soc to explore his award-winning nature photography.

An avid outdoorsman all his life, Clarence Henry “Soc” Clay has spent decades documenting his favorite wild places and activities in both prose and pictures. His work has appeared in more than 100 different books, newspapers, and magazines and won him dozens of awards, including election to several halls of fame honoring outdoors writers. He is also a former Kentucky poet laureate.

Watch This Story (5:44)




Pulaski County

Producer: Ernie Lee Martin


Eat and Greet

An international dinner

When people emigrate, one of the things they tend to take with them is their food traditions. Around Somerset and Pulaski County, the recent growth of the immigrant population has also brought an abundance of new possibilities in cuisine. In this last segment, we visit a community international dinner where neighbors could feast on dishes from 22 countries. Volunteer Geeta Rodrigues serves as guide and tells how the event came about.

We also meet Gloria Gonzalez, who represented Mexico on the menu. At her newly opened Hacienda Restaurant, she demonstrates how to make a versatile Mexican staple, tamales.

Watch This Story (5:41)




Christian County

For more information:
Cherokee Trail of Tears Commemorative Park, U.S. Hwy. 41 and Skyline Drive, Hopkinsville


On Location

Dave hosts this edition from the Cherokee Trail of Tears Commemorative Park in Hopkinsville. This historical park is located at one of just a few documented campsites on the Trail of Tears, the route along which the Cherokee were marched on their forced removal to the West in 1838-39. A heritage center is open Thursday through Saturday, but visitors can tour the monuments and historic markers, including the graves of two Cherokee chiefs, seven days a week.



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