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Contents:
Program 204

1. artist John Tuska
2. serious marble shooters
3. Kentucky’s historic iron furnaces
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Producer: Charlee Heaton Pagoulatos


A Portrait of the Artist

John Tuska

The son of a Pennsylvania coal miner, John Tuska grew up in New York City. The internationally acclaimed artist was a professor at the University of Kentucky for more than 30 years.

In this Kentucky Life profile, he talks about the artistic process, ideas that challenge him, and the work that absorbed him over his long career.

This profile was taped in 1996. John Tuska died in May 1998.

Watch This Story (10:26)





For more information:
• Kentucky Folklife Program, Kentucky Historical Society, P.O. Box H, Frankfort, KY 40602-2108, (502) 564-3016

Producer: Janet Whitaker


Having a Marble-ous Time

marbles traditional marble games

Next we travel to the Kentucky State Fair to learn about the marble games Tennessee Square Ring and Rolley Hole, which are traditions along the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Both differ greatly from the children’s game of ring marbles.

The marble players of Southcentral Kentucky boast of the Monroe County Marble Club Super Dome, perhaps the largest indoor Rolley Hole marble yard in the world. Measuring 40' X 20', the yard has three holes evenly spaced down the middle. Each two-person team must get its marbles into each hole in succession three times—down the court, back, and down again.

It is said that Tennessee Square Ring was introduced to Barren County in the 1930s. The carpeted marble yard is 20' long and 15' wide, but the action is centered within a small rectangle divided into four parts. Nine marbles are put on the cross-marks of the square, and teams of two players take turns trying to get control of all nine marbles.

Watch This Story (5:44)





For more information:
• Don Fig, U.S. Forest Service, (859) 663-2852

Producer, videographer: Gale Worth


Melting Pots

iron furnaces

Kentucky’s iron furnaces stand as testaments to an earlier era, when the state’s iron industry was competitive nationally. The furnaces were built to serve settlers, who needed iron pots, axes, and other items too heavy and large to take along as they migrated westward.

Between 1790 and 1900, about 80 iron furnaces were constructed in five regions of Kentucky: Red River (Estill, Lee, Powell, Menifee, and Bath counties); Hanging Rock (Greenup, Boyd, Carter, and Lawrence); Nolin River (Bullitt, Edmonson, Grayson, Muhlenberg, and Nelson); Cumberland (Crittenden, Caldwell, Livingston, Lyon, and Trigg); and Middlesboro (Bell).

Kentucky Life returned to the Fitchburg Iron Furnace, an outstanding Estill County example featured in this segment, as part of the special expanded edition Dr. Clark’s Kentucky Treasures.

Watch This Story (5:07)


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