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Contents:
Program 712

1. director John Carpenter
2. the Red Mile
3. Bernstadt, Kentucky’s Swiss colony
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Warren County

Producer, videographer: Cheryl Beckley


Bowling Green to Silver Screen

Director John Carpenter

As a boy in Bowling Green (his family moved there when he was 8), John Carpenter soaked up Westerns, B-movie “creature features,” and assorted other movies, while plotting out his own films-to-be in his head. After graduating from Western Kentucky University, he headed out to Hollywood, where he found success first as a screenwriter, then as a director of stylish modern horror films. He really hit the big time with Halloween, progenitor of one of the most successful horror series in history.

Since then, Carpenter has realized his boyhood ambition of directing Westerns—plus the Escape from New York and Escape from L.A. duo starring his friend Kurt Russell and a wide variety of other films, from a TV biography of Elvis Presley to the humanistic sci-fi offering Starman.

Carpenter still considers Bowling Green his hometown. In this visit, he reflects on how his boyhood in Warren County set him on the road to Hollywood.

Watch This Story (6:57)




Fayette County

For more information:
The Red Mile, 1200 Red Mile Road, Lexington, KY 40504, (859) 255-0752

Producer, videographer, editor: Treg Ward


’Round the Round Barn

The Red Mile

In 1875, a little horse race known as the Kentucky Derby was started up in Louisville. That same year, racing also began at another track that today is just as well known in its sport as Churchill Downs is in its: Lexington’s Red Mile harness-racing track.

The Red Mile’s annual meet attracts the best trotters and pacers in the world. In fact, the world record for the pacing mile was set there, in 1994. And the Kentucky Futurity at the Red Mile is the start of trotting’s annual Triple Crown. The track is also home to the annual Tattersalls auctions, among the premier markets for standardbreds in the world.

The architectural centerpiece of the Red Mile is the Round Barn—actually an octagonal building, topped by a cupola, that originally housed floral exhibits but later did serve as a barn. (Still later, it was the place to go to gamble. A city ordinance had banned that particular activity inside Lexington, and the Red Mile property was conveniently just outside the city limits.) Built in 1880, the Round Barn was financed in part by reparations paid to Lexington by the U.S. Congress for damage done by Union troops during the Civil War.

More of the long and colorful history of the Red Mile, plus facts about Kentucky’s “other” horse industry—the breeding and racing of standardbreds—is on view in this Kentucky Life visit.

Watch This Story (6:42)




Laurel County

Producer, videographer, editor: Ernie Lee Martin


A Little Piece of Swiss

Bernstadt

In 1881, a group of emigrants created their own little piece of Switzerland in Laurel County, naming their new town “Bernstadt” in honor of Bern, Switzerland’s capital. The colony was big enough at one time to spawn an offshoot: East Bernstadt, a few miles down the road. Though the population has dwindled considerably now, some long-time residents are holding on to their Swiss traditions and German language—one even still makes Swiss cheese. Jesse and Alfred Keller, Edna Binder, and Rick Ott reminisce in this visit about their own and their parents’ childhoods, when children sometimes didn’t learn English until they went to school.

Bernstadt is about eight miles northeast of London on Kentucky Highway 80.

Watch This Story (8:46)


SEASON 7 PROGRAMS: 701702703704705706707708709: Along U.S. 60
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