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Contents:
Program 912

1. WWII Army nurse Martha Penn
2. Schimpff’s Confectionery
3. Chris Ramsey’s wooden hats
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Season 9 Menu

Franklin County

Producer, videographer: Dave Shuffett
Editor: Jim Piston


War Stories

Army nurse Martha Penn

Host Dave Shuffett begins this edition with a visit to a Kentucky member of the “greatest generation.” Martha Penn of Frankfort saw both the horrors and the heroism of World War II up close as a young Army nurse serving in the 35th Evac Field Hospital. She arrived in Normandy shortly after D-Day and helped tend to the thousands of wounded soldiers from that massive Allied invasion campaign, then was in Metz, France at the Battle of the Bulge.

After the war, Martha returned home to continue her nursing career. Now retired, she spends much of her time corresponding with wartime colleagues who became lifelong friends. She talks with Dave about her own role in helping to preserve American freedom and shares her perspective on WWII.

Watch This Story (6:30)




Jefferson County

For more information:
Schimpff’s Confectionery, 347 Spring St., Jeffersonville, IN 47130, (812) 283-8367

Producer: Aaron Hutchings
Videographer: Mike Blackburn


Sweet!

Schimpff’s Confectionery

Yes, the show is called Kentucky Life, but some things are worth leaving the state for. And for anyone with a sweet tooth, one of them is Schimpff’s Confectionery, a maker and purveyor of old-fashioned candy treats in Jeffersonville, IN.

The Schimpff family did start out in Louisville, though—in 1851, when Gustav Schimpff, an immigrant from Bavaria, opened his first candy store. He and his son moved the shop to its present location across the Ohio River 40 years later. Current owners Jill and Warren Schimpff represent a fourth generation carrying on the tradition, making Schimpff’s one of the oldest continuously operated family-owned businesses in the country.

The reason for that longevity seems fairly obvious once you step inside: row after row of old-fashioned candy jars and cases filled with delectable hand-made treats, plus a 1950s-style soda fountain. Behind-the-scenes tours of the candy-making operations can also be arranged. The shop is open Monday-Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Watch This Story (7:41)




Pulaski County

For more information:
Knot-Head, 212 Ohio St., Somerset, KY 42501, (606) 677-2466

Producer, videographer: David Brinkley
Editor: Stephen Kertis


Hats Off to Art

Chris Ramsey’s wooden hats

Chris Ramsey makes hats: derbies, top hats, baseball caps, cowboy hats, and ladies’ garden hats. But this Pulaski County artisan is hardly a traditional milliner. He doesn’t sew his creations at all—instead, he sculpts them from wood.

A California native who has had several other occupations, including his current one of running a local cable television provider, Chris is an accomplished wood turner. He starts each hat with a “blank” of wood recovered from a felled or downed tree, turns the basic shape on a lathe, then spends days sculpting the final creation. Each finished chapeau is a unique work of art, but also eminently wearable. Thanks to Chris’ own highly refined techniques, the finished hat will weigh only 7 to 11 ounces, with “walls” about 3/32 of an inch thick. Since wood does not have quite the flexibility of fabric, each is also custom-fitted to both the size and the shape of the buyer’s head.

Chris’ hats—as well as his bowls and other turned objects—have won him numerous accolades, and he has exhibited his creations throughout the U.S. and in several other countries.

Watch This Story (7:39)


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