A love of history is nothing new to KET members Rod and Jane Flint. Both former schoolteachers, Jane taught British literature and journalism, while Rod, an artist, taught elementary school art in the local schools.
The Flints occupy the family farmhouse purchased by Jane’s grandparents in 1904 outside the hamlet of Kevil, where generations have farmed the rich land between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.
So when the couple decided to plan their vacation of a lifetime, it was history they hungered for. And they found no better guide than the programming they devour each week on KET.
“We decided that we would take our ‘KET tour’ the summer of 2015,” said Jane. “We completely planned our trip based on our experience with KET shows.”
“I call it the ‘KET Fish and Chips Tour,’” added Rod.
The Flints sat down with their daughter Mae for assistance in planning the trip. Devoted fans of Masterpiece, their first stop, naturally, was Highclere Castle, now known worldwide as “Downton Abbey.”
“We stayed at Carnarvon Arms Hotel, right in the village near Highclere,” Jane recalled. “The cast of Downton Abbey had stayed there the previous week, finishing the season’s filming. I fantasized that I had Maggie Smith’s room!”
From there, they headed toward Port Isaac, home of Doc Martin, with a stop at Bath along the way.
“We walked the streets and stopped by the pharmacy, which is actually an ice-cream shop, where we were treated to clotted cream,” said Jane.
“It really was like walking into a fairy tale,” said Rod, to see the fish market, boats, and other sights in the fishing village, even peering into Doc Martin’s surgery.
Leaving Port Isaac, the Flints then headed for the cliffs so magnificently displayed in Poldark on Masterpiece.
“There’s something about Cornwall — I’m just drawn to it,” said Jane. “When I saw Poldark riding his horse across the field with the cliffs on the side, why it’s just breathtaking. I think Poldark was just exceptional.”
This couple, whose grown children have dubbed them “KET experts,” has taken their devotion to its programming to the next level by becoming members with their financial support.
“We hadn’t given for many years, but I think because we got so immersed that we made the decision,” Jane said. “Sunday night is our night — and we just decided it was time to give back. We enjoy KET so much. We enjoy the programs, we get informed.”
Rod echoes his wife’s summation: “When we watch a show on KET, I feel like I come away more enlightened or that I have truly benefited from the program in some way. Whatever I’m watching on KET has been proven to be worthwhile,” he added. “We know it’s going to be good quality.”
Though the couple thought their 2015 trip would be their only visit, just the next summer they were invited by their son Eli to return to London with their entire family, grandchildren and all. Their son Ethan offered his frequent-flyer miles so they could afford the trip.
“They said, ‘You can be our tour guides,’” remembered Jane, and so they were, treating their family to the knowledge they’d gained through KET.
“We took the grandchildren to the Tower of London, where I used my KET expertise to teach them about Henry VIII,” Jane said. “I’d also gained so much knowledge from the series about the Queen’s palaces,” she said, which came in handy touring Buckingham Palace.
After raising their family of five children, which also includes Jacob and Erin, the Flints cherish the memories of their unique trip, informed so much by the network they love and support.
“I just think that people should give back,” Jane said. “We don’t give a lot, but it is important to us that we support KET.”