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Program 1024

1. the Bethlehem post office
2. Angel Voices
3. antique toys
4. Ars Nova
5. Garden Club Holiday Boutique
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Season 10 Menu

Henry County

For more information:
• Bethlehem Post Office, 3946 Bethlehem Road, Bethlehem, KY 40007, (502) 845-0207

Producer, videographer: Brandon Wickey

Christmas Greetings


Each year, a town in Henry County with a population of around 225 mails out more Christmas cards than cities several times its size. It’s not that the people there have exceptionally long holiday lists; it’s just that they live in one of the two dozen or so U.S. cities with the same name as Christ’s birthplace: Bethlehem.

Kentucky’s Bethlehem has the distinction of a special Christmas postmark, featuring the Magi following the Star of Bethlehem, designed by former postmaster Anna Laura Peyton. She created it back in 1947—when her front parlor also functioned as the town post office—and it’s still hand-stamped on thousands of pieces of mail each year. Lexington stamp collector Linda Lawrence takes us to see how it’s done after showing off some of her prized Christmas-themed stamps from around the world.

Bethlehem was actually named Mobley’s Station until the early 1900s. While it’s not clear whether the new name was chosen directly from the New Testament or indirectly, after a race horse named for the biblical town, the residents of Bethlehem have since taken the Christmas connection to heart. The town also sponsors a Living Nativity for several days each December, with members of an all-volunteer cast taking turns being very, very still.

Bourbon County

For more information:

Producer: Carolyn Gwinn
Videographers: Prentice Walker, Amelia Cutadean, Ernie Lee Martin
Audio: Brent Abshear
Editor: Joy Flynn

Musical Interlude I


This holiday edition of Kentucky Life also features seasonal music from two Kentucky vocal groups. First up is AngelVoices, a choir of 9- to 12-year-old girls from Paris. They are led by Beckie Hatton.

Fayette County

For more information:
Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation, 253 Market Street, Lexington, KY 40507, (859) 253-0362
• The particular toy exhibit we visited was a one-time event, but anyone looking for information on collecting or trading antique toys will find a wealth of resources at

Producer: Valerie Trimble
Videographer: John Breslin
Lighting: Michael Follmer
Audio: Chuck Burgess
Editor: Jim Piston

Child’s Play

antique toys exhibit

Since Christmas is best seen through the eyes of a child, our next segment is a salute to some of the toys that have helped make past holidays magical. The dolls, wind-up tin toys, stuffed friends, games, and other diversions seen here are from an exhibit entitled “The Children’s Hour: Toys from Our Past,” mounted at Lexington’s Hunt-Morgan House in December 2003. Sharon Thelin, a member of the board of the Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation, gives a little background on the exhibit, which brought together toys from a number of private collections.

The Hunt-Morgan House, at 201 N. Mill in Lexington, is one of several historic properties managed by the Bluegrass Trust. It was built in 1814 by John Wesley Hunt, the first millionaire west of the Alleghenies and a forefather of both Confederate Civil War General John Hunt Morgan and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan. Visitors can tour the house’s fine collection of antique furniture, portrait paintings, and porcelains, as well as a small on-site Civil War museum, year-round.

Carter County

For more information:
Kentucky Christian University School of Music, 100 Academic Parkway, Grayson, KY 41143, (606) 474-3290

Producer: Marsha Cooper Hellard

Musical Interlude II

Ars Nova

Our second group of musical performers is Ars Nova (Latin for “new art”), a vocal ensemble made up of music students from Kentucky Christian University in Grayson. The group specializes in a cappella madrigals from the 15th to the 20th centuries. In addition to on-campus concerts, Ars Nova performs at regional high schools.

Bourbon County

For more information:
Garden Club of Kentucky, 616 Pleasant Street, Paris, KY 40361, (859) 987-6158

Made in Kentucky

Garden Club holiday boutique

We end this edition with a little holiday shopping at the boutique set up every other year by the Garden Club of Kentucky at its Paris headquarters. The selection includes wreaths, baskets, and other decorative items made by local artisans, and sales benefit the club’s year-round preservation and education activities.

The setting is the Nannine Clay Wallis House, an 1850s mansion that’s on the National Register of Historic Places. The former home of Garden Club founder Nannine Clay Wallis, a Paris native, the house is surrounded by lush gardens and an arboretum. Kentucky Life toured the grounds in Program 1019.

SEASON 10 PROGRAMS: 1001100210031004100510061007
100810091010: Kentucky’s Last Great Places1011101210131014

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