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Program 110

1. gourd artist Janice Miller
2. the River City Drum Corp
3. the Bluegrass Motorcycle Museum
4. Saxony Farm
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For more information:
• Janice Miller, Twin Cabin Crafts, (859) 548-3800

Producer: Charlee Heaton Pagoulatos
Videographer: David Brinkley

Vine-Ripened Art

gourd Santa by Janice Miller Gourd artist Janice Miller

Janice Miller, who grew up on a farm and learned to recycle before it was fashionable, has always used the natural materials at hand in her art. Though she has also worked in soft sculpture, her main medium is gourds: This Garrard County artist has become known for her gourd Santas, birds, Christmas ornaments, and painted scenes depicting outdoor beauty.

On this visit to Janice’s home workshop, she takes us through the steps involved in turning a dried gourd into a piece of art, shows off some widely varied examples of finished work, and talks about her design process. Of course, the unique shape of each individual gourd helps suggest what it “wants” to be and often inspires the painted design.

For more information:
River City Drum Corp, 3308 Chauncey Ave., Louisville, KY 40211, (502) 772-7660

Producer, videographer: Vince Spoelker

Percussion with a Purpose

The River City Drum Corp

Founded in 1993 by Louisvillian Ed White, the River City Drum Corp (formerly known as the Parkland Drum Corps, for the Parkland Boys & Girls Club, which sponsored it) is a group of children and young adults between the ages of 4 and 20 who have been trained in African drumming techniques and materials as well as the richness of African culture.

But the Drum Corp is far more than just a musical group: It is an organization that provides its members with a blueprint for success in life. Each young drummer makes his or her own drum, using materials found in the environment. They learn through apprenticeships—not just about African drumming, but also about the skills needed for personal, academic, and social success. They are responsible for the Corp’s business accounting and scheduling, and after every performance each member writes an essay about the experience.

This performance by one year’s lineup of energetic young percussionists was captured at the 1995 Kentucky State Fair. For an update on the group, see the 2004 profile in Kentucky Life Program 1114.

For more information:
• Bluegrass Motorcycle Museum, 5608 U.S. 231 N., Hartford, KY 42347, (270) 298-7764

Producer: H. Russell Farmer
Videographer: David Brinkley

Two-Wheeled Wonders

The Bluegrass Motorcycle Museum

Jack and Nancy Embry of Hartford, in Ohio County, are long-time motorcycle enthusiasts who love tooling around the back roads of Western Kentucky on a vintage Harley equipped with a sidecar. Jack is also a skilled mechanic who collects and restores old bikes. Some years ago, they decided to share those passions—and their collection—by opening their own private museum.

Known as “Hombre” to fellow riders, Jack favors classic Harley-Davidson and Indian models. But the Bluegrass Motorcycle Museum also includes a variety of others, some of which date back to the early 20th century.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday. For more about the Embrys and their museum, see On the Road: Day Trips & Short Stops, a travel feature from the August 1999 issue of Kentucky Living.

For more information:
• Saxony Farm, (859) 873-5190

Producer: Megan Moloney

At Work at Saxony

Saxony Farm

A few big-name Bluegrass horse farms raise only horses. But Saxony Farm is in many ways more typical. Though Saxony does raise thoroughbreds—even a Kentucky Derby contender here and there—the day-to-day operations also include raising cattle and growing crops. This visit gives a taste of what life is like on such a working farm.

Owned by Louisiana native Bruce Hundley, Saxony Farm is located at Old Frankfort Pike (KY 1681) and Payne’s Depot Road (KY 1967) in Woodford County.

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