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Program 1320

1. Appalshop filmmaker Mimi Pickering
2. CSI Camp
3. the Lighthouse Restaurant
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Letcher County

For more information:
Appalshop, 91 Madison, Whitesburg, KY 41858, (606) 633-1009

Producer: Tom Thurman
Videographer: John Schroering
Audio: Brent Abshear
Editor: Dan Taulbee

Shooting Appalachia

Appalshop filmmaker Mimi Pickering

During the rapidly changing times of the 1960s, an idea for a unique cultural and educational initiative was coming together in Whitesburg. Launched in 1969 as part of the federal government’s War on Poverty, the Community Film Workshop of Appalachia was founded to teach filmmaking skills to poor and minority students from the region. The idea was to give them marketable skills while also giving them a means of documenting the vibrant culture and important issues of the mountains.

The experiment worked so well that the worker-owned enterprise, soon renamed Appalshop, rapidly expanded to include many other forms of communication, from radio and television to storytelling, theater, and music. Appalshop today also functions as a community gathering place, sponsoring art exhibits, the annual Seedtime on the Cumberland Festival, and other events. But filmmaking remains at the core of its activities, and one of the people who has been part of that effort almost since the beginning is Mimi Pickering.

A California native, Mimi came to Letcher County in 1971 for the opportunity to learn filmmaking and has stayed ever since. Her award-winning work ranges from profiles of musicians Hazel Dickens and Sarah Ogan Gunning to investigative reports on the 1972 Buffalo Creek Flood, caused by the collapse of a coal waste dam, that killed 125 people in West Virginia.

Pickering describes herself as a “documentary filmmaker and community media activist.” Like many Appalshop projects, her two Buffalo Creek films resulted from a community request to look into a particular topic. And her work doesn’t end with shooting and editing the documentaries themselves: It includes showing completed films, excerpts, and even works in progress at local gatherings to inspire discussion of issues; arranging screenings for policymakers; and making presentations to various groups in other places where people are dealing with related concerns. Circling back to Appalshop’s original purpose, Pickering also helped develop the Digital Storytelling Workshops, which teach local activists how to use today’s new technologies and distribution options to share the stories that are important to their communities.

Warren County

For more information:
Bowling Green Technical College

Producer: Mindy Yarberry
Videographers: Will Foster, Alan Miller

Evidence of Learning

CSI Camp

Just how well the CSI television dramas reflect the realities of criminal investigation is open to debate. But one undeniable fact is that they have sparked a surge of interest in such topics as DNA, fingerprints, and blood analysis. In this edition of Kentucky Life, we visit a summer camp that used their popularity to draw middle school students into the science behind the shows.

CSI Camp, held in the summer of 2006 at Western Kentucky University’s Bowling Green Community College, put kids to work collecting “evidence” of a hypothetical crime, including interviewing a witness, and then using the facilities of a college laboratory to analyze that evidence. Along the way, they learned a little bit about everything from the chemical structure and genetic function of DNA to the skeletal underpinnings of the human face.

As comments from several of the campers illustrate, they also got to experience a little of the excitement of scientific investigation and discovery. CSI Camp is one of several different summer programs operated by the community college’s Regional Science Resource Center to increase interest in science as an academic subject and a possible career.

Metcalfe County

For more information:

Lighthouse Restaurant, 1500 Sulphur Well Knob Lick Road (Hwy. 70), Sulphur Well, KY 42129, (270) 565-3095

Producer, editor: Cheryl Beckley
Videographer: David Brinkley

Family Dinner

the Lighthouse Restaurant

If the prospect of endless platters of homemade fried chicken, catfish, or country ham with red-eye gravy gets your digestive juices flowing and/or awakens warm childhood memories, you may want to find an excuse to get yourself to Metcalfe County as soon as possible for a visit to the Lighthouse Restaurant.

Located in the tiny town of Sulphur Well, the Lighthouse is best known for the ham, served family-style and accompanied by potatoes—served mashed, stewed, or as fries, wedges, or tater tots—as well as fried apples, corn, pinto beans, and other down-home sides. (The cole slaw is a particular favorite of many long-time customers.) And of course a variety of pies is available to finish things off.

The restaurant got its start in 1968 as Porter’s, for founders Babe and Kathleen Porter. At the time, Sulphur Well was still the site of a resort hotel where people used to come to “take the waters” of the mineral-rich artesian well that gave the village its name. The hotel closed soon afterward, but the restaurant grew and prospered. Mitchell and Norma Ervin bought it in 1985 and did a little redecorating, renaming the place the Lighthouse, but kept the culinary focus on generous portions of hearty country fare. The restaurant is still run by members of the extended Ervin family.

Boone County

For more information:
Boone County Arboretum at Central Park, 9190 Camp Ernst Rd., Union, KY 41091, (859) 384-4999

On Location

Dave hosts this edition from the Boone County Arboretum in Union’s Central Park. Home to more than 2,700 trees and shrubs, the 121-acre arboretum includes more than two miles of paved walking trails, a children’s garden, a sample of native Kentucky prairie, and woodland sections.

SEASON 13 PROGRAMS: 1301130213031304130513061307/1326: The Lincoln Wedding130813091310

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