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Program 1401

1. Cox Hardware
2. artist Ken Roberts
3. Henry’s Ark
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Rockcastle County

For more information:
• Cox Hardware, Main Street, Mount Vernon, KY 40456, (606) 256-2815

Producer: Valerie Trimble
Videographers: Prentice Walker, Valerie Trimble
Audio: Noel Bramblett
Editor: Jim Piston

Memories in Stock

Cox Hardware

In the late 1800s, William Henry Cox made his way from Pennsylvania to Rockcastle County, setting himself up in Mount Vernon as a blacksmith and wagon builder. The business soon led to the establishment of a hardware store in a handsome brick building on Main Street. In 2007, fifth-generation owners Martha and James Cox celebrated the centennial of this family-run business and community institution.

Once upon a time, all hardware stores looked like Cox Hardware: wooden counters, a pot-bellied stove in the middle, and shelves crammed with goods of all descriptions and varying vintages. Today the store is a nostalgic throwback to the era before big-box superstores, but it’s no museum piece. On its tourism web site, the Rockcastle County Chamber of Commerce proudly states that you’ll find no such superstores in the area. After all, when you can find just what you need in the friendly and inviting atmosphere of a place like Cox Hardware, who needs ’em?

Editor’s note: James Cox passed away on July 7, 2009. A fixture in the community, he had worked as a teacher, assistant principal, football coach and bus driver for the Rockcastle County schools—in addition to operating the store with his wife. He continued to work in the store throughout his illness, in large part to encourage others through the difficult time.

Trigg County

For more information:
Ken's Fish Market

Producer: Cheryl Beckley
Videographers: Andrea Hummel Michael DePersio
Editor: Andrea Hummel

Something Fishy

artist Ken Roberts

After a successful career as a graphic artist, including 20 years in California, Ken Roberts decided to get away from daily deadlines and come back home. So he returned to his native Kentucky and built a home on Lake Barkley, and now he spends a lot of his time “fishing”—although not in the usual sense.

Ken does spend a lot of time on the lakeshore, but it’s to scavenge pieces of discarded or broken-off metal. Then he takes his finds back to his studio and turns them into whimsical fish sculptures. Built on carved wooden forms, they sport metal skin, fins, and scales. By layering different colors of metal and attaching it all together with patterns of multi-colored nails and brads, the artist assembles creatures that are organic-looking but not quite realistic, either.

In a way, his method of piecing is a form of quilting, a traditional art that Roberts obviously admires. In addition to his fish, he has created a line of notecards based on quilt patterns.

Oldham County

Producer: Mindy Yarberry
Videographers: Michael DePersio, Andrea Hummel, Sam McGhee, Mindy Yarberry
Editor: Andrea Hummel

Free Range

Henry’s Ark

Another family business is next on our itinerary as we visit Henry’s Ark, a quirky private zoo in Oldham County. Created in the early 1990s when former Time magazine correspondent Henry Wallace decided to open his family farm to visitors, the Ark encourages interaction between animals and visitors by allowing them to mingle. Bring snacks like greens, carrots and celery, grapes or raisins, or saltine crackers along with you (but no bread, please), and you may soon find deer, camels, possums, goats, llamas, or other critters trailing your every move.

Director Penny Schaefer shows us around the facility on this visit and introduces some of the more exotic inhabitants. At various times, they have included reindeer, Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, various geese and swans, zebras, emus, yaks, peacocks, and water buffalo. And then there’s the zeedonk (or zonk)—a brown- and black-striped equine whose mother was a zebra and father was a donkey ... or possibly the other way around.

Warren County

For more information:
The Kentucky Museum, Western Kentucky University, 1 Big Red Way, Bowling Green, KY 42101, (270) 745-2592

On Location

Dave Shuffett hosts this edition from the Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky University. Dedicated to regional history, archaeology, and culture, the museum houses extensive collections of Native American artifacts, political memorabilia, and domestic items such as furniture, glassware, ceramics, and quilts in addition to artworks.

SEASON 14 PROGRAMS: 140114021403140414051406140714081409
142214231424142514261427: Lincoln: ‘I, too, am a Kentuckian.’1428142914301431

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