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Program 1405

1. the Redbud Quilt Festival
2. dog trainer Bill Matney
3. women’s basketball—the early years
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Season 14 Menu

Knox County

For more information:
Redbud Trail Festival and Quilt Workshop, c/o Knox County Chamber of Commerce, 196 Daniel Boone Dr., Suite 205, Barbourville, KY 40906, (606) 546-5374

Producer: Valerie Trimble
Videographer: David Dampier
Editor: Jim Piston

Additional video provided by Brianna Boles, Haley Bowling, Whitney Bundy, Stephen O’Donoghue, Tommy Ruth, and Jocelyn White.

In the Pink

Redbud Quilt Festival

Each year, one of the first signs that winter is losing its grip on Kentucky is the sudden splashes of deep pink as the redbud trees bloom. And in the mountains of the southeast, that’s also the sign that it’s time for an annual gathering that is rapidly becoming a favorite of quilters from around the country.

The quilt showcase and classes that form the heart of the Redbud Trail Festival and Quilt Workshop draw professional and amateur quilters from several states. They can show off quilts they’ve been working on over the long winter months, sign up for classes with expert instructors, see the latest in quilting tools, and compare notes and ideas with fellow quilt enthusiasts.

Started in Pineville, the Redbud festival moved to Barbourville in 2006 and is now held on the campus of Union College, Kentucky’s first mountain college. The quilting events are part of a two-week, community-wide celebration of spring that also includes music, storytelling, displays and demonstrations of other traditional Appalachian crafts, a writers’ fair, hikes and runs, a beauty pageant, and much more. Betty Cole, tourism director for Knox County, describes how the festival has grown each year and outlines some of the organizers’ ideas for the future. On our visit, we also talk with several quilters and workshop instructors who participated in the 2007 edition of the event.

The bluegrass music heard in this segment is from the Red State Ramblers.

Green County

For more information:
Bill Matney, 246 Locust Grove Rd., Greensburg, KY 42743, (270) 932-4097

Producer: Dave Shuffett
Videographer: Amelia Cutadean
Audio: Noel Depp
Editor: Dan Taulbee

Canine Conversation

dog trainer Bill Matney

For our next story, host Dave Shuffett pays a visit back home and takes along two expert consultants—golden retrievers Charlie and Toby. The occasion is a visit with Bill Matney, a fellow Green County native who has become nationally known as “The Dog Talker.”

Bill’s How To Talk Dog mini-empire includes a highly successful DVD-based instruction system for humans on how to teach dogs good behavior, a training center in Bowling Green as well as affiliated centers in other states, and a busy schedule that has him traveling far and wide to present seminars and conduct one-on-one training sessions. He’s also been seen on TV before, including the famous “Stupid Pet Tricks” segment on Late Night with David Letterman. On our visit, goldens and Labradors show some of the more unusual things he’s taught them, from pretending to drive a vehicle to “saying prayers” to retrieving drinks, dollar bills, and chainsaws.

Behind all the fun, though, is a serious training philosophy based on understanding the mind of the dog in order to foster better communication between man and best friend. And it all arose from a very serious need. In a previous career, Bill worked as a consultant who trained fire and rescue personnel. One day he hit on the idea of training a dog (named Hydro) to crawl through a small space, dragging a rope that could then be used to pull water, food, and medical supplies to people trapped on the other side. As he continued to work with dogs to expand their roles in rescue situations, he discovered a natural affinity with his canine charges ... and the rest is rapidly becoming dog-training history.

Producer: Tom Thurman
Videographer: Michael Follmer
Audio: Brent Abshear
Editor: Otis Ballard

The Ladies’ Game

early girls’ and women’s basketball

Though invented elsewhere, basketball didn’t take long to catch on in Kentucky. And at first, it was a sport for both males and females: The first college women’s game was played in the state just a year after the first men’s game. In fact, many who have recalled those days remember women’s basketball as more popular than the men’s version in the first decades of the 20th century.

But then something odd happened. In 1932, even as Woodburn High School was enjoying a stellar season that would eventually lead to a girls’ state championship, darker forces were at work behind the scenes. By the end of that year, women’s basketball had been banned throughout the state. The exact reasons remain murky. But as it turned out, that ’32 championship would be the last for a long time. It took the women’s movement of the 1960s and ’70s, the federal Title IX law mandating gender equity, and an act of the General Assembly to reinstate girls’ and women’s basketball at the high school and college levels in 1974.

Drawing on materials and interviews collected for KET’s Basketball in Kentucky—Great Balls of Fire, this segment remembers the first round of ladies’ basketball in Kentucky—those exciting, experimental days between 1904 and 1932 when the sport itself was still something of a novelty.

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