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Program 1813

1. John Cohen
2. Today's Special—Weaver's Hot Dogs
3. Tragedy on the Tracks
4. Double Dan Horsemanship
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Season 18 Menu

Fayette County

For more information:
John Cohen's website

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

More on Photographers From
Kentucky Life:

Sam Abell
Dean Hill
Soc Clay

John Cohen

New Yorker John Cohen first came to Eastern Kentucky in the late 1950s with a still camera and an eye for capturing the region's landscape, people, and music. In 2012 his iconic photos were displayed at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

Whether it's a front porch gathering, prayer in church, farm work, or a walk down a mountain road, his black-and-white images capture the beauty of mountain life—traditions he embraced as a folk musician himself.

Now 80 years old, Cohen played banjo as a teenager and studied painting and photography at the Yale School of Fine Arts. He started the folk group the New Lost City Ramblers with Mike Seeger and Tom Paley in 1958. He first visited Kentucky in 1959 looking for old-time music.

He returned to visit Appalachia in the 1960s and documented the cultural music scene, coining the phrase "the high lonesome sound" to describe the stark, tender music of the region. He also produced a film of the same name profiling musician Roscoe Holcomb.

His photos have been exhibited in museums across the country and in Europe. The UK exhibit, "The High Lonesome Sound," marked the first time these photos were exhibited in Kentucky, according to Cohen. We caught up with Cohen at the exhibit and talked to him about his experiences documenting Kentucky's mountain music.

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Laurel County

For more information:
Weaver's Hot Dogs on Facebook

Producer: Rob Elliott
Videographer: John Bacon
Audio: Noel Depp

Today's Special—Weaver's Hot Dogs

Everyone has a favorite hot dog, and if you're in London, most likely your loyalties lie with Weaver's Hot Dogs.

Weaver's has been around for over 70 years, give or take some months when one branch of the family closed it down and then another branch re-opened it. The special here is the chili dog. Dave enjoys a bite and talks with the owners about the hot dog business.

Weaver's began as a pool hall and hot dog stand, but Carl Weaver transformed it into a restaurant. For years now, Weaver's has been the place to be seen for the local politicians, and the walls are lined with photos of its loyal customers.

Weaver's also serves up burgers, salads, barbecue, steak and chicken dinners, and a scrumptious variety of desserts. It's the chili dog, however, that is Weaver's claim to fame. What's the secret to the chili? The Weavers aren't saying, but the legend is that Carl Weaver bought the recipe for $25 from a traveler heading to Mexico.

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Bullitt County

For more information:
• An account of the wreck from the Bullitt County History Museum

Producer: Paul Smith
Videographer: David Dampier
Audio: Noel Depp

Tragedy on the Tracks

The deadliest train collision in Kentucky history occurred on the evening of Dec. 20, 1917, in Shepherdsville. At least 49 people (maybe 51 people, according to some sources) died at the Shepherdsville train station when the local Accommodation was struck from behind by a Cincinnati-New Orleans express train, the Flyer.

Passengers aboard the local Accommodation included a priest, businessmen, families, and students going home for Christmas. The Accommodation, with its three mostly wooden passenger cars, had come from Louisville and was bound for Springfield. The express Flyer was a heavier train, with nine passenger cars constructed of steel.

The Accommodation, which had been running late, was stopped on the tracks at the depot getting ready to back into its siding so the express train could pass. The Flyer, also running behind schedule, headed into the depot at full speed. The Flyer hit the Accommodation, its engine going all the way through the back passenger car, shattering it, and then halfway through the next car.

Newspaper reports of the day describe a heartbreaking scene, with children's dolls scattered among the wreckage. It was said that local citizens used Christmas candles found on the luggage car to light the scene while they searched for the dead and injured. At least 19 of the dead were from Bardstown; their bodies were brought home aboard a special train the next evening.

The wreck shocked the Commonwealth. Who was to blame? The Interstate Commerce Commission said actions of both the conductor and fireman of the Accommodation and the engineer of the Flyer contributed to the accident.

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Jessamine County

For more information:
Double Dan Horsemanship

Producer: Kelly Campbell
Videographers: John Bacon, Jason Robinson
Audio: David Dampier

More Like This From Kentucky Life:

Double Dan Horsemanship

The Double Dans, Dan James and Dan Steers, have been performing for years at shows like Equine Affair, Road to the Horse, and the World Equestrian Games 2010. Originally from Australia, these two world-renowned trainers have chosen to make Nicholasville their home.

Dan James first sat on a horse at 6 weeks old; Dan Steers got a later start, in his early teens. Their team in Nicholasville is made up of five people and several horses.

In their performances and clinics, the Double Dans specialize in "liberty" acts—guiding the horses through their moves without a bridle or halter. Their performances include Roman riding, where the rider stands astride a pair of galloping horses, with one foot on each horse's back. They also include fire routines and comedy shows.

In addition to performances, they do clinics for people interested in applying their theories and approach to "natural horsemanship," a training method based on reading the horse's body language, and conditioning the animal through the use of pressure and release cues. They are currently working with yearlings at Taylor Made farm, prepping them to behave well and show themselves off to their best advantage at the sales.

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