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Program 1817

1. Dainty
2. Historical Marker 1262—Middlesboro Golf Club
3. Marbles
4. Cornhole
5. Dave Does It!—Tree Climbing
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Season 18 Menu

Jefferson County

Producer: Tom Bickel
Videographers: Warren Mace, David Dampier
Audio: Roger Tremaine


For our 2013 Kentucky Derby Day broadcast, Kentucky Life celebrates some of the more unusual sports and pastimes across the commonwealth. We begin in Louisville with a hard-hitting old German street game with the unlikely name of Dainty.

Immigrants who settled here in the 1800s introduced the game to the city. It's like a home-run hitting contest, only you hit a stick, not a ball. Instead of a bat, you use a flat, 3-foot-long stick to strike another smaller, 5-inch stick (the dainty) on the ground to make it airborne. Then you hit the dainty like a baseball. Whoever hits it farthest wins.

The game was revived by George Hauck and Charlie Vettiner in 1971. Now the city's Schnitzelburg community celebrates every July with the World Dainty Championship in front of the 100-year-old Hauck's Handy Store. It's a huge draw in the community, which closes off the street—and puts up some tall fencing—for the competition.

The championship is not for kids. You must be at least 45 years old. Past participants include Congressman John Yarmuth and reporter Barry Bernson.

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Bell County

Producer: Jim Piston

Historical Marker 1262—Middlesboro Golf Club

While golf is certainly commonplace today in Kentucky, back in 1889 it would have been very unusual. We travel to Bell County to see one of the oldest golf courses in the country.

English developers came here to exploit the area's timber and coal, and they brought their game of golf to the mountains. Middlesboro was founded in 1886 by Englishman Alexander Arthur, and in fact was named for Middlesborough in England, also home to a famous golf club.

The Englishmen's fortunes turned sour during a financial crash in 1899, and they abandoned the mountains, leaving behind their golf course.

In 1916, the club was reorganized by local citizens and is still enjoyed today.

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Monroe County

For more information:
Monroe County Marble Super Dome

Producer: Frank Simkonis
Editor: Dan Taulbee
Audio Post: Brent Abshear


In Monroe County, skilled sharpshooters take aim in the strategic marble game of Rolley Hole, (pronounced roley) which has been played for a long time in a six-county area of southern Kentucky and northern Tennessee.

In rolley hole, teams compete on a 20- by 40-foot course to get their marbles in three holes in a certain order to earn 12 points and win. Defense is played by knocking an opponent's marble off course.

Games are played in the elaborately named Monroe County Marble Super Dome on the local fairgrounds.

Marbles are locally made using flint stone because glass would shatter with the powerful hits. Several members of the Monroe County club have won national and world titles, including the World Marble Championship in Great Britain.

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Mercer County

For more information:
• A tongue-in-cheek video from the American Cornhole Organization on Understanding Cornhole: A Presentation by Professor Cornhole

Producer: John Schroering
Audio: Noel Depp


A backyard get-together in Kentucky would not be complete without a game of cornhole. We take a closer look at the game with a representative from the American Cornhole Organization, the governing body for the sport.

It probably began simply, with bags of feed corn and a plywood box with a hole in it. Now you can buy spiffy-looking sets with professionally painted designs and logos, and even accessories for keeping score and lighting up a nighttime game.

For the record, the American Cornhole Association requires platforms be 48 inches by 24 inches, with the front 2 1/2 to 4 inches off the ground and the back 12 inches off the ground. Corn bags are 6 inches square.

The American Cornhole Association plans to hold the ACO World Championships of Cornhole VIII on July 17-20, 2013, in Cincinnati.

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Campbell County

For more information:
EarthJoy Tree Adventures

Producer: Valerie Trimble
Videographers: Angelic Phelps, Steve Shaffer
Audio: Roger Tremaine
Editor: Jim Piston

Dave Does It!—Tree Climbing

We take adventure to new heights when Dave literally goes out on a limb with EarthJoy Tree Adventures.

With some instruction, a harness, helmet and gloves, Dave climbs a tree dubbed Casper the Friendly Sycamore, located at A.J. Jolly Park in Alexandria. Shelly and Bill Byrne are EarthJoy's owners and instructors, and both help Dave master the challenge of this physically demanding sport.

EarthJoy teaches people how to climb trees using ropes with knots. Beginners climb trees ranging in height from 45-75 feet. From there you can move on to a two-tree experience involving both vertical and horizontal climbing. A person in top condition who's become comfortable with heights can check out Solomon the Sycamore, a 125-foot-tall giant overlooking the Ohio River.

It takes some stamina, but climbers are exhilarated when they reach the top and get a bird's-eye view of the world.

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SEASON 18 PROGRAMS: 18011802180318041805180618071808180918101811181218131814181518161817181818191820

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