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Program 503

1. ancient stone creations
2. the Gaitskill Indian Mound
3. magician Artie Kidwell
4. the Great Steamboat Race
Season 5 Menu

Menifee County

Producer: Gale Worth

Digging Up the Past (Part 1)

Ancient stonework

In our first segment for this edition, we remember Kentucky life as it was at the time of Christ. On land owned by Verne Spratt in Menifee County, archaeologists are investigating a series of manmade stone formations dating back 2,000 years. Though their exact use will probably remain forever mysterious, the experts believe they were constructed for some religious or ceremonial purpose.

Montgomery County

Producer: Ernie Lee Martin

Digging Up the Past (Part 2)

Gaitskill Indian Mound

For another look at prehistoric Kentuckians, we next travel to Montgomery County, site of the Gaitskill Indian Mound. The University of Kentucky has conducted excavations at this ancient manmade hill, believed to contain burials and numerous associated grave goods and attributed to the Adena people.

Kentucky—in fact, the entire Ohio River Valley—is dotted with such ancient mounds, some of them in fantastic shapes that can be seen only from the air. Early European settlers, believing that the degree of engineering knowledge and social cooperation needed to build them would have been beyond the capacities of the “savage Indians” they expected to encounter, speculated that they may have been built by members of the Lost Tribes of Israel. But modern archaeological investigation has uncovered a complex, sprawling Native American culture that flourished in the area for hundreds of years.

Kenton County

For more information:
The Magic Shop, 526 Philadelphia St., Covington, KY 41011, (859) 491-1313

Producer: Elizabeth White

Magic Man

Artie Kidwell

Do you believe in magic? Artie Kidwell does, and from his shop on Philadelphia Street in Covington, he sells the tools of the trade and shows some of its tricks to budding young magicians. We follow him to a magic show and watch as some young apprentices try their sleight-of-hand.

Jefferson County

For more information:
• The Kentucky Derby Festival web site will keep you up to date on each year’s events.
• For more about Bob Edwards, see the August 2005 selection for bookclub@ket.

Producer: Elizabeth White

Rollin’ on the River

The Kentucky Derby Festival Great Steamboat Race

Bob Edwards, long-time host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition (and now host of his own satellite radio show) grew up in Louisville. Years after moving away, he finally got the chance to take part in one of the city’s most colorful annual events, the Kentucky Derby Festival Great Steamboat Race. Though Louisville’s Belle of Louisville and Cincinnati’s Delta Queen don’t exactly burn up the river—top speed is under 5 mph—the two paddlewheelers with their calliopes and their passengers in antebellum attire make a noisy, eye-catching procession up the Ohio and back. And their captains are quite serious about who will take home the winner’s trophy, the coveted Golden Antlers.

The Belle, the oldest steam-powered sternwheeler still operating on the Ohio/Mississippi river system, was built in 1914 (commissioned the Idlewild) and today is a National Historic Landmark. But Edwards, who was in his hometown for the week to co-host KET’s Derby Week at the Downs, rode the Queen for the 1998 race. He didn’t win.

For another trip aboard the Belle of Louisville, see Kentucky Life Program 1212.

SEASON 5 PROGRAMS: 501502503504505506507508509510
511512513514515516517518519: Road Trip I520521

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