Skip Navigation

end of KET nav
About the Series | KY Life Host | Paw Pals | Contact/DVD Info
Program 910

1. old-time fiddling with John Harrod
2. Amphicars
Watch the Video (Windows Media® or
RealPlayer® format)
Season 9 Menu

Owen County

For more information:
• John Harrod was a regional adviser for the Vintage Fiddlers Oral History Project at Morehead State University.
• The Cowan Creek Mountain Music School is a project of Appalshop in Whitesburg.

Producer: Charlee Heaton Pagoulatos
Videographers: George Murphy, Michael Follmer, Ernie Lee Martin
Audio: Doug Collins
Editor: Dan Taulbee

Fiddling Around

old-time fiddling with John Harrod

John Harrod of Owen County, a Rhodes Scholar as a young man, now teaches at Frankfort High School. But he also has remained a student all his life, seeking out and studying examples of old-time fiddle styles and tunes. An accomplished player himself, he has become one of the foremost chroniclers and preservers of Kentucky’s long and varied musical traditions.

At the time that he and some like-minded friends began seeking out old-time fiddle players to learn their secrets, those traditions were also fast disappearing. But recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in the old-time styles, whose roots reach back before the Civil War and tap into the various cultures that have inhabited Appalachia, from Scotch-Irish to German to African American. This Kentucky Life visit follows John to the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School, a week-long workshop held in Letcher County in summer 2002 that drew 75 eager students, ages 5 to 74. The gathering was such a hit that organizers planned to make it an annual event.

As a scholar, John has compiled recorded collections, led symposia, and advised on research projects. And he still makes time to play just for fun, as he demonstrates here at a Clay City dance headlined by the Kentucky Clodhoppers. He had previously been seen on KET in the instructional series Old Music for New Ears as a member of the Grey Eagle Band.

Boone County

For more information:
International Amphicar Owners Club, 202 E. Nebraska Ave., Berthoud, CO 80513 offers a wealth of additional background information and articles.

Producer: Ernie Lee Martin

By Land or by Sea


OK, so it’s not the speediest of cars, topping out at around 70 mph. But this little convertible has cool retro looks, including fins taller than any old Caddy’s, and sports a truly unusual accessory: twin nylon propellers. And its owner never has to worry about flooded roads, wait for a ferry, or drive miles out of the way to get to a bridge.

It’s the Amphicar—half car, half boat, a tribute to 1960s German engineering and a driving (not to mention floating) passion for hundreds of dedicated enthusiasts. We were introduced to some of them by Marc Schlemmer, who for a time ran the International Amphicar Owners Club out of his home in Northern Kentucky.

The Amphicar was not the first or the last attempt to develop a vehicle that would be at home on both land and water, but it’s the only one so far to make it to commercial mass production. More than 3,800 were built in Germany between 1961 and 1968, with most sales to Americans. Between 500 and 1,000 remain in use today, and Amphicar owners get together frequently for “swim-ins” that cause lots of double-takes from uninitiated passersby. In this segment, we catch up with some of them as they put the little cars through their paces around and on Lake Cumberland. Amphicars also have been known to swim the English Channel, cross the Strait of Gibraltar from Africa to Spain, and drive from San Diego to Catalina Island. Steve Fischer of Somerset, a dedicated houseboater, sometimes hops into his and commutes to work right from the boat.

SEASON 9 PROGRAMS: 901902903904905906907908909: Along Highway 62

< Previous Program | Next Program >

Sadie and Charlie Kentucky Life Home
Past Seasons
Browse by TopicAbout the Series
Our HostsPaw PalsOnline VideosContact/DVD Info
Kentucky Screensavers

600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951