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Program 911

1. Perryville—140 years after
2. D.H. Western Village
3. New Kolb ultralight airplanes
4. bluegrass legend J.D. Crowe
Season 9 Menu

Boyle County

For more information:
• About the park: Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, 1825 Battlefield Rd., Perryville, KY 40468, (859) 332-8631
About the battle

Producer: Dave Shuffett
Videographers: Dave Shuffett, Joy Flynn, Rick Melton
Audio: Rick Melton
Editor: Jay Akers

Bloody Boyle

Reenacting the Battle of Perryville

Kentucky’s largest Civil War battle was fought outside the small Boyle County town of Perryville on October 8, 1862. This desperate and bloody engagement left thousands of casualties in a single afternoon and marked the last attempt by the Confederacy to maintain a position in Kentucky.

Kentucky Life has walked these historic and well-preserved grounds before (in Program 210). But this visit marks a special occasion: In 2002, on the 140th anniversary of the battle, Perryville was chosen to host a national Civil War reenactment event. Thousands of reenactors from all over the country converged on Kentucky for the largest commemoration of the Battle of Perryville ever staged. Dave Shuffett joined them to get a feel for the sights and sounds of battle.

Though it’s not always a national event, a reenactment of the Battle of Perryville is held each October, on the weekend closest to the 8th. And in between those days, the quiet fields offer a chance to ponder the terrible forces that drove Americans to make war on one another all those years ago.

The battlefield is located two and one-half miles northwest of Perryville on Route 1920.

Fleming County

Producer: Joy Flynn
Videographer: Michael Follmer
Editor: Jim Piston

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch ...

D.H. Western Village

To get a taste of the Old West experience ... we headed east. In a visit to northeastern Kentucky’s Fleming County in 2002, we found the D.H. Western Village, a family-oriented resort specializing in basic horsemanship classes, trail rides, and steaks grilled under the stars. Accommodations ranged from primitive campsites for those seeking a more authentic cowboy experience to lakeside hotel rooms for those who prefer a few more modern conveniences.

This 1,500-acre resort, which included a private lake set amid mountain scenery, was run by Steve and Charlotte Dobson. The two quit their careers—she as a doctor, he as a chemical engineer—and moved to Kentucky to build and operate the resort, thus living out their own fantasy while providing others the chance to do the same.

Since our visit, though, the resort has been closed and the property was put up for sale.

Laurel County

For more information:
• The New Kolb Aircraft Co., 8375 Russell Dyche Hwy., London, KY 40741, (606) 862-9692

Producer: David Brinkley
Videographers: David Brinkley, Cheryl Beckley, Stephen Kertis, Justin Hardison

Do-It-Yourself Wings

New Kolb Aircraft

Pilots of ultralight airplanes are already a special breed, taking to the skies in tiny craft that are often open to the elements. And just to make things even more interesting, a lot of them do it in planes that they assembled themselves.

This segment visits a Laurel County factory that’s one of the leading suppliers of build-it-yourself ultralights. The New Kolb Aircraft Co. in London offers a range of models and, for those who don’t have quite the hundreds of hours required to start from scratch, a “Quick Build” option in which some of the assembly is done for you.

Plant manager Ray Brown shows us around the place—and then takes our camera along on an exhilarating ultralight flight that may help explain why so many people are so dedicated to this fast-growing hobby.

Jessamine County

For more information:
J.D. Crowe and the New South, 140 Carolyn Lane, Nicholasville, KY 40356, (859) 887-1260
• You’ll find articles, a discography, and more at the J.D. Crowe fan site run by Chris McGlone.

Producer: Heather Lyons
Videographer, editor: Mark White

Where the Grass Is Always Bluer

J.D. Crowe

J.D. Crowe first heard bluegrass music as a child, at a performance by the legendary duo Flatt and Scruggs in his hometown of Lexington. The rest, as they say, is history: J.D. got his first banjo shortly thereafter, at 13, and embarked on a long and distinguished career that has put him firmly into the “legend” category himself.

From the time he started performing with the Jimmy Martin band as a teenager in the 1950s, J.D. has been known as a premier banjo player. His style is both true to bluegrass roots and innovative, reflecting his own high standards of precision and musicianship. Almost every other bluegrass banjoist cites him as an influence.

But it may be as a bandleader that J.D. has made his real mark. As leader first of the Kentucky Mountain Boys and then of the New South, he has mentored such young musicians as Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, and Keith Whitley. Along the way, he has become an ambassador for bluegrass, taking Kentucky’s “indigenous” music around the world. Having already won just about every musical award possible, he also picked up a 2001 Governor’s Award in the Arts in the Folk Heritage category, given to an artist “who has made an outstanding effort to perpetuate and promote Kentucky’s unique artistic traditions.”

Not that J.D. Crowe is one to rest on his laurels. He’s still performing, still innovating—and still true to his roots. This interview catches up with him at home in Jessamine County, just 10 miles and one county down the road from where he grew up. You might also catch him and the band on KET’s Jubilee.

SEASON 9 PROGRAMS: 901902903904905906907908909: Along Highway 62

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