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Program 923

1. David Dick
2. the Buffalo Crossing Restaurant and Family Fun Ranch
Season 9 Menu

Bourbon County

Producer: Joy Flynn
Videographer: John Breslin
Editor: Dan Taulbee

Back Home Again

Writer David Dick

Over the course of his distinguished journalism career with CBS, David Dick was based at various times in Atlanta; Dallas; and Caracas, Venezuela. He rode the presidential campaign trail, winning an Emmy Award along the way for his coverage of the shooting of Alabama governor and presidential candidate George Wallace. He reported from Guyana after the mass suicide of the followers of cult leader Jim Jones, surviving a Jones-ordered massacre of other journalists at the site only because he was a day late arriving, and covered wars in Central and South America and the Middle East. But when it was time to retire from all that globetrotting, he settled down back where he’d started: at Plum Lick, the Bourbon County homeplace a distant ancestor had bought in 1799.

There, with the help of his wife, Lalie, David has created a second career that in itself would have been a life’s work for most people. He became a journalism teacher and a sought-after speaker, directed the University of Kentucky School of Journalism for six years, served as publisher of a weekly newspaper for several years, began writing syndicated columns and books, and started Plum Lick Publishing to produce the books.

David’s writing reflects his profound attachment to the land and people of Kentucky as well as the wide range of his experiences and interests. They include The Quiet Kentuckians, a tribute to “ordinary” people of the Commonwealth; Rivers of Kentucky, an appreciation co-authored with Lalie (who is herself a columnist for the Kentucky Farm Bureau); a collection of essays entitled Peace at the Center; and the 2002 memoir Follow the Storm, a Long Way Home, about his years with CBS. And his research into family history led him to an intriguing female ancestor and even inspired him to try fiction with the historical novel The Scourges of Heaven, set amid the devastating cholera epidemics of the mid-19th century. (That book was the September 1999 selection of bookclub@ket.)

In this visit to Plum Lick, David sits down with our own David, host Dave Shuffett, for a conversation about places and events both near and far and about what constitutes a well-lived life.

Editor's note: David Dick died in 2010 at the age of 80.

Shelby County

Producer, editor: Charlee Pagoulatos
Videographers: John Breslin, Brandon Wickey, Dave Shuffett
Audio: Charlie Bissell

Where the Buffalo Roam

Buffalo Crossing

... or rather, where the bison roam, since the American buffalo is not technically a “buffalo” at all.

Whichever name you use, this shaggy creature is a magnificent sight, with adult males weighing in at just under a ton. And at the Buffalo Crossing Restaurant and Family Fun Ranch in Shelby County, we saw more than 500 of them—including Chief Joe, a world champion bull who at the time was one of the most valuable bison in the world. (In the photo, Dave gets acquainted with another ranch resident, Cherokee.)

Impressive as it is, that total pales beside the historical figures for American buffalo, which probably numbered in the tens of millions in the years before North America was settled. Early explorers reported herds that stretched from horizon to horizon, as far out as the eye could see. But human hunting—especially the staggering slaughter that ensued when railroads opened up the Wild West to settlers and sport hunters—managed to drive the species nearly to extinction. The bison are making a comeback now, with more than a quarter million animals estimated to inhabit the U.S. But with the wide open spaces now mostly fenced, their roaming is largely confined to ranches like Buffalo Crossing.

Run by Bob and Julie Allen and their family, this 1,000-acre farm was both tourist attraction and working livestock ranch. The Allens offered guided tours to see the bison as well as the other exotic animals in the petting zoo, but one of their main aims was to reintroduce buffalo meat to America’s table. At the restaurant, the menu offered burgers and steaks made from buffalo—a lean, high-protein meat, which tastes like beef but has less fat than some poultry.

This visit was in 2002. Buffalo Crossing is no longer operating as a public attraction.

Watch This Story (8:36)

SEASON 9 PROGRAMS: 901902903904905906907908909: Along Highway 62

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