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Kentucky Crafted: The Market, Journalist Al Smith’s Memoir, Have A Taste At Farmers’ Markets, And More


Fiction that stays true to the Bible

Quote

Energy Efficiency Tip

Marketplace of the state

Tasting is believing at farmers’ markets

Kentucky’s journalist

Time Capsule: 50 Years Ago in Kentucky Living



Fiction that stays true to the Bible

Mary Bailey first wrote of Jesus’ birth through the eyes of his mother, creating what could have been Mary’s journal based on Scripture, culture, and emotions of all mothers regardless of time and place.

She continues Mary’s journal in her second book, Jesus My Son: Mary’s Journal of Jesus’ Ministry (WestBow Press, $17.95, www.jesusmyson.com).

Mary’s entries begin as she is entering a second phase of life. Jesus and her other children have grown to adulthood, grandchildren have arrived, and Mary is pondering how much longer she will have to wait before seeing prophecies about Jesus and his kingdom come true. When Jesus leaves home with an explanation that he must do his Father’s work, Mary decides to follow along so she can record the events of her son’s ministry. Bailey ends Mary’s entries with Passover, days before Jesus will be crucified, leaving the end of the story for an upcoming third book.

The stories Bailey includes stay true to the included Scripture references. Though considered biblical fiction because of the need to infer thoughts and emotions not clearly stated in the Bible, Bailey notes, “I ensured none of the events contradicted Scripture. I researched many Web sites to make sure the events I wrote were true to the time. My own experiences as a mother and grandmother were helpful in writing most of the events.”

Before her writing career, Bailey worked 32 years as a technology professional, then received her “M.A.M.A.W. degree” after retirement as she welcomed seven grandchildren to her family. She and her husband of 41 years live primarily in Frankfort, but snowbird to Florida for the winter. —Penny Woods

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Quote: United States Government Accountability Office

“In general, electricity use increases as the economy grows, but improvements in energy efficiency can offset some or all of the increases in electricity use due to economic growth.” – ELECTRICITY-Significant Changes Are Expected in Coal-Fueled Generation, but Coal Is Likely to Remain a Key Fuel Source, Report to the Chairman, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate

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Energy Efficiency Tip

Your heat pump can use 10 percent to 25 percent more energy if it’s not properly maintained, which includes regularly checking and replacing the air filter when it’s dirty to keep parts from working too hard or even becoming damaged. Keep brush and plants tidy around the outdoor unit, and dust the return registers inside.

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Marketplace of the state

Kentucky Crafted: The Market returns to the Lexington Convention Center, March 1-3, for the Kentucky Arts Council’s signature arts event for wholesale buyers and the general public.

The annual marketplace drew a crowd of more than 10,000 in its four-day stint in Lexington last year. Visitors spent more than $750,000 at The Market that featured 115 Kentucky Crafted artists in addition to 59 vendors from Kentucky and surrounding states.

The event has been ranked Number 1 in Top 10 Fairs and Festivals in the country four times by AmericanStyle magazine. It has been named a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 event for 14 years and has already received the designation for 2013.

Attractions include paintings from abstracts to pastoral landscapes, craft from contemporary glass and over-the-top ceramics, to jewelry, brooms and baskets, books from modern short stories to poetry printed on a letterpress, and delicacies from tequila-and-lime-flavored marshmallows to creamed pull candy. You’ll also hear live performances of blues, bluegrass, and jazz.

The first day of The Market is a wholesale trade show day, open exclusively to qualified business owners who sell products in retail venues. The wholesale day acts as an economic generator for Kentucky, annually attracting 500 to 600 buyers from 15 to 20 states.

Doors open to the public on March 2 and 3, offering visitors an opportunity to purchase new work before it hits store shelves or is installed on gallery walls.

For information, go to www.kycraft.ky.gov or call (502) 564-3757.

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Tasting is believing at farmers’ markets

When vendors offered samples at their farmers’ market booths, they saw an immediate effect on what customers purchased. The 2011 Regional Farm Market Sampling Survey, a Web-based survey conducted by researchers in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, determined that 55 percent of respondents purchased the sampled product the same day, though they had not originally planned to do so.

“Direct marketing opportunities, such as farmers’ markets, have proved to be a popular way for small- to medium-sized producers to increase revenue,” says Tim Woods, UK agricultural economist who directed the study.

Woods and Miranda Hileman, also of UK’s Department of Agricultural Economics, have recently written and released Best Practices for Sampling at Farmers Markets: A Practical Guide for Farmers Market Vendors, a manual for farmers and farmers’ market managers interested in learning the best practices of providing samples to patrons.

Kentucky farmers pushed for and received new state legislation in 2009 that allows Kentucky food producers to offer food samples at registered Kentucky farmers’ markets without requiring food handling permits, though vendors must be certified through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s sampling certification program. So far, more than 1,100 producers have completed the training.

“From previous vendor surveys we found that sampling was often noted as ‘a hassle,’ and ‘labor constraints’ were an issue facing many vendors,” Hileman says. “Some also noted that they were ‘uncertain about the benefits of sampling.’ We wanted to measure consumer perceptions about sampling in order to share this information with farmers’ market vendors.”

The Kentucky Department of Ag expects the more than 2,490 food producers taking part in Kentucky farmers’ markets to report approximately $12 million in revenue in 2012. The growth in the number of registered farmers’ markets over the last eight years—from 91 in 2004 to 147 in 2012—is an indication of consumers’ increased interest in local food products and their desire to build relationships with producers.

Best Practices for Sampling at Farmers Markets: A Practical Guide for Farmers Market Vendors is available online for free by going to www.ca.uky.edu and searching for “Best Practices for Sampling at Farmers Markets.” —UK Extension news service

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Kentucky’s journalist
by Gary Luhr

If the only thing Al Smith ever did for his adopted state was to serve as the longtime host of KET’s public affairs program Comment on Kentucky, he would have secured his place as a charter member of the University of Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame. For more than 30 years, he analyzed the state’s news and trends with a weekly panel of journalists and other knowledgeable people.

It is hard to say who benefited most. Under Smith’s stewardship, Comment became one of KET’s most popular programs. For Smith, whose day job was publishing a chain of weekly newspapers, the broadcast gave him statewide exposure, which led to him serving as the founding chair of the Kentucky Oral History Commission; chair of the Kentucky Arts Commission, Leadership Kentucky, and the Shakertown Roundtable; co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission under Presidents Carter and Reagan; founding board member of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence; and co-founder of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky.

Not bad for a guy who was born in Florida, grew up in Tennessee, and worked on newspapers in New Orleans until his career was almost ended by a serious drinking problem. His memoir, Wordsmith: My Life in Journalism, published in 2011, is divided into two sections: “The Thirsty Years” and “Recovery.” With typical candor he recounts the rewards and challenges of editing a small-town paper, the Russellville News-Democrat, and his personal triumph over alcohol. In both accounts he acknowledges the help he received from tenacious teachers, forgiving friends, and his wife of more than 45 years, Martha Helen Smith.

Because one man’s life story is also a story of the times in which he lived, Wordsmith recaps Kentucky’s past 60 years, including its politics. The pages are filled with public figures who dominated the last half of the 20th century: Earle Clements, Alben Barkley, Happy Chandler, Bert Combs, Wilson Wyatt, Ned Breathitt, Louie Nunn, Julian Carroll, John Sherman Cooper, and others. Not to mention people who worked largely behind the scenes, such as Ed Prichard, J.R. Miller, and Emerson “Doc” Beauchamp, a Democratic kingpin and fellow resident of Russellville of whom Smith writes, “It didn’t take me long to figure out that he knew the preferences of every adult in the county and most of the children.”

Smith’s recollections of these men recall times when Kentucky rose above its image to achieve real progress in areas such as civil service, judicial reform, education, healthcare, historic preservation, and the arts. Such accomplishments were a sharp contrast to the government by stalemate that has plagued the state and the nation in recent times.

Last year, Smith published a second book, Kentucky Cured: Fifty Years in Kentucky Journalism. Less a memoir than an expanded appendix to Wordsmith, it contains some new material and previously published articles on a wide array of people and subjects. As O. Leonard Press, KET’s founding director, writes in the forward: “To meet Al Smith for the first time is to feel that you have known him forever.”

—Gary Luhr is executive director of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges & Universities and was editor of the Rural Kentuckian then Kentucky Living from 1979 to 1994.

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Time Capsule: 50 Years Ago in Kentucky Living
College degrees

Within two years 95 percent of Kentucky’s public schoolteachers will have college degrees, the Department of Education has estimated.

A research bulletin published by the Division of Teacher Education and Certification shows that 86 percent of the state’s public schoolteachers now have degrees, an increase of 4 percent over the 1961-62 school year.

Editor’s note: Now, 50 years later, all Kentucky public schoolteachers are required to have a college degree.

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