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Nostalgia Today

Excitedly climbing into the family car to spend an evening at the drive-in movie seems to be a bit of nostalgia I share with just about everyone within a few years of my age.

The one movie I remember seeing was Sergeants 3. I don’t believe it won any Academy Awards, but it’s probably better known for its cast: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop.

I kind of knew at the time those were big names, but my more vivid memories were fond ones of the smell of the popcorn, the sea of cars, the big, clunky metal speaker hung on the window inside the car, and the feeling of family closeness as we watched giant cavalry horses charge across the outdoor screen.

So I was naturally pleased to hear a number of spots in Kentucky still show movies under the stars. Take a look at some of them in this issue. Find the one closest to you, load up the car, and make some of your own memories.

A Kentucky heritage that goes back even farther, 100 years, is the widespread influence of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. On page 33, you can take a trip through the origins of the grassroots education program, up through today when its focus includes such hot topics as nutrition, playing and making dulcimers, and building and launching rockets made from plastic bottles.

Blue vs. Gray
From even farther back, 150 years, the trauma of the Civil War still provides fascination and an endless source of research, speculation, and contemplation. People even devote themselves to dressing up and re-creating battles of the past. More than other states, Kentucky was as divided as the nation itself. As a Union state with strong Southern sympathies, families were literally divided. The complicated feelings from across the generations still affect our Kentucky culture.

This month’s feature on the Civil War recalls the origins of Kentucky’s unique Civil War heritage, as well as some of the modern-day remembrances, including the anniversary of the Perryville battle.

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