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You round a soft curve and see out the window more miles of vanilla-frosted branches. The snow-muffled �clack-clack� of wheels along the track distracts your ears as your nose focuses on the sweet chocolate steam rising from the mug that�s still so hot you have to daintily hold the handle rather than folding both hands around it. You�re on the Polar Express. You�re an 1800s railroad baron�

No, it�s summer and you�re in a conference room helping judge the Kentucky Living photo contest. You listen to the expert judges giving you reasons the picture that just sent you on a vacation through time and space isn�t quite as good as those over there.

Art takes you to places no car can and words can�t describe. It goes where no one can follow. You may be one of only half a dozen people in the world who like that picture, book, quilt, or carving.

That�s what I concluded after the fun and frustration of watching the judging of the 2006 photo contest. Art is personal. One person�s prizewinner is another�s recycling.

So that�s the significance of the photo run with this column�it�s my personal winner.

Cathy Rose of Whitley City, in the service territory of South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative, took this picture in Flat Rock last February. The judges said, �Nearly a monochrome image with just a splash of color. Nice composition.�

But it didn�t win. Just like thousands of other entries that could have won, but didn�t quite. You can see what the judges chose as winners in this issue.

So congratulations to Ms. Rose, and to everyone else who sent in photos for the contest. And thanks to all of you for photos that create magic so powerful they make it snow in July.

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