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Summer Joy

If you’re looking for inspiration this summer, look no further. In the words of Jarrett Mynear, a great source of inspiration to anyone, “It’s not important what you do as long as you do something.”

Marvin Bartlett, a news anchor for WDKY-TV in Lexington, has chronicled the story of Jarrett Mynear in The Joy Cart (AmErica House, $19.95). When Jarrett was only 2 years old, he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a malicious form of cancer. The disease began in Jarrett’s right leg, resulting in amputation of the lower half of his leg. This did not stop the exceptionally bright toddler from experiencing life to the fullest. He seemed to consider his prosthesis a challenge to overcome. Unfortunately, this was not the end of his experience with cancer. Jarrett was forced to spend many long days in various hospitals undergoing treatment for this “smart” cancer that refused to be beaten. During one particularly long hospital stay, Jarrett received his inspiration for his ongoing project. Ladies brought around a cart of toys for children to choose from in an effort to relieve the boredom and perhaps uplift the children’s spirits. Jarrett eventually started his own toy cart at the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital called Jarrett’s Joy Cart. Because of this, Jarrett has become nationally known, appearing on the Rosie O’Donnell and Oprah Winfrey shows and speaking before numerous groups. Perhaps most important, he has reached inside the hearts of people everywhere, causing them to become involved in changing their own communities.

If you missed the wildcat statues designed as part of Wildcat Madness, here’s your chance. Beautiful color pictures of each cat make up Wildcat Madness: An Artistic Tribute to the Kentucky Wildcat (Host Communications, $19.95). The campaign started in March 2001 to thank the University of Kentucky fans and to raise money for the UK Basketball Museum. Each wildcat was designed by regional artists and displayed around the state until March 2002. The book includes tidbits about several of the statues and information about the artists.

For a glimpse of how cooking and household management used to be, check out Inside Miss Jennie’s Kitchen (McClanahan Publishing House, $19.95), compiled by Carolyn Ridenour. Until her death in 1965, Miss Jennie was the sole survivor of the Greens of Falls of Rough in Kentucky. The Greens owned the early 1900s village and entertaining was done formally. Ridenour has compiled the wealth of the Green family recipes, including some as they appeared on bits of stationery from area businesses of that time. Several pictures and a good bit of history of the Green family are also included.

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