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NOVEMBER 13, 2014

Mary Wheeler and the Ohio River Valley Roustabouts

Presented by Nathan Lynn

In the 1930’s, Paducah native and musicologist Mary Wheeler began a journey documenting and studying the songs of the former Roustabouts who worked upon the packet boats of the Cumberland, Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee Rivers during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These men and women’s hard work loading and unloading freight, cooking, cleaning, and laboring led to the oral composition of hundreds of songs. Nathan Lynn, local historian and musician, tells the stories of Mary Wheeler and the Roustabouts whom she documented. With photographs and musical notation from the McCracken County Public Library’s Mary Wheeler Collection, Lynn will provide a glimpse into the life and times of these fascinating individuals who lived and worked on the inland waters. Lynn will also discuss the Mary Wheeler Digital Collection itself, which includes the world’s largest collection of Roustabout songs.

Nathan Lynn is an American musician, songwriter, and historian from Paducah, KY. As the Special Collections Librarian at the McCracken County Public Library, Lynn has devoted time to bringing awareness to the rich history of the Jackson Purchase, including Paducah’s important role in the river industry. Lynn is an honorable Kentucky Colonel and a standing board member of the Kentucky Oral History Commission. As a musician, he is a founding member of the bands Bawn in the Mash and the Wheelhouse Rousters, a member of the Solid Rock-It Boosters, and has also recorded four solo albums.

November 13, 2014 | 7:00 pm | 2nd Floor meeting room
All programs are free and open to the public.

Connecting People, Cultures & Ideas
For more information, contact Bobbie Wrinkle
Tel: 270-442-2510 ext. 117 (Toll-free 866-829-7532)
Email: bwrinkle@mclib.net

DECEMBER 4, 2014

The Coke Plant : Reviving a Paducah Treasure

Presented by Ed Musselman, owner of Musselman Properties

Ed and wife Meagan were honored recently as the Chamber’s Entrepreneurs of the Year.

Paducah's Coke Plant has been a long treasured icon of the Midtown District. Located at 3141 Broadway, it is the former home to Luther Carson’s Paducah Coca- Cola Bottling Company.

Built in 1939 by Luther Carson, the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant holds an important place in Paducah's history. After being vacant for seven years, the building has new owners, the Musselmans.

Ed will share the rich history of the building & share current restoration progress of this historic landmark.

December 4, 2014 | 7:00 pm | 2nd Floor meeting room
All programs are free and open to the public.

Connecting People, Cultures & Ideas
For more information, contact Bobbie Wrinkle
Tel: 270-442-2510 ext. 117 (Toll-free 866-829-7532)
Email: bwrinkle@mclib.net

JANUARY 15, 2015

Noble Park Funland: 35 Years of Timeless Memories

Presented by Gary Watkins, professional photographer & son of Carlton Watkins, owner of Noble Park Funland for 35 years

Remember summers at noble Park Funland—the Haunted House, Merry-Go-Round, the Train, Wild Mouse, and Water Slide? Remember all the company picnics, school field trips, and birthday parties? Remember being a kid and begging your parents to take you to Funland? One can’t help but smile with the memories of all those sights and smells: the cotton candy and snow cones, the lights, and the screams of joy.

Come spend an evening with the children of Carlton Watkins, owner of Noble Park Funland—Gary Watkins, who managed the Park, and his sister Gayla Rottgering, who ran the Water Works Water Slide—as they reminisce and put to rest some of the urban legends about life at Funland. Gary and Gayla will share lots of photos and memories from the Park years, a time which we’re sure you’ll enjoy remembering with them.

January 15, 2015 | 7:00 pm | 2nd Floor meeting room
All programs are free and open to the public.

Connecting People, Cultures & Ideas
For more information, contact Bobbie Wrinkle
Tel: 270-442-2510 ext. 117 (Toll-free 866-829-7532)
Email: bwrinkle@mclib.net

FEBRUARY 26, 2015

Wanted: Freedom - Dead or Alive

Presented by Daryl Harris, Professor of Theatre & Dance, Northern Kentucky University

Co-sponsored by The Kentucky Humanities Council and Friends of the McCracken County Public Library

This talk explores and honors the lives and legacies of Kentucky travelers on the Underground Railroad. Rare newspaper “wanted notices for runaways” that provide fascinatingly detailed insight into these courageous individuals inspired this talk. These and other archival newspaper clippings along with texts from “Slave Narratives,” poems, and Negro spirituals give further texture to the lives, personalities, and plights of those who sought freedom by any means necessary: some via the Underground Railroad, others via the “Train to Glory.”

February 26, 2015 | 7:00 pm | 2nd Floor meeting room
All programs are free and open to the public.

Connecting People, Cultures & Ideas
For more information, contact Bobbie Wrinkle
Tel: 270-442-2510 ext. 117 (Toll-free 866-829-7532)
Email: bwrinkle@mclib.net

MARCH 26, 2015

Kentucky Women in Traditional Music

Presented by John Harrod, acclaimed musician & scholar

Co-sponsored by The Kentucky Humanities Council

While it may have taken women some time to break into the male-dominated world of bluegrass music, they had always been carriers of the old music traditions that bluegrass drew upon. With the changes wrought by the Great Depression and World War II, they were getting out of the home, into jobs, and onto radio and phonograph records. Musician and scholar John Harrod, who knew and recorded some of these pioneering performers, plays disc jockey with field and commercial recording of white female singers, banjo players, and fiddlers who continue to inspire young women today who are finding a calling in Kentucky's rich legacy of traditional music. From Lily May Ledford who left home at age 17 to begin her radio career in Chicago to Dora Mae Wagers who played on a haunted banjo, with interviews and stories he puts their lives and achievements into context and recalls some great music that continues to remind us who we are.

John Harrod has documented, recorded, and performed traditional music for more than 35 years. A former Rhodes Scholar and high school teacher, Harrod is widely regarded as an authority on Kentucky’s traditional music. Along with Mark Wilson and Guthrie Meade, he has produced a series of field recordings of Kentucky fiddle and banjo players that is available on Rounder Records.

Harrod received the 2004 Folk Heritage Award of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts for his work in preserving traditional music.

March 26, 2015 | 7:00 pm | 2nd Floor meeting room
All programs are free and open to the public.

Connecting People, Cultures & Ideas
For more information, contact Bobbie Wrinkle
Tel: 270-442-2510 ext. 117 (Toll-free 866-829-7532)
Email: bwrinkle@mclib.net

APRIL 23, 2015

Quilting: A Legacy of Love

Presented by Kentucky author Bobbie Smith Bryant

Co-sponsored by The Kentucky Humanities Council and Friends of the McCracken County Public Library

Learn how the simple act of making something beautiful from scraps gave women a voice in the days when they had little or none. This presentation pays tribute to the great quilters we have in Kentucky. Participants will get an overview of quilting as craft, and learn about the impact of quilting on women in America.

Bobbie Smith Bryant is a native Kentuckian, born in the Black Patch of Calloway County. She is proud of her family’s farming heritage and deeply committed to Western Kentucky. Bryant co-produced a one-hour documentary titled Farming in the Black Patch. This film was recently awarded the 2013 Education Award from the Kentucky Historical Society and it continues to air on Kentucky Educational Television.

Bobbie also serves the Kentucky League of Cities as community development advisor. For more than twenty years, she has assisted cities with community and economic development issues. She also hosted a daily morning television show and a monthly broadcast featuring notable people of Western Kentucky.

April 23, 2015 | 7:00 pm | 2nd Floor meeting room
All programs are free and open to the public.

Connecting People, Cultures & Ideas
For more information, contact Bobbie Wrinkle
Tel: 270-442-2510 ext. 117 (Toll-free 866-829-7532)
Email: bwrinkle@mclib.net

JUNE 11, 2015

John Scopes

I Am John Scopes

Presented by Todd Hatton,producer and local Morning Edition host for WKMS-FM, Murray State University’s NPR affiliate

His name is synonymous with the conflict of faith and reason, often mentioned in the same breath as Charles Darwin, evolution, and Clarence Darrow. That name is inextricably linked to one of the most controversial trials in American jurisprudence. But today, John T. Scopes is a cipher, largely unknown in his hometown and overshadowed by the legal titans who tried his case.

So, who is John Thomas Scopes?

WKMS producer and award-winning documentarian Todd Hatton presents a look at this most remarkable Paducahan. In his discussion, Todd will introduce us to this intensely private and principled man who placed himself, as he would later write, at the center of the storm. We’ll also find out why Scopes eschewed the limelight, but was always willing to reemerge to defend his convictions and for the freedom to teach.

Hatton is the writer and producer or co-producer of radio documentaries about regional history, including West Kentucky High Iron: The Story of Four Rivers Rail; West Kentucky Coal: People, Places, and Power; Irvin S. Cobb: Back Home; The Civil War in the Western Rivers, 2012 Associated Press Best Documentary, and Kentucky Dam Power for the People, 2013 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for Best Documentary and winner of a 2014 Education Award from the Kentucky Historical Society.

June 11, 2015 | 7:00 pm | 2nd Floor meeting room
All programs are free and open to the public.

Connecting People, Cultures & Ideas
For more information, contact Bobbie Wrinkle
Tel: 270-442-2510 ext. 117 (Toll-free 866-829-7532)
Email: bwrinkle@mclib.net