The 2015 Gristmill and Old Engine Days

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Photos by Wallace Reed

The 2015 Gristmill and Old Engine Days were held last weekend at the Red River Museum in Clay City. Even though gristmill stones and old engines are the feature, this year a lot of crafts and nostalgic items were a hit. Not to mention the Civil War Re-enactors on hand to demonstrate how things were done during the Civil War. Next year there is a rumor that re-enactors may try to stage the Battle of Waltersville. That would be interesting.

National Police Week

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Photos provided by Hunter Martin, Vanessa Mathews and Mike Townsend

This week is National Police Week. In Frankfort, last week all officers who fell in the line of duty or those who served that have passed on were honored. Like Joe Martin, a former Powell County Sheriff and Stanton Police Officer, who passed away in the past year.

On Monday a simple ceremony the local FOP Post #70 honored the four officers who died in the line of duty in Powell County by laying flowers at the memorial at the Powell County Courthouse. The Powell County Sheriff’s Department, Clay City Police Department, Stanton Police Department, the Powell County Judge Executive and County Attorney’s Office and the Powell Circuit Clerk’s Office, along with many other people at the courthouse, all took part in the ceremony. That also included Ruthie Lacy, widow of the late Clay City Police Chief Randy Lacy.

Iconic landmark, the Mountain View Drive-In, set for curtain call

By MARLA MARRS

Times Staffwriter

Times Photo by Marla Marrs | The crowd was settled in for a showing of "Furious 7”  at the Mountain View Drive-In recently. The iconic landmark and place of so many memories and tradition may be closing after this summer. A slow market and format changes for equipment have taken a toll.

Times Photo by Marla Marrs |
The crowd was settled in for a showing of “Furious 7” at the Mountain View Drive-In recently. The iconic landmark and place of so many memories and tradition may be closing after this summer. A slow market and format changes for equipment have taken a toll.

It has been a hang out spot and a great place to watch the latest movies for 59 years. Generation after generation has loaded up in the car or truck and headed out to the eastern outskirts of Stanton just as the sun begins to drop in the western sky. The destination: The Mountain View Drive-In.

For 58 of those years, counting this season, David Baker and his family have run the show, so to speak. But this may be the last hurrah for the drive-in. New required technology, Red Box, Netflix and stadium seating in theaters have put pressure on the good old days of hanging out at the drive-in.

Drive-in theaters have been a great part of the American culture and represent a time of prosperity, peace and a stable economy. The first drive-in theater was built in Camden, New Jersey and opened on June 6, 1933. Drive-ins did not become prosperous until the 1950’s. Cool cars and a generation that wanted to get out and do things, could not wait until the drive-in opened.

In the state of Kentucky there are twelve drive-ins that remain open, including the Mountain View, but plans to close next season are in the works.

The Mountain View is located on East College Avenue in Stanton. It was built by Stanton’s own Denzel Faulkner, Jack Kidd and M.J. McHappy from Beattyville in 1956. Faulkner’s cousin, David Baker, and his wife, Lorna, have owned the Mountain View Drive-In since 1957. They added a second screen in 1980.

On the last Friday night of April, people began trickling into the drive-in area a few minutes before 7 p.m. Children made pallets on the ground with their blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals. When they were finished they set off to play with their friends before the movies started.

The drive-in theater in Powell County is not solely about the movie – it is a tradition, a place to be with each other, to get together and enjoy the company of others.  Many people are disappointed to hear that the theater will close next year, unless someone leases it.

People come from far and near to the drive-in. Two girls from Wisconsin were there on Friday.  They had been visiting the Red River Gorge and were excited to see their first drive-in movie.

Jordan Byrones, from Louisville, and Natalie Lajagas, who lives an hour east from Stanton, were also visiting the area. It was their first time at the theater, but they said they have always wanted to stop by and see a movie when passing. Byrones was particularly interested in the history and the workings of the theater.

“Imagine the movies that has been played over the years,” he said, as he speculated about the old vehicles that used to fill the semi-circle around the screen, and how this theater is a part of history that will be lost when it closes.

“We’ll be telling our grandkids about the drive-in,” said Byrones.

Darlene Drake, a native to Powell County, has been watching movies there since she was a little girl. She said when she was 16 she used to take her brother and sister and the neighbors-a whole car load.  Drake now brings her grandchildren to see movies at the theater.

“That’s why I bring my grandkids here. I want them to remember it [the history and experience of the drive-in]. I hate to see it go.”

Heather Curtis, another native from Powell County, and her daughter Abrianna Lawson have been coming to the Mountain View for a long time.  Curtis said she had been going to the theater since she was 10 years old. When asked what movie she saw there first, she paused for a moment and smiled.

“The first movie I saw here was Ghostbusters,” she said as she watched Lawson play with David Baker’s granddaughter.

Curtis said, “It will be sad. It’s like a big get together. It’s good, clean fun.”

Lawson was quite sad to hear about the theater closing too. She said what she liked most about it was her friends and the movies.

Times Photo by Marla Marrs The Creech Family from Campton have been coming to the drive-in for years. They are seen here last week,  back row (r to l) Tracy and Brian, front (r to l) Logan, Caiden, and Grant.

Times Photo by Marla Marrs
The Creech Family from Campton have been coming to the drive-in for years. They are seen here last week, back row (r to l) Tracy and Brian, front (r to l) Logan, Caiden, and Grant.

 

Brain and Tracy Creech from Wolf County had brought their two sons, Logan and Caiden and their family friend Grant Rogers to see Furious 7.

“We’ve been going here for 40 years at least,” said Brian.

The Creeches had dates at the theater when they were in high school.

“Now we’re bringing our kids here.” he said. When he was younger, he said, “We used to sit in the back of the bed of my dad’s 4-wheel drive truck in lawn chairs.”

Tracy said that her cousins in Ohio came to Kentucky not so long ago to see a movie at the drive-in because they do not have a drive-in close to them.

The children also hated to hear that the drive-in may be closing. Logan Creech said his favorite thing about the drive-in is that he didn’t have to be quiet.

When Baker spoke about the theater, he said what he enjoyed most about running the theater was “seeing other people have a good time.”

Baker said he has enjoyed running the theatre and seeing the joy it can bring. “Seeing other people have a good time,”  Baker said was his biggest enjoyment of being the owner. “It’s been a part of my life, my hobby, it will be like another phase of my life; it’s over. I hate to see it leave.”

Baker has decide to close the theater because it has not been profitable and it’s becoming more difficult for the theater to obtain the format of film that the theater can show.

“It’s been a part of the county for so long, I hate to see it leave,” Baker said.

He is hoping that maybe someone will want to keep the iconic site still going. Baker is interested in leasing the theater.

But until then, those who have visited the drive-in, brought their kids and then their grandkids to the Mountain View, will have at least one more summer to relive those glory days and still see great movies locally. The last credits may roll when the theater closes in the fall, but Baker is hoping a sequel can keep the old drive-in alive.

After all in the movies anything is possible.

New attraction planned for this weekend’s Gristmill & Old Engine Days

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The Red River Museum and Historical Society is proud to announce this year’s entertainment lineup for the Gristmill and Old Engine Weekend, on May 8-9.

The celebration, now a longtime local festival, is a celebration of local history and heritage hosted over two days at the Red River Museum in Clay City.  Offering local craft exhibits and auctions, antique engines displays, local music and food, and the Hillbilly Flywheelers Club, the event functions looks to educate Kentuckians about their local history and vibrant culture.

This year’s entertainment offerings will include plenty of demonstrations of local heritage skills and crafting, including flint knapping, log hewing demos, chair weaving, rope making and pottery throwing. An operational gristmill will be on display, as well as ongoing woodworking demonstrations, among other crafts. New this year, the Gristmill weekend will offer a living Civil War exhibit, with a live encampment hosted by Civil War re-enactors, as part of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.

“I’m thrilled to offer an expanded lineup of events for this year’s Gristmill weekend,” noted Ovie Hollon, President of the Red River Historical Society.  “The Red River Museum is a truly unique offering in Kentucky, a free multi-level museum offering antiques, historical items and education about Appalachian heritage. This weekend is a great opportunity for families to educate their children about our local history with hands-on demonstrations available all weekend. It’s also a great chance to celebrate our current local craftsmen and do some shopping with local stores and shops.”

Richardson joins Clay City Times advertising department

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The Clay City Times is pleased to welcome Jeff Richardson, a resident of Ravenna, to the staff.

He was hired to work in the advertising department where he will be helping with classifieds and learning ad design.

Jeff is married to Rosenda, and he has a son, Hunter, who is 21 years old, and a daughter, Kearston, who is 25.

Jeff grew up on Dark Hollow Road and the Substation Road area.  His parents are the late Billy Joe and Elizabeth Richardson.

The former employee of Windstream and Irvine Community Television says he likes “learning something new.” He said he enjoys that his new job requires a lot of attention to detail.

When he isn’t working, Jeff enjoys outdoor activities.  He likes to garden, and he enjoys bike riding, whether it be on a motorcycle, or on a regular peddle bike.

In fact, one of his favorite things to do in the summer is get together with a group of friends and ride bikes late at night when most people are sleeping.

Jeff also enjoys camping and canoeing or pretty much anything outdoors–when he has the time and opportunity to do them.

Powell County Little League’s Opening Day

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Photos by Keegan Rogers and Dana Estep

Powell County Little League Baseball, one of the oldest sanctioned leagues in the state, kicked off the 2015 season last Saturday with a parade and some opening games. Whether it was riding in the parade  like the Indians team seemed to have enjoyed, or waiting patiently to go to second base, the kids seemed to be ready for the excitement and fun of Opening Day. Catchers and hitters alike donned their tools they needed and now it’s time to just play ball and have fun.

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Powell ballet dancer to perform lead in ‘Rapunzel’

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The Bluegrass Youth Ballet (BYB) will present Rapunzel on May 1 at 7 p.m. and May 2 at 2 p.m. at the Lexington Opera House. The Bluegrass Youth Ballet production, which premiered in 2011, is based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, and is an original work of Adalhi Aranda, BYB’s Director and Founder. The family-friendly ballet will take audience members to new heights with its magic, vibrancy, and brilliant choreography!

Rapunzel is a fairy tale, by definition, containing typical fairy tale themes such as enchantment, good versus evil, and the commonly sought after “happily ever after” ending. However, the story may best be summarized with one word—determination! Several characters in the Grimm Brothers’ tale illustrate the power of determination in the pursuit of their individual desires.

The tale’s first instance of determination is found in Dame Gothel, who is determined to seek revenge on a lonely couple. She discovers the husband stealing rampion plants, or rapunzel, from her treasured garden, at his pregnant wife’s command. Dame Gothel kidnaps the couple’s newborn daughter and names her Rapunzel, after the plants stolen by her parents. She locks Rapunzel in a tower in the middle of a forest and raises her as her own. The confined Rapunzel knows nothing of the outside world, and can only dream about what lies beyond the tower walls. She is determined to escape from her tower, and to be freed from Mother Gothel’s control. The Prince, who falls in love with Rapunzel, is determined to free Rapunzel, so he can marry her and live happily ever after.

The string of determination running through this story, is very relevant to BYB dancer, Kaylee Miller, 14, who will dance the role of Rapunzel. Kaylee Miller, currently an eighth grade student at Powell County Middle School, came to Bluegrass Youth Ballet in the summer of 2011. Kaylee had spent the previous six years dancing at a school which offered many different genres of dance, and Kaylee had tried all of them. Kaylee’s mother, Phoebe Everman, describes Kaylee’s desire to focus on ballet.

“She had a passion for ballet and asked me to find her a school that studied only ballet. I found BYB and contacted Adalhi around the same time as the 2011 Rapunzel was about to premiere. She invited Kaylee and I to come watch the show and also invited her to join in a class at BYB. Kaylee did both, loved both, and there was no turning back for her.  She had truly found a place that complimented her passion.”

Since that time, Kaylee’s ‘towering’ determination to achieve a career as a professional ballet dancer has been going strong! Kaylee’s parents drive her nearly an hour each way from Powell County to Lexington six days a week to train. This summer, Kaylee will attend American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive Program in New York City for five weeks. She recently participated in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Semi-Finals in Indianapolis. Kaylee summarizes her BYB experience as follows.

“BYB gives me the one on one attention that I wouldn’t get anywhere else, and that attention is so much more than dance technique. BYB has taught me how to move forward with a career in ballet. BYB has helped me to audition and attend summer programs, master classes, and prestigious ballet competitions that I never would have had the opportunity to do.

BYB has taught me self-motivation, self-discipline, and has given me the drive to match my passion for ballet, as well as to dance important roles such as Rapunzel. I love BYB and wouldn’t trade my time here for anything. I’m very excited about the future.”

Kaylee Miller will share the lead role with Bryan Station High School eleventh grade student, Grace Byars, 16. The cast is made up of 150 BYB dancers, ranging in age from 5 to 17, as well as guest professional dancer, Eddie Forehand, of The Louisville Ballet, who will dance the role of the Prince. Bluegrass Youth Ballet is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Lexington, dedicated to enhancing lives by providing dance education in a positive environment for all youth through high quality training, innovative performances, and cultural experiences.

Just as the characters in Rapunzel are filled with determination in pursuit of a goal, so are Bluegrass Youth Ballet dancers like Kaylee Miller. Determination summarizes both the story of Rapunzel and the dancers who will bring its characters to life on stage.

Rapunzel will be performed for public, private, and homeschooled students on April 30 and May 1 at 9:30 a.m. in addition to the two public perform

A mother’s understanding leads to help for BES and Autism Awareness

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Autism affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. It seems that the numbers are growing, and it is considered the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the United States. Worse of all, there is no real medical detection or cure for autism. It will affect them their entire lives and they will need help along the way.

Imagine having a child with this disorder, as a few in Powell County do. Now imagine sending them to school. Fortunately Powell County schools do a good job of helping autistic children. But if you are a parent of such a child and you see that the staff is trying, would you like to help them too?

Tonya Nolan did just that.

Tonya and her husband Mike have a son, Kaleb. He is five years old and has the non-verbal form of autism. He attends Bowen Elementary School. Tonya and Mike have poured their lives into helping Kaleb. So when they saw an opportunity to help the school staff they seized it.

Tonya started a side baking business, Sweet Pieces, back in November. She makes cakes and reportedly some of the best cupcakes around. The money she makes from baking and selling these goods, she decided to give to help with autistic students. She even decided to order some t-shirts that could be sold for autism awareness.

“At first we got a few shirts to sell, the proceeds go to helping autism awareness,” Nolan said as she waited outside the Bowen Elementary School last Thursday. The school was set to have a balloon release for Autism Awareness Week. “But now we have our third order and have sold over 300 shirts. Add that to the money from Sweet Pieces and we were able to raise $1,000,” she added.

Nolan donated that money to the school to help the special needs students.

Bowen students had been learning all week about autism. Some of the bulletin boards in the hallways were decorated with puzzle pieces, a symbol of autistic children fitting into the puzzle of life. To cap off the week, the students were set for a balloon release. All of the students met outside in the bus lane and let go of their balloons. The fast winds blew the balloons out of sight quickly. It had to cross the minds of Nolan and the special needs instructor Missy Case, how great it would be if a cure could be found just as quick.

“We are so happy that Tonya was able to do this,” Case said. “It is just wonderful.”

As for how the donation can help, Case was excited at the possibilities. “We want to be able to get I pads or items that can really help with communication,” she said, smiling from ear to ear. “Communication is very important to our students and we want to be able to help them more. This will help. I just want to thank Tonya so much.”

Two of a kind classics

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Talking about some classics. Above we have 91 year old Edward Allen Blackmore with his 95 year old Sears & Roebuck bike.

City council hears about legislation; audits caught up

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The Stanton City Council meeting settled a few business items, and the mayor made a major announcement about audits, but the meeting began with a visit by State Representative David Hale. Stanton Mayor Dale Allen introduced Hale

“It’s a great honor to serve in Frankfort as your representative,” Hale told the council. “Some 800 bills were introduced and it seemed like a long session was crammed into a short session.”

Hale spoke about bills that dealt with the statewide heroin issue. Many counties have been affected and there have been many over doses. Monies have been earmarked for helping drug users. Hale did not agree with the needle exchange program. Under the plan a person that was using heroin could go to their local health department and get a clean needle to reuse.

Hale said he was against this because it was “promoting drug use”. The legislature  went back to the bill and allowed counties to opt in or out of the needle exchange program. Hale said that this compromise “allowed” him to vote for the bill.

Another major bill was the gas tax. Gas tax calculation can only go up 10 percent each year. In recent months the state has lowered the gas tax and that has cut monies counties get for their roads.

Hale began to talk about how the tax would effect it. “I drive about 40,000 miles a year,” Hale said. Then he figured out how much gas he would use, and then added the cost/tax price of that gas. Hale said it would cost him $80 to $100 more. He then said, “I think I can sacrifice $80 to $100 dollars to keep our roads safe.”

Teacher retirement was also discussed by Hale, who represents three counties,  Powell, Montgomery, and Menifee. In Powell and Menifee the number one employer is the school systems, which means teachers and school personnel make up a major part of the work force.

According to Hale, teacher’s retirement is almost done, only having funding for seven years. Hale is disappointed that nothing has been done for the teachers.

The last topic Hale discussed with the council of local interest was the open sales tax. That tax would be decided for certain projects that the local government or city would vote to impose. It would be in addition to the state sales tax. Powell already has a version of this under the restaurant tax paid by those who purchase restaurant or deli prepared foods.

The bill did not pass, though Hale said it will be discussed again next year.

In other business, Ethan Witt, the field representative for Congressman Andy Barr, was at the meeting and was telling the council about the resources and grant money that was possible for the area.

The council also discussed some development projects dealing with the sewers.

Local resident Vera Patterson asked the board if she could reserve the park pavilion for church music, and maybe a couple movies. They would need to have the pavilion every Sunday from May to October from 6-8 p.m.

The event would be open to the community and they will pass out handouts for AA meetings, as well as have hotdogs, and pizza. It would be a non-denominational meeting but would be Christian-based.

The motion was carried as long as a pre-scheduled event does not conflict with it.

The city entered into a contract with the Powell County Schools for using the city park’s large baseball field. The contract is reportedly for $5,000 and runs during the high school season.

The council also discussed the possibility of a baseball and softball scholarship which would help local kids. And they decided they could pay the scholarship at the next meeting for $1,000.

Due to some vandalism over the past few months, security at the park was discussed. The council suggested police officers walking the parks. There are also cameras in place that are being watched by dispatch.

The council also voted to accept the health insurance rates even though the rates rose some five percent. However, many municipalities are seeing the same increase in health care benefits.

To close out the meeting Allen wanted to give a little shout out to the staff and auditors. “The City of Stanton will be caught up on budgets,” Allen announced. “Nine years ago when I was elected, Stanton was seven budgets behind. They [the office staff and auditors] were doing two audits a year to catch up.” The mayor continued, “The next audit will be so easy we wouldn’t think it was an audit.”