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2017 Kentucky Apple Festival Pageants kick off celebrations

The 2017 Kentucky Apple Festival wrapped up Saturday in Paintsville after drawing an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 crowd. The event featured vendors, a carnival and local crafters, as well as live music and other events. For more photos see pages A2, A7, A8 and A9 in the October 11, 2017 edition of the Paintsville Herald.

Darts & Laurels

Laurel: This weekend,40,000 – 50,000 people turned out for the two-day 2017 Kentucky Apple Festival in downtown Paintsville. Everyone who attended had a chance to enjoy our community and will hopefully be back again next year.

Laurel: The Paintsville/Johnson County Chamber of Commerce announced Bobby McCool has taken the role of executive director, replacing Fran Jarrell who died on Sept. 27. McCool, as a long-time economic development advocate appears to be a good fit for the position and hope he will continue to move the Chamber forward.

Laurel: The Johnson County Extension Office with help from the 2017 Brushy Fork Flex-E Grant through Berea College held classes dedicated to developing local art created by local artists to be used for welcome gifts for incoming tourists. This is a great way to create new jobs in the county as well as create unique items to go home with visitors.

Laurel: Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear visited the University of Pikeville’s Kentucky College of Optometry Oct. 4 to discuss his office’s opposition to the Kentucky Power rate increase request. It is good to see multiple county and state agencies take a stand for the benefit of the people of Eastern Kentucky.

2017 Old Fashion Costume Contest winners and participants

Boys 1-2
William Maddox Bryant
Lawson Blevins
Grayson Blevins
Cameron Isaiah Castle - Winner

Boys 3-5
Christopher Isaac Castle - Winner

Boys 10-14
Trevor Burns - Winner
Corbin Tackett

Girls 1-2
Hadli Price -Winner
London Dereka Hannah
Caroline Eden Caudill
Aubrey Baldwin
Emmalynn Baldridge
Brynleigh Harper Endicott

Girls 3-5
Malli Price - Winner
Izabella Fraley
Lillian Owens
Caroline Thornbury
Emalee Meadows

Girls 6-7
Jessica Pennington
Elle Holbrook
Hayley Meadows - Winner

Girls 8-9
Cassie Blanton
Kenzie Castle
Raegan Webb - Winner

Girls Victorian 3-5
Lexi Cantrell -Winner

Poison Oak
Clyde Pack

Isabella’s coat of many colors; a mere moth myth?

Some people call them woolly bears. Some refer to them as hedgehog caterpillars. Most folks in this part of the country, however, simply call them woolly worms and swear by their ability to predict the weather, especially “winter” weather.
Now let’s see if I have this woolly worm thing right. If the little feller wears a light-colored coat, the winter will be generally mild. If he wears black on both ends and brown in the middle, the winter will be cold at the beginning and end, but warm in the middle.
What’s got me worried, however, is the other day while going to my car, I ran across one scurrying across the driveway that was solid black. On top of that, his coat was as thick as my thumb is round. So, if the woolly wormers and the Old Farmer’s Almanac know of what they speak, looks as if it might be cold from start to finish and we’d better break out our old mackinaws and dig out the long johns because we’re in for it.
Anyway, whether or not you buy into any of that woolly worm stuff, a bit of research reveals the “woolly worm” is merely the common name for Pyrrharctia Isabella, the larval (caterpillar) stage of a family of tiger moths. They have thirteen bands of color that supposedly (according to folklorists) correspond with the thirteen weeks of winter from December to March. Scientists, however, (who are generally considered to be pretty smart and usually know what they’re talking about) pretty much agree that there’s not much to the fact that the little worms are really very accurate weather predictors. However, back in the 1950s, a Dr. C. H. Curran, former curator of insects at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, tested the woolly worm’s accuracy and found the fuzzy little guy to be about eighty percent right. In spite of that, though, since no other tests by anybody else could duplicate Dr. Curran’s, it’s still all considered to be nothing more than a myth.
But regardless of whether he can or whether he can’t tell us what to expect as the temperatures begin to drop, the woolly worm is popular enough to have several towns across the country holding festivals in his honor. So if you didn’t have your fill of festival fun last week here at home, you might want to travel over to Beattyville on the last full weekend of this month as they celebrate their woolly worm festival.  They’ve been doing that since 1988.
And if you want to travel a bit further, October also finds woolly worm festivals in Banner Elk, N.C., Lewisburg, Pa. and Vermillion, Ohio. Guess you don’t have to believe in the worm’s powers of predictability to enjoy a bit of fun in their honor just before winter sets in. Not that I necessarily believe all this wooly worm stuff, but I can’t keep from worrying a little, about that solid black, extremely fuzzy one I saw the other day.

Smile Awhile
Technologically challenged

My husband, Ronnie, passed a milestone this past week when my sister, Amanda, gingerly coaxed him into the 21st century by teaching him how to use a computer for personal use.  Gingerly coaxing’ is probably not the correct term, kicking and screaming is probably more accurate, but she made great strides in pushing him forward, technologically speaking.
As a wedding/event videographer for the past 17 years, Ronnie has been using an Apple computer to make videos.  Mostly self-taught, Ronnie quickly learned how to make beautiful, well-transitioned photos into treasured possessions and that is an art.  But using a computer for his personal use was something he demonstratively avoided.
“Just write down the process and I’ll read your directions and learn it when I get home,” Ronnie told Amanda, as he continued watching his TV program.  But Amanda was persistent.
“No,” she said adamantly.  ‘This will only take a minute.  Pay attention!”
For the next 30 minutes, Amanda guided Ronnie through the process of using Word and how to access literally anything via a laptop.
At one point I heard Ronnie ask, “And that’s all you have to do?”
Amanda has probably created a monster because as soon as she showed him how to access the internet and Ronnie realized he could “pull up” any subject he desired he became insatiable.
“Did you know Tesla made Mark Twain poop his pants one time?” Ronnie queried to those of us assembled at “Ronnie’s technology coming out party” in Amanda’s living room.
“Just because you have learned how to access the universe, you don’t have to give us a run-down on trivial knowledge,” Amanda droned.
“But this is amazing” Ronnie exclaimed.  “I’ve got the world at my finger tips.”
Amanda had bought us several computers over the last couple of years and Ronnie (myself included) always resisted the urge to update ourselves on all the new technology that the rest of the world had become accustomed.  But she never gave up and her persistence was finally rewarded.
Amanda has our mother’s demeanor of always reminding you that you are better than you think you are if you simply don’t give up.  She has the ability to make you realize the endless possibilities that exist if you believe in yourself and that’s quite a gift, but since she is 10 years younger than me, taking direction from her has been difficult for this cranky, old lady.  Thankfully Amanda hasn’t given up on me either.
We came to Indianapolis to celebrate my sister, Melinda’s daughter, Mykee’s, 50th birthday party, but we are leaving Indianapolis smarter and wiser thanks to the never-ending support and love of my baby sister.
Have a great week and don’t forget to be grateful for what you have and Smile Awhile!

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