“A monkey? What in the world do you want with a real monkey?”
The look of astonishment on Santa’s face and his tone of voice was comparable to when the Jolly Old Elf told “Ralphie” in the movie The Christmas Story that he couldn’t have a Red Ryder BB gun because he’d shoot his eye out.
A huge crowd enjoyed almost balmy weather at the Celebration of Lights’ 25th anniversary Saturday in downtown Shelbyville.
Visitors enjoyed everything from carriage rides to face painting to yummy treats to sidewalk shopping and train rides, all topped off at 6 p.m. with the lighting of the Christmas tree at Veterans Park and singing by several choirs, including the East Middle School Chorus, which sang the National anthem as members of the Shelby County High School ROTC color guard presented the colors.
A picture of fitness – he jogs, does some weight training, plays golf every weekend – he’s dedicated to a routine and diet that keeps him healthy and in shape.
That focus and routine propelled Ellis, 60, to a banner run in his first Kentucky Senior Games in Murray last month, earning him gold medals in doubles tennis and the 50-, 100- and 400-meter sprints and the long jump. He also added a bronze in singles tennis and silvers in the discus and javelin.
You don't see many homes that display as much family history as the stately old mansion on Cropper Road, where four generations of the Thomas family have lived, and that begins in the spacious foyer where a wooden cradle holds a doll near the winding staircase.
"My father slept here," Ben Allen Thomas III, 92, said, lovingly running his hand over the cradle's dark wood.
A woman of music, a woman of Christ, a woman of community.
Betty Jean Chatham has been described in all these ways by many in Shelby County.
Chatham, who is set to retire after a 60-year musical career of much distinction, with a last concert on Sunday at First Baptist Church in Shelbyville, has been an inspiration to so many people in the community, and not just musically, said former student John Shannon, who was also her assistant director of the longstanding Life Singers choir.
“He was such a special man, so talented; he was more than my mentor – he was my lifelong friend.”
Byron Cutshaw paused as he talked about J. Ernest Threlkeld Jr., a former high school band director in Shelby County, who passed away in Palm Coast, Fla., on Sunday at the age of 74 after a battle with lung cancer.