• I have listed below a few remarks that stand out in my memory of service in the regular U.S. Marine Corps from 1937 to 1967, in the ranks of second lieutenant through brigadier general.  They appear in chronological order:


    “Give it to 'em boys; give 'em what General Cheatham says!”

    Bishop-General Leonidas Polk at the Battle of Perryville (1862), conscious of his role as an Episcopal bishop, after Maj. Gen. Cheatham had shouted to his troops, “Give ‘em hell, boys.”

  • A man deeply experienced in managing parks at the state level has been chosen by the Shelby County Parks Board to lead the county’s facilities.

    After a 2-month search among 17 candidates, parks board chair Hubie Pollett on Tuesday night introduced Shawn Pickens, 33, a regional parks director for the Kentucky Department of Parks in Frankfort, as the county’s new parks chief, replacing Clay Cottongim, who retired in December after 38 years.

  • All over Shelbyville on Wednesday, people were texting each other, calling, and rejoicing when the news broke around 3 p.m. that a new pope finally had been selected.

    When newly elected Pope Francis appeared on television before a huge crowd in St. Peter’s Square in Rome and asked for his congregation’s prayers, a Shelby County priest said he was overcome with emotion.

  • Clustered around Allen Purnell, a group of employees all answered at once when asked what they thought of their boss.

    "He's gooo-od!" they chorused in unison as Purnell grinned the same easy-going grin he has made famous in his popular television commercials.

    The group gaffawed when asked if they liked sausage.

    "Sure do," said Robert Purnell, the youngest of the Purnell men who work at F.B. Purnell Sausage in Simpsonville.

    "Well, he better," someone else said, amid more laughter.

  • Have you ever seen a film that’s romantic but not sappy, humorous but not slapstick, with religious overtones but not spouting fire and brimstone?

    That might be a way to describe Pieces of Easter, a spiritual movie created and filmed in Shelbyville, Simpsonville, Finchville, Oldham and Jefferson counties and in Indiana that hits theaters today.

  • Hundreds flocked to a Black History event Feb. 10 at Stratton Center, but as far as bringing that history out for people to study, there is still much work to be done.

  • Sitting at ease in his Shelbyville home, retired Shelby County High School teacher and coach Roland Dale, or "Coach Dale" as he's known to former students and athletes, shares his own history and some thoughts on the history of the county's black community; how it was, how it is now, how it ought to be, and his family's part in it all....

  • Today we conclude a list of prominent individuals who each have been discussed in 100 previous columns.

    Each has contributed in his or her own way to the development of Shelby County, but this is not to be seen as a compilation of all the important – or the most important – contributors.

    Shelby County has been around nearly 221 years, and this is simply an alphabetical skimming of those who made it what it is today – which includes how it became my home.


    McMakin, Major Ben (1912-1945)

  • A Shelby County family is proud that feathers from their pet peacocks will be donated to charity, with a little help from a friend.

    Feathers from “Opal,” “Junior” and “Petie” have been incorporated into a child’s Halloween costume that will be auctioned off Saturday night at the annual fundraiser for the Shelbyville Rotary Club.

  • Writers hate it when they miss an opportunity to write a timely story, and that is what happened to me last fall. I had done some research on the 100th anniversary of the opening of Lincoln Institute in October 1912, and planned to write a story about it. However, in the midst of selling one book, nudging a literary agent along on a second and writing a third, I dropped the ball.

  • The African-American community has a rich history in Shelby County, but it’s often difficult to uncover. This also makes that history difficult to appreciate.

    “Many of our stories come out when we’re sitting around talking with our parents and grandparents,” says Sanda Jones, a member of the Shelby County Historical Society. “Most of the time, our history wasn’t written down because it didn’t seem like something to write about. It’s just how it was. We lived the way we lived.”

  • This is the 100th column that I have written for The Sentinel-News during the past six years, and during that time I have introduced readers to a long list of characters in Shelby County’s history.

    I thought it might be an appropriate time to look back over that list and revisit those individuals’ contributions to Shelby County’s development in the past 221 years.

  • Could you imagine an earthquake so powerful it could make the mighty Mississippi River to flow backward?

    Pat Murphy said he can.

    Murphy even has been fishing at Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee, the body of water created by that quake in 1812.

    “It’s a strange looking lake, and you can drive along the highway near the lake and see the upheaval that it [the earthquake] caused,” Murphy said.

  • A new specialty plate that will be on sale Monday promotes family values and even carries the national motto.

    But the ROCK Cares, In God We Trust special plate, with its American flag and patriotic red, white and blue colors, should not be confused with the Unbridled Spirit In God We Trust plate that was released by the Transportation Cabinet in 2011.

  • “If you’re good, you’ll come off the stage sweating!”

    That’s how Cook Farmer, a Shelbyville resident of 8 years, views his avocation of acting in community theater, a “hobby” he said he has pursued since he was a lad of 12 years old.

    Now, 48 years later, having performed in “so many plays I can’t remember them all,” he is preparing for his latest role in Harvey at the Shelby County Community Theatre.

  • It seems timely to return from the wars and focus once again on Shelby County.

    I have reviewed my 6 years of columns, almost 100, in The Sentinel-News, and picked out a few local individuals who have stuck out in the history and development of Shelby County.

    This is not a listing of the all the prominent individuals in our county’s history, although many are included. It is merely a selection from those about whom I have written and whose contributions have made a difference.

  • Tired but happy and still relishing the excitement of taking part in an event that will be forever recorded in both the history books and in their hearts, a bus load of Kentuckians headed home Monday night from Washington D.C., where they attended the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.

    The charter’s 40 passengers included about 10 people from Shelby County who had journeyed to the nation’s capitol to attend the festivities, an experience some of them said they would never forget.

  • Shelby County School Board member Brenda Jackson said she was ready to applaud the student who was going to be recognized by the state for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Citizenship Award.

    “And then I realized that he [Superintendent James Neihof] was talking about me,” she said of a moment during a recent meeting. “It was really kind of funny, I was ready to clap for the student.”

  • One way to improve or maintain your health is to eat right. Here are some tips on eating from the American Chiropractic Association:

  • You can count this accomplishment in many ways: 178 days, 2,184 miles, 25 bears, 8 rattlesnakes, 2 copperheads, 1 porcupine, and one monumental feeling were some of the things Dustin Abild covered, discovered and gained when he completed his hike along the Appalachian Trail last fall.

    Starting out April 17 from Springer Mountain in northern Georgia, Abild journeyed on foot across 14 states, finishing Oct.11 on Mount Katahdin in northern Maine – a trek that took him just shy of 6 months.