• Strike while the iron is hot

    According to Pat Broadus, the Forge of July is one of the few places where everyone is both a teacher and a student.

    “Everybody here is a clinician,” he said. “There’s something for every skill level.”

  • A model Model T

    Gene Dukes has been working with his hands all his life, but he did not create one of his crown achievements until after he retired.

    The pristine 1927 Ford Model T that sits in his workshop today didn’t always look that way. When he first got ahold of the car, it looked vastly different.

    “A really good friend of mine called me and said that they had sold their house,” Dukes said. “His wife had gotten [the Model T] for him for his birthday, and now they didn’t have a place to put it.”

  • More than just a hobbyhorse

    Jeremy Harrell had tried a number of options to readjust to civilian life after serving in the military, but working with horses changed everything.

    “I’m a combat veteran from Iraq, and I’ve been through traditional therapy modalities for years,” he said. “This is the only thing that’s really helped me.”

  • Riding for his cause

    For many years, Jeffrey Bracken thought he was just clumsy. He’d walk into door frames and excuse it as not paying attention, or he’d brush off his driving mishaps as just being a bad driver.

    “My wife kept saying ‘Jeff, there’s something wrong,’ but I just kept putting it off,” said Bracken, a history teacher at Shelby County High School.

  • A boggy Bagdad Day

    Winners of the Bagdad Day pageants included the following:

    Baby Miss Bagdad Day – Bentley McNew

    Baby Mister Bagdad Day – Barrett Pennington

    Toddler Miss Bagdad Day – Adaline Frederick

    Toddler Mister Bagdad Day – Daniel Jeremiah Allen

    Wee Miss Bagdad Day – Payton Hart

    Wee Mister Bagdad Day – Kennith Cunningham

    Tiny Miss Bagdad Day – Jolynn Joyce Lecompte

    Tiny Mister Bagdad Day –  Mason Chadwell

  • Beauty and fashions

    Her eyes wide with wonder, one year-old Addie Parisek gave serious attention to her matching pink pacifier as she regarded the large crowd watching her as she strutted her stuff as the youngest model in the 2018 Spring Fashion Show Thursday.
    Sheila Fawbush, extension agent for families and consumer science, smiled as she glanced around the large room at the Shelby County Extension Office during the show’s intermission, packed with nearly 100 people.
    “We were really pleased with the turnout, considering the snow yesterday,” she said.

  • Loving the Hungry

    The aura that surrounded a huge crowd smiling and laughing while busily loading items into boxes Saturday seemed more like a party than a charitable event.

    That’s because the more than two hundred volunteers who came together to pack enough food to feed 53,000 people for a week really enjoyed helping the less fortunate, said Jason Haggard, outreach and missions pastor at Shelby Christian.

    “They are all very dedicated,” he said, watching them scurrying around the huge gym at Shelby Christian Church on Franklin Road.

  • Blanketed in love

    With winter winds still nipping at the backs of Shelby’s homeless; the gift of a warm blanket could mean the difference between life and death when you’re sleeping under a bridge or in a vacant house.

    When 20 students from Corpus Christi Classical Academy made the rounds of three different charitable organizations with hundreds of blankets to donate for the use of those in the county’s shelters, their generosity warmed the hearts of those who help to clothe and house the homeless.

  • Sweet treat

    Doug and Ruth Welch love eating maple syrup – they eat it on, well, just about anything.

    "I don't eat it as much as I'd like to, but I put it on just about everything," Doug Welch said with a sheepish grin as he checked the thermostat on part of his maple syrup collection system on his farm in eastern Shelby County.

    The evaporator, complete with a cast iron door that he opens to throw in a couple more logs, sits next to a huge pile of neatly stacked firewood that lines one entire wall of what he affectionately calls his sugar shack.

  • Produce-ing a helping hand

    Lucas, 9, Ruby Ann, 2, Mac, 5 and Elly, 7, Courtney, the children of Mary and Shane Courtney, raced around a vegetable stand on Vigo Road in Bagdad Monday like a group of rodeo clowns wrangling a bull back into its pen.

    The kids were serving customers at their produce stand put together to support two of their friends diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.

    "We've actually done better than I thought we would," said Lucas, as he bagged some vegetables for a customer, adding that they have raised $1,000 so far.