Photoblog: Day 6 of My Trip – Part 3

A couple of pictures I neglected to put on yesterday’s photoblog include one of the Bruckheimer’s farm.  It is difficult to get a picture of their house, so below you will see a photo of the surrounding fields, which includes a barn-like structure in the distance that houses their own private ice-skating rink.

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I also forgot to include a picture of the church I attended with my family in my formative years.  The Bloomfield Church of God was pastored from the 1960s until just a few years ago by Sister Ruby Richardson (she is now 89 and in a nursing home in Bardstown, KY).  This church was my home from the time I entered the second grade until my graduation from high school, and almost everything I learned about God and the Bible until I attended seminary was imparted to me by Sister Ruby and my various Sunday School teachers over the years.  For them and their influence, I thank God.

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Later on Sunday morning I drove to Bardstown, KY, the county seat of Nelson County, of which Bloomfield is a part.  Bardstown is also the home of “My Old Kentucky Home,” about which Stephen Foster penned his famous song.  This is now the official state song of Kentucky and Stephen Foster is part of the fabric of life here.  In fact, Stephen Foster: the Musical is one of America’s longest running outdoor musicals.  Below you will find pictures of Federal Hill (literally “My Old Kentucky Home), the old Nelson County Courthouse (which sits in the middle of the main intersection in Bardstown), and The Old Talbott Tavern (established in the late 1700s).  Bardstown is filled with history and certainly worth a visit if you are in the area.

Federal Hill

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Stephen Foster Pictures

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A Grave Marker at Federal Hill

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Old Nelson County Courthouse (Two Views)

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The Old Talbott Tavern

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Photoblog: Day 6 of My Trip – Part 2

Though I am already back home, having arrived yesterday evening.  I still have some catching up to do when it comes to my recent trip.  Hence this post.

After taking some sunrise pictures on Sunday, I went back to Bloomfield, KY (my hometown where my mom still lives) and took some pictures of the downtown.  Bloomfield currently has about 850 residents (down from 1100 when I graduated from High School in 1979), and so the downtown is not very large.  But Bloomfield does have something unique about it.  About half of the the buildings in downtown are now owned by Jerry Bruckheimer and his wife Linda. And yes, I am talking about that Jerry Bruckheimer:

the mega-successful film and TV producer. Just a sampling of his films include “Top Gun,””Flashdance,””Beverly Hills Cop,””Black Hawk Down” and “Coyote Ugly.” Since 2000, he’s conquered the small screen with the hit TV series about forensics, “C.S.I.,” followed by many related series, plus “Without a Trace” and “Cold Case.” Bruckheimer’s foray into reality television sends couples around the globe in “The Amazing Race.”

While I won’t go into detail about how this happened here (you can read more here and here), a few years ago the Bruckheimers bought an old farm on the outskirts of town and then bought several buildings in town and renovated/restored them for their use.  They have also bought my old Junior High School and are currently using it, I am told, for storage and as a place where they and their Hollywood buddies (like Bruce Willis) can shoot some baskets in the gym when they are in town.

The town has never looked better.  The Bruckheimers have really made a positive contribution to the town, especially with the Olde Bloomfield Meeting Hall, which is a family-style recreation center, where children and their parents can bowl, roller-skate and play pool and pinball.

Below are the pictures I took.

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My Old Junior High School Above.

Photoblog: Day 5 of My Trip

Today began with my saying goodbye to my friend Mark and his wife Jane.  I thank them again for their kindness and hospitality in housing me these past three days.  Mark, however, was quite the pain in his insistence on paying for everything.  Thanks again for that as well Mark, and you’ll get yours if and when you ever come up to Pennsylvania to visit.

An hour later found me outside of St. Elizabeth’s and in front of “The Speckled Bird,” a small cafe owned and operated by two members of the Vineyard Central community.  It reminded me a great deal of Churchill, the coffee shop/cafe in Pottstown, where I serve as a barista about 7 hours a week.  Jill and Jona are the owner/operators, and Jill makes a great caramel macchiatto, even though it’s not officially on the menu.  If you are ever in the Cincinnati area, and particularly Norwood, make sure to stop by.  Their store is pictured below, as are the happy couple. Jill also made the banner which served as the backdrop for our gatherings (and she did it in less than a week!).

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Today I also met several “bloggers” that I have been reading for a while:  Alan Creech, Kyle Potter, and Amy Palmer. It was really good to meet the real live people behind the blogs.  I also attended a breakout session led by Alan Creech on “Liturgy – the Longhaul Life of the Community (more on this later), and I will hopefully be able to attend his house church “Vine and Branches” this Sunday evening in Lexington.

I was also able to get on touch, for the first time in years, with Mark Girard, who was the director of The Wesley Foundation at Eastern Kentucky University while I was a student there. Mark is directly responsible for my entering ministry in the first place, and he gave me my first “paying gig” in ministry during the 1985-86 academic year when I served as Student Assistant Minister at the Foundation. For this, I have D. G. Hollums to thank.  D. G. is a United Methodist pastor of a new church plant called “The Waters,” and he heard me mention Mark’s name in conversation and told me he’d get me Mark’s info, which he did (It seems D. G.’s wife was the youth minister in Mark’s last church).  Anyway, Mark is now a District Superintendent in the Kentucky Conference (a good person to know if I ever want to go back to Kentucky), and I hope to renew my relationship with him in the months to come.

There are a few more sessions today, and we close with dinner together.  I will then drive to my Mom’s house in Bloomfield, KY to stay for a couple of days while I visit her, my brother Kevin and my Dad.  I doubt that I will have access to wireless while there, so my next post may not be until Tuesday – we’ll see.

Until then . . .