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Discoveries America: Kentucky Review by Cindy West

Bennett-Watt HD Productions
13021 244th Ave SE
Issaquah, WA 98027

One hour in length, the Discoveries America: Kentucky DVD takes you on a peaceful, beautiful, and informative tour of several notable places in the state of Kentucky. A narrator guides you throughout the entire DVD as you make stops to talk with tour guides, business owners, and other Kentucky citizens.

The journey begins with an actual tour of Carter Caves in Carter County, with a tour guide speaking to you as he leads a group through the cave. The next stop is an interview with Mitchell Tolle, an artist who displays and sells his watercolor paintings at the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea. He tells you about the importance arts and crafts have held and still hold in the roots of Kentucky's history.

At Keeneland in Lexington, you learn about the thoroughbred horse auctions and the important economic role they play in the community. It's amazing to learn that some of these horses can be sold for nearly $5,000,000! You move on to Churchill Downs in Louisville and go behind the scenes of preparing the horses on race day. Then begin to understand the monetary impact one winner of the Kentucky Derby has on its owner.

Stay in Louisville and visit the Louisville Slugger museum and factory. Your baseball fans will learn about Babe Ruth's bat and watch in the factory as bats are made. Just a bit south of Louisville leads you to the Woodford Reserve Bourbon Distillery in Woodford County. Whether we Kentuckians like it or not, bourbon production plays a huge role in the history of Kentucky, and many bourbon distilleries still operate in our state today. The tour of the distillery is quite informative and interesting.

Back in Berea, you visit the campus of Berea College. Its history from the 1800s includes the fact that the college was specifically started to integrate women, African Americans, and the poor from Appalachian areas into a successful college system. Their tuition is and always has been free. Students work in the community or in several college-led classes to "pay off" their education. Many of the students develop into master craftsmen, and Berea is known for the superb crafts one can find there.

Your last stop is the city of Lexington, where you see a few sights, visit the farmer's market, and hear some residents speak about their city. Intermingled into the DVD between stops are a few facts about things such as presidential birthplaces and natural landforms.

While certainly not covering all of Kentucky, or even a smidgen of the wonderful points of interest, the DVD has covered each of its topics quite well. In about ten minutes each, with beautiful camera work and intelligent interviews, the segments teach you quite a bit about the points of interest. By no means would I say you know all about Kentucky after having watched the DVD, though.

My children enjoyed watching the DVD and learning information about their state. Done in they style of a PBS documentary, this DVD is most appropriate for older children and adults.

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2010