Changes visible after month away; community loses a treasure with Salyers’ death

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I go away for one month and when I get home there are huge silos in Prestonville. I mentioned it to some folks and they didn’t even know about these new structures, but I ran into Judge Tomlinson Friday and he said it’s something to do with grains.  Then I heard soybeans from someone else. So I guess they are grains? I thought they were legumes, but I’m shaky on my agrarian terms.

The RV campground on the Kentucky River bank progressed quite a bit while I was out of town. All the years I have lived in Carrollton—about 30 now—folks have talked about doing something with our beautiful water front. Mayor Charlie Webster got the pavilion built, and I think Mayor Bill Welty the picnic  shelter, and I’m not sure, but maybe Mayor Louden the second shelter and the skateboard park. Little by little, these improvements have been made but Mayor McMurry’s boldness in pushing for this big project and others to come is the most exciting yet.

Do you remember all of the events that have benefitted from having facilities at the park? The Point in Time was presented during the month of July for several years and told the stories of some of the settlers in this area. Different bands have played for audiences over the years. The spectacular Senior Event uses the pavilion each year. 

One of my favorites over the last two decades has been Blues to the Point. Some internationally known blues stars have performed right at the confluence of the two rivers here in our town. My best memory was taking KoKo Taylor to the airport in Louisville after her Saturday night performance, listening to all her stories, pushing her in a wheelchair to the departure gate, and hearing people ask “Is that KoKo Taylor?” (Maybe they knew because she had given me a bright red t-shirt with her name on it that I wore proudly!)

These memories came to me most poignantly as I read back issues of The News-Democrat and learned of the death of Kathryn Salyers. Miss Salyers was my go-to person when I had a genealogy question at the library. Always helpful with me and folks who had often traveled great distances to research their family histories, she was an inspiration for the local history room at the recently renovated and expanded library.  She was an invaluable resource when Kevin Stonerock was writing the scripts for our Chautauqua style presentation of The Point in Time.

He wrote to me upon learning of her passing.  “At first I believe Kathryn was skeptical about The Point in Time, but she soon became one of the series’ staunchest and most enthusiastic supporters. Although she had no formal training of which I am aware, she was a consummate and precise historian. Her ‘no bull’ attitude didn’t allow her to be anything but honest about the past (or anything else for that matter) and no one knew more about Carrollton than did Kathryn.  Her contributions to the series cannot be overstated and many of her ideas and suggestions found their way into story lines.  I feel extremely honored and blessed to have known this wonderful lady.”

Wish me luck. After three years of not having a dog, I am about to foster one of the pups saved by the Carroll County Animal Support Group. I have written of this group of hard workers led by Tammie Crawford and Sherry Stamper before, but words cannot express my admiration for all the men and women who work so hard to rescue and find forever homes for abandoned cats and dogs. 

Many people in the county have chipped in to help with vet expenses and food. The banks and the staff of the hospital contributed mightily with their competitive battles. The fiscal court has agreed to contribute $25 for each dog taken from the shelter.  And during the month of October Kinman Chevrolet and Floyd Ford contributed $25 for each car or truck sold. It’s just me, but I would like to say a big thank you for the generosity of you all.

So my two cats have been put on notice that this is their last night as only pets and I have a new leash and doggie bed. I hope I’m ready.


Jarrett Boyd is the retired director of Carroll County Public Library and resides in Carrollton, Ky.