• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Library assistant finds ‘welcomed time capsule’ to 1989


NOLAN GREENE, a library assistant, is pictured with a VHS tape he uncovered while helping clean the Woodford County Library’s basement in December. Greene and a friend since sixth grade at St. Leo School, Robert Smith, digitized the videotape of “Kentucky Life in Woodford County,” which was produced by WLEX-TV in 1989. With LEX18’s permission, the library has posted the hour-long video on its Facebook page. (Photo submitted)

Nolan Greene was helping clean up the Woodford County Library’s basement in December when he came across a box of donated VHS tapes, he said. Most of the videotapes were unmarked and probably not worth keeping, but because of his interest in collecting “dead technology,” Greene took a closer look to see if there was anything interesting, he said. That’s when Greene said, “I saw a rather sturdy-looking tape” dated January 1989. “So I opened it up,” he continued, “and the tape looked like it was in pretty good condition ...” Greene called his friend, Robert Smith, who had computer software to digitize the videotape. They watched and then made a digital recording of WLEX-18’s “Kentucky Life in Woodford County.” “It was just a fun little excursion, and I’m making sure to keep my eyes peeled for anything else interesting that’s landed itself in our basement,” said Greene, 22. Being able to see Woodford Countians, including longtime library patron and prolific artist Sammy Cundiff, who died last year, was an enjoyable experience for Greene. He also liked watching the old commercials for businesses that are still going strong like Woodford Feed and others that are now closed, including Cable’s Furniture and Appliances. “It was kind of cool to see how things were the same, but different as small-town living tends to be,” said Greene. Since being posted on the library’s Facebook page Dec. 18, people in the community have also expressed appreciation for the video and an opportunity to look back. “This was a wonderful trip down memory lane for me,” posted Winfrey Adkins. “Nostalgia Station was featured here in its second year of operation, and we just celebrated our thirty-third year this past summer! Thanks for posting this time capsule of Woodford County history!!” “Love all the familiar faces,” posted Woodford County Magistrate (Dist. 4) Kelly Carl. “... Woodford County’s best of the best. “My husband Squirrel included.” Sheriff Loren “Squirrel” Carl talked about the county’s DARE program in his 1989 interview with Sue Wylie for “Kentucky Life in Woodford County” on WLEX-18. Greene, a senior at Northern Michigan University pursuing a degree in environmental studies and sustainability, returned home to Versailles after COVID-19 ended in-person classes. Greene said he began the part-time job helping to clean out the library’s basement to have something to do while taking a break from his studies. Just last week, the 2017 Woodford County High School grad said he found travel guides (also from 1989) for Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, countries that no longer exist. “I was thinking, well, I’ll get in my nearest time machine and see if I can book a ticket,” he said, laughing. With the tough times people are living through now in the midst of a pandemic, Greene described the video taking viewers back to Woodford County in 1989 as “probably, a very welcomed time capsule ... a blast from the past.”


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