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Crazy About Cars

Barnetts to be honored at Oldham County Historical Society Gala

New Dahlgren Barn to be unveiled at June 22 event

LA GRANGE, Ky. (June 2018) – Joyce and Barney Barnett have been a team for life. This makes them the perfect choice for this year’s Oldham County Champion of History Award. This honor will be presented to the couple during the Oldham County Historical Society’s 17th annual Gala.
Joyce (Wood) Barnett was born and grew up on a farm in Oldham County and attended Liberty Elementary. “I loved growing up in Oldham County,” she said. It wasn’t until years later that her and Barney would have their first, and for a while their only date, in high school.
“We went to a football game together on a double-date, but it did not go so well,” Joyce recalled. They gave it another try and have been married for 54 years.

Photo by Helen E. McKinney

The new Dahlgren Pioneer Barn will be open for visitors at the upcoming Gala.

Joyce worked for the Oldham County Board of Education as a teacher’s assistant at La Grange Elementary for 26 years.
Barney, born Beldon Foster Barnett, was raised in La Grange. His father was a milkman and Barney would often deliver milk before going to school – all for $25 a month!
Growing up in Oldham County, one of his best memories is of the county fair, full of horse shows, tractor and horse pulls and lots of food. Joyce remembers going to ballgames and the county fair as well.
The era they grew up in is the theme for this year’s Gala. “Pillow Talk” Pajama Party will be held from 6:30-10:30 p.m. Friday, June 22, on the History Center grounds and adjacent parking lot.
A reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. with appetizers, and dinner will follow at 7:30 p.m. with open bar provided by Masterson’s Catering. A wine bar will be available from The Little Kentucky River Winery. A silent and live auction will follow dinner.
Anyone wanting to get into the theme of things is welcome to dress “Pajama Chic.” The idea for the theme came from the 1959 Oscar winning romantic comedy, “Pillow Talk.”
The movie told the story of Jan Marrow (Doris Day), an interior decorator, and Brad Allen (Rock Hudson), a womanizing composer and bachelor.  Trouble starts when they both share a telephone party line.
The two fall in love, and Allen’s scheme works until his mutual friend and Jan’s client, Jonathan Forbes (Tony Randall), finds out about it. A love triangle ensues.
The title song for “Pillow Talk” was written by La Grange native Buddy Pepper. Pepper was born Jack Retherford Starkey in La Grange on April 21, 1922.
Pepper became a well-known Hollywood composer and an accompanist for Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, Jane Russell, Gordon MacRae, Lisa Kirk, Margaret Whiting, Jack Smith and Ginny Simms. He is the writer of such songs as “Viya con Dios” (recorded in more than 500 versions), “Ol’ Saint Nicholas” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.”
The Barnetts will be presented with the J. Chilton Barnett Champions of Oldham County History Award. The Barnetts have volunteered in many ways for the History Center, most notably last year when they helped organize a street dance and donated the proceeds, and gave a portion of proceeds from the 2017 Barney’s Auto Fest to the History Center. 
Most people who know Barney know that he has always been fascinated with cars. He took a job working at Jigs Nay’s Standard Oil filling station when he was 14 or 15. He joined the La Grange police force in 1967. He spent his off time doing what he liked best – drag racing.
Eventually, he opened his own auto parts store, working his way up to owning three stores, which he sold in 2002-2003. Bored with retirement, he rounded up former members of the Quads’ Rods & Custom Club to become a club once more and share their interests. The club had disbanded in 1959.
An avid car collector, Barnett has several custom cars he has collected over the years: a 1944 Coupe, 1964 Corvette, 1969 Corvette and a 1975 Corvette, just to name a few.
This year’s Gala will also show off the newly constructed Dahlgren Pioneer Barn. This space will be used for demonstrations and contains a hearth and bread oven for colonial cooking. This project is one of many recent upgrades to the History Center as part of a $2 million renovation for the past several years. Funding is still being sought to complete this project.

• Tickets are still available for the Gala at $150 per person, or $1,200 for a table for eight. Reservations must be made by June 15. To make reservations call (502) 222-0826.

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