Speaking of People: LCHS grad is 'Her Royal Excitedness'; Blues back fr 8th of August; thoughts on Robert Crick, David Atkins, Charlie Arnett, Jody Richards
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

     Playing one of the lead roles this month in a play in Nashville is Lori Timberlake Todd. A 1992 graduate of Logan County High School where she was active in speech and drama, Lori has degrees in corporate communication and writing from Austin Peay 
State University. She uses those now to teach seventh and eighth grade writing at a home school tutorial, She also owns her own home-based travel discount company.
     She and her husband James live in the Nashville area along with their two young children. Occupying her mind and time lately is her role as Queen Morgana in the Oracle Productions presentation of Mirror, Mirror the first two weekends in August.
     ""She's dynamic in the sense that she changes from the beginning to the end, and has a full range of emotions," Todd told The Tennessean  newspaper for a drama review recentlty. "She's a little deeper than a typical queen, and we get to see what's behind all of the pain she's in. We're a series of ourselves. We're not just who we were at 6, or who we were at 14, or even who we are at 50. Our experiences shape who we are, but our responses 
to those experiences shape who we are, too. We really create the life we lead."
     Pretty deep stuff, huh? Yet in reading her Facebook posts, I find Lori Timberlake (Todd) to be the same bubbly young lady who was so refreshing to have in class at LCHS. She even satarizes herself with a Facebook page labeled "Her Royal Excitedness."
     That kind of enthusiasm plus a natural beauty helped earn her the role of Sonic National Carhop during her college days. She held that title for two years and was seen in a number of Sonic Drive-In national advertisements. Before the Russellville Sonic moved to its larger and more modern location, a plaque honoring her could be found at its original site where The Harvest is now located. She was indeed a Sonic carhop here.
     Being in Mirror, Mirror is even more fun for her since her five-year-old son Judah is also in the cast. "Oracle Productions is a theater company that I've been working with for the past four years. I saw one of their shows when we got back from Africa and LOVED it, so when Judah turned a year old, I auditioned and started doing theater again (after 10 years!) Scott Crain of Oracle produces all original plays, written from a Christian world-view. He directs all the shows and often stars in them, too. Quite a talented fellow. Mirror, Mirror happens to be a fairy tale loosely based on the story of Snow White, set in Camelot, with an appearance by King Arthur. I play Queen Morgana, also known as Morgan le Fay, who is one of the leads. Judah plays a little boy named Brody who sits at the feet of a man named Graybeard, who narrates the story. He actually has two lines-- this is his first stage production and our first play together!" she tells The LoJo, and you can almost hear her bubble.
     Mirror, Mirror was presented three nights last weekend and will run this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. daily in the Shamblin Theatre on the campus of Lipscomb University on the Lipscomb University campus on Granny White Pike near Green Hills.
     You can contact her parents, Steve and Debbie Timberlake of Lewisburg, for ticket details.
The LoJo
      The third installment of the Mary Ann Fisher 2009 Summer Concert Series will be held this Friday at the Western Kentucky African American Museums at the corner of Sixth and Morgan streets in Russellville. The Walnut Street Blues Band, one of Louisville's most well-known family Rhythem and Blues bands, will perform. The Wells family members were friends of peers of the late Mary Ann Fisher, a one-time Russellvillian who was a major force in the national blues scene.
      The Russellville Blues Society will produce the concert, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Concert-goers and vendors are always gathered long before that, which will especially be true this weekend as the 8th of August celebration opens.
      The Heritage Farm Market will begin about 11 a.m. in the same spot Friday. Turner Valley Produce is always there, as is the delicious grilling wagon of Fish and Nannie Covington.
      Michael Gough, the guiding force and often featured entertainer in Russellville Blues Society performances, will be on the road the 8th of August, at least during Saturday night's gatherings. He and his band will be performing in Bowling Green at Ellis Place, 700 State Street. The Michael Gough Group will include Grammy Award winner Curtis Burch along with John Martin and Ed Danserau.
      Tickets are $10.and RSVP seating is available. The contact numbers are 320-4232 or 202-8065.
      Last Friday, Michael went to Greenville "to jam" with long-time Muhlenberg County musician, historian and folklorist Bobby Baldwin at Rockford's Place. Michael said it had been 29 years since he and Baldwin last played together.
The LoJo
      It's easy for us to tell when the Russellville schools are back in session. For the 22nd straight year, Robert Crick has reappeared at Crittenden Drive Church of Christ after having been gone for the summer. He teaches language arts at RHS.
      My guess is that when he first came here, Robert probably just considered it a stopover in his educational and literary journey. Now he's just six years away from retirement.
      The same is true for another Crittenden Driver, David Atkins, who is entering his 26th year in the math department at Logan County High School. He didn't think of this as his permanent home when he appeared here in the fall of 1984, fresh out of Murray State University. Now when he goes back to his hometown of Palmersville, Tenn., it's as a visitor, not an interim absentee.
      My guess is when they retire from high school teaching that David will teach somewhere else, either in Tennessee or in college while Robert will work on writing the Great American Novel.
      Speaking of Crittenden Drive and Murray, funeral services were held in that city Sunday for Charles Arnett, a 95-year-old preacher and farmer. He and his wife of 74 years Ruby and their family lived for many years in Logan County. Their sons Richard and John lived here at times as adults, and granddaughters Samantha Arnett and Johnna Arnett are alumni of the local high schools.
      The Arnetts were close to my parents. He read scripture at both their funerals. He baptized me over half a century ago. When Mother wrote a history of Logan County churches of Christ in 1986, his name appeared among the ministers of many of the congregations.
      They played another big role in our lives. My dad found his farming operation landlocked on a couple of hundred acres my parents owned. When my great uncle  died in Todd County, they bought his farm at auction. We were going to move to there when I was 10 years old. That would have changed my life enormously, including my long association with Logan County news and sports. I guess whether that would have been a good or bad thing is in the eye of the beholder, or in this case the reader.
      Eugene Nourse, an officer of the Citizens National Bank, owned the land across the road from us. He said, "James, if I sell you that land, will you stay here?" My parents agreed, if they could sell the land at Pembroke. It was Charlie and Ruby Arnett who purchased it.
      The land my family bought from Mr. Nourse 53 years ago is now the grounds of Logan County High School, Belle Vue Acres subdivision, and the Turner Valley Produce pumpkin patch.
The LoJo
      Applause to the Board of Regents of Western Kentucky University for approval of an honorary doctorate to State Representative  Jody Richards, who served as Speaker of the House (14 years) longer than anyone else in the history of the Commonwealth. A former WKU journalism teacher, he has been in the House  since 1976.
      Richards is a champion in Frankfort for WKU, President Gary Ransdell said, and was instrumental in getting legislation passed by the General Assembly to create the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky at WKU.
      Before beooming Speaker of the House, Richards was chairman of the House Education Committee. That was while I was teaching at LCHS, and I recall his getting some pretty important benefits for teachers passed. It was disappointing that the Kentucky Education Association didn't support his bids for governor.
      Jody Richards has significant ties to Logan County. His "Uncle Bob" was Robert E. Stevension, the long-time superintendent of the city schools for whom Stevenson Elementary School was named. His brother, Jim Richards,coached at Auburn High School before directing Glasgow to the KHSAA state basketball championship and then becoming head coach at WKU.

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