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History is coming alive, radio program produced by SKCTC staff is triumph

A ground-breaking program billed as History Alive is booming across the radio airwaves of southeastern Kentucky. Produced by Phyllis Sizemore, curator of the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum located at Benham and by Therese Osborne, the Appalachian Program facilitator for Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, the program airs weekly over WCPM-AM in Cumberland and alternate weeks on the Appalshop station WMMT-FM in Whitesburg. Each show is broadcast for two consecutive weeks and is a half hour in duration.

Our mission, according to Osborne, is to first or all celebrate and learn more about our areas rich history and the people who shaped it and participated in it. We want to do our very best to get the everyday persons views or events and history of the area. We also want to promote the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum and the colleges Appalachian Program and to promote its achieves collection, she said.

History Alive is now in its fifth year and Sizemore noted that on-air guests have included many interesting folks who were raised in the area and have moved away, but still have a connection with the place; as well as people who live and work in the region and people who have interesting talents or projects that involve the area. Its an inspired tapestry we try to weave and to make the show fun, educational and thought-provoking, she said. All of these people we have featured on the show have contributed to making history come alive and making the show a success.

Osborne mentioned how the show has been lucky in attracting interesting people while giving them a voice. We love to find people who are enthusiastic and talkative; sometimes we cant get the entire interview done in just a half hour so we often divide the interviews and make it a two or three-part show. Those are always very interesting.

The origin of the show is credited to Sizemore who, along with Osborne, are continuously looking for people to be interviewed and to tell their stories. Ever since I came to Harlan County over 20 years ago I have been listening to the stories of the happenings and to the people of the area and they have always fascinated me, said Osborne. History Alive, our program, has been one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. I am grateful for Phyllis coming up with the idea. Its just plain fun!

The show, constantly lively and fun according to the duo, is almost always good for a few laughs. Many times we will be in the middle of an interview and we will have a real good chuckle, noted Osborne. We love doing the show. Lets only hope that listeners enjoy tuning in as much as we enjoy producing it.

Those interested in being interviewed for the program are urged to contact Osborne at the Southeast campus in Cumberland by phoning 606-589-3136 or 589-2145.

Phyllis Sizemore, left, and Theresa Osborne, center, recently interviewed Susan Brown, the environmental education director at Pine Mountain Settlement School, during a segment of the popular radio program History Alive.

(Photo by Chris Jones)

Raido Taping at Museum