Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


April 24, 2013

MARK MAYNARD: Lights! Camera! Ashland!

ASHLAND — The news came out this week that a new television series from AMC network named “Ashland” was in the works and the likely replacement for the popular “Mad Men.”

“Ashland” really is for our Ashland, which happens to be the hometown of creator Allison Anders. She was born here in 1954 although didn’t stay long before moving to Los Angeles with her mother following some troubling times.

So does having an AMC network series named for our town do anything for our branding?

Sure it does.

“Justified,” the popular FX show about the U.S. Marshal service and its fight against the drug demons, has brought some attention to both Harlan and Lexington.

“Justified,” of course, is in today’s timeframe while “Ashland” will be set in the 1940s and 1950s. The advances on the series say it is set during the time of the Red Scare when Hollywood scriptwriters and directors were often banned because of perceived communistic ties. Hundreds of writers, directors and actors were boycotted by studios and blacklisted from working in the United States entertainment industry. That probe happened in 1947.

The story goes that a woman brings her banned screenwriter husband and three children with her to Kentucky after he has been blacklisted in Hollywood. What better place than Ashland, a small Kentucky mining town, to hide the family’s secret?

Did I say small Kentucky mining town?

OK, so Hollywood doesn’t get everything right. In “Justified,” they also travel from Harlan to Lexington like it’s the next city over, so don’t get too worked up about Ashland being a mining town.

Unfortunately, like “Justified,” it’s not likely that “Ashland” will be filmed on location. They haven’t said yet, but it seems highly unlikely to me.

But what if they did? Do we have much from the 1940s and 1950s that is the same today as it was then? Do we have any of those landmark sites that says Ashland in 1940 and today?

The Paramount marquee, Henry Clay Hotel (which houses apartments today) and Central Park (although it has changed a lot) are about all I can think of although there’s probably more.

They could come downtown on a First Friday to get the feel of downtown Ashland in the 1940s. We had angled parking and plenty of activity. They could probably even find a few vintage cars from that era at our First Friday drive-ins while the talented singing duo of Danny Craig and Angy Hall could work up some tunes from that era for them. I’m sure Jeff Carter could play some Big Band numbers, too.

We have actors and directors to offer, if they’re interested. Ohio Southern University has produced some great directors like Isaac Stambaugh, Andrew Heaberlin, Brad Bear and the retired but never-really-retired and creative David Carter. As for actors and actresses, just go to one of those Paramount Player productions like “Wizard of Oz” and prepare to be amazed at the talent we have around here.

For that matter, the newspaper’s own Ken Hart, who has chosen to wear a hat with a press pass in the brim like they did in movies from the 1940s and ‘50s, would be glad to play a cameo role as a reporter (no extra cost for wardrobe). Rick Roberts, an aspiring actor from Paintsville already with some good credits, would be another fantastic choice.

And, lest we forget, our own Ashley Judd only recently purchased her father’s old house in Our Town — and we thought it was for political reasons. Boy, you sure fooled us there, Ash.

Ashley Judd starring in Ashland seems logical to me. I’m sure she could play the wife with no problem. If AMC hasn’t already asked, here’s a tip for them: Ashley already owns a house here and went to high school here. Talk about typecasting!

Seriously, she’s probably not interested, but when the AMC series begins to air, it’s going to be fun watching no matter who is starring. You can count me in as a regular viewer.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.


Text Only
  • Lana Bellamy: Waking up America's youth: 4/18/14

    I once read a quote by a man saying the reason today’s youth do not have the same “spunk” as youth in the past is because they do not have inspiration.

    April 17, 2014

  • Mark Maynard: Let’s just forget about it: 04/17/14

    The older I get, the more forgetful I become. Does that sound familiar?

    April 16, 2014

  • Uncovering forgotten treasures

    You know the big difference between me and a hoarder? I mean, except that you can walk through my house and there are none of the disgusting aspects of hoarding in my life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Political stories worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.

    April 13, 2014

  • 0413timbizcolweb.jpg Tim Preston: Great salmon; finding Dr. Amy; and more Maria: 4/13/14

    It isn’t an especially convenient location unless you happen to be going that way, and if you don’t get there within the next couple of weeks you’ll have to wait until fall to try it out, but I had the best lunch I can remember last week at one of the last places you’d likely think of when pondering where to eat.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restaurant horror stories; garden planning tips

    In my couponing classes, I always had fun with everyone by telling them gross restaurant stories. In encouraging them to eat at home more and save their money, I was also teaching them how much cleaner it is.

    April 12, 2014

  • Feeling happy is ...

    Anyone hoping the Ashland-Huntington area will soon overtake Disney World as “the happiest place on Earth” will be waiting awhile.

    April 10, 2014

  • 0410markcol.jpg Mark Maynard: Brick House (South Ashland Florist) brings in $13K so far: 04/10/14

    Here’s a 14-name salute coming your way:

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cannon: Take this joint, please: 04/09/14

    Some of the things that occurred during our recent week in Jamaica were unexpected and even a bit weird. I suspect those will be the things we will still clearly remember long after the memories of the hours of lying on the beach have faded. I started to mention them in last week’s column, but opted to save them until a later date in the interest of length.

    April 8, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: March Madness, sadness for Cats

    It’s just another game. That’s the message John Calipari preached profusely throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. It’s typical coachspeak, but Cal’s young Kentucky team clung to the step-by-step approach to produce atypical results.

    April 8, 2014