(November 2003) Showing your school spirit is a commonly heard
refrain each year around fall football season, but Bob and Joann Hoskins
of Bedford, Ky., and Harold and Barbara Stethen of Carrollton, Ky.,
this year took it to a new level.
by Don Ward
Hoskins' barn on Hwy. 42.
The two families volunteered to have the sides of their barns painted
to promote University of Kentucky sports. The UK-Go Big Blue
designs now adorn their barns, which each sit strategically along
Hwy. 42 in their respective counties.
They were two of eight barns and silos so painted in the last few
months as part of a statewide program, called Barn-Storming
Cats, launched by the UK athletic department, according to UK
Athletics assistant marketing director Kristen Branscum.
When the signs first went up, a lot of people would honk their
horns as they drove by, said Barbara Stethen, whose son, Mike,
and daughter-in-law, Angela, are UK graduates.
The Stethens responded to a story they saw in a local newspaper about
the UK program to get their barn in the program. Branscum said she
was driving to see a different barn in Trimble County when she passed
the Hoskins barn, which sits practically on the highway about
four miles south of Bedford. When the first Trimble family opted not
to participate, Branscum left a letter on the Hoskins doorstep
asking if they would be interested.
courtesy of UK
and Barbara Stethen & family at UK.
I called her back and agreed to do it. I think it looks pretty
good for an old barn, said Bob Hoskins, whose oldest son, Bobby,
earned a masters degree at UK.
One of his daughters, Laurel, however, works for the University of
Louisville. I dont think (UK) wants us to promote that,
The barns are being painted by noted sign artist Jack Prather, whose
company, Econo Signs, is based in Nicholasville, Ky. Prather is known
for his country music star portraits on billboards around Lexington
for a radio stations ad campaign.
Hell likely paint all the barns for UK, Branscum said. Hes
already got the pattern down, now, she said.
The school plans to paint only one barn per county, in hopes of doing
one in all 120 Kentucky counties. Other counties completed this year
were Russell, Scott, Owsley, Morgan, Boyle and Bracken.
There was no cost involved to the families, and UK pledges to maintain
the barns in the years ahead, with touch-ups, when necessary. As an
added perk, the families have been invited to attend a UK football
and basketball game this season as guests of the university, complete
with autographed footballs and basketballs, and dinner on UK.
The Stethens were recognized at halftime of the Oct. 18 homecoming
football game; the Hoskins were recognized at halftime of the Oct.
25 football game.
For more information on the program, including all barn
photos, visit: www.ukathletics.com.