Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Local History in Plain Sight

Abilene High social studies teacher Jay Moore has created a new TV series on Abilene's cable channel 7 called "History in Plain Sight." The first episode aired on Tuesday and will be replayed several times in the next couple of weeks.

Through the generosity of the Dian Graves Owen Foundation and the sponsorship of the Abilene Preservation League, Jay is funded for five programs and hopes to do many more.

Basically, what he hopes to do is take elements from Abilene's past that are still visible today and tell the history of what they stood for and what they say about our heritage and our city today.

His first program focused on the Bankhead Highway, which ran right through the middle of Abilene. It was the first paved transcontinental highway in the U.S. There are still segments of the old highway visible today as well as motels and other business establishments that owe their founding to Bankhead travelers.

My friend Joe Specht, retired librarian at McMurry who has a keen -- some might say fanatical -- interest in the Bankhead, was one of the experts interviewed on camera. Jay Moore narrated the program himself and did a beautiful job. The camera work, the story line, everything about it was first rate. The program ran about 40 minutes.

Probably not too many people saw it because it hasn't received any kind of media attention yet, as far as I know, though surely that will change. I knew about it because Bill Minter of the Abilene Preservation League sent out an e-mail.

Anyway, it will be shown again aat 4 p.m. Saturday, , July 18; 8 p.m. Sunday, July 26; 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, and 8 p.m. Saturday, August 1.

DVD copies are available from Jay Moore for $10 ($11.60 with postage). Contact him at

The second program will focus on the people behind Abilene street names. Stay tuned for air times.