Dear Oprah: Come to Danville

December 13, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Oprah, come to Danville, my small town.

That's the mantra business owners and students here have repeated for a video that the Boyle County Community Development Council submitted for a special segment of the Oprah show, "Oprah Come to My Small Town!"

The show's Web site says that the afternoon talk show queen is looking for towns with "lots of charm and character." It asks, "What's your small town's claim to fame? What makes it a special place to live? If we paid you a visit what would we see or do? Who would we meet?"

CDC Executive Director Katie Jo Kirkpatrick thinks she has the answers. She wrote a script for the video that describes some of Danville's characters, like the late Eben Henson, founder of Pioneer Playhouse; Helen Fry, Centre's first African American student and historic preservationist and the late Nancy Caudill, who coined the phrase painted on the water tower, "Quite simply the nicest town."


Kirkpatrick talks about the Old Goats coffee club, Title Town and Burke's Bakery. She told Oprah about the time Centre played Harvard, and when the vice-presidential candidates came to town.

Kirkpatrick claims that volunteers are what makes Danville great.

"Volunteers are the lifeblood of our town," she said in the video script. "Without them, Danville could never be what it is today. Young and old, families and retirees volunteer for everything from preserving historic buildings, to putting on major festivals, to replanting flowers in our state park, to mentoring at-risk young people."

Kirkpatrick wrote that Danville is a "great American hometown."

The show says, "If you live in a great small town - you just might get Oprah to drop in on ya!"

It's clear that the idea of Oprah in Danville excites Kirkpatrick, who is an admitted fan.

"I love Oprah," she said.

She also thinks that getting on the show will give the city unique nationwide attention.

The show seems to agree. It's promotion reads, "Send that tape and we just might put your small town on the map!"

The Web site just asks that the tapes be sent ASAP, and there is no indication of when Danville might find out if it needs to roll out the welcome mat for Oprah.

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