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Annual Giles celebration enjoyed by many

By Linda Waggener
The Giles' cabin at Spout Springs was surrounded by people enjoying themselves at the 5th annual Arts and Crafts Fair last weekend. The fall event has become a popular one for book lovers and those who enjoy a chance to come together to appreciate the gifts left to us by author Janice Holt Giles and her author/craftsman husband, Henry Giles.

A historical marker in the wooded hills outside Knifley directs you to turn down a little drive and cross the brook to get to Janice and Henry Giles' famous cabin. Then the drive opens up to an impressive lily-edged fish pond in front of the long log house.

When I look at that pond I hear Henry recounting how a fellow once dropped by for a visit, surveyed the rustic home and fishing pond, sighed and said, "You are one lucky man."

"I told him, luck hell!" Henry boomed, "I planned and built every inch of this."

Henry and Janice Holt Giles loved to have company, sharing their Knifley home and discussions about politics, world events, writing and reading. Back in the '70s, my husband Ed and and his cousin Pete Walker would go to Spout Springs occasionally to discuss politics with Henry, so Pete's wife Edith and I would go along to talk of books and writing with Janice.

They were delightful hosts, and I can't help but think how glad they'd be to see all this company stopping by now to enjoy the home and grounds they so proudly built and shared during their lifetimes.

They would smile at authors signing books in the living room by the beautifully restored fireplace, and they would enjoy seeing friends show off all the food lined up along the counters of the kitchen cabinets that Henry built. And they would love being among the guests under the big trees on a crisp, sunny fall day tapping their toes to the gospel, country and bluegrass music coming from the front porch.

Henry would have noted how Saturday was a perfect fall day for the celebration. The temperature under a mostly sunny sky required only a light jacket or sweat shirt. Leaf edges were just beginning to blaze on maple, locust, paw paw, beech, poplar, persimmon and oak trees, which released one or two at a time to float on gentle breezes to the surface of his lily pond.

Everything in the arts and crafts booths is Kentucky hand made. Anyone who needs more information about next years event can call Beverly England at 270-384-5906, or any board member.

Henrys wood shop, affectionately called the Becky House has been added on to, and will be the future home of a writer in residence who will live there year round. Janice and Henry would like that too.

This story was posted on 2003-10-06 07:59:08
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Working at the Giles celebration

2003-10-06 - Knifley, KY - Photo Ed Waggener. JUSTIN WILSON REINCARNATED? No. Even better. Head Chef Charles Sparks, a member of the Giles Foundation board; Chris Watts, in real life, leading Adair County farmer and Adair school board member; and Adair County Magistrate and Green River Cattle Company cattleman Joe Rogers were in charge of the grill at the foundation's food line at the Saturday, October 4, 2003 Janice Holt Giles Arts and Craft Fair. The trio offered the chicken breast sandwiches and hamburgers made from Green River Cattle Company ground beef.
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