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Harlan County announces day to honor Barbara Bailey

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 3:44 PM EDT
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HARLAN CO., Ky. (WKYT) - The story of Barbara Bailey’s life and career is rooted in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky.

Long before she sat at the anchor desk at WKYT, a young Barbara Bailey sat in Marilyn Shraeder’s classroom. Shraeder is the choir director at Harlan Independent.

Long before she sat at the anchor desk at WKYT, a young Barbara Bailey sat in Marilyn Shraeder’s classroom. Shraeder is the choir director at Harlan Independent.
Long before she sat at the anchor desk at WKYT, a young Barbara Bailey sat in Marilyn Shraeder’s classroom. Shraeder is the choir director at Harlan Independent.(WKYT)

“She was very talented and she’s talented on the news too," said Shraeder. "I’m really going to miss her, I had to fuss at her though for retiring before me. I had her as a freshman. I can remember she was a second soprano and she sat right next to my accompanist I sit next to today, Clara Pope.”

“Yes, she was my big sister in the musettes, the all-girls choir,” said Atkins-Pope.

In true little sister fashion, Clara watched her big sister’s every move, whether she knew it or not.

“I even remember seeing her holding hands with her boyfriend one time," said Atkins-Pope. "There was plenty of mischief, but it was all approved mischief that I remember and knew about.”

And, while she may have been the first to look to Barbara as a role model, she was far from the last.

“We all need those people who will teach us the ropes," Atkins-Pope said. "So, to see a hometown girl on the news every day was enormously important for the children of the mountains, to see such a success story.”

"So, to see a hometown girl on the news every day was enormously important for the children of the mountains, to see such a success story.”
"So, to see a hometown girl on the news every day was enormously important for the children of the mountains, to see such a success story.”(WKYT)

AW: What does Barbara mean to this community?

“She’s an icon. She’s just so special because she’s one of ours," Shraeder said. "We’re just so proud of her.”

In honor of Barbara Bailey’s last day on air at WKYT, September 25, 2020, has officially been declared ‘Barbara Bailey Day’ in Harlan County.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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