Since this issue of NKY Magazine includes a special “Where are they now?” feature about famous Northern Kentuckians, I thought it might be fun to mention a few more you may or may not know about.

Jeanne Goetz Kennedy shared with me that Blessed Sacrament in Ft. Mitchell has some former students who found celebrity: Fredda (Freddie) Simpson, who was in the movie A League of Their Own, Angie Schworer who appeared on Broadway, and George Clooney—well, you know about him! The Clooney family includes several of everybody’s favorites. Nick and Nina still live in Augusta.

Jim Fussinger remembered that Freddie Simpson was also an LA Gear model and was in a TV show with Hulk Hogan that didn’t quite take off. He also remembered that Katie Sweet, a child actress who appeared on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Make Room for Daddy, Bonanza, and many others, was born in Covington and attended Turkeyfoot Middle School. And that Skeeter Davis went to Dixie Heights.

Remember country music legend Kenny Price, also of Hee Haw fame? He grew up in Florence and is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Erlanger.

Some others: Haven Gillespie who wrote “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” was born in Covington; famous artist Frank Duveneck was also from Covington; artist and author Harlan Hubbard was born in Bellevue; young actor Josh Hutcherson, who has appeared in a number of films (your kids will know him from Bridge to Terabithia and The Hunger Games), is from Union; President Nixon’s press secretary, Ron Ziegler, was born in Covington; John T. Thompson, inventor of the “Tommy Gun” was from Newport; NFL running back Shaun Alexander is from Florence; Basketball Hall of Famer Dave Cowens is from Newport; and, of course, Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning was born and still lives in Southgate.

There are plenty more, of course, but these are a reminder that good roots can lead to anywhere, including going so deep that they keep good folks close to home as well. We have plenty of those who stay and keep building our own communities.

One of My Personal Favorites

A scrawny kid from Bellevue—mostly unbeknownst—is one of my favorite “local-boy-makes-good” stories.

I first met him at the University of Kentucky School of Journalism where we became fast friends—and fellow “Kernelites.” I doubt I have to explain the special relationships forged by dedicated student newspaper staffers—in furious pursuit of truth, justice and the American way—as young idealists.

Our group has kept those relationships over years and miles—celebrating successes along the way. One became a renowned photographer for National Geographic. Another rose to NPR prominence. Others became distinguished editors and publishers and lawyers and corporate executives.

My Bellevue buddy, Terry Hunt, became chief White House correspondent for AP. For 25 years he followed presidents of the United States wherever they were and wrote the stories that informed all of us.

It’s ironic that for all those years, the two main wire service reporters—one who welcomed the president to press conferences and one who ended those press conferences with a “Thank you, Mr. President” were both from Kentucky—the other one was Helen Thomas.

Terence P. Hunt came to Kentucky in April to be inducted into the University of Kentucky Hall of Distinguished Alumni. And while he was here, he came to his home region for a reunion with a couple of ol’ classmates and to help launch their NKyTribune, an online daily newspaper covering NKY.

Terry’s dad owned a Rexall drugstore on a corner of Bellevue a block from the Ohio River. The family lived above it, and the five kids all worked in it. His dad called it “running away from home” when Terry decided to go to UK to study journalism. That decision led to lasting friendships and a career path that took him to the seat of power, covering Reagan, Bush, Clinton and the younger Bush. He logged hundreds of thousands of miles on Air Force One to more than 90 countries and every state over his 25 years covering the president.

This is a career worth celebrating—and for which Northern Kentuckians can take special pride.

Judy Clabes is editor of Northern Kentucky Magazine and editor/publisher of KyForward.com.