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Events honor one of Harrison's 'Best'

June 02, 2010
One of Harrison County's best-known native sons will return home for three days and perform in three one-man shows this weekend as well as hold an autograph session to sign his biography.

Noted actor and artist James Best has to his credit more than 600 appearances in a variety of television shows and 83 motion pictures, but he's best known for his portrayal as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on the old "The Dukes of Hazzard" TV series.

Best was born in Kentucky and moved to Corydon after he was adopted by the late Armen and Essa Best.

The 83-year-old Best will perform "In His Own Words" Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8 at Hayswood Theatre in Corydon. As of press time, extremely limited tickets remained available for Friday and Saturday's shows, with plenty of tickets remaining for Thursday's performance. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by calling the Blaine H. Wiseman Visitor Center at 738-2138.

On Friday at 7 p.m., at the Hurley D. Conrad Memorial Bandstand, Best will be in attendance as a proclamation will be made naming the day "James Best Day" in Corydon. After the proclamation, Best will make his way to the first of two nearly sold-out performances of his show, where he'll show clips of past movies in which he's appeared as well as take questions from the audience.

On Saturday at 11 a.m., the Indian Creek Trail Committee will honor Best's career with the public unveiling of a boulder inscribed by Bob Orwick of Orwick Monument Co. The ceremony will take place at the West Trailhead of the Doolittle portion of the Indian Creek Trail, located near the West Bridge just across the street from the Harrison County Lifelong Learning center.

After the unveiling, there will be a pitch-in picnic at noon on the square in downtown Corydon (bring food if you plan to eat and chairs as seating is limited), followed by a public book signing at 2 p.m. at the Gerdon Youth Center in Corydon, with free snacks provided by the Friends of Harrison County Library. Best will have available for purchase and sign copies of his book, "Best in Hollywood: The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful," and photos will also be available for purchase and to be autographed.

The weekend closes with the 8 p.m. show at Hayswood Theatre.

All events — with the exception of the one-man show at Hayswood Theatre — are free.

For more information, contact Karen Schwartz, president of the Historical Society of Harrison County, at 738-2828 or 736-2373.

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