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About: Debbie Boen

    Debbie BoenDebbie and her family moved to Clarksville slightly after the tornado of 1999. Debbie founded the group, Clarksville Freethinkers for Peace and Civil Liberties, in 2004. She participated in Gathering to Save Our Democracy, a group dedicated to obtaining free and verifiable elections in Tennessee. She has supported groups including the NAACP, Nashville Peace Coalition, PFLAG, Friends of Dunbar Cave and the Mountain Top Removal Series of Films and speakers. She participated as an artist in the ARTZ gallery group in Clarksville and won Best of Show, First and 2 Second Place awards for four of her sculptures. She won a voter's choice award for a performance at the Roxy Regional Theatre. She is a wife, mother and cancer survivor. She is always amazed at the capabilities of the human spirit, and the wisdom to find humor when there is none.


Debbie Boen's Articles:

    A review of the 2009 Haunting History Tours at Dunbar Cave


    DCHHTOnce again Haunting History was a great success. Haunting History just finished its tenth year of performing skits inside the cave and bringing the public in to see them. The dreariness of Friday’s weather did not stop 205 people from coming to go into the cave. Saturday brought 341 people. We had the event earlier in the month than usual because studies by APSU show that the Dunbar Cave bats begin their hibernation right on/around October 31. Two weeks earlier is a safer time to be making noise in the cave.

    The Roxy Regional School of the Arts gave us 11 actors to do our three skits in the cave with Brendan Cataldo as their director. The Roxy Theatre also gave us a delightful gatekeeper.

    The 2009 Haunting History Tour Actors

    The 2009 Haunting History Tour Actors

    «Read the rest of this article»


    Roxy Regional Theatre brings New York City to Clarksville in “Rent”


    42-15971528Several years ago I had the extreme pleasure of calling people in to be filmed as they talked about the good ole days at Dunbar Cave.  The Friends of Dunbar Cave and Jason Baggett of Clean Cut Productions at Austin Peay were making a film which included the oral history of the resort.

    As people talked about Dunbar Cave in its heydays their eyes would light up.  I could feel their excitement as they described the place that put life into their worlds.

    Dunbar Cave bought the latest entertainers and the latest sounds to Clarksville; it brought celebrities and made celebrities out of the locals.   Zoot Parker, a local known for his great dancing, said that Hollywood didn’t have a thing over Dunbar Cave.  For kids and young adults the Cave brought the world here to Clarksville and they weren’t afraid of it.

    “…brought the world to Clarksville”

    I thought of this again as I left the Roxy Theatre after a performance of Rent.  «Read the rest of this article»


    Cooling at the Cave this Saturday


    Cooling at the Cave will be held at the entrance of Dunbar Cave on Saturday, July 25, from 4:00 p.m. untill 6:00 p.m.

    Dunbar Cave seen from across Swan LakeBack before there was such a thing as air conditioning, people in this area would gather at Dunbar Cave to enjoy the 58 degree naturally cool air coming out of the cave entrance. While the men worked at jobs during the day, the women, their children and pets would escape the heat by lounging at the cave entrance.  Sometimes the men would join the family for a dinner picnic at the cave.  Tables and chairs were provided where people could play card games and bingo.  At night the tables were pushed aside to make an area for music and dancing.

    cave  hand colored postcard  picture taken 1890

    The use of Dunbar cave to cool down during hot summers is as old as time.

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    Sections: Events | 1 Comment »

    APSU Center of Excellence for Field Biology presents bat study of Dunbar Cave

    Morgan Kurz and Seth McCormick are the Bat Project students

    Morgan Kurz and Seth McCormick are the current Bat Project students

    On Thursday, June 18th at 7 p.m Dr Andrew Barrass and students Seth McCormick and Morgan Kurz will present APSU’s study of the bats inside Dunbar Cave for the Friends of Dunbar Cave meeting.  The meeting will be in the Visitor Center at the Dunbar Cave State Natural Area.  This event is free, and open to the public. The presentation will include several segments of their research using a Power Point slide show, posters of cave surveys,  photos of bats in the cave, and more.

    For the last three years, the APSU’s Center of Excellence for Field Biology has been researching the bat population in Dunbar Cave. They call it the “Bat Project”. Dr. Andrew N. Barrass is the Project Manager, PI, with The Center of Excellence for Field Biology and an Associate Professor in the Biology Department.

    We have been studying the bats in the cave since January of 2006. This was in response to a request by Park officials and State Biologists that recommended a survey of bats, both before and after the construction of the “Bat Friendly” steel gate, at the cave entrance in June 2006.

    «Read the rest of this article»

    Sections: Events | 1 Comment »

    The Andrews Brothers swing at the Roxy


    42-15971528The Roxy Regional Theatre brings us The Andrews Brothers, a new play by Roger Bean.  Mistaken identities, madcap comedy and the greatest music of the 1940’s fill this hilarious new musical. Three soldiers find themselves giving the performance of a lifetime when a certain singing trio of siblings fail to arrive at the USO gig. “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, ”Slow Boat to China”, “Shoo Shoo Boy”, “Stuff Like That There”, and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” are but a few of the favorites in this valentine to the heroes of World War II.

    THE ANDREWS BROTHERS runs June 12,13,17,18,19,20*,24,25,26,27

    During the Vietnam era I watched Bob Hope on TV bringing entertainment tours to the troops in Vietnam.  Bob Hope showed how important laughter was as it worked its magic on the most stressed-out Americans.  If laughter could work on them, it could work on anyone.

    Before the seriousness of life eventually swallowed them, my parents loved to laugh.  They grew up in hard times of the depression when it was impossible to laugh but imperative.  The saying, “Laugh or die” may have grounded itself in those times.  When TV found its way into our house in the 60’s, many early TV shows were focused on humor:  Jackie Gleason and I Love Lucy are two we used to watch.  It takes great talent to be able to do something perfectly and then do it clumsily.  Old movies showed extraordinary talent:  singing, dancing, and acting with a main course of romance laid on a table of humor.  Something for everybody.  Bob Hope packed all this up and went to the soldiers with it. «Read the rest of this article»


    The Friends of Dunbar Cave’s Spring Fling is perennial fun


    Dunbar Cave seen from across Swan LakeDunbar Cave held their annual Spring Fling on Saturday May 9th.  Despite the rainfilled beginning, hundreds came out to attend guided nature hikes, see live birds of prey (Raptors), reptiles, and other rescued wildlife.

    Over the course of the day’s events, visitors took hikes, pausing to look at wildflowers or spot birds along with the general trekking. They learned about bluebirds, backpacking and many other things. Dozens of enthusiastic volunteers helped set up and take down equipment for the event, which was sponsored by the Friends of Dunbar Cave, the Warioto Audubon Chapter, Tennessee Trails Association and TN Wildlife Resources Agency.

    Save Our Raptors is a yearly treat at spring fling. Having the opportunity to see these birds of prey up close up is a thrill for everyone who attends. While teaching the crowd about Raptors they flew them back and forth over the crowd’s heads. One gentleman even received a gentle pat on the top of his head by the wing of a Casey the Vulture. «Read the rest of this article»


    Dunbar Cave’s Spring Fling: Celebrating nature, wildlife and outdoor exploration


    The annual Spring Fling, a celebration of nature, wildlife and outdoor exploration, will be held at Dunbar Cave State Natural Area on Saturday, May 9th, rain or shine. All activities begin at the visitor center and are free of charge. The start times of some programs may overlap, and children must be supervised by an adult at all times. Donations accepted. Food, Tee shirts, and membership to Friends of Dunbar Cave can be purchased during the day. «Read the rest of this article»

    Sections: Events | No Comments

    Spreading the mulch at Dunbar Cave


    Dunbar Cave seen from across Swan LakeAt least 100 people came to Dunbar Cave on Saturday, April 25th, with rakes in hand to help spread mulch on the lake trail.  This was part of The Friends of Dunbar Cave effort that started after Christmas by collecting used Christmas trees and, with the help of CDE, turning them into safe mulch for the trails.  Safe mulch, in this case, is mulch that is only Christmas trees and not mulch of any bushes or trees that will spread seeds in the park.

    Ranger Adam Neblett and Park staff Michael Fulbright was on hand to greet and thank the volunteers for their generous contribution of time, muscles and good cheer.

    I hope we continue to get this much support form our local community in the future. – Adam Neblett

    Many scout groups took advantage of this outdoor conservation effort.  Because of the overwhelming help, the normally three hour job got done in only an hour and a half.

    Tatyana Finks, Jennifer Murray, and Caitlin Williams of girl scout troop 2559

    «Read the rest of this article»

    Sections: News | No Comments

    New video Kiosk at Dunbar Cave


    The Friends of Dunbar Cave group undertook the job of putting an informational kiosk in the Dunbar Cave Visitor Center; a Kiosk that can show short films to Park visitors.

    David Boen designed the new Kiosk and here is making its frame in the lobby of the Dunbar Cave Visitor Center.

    David Boen designed the new Kiosk and here is making its frame in the lobby of the Dunbar Cave Visitor Center.

    Friends President David Boen led the search for a push button information Kiosk that would be able to play short informative films. Mr. Boen looked at Kiosks in use at APSU, the State Museum at TPAC, a museum in Paducah,  and along with Sally Schiller and Debbie Boen, several parks in the Nashville area. He also researched what would be needed to construct an in-wall Kiosk. He then conferred with David Britton about getting started on the task.

    David Boen took a day off work and with David Britton prepared a wall in the Visitor Center lobby for the new Kiosk. They received enthusiastic help from Park Ranger Adam Neblett, and Seasonal Interpreter Michael Fulbright.

    The results are wonderful; when visitors enter the lobby the new Kiosk is there to show the newly released Clean Cut Productions film along with a few other informative films.  This is one effort of several underway aimed at preserving and protecting the the beauty and integrety of the State Natural Area. «Read the rest of this article»


    Hummingbirds spotted!

    My first hummingbird of the year

    My first hummingbird of the year

    Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures; you can watch them for hours as they try to dominate your feeders. They seem fearless to everything except each other. You can welcome these hungry travelers by putting out some food for them.  If you maintain your feeders correctly you’ll provide an important source of food and hummers will return year after year to raise their families near your home. I have postponed vacations because the hummers need me to change their food twice a day (four feeders with 2 cups of food in each). I was feeding at least 40 hummingbirds (how can you count them?) and their babies.

    I saw my first hummingbird on Monday, April 13 and I told Marilyn and Beth Rachlin about it today. A few hours later Beth said they had put out a feeder and she saw a hummingbird at it. «Read the rest of this article»


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