PBS Puts Lewisburg on Map as "Goat Town"

Monday, June 12, 2006
Lee Bowles and Camilla Parker Bowles "kid" around on the set in between takes while filming "Goat Town"

Lewisburg may be the Tennessee Walking Horse capital of the world but more and more fainting goats are giving the high-steppers a run for their money.

This week, a film production crew came to Lewisburg to film a segment for a PBS series that featured Marshall County's own fainting goats and some of their local owners. Amy Barnett of Pineridge Film and Television Company in Jacksonville, Florida brought her crew to the home of Mayor Bob Phillips on Yell Road to shoot a segment called "Goat Town" to appear in a new series coming to PBS called "Animal Attractions."

"The series is really about people and their relationships with their pets," said Barnett. "It's about how pets enhance our lives."

Barnett and her crew have been traveling the country researching stories for the series and heard about the fainting goats of Marshall County while touring the Nashville area. Jamie Ledford of Lewisburg carried Barnett around the county and soon she pulled together a group of local folks who just love their fainting goats.

"The country here is so beautiful," said Barnett. "This particular segment will focus on the unique bonds people have with these very unique pets."

Barnett spoke to and filmed Mayor Phillips and his goat, Slice, local minister Leslie Glover and her three goats, Larry McKnight and his farm of goats and Lee Bowles and her goat, Camilla Parker Bowles.

"It's been really something to see how technical it is to create a show like this," said Mayor Phillips.

Phillips sat down to get a little makeup before shooting his portion of the segment as members of the production crew filmed background shots and audio taped background noises such as birds chirping and neighbors mowing their yards. Barnett then sat down with each of the four people featured and their goats to talk about their relationship with their pets. Barnett was particularly fascinated with the types of people that owned fainting goats, a mayor, a lawyer and state representative candidate, a director of the state's National Guard and a minister.

"There are goats in high places in this town," said Barnett.

"Animal Attractions" is sponsored by Hills Science Diet and Bark Magazine and will air 13 episodes on PBS beginning in July in some markets and later in the fall in other PBS markets. Each episode will feature four segments such as Pet Trainer 911, a segment that helps pet owners deal with their more rowdy pets. Other segments include Paws Button, an informational segment for pet owners, and Pet Tales, a segment on heroic pets.

"Goat Town" will appear during one of the thirteen episodes under Pet Match that will feature unique pet owner relationships with special pets. Sitting in the back yard of Barb Blackmore's home on Yell Road, Bowles sat down with Barnett to explain how she came up with the name for her goat, Camilla Parker Bowles. Obviously, her last name gave her the start of the idea but it was Camilla's royal demeanor the made the name become official. Bowles was quick to point out to Barnett during her interview that Camilla won a tongue-in-cheek charity contest in the paper over the mayor's queen goat, Slice.

"The mayor still believes the election was rigged," said Bowles

Look for "Animal Attractions" to come to PBS the week of July 3 and check local listings for times. Barnett said she will send word back to the folks in Lewisburg on when the segment on "Goat Town" will air. People in Marshall County will also have the opportunity to purchase video of the segment once it airs.