The filming of a video promoting local folk hero Simon Kenton is now complete.
Kenton was a pioneer largely responsible for helping settlers to reach this area. Largely unknown in modern times, Kenton is the passion of local man, Mike Rumping, who portrays Simon Kenton in the video.
“Simon Kenton was very under appreciated,” said Rumping. “He didn’t have John Filson writing his novel like Daniel Boone did. Daniel Boone had a lot of respect for Simon Kenton. As a matter of fact, Simon Kenton saved his life. Simon Kenton did more to open up the Northern Kentucky and Ohio frontiers than anyone else. I really think it’s important that people learn about him, and it’s a shame that American history isn’t taught more.”
Filming was done last week in the Acord Cabin in Bethel’s Burke Park. The cabin, said Rumping, represented a similar style to what Kenton would have lived in.
"We'll not be able to give them away," said Rumping. "We're giving Douglas Jones the full distribution rights. He filmed them, will print them, package them and send them out. The old ones we had were really poor quality. I was too embarrassed to sell them, so I gave them away. We really wanted a higher quality production."
Rumping, who became interested in Simon Kenton almost 40 years ago, said that he is fascinated by Simon Kenton, who he first learned of in a book of historical fiction. Since he read that book, "The Frontiersmen," by Allan Eckert, he's spent decades learning the truth about the pioneer and passing that on to others.
"We hope to get it into the hands of a lot of people who are interested in history," said Rumping. "There are also educational purposes, we hope to get two copies to the Clermont County library system, at least one of them to the Bethel branch. Aug. 18 we'll be doing Simon Kenton at the Bethel library, and the Library's 40th anniversary is Aug. 22."
Rumping portrays Kenton in the video, pretending to be the pioneer in Kenton's elder years. Rumping then "reflects" back on his pioneer life, recounting many of the famous tales involving Kenton during the formative years of the nation. Acording to Rumping, even the rough copy looks much better than the previous completed work.
"We brought a tape home and watched it, and I was impressed," said Rumping. "It was 100 times better than the old one without all of the cutting that is still to come. We hope to have it released to the public soon."
For more information, call (859) 321-4490.