Commonwealth Journal

News Live

October 25, 2013

Catapult to send pumpkins soaring during fall festival

Somerset — Goliath packs a big punch but the strong-arm catapult is not the legendary Philistine warrior that David in the biblical story slew with a slingshot.

Technically a trebuchet, Goliath will be the star attraction Saturday during the fall festival at Bethel Baptist Church.

Are you still with us? Everybody who knows what a trebuchet is, please raise your hand.

 OK. So Mike Toby, architect of Goliath, told us. A trebuchet is a siege engine used in the Middle Ages. It could fling rocks weighing up to 350 pounds into enemy fortifications, knocking down castle walls, or whatever. The trebuchet appeared in both Christian and Muslim lands around the Mediterranean in the 12th century, and Its use continued into the 15th century, well after the introduction of gunpowder.

Pulaski County’s newly created trebuchet is a giant, but its purposes are peaceful. It’s strictly for entertainment.

Creator of Goliath is a retired Sears executive and now, as Toby laughingly puts it, “I’m a southern gentleman farmer” in the Bull Road area “where I was born and raised.” He is a member of Bethel Baptist Church and made Goliath at the request of pastor Slade Moore.

“He (Moore) told me he wanted a catapult (for the fall festival),” said Toby. “I love to work with wood so I built this.”

“We wanted a biblical name for it so we called it Goliath because it’s so big,” said Moore. This, despite a flip-flop  of facts that has David using the slingshot to slay Goliath with a well-aimed pebble between the giant’s eyes.

The man-made Goliath at Bethel Baptist Church doesn’t fling stones. It throws pumpkins, up to 325 feet, longer than the length of a football field.

The ammunition is ready for Saturday’s fall festival. About 130 pumpkins under a nearby shelter are ready for Goliath to strut his stuff. And there are more, if needed.

“Goliath will fling a pumpkin over that fence down there,” grinned Toby. Down there over that fence is a cow pasture where several cows were grazing contentedly at the time we looked at Goliath. Our guess is the bovines will be a bit jumpy with pumpkins crashing down during the festival Saturday afternoon.

What if a cow doesn’t get out of the way of a flung pumpkin?

“We’ll have hamburgers,” Moore grinned.

 Toby explains that Goliath works by gravity. About 600 pounds in a box-like contrivance, when loosed, provides impetus to whip the 25-foot-tall business end with the pumpkin at an estimated 100 mph. Inertia –- a body in motion continues moving in a straight line and at a constant speed -- flings the pumpkin from Goliath to a undignified splattering in the cow pasture. They will use a power winch on a truck to “load” Goliath by lifting the 600-pound box.

Catapulting pumpkins are just part of the show. “We’ll have games and a chili supper,” said Moore. “The event is for our community ... for everyone. It is to draw interest to our church.”

The fun will start about 4 p.m. Saturday and “ ... go on until everybody leaves,” said Moore.

Bethel Baptist Church is nine miles north of Somerset on Ky. 452 (Bull Road) about a stone’s throw west of Ky. 39. Going north from Somerset on Ky. 39, Bull Road is the first road on the left after passing mile-marker 9.

 

 

 

1
Text Only
News Live
  • Elaine Wilson.jpg Law targeted local board member

    A local official currently serving on multiple boards capable of levying taxes could find herself having to resign from one of those entities due to a recently-passed law in Frankfort.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • carrie dixon-wiese.jpg Local housing facility subject of $349,000 lawsuit

    A local housing facility is the subject of a lawsuit in U.S. Eastern District Court, with several major entities named as defendants — though the Somerset city attorney notes that’s actually more for their protection.
    The defendants listed included the City of Somerset, Somerset Independent Board of Education, and Pulaski County government, as well as the company Somerset East Mt. Vernon Associates, Ltd.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brenzel and LCRH sign cmyk.jpg Brenzel steps down as LCRH CEO

    Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital (LCRH) has announced that CEO Mark Brenzel has decided to step down from the top leadership position.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • recycling.ht.jpg Science Hill elementary students promote recycling

    For one group of Science Hill Independent students, taking out the trash isn’t something they avoid.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Last rescue adopted pic.jpg Last of dogs rescued from Nancy kennel is adopted

    The last of 27 dogs housed at a Louisville animal rescue center after they were taken from a western Pulaski County puppy mill in a January raid has found a permanent home.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mayor Girdler.jpg Bill puts freeze on occupational tax funds

    An addition to the late-passed Kentucky Transportation Cabinet budget contains an Easter egg of sorts that could have a substantial impact on Pulaski County — although Somerset’s mayor is downplaying it.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pulaski gets small share of road money

    Some $200 million worth of road-building projects in Pulaski County during the past decade likely is the reason this county got only a tiny share in the two-year road plan hammered out by the General Assembly during the session that adjourned late Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • LaDonna Hurd.jpg Local firefighter dies from injuries suffered in fall at skating rink

    The community’s move to rally around a local volunteer firefighter, nurse, and single mother injured while roller skating has taken on a more tragic note.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAKE-FISHING FOTO.JPG Rising lake levels are improving area fishing conditions

    The rising level of Lake Cumberland is covering banks that have been bare for seven years and increasing habitat for game fish such as bass, bluegill and crappie.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ebenstein, Jacob.jpg Local man receives 12 1/2 years in DUI death of teen

    An entire courtroom on Thursday was moved to tears by parents who spoke of the loss of their 19-year-old son during a sentencing for the man who pleaded guilty in his death.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

News Live
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks