Bil Browning

The Courthouse Girls

Filed By Bil Browning | August 01, 2005 7:14 AM | comments

Filed in: Living

I grew up in Randolph County where the most majestic building in the county is the old county courthouse. The 128 year old structure was recently marked for demolition by the county commissioners. The plumbing and wiring are antiquated and the building doesn't meet safety and disability standards. The roof leaks and there's a crack that runs from the basement to the third floor. While fixing the old courthouse would be cheaper than building a new one, county commissioners have noted that building maintenance would be more affordable for a new building.

I've been following the story of how some residents are trying desperately to save the "Grand Old Lady." This story, however, is a little different. A group of older women from the Farmland Bridge Club has gotten together and made a calendar in an effort to save the Lady. And the calendar is scintillating.

The calendars, due out Friday, feature full-length and head and shoulder photographs of the seven women, who appear to wear nothing but lipstick and powder. Porcelain courthouse models cover their more private body parts.

Each woman is photographed alone for her birth month, and group pictures fill in the rest of the months. No one will say just how naked the women got.

The women hope to raise $20,000 to help save the courthouse. You can buy the calendar at The girls have caused a media firestorm for rural Randolph County. Of course, some of the more conservative residents have expressed disapproval.
The ladies could be gone in the next decade, "and the only thing that's garnered them any attention is this," said Greg Hinshaw, who wrote a book about the town's history. "What a disappointment."

The Courthouse Girls have a different legacy in mind.

The calendar alone won't be enough to save the old courthouse but the idea is that controversy gets people to think.

"I don't know that there's any rules or regulations about what older women can and can't do," one of the participants said.

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AUTHOR: Tracy Elliott

DATE: 8/02/2005 01:22:12 AM

I hope they save that wonderful old building.

AUTHOR: bilerico

DATE: 8/04/2005 09:25:14 PM

I do too, Tracey. I remember the big curving stairways from the courthouse - and the smell of musty books from all the records they keep there. The Columbus courthouse reminds me of Winchester's...