Tag Archives: Kentucky

From Huntingdon to Huntington

17 Jul

Last week, we made a short trip Pennsylvania. My wife has family in Huntingdon, a small town in the central part of the state, and they invited us to stay at their home for a few days. We used that time to explore and a great tour of a small college. Here are the highlights.

On the first day, we drove through five states – Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. It was a long drive through Appalachia, but we saw some beautiful landscapes. When we left the interstate around Altoona, we did not realize that we would not be on the interstate for a few more days. Instead, we would be taking back roads through farmland.

On the second day, we passed through some of that farmland on the way to Hershey, Pennsylvania. Hersheypark was our destination. The girls rode a ton of rides while my wife and I rode a few. I must be getting old because the monorail was my favorite because it took us by part of the old Hershey factory.

One of these days, I am going to get back there and check out the history of chocolate.

Oh yeah, we had a slight surprise when we got back to Huntingdon. We went to a local restaurant for dinner, and my wife order a salad with grilled chicken. She received a salad topped with grilled chicken and french fries. She was, in a word, appalled. We later learned that french fries on salad is a central Pennsylvania thing. I guess it is like grits is a southern thing. Although, I can handle french fries on a salad better than I can handle grits.

On the third day, we got educational. Huntingdon is home to Juniata College, and the family we were visiting used to be the president and first lady of the liberal arts institution.

It is a beautiful campus with a great quad for student to gather. I think my stepdaughter liked it until she saw the dorm room. We had to explain that what she saw is pretty typical for dorm rooms.

After that, we drove a short distance to State College to the campus of Penn State. This was not an official visit. I simply wanted to see the football stadium. Of course, I had to wear the colors of my team behind enemy lines.

I was also told to go to the Creamery. It was a great suggestion. The ice cream was awesome.

On the fourth day, we headed west to two sites that my wife and I really wanted to visit. This was a day to show my stepdaughter and her friend something about our past. After a bit of a drive through the countryside, we arrived at the Flight 93 National Memorial.

On September 11, 2001, the flight was hijacked, and the passengers learned of the other hijackings through calls to their loved ones. At some point, the passengers decided to attack the terrorists. As they struggled, the plane crashed into a field.

It is a sobering place to visit. For those of us who remember, it brings back memories of that terrible day. For those of us who do not remember, it brings questions of what happened. For all of us, it provides a true example of heroism.

As I walked through the museum and over the grounds, I kept wondering what the passengers were thinking. Did they know they were going to crash somewhere and wanted to make sure it was not another building? Did they think they could take over and have a chance at landing the plane? All we know is that they prevented the plane from hitting something in Washington, D.C., which was only 20 minutes away. Investigators think the plane was heading for Capitol Hill.

After visiting the memorial, we drove through more countryside. This time we really hit some back roads and passed farm after farm. Finally, we made it to Fallingwater, the home famously designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. My wife and I visited another of his designs earlier in the year, but this is the iconic one that I have always wanted to see.

He designed the home for the Kaufmann family, who wanted a view of the waterfall on their land. Instead, Wright built it on the waterfall.

Amazingly, the house was built during the midst of the Great Depression.

When we left Fallingwater, we headed toward home but could not make it all the way. We stopped in Huntington, West Virginia for the night. The girls stayed at the hotel and watched Netflix while we went to dinner. We found a great place near downtown called Savannah’s and took a table on their patio. Our waitress was a local student who was majoring in History and Anthropology. Now, she has the right idea.

 

“Travel America” and Me

20 Feb

The other day, we were flying to Arizona, and I picked up a magazine to read on the plane. Travel America lists over 250 places to visit in the United States. As I skimmed through the pages, I began to count all of the ones that I have visited. I have been lucky enough to travel to all 50 states and have seen some great stuff. This is a list of places that Travel America and I have in common.

Wait, here is a picture that I took on the trip to get you in the mood. It is in the Superstition Mountains.img_2279

Massachusetts

Paul Revere House

Old North Church

USS Constitution

New York

Central Park

Madison Avenue

Statue of Liberty

Empire State Building

Broadway

Niagara Falls

Pennsylvania

Independence Hall

Liberty Bell

National Constitution Center

Rhode Island

The Breakers

Florida

Walt Disney World

Kennedy Space Center

Everglades National Park

Miami Beach

South Beach

Georgia

River Street

Buckhead

Georgia Aquarium

World of Coca-Cola Museum

Kentucky

University of Kentucky

Louisiana

Garden District

Lafayette Cemetery

French Quarter

Louisiana State University

Mississippi

Ground Zero Blues Club

Delta Blues Museum

Natchez Trace

North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Biltmore

South Carolina

Harbour Town Golf Links

Tennessee

Beale Street

B.B. King’s Blues Club

Graceland

Ryman Auditorium

Country Music Hall of Fame

The Hermitage

Union Station Hotel

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Alum Cave Trail

Cade’s Cove

Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Washington Monument

Lincoln Memorial

Arlington National Cemetery

Old Town Alexandria

Mount Vernon

Illinois

Michigan Avenue

Indiana

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Michigan

University of Michigan

Missouri

Gateway Arch

North Dakota

Badlands

Fort Mandan

Ohio

Progressive Field

Warehouse District

Oklahoma

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

Cattleman’s Steakhouse

South Dakota

Badlands National Park

Wall Drug

Mount Rushmore

Crazy Horse Memorial

Custer State Park

Saloon #10

Mt. Moriah Cemetery

Arizona

Tombstone

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Grand Canyon

Canyon de Chelly

Goulding’s Lodge and Trading Post

Sedona

Colorado

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

Montana

Billings

Pompeys Pillar National Monument

Little Bighorn Battlefield Indian Memorial

Beartooth Highway

Glacier National Park

Going-to-the-Sun Road

Nevada

Death Valley National Park

Luxor

Excalibur

Venetian

New Mexico 

Carlsbad Cavern

Palace of the Governors

Inn of the Anasazi

White Sands National Monument

Texas

Sixth Floor Museum

South Congress Avenue

Sixth Street

River Walk

The Alamo

Utah

Bryce Canyon

Temple Square

Wyoming

Snake River

Grand Tetons National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful Inn

Yellowstone Lake

Old Faithful

Lower Falls

Yellowstone River

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Alaska

Glacier Bay National Park

Denali National Park

California

Universal Studios

HOLLYWOOD sign

Grauman’s Chinese Theater

Walk of Fame

Rodeo Drive

Golden Gate Bridge

Chinatown

Redwood National Park

General Sherman Tree

Sequoia National Park

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Falls

Pacific Coast Highway

Hawaii

USS Arizona Memorial

Lanikai Beach

Volcanoes National Park

Waimea Canyon

Oregon

Haystack Rock

Columbia River Gorge

Mt. Hood

Historic Columbia River Highway

Crater Lake

Washington

Mount Rainier National Park

The Lair of the White Worm and the Night Stalkers

24 Nov

It is a time to write. Alas, what is there to write about? I only know that it feels like a time to write. In other words, it feels right to write.

Last night, I was reminded that there is an awesome movie called The Lair of the White Worm. It came out in 1989 and was a big hit with my running crew. It starred Hugh Grant and Amanda Donohoe. She was a lot better at her role than he was at his. We watched it a lot of times, but I just found out that it is based on a work of Bram Stoker. I am sure he would be proud of what they did with it.

Here is a funny story. I was dating a young lady and asked if she wanted to watch The Lair of the White Worm. She thought I said Larry the White Worm and assumed it was a porn movie. That was a disastrous moment.

We went to Jamaica a few weeks ago. There is a post about it running through my mind, but I do not have it completely worked out in my mind. I need to write it before it goes stale. Anyway, I mention it because it is a good excuse to use this photograph. img_2134

Last week, I was fortunate enough to tour Fort Campbell, the military base that sits on the Tennessee and Kentucky border. It is home to the 101st Airborne, the unit from which Jimi Hendrix washed out. It is also home to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, also known as the Night Stalkers. I made a video of their water training facility. Unfortunately, I cannot upload that video. However, I can offer this photograph.img_2144

Hey, that it two photographs of swimming pools. One is for fun. The other one is definitely not for fun.

The room is turned into a small hurricane, and that mock helicopter is dropped into the water. The people inside have to get out. It was an intense thing to watch.

Oh yeah, Fort Campbell is named for William Bowen Campbell who lived in our little town of Lebanon.

Who was William Bowen Campbell? He was the 14th governor of Tennessee and was the state’s last governor from the Whig Party. He is buried in Lebanon’s Cedar Grove Cemetery.

I need to write more, but I fingers have stopped. My mind is at a roadblock created by more serious musings. When I am ready to bring those to the screen, I will let everyone know.

Cumberland Nomenclature

6 Jan

I work at Cumberland University. A few blocks away sits a Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Around town, there are numerous businesses named Cumberland, including Cumberland Animal Hospital. Just north of town flows the Cumberland River. A geological formation called the Cumberland Plateau is east of here. Cumberland County is on top of the Cumberland Plateau. In Knoxville, the students at the University of Tennessee hang out on Cumberland Avenue. Lake Cumberland is a recreational area in Kentucky. Pioneers, including Daniel Boone, made their way through the Appalachian Mountains at the Cumberland Gap.

In other words, there is a lot of stuff in this area named Cumberland. It is a word that people in these parts use on a daily basis. However, I have a question that I have never heard anyone ask.

What is Cumberland?

It turns out that there used to be a county in northwest England known as Cumberland. It came into existence in the 12th Century and was abolished in 1974. Interestingly, Graham and Bell were the most common surnames of the area. The Bell name is of particular importance to me. Also, I wonder if Alexander Graham Bell had relations in Cumberland County.

Despite the great names, I would be surprised if all of the stuff in this area was named after a defunct county in England. There must be something else. Lo and behold, more search engining proves that to be the case.

In 1644, the title Duke of Cumberland was created and named after the county from the prior paragraph. Several men held this title, and things in America tended to be named in honor of titled folks. Therefore, it stands to reason that things began to be called Cumberland for that reason. However, that leads to another question. Which Duke of Cumberland has his name all over this area?

More search engining led me to Prince William Augustus, grandson of King George I; son of King George II; and uncle of King George III. He fought in the War of Austrian Succession and in the Seven Years’ War. The Cumberland River and the Cumberland Gap were named in his honor, and, one would assume, the rest of the Cumberland named places and things followed from those.

Prince William, Duke of Cumberland received many honors in his lifetime. However, one posthumous recognition stands out. In 2005, BBC History Magazine named him the worst Briton of the 18th Century. Presumably, this was for his role in the Battle of Culloden. It was after this battle that many of his contemporaries began calling him The Butcher.

Yep, the common use of Cumberland in these parts is derived from this guy.Duke

My thirst for knowledge has been quenched.

Get Away From Magazines

14 Jul

I have to stop going to the grocery store because I always buy some “Special Edition” magazine. “Special Edition” is the code for something that costs more than a regular magazine. Yesterday, I got one called Great American Getaways that was put out by LIFE.Getaway

I read it and decided that the money spent meant that I should do more than that. Therefore, we have a post.

This is going to be simple. List the getaways. Write if I have ever been to them. Yes or no answers will suffice.

Mount Desert, Maine – No

The Freedom Trail, Boston, Massachusetts – Yes

Franconia, New Hampshire – No

Block Island, Rhode Island – No

Mystic, Connecticut – No

Sag Harbor, New York – No

Tanglewood and Williamstown, Massachusetts – No

Stowe, Vermont- No

New York City, New York – Yes

Cape May, New Jersey – No

Cooperstown, New York – No

Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, No

The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. – Yes

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – Yes

Niagara Falls, New York – Yes

Sea Island, Georgia – No

Walt Disney World, Florida – Yes

The Florida Keys – No

Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia and North Carolina – Yes

Horse Country, Kentucky – Yes

Columbus, Indiana – No

Mackinac Island, Michigan – No

Nashville, Tennessee – Yes

Chicago, Illinois – Yes

New Orleans, Louisiana – Yes

Ozarks, Arkansas – Yes

Sand Hills, Nebraska – No

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota – Yes

Santa Fe, New Mexico – Yes

Land of the Anasazi, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico – Yes

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming – Yes

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Yes

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona – No

Alta, Utah – No

Glacier National Park, Montana – Yes

Las Vegas, Nevada – Yes

Death Valley, California – Yes

San Diego, California – Yes

Yosemite National Park, California – Yes

Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada – Yes

Oregon Wine Country – No

Mount Rainier, Washington – Yes

Big Sur, California – Yes

San Francisco, California – Yes

San Juan Islands, Washington – No

Redwood National Park, California – Yes

Volcano National Park, Hawaii – Yes

Lanai, Hawaii – No

Glacier Cruise, Alaska – Yes

The Brooks Range, Alaska – No

That is 29 visits out of 50 places.

Now, I promise myself that I will not buy more “Special Edition” magazines…until I go back to the grocery store.

 

Morning with the Mennonites

12 Jul

This morning, my parents, my nephew and I journeyed across the state line into Kentucky and visited a Mennonite community. My parents have been going for years to buy fresh produce and have been on me about going with them. Being a historian, they thought I should see people living in a historical way.

The Mennonites that we visited are much like the Amish of Pennsylvania. Their religious beliefs lead them to live a simple life without modern conveniences. In fact, they speak Pennsylvania Dutch and, as one lady told us, speak German during church services.

We went to several stands owned by different families, and there was a crowd of people as each one. The fact that the Mennonites do not use many modern technologies does not prevent them from doing business with those who do. You just have to watch what you wear.image-4

This includes stores like Walmart. We passed a couple of facilities designed to load long haul trucks. Oh yeah, I say that they do not use many modern technologies because a few guys had cellphones. I did not see women with cellphones. I wonder if that is allowed.

My nephew has taken a couple of years of German in school and was interested to see if he could talk to them. My dad made sure he did it at every place we stopped. That is how we learned that they mostly speak Pennsylvania Dutch. One man spoke great German but most used a mixture of different things. In one place, there was a teenage girl working who my dad thought my nephew should talk to. She was wearing a long dress and a small bonnet. I think my nephew likes them a little more scantily clad.

I realize that they want to live a simple life and stay away from modern technology, but that brought up a question in my mind. How do they decide what technology is modern? We saw the cellphones, which they probably need for business purposes, but that is not what I am talking about. As we drove around, we saw horse-drawn buggies; equipment pulled by mules and other things from the 1800s. At one time, those were modern technologies.image-5

When did they decide that a certain state of technological advancement was far enough? Did Mennonites look back at the 1600s and say we need to live like that? Since it is a Christian faith, would they not go back to the simple times of Jesus and live like that? What made 1800s technology acceptable as simple?

I did not take pictures of the people. I did not seem right. Although everyone was giving them money for their stuff, I also got the feeling that people were also looking at them like they were museum pieces. I could be wrong, but I was still not going to take their pictures. Everywhere we went, the young people looked at we outsiders in a different way. My mom talked about how one girl kept looking at my nephew like she thought he was cute.

No disrespect for my nephew, but I am not sure that was it. Again, I may be reaching, but it was like they were wishing that they could put on shorts and a t-shirt and spend a Saturday in a car. They were born into this world, but they constantly interact with people in another world. For generations, people have been living the farm to get a new life. I wonder if that will happen to the Mennonites. Will their interactions with us eventually lead to an end to their mantra of a simple life?

Despite all of that deep thinking, it was a great trip and a great way to spend the day with my family. The farms that we passed were beautiful, and I can understand why people would want to preserve that way of life.image-6

I also know that I would not want to live it. As we left the Mennonite territory, my nephew was falling asleep. I punched him awake when I saw a red Ferrari pulling out of a gas station. I am pretty sure that is the lifestyle he and I would prefer and want to preserve.

Listeria – The Long Arm of the Law

31 Mar

I am not a big watcher of episodic television. As my family will tell you, I watch weird documentaries on The Smithsonian Channel and National Geographic Channel. However, there are a couple of shows that I watch religiously, and Justified is at the top of that list. I watch each episode as it is recording, then I watch the recording to see if I missed anything.

Raylan Givens, Boyd Crowder and the gang are some of the best characters on television. I know there are other great shows, but, in my mind, this one tops them all. For those who do not know, Raylan is a deputy marshal who grew up in Harlan County, Kentucky, and he has to deal with Boyd, a criminal who he grew up with. Of course, other criminals pop up, and situations usually end up in gunplay.

There are other great shows on television, and Games of Thrones is one that I also watch religiously. The people in Westeros are tough, but I really think that Raylan and Boyd would wreak havoc on the Lannister’s.

The Justified season is about to come to a close, and it has been announced that there is one season to go. In honor of my favorite show, I have decided to list some of my favorite television law enforcement officers. I will not make any comments. A list this great speaks for itself.

Raylan GivensRaylan Givens

Barney FifeBarney Fife

 Pepper AndersonPepper Anderson

Gunther Toody and Francis MuldoonCar 54

Joe FridayJoe Friday

Phil FishPhil Fish

Seth BullockSeth Bullock

Hutch Hutchinson and Dave StarskyStarksy and Hutch

Deputy DawgDeputy Dawg

ColumboColumbo

Dudley Do-RightDudley Do-Right

Now, that bunch would make a heck of a police force.

If I Can’t Read a Newspaper, Then I Will Read a Book About Women’s History

26 Nov

There is a semi-serious post floating around in my brain. It is from something that I read in the newspaper. Those are the things that have been around for years but are slowly fading away. The world will be missing something when we can no longer read the news from folded paper that leaves ink on our hands. I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to the death of newspapers, but I will miss them when they are gone.

I only have one pet peeve when it comes to newspapers. I don’t mind the ink. I don’t mind when a page is cut wrong. I absolutely mind when someone folds a newspaper in unnatural ways. You aren’t making origami. Turn the pages like they are supposed to be turned. Don’t flip it and flop it. Keep it in order like a civilized person would.

The Civilized Way

The Civilized Way

Anyway, I didn’t mean for this to be an ode to newspapers. All of that just kind of spilled out of my mind. I meant to say that I have this semi-serious post floating around in my brain, but I don’t feel like writing about that topic. In fact, I don’t really have anything to write about.

I was just handed two books to review. One of them is about drug abuse and prostitution in Tennessee history. Long ago, I began researching prostitution in the American West, so this will fit in with some of my area of expertise. The other one is about women in the Progressive Era. I am not as certain about this one, but I will give it a shot.

Speaking of books, I have some favorites lining the shelves of my office. One is about Pauline’s, a famous brothel in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I know a few men around town who spent some formative evenings there.

There is also a book about Pretty Shield, a Crow medicine woman. It is a fascinating account of Native American life. The students in Expansion of the United States are going to read it. They need to find it just as fascinating as I do.

Parlor Politics is awesome. It is about the women who helped build culture and society in the early days of Washington, D.C. If you think deals are made at cocktail parties, then you should read about what was going on back then.

That’s it. I’m not going to write anything else.

The State of Music – Part 2

15 Apr

Before continuing on the search for the best (my favorite, anyway) songs with the names of states in their titles, I should say that some of these are already on my iPod. I figure if they are on my iPod, then I must like them somewhat. With that in mind, here we go with the next ten states.

Hawaii – I think Hawaiian music is pretty cool, and I am a big fan of Elvis. So, I thought about going with something from those two groups. Instead, I choose a classic television theme as my favorite Hawaii song. For people growing up in the 1970s, nothing epitomized Hawaii like the “Theme from Hawaii Five-0”.

Idaho – This state did not provide many options. I could have gone with the B-52’s, but they are not to my liking. It turns out that there is something on my iPod that was almost forgotten. From the soundtrack of Robert Altman’s Nashville (I mean, what better topic could there be for a movie.), I picked “My Idaho Home” by Ronee Blakley. Interestingly, Altman had his cast write and perform their own songs. This did not make the music insiders of Nashville happy.

Illinois – There are some cool Blues songs about Illinois due to the Great Migration of African-Americans from the south. With this move, people sought a better life. As a by-product, the Blues moved with them. Despite that history, I found a song by Frank Zappa, “The Illinois Enema Bandit”, that I couldn’t pass up. After all, I feel like there is a guy from Illinois sticking something in my rectum every day.

Indiana – I wonder why there are so many “I” state’s in the midwest. For this “I” state, I went with the criminal-on-the-run story “Indiana Wants Me” by R. Dean Taylor.

Iowa – You learn something new every day. It’s an old saying, but it is true. During this project, I learned that Slipknot is from Iowa, and they honored their state with a 15 minute epic called “Iowa”. It’s a happy story of love and what someone off their rocker might do if he can’t have that love.

Kansas – In Part 1 of this project, I received a comment from the corner of Trask Avenue about my Arizona pick. He suggested “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, which is an all-time great song. However, it did not have the state name. I replied that I would not use a city name until I had to. Although, there are a bunch of Kansas songs, I am going with “Kansas City Shuffle” by J. Ralph. Reasons? The state name is right there in the city name (not my fault that they weren’t original). Second, I first heard it in a super cool movie, Lucky Number Slevin.

Kentucky – I skipped a chance to go with Elvis once in this post, and I am not doing it again. No list of music is complete without the King. With that in mind, I am moving past Bill Monroe and other Bluegrass greats to choose “Kentucky Rain”.

Louisiana – Man, there are a lot of Louisiana songs, too. From Cajun to Jazz to Country, this states shows up everywhere. However, in the 1960s something strange happened. The British invaders, like Eric Clapton, brought Blues back to popularity in America. They appreciated our music history more than we did. No one loved the Blues more than Eric Burdon and the Animals. One of their best is “Louisiana Blues”, a remake of a Muddy Waters tune.

Maine – This state is famous for lobster, L.L. Bean, and Stephen King. It is not famous for music recorded in its name. The pickings were slim, but I found a good song by Ivory called “Coast of Maine”.

Maryland – Likewise, I had some trouble with Maryland. There is that state song that they always play at the Preakness, but I vowed to stay away from state songs and try to stay with music from at least the past hundred years. After a search for something I would listen to on a regular basis, I found “Maryland Again” by Gerry Goffin.

That’s it for the second ten. If you want to see what happened with the first ten states, then check out Part 1 of the series. Part 3 will be coming soon.