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October 2, 2020 – The Fifteenth Blog in the RestorationAge
I’m pausing for a moment in the shit show of a week to bring you the following. It’s a shorty, but a goody – like Mike.
With all of the bad press that Kentucky has been getting regarding the Breonna Taylor case, it’s been strange to hear celebrities from sports, film, and television speaking poorly about not only what is happening here, but about our state in general. We are usually an under-the-radar kind of place. No one outside of Kentucky normally gives us the time of day unless in cases like this, or on Derby Day, so it’s weird to hear strangers talk about our beloved home in these ways.
Even with Kentuckians like Jennifer Lawrence or Kentucky transplants like Jerry Bruckheimer in our corner, you would be hard pressed to find many planning a trip to Kentucky to voluntarily see what it has to offer; that is, unless they already have friends or family here. Everyone goes on vacation to states like California, New York, or Colorado. But Kentucky?? The connotation of us lacks in the sophisticated department. People think we’re only the state of Mitch or Rand, Bourbon (isn’t that the same thing as whisky?), Basketball, and KFC.
To all of them that don’t appreciate our little gem, I say, stay away, stay far, far away. You don’t deserve us. To those that know, I offer the following:
A few years ago Mike and I had plans to move out of state. Both of us spent most of our childhoods here and wanted to explore another place. We actively looked at houses in both Bend, Oregon and Denver, Colorado. We even came close to putting in an offer on a house in Colorado, but then we flew home. And when we landed in the absolute lush blue-green of Kentucky, it was like a drug that pulled us back in. The force said, “You don’t need to move to another state”. Even after being gone for just a few days, the lure of Kentucky was too great to overcome.
Another time we were traveling during Derby time. We had looked very forward to being away and enjoying something completely different. But when it came time to watch the Derby on a little television set in a local bar, it made us very sad that we weren’t here to enjoy it live with all of our Kentucky family. Imagine the surprise of everyone in that place when I stood up to sing “My Old Kentucky Home”. You have to live here to get it.
Basically after many times trying to get away, Mike and I have just looked at our own Kentucky home and said “Why can’t we quit you?”
Sure, Kentucky and the Ohio Valley have some of the worst allergy seasons twice a year, but not many other places can you go to find such a deep and full array of four complete seasons. We have rolling fields, deep caves, lakes and rivers, and contemporary cites. We have amazing food, bourbon (which is definitely different from whisky!), and some of the most amazing and generous people you will ever meet. I swear when I’m abroad anywhere and someone says they’re from Kentucky, there is an instant bond and a knowing nod of the head to acknowledge what we both know. Kentucky is awesome.
Life is easy here. The cost of living is low and we are only a days drive from over 70% of the country. I have not confirmed that, but heard it once. And if you think about it, it’s probably pretty true.
We are a fierce tribe, we Kentuckians, and we don’t like to be looked down on or pushed to the side and ignored. But, on the other hand, we don’t want all those non-Kentuckian haters coming here and stealing the good thing we’ve got going either. This is our home. This is where we are making our own history. So go ahead, say what you will about my house, you weren’t invited anyway.
Take care friends and PLEASE, wear a mask. I think it’s now officially been proven that if you don’t wear one, you’re a fool.
My friend Barry got me thinking about Kentucky and our beautiful state this week. He has a podcast featuring Kentucky called “I Love Kentucky” – look it up and subscribe.