October 18, 2014

Josh & Becky Cause a Stink

Becky and I attended The Great Outhouse Blowout in Gravel Switch, KY. Many a triumph was had and even one defeat was filmed for your enjoyment.

To read more about our travels you can check out mine or Becky's blogs. A new adventure coming soon!

April 15, 2014

Corinth Water District (For Pete's Sake)

by Becky

If you've ever traveled north on I-75 between Lexington and Cincinnati, you may have seen this:

Corinth Water District 01
I didn't mean for the word bubble to look like a hurricane.

Yep, it's a water tower in the middle of a lonely stretch of highway that says, "Corinth Water District (For Pete's Sake)."

I've driven by this thing approximately 938 times in my life and have wondered why on earth Pete was mentioned. Maybe it's some kind of inside joke? Maybe there was a fight about the water tower? Heading south one day last week, I began to ponder it. Suddenly, years of mild curiosity coalesced and I NEEDED TO KNOW.

So, I dialed the City of Corinth. A cheerful lady connected me to a gentleman who didn't identify himself, but I'm 93 percent sure it was Corinth Mayor Billy Hill.

Me: Hi, I'm calling about the water tower.

Gentleman: What about it?

I giggled. What else would I want to know except for why the tower has that strange inscription?

I explained my curiosity and the gentleman loosened up a little and went on to say that a local man who went by the nickname "Pete" donated part of the land upon which the water tower sits. Pete decided that "For Pete's Sake" would be a proper inscription and drew up a proposal to take to the state of Kentucky.

The gentleman on the phone explained, "Frankly, I didn't think the state would approve it. But, they did. Then, we took it to the County and I didn't think the County would approve it. But, they did."

Gentleman: It's pretty weird.

Me: Well, that's one of the best parts about being in Kentucky, isn't it?

Gentleman: Yup. That's how we are out here. You do something for us, we're going to do our best to help you out. We take care of each other.

Corinth Water District 06
Tiny water tower in the distance

So that's the story, for Pete's sake.

September 10, 2013

Becky and I (Josh) visited the Little Green Men Days Festival in Kelly, Ky. Watch the video above to see us talk to the residents and attendees about Kelly's great alien invasion. To read a little more about our trip check out Becky's blog Pump Up the Frump
Or check out my blog. So many choices!

I hope you enjoyed our goofiness because there will be much more very soon. -Josh.

August 17, 2012

Historical Marker: Newport - War of 1812

Newport - War of 1812
Kentucky Historical Marker 0507
Kentuckians crossed here August 1812 marching to relieve Gen. Hull at Detroit. Took Frenchtown (Monroe) on January 18, 1813. Four days later all but 30 were killed or captured. Other Kentuckians gathered here Aug. 31, 1813. Led by Governor Shelby these men defeated British and Indians in Battle of Thames in Canada Oct. 5, 1813. This ended fighting in the Old Northwest.
Have only 200 years passed since the War of 1812 occurred? Seems like it should have been a 1000 years ago. So much has changed in what really is a brief bit of time. Do you ever imagine how a war would have progressed if they had access to modern technology? Paul Revere's midnight tweet just does not have as much of a heroic punch behind it.
War of 1812 AKA that war after the Revolution where stuff happened.
Little do we think of Kentucky's involvement in the War of 1812, however Kentucky had quite a significant role.  25,010 Kentuckians fought in the war and Kentucky had the most battle casualties of all other states combined. This large number was due to the fact that Kentucky had no fortifications that needed protection, so they fought more actively against the enemy.

 Kentucky Mounted Militia War of 1812
This marker is to honor those who crossed this area of Newport to fight in important battles of the war. The first of which is trying to help General William Hull in Detroit. However this did not work out as Hull surrendered Fort Detroit on August 16, due mainly to a trick by the British.  The British convinced a group of Native American to make a lot of noise around the fort, this convinced Hull that he was outnumbered and was facing an impossible battle. Hull then surrendered. It was like the Alamo except the Mexicans were pretending and everyone gave up. Notice how you never hear anyone say "Remember Fort Detroit."

We at least won the battle of not sullying our dress whites.
I personally recommend remembering Fort Detroit over the Alamo. I mean the Alamo teaches "Impossible odds are probably impossible." Fort Detroit teaches "Stop being a wuss." Now in Hull's defense, the government had failed to give him adequate backup at this time nor accurate information. There could have been 200,000 British officers for all he knew.

The second thing mentioned is the taking of Monroe in January which was a pretty big deal. This victory did not last long because soon there was The Battle of River Raisin. Which sounds delicious but was also one of the bloodiest battles and the largest fought on Michigan soil of the war. You can read a great detailed report of it here. I hope I don't spoil anything but despite the United State's loss of this battle, Kentucky came out looking pretty good.

"Remember the River Raisin" National Guard Heritage Print by by Ken Riley
The last thing the sign mentions is The Battle of Thames. This time the US came away with a much needed victory.  It took place on October 5, 1813. Five brigades of Kentucky militia led by Issac Shelby  (first and fifth Governor of Kentucky) fought amongst 3,760 men.

This battle had a major impact such as re-establishment of American control over the Northwest frontier and the killing of Chief Tecumseh. As a result of Tecumseh's death the confederation of Indians fell apart and the possibility of an independent Indian state in the Midwest ended.

Luckily we got better at our treatment of Native Americans...
Two men are credited as possibly killing Tecumseh, one is Colonel Richard Johnson (9th Vice President of the United States and a Kentuckian) and the other is William Whitley who was killed during the attack. Whitley was from Crab Orchard, KY and was a very interesting fellow. At the age of 64 he volunteered for service in the war of 1812. He also reportedly requested that if he fell in battle that his own scalp would be sent to his wife.

My scalp will make a great dinner topic.
I was personally fascinated by Kentucky's involvement in the War of 1812. 1812 is not a shining moment in United State's history but I do believe it was a one for Kentucky. As for who shot Tecumseh, all I can say is: "Who died on the battlefield and who lived and used this achievement to further their own political career?"

"Rumpsey Dumpsey, Rumpsey Dumpsey, Colonel Johnson killed Tecumseh"
In the future I will have to profile Johnson and Whitley in more detail. I have just barely touched the surface of their fascinating and storied lives. Perhaps I will even begin a series about Kentuckians you should already know about.

June 25, 2012

Historical Marker: Woodford County

By Josh Flowers
Woodford County
Kentucky Historical Marker 1221
Last of nine formed by Virginia before Kentucky became a state in 1792. Original county taken from Fayette and extended as far north as the Ohio River; included the area of 7 present counties and parts of 4 others. Versailles was established as county seat by the first Kentucky legislature, 1792, and was named for Versailles, France.
County Named - For General William Woodford, a Virginian, commander of the First Brigade of the Continental army. Active in campaign to drive out Lord Dunmore, the colonial governor of Virginia, who later left the colonies and returned to England. Woodford was taken prisoner at fall of Charleston, later died in captivity under the British at New York, 1780.
Woodford County, KY
-Was the 9th county formed in Kentucky
-Notable cities and towns include Midway, Millville, Nonesuch, Mortonsville, Troy and the county seat, Versailles.
-It's population is around 25,000.
-It's total area is 191.98 square miles
The Woodford County courthouse located in Versailles.
Having spent very little time in Woodford County, I will just say that the city of Versailles looks great. It is almost like walking onto the backlot of MGM studios. One of the great places where when time was passing by, it must have blinked. Not much seems to have changed and that is the way I like it.

Progression is not always progress.
Before I get to my list of factoids I found interesting about Woodford County, I must admit it was hard narrowing it down. It has had and continues to have a lot of interesting things going on. I dread the day when I have to narrow down the counties of Jefferson and Fayette to 5 interesting bits.

My five interesting factoids about Woodford County, Ky.
5. Zerelda James was born in The Black Horse Inn located in Midway, Ky.
Formerly The Black Horse Inn.
She not only had an awesome first name but was also the mother of Frank and Jesse James. I guess Jesse liked her name too as the woman he married, AKA his first cousin from his father's side, was also named Zerelda.

4. John Conlee was born in Versailles, KY on August 11, 1946. He is a popular Country music singer who had 32 songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, 7 of which were number ones. His number ones were "Lady Lay Down," "Backside of Thirty," "Common Man," "I'm Only in It for the Love," "In My Eyes," "As Long As I'm Rockin' with You" and "Got My Heart Set on You." Just now while perusing his classics, "I Don't Remember Loving You" stood out to me.

3.Martin Castle/Castle Post
Ah, this fits in perfectly with everyone's vision of Kentucky.
This castle located in Versailles began construction in 1969. It was begun by Rex Martin a wealthy land owner who inspired by his recent international travels decided to build a castle for his wife. A gesture she returned by divorcing him in the mid 1970's with the castle only half built. 

I am not going to pick a side here. You could take the side of the man, I mean what grander gesture than building a castle for someone. But then there is the equally appealing woman's side, a man who builds a castle in the 20th century as a gift must be a crazy person.  Personally I like crazy people and would gladly accept a castle any day. I will remind you faithful readers of this when Christmas gets closer.

The castle laid dormant for 30 years. Thomas R. Post bought the castle in 2003 after Mr. Martin's death but before they could complete it, a fire broke out and burned it down. He did not give up though and finished it in 2009, opening it as a premier luxury inn.

2. William Shatner has a horse farm here that he spends most of his time at. The sightings of his around town are numerous. American Pickers even did an episode of their show where they decorated his home on the farm. If I respected people's privacy a little less I would hang around to meet him.
Safe for now.
1. Bourbon. Woodford Reserve, established in 1812, manufactured at Labrot & Graham Distillery, is the oldest of the nine bourbon distilleries in operation in Kentucky today. It is also the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby.
Two KY staples in one.

June 12, 2012

Why Lincoln would've been fine being a vampire hunter

by Josh

Due to hit the screen on June 22

I know I should not be excited to see this, but I am. I really do not even like vampires, but I do love Lincoln. You would think that perhaps that would mean I would not want to give this film my money. I mean isn't this dishonoring the name of Lincoln? I mean how dare you mar the reputation of honest Abe, The Great Emancipator?
You forgot President Awesome.

It might be hard to imagine this but Lincoln had a great sense of humor. I know looking at his few portraits of the time it is hard to imagine, but think about the time. Pictures were rare. If you are going to have at most ten pictures in a lifetime are you really going to waste one on a raspberry?
Shut up, Einstein. What did you know?

There was no facebook or camera phones to over saturate reality with our existence. Just think, a drunken bachelorette party will have more pictures taken in one night or perhaps an hour than arguably our greatest president during his entire lifetime. Can you imagine if today's technology existed then? Twitter?


At least Instagram would be way more interesting.
Nice how old photos come pre-Instagammed. Who needs hipsters?

Despite what his portraits might portray to really know Lincoln, you must realize that these pictures might have been the few times he was not cracking a joke. Even during the darkest days he would try to make those around him laugh.

One time while reading some jokes to members of his cabinet he was met with some disapproval. He replied “Gentlemen, why don’t you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die, and you need this medicine as much as I do." Hear, hear, Mr. Lincoln.
Harper's Weekly September 17, 1864

When a friend visited and found the President to be in an unpleasant mood. "I’m afraid I have made Senator Wade of Ohio, my enemy for life," Lincoln said. "Wade was here just now trying to convince me that I should dismiss Grant, and, in response to something he said, I remarked that that reminded me of a story."

"What did Wade say?" the friend asked."He wasn't happy," Lincoln answered. ‘Everything with you is story, story, story!’ Senator Wade said. He said I was the father of every military blunder that we've made, and that I am on the road to hell and I am not a mile off this minute." "What did you say to that?" asked the friend. "I just said to him," the President chuckled, "Senator, that is just about the distance from here to the Capitol, is it not?"

Even when he was younger we can see his comedic skills. Here is a poem he wrote while he was a teenager.

Abraham Lincoln
His hand and pen
He will be good but
God knows when
Luckily for us he got good.
I will now forever imagine that Lincoln is blurred because he could not help himself from getting one more "good one" in.
Lastly Lincoln was well known for visiting wounded soldiers. He would use his stories as a way to entertain them and ease their pain. A visitor to the hospital Lincoln had just left from heard wounded soldiers talking and laughing about the President. He became curious as to why these wounded soldiers seemed to be in such good spirits. 
"You must be very slightly wounded," he said to them.
"Yes," the soldier replied, "Very slightly. I have only lost one leg, and I'd be glad to lose the other, if I could hear some more of 'Old Abe's' stories." Tell me the last time you heard someone willing to pay a leg to get into a Dane Cook show?

But Lincoln's humor makes sense. What else could a 6'4" gawky man in a NBAless world do if he did not laugh? He had to have a sense of humor about himself. I mean he grew a beard just because a little girl suggested it. So I think he would have no problem with himself being portrayed as a vampire hunter. I could even see him up front with a big bucket of popcorn (hopefully sans hat). In fact, I think the only problem he would have with it is, why so serious?

April 12, 2012

Historical Marker of the Week: Lincoln Homestead State Park

by Josh

Kentucky Historical Marker 2297 A
Lincoln Homestead State Park
Kentucky Historical Marker 2297
Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, the parents of future president Abraham Lincoln, were married near here on June 12, 1806. Shortly after their wedding, the couple moved to Elizabethtown, where their daughter, Sarah, was born. The family eventually lived near Hodgenville, where Abraham Lincoln was born on Feb. 12, 1809.
Kentucky Historical Marker 2297 B
Nancy died of milk sickness in 1818, when Abraham was 9 years old. His father, a farmer and carpenter, died in Ill. in 1851. Mordecai Lincoln, Abraham’s uncle, lived a half-mile south of here. Mordecai also moved to Ill., and, Lincoln wrote, “I often saw Uncle Mordecai.” Lincoln Homestead State Park was established 1936.
This is not the birthplace of Lincoln! If you go to this park do not ask if Lincoln was born here unless you love eye rolls. He was born in Hodgenville, KY located in Larue County.

So why is this a state park then? Because Lincoln was so famous they even gave things remotely related to him a park. His parents were married near here and his uncle who died when Lincoln was just in his early twenties lived close by for a while. If the presidents were The Beatles, Lincoln would be John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

Not even with a top hat.

I mean how many parks did James Buchanan get? One. His Parents? Zip. Suck on that Harding.

Oops, looks like you already did.

I had the opportunity to explore Lincoln Homestead Park with two Haltermons, Becky and Laurie, and a soon to be Haltermon, Alex Morris. (I am assuming he is taking Laurie's name just to be more googleable.)

The one and only Alex Morris Haltermon

We wore top hats.

Becky Lincoln
Do not stare directly into the eyes.

We looked at stuff.

Nancy Hanks angel mother

And what great monument could we possibly build to begin to show our gratitude to the woman who birthed our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln?

Lincoln for Rocks
You gave us Lincoln, we give you rocks.

We stood on things.

Laurie at Lincoln Homestead
Yeah, I conquered it.

There were cabins.

Lincoln Homestead 2
This is a replica of the cabin that Lincoln's father,Thomas lived until he was 25.

We crossed a bridge!

Becky at Lincoln Homestead
Just what the internet needs, more pictures of Becky.

Birthplace or not, a fun trip was had by all. Look for a future post with the exciting story behind milk sickness. Stay tuned!