Tuesday, August 7, 2007

155. More of the Fancy Trip - Part Two

People tend to think the Fancy Farm experience is solely about politics - imagine that. And, to an extent, a rather large extent, it is. But the soul of the trip is about food as, truthfully, much in life is. One should plan on eating a lot of food and consuming a lot of liquids during the Fancy Farm experience. I always plan on it and my plans are typically over-executed.

From the Marshall County Bean Dinner, it is a few short blocks to the Executive Cottages. The phrase Executive Cottages (or Cabins) is well known to anyone in statewide politics. It only means one place - the cabins alongside Kentucky Lake at the Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park. This year, just like last year, the State Democratic Party had reserved #316, which is almost to the end of Executive Drive, off to the right of the Boat Docks. Eddie Jacobs, who works for Steve Beshear, had invited most everyone in Gilbertsville to come by for some hospitality. And there was plenty of hospitality to go around, from pork and mutton barbecue to mushrooms to slaw, and whatever one wished to wash it down. I was drinking lemonade when the announcement came that the Margaritas were ready. There was a time when I would have jumped in line, but then there was a time when I would have done a lot of things I no longer do. I enjoyed some conversation with Eddie and others, including Ken Herndon, who is running for the Metro Council back here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606. My friend Will Carle and I talked about his role in the Jack Conway for Attorney General race, as well as some upcoming races. Cathy Allgood Murphy, a lobbyist for the AARP was having a good time - frankly it was hard not to. Eventually, the combination of a bean soup supper added to by more than my share of barbecued pork took its toll. The fact that it was still in the low 90s long after the sun had sunk in the west didn't help. At some point I retired to a short night's rest, as tomorrow (Saturday) was scheduled to begin quite early.

Fancy Farm Day begins in Mayfield, the county seat of Graves County. The Democrats break bread together at the Mayfield High School on Douthitt Street, on the southeast side of the city, at what is called the Graves County Democratic Breakfast. Simultaneously, the Republicans are doing the same at the Graves County High School, which is located alongside the Julian Carroll Purchase Parkway at KY 121. Now and then, if one's Friday night lasted way too long, long enough to cloud the mind somewhat the next morning, then one breaks one's fast in the presence of folks from the otherside of the aisle.

The breakfast is a great affair. Country Ham (which admittedly is not my favorite), bacon, biscuits with sausage gravy, grits, tomatoes, melons, and coffee or tea or orange juice. Predictably, I overate. I sat with Jefferson County Circuit Court Clerk David Nicholson, and a few others including George Boyd, Bill Ryan, and Steve Horner, formerly of the Louisville-Jefferson County Revenue Commission, on which I served as a commissioner for several years. Harry Johnson, a veteran aide in several races over the years, known since the Ed Hatchett race in 1995 as the man to go to to get yard signs up everywhere, stopped by for a chat as well. Harry is always looking for the next contract. Morgan McGarvey, who I've mentioned before, was there as an aide to Jack Conway. He reported he has finished law school, taken the Bar, and has been hired by the firm of Frost Brown Todd. This morning he was carrying coffee for Conway. Someday Morgan will be the candidate and not the aide.

The breakfast affords the candidates an opportunity to try out a speech, one they can use later in the day at Fancy Farm. All the statewide candidates speak, and then the local magistrates, judges, and councilmembers from Mayfield and Graves County address the crowd. Incidentally, I attended the breakfast alone, as my travelling companion chose to sleep in - or to sleep off a long Friday night.

Being alone, after the breakfast I got the chance to do some driving - a road trip within a road trip. I tend to visit court houses and cemeteries and this trip was no exception. I trekked over to the court house towns of Clinton in Hickman County, Bardwell in Carlisle County, and Wickliffe in Ballard County, where earlier in the week Jack Conway had held a Sportmen's Breakfast which included some skeet shooting - or at least that is what Will Carle reported to me. I ended up in Paducah, the county seat of McCracken County, which is in some ways just a smaller version of Louisville, a town born and bred along a river whose expansion in the 19th century was tied to the Illinois Central Railroad, now mostly part of the Paducah and Louisville Railway System. In the 20th century, Paducah became home to the Atomic Age with federal energy plants being built on its outskirts in the 1940s and 1950s. Today, Paducah's theme is Arts, Rhythm, and Rivers, as it lies at the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio rivers.

Let me return to Bardwell for a moment. I drove through Bardwell along US 51 both Saturday and Sunday. I could not find the Court House. I have been there before, at least twice. But, to no avail. If anyone reading can tell me where it is and how I missed it, please let me know.

I collected up my friend and we made our way for Fancy Farm.

To be continued.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

77 E Court St, Bardwell, KY

I believe it is just North of US 51, wedged between North Court and South Court Streets. If I remember correctly, it is a small, one story building that looks like it was built in the late '60's or early '70's. Hope that helps!

The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.