Sunday, December 2, 2007

233. December First Trip

December snuck in yesterday amid overcast skies and moderate temperatures; moderate at least for December. The liturgical season of Advent arrived today amid rain and some storms, with the moderate temperatures continuing.

Yesterday, I had to make a trip to Frankfort, so I went out of my way to do some travelling. Down to Bardstown and over to the Martha Layne Collins Bluegrass Parkway which I took as far as the US 127 exit, where I ramped off to the south towards Harrodsburg. Ahead of Harrodsburg proper, I followed the By-Pass around the east side of town and made a left, turning east on US 68, the old Stage Coach/US Mail route Old Hickory took when he made his way from Nashville to Washington DC to become the Republic's Seventh Commander-In-Chief.

Along that route a few miles east of Harrodsburg is the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. I stopped in and did some Christmas shopping, something I have rarely ever even begun until about the 21st of December. But they were having a 10% off sale and I am drawn to such events. From there, I departed US 68 after crossing the Kentucky River from Mercer County over into Jessamine County along the famed Kentucky River Palisades, a series of gorges along the waterway with 400 feet deep canyons of exposed layers of limestone. The palisades are a geologic wonder and are best viewed not from my vantage point in a car, but rather in a boat, which I did many years ago when I was younger and had hair. But, I digress.

In Jessamine County, at KY 169, I turned north roaming through the little village of Keene. The offset intersection of KY 169 with KY 1267 which makes up the little burg is dominated by the once-famous Keene Springs Inn, sometimes called the Keene Tavern. The Keene Springs Inn is a Greek Revival-style frame building constructed in the early 1800s, erected by Mason Singleton, of the Singleton family originally from Orange County, Virginia. Singleton died in 1833. White sulphur water was discovered circa 1848; its medicinal qualities made the hotel and adjoining tavern a popular summer resort of 1840s and 1850s. Captain G. L. Postlethwait was its most noted host. I took the KY 169 route based on memories from my teenage years visiting my cousin Steve Collins, whose mother would later become Kentucky's first and last (so far) woman governor. They lived along Clear Creek Pike and KY 169 and one of my memories of visiting their home was being served iced tea made with sulphur water, which to say the least, is not pleasant at all. This was the home the Collins lived in until her election as Lieutenant Governor in 1979.

Ky 169 leads to KY 33, which is South Main Street in Versailles, the county seat of Woodford County. I was anticipating stopping at a little corner market in Versailles which for years has boasted an Ale-8 vending machine, 12 ounces for 50 cents or 75 cents of the Kentucky based soda in little green bottles. The vending machine has stood in a small nook of that building for as long as I can remember. It was there last year when I attended the funeral services for my aunt Margaret Collins, the former governor's mother-in-law. This I know since I stopped and bought a bottle. But, upon arriving in downtown Versailles, the little green bottle vendor was gone. Utter dismay.

I continued through Versailles along North Main, then Frankfort Street, ultimately passing out onto US 60 West, the four-lane highway former governor Happy Chandler built between Frankfort and his home in Versailles. Just outside of Frankfort is the Sunset Memorial Gardens, where more than a few of the people I've written about herein have been interred, the first being my great-grandmother Rachel Lewis, who died in 1967. The most recent funerals were both in 2006, Aunt Margaret Collins, actually my great-grandmother's sister-in-law and Aunt Virginia Lewis, my grandmother's sister-in-law.

Eventually I made my way to the appointed location and meeting, an assembly in Frankfort at the Wendell H. Ford State Democratic Headquarters of the Kentucky Democratic Party State Central Executive Committee. We made history yesterday, installing Jennifer Moore as the youngest State Party Chair anywhere in the Republic. Woo-hoo!

Only 19 days left til I start in earnest my Christmas shopping.

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Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Single, male, bald, overweight, early 50s, seeking . . . Oh wait, that's goes on the other website. How about this - never married, liberal Democrat, 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.