Monday, June 29, 2009

503. She said it was on Channel 6

A friend called to tell me there was a special on Channel 6 she thought I'd like to see. I was on the phone at the time with another friend so her call went to voice mail. She said "they're doing a Michael Jackson special on Channel 6; if you are up, turn it on."

As I said, I was up, and on the phone. But as for turning on the special, that wasn't going to happen. As I've written before, I do not watch TV. I don't subscribe to cable - the truth is I don't have a TV. Well, there is a very small one with rabbit-ears on a shelf out in the garage. I thought my friend Keith was going to take it with him to California, but he didn't. There was one, a large modern one - cable ready and everything, in the living room until, oddly enough, yesterday when I gave it away to someone who would watch it. I haven't turned it on in six months. It was here when I moved in. I do know it is in perfect working condition as long as one has one of those adapters every one needs if they don't have cable.

That is, unless they are like me and they don't have cable because they don't do TV.

And as for being on Channel 6 - when I gave up TV, there was no Channel 6. We had 3, 11, 15, 32, 41, and 68. I suppose we still do. It's time for bed, a time to read a little and then to sleep, perchance to dream.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

502. Post Mortem

The last post elicited seven submissions to my personal email account - all private and very personal words placed there for my eyes only rather than comments made in public on the blogpage for all the world to read - three of those commenters were, like me, moved and depressed at the passing of Michael Jackson, like me in large part due to a love for his talents and music, and especially the music of his earliest years; four of those emails took me to task (one in some very strong language) for not mentioning the seedier controversies which have followed the late entertainer for more than a decade.

I will not address those concerns here in this follow-up. But I will address an issue raised in one email wherein the writer indicated their happiness that Jackson was no longer of this world.

On several occasions in the past I have written my beliefs on the hereafter (first affirming that I believe there is one) and what is in store for those of us who are fortunate to cross over to the other side, the so-called Promised Land, where we can answer "present" when the roll is called up yonder.

Although it is belief I have held since a teenager, after first accepting the idea of a divine beginning to all things dating back to the first Big Bang, I did not realize until the last decade or so there was a religion devoted to the belief I held, that of Universalism. Ironically, I first stumbled upon the belief of universalism from a Catholic Prayer Book my father gave me at my Confirmation and First Communion, an event which took place in May, 1979 when I was 18.

The book is a Catholic classic, called My Prayer Book, by a Father F. X. Lasance, written in the very early 20th century. It is one of my very favorite possessions, a book I have returned to for guidance and inspiration many times since May of 1979. The book I have is a 1945 edition, one my father used in his youth. There have been several reprints. There is a section called "On Happiness and Goodness" and it is in that section where there is a discussion answering the question "Will only the few be saved?"

In answering that question, Fr. Lasance responds it is his belief that nearly every one will be saved, this based on the idea of God's unending and unmeasurable love, grace, and mercy. I accept this as the appropriate answer to the question. I know there are those who like to narrow the pathway, keeping as closed as possible the gateway through which we all must pass to enter into eternity.

I have for generations chose to ignore their take on the breadth of God's love, grace, and mercy. I am of the belief we are all of his creation, irrespective of who we are, where we live, what we believe, or why we sometimes act the ways we do. I believe Jesus told the parables of the Prodigal Son, the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and that of the Good Shepherd, to explain this wide, wide berth of acceptance, oversight, and a longing for all of us to be one together in the end, rejoicing together at being together.

It is this belief which guides me in my opposition to the Death Penalty, a belief which means that once this greatest of penalties is applied by state powers, that soul, whoever she or he may have been and despite whatever they may have done to deserve that ultimate punishment, that soul is then and there relieved of its temporal shortcomings and welcomed home as a Child of God. My view is that if they were deserving of the Death Penalty, their crime must have been great. Rather they live a lifetime incarcerated than be hastily dispatched to the other side by a tolerant, accepting, and welcoming God, who sees each of us as a child of his making.

Last Thursday, I firmly believe that same God, seeing in Michael Jackson one like each of us, a Child of God, swung wide the gate and said "Welcome home."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

501. Rest In Peace, Michael Jackson, 1958-2009

The King of Pop dies at 50, reads The Washington Post.

I'd say for my generation, he was the King of Music. Perhaps like Frank Sinatra from the 40s and 50s, and Elvis Presley in the 50s and 60s, Michael Jackson occupied the top of the charts for my generation, of the 70s and 80s and into the 90s, well after my generation had gotten into their 30s. And in a few weeks he was planning of a return to the stage on a worldwide tour. He started in the 1960s as a kid appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show - and that gives him a near-omnipresent role in the music of my entire lifetime. He was almost exactly two years older than me. He is someone my age. We shared the same timeline more or less - until today. It was the music of Michael Jackson and his brothers I grew up with, me a white kid in southern Jefferson County, listening to the Jackson Five, a black group from Gary, Indiana.

Between his work with his brothers and that on his own, he became (and remains) one of the top selling vocal artists in the world. He places fourth on the list of all time sales behind The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Bing Crosby. There are a whole bunch of songs of his that are favorites of mine. I've copied the words of three of them below, first I'll Be There, released by the Jackson Five on the day before Michael's 12th birthday, a song I skated to many, many times at the Okolona Skating Rink on Blue Lick Road; followed by Ben, released a month shy of his 14th birthday, which eerily may have been a look into what proved to be a lonely life at times; and Billie Jean released when Jackson was 24, when he was at the beginning of the top of a career that stayed at the top for the next five years. Finally, he also co-wrote with Lionel Ritchie the collaborative song We Are The World, released in 1985, written to raise money for the hungry children of impoverished areas of Africa, the lyrics of which are listed last, along with the names of the forty-five stars who participated and the lines they sang.

*****

I'll Be There (1970)
Great video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4QyZH0EXcQ - or this where he looks every bit of 12 or younger - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmxT21uFRwM

You and I must make a pact, we must bring salvation back
Where there is love, I'll be there

I'll reach out my hand to you, I'll have faith in all you do
Just call my name and I'll be there

I'll be there to comfort you,
Build my world of dreams around you, I'm so glad that I found you
I'll be there with a love thats strong
I'll be your strength, I'll keep holding on

Let me fill your heart with joy and laughter
Togetherness, well thats all I'm after
Whenever you need me, I'll be there
I'll be there to protect you, with an unselfish love that respects you
Just call my name and I'll be there

If you should ever find someone new, I know he'd better be good to you
'cause if he doesn't, I'll be there
Don't you know, baby, yeah yeah
I'll be there, I'll be there, just call my name, I'll be there

(just look over your shoulders, honey - oo)

I'll be there, I'll be there, whenever you need me, I'll be there
Don't you know, baby, yeah yeah

I'll be there, I'll be there, just call my name, I'll be there...

*****

Ben (1972)
Video from the Sonny and Cher Show - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSqo17o2a1w

Ben, the two of us need look no more
We both found what we were looking for
With a friend to call my own
I'll never be alone
And you, my friend, will see
You've got a friend in me
(you've got a friend in me)

Ben, you're always running here and there
You feel you're not wanted anywhere
If you ever look behind
And don't like what you find
There's one thing you should know
You've got a place to go
(you've got a place to go)

I used to say "I" and "me"
Now it's "us", now it's "we"
I used to say "I" and "me"
Now it's "us", now it's "we"
Ben, most people would turn you away
I don't listen to a word they say
They don't see you as I do
I wish they would try to
I'm sure they'd think again
If they had a friend like Ben
(a friend) Like Ben
(like Ben) Like Ben

*****

Billie Jean (1983)
- the original video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En-cHBv7UpA

She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene
I said don't mind, but what do you mean I am the one
Who will dance on the floor in the round
She said I am the one, who will dance on the floor in the round

She told me her name was Billie Jean, as she caused a scene
Then every head turned with eyes that dreamed of being the one
Who will dance on the floor in the round

People always told me be careful of what you do
And don't go around breaking young girls' hearts
And mother always told me be careful of who you love
And be careful of what you do 'cause the lie becomes the truth

Billie Jean is not my lover
She's just a girl who claims that I am the one
But the kid is not my son
She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son

For forty days and for forty nights
The law was on her side
But who can stand when she's in demand
Her schemes and plans
'Cause we danced on the floor in the round
So take my strong advice, just remember to always think twice
(Do think twice)

She told my baby we'd danced till three, then she looked at me
Then showed a photo my baby cried his eyes were like mine (oh, no!)
'Cause we danced on the floor in the round, baby

People always told me be careful of what you do
And don't go around breaking young girls' hearts
She came and stood right by me
Then the smell of sweet perfume
This happened much too soon
She called me to her room

Billie Jean is not my lover
She's just a girl who claims that I am the one
But the kid is not my son

Billie Jean is not my lover
She's just a girl who claims that I am the one
But the kid is not my son
She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son

She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son
Billie Jean is not my lover
She's just a girl who claims that I am the one
But the kid is not my son
She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son

She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son
She says I am the one

Billie Jean is not my lover
Billie Jean is not my lover
Billie Jean is not my lover
Billie Jean is not my lover
Billie Jean is not my lover

Billie Jean is
Billie Jean is
Billie Jean is

Not my lover
Not my lover
Not my lover
Not my lover

Billie Jean is not my lover (she is just a girl)
Billie Jean is not my lover (she is just a girl)
Billie Jean is not my lover (she is just a girl)
Billie Jean is not my lover (she is just a girl)

Billie Jean is
Billie Jean is

Billie Jean is not my lover
Billie Jean is not my lover

*****

We Are The World (1985)
- this video has them all - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmxT21uFRwM

Lionel Richie: There comes a time when we heed a certain call
Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder: When the world must come together as one
Stevie Wonder: There are people dying
Paul Simon: Oh, and it's time to lend a hand to life
Paul Simon and Kenny Rogers: The greatest gift of all

Kenny Rogers: We can't go on pretending day by day
James Ingram: That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
Tina Turner: We're all a part of God's great big family
Billy Joel: And the truth
Tina Turner and Billy Joel: You know, love is all we need

Michael Jackson: We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving

Diana Ross: There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
Michael Jackson and Diana Ross: It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Dionne Warwick: Well, send them your heart
So they'll know that someone cares
Dionne Warwick and Willie Nelson: And their lives will be stronger and free
Willie Nelson: As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
Al Jarreau: And so we all must lend a helping hand

Bruce Springsteen: We are the world, we are the children
Kenny Loggins: We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
Steve Perry: Oh, there's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
Daryl Hall: It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Michael Jackson: When you're down and out
And there seems no hope at all
Huey Lewis: But if you just believe
There's no way we can fall
Cindi Lauper: Well, well, well, well let's realize
Oh, that a change can only come
Kim Carnes: When we
Huey Lewis and Cyndi Lauper: Stand together as one
Kim Carnes: Yeah yeah yeah yeah!

All: We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving

All: There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

All: We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving

Bob Dylan: There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

All: We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving (so let's start giving)

All: There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
Bob Dylan and all: It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Ray Charles: Alright, let me hear you!
All: We are the world
Ray Charles: We are the world
All: We are the children
Ray Charles: Yeah, we are the children
All: We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
Ray Charles: Let's start giving

Ray Charles: There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a finer day
Just you and me
Come on now, let me hear you!

Stevie Wonder: We are the world
Bruce Springsteen: We are the world
Stevie Wonder: We are the children
Bruce Springsteen: We are the children
Stevie Wonder: We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
Bruce Springsteen: So let's start giving

Stevie Wonder: There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me, yeah, yeah

Stevie Wonder: We are the world
Bruce Springsteen: We are the world
Stevie Wonder: We are the children
Bruce Springsteen: We are the children
Stevie Wonder: We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
Bruce Springsteen: So let's start giving

Bruce Springsteen: There's a choice we're making
Yeah, we're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me
Stevie Wonder: It's true, woah woah woah woah

All: We are the world (woah woah woah)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving (so let's start giving)

All: There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

James Ingram: We are the world
Ray Charles and all: (We are the world)
James Ingram: We are the children
All: (We are the children)
Ray Charles: Yes, so!
James Ingram: We are the ones that make a brighter day
So let's start giving
All: So let's start giving

Ray Charles: There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me, hooo hoo

All: We are the world
Ray Charles: Get down!
All: (We are the world)
All: We are the children
Ray Charles: Yeah!
All: (We are the children)
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving

Ray Charles: Alright, need to hear what I'm sayin'!
Ray Charles and all: There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Ray Charles: Alright, I will say it again!
Ray Charles and all: We are the world
All: (We are the world)
Ray Charles and all: We are the children
All: (We are the children)

*****

Rest In Peace, Michael Jackson, 1958-2009. +

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Posting No. 500

Gosh.

This is the 500th entry.

Whodathunkit?

I've written a lot since beginning the blog in January 2007. There were some specific and non-specific reasons for beginning (and continuing) the blog. The non-specific ones are self-evident. I like to write, I like to relate stories, and I like to think that some of what I write is of interest to someone other than me and some of my six faithful readers. My friend Stuart Perelmuter observes that he thinks about 80% of what I write is absolutely true and I work with the other 20% to make it interesting. I'm not going to comment of Stuart's observation other than to say I still adore him in every way, notwithstanding this 80/20 breakdown observation.

The specific purposes I've never really addressed, although I will say here, briefly, that the writing is therapeutic in a great sense. Writing stories, whether from a trip over the weekend to Pikeville or recalling an incident from twenty years ago along Euclid Avenue in Lexington allows me not only the nostalgic luxury of reliving the past (and by using Stuart's 20% perhaps adding to nostalgia with some revisionist history), but it also keeps my mind working and reworking those cells that as time goes by and age adds to ailments, may be failing either of their own accord or by forces beyond their control.

So, I happily write - happily most of the time. I have, as I did in the last entry, mentioned the passing of friends, neighbors, and relatives who have played a role in my life, whether recently or from generations ago. And I've written of a religious journey which is still underway but much closer to the end than the beginning - the light at the end of the tunnel is getting fairly bright. I've covered politics, including my own ebb and flow and wax and wane with the Kentucky Democratic Party, even though some of those entries are no longer posted. And I have weaved the arcania of Louisville and Kentucky into the passages where I could.

One of the reasons I love to write is that I also love to read. I think the two go hand-in-hand, or one feeds the other. While I haven't been an avid writer all my life, despite always having wanted to be one, I have been an avid reader from as early in my life as I can remember.

I was reminded of that early desire to read by an entry on another blog yesterday which mentioned Kentucky's First Lady, Jane Beshear, and her summer reading list. On that list was a book called From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I mentioned that book in an entry, #102, posted on May 14, 2007, an entry related to libraries, which have long been a favorite place, or number of places, for me.

So, to celebrate the 500th entry, I am reposting my 102nd titled On Libraries. The post recalled the libraries of my life, places which may have been the genesis for this blog.

Here is the reposting, On Libraries, from May 14, 2007.

*****

Monday, May 14, 2007
102. On Libraries

One of the five of my faithful readers, Nick Stump, posted a comment on my Library Tax entry from a few days ago. It bears repeating for all to read. We all have places in our upbringing which has led us down the roads we have taken in life, sometimes without our knowledge. Here is some of what Nick wrote:

I spent half my childhood in a small library in Hindman, Kentucky. My librarian was James Still, a very well respected writer in the 40's, (River of Earth) and in his day considered on par with and a friend of William Faulkner. Still never sought fame as a writer, preferring to live out in the country at a small cabin on Wolf Pen Branch. I don't believe, at the time, 50 people in Knott Country were really aware of what a great treasure we had in Mr. Still. He quietly lived his life and was always there to help guide an inquisitive child's thirst for books.


His comments reminded me of the libraries in my life. One of my first recollections of my childhood is in the library of Blue Lick Elementary, where I attended first (and second) grade. We assembled there - to the right of the office on the first floor of the building - to read the tale and listen to the music of Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf." The version we learned was narrated by Leonard Bernstein. I also recall the field trip we took in Ms. Hoagland's 2nd grade class to the Louisville Free Public Library downtown, where upon entering the old entrance on York Street, one made an immediate left into the Children's Section. I believe the location of that section remains where it was forty years ago. I could walk straight to the location of my favorite childhood story "From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler." The only other book I remember from the era was "Charlotte's Web." These books were first encountered at my 3rd and 4th grade school, Old Prestonia. The library at the old Prestonia School, all the way upstairs, was presided over by Mrs. Virginia Riegler. When the school moved to a new location the next summer, Mrs. Riegler and all my favorite books moved with it. New Prestonia's library was on the first floor in the first hallway to the right off the main corridor. It was there we made tapestries focussing on the "fertile crescent" of the lands between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, where we were taught civilization began, and where today we are concerned it might end. Little did I know then that those lands, as well as those in and around Israel, would be the central theme of foreign interest for most of my life, so far.

At Durrett High School, the library was on the second floor toward the bottom of the "F" shaped building, which was the Preston Highway end. The library was one of three places in the building which was properly heated in the cool months and air-conditioned in the warm months, the other two being the front office, and the wing leading over to the old gym. I quickly signed up to be an aide in both the library and the front office. Mrs. Patsy Meglemery was the librarian. (Durrett eventually closed and served for nearly a decade as an annex for the Board of Education. In 1990, it was remodeled and opened in 1991 as the new location for Louisville Male High School. I toured the new facility and noted the library has been relocated and extensively updated to a location on the first floor at the top of the "F").

Upon my enrolling at the University of Kentucky, I quickly familiarized myself with the Margaret I. King Library (South), the then-main building [actually buildings, a set of three] of UK's library system. Inside was a set of shelves, "the stacks" all in a scaffolding-like structure, which could be accessed at different and oddly placed points from the two older and newer wings of the building. It was quite an interesting place. Another of my favorite study spots was the Architecture (or maybe it was the Fine Arts since Architecture was over in Pence Hall) Department Library located in a basement of a newer building along the walk called Patterson Drive. I'm not sure if I could locate it today. Since 1998, the main library for the university is the William T. Young structure, built in a depression in the earth which back then was called Clinton Field, or maybe Pennsylvania Field, I'm not sure. It seemed like an asteroid may have hit there and caused the depression. It was an odd piece of terrain. Some people say the W. T. Young Library is slowly sinking into the earth.

At Bellarmine College, where most of my college credits (but not my diploma) were gained, the Library was nothing to write home about. Mrs. Klausing was the Chief Librarian. Bellarmine University replaced their library a few years back, moving it out of the old Administration Building and relocating it to a new and modern structure called the W. L. Lyons Brown, after a wealthy benefactor. At my collegiate Alma Mater, Spalding University, the library, another one which is nothing special, but does have a very interesting "Kentucky Room" with old volumes on Kentucky's history, is located, appropriately, on Library Lane, the northern terminus of which yields one back to the main entrance of the Louisville Free Public Library on York Street.

We all have libraries in our pasts and most of us continue to use them as we move through the present and into the future. Hopefully, the voting public of the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro will see to it that this opportunity appears on the ballot and the results are a positive move for our library and our community.

*****



The Louisville Free Public Library, above

Monday, June 22, 2009

499. On the passing of George Melton

Former Louisville Alderman and Metro Councilman George Melton passed away over the weekend. His obituary from the Louisville Courier-Journal is linked below. I knew George and his wife Bebe, who survives, along with a large family.

George was an old-fashioned politician, not a ward-heeler, which has a bad connotation, but a ward-healer, who worked in many ways for the betterment of his diverse South End Ward, the 7th, and later Council District, the 15th. His area was a combination of older neighborhoods, a few newer subdivisions, and quite a bit of public housing. George worked hard for all of them.

He could also be a very colorful old man in his speech. I recall one evening at the Board of Aldermen back in 1999, the night the Fairness Amendment was first passed which was also the night I was appointed to the old Louisville Sinking Fund, now known as the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Revenue Commission.

Forgetting for a moment he was at the Board of Aldermen and not the FOP Lodge, he began his speech, "Brothers and Sisters of the Lodge," and then went on to explain his vote. I last saw him about five years ago at a breakfast meeting he held at the American Village Housing Complex in support of Ken Herndon, who was a candidate for the 35th Senate District at the time.

George was a sincere man who believed everyone deserved an opportunity. He will be missed. Please keep his wife Bebe and their family in your thoughts and prayers.


http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/louisville/obituary.aspx?n=george-melton&pid=128759271

Sunday, June 21, 2009

498. Solstice

In the tradition of the late Colonel R. K. Walker, who at the beginning of each new season would pen a Letter to the Editor of the Courier-Journal, I offer the following:

Today begins the season of Summer in the northern hemisphere for 2009. It began about 1:45 am. Today will technically be the longest day of the year as we crossed a cardinal point in the Earth's annual rotation around our own personal star, which we call the Sun.

Summer runs from now until late September. We'll have another celebration then as that date will coincide with my last birthday before, in one year, I cross my own cardinal point, out of the first half-century of my life.

Today, in the United States, we are also celebrating Father's Day. I will be visiting my father here shortly. I will also see my brother, who is the father of six. To all of you, Happy Father's Day.

While seeing my father and brother today, my family will also be celebrating the birthday of my oldest niece, Lindsey, who arrived as a Father's Day gift to my brother 22 years ago. She actually arrived on a Wednesday if I remember correctly.

Enjoy the long day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Legislative Lamentation

Over the years since I've been voting (1978), a number of amendments to Kentucky's Constitution, last fully rewritten and readopted in 1891, have been placed on the ballot for an up-or-down vote by the good and bad citizen-voters of the Commonwealth. In nearly every instance, I voted NO like a good Kentuckian, many of whom voted NO with me on most occasions, at least until recently. I know I voted YES on the Constitutional Amendment to allow the lottery back in the 1980s. I was a supporter of Wallace Wilkinson's campaign to be governor and this amendment was part and parcel of that campaign. Other than that I cannot remember voting YES which isn't to say I didn't; I just don't remember having done so. I voted NO in 2004 on the Anti-Gay Marriage and Civil Unions amendment; I voted NO on doing away with the extra Constitutional Officers, I voted NO on the creation of Family Courts, and I voted NO on having annual sessions of the General Assembly. I remain contented that in each of my votes, I was right even if a number, and sometimes a majority, of my fellow citizen-voters of Kentucky voted in a manner different than me. They will have an opportunity to explain themselves someday to Saint Peter as part of their "let me in" soliloquys to gain entrance inside the Pearly Gates.

That last one mentioned, sending the General Assembly into Regular Session at Frankfort every year (and for most part, for some additional Extraordinary time each year between those annual Regular Sessions), is the one I am most satisfied with. I will here note I voted on the losing side. I will also note I believe I voted on the right side. More people are crossing over to my way of thinking with each gavelling of a new Session, whether Regular or Extraordinary.

My belief then, and now, is that the real basic purpose of a legislature, is to come to the seat of government now and then and pass a budget for the Executive Branch to execute, and then pass those (hopefully few) laws necessary to keep some law and order, peace, good wealth and health, and a degree of tranquility within the confines of those budgets. Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, based on the earlier writings of George Mason, who may have based his on John Locke, called it "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

We used to pass two-year budgets which allowed our Executive Branch some ability to execute (run) the government for an extended period of time (ideally two years) before the citizen-legislators interfered by coming to Frankfort and commence to moving money from here to there; eliminating new and old forms of reliable revenue streams by exemptions, incentives, and lowering taxes; and more or less confounding the operation of the government every time the Speaker of the House and a group of Representatives or the President of the Senate and a group of Senators, or the governor who needs no help, thought it wise to do so, which is way too often.

Thus it is that we are now in the habit of passing biennial budgets knowing full-well that we will be changing them half-way through the biennium of which they are passed. It is a seriously deficient way of operating a government. But that isn't the worst of it. What is the worst of it is the way the legislature proposes to continue funding those proposed paths of life, liberty, and the pursuits of happiness, something they are charged with doing for all the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Governments are funded in a variety of ways, mostly through taxes, fees, and fines, the three of which tend to hit some one of us in some way, and thus hit most of us in some way. The idea of a government is for everyone to pitch in for the common good, the commonweal, of those others within their same jurisdiction, whether it be a town, city, county, or Commonwealth. This was the way it was done for most of the history of our Republic. There were exceptions. Along the way there were lotteries for the common good, such as the one created to fund Louisville's original public library in the late 1800s, although more of the proceeds didn't help the library than did, but that is a different story.

It is a widely known secret that I am more pro-tax than anti-tax. I believe governments have much to offer and I believe the people should fund the government to make those offerings available. And I believe, as it is written in the Holy Scriptures, that those who have more money should pay more into the system. [For the anti-tax Grover Norquist-type pseudo-Christians (usually also Republicans but not necessarily in Kentucky) who might be reading, this is taken from the Gospel of Saint Luke, Chapter 12, Verse 18, a part of which according to the King James Version reads, "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required."] I take that to mean that the rich, at least according to the Bible, should be paying more taxes than those who are poorer than they. The rest of us, the part that are poorer than the rich, do our part by paying our repsective taxes, parting with a dollar here and another there to pay this or that fee or that or some other fine. And that is all good.

As I said above, I supported the amendment which gave us the Kentucky Lottery, which I dare say, is funded more by poorer folk than richer folk. I've bought and not cashed enough tickets to fund the four-year educational expenses of several Kentucky students at a Kentucky institution of higher learning. Honestly, it isn't the best way to fund a government. It is as Social Security was meant to be, a supplement to other means, other means meaning the levy of taxes. But we have come to rely on Wallace Wilkinson's sin tax - the lottery - as a regular recurring funder of our governments. I call it a sin tax out of deference to a number of Kentuckians who are keen on anything related to sin or sinning unless it pertains to themself or one of their kind.

Admittedly, I have, like everyone else, sinned. The Bible says that all have sinned. It is likely I will do so again. I'm reminded of a letter I sent to then-Congresswoman Anne Northup about ten years ago complaining of her defense of a colleague, the late Henry Hyde, of Illinois (naturally), who had been caught many years earlier with one woman whilst being married to another. Hyde didn't call it sinning; he euphemized it into a youthful indiscretion. He was 41 at the time of his youthful indiscretion. At the time I wrote the letter I was 38 and was happy to know I had at least three more years to commit youthful indiscretions, at least by Republican congressional standards. Now at 48 I have to call it by its real name, sin. Damn.

But, I digress.

Kentucky has in the past year decided the way to raise taxes is by penalising those of us who sin through our use of alcohol and tobacco. I gave up serious drinking twelve years ago and, although I have never smoked a cigarette in my life, I have been known to enjoy a good and sometimes expensive cigar now and then, as I did last week up in Madison, Indiana. I did enjoy a bottle and a half of a Brown-Forman bourbon product made right here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606 the night my congressman was first elected, but that was special. But those upon whom these taxes fall the heaviest are those who can least afford it, while for those who can, the group referred to in Saint Luke's Gospel, it is but a small part of their income. I believe the sin taxes passed earlier this year were, frankly, sinful.

Now we are at another crossroads, with the General Assembly convened to fund even more of the government by means of an additional sin-type of tax, but in a different form. This time we want to add slots to our means of raising taxes from those who like to gamble. And we have the Attorney General's blessing to do so under that Constitutional Amendment for which I voted back in the 1980s. But, there is a catch. The slot machines will be limited to Kentucky's race tracks. Maybe there will be betting in some off-track betting parlors; I don't know. I do know we have race tracks of some sort in Louisville (Jefferson County), Lexington (Fayette County), Paducah (McCracken County), Prestonsburg (Floyd County), Evansville (Henderson County), Florence (Boone County), and Franklin (Simpson County). I mentioned the counties for a reason. Our Commonwealth is organized into political subdivisions known as counties. We have 120. I've listed seven. Race tracks in seven counties will be able to operate the slots and receive commissions of some sort from them I suppose, commissions which will hopefully go toward a reversal of the races tracks' collective fortunes, which according to all reports, are failing. Little has been recently written about the disagreement the tracks collectively had with the backside trainers and others over commissions from off-track betting, which may have something to do with trainers and others up and leaving from the rich soil of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and taking their horses to the richer purses of other states. Maybe that is part of their failings, maybe it isn't.

What I do know about the current legislation is that is seems to me to offer special legislation to a single classification of business and that is problematic for me. I do not wish the tracks not to have slots. I'm all for protecting one of our signatures industries, something we remarkably didn't do earlier this year with alcohol and tobacco. And, truthfully, I'm all for it expanded sinning - I mean gambling. As I said, I do both. But as my six faithful readers know, I like to travel about the Commonwealth, taking the backroads to destinations where many will never travel, and some of those who are there will never leave. I particularly like to play the Three-Line Lotto game of the Kentucky Lottery. It is played on Tuesdays and Fridays. If I am out and about over a given weekend, chances are I will buy one ticket in, say for instance, Trimble County at the little market where US421 and US42 fork just east of Bedford. Then a few hours later, I may be in Lawrenceburg in Anderson County where I will buy another ticket at the BP along US127 just north of its intersection with the Martha Layne Collins Blue Grass Parkway. As I head back into Louisville, I might buy a third ticket in Mount Washington in Bullitt County at the market next to the Walgreens on KY44, just east of the US31E ByPass. (You can follow this course - it is a logical circle out of Louisville to the northeast, south, then west back into town). However, none of these counties, Trimble, Anderson, or Bullitt, have a horse racing track, ergo, there will be no slots to play here. Neither these three nor the 110 others, other than those seven mentioned above will have the luxury, used ever so contrarily, of additional gambling opportunities, opportunities first afforded by the Constitutional Amendment which does allow all 120 of them to sell Kentucky Lottery tickets.

I'm all in favor of allowing slots at the tracks, especially if it helps them as otherwise apparently failing business ventures. But I am also in favor of helping all the local franchisees of BP stations, and the Mom-and-Pop grocery stores in little cities and even littler country crossroads. If this government subsidy is good for the big racing corporations, wouldn't it be that much moreso for Joe and Jane Doe on Main Street in Smalltown, Kentucky?

Incidentally, as a small-time gambler, I think the odds are good the measure now passed in the Democratic House and before the Republican Senate will, with a little asphalt here and some schools there, along with an tax exemption here and a lower assessment there, pass and get signed by the governor. And that isn't all bad. It just could be better.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

496. On Holiday

The blog is taking a Friday the Thirteenth break for a few days. This month Friday the Thirteenth is being celebrated on a Saturday.

See you soon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

495. Tuesday Addenda

I know earlier today I said the blog would be on break for a week and that was my plan, but then I wanted to write some more, and, as it is my blog, I am thus writing some more.

First, in an entry on Saturday I mentioned stopping by Bethlehem, Indiana, where my grandfather's stepmother once lived and where his youngest siblings, the children of his father and stepmother were raised. While standing in the Bethlehem Cemetery I called my grandfather's youngest sister, Aunt Mildred, to report to her my presence there in her hometown. She wasn't in when I called so I left a message. Later that night she called her niece, my mother, to report my call and let her know that the other of my grandfather's youngest siblings, his brother Lee Roy, would be visiting her today from Paducah, where he is living in retirement. How odd that within three days of my visiting their ancestral home, they were getting together to do so themselves. I spent this afternoon visiting with that side of my family and, as has always been the case when visiting there, had a big plate of food - lasagna, salad, and pie with whipped cream, along with very sweet tea to drink. While many of the people who have always been a part of such reunions have long since passed on, it is always good to see those remaining of my grandfather's family.

Second, on reading my emails just a few minutes ago, one was from my friend Olivia Fuchs, who is an attorney here in town. She forwarded to me some words of wisdom sent to her in one of those emails where the sender asks you to pass it along. I don't ever do that. But I did like the philosophy of the original writer of this email, said to be 90 years old in the article. She writes the 45 Lessons of Life. I find them true at least in my life so far at 48 years of age. They remind me of the much longer poem called My Philosophy, written by James Whitcomb Riley, the one-time Poet Laureate of the State of Indiana (in honor of my grandfather's Indiana siblings mentioned above).

Below is the email. I've tried to find Riley's poem on the internet, but can't. Maybe someone else can locate it. There is another of these philosophical soliloquys by Ralph Waldo Emerson, but I couldn't find it either.


*****

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio.
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written."


1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay cheque.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets and wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion, today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."


*****

My favorites are #2, #16, #23, #28, #34, #39, and especially #44.

Now, we'll go on break. Hopefully I will see some of you at the Metro Club tomorrow night.

494. A Few Brief Notes


Brief Note #1. One of the most relaxing things a person or family could do is spend an afternoon in a riverside park - actually the two-acre front yard of an old riverside mansion - listening to a "pops" orchestra. My friend Preston and I did that Sunday in Madison listening to the Cincinnati Regional Pops Orchestra play selections from Aaron Copeland, Broadway musicals, John Williams' Star Wars, and closing with John Philip Souza's traditional Stars and Stripes Forever, the Official March of the United States of America by an Act of Congress. Regular readers will recall that Souza's grave is in the Congressional Cemetery, one of my favorite places to visit in the capital city of our Republic. The gravesite is shown at right.

Brief Note #2. Tomorrow night Kentucky's Lieutenant Governor, the Honorable Daniel Mongiardo, will be the guest speaker at the regular monthly meeting of the Metro Democratic Club, held at 6:30 pm at the American Legion Hall opposite Saint Raphael Catholic Church on Bardstown Road. Mongiardo, at left from his days as a former Kentucky State Senator from Hazard, is a leading surgeon in eastern Kentucky and in 2007 was elected lieutenant governor on the winning ticket of Beshear-Mongiardo. And like the fictional "real live nephew of my Uncle Sam" Dan is born on the Fourth of July, two months and a few weeks before me in the closing months of the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration. I hope you can come hear Lt. Gov. Mongiardo address the issues of the day, some of which, I am sure, will be related to his campaign to succeed Jim Bunning as the junior United States Senator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, something he damn near did in 2004 when he achieved the record for the most votes ever received by a Democrat in our state, a record which still stands.

Brief Note #3. The blog will be on break until next week. Happy June!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

493. Trying to add YouTube Videos and other things

While reading Paul Hosse's blog Another Opinion the other day, I noticed he has a list of music videos down the sidebar of his blog - you click on the link and up pops a new window with the YouTube video of the song you chose. One song on his list caught my attention, Procol Harem's Whiter Shade of Pale, which I can remember listening to at Charlie Brown's on Euclid Avenue in Lexington back in the early 1980s, while drinking way-too-many Kahlua-Cream-Vodkas and eating Charlie Brown Burgers smothered in Swiss Cheese and Grey Poupon.

But, I digress.

I want to do the music video link thing here on the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606 over there on the right sidebar. I've been experimenting, but so far, what I've done hasn't accomplished what I want to do. So, bear with me. At some point I will figure it out and I'll begin posting the videos as I come across them. My goal is to put them on the list in order of preference, such that the video at the top of the list will be, by its placement, my favorite. In fact, I already know which video takes the post. I just wish I knew how the hell to do it.

Whenever I figure out how, at the top of the list will be Jackson Browne's 1971 hit (released in 1972 on his debut album) Doctor My Eyes. I am pretty sure it is my favorite song. Two other Jackson Browne hits are in my top 20 list, Running on Empty and Load Out/Stay, both from the Running on Empty album which came out my senior year of high school.

Other videos I will eventually link will feature Peter Paul and Mary, Elton John, Barbra Streisand, George Michael, Ray Charles, Guns 'N' Roses, The Eagles, Boston, Lynard Skynard, Pink Floyd, the Doobie Brothers, and maybe even George Jones. But, first, I've got to figure out how to do it. Again, bear with me.

*****

Totally unrelated, my friend Preston and I went upriver today to the Preston Plantation landing in Trimble County where we were expecting to see a Civil War battle reenactment, which we didn't. What we did see was curiously interesting, but not so much so that I'll write any more about it. So, we left. From there we went over to Madison, Indiana (ten minutes away) where the 200th Anniversary of the founding of the city is taking place for the next two weeks. We walked all over the city, had lunch in a little diner (burger and fries), checked out the progress on the Court House fire, and visited the wharf along the river. We found out the Cincinnati Orchestra is having a free concert there tomorrow as part of the festivities, so, as both of us are orchestra fans, we will be going back.

As to the Court House, I was very pleased to learn that, as I had indicated in a previous post, more was salvageable that was originally thought to be so. The records are being restored by an archiving company in Michigan which specialises in such work, freeze-drying the records for later restoration, just like Taster's Choice Coffee. The building itself is still a very sorrowful sight, but life and restoration is going on, which is good. A note - in the Art Gallery directly across Main Street from the Court House is a very-recently-painted picture of the fire. Further west in one of the shops are photos made into postcards of the fire. And there are two Special Sections in today's edition of The Madison Courier, one on the Bicentennial and the other on The Day The Court House Burned. May 20, 2009 is a date which will remain in the minds of the citizens of Jefferson County, Indiana for many years to come.

On the way back to Louisville, we took the Indiana side and dropped down into the little town of Bethlehem, Indiana, of which I have written before. My step-great-grandmother, Margaret "Maggie" Church, was the matriarch of the town for many years and is buried in the cemetery up on the hill on the northwest edge of the town.

Then we came home.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

492. Lincoln on the Waterfront

I just got home from the unveiling (except it wasn't veiled) of Ed Hamilton's latest larger than life sculpture to grace Louisville, that of Abraham Lincoln, on the Waterfront, a little east of the overhead I-65. The statue shows a younger Lincoln that we are used to seeing, set off by four bas-relief depictions of different eras of Lincoln's life. It was a grand event emceed by Waterfront Development Director David Karem. The Louisville Orchestra was there, playing The National Anthem, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, and two Aaron Copeland pieces, Fanfare for the Common Man and Appalachian Spring. The event was held to coincide with the setting of the sun out to the west over the Ohio River, which was a beautiful sight. There were maybe 500 people close-by and another 200 to 300 elsewhere in the park. Mr. Hamilton offered a few words some of which were based on what Isaac Bernheim had to day when he dedicated his statue of Lincoln at the Public Library on York Street.

After a cold and rainy day, the skies cleared, the sun shone, and we were all reminded of why Louisville's downtown, and especially the Waterfront Park, first conceived in the early 1970s and still not quite finished, is such a wonderful place to be.

The picture at right is a small scale model of that which now graces the Waterfront.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

491. Pruebas de los Conductores

My friend Paul Hosse writes a blog called Another Opinion which he posts at www.hosse.blogspot.com. Paul and I differ on many subjects not the least of which is Immigration, where he is, admittedly, more in tune with the sentiments of the nation than I. I am to the left of most everyone including our congressman John Yarmuth. Ironically, the political leader (used ever-so-loosely) with whom I find the greatest agreement on the subject, is the now thankfully-former president, George W. Bush.

In a very recent entry of mine on the languages of the Feast of Pentecost, as recorded in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, I mentioned that the event recorded therein reminded me of Governor Steve Beshear's decision to reverse the decision of the Kentucky State Police regarding the offering of Kentucky's Drivers Tests in languages other than our beloved Mother Tongue, the governor's decision being one with which I concur.

Paul offers another opinion on the matter. I have entered a comment on his blog in Spanish, which with the free help offered on the internet, I have translated into English.

First, below, is my comment in Spanish and then, below that, its English rendering. But first I would ask my six faithful readers to visit Paul's blog and read through his entry. Again it can be found at www.hosse.blogspot.com.

*****

Paul (o Paulo),

Apesadumbrado falté la 100a edición. Ofrezco enhorabuena. En esto, su 101o, diferenciamos en nuestras opiniones, algo que no es nuevo.

Usted se refiere sobre nuestra prueba de conducción que es ofrecida en veintidós idiomas, decir debe ser ofrecida solamente en una. A título de indicación, ha sido y continuará siendo ofrecida en el de su lengua preferida, Inglés.

Su discusión, entre otras cosas, se refiere sobre las que pudieron pasar la prueba en una cierta lengua Arabe, y entonces dado una licencia de conductores, entonces no pueda discernir las muestras de calles cuáles están, por supuesto, en Inglés.

Ese me lleva a preguntarse si la preponderancia de accidentes es causada por todos estos extranjeros que no entiendan que los medios rojos paran y los medios del verde va amarillear medios quizá. Ciertamente hay un número de conductores de habla Inglesa que tienen problemas con esas distinciones.

Usted, en su entrada, consigue eventual alrededor al núcleo verdadero de su preocupación, una cuyo usted ha escrito en muchas veces, y apenas tantas veces, he discrepado cortésmente. Esa preocupación es inmigración, legal y más pronunciado, ilegal.

Usted pide específicamente, "¿En cuanto a ésos aquí ilegal, necesitamos darlos de fácil acceso a nuestros caminos dándoles una oportunidad de conseguir una licencia de conductores de Kentucky también?"

La respuesta, que no es específica apenas a tomar los conductores prueba, es sí. Debemos hacerla más fácil para que estos ilegals lleguen a ser legales. Debemos hacerla más fácil para las que quieran trabajar, y ésa es la razón la mayor parte de que están aquí, poder hacer así pues, y de tal modo permitiendo que paguen en las cajas del impuesto.

Oímos repetidamente que los polticians y los bloggers quejarse por los illegals del coste imponen ante los pagadores de impuestos de la nación. ¿Es más que el bienestar corporativo del paquete del estímulo? No sé. ¿Está más que hemos pagado guerra de George Bush en Iraq? No sé que tampoco.

Sé que si proporcionáramos una trayectoria del mas facil para todos estos extranjeros, y usted tiende a significar ésos del sur de Tejas, sentir bien a ciudadanos - y así a pagadores de impuestos - de los Estados Unidos, una gran carga sería levantada como sus impuestos ocupacionales se podría entonces utilizar para tratar las preocupaciones más verdaderas que hacen frente a nuestra nación, tal como pobreza, falta de vivienda, cuidado médico, y educación.

Jeff Noble


*****

And, in English:

Paul,

I am sorry I missed the 100th edition. I offer congratulations.

In this, your 101st, we differ in our opinions, something that is not new. You talk about our drivers test which is offered in twenty-two languages, and say it must be only offered in one. For the record, it has been and will continue to be offered in that of your preferred language, English.

In your discussion, among other things, you write on those who might pass the test written in a certain Arab language, and then upon being issued a drivers license, that same person may not be able to discern the variety of streetsgins which are, admittedly, in English.

That leads me to wonder if the preponderence of accidents are caused by all these foreigners who do not understand that Red means Stop and Green means Go and Yellow means Maybe. Certainly there are a number of English-speaking drivers who have problems with those distinctions.

You, in your entry, eventually get around to your true concern, about which you have often written, and then for as many times, I have politely differed. That concern is immigration, legal, and more pronouncedly, illegal.

You ask specifically, "As for those here illegally, do we need to be giving them easy access to our roads by giving them an opportunity to get a Kentucky drivers license too?"

The answer, which is not specific to just taking the drivers test, is yes. We must make it easier so that these illegals may become legal. We must make it easier for those who wish to work, and that is the reason most of them are here, to be able to do so legally, thus allowing the payment of their taxes into our tax coffers.

We hear repeatedly of politicians and bloggers complaining about illegals and of the cost they impose upon the taxpayers of our nation. It is more than the corporate welfare of the Stimulus package? I do not know. It is more than we have paid for George Bush's War in Iraq? I do not know that either.

I do know that if we provided an easier path to citizenship for all these foreigners, and you tend to mean those of the south of Texas, and thus they become taxpayers as well - of the United States - a great burden would be lifted given all the occupational taxes they would then pay - occupational taxes which could then be used to address the truer and greater concerns facing our nation, those of poverty, homelessness, healthcare, and education.

Jeff Noble


*****

I invite your comments as always.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Briefly, Happy 217th Birthday Kentucky

Today marks the 217th birthday of our Commonwealth, having been admitted to the Union as agreed to by a vote of the Commonwealth of Virginia on December 18, 1789; a vote of the Ninth Enabling Convention on July 29, 1790; a vote of the United States Congress on February 4, 1791; and the adoption of the Constitution of Kentucky by the Tenth Enabling Convention on April 19, 1792; all of which declared that on June 1, 1792, the Commonwealth of Virginia would cede its lands in Kentucky and the Commonwealth of Kentucky would therefore be the fifteenth state entered into the United States of America.

The Archives at Milepost 606

Personal

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.