The Mississippi River Takes No Prisoners

25 06 2008

When I was younger, I picked up a copy of “On The Beach” and it sort of creeped me out. If you aren’t familiar with the novel, it’s about nuclear apocalypse and how some folks in Australia are waiting for the radiation as the world has killed itself and the characters are all that’s left.

Needless to say, this book isn’t Strawberry Shortcake.

The premise of having to wait for a crisis has always stuck with me and how the protagonists know they are just going to have to wait because bad stuff is coming.

Sobering.

Why this novel reminds me of the floods plaguing the Mid West right now even surprises me, but loss is loss and I guess that’s where I’m coming from.

Killa wrote a sobering thought recently that some of my coworkers and I were pondering this past week. I’ll let her explain.

Paducah’s historic downtown is right on the river. In fact, an artist came and painted scenes from Paducah through the years on the levee. Paducah’s historic downtown is one of THE best parts of Paducah. Forget the super-huge Best Buy store or Old Navy. Go to downtown Paducah and walk around on the roads made out of brick.

snip

My grandfather on my mother’s side and his family used to farm a hell of a lot of land in Cayce, KY. At one time, Cayce was so big that they had their own school. But now everyone goes to Fulton Co. School. I just don’t want to see all their farm land underwater. Hickman and Cayce have a weird economic setting. You’re either dirt poor or you’re filthy rich because you have a gazillion acres of farm land. There’s really no in-between.

snip

So, while everyone, including me, is watching Iowa and how bad it’s going to flood, I have one ear and an eye pointed towards Hickman.

She writes about if the flooding will strike the areas which are less than an hour from here. Hickman has been devastated recently by the economy and tornados.

From WPSD,

Farmers in far western Kentucky are waiting to see whether the predicted flooding of the Mississippi River will harm their crops.

The Mississippi River is a beast to be reckoned with. Although local authorities don’t believe that it will be horrible, there is still some trepidation that the biggest economic source which are crops in the Hickman/Cayce area would be impacted by flood rivers once it comes heads that way. Hickman, as I said earlier, has been devasted over the years. The downtown, well, there isn’t much left of it and it sets on the river.

So, although the outcome may not be as devastating as “On The Beach”, but from an economic standpoint residents are just waiting. I think that we forget sometimes that there are farmers in the world. If their crops are impacted for whatever reason, these men and women usually don’t have a back-up plan. Not all farms are huge subsidized operations.

And it’s that kind of wait that sits in the bottom of your stomach because there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.





Saturday Morning Quote

10 05 2008

Damn, what I would give to see a drunk Dick Cheney with Condi doing the chicken dance – or the Macarena.

Going Like Sixty on the Jenna Bush Wedding and media blackout.





Juke Joint

16 03 2008

I don’t know if you have ever dealt with sleep disruption but it’s a bear. I’ve been going through it since the first of the year. I had a bout with it last year as well but it was a bit different.

Have you ever read the book “Insomnia” by Stephen King? Yeah, it’s sort of like that. I keep imagining I’m going to see little odd men with big scissors cutting the life lines of folks. (You have to read the book to get that reference.)

With that said because it’s just something I’m having to deal with and I’ll be fine. Things tend to work themselves out.

Yesterday, SQ and I went out for some ribs, a few brews and basketball. Of course Tennessee lost which sort of blew but it was the experience as much as the game. We sat in a small juke joint in Fulton which had so much charming character that it is hard to explain. On the walls are such odd items as posters of Scarface, pigs (it’s a BBQ place), Nascar (which I don’t get) and sports memorabilia. People’s ages ranged from their late 70s to 18 and everyone was concentrating what was on their plates and the game.

The restaurant has a small bar in the back with five tables and about six stools where the most unusual bunch of barflies were sitting watching the SEC tournament. We got there early and sat down at one of the tables planning our weekend in Nashville next weekend. (Full Moon Tattoo and Horror Festival, campers.)

And here is one of the finest things about living in Hooterville that makes me smile.

When was the last time you were able to buy a 16 oz. NY Strip medium rare cooked in a butter sauce with ground pepper that was absolutely tantalizing and a rib plate, three beers and picked up a pound of pork BBQ and another rack of ribs to take home to a puny Homer (laryngitis) for 50 bucks which included a couple of beers? As we ate our food there, people were talking to each other about the game, laughing and visiting. As this isn’t a place we go to very often yet we were welcomed.

And the food was awesome. Big Daddy calls it pool room food (although this place doesn’t have a pool room) but the word applies. It is what it is.

You know, I might not be able to sleep but I’m not complaining. I realize this post makes no rhyme of reason but for some reason, as I sat up in the middle of the night I felt pretty blessed.

Sometimes it’s the small things that make life worthwhile.

There is a special kind of joy of finding a diamond in the rough where no one knows your name and doesn’t care, they like you just fine anyway.

And, that my friends, is the joy of a juke joint.





But When You Talk About Jello And Coors Light I Cringe …

14 03 2008

Sometimes, I am amazed by what I have not yet exposed myself to. I mean, sure I consider myself educated and all, but still, you realize that there are so many classics out there left to explore.

You know, he’s right.

Private blogger joke in the headline.





Drunk Elvis

6 03 2008

There is nothing, NOTHING, better than a drunk Elvis Impersonator story.

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. – A central Kentucky judge had a suspicious mind when an Elvis Presley impersonator showed up for court apparently drunk and sporting sunglasses and a rhinestone-studded shirt with a scarf draped around his neck.

County Attorney Brian Goettl said that as a result, the judge had David Blaisdell, 64, tested for intoxication and sentenced him to three days in jail for contempt of court when it was determined that the man’s blood-alcohol level was nearly twice that at which a person in Kentucky is considered legally drunk.

BadgerBeth gave us the hat-tip on this one.

Man, who doesn’t love an inebriated Elvis story.

Heh.





Social Networking, John Edwards And Grassroots Efforts

2 10 2007

Across the stateline, as Hooterville sits right on the Kentucky border, an interesting grassroots effort is occurring.

Grassroots efforts by a 24-year old activist in Western Kentucky has proven a huge coup in landing democratic presidential candidate John Edwards’s giving Columbus Belmont Park in Hickman County a visit by the former senator and vice-presidential hopeful from 2004.
Shawn Dixon told “Wired” Magazine the reason why he helped coordinate the effort was that he wanted rural voters to have a voice and to be “engaged” in the political debate.

Dixon used the social networking platform on Eventful to rally a town of 229 people to win a contest to bring John Edwards to their community. Edwards held a contest called “Demand to be Heard” and Columbus actually logged in more votes than Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas and San Francisco.

Here’s why Dixon is pretty cool. He lead this charge by mobilizing all of Western Kentucky. A student at New York University School of Law, he grew up in Columbus.

His objective: “the needs of rural America.”

He said to Wired:

On Eventful, Dixon described his hometown this way: “Columbus, Kentucky is a small town in Western Kentucky that boasts a population of 229 people and is about a 50-minute drive from the closest McDonalds. Like many rural communities across the south, job loss in the face of rising healthcare costs and education costs have crippled the economy.”

A visit from Edwards would provide a rare opportunity to highlight important issues facing rural America, he wrote.

“We want to see John Edwards come to real rural America and address the problems we face and hear his plan for revitalizing small American communities like ours!” he wrote on this Eventful post.

So Edwards will be at the park on Thursday.  Yeah, it’s a tour stop and political spin, I’m not naive, but it still neat to see that grassroots efforts can still be effective.

And yeah, there’s free barbecue. Welcome to small-town America, which sometimes isn’t so bad.

But here is the thing that has got me thinking the most. Social networking campaigns brought a presidential candidate to a small town. We are talking really small town.

And, it also makes you look at the value of social networks and puts a greater value on them, in my opinion.

To quote the guru and voice of my generation, Ferris Bueller: Life goes by pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.