Dispatch: Kentucky Dreamin’
Written by Bwog Staff
In which Bwog correspondent Josie Swindler relates the quirks of her home state.
Ah, Kentucky. Land of red necks and blue collars. Where deer carcasses pepper the highway’s emergency lanes and tobacco plants flap beautifully in a westerly wind.
Kentucky has straddled the rifts in America’s national consciousness since before the Civil War; both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were born here. It’s not quite the South and it’s not the Midwest. But in 2000 and 2004 it was decidedly W. country.
Though the state is split on whether to root for the University of Louisville or University of Kentucky basketball teams, everyone’s a fan of the cellar-dwelling Triple-A Louisville Bats. If on the drive to Louisville Slugger Field, while listening to “today’s best country,” you find yourself too short on cash to pick up a $3 pack of Marlboros, swing by KFC’s national headquarters for a paid taste test.
The Bluegrass was busy in May. First, a record crowd watched Barbaro win the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, poised to take the first Triple Crown in almost 30 years. But when the horse sustained a life-threatening leg break in the Preakness, the state mourned the best way we know how—with homebrews like Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, and Wild Turkey.
Had it been election season, Barbaro’s popularity could have garnered him the Governor’s Office in the quaint capital city of Frankfort; for our Republican governor Ernie Fletcher was indicted in early May on charges of nepotism. A Republican practicing political favoritism? Nah. That’s crazy.
Recently, Esquire deemed Kentucky the most stylish state in the nation, the birthplace of a nation-high nine style icons: George Clooney, My Morning Jacket, the Kentucky Derby, Muhammad Ali, Johnny Depp, Hunter S. Thompson, Allan Houston, Chuck Woolery, and Colonel Harland Sanders, may he rest in peace. The issue came out in March, so Kentuckians should hear about it some time in 2009.
Whether one likes it or not, whether one flees to the Big Apple or not, a Kentuckian is always a Kentuckian. And whether I buy the bumper sticker or not, it’s true, my ass belongs to the Bluegrass.