Our Old Kentucky Home

I haven’t written yet about Kentucky because I’m afraid that once I start, I won’t be able to quit.  I’m wildly in love with the parts of the state that I’ve seen so far, so much so that we bought a parcel of land.

I love the topography and the geology of the state.  The mountains are full of sedimentary rock, and limestone is one of the most beautiful in my eyes.

The Bluegrass State is the horse capital of the world, as it touts itself, but I like to call it the Limestone State.

We’ve driven around the central and western parts, avoiding the east.  I don’t want to see the mountaintop removal.  It would pierce my heart, I’m sure.  I see enough “friends of coal” bumper stickers.

The state is absolutely rife with coal, natural gas and oil.  I don’t think there are any old growth forests left; as one of my books has noted, the landscape was “denuded” by the timber companies.  We haven’t yet met anyone who doesn’t take hyper-exploitation for granted.  Whenever we visit our property, we’re asked very matter of factly if we’re going to drill for gas/oil on it.  I’ve learned to try to conceal my horror and just shake my head.

In fact, we just found out that there are three old oil wells on the property.  Presumably these have been capped.  We haven’t spotted them on our walks, but we haven’t exactly been looking for them either.  We’ve been looking for water near the site we’ve selected for a future home, and to that end had a geologist visit.  The map we received shows many oil/gas wells in the area, along with fractures in the rock that holds our best hope for water.

Water is an issue in Kentucky.  In the rural area where we want to live, most people farm.  You don’t see mono-crops in Kentucky.  No row after row of corn.  You see cows and horses grazing.  You see hay rolled up (this is the season for that).  You see gardens and fruit trees.  You see evidence of bee keeping. I’m sure there is agribusiness in Kentucky, but most farms look small and family operated to me.  Like many states, Kentucky hasn’t had a lot of rain in the last few years.  Our well driller was telling us about a farmer who has city water plus wells and wants more water yet.  The concept of conservation has not taken root.

The psychology of the state is a bit misunderstood, in my opinion.  The knee jerk liberal reaction (whenever I do talk about Kentucky) is that gun loving Deliverance type people live there.  Well, yes, that is true.  But Kentucky is a split personality.  Like all of the Northern states, Kentucky had slaves.  But like the Northern states, when push came to shove, they entered the Civil War on the Union side.  This matters.

Kentucky was never home for indigenous people, either. Seneca and other nations used it as hunting grounds.  I haven’t done a lot of research on this yet, so I don’t know why Native Americans didn’t settle in the area, but I don’t think there are any massacre sites in the state.

And yes, the Creation Museum is tax supported.  We drive by it.  I haven’t been there, but I hear tell that the T-Rex, who is standing next to Adam and Eve in the Garden, has a saddle on it.  Okay, that is embarrassing.

People do like their religion but they are also into sin.  The Volstead Act was actively defied in Kentucky with moon shiners supplying bourbon whiskey for the nation.  Kentucky has always grown tobacco.  And though this isn’t widely known, Kentucky lags only California in marijuana growing.  You can’t convince me that all of that sin is for export only.

Privacy is valued.  I think there is an intrinsic understanding that privacy is crucial for liberty to exist.  Some of the gun toting is a reflection of that ideology.

The people we’ve met so far love to tell stories and they’re pretty good at it.  But when you walk away from a conversation, you realize that very little personal information has been revealed.  Here in Yankee country, I can hear all about someone’s sex life just standing in line at the grocery store.

The rural area where we will live has, like rural areas all over the country, been severely affected by methamphetamine.  I don’t think there is a family on the mountain that hasn’t been directly impacted by the scourge.

The first neighbor we met was worrying out loud that we’d “fall in with the wrong people.”  When I asked who they were, she just said, very sadly, “drugs.”

I learned later that her son was disabled for life in a meth cooking accident.  When our agent was looking for people to do some work on the property, he struck out.  Everyone that did that work was either “dead or in jail.”

The War on Drugs has utterly failed these people.

We met this neighbor, a 77 year old woman, when she was walking around on the mountain, looking for ginseng.  She’s lived her whole life on the same mountain.

I hope when I’m her age, I’m still walking around on the mountain.

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11 Responses to Our Old Kentucky Home

  1. You have some interesting thoughts here, but you’ve got the Creation Museum all wrong. The non-profit Creation Museum did not receive public money for its construction and has not received any during its 5-year operation. It is not, as you write, tax-supported. Completely wrong.

    Also, there is no Creation Museum exhibit with a T-Rex and a saddle. I’ve been there several times over the past few years. After guests walk through the museum, there is a photo opportunity for children (my kids have done it) to climb on a Triceratops and have their photo taken. That is all. It is not an exhibit.

    Since you indicated you drive by the museum, maybe you should visit it first (or do some basic research) before writing about it for public consumption and revealing your poor research methodology.

    Think about it,
    Tony Breeden

    • igotsomethin says:

      So, you’re saying that the Creation Museum has not received any tax breaks? I don’t believe that is true.

      I probably will not tour the museum because I couldn’t do it without laughing. As I said in my blog, I haven’t been in it. I was using Chris Hedges (who has been in it) description.

      Thanks for reading.

      • Frank says:

        You do know receiving a tax break and being tax supported are two totally different things right? What state recognized non-prof organization doesn’t get tax breaks?

      • igotsomethin says:

        The Creation Museum has been approved for $43 million in tax breaks. Don’t these breaks support, in part, the activities of the organization? Could the organization exist without them? The semantics here are every interesting.

        Thanks for reading.

  2. Frank says:

    You’re confusing the creation museum with the ark encounter, which will in size and money brought into the state will make the museum look like a corner store. The museum itself has brought $2,900,000 in taxes into the state with ticket sales alone, not to mention all the taxes that are brought in with food sales and merchandise, then add hotel business, local restaurants, I’d say ole KY is reaping some financial benefits from that place and will reap far more with the ark. In fact I recall reading somewhere that as of a few years ago the creation museum was added to the state’s critical infrastructure list.

  3. Frank says:

    And hey, what’s wrong with gun loving people, or is the gun loving Deliverance type (lol) specifically that’s the problem?

  4. Rev Tony Breeden says:

    If you’ve read Frank’s comments, you’re aware that you’ve confused the Creation Museum with the up-coming Ark Encounter. The Ark Encounter is receiving no tax money, but may get a portion of sales tax back if it reaches certain attendance goals. The only taxpayers who will be involved are those who attend the Ark Encounter.

    You might also like to know that Chris Hedges completely blew his journalistic credibility by claiming that animatronic T-rexes towered over the Creation Museum’s main lobby, when in fact the juvenile models are only 2 feet tall.

    • igotsomethin says:

      You guys are right. I got it wrong. The Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum are two different things. Both are being built/managed by Answers in Genesis, so maybe you can forgive me for my confusion.

      I just know that, when the Muslims or Hindus get tax incentives for their parks, because the governor isn’t getting involved in religious debates, you will undoubtedly be just as pleased. Correct?

      • Frank says:

        Yes pleased indeed, if the Muslims and Hindus got the same tax breaks it would prove that the government is not showing bias, just as the tax breaks for the ark are doing.

Thanks for reading!

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