‘Frankfort’ Category


Seeing Red

10 champsLinda Burton posting from Frankfort, Kentucky – They must eat a lot of Wheaties in Louisville, Kentucky. At least that’s what I thought, as I watched a raving waving sea of cheering red on TV tonight. Louisville is almost 50 miles west of Frankfort, but I can hear the noise clear over here. What’s going on? The University of Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team came home from Atlanta yesterday with an 82-76 win over Michigan, that’s what, making them the NCAA National Champions for 2013. And what’s more, the Lady Cards just returned from New Orleans with a women’s second place; yes, well, those UConn Huskies pulled it out again. So who’s crying? Nobody! It’s a celebration of what can happen when you “go for it,” and from 10 poster womenswhat I learn that seems to be the norm at U of L. Since the year 2000 the Cardinals have gone to basketball’s Final Four three times and the Lady Cards twice; as to football, U of L claims an Orange Bowl win in 2007 and a Sugar Bowl in 2013; the guys have gone to the College Baseball World Series and won the National Soccer Championship in 2010. The gals have three Big East Tournament championships for volleyball and four Big East titles for track and field. All in all, there are 13 women’s and 10 men’s teams that participate in the Big East Conference (though they’ll be switching to the 10 birdAtlantic Coast Conference in 2014). The men’s basketball program is the most profitable NCAA program in the country; it ranks 5th in NCAA Tournament wins and 5th in annual attendance; the women’s basketball team broke the Big East paid attendance records in 2008 when they defeated U of Kentucky at Freedom Hall. But sports doesn’t get all the recognition at U of L. » read more


An April Afternoon

08 lincoln by chairLinda Burton posting from Frankfort, Kentucky – Where can you find statues honoring Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis in the same room? The answer is the rotunda of the state capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky. The bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln stands 14 feet high; his hand rests on a chair; the toe of his shoe, which protrudes slightly from the marble base, is worn to a shine from the hands of admiring passersby. The Lincoln statue occupies the center of the rotunda; just beyond his right shoulder, against the towering marble wall, stands the statue of Jefferson Davis; not nearly so grand in scale or position, yet in keeping with statues of others honored in the space 08 davis minethat welcomes all to the Kentucky capitol. “Kentucky played a pivotal role in the Civil War,” I read in the brochure I’d picked up at the front desk. “Both the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis (1808-1889), and Union President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) were born in Kentucky. The war that pitted state against state and brother against brother was perhaps best represented in Kentucky as portions of the state 08 lincoln w kidsupported the efforts of the Confederacy while others supported the efforts of the Union.” (Kentucky was a “border state” during the war; one of four slave states that never seceded; Delaware, Maryland and Missouri were the others). I leaned against the wall to get my bearings and noticed a young boy by the Lincoln statue, hand resting on top of the pedestal. Was he part of a school group? “I’ll bet he just rubbed the toe for luck,” I smiled, as I began to study the brochure. There were three floors to explore, housing all three branches of Kentucky state government. I stared at the opulence above my head; it made me think of France. » read more


Liquid Corn

05 bt name signLinda Burton posting from Frankfort, Kentucky – “It was used for medicinal purposes,” Fred answered. “It’s been said there were more sick people in Kentucky during prohibition years than at any other period of time.” This brought a laugh from the group; twenty people gathered for the beginning of a tour of Buffalo Trace, a Frankfort bourbon distillery that’s been in business over 200 years. Fred had told us it was a continuous operation “even during Prohibition,” so of course I asked how they got permission from the federal government to stay open. “The doctor wrote out a prescription and you dropped by to pick up your pint,” he continued. Ah, so people were after its “curative” properties! Bourbon whiskey is, by definition, mostly corn, Fred 05 tour beginscontinued, and I visualized the rows of corn my Granddad planted; his cornfield stretched all the way from the house to the railroad track. “Don’t put the water on to boil till you head out the door to pick the corn,” Granddad would say, when corn-on-the-cob season finally arrived; he believed it had to be that fresh to be good. So I grew up with corn, the juiciest, sweetest, most delicious vegetable God ever created. And easy to grow. That’s why American pioneers (British-French-German-Irish-Scottish-Welch) planted it as they moved westward across the Alleghenies after the Revolutionary War, into 05 cornfield 2the vast open farmlands that eventually became Kentucky. The soil was rich, the sun was warm, and the corn grew. Now think about it – how much corn can you eat, or feed to your animals, and then, how much corn can you sell? Roads were bad back then; shipping was costly, and timing was a factor. Turn it into a liquid; that was the profitable answer. And so bourbon whiskey was born. » read more


It’s All In Stock

04 mama babyLinda Burton posting from Frankfort, Kentucky – “It’s all in stock.” That’s what my grandma used to say when viewing a newborn. If the baby was especially fine-looking, she’d add “Good stock,” and ooo and coo and ask to hold the little one. A really ugly baby had no such luck with Grandma, she’d simply hand a baby gift to the new mama with best wishes. In the car later, she’d express her concern for the baby’s future. “Poor thing, hasn’t got a chance,” she’d fret. “But it can’t help it, it doesn’t come from good stock.” Believing everyone deserves a chance, I’d chastise Grandma, but I never changed her mind. Grandma’s been dead for 30 years, but I swear, she was tapping my shoulder today, saying “I told you so.” I was standing in a horse barn, and Oscar 04 gatewas explaining to the five of us the specific details of horse breeding. What is the definition of a thoroughbred horse? I’d never thought to ask before, but here I am, on my 74th birthday, touring a Kentucky horse farm, and that’s just the first new thing I learned today. A thoroughbred horse comes to life, ah, shall we say, naturally; no artifical processes involved. The tourbus had brought us to Airdrie Stud, 2,500 acres of gently rolling, limestone-rich bluegrass land on Old Frankfort Pike, owned by former Kentucky governor Brereton Jones since 1972; where more than 140 04 flashy bull bathstakes winners and earners of over $80,000,000 have been bred. It’s really cold for April; the grass hasn’t greened up yet; a chilling breeze swept through the barn, but the horses were steaming from their morning bath. These horses are hot all right; Oscar pointed to the chart on the wall; it’s the “appointment schedule” for the day. Three studs had an 8 AM mating; next call is 2 PM. Oscar explained how it’s done. » read more


Bewildered, But Never Lost

02 daniel bwLinda Burton posting from Frankfort, Kentucky – “I can’t say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days.” That line, like so many tales, is attributed to Daniel Boone (1734-1820), whose exact whereabouts and final resting place are not completely substantiated, but heck, you want to believe all the stories you hear, they are so entertaining. Was he a hunter? That part is likely true. Did he live in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri? West Virginia claims Daniel; in Charleston I visited Daniel Boone Park on the banks of the Kanawha River, and photographed his (alleged) rifle, walking cane, and a 02 boone rockrock with his name inscribed, all displayed behind glass at the Cultural Center. I drove through Daniel Boone National Forest today, and passed a sign to Boonesborough, just south. Tonight I sleep in Frankfort, Kentucky, one of the places that claims his grave. Did Daniel Boone “kill bar” as is carved in a tree in Tennessee? Did Daniel Boone wear a coonskin cap? He probably killed bear; boys in the 1700’s typically learned to use a rifle at an early age. His father is reputed to have said, regarding Daniel’s 02 fess parkereducation “Let the girls do the spelling and Dan will do the hunting.” Daniel was literate, he (allegedly) toted the Bible and Gulliver’s Travels on trips and would read to his traveling companions around the evening campfire. As to that coonskin cap; it is fairly well documented that Daniel was about 5’7” in stature; the image of the tall hunter in the coonskin cap is more likely due to the role played by Fess Parker in the Daniel Boone TV series of the ‘60’s. Fess was a tall man, and wore a coonskin cap in his earlier “frontier man” Davy Crockett role. That is how images are created, you see. Like the Leatherstocking Tales. » read more