La Grange Main St

La Grange Main St
Boone Tavern Hotel in Berea Kentucky at night.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Life and Death of Floyd Collins by Homer Collins and John L. Lehrberger

I had a conversation at a coffee shop the other day with a professor from a local college.  He saw that I was reading this book, and he asked me who Floyd Collins was.  I was a bit amazed that a Kentucky professor did not know about Floyd!  I mean, I think that his face belongs on the fictitious Kentucky Mt. Rushmore with Abe and Harlan.  The professor gets a pass though, he came here recently from out west.

I love Floyd and his story though.  The guy was amazing, crawling around caves (which often were really just very small holes under ground), doing what he did.  The man had no fear.

This very easy to read book pretty much involves his brother telling about Floyd and his adventures, including his legendary LAST adventure.

"The Life and Death of Floyd Collins" offers a lot to think about.  Floyd would literally spend DAYS at a time exploring.  As a kid, and as an adult, he was all over the underground.  I loved reading about a young Floyd selling relics he found in caves, such as moccasins!  I enjoyed hearing about a brief feud he had with a mountain Lion also. 

Floyd's need to explore and find new caves was unparalleled.  I can't even conceive of a person exploring the way he did.  It is exciting to think that he probably explored MANY passages that are now forgotten.

I told the professor about Floyd Collins and his many discoveries underground.  I told him about the circus atmosphere surrounding his days trapped in Sand Cave, and the efforts made to rescue him.  Any reader interested in Kentucky caves, exciting adventures, and scary situations (being trapped the way he was in Sand Cave gives me nightmares) should look no further than this book.

For more on Floyd Collins, see my previous posts here, and here.  Also, check out my review of the other great book on Floyd Collins, Trapped!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Shelbyville Kentucky Antique Malls

Have you taken the time to visit all of the cool antique malls in Shelbyville?  Man, there are so many great little towns all around me!  Even the ones I am familiar with seem to impress me in new ways all the time!

So, we were driving through Shelbyville the other day and we realized that there were a lot of neat little businesses around, mostly nice antique malls.

We stopped in to several, all were clean and neat.  None were of the common, not much to be found variety.  All were easy to navigate, and we had cool finds in each of them.  I had some interesting postcard, book, and matchbook finds.

We really enjoyed the Calico Cat Antique Mall.  We had a great time checking this place out, and the staff was helpful and interesting.  I talked to one guy working the counter who seemed interested in what we collected. 

One of the antique malls had a coffee shop inside as part of the business!  Combining antiques and coffee might be one of the coolest business combos I can think of!

The buildings housing the antique shops were old and interesting too.  I would like to know more about the businesses that were there before.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Kentucky Exlporer

I keep thinking to myself that the Kentucky Explorer Magazine can't top itself, but it just keeps getting better!  I love this magazine and subscribe, but you can find it at the Appalachian Fireside Gallery in Berea, and at other places.

There is a very nice article about Abraham Lincoln's love life.  The author discusses how Lincoln's life has been (often unfairly) dissected and analyzed.  It is a very sincere article, written in 1909!

Still on a presidential note, this months issue covers Kentucky Candidates from long ago, including Henry Clay and Lawrenceburg's James B. Clark.  AND, there is a very cool article on Ronald Reagan's adopted son, Michael Reagan, and his Kentucky connections.

There is a very interesting write up from 1946 on the Mammoth Cave related collection of John M. Nelson (John is shown in the great photo on this months cover).  Mentioned in the collection are a petrified monkey and some human skulls!  I am curious about what became of the Nelson collection.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Shelbyville Homecoming Parade

I believe these photos labeled Shelbyville Homecoming Parade are from 1972 or 1973.  I don't have any more info on them.

Friday, January 23, 2015

La Grange Coffee Roasters

There are so many great coffee shops in Kentucky.  I do have my favorites though (Purdys in Richmond, and The Crème in Owensboro).  Well, I think I have another one to put on my list of favorites- LaGrange Coffee Roasters.

I really love a comfy coffee shop, with friendly staff, good art on the walls, and good coffee.  Well, this place has all of that.  AND the coffee is great.

I can't go on enough about how cool the entire La Grange area is.  I previously mentioned that train that goes right through town, and some of the other sites.  I am really looking forward to another day in the near future when I can get back to this area for another leisurely day of relaxing here.

I will have to come early sometime so that I may sit and enjoy a book, and a cup of coffee at LaGrange Roasters.

When I stopped by recently, the smiling staff here seemed enthusiastic and happy to talk to me about their offerings.  Also, I noticed as I hung around that these guys were constantly moving, cleaning, and preparing.  These guys care about the shop, and the products they offer.

La Grange Coffee Roasters has that very old feel that is so nice in a coffee shop.  With a few small exceptions, you could almost deceive yourself into thinking that you were setting in a business in the 40's, 50's or 60's.  Its no dusty relic though.  The place is clean and well maintained.

AND, the coffee is great!  I know, I say that a lot on this blog, but I would rank the coffee here very high.  If you drink a lot of coffee, you know that it is important for a good cup to be made fresh, using well maintained equipment, and the beans need to be quality.  LaGrange Coffee Roasters have nailed it.  This is one of the top five cups of coffee I have had in my life, and it would content for the best.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Train in La Grange Kentucky

It had been some time since my last trip to La Grange.  Its actually not that far of a drive for me, but its just out of the way enough.

Still, it is a great little town with a lot going for it.  I will write more about it in a few days, but I thought I should post some pictures of the train that literally goes through town!

According to Wikipedia, the CSX Transportation mainline goes right down Main Street!  The only other city in America that has a street running mainline is Oakland California!

I can't say enough about how cool it is to see a train going right through the street, just a few feet from parked cars, parallel with them.  There is a very retro feel to the whole experience.

Plus, La Grange has so many Mayberry-like businesses.  There is an ice cream shop, the very cool Karen's Book Barn, La Grange Coffee Roasters, etc.  This is a great area to visit for a relaxed, casual day.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Abraham Lincoln Postcard, Hodgenville, KY

"Abraham Lincoln National Historical Park- Enclosed in the beautiful, granite Memorial Building is the original log cabin where Abraham Lincoln was born, February 12, 1809."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Lincoln Marriage Cabin, Harrodsburg, KY

The Lincoln Marriage Cabin has been through some changes!  These old postcards show it when it was exposed to the elements.

The top one says-

"On November 4, 1842 Lincoln married Miss Mary Todd, Daughter of Robert S. Todd of Kentucky.

Oddly, that fact has little to do with the cabin pictured.

The bottom postcard gives a more accurate description of the Cabin in Harrodsburg-

Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, parents of Abraham Lincoln, were married in this cabin June 12, 1806 by Rev. Jesse Head.  The cabin has since been moved to Fort Harrod at Harrodsburg, where it is housed in the Lincoln Marriage Temple.  Fort Harrod is an exact reproduction of the first settlement in Kentucky.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Richmond Kentucky

I know I am a little late, but I realized that I had a few pictures on my camera from downtown Richmond, taken around Christmas.

Richmond, for some reason, seems nicer to me than it used to.  It looked nice for Christmas.  I have been spending more time down there these days thanks to Purdy's Coffee.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Coffee House Five- Indianapolis Indiana

I wanted to make sure I mentioned a GREAT coffee shop that we stumbled across while in the Indianapolis area.

Coffeehouse Five is located in the Greenwood area.  It is very close to the Jockamo Pizza (another great site to visit).  In fact, we asked our waitress at Jockamo's about Coffee House Five and though she wasn't a coffee drinker, she said that she had heard it was good.

So, we went in for a cup and to check the place out.

Man, sometimes when I walk into a new coffee shop that has a REAL coffee shop vibe to it, I almost wish I lived in the area, just so I could hang out there!  That is exactly how I felt at Coffeehouse Five.  The place is roomy AND cozy.  There was music playing at a reasonable volume which was nice.  Unlike some places, this would be a perfect place to have a conversation without yelling over music!

I did grab a brochure as I left about the place,
 and I have visited their website.  Coffeehouse Five claims to be set up as a "for benefit" business.  They are a non-profit, noting that people working there are not paid.  They use the money made there to provide counseling and training to help families and couples.  Also, 10% of their proceeds are given to food pantries in the area!

The business does seem to have a religious focus, as they have a Sunday worship service in the evening.  So, if you are up for a church service, this would be a great place to get coffee AND religion at the same time!

Oh, and our coffee and pastries were great!

We really like the Greenwood area anyway.  There is a cool mall (and a Half Price Books) just up the road from here.  Its a great spot south of Indianapolis.  I know of people who enjoy going to Indy for a downtown sporting event, but they aren't fond of lingering in downtown.  Well, Greenwood would be a nice place to spend time before or after a game downtown.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Dr. Suess Gallery at the Keystone Fashion Mall near Indianapolis

I just mentioned the Keystone Fashion Mall in my last post.

Well, they have a super cool Dr. Seuss Gallery inside!  It is very exciting checking out the art inside, AND they are OK with you taking photos!  Check mine out!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Keystone Fashion Mall- Indianapolis Indiana area

I just mention the cool Santa that I love at the Keystone Fashion Mall, I thought I should mention the mall itself.

This is just a cool, classy and clean mall.  This is the kind of mall my wife likes to shop at, and I don't mind going with her.  The stores are upscale (Coach, Crate and Barrel, Urban Outfitters, etc.) but the vibe is casual.  You might pay a little more for what you get here, but you will likely find some nicer things.

The place has one of the coolest artsy type movie theaters I know of, The Keystone Art Cinema.  This very cozy spot shows some of the popular movies, and some of the lesser known, more independent type films.

Another thing I like about the Keystone Mall, is that it is a great shopping local in general.  There are other nice stores around it.  For example, there is a HUGE Barnes and Nobles walking distance from the mall.  Not too far away, there is also a nice Half Price Books!

I don't want to go on and on about a mall, but I really love this one.  We usually do much of our Christmas shopping here each year.

Check it out!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Santa Claus at the Keystone Fashion Mall Indianapolis

I do have a favorite Mall Santa!  The Santa at the Keystone Fashion Mall in Indianapolis is my favorite!

This is one of those odd traditions that I really didn't even realize I had going until this year.  Almost every year since 2008, we have made a trip to the mall during the Christmas season.  Without thinking about it, I always took a moment to snap a quick photo of Santa while there, always from the same angle!

From top to bottom-Santa's area in 2008 (he had stepped away when I took the photo, and I forgot to get his photo later), 2009 (getting his photo taken with a young man), 2010, 2011 (standing and waving at me), 2012 (setting and waving), and 2014.  We did not stop by in 2013.

This is probably one of the classiest malls around, with a very cool and upscale vibe.  Their Santa is cool, and the mall is always decorated for Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Road to Indianapolis

This weekend we drove to Indianapolis for our annual "Before Christmas" trip. 

In the early 2000s we started going to Indy in November or December just for the heck of it.  Actually, I think there was a reason, but I don't remember it now.  Anyway, there was a year or two when we stopped going and then we remembered how festive the town is for Christmas, and decided that we had to go at some point each holiday season.

I have covered our winter trips to Indianapolis here, here, here, here, and probably a few other places.  So you can see that I really love this town, especially at Christmas.

This year we made it up for a very edited day trip instead of our usual weekend or longer stay.  That was OK, but we missed some of our favorite stops.

AND, there was a strange snow that affected road conditions!  We saw over half a dozen accidents between Louisville and Indianapolis.  It was a bit scary!  AND, Indianapolis had some other traffic issues that slowed things down!

Still, we were happy to be able to stop at a few places and enjoy what we could.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Oakwood Motor Court, Princeton, WV.

Oakwood Motor Court- This is an older one.  On the back it mentions that it was recommended by Duncan Hines.  Anyone know if it is still there?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

New River Canyon from Grandview, West Virginia

This postcard was sent from Huntington in 1952.

The back note-

New River Canyon near Grandview showing a breath-taking view and a wonderful panorama of the rushing streams and wooded hills.  On Route US 19, 21 and W. Va. 3.