USS Arizona Memorial

USS Arizona Memorial
On the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Beautiful Kentucky Lake

"TVA's Kentucky Dam and Lake-Kentucky Dam, in Tennessee River about 20 miles from Paducah, Kentucky, was built at a cost of $114,000,000. The dam creates Kentucky Lake which is 184 miles long and has a shore line of 2,200 miles. Construction of Kentucky Dam was begun in 1938 and completed in 1944.

Someone wrote their friend about a fishing trip in 1950 on this postcard.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ken-Rad Tube and Lamp Corp. Owensboro

"Owensboro is the home of Ken-Rad, the South's only manufacturer of electric lamp bulbs and radio tubes. Daily capacity is 30,000 lamps and 85,000 tubes."

Obviously, this is an older postcard. I read that the building was destroyed within the last 5-6 years. Does anyone have any more info on this one?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Severance Hall, Western Reserve University and Case, Cleveland

"Severance Hall is the music center of northern Ohio and is the home of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. Lakeside Hospital is a unit in Cleveland's University Hospital Group, which includes Western Reserve University Medical School, Children's Hospital, Maternity Home, Dental School, Nurses Home, and other buildings."

I have spent a lot of time in this area. It is hard to recognize from the view on the postcard, which is from 1947!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sternwheel River Boats in Owensboro

The back of the card states exactly-

Very few people, living to-day, can remember the sternwheel river boats like these plying the Mississippi River. This view, made from a rare print shows three graceful "old ladies" up at the river front.
The boat on the right is the Eagle packet "Cape Girardeau" later sold to the Greene Line Steamers who renovated it for excursion traffic and in 1935, was renamed "Gordon C. Greene". The center ship is the "Tennessee Belle" and the sternwheeler on the left is the Eagle Packet "Piasa" named for the legendary bird of Illinois Indian tribe near Alton, Ill.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Random Thoughts On Friday

OK, I think I have almost exhausted all I have on the Bardstown area and Indiana for the moment. I will be moving along to a couple of new areas.

For the next couple of months, I will try to focus on the western part of the state, mainly Owensboro, and the state of Ohio. I have spent a lot of time in both areas!

On another note, I just found out that the Kentucky Monsters football team won't be playing this year. Anyone else out there have any news on other professional sports teams in Kentucky? I do keep up with all of the pro baseball teams on my other blog (

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Martine's Pastries

Hey, all of you Kentucky Travels readers.... You forgot my birthday! Thanks a lot! That includes you mom!

Just kidding.

On a serious note, my wife did get me a GREAT birthday cake from Martine's! Martine mostly does wedding cakes so if you are in need of a quality cake in the Lexington area, call Martine's!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Steamboat Rock, Southeastern Kentucky

I can't find a lot of info on Steamboat Rock! Can anyone help me? Is it still there?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fahrenheit 451, Books, and Natasha's

I recently made it out to Natash's Bistro and Bar in Lexington! Check out their site, I really enjoyed my wrap and salad.

While we were there, we were able to catch the local theater group The Balagula doing Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

Fahrenheit is probably my all time favorite book. I could go on and on about. If you have never read it before, go read it. Seriously, do it now.

The book came out in 1953 and, reading the book now, Bradbury comes off as a prophet. Huge TV sets with people obsessively watching them is the norm in his projected story of the future.

And there is the banning and burning of books. Sure, it has been a while since I saw an actual book burn, but they are figuratively being burned at an alarming rate.

I still love hunting down a rare or signed copy of a favorite book. I think the excitement of reading a copy of a book older than I am adds to the experience.

A book has a life of its own. It is printed and then distributed. Someone reads it, then it lingers on a shelf, sometimes for years, maybe even decades or more. I like picking up old used books and reading them again, bringing their purpose back.

A lot of friends have the trendy new e-readers. I guess I am for anything that promotes reading, but this is not a book.

I remember talking to a friend, Sam, in college about music, and about how I love having a CD or an album. I love holding the cover, reading the credits and notes, and admiring the cover art in my hand. I thought I would never convert to a system where you would download the music, never actually owning the album. I argued that people will always want the physical object that contains the music. People will always want to hold a copy of the album that they listen to. Sam argued that there would be a day that people would get their music from the internet, and that they would be happy to not have to deal with the actual relic.

Times change. I still love going to see live music at small venues- and buying a CD from the performer to support them, and for my own enjoyment later.

I still love finding the occasional rare CD but my friend Sam in college over a decade ago was right. The day has come- and people (myself included) enjoy downloading songs quickly and easily from the internet.

Books are going in the same direction. Not burned, but not physically needed.

Ok, enough about that. I love books, and I especially love this one by Bradbury.

The Balagula Theatre did a great interpretation of this one. It is hard to act out a great sci-fi novel like Fahernheit, but this group nailed it.

They used white curtains in the background, sometimes with images projected on them, to show the 3 walled TV room from the book. The chaos of the slightly blurred images added to the dark feel of the story. I especially appreciated Balagula's use of footage from the Ray Combs era of the Family Feud.

Like a good sci-fi novel, the production forced you to use your imagination as the same stage was used for the firehouse, Montag's home, the park, etc. Also, the mechanical hound is imagined.

Probably 3 of my all time favorite characters in literature (Guy Montag, Clarisse, and Beatty) are in this book, and Balagula did a great job of casting them all.

Anyway, these guys do performances at Natasha's frequently, and I look forward to seeing more of their work!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Night Scene of Cleveland's East Side from Terminal Tower

A great postcard showing downtown Cleveland at night, viewed from Terminal Tower.

This is another area where I have spent a lot of time. It still looks similar, though this postcard is from MANY decades before I spent time there....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Glenmore Distilleries, Owensboro

The back of this old postcard reads

"Glenmore- the largest distillery in Kentucky- and the only distillery to ever produce a million barrels of Kentucky whiskey."

I don't know a lot about Glenmore. I have been through the area known as Glenmore. Anyone have more info on this distillery?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lo-Watt Radio

I wanted to take a moment to mention my favorite band around right now, Lo-Watt Radio. I drove up to Akron Ohio to catch them again recently.

I was glad to see that they are really developing a local following. In fact, the newer venue, The Acoustix Cafe, seemed a little unprepared to deal with the crowd that Lo-Watt Radio brought in.

If you can catch these guys live, you will see why they are drawing impressive crowds.

Lo-Watt Radio took the stage at around 9pm on this late January night. They took about a 15 minute break at one point, and then they played until nearly half an hour after midnight. These guys are bringing their A game, and they seem to have no problem playing for over three hours.

The crowd at the Acoustic Cafe obviously appreciated good music, as most stuck around for this marathon show. And, in case you are curious, the crowd did demand an encore.

The band has a ton of impressive material. They can cover Michael Jackson, Warren Zevon, CCR, or Tom Petty without flinching. Seeing them do "Mary Jane's Last Dance" seems very appropriate for this folk rock five. Seeing the band's multi-instrumentalist Doc Blankenhorn pull out a fiddle or mandolin for "Billy Jean" or "I Will Survive" might seem a bit out of place though. However, Lo-Watt Radio performs these songs as if they were written to be performed in a more folky way.

Don't go to see them because of the fact that they do some very interesting covers. Go to hear their original songs. They have a lot of good original material featured on their EP and on their recently released full length CD.

The new CD, "Thousand Days of Rain" is the kind of CD you can listen to straight through. Each song is a winner. I don't want to say that I have a favorite, because I like them all, but "Saints and Sinners", "Thousand Days of Rain", and "Here We Are Again" all belong on a movie soundtrack- or on college radio at least.

Lo-Watt Radio actually shows an excessive amount of talent in their original song repertoire. Doc sang lead on an amazing song called Tennessee. After the show I asked the band where the song came from. I thought it might be a cover of one of those great country songs from the 60s that I might have missed. The band told me that it was an original written by Doc. The song is incredible, and they haven't even recorded it yet!!!

The band is going through some personnel shifting. They have added Evan Moran on guitar and keyboards since I saw them last.

Unfortunately, drummer Joel Geiser will be leaving the group soon. He is moving out of state. Joel is a great drummer and I hope he keeps playing! I have listened to a lot of bands that have slow or unenthusiastic drummers. Thats not Joel. It will be very hard for Lo-Watt Radio to replace him.

The Acoustix Cafe is actually a very nice newer bar in the Akron area. It looks like they are booking a lot of talented local acts which is the way to go. As I mentioned, I don't think the venue expected the MANY Lo-Watt Heads that came out to support the band, but they still did a good job of trying to accommodate everyone. I did order a BB King burger there that was PERFECT! These guys are bringing in local acts, and doing their best to have a quality menu.

My friends in Akron have a great band to catch live, and a great new music venue!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Federal Hill Where Stephen Foster Collins wrote "My Old Kentucky Home"

I found this nice old postcard recently. The back asks for contributions to the "Old Kentucky Home" Commission.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon

A buddy who also likes to take road trips recommended this book to me recently.

This is a great book, that really captures the fun and stresses of a road trip in the late 70s.

William Least Heat-Moon finds himself in a situation where his world is kind of coming apart. With things not going his way he decided to get in his van and take a little road trip- around America.

He sets up some rules which make the trip very interesting. he only takes the blue roads marked on the map and he visits mostly the small, barely known towns.

I started reading this book knowing very little about it. I did not realize until some way in that William was writing about the late 70s. He's picking up hitchhikers and having the occasional beer as he drives.

There was something very notable for me that dated the book. Heat-Moon talks about driving near Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier. He doesn't mention Mount St. Helens eruption. If you ever visit the area, you know that something happened.

Then it hit me that he is visiting BEFORE the 1980 event!

Heat-Moon deals with race relations, gets hassled by the cops, and gets kicked out of a college dorm. He has a very interesting adventure.

I use the word "dated" to describe this book, and I mean that very affectionately.

I know very well what it is like to take a road trip now. I might take a moment to program some addresses in to my GPS device. I might update my Ipod play lists, adding some regional music.

10 years ago, I might make some mix CDs, and use mapquest for trip planning.

In the 80s, a map book of each state I planned to visit and some cassette tapes would be involved.

I like reading about road trips from eras that I can't visualize easily.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bethlehem KY Post Office

We took a little road trip through parts of Kentucky and Indiana right before Christmas. We stopped at post offices in Bethlehem Kentucky, Bethlehem Indiana, and Santa Claus Indiana just to get postmarks from these festive areas!

ALL were great! Susan Leopold, the Postmaster at the Bethlehem Kentucky PO was VERY cool! We felt more like we were in a friends home than at a post office. I absolutely love small town post offices with friendly postmasters.

They have a living nativity right across the street from the post office too. I will have to catch this next year.

I did get one letter postmarked with both Bethlehem (Indiana and Kentucky) postmarks. Check that out!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pioneer Whiskey Still, Owensboro

"The pioneer production of Kentucky Bourbon is a historic heritage of Owensboro. One of the most interesting items preserved in the first Commercial size 'still' used by the Medley Brewing Company. It is located on the land-scraped lawn of one of the modern breweries in the area."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Four Roses Bourbon

Another gorgeous distillery near Frankfort that gives tours! We stopped by on a very rainy day but Four Roses still offered a nice tour. They show a great video on the bourbon making process.

Random Thoughts On Friday

I wanted to take a moment today to tip my hat to the great businesses in downtown Lexington. I personally find myself spending a lot of time at the Hyatt Regency, Rupp Arena, the Convention Center, Sawyers, etc. Some days I might go down to the Starbucks down there and just read.

Sure, I am hoping the area gets going like some other downtown areas. Its not as happenin' as some other established downtown areas in bigger cities. Still, it is nice. AND, it is very safe.

I think I have mentioned here before that security at Rupp Arena is incredible. Think about it. The venue hosts many events each year where 24,000 plus come in. Rupp doesn't sell alcohol during the college games, but there are plenty of places close to drink before and after a game.

I have watched security at Rupp, the Convention Center, and the Hyatt act VERY quickly to take care of negative situations.

I know that, if I go downtown and someone is doing something thats not appropriate, someone is around to take care of it.

I was recently in another bigger city at a large sporting event. Walking to the venue (and once inside), I was asked to give and donate money, I was asked to buy various items, and I witnessed other inappropriate activity.

Lexington is not like that. I feel comfortable taking friends (some with young children) downtown. Places like The Hyatt, Rupp, Sawyers, the Convention Center, and MANY other great businesses have done a great job of establishing a family friendly vibe.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Santa Claus Indiana

We drove through Santa Claus Indiana around Christmas! I am sure I will have more on this town later, but here are some pics form my recnet trip, along with a scan of 2011's special Christmas postmark from there!

When I was a kid, we used to go to Santa Claus Land/Holliday World. I haven't been there in some time, and it looks different now from the outside.