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On The Road . . . Missing The Fall Colors . . .

On The Road … Missing The Fall Colors



Island Of Fall Colors

Island Of Fall Colors

Abandoned But Splendid In Their Fall Regalia …

Fall In Russell County, Kentucky




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On The Road . . . Horse Power . . .

On The Road …


The Next Competitor – East 80 Pulling For Jesus Horse & Mule Pull


Interested Competitors Waiting … Smoking


Hard Pulling


Racing Horse Morning Workout

Spirited Morning Training

Tennessee Walking Horse

Tennessee Walking Horse

Tennessee Walking Horse Training

Tennessee Walking Horse Training


Early Morning Training



Generations - The Spotted Draft Horse

Generations – Devore Spotted Draft Horses


An Early Morning Moment …

Almost Ready For The Pull

Almost Ready For The Pull – Devore Spotted Draft Horses

Green Pastures

Green Pastures – Mitza Smith Horse Farm And Small Critter Refuge


Watching – Mitza Smith Horse Farm And Small Critter Refuge

The Grass Is Greener

The Grass Is Greener – Mitza Smith Horse Farm And Small Critter Refuge





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On The Road . . . Starboard Side . . .

On The Road … A Look Back …


Starboard Side

Born To Run … Fast …

Russell Springs , Kentucky




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The Old Guy … “THE” Wedding Of 1938 …


The Old Jamestown Bridge – Site Of “The” Wedding Of 1938

Family history and stories are often the best, travel well, and create memories and smiles over and over again. South Central Kentucky in 1938 was a somewhat close knit community of Southern Baptist and Methodist traditionalist. They were so-to-speak … set in their ways.

I never knew my Father-In-Law or my Sweetheart’s Father. He passed away years before my entry into the family. That is a shame. In the last thirty years, I have never heard a harsh word said against or about him.

My Mother-In-Law, I did know quite well for many years. She was a industrious, dress wearing, white tennis shoe clad blur of motion with a purpose and destination. She was also quite feisty, which seemed to be somewhat at odds with the common perception of a bible belt lady of the South.

l could see Ms. Elsie as a determined young lady with a rebellious streak that could and would on occasion make an appearance. 

Teamed up with her husband to be . . . Elsie and Aubrey bought to 1938 Kentucky a new infusion of rebelliousness. It was a breath of fresh air consisting of stubborn American independence and two or three dashes of Roaring 1920’s rebelliousness. Quite a few traditions were about to be cracked like a 30’s gas station dinner plate.

Weddings in South Central Kentucky were traditional affairs according to local customs and religious dictates. The Bride would a white dress which was the custom. The Groom, and the men attending the event, would wear a dark Sunday-Go-To-Meeting Suit or clean overalls with a dark suit coat. In church during those times, proper atire was both an unspoken, and whispered rule. There were few deviations except for maybe the Groom wearing a dress military uniform should that be his station.

The Old 1938 Jamestown Bridge, the old bridge (still in service) and the new Jamestown Bridge on US 127

From Bottom To Top Of Photograph: The Old 1938 Jamestown Bridge, the old bridge (still in service) and the new Jamestown Bridge on US 127.

The soon to be newly weds passed on a traditional church wedding with all the bells, whistles and floral trimmings. They also passed on a less than desirable, but grudgingly acceptable, county courthouse wedding. Their plans, when known mostly after the fact, were the causation of more than one jaw dropping. It was 1938 for goodness sake.

The wedding of Elsie McKinley and Aubrey Bradshaw took place on the US 127 Highway Bridge at Jamestown, Kentucky. They sat attentively in their automobile as the right Reverend William Bradshaw, or Uncle Willie, performed the ceremony with one foot on the bridge and one foot on the running board of the automobile. In attendance to witness the special event were Aunt Gladys and Uncle Andrew. It is not known if any farm trucks, tractors or automobiles passed by or interrupted the wedding proceedings.

Of course, Aunt Gladys and Uncle Andrew went with the newly weds on their honeymoon. Some traditions do trump rebelliousness.

From the Jamestown bridge, the four of them were off to Corbin, Kentucky where they honeymooned and ate fried chicken at Colonel Sander’s first restaurant. It was a magical time. Aunt Gladys and Uncle Andrew enjoyed their adventure to no end.

The newly weds, independent and rebellious for a brief moment, had a long and happy life together.


Note: For the Sisters Janet Foley and Jeannie Moss. Their parents were something else. A special thank you to Janet Foley who relayed the story of her Mom and Dad’s wedding and answered so many questions.



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From The Front Porch . . . At The Birdbath . . .

At The Birdbath












(looking forward to the Spring and new opportunities)




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The Old Guy . . . The Great River Adventure . . .

The following narrative is true and occurred during the Summer of 1989. The participants names, except my own, have been changed or left out for obvious and not so obvious reasons. No embellishments to this narrative were added. Like most recorded for future generations folk lore, this adventure started with  the line . . . “It seemed like a good idea . . . “

It seemed like a good idea when I heard about it. A grand river adventure down the Cumberland River from the Wolf Creek Dam at Jamestown to Burksville, Kentucky. Though I had no idea of the distance between the two map points or the amount of effort involved in the endeavour, I was up for the challenge.


From The Top Of The Wolf Creek Dam – The Cumberland River 2014 – Artificially High Due To Dam Repairs …

A former deep salt water sailor myself, I had no fear of what seemed to be a slow meandering, often shallow bottom, fresh water river.

At the boat ramp, adjacent to the public camp grounds below the great dam, early on a calm Sunday morning, I met the doctor my sweetheart worked for and one of his friends or rather accomplices. Due to the doctor wanting to conduct an experiment, we would be taking two flat bottom boats down the river. He had altered a common everyday gasoline powered yard leaf blower with the intent of bringing jet propulsion to the Cumberland River.

I sat in the second boat which was located in the center of the river and watched. It was calm and serene on the river until the doctor started the leaf blower. Even though he had made a special bracket to mount the possible propulsion device, it didn’t work. He gunned the engine countless times, and directed some rather pointed comments at the unfortunate device. The boat didn’t move. A cloud of white and grey smoke began to descend on the river along with a horde of Yankee tourist, campers and interested third parties including several Department Of Wildlife officers. There was wonton finger pointing and robust laughter that seemed to last for quite a while.

A six horse power outboard motor finally replaced the jet propulsion disaster. Alas, we were on our way down river. The laughter and nonsensical chatter was quickly left behind. In short order we glided past a friends large river farm. It was there we bottomed out several times and had to get out and pull the boats over either a sand or gravel bar. Well, wet feet can dry out even on a small craft. Surprisingly, it started raining when we got to the Rock House Bottom.

Rock House Bottom Looking Out At The Cumberland River

Rock House Bottom Looking Out At The Cumberland River

Neither the doctor’s co-conspirator or myself were prepared for rain. But … that wasn’t the worst of it. We hadn’t heard the warning horns. The dam had started generating.

When the dam starts generating electricity, the river changes from meandering to a quick flowing torrent. Fishermen evacuate the river banks and recreational boating pretty much stops. We had badly estimated when or if there would be generating during our adventure. It was Sunday. With the river rising, the rain intensified. Fortunately, the doctor was well prepared for fowl weather. He had a serviceable raincoat and headgear.

We, on the other hand, were given an improvised poncho made from a plastic kitchen tablecloth. Once we poked a head hole in the center of the stiff material, we were pretty much high and dry. That would be for the moment. It was a little disconcerting that our free official poncho imitators were a bright yellow. Though no one spoke about it, I thought the bright yellow color was a reasonable idea. I also thought no one could miss us wearing them or that the search parties couldn’t miss our bodies should they wash up in such a bright grand style on the river bank.

It was about this time the doctor’s six horse power motor failed.

The motor failure was sudden and troubling. We managed to pull his boat over and lash the two together. With the rain streaming down we headed for the bank. It was understood without outwardly stating it that we had to continue on. We were out in the middle, of the middle, of nowhere with few other options. So, we were heading down the river lashed together after a quick restroom break which entailed climbing up a slippery embankment to the woods. It was necessary to get quickly up into the woods for some private time, which resulted in me having to defile a small piece of the woods.

So we were off once again to see the wizard in Burksville so to speak. A heavy rain with active lighting was on us and quite threatening. Contemplating my options which included a rising and fast river, possible death and dismemberment along with disappearing without a trace, I found that my sandwiches were hard to eat when rain soaked. The bread sort of disintegrated and fell between my fingers though the meat remained serviceable and editable. It had that freshly washed taste sensation. We hadn’t gone but maybe six or seven miles when the six horse power motor in the second boat started sputtering and threatening to die. We quickly pulled back over to the bank.

Squeezing the fuel priming bulb kept the motor running semi-normally …

After a quick inventory of options, we found that if someone continually squeezed the motor primer bulb, the motor would run semi-normal. Yeah . . . and I was quite elated when I was chosen to constantly perform such an important task. So . . .  in order to retain control of the lashed together boats we had to have enough power to go faster than the river current. Heading down the river again, I found myself squeezing that fuel bulb like I was trying to get three gallons of milk out of a cow in two minutes. Left hand, rest, right hand repeat, rest . . . left hand, right hand repeat.

It began to rain harder, and the doctor’s accomplice and I started to frantically bail water out of the two boats. They were quickly filling up with rain water at an alarming rate . . .  Squeeze, bale, squeeze, bale, left hand, rest, right hand repeat, rest . . . squeeze, squeeze, left hand, right hand repeat. Five miles later we pulled over to rest a bit. I needed to rest like no ones business. My hands had started making involuntary spasm movements that were troubling to say the least. The doctor’s accomplice thought I was making obscene gestures and laughed heartedly at my predicament.

Down the raging river the rear-end of the tied together boats started to drift to the left towards the center of the river. We were going slower than the current and would quickly become uncontrollable river riffraff. I wasn’t keeping up. Squeeze faster, faster, bale, squeeze, bale, left hand, rest, right hand repeat, rest . . . squeeze, squeeze, left hand, right hand repeat. Farther on down the river the serious muscle cramps started, and I couldn’t feel my feet from the cold water.

Of course, the rain water at this time was above the ankle deep inside both boats. This was despite our efforts to continuously bail the disaster into the river. I was beginning to wonder if my poor feet would ever dry out. My tennis sneakers had already been written off with a hope the new socks that I was wearing could be salvaged.

Miles down the river was the Burksville city boat ramp and it wouldn’t take long to get there once we pushed off again.

Finally through the haze and rainfall, we could make out the city boat ramp. I was soaked to the bone, tired and I didn’t know if I could ever use my hands again beyond hard labor in a milk cow dairy or doing pervert imitations. Squeeze, bale, squeeze bale, left hand, rest, right hand repeat, rest . . . squeeze, squeeze, left hand, right hand repeat. I had reoccurring nightmares with this horrid theme for months . . . and several times in each of the next few years.

Well, we made it! But, oddly enough over the years we spoke little of our unique outing on the great Cumberland River. Unfortunately, speaking for myself, this turned out to be the last and only great river adventure.





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Guest Blogger … Cousin Gene Edition #5 … The Big Game …

February the Oneth, 2015
Guest Bloggist, Cousin Gene … Edition #5 … The Big Game …

Here it is Super Bowl Sunday, and I am not all that interested in the big game. I enjoy watching some professional football, but my team is not in the big game, so I will only look for the score occasionally. My team (I say “my team” because I am a part owner.) is the Green Bay Packers. Well, my team just gave the NFC Championship away to the Seattle Seahawks. I would like to see New England win number 4, but if they don’t, oh well. After all, in the big scheme of things, the big game is not all that important.

Cousin Gene

There are a couple of alternatives, such as the “puppy bowl” or the “kitten bowl”, which will air on a cable channel earlier in the day. I probably won’t watch those either.

Back to “my team”, the Green Bay Packers, it is the only publicly-owned team in the NFL, and I own one share. Makes me a true “Cheese Head”. I have rooted for the Packers for a long, long time. Since the days of the “ice bowl” at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Vince Lombardi as the head coach. My favorite player was quarterback Bart Starr. One Christmas Santa gave me a Green Bay Packers helmet and I think I put Starr’s number, 15, on the helmet. What a wonderful gift, it was!

On my bucket list is a visit to Green Bay and Lambeau Field. Not in the winter time, though. July or August would be a good time for me to visit. It?s only about 1000 miles from my house, just a couple of days’ drive. I do have a couple of nieces that live near “the windy city”. I could sponge off of them for a couple days on the way! Whatever I decided to do, I would need a lot of Mountain Dew for that trip!!!!



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