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Old 08-22-2018, 01:40 PM
 
11,891 posts, read 9,818,100 times
Reputation: 21979

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Moderator cut: Off topic

But - you might view me differently if you realized I'm a Kentuckian with Appalachian roots in NC and TN. Lived the vast majority of my life in Kentucky. Lots of focus on, time in, and familiarity with Appalachian Kentucky and its history. I welcome anyone who wants to visit or learn more about it, as long as they bring an open mind with them and do not cling tightly to preconceived notions of what they think it is or what they're going to encounter.

That's why my original response to your first post about your trip included a lot of information about places to see, things to do, books about the area to read, and questions about how much time you planned to spend here. I'd do the same for anyone planning a visit to Kentucky. Others responded similarly.

But then you said you planned to spend half a day, wanted to see "something peculiar", and thought this would allow you to "learn the culture" so you could go back home and counter the comments of some acquaintances who don't share your views.

So I responded to that. Your comments about "peculiar" sightseeing and putting down your acquaintances back home with the knowledge you gained via learning the culture in one afternoon were red flags, as was the brief time you planned to be in Kentucky.

I stand by my previous statements re. the use of "peculiar". Not cool. Had you said you wanted to see or experience something unique or specific to the area, I would have responded very differently, as "unique" or "specific" do not carry the implication of strange, odd or weird which "peculiar" does.

I also think you're very unlikely to learn much about the culture of anywhere in one afternoon, especially if you don't try to learn something about it before going there.

Now, had you been clearer about your plans and asked if there was anything particularly interesting (or unique or specific to the area) that you could see in the part of Kentucky you'll be very briefly visiting, and been clear about how much time you had and where you'd be, leaving all the politics and invective out, my reply would have been very different.

Instead, you unnecessarily injected quasi-political views into it and got all huffy and personally insulting, and never did thank me for my well-intended questions about your plans, and suggestions about places to see that tied in with your interest in the Civil War, etc.

I never mentioned my own political views in this thread, and neither they nor yours should matter. I never ask anyone else inquiring about visiting Kentucky whether they are a Republican or a Democrat, Liberal or Conservative - or even a "social justice warrior". It's just not relevant.

Not cool, either, to get political when discussing vacation plans. If you want to talk politics, go over to the Politics thread and have at it.

If my words are too long or my sentences are too complex for you, I am sorry. I write like I think, not like I speak. I majored in English as an undergrad, and am articulate when writing, more so than when speaking. Sorry that bugged you.

I am not interested in the topics covered in the books you suggested, so doubt if I read them. As far as the books I recommended, they deal with Appalachia, a topic in which you claimed considerable interest, which is why I suggested them.

Since you have no use for what you (not I, I have never used the term seriously though I have made use of it ironically, as I think it smacks of self-righteousness) term "social justice warriors", then you'd be "disgusted" by Alice Lloyd, John Fee, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jean Ritchie, Harry Caudill, Wendell Berry (not really Appalachian but certainly Kentuckian), Mary Breckenridge, Rebecca Caudill, John Fox, Jr., Annie Fellows Johnston, and a host of other Kentucky so-called "social justice warriors" with significant roots and/or history in the mountains and concern about the people of the mountains and the mountains themselves. People who gave substantial parts of their lives and careers to bettering the quality of life in the mountains. "Social justice warriors" doesn't begin to describe these good, intelligent, creative and generous souls and their contributions, but it is often used sardonically (oops, another multi-syllabic word) to put down folks of this kind.

Gotcha. You've just written off the founders of Berea and Alice Lloyd Colleges, the Mother of Folk (music), a prominent abolitionist and educator and statesman, award-winning Kentucky authors and poets, and the founder of the Frontier Nursing Service, now Frontier Nursing University. Got no use for them, you say. Too bad, since they were all ground-breakers who played a substantial part in the history of this area.

But you still hope to see something peculiar while learning the culture during your half-day spent in Kentucky..

Okay. Have fun.

And let us know all about the peculiarities you discover during your afternoon drive through Kentucky over to West Virginia.

P.s. Did you really accuse me of using "millennial jargon"?? Hilarious, I'm in my 70s!

Last edited by Oldhag1; 08-25-2018 at 08:44 AM..
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:47 PM
 
11,891 posts, read 9,818,100 times
Reputation: 21979
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melchisedec View Post
Eastern Kentucky...........to the OP, be careful you don't end up doing what Diane Sawyer did.

Stir up a hornets' nest !
Too late.
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Old 08-23-2018, 12:07 AM
 
Location: Eastern Kentucky Proud
963 posts, read 1,450,579 times
Reputation: 987
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post

But - you might view me differently if you realized I'm a Kentuckian with Appalachian roots in NC and TN. Lived the vast majority of my life in Kentucky. Lots of focus on, time in, and familiarity with Appalachian Kentucky and its history. I welcome anyone who wants to visit or learn more about it, as long as they bring an open mind with them and do not cling tightly to preconceived notions of what they think it is or what they're going to encounter.

That's why my original response to your first post about your trip included a lot of information about places to see, things to do, books about the area to read, and questions about how much time you planned to spend here. I'd do the same for anyone planning a visit to Kentucky. Others responded similarly.

But then you said you planned to spend half a day, wanted to see "something peculiar", and thought this would allow you to "learn the culture" so you could go back home and counter the comments of some acquaintances who don't share your views.

So I responded to that. Your comments about "peculiar" sightseeing and putting down your acquaintances back home with the knowledge you gained via learning the culture in one afternoon were red flags, as was the brief time you planned to be in Kentucky.

I stand by my previous statements re. the use of "peculiar". Not cool. Had you said you wanted to see or experience something unique or specific to the area, I would have responded very differently, as "unique" or "specific" do not carry the implication of strange, odd or weird which "peculiar" does.

I also think you're very unlikely to learn much about the culture of anywhere in one afternoon, especially if you don't try to learn something about it before going there.

Now, had you been clearer about your plans and asked if there was anything particularly interesting (or unique or specific to the area) that you could see in the part of Kentucky you'll be very briefly visiting, and been clear about how much time you had and where you'd be, leaving all the politics and invective out, my reply would have been very different.

Instead, you unnecessarily injected quasi-political views into it and got all huffy and personally insulting, and never did thank me for my well-intended questions about your plans, and suggestions about places to see that tied in with your interest in the Civil War, etc.

I never mentioned my own political views in this thread, and neither they nor yours should matter. I never ask anyone else inquiring about visiting Kentucky whether they are a Republican or a Democrat, Liberal or Conservative - or even a "social justice warrior". It's just not relevant.

Not cool, either, to get political when discussing vacation plans. If you want to talk politics, go over to the Politics thread and have at it.

If my words are too long or my sentences are too complex for you, I am sorry. I write like I think, not like I speak. I majored in English as an undergrad, and am articulate when writing, more so than when speaking. Sorry that bugged you.

I am not interested in the topics covered in the books you suggested, so doubt if I read them. As far as the books I recommended, they deal with Appalachia, a topic in which you claimed considerable interest, which is why I suggested them.

Since you have no use for what you (not I, I have never used the term seriously though I have made use of it ironically, as I think it smacks of self-righteousness) term "social justice warriors", then you'd be "disgusted" by Alice Lloyd, John Fee, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jean Ritchie, Harry Caudill, Wendell Berry (not really Appalachian but certainly Kentuckian), Mary Breckenridge, Rebecca Caudill, John Fox, Jr., Annie Fellows Johnston, and a host of other Kentucky so-called "social justice warriors" with significant roots and/or history in the mountains and concern about the people of the mountains and the mountains themselves. People who gave substantial parts of their lives and careers to bettering the quality of life in the mountains. "Social justice warriors" doesn't begin to describe these good, intelligent, creative and generous souls and their contributions, but it is often used sardonically (oops, another multi-syllabic word) to put down folks of this kind.

Gotcha. You've just written off the founders of Berea and Alice Lloyd Colleges, the Mother of Folk (music), a prominent abolitionist and educator and statesman, award-winning Kentucky authors and poets, and the founder of the Frontier Nursing Service, now Frontier Nursing University. Got no use for them, you say. Too bad, since they were all ground-breakers who played a substantial part in the history of this area.

But you still hope to see something peculiar while learning the culture during your half-day spent in Kentucky..

Okay. Have fun.

And let us know all about the peculiarities you discover during your afternoon drive through Kentucky over to West Virginia.

P.s. Did you really accuse me of using "millennial jargon"?? Hilarious, I'm in my 70s!


Mr Creek, I've been watching this thread for several day's now, it don't take long to see something when you already know what you are going to see. I've seen these good folks come and go many times through the years but, I will give them credit for originality.



Last edited by Oldhag1; 08-25-2018 at 08:45 AM.. Reason: Edited quote
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Old 08-25-2018, 08:54 AM
 
Location: My beloved Bluegrass
17,334 posts, read 12,558,485 times
Reputation: 23440
Okay folks....
  • Do not discuss each other. Anytime pronouns such as “you” and “your” are used it can be construed as a personal attack and, in fact, many really are such. If it’s negative and you have addressed it to another poster by name that also is generally viewed as a personal attack.
  • No discussion of national politics in area forums. If you’d like to discuss that, go to P&OC.
  • Discussions of state politicians need to be related to the thread. The previous posts in this thread doing so are tenuous at best and any future posts discussing them will be deleted, regardless of what else is in the post.
Please get back to discussing authentic Eastern Kentucky places to visit.
__________________
When I post in bold red that is moderator action and, per the TOS, can only be discussed through Direct Message.Moderator - Asia and Kentucky (including Lexington & Louisville)
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Old 08-27-2018, 02:11 AM
 
123 posts, read 246,486 times
Reputation: 214
Ok, I'm just going to ignore everything that's gone before, and I'm on to new things. I went to Kentucky yesterday and spent time speaking to a perfectly nice (and very educated) man who lived in a well-manicured home that probably would have been worth $600,000 if it were located on Long Island, which is where I live. This was not surprising in the least.

I know this is the Kentucky thread, so I'll try to stay on-topic, but I specifically posted about Eastern Kentucky, which is, as far as the map says, Appalachia. I have been infatuated with Appalachia since I was young, probably because there is so little (accurate) information out there, just stereotypes, at least in the corners of the world in which I've spent time. It piques my interest because I know it can't be all true.

Just because I will not be spending a significant amount of time in the part of Appalachia that is Eastern Kentucky, I have spent a significant amount of time reading about, educating myself about, and finally, visiting West Virginia (which is all Appalachia) twice. Although everyone is super friendly, the locals--even the police-- seem perplexed as to why we're all the way out here. We're here because I want to do a deep dive into Appalachia. I think it would be way too easy to just visit Morgantown, Charleston, Huntington and Ashland, call it a day, and go back to New York and tell everyone that they're fools and Appalachia isn't too different than anywhere else. That simply isn't the whole story. I am interested in the perspective of the woman who approached me in a historical hotel in a tiny town yesterday, and her complaints that the coal barons get rich while everyone stays poor, even if I don't agree with her premise. Today my husband and I went to a timber region that had nothing to do with coal. We want to see the whole thing. It's just literally impossible to do in two weeks, and unfortunately (or fortunately), I have a job to return to, so I can't stay here forever...

I thought I would be remiss if I returned to WV without spending at least a little time in Eastern Kentucky, if for nothing other than comparison's sake. I originally posted that I want to see rural, overlooked places and I want to get into the hollers (briefly; I know I'm not entirely welcome there), and see places that are off the beaten trail, because I'm not going to have another chance to see that. And if I'm going to speak intelligently about the region, I feel it is responsible to see the good, the bad and the ugly.

My sentiments about the region are both similar and dissimilar to the late Anthony Bourdain's when he interviewed, in September 2017, that he was so tired of certain northerners picking on Appalachia that he was going to come here to see for himself, sort of to be able to tell them what it's really like. Where I differ from Bourdain is that I go to these places to learn the truth about them. Bourdain said he set out to make a show that portrays Appalachia as an irresistible place before he even went there. I don't think that's intellectually honest, and I won't do it.

That was the nature, and the idea, behind my original post. I do plan to travel to Ashland, to get a fair and balanced view, but there is a mall there from what I understand. That doesn't comport with my experience with Appalachia, which is great. I want to expand my horizons. I was just hoping someone would weigh in on a place that was more difficult to find than Ashland (as many have). By saying I want to see something peculiar, I don't mean to offend. Something "peculiar" that happened to me in West Virginia two days ago was that I was driving down a rural road and I had to stop my car and wait for the dog who was sleeping in the middle of the street to wake up, notice me, and stroll on over to his property. I thought it was very interesting, as I've never seen anything like that before outside of Appalachia. It wasn't "backward;" it didn't make me feel superior; it was just peculiar.

Yesterday, outside of Hardy, KY, my husband and I were driving back toward WV when we saw a house on fire. It was just sitting there burning. No one seemed to mind. It's peculiar to me, because on Long Island, we would have four fire trucks with sirens on, rushing to a location if a cat was stuck in a tree. I'm sure the burn was controlled, and I wasn't worried, but it was something I've never experienced, so I found it interesting. I think my life is richer for experiencing these things, rather than hopping a flight to an all-inclusive resort and just partying away my one vacation of the year. Been there, done that, in my early twenties. I want to move on to something new (with y'all's help). We are going back to KY for several hours--basically making a day trip out of it--so I still welcome feedback, even though I've got a plan in the works.

As I've previously stated, I would love to speak to people who are getting ahead in life, even if they don't have conventional resources, because I believe that is the underpinning of the American dream.

Finally, I just want to say that I ask about places with rich Confederate history because I am infatuated with contradictions. For two states that were allegedly "Union," as in, they were not part of the Confedracy, there is much Confederate history here. Today I went to two Confederate burial grounds, and a museum that displayed a rare Confederate flag that was unlike the Confederate battle flag. The museum was pretty keen on conserving Confederate history, and I didn't hear much about the Union. Had I never been here, or examined the issue--I would have spent my life believing what they say in the history books--that Kentucky and WV were purely Union. And, as I mentioned before, I am a lawyer and a historian, so I like to get things right contextually, sometimes to the point of healthy obsession. Again, if anyone has insight into Kentucky Confederate places to see, I would be interested. I know something is there, because I saw the stars and bars flying in Kentucky. (I'm not taking a stance on the war; just think the whole thing is interesting).

That said, I do have a life and other priorities, interests and pursuits, so I am not going to study Appalachia to the exclusion of all else; it would be inefficient and overly taxing on my time. I want to see a lot in a short period, but it is still just a vacation. That is the thrust of my agenda. Take it as you will.

If this thread doesn't get closed down, I'll post again after I've spent the bulk of my time in KY to report my findings, for those who are interested. Again, I thank everyone who has weighed in.
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:19 AM
 
11,891 posts, read 9,818,100 times
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Nicole, thank you for posting again. I appreciate what you had to say in your most recent post, and am glad your trip is going well. I'm also glad you are making plans to spend more time exploring parts of Eastern Kentucky, rather than limiting your time there to just a few hours.

I hope you will continue to learn more about the areas you plan to visit - Ashland is an industrial small city, thanks to Ashland Oil, whose refinery you will see right on the state line next to the Big Sandy River. Ashland includes some rather wealthy individuals, again, thanks to Ashland Oil. While Ashland has suffered some economic downturns in recent years, it has never been a poor, stereotypical Appalachian small town. So the presence of a mall and other contemporary features in Ashland is not surprising.

Ashland was also the home of Jean Thomas, who collected ballads in the mountains and hosted the American Folk Song Festival annually, starting in 1930, on her property. Her home, the Wee House in the Wood, is preserved and open to the public, I believe. She was known as the "Traipsin' Woman", as she traveled from holler to holler during her ballad collecting days. I met Jean Thomas at her home once when she was quite elderly (she lived to be 101) - she was very gracious.

You would probably appreciate the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center, in downtown Ashland. It has exhibits and participatory activities, focusing on the area.

If you are still in WVA or EKY, I hope the remainder of your visit goes well and will be informative.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:26 PM
 
123 posts, read 246,486 times
Reputation: 214
So I just wanted to thank everyone for weighing in, and I just wanted to post what I actually experienced, as promised (spoiler alert: it's not very exciting):

I was so tired (literally and figuratively) of driving the mountain roads of WVa that I cut the short trip even shorter. Never made it to Pippa Passes. Instead, we went to Prestonburg, off Route 23, which was a very charming small-ish town with cute, reasonably priced shops. The food was mediocre. What struck me was how much more inhabited Kentucky seemed than West Virginia. We had to circle the block to park. That hasn't happened in West Virginia! I also thought it was fun to cross the border and immediately see UK stuff at the stores, when Marshall is probably closer. In Florida, where I've lived for a long time, there was always merchandise from all of the college teams at the stores, and it wasn't as fun.

Generally, driving in Kentucky was a lot easier. I saw a lot of chain stores; we got internet connection in the car. It just seemed more mainstream, and I guess now I can see why people got insulted when I made it seem like I was looking around for a bunch of barefooted men in overalls playing the banjo (not that I was ever actually looking for this; just being hyperbolic). I was actually ignorant about the region, and expected it to be a lot more like West Virginia when it simply wasn't (and I looooove me some West Virginia, so please don't take anything I say about it as a put-down). We were going to go to a museum in Paintsville, but it was closed.

We ended our Kentucky sojourn in Ashland, which was very different than I expected. It was probably the most "Appalachian" part of Kentucky that I saw that day, in that it reminded me a little bit of Wheeling (the rest of Kentucky could have been in upstate New York from what I saw). We spent a long time watching a building get demolished by an excavator, which was really special. In New York, they erect walls around that cool stuff in order to keep people from holding up pedestrian traffic. This was the opposite. People just gathered around to watch, and it was nice to talk to the locals a little. I love the accent, and the lack of pretension i perceived in the people. Not everyone spoke to us, and I appreciated that. Last time we went to W.Va, an old man who lived there all his life told us that West Virginia people are shy, and if that extends over to the border to Kentucky, I like that, as my husband and I are introverts, and a little bit goes a long way with us.

We left Kentucky and went to a semi-famous restaurant in Huntington. The staff was so interested in us. "Why are you here?" is a question we get over and over and over. The question should really be, "Why are there not other people from other places here? It's awesome. And super affordable."

Funny thing I noticed upon returning home: it's not that different from Appalachia in the suburbs, which is where we live. The restaurants, nail salons, and supermarkets are not that different. The people in the service sector are not very different. I think the biggest differences are the terrain, and the way people are when you are speaking to them casually. I'm sure there are schemers and scammers in Appalachia too, but I find the people to be more genuine, comfortable in their skin, and friendly (when they're not being shy).

I know I was only in KY for a couple of hours, and there was no way to come to a conclusion about the region, but I'm glad I went, and when anyone asked me today at work "how was WEST VIRGINIA?" with irony and condescension in their voice, I just reminded them, "Kentucky. Don't forget I also went to Kentucky." No one really says anything after that.
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:38 PM
 
11,891 posts, read 9,818,100 times
Reputation: 21979
I am glad it turned out well and that you enjoyed your trip and learned more about the areas you visited and their people.
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