Monday, December 22, 2008

Albert G. Hodges, Ken Lake State Park and more

Computer problems have held up some stories I'm working on. I will be bringing some interesting stories which have required some serious work and interviews. I am working on the following:

A first hand look at some letters between Kentucky publisher Albert G. Hodges and President Lincoln. Hodges and Lincoln were friends whereas Hodges supported the President's effort to abolish slavery. These original letters may very well be drafts for which I have access to the copies. The originals have just been sent to the University of Kentucky School of Journalism.

Christian County Assistant County Attorney John Thomas Soyars is providing me with the copies. Soyars is the great, great, great grandson of Albert Hodges. Soyars whose father was the late Judge J. Thomas Soyars was the law partner of Edward T. "Ned" Breathitt. Soyars grandfather was Judge Oglesby Soyars. His great grandfather was noted civil war Confederate hero Dr. James Thomas Soyars of Slaughters, KY (Webster County).

Hodges and President Lincoln communicated quite a bit and this should provide an interesting story line.

I am also working on the history of Ken Lake State Park which was the first great Lodge operated by a State. Notable people like Bob Hope and Dinah Shore were part of the dedication. Ken Lake also offered one of only three separate but equal parks for African Americans. Cherokee Park has been lost in Kentucky history and now deserves the return to the national prominence it once had.

I will also be bringing a stories on Greg Alexander who just got elected to the Murray City Council and may be the youngest elected official in Kentucky. I'm finishing interviews on the up coming legislative session and will bring a West Kentucky prospective on House Leadership races and what chances West Ky. Legislators think they have regarding tax increases. Stay tuned I'm working hard.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Georgetown's Bobby McDowell Recovering

Former Scott County Democratic Party Chairman Bobby McDowell is recovering from a broken hip. Bobby had to have major surgery to repair his hip. McDowell is one of the most interesting Democrats you will ever meet and has accomplished some amazing things while at times under difficult circumstances.

As one of the last people in the United States to fall prey to Polio, Bobby McDowell has never let his disability keep him down. It was over 25 years ago that I first met Bobby and he was Party Chairman in Scott County. If my memory serves true I believe McDowell was elected the youngest Party Chairman in Kentucky History at age 18. He also was elected to the Georgetown City Council at about the same time. McDowell served 3 terms as Party Chairman and also served on the State Democrat Central Committee. In 1984 Bobby was re-elected Party Chairman with the largest precinct turnout in Kentucky second only to Jefferson County that year.

Having served in politics and State Government for many years, Bobby has quite a resume. He worked for Congressman John C. Breckenridge and Sen. Wendell Ford. Served as an assistant to former Supreme Court Chief Justice Bob Stevens as well as having served in a number of Governor's Administrations.

McDowell is a "Yellow Dog Democrat" and the first time that I met him, he told me that "the only difference between God and Wendell Ford was that God had to rest on the 7th day." A proud alumni of Georgetown College and the University of Kentucky, Bobby serves as the alumni advisor to the Lamba Chi Chapter at UK. Bobby served for many years as an usher for UK football games.

My thoughts go out to Bobby for a speedy recovery and if you would like to drop Bobby a note I have included his information.

Bobby McDowell
102 Fordland Drive
Georgetown, KY 40324

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Christmas Gift Idea for KY History Enthusiast

From Cane Ridge in Bourbon County to all communities across Kentucky stand some of the oldest churches in Kentucky. If you have an appreciation for Kentucky History then you should appreciate this new pictorial book which provides pictures and history of the 233 Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Churches in Kentucky.

Don Nunnelly of Frankfort has authored this pictorial collection with the photographs taken by John Cornett of London, Ky. This is a large coffee table book and would make a nice Holiday gift. The cost of the book is $40.00 + 6% sales tax and $5.00 s/h for each book ordered. Order information below.

Don Nunnelly
9 Breckinridge Blvd
Frankfort, KY 40601

Bourbon Balls: West Kentucky Style

Bourbon Balls have become a Kentucky tradition during the holidays and I have at many times during the Christmas Season enjoyed eating them. I have had my fair share of bourbon balls that were good and some not so good.

I must report to you that I experienced what I believe to be the best bourbon balls I have ever eaten. Bourbon balls have been around since about 1938 and were invented by Ruth Booe but I think even Ruth Booe would have to admit that the bourbon ball(s) I got to enjoy this week were truly one of the best ever made in Kentucky.

The bourbon balls I am referring to were made by Marcie Cox of Madisonville, Kentucky. After doing some research and looking at some different recipes, I am convinced that Mrs. Cox's bourbon balls are different from all the recipes I have seen.

Rebecca Ruth Candies are probably the most well known for making bourbon balls in Kentucky but I think they have a rival now. If you want the recipe I guess you will have to contact Marcie. If you want to know more on the history of this Kentucky treat then you can go to the following link: