Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Down to the Bluegrass State

So my fertilizer mission this week took me down to Kentucky for some corn plots.  On Tuesday as I was driving on the Western Kentucky Parkway (I've always wondered why you Drive on a Parkway and Park on a Driveway.  Hmmm.) I saw a sign for the exit to the birthplace of legendary bluegrass musician Bill Monroe.  Well of course I had to stop and see it.  After winding through the country for a few miles, you come to this sign on Hwy 62 near Rosine.  It was around 5:15 in the afternoon.  So I turned in....and it was closed.  But wait, the tourguide who had just closed and locked the gate was still there.  She asked about my being there and I said I was a fan and had hoped to see the place, but would try to come back another time.  Well, bless her heart, she said she would open it back up and take me up to the home place.  So I did.
Here is a sign outside the house with descriptions.  Bill was born here, in a cabin prior to the house, in 1911.  He was the youngest of a family of 8 children.
Here is the outside of the house.  It had fallen into disrepair, but was renovated and re-opened to the public in 2001.  Sadly, Bill passed away in 1996.
Here is a picture of Bill.  He played the mandolin, which as I was told, because his older brothers already played the guitar and fiddle.  The mandolin was less desirable at the time, but I believe it worked out well for him.  I actually saw Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys at a bluegrass festival in Hugo, Oklahoma back in 1970 (I think).  But I still remember that show.  Everyone my age and older should know of the Father of Bluegrass.  Merlene, my tourguide said that bluegrass is taught in area schools to preserve the legacy.  And there is a weekly show on RFD TV called The Cumberland Highlanders that is filmed in the area and often from right here. 
Here is the dining room.  Every other room had beds in it for the large family.
 And me sitting on the porch swing.  On a google search of images, there are lots of pictures of musicians sitting on this swing.  And it is said that the Monroe family would have played here as well.  Probably not on this swing though.
Here is my gracious tourguide Miss Merlene, who said she lived close and didn't mind a bit showing me around.  Now that is true Southern Hospitality.  Thank you very much and I hope you don't mind me using the picture afterall.
So I got back on the Parkway, and wouldn't you know that practically the next exit said there was an Everly Brothers monument in Central City, KY.  So again, I exited.  It was getting to be dusk, and there it was downtown.  Evidently the Everly family once lived in the area, and Don Everly was born near here.  They moved away and Phil was born 2 years later in Chicago, before they moved to Iowa where they were "discovered".  Who doesn't like the Everly Brothers?  So I said Bye-Bye Love, and back to the Parkway I went, finally getting to Hopkinsville that night.
I thought I would show the front page of our newspaper on Monday.  It was cool that they put an article about corn on the front page, but I imagine that most everyone who reads it is excited that there will be lots of sweet corn grown for us to eat this summer.  Or so says the picture. 
Look at the weather forecast for the upcoming week in Mid-Michigan.  Rain every day, and it was the same last week getting nearly 5 inches at the NCRS.  We sure would like to be planting sugarbeets and oats now.
And the rain followed me to Kentucky.  There was a thunderstorm last night that put us off until this afternoon, I hope.  But it did give me time to update the blog to this point anyway.