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October 8, 1977 Around Adair with Ed Waggener

The article below first appeared in the October 8, 1977 edition of the Daily Statesman. Topics included the ongoing debate about traffic on the Square, a rousing political endorsement, a look at a couple of peer communities, and a story about a cat from times when there was enough room under the hood of a truck for a full-sized cat to comfortably be. --Pen

By Ed Waggener

Finally, the solution to the traffic mess on the Square in Colmbia has come through, thanks to the clear thinking of Dagwood Gore and Grover Cleveland Gilpin. They say, erect signs at each entrance to the Square which will say: "Get where you're going the best damned way you can!" That way, if a person wants to do to the Post Office from Jamestown Street, he'd just cut across the Square from Jeffries Hardware to Firestone, and be where he's going. It shouldn't be any worse.

The Square would make a grand dodg'em
The car companies could make special models for traveling in Columbia, much as they make special models for California, to comply with that state's tough emissions standards. In Columbia, the cars would have a big bumper all the way around the car, so that it would be safe to get hit from any direction. If a guy gets in your way, just give him a knock the way the kids do with electric bumper cars at Beech Bend Park.

Dagwood's cat needs a home
It is an old, yeller-looking cat, and they say it belongs to Dagwood Gore of Columbia Candy Company, that it is his guard cat. Anyway, when Clyde Beard got in his truck the day before yesterday to start it, both the motor and Dagwood's guard cat purred to life.

I opened the hood on Clyde's truck and sure enough, the cat was there, sitting on the radiator. When I aimed a camera at him, he ran under the truck, but not away. He kept meowing, and when we looked down through the truck's innards, the cat's tail was hanging from the chassis. Clyde says Dagwood's just hurt. Dagwood also denies that he is its master.

Cat repairs are difficult
Cat lovers would probably applaud any scheme from the Crazies in America to make General Motors make their pickups safe for cats, with a cat-guard cage to prevent kitties from crawling up on the warm engine blocks to sleep.

I am told that in a community in this area that a fellow got up one cold morning, went to his garage, and tried to start his engine.

Each time he'd crank, a loud, "Whar-r-r-r-r!" would report from the engine compartment.

After two or three tries, he opened the hood and found that the family cat had crawled up under the hood to get warm during the freezing night.

The cat had slept too close to the fan, and the blade had clipped its ear off, but the ear was still hanging by a thread of hide.

The fellow knew he was in trouble with his wife, so he rushed the cat to the veterinarian. The vet looked at the project, said he could handle it, but that it needed not be rushed.

He offered the patient's master a drink, and took one himself. They repeated this procedure several times, than started singing, too. They'd drink a little, sing a little, and operate a little.

Everything was okay when they finished, the story goes, except that they sewed the cat's ears back on its cheek, and it lived, but it never again looked a proper cat.

More reason for a new jail
It was sad news which reached Columbia yesterday that Ronald Grant, the escapee from the Adair County Jail, had been found dead in Rockdale, Illinois, of what was apparently self-inflicted gun wounds. There will always be speculation as to whether or not this could have happened had he not been able to get out of the jail. In this case, a man charged with a crime never was tried.

There is another danger in an unsecure jail, and that is that an inmate may get out and commit a crime against property or even life while he is at large.

It is unfortunate that it takes a tragedy to get the public to act to build secure jails.

Jails are costly. They don't make money. They are meant to segregate certain individuals from the rest of society -- to both restrain them and to make sure that those outside the jail's walls are safe from those inside. Until Adair County replaces the present jail, there is no way that the rest of us - on the outside - can feel secure when dangerous inmates are lodged there.

Something good about Wild Bill Ballou
Circuit Court Clerk Bill Ballou has requested that something good be written about him - but there is so much good that it is hard to know where to start. He is married to a good woman, the former Jackie Marshall, who has made him what he is. He has a fine son, Todd, given to him by his fine wife. He has had the good fortune to have Susie Nell as a deputy in the circuit court clerk's office, and she won't let him make any dumb mistakes. He lives among fine neighbors. He went to a fine high school. And he works in a fine new office. And he is the best man on the ballot this fall running for office of Adair County Circuit Court Clerk. Until somebody better comes along, I would recommend that Adair Countians vote for him.

A suggestion: look over another town
Now that Columbia is going, it's a good idea for citizens to see where we are going. There are two communities within an hour and one-half drive which are good laboratories for Columbians to study. Their growth seems to parallel, or, in some cases, to precede, similar growth here. One such community is Leitchfield, in Grayson County. Leitchfield is a short 30-minute drive from Elizabethtown on the Western Kentucky Parkway. The town is blessed with good restaurants, and is enjoying growth in shopping areas, in health care facilities, and in government installations. The community appears to get projects about 2-3 years before Columbia gets them. (Although we may get in gear and pass them up.)

The other community similar to Columbia, in a lot of ways, is Monticello. It's located on the other side of the lake, and many Adair Countians think of it as another land. But Monticello is only 60 miles from Columbia. (Just take 55 South to 127, then cross the Dam to Highway 90. Highway 90 is super highway which has been completed almost all the way into Monticello.)

The ties to Wayne County are greater than many would believe. A lot of older people there came to Columbia to college at Lindsey Wilson. And both banks in Monticello were started by folks with Adair County ties. The Baker family and the Breeding family helped organize the Monticello banks. Columbian Richard Paull Hill is still a major stockholder in the Monticello Banking Company.

Monticello has seen two huge shopping centers built in the past few years. Both are still growing. And, after absorbing the initial impact, and after removing the parking meters, downtown Monticello is coming back. It's a nice place to visit, and an educational place for those interested in seeing Columbia grow.

This story was posted on 2019-09-01 13:36:10
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Scenic Columbia: The Trendy Farmhouse

2019-09-01 - Columbia, KY - Photo by Pen.
Dagwood's cat is long gone, but the painted sign is a reminder of the candy wholesale business that once inhabited the building that is now The Trendy Farmhouse on Reed Street just off the Public Square.

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