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September 23, 1977 Around Adair with Ed Waggener

This article first appeared in the September 23, 1977 issue of the Daily Statesman. Topics included a number of significant construction projects, the local literary scene, and a novel way to cut tobacco, plus high praise for the speech Earl Huddleston made at the dedication of Fairplay Meat Processing. --Pen

By Ed Waggener

"Drop the blade!" is going to be the battle cry in Columbia, if new projects keep being announced. It looks as though the bulldozers and cement trucks will keep moving in 1978.

There was obvious pride in a hometown company getting the low bid on the new Adair County Public Library. McLean Construction did the work on the Adair County Courthouse. Joe McLean and his son Gerald employ local men in construction, and two of three of their sub-contractors are from Columbia.

Hopes are high on the hospital
There still is no word on the FmHA loan for the new West Lake Cumberland Hospital. The loan application is in Washington now, and as one local official said, "You don't tell those people to hurry up." He did note, though, that word is expected within two or three weeks.

The jail may be now or never
Still, there is concern about the new jail. New standards are being set for county jails all the time.


Adair County should plan to build a jail which will meet the standards in the future, or there may be the possibility that one day, the state could start consolidating jails, and a little bit of the "sovereignty", if you will, of the county may slip away. On the other hand, if we build a lock-up which is up to snuff, Adair County may take on more and more importance. A new jail shoud be a top priority for the present administration and the one to follow.

Writers and former editors around here
Adair County is known as a good place to find writers. I remember how proud we were when Rev. Wyckoff was pastor of Columbia Presbyterian Church and we saw his name on hard-bound books. He wrote mystery books for children.

Our most famous authors, Janice and Henry Giles, have been a tremendous source of pride. Now, paperbacks with "Giles" on the spine are seen everywhere.

Now I learn that there are more editors around. Dr. John B. Horton, former President of Lindsey Wilson College, was once editor of the Hazard Herald in Perry County, Kentucky. And Carl Harris, owner of Columbia Locker & Market, was editor of The Brook 'n Breck, the school paper at Male High School in Louisville.

A fast way to cut tobacco
Mike Murrell says that a Wayne County farmer has found a quick way to cut tobacco: He just runs his mowing machine through the patch.

It works, Murrell says, but other farmers over there are saying that he really hasn't saved any time since he still has to stoop to pick up the stalk to spear it. If he had used his tomahawk, as every ordinary farmer does, at least he would been able to hold onto the stalk and stand upright.

They are really going to have a love-in
I thought the Democrats were just kidding about a love-in, at which all the formerly feuding could get together and make up. Now, we learn, the official love-in was last night at 7:00 p.m. in the (W.R. Murphy) Municipal Building in Columbia. John D. Lowe, treasurer of the Democrats, says that candidates were invited along with interested citizens, precinct committees, and that officers were to be elected. I think a lot more people would have gone if Lowe could have guaranteed that we could see Cornelia Hughes and Cotton Phelps make up (partisanly speaking, of course), it ain't supposed to be personal) on the dais. But just wondering if that could take place should draw a crowd. We'll report on it tomorrow.

Equal treatment, but a little more equal for some
At the Tuesday night meeting of the dairy farmers, Grover Gilpin amended J.C. Yarberry's speech supporting Dairymen, Inc. "You can quote me," Gilpin said, "Everybody knows I'm oversold on DI, the Methodist Church, and the Democratic Party," Gilpin said.

"I'm all for dairymen, but I'm just a little bit more for DI dairymen," he said.

"It's like the story 'Doc' Beauchamp used to tell," Gilpin said. "He told his road workers in Logan County, 'Spread the gravel around the churches, boys. We want to be equal about it. But when you get the Methodist Church, spread it a little deeper'."

Adair a tourist haven
Last weekend's excellent business in Columbia from the major events makes a body want to think about expanding our appeal as a tourist town. Who knows, we might be another Gatlinburg, Nashville, Indiana; or Cave City. They say that in the early fifties - this is according to the late Pete Walker - a group organized in Russell County to try to take the Rock House Bottom, Lake Cumberland, and the natural beauty of the area to turn the county into another Gatlinburg. According to Walker, the group actually went to Gatlinburg to study how to handle the problem. They came back optimistic. "Yes," Walker says they said, "it can be done. We can make Russell County into another Gatlinburg. All it will take is $47,000,000 to build a mountain."

Really it's no laughing matter
Actually, it is no laughing matter that Adair County can bring in much more as a tourist town. The word is out that if you're hungry, this is the place to be. If there is a single industry in Adair County which deserves great praise, it is the hospitality people. The biggest difference, besides food quality, is that the service is faster and friendlier in Columbia than anywhere.

Still hearing praise for speech
I am still hearing praise around town for the fine talk Earl Huddleston made at the dedication of Fairplay Meat Processing. Huddleston was speaking without prepared notes, and, unfortunately, no one was recording the speech on tape. More's the pity, because the talk was significant beyond the scope of the event. I hate to see it lost.


This story was posted on 2019-09-08 10:04:27
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