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Septemer 16, 1977 Around Adair with Ed Waggener

This article first appeared in the September 16, 1977 issue of the Daily Statesman. Topics included hedgeapples, an argument for a traffic light on Jamestown Street that would probably have saved Dad 5 minutes on his morning commute to the newspaper office, a renovation of the Circle R, exploration of natural gas resources in the county, a plan for a bypass around town, and a too-good-to-be-true price on Kickapoo Joy Juice at Carl's Locker and Market. --Pen

By Ed Waggener

If I get bit by a spider, it's my own darned fault: I forgot to put my hedgeapples out and yesterday morning a big ugly one almost dropped on my back as I ran through its web.

But, fool that I was, I didn't put out hedgeapples, as Emma Woody has warned everybody to do.

Some are foolish, but others are wise
However, George Keltner has not been bitten by spiders, and I suspect that soon he will not be plagued with crickets. Keltner and his wife were journeying toward Lexington the other day and he spotted a big hedgeapple tree on the banks of the Kentucky River.

He startled his wife, Bobbie, when he stopped the car to pick them and I suspect passers-by were startled as well. "But," he said, "I decided to experiment to see if hedgeapples really do keep spiders away."

Back home in Columbia, he says he has learned that hedgeapples are supposed to be an effective foil against crickets, as well.

Could sell them in cello-packs
If they work, we may expect to see hedgeapples put up in cello-packs and sold for 39c each in a grocery store, possibly in the non-edible food section, although Keltner has not said that he plans to market them in his K&F Food Store.

Anything will sell, apparently, if it is packaged and priced. I've often thought that if one were to put a cello-pack of lawn clippings, and give generous measure, say three pounds, and price the stuff, reasonably, somebody would buy it.

Kickapoo Joy Juice is 10 oz.
In Monday's Adair County News, the ad for Carl Harris' Columbia Locker & Market listed "8-16 oz. bottles of Kickapoo Joy Juice for 79c with bottles." Everybody knows that that is too much Kickapoo Joy Juice for the money, even at bargain prices. The correct amount is "8-10 oz. bottles of Kickapoo Joy Juice, 79c, with bottles." And that, friends, is still a mighty good buy.

How about a stop on Town Hill?
As Columbia continues its boom into the waning days of the 1970's and on into the 80's, a new traffic problem has developed. There is nearly always a jam as Reed Street tries to feed onto Jamestown Street. Jamestown Street cars going up Town Hill invariably block the intersection, even though Jamestown Street traffic is not moving. It is as if Jamestown Street drivers fear that a Reed Street driver will turn right, up Town Hill, instead of left, out of town, and get in front of them.

It hasn't been statiscated, but I believe that a scientific survey would show that four out five Reed Street cars feeding onto Jamestown Street turn left.

If a stop sign were installed on Jamestown Street, at Reed Street, Jamestown Street would not be able to block the intersection so much, and it would make for safer left turns off Reed Street onto Jamestown Street.

A bypass is the only long-range solution
Yet even this step is putting a band-aid on a broken leg. What Columbia needs is a bypass, to take the heavy traffic off downtown.

Congesting downtown with through traffic doesn't help business, it only infuriates those who are subjected to the difficulties of going through Columbia.

Without a bypass, we are becoming as famous for traffic tie-ups as Fourth Street is for muggings, and neither is a desirable reputation.

State could solve part of it easily
T.P. Phelps says that the state could solve part of it by adding exits and entrances on Cumberland Parkway at Highway 61 South, building a new Highway 61 north to Elizabethtown, and working on the traffic problem in Columbia. The entrance on the Cumberland Parkway would make that stretch a bypass, in itself. Phelps is working on that project with Frankfort now.

James Brock says that a bypass from Highway 55 eastward over to Highway 80 could be built in non-congested areas of Columbia, without crossing Russell Creek. "Just follow the bluff-line around the town, and it should be simple to engineer a by-pass which would not be prohibitively expensive," Brock says.

Cornelia Hughes says that building a bypass would give Columbia the immediate effect of having a new shopping center. "Downtown Columbia would be a mall, right now, it they get the traffic off it," Mrs. Hughes says. Amen.

Is there natural gas here - enough for commercial use?
Many around Adair County believe that there are deposits of natural gas around the county which could be developed to supply the city of Columbia now and in the future.

One of the big drawbacks to industry recruitment today is that we are limited in the natural gas we can draw from the pipeline.

Somerset assured a dramatic growth for that community, when the city took a big gamble and ran a pipeline into the gasfields of Letcher County. Many expect Somerset to double in size in the next five years as a result of this added source of energy.

Many believe Adair has the resource right here. Consider: Oilman Jim Green is building a large home on the edge of Columbia near the Conover Woods State Park on South 55. He plans to heat the home with natural gas from a well on the place.

John Fudge says that he believes there is enough gas in the Petty's Fork Creek area to give an unlimited supply to Columbia.

Oilman Willie Nell, on whose farm the best producing Adair County oil well is located, agrees that the natural gas is here. And he thinks it could be developed. He suggests that gas may be in the Millerfield area.

And Joe Lynn Barbee says that geologists have told him that the hill across the Russell Creek Bridge on Highway 206 is a dome formed by natural gas pushing up the crust of the earth.

Still, some oilmen say that the gas could not be developed, that it is there but in pockets too small to utilize.

Still, one remembers the late C.R. Moss, the father of the Gradyville oilfield. Not too many people were taking him serious for 50 years, then he hit the discovery well in the Gradyville Field, a find which was subsequently worth a lifetime of search, by any standard.

Congratulations, Circle R
The Circle R Restaurant has just completed a remodeling which improves on an establishment which is already one of Columbia's most famous businesses. J.D. Harper, the owner, organized the renovation work to take place in just two days.

The restaurant was closed down on Monday and Tuesday, but when customers returned Wednesday morning they were greeted by the same friendly staff and the same time-honored menu, but there was a new carpet, new booths, and new counter, new grill, chair covers, and new drapes.

The work came just in time to help Columbia put its best face forward on what promises to be a very busy weekend, with the High School Homecoming, The Mark Twain Band Festival, the Pastors' School at Lindsey, and the opening of two new businesses: Fairplay Meat Processing and The Doughnut Factory.

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