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October 18, 1977 Around Adair with Ed Waggener

The article below first appeared in the October 18, 1977, issue of the Adair County News. Topics included water tower slogans, sophisticated Sanoites, the undefeated Marching Band, political apocrypha from Monroe County, a lesson on campaigning from Metcalfe County, and plans to honor outgoing Mayor Murphy. --Pen

By Ed Waggener

Mayor W.R. Murphy wants "Columbia--The Home of Lindsey Wilson College" put on one of the water towers in town.

There has been some controversy over what slogan should go on the new water tower on Greensburg Street. Last year, a suggestion was made to honor the Adair County Marching Indians, but football fans wanted the football Indians so honored, and the plan was dropped.

Mayor Murphy said it would be fitting to honor Lindsey, since the school is the source of immense pride. The other towers are unmarked, or simply have "Columbia" on the tank, except for the tank in the Industrial Park.

"Some people think that because Oshkosh has its sign on that tower," Murphy said, "that it belongs to them. Actually, the presence of the tank out there is like a present from the city. It helps keep Oshkosh's insurance bill down. But it belongs to the city," Mayor Murphy said.

Other ideas are offered
I like the "Home of Lindsey Wilson College" idea. But, other suggestions have been put forward.

State Senator Douglas Moseley said, "I think we ought to put 'Columbia--The Home of Senator Moseley' on the tower."

Ralph Waggener, publisher of the Daily Statesman, said, "I think we ought to put 'Columbia--Home of Waggener Walker Newspapers.'"

But, perhaps Patrick R. Bell, a farmer in the Sano community, had the best idea. "Just put," he said, "'Columbia--Six Miles to Sano.' That'll get it all said."

My brother-in-law, Dr. P. J. Cravens of Franklin, Indiana, a former Sanoite, heartily agrees.

Sanoites are good people
Maybe the water tower up next to the hospital ought to really say "Columbia--Six Miles to Sano."

Sano people have a good quality about them. Patrick R. Bell is one farmer you never hear complaining about the weather, or about his crops, or market prices. I appreciate that. Because with some farmers, complaining is an occupational disease. I do admit that Patrick does have a couple of sidelines. His wife works in Columbia, and he has a little government job on the side, as Director of the Lake Cumberland Area Development District, but you can tell farming is his mainstay, just by listening to him talk fertilizer or discourse on insecticides.

The other boy has come a long way
Dr. Cravens has come a long way from his Sano days. You have to appreciate a fellow who has gotten so sophisticated lately, who, when he was a boy, made Ted Grahl give him his money back on a bottle of orange soda because it had "soured". Grahl was running a restaurant in Columbia and Cravens' father bought him his first orange soda there. The little boy had never tasted carbonated drinks. He thought something was wrong with it and took it back to the counter. "It's sour," he said, "I want my money back." They didn't argue. It was years later before he learned about fizz.

Marching Indians still undefeated
The Adair County Marching Indians are still undefeated in band contests. The school band went to Lexington on Saturday for the Kentucky Invitational Marching Band Contest--the Biggie. The meet had been rescheduled from a prior date because of weather. That time, the band didn't leave home. Saturday, they got to Lexington before rain caused the show to be canceled, so Adair County still has its record of winning every parade and field competition contest it has entered, Band Director D. Harris says. The Lexington meet will be rescheduled again, he says.

This story isn't true, but it's timely
I know that this story isn't true, but with election time coming up, I think it's appropriate.

The story goes that the State moved in on the Carter organization in Monroe County and made them purge the voter lists. It knocked them for a loop, the story say, but Tim Lee Carter said they could rebuild the list quickly, and volunteered himself and Joe Pettit, the Tompkinsville Police chief (and former Lindsey Wilson Man) to get it back together.

The two went to the Old Mulkey Meeting House Cemetery to copy down names from the tombstones to make up a new list of voters, the story says. After a while, Chief Pettit let out a holler. "Good heavens, Dr. Carter," Chief Pettit is said to have exclaimed, "I think I've found a name long enough to make us two voters." At which point Dr. Carter grew very serious, and this is why he is a great man. "No look here, Joe Pettit," Dr. Carter is supposed to have scolded, "if we are going to do this job, we are going to do it honestly. You just make up one name from that one. I won't put up with any monkeyshines."

This story has been around a while, but it's true
I always remember the lesson on politics I learned one night while with John Paul Blevins, the state's tallest lawyer and County Attorney of Metcalfe County. It was before the Nunn-Ward race in 1967 and a Republican power from south end of Metcalfe County was telling John Paul how the race could be won.

"We can't go around lying to the voters, the way the Democrats do," the power said. "Pap always told me that the one thing a man has in politics is his word, and if he breaks it he is ruint forever. I think we can beat Henry Ward, the Thompsons, Woodrow Wilson, and the whole lot by telling the truth."

He went on, "John Paul, I say that if you can't hire a man, don't promise his a job. If you can't build him a road, don't lie to him. If you can't take some Democrat's old lady's job away from him and give to the voter's old lady, don't claim you can. And if you can't get a man's son out of the pen, don't promise him you will, just to get his vote. I say we tell the truth no matter what," the power said.

"That's right," John Paul agreed.

The power pondered his wisdom for a while and added, "Of course," he said, "I always say that if you do have to lie, lie hard! Don't fool around with it."

A good idea
Ways to honor soon-to-be former Mayor W. R. Murphy are already being planned. Some say the Municipal Building ought to be renamed the "W. R. Murphy Building." Others suggest that the new airport be names the "Riffe Murphy Airport." Something appropriate will be done, I'm sure. Murphy has had a hand in a bunch of projects here. Senator Doug Moseley suggests that a Mayor W. R. Murphy Appreciation Dinner be planned. It ought to be, I'd think.

This story was posted on 2020-08-23 09:41:33
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