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Private comments, en passant, from Jim

" the latter days of his term, Brown's administration was rocked when his son Archibald & Archibald's paramour were gunned down by the latter husband's at a disreputable boarding house in Louisville." Throwaway line from


There's enough fodder in that throwaway line from today's "100 years ago" to fill am uber-steamy trilogy of Peyton Place-ish novels: the divorced son of a high profile politician; his paramour, the drop dead gorgeous wild-child daughter of a former state librarian; illicit trysts in a tawdry "house of assignation;" drugs and rumors of drugs; wild goings-on; a double murder ruled as justifiable homicides; and even a ballad titled "Gordon & Arch (sung to the tune of "Love Oh Careless Love") about the male principals in this melodramatic maelstrom.

On the other hand, there's exactly enough for a respectable length volume of "just the facts, Ma'am" with an appendix about Adair Countian Parker Watkins Hardin peripheral involvement - he was Brown's Democratic primary opponent in '91 and Brown played a passive but important role in Hardin's defeat in his 1895 gubernatorial bid.

(As a bit of an aside, I've often wondered how different would be the political landscape of Kentucky today had P. Wat not been the victim of the machinations of Stone and Goebel in the notorious Music Hall convention of '99. I assume you know there is a hardcore cabalistic cadre of True Believers who take Goebel's assassination as proof positive that karma's a bitch.)

As noted in the column, the paramour was the granddaughter of the thrice-married Appellate Court Judge Zach Wheat, who took a figurative shotgun and blew off his political feet in the 1850s by aligning with the American Party, aka the Know-Nothings (in short, the 19th century Tea Party.) She was also the great-grand daughter of one-time Adair County resident and later Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Ben Monroe.

And other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, there's little to say about the abovementioned throwaway line.

s/ "jim,"reporting from the city limits sign of Peyton Place

This story was posted on 2010-11-21 16:30:56
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