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Carol Perkins: Reviews of four KY books about the drug takeover

While being laid-up, she had time to read Jim Howard's The Miracle of Man; Joe Keith Bickett's The Cornbread Mafia-A Memoir of Sorts; James Higdon's The Cornbread Mafia; and Sally Benton' The Bluegrass Conspiracy, and makes her recall a story from a student, who said, "I can take you to a marijuana farm that has an iron padlocked gate and guard dogs." which at the time she thought an exaggeration, but looking back is certain it was true.
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Under the desk bike chapter of life

By Carol Perkins

Being "laid up" with the crude for over a week has given me a chance to do some in-depth reading and calculating. I'm just not wired to sit, but I have not felt like doing anything but whining. Mostly to the walls! While in bed, I saw books on shelves that needed to be wiped off, one by one. Curtains that should be "shaken out" to throw off the dust, blinds holding a build up of dust from last spring, and the overhead light fixture dimmed by grime. I calculated how much dust was on the TV screen, gathered from the sunlight, and streaks on the mirror over the dresser that needed some Windex. I never noticed when I was well.

To rid myself of those thoughts, I ambled to the den. Given ample time, I could have calculated problems there but picked up a book instead. My first reading was a new work by local attorney Jim Howard entitled The Miracle of Man, a fascinating account of man's relationship with God and various beliefs of today. He will be a guest on Susan and Carol-Unscripted Tuesday, March 7th and have a book signing that same week. As I was reading, I was taken back to my college American Literature classes where varying beliefs from Pantheism to Puritanism existed. This is not a fluff book.

When I finished Jim's work, I downloaded, "The Cornbread Mafia-A Memoir of Sorts" (2016) by Joe Keith Bickett, released from Federal Prison in 2011 for his marijuana involvement in Marion County surrounding counties. In this book, he tells of the Raywick of his youth and fascinating stories of raising acres of pot, out-running (or outsmarting as he might say) the law, but finally getting caught.

James Higdon actually wrote the first book about the group in Marion County, The Cornbread Mafia (2013). (Higdon has worked for the Louisville Courier-Journal, the New York Times, and other publications) This book focuses on the most notable member of the Mafia, Johnny Boone, called by some the ringleader. He fled after being arrested twice and facing a life sentence if caught. He lived in Canada until he was recently detained. The famous slogan, "Run, Johnny, Run" was the source of T-shirts and recordings and was a subject of America's Most Wanted.

Sally Benton's The Bluegrass Conspiracy first (to me) exposed drug rings in Kentucky. Remember hearing about the guy who parachuted to his death carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and 150 pounds of cocaine? All of these are available on Amazon or in bookstores.

Back in the 80s, I had a homeroom with just a few students until the trade school buses arrived. During this time, students often engaged me in their conversations. One time a boy said, "Miss Perkins, I can take you to a marijuana farm that has an iron padlocked gate and guard dogs." I stopped him. At the time, I thought he was exaggerating, but he actually could have probably taken me there.

Somewhere in the middle of a corn patch or a tobacco crop may be rows of marijuana right under our noses. Every time I hear a helicopter overhead, I think of the Cornbread Mafia. Put these four books on your reading list, and you won't be sorry.
(My new book, A Girl Named Connie, is available at Blossoms Florist and Boutique Unique, 507 Happy Valley Road, Glasgow, KY 42141, Phone 270-629-3597; the Edmonton/Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce, 109 E Stockton Street, Edmonton, KY, Phone 270-432-3222; and the Lighthouse Restaurant, 1500 Sulphur Well/Knob Lick Road, Sulphur Well Historic District, KY 42129. Phone 270-629-3597. And Also on

Contact: Carol Perkins, PO Box 134, Edmonton, KY 42129. Phone 670-432-5756.

This story was posted on 2017-03-02 11:50:35
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Book Cover, the Miracle of Man

2017-03-02 - Edmoton, KY - Photo from Gaye Shaw, E/MC Chamber of Commerce.
A very reliable book review, by Carol Perkins, who wrote it while stove up, along with several books which sequence the growing drug problems facing Kentucky, is linked to this photo of the bookcover, from Gaye Shaw, Edmonton/Metcalfe County Chamber of Commerce executive director, who writes that there will be a Jim Howard book signing at the Metcalfe County Library, 200 S Main Street, Edmonton, KY, Thursday, March 10, 2017, from 11am-10pmCT, where copies of "The Miracle of Man" will be available for purchase. Clicking Read More accesses Carol Perkins' column.

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