We just attended the Kentucky wedding of my best friend from college. It was a beautiful weekend, taking place at the restored Shaker Village community in Pleasant Hill, about thirty miles outside of Lexington.
I’d never been to Kentucky, so we made the occasion a four-day family getaway. We flew into Louisville and ended up driving a few hundred miles during our stay.
I like Kentucky. Some of the stereotypes are true:
- More green grass and soft rolling hills than you’ve seen anywhere before. Being that it was May, the land was luscious.
- More horses grazing than any other place in the world. There were a lot of cows and sheep, too, but many more horses.
- Churches everywhere. We drove past the Southland church near Lexington where some 10,000 (or more) people were getting out of Sunday service, and there were more churches adjacent and across the street. One local told me that 50-60% of the population attends church, though that’s not necessarily an indication of their virtuosity.
- Lots of Bourbon.
Beyond the stereotypes — and in contrast to New York — there’s a gentile pride that characterizes Kentucky. From the people, to the land, to the architecture, horses and history. It has a distinctive identity that I wasn’t expecting.
We Â neverÂ would’ve have visited Kentucky if it weren’t for my friend, but I’m glad we did.
(Photo: Shaker Village farm, taken on my Evo, just outside the inn.)
I grew up on a farm between Springfield and Lebanon, Kentucky, a little less than 40 miles away. In fact, if you map Springfield-Lebanon Airport, it will pinpoint the best 50 acres of our farm that were taken by eminent domain to build it.
I’ve been gone for years, living in New York and now, San Francisco, but those photos of Shakertown at Pleasant Hill (not Pleasantville) put me right back there. Â Those few miles “in between” Springfield and Shakertown are full of American and U.S. Catholic history and some of the most beautiful vistas in America. Â Most of the families, including mine, date their history back to Revolutionary War land grants.
Thanks for your comment…reflective of the pride and identity I experienced. (And I corrected “Pleasant Hill”.)
We were blessed to “welcome ye kindly” in the blue grass, Maxer. Cherished memories with your darling family, as we began ours.
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