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THE HOUSE OF THE HANGING DOLLS!

I thought since it is so close to Halloween I would post some pictures taken by my son about seven months ago.  These are his words about this house in the photographs.

“As we were returning from Danville on a rain soaked Sunday afternoon I spotted the ruins of an old farm house on Danville Road just off US 27. I stopped to take a few pictures and wound up finding some of the most macabre imagery I have ever found in a ruin…”
There were vines overtaking the front columns on this deserted house and vines entangled the entrance.  English Ivy was growing into the foyer. 
The dolls were hanging with Christmas tree lights and cords from the ruined chandelier.  A turkey vulture was perched on the roof! 
I can’t believe he was in there taking pictures……..He said the place was really scary and he did not tarry long.
                                                                                                     

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!      You can view a video of this, also.  Just click here.

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SILENT PARTNER BY KAREN JONES – A MUST READ!

You all know how much I enjoy writing about Kentucky on this blog.  Karen Jones loves Kentucky and loves horses.  Read about her new book below!

Introducing SILENT PARTNER………….Set in Lexington, Kentucky, the story takes the reader on a journey through the trials and tribulations of recovering alcoholic, Jack Ramsden, a thoroughbred horse trainer who has a special young horse in his barn. Savant, a three year old colt, is about to become the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, a fact that has given Jack new hope to turn his life around.

Jack’s life takes a surprise turn when he literally runs into a former lover, Katy Alexander. Katy is a feisty, smart, and good hearted woman with a strong determination to keep Jack at a distance. Jack finds himself totally smitten with Katy, and is equally as determined to make amends for having dumped her twenty odd years earlier, for Josephine Jackson, an ill tempered Texas heiress. Josephine made his life miserable for seventeen long years before she threw him out, and he returned to Kentucky with his best friend, Nate Washington, to pick up the pieces of his life. Nate, a Vietnam veteran who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, has stood by Jack through all of the ups and downs of his life. He is the only person who will tell Jack what he needs to hear, regardless of whether Jack wants to hear it or not. Their daily life in Jack’s small training operation is punctuated by the foul mouth of an African Gray parrot, along with a lazy German Shepherd, and a stray black cat that has an obsession with the bird.

Savant’s owner, Sid Blackstone, is a high roller with a big problem. He has mortgaged his Texas car empire and has entangled himself with some unsavory loan sharks, unbeknownst to his wife Bunny. A former Las Vegas showgirl, Bunny is clueless about Sid’s problems and enthralled with horse racing, which she knows virtually nothing about. When Sid disappears Bunny is thrown together with Jack to try to unravel the mystery behind the horse’s true ownership, a task that is complicated by the sudden attention of a handsome gangster named Louis Giovanni.

Together, with Katy and her best friends, Todd and Lauren Hendrickson, Jack, Nate, and Bunny attempt to keep Savant running, find out who really owns him, solve a murder, and find out what happened to Sid Blackstone. The story is full of plot twists, heartfelt friendships, good guys, bad guys, and a very cool horse. This book will make you laugh, draw a tear or two, and keep you guessing.

The book is now available on Amazon.com at here!!

Check out the great reviews on Amazon!

To learn more about Karen Jones and her novel, please visit: http://silentpartneronline.com/ 

This is Karen’s first novel. She is a friend of my family for many years.  You won’t be disappointed!

GOOD MORNING TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

Did you know that the “Happy Birthday Song” started out as “Good Morning to You”?  Did you know this song was created by two sisters from Louisville, Kentucky?

Mildred J. Hill, a composer, organist, concert pianist, and musical scholar was teaching at the Louisville Experimental Kindergarten School where her sister, Patty Smith Hill, was principal.  Mildred came up with the melody to what we now know as “Happy Birthday” and Patty added the lyrics.  They created a song for teachers to use to welcome students to class each day.  The song was created in 1893 and called Good Morning To You and went like this:

Good morning to you, Good morning to you, Good morning, dear children, Good Morning to all.

Nobody really knows who changed the words to Happy Birthday to You and put them to the melody of Good Morning to You but the song was being used in all kinds of musicals, on radio, in telegrams and for birthday celebrations.  The Hills were not getting any compensation for the use of the song.  Jessica Hill, another sister, who had copyrighted the song on behalf of her sisters filed suit and secured copyrights to Happy Birthday To You. 

The Clayton Summy Company, working with Jessica Hill, published and copyrighted “Happy Birthday” in 1935.  This copyright will not expire until 2030 but the Company was bought by a New York accountant named John Sengstack in the 1930s and renamed Birch Tree Ltd.  Warner Chappell, purchased Birch Tree in 1998 and is now a part of the giant AOL Time Warner conglomerate.   The song brings in about $2 million a year and the Hill Foundation’s share goes to charity or to a nephew of Patty and Mildred.

So, to all my lovely blogging friends out there the next time you sing Happy Birthday to a friend or relative just remember this little ditty written by two Southern sisters from Kentucky and sung hundreds of millions of times each year is the most recognized song in the English language and has been translated into at least 18 different languages.

THE KENTUCKY HORSE PARK

It has been a while since I wrote about a famous person or place in Kentucky. 

The horse park is a working horse farm and an educational theme park opened in 1978 in Lexington, Kentucky.  The equestrian facility is a 1,224-acre park dedicated to “man’s relationship with the horse.” Open to the public, the Park has a twice daily Parade of Breeds, showcasing both common and rare horses from across the globe. The horses are ridden in authentic costume. Each year the park is also host to a number of special events and horse shows.

 The Kentucky Horse Park has been a retirement home for some of the world’s greatest competition horses. The status of the park as a retirement center was further established with the 1985 arrival of John Henry, Horse of the Decade for the 1980s and the top money-winning thoroughbred gelding in racing history. With the exception of a few months in 1986, John Henry lived at the park until his death in 2007.  You can read more about John Henry here: http://horseracing.about.com/library/weekly/aa100997.htm

The great racehorse, Man of War, is considered one of the greatest thoroughbred racehorses of all time and is buried at the horse park.  

 Horse sculptures in the Kentucky Horse Park include the Man o’ War statue on a pedestal near the entrance. There is also a life-size statue of the 1973 U.S. Triple Crown winner Secretariat with jockey Ron Turcotte aboard being led by groom, Eddie Sweat.  The movie, Secretariat, filmed in Kentucky should be out in October starring Diane Lane and John Malkovich.

In September, Kentucky will host the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010.

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games  represent the largest equine sporting event ever held in the United States. Held at the Kentucky Horse Park from September 25 to October 10, 2010, this will be the first time that the event will be held outside of Europe.
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 are comprised of the world championships for eight equestrian sports show jumping, dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting, reining and para-equestrian. The FEI World Equestrian Games are held every four years, two years prior to the Olympic Games, and are governed by the Fdration Equestre Internationale (FEI). The FEI is the international governing body of equestrian sport recognized by the InternationalOlympic Committee. It is the organization which establishes rules and regulations for the conduct of international equestrian events. Today the FEI has over 130 member countries.
We are so proud to host this event.  Our hotels and motels are already booked for miles around Lexington, the event city.  We even have local people that are staying with relatives and renting out their homes for enormous amounts of money to strangers.  This event should help the economy in our state and bring lots of business to restaurants and local merchants as well.
You can find out more about the Horse Park here:  http://www.kyhorsepark.com/index.php
We think this is a lovely facility and we are lucky to have it in our area.

COUNTRY SINGER, DWIGHT YOAKAM, FROM KENTUCKY

It has been a while since I did a post on famous Kentuckians.  This man needs to be added to my ongoing list. 

Dwight David Yoakam was born in Pikeville, Kentucky on October 23, 1956.   He learned to play guitar at the age of six and loved the music of Johnny Cash,  Hank Williams, and Buck Owens.  Dwight attended Ohio State University but dropped out to pursue a career in country music.

Yoakam hit Nashville in the 1970’s and found out his type of country rock music was not accepted.  Dwight headed out to California  and struck gold in the 1980s as a songwriter and country/rock artist.  His first full-length album, Guitars and Cadillacs,  was debuted in 1986 and was an instant sensation going platinum.  In 1988, Yoakam had his first number one hit with Streets of Bakersfield recorded with Buck Owens.

Dwight Yoakam branched out and began acting as early as 1993 in Red Rock West where he played a truck driver.  Dwight played a rodeo clown in the movie Painted Hero and an abusive drunk in Slingblade.   He wrote, directed and starred in South of Heaven, West of Hell. Dwight was in the movie Panic Room with Jodie Foster as well.

Some people might not know that Dwight Yoakam along with Modern Foods launched his own line of biscuits, chicken lickins fried chicken bits, and several other frozen foods based on his grandmother, Earlene’s Kentucky recipes.

I wrote another post earlier about this man and country music in Kentucky where I mentioned seeing him on our Kentucky Educational Television.  He told about his Kentucky roots and his aunt that moved away from the “holler”, did well and bought herself a cadillac.  When she drove it back to Eastern Kentucky everyone thought she was rich!  This was his inspiration for writing the song, Guitars and Cadillacs.  You can read the earlier post here:  Country Music in Kentucky.

We are proud to call Dwight Yoakam a famous Kentuckian.

KENTUCKY’S SOUTHERN LIGHTS: A SPECTACULAR SIGHT ON A HOLIDAY NIGHT!

 If you want to see your children’s eyes light up with excitement during the holiday season, visit the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington when it presents the “Southern Lights”. 

Southern Lights is a 3 mile driving tour that serves as the biggest fundraiser for the park.   The displays include lifelike horses streaking across the finish line at Keeneland and Churchill Downs racing courses, thousands of twinkling lights, arches, and southern hospitality and entertainment at its best. 

The Southern Lights tour is open each night from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. from November 20 – December 31.

Southern Lights is one of Kentucky’s largest Christmas displays and appeals to every age group.

New figures are added each year for thousands of visitors to this spectacular event. 

Children are amazed to see all the twinkling lights and displays.  It will be the highlight of the season for a child.  Once the driving tour is finished visitors leave their car and enjoy a petting zoo, gift shop, refreshments and a photo and visit with Santa!

So folks, if you are ever in Kentucky during Christmas don’t miss this delightful holiday sight.

The following is a link to the Southern Lights website where you can watch a video showing some of the driving tour:  http://www.southernlightsky.org/media.htm

Hope everyone is enjoying preparing for the holiday season!

KENTUCKY’S FAMOUS CASTLE

Kentucky has been home to this castle since it was built by Real Estate Developer, Rex Martin, back in 1969. It is located on Versailles Road in Woodford County near Keeneland Race Track.

I will never forget the first time I saw this structure. I had moved back to Frankfort, our capital city, and gone back to work for state government. I had been away from this area of our state for almost 30 years. I was on my way to a meeting in Lexington with several co-workers. I could not believe my eyes! A real live castle on a hill with turrets, and a fence surrounding the place. I was mesmerized and could not stop talking about it. Of course, they all thought it was so funny that I had never seen it before.

Anyway, the castle set empty for 30 years and was a topic of conversation for Kentuckians as well as tourists that happened to pass by and stopped to take photographs.

It was purchased in 2003 by Tom Post for 1.8 million and has gone through extensive renovation and been renamed, “CastlePost“.

CastlePost is now complete with lodging fit for a king for overnight guests, weddings, and charity fund-raising events. There are 16 guest rooms, 21 bathrooms, a library, dining room for 40 guests, ballroom, game room, 20′ x 50′ pool, tennis and basketball courts. There will be bowling lanes and a putting green on the roof. Cost of a room is from $375 to $475 a night or $1,250 for turret suits!

This link will take you to their website: http://www.thecastlepost.com/ If you scroll down to the spot that says: Check out the CastlePost on KET News, there is a very interesting video there that gives information about the castle’s history and how Tom Post’s dream is finally coming together.

So, if you want to stay in a real castle and live like a king while you are here visit us in the heart of Bluegrass Country.

Do you have an unusual place or structure near where you live that has been a curiosity to visitors?