Greetings from the land of Logan. One of the original counties of the Kentucky Territory of the Virginia Colony. (Once part of the old British Southwest Territory.) A county that used to stretch from Virginia in the east to nearly the Mississippi River in the west. Well over 300 miles. After Kentucky statehood more than 25 counties were created out of Logan County; still leaving enough land to make one of the largest counties in the state in square miles.
It makes for interesting explaining to someone from the east when they come looking for an ancestor who the early record books say was buried in Logan County but were in fact buried possibly 100, 200 or more miles from the existing Logan County of today. A good example would be Boonesboro, Kentucky that is nowhere close to Logan County today, but was 200 years ago. I guess we could claim ole Daniel Boone if Boonesboro was still in Logan County.
Records frequently report that the famous Col. Jim Bowie (famous for the Bowie Knife) was born in 1791 in Logan County, Kentucky. His family moved to Missouri, then Louisiana, then to Tennessee where he held elected office and then to Texas where he went down in history losing his life at the Alamo at the age of 41.
Many of you were around for the advent of television in 1948. It really came to the south in the early 1950s. The first broad cast that I ever saw was out of Louisville. Friends had an aerial placed on a tall telephone pole outside their home and they picked up the one station on a brand new 18 inch black and white TV screen. Eventually a TV station came to Nashville (later two others) and most of Logan County could pick up those black and white stations. I remember their signing on in the morning and closing at 11 p.m. in the evening with a devotional and the national anthem being played.
My dad came home with an 18 inch Admiral TV and we were all thrilled. For a long time we were the only ones in our area with a TV set so all the kids came to our house each afternoon after school to watch Howdy Doody, Buffalo Bob, Clarabelle the Clown and Princes Summer Fall Winter Spring. The entire family ate supper together and then watched the local and national news.
People were so proud to get a TV set that they wanted everyone to know. ( Just live getting an electric clothes washer and electric refrigerator. ) They all went on the front porch so people driving by could see them and know how well that family was doing. On Saturday nights those with TVs entertained all the neighbors that did not have TVs.
Ed Sullivan was a big entertainment reporter in New York City and the Ed Sullivan Variety Show on Saturday night was the event of the week on TV. All America was watching the night that Elvis Presley first appeared. He was only shown from the waist up. The TV censors thought it too dangerous to show his legs or hips moving. By the time the Beatles came on the show 50 years ago audiences were allowed to see them from head to toe.
Milton Burrow who appeared on the Texaco Hour was a big comedian. Sid Caesar and Imogene Coco were also big comedians. (Sid Caesar died this week at age 91.) Charlie McCarthy was the famous talking puppet. Edward R. Morrow was the big interviewer that took us to a famous person’s home each week for a tour and talk. The Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour actually had a young boy from Logan County that made us all proud for a brief time. I Loved Lucy, I Married Joan, Lum & Abner, The George Burns & Gracie Allen Show, The Beulah Show, Arthur Godfrey, the Jack Benny Show, Roy Rodgers, Gene Autry and of course the Friday Night Wrestling.
If you had one of the few TV sets in the community the neighbors all came or “just happened to drop by” on either Friday or Saturday nights. Friday night wrestling was about the number one show in America. At our house we might just happen to have a dozen people to drop in plus the kids. Mom served pop corn and ice tea or cool aid for the kids. When the wrestling came on all of America was watching. Gorgeous George was the star attraction. He came into the ring wearing an ermine floor length coat, his dyed peroxide blond hair in big curlers, wore high heels and sometimes a long flowing cape. The crowds on TV were a show unto their selves just hooping and hollering. All the folks at home just loved it. They sort of snickered about ole George but cheered when he put his famous secret weapon on, his famous sleeper or rub behind the ear, and his opponent collapsed in the rink.
I think everyone in America knew that Friday Night Wrestling was phony but you knew better than to say so. I almost blurted it out once or twice but I looked my mothers’ way and she gave me that look which I knew meant I had better not. The next day the talk in every community in America was about the wrestling. That included every shop and store in Logan County.
Well, that was a gentler and kinder time. When parents were obeyed, most everyone was polite, the teacher was to be obeyed, the churches were full on Sundays and had a good crowd on Wednesday nights, there were over 30 little mom and pop groceries all over the county, there were at least five movie theaters in the county, you went to Nashville once or twice a year, bought cloths and other items through the Sears & Roebuck or Montgomery Ward Catalogs and thought “dag it” was a cus word.
One Outstanding Person I Met The Other Day – I met one of the nicest and most polite young person that I have met in a long while at Wal-Mart in Russellville last week. His name is Jordan Kennedy and he graduated from Logan County High School. He works part time at Wal-Mart and attends college at South Central Community College in Bowling Green. He is majoring in Radiology. His parents are Kathryn and Tyrone Kennedy. I can tell you that this young man has the opportunity to do great things. and I expect he will. He is a real gentleman, smart and a top notch worker.
Till next time. Good night Mrs. Calabash where ever you are.