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The Food Issue Reader Recipe Contest Winners PLUS Kirk's Cupcake Ride Food Trucks Statewide Chef Madeleine Dee of Fond

Display until 6/14/2018

Molly Costello — Otto’s restaurant

kentucky RECIPES COME FROM THE LAND AND HEART. Every ingredient prepped—always by hand, no shortcuts. Sauté pans hot, plates lined up, everything just so. Seeing my vision come together, step by careful step, in a finished dish—that is what honors Kentucky’s past. This is what good food can do. Visit for the full story.


In This Issue

18 Featured Fare

Departments 2 Kentucky Kwiz 4 Mag on the Move 6 Across Kentucky 8 9th Annual Reader Recipe Contest 43 Off the Shelf 46 Field Notes 47 Gardening 48 Calendar

12 Happiness Found: A Cupcake Odyssey

Pedaling penman Kirk Alliman crosses the Commonwealth on a quest for cupcake bliss

18 Making Fond Memories

Chef Madeleine Dee mixes culinary expertise and travel experiences into her intimate eatery

22 Where Friends Meet

The Greyhound Tavern nears a century as a northern Kentucky landmark

24 Roving Restaurants

Food trucks are enjoying widespread appeal in the Commonwealth

27 A Life Interrupted


A chance discovery at Kentucky’s unique Vietnam Veterans Memorial triggers memories— and questions

3 Readers Write 44 Past Tense/ Present Tense 56 Vested Interest



The 2018 Reader Recipe Contest Grand Prize Winner – Peppered Bacon & Spinach Grits Casserole; photo by Jesse Hendrix-Inman



Test your knowledge of our beloved Commonwealth. To find out how you fared, see the bottom of Vested Interest or take the Kwiz online at 1. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s depiction of a slave auction in Uncle Tom’s Cabin comes from her 1833 eyewitness account of such an event in Washington, then the county seat of which northern Kentucky county? A. Kenton B. Mason C. Boone 2. Alexander Doniphan, a native of Maysville and a graduate of Augusta College, as a colonel in the Mexican War led his men on a 5,500-mile march. If not for him, there might not be any of what today? A. Budweiser B. Potawatomi C. Mormons 3. Benjamin Holladay of Nicholas County is credited with creating which transportation route?

A. Louise Jefferson B. Clair Huxtable C. Julia Sugarbaker 7. Sometimes called “Little Niagara” or the “Niagara of the South,” Cumberland Falls measures how tall from the river below to the top of the falls? A. 68 feet B. 168 feet C. 268 feet 8. Years before she became Kentucky’s 56th governor, Shelby County native Martha Layne Collins held which other coveted title? A. Mountain Laurel Festival Queen B. Queen of the Horse C. Tobacco Festival Queen 9. Choosy moms choose Jif, and Jif’s founder, W.T. Young, chose which city for the world’s largest peanut butter plant? A. Fulton B. Lexington C. Winchester

B. Overland Stage Route

10. Henry Bain created his worldfamous meat condiment while working as the head waiter at which Kentucky landmark?

C. Oregon Trail

A. Beaumont Inn

A. Santa Fe Trail

4. Irish Hill, a neighborhood east of downtown Louisville and west of the Highlands, was originally known by which other moniker?

B. Boone Tavern C. The Pendennis Club

A. Workhouse Hill B. Shamrock Hill C. Billy Goat Hill


Business and Circulation BARBARA KAY VEST, Business Manager JOCELYN ROPER, Circulation Specialist

Advertising JULIE MOORE, Senior Account Executive MISTEE BROWNING, Account Executive MIKE LACEY, Account Executive For advertising information, call (888) 329-0053 or (502) 227-0053 KENTUCKY MONTHLY (ISSN 1542-0507) is published 10 times per year (monthly with combined December/ January and June/July issues) for $20 per year by Vested Interest Publications, Inc., 100 Consumer Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601. Periodicals Postage Paid at Frankfort, KY and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to KENTUCKY MONTHLY, P.O. Box 559, Frankfort, KY 40602-0559. Vested Interest Publications: Stephen M. Vest, president; Patricia Ranft, vice president; Barbara Kay Vest, secretary/treasurer. Board of directors: James W. Adams Jr., Dr. Gene Burch, Kim Butterweck, Gregory N. Carnes, Barbara and Pete Chiericozzi, Kellee Dicks, Maj. Jack E. Dixon, Bruce and Peggy Dungan, Mary and Michael Embry, Wayne Gaunce, Frank Martin, Lori Hahn, Thomas L. Hall, Judy M. Harris, Greg and Carrie Hawkins, Jan and John Higginbotham, Dr. A. Bennett Jenson, Walter B. Norris, Kasia Pater, Dr. Mary Jo Ratliff, Barry A. Royalty, Randy and Rebecca Sandell, Kelli Schreiber, Christopher E. and Marie Shake, Kendall Carr Shelton, Ted M. Sloan and Marjorie D. Vest. (888) 329-0053 P.O. Box 559 100 Consumer Lane Frankfort, KY 40601

B. Mississippi C. Louisiana

K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • M AY 2 0 1 8

STEPHEN M. VEST, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

Kentucky Monthly is printed and distributed by Publishers Press, Shepherdsville, Ky.

A. South Carolina


© 2018, Vested Interest Publications Volume Twenty One, Issue 4, May 2018

Kentucky Monthly invites queries but accepts no responsibility for unsolicited material; submissions will not be returned.

5. During the Civil War, the Purchase Area of Kentucky was pro-Confederate and often was called the Kentucky version of which other state?

6. Mayfield artist Ellis Wilson, a reallife member of the Harlem Artist Guild, became a part of pop culture when his fictional granddaughter bought one of his paintings at a New York art auction. Who was she?

Celebrating the best of our Commonwealth

Black -and-white copy of Ellis Wilson’s painting Old Charleston Houses

VOICES PARTY SNAFU I would like to point out a major error in the article written by Bill Ellis, “Kentuckians in the War of 1812” (February issue, page 48). It refers to Clay’s Republicans. If this is a reference to the current political party by that name, then this is a gross error. That party did not exist at the time of the War of 1812 and would not come onto the political scene for another 40 years or so. The writer may have wanted to say the Democratic-Republicans of Thomas Jefferson, which were the predecessors of the Democratic Party today. It was at the time of Andrew Jackson that the party became the Democratic Party. Clay was definitely a member of the Democratic-Republican party at the time of this war. The writer should have been more specific about this. Clay’s Republicans can mean one of two things—either a political agenda of the writer or the writer does not know his history. I would venture to say that most readers are not that fluent in the history of our country at the time of this war

and would not be able to discern the difference in the parties at that time and those of today. Louis Leppert, Louisville A TUG AT THE HEART Thank you for a wonderful literary edition (February issue). I was moved to tears by “For Lillie Mae, on What Would Have Been Her 100th Birthday” (page 33). Like the writer, I miss my grandma, Sarah Margaret Lancaster Ray, and wish my children could have known how special a grandmother she was. I will see her again one day. Cynthia Taylor Evans, Lewisport CIVIL WAR CONUNDRUM Regarding Steve Vest’s column on his Civil War confusions—me too! (October 2017 issue, page 56)

Readers Write But I have a “take” that I never hear from anyone. This came from my greataunt. From our family’s stories, many young men joined the Confederacy not to save slave ownership for the rich man down the road, but because our towns were being invaded by Union soldiers who were killing our stocks and pets, burning our crops, running with their horses through our homes, stealing our food and nice objects, and in some extreme cases were raping our sisters. This is why many joined the Confederate Army and why each community erected a statue to commemorate. Not to save slavery! I have a difficult time with war worship in general but especially the Civil War. I refuse to accept that the only way to resolve the slavery issue was to kill each other.️ Debby C. Allen, Madisonville

Counties featured in this issue n

We Love to Hear from You! Kentucky Monthly welcomes letters from all readers. Email us your comments at, send a letter through our website at, or message us on Facebook. Letters may be edited for clarification and brevity.

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• K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY





Even when you’re far away, you can take the spirit of your Kentucky home with you. And when you do, we want to see it! Take a copy of the magazine with you and get snapping. Send your high-resolution photos (usually 1 MB or higher) to

Nada Fields, with Marsha and Gerry Moody

Maui, Hawaii Nada of Ashland celebrated her 85th birthday in Hawaii with daughter Marsha, formerly of Kentucky, and son-in-law Gerry of Puyallup, Washington.

Peggy and Dan Graham Tucson, Arizona

Carol Sue Barnett Tintern Abbey, United Kingdom

Peggy and Frank Miller Dominican Republic

The Union residents took a trip to Phoenix and stopped to visit four state capitals: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Phoenix, Arizona; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Denver, Colorado. While in Tucson, they visited the Biosphere 2.

On a visit to the U.K., Carol Sue, a Kentucky native now living in New York, enjoyed an outing to Tintern Abbey near Wales.

The Millers of Louisville spent Spring Break 2017 at the Secrets Resort Royal Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • M AY 2 0 1 8

Bill & Barbara Gist and Debbie & Pat McMurchie Montana & Wyoming Traveling together to the Northwest, Louisville residents Bill and Barbara, left, are pictured with a statue of Great Northern Railroad engineer John E. Stevens in Montana near Glacier National Park, while Barbara’s daughter, Debbie, who lives in La Grange with husband Pat, are shown enjoying a beautiful day at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Sharon Koontz, Sarah Elizabeth “Libby” Carr and Cathy Marlette Israel Sharon, left, and Cathy traveled to Israel with their mother, Libby. The Frankfort residents traveled to the country with Antioch Church members on a tour with John Somerville of Zion’s Watchmen. M AY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



B I R T H DAYS 1 Bobbie Ann Mason (1940), Mayfieldborn writer best known for her 1985 novel In Country. 1 Farah Fath (1984), actress who appeared on the soap opera Days of Our Lives from 1999 to 2007. 1 Steve Cauthen (1960), the youngest jockey to win the Triple Crown, in Farah Fath 1978 aboard Affirmed. 4 Butch Beard (1947), former professional basketball player and coach from Hardinsburg. 6 George Clooney (1961), Academy Award-winning actor, screenwriter, producer and director from Augusta. 6 Athena Cage (1969), Russellvilleborn singer, producer and songwriter. 9 Elmore Smith (1949), former professional basketball player who played for Kentucky State University. 12 Jenean Hampton (1958) 57th lietenant governor of Kentucky. 14 Robbie Moriarty (1957), noted jewelry artist based in Bob Edwards Louisville. 16 Bob Edwards (1947), retired host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. 23 Melissa McBride (1965), Lexington actress best known as Carol on AMC’s The Walking Dead. 24 Don Brumfield (1938), Hall of Fame jockey from Nicholasville with more than 4,500 wins, including the 1966 Kentucky Derby aboard Kauai King. 25 Molly Sims (1975), Murray-raised model/actress. 25 Tom T. Hall (1936), Olive Hillborn Country Music Hall of Fame singer and songwriter. 25 Bill Gatton (1932), entrepreneur and philanthropist, namesake of Don Brumfield Western Kentucky University’s Gatton Academy and the University of Kentucky’s Gatton School of Business. 26 Paul Patton (1937), 59th governor of Kentucky, serving from 1995 to 2003. 30 Wynonna Judd (1964), Ashlandborn country music star with 14 No. 1 hits. 6

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Across Kentucky



ver heard of a rathskeller? Even if the word isn’t familiar, the concept might be. You’d pop down to a German rathskeller—a restaurant or tavern in a town hall cellar or basement—for a beer. Memorizing more obscure words like this one—or, more specifically, understanding how to spell them—is a common pastime and study habit for 12-year-old Tara Singh, the fifth-time competitor and the third-time consecutive champion of the Derby Festival Spelling Bee since 2016. Singh’s most recent win at the 25th annual Ford Motor Company Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee took place on March 17, at 11 a.m. in the Bomhard Theater at the Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville. Her competition consisted of 61 students from 58 counties in the Kentucky and southern Indiana area. The contestants, right, ranging from grades four through eight, battled through 305 words over 11 heated rounds, building up to Singh’s win. To prepare for competitions, Singh recommends a lot of reading, which she says is integral for learning new words and developing an understanding of etymology. As an eighth-grader at Louisville Classical Academy, Singh is a glowing representation of Jefferson County private schools, and, with the hopes of earning a chance to compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee this summer, she shows no signs of easing up. For winning her third Derby Festival Spelling Bee in a row, Singh was awarded the opportunity to ride on the winner’s float in the 63rd annual Republic Bank Pegasus Parade on May 3; a subscription to Encyclopædia Britannica Online; a copy of Hexco Academic’s Valerie’s Spelling Bee Supplement; the board game Tile Lock Scrabble; and from the Fillies Scholarship Fund, a $10,000 savings bond. The second runner-up, Briahna Higgins of Logan County, was awarded a $5,000 savings bond. The third-place contestant was Kenneth Treece of Bell County, who received a $3,000 savings bond. Ashley DeVore of Fayette County finished in fourth place and was awarded a $1,500 savings bond. Allison Whelan of Nelson County secured fifth place and a $1,000 savings bond. The Fillies Club—an exclusive, nonprofit organization founded in 1959 and limited to 250 women—supports the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation, which serves as the Kentucky Derby’s charitable arm, and furthering the fame of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Members are involved in hosting the Fillies Derby Ball, the largest annual fundraiser of the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation, in celebration of the Kentucky Derby. Funds raised at the Derby Ball are used to provide grants to deserving local charities such as the Dare to Care food bank and Metro United Way; to promote education in the arts by sponsoring the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation Student Art Contest; and to award academic scholarships to Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee winners like Singh. — Cait A. Smith

Winner – Tara Singh

2nd Place – Briahna Higgins

4th Place – Ashley DeVore

3rd Place – Kenneth Treece

5th Place – Allison Whelan

John David Abbott

Cameron Adams

Parker Akers

Rebecca Bailey

Chloe Barrett

Natalie Bartug

Aathman Bhavaraju

Ainsley Brakefield

Kaetlyn Buss

Alexandria Carroll

Mason Cline

Owen Cody

Myan Cook

Aiden Corder

Jade Dedman

Carly Fawcett

Raina Ferguson

Alexandra Fouch

Brayden Frauli

Ella Gaddis

Marissa Gilchrist

Corey Gill

Maria Hayes

Collin Horn

Thoren Hyatt

Brody Johnson

Madison Jones

Paul Kreinbrink

Austin Lowe

Jenna Lucas

Willow Rae Miller

Kara Pannell

Harsh Patel

Om Patel

Abygail Pendleton

Sarah Jo Pierce

Abigail Potter

Darren Quinley

Elijah Reynolds

Chad Roberts

Adam Rosenbalm

Pyper Scott

Clarissa Seals

Isabella Sepahban

Abby Sherman

James Sparkman

Madison Tarvin

Emma Tharpe

Loran Thieneman

Christopher Thomas

Tarrin Turner

EJ Underwood

Quentin Voigtschild

Brendan Wilson

T.J. Yates

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K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • M AY 2 0 1 8

2018 Kentucky Monthly Reader Recipe Contest For the ninth consecutive year, Kentucky Monthly sent out a challenge to readers to submit their most delicious original recipes, and as usual, they responded with some tantalizing options. Prepared by our chef, Ann Currie, the dishes were sampled and scored on appearance, creativity, ease of preparation and, most importantly, flavor. Our thanks go out to those who entered recipes, and congratulations to the grand-prize winner and finalists!

Peppered Bacon & Spinach Grits Casserole

2 cups dry, coarse grits Water 1 tablespoon salt 1 stick butter 8-12 slices thick-cut, peppered bacon 1 small yellow onion, chopped 1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained 1 tablespoon garlic pepper 1 8-ounce package cream cheese 3 tablespoons horseradish mustard or Dijon mustard 2 cups mild shredded cheddar cheese, separated into halves Salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fry peppered bacon, let cool and chop into pieces. 2. In a large saucepan, cook grits according to the directions on the container, with the salt and ¼ stick of butter (2 tablespoons) added to the water. 3. In a medium-sized frying pan, sauté the onion in some of the leftover bacon fat. After the onion caramelizes, add the spinach and season with garlic pepper. 4. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked grits, cream cheese, horseradish or Dijon mustard, bacon, onion, spinach, 1 cup shredded cheese, the remaining ¾ stick of butter and salt to taste. 5. Pour into a 9-by-13-inch greased casserole dish, and sprinkle 1 cup shredded cheese on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.

Special thanks to … Ann Currie for preparing the recipes and assisting in judging; Jesse Hendrix-Inman for her luscious photographs of the entries; Sullivan University for the use of one of its Culinary Arts Program kitchens for preparation and judging; Southern Grace Bed & Breakfast for providing the grand prize; and Sue-Sue Hartstern, Steve Hartstern, Jess Patton, Sue Siegel, Kay Vest and Janine Washle for their judging expertise.


Charlotte Browning Mabry // Louisville “This is a go-to show-stopper. It’s perfect for weekend breakfasts with family or to wow your friends if you’re entertaining. I’ve made this for a few bridal brunches and baby showers, and it’s a hit every time.”

With our compliments … Winner Charlotte Browning Mabry and a companion will enjoy a stay at the luxurious Pool Side Suite at Brandenburg’s Southern Grace Bed & Breakfast, which includes a scrumptious three-course, Southerninspired gourmet breakfast … Our runners-up will receive a gift package that includes a Kentucky-themed cookbook and cookie cutter. M AY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY




Slow-cooked Spiced Chicken and Green Chiles Tacos 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 tablespoon cumin ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon onion powder ¼ teaspoon garlic powder Pinch cayenne powder Pinch coriander powder 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast (feel free to substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs or use a bit of both) 1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more if needed 1 4-ounce can diced hot green chiles, drained ½ cup chicken stock Optional toppings: Avocado, sliced Cotija cheese Pico de gallo Fresh baby spinach Cilantro

Green Tomato Marmalade 1.5 quarts (6 medium) locally grown green tomatoes, finely diced and cored 1 cup apple cider vinegar 1 cup dark brown sugar ½ cup Shaker Village honey 2 ½ teaspoons red pepper flakes 1 cup sugar ¼ cup water 1 lemon, zested and juiced


Maureen Berry Madisonville “Tacos are a fun, easy food! They’re perfect for a crowd, a weekend meal or no-fuss weeknight dinner. And while there are a few additional steps needed to give the chicken a burst of flavor and a boost of tenderness, one bite and you’ll agree the extra steps are worth the effort.”

1. Add the flour and spices to a small bowl and whisk to combine until there are no lumps. Pour the dry mix into a large plastic bag. 2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Add the chicken to the bag, seal or twist to close and secure, and shake to coat the chicken. 3. Set a slow cooker on the sear/brown setting to 400 degrees, or heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the canola oil. 4. When the slow cooker is ready (or when the oil shimmers in the pan), shake the excess dry mix from the chicken and sear on both sides, about three to four minutes on the top and bottom, and an additional minute on the smaller sides of the meat. 5. If you’re using a skillet, transfer the chicken to the slow cooker. Add the green chiles and chicken stock. 6. Cover and set the slow cooker to low and the timer for 5 hours, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. 7. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Important tip: Shred the chicken with two forks while it is still warm. 8. Serve immediately with a pre-arranged taco station. I use fresh avocado, Cotija cheese, pico de gallo, fresh baby spinach and cilantro. 9. Cover and refrigerate any chicken leftovers. 10

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1. Add all ingredients, except lemon juice and zest, to a large pot. 2. Reduce 1 hour on low, until large bubbles form and mixture is very thick. 3. Remove from heat and add zest and juice.


Amber Hokams Harrodsburg “This recipe is a great way to enjoy locally grown green tomatoes and Shaker Village honey, not only during the summer months but throughout the year.”


Julie Hook // Cunningham (Carlisle County) “I love to cook and share with others, and enjoy spicy food and growing my own produce in my garden.”

Southern Spicy Pig Dip 2 8-ounce blocks cream cheese 1 pound spicy (hot) pork sausage, browned and crumbled ¼ cup sweet onion, chopped 4-5 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced (adjust to taste) 1½ cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese 1 cup real mayonnaise 1 pound crisp bacon, chopped 1 tablespoon liquid bacon grease Topping: 1 sleeve of round buttery crackers, crushed ½ stick butter ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese 2/3 cup chopped bacon pieces (I use real bacon bits)

1. Place cream cheese In a large mixing bowl and allow to soften to room temperature. 2. Brown pork sausage and crumble; drain grease. Add to softened cream cheese. 3. Add next six ingredients and mix well. Place mixture in a well-greased 9-by-9-inch square baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. 4. Prepare topping while this bakes. 5. Remove from oven and add topping, then return to oven for 10 minutes, until the top is golden brown. 6. Serve with crackers or fresh chopped veggies of your choice. M AY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


Happiness Found: A Cupcake Odyssey Pedling penman Kirk Alliman travels the Commonwealth on a quest for cupcake bliss


here’s no doubt that each of the 770 million cupcakes Americans consumed last year had a common purpose. During my bicycle trip last autumn from Ashland to Paducah with stops at 22 bakeries and cupcake shops, it became clear that cupcakes exist for one simple reason: to make us happy!

On this adventure, I journeyed across Kentucky to learn all I could about cupcakes, while searching for one special cupcake. My strategy was to ask the bakers I visited to select a cupcake they thought would make me happiest. Then, I would try a cupcake of my choosing. This journey would not be to find the prettiest cupcake or the one with the craziest name or even the one that tasted best. The sole purpose of the ride was to find the one cupcake experience that made me happiest!


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • M AY 2 0 1 8


Caris Williams photo

Facebook fans I’d be stopping by. She had asked her customers to vote on which cupcake they thought would The fun began in the eastern part of the state at a make me happiest. The winner was the popular Reese’s fabulous cupcake shop named Double Drizzle on U.S. 60 Peanut Butter—dark chocolate cake with a Reese’s peanut southwest of downtown Ashland. I was warmly welcomed butter filling, and a peanut butter buttercream icing, by Tracy Vipperman, Double Drizzle’s owner, baker and topped by a chocolate ganache drizzle and a peanut butter cupcake decorator. Vipperman answered my many cup. My choice was the Blackberry—blackberry cake with questions about cupcakes and the cupcake business while buttercream frosting, covered with blackberry jam and enthusiastically describing the colorful selection in her topped off by a huge blackberry. I love blackberries, so my display case. I was astonished when she stated that Double heart (and stomach) melted when I observed this elegantly Drizzle had sold more than a million cupcakes in its first decorated blackberry cupcake in the display case. year of business! Double Drizzle offers 40 flavors of I continued over U.S. 60 to Swurlz Cupcakes on the west cupcakes, including one for dogs made with doggie treat side of Mt. Sterling. The day happened to be the 40th bones, cream cheese, peanut butter and carrots. Vipperman selected the Cookie Monster—chocolate cake anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. Cassie Jones, Swurlz’s co-owner and baker, had concocted a special cupcake in with chocolate chips and cookie dough filling, cookie honor of the occasion: a peanut butter and banana dough frosting and a mini chocolate chip cookie on top. I sandwich cupcake that she named The Elvis. This kind of then made my choice, the spectacularly eye-catching frivolity makes cupcake shops so much fun. Another Banana Split—vanilla cake with a crushed pineapple, customer was in the store buying dessert for her family’s banana and strawberry buttercream filling, beautifully evening meal. “Cupcakes make my kids happy like nothing layered strawberry and vanilla frostings, topped with nuts, else,” she said. “They’re always eager to see the crazy chocolate drizzle, colorful sprinkles and a bright red cupcakes I bring home.” maraschino cherry. That day, it was The Elvis. I moved on to Flatwoods, 15 miles north CENTRAL KENTUCKY of Ashland, to Dave’s The search for the Bakery. Connie Belt and cupcake that would make co-owner Billie Kersey me the happiest continued welcomed me by at The Banery cupcake shop presenting six attractively in Winchester. The maiden decorated cupcakes that name of bakers and sisters immediately brought a big Susan Mitmesser and Ann smile to my face. Kersey Stenzel is Bane, thus the chose the Triple Chocolate place’s unusual name. cupcake as her candidate Mitmesser and Stenzel are for the one that would delightful conversationalists make me happiest. I and talented cupcake artists. selected the Sunflower— The sisters selected the Hot vanilla cake with crumbled Fudge Brownie Sundae as Oreo cookies blended into their candidate for the the batter, covered by a cupcake that would make piped brilliant yellow me happy. Indeed, it did! buttercream icing formed Since The Banery is in in the shape of sunflower Winchester, I chose the petals, with an Oreo in the Winchester Ale cupcake— center. Dave’s Sunflower lemon cake infused with cupcake oozes happiness A cheerful Kirk Alliman enjoys a s’mores cupcake. Ale-8-One soda, and topped and is more alluring than with a sugar glaze and a buttercream Ale-8-One soda icing. any sunflower I’ve ever seen, and I’ve lived in Kansas! I was eager to get to Lexington and visit a cupcake shop Thirty-six miles of biking over scenic U.S. 60 brought me on Liberty Road, BabyCakes Cupcakes. BabyCakes has been to Grayson, a college town of 5,000 residents, where I found Sweet Escapes Bakery. Cortni Oakley is its gregarious featured in Southern Living and recently was named the No. 1 cupcake shop in Kentucky by the The Daily Meal website. cupcake baker and decorator. I was intrigued as she Owner Tricia Clemons talked about the personal explained that most Sweet Escapes cupcakes are named satisfaction that she realizes from making cupcakes that her after famous musicians. She suggested that I try the Chris customers so greatly enjoy. “We bakers do our very best to Stapleton cupcake, a concoction of maple, bacon and a make customers happy,” she told me. She then selected an slight wisp of Tennessee whiskey created in honor of Chris enticing Chocolate Bourbon for me to taste, and I picked Stapleton’s hit song “Tennessee Whiskey.” I enjoy manly out a Caramel Apple. The buttercream icings on both were cupcakes, so it was a hit! For my choice, I passed many fabulous. tempting options to settle on the Bob Dylan—a blueberry BabyCakes is well-known for making a first birthday cheesecake cupcake, so named because blueberry cupcake that Clemons calls the Smash Cake. The Smash cheesecake is folk singer Bob Dylan’s favorite dessert. Thirty miles after leaving Grayson, I arrived in Morehead Cake is slightly larger than a regular cupcake and is completely covered with colored buttercream icing. It’s for the evening. The next morning, as I prepared to leave the motel, a desk clerk asked what I planned to do. When I perfect for 1-year-olds who like nothing more than smashing the cake into—or at least near—their mouth and answered that I’d be checking out some cupcakes in town, for parents who want to take photos of this rite of passage, she responded, “So, you’re the cupcake guy!” When I asked a face completely covered in gooey icing. how in the world she knew, she told me that Jenni Butler, I then pedaled over to Caramanda’s Bake Shoppe on owner of Artsy Tartsy Custom Creations, Morehead’s Southland Drive. I had heard that Caramanda’s offers a remarkable cupcake shop, had informed the shop’s M AY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


Courtesy of Double Dribble Bakery

Above, the cupcake that made Kirk happiest: Double Dribble’s Banana Split

huge variety of cupcakes, and there were 23 flavors in the display case on the day I stopped by. It was there that I met Iain Knight, the shop’s baker. I especially enjoyed a sign above the display case that stated “Real Men Eat Cupcakes!” Knight made a terrific Hot Fudge Sundae cupcake for me to enjoy, and I chose the Coconut Cream with a coconut buttercream filling and a topping of toasted coconut shavings. Caramanda’s is also where I learned that cupcakes are taking the place of apples when it comes to bribing teachers. The customer who told me this was desperately hoping that a Peanut Butter Bliss cupcake would do the job later that day. My next stop was in Junction City at Sweets by Cindy. Over the years, Cindy Nevius has developed a highly regarded cupcake shop and a loyal following. “I love making people happy,” she told me. “It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to please my customers.” Customers smile when they see Nevius’ cupcakes because she smiles when she bakes and decorates them. “My happiness passes into every cupcake I make,” she said. Nevius is proud of her White Chocolate Raspberry cupcake, so that was the one she selected for me. I had a hard time deciding between the Chocolate Moonshine Cherry and the Bourbon Ball. The Moonshine Cherry won out. I wasn’t the only one who had a hard time deciding. There were so many fantastic choices. A fellow customer stood in front of the display case for 15 minutes before deciding which six cupcakes to take home. Another customer, who was to be married two days later, stopped by to confirm that her order of six dozen Peanut Butter Cookie, White Chocolate Raspberry and Death by Chocolate cupcakes would be ready on time. The cupcake at Sweets by Cindy with the zaniest name was the crazy-looking White Trash. Nevius told me that each day after she is finished baking, she takes the leftover dough, icings and toppings and turns them into a cupcake for the next day. The result is the White Trash cupcake, which from day to day never tastes or looks the same. Not everyone wants to mess with a cupcake, which can be challenging if you’re not experienced in the art of eating one, so a few cupcake bakers have created a cupcake in a cup, in which the ingredients that make up a cupcake are layered into a transparent cup. It looks great from the outside, tastes the same as a regular cupcake, and can be spooned from the cup. It’s a terrific idea whose time has come! I came across several cupcakes in a cup during the bike ride, but the most imaginatively designed one was the Scooby Scraps at Sweets by Cindy.

Caris Williams photo



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Eventually, I returned to U.S. 60 and found myself biking through Shelbyville. I wouldn’t normally stop at a pie shop when looking for cupcakes, but I’d heard that the Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen offers a popular “dipped” cupcake. While freshly baked and still warm, the bare cupcake is completely dipped, bottom side up, into a bowl of caramel or chocolate icing. The entire cupcake is covered—quite a sight! Needless to say, I had to try one … and then ended up eating two. The Pie Kitchen’s choice: Caramel Dipped. My choice: Chocolate Dipped. Both were draped with a chocolate drizzle and were fantastically enjoyable. Continuing westward on U.S. 60, I came upon Sugar Mamas Bakeshop in Middletown. Sugar Mamas’ owner and baker Maggie Jones makes cake balls, egg-sized minicupcakes decorated in adorably cute ways. Anyone can buy them, of course, but Jones is known for providing cake balls for gender reveal parties. She told me about receiving sealed, unopened sonograms from doctors’ offices. After

Caris Williams photos

opening the envelope, only she knows the baby’s gender. Jones then prepares cake balls that have a neutral-color frosting on the outside, with pink or blue cake inside. Not until they bite into the cake balls do the expecting parents and their guests learn the baby’s gender. My next stop, Gigi’s Cupcakes on South Hurstbourne in Louisville, provides a colorful assortment of cupcake options. On the day I visited, these included a Boo Box of six ghoulish cupcakes for Halloween and a Gobble Box of adorable Thanksgiving-themed cupcakes. Gigi’s chose a Chocolate Peanut Butter for me to try, and I selected the Blueberry Lemon. While I was enjoying my cupcakes, a woman stopped by to purchase a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough cupcake. When I asked her why she was buying only one, she said that she was going to have lunch with her grandson to celebrate his 11th birthday. The cupcake was “a treat, not his gift,” she assured me. Another customer stopped in to purchase a jumbo Wedding Cake cupcake for her mother as a surprise for their afternoon tea together. “I do this fairly often,” she said, “making sure that I always take her a flavor that she’s not seen before. Variety is the spice of life!” My next stop, JB Cakes on Goss Avenue in Louisville, was the most unique cupcake shop I visited. There were no finished cupcakes in the display case. Instead, ownerbaker Kyle Griffith invites customers to build their own cupcake by selecting from his list of 16 cake flavors, 12 frostings and 22 toppings. If my calculations are correct, this means Griffith offers 4,224 cupcake options! After deliberating for a long time, I selected a grape cake with a peanut butter buttercream frosting that included a raspberry drizzle with peanut butter chips on top. Griffith encouraged me to try his favorite, a white chocolate cake with coffee buttercream frosting, topped with caramel drizzle and a crushed Butterfinger bar. I did and loved it, then quickly departed JB Cakes before I was seduced into tasting all the combinations. The city of Radcliff and its A Sweet Retreat Bakery are a three-hour bike ride from Louisville. It was totally worth the effort. Between customers, who streamed in the entire time I was there, owner and baker Bess Outland described the challenge of producing more than 1,000 cupcakes a week. It takes a lot of imagination and planning, but providing a constant flow of interesting and new flavors is one way to keep customers satisfied and coming back. Outland showed me a list of more than 100 different cupcakes she has made and can offer with notice. From those available the day I was there, Outland decided her Chocolate Paradise cupcake would make me happiest. My choice was Lemon Raspberry, a lemon cake filled with raspberry gel, iced with raspberry buttercream frosting, and topped with white sugar pearls. I had only one pick of a cupcake at each place I visited during the cupcake ride, but if the rules had permitted two choices at Sweet Retreat, I’d have tried the S’mores cupcake for one reason: The toppings over the chocolate cake included crushed graham crackers, toasted mini-marshmallows and Hershey chocolate squares. Childhood memories of evenings around a campfire came flooding back. I needed to be on my way to Glendale in Hardin County, because I had heard that the town’s annual awardwinning Glendale Crossing Festival was going on. I love autumn festivals, especially those held in small Kentucky towns. Glendale is small—1 square mile, with a population of 350—but its autumn festival is a Very Big Deal, with 600 booths and exhibits, and loads of food and arts and crafts options. The weather was festival-perfect, so a huge crowd of 25,000 festive visitors was there to enjoy the day. I was searching for cupcakes, of course, and did I ever luck out. Within 15 minutes of parking my bicycle, my eyes

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had been told about Amanda’s Cup Cake Café, and am glad I was. Like most cupcake shop managers and bakers, Amanda Fitzpatrick works incredibly hard to satisfy her customers. Obviously, she succeeds, as every customer I talked to had been there before. Fitzpatrick selected the irresistible Ultimate Chocolate cupcake for me. Having loved angel food cake for all my life, I ordered an Angel Food cupcake filled with raspberry jam and topped with homemade whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkles. From Hopkinsville, it was a short and pleasant trip over State Route 91 and the historic Trail of Tears road to Princeton and Mrs. McLovets’ Cupcakes. I was not able to meet Mrs. McLovets— she’s a fictional character from English literature— but visiting with owner Cathy Lewis and former owner Nina McMillan was an absolute joy. This is cupcakery at its best! Mrs. McLovets’ cozy shop, only 8 feet by 22 feet, is adjacent to the Art Guild’s historic building in downtown Princeton. For many years (1949-90), the building was home to Miss WESTERN KENTUCKY Pickering’s beloved Tiny I’ve biked in western Café. Mrs. McLovets’ Kentucky and the Purchase Cupcakes is open Area many times and always Wednesday-Saturday and am delighted by the region’s features a delightful picturesque scenery and variety of cupcakes. hospitable residents. When I When I visited, the arrived this time, the land flavors included and skyscapes were Chocolate Dipped spectacular. Traveling on a Strawberry, Wedding bicycle has a way of Cake, Maple Bacon, magnifying the enjoyment of Kirk at Mrs. McLovets’ cheerful shop Chocolate Lady and these experiences. There’s a S’mores. It is impossible dramatic difference between whizzing down the road in a to describe the amount of pleasure derived from viewing car with closed windows and riding leisurely and Mrs. McLovets’ cupcake display case, and it is equally attentively on a bicycle. This is why I love biking on difficult to describe how great they taste. I broke my rule Kentucky’s country roads. and tried five! I could not resist. The most intriguing: the My destination was Owensboro, because I had heard Chocolate Lady. It featured a chocolate cinnamon cake with about a shop called The Cup Cakery. Agnes and Skip intricate, colorful flower petals made with a cranberry Reynolds, the gregarious owners and bakers, had been coulis and cinnamon buttercream icing. In the middle of informed that my friend, Paul, from Owensboro and I the cupcake was a cute ladybug (with a head and eyes) would be visiting. Agnes was ready. She insisted that her made from a chocolate-covered cranberry. Totally adorable! Wedding Cake cupcake would make me happiest. Being a The Maple Bacon cupcake included real maple syrup chocolate junkie, I selected for my choice a Turtle cupcake and a fabulous chocolate ganache frosting, topped with of chocolate cake, pecans, coconut icing and caramel flavorful candied smoked country bacon. Freely drizzle with a liberal topping of chipped pecans. I can acknowledging that all men are little boys at heart, and assure you that both tasted even better than you are remembering my childhood campfire experiences, I ended imagining. the visit by enjoying an incredible S’mores cupcake. Resuming my love affair with U.S. 60, I moved on to the It was a perfect afternoon when I headed out of Golden Glaze Bakery in Henderson. Since it was October, Princeton toward Draffenville. An hour later, I stopped to the bakery’s display case featured scary cupcakes. The icing fill my water bottles at the Five Star convenience store in was colorfully air-brushed with edible green and yellow Eddyville. It was there that I noticed the nearby Our Daily spray dyes, and the toppings included spiders, hands Bread café and bakery. When owner-manager Randy sticking out of graves, ghosts and bloody eyeballs. What fun! Fraliex told me that his mother, Rose Fraliex, makes the From there, I traveled south on U.S. 41 to Hopkinsville. I cupcakes, I talked myself into a mid-afternoon treat of Caris Williams photo

found a cupcake stand—actually a pink tent that housed Sugar Fashion Cakes, a Hodgenville-based order-only bakery. Sugar Fashion Cakes occasionally shows up at special events to offer cupcakes. Sarah Anthony, Sugar Fashion’s owner and baker, told me that every one of the more than 600 cupcakes she brought to the festival would be sold by mid-afternoon. I wasn’t surprised. With names such as Peanut Butter & Banana, Death by Chocolate, Hummingbird, Chocolate Sundae, Snickerdoodle, Wedding Cake and Lemon Blueberry, every cupcake was a temptation. Best of all, each cupcake was covered by a thick layer of buttercream icing (a closely guarded secret recipe, I was told) and included such attractive toppings as maraschino cherries, candy pumpkins, colorful sugar pearls, starshaped sugar sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, Reese’s Pieces, lush blueberries, thick bacon strips and more. My choices were the Boston Cream Pie and the Pineapple Upside Down Cake, but truthfully, any of the 12 cupcakes offered at the festival by Sugar Fashion Cakes would have made me happy.


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coffee and a colorful Funfetti cupcake. Funfettis are among the most playful of cupcakes. The vanilla batter and a fluffy vanilla buttercream icing are both loaded with colorful sprinkles. It seemed like my moist cupcake was bursting with an exploding rainbow. It was great fun. Early the following morning, I stopped at Parcell’s Bakery just north of Benton in the Draffenville Plaza. I enjoyed visiting with owner Daniel Slayden, cupcake specialist Lisa Cooper and pastry supervisor Brian Steffen. They all were welcoming and eager to describe the 12 flavors of cupcakes available. I tried two—the Oatmeal Cream Pie and the Chocolate Salted Caramel—and if I were certain this was to be the last day of my life, I also would have gone for the Root Beer Float, Pumpkin Spice and Ginger Snap cupcakes. Suffice it to say that Cooper and Steffen are extraordinary bakers and cupcake artists. There were still two hours of pedaling to the final cupcake shop I would visit. So I said goodbye to Parcell’s and headed for the south side of Paducah and Cass Sweets ’n Eats. Cass Schneeman painstakingly described each of the attractive cupcakes in her display case. Perhaps because Schneeman was so proud of them all, it was more challenging than usual to select two to taste. I finally settled on the oddly named Pig Lickin’—pineapple orange cake with a coconut cream filling and a fluffy pineapple icing—and the Caramel Apple, an apple cake with caramel filling and icing, drizzled with more caramel and topped with peanuts.

CONCLUSION I’ve been on many bike rides. None were as much fun as searching for the cupcake that made me the happiest. Not surprisingly, I discovered that finding happiness with a cupcake is much like falling in love. Even though most of us are not sure what love is and are hard-pressed to define it when asked, we know beyond a doubt when we experience it. This is what happened when I encountered the cupcake that made me happiest. I knew it the second we were introduced. The attraction was electric. It was true happiness at first sight. After enjoying 44 exceptional cupcakes, it was time to decide which one made me the happiest. My choice: the colorful, spirited, beautifully and creatively decorated, and utterly delicious Banana Split Cupcake at the Double Drizzle Bakery in Ashland. I break out in a huge smile every time I remember our meeting. Come to think of it, that’s the purpose of a cupcake! Q

10 Things I Learned About Cupcakes 1. According to American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, cupcakes were first mentioned in 1796 when a recipe described a way to bake “a light cake in small cups about the size of a tea cup.” It was noted that each cake would serve one person. 2. The popularity of boutique cupcakes began to skyrocket in 2000 when Sex and the City’s main character Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, ate a vanilla cupcake with pink buttercream frosting on the HBO show. 3. In the United States, cupcakes are served at 13 percent of weddings. 4. The primary reason cupcakes are fun to eat is because they are small. One can eat an entire cupcake and not feel guilty. Best of all, when the cupcake’s gone, it’s gone; there’s nothing left to nibble on the rest of the day. 5. Cupcakes are much more than miniature cakes. They are individual works of art. Since every cupcake is handmade, its bakers and decorators can be imaginative, even adventurous. As a result, each cupcake possesses a unique persona. 6. Even though cupcake makers constantly offer new flavors, according to what I discovered on my adventures, the Wedding Cake, Strawberry and Red Velvet are the most popular cupcakes in Kentucky. 7. A surprising number of people buy doggie cupcakes as rewards for their pets. 8. Grown men buy cupcakes, and they do so more frequently than one might guess. Men may say they are buying for someone else. It is doubtful, however, that most of those cupcakes ever reach that mysterious “someone else.” 9. According to etiquette experts, there are four acceptable ways to eat a cupcake: The Neanderthal, The Sandwich, The Elegant and The Choo-Choo Train. The appropriateness of each method depends on the occasion, who you’re with, and the impression you want to make. 10. Kentucky’s bakeries and shops specializing in creating high-quality cupcakes are conveniently scattered throughout the state. Most are locally owned, and the owner, store manager and baker are often the same person and sometimes the only employee. These people work hard and derive enormous satisfaction from pleasing their customers.

For a complete list of Kirk’s cupcake superlatives and tips on how to eat a cupcake, check out M AY K ET U NC T UKC Y OMNOT H N LY T H LY1717 M AY 2 0 12 80 1•8 K•E N Y KM


FOND Memories

Chef Madeleine Dee mixes culinary expertise and travel experiences into her intimate eatery Text and Photos by Lindsey McClave


t is difficult to escape the charms of Chef Madeleine Dee’s congenial nature. I am standing by in the matchbox-size kitchen of her restaurant, Fond, watching as she methodically slices plump strawberries, my spirit warming right along with hers as she details her recent explorations in Europe. “My time at Hisa Franko in Slovenia was the most important experience of my life,” Madeleine says. “Every moment showed me what fine dining is supposed to be. I channeled what I learned there into Fond, to incredible results. I’m a better chef because of that meal, and the restaurant is blossoming.” The word about Madeleine’s tiny dream restaurant has officially spread, yet it remains one of Louisville’s best-


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kept culinary secrets. With only 12 seats available two nights per week and a six-plus-course menu that changes by the month, Fond bears the oh-so-desirable mark of exclusivity. Yet the pretentiousness that can often come with a restaurant of this nature is completely absent, instead replaced with the feeling that you are a welcomed guest in Madeleine’s own home, where the mood is inviting, subdued and entirely charming. As the sweet scent of the berries fills her kitchen, Madeleine’s seemingly permanent smile spreads wide when she tells me that, for the first time since opening, her restaurant sold out for the month before she even released the menu. It would seem that Fond, along with the woman at its heart, has found its wings.

Top, Chef Madeleine Dee, center, with bookkeeper Melissa Gaddie, left and server Kimberly Temple; above left, the full line of Fond Originals products includes jams and sauces, along with Fond’s original fig pizza, right.

••• A life in the pursuit of warming people’s souls via food was not always the plan for Madeleine. Born and raised in Louisville, she graduated from Sacred Heart Academy with dreams of becoming a movie star. She knew she would need to master some sort of trade to support herself in Los Angeles and decided a degree in culinary arts would do just fine, despite the fact that she had never actually cooked anything. Armed with her passion for acting and new skills as a chef, Madeleine made her way to L.A., only to find herself back in the Bluegrass State five days later. She simply knew in her gut that acting would not be her path. While she may not be on the big screen, nearly a decade later, Madeleine is performing an elaborate, one-woman show with Fond and is selling a robust line of gourmet specialty foods called Fond Originals. She keeps her flair for the dramatic alive via her web series, The Seasoned Cynic’s Guide to Entertaining. The show denotes her trademark moniker, The Seasoned Cynic, and she expresses this side of herself via, where etiquette tips, original recipes, gorgeous food images and travelogues are shared.

Madeleine continues to describe the various hats she wears as I follow her from the kitchen into the dining room, a small but open space lined with tall windows that let natural light spill onto the floor. Five tables are set with indigo napkins, aqua teacups holding small candles, and metal feathers acting as a resting ledge for cutlery. The space is intimate, giving you the sense you’ve just entered a dinner party. The bistro music filling the air, coupled with the private ambiance of the space, spirits me back to an equally cozy restaurant in Rovinj, Croatia, where a husband-and-wife duo were the sole staff, cooking and serving every course as if you were dining in their home. I share this memory with Madeleine, and she does a small dance of excitement, as this is the effect she hopes Fond will have on its diners. It is the name of the restaurant that perhaps best expresses this desire. “Fond is a tremendously meaningful word, both in English and in French!” she says. “In English, it means devoted, warm, caring, loving, kind, keen on, partial to, addicted to and affectionate. Also, that you are passionate and enthusiastic about something. In French, it’s even more significant: Not only is it a basic term learned in culinary M AY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


Far left, Chef Madeleine’s mini fig pizza: the first bite of every dinner at Fond; left, white truffle soup with seared scallop. school referring to the yummy bits of food that stick to a pan and give a sauce its base of flavor, but it also means foundation, substance, depth, essence, soul, heart. Fond is everything to me. It was the perfect word for the care and love I put into my work.” There is no shortage of love—or work—that goes into crafting the duo of weekly dinners at Fond, which opened in 2015. Monthly menus are conceptualized over a span of weeks and, with food always squarely on her mind, Madeleine will sketch dishes on sticky notes, securing her pictures to the wall as she formulates them into real-life variations. As her travel has expanded, so has her palate, her dishes now born of experiences she has had around the globe. Each meal comes with a story, enabling her to connect with her diners in a whole new way. “Traveling has made me a better chef and a vastly more interesting person,” she says. It always comes back to the guest experience at Fond, travel and food two of the most powerful bridges of connection. While she has settled on the descriptor of “Mediterranean fusion” for Fond, Madeleine’s passion for the world’s variety of food made defining her culinary style a challenge. Although every menu is born of French technique, her flavors span the Mediterranean Sea and beyond, with corners of Asia playing an increasingly important role. Madeleine was in prep mode for her distinctly French menu during my visit, a meal I, along with 10 fellow diners, had the pleasure of experiencing the following weekend. Fond may be small, but Madeleine is quick to stress that it embraces the introvert. Tables are not communal and are spaced comfortably apart, ensuring that each individual reservation—be it a two-top or a table for six—has as private an experience as desired. Fond has quickly acquired its fair share of regular customers, so much so that Madeleine put together a subscription program, offering a discount to those wishing to purchase a seat at three or more dinners throughout the calendar year. She greeted these regulars as well as the handful of other diners before calmly making her way back to the kitchen, where she makes everything herself, while her trusted friend and employee, Kimberly Temple, makes sure the dining room runs smoothly. 20

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••• The menu may shift from month to month, but the first course remains the same: A trio of bite-sized fig pizzas are presented on a small pedestal, paper-thin prosciutto and herbaceous pesto pairing beautifully with the sweet sliced fruit. Madeleine plates her dishes with care, allowing their elegance to be displayed in a subtle yet striking manner. Our serving of white truffle soup with seared scallop was as beautiful in its artful oblong bowl as it was perfectly executed, the truffle soup silky and rich with organic, earthy notes, and the scallop generous in size and tender, the top gently kissed from the pan. The meal built steadily, in both intensity of flavor and offering, course by course, and surprises appeared that are not in the published menu, like a beautifully simple bread and cheese presentation. A slender triangle of drunken goat decorated with white balsamic pearls was paired with two warm slices of Blue Dog Bakery bread and a quenelle of house-churned salted butter. A delicate roasted tomato bisque, garnished with ribbons of zucchini and salmon that practically melted on the tongue, made an impact, as did

Original Creations Fond Originals is Chef Madeleine Dee’s line of gourmet frozen and shelf-stable foods, available in specialty stores throughout Louisville. Items include Madeleine’s signature fig pizza, her strawberry-ginger and blueberry-lemon jams, Roma tomato sauce, risotto cakes, and broccoli, bacon and cheddar quiche. Recipes have been fine-tuned throughout Madeleine’s years of work as a personal chef, and plans are in the works to expand the line to include her meatloaf, crab cakes and meatballs.

Photos on this page courtesy of Chef Madeleine Dee

the mushroom gratin accompanied by duck a l’orange. Madeleine’s signature dessert—a balsamic panna cotta topped with strawberry ginger-jam, crumbled shortbread and candied flowers—was perhaps the most striking dish of the night, so simple in theory yet complex and nuanced in flavor and texture. As small cups of espresso were quietly delivered, Madeleine offered a final bite in the form of a macaron. When I asked if she had made these as well, she simply smiled and said, “If I served it to you, I made it.” I can’t imagine a better motto for a restaurant to live by, and Madeleine embodies the art of hospitality in the most genuine sense. She also happens to be an incredible chef, and that, above all, is why Fond will only continue to blossom. Q

If You Go: Fond 2520 Frankfort Avenue Louisville (502) 727-3631 More of Chef Madeleine’s decadent dishes.

Have you ever wondered...

MP in the night? do we see at night? ...what goes BU ...wha

t dwells within a cave?

...or how things live in the eternal darkness of oceans’ depths?

Find out when “IN THE DARK” comes to KYGMC!




cARTography:the art of map making featuring history paintings by Steve White

Kentucky Gateway Museum Center 215 Sutton Street Maysville, KY 606-564-5865


M AY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


Where Friends Meet The Greyhound Tavern nears a century as a northern Kentucky landmark By Deborah Kohl Kremer


hen Butch and Mary Ann Wainscott purchased the famed Greyhound Grill in Fort Mitchell 30 years ago, they certainly knew what they were getting into. “It is a gathering place for the community,” says their son, Gabe Wainscott, the general manager, “and a landmark in northern Kentucky.” The Wainscotts may be celebrating their 30th year as owners, but The Greyhound, as everyone calls it, has been a city mainstay for as long as anyone can remember. The business got its start in 1921. Back then, the streetcar system, which ran from Cincinnati to the suburbs, turned around right at the intersection of Dixie Highway and Orphanage Road. This spot, locally known as the End-OfThe-Line, is where all riders heading farther south had to get off. Entrepreneur Johnny Hauer opened the Dixie Tea Room, named after the highway, selling ice cream and treats for the readily available clientele disembarking the streetcar. The establishment changed hands in the 1930s, when Al Frisch purchased the building and turned it into a restaurant. He decided to name his new business in honor of his brother, Benny, who trained and raced dogs in Florida. Thus, the name changed to the Greyhound Grill. There were a few other ownership changes over the years, but the Wainscotts, who had no restaurant experience at the time, bought it with the vision of expanding what was already a good thing. “My mom tells people that Greyhound is a refuge from the knocks and blows from the outside,” says daughter Meggie Wainscott Martin, who handles sales and marketing. This is apparent from the fierce loyalty of customers and from the many employees who have worked there for more than 20 years—something almost unheard-of in the 22

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restaurant industry. The establishment’s longest tenured employee is Linda Beach, a kitchen manager with more than 32 years at the Greyhound. Gabe and Meggie agree that Beach is not replaceable, and Meggie laughs when she says, “Linda came with the building when our parents purchased it.” When the Wainscotts took the helm, they made some changes to the menu and the interior, upping the ambiance a notch, taking the Greyhound from a Grill to a Tavern. The inviting white building, with its pillared front porch and black shutter trim, is the perfect blend of Southern and Northern architecture. Inside, diners find a warm and homey feel in each of the dining rooms, whether it is the front Tavern Room, decorated with classic horse racing photos and even a mounted wild boar’s head, or the more refined Williamsburg Room, with touches of Colonialinspired furnishings. Throughout the 230-seat restaurant, diners are treated to Greyhound dog accents, subtly blended with nods to the building’s history, the Bluegrass State and, of course, bourbon. “We always have bourbon slush on the menu,” Gabe says. “It is my grandmother Marian Hellmann’s recipe. She passed away at 104 years old and always kept a batch in her freezer, just in case company came by. We think it might have been the key to her long life.” Gabe considers the menu to be traditional American fare. Some favorites that are always on offer are steaks, pork chops and cod. On Mondays and Tuesdays, regulars pack the house for the restaurant’s award-winning fried chicken dinner, served family style, where diners pass around their table bowls of creamy mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and coleslaw for a meal just like Mom used to make, only better.

The menu also includes salads, pastas, burgers and sandwiches, but since the tavern is in northern Kentucky, there is a hint of German and Southern in the recipes, too. “We have added the goetta egg roll appetizer and the pimento cheese BLT sandwich, and they are both very popular,” Gabe says. Age-old favorites are the Louisville-inspired Hot Brown, massive crunchy onion rings and sweet-and-sour hot slaw, made with shredded cabbage and crispy bacon chunks. And don’t forget the bread pudding for dessert. “We could never take those off the menu,” Gabe says. But the Wainscotts know they must evolve with the times. They recently added an outdoor covered patio dining space, complete with a magnificent stone fireplace, a perfect touch for cooler evenings. Gabe says that, although the competition is fierce, they plan to stick to their values and offer consistent menu items and service because that’s what keeps people coming back. And come back they do. He says that sometimes it is hard to seat people—not because the restaurant doesn’t have seats available, but because it takes a while to get the diners to their table as they stop and say hello to seated friends along the way. He relays that information with a grin, knowing that the history and ambiance of the Greyhound is not something that can be replicated. It is something that gets preserved. Butch and Mary Ann have seven children; of them, Gabe, Meggie and brother Danny, who manages the kitchen, run the restaurant. The three siblings say each has worked there in different capacities throughout the years. They are proud of their family-run business, but they are always focused on their diners. “Our goal is for our guests to experience true Southern hospitality with every visit,” Meggie says. Q

If You Go: Greyhound Tavern 2500 Dixie Highway Fort Mitchell (859) 331-3767 |


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M AY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


Roving Restaurants Food trucks are enjoying widespread appeal in the Commonwealth By Jackie Hollenkamp Bentley


n 1866, Texas cattleman Charles Goodnight needed a way to feed his workers on the trail as they herded cattle north. By bolting a portable kitchen to the back of a horse-drawn Army Studebaker wagon, Goodnight invented what many consider the first food truck. Fast-forward some 100 years, and food trucks were known as places to get a good hot dog, funnel cake or cotton candy at carnivals and county fairs across the country. Fast-forward another 50 years, and food trucks can be spotted outside Kentucky businesses, corporate events, festivals and even weddings. Everything from Korean tacos to lasagna meatballs to fruit nachos are served through a truck window to hungry customers throughout Kentucky.

The Traveling Kitchen, Louisville In late 2011, Victor Pagva parked his new Traveling Kitchen food truck at a meter on a busy downtown Louisville street. Then, he waited. It was apparently worth it. On a blustery 2018 February morning outside the Humana offices by Waterfront Park, more than 20 people braved the 30-something-degree weather to stand in line for Pagva’s Korean-inspired tacos, dumplings and kimchi. “That line is always so long, but [the food is] always fantastic,” said Brandon McPherson, a regular customer who works nearby. “During the summer, [the line] wraps around the corner, and you can’t get through the sidewalk sometimes.” Pagva’s formula for success is simple. “Eventually, if you have a good product, good service and it’s reasonably priced, they keep coming back,” Pagva said. That good product includes a variety of tacos called Korean bulgogi beef, teriyaki chicken, Korean spicy pork, tempura fish, tempura veggies and pork dumplings. Tacos are priced at three for $9, and dumplings are $4. “The menu is pretty set, and I rarely change it,” he said. “That’s the thing. You want to be really simple with your menu.” 24

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Unlike a restaurant, a food truck affords freedom of movement, Pagva said, as well as less overhead and a wider customer base. “I [had been] thinking about opening a restaurant for a long time, but restaurants are hard to keep up,” he said. “With a food truck, you just fire up your grill and start cooking.” Now, he has neighbors. “There are days when there are maybe five or six food trucks parked along the same street, and everybody’s making money,” he said. “It’s good. I like the competition, and it’s all different types of food.”

Packhouse Food Truck, Newport Meatballs are the star of Chad Neace and Bob Conway’s Packhouse Food Truck. The pair serves meatballs every time the truck’s windows are open, but what’s in the meatballs changes frequently. “We’re constantly going with new meatballs, new sauces and stuff like that,” Neace said. “There’s over 150 different meatballs that we do.” One recent menu listed chicken Parmesan meatballs, seafood crab meatballs and even black bean meatballs. “Our No. 1 goal is to take meatballs to the next level,” Neace said. “If there’s any idea of a meatball, we try to make it happen. We get ideas from our customers, and we do trial and error. We fail sometimes, and then there’s other times when we hit gold. We’re willing to take risks, and we’re willing to try different ideas.” One Yelp reviewer, in describing his experience with the chicken Parmesan meatballs and pulled pork meatballs, wrote “fortune did shine” on him and his son. “The chef did it all, too—drove the truck, took the orders and made the meals,” the reviewer wrote. The business is run at a different pace than when Neace and Conway ran a brick-and-mortar restaurant. “We had a restaurant for three-and-a-half years, and then we decided: Why not take it to the streets and take our food to the customers instead of waiting on them to come to us?” Neace said. “We saw how good the numbers were with the food truck, and we were like, ‘Why are we wasting our time with a restaurant? Let’s just do the food truck.’ ” So they closed their restaurant in 2017 and began running the truck full time, taking it to the northern Kentucky and Cincinnati-area streets, as well as to

catering parties, weddings and other events. “That’s what’s exciting about our job: We do something different every day, but at the same time, we’re trying to provide a fun, unique experience,” Neace said. “People are getting to see fresh food being made right in front of them. “It’s like when [diners] go to a hibachi grill, and they see the flames and all that in front of them, and they’re all excited about it. You get the same concept with a food truck. All the food is made pretty much fresh in front of you.”

Pop’s Street Eats, Bowling Green “Oh my gosh, if you’re a college kid in [Bowling Green], you can’t miss this.” “Convenience is the greatest aspect of this establishment. Can’t thank these fellas enough for being open after hours!” “If you don’t like this BBQ, well then you don’t like BBQ, period, ladies and gentlemen. Had on many occasions and have yet to be disappointed. This BBQ is legit.” Pop’s Street Eats in Bowling Green is not lacking in positive reviews on Facebook, and the fact that many of them likely come from Western Kentucky University students is no surprise. “We do regular days of the week at certain places for lunch, and then we service the night crowd for [WKU] and for the downtown bars. It’s weird hours, but from 10 o’clock at night until three in the morning, a food truck can really do well,” said owner Pop Wilson. “We do fall festivals for schools. We cater weddings. We do any group of 50 people or more.” The idea to start a food truck was conceived from a conversation Wilson had with two of his sons in December 2016. Five months later, Pop’s Street Eats was rolling. “The idea was to take pulled pork and rotisserie chicken and serve it in nontraditional ways,” Wilson said. “We decided we would take the pulled pork and rotisserie chicken and put it in tacos, nachos, burritos and maybe some handmade pizzas along the way.” The idea stuck, and Wilson has been busy ever since. “The way it’s presented makes all the difference in the world, and it was a success,” Wilson said.

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While the novelty of a food truck has worn off, Wilson said, its popularity continues to grow, thanks to the many “street eats” shows on Food Network, Travel Channel and the like. “I think it’s something the millennials bought into, and it’s a novel idea for older people,” he said. But it’s a job the retired truck driver thoroughly enjoys, despite the long hours and hard work. “A food truck like ours is like a mobile restaurant,” Wilson said. “For every hour you see this window open, there’s another hour and a half that you’re not seeing. [Customers] don’t see the preparation work.”

Rolling Oven Mobile Pizzeria, Lexington On one side, Rolling Oven Mobile Pizzeria appears to be a shipping container. But walk around, and you’ll see an entire kitchen operation, complete with a wood-fired brick oven, going full steam. “It is a repurposed shipping container with glass on one side, so you can see everything that’s going on as far as people cooking and working in there. Customers love that,” said owner Nick Ring. “Pizza’s really not an easy thing to make in a food truck. I roll the dough. I top the pizza. I cook the pizza—everything in my truck.” Those toppings, at any given time, could include brisket, barbecue, potatoes, habaneros, Southwest chicken and even nachos. Making pizza practically comes as second nature to Ring, who calls himself a “home cook.” “I grew up making pizza at home,” he said. “I love doing it. I love cooking.” So he put those pizza skills to good use and has been taking the Rolling Oven around Lexington for more than four years, even going as far as Manchester, Tennessee to set up shop at the famous Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. “That’s the tough part, though—getting established,” he said. “But once you’re established and you have a cool truck and you have good food, you’re going to get tons of calls.” Among those callers are local breweries wanting Rolling Oven to set up a more permanent location inside their establishments. So far, Ring has set up shop in three breweries: Mirror Twin Brewing in Lexington, My Old Kentucky Foam in Georgetown and Rolling Oven Tap Room in Versailles. “Prior to the brick and mortars opening up, I ran the truck hard,” he said. “We took that truck everywhere, anywhere we could go to sell.” Q

C&C Express, Madisonville Sherri and Jamie Buchanan have been running Catering & Creations for five years, but it wasn’t until last year that they decided get things rolling and take advantage of the food truck industry’s growing popularity. “We thought about it about two years ago, and it just wasn’t the right time,” Sherri said. “So then, in early 2017, we thought: You know, if you’re going to do it, now’s the time.” They operated the truck in the warmer months, along with the catering business, and then parked it for winter. “We ran it up until the first of November, when you just don’t have the traffic,” she said. “It works out very well with us, so by the time the truck’s shutting down, the holiday catering season is gearing up.” Adding a food truck to their business model appeared to be a sound move. Because of its success, the Buchanans have taken it on a traveling trailer with a customized smoker. “We love it. It’s exciting and fun,” Sherri said. “We like that kind of work and atmosphere.” C&C Express serves up barbecue in sandwich or nachos form, as well as Southwest chicken in taco or nachos form. But it’s the fruit nachos that have become a local favorite: cheesecake on cinnamon chips, topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. “That’s kind of separated us from a lot of the food trucks, at least around here,” she said. “You don’t see them around here offering a sweet option.” 26

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Street Eating For more information, including food truck location schedules, visit C&C Express’ website,; Packhouse Food Truck,; Rolling Oven Mobile Pizzeria,; and the Traveling Kitchen’s and Pop’s Street Eats’ pages on Facebook.

A Life Interrupted A chance discovery at Kentucky’s unique Vietnam Veterans Memorial triggers memories—and questions By Katherine Tandy Brown


n a gray November day in 1995, the past landed unexpectedly in my lap. I was researching a story on the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which I’d visited briefly once before. Beautifully located, the massive work of art rests high on a hill outside Frankfort overlooking the winding Kentucky River and the state Capitol, with its brightly colored floral clock. Since 1988, this spot has offered solace to many grieving hearts and kept memories alive of those who perished in the Southeast Asian war that stretched from 1959 until 1975—16 long, senseless years. Never before had I noticed beside the memorial a notebook under protective Plexiglas with the names of every fallen soldier in the conflict, arranged by county. Low, thick clouds were beginning to spit rain when I happened to see it, and I flipped its pages to Christian County, where I’d grown up in the county seat of Hopkinsville, once the darkfired tobacco capital of the world. Though a teenager in the 1960s, I didn’t expect to find a familiar name, assuming I’d have heard if anyone I knew had died in that undeclared war. I slid my finger quickly down the page. Suddenly, one line stopped me. “Means, John.” John Means? Really? I hadn’t thought of John in more years than I cared to count. He was my fourth-grade crush who used to walk me home from the Virginia Street School down Tardy Alley to the red brick cottage my grandfather had built on the corner of Main and

17th. He did this nearly every afternoon for a short time. I remembered John’s sandy-brown hair, curly on top, a bit unruly, just like he was. This slim boy with eyes of greenishblue would go on to earn the moniker of juvenile delinquent in high school—a “j.d.” My mother would never have approved of this liaison, had she known and had it lasted into our teens. But he only walked me to the Wallace sisters’ front walk, not all the way across 17th, and his interest lasted only a month or so before school ceased for the summer. The following fall, my family moved from downtown to Country Club Lane so my mother wouldn’t have to drive so far to play golf, and I transferred to Morningside School. My clearest memory of John is of a late April afternoon, when he waited for me by the schoolyard’s wrought-iron fence. When he saw me, his smile lit his 9-year-old eyes, and I remember shyly returning it. He took my books to carry, and as we crossed the street, he began telling me a story about a friend of his who’d stolen candy from Woolworth’s. John had only watched the incident. Perhaps this was juvenile delinquency in its formative years. At any rate, a sales clerk had seen the boy slide a Hershey bar into his jacket pocket without paying and had run out of the store after him. Defending his friend, John began, “That man was a real son of a …” but didn’t finish the expletive. He stopped M AY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY


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walking and turned to look at me. “What?” I asked. “What were you gonna say? Son of a what?” He hesitated for a few seconds, then shook his head. “I can’t use that word in front of you. You’re a nice girl. My dad told me never to do that.” “Oh, come on,” I pleaded, my curiosity piqued. “It’s OK.” “No, it’s not. I respect you too much.” And just like my mother used to do, he changed the subject and wouldn’t talk about it again, much as I begged. After he said goodbye that day in front of the Wallaces’ towering magnolia tree, I puzzled over what that word might have been. The only time I’d heard “son of a” had been in front of the word “gun,” so for the longest youthful time, I thought gun was a bad word. Recalling the incident now, I have to shake my head at my naïveté. And even though I rejoined my grade school classmates in junior high, I don’t remember him much after that—just that he ran with a fast crowd of boys, smoked and often wore a black leather jacket and black boots with buckles. They all did. Definitely 1950s j.d. attire. That day in Frankfort, I felt a heavy sadness: on one hand, at the loss of my own childhood, but on the other, more at the loss of that young man’s life while still in his prime. What would he have made of it had he lived? Would the war have forced him to grow up? And what about all the other young Kentucky men memorialized there? So many lives lost. So many futures ended. Redirecting my thoughts, I turned to the monument. What lay before me was an architectural marvel. Created by Navy veteran and Lexington resident Helm Roberts, the enormous stone sundial has a 24-foot-long, 5,000-pound steel gnomon, or pointer, towering above. Names of the 1,105 Kentuckians who gave their lives in that conflict are etched in its 89-by-71-foot blue granite plaza and arranged so that the shadow of the gnomon passes over each veteran’s name on the anniversary of his death, honoring each soldier with a personal memorial day. Ever comforting, this remarkable tribute opens its arms to visitors and mourners 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Engraved on its inner circle are words from the Book of Ecclesiastes that, according to the memorial’s architect, provide seeds for thought and meditation, ending appropriately with “a time for war and a time for peace.” Turns out that, for John, gun became a bad word. I only hope he has found his peace. Q This story first appeared online at

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More than half of Kentucky’s state parks sit along major lakes, so get out and go boating, water skiing, tubing, kayaking, fishing, or soak up the sun during some shoreside relaxation. Enjoy recreation, outstanding golf courses, resorts, cottages, campgrounds, pioneer living, fishing, boating, and plenty more at your Kentucky State Parks. Make your Summer Break plans now! Visit


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(P)-Paperback (C)-Clothbound (H)-Hardback

Kentucky Cuisine at Its Best Like a well-planned Southern dinner, The Bourbon Country Cookbook begins with cocktails—specifically bourbon cocktail recipes, of course. From there, each chapter The Bourbon covers all of the best dishes for a Country scrumptious meal—small bites; Cookbook vegetables; grits, grains, pastas and By David Danielson bread; fish and meat; and and Tim Laird, delectable desserts. photography Bourbon lends a flavorful touch by Dan Dry to many intriguing recipes, such as Surrey Books bourbon baked black-eyed peas, $29.95 (H) roasted tenderloin with bourbon glaze, and sweet potato and dandelion salad with bourbon sorghum dressing. But Kentucky’s signature spirit is not an ingredient in all of the recipes. Instead, the collection of dishes pays homage to bourbon country itself, with down-home favorites juxaposed with creative gourmet concoctions. Written by Churchill Downs Executive Chef David Danielson and Tim Laird, chief entertaining officer for Brown-Forman, The Bourbon Country Cookbook boasts lavish images by renowned photographer Dan Dry. — Patricia Ranft

BOOKENDS Appalachian Cooking: New & Traditional Recipes by John Tullock is a tribute to Appalachian food, drawn from the author’s deep roots in the region. Filled with charming illustrations, the book includes recipes for dishes such as skillet-braised pork chops with onion jam, new south turnip greens, speckled butter beans and persimmon pudding. Tullock’s notes and sidebars assist the reader with ingredients and traditions of the region. This is the ideal cookbook for Appalachian home cooks, anyone with roots in the region, or those who would love to serve up a slice of American tradition. Published by The Countryman Press, it retails for $29.95. •••

Author Kathleen Driskell is the 2018 recipient of Transylvania University’s Judy Gaines Young Book Award for her collection of poems, Next Door to the Dead. This award recognizes recent works by writers in the Appalachian region. Driskell drew inspiration for the poems in the collection while visiting a cemetery beside a former country church near her home outside of Louisville. A professor of creative writing at Spalding University and associate editor of The Louisville Review, Driskell has authored numerous books and collections, including Laughing Sickness and Seed Across Snow. This is the fourth year for Transylvania’s annual book award, which is funded by Byron Young, who graduated in 1961, in honor of his late wife, Judy Gaines Young, a ’62 graduate. Published in 2015 by University Press of Kentucky, Next Door to the Dead retails for $19.95

Off the Shelf

BRUTAL, YET BRILLIANT Weedeater: An Illustrated Novel By Robert Gipe Ohio University Press $25.95 (H)

Robert Gipe’s new hybrid illustrated novel Weedeater, a sequel to his highly acclaimed novel Trampoline, opens with a vignette of what it was like to live in the fictional Carnard County in eastern Kentucky in a single year: “Such as that common in oh-four, back when pain pills poured down like February snow. Same year one died in a bathtub dry and blue as a pool chalk. Another found dead in the sewer ditch in front of the Frawley Headstart. A lady’s heart gave out, a needle in her arm, back of the Christian Church, and a teacher died at Kettle Creek School snorting a pill off her desk in front of a room full of kids …” One quickly realizes the ongoing apocalypse is driven by the scourge of the opioid addiction epidemic and a sharp downturn of the coal industry, wreaking havoc on the economy. The fictional families in Carnard County—the Jewells, Reddings, Bilsons, Brights and Coateses—are riding a wave that allows some to successfully negotiate it and others to wipe out and drown in the surf. Gipe, a Harlan resident, is a superb storyteller who relates this brutally honest saga through the voices of two protagonists, Dawn Jewell Bilson and Gene “Weedeater,” who are surrounded by abject dysfunction and a landscape littered with the deaths of family and friends. This story is chronicled in a most unusual way— with conventional novel structure interspersed with graphic illustrations containing a continuation of the dialogue. It is a salad of comedy, tragedy, hope, despair, fresh metaphors and similes; flavorful cultural diction and phrasing; and things that make you go “huh?” Gipe said recently, “Almost everything I do anymore is in first person. And so, it’s like you’re doing this interview with your imagination. When it’s the best is when you’re just listening to what’s being said by somebody in your head.” I didn’t think it could get any better than Trampoline, but it does. After reading it, you will never be the same. These characters will never disappear from your head. Prepare to laugh, cry, be fearful, dismayed, angry and hopeful. This is one of the most important, innovative novels to come out of Appalachian Kentucky in the past 50 years. — James B. Goode M AY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Past Tense/Present Tense

A Forgotten Kentuckian BY BILL ELLIS


rom its settlement in the mid-19th century, Kentucky Blair and his cohorts did not accept the court’s decision, was a major crossroads of America. Noted and the state appeared to be on the brink of armed conflict. individuals like Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln, Editor Amos Kendall of the Frankfort-based Argus of Kit Carson and others were born in Kentucky but lived Western America wrote strong editorials in support of the most of their adult lives in other parts of the country. relief position, with the added support of Gov. John Adair It is the responsibility of the Kentucky historian to (1820-1824). Blair joined Kendall’s paper as a reporter occasionally remind readers of Kentuckians who have advocating the relief side, and both worked later to help influenced our history but seldom get noticed. Andrew Jackson carry Kentucky against favorite son Born in Virginia in 1791, Henry Clay and other Francis Preston Blair Sr.* candidates in the disputed became an important and complicated election of political figure in Kentucky 1828. They became early and the nation in the middle supporters of the newly third of the 19th century. formed Democratic Party that The son of a Kentucky coalesced around Jackson. attorney general and The Relief advocates next political figure, the young tried to remove the judges of Blair also drifted toward the the Kentucky Court of legal profession but never Appeals. The election of practiced law, as a recurring Relief advocate Gov. Joseph lung problem made it Desha (1824-1828) added to difficult for him speak in the incendiary episode after public. he appointed a new court. After graduating from So, for a brief spell, Transylvania University in Kentucky had two courts, old 1811, Blair served as circuit and new, until the newly court clerk of Franklin elected anti-relief legislature County for 18 years. He passed a restoration act and became deeply involved in constrained Desha. The land speculation; borrowed return of prosperity in 1826 heavily, as did many with some inflation brought Kentuckians from the statean end to this imbroglio, as chartered Bank of Kentucky credit loosened and debts and other institutions; and were paid off. became part of one of the The old court/new court most interesting, struggle may sound like Francis Preston Blair Sr., circa 1860-1865. complicated and versions of political conflict controversial episodes in that occur in Kentucky Kentucky history. history, proving the old saying, “The more things change, Kentucky’s economy has always mirrored that of the the more they stay the same.” nation. There were many reasons for the national Panic of When the irascible President Jackson began to break 1819. Many, like Blair, borrowed money to buy land in with petulant Sen. John C. Calhoun, Kendall continued to western Kentucky and the old Southwest. American trade take the side of the president and invited Blair to edit a with the world prospered after crop failures in Europe in pro-Jackson newspaper, the Washington Globe. Blair soon the earlier part of the decade, while war raged between became a Washington insider and joined the unofficial Great Britain and its allies against the ambitious “Kitchen Cabinet” of the president. He received Napoleon Bonaparte. preferential treatment from the administration, published Then drought and crop failures struck the government documents and became quite wealthy. Blair Commonwealth. When land values declined, speculators built Blair House, which remained in the family until like Blair were hard-pressed to pay overinflated loans. purchased by the United States government. They wanted inflation and depreciated currency to pay off As a successful political figure, Blair remained a their debts. Democratic Party leader until the 1848 election of The Relief War of 1819-1823 pitted the establishment President James K. Polk, who thought Blair had against debtors like Blair, who influenced legislators to obstructed his political career. Blair left the Globe and grant them relief from their debts. The Relief Party wanted entered semi-retirement on a farm outside Silver Spring, debtor relief and a public bank, the Bank of the Maryland, where he remained politically active. Though a Commonwealth, to be created by the General Assembly. longtime slaveholder, he came to oppose the expansion of The state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, struck slavery in the new Western territories by joining the Free down “stay” laws passed by the Relief Party’s legislators. Soil Party. Blair opposed passage of the Kansas-Nebraska 44

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Act, a law crafted by presidential aspirant Stephen Douglas to allow popular sovereignty, whereby settlers would vote whether to become a slave state or free state. The act led to Bleeding Kansas, as opposing sides rushed in to decide the issue before statehood was obtained. Blair supported the new Republican Party and John C. Fremont for president in 1856. Blair became an ardent supporter of Lincoln, who narrowly won the 1860 Electoral College poll. He served Lincoln throughout the Civil War as an advisor and confidant. Just after the secession of South Carolina, Blair met with Robert E. Lee as Lincoln’s personal envoy, offering a Union army generalship to the Virginian. Toward the war’s end, Blair acted as Union intermediary in the unsuccessful Hampton Roads Conference. After the war, Blair, owing to his distaste for Radical Reconstruction and banking legislation passed by Republicans, drifted back to the Democratic Party. He advocated a speedy return of the Southern states to the Union. He freed his own slaves in 1862. Blair died in 1876. The Blairs became something of a dynasty. Of five Blair children, Francis Preston Blair Jr. served as a Missouri legislator, anti-slavery advocate, Union general and U.S. senator. Montgomery Blair became postmaster general during the Lincoln administration. Elizabeth Blair Lee married a naval officer. She became a Washington insider herself, being a friend of a niece of Andrew Jackson and later of Mary Todd Lincoln. Postscript: In the wake of the old court/new court struggle came one the most interesting incidents in Kentucky history: the murder of Col. Solomon Sharp by Jeroboam Beauchamp. In the next issue of Kentucky Monthly, I will describe this incident, which became known as The Kentucky Tragedy. Native Kentuckian Robert Penn Warren based his novel, World Enough and Time, on this bizarre, confusing and dynamic incident. * Many thanks to the Kentucky Monthly subscriber who, while visiting with me at the Kentucky Book Fair, suggested that I write about Blair. I hope she will contact me again, as I unfortunately have forgotten her name.

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Field Notes

Bluegill on the Fly BY GARY GARTH


was astounded to learn that my friend, David, a devoted and experienced fly fisherman and an unabashed trout snob, had never used his fly rod for bluegill. “Just never really had any interest, I guess,” he said. After a couple of invitations, he accepted an offer to visit Hart County, where I’d gained permission for us to fish a friend’s farm pond that I knew held a healthy bluegill population. He arrived armed with a 3-weight Orvis Helios, a float tube and a smidge of distain. No trout. The pond floods about 3 acres. A dirt road winds through the field to the pond, but recent rains had muddied the field, so we parked at the gate and walked in. It was a short but sloppy hike. I was glad to have worn knee boots. The spring afternoon was unusually warm. David was wearing chest waders and apparently was not accustomed to an uphill slog across a muddy field. We topped the dam. By midsummer, the flanking grass would be knee-high and thick with ticks, but that afternoon it was only ankle-high with fresh green up. It had been a couple of years since I’d fished this spot. The pond is L-shaped, with the dam at the top of the L. There is some weedy cover at the upper end and some woody cover near the dam, but otherwise, this little patch of water is no different in appearance from the thousands of other farm ponds that dot Kentucky’s rural countryside. It was a little high and off-colored but not muddy. The sky was a blanket of pewter-colored clouds. There was enough of a breeze to put a riffle on the water. Dave strung up his rod and began picking through a fly box. He decided on an unweighted black wooly bugger with some silver flash. Looked like a No. 14. Good choice. “At least you don’t have to worry about matching the hatch,” he said. The pond can be effectively fished from shore, but a tube or canoe opens more water. Dave settled into the sling seat of his belly boat and slipped into the water with a plop. A plume of mud snaked away from the bank. While I readied my gear, Dave maneuvered the belly boat away from the bank and parallel to the dam. He is an excellent caster and dropped the fly inches from the nearest visible structure. •••


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Bluegill—like their larger cousins, largemouth bass—are members of the sunfish family. They are found nearly everywhere freshwater flows. Their original range covered most of the eastern United States. Today, they are found in every state outside of Alaska. May is prime time for bluegill. In Kentucky and beyond, they typically spawn in May, often around the first full moon of the month. They also spawn intermittently throughout the summer. Bluegill are aggressive and, ounce for ounce, fight as hard as nearly any fish that swims. An 8-inch bluegill weighs close to a half-pound. A 1-pound bluegill would be large enough to cover a dinner plate and likely would be the bluegill of a lifetime for most anglers. The all-tackle world record for the species is 4 pounds, 12 ounces, a mark that has stood since 1950. If bluegill grew to 10 pounds, it would take saltwater gear to land them. They can be taken on a variety of baits, a worm impaled on a small hook generally being the most effective. Bluegill are a favorite of many fly fishermen, myself included. While it’s true that bluegill generally are not choosy about fly patterns, fly placement and movement are important. Larger fish are often in the 4- to 6-foot range, with overly aggressive smaller fish cruising near the surface. If fishing an area where bluegill are bedding, cast slightly beyond the beds, allow the fly to sink, then retrieve slowly. Bluegill often strike aggressively, but sometimes bites are barely noticeable. Regardless of aggressiveness or lack thereof, strikes nearly always happen when the fly or bait is on the fall. ••• I started toward the weedy cover at the upper end of the pond when I heard a splash. Dave’s 3-weight Helios was deeply bent, the orange-colored line zigzagging wildly through the water. The thick-shouldered bluegill that came to hand was an almost blackish purple and the size of a saucer. Dave was trying stretch his hand around the muscular panfish while fumbling for his camera, all the while grinning widely. Bluegill will do that to you—even dedicated trout snobs. Readers may contact Gary Garth at



Try Eggplant This Summer BY WALT REICHERT


f you did a popularity poll for garden vegetables, tomatoes would be at the top, of course, and I’m guessing eggplant would be somewhere near the bottom, tucked into the list between radishes and rhubarb. Part of the reason eggplant does not get a lot of respect in the popularity contest is that it isn’t exactly a staple of the American diet. But maybe it should be. Eggplant is low in calories and high in fiber. It is rich in copper, the B vitamins, manganese, iron and potassium. Tests have shown that eggplant skin has potent antioxidants that protect cells from cancers and has compounds that lower serum cholesterol. Many cultures, vegetarians and vegans substitute eggplant for meat in meals. It’s true that the spongy flesh of eggplant has a reputation for being bitter, but that happens most often when the fruits are store-bought rather than grown at home. A fresh eggplant from the garden should have little to no bitter flavor. And eggplant just looks cool in the garden. It is one of those vegetables I would recommend for an edible landscape. Most eggplant varieties have purplish-green stems and purple, bell-shaped flowers on plants that will grow up to 2 feet tall. Eggplant leaves are large and velvety. While most of us are familiar with the deep purple, tear-shaped fruit, eggplant comes in a dizzying array of sizes and colors. “Japanese White Egg” has small, yellowwhite fruits perfect for stir-fry. “Shooting Stars” is a beautiful, streaked lavender purple, while “Rosa Blanca” is a solid light lavender. Eggplant varieties also go beyond the teardrop shape. “Thai Long Green” is light green and up to a foot long, making it easy for slicing. If you prefer the deep purple color, “Long Purple” fills the bill and also produces long, thin slicers, up to eight at a time on a plant. You can even find eggplants that look like tomatoes—round and red— but that’s what you grow tomatoes for. Eggplant will look as good as any flower in your annual or perennial bed, and just a few plants will produce all the eggplants you need.

How to Grow Eggplant is native to India and is a subtropical vegetable, in the same family with tomatoes and peppers. Eggplant is more frost-sensitive than tomatoes, so transplants should not go into the garden until mid-May. Using black plastic as mulch is not a bad idea; it boosts the heat and simultaneously keeps down weeds. Eggplants produce loads of fruit over a long season, so they need adequate fertilizer. Mulch with compost, or use a handful of balanced fertilizer after the plants bloom and the fruits reach the size of a quarter. Fertilize again after

the first fruits are picked to keep the eggplant producing throughout the season. Unlike its tomato and pepper cousins, eggplant is not prone to disease. Some varieties may succumb to verticillium wilt in some years, but that is pretty rare. You can find varieties that are resistant to verticillium if you have problems with that. A little insect called a flea beetle is eggplant’s No. 1 enemy. Flea beetles attack a wide range of garden vegetables, but they absolutely home in on eggplant, especially while the plant is in the transplant stage. Once the plants start to produce fruit, flea beetle damage diminishes, so flea beetles need to be controlled early. When you see what looks like small shot holes in the leaves, you know flea beetles are about. The beetles jump at your approach—hence the name—and many gardeners never actually see them. If you are an organic gardener, you can use neem as a flea beetle control. A better and more effective option is to keep a floating row cover over the plants. That will keep flea beetles out until the plants are strong enough to withstand some feeding on the leaves. You can also use chemical controls, including dusting with carbaryl (Sevin) or malathion. Those chemicals are harmful to bees, so stop dusting when the plants start to bloom. Eggplants will start producing fruit within 50 to 60 days after you have set out transplants. Harvest eggplant fruits with a sharp knife or, preferably, pruning shears, because the stems are tough and the fruit can be difficult to dislodge. Pulling hard can damage the stems. Eggplant is fairly perishable and will last only a few days on the kitchen shelf. It will last a bit longer when placed in the crisper drawer of a refrigerator. One thing to note: Eggplant has a compound that will blacken the blade of a carbon steel knife. Use a stainless steel knife to slice them. Eggplant is used in a wide variety of Mediterranean dishes, but one of the easiest ways to prepare it is simply to grill. Cut the eggplant into slices; coat the slices in olive oil, salt and pepper to taste; and grill them for 5 minutes on each side. Or you can lose some of the health benefits but gain a little more flavor if you add a slice of provolone cheese to each piece of eggplant, and then grill for another 3 minutes or until the cheese bubbles. Eggplant may never compete with tomatoes or sweet corn when gardeners dream about summer’s bounty, but it is a good citizen in the garden and in the kitchen, and should be more widely planted. Readers can reach Walt Reichert at

M AY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Let’s Go




1. Ongoing Ongoing Trace Adkins, Cartography: Kaleidoscope: Southern Kentucky The Art of Map Kentucky Performing Making, Museum Arts Center, Kentucky Gateway Quilts, Kentucky Bowling Green, Museum Center, Museum, (270) 904-1880 Maysville, Bowling Green, through June 1, through Dec. 28, (606) 564-5865 (270) 745-2592





Kentucky Oaks Day at Buffalo Trace, Derby Viewing Party, O.Z. Tyler Buffalo Trace Distillery, Distillery, Owensboro, Frankfort, (270) 691-9001 (502) 696-5926

Annual Homecoming, Old Friends Farm, Georgetown, (502) 863-1775

The California Chrome Experience, Taylor Made Horse Farm, Nicholasville, (859) 885-3345






Brown Bag Lower Town Luncheon: The Arts & Music Shakers of Festival, White Water, Lower Town, Behringer Paducah, Crawford Museum, through May 19 Covington, (859) 491-4003



Francisco’s Farm Art Fair, Midway University, Midway




Mother’s Day







Christian Comedian Tim Hawkins, Mountain Arts Center, Prestonsburg, (606) 886-2623


Memorial Day Service, American Legion Post, Lawrenceburg, (502) 930-8242

2 K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • M AY 2 0 1 8


John Prine, Beaver Dam Amphitheater, Beaver Dam

Willie Nelson Live at the Cinema & Family and Levee, Newport Systers Film Alison Krauss, on the Levee, Festival, Maiden KFC Yum! Center, Newport, Alley Cinema, Louisville, also May 31, Paducah, (502) 690-9000 (859) 291-0550 through May 27

Bourbon Excursion, My Old Kentucky Dinner Train, Bardstown, (502) 348-7300

BBQ Blues and Bikes Festival, downtown Elizabethtown, (270) 765-2175


Memorial Day

More to explore online!




Butchertown Race Days, Copper & Kings Distillery, Louisville, (502) 561-0267




Visit kentuckymonthly. com for additional content, including a calendar of events, feature stories and recipes.

Ongoing Daniel Ludwig: New Works 2016-2018, Heike Pickett Gallery, Versailles, through June 7, (859) 233-1263

Upper left, Laura Battles photo


Let’s Go!

A guide to Kentucky’s most interesting events Bluegrass Region


12 Maker’s Market, Russel Acton Folk Center, Berea, (859)358-6885,

Education Center, Frankfort, (502) 564-7863,

12 Mavis Staples, Lyric Theatre, Lexington, (859) 280-2201,

8-23 The Return of Tinker Doyle, Pioneer Playhouse, Danville, (859) 236-2747,

12 Bluegrass Iris Society Show, Lexington Green Mall, Lexington, (859) 223-1502,

Saddle Up with the Arts, Gallery on Main, Richmond, through June 4,

12-13 Mayfest Arts Fair, Gratz Park, Lexington, (859) 425-2590,

Daniel Ludwig: New Works 2016-2018, Heike Pickett Gallery, Versailles, through June 7, (859) 233-1263,

12-31 Reuben Kadish: Witness, University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington, through Aug. 5, (859) 257-5716,


18 LexArts Gallery Hop, various locations, Lexington, (859) 255-2951,

4 Oaks Day at Buffalo Trace, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, (502) 696-5926, 5 Kentucky Derby Simulcast, Keeneland Race Course, Lexington, (859) 254-3412, 6 Annual Homecoming, Old Friends Farm, Georgetown, (502) 863-1775,

18-20 Smokey Joe’s Café, Woodford Theatre, Versailles, also May 25-27 and May 31-June 3, (859) 873-0648, 19 American Girl Tea, Lancaster Grand Theatre, Lancaster, (859) 583-1716, 19 Jeanne Robertson, EKU Center for the Arts, Richmond, (859) 622-7469,

8 The Empowerment Series for Women with Cancer, Central Baptist Hospital, Lexington, (859) 260-4357

19 Bluegrass Pops, The Thoroughbred Center, Lexington, (859) 338-9888,

9 Winchester Beer Cheese Festival, Main Street, Winchester,

19-20 Francisco’s Farm Art Fair, Midway University, Midway,

10 The California Chrome Experience, Taylor Made Horse Farm, Nicholasville, (859) 885-3345,

20-22 ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, Lexington Convention Center, Lexington,

10 Sam Bush, The Grand Theatre, Frankfort, (502) 352-7469,

25 Jammin’ at Jeptha! Jeptha Creed Distillery, Louisville, (502) 487-5007,

11 One Man Dark Knight: A Batman Parody, Norton Center for the Arts, Danville, (859) 236-4692,

26 Chamber Music Festival, Shaker Village, Harrodsburg,

11 Art-A-Thon, Danville Community Arts Center, Danville, 11 Wheels of Time Cruise-In, downtown Lawrenceburg, (502) 598-3127 12 Ladies Day, downtown Lawrenceburg, (502) 930-8242 12 Lexington Singers Spring Concert, Tates Creek Presbyterian Church, Lexington,

Louisville Region

Ongoing Magnificent Mona Bismarck, Frazier History Museum, Louisville, through July 29, (502) 753-5663, May

1-5 Women’s Work: Quilt Art, Oldham County History Center, La Grange, (502) 222-0826, 1-24 An Exhibition of Portraits of Children, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville, Louisville, (502) 852-6752, 3 Butchertown Race Days, Copper & Kings Distillery, Louisville, (502) 561-0267, 4 Kentucky Oaks, Churchill Downs, Louisville, (502) 636-4400, 5 Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, Louisville, (502) 636-4400, 6 Public Archaeology Dig, Gatewood Plantation, Bedford, (502) 222-0826,

27 Memorial Day Service, American Legion Post, Lawrenceburg, (502) 930-8242

9-10 Master Harold and the Boys, Bunbury Theatre, Louisville, (502) 585-5306,

31 Great American Brass Band Festival, Centre College, Danville, through June 3, (859) 319-8426,

11 Louisville Orchestra, Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Louisville, (502) 587-8681,


11 Sunset Concert Series, Fox Hollow Farms, Crestwood, (502) 241-9674,

1 Wildman Days, Lawrenceburg Green, Lawrenceburg, (502) 930-8242 2 Salato Sampler, The Salato Wildlife

12 How-To Festival, Louisville Free Public Library, Louisville, (502) 574-1611, M AY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Let’s Go

Be Involved Stay Informed Education • Practice Improvement Solutions • Resources Independent Practice Association (IPA) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) Group Purchasing • Association Health and Benefits Trust Advocacy • Networking

12 Hearth Cooking Class, Oldham County History Center, La Grange, (502) 222-0826, 12 Bourbon Excursion, My Old Kentucky Dinner Train, Bardstown, (502) 348-7300, 18 Concert in the Park, Rough River Dam State Park, Falls of Rough, (270) 257-2311, 19 SpringFest, downtown Glendale, (270) 369-6188, 19 Kilgore House and Garden Tour, Kilgore House, Louisville, 19-20 Gourd Art Show, Spencer County Elementary School, Taylorsville, (270) 860-4333,

Grow your knowledge and your business as a member of the Kentucky Primary Care Association. The KPCA is committed to improving access to comprehensive, community-oriented primary healthcare services for the underserved.

Contact KPCA today to find out how membership could benefit you. 502-227-4379 •

23 Willie Nelson & Family and Alison Krauss, KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, (502) 690-9000, 24-27 Abbey Road on the River, Big Four Station Park, Jeffersonville, Indiana, 25-31 America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far Exhibit, Muhammad Ali Center, Louisville, through Dec. 29, (502) 992-5334, 26 BBQ Blues and Bikes Festival, downtown Elizabethtown, (270) 765-2175, June

2-3 Day Out with Thomas, Kentucky Railway Museum, New Haven, also June 9-10, (502) 549-5470,


5 The Decemberists Live, Iroquois Amphitheater, Louisville, 8-17 Annie, Historic State Theater, Elizabethtown, (270) 765-2175, 9 Blooming Bardstown Garden Tour, Marketplace and Silent Auction, Nelson County Extension Office, Bardstown, (502) 348-9204,

Northern Region

Ongoing Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss, Boone County Public Library, Burlington, through


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • M AY 2 0 1 8

June 30, (859) 342-2665, Cartography: The Art of Map Making, Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, Maysville, through June 1, (606) 564-5865, May

Francisco’s Farm Art Fair Midway Renaissance Presents

at Midway University

3 Music@BCM: Nicole Zuraitis, Behringer Crawford Museum, Covington, (859) 491-4003,

Work by Raymond Papka

3-6 Urinetown, The Stained Glass Theatre, Newport, also May 10-13 and 16-19, (859) 291-7464, 4 Rapunzel, Boone County Public Library, Burlington, (859) 342-2665, 5 Live Music, Elk Creek Winery, Owenton, also May 12, 19 and 26, (502) 484-0005, 5 HGTV’s Good Bones, Mina Starsiak and Karen Laine, Kenton County Library, Erlanger, (859) 962-4002, 12 Instrumentally Yours, Greaves Concert Hall at NKU, Highland Heights, (859) 572-5100, 15 Bluegrass Jam Session, Blue Licks Battlefield State Park, Carlisle, (859) 289-5507,

MAY 19 from 10am -6pm May 20 from 10am-5pm

Free Entry ° $5 to Park

512 East Stephens St. Midway, KY 40347

17 Summer Concert Series, Behringer Crawford Museum, Covington, (859) 491-4003, 17 Brown Bag Luncheon: The Shakers of White Water, Behringer Crawford Museum, Covington, (859) 491-4003, 18 Mark Utley & Bulletville Concert, Boone County Public Library, Burlington, (859) 342-2665, 18-20 Maifest, MainStrasse Village, Covington, 20 Burlington Antiques Show, Boone County Fairgrounds, Burlington, 24 Live at the Levee, Newport on the Levee, Newport, also May 31, (859) 291-0550, June

2 Art in the Garden, Augusta Riverfront, (606) 756-2183, 2 Giants in the Sky, Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, Covington, M AY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Let’s Go County Library, Erlanger, (859) 962-4002,

3 Taste of Newport, Monmouth Street, Newport, (859) 292-3666, 7 Live at the Levee, Newport on the Levee, Newport, also June 14, 21 and 28, (859) 291-0550, 7-9 Newport Italianfest, Riverboat Row, Newport, (859) 292-3666, 9 Local Brews and Grooves, Newport on the Levee, Newport, (859) 291-0550,

Western Region


3 Turn-the-Page Tour, John James Audubon State Park, Henderson, (270) 826-2247, 5 Kentucky Derby Viewing Party, O.Z. Tyler Distillery, Owensboro, (270) 691-9001, 5 Downtown Cruise-In, downtown Owensboro, 5 Master Gardener Plant Fair & Spring Fling, Grayson County Middle School, Leitchfield, (270) 259-3492 6 Guy Penrod, Carson Center, Paducah, (270) 908-2037, 11 John Prine, Beaver Dam Amphitheater, Beaver Dam, 11-12 International Bar-B-Q Festival, Smothers Park, Owensboro, (270) 926-1100, 18 The Marshall Tucker Band, Madisonville City Park, Madisonville, (270) 824-2100 18-19 Lower Town Arts & Music Festival, Lower Town, Paducah, 18-19 Sturgis Trade Days, downtown Sturgis, (270) 929-0758 19 LIVE on the Banks, Smothers Park, Owensboro, also May 26, 25-27 Cinema Systers Film Festival, Maiden Alley Cinema, Paducah,


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • M AY 2 0 1 8

26-27 Spring into Summer Salutes Fort Campbell, Oak Grove War Memorial Walking Trail Park, Oak Grove, (270) 439-5675, June

2 Rods & Ribs, Lu-Ray Park & Amphitheater, Central City, (270) 754-5097, 2 Clement Gem, Mineral, Fossil, & Jewelry Show, Fohs Hall, Marion, (270) 965-4263, 9 Dads Rock: Lunch and Rock Craft, Trunnell’s Farm Market, Utica, (270) 733-2222, 10 OMG!con 2018, Owensboro Convention Center, Owensboro,

Southern Region

Friday Night Live – Free Concert Series

The Marshall Tucker Band with opening act Dalton’s Burning

May 18, 2018


7 PM


Sponsored by City of Madisonville Madisonville Forward Independence Bank

Ongoing Kaleidoscope: Kentucky Museum Quilts, Kentucky Museum, Bowling Green, through Dec. 28, (270) 745-2592,

A perfect summer evening getaway in historically bold Danville!


1 Trace Adkins, Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, Bowling Green, (270) 904-1880, 1 Beaver Tuesday Night Street Drag Racing, Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, also May 9 and 15, (270) 781-7634,



Experience theatre under the stars in Kentucky’s oldest outdoor theatre!

1-18 Kentucky: 225 Years on the Move Exhibit, National Corvette Museum, Bowling Green, (270) 781-7973,

Five different shows including... Two Kentucky Voices Originals

3-6 Nunset Boulevard, The Phoenix Theatre, Bowling Green, (270) 782-3119,

THE RETURN OF TINKER DOYLE by Elizabeth Orndorff Fanciful comedy full of Irish music and dance! June 8 – June 23

5 Photography in the Park, Old Mulkey Meetinghouse, Tompkinsville, (270) 487-8481,


b r at i





8 Warren Central High School Spring Choral Concert, Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, Bowling Green, (270) 904-1880, 3-6 Rosies: The Women Who Riveted a Nation, The Black Box at Old City Hall, Somerset, also May 10-13, 1-888-394-3282,

Enjoy a home-cooked dinner featuring hand-rubbed, hickory smoked BBQ!

2018 Danville, KY

GRANTED by Angela Correll Heartwarming play about faith and family! Final in the Grounded trilogy! July 10 – July 21 Make your reservations today! Or call toll free 1-866-KYPLAYS

M AY 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Let’s Go

17 Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, Bowling Green, (270) 904-1880, 17-19 C4 Gathering, National Corvette Museum, Bowling Green, (270) 781-7973, 19 Flint and Stones, Old Mulkey Meetinghouse State Historic Site, Tompkinsville, (270) 487-8481, 19 Orchestra Kentucky: Bach and Bacharach, Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, Bowling Green, (270) 904-1880,

31 Heathers: The Musical, The Phoenix Theatre, Bowling Green, through June 3, (270) 782-3119,

Eastern Region


1 Glasgow Highland Games, Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Lucas, through June 3, (270) 651-3141, 1-2 Ice Cream & a Moovie, Chaney’s Dairy Barn, Bowling Green, (270) 854-5567,

19 Art in the Alley, American Legion Park, Greensburg, (270) 734-5131

2 National Trails Day, Nolin Lake State Park, Mammoth Cave, (270) 286-4240,

26 Farm to Table: Spring Dinner, Shaker Village, South Union, (270) 542-4167,

2 Kids Outdoor Day, Green River Lake State Park, Campbellsville, (270) 465-8255,



3 Shrek, Jr.: The Musical, Paramount Arts Center, Ashland, (606) 324-0007, 4 First Friday Live & Car Show, downtown Ashland, 1-800-377-6249, 5 No Set Standard, with Mike Marshall & Country Grass, Blue Ribbon Fox Hunters, Catlettsburg, 1-800-377-6249, 6 Movie Series: Gone with the Wind, Paramount Arts Center, Ashland, (606) 324-0007, 12 The Little Mermaid, Mountain Arts Center, Prestonsburg, (606) 886-2623, 12 Trail Trek Series, Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Slade, (606) 663-2214, 12 Police Cruiser Show, Wrightway Raceway, Pikeville,

Since 1975


Fried Chicken and Meringue Pies! Open Tuesday thru Saturday


12 Our Night to Shine, Boyd County Fairgrounds, Ashland, 1-800-377-6249, 12 Carcassonne Square Dance, Carcassonne Community Center, Carcassonne, (606) 633-9691 19 The Marshall Tucker Band, Mountain Arts Center, Prestonsburg, (606) 886-2623, 20 Christian Comedian Tim Hawkins, Mountain Arts Center, Prestonsburg, (606) 886-2623, June

2 Trail Trek Series, Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Slade, (606) 663-2214, 8 Street Car Drag Race, Wrightway Raceway, Pikeville,

Colonial Cottage Restaurant 3140 Dixie Highway, Erlanger 859-341-4498


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • M AY 2 0 1 8

For additional Calendar items or to submit an event, please visit Submissions must be sent at least 90 days prior to the event.



April 19 – Sept. 3, 2018 See larger-than-life sculptures of endangered wildlife by acclaimed Artist Sean Kenney!

Car Show Fireworks



Saturday, June 23

Music Festival Lineup:


Forgotten Highway - Naked Karate Girls Kaleb Hensley Band - Nantzlane Band - Rick Kinman Band

F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 • K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY



Vested Interest

Watchdogs of Democracy Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacefully to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


hese 45 words—the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution—are instrumental to the country we love. They allow people to ask questions of the powerful, which is unique among the countries of the world. We (the press) may not find the truth, but we’re at least allowed to try. It is natural for anyone, powerful or not, to resist someone poking their nose into “their business,” but when it’s the people’s business, we need watchdogs to protect our democracy. “We [the media] are often accused of being biased,” said Joe Johns, CNN’s senior Washington correspondent, during a recent visit to Campbellsville University. “Journalism is a human enterprise, and all people bring their own views and perspectives. News often happens when two truths find themselves at odds with one another, but facts are facts, and there are no alternate facts.” Johns, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, was the featured speaker at the 14th Annual Media Appreciation Luncheon. “It’s the only day of the year that the media are appreciated,” joked Dr. Keith Spears, CU’s vice president of communication. Kidding or not, journalists often are seen as evil little people who spend their days trying to create trouble and discord and mounting witch hunts against good people with nothing to hide. In my 30-plus years in the field, I’ve known some great journalists and some pretty good ones. Most, regardless of their personal beliefs, did the best they could with the information they could find and tried to serve the public welfare. One of the best examples is recent Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame Inductee Jack Brammer of the Lexington HeraldLeader. “For 42 years, I have asked questions for a living,” said the Maysville native who covers Kentucky’s Capitol. “I write the answers for newspapers,” a skill he learned at the University of Kentucky and refined at The Sentinel-News in Shelbyville. Legislators on both sides of the political spectrum respect him for presenting the truth for more than 40 years. “You [Brammer] exemplify the best of your profession,” Marcheta Sparrow, who retired as secretary of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet in 2013, wrote in a Facebook post. “I know, from my early experience as a journalist’s wife, how hard you have worked and how much integrity you must have to do your job.” While the technology has vastly changed, the basic attributes of good journalism remain constant. Brammer tells aspiring journalists: Always look for the truth; nail the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHY; nothing beats being on the scene; hate, fight against and destroy discrimination; and when you make a mistake, admit it, learn from it and go on. During his induction ceremony in April at UK, Brammer said, “I am grateful for many of the politicians I have covered, especially those willing to talk to me. I like what the late, great Tim Russert of NBC News said about politicians: “If


Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

they can’t answer the tough questions, they can’t make the tough decisions.” The key to Brammer’s successful career is hard, consistent work and his adherence to the Ten Commandments of Leadership. No. 1—You will find in life that many people are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered. Love and try to trust them anyway. No. 2—If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway. No. 3—If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. No. 4—The service you render today probably will be forgotten tomorrow. Serve anyway. No. 5—Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway. No. 6—The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest people with the smallest ideas. Think big anyway. No. 7—People pretend to love the “little” people, but sell their souls to the “big” people. Fight for the “little” people anyway. No. 8—What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. No. 9—People really need help but may attack if you do help. Help people anyway. No. 10—Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway. Mr. Brammer, thank you for your service. We’re lucky to have you as our mentor and watchdog. Readers, and those looking for a speaker for a church or civic group, may contact Stephen M. Vest at

Thank you all for your support. The Campbellsville University School of Education trip to Belize this March (featured in the February issue, page 56) was awesome! I have returned with such a new perspective on education and life. I feel blessed to be supported by so many Kentucky Monthly readers! We were able to take suitcases full of supplies and materials to the Belize schools. The students and teachers were overjoyed! I cannot thank you all enough! (You’re awesome!) — Molly Vest

MAY KWIZ ANSWERS: 1. B. Mason; 2. C. Doniphan is a hero within the Mormon church for saving the prophet Joseph Smith

from execution; 3. B. Overland Stage Route; 4. C. Billy Goat Hill because it was the location of Whalen’s goat farm; 5. A. South Carolina and in May 1861, citizens met in Graves County to draft legislation that would have made The Purchase part of western Tennessee; 6. B. Clair bought Wilson’s painting during Season 2 of The Cosby Show, and it is visible in the living room from that point through the end of the series; 7. A. 68 feet; 8. C. An aspiring model, Collins was the Tobacco Festival Queen of 1954 and the Kentucky Derby Festival Queen three years later; 9. B. Lexington; 10. C. The Pendennis Club in Louisville.


K E N T U C K Y M O N T H LY • M AY 2 0 1 8

“ This is Home!” Home!”

McDowell Place Place of of Danville Danville is is an an independent independent McDowell living, assisted living and personal care living, assisted living and personal care community. It is a neighborhood made up community. It is a neighborhood made up of people who are still independent in their of people who are still independent in their retirement years, years, aa trusted trusted provider provider for for those those retirement needing some assistance, and a compassionate needing some assistance, and a compassionate care giver giver to to those those requiring requiring personal personal care. care. care

To Betty Murphy, it’s home. For information on how you can become a part of our community, please call (859) 239-4663 or visit us at or just stop by at 1181 Ben Ali Drive in Danville.

May 2018 | Kentucky Monthly Magazine  

May 2018

May 2018 | Kentucky Monthly Magazine  

May 2018