A Princeton, Kentucky Mystery

Princeton, Kentucky in the 1880’s

Do you ever walk into an antique shop and find something that completely draws you in? Well it happened to my wife and I as we were perusing an antique shop in downtown Cadiz, Kentucky. My wife pulled down this photo and showed it to me. I had to have it. It had all the cool things in life: Horses, booze, food, and guns. We flipped it over and written in pencil on the reverse, “Princeton, Kentucky, 1880’s. That was enough for me. I am a history buff and most of my family are from Kentucky, so naturally I wanted it. Plus it is just a cool picture!

So for $15 we walked away with this little gem. We get it home, and really start inspecting the photo. What in the world is going on in it? At first, I think it might be an election of some sort, or a church gathering. Why do they have guns? Why is there a ham hanging in a tree? There is so much going on in this picture that I have no idea why these people are posing like they are. Is this a staged photo?

I am sharing this story, not because I have figured out what this photo is about, but because it is still a subject of mystery. And now, I am sharing this problem with you! And, it is just too cool not to share. If this photograph intrigues you, please share in the comments!

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A Day In Nashville

People ask us all the time, how is it that we can visit so many cool places. I always like to tell them to explore your area. There is a world of wonders in your own town or region. In this case, it is Nashville. I have a wife and two young children who enjoy exploring. We will just get in the car and drive, and by the end of the day, we have an itinerary.  For example, we just completed this one recently.

As I was enjoying my morning coffee, my son asked me where cookies come from. So I said, flour. “How is flour made?” he asks. So, I googled grist mills of the early 19th Century, and found a documentary on a working grist mill. After watching the video, we headed out to a nearby grist mill ruins, Newsom’s Mill.

Newsom’s Mill

Newsom’s mill is a historic grist mill ruins located on the western outskirts of Nashville. The site is managed by Harpeth River State Park. We had a blast there checking out what’s left of the damn (that you can walk out on to take photos of the mill). The mill building has viewing decks that allow you to see the remaining remnants of the mill.

At about 11:30 a.m. we were getting pretty hungry. Lucky for us, The Loveless Cafe was just a few minutes away. We had never been to this Nashville landmark before, and had no idea of what a tourist attraction it is. The wait for a family of four, was 1 hour and 45 minutes. I would have to say no thank you to this. My little group was getting hangry. Luckily the to-go wait time was 20 minutes. After doing some onsite googling, we found that the original Loveless cafe served their customers on picnic tables on the front porch. So, we ate our delicious food the authentic way, on picnic tables. By the way, their biscuits are incredible!

Now that we had our fill of outdoor activities, we decided to head on in to downtown Nashville. If you are looking for a great cheap thing to do for families, the Tennessee State Museum is a great choice. They just moved into a brand new building, and it’s free! My son loves woolly mammoths, so naturally he loved the prehistoric exhibit, where they have a mastodon jaw bone.

Tennessee State Museum

The museum has some amazing exhibits that highlight Tennessee’s rich history. If you ever venture down this way, and you’re looking for something to do with your family, try a few or all of these Nashville Jewels! our little day trip cost us less than $30, and a quiet ride home to Clarksville.

Nostalgia of Holidays

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As the 4th of July is steadily approaching, I can’t help but get all nostalgic. I start thinking of Independence Days that have long past. I start thinking about the swimming pools, hot nights, and the booms and cracks that carry on well into the midnight hours. Or am I thinking about that scene from The Sandlot? The truth is, I don’t know if holidays ever hold a candle to those in the movies and shows that I grew up with. It’s funny how movies give us a since of nostalgia that we only seem to experience through television.

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Whenever Christmas season arrives, I get all excited for the smells of sugar cookies and claymation Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, but it most always ends up with burnt cookies and a crappy antenna reception. Never the less, I still get all nostalgic and my expectations are always heightened because you never know if you’re going to have a television worthy kind of a holiday.

If you were wondering about The Sandlot reference.

If Destruction Be Our Lot

Woodland Mound overlooking the Ohio River

Woodland Mound Park overlooking the Ohio River

“From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe and Asia…could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.” -Abraham Lincoln

Family Adventures

Who doesn’t like to throw their little scream machines in the car and head off on a great expedition? Well, it’s not always the easiest thing. We have a two year old boy and a three month old little lady, and sometimes just getting to the door takes about two hours. Regardless of the difficulties, we think it is important to give them experiences that take them out of the house and out into the world.

This past weekend we decided to keep it local and head down to the Lunken Airport for their Aviation Days. My son is a sucker for airplanes (they make him go crazy) and this was basically a car show for WWII warplanes. I do love to see the happiness on my son’s face, but it was pretty difficult to harness my giddy enthusiasm when taking in a B-17 Flying Fortress as it emerges from the clouds and rumbles down the runway.

B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Flying Fortress

This was a great chance see firsthand, these majestic pieces of history. They were the machines that changed the world and helped to preserve the freedom that we so often take for granted. We were pretty much happy with walking around scarfing down free hotdogs and gazing at cool helicopters and airplanes. As we were heading to the car, we passed a booth where one of the Greatest Generation was autographing a book written about his war service. This man, Herbert Heilbrun, was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot who flew 32 combat missions during World War II. I thought to myself that this would be a chance of a lifetime to get a picture and autograph from one of a quickly fading generation of heroes and to thank him for his dearly bought contribution.

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Herbert Heilbrun, WWII B-17 pilot

I am a pretty sentimental person so I had him dedicate the book to my son. My thinking is that when he gets older, he can open the book, check out the autograph and pictures of the day, and think about what this generation did to preserve his freedom. Herb was extremely personable and friendly and included a warm message for my son in the book. We then posed for a quick picture and we were off to enjoy another adventure because of people like Herb who fight everyday to keep us free.

From left, Herb, me, and my son Waylon

Herb, my son Waylon, and me