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Newspaper Archive of
Bath County News - Outlook
Owingsville, Kentucky
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November 1, 2012     Bath County News - Outlook
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November 1, 2012
 

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2 - November 01, 2012 Your Hometown Newspaper News Outlook Heaven Is A Lot Like By Charles Mattox "Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It con- sists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flow- ing through one's head." Mark Twain Hurricane Sandy is gain- ing strengthas I write this and I'm a little apprehensive of what the next few days will hold in store for our country, particularly those who will bear the brunt of the storm along the east coast. There are no guarantees in this good but fragile life, dear reader. We all face storms of one kind or another; we face weather:related storms and those of other origins. I seem to have turned a new leaf in my life with a "spiritual storm" within me, which seems to be gradu- ally abating. I was able to do a good thing this weekend and help some old friends and new friends in the process. I was glad to help with the T3 Trippy Gooding Benefit Pistol Shoot held Saturday at Shep's Sports World, along KY 32, in Fleming County, on Saturday. All proceeds from the shoot went to help Trippy Gooding, a local law en- forcement officer who was recently diagnosed with cancer. All of God's children face storms in their life and Trip- py is facing this one bravely with the support of a loving family, friends and commu- nity members. I had the pleasure of knowing Trippy on a per- sonal and professional level about a decade ago when he was an officer with the Flemingsburg Police De- partment. Trippy worked several years as an officer with the Maysville Police Depart- merit and has been a Mason County Deputy Sheriff for over a year now. He's a good police officer and we've had some good conversations as our paths have crossed. By nature, I suppose it could be perceived that I am a selfish individual; in that I let my work and my own personal problems and solu- tions to those problems rule my life. I don't do any volunteer work. If the truth be known, I don't seem to have enough time or energy in my typical day to take care of my own needful chores, let alone be of much benefit to anyone else. I tend to gravitate more eagerly towards dogs than people on a personal level. Dogs rarely screw you over or cause many prob- lems that can't be fixed with a little soap and water. But when my old Buddy Sebastian Gaskins told me about the shoot to help Trippy, something changed. Sebastian and I are old and trusted friends who still have vivid memories of our childhood playing together and we have always shared a common ridiculousness and sharp sense of humor as well as a certain perspec- tive on life for those of us who call northeastern Ken- tucky their home. Like many, we were chil- dren of the 'greatest genera- tion' and our fathers were soldiers. So too did we both an- swer the call of duty in our youth following our gradua- tion from FCHS in 1981. Sebastian and I are also gun folk, and we also like to shoot our mouths off at one another even more than a particular weapon of choice. The weather was about as nasty as it could get Satur- day morning, but we were prepared and enthusiastic about helping Trippy. 12 people from across the region joined us for a good time and competed at sending some rounds down range. During safety briefings, general instruc- tion, placing and removing targets and keeping score, I was impressed with the folks who had come togeth- er on a blustery and wet day to show their support for Trippy. Geneva Kennedy was al- most angelic to behold and her commitment to helping fund raising events is an in. spiration. When you see folks, sev- eral of whom I had never met, like Geneva, come together for the common good of another, it creates a power and an electric sensa- tion that is somewhat conta- gious. At least it has been for me. Perhaps when we help others we are also helping ourselves. I feel like that was the case with me. My co-worker Cecil Lawson has covered some emotionally charged and sorrowful events in Bath, Menifee and Nicholas County and I occasionally see him struggle with news stories that can easily be internalized. Things like re- porting on fatal accidents or deaths. After you cover so many of those stories, including murders; brutal and violent murders, you develop some pretty thick skin. I've covered more of those stories than can be easily numbered. It takes its toll on the hu- man spirit. A I've always been about "adventure" and gravitate toward the "hard news." There's a reason they call it hard news, if it were easy, everyone would do it. But as David Dick used to so famously "follow the storm" he too was as equal- ly gifted in illuminating the gentler angels and actions of the communities he cov- ered. I need work on that. I need work on a lot of things. But I'm getting closer to getting where I want to be, and helping with the benefit shoot this Saturday was a big step in the right direc- tion. I'm still so sore I can barely walk from the rigor- ous schedule of Saturday, but I've never felt this good while I was feeling so sore. Perhaps there is hope for me yet to conquer my spiri- tual cancer. If the Good Lord is will- ing, I'll keep on plucking away. It is never a question of "if' storms will come, but rather ' hen" they will come. I hope.you weather your storms well, dear reader. There are lonely places out there. Some people may say there is no such thing. They say that when you go there, you take the loneliness with you, and it colors what you see. There's some truth to that. had.-nmny gbofl:walks ruined because I was in a bad frame of mind, I :a-ais ed the sights and sounds; rve ignored the company, all be- cause I was in a bad mood. Even with that said, I still think are lonely places. You don't know them un- less you've been there, so it's going to be hard for me to convince you. But let me try. Most of the woods and fields throughout the coun- try have always struck me as, for lack of a better word, content. The trees and flora grow, and the local varmints and critters make their home there. Some areas are fenced in, some not. Stands of trees, old homesteads, rolls of hay, cattle, horses, woven wire or barbed wire, old rot: ring fence posts, maybe a junked car or two. The rural landscape radiates a certain serenity that I think most of us locals find very sooth- ing. It's one reason why we choose to make our homes here. Whether we live amongst the knobby hills in Olympian Springs or Pine Grove or the rolling farm and pasture land around Sharpsburg, the land cra- dles and comforts us, But there are certain places in the land that radi- ate a different feeling when you're there. You may feel a subtle transition as you get closer, or you may even pass through these places and not wholly understand the change until you've left. I will stop far short of say- ing such places are haunted, but Native Americans, who have lived here much, much longer than the European settlers who were most of our ancestors, have a long tradition of regarding cer- tain areas of the land as spe- cial, cursed, or full of power. The Lakota Indians named the arid region in :s6uthwtestem South Dakota as Malkhd ' a, "bad land," what we appropriately today call the Badlands National Park. This quarter of a mil- lion acre area was where the Lakota and their ancestors hunted since just after the last ice age. While the land was certainly good for hunt- ing, it was not.exactly a place to have a home, given the soft and easily eroded soil and the difficulty of travel. Several hundred miles to the east of the Badlands, near the town of Vermillion, is the Spirit Mound. No local tribe would go in its vicinity, despite the wealth of game in the surrounding prairie. For several Native Ameri- can tribes, central and east- ern Kentucky was a similar type of hunting ground (Kentucky's name is prob- ably derived from either Shawnee or Iroquois; in Iro- quois, it sounds like "mead- ow lands"). We know that natives had lived here in the past (the Mound.Building peoples), but when white settlers first entered the region in the 1750s, no par- ticular tribe made it their home. At one time, this too was the land where the buffalo roamed. ON When you lived as close to the land as Natives did - or lived directly from it, since they had no grocery stores that carried shipped in food - you became attuned to it. There were certain places even the animals didn't go. As I've walked the hills and valleys and bottom lands of Bath County, I've tried to imagine what Natives might have experienced as they passed that way. One of the most lonesome places I experienced on my rambles was a stretch of bottom land along the Lick- hag River between Moores Ferry and Peasticks. Normally I find walking: along the river a peaceful time. Whether the water is up or down, and regard= less of the lime of year, the Licking River is oneof those touchstones in the land- scape that remains stea ly. This was in December, probably over twenty years ago, when I wasin this area. I will neverforgetit; it has al- ways stuck in my mind. The walk was going on along fine until I crossed over a little branch creek and headed into an area pre- viously unexplored by me. The bottom land narrowed to about teen feet wide, with a high, steep bank to my left, and the way was blocked with tall, dead, fibrous weeds. The sky that day was gray, the trees were bare, and the landscape around me was mostly barren but for the tall weeds. I pressed ahead, and the bottom land by the muddy Hcking widened again but opened into more of the same. At one point, I stopped and looked around me. Sometime in the past, the land had been cultivated but it has since fallen into dis- use. The further I walked, the thicker weeds ELY and I began running into briar patches. It was one of the God- awfulest places I've been, either before or since then. I never had the landscape fight against my being there so much, grahb'mg and blocking at my every movement., And I was the only one it was fighting, it seemed. It was time to find high ground. It took a while. I was a lit- tle disoriented. I could see the river, could see Spurlock Gap across the river, but I wasn't entirely sure of ex- actly where I was. I: made my, way to a steep hillside to my left and walked up through the end- PLACES less briars'and weeds. I found myself in some- one's back yard. Not want- ing to draw attention to my- self, I skirted the backyard and eventually found the road. It was pretty late in the day, and I had no inten- tion of backtracking, so I set out on the road. I didn't recognize any of the houses around me, and there didn't appear too many mailboxes. It was a cold Sunday afternoon, and no one was outside. The road sign finally came into view- Foxcliff Road, which is in Peasticks. Needless to say, I had a long walk home. This was in the days before cell phones. I think at one time or an- k,ntucky other we've all wound up in these lonely, forbidding places. And maybe they all haven't been somewhere outside, away from people. There are places you can wind up, in your heart, in your mind, places you're not welcome, places in which you don't need to be. Heartbreaks, undeserved pain, regrets, thoughts of re- venge - these too are lonely places where you can get snagged and caught and held down. You may have wandered far along the dark rivers of your own heart before you found them, but once you've been there, the road back home, long though it may be; is well worth it. With gas_ logs in your fireplace, you'll get cozy immediately, without any hassle or mess. And what's even more comforting, is the fact that natural gas can save you money. Gas energy is your best' bringing your family warm, comfortable heat. safe. So don't be left waiting in the cold. Hake a qu ck swrcch natural gas. It s the best way to warm up your family and enjoy comfoPc, convenience and affordable energy making any house feel like home. Delta Natural Gas Company, Inc. 3617 Lexington Road Winchester, KY 4039 I www.deltagas.com il 11 * '