Friday, February 20, 2015

Kentucky Roots

Kentucky produces a lot of talent. Loretta Lynn has always been very vocal about growing up in Kentucky. Muhammad Ali unveiled a a museum and cultural center in his hometown of Louisville in 2005. Ashley Judd has dipped her toe in Kentucky politics and has been a vocal supporter of University of Kentucky sports.

Hunter S. Thompson
A groundbreaking journalist and author, Thompson is know as the founder of “gonzo” journalism. He was born in Louisville, Ky 1937. Thompson lived life by his own rules. Upon his death in 2005 his good friend, and fellow Kentuckian Johnny Depp went through with Thompsons' final wish. 300 people watched as Thompson's ashes were fired from a cannon.

Jim Varney
Somewhere along the way I had forgotten the Varney was a fellow Kentuckian. One day while wandering around the Lexington Cemetery I stumbled upon his grave. He lent his voice to the Toy Story franchise of movies, acting in numerous TV and movies, he was best known as his character Ernest P Worrell.

Grandpa Jones
Born Louis Marshall Jones he called Niagara, KY home until his teen years when he uprooted to Akron, Oh. It was in Akron that Jones began his career in gospel and country music singing on air at WJW. Jones was a charter cast member of Hee Haw. Jones gave key testimony that lead to the conviction of  John A. Brown and Marvin Douglas Brown. On November 10, 1973 the Browns murdered Jones’ neighbor, and fellow Kentuckian and Hee Haw cast member David "Stringbean" Akeman.

Mildred &Patty Hill
You may not recognize the name at first, but I am certain at some point in time you have sang their song. These Louisville sisters wrote Happy Birthday to You.

Silas House
To day this Lily, Ky native has wrote 5 novels and 5 plays. House is also a contributing editor to No Depression magazine. House has joined other native Kentucky authors  Wendell Berry, Bobbie Ann Mason and Maurice Manning in a controversial stance against Mountaintop removal mining.

Helen Thomas
Born in Winchester, Ky in 1920. Thomas was a trailblazer in the world of journalism. She covered administrations from Eisenhower to Obama. Starting as a correspondent she climbed the ranks to become the first female president of White House Correspondents' Association. Thomas was know for asking tough, controversial questions. She has been quoted as saying “I don't think a tough question is disrespectful.”