Postmarked from Georgia, I must have a secret admirer.
Miss Madison decided she had enough of the Skipah for an evening and headed off to the Vogue Theater in Indianapolis this past Saturday. I can’t say that I blame her, I had to clean up debris from the latest Storm of the Century that hit our area last week, and she was chomping at the bit to relive her youth with all things grunge. So, while she was trying her best to not to Smell Like Teen Spirit, I joined in the singing chorus of The Chainsaw Pops that were performing all over the area. The collective voices were so powerful trees were literally falling to pieces.
Once I had mastered my black belt in all things Husqvarna, it was time to tell the storm of the century, I’m the man and it can kiss my ass! What does that mean? To quote Beavis and Butthead: Fire, fire, fire! A quick trip to the Arson Emporium located at 911 Pyromania Lane to secure some spent nuclear rods and jet fuel, and I had ample materials to burn Madison, Indiana to the ground.
Thankfully there was no need to find the homeowners policy relating to fire damage.
Before Miss Madison left Mr. Skipah alone to potentially make Smokey the Bear’s top ten most wanted list, she and I had watched an interesting documentary the night before. It wasn’t anything spectacular like March of the Penguins, more like the history of Indiana’s southern border with Kentucky. Yeah that’s how we rock a kid-less night, PBS documentaries! The show further affirmed what all true southern Indiana natives already know, we don’t like Kentucky! We don’t need President Trump to build us a wall to keep Kentuckians out of Indiana and vice versa, we have the Ohio River.
Geographic nuts this is the widest point of the Ohio River.
From Dearborn County, Indiana all the way to Evansville, Indiana you can stop at any various river town, walk into the local general store and tell them you are a Hoosier and good chance you get a complimentary cup of coffee and start trading your favorite Kentuckian jokes. Four million residents and four last names is a great ice breaker if you are stopping for gas in Aurora, Indiana. I have not seen it first hand, but rumor is if you proclaim yourself to be from the Bluegrass State you are immediately escorted to the Ohio River and told to “swim.”
Back when Hoosiers and that state that is famous for bourbon got along, it was beautiful on the Ohio River. Steamboats used to treat the Ohio River as a maritime interstate for all kinds of entertainment purposes. I’m not 100% sure nor do I have any facts, but supposedly one of those steamboats was carrying a group of Polish immigrants to a ballet in Louisville, KY and ran aground in present day Warsaw, KY. Thank you, thank you I’ll be here all week. Of course, then the south got all uppity on the north and voila it was Civil War time. When it was all said and done, the steamboat industry would never recover.
There are much faster ways to travel on the Ohio River these days!
I don’t know what started this proverbial border war, but we always had the Ohio River to keep us sane. Hoosier lore states that we never forgave General Morgan during the Civil War for coming up from Kentucky and raiding our precious real estate and pillaging our communities. He crossed the Ohio River and tried his best to wreak havoc before we finally shooed him off to neighboring Ohio to be captured. It would prove to be career suicide for General Morgan, but you can’t drive anywhere in southeastern Indiana without seeing a plaque commemorating Morgan’s Raids.
Sometimes us Hoosiers and Bluegrassers get a little heated and the Ohio River must flex her muscle to remind us to play nice. She sometimes likes to remind us she is an agent of Mother Nature and in 1937 she must have really gotten ticked off, because she decided she needed to grow 100 times her normal size and literally put us all under water for a couple of weeks. Around here it is known as the ’37 flood and you can’t go 20 miles along the Ohio River without seeing some sort of historical marker that says, “Water was up to here,” or something similar. If you every run into somebody that lived through that moment in history, sit down, take notes, and be prepared to listen in awe of how much damn water the Ohio River unleashed on all of us then. We now have dams and flood walls to prevent this kind of Ohio River mischief, but she let us know of her disapproval back in 1937.
The what the hell was that storm of 2017!
If you ever have the pleasure of taking the Ohio River Scenic Byway, you may notice many Hoosiers have mortars, catapults, and Molotov cocktail launchers pointed towards Kentucky. Some people worry about the zombie apocalypse; we worry about a Kentuckian a little too hopped up on moonshine invading our lands. As of this writing, nobody has fired the first flaming arrow at Kentucky, probably because we are worried about that damn Ohio River flooding our grounds again. Plus, with drone technology, we can drop balloons filled with egg yolks at any stumbling Kentuckian if he/she gets too close to Indiana.
In modern times the mighty Ohio River decided she wanted to make every county up and down her trail rich. Since Kentucky is beholden to the horse racing industry they couldn’t get a gambling referendum on a ballot. In Indiana, we started voting yes for riverboat gambling all up and down the river. Twenty years later and any county with a riverboat has new schools, new hospitals, new infrastructure, and low taxes. Even better to all of us proud Hoosiers, you can walk the parking lot of any casino in southern Indiana and the Kentucky/Indiana license plate ratio is a good 50/50. I may be wrong, but I think that is the only reason they let them seek asylum in our state.
Where you can bet on just about everything except of course horse racing.
Do I dislike Kentuckians…well there is one, but not really. Like Iowa/Minnesota, West Virginia/Pennsylvania, or New York/New Jersey, it’s our little tit for tat pissing match that has gone on for years. Maybe one of these years we can have an actual pissing match in the Ohio River to see who can flood it faster. Indiana has more residents, but Kentucky has the biggest city on the Ohio River between the two of us. Not sure what Vegas odds makers would set money line at, but I’ll rely on my Hoosier Pride if this contest every happens. No matter what our differences are, we will always have the Ohio River to settle all disputes.
Whether it be a Revolutionary War battle involving Indian curb stompings, bears that aren’t remotely native to this area, or even the time the Ohio River froze over, it will always be a part of life for southern Hoosiers and northern Kentuckians. Sometimes she plays nice, other times you are sweating that call to your insurance adjustor about flooding damage. She can be large and in charge most of the time, and it’s the reason all Kentuckians and Hoosiers know what the word “confluence” means since she begins her journey to the Mississippi River from the mouth of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers. After passing through our portal, she lands in Cairo, Egypt…err Illinois before winding up in New Orleans.
About it for tonight, Miss Madison just informed me that Katy Perry cut all her hair off! This can’t be true. Why didn’t her public relations team run this through me first? Please tell me the IHeart Music Awards didn’t happen!