My sweet Olivia and my sweet Kentucky home

Published 2:32 pm Friday, November 16, 2018

It was another busy week for me.

I served as an election officer Nov. 6, and it had to be the busiest one on record for me. In our precinct even going for a bathroom break was practically impossible.

Friday, I went to Louisville to see my sweet and talented granddaughter in a school play at St. Agnes School, “Kentucky, My Sweet, Sweet Home.”

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The play was written and directed by David DeSpain with the first act adapted from a script by Mike Thomas of the Kentucky Historical Society. It depicted the different regions of Kentucky.

All the students did a wonderful job in the play. Of course, I thought Olivia stood out above the rest. I am sure the other grandparents felt the same as I did. When Olivia plays a part she gives it her all and I do love that about her.

I learned quite a bit about some of the areas of Kentucky through this little play.

For example, I had never heard of Uno, Kentucky, before. I learned it was originally known as a trading point of moonshine. The buyers of moonshine would say they were going to “you know” to pick up their supply of moonshine.

Some said it came from the Iroquois word, “Ken-tah-ten” which means “Land of tomorrow.” Both were included in the play.

During the play the town of “Felciana” was portrayed as two women who argued about how the town should be named and actually fought about it. Their names were Felicia and Anna. Since one name could not be given without the other one upset, the town was named for both of them.

Looking on the internet, I learned even more funny Kentucky town names. Jenn Shockley had done a lot of research and I found it most interesting.

The little community of Rabbit Hash was named because during a time the community was about to starve to death, a dish of rabbit hash was cooked and it was said to have saved them from starvation.

Though many of the little communities were mentioned in the play at St. Agnes, I have learned many of the places were named by the Indians and Native Americans. Viper was one of these. Jeannie Ritchie, a well-known folk singer, came from there and as did her sister, Edna Ritchie Baker, who lived in Clark County before she died.

Many Kentucky communities are named after animals such as Pig in Edmondson County, named because a resident thought he saw a pig in the road.

One of the funny ones to me was Hippo, which is said to have stood for hypochondriac. There was a lady there whom others called the most annoying hypochondriac there was and they named the place after her.

Some other animal names are Turkey, Parrot, Raccoon, Terrapin, Beaver, Wolf Lick, Deer Lick and Monkey’s Eyebrow.

In the play this weekend I learned there were some pretty heated arguments over the naming of the communities.

Several places have “-ville” at the end of them. Two that stood out to me were Oddville, located near Cynthiana, and Fearsville. Of course, if you have read my columns, you will know I am very fond of Kiddville, where my family grew up. 

Booger Branch ought to be near Fearsville, I think.

Some of the names make sense to me such as Dwarf in Perry County. It was named after a short man named Jeremiah Combs.

The people in Number One must have thought they lived in the best place in Kentucky.

I only touched a few odd names and there are many more.

I have a feeling Olivia and her classmates will always remember learning about the odd community names in Kentucky. They all seemed to have had a great time doing the play.

There is a place near Paducah named Vortex. A vortex will draw you back to it.

If you are from Kentucky or have ever lived in Kentucky, there is something that will always draw you back to it.

No one loves their “sweet Kentucky home” more than I do. I could argue that.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.