Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To Chigger Hollow


I passed through it without even knowing. There it is on a map that I'm looking at in the cold, antiseptic light of day. The same clarity that makes me realize my work has taken me to another dusty corner of America that some old shoe boxes with a chewed bubble gum collection are kept in.

Not that there's anything wrong with the place. It's quite pleasant with its Main Street furniture galleries, thrift shops, luncheonettes and no doubt farmer's brothels tucked off on some quiet back lane in a single story clapboard shotgun ranch.

Hey, farmers have needs too.

I once owned great tracts of land that the silly town (named after the biggest pompous ass that lived there and bullied his name on to the place) insisted I keep suburban lawn style clean cut and manicured because they still had a few more native species to drive out. So in compliance, I bought a big mofo lawn tractor that I used to ride for hours every weekend. Made me appreciate farming in that, if you pin your livelihood on driving a tractor in straight lines in the boiling sun day in and day out, hats off to you if you manage to keep your sanity. Hell, I cut the lawn and was chattering to myself like a neurotic howler monkey.

So I missed Chigger Hollow. It's just off the interstate and I bet they have a neat visitor's center. I've been to a lot of out of the way places in my life. Usually, it's work that gets me there. Bucksnort, TN was one of those places. Hey, it is home to the WORLD famous Bucksnort trout farm so don't kid yourself. I mean, Niagara Falls is only so much water over a cliff. Not something you can pan fry at the end of the day.

I've been to Versailles, KY a lot, too. Its very important to pronounce the place correctly. In France, the home of the original Versailles, you pronounce it "vair-siy" with a long "i" which translates from the French as "student protest and general strike." In Kentucky, the town is pronounced "vur-sayles" which can also be used as a request to "gig me another frog, willya?"

I had a friend hail from Opp, Alabama. She lives in New York City now because she "needed a place with syllables."

I've been to Dresden, TN. Why they named a place after a firebombed town is beyond me. Jim Thorpe, PA is another one. Nice place to bike but talk about getting your tourism plans all wrong. They should have named it "Come on up and stay awhile, most of us won't bite, PA"

Slaty Fork WV, Jersey Shore PA. All nice places with, like all places, mostly good folk doing the best they can in an unpretentious way.

Not like re-naming Hell's Kitchen, Clinton. But maybe there's more to that.

Me? I've always pined to be from Louisville.

Or should I say "Looahvil" Picture kind of reminds you of Cave Hill. Doesn't it?

Bunny on up the road.

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