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Tuesday 22 November 2005

The cold is pretty much gone, and the thigh problem is starting to clear up; at least, I walked Luna twice for her full distance, and myself into town, without much more than discomfort.

Light sleet this morning then snow flurries almost real snow for a while around 11, but nothing stuck, and by about 2:30 stir-crazy Booby spotting a break in the cloud cover decided to make a run for it to the grocery store and the library and maybe explore a bit; and it neither rone nor snew, and wasn't even very cold.

First stop, Boggs Pharmacy/Cavalier Cafe, where I caved in and had the famous deep-fried pickles, which were both pretty good and disappointing: disappointing because in fact they're not a local Jenkins specialty at all, but something the owner discovered at a food show somewhere, and orders ready-made, completely battered all you have to do is slip them into a deep-fryer. Still, they were good; a side dish, so I had them with a barbecued beef sammich and a cherry coke, winding down this healthy meal with a slice of strawberry cheesecake —

[image ALT: A pickle, with its stem, the other end clipped or bitten off; it is fried. You can have an order of deep-fried pickles at the Cavalier Cafe in Jenkins, Kentucky.]

Deep-fried pickle, Cavalier Cafe.

From there, across the street to the library, Margaret (Mrs. Margaret Looney) still at the desk; read up and xeroxed on Bad John Wright mostly, also found a map of Jenkins, Dunham, Burdine and McRoberts, since none of them very far and I expect to walk to them later this week:a weather will get colder but clear to bright and sunny by the weekend, so make for good pictures.

Amazing how less than a century, and historical fact becomes so difficult already to ascertain! (1) John Wright, died 1931, said to be buried near his home in Dunham, also near his home at Horse Gap near Pound Gap across the state line. I may have missed an opportunity to see his grave up at Pound Gap the other day: I'll save an excursion back up there, maybe with Tory and the truck, after I investigate Dunham keeping my eyes open and nosing about asking questions. (2) Pound, etymology: have read three of them now! The one on the sign at the gap, I'm delighted I wasn't convinced when I read it — purportedly from a mill where settlers "pounded" things: that smackedº immediately of "Lì mi sanò". (3) Francis Gary Powers: before coming here, I'd read online that he was born in Jenkins and is memorialized not here though but on a plaque in Whitesburg — yet in Almira I saw them claim him as theirs. That one at least seems to be more or less cleared up: he was born in Burdine (which is Jenkins, sort of) but when he was a very young child his folks moved to Pound.

$11 for my healthy lunch, $15 for a Jenkins book at the library, $3 exactly in xeroxing there, and finally $11.42 at the grocery: catfood, milk, cream, half-and‑half, bread. Between the library and the grocery though, a weird little stop at the American Legion sort of by accident: Miz Margaret (as I call her to avoid undue familiarity, making her laugh though because — for the same reason I'm sure — that's what the kids call her too) had told me that somewhere behind the fence behind the Hardee's she'd heard there was a marker that gave the altitude of Jenkins above sea-level, something I'd been wondering about since not available anywhere online or, that I've found yet, in anything I have in print; so I went poking around back there and found a plaque alright, a brass thing by the entrance to the American Legion post, a seedy-looking building: inquiring of a man coming out, he says he knew nothing of it, but maybe George inside did, and to ring, so I did — discovering one of the secrets of Jenkins. The entrance door led not into some spacious well-lit hall, but to a tiny vestibule with two metal-reinforced doors, one with a buzzer, the other with a one-way mirror. A chink of this one open, and a woman went and got me a man, unshaven and looking very much like I'd interrupted him, who — chink no wider — told me nope no other plaque, and turned away. As did I, now noticing for the first time several signs on the outside of the entrance, that members were not to loiter and drink outdoors; and a sign indoors, that nobody would be served in the vestibule. In sum, the local drinking spot, allowing the county to stay dry. . . .

After that, nothing much else; I came home with my two little bags of groceries, called James — telling him, in wordier detail, of my historical investigations and the amazing unknownnesses and discrepancies as to events that occurred less than a century ago — so how on earth do we think we know anything about the Romans!!! — and went to bed without dinner, since still somewhat full from my pickle-and‑cheesecake orgy da Joe Eddy (of whom, by sheer coincidence, I'm almost positive I found a photo at age 9 or so in the $15 book I just bought) —


Later Note for the Web:

a Dunham, Burdine and McRoberts: I did walk to Dunham (Nov. 26) and Burdine (Nov. 24); I poked around McRoberts, too, but got there by car (Nov. 29).


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Page updated: 25 Dec 05