Monday, May 30, 2011

Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, Lexington

Last weekend we went to the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival near Lexington. It was our first time in Lexington, and really our first time in Kentucky.

The festival was cool - lots of sheeps and nice people selling fiber. We watched the herding of sheep by children and border collies. The dogs were much more effective. A professor from the University of Kentucky something (livestock?) school brought the world champion of something collie to demonstrate herding sheep. The dog was insane! She was brilliant and had an unreal amount of energy. We listened to the nice professor give different commands by using only a whistle - circle clockwise, circle counterclockwise, creep in, stay. The commands were given at lightening speed and the dog didn't miss a single one.

I wish I grew up to be a professor of sheep dogs...

My purchases were 2 skeins of wool for a shawl and these hand carders.

I don't quite know what to do with them yet, but they are an impressive tool.

Lexington is a neat old city. Very federal architecture and much older than anything in Indiana. It felt like Virginia - Bill said it reminded him of Fredericksburg.

Outside the city there were hills! Most of the fields seemed dedicated to horses.

We camped at Fort Boonesborough State Park, home to the second settlement in Kentucky and named after Daniel Boone.

It was here that we realized Kentucky is not the Midwest. Kentucky is the South.

Standing near the original site of the original fort was a monument dedicated to the "gallant band of axemen pioneers and Indian fighters who...opened the doors of destiny to the white race in Kentucky and the west."

The monument lists those gallant folks by name, and then adds "a negro man, a negro woman." When, do you suppose, this progressive monument was built?

1935. What is UP, 1935? Why did you harbor such discrimination? You had the dedication of the Hoover dam, the release of Monopoly, and of course the depression and the dust was hard times and you should have pulled together. Lame, 1935. Very lame.

Another side of the monument praises the white man as the "advance guard of enlightened civilization," among other things.

The monument was just standing alone near the fort, right off the parking lot. I think there is so much value in the present for really understanding the prejudices of the past. In that way, I can sort of see why this monument is important - to remind us how stupid we were not very long ago.

But, lacking any context...any contemporary message...this monument is gross. It stands in the park as if its fact. History written by the victor. It made the whole state feel very unwelcoming to me. It spoiled a beautiful land.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Kentucky. Where women are for making babies not op-ed pieces.

    That is tongue-in-cheek, of course.