Day 1: December 21, 2011
Bats, Blunderbusses, and Bourbon
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In years past, I've shown pictures of the tasty treats produced by Ovenmaster Mary but not of the lady herself. Here she is with just one of many trays of goodies she gave to appreciative friends Tuesday evening. The tray she's holding just happens to be mine which, in addition to the incredible assortment of cookies received by others, contains enough gingerbread persons to field both teams in a basketball game along with three referees. Clearly Planned Parenthood has had little impact in the cookie community. This morning, even though several claimed they didn't have to go, I lined them all up and made sure they used the bathroom before getting in the car. Otherwise, I'm sure we'd have had to stop five minutes down the road.

I was in Louisville primarily to see the Louisville Slugger Museum which, as just about anyone will tell you, is marked by a giant bat. This isn't it. This is the giant bat on the side of Caufield's Novelty about a block further west. I've been by here and even photographed the bat but I'd never been inside. Boy, was I missing out. It's a place where, even if they got it, you probably don't need it but having it could be a lot of fun. Not only do I recommend a visit to the store, I recommend a visit to the website and a look at the tour on the "About" page.

This is the bat at the Louisville Slugger Museum. Admission to the museum includes a tour of the factory (no photos allowed) whish is housed in the same building. Lots of good baseball stuff in the museum and everyone gets a souvenir mini-slugger. The youngest generation of Gingers headed to the balcony for a better view of the big glove sculpture and the two boys on the right were never seen again. I know from experience that Gingers tend to vanish as a trip goes on but I didn't expect to lose two of them right off the bat.

I had not planned on visiting the Frazier History Museum but it was right across the street and I thought the advertised Civil War exhibit might be interesting. It was but the rest of the museum even more so. I'm not quite sure what it means but the museum claims to be "the exclusive home of the Royal Armouries USA". It uses a lot of armor (or armour) to tell the history of the world most effectively. I could have enjoyably spent a lot more time here than I did. Christmas trees are displayed throughout the museum as part of the "Holidays Around the World" exhibit. The last picture is of the "Civil War: My Brother, My Enemy" exhibit. As a border state, brother fighting brother was literally the truth here far too often. The extensive exhibit tells that story and a whole lot more.

Perhaps my favorite exhibit at the Frazier was one where taking photos was not permitted at all. Photos are the exhibit. Called "Rough Road", the exhibit consists of large black and white photos taken throughout Kentucky by three men between 1975 and 1977 in something called "The Kentucky Documentary Photographic Project". The display at the Frazier ends January 15. Get there if you can.


Getting out of downtown Louisville takes awhile. On the way I noticed this business whose sales have taken a hit in recent years.

I eventually escaped the city and got in a few miles on US-31E/US-150/Jackson Highway. It's also known, near Louisville, as Bardstown Road and, near Bardstown, Louisville Road. This well built but defunct drive-in movie theater is near Bardstown. After pulling over to take a picture, it was obvious to me that it would be better to turn around behind the screen than to back onto the busy highway,

Just beyond the drive-in, I discovered that this road had yet another name. In fact, it was called the Bardstown Louisville Turnpike long before any of those other names and numbers came along. This is mile market 3 (36 L, 3 B) and I verified that 1 through 5 all exist. The sign says that fourteen remain so there must be another nine, that I've driven by without seeing, back toward Louisville. The last picture is of mile marker 1 which has apparently been broken off, perhaps by a wayward vehicle, and reset.

My home for the night is The Old Talbott Tavern in downtown Bardstown. Immediately after checking in, I headed to the dining room where I was seated near the festively decorated -- with a local touch -- front window. Uncle Bill's Chicken Phillipe sounded awful good but the waitress steered me away from it and toward the catfish because of prep time. The catfish was quite good but not spectacular. Next stop was the bar where I was again steered from my first choice (1792 Ridgemont Reserve) but with better results. The Elijah Craig 18 the bartender suggested was excellent. That's all bourbon in the array of bottles in the photo and the first row of equal sized arrays to either side is also bourbon. Spaces in between are filled with "special" bourbon. Then off to my room, which has had some improvements since Dan'l stayed here with a shot from the balcony on the way.

A unique touch, which I didn't discover until my morning shower, was waterproofed sheetmusic. I could, but didn't, choose from My Old Kentucky Home, Oh Susanna, and Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair.


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