I am Kentucky



Kentucky certainly has been in the news recently.  With the publication of, Hillbilly Elegy, the highlight of the poorest town in the state, (on the nightly news, no less), and the ongoing saga of the drug plight, it can seem that this state holds no promise, beauty, or anything relevant to a prosperous future.  

I am not here to dispel any of this, my state has problems.  I am here to tell you that this is not the whole story.  There are people here who work hard, pray hard, and value their family life.  People who are educated and, despite life's troubles, do not turn to drugs or domestic violence.  

My maternal grandparents didn't have indoor plumbing until the late 1970's.  Poverty didn't propel them into a life of drugs, or anything else.  Working for a living was valued, as was making good choices for your life.  

Thankfully there are still people like them in today's society.  
People I see everyday. 


Linking up today with, The Barn Collective.  



Comments

  1. I would never base a state, a province, a person or for that matter a country on what I read in media. I would also never blame poverty as the thing that had some people to make those bad choices. I grew up in poverty too and the choices between those of us who worked hard and helped others, and those who continue to blamed others for where they are and take makes me sad. Michelle I would love to visit Kentucky someday. I am sure I would love it. There are poverty and drugs everywhere, not just in Kentucky. Media can be very one-sided. Young people need to know there is hope and that they can make those choices, and schools and teachers can make that difference but I do know how difficult that can be.. Hug B

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    1. Buttons, thank you for this comment. I feel much the same. There are so many wonderful people in this state. I hope we can turn the tide.

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  2. Hello, great post and I love the barn shot. Good choices and hard work do pay off. I did see the news story about the poor town and town's people. Do many young people leave to work in a bigger city? Have a happy day and new week ahead!

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    1. Eileen, there are young people who leave for work. My husband and I were those young people....years ago and then came back. I can only hope the problems of this state can be resolved.

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  3. Buttons said what I wanted to say and she said it so well. Just to add that I read Hillbilly Elegy and found some very strong and caring folks in it.

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  4. Love that weathered red/gray barn wood.
    Nice salute to your great state.

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    1. Thanks Rick. It is a great state, though it does have its problems that need resolving.

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  5. Life for many is hard and doesn't seem to be getting much easier. Thanks for sharing this aged tobacco barn. please stop back again.

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  6. I haven't heard anything about Kentucky but then I don't really listen to much other than the weather as the news had become so slanted or otherwise lies that it and TV shows aren't worth watching unless one wants a lot of drama.

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    1. I don't watch a whole lot of TV myself, but locally I hear of my state's problems.

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  7. Lovely barn!

    And to the other topic about Kentucky: We live in Ohio just 4.5 miles North of the Ohio River and love our neighboring Commonwealth of Kentucky. My husband is a Kentucky Colonel and very proud of it. Kentucky is one of the most beautiful places with the nicest people you can find anywhere.

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  8. I want to read that book...just to see what he has to say. I am from Tennessee...born and raised there. I consider Kentucky our sister state. Some of my sisters grew up without electricity or an inside bathroom. There were eight of us, and not one of us turned to drugs or drink. I think people are the same no matter what the state. I live in a very small town in Indiana now and I can name 3 students that went to school with my girls that I am pretty positive ALL died of drug related deaths, plus one killed when riding with another student that was drunk...he was not of legal drinking age. I am not sure what I am trying to say...just had to share.

    There are neighbors both there and here that are the salt of the earth.

    I don't

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  9. Being originally from Kentucky, and still having family there, I echo what you've said. They are farmers, (mostly tobacco) and work very hard for what little they have. I'm always humbled by their generosity and perseverance that is an example to follow.

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    1. Kim, you have really stated it well. Hard working people with real values do exist. I think sometimes that the problems create more sensational media.

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  10. I'm glad I haven't heard any of those bad things about your wonderful state. You and your family is what I think of when I think of your state.. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  11. Loved your post!! Soooo many hard working!good!decent ! Honest ! Loving ! People !! God Bless all of us! NO TIME or TOLERANCE for all the nonsense we are witnessing!!

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  12. My father was a Baron in Sweden, he came to the US after the second world war to get his Masters at Berkley. The house he grew up in had 16 bedrooms but no indoor plumbing until after the war. I am going to write a book about this family as soon as certain people die. Poverty is not a great character builder but believe me neither is money and I have the journals to prove it. From someone who resides in one of the of uneducated states. As in 27% of our young people don't graduate from high school and only 15% go on to complete a college degree. It is getting better because people of influence become part of the solution and not the problem. I am part of that solution.

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  13. Tremendous color in that photo - and I agree with you that there are good people everywhere - and we see them as great examples of how to overcome. Keep looking at the bright side and looking for the great people of your state.

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  14. People need hope. Without it there is despair.

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  15. Michelle....this was the epitome of American Values....and I LOVED reading every word! Your post has been inspirational. Yahoo news should get ahold of this and print it!!!

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  16. every state has its problems...i've not seen the news on kentucky but i've visited before and loved it and also your photos speak very well of kentucky! pssshhh the news!

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  17. Don't have TV and haven't heard the bad news about your state. I've driven through your state a few times and the thing that stuck in my mind was that it was a beautiful state and every town I drove through was tidy and CLEAN.
    There are many good, honest, hard working people all around us in every state, despite what the news would have us believe.

    Great looking barn photo!!

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  18. I love your photo. Unfortunately, too often when comparisons are made, whole populations are included and that's unfair and not legitimate. Poverty does, however, often drive people to lifestyles not of their own choosing. We have not adequately addressed that problem in this country and now it appears we never will and poor people will be attacked further for the simple reason they are poor.

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    1. Lowell, I do agree with your statement. Though, I know people who live below the poverty line who are such fine folks. Being poor doesn't make people bad and I think it is portrayed in the media that way, at times. Poverty is a real issue, not just in my state.

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  19. Gorgeous colour in the barn shot Michelle.. I can't imagine there are any towns/cities that don't have their fair share of problems, that's people for you, some just seem hell-bent on ruining things!

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  20. gorgeous picture. I enjoyed your message today.... It's all about choices that each of us make. Hard work and a strong relationship with the Lord makes for a content life.

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  21. There are good people everywhere who don't get any attention.

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  22. The issues and problems you mentioned in this post, Michelle, are universa in that they are not only in Kentucky, but other U.S. States and the world. But as you stated so well, there are hardworking, honest people in all of those places too.

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  23. I just read that book and those problems can be found anywhere. It's only natural the problems will escalate anywhere that there were boom towns that then declined due to economic factors. In the town next to ours here in Connecticut on the shoreline, Cheeseborough Ponds sold out to Unilver - big plant that employed many town residents for many years - my father and myself included. When Unilever decided to leave.. well, the plant still remains empty years later - a sad sight. Many many jobs left with it. There's no doubt the town's people suffered. I wondered how people who actually LIVE in that area felt about the book.

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  24. Sigh... Guess I should look this up. Sigh...

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  25. I am very touched by your post....especially the line, "There are people here who work hard, pray hard, and value their family life."

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  26. I love your image of the barn! I've only driven through Kentucky a few times and only remember thinking it was a beautiful state. Problems of poverty, drugs... they seem to be everywhere - we certainly have them in Massachusetts. Hillbilly Elegy is on my "want to read" list, but I don't know much about it.

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  27. Michelle, as you know I did read that book and I appreciated your thoughtful and insightful comment (which was along the lines of your observations today). The problem with generalizations is that they are in part true as to one subset of the population and completely untrue as to other subsets of the population. The author emphasized the hopeless members of his family who were out of work, taking drugs, engaging in or victimized by domestic abuse, etc., though the book itself covered other family members who were upwardly mobile, living good lives, etc. Still, whether in Kentucky or in other parts of the manufacturing and mining states of the Midwest, there are many less-well-educated whites in towns where former good factory or mine jobs have moved away or otherwise ended. Trump managed to tap into that vein and the educated elites on both coasts, big cities and college towns were shocked to learn how many of them there are.Not everyone, of course, but lots and lots.

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  28. Both my parents were both from mining towns in Pennsylvania and they both moved to NYC when they were in their 20's to find work, as mining was almost over and there were no jobs to be found. Both my parents lost their fathers when they were very young--it was hard times during the depression. My maternal grandmother was an immigrant and could not even read or write! My parents worked in restaurants and met and married -- and that is how I came to be born in Brooklyn! Unfortunately, both of their PA towns are now drug ridden. It is so sad. I do think education is key and the ability to be flexible and move where jobs are. We also have to address the problem of doctors prescribing opioids for pain as they are very addicting and lead to other drug use. My kids moved west as they found NYC too expensive to buy houses and fortunately for them they established themselves here in Colorado before it too got expensive. They are hard working and always learning and taking courses to increase their employ ability. I think that is another key to success--keep learning all of one's life.

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  29. Nice view of this barn.
    You forgot to mention the excellent bluegrass music that Kentucky is so famous for! Sometimes "poverty" brings out the very best in people...

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