My three homes, “a trip of a lifetime!”
The DPChallenge offered me inspiration to write this week’s post of traveling from past, present to future (geographically speaking.) It all began in New Middletown, Indiana, a small rural town about 30 minutes west of Louisville, Kentucky (yes, I said west, not south).
You’ll notice where the river bends, Kentucky seems to ‘grab’ at Indiana like an outstretched wildcat claw. New Middletown is made up of approximately 75 people ‘givr take’ and it’s main export is religion. For those 75 folks, we had four churches (two of which were Methodist, one Catholic and one I’m still unsure.) I still remember riding our bikes around it and can see the white steeple protruding from the deep corn fields vividly in my mind. The only other attraction was a baseball diamond where the whole town would be, every night after work, it was like the one in ‘Field of Dreams.’
Thoughts, opinions and culture permeate from across the river bend and the South. If Kentucky hasn’t claimed New Middletown by name, it has in spirit, as the locals call the region ‘Kentuckiana’. Louisville, Ky is the undisputed ‘gateway to the South’ it’s world re-known ‘southern hospitality’, Muhammed Ali and the Kentucky Derby. They now proudly use the mantra ‘The Possibility City‘ in a Commonwealth that has ‘Unbridled Spirit‘. While there may not be a geographical or legal boundary defining North from South, it’s easy to see ‘where the sidewalk ends’ and that would be the Ohio River Valley.
There are many stories to tell (and many that should be left untold) that originate from the murky, muddy waters of the Ohio, today I’ll share a tale-or two. Like the time, as young men, undeterred by fate or future, we would congregate after football practice to jump off an old condemned bridge called ‘Breeden’s.’ On warm August nights, we jumped (or dove, whichever you preferred) 60 feet into those cool unpredictable waters of the Blue River.
Another most interesting night led to my girlfriend’s (at the time) mother’s Honda being sent to the bottom of what locals call ‘The Blue Hole.’ It’s a spring of ‘fresh water’ where nobody really knows the depth, but it’s said to still have the bodies of those who tried to reach and never returned -an old wive’s tale?
-I’ll let you decide after you check it out for yourself!
Like many a young hoosier, I fled New Middletown, basketball in tow, to the heart of the Midwest, the home of IU. While directly north, it was located far left of center of ‘God’s Country,’ Bloomington, Indiana a.k.a. ‘B-town’.
That was the best five years of my life, the world as I knew it for 18 years was turned inside-out. I learned (rather quickly and contrary to belief) most everyone did not race cars or cruise McDonald’s on their spare time. That may sound cliche as the 50’s to you-but it was the world I grew up in the early 90’s. To this day, New Middletown probably hasn’t changed much.
Bloomington enlightened, engaged and inspired me like no other place I’ve been. From day one, of meeting my friends Jacek (Jack) and Simon from Norway to the days of winding down the old athletic store, next to the Bluebird, where John Mellencamp would play just for the heck of it. Bloomington provided me the diversity and culture that only a Big Ten Campus can achieve in the middle of the Midwest.
After college, I moved for jobs from California to Chicago, but my third home is where I currently reside today, Louisville, Kentucky.
Louisville, primarily made up of a ‘blue-collar’ workforce is developing a ‘fast-track’ vision of being an idea mecca. It’s also an awesome place to be a sports enthusiast, foodie or cultural misfit. You can be whoever you want to ‘be’ here. Find your place in the pubs off Bardstown Rd, originate new ideas at local bistros at NuLu, or entertain out-of-town guest at Fourth Street Live. Fourth Street is just blocks away from a quaint little building called the Yum! Center which has sparked development of Whiskey Row.
It’s this home town, or city that claims the unheralded tradition of The Kentucky Derby and one of which, I’m proud to now call home.
This WordPress challenge allowed me to share a world many will never experience. New Middletown, to this day will make you feel like you’ve ‘travelled back in time’ with it’s shoddy broadband and cell phone service. Bloomington and Indiana University, offer a unique perspective on the world we live in. It can be as important as ever for ‘college bound’ students who want to learn more about themselves and connection with a society that’s ‘more connected’ in history than ever. And Louisville, can provide a southern style of living that encourages growth, hospitality, a slower pace of life, but also be a virtual playground of promise and opportunity.
If you’ve followed my post, you know we want to change lives through local commentary, building a bridge using conversational marketing that transcends current media, allowing young students to discuss what they know best (their home towns) and become digitally affluent and connected to the rest of the world we all live in. This challenged allowed me a chance to share my personal life experience, shine a spotlight on ‘my three homes’ and become more ‘digitally fluent’ in the process. Thanks for the opportunity! It’s now time to watch my #5 Hoosiers play the #10 Minnesota Golden Gophers..
With that, what single event or activity (at home or away) inspired you to become who you’ve become today?
Frequently used words
Being bloomington home kentucky life louisville new middletown place post river south southern today town world years young
- Kfc Yum! Center (no Nickname Needed) (stadiafile.com)
- Kentuckiana again focal point of college hoops (nbcsports.msnbc.com)
- My Old Kentucky Home…. (mybublogs.com)
- Top U.S. travel destinations for 2013 (cnn.com)
- Louisville vs. Kentucky Women’s Basketball Game Preview and Predictions (bleacherreport.com)
- A close-up look at IU’s expanded Memorial Stadium (crimsonquarry.com)
- Indiana, Louisville still sit 1-2 in AP poll; Kentucky drops from third to eighth (cbssports.com)