The Kentucky Pictorial History Books came into existence about 18 years ago when I was sitting in my home one evening trying to decide what our county's Bicentennial meant to me. As the county chair for the Bicentennial I wanted to define the real reason we were having this celebration.
At least in my own mind.
As I sat searching thru my thoughts my grandmother came into my mind. My beloved "Old Mother" as I was taught to call her. Although I was only 8 years old when she left this earthly home for her heavenly one, she made a lasting impression on me that is still with me to this day.
And I realized, for me, it was my grandmother's generation that defined the reason our county was celebrating 200 years of history. She was born in 1866. Just one year after the civil war.
It was Old Mother's generation that was the backbone of our country as they began the laborious task of reshaping it for future generations.
My grandmother came from a poor family. She walked for miles to milk a cow for a gallon of milk. She labored on scrabble ground to raise enough food to feed her family. And my grandfather. He was a moonshiner. His name was William but they called him "Wild Bill". I've been told he earned the moniker.
So the struggle continued for my grandmother's generation until, slowly but surely, our country was reborn.
My grandmother died at the age of 96. Her hands were worn and wrinkled. Her back bent from toil. But pride and strength of character was still a glowing light in her eyes.
Yesss! That's it!! I will celebrate the Bicentennial with a depiction of my grandmother's generation.
With a book! "The Way We Were!"
Thus was the birth of the Pictorial History Books of Kentucky by Judy Blair.
Hmmm. I wonder! If my Grandmother should come back to earth, just for a season, what would she think of this world we live in today? I can picture her sitting on the back stoop with her " Wild Bill" discussing current affairs. "No longer have to walk miles to milk the cow, just go to the store and buy it. No more walking behind "Old Bill", the mule, to plow up the rocky ground, just hop on the tractor. And the drugs, whats wrong with people today? And what happened to that big old oak tree we carved our initials in? Times sure have changed!"
No more do we take the time to set on the back stoop as my "Old Mother" did, with nothing but the shining moon and her "moonshiner".
Tawana Publishing Co., LLC
Judy Blair Pictorial History Books of Kentucky