For those not familiar with Fulton, it is a small town in Fulton County that is divided down the middle by the Kentucky-Tennessee state line. If you didn’t know which street divided the town, it would be hard to tell when you entered one state from another.
Not only does the road divide the town into two states, but the road continues almost due east to an even smaller community, Dukedom.
When you leave Fulton, you drive to Dukedom down the state line until you come to a four-way stop. Turn left and you are in Kentucky. Turn right and you are in Tennessee.
In all our growing up years, we remember the road as a narrow two lane that was constantly in need of repair. A vehicle coming toward you meant you had to slow down or take the risk of being off in a ditch.
So, what about the red flags?
Well, for some reason unknown to us at the time, they appeared about every four years. Highway workers were active along the roadway taking surveys and staking the little flags and there they would remain until the small metal rods would rust and the flags would be absorbed into the undergrowth.
This practice continued for many years, yet the road remained in horrible condition.
And then we approached voting age and realized what the flags stood for: votes!
Yep, whoever happened to be governor at the time (it was hard to tell because governors rarely came to Fulton either before or after elections) would use the road project as a way of garnering votes for another term.
It worked so well each four years because the county was staunchly democrat and in those days a democrat running for office could promise other democrats anything and it was like feeding a minnow to a crappie. The promise would be gobbled up hook, line and sinker for another four years.
Which - in a long-winded explanation – brings us to another political “vote getter” that seems to work in the counties surrounding Lake Barkley. More precisely, we’re talking about the level of the water in Lake Barkley that is regulated not for recreation but for the generation of electricity and flood control.
For several years now there has been a move to convince the Corps to keep the levels of Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake at summer pool later in the year. Rep. Ed Whitfield calls meetings, promises to introduce bills and talks before the House. And when all is said and done, the Corps keeps lake levels just like they have in the past.
Don’t misunderstand, Rep. Whitfield has represented this area well and probably won’t have much of a problem this fall. With voters chomping at the bit to keep Democrats in control the best candidate they can find is a nut from Paducah – uh, can we say nut? – who embarrassed herself and her daughter at the place of her employment.
If you don’t remember, she went screaming (literally) to Sen. Mitch McConnell following his visit to Maiden Alley Cinema. The owners of the place wisely dismissed her for the embarrassment.
Ah, politics! Ain’t it fun?
We have a son who lives on the coast of Texas and a daughter who lives on the coast of Florida. (When we retire we’re going to live six months in each place . . . we wish).
Both areas have been hit with gale force winds, tropical storms and hurricanes this season. We assume that both are still there and haven’t been blown to another state.
When we talk to them and ask about the hurricane that weather forecasters tell us will blow away everything in site, they just seem to shrug it off like its no big deal.
Maybe they’re just waiting until it gets closer to our retirement and we start making plans to move. We bet then the storms will be some of the most powerful on earth and blow for a week.
Vyron Mitchell is editor and general manager of The Cadiz Record. He always has fun with politics and knows that its unlikely voters will make any changes regardless of what they say. He can be reached at email@example.com.