Beautiful Early November

Bell’s Bend Park is in Need of Help

So, the dog and I just got back from Bell’s Bend Park. We normally go on Sundays but we were both in the mood for it today. The walk was great. The park was beautiful. All the things that want to prick you with their long prickly prickers can no longer hide it behind their leaves so you can give them the stink eye all you want and they just have to know you know they’re out to get you.

Now, of course I’ve been following Mike Byrd’s coverage of the park situation, so I knew that there had been some ridiculous overages in the Parks department, because it was oh, so important to have golf all winter long.

But until today, I didn’t get that the people who would be let go as a result of this fiasco were not the idiots who let this happen, but people like the awesome guy who came out after we’d completed our walk to check on us and ask us how things went. He’s in charge of the park programing and he would get laid off, and his boss would have to cover Bell’s Bend and Beaman Park, which would basically give her enough time to be a glorified janitor at both places.

This really sucks, and not just because Bell’s Bend Park is my favorite park in the system.

It sucks because it’s unfair to ordinary people.  It’s unfair to the ordinary people who work for the parks, who couldn’t control or have any say in whether things were properly reported to Metro, but it’s also unfair to those of us ordinary people who enjoy the parks.  Because the golfers got to golf all winter, we don’t get to have enough staff?

And seriously, at what point do the big wigs fall on their swords and lay themselves off rather than always looking for the people lower down who can be cut?

Anyway, call or write your council members.

Unless you don’t live here. In that case, call or write our council members, because your council members will think you’re bonkers if you contact them complaining about us.

An Updatey Update

For those of you following along at home, I have a very rough draft of my book proposal done, because the Professor said she was going to look at it this weekend and I had to have something to show her.

I have looked at thousands of book proposals in my life (granted, not for fiction) and I just want to say, “Damn, those puppies are hard to write.”  You want to come across as yourself and as someone who would be easy to work with and as someone who kind of knows what the fuck they’re doing.

That’s a hard balance to strike.

Also, I don’t know of anyone who could blurb my book.  Stephen King, if you’re lurking here, now would be the time to ‘fess up.

Did I Tell You About the Hiestand House?

I don’t think I did. I think I just put up pictures. Anyway, we drove about an hour farther than I thought we should have.  Looking at a map, I’m convinced that going up to Bowling Green and cutting across on the future I-66, even if you can go 70 miles an hour the whole way, took longer than if we had cut up through Glasgow.  But whew, it took forever to get over to Campbellsville.

The house itself sits on a slight hill overlooking the road into town.  It’s got a sewer treatment plant to one side and a hotel behind it, but I was amazed at how much land it still sits on, considering that it seems to be pretty prime real estate and the house had been in really bad shape at one point.  If it were Nashville, that puppy would have been torn down to make room for a parking lot.

But I have to give it up for the people who did the historic preservation of that house.  Dang, it’s amazing.

The house is so cute, all gray stones and blue trim and wooden shingles that have weathered to gray and started to cover with moss. The kitchen is right up close to the house, a little square box coming off the back corner of the house.  The Hiestands used the back door primarily, but the house is set up with a room on either side of a hallway, with the hallway leading to both the front and back door.  There’s a very steep staircase in the hallway that leads up to the second floor which is also divided into three spaces.

Our tour guide was really intrigued with the fact that the house had “closets,” which were just two very large cabinets, one on either side of the fireplace in the living room.  What I was more intrigued by is that the dining room appeared to have the same set-up–two floor to ceiling cabinets, one on either side of the fire place–but they were NOT cabinets at all. The one on the left opened up to a very steep staircase up to the master bedroom on the second floor and the one on the right opened up into a little vestibule that took you to a side door to the house which then, when you immediately turned right, led you right to the kitchen.

The amount of brilliance this is cannot be overstated.  Imagine that it’s winter and you’re trying to heat a house with only three fire places (the children’s bedroom didn’t have a fireplace). Every time you opened the back door, you were letting cold air right into the center of the house.  This way, women could come in from the kitchen into a little space that was very warm (since it was right up against a huge fireplace) and then open the door into the dining room.  So, opening the outside side door really only fully affects this little space.

I don’t know who came up with that design but it was brilliant.

I wish we’d gotten pictures of that.

Anyway, I’m definitely going to try to take my folks up there, even though Bart and I are positive that this is not our ancestor, but our ancestor’s brother.

Especially because I know my dad is going to love the story about how our ancestor’s niece single-handedly defeated the Confederates. It’s not much of a story.  They saw the strategic value in a large house made of stone sitting on the top of a hill overlooking the main road into town, a house filled with women who might cook for them. A house that would be easy to defend, say, even by one woman with a rifle.

And so it was.

To the sadness of the Confederates.