A salute to my graduating nephew

Matthew Brooks was not a pretty newborn.

unnamedOh, come on — we all know it, are all probably thinking about it right now and agreeing with the statement. This came as quite a bit of a surprise. His parents are both nice-looking people, and he obviously shares some DNA with non-trolls (again, obviously), so when he arrived looking like someone had crossed an alien monkey with a prune, well, we didn’t know what to think (other than perhaps a mix-up in the nursery). It’s OK because he turned into an adorable baby, but those first few weeks were touch-and-go looks wise.
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More than just hot dogs, chili made Sue’s special

I wish I could tell you I’m speaking from the heart, but really, I’m speaking from the belly.

That’s what happens when you learn that a place as meaningful as Sue’s Hot Dogs is selling its business. Sure, the new owners could possibly keep that Steamshovel Road tradition going, but it just won’t be the same, no matter what happens.
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Yes, kids, 213 really happened in Stanton, Kentucky

In going through some old newspaper clippings a couple of weeks ago, I found this old column I had published in The Clay City Times sometime in the fall of 1997. For those who aren’t familiar with Powell County history, this was an odd time in Stanton, as we had been receiving some statewide (and perhaps national) attention for a so-called “gang,” better known as 213, after the death of its chief tuff and a subsequent riot after the funeral.

Back then, I found the whole thing hard to believe, and now, 15 years later, I find it even more ridiculous to think the “hard” streets of Stanton were being patrolled by a gang of hoodlums and hooligans.

I’ll leave it to you decide, from your memories, from your imagination, and now, from this. Enjoy:
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Remembering Bro. Rule: Community reflects on man’s lasting legacy


David Rule, known to Powell Countians as Bro. Rule, in a portrait by Tim Webb.

David Eugene Rule, better known throughout Powell County as “Brother Rule,” died Aug. 6, 2012. His influence on me, particularly my writing style, was tremendous. I owe him much gratitude; I’m thankful I had the chance to let him know this.

I can’t imagine how many others can say similar things about what he meant to their lives. He might be the only truly good man I’ve ever met. He didn’t just preach love, he lived it.

His impact will be felt for lifetimes.

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Dear Powell County: Congratulations, and thank you!


Listening to WSKV for the latest Election Night results.

One week ago today (almost this exact instant), Powell County voters gave an overwhelming message: we believe in James Anderson as the best leader for our future.

I couldn’t agree more (see this post for details).
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Dear Powell County: James Anderson is the best choice for judge-executive

I’m using my blog today to share a guest column my cousin Chris Nolan submitted to the Clay City Times in support of James Anderson for Powell County judge-executive. I’m asking my Powell County friends to take a few minutes to read (or perhaps re-read) what Chris has to say, then help share the message by posting the link on your own Facebook page, blog, Twitter account, skywriting message or whatever form of social media you have available.

I’ve known James since the mid-1980s and really got the chance to bond with him as we both sat on the end of the bench for the Powell County freshman and junior varsity basketball teams when we were freshmen and sophomores. At that time, much of our talks focused on one of three things: 1. how much we hated sitting on the bench; 2. which cheerleaders were the prettiest; 3. which schools’ locker rooms were the best.
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