Sunday, January 31, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Have you ever wondered where thoroughbred horses came from? "Historians say that it all started way back in the late 1600's and early 1700's. There were three kinds of horses, Darley Arabians, Godolfin Arabians and the Byerly Turk. In less than 100 years the lines of lineage crossed enough times to make an independent breed called the thoroughbred." Marsh, Carol The Mystery at the Kentucky Derby.
Horse racing has been around since Native-Americans roamed North America. In the late 1800s horse breeding in Kentucky became popular. Meriweather Lewis Clark Jr. established Churchill downs in Louisville. Does that name sound familiar? It should, he is the grandson of the famous explorer William Clark. In 1875 the first Kentucky Derby was held at Churchill Downs.
The Kentucky Derby is one of three events that make up the "Triple Crown" of horse racing. the Triple Crown includes:
- The Kentucky Derby held in Louisville, Kentucky in early May.
- The Preakness Stakes held in Baltimore, Maryland in mid May.
- The Belmont Stakes held in Belmont Park, New York in early June.
When Oliver Lewis rode to victory in the first Kentucky Derby it inspired many African-Americans to learn how to ride horses. It paid off because 15 of the next 28 Kentucky Derby's were won by African Americans. There has only been one African-American in recent history to ride however. Marlon St. Julien rode in the 2000 Kentucky Derby.
The Derby is referred to as the "Run for the Roses" because the winning horse is given a blanket made up of over 100 roses.
Post by JJ
Kentucky is home to of the longest caves in the world. Mammoth caves and Fisher Ridge Cave System. (Hopefully, we'll get to visit one or both of these and show you some pictures!)
This is a pictures of Jacobs Hall on the campus of KSD. RJ, is this named after you?
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Since our arrival it has warmed up a bit and melted, and next few days have serious snow in the forcast, we'll see how it goes. We'll also be here in Kentucky awhile.... you're likely to get quite a few Kentuckian adventures. We are already enjoying the benefits of settling down for awhile, especially.... the library! The boys are also playing Upward basketball and loving that. We are in cultural encounter mode, realizing this state is serious about a few things: horses... and basketball. And cheerleading. The upward teams have cheerleaders (Gimmie a V! Dot that i! circle that C.......T-O-R-Y! too cute) And apparently Obama even called the UK basketball coach yesterday, congratulating them on thier Haiti fundraising... (but he messed up thier undeafeted record....)... anyway, we're in for some good learning and all is well. Mom is busy with her internship so kids will probably keep you updated about once a week. HUGS
The next day we ventured on for a little detour to the Smoky Mountain National Park. It sits on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina... and we were happy to see some mountains again!! It is pretty darn flat down there in the swamplands, and now these really are looking like big mountains. I'm sure we'll be flabbergasted when we finally get back to Rainier!!
Most everyone knows the sad ending to Dr. King's life, but it was powerful for us to learn more about the beginning, and the middle. The wagon pictured above is the very one that carried his body during his funeral procession. It is a humble, simple wagon to signify his work and comraderie with the poor. Did you know that MLK served several years fighting for the rights of underpaid workmen? We were humbled by the extent of his work: the civil rights movement, the Southern Christian Leadership conference, political work, workers unions, the list goes on. While we were there we listened to his message given the night before he was shot. He said "We might not make it to the promised land together, but I promise you, we will make it...... and at my funeral? Don't tell them about my degrees, about my awards, about my nobel peace prize. And don't let them talk too long. Tell them if I did one good thing in my life, it was to love my fellow man...." (paraphrased)
Above is the church where MLK's father and grandfather preached. His first congregation was in Montgomery, Alabama- the same place where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, where MLK was voted the leader of that movement and started a year long political struggle to end segregated bus lines. He eventually moved back to Atlanta and co-pastored Ebeneezer church with his father. This original church is being restored and will be open for tours soon. Below is the modern Ebenezer church, that packs a full house every Sunday.
The kids did the work to become junior rangers for the museum. In the process, we got to meet a reverend who marched along with MLK, and is about to retire from the park service (pictured below with the hat) as well as receive some testing and encouragement from one of the younger rangers. While we were there, several homeless people came in-- I suppose taking a break from the cold. The back two rows of the movie theater where they showed movies of MLK's life were filled with homeless African Americans. A powerful message: is MLK's work done? Just because we have our first black president doen't mean "we have arrived." Racism, privelege, ignorance and poverty are real issues today and one that I myself am guilty of "forgetting." I hope I am forever changed by remembering and experiencing MLK's life and message this day in Atlanta.
Friday, January 15, 2010
We stopped the first night in Southern Georgia, where it was even colder, but Jo still got out and played mini-golf. He's doing research, you see, for a future Kaler RV camp where people can play putt-putt for a dollar a game. He wants to design the course. MAYBE they can play for free.
In Georgia they said we must leave the water running ONE PINKY thick so the pipes don't freeze.... none of this drip drip stuff we got away with in Florida. Welcome, rookie RV lesson number $%##*??. Its called pinky-thick water will fill up your holding tank in.... hmmm, judging by the water dripping down our steps and forming icicles on Steppie on the way down, must have been about 5 hours. But at least our pipes didn't freeze, and we got a bonus mopping out of the deal!!
The next morning we were blessed with a free pancake breakfast... at 7:am no less. Good to get us up and going. At breakfast we were asked several times Don't you know you're going the wrong direction? and aren't we going to stay til Friday? There's pecan pancakes on Friday. There's also a civil war prison camp we could see, and will you be here Sunday? On Sunday we could go see Jimmy Carter teach Sunday school, just down the road. (Seriously.. I checked it out... )
But alas, we had just enough time to find all this out and recieve bits of encouragement from our on-the-road comrades. We really could spend a week at each little stop. But we're off... heading north on the 75 and excited to visit the birth place of Martin Luther King Jr and learn more about the civil rights movement. And maybe check out Chick-fil-a Headquaters while we're there...
Til Atlanta, friends....
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Look! You can have really interesting visitors when you live in an RV park....
these are sandhill cranes, and they love to fly through camp and make really loud taradactyl sounds. They're actually another threatened species, so we are happy to hear them squak overhead, and (uhm uhm) see them mate in our backyard... http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/education/interactive/springscoast/sandhillcranes.shtml
We've had other cool visitors this week, some of you from Seattle might know them. You might even follow their blog, they are on a one year road trip (just like us!!). We were so happy to see our friends the Links, time went too fast and we could have spent a week. They are a little too popular though, even strangers were coming by and taking pictures of thier rig....
Yes, even RVers are impressed with a set up like that! Their kids sleep on top, and Troy and Katie sleep in the back. The kids loved giving "tours" of each others homes, and we sure did have a good time!!! We spent most of our time enjoying the warmth and each others company in Winnie... until Katie let it slip that is was actually her birthday, and then the girls got busy in whipping up the funnest little surprise party ever. With chocolate frosting pancake cake, sprinkles and all... and gifts, and food, and laughs, and games.... we sure love you guys!! Thanks for our time to "Link up" and may God ever guide our wandering vehicles, while our hearts stay on Him!!