Today is my 50th birthday. A year ago I solicited suggestions for the 50 things you should do in Kentucky before you turn 50. A year ago today I published the top 25 suggestions. Today I will reproduce that list, and take an inventory of how many I made it to.
I picked the top ten based on intrinsic excellence and national or world impact as a symbol of Kentucky. This means there has to be some horses, bourbon, coal, and basketball. There should also be some tobacco, but I do not have an excellent nominee for that category.
Kentucky Derby: I attended last year, soon after posting this list.
Mammoth Cave: I went as a kid. I would like to go back.
UK basketball game at Rupp Arena: I had tickets to see the UK men play Drexel at Rupp Arena in what turned out to be their 2000 victory (UK2K). However, I had to give the tickets to another in order to fetch my snowed-in daughter. So Mrs. G. and I attended a UK women's basketball game, a very satisfactory victory over Ole Miss in the more intimate confines of Memorial Coliseum.
Maker’s Mark factory: Not yet, though I have been to the Labrot and Graham distillery
Lincoln Shrine: I took the kids some years ago, as well as two other Lincoln cabin sites in Kentucky.
Fort Knox - Patton Museum: Not yet. And I better go soon, as they are moving stuff out.
Louisville Slugger Museum: This is the easy one that I should have done half a dozen times already. This summer, for sure.
Red River Gorge & Natural Bridge: Yes, with the family some years ago.
Abbey of Gethsemani: I took students in my "American Religion" class there a couple of years ago.
Van Lear coal museum (& Loretta Lynn) [or something like this]: No. This was really an attempt to find some specific coal-related site that is worth visiting. I still don't have the perfect nominee in this category.
The next ten are places are perhaps a step down, but big in Kentucky:
My Old Kentucky Home: Took the kids some years ago.
Shakertown: Several times.
Keeneland: Several times. I took my "Class Culture" seminar there one year.
Moonbow at Cumberland Falls: I have been to Cumberland Falls, but not on the right night to see the elusive moonbow.
Museum of the American Quilters Society: Nope. My mom has, though.
Southeast Christian: Several times, including taking a class there.
Creation Museum: Yes, and I have even written about it in the Kentucky Humanities magazine.
Berea College: Many times.
Cane Ridge revival site: Yes, including taken classes there and attending the bicentennial celebration.
Ashland - Henry Clay's home: Yes.
I will round out this first list with five food suggestions.
Hot Brown at the Brown Hotel: Yes, recently.
Kentucky Fried Chicken at the (reproduced) original store in Corbin: Yes.
Ale-8-One at the plant in Winchester: Almost, but not yet. Soon.
Moonlite Bar-B-Q in Owensboro: Yes
Miguel’s Pizza at Natural Bridge: Yes