Tag Archives: Fancy Farm

One to watch

For me to mention Fancy Farm, Kentucky on this blog — or the annual Fancy Farm Picnic — is no surprise.

I grew up there.

But for Politico Magazine to list this year’s Fancy Farm Picnic as one of the 14 dates to watch in 2014?

fancy farm picnic speechIt’s crack-a-lackin!’

There are no Fancy Farm natives on staff at Politico.  No, the Picnic earned its spot on merit — namely, the race for minority leader Mitch McConnell’s seat in the Senate.

If he survives the GOP primary in May, picnic goers can expect even livelier than usual stump speeches between McConnell and his Democratic challenger,  Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

And you didn’t just hear it from me.

Pardon me

Certain words are considered crass and socially unacceptable.

But entire towns?

Such is the sad state of affairs in F–cking, Austria.  (And yes, the “–” stands for exactly what you think.)

Until US soldiers were stationed nearby in World War II, no one in F–king thought a thing about their town’s moniker.

Now tourists mock them.  Steal the F–king signs.  The prank calls were the final straw.  The town mayor decided to change the F–king name.  But all the residents have to agree.

As someone who grew up in Fancy Farm — in a state with towns like Monkey’s Eyebrow, Possum Trot, and Big Bone Lick — I say…

“Keep your F–king name!”

Life’s a picnic

When your hometown is called “Fancy Farm,” people tend to remember the name.

Admittedly, it’s unusual….although it does sound a bit like a now defunct amusement park near Middletown, Ohio called “Fantasy Farm.”  (When I attended the University of Kentucky, I got that joke a lot.)

But on the first Saturday in August, there’s no confusing Fancy Farm, Kentucky.   Ask any local, state or national media outlet, and if they aren’t already there, they can certainly direct you.

The annual Fancy Farm Picnic is big news, and has been for 130 years.  Politics, pork barbecue and great people, all gathered at the party of the year.  Heck, it even made the Guinness Book of Records in 1978 as the Largest One-Day Barbecue in the World.

I was there.

Of course, I’ve been to a lot of picnics since I was five years old.   Playing games and eating barbecue when I was little.  Working in the ice cream booth that was my family’s responsibility.  We’ve had class reunions around picnic time, and lots of family from out-of-town — the ‘city folk’ — coming to Fancy Farm in August for this one-of-a-kind experience.

It’s small town America at its best.  Neighbors coming together, all as volunteers, working to raise money for the community church, proud of the tradition that generations of families have built.

And for the barbecue.  And the politics.

That’s the heart of it all.

Southern comforts

I’ve said it before — I’m no foodie.

Many of my friends bemoan the fact.  Here I am, living in New York City, a bazillion wonderful restaurants literally steps from my apartment, and I go out to eat rather infrequently.

I’m an embarrassment to my ‘hood, no doubt.

But send me back to the South for no more than 24 hours, and every Facebook post I make…is about food.  Not the delicacies you would find at the five-star restaurants lining the streets of Manhattan.

Oh, no.

I wax poetic about the Southern-style veggies served for lunch at Cracker Barrel. (Sweet potato casserole — I mean, come on!)

Shed a tear at how much bacon they put on a breakfast platter at the airport diner.  (Nine strips.  That’s just wrong, but oh, so right.)

Smile nostalgically when asked if I’d like “sweet or un-sweet tea.”  (I always choose un-sweet and add my own Sweet ‘n’ Low, but you know you’re in the South when you hear those words.)

I guess you can take the girl out of Fancy Farm, and tempt her with ‘fancy foods,’ but I’ll always have more simple tastes.

Or, as my friend Denny Keller would say…

“You’re so simple.”