A Landing a Day

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Drakesboro, Kentucky

Posted by graywacke on February 16, 2015

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2156; A Landing A Day blog post number 584.

Dan:  Today’s landing marks the 44th straight western / midwestern landing (but at least it’s a USer). . . KY; 22/28; 3/10; 22; 150.2.

OK, I have to spend a little time on this lack-of-eastern-landings thing.  Check out this Google Earth (GE) shot:

GE US map

See the north-south yellow line I drew?  Believe it or not, there are 181 landings shown on the map.  How many are east of the yellow line?   A measly 14.  14 out of 181 is only 7.7%.

Now let’s look at the area east of the line vs. west of the line.  This is a pretty easy exercise for me (since all of the state areas are of course in my landing spreadsheet).  Note that I split both Kentucky and Tennessee in half (close enough). 

So, the area east of the line is 561,549 square miles, and the area of the lower 48 is 3,119,994 square miles.  Doing the percentages:  18% of the area is east of the line.

Another way of looking at it:

The landing density for the east is 561,549 square miles divided by 14 landings = 1 landing per 40,110 square miles.

The landing density for the west is 2,558,445 square miles divided by 167 landings = 1 landing per 15,320 square miles.

7.7% of landings in 18% of the area?  Landing densities of 15,000 vs. 40,000? What gives?  Well, I can certainly tell you that over the last 181 landings, the entire eastern U.S. is severely US (Under Subscribed).

And how about 44 landings in a row that haven’t touched the east?  I’ll do the statistics:  Each landing, I have a 0.82 chance of a western / midwestern landing.  Raise that number to the 44th power (and then take the inverse) and I get one chance in 6,197 that I would not land east of the yellow line for 44 straight landings!!!   Phew. . .

So, what do you think?  Since I spent all of this time and effort, my next landing will be in the east?  Maybe . . .

Finally.  Moving right along, here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

And my local landing map:

landing 2

Wow.  Kind of looks like I landed right in Pond Creek!   I think I’m going to need to look a little closer via Google Earth (GE) to see if I actually landed in the creek.  First, I’ll start with my GE spaceflight in:

 

Now, I’ll zoom in very closely, and son-of-a-gun, if I didn’t actually land in Pond Creek!  So, here’s my watershed analysis:

 GE Pond Creek

I landed in Pond Creek; on to the Green River (9th hit); on to the Ohio R (133rd hit); to the MM (846th hit).

I found a GE Panoramio shot (by RD Anthony) of a car ferry on the Green River about five miles east of my landing.  The ferry is docked on the far side of the river:

pano RDAnthony

So.  I checked out Drakesboro, and found this in Wiki:

Drakesboro is a 5th-class city in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.  [I wonder if they have an inferiority complex, wishing that one day they’ll be a fourth class city . .  ]  The population was 627 at the 2000 census. Incorporated in 1888, the city was named for early pioneer William Drake.

Nothing much there.  But then, it went on to say this:

The Four Legends Fountain

Constructed in 1992, the Four Legends Fountain honors four pioneers of the “thumb picking” style of guitar playing often associated with Bluegrass music: Kennedy Jones, Ike Everly, Mose Rager, and Merle Travis.  All four have close ties to Muhlenberg County.  Merle Travis is considered a native son of Drakesboro.

FYI, “thumb picking” involves the use of a plastic guitar pick that fits on the thumb.  Besides the thumb, most of the other picking is done by the index finger.  

After a fairly extensive search, I could find one and only one picture of the Four Legends Fountain.  Here it is, a photo by Carey Gough, from Institute193.org:

 institute 193.org foundtain

See the four guitars on the four poles?

Merle Travis is far and away the most famous of the four (and he’s Drakesboro’s own).  Ike Everly is the father of the famous Everly Brothers (featured in my Central City & Rockport KY post of June 2014).  Kennedy Jones actually pioneered the thumb picking style; the other three legends all claimed to have been strongly influenced by “Jonesey.”  Mose Rager gets more attention shortly. 

So, here’s a short video of Merle where he really shows off his thumb picking style:

 

One of my favorite musicians is an acoustic guitar player name of Tommy Emmanuel.  I’ve seen Tommy in concert maybe 5 or 6 times (including a road trip to Ottawa!).  Anyway, Tommy is a great admirer of Chet Atkins and Merle Travis. 

Here’s a You Tube video of Tommy playing Merle Travis’ Guitar Rag.  In Tommy’s intro (which I’ve transcribed below), get this:  he talks about Merle Travis, Mose Rager and Drakesboro Kentucky!!

 

The guy that inspired Chet Atkins was a man named Merle Travis.  And he had a great style; he wrote great songs.  This is one of my favorites of Merle’s.  It’s written about a guy named Mose Rager who opened a barber shop in Kentucky – Drakesboro Kentucky.  And he didn’t cut much hair because he used to sit and play the guitar all day and draw a big crowd, his shop was always full, but no one was getting a haircut.  And legend has it that Mose was a lady killer, and the ones he didn’t kill he crippled up pretty bad.  And so, (laughter) and he had this uh, magnetic attraction; and the people couldn’t resist him.  And he played with a great groove.  Anyway, this is a song about him.  It’s called The Guitar Rag written by Merle Travis.

Well, way down in ol’ Kentucky
There’s a fella mighty lucky
By the way he makes a guitar moan
Hangin’ round, singin’ round a country store
Just pickin’ like a chicken, or pickin’ up corn

And every gal in the county, gathers all around him
Well he’s got rhythm in his bones, yea
My feet start scootin’, the shuffle and drag
Every time I hear the rhythm of the guitar rag

He gets a moanin’ tone, he gets grumble and groan
When he gets pickin’ and pluckin’ the thing
He can make a deacon do the buck-and-wing

All the fat and skinny does a little shimmy
And their heads starts wiggle and wag
My feet start scootin’with the shuffle and drag
Every time I hear the rhythm of the guitar rag

He gets a moanin’ tone, he gets a grumble and groan
Well, he can make a jackrabbit run in the ground
And he can make the Deacon lay the good book down

All the fat and skinny does a little shimmy
And their heads start to wiggle and wag
My feet start scootin’with the shuffle and drag
Every time I hear the rhythm of the guitar rag

My feet start scootin’with the shuffle and drag
Every time I hear the rhythm of the guitar rag

So good ol’ Mose had a barbershop in Drakesboro.  Anyway, I found this short Mose Rager You Tube video:

 

Almost always, I close my post with some GE Pano photos.  Not this time (I could really find any pretty shots any place close to my landing, except the Green River ferry shot).  So I’m close this post a little differently.

A little research showed me that Merle Travis recorded a number of albums with Tex Ritter.  I featured Tex on my 2013 Carthage TX post.  For that post, I found Tex’s version of “Froggy Went A-Courtin,” and painstakingly transcribed the words.  As I said in that post “I LOVE THIS SONG.”

Enjoy!

 

Froggy went a-courtin’ an-a he did ride, uh, huh
Froggy went a-courtin’ an-a he did ride, oh, hoh
Froggy went a-courtin’ an-a he did ride
Sword and a pistol by his side
Uh, huh . . . hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm

Well he went up to Miss-a Mousie’s door and a hoh and a hey and a hoh and a hey
Went up to Miss-a Mousie’s door, hoh
Went up-a to Miss-a Mousie’s door
She said get away you been here before,
Uh, huh . . . ohmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm

Fee Fime Oh in the land of fear of Pharaoh
Come a rattrap, pennywinkle, tom o’doodle, rattle bugger rattrap
Penny won’t you kime be, oh.

Took a-Missa Mousie on his knee, uh, huh
Took a-Missa Mousie on his knee, oh
Took a-Missa Mousie on his knee
Well he said Miss Mousie, ‘Will you marry me’
Uh, huh,  hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm.

Little piece of corn bread a-lyin’ on the shelf and a hoh and a hey and a hoh and a hey
Little piece of corn bread a-lyin’ on the shelf, uh, huh
Little piece of corn bread a-lyin’ on the shelf
If you want anymore you can sing it yourself
Uh, huh, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm

Fee Fime Oh in the land of fear of Pharaoh
Come a rattrap, pennywinkle, tom o’doodle, rattle bugger rattrap
Penny won’t you kime be, oh.

Kimbo kymbo hey-ho gee-roh
Hey come a rattrap, pollywinkle lolly bugger rattrap
Penny won’t you kime be, oh.

 

That’ll do it.

 KS

Greg

© 2015 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

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