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Imagegemini_sage
Feb 17, 2010 4:56 PM CST
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY
Great Cubit idea Sharon!

I was born in Mt.Sterling and have lived in Kentucky all my life. Most of my years have been spent in the Bluegrass region, Mt.Sterling (known as the Gateway to the Bluegrass), Lexington, and Winchester, but I did live in the foothills of the Appalachians, Morehead, off and on for about 15 years. My mother was from Floyd County, and my time in Appalachia gave me a real appreciation for life in the mountains, and a glimpse of my heritage. My mother's family moved to Poplar Pains, in Fleming County, when she was in her early teens. It was there she met my father, who was born and raised in Flemingsburg.

As a youngster, I longed to leave "the hick small town" as I thought of it then. Interestingly, it was music that made me start seeing a different aspect of my heritage. I developed a love of Celtic and Irish folk music, and a great fondness for the fiddle. When the realization hit me that the Bluegrass music I'd rolled my eyes at in youth, was directly descended from that music I'd grown to love, I was astounded. I listened through new ears, and a world of cultural richness was opened to me.

I later became interested in herbs and herbal remedies, another interest that made me take another look at my heritage. Growing up, Mom told me stories about her mother's use of herbs, and her love of gardening and flowers. So many times in childhood, Mom would say I reminded her so much of her mother, and with a tear in her eye, would say, "you would have loved each other so much". Although I never met her, I've always felt a closeness with my maternal grandmother. Even after I grew up, Mom still said that's where I got my love of gardening. While I've digressed into a personal history, it does seem our Kentucky culture is completely entwined, inseparable.

In May, I will have lived in Winchester for 3 years, and am finding myself very happy here. I'm experiencing another return, a return to a small town in the Bluegrass, and again seeing it through new eyes. The lay of the land, and the traditional uses of the land in an area seem to define, to a great degree, the culture of the area. The unique qualities of Appalachian culture had been my focus for several years, now I'm seeing the interesting differences in Bluegrass culture. Life in Kentucky continues to hold my fascination.

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