I’ve mentioned before that I went to high school in Florence, KY, a roughly 4-mile trip from my then-home in Union. When I tell people where in Kentucky I’m from, I tend to mention Union in relation to Florence, the bigger town. (These days, Union is big enough to warrant its own Interstate exchange, but when I moved there in 1978, there were actually hitching posts by the convenience store — definitely the boondocks of Boone County.)
The interesting thing to me is that when I mention Florence, about half the people I talk to mention one particular landmark: the “Florence Y’all” water tower, which has even been immortalized in Reader’s Digest, not to mention Wikipedia. The story behind the tower is an interesting one, and a few years back, the Kentucky edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer had a neat little article about it, which they updated a few days back as the city’s minor league baseball team hosted… wait for it… the “Y’all-Star Game”.
And on a personal note, I noticed this in the article:
While there was never an official decision that the Y’all would remain, the city ultimately embraced it and centered the water tower around Florence Y’all Festival that ran for more than 20 years.
While that might not be the best phrasing — I would have gone with “themed the Florence Y’all Festival, which ran for more than 20 years, around the water tower” — I can attest to the festival. As a matter of fact, one of my high school rock bands played a show during the first of the festivals, in 1980. As it happened, our guitarist was related to a shopowner on Florence’s Main Street, so we just set up and played in her parking lot. We didn’t make any money, but we had fun.
I guess some things never change, y’all.