I’ve talked before about the ongoing horror show of heroin-related deaths in my old Northern KY stomping grounds. Last year, overdose deaths in the region exceeded traffic deaths by a 5:1 margin. Other, related ailments (e.g., Hep B and C) have exceeded national averages by a factor of ten. And although I haven’t lived in the region in nearly 20 years, I’ve been touched by this as well — I’ve talked about it elsewhere.
Well, as I glanced at the headlines from the area a few minutes ago, I ran across a story that somehow strikes me as emblematic. I had lived in Kentucky a couple of years when I got my first band together up there , with a couple of guys who were a year behind me in school. One of our gigs was at a small amusement park (really, more along the lines of a pool and picnic area) in the region — Pleasure Isle. I think one of our members had a family connection to the place’s management, but we went, did our few numbers, and may even have been paid, although I doubt that last bit and wouldn’t have cared much anyway, being about 14 at the time.
Apparently the place closed a few years back, and today, as I said, I noticed a report in the local paper that said a local government may purchase Pleasure Isle — for use as a heroin treatment facility.
Thomas Wolfe wasn’t kidding, was he?