A GROUP OF ADMINISTRATORS from Carlisle and Nicholas County visited Midway last Wednesday, March 2, to study Midway's example as a small town city model. From left are Dr. Bob Sparks, Carlisle-Nicholas County Economic Development Authority board member; Mike Pryor, Nicholas County Judge-Executive; Bascom Sorrell, chair of the Carlisle-Nicholas County Economic Development Authority; Paul Mulhollem, Carlisle-Nicholas County Economic Development Authority board member; Carlisle Mayor Larry Jolly; Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift, Tracy Pratt Savage, Economic Development director for the Carlisle-Nicholas County Economic Development Authority; and Nathan Mick, advisor to the Carlisle-Nicholas County Economic Development Authority. (Photo by John McDaniel)
Personals and Comments I always love it when administrators from other cities come to Midway to see how we do things here. Ever since Midway completed its Main Street revitalization in 2005, people and organizations from other cities started checking our little town out. When Mayor Becky Moore was mayor, one of the first visitors to Midway was Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton himself. Mayor Bozarth took Midway international as he showed Midway off to visitors from South Korea, China, and he even had mayors from Russia asking him questions about how things were done in our city and county. Mayor Vandegrift is just getting warmed up, as he has shown of the town to a group of students from South Korea, and last week to the visitors from Nicholas County. The group from Nicholas County had a busy Wednesday as they came to Midway after visiting with state senators in Frankfort, lunch with Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, a visit to the governor's office, and meeting with Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles. Of course it's not really a surprise that people like to come to Midway. Actually, it's kind of nice to actually live in Midway. My brother, who has lived in a couple of other states after graduating from college and lived away from Midway for over 30 years before moving back to stay, likes to say, "The best days I have are when I don't have to leave town." ... When the Mayor was talking to the visitors from Nicholas County, he made the comment that Abraham Lincoln had passed through Midway while riding on the train and said he wasn't sure if that had ever really occurred. That night I checked it out and I found a passage indicating Lincoln had indeed passed through Midway in October 1841 when he was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives. He was traveling by train from Frankfort to Lexington to visit relatives. That makes two U.S. presidents who have passed through Midway on trains that I know of so far. Harry Truman came through Midway when he was campaigning for his next term. That was the election that Thomas Dewey won, according to some newspapers, but Truman really won. Oh yes, by the way, Thomas Dewey came through Midway by train too as he was campaigning. Now we know that Queen Elizabeth II came through Midway also. She didn't use the train. Message from the Mayor By Grayson Vandegrift Whenever the divisive nature of national politics gives me the blues, as it often has lately, I turn to the history books for some comfort. The thing I love most about history is that it often teaches us that things are not really all that unprecedented - despite what TV pundits lead us to believe. George Washington's secretary of state (Jefferson) and treasury secretary (Hamilton) disagreed so bitterly about the role of government that Washington himself often had to intervene to keep them from coming to blows. (Hamilton was later killed by Aaron Burr in a political dispute.) The election of 1800 between Jefferson and John Adams was so divisive that Adams didn't attend the inauguration of Jefferson, who boasted that his election was a revolution (it wasn't.) The election of 1828 between Adams's son, John Quincy, and Andrew Jackson, was probably the ugliest in our history. The candidates and their surrogates said things about the opposing sides that we'd hardly dream of today, believe it or not. This of course doesn't excuse the behavior of modern candidates - it's still repulsive. But at least history shows us that today's national politicians shouldn't pat themselves on the back for being unique and . unprecedented. They're just doing things the way they've always been done. If they really wanted to do something unique, they would debate the issues in a civil manner, despite the possible political costs. It'd be difficult to find much precedent for that.