• John McDaniel, Midway Correspondent

Midway News - Personals and Comments

MIDWAY MAYOR  Grayson Vandegrift, left, discovered that he is the youngest Kentucky mayor now holding office. Western Kentucky University photo journalism student Josh Newell discovered that information while he was working on a series of articles about young Kentuckians who are involved with local politics in their communities. Newell meet with Vandegrift Wednesday to interview and photograph him for the article. (Photo by John McDaniel)

There are mayors of cities across the United States ranging from 19 years of age to over 90 years of age covering almost 20,000 municipalities. The overall historically oldest mayor was 102 years old - Mayor Dorothy Geeben of Ocean Park Breeze, Fla., who died in 2010. The longest serving mayor in Kentucky and probably the longest serving mayor in the United States is Charles E. Long, who is 95 years old. He is the mayor of Booneville, and has been the mayor there for over 57 years and has reportedly never missed a day in City Hall for 50 years (FYI: He has been married to the same woman for over 70 years). You're probably saying to yourself by now, of course I am assuming you are reading this column, what does this have to do with Midway? Midway has the youngest serving mayor in Kentucky, Grayson Vandegrift. The mayor wasn't even aware of this fact until two weeks ago when a photojournalism student from Western Kentucky University called him up from Bowling Green and asked the mayor if he could do a story on him. The WKU student, Josh Newell, is working on a series of articles about young Kentuckians who are involved with local politics in their communities. He wanted to include Vandegrift in the series. When the student came to Midway, he not only interviewed the mayor but he got to see the great city of Midway too. ... Right after the last Monday night council meeting, there was a public forum held to discuss ideas for the future of Walter Bradley Park. The turnout for the meeting filled the building with a lot of the attendees suggesting ideas for the park and surrounding areas. It was brought to my attention that there is a group of people who work around the park to keep the walking trails open and create areas for flowers and other non-invasive plants to grow. This group of hard working people is known as "Friends of Walter Bradley Park." You can help support this group by donating $10 and become a friend. Pick up a membership form at the Midway City Hall help make our park great! ... After the Monday night meeting at City Hall, I went down the street to check out the semi-opening of Midway's newest restaurant, the Mezzo Italian Cafe and Provisions. I said semi-opening because only the tavern area was open with the whole operation opening in the coming weeks. The place was packed and everyone was talking about what they had to eat and how good it was. Oh, by the way I asked my cousin Luigi what Mezzo meant. He said it was the Italian word for "middle," "half" or "medium." ... The next community dinner will be held Monday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome. An Easter sunrise service will be taking place this year at the Walter Bradley Park Sunday, March 27, at 7 a.m. After the service, the Midway Second Christian Church will host the annual Easter breakfast to take place at the Midway Woman's Clubhouse on the corner of East Stephen's Street and Gratz Street. The times for the breakfast will be from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. The annual Easter breakfast goes back to the 1950s, with the church hosting the breakfast at the Black School cafeteria as the Midway Second Christian didn't have a cafeteria of its own. Another sunrise service fact is that the services were once held at the Kentucky Orphan's School (now Midway University) for several years.

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