Shall I Move?, or, "My Old Kentucky Home"

I’ve been in the New York publishing biz for 20 years now and I’m exhausted—everyone here is 25 years old and bubbling with ambition and enthusiasm, and all I want to do is lie down in this snowbank and go to sleep. I figure moving to KY amounts to pretty much the same thing.

All I know about Kentucky is that, according to the Stephen Foster song,“the darkies are gay.” So it’s not THAT much different from New York.

I wrote to my University Press down there and asked if they
have any staff editing jobs, mentioning that I can also teach film & theater courses at the University. All I wanna do is become a tweedy old “Masterpiece Theater” character—as played by Judi Dench or Maggie Smith—and have people over for tea for another ten years or so, till I die in an amusing horse-riding accident. Is that asking too much?

So, does anyone know anything about Lexington, or about the University? Are the darkies REALLY gay?

I lived in Frankfort, about twenty minutes from Lexington, for about five years. I moved away in June because of a career-opportunity elsewhere.

I spent my share of time in Lexington, and I always enjoyed it. I’ve never lived in New York, but I did occasionally hear comments from folks who had moved from so-called “more sophisticated” areas. The pace of life is a bit slower, I’m sure, but there’s a fair amount of cultural opportunities. Louisville has a great “Actor’s Theatre” which puts on some nice productions. (Nothing compared to Broadway, I know, but still …)

Basically, I REALLY liked Kentucky. The Bluegrass area (which encompasses the north central part of Kentucky) is really lovely. If you go to visit, I recommend you take a scenic drive along Old Frankfort Pike. It’s BEAUTIFUL. And don’t forget to visit the horse farms. After all, the Queen of England stables some of her horses in Versailles/Lexington, so it must be good, right? (Not to mention Bill Shatner has a horse farm around there somewhere.)

I’m sure you’ll get more useful information. There’s at least one Doper who currently lives in Lexington (IIRC, from a recent thread about street musicians), and others who have in the past.

Oh … and according to this link, the less-offensive lyrics to “My Old Kentucky Home” are “The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home; 'Tis summer, the people are gay.”

I wouldn’t swear to it, but I think I’ve also heard this sung as “the children are gay”.

So judge for yourself whether the darkies REALLY are gay. :wink:

My wife (Juliana) lived in KY until we met. She can tell you scads about the Lexington area.

In a nutshell, tho. It’s a nice town. :slight_smile:

Jeez, Eve, you slay me. :slight_smile:

I know nothing about Kentucky but, with respect, you’ve always struck me as the quintessential city girl. Whatever Kentucky may be, for better or worse, it ain’t New York City. (Thank you, Jodi, for stating the obvious.) Would you be happy away from the bright lights? In a place where you could go for days without ever meeting a single soul who even knows who Dorothy Parker is, much less Anna Held?

Are you really prepared to trade you dashing little suits for Daisy Dukes?

Why Eve, your post raising the possibility that you might be relocated to our fair climes brought a ray of sunshine to an otherwise gloomy day.

We’d love to have you, for a visit or forever. I’m not the biggest fan of Lexington as compared to other cities in the state, but, hey, Lexington does have its points.

First and foremost, Lexington is a university town. Many students, college sports (GO BIG BLUE!), bars et al. It’s a very horsey town and is located in some of the most scenic countryside anywhere. Lots and lots of good restaurants.

In my experience, there are far more cultural opportunities available in Louisville than in Lexington. Cincinnati is also about and hour and a half away.

Have you spent any time in this area? Pay us a visit and see how you like it.

I second the Louisville idea because it’s a nice town and I’ve never been to Lexington. But college towns have their points. As does professoring; imagine all those 21-year-old football players who would do just ANYTHING to keep their grades up! :wink:

OTOH, having you a day’s drive away might encourage me to come visit.

That would explain the low birth rates in March, April, and May.

Well, the press I am begging for work is in Lexington, so I have no choice as far as towns (note that I haven’t heard back from them yet, and may well get the Bronx Cheer). I do like college towns—they usually have good bookstores, theater and such.

Jodi—Well, it’s a choice between going on antidepressants or leaving New York. And if I’m no longer bitter and depressed, they’ll make me leave New York, anyway. And have you ever met ANYONE who’s ever heard of the people I do biographies of?

Drop-One of the reasons I want to leave New York is to escape the whole “Sex and the City,” bright-lights and Broadway dazzle. A girl gets “wee-wee of it all,” as Marlene Dietrich would have phrased it.

Thanks for the tips, all you Kentuck’s. I also recall from the same song that “the young folks roll on the little cabin floor.” Which strikes me as being unhygenic and dangerous—don’t people trip over them?

Don’t you know, Jodi, that ALL of us New Yorkers are just dying to leave The City and get back to our roots in nature? For heaven’s sake, that’s one of the grandest cliches of the 20th Century! Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House! The Egg and I! Green Acres!

As a matter of fact, manhattan, cmkeller, and I are looking at a nice ranch-style four-bedroom right in your neighborhood.

We’ll be dropping by frequently to tell you how much better we do everything in New York, to wonder why you can’t get a decent bagel in Helena, and to complain about how slowly everyone seems to be moving.

So get that coffee pot cranked up. Regular, no sugar, thanks. No, no, “regular” means with milk! Well, that’s the way we say it in New York! Christ, I’m going meshugge out here.

Dahlings, I sink I’d be very happy in Kenstucky, making hotscakes and having Ralph and Alph over.

"Zis has been a Filmvays Presentation, dahling . . . "


Oh. No Curtain No. 3, huh? Well, Kentucky sounds lovely. And, you know – you can go to the Derby, wear an enormous hat and immaculate gloves and cheer for your pony while drinking a julep, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.

True. A couple perky "Hi!"s or "Have a nice day!"s and your life would be in danger.

I have! True, I heard about them because of you, but still . . . I have! And I read your book on Anna Held and it was great; I really do recommend it to people who like biography or film.


I wish!

Hey, if you New Yorkers do everything better, then tell me how you brand a calf, huh? See – big talker. And you can too get a good bagel here – we have Lender’s Frozen Bagels in every store!

Meshugge – that’s some of that there Nyew York lingo, idn’t? You won’t be needing that out here, mister.

St. Louis has

Mosby (medical, nursing, and allied health publisher)
McGraw-Hill (just a small office, tho–they freelance a lot of their work out)
Concordia Publishing House (Lutheran)
Maryknoll (Catholic)

and a few others I think. I work at one of these and it’s always looking for editors. E-mail me at and I’ll tell you about it.

St. Louis is diverse and friendly, and pretty laid back. We’d love to have you.

When I was living in Lexington attending the University of Kentucky, the UK Student Activities Board published a datebook for the students with the lyrics of “My Old Kentucky Home” on the back. They forgot to edit out “the darkies are gay,” however, making quite a few people angry.

Lexington’s a great town. I had a good time there.

Gee, Eve, I always figured you as more of a Rosalind Russell type. I can picture you flicking cigarette ashes on Eutychus and saying in a slightly raspy voice, “I’m going to open doors for you, Patrick…doors you never dreamed existed. (Now be a good fellow and go open that door for me.)

BTW, I’ve actually BEEN to one of those tea parties that last for ten years or so… at least that’s how long they seemed to last. grin My great-aunt was infamous for them.

Snoooopy—Oooh, tell me more about UKY! And Lexington!

Palandine—The reason I applied to UKY is because they know me, I’ve worked with them, and they have a film-book department.

Cheffie—I suppose you’re right, I’m really not the tweedy, Margaret Rutherford type. Maybe I could become the Mrs. Parker of Kentucky—hold a salon and gather all the bitter, self-absorbed pseudo-intellectuals around me. Both of 'em.

Mind you all, I just today sent off the letter and will most likely get an E-mail saying, “Hah! You think we can afford to add staff members?!”

My stars! I think you are actually a fictional character who escaped from a Nancy Mitford novel. Better hoof it over to Kentucky before someone drags you back to Alconleigh.

I’ve only visited Lexington and Louisville, never lived in the state. Now that I think about it, I’ve never lived outside of New York State. But I digress. Both were extremely charming.

BTW, Eve, I wanted to mention that my sister-in-law works at UKY in Lexington, running the costume shop of the University theater. I don’t know about darkies, but she can probably rustle up some people who are gay if you want.

(Say! That means if you actually do manage this escape from New York, and the Chef family goes to visit the Lexington in-laws, you and I could actually MEET face to face.)

Even though Kentucky is generally a pretty sleepy state, Lexington rises above it because of the presence of the University of Kentucky.

Lexington is a huge basketball town. I was still there when the Kentucky Wildcats beat Syracuse for the National Championship; when I exited the building in which I had watched the game, there was this buzzing, as if the whole town were cheering in unison.

If you like horse racing, you can go to Keeneland.

Chef, darling, if you and I ever met face-to-face, that would probably eliminate any future family reuinions YOU’D be welcome at.

But do get your s-i-l to tell everyone what a wonderful editor/film prof I’d be—I already have the chic, tailored tweed suits!