I spent a weekend in Kentucky here recently. In western Kentucky they still grow tobacco, and many of the plots look just as they did 100 years ago. We passed several nostalgic, blackened barns that slowly drift smoke haze across the horizon as tobacco is dried inside.
Those old barns made me think to some of the old barns across the Ozarks. Many farmers would consider an aging, sagging barn an embarrassment of their property. But get a historian, or an artist or even an Editor of a farm newspaper like this one’s opinion, and well, I’ve told you before how much I like old barns.
I’d like to paint “See Rock City” on the roof of a barn I own someday. Being technically from the south, I understand what “See Rock City” means when it’s painted on a barn… akin to Fantastic Caverns, Meramac Caverns or even Razorback promotionals painted on barns around our area.
Garnet Carter, owner of Rock City Gardens, paid a sign painter to paint farmers’ barns all along I-24 (which goes through my family’s area of Kentucky) and I-59, but the catch was they’d let his painter paint “See Rock City” on the barn as well.
There’s something about that era when the world was small. When a barn served as a hay storage facility, a dairy, a pig farrowing site, a stable for horses, and that same barn, perhaps next to a one-lane highway, was a quaint old advertisement.
Hey, send me some pictures of your barns. I’d like to see one your grandpa painted years ago, a new one like the one going up at my parent's farm now.
I'll be looking for yours!
God Bless,


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