From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pennyrile Politics

Life in Christian County, KY...





All of the voters hereabouts are pretty fired up about the election next Tuesday. Campaign yard-signs are everywhere. A particularly complete set of Republican yard-signs can be seen on the front lawn of the Christian County Republican Party headquarters (above photo.)

Once upon a time not so very long ago, this county was completely Democrat, and most local races were settled in the primaries within a field of Democratic candidates. Within the 15 years that we've lived here, the Republican Party has made huge growth within the county, and in the current election, many races have both Republican and Democratic candidates. That's a good thing -- it encourages us not to get stuck in a rut!

As for Isaac, he gets a day off from school because some schools are used as polling places. Next year, he'll be old enough to vote.

The word "Pennyrile" in this post's heading is a localism. This area of Kentucky is known as the Pennyroyal region because the herb pennyroyal grows here in abundance.

In local dialect, pennyroyal was/is "pennyrile" and both forms of the word are seen and heard throughout the area. We have both the "Pennyrile Rural Electric" and the "Pennyroyal Area Museum" in Hopkinsville, as well as scores of other businesses, etc. that have some form of the p-word in their name.

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5 comments:

Pondering Pig said...

A really strange thing about our new home, Spokane Washington. Voting is all accomplished by mail. There is no polling place in our new neighborhood. Just a ballot in the mail. Can you imagine? Seems unAmerican to me. I always looked forward to the voting process, standing in line, signing in, waiting for the voting machine to free up. I'm going to miss it.

Genevieve said...

I think I would miss going to the polls too. The Washington method must seem almost like voting with an absentee ballot.

Sarabeth said...

I enjoy going to the polling place. I bring my children and explain to them what I am doing. It's what my mother did when I was younger. It must take some of the allure out of voting when you just send something in the mail.

RunAwayImagination said...

I consider it a privelege to be able to vote - my ancestors fought for this right, and I exercise it every chance I get.

I think it's tragic that the U.S. has one of the lowest voting percentages of the developed world. In the 2002 midterm elections, only 37% of eligible voters turned up at the polls; in the 2004 presidential election only a little over half of us bothered to exercise our rights as citizens.

Here's a quote from http://www.dkosopedia.com/wiki/Voter_Turnout: "Demographically, non-voters in the United States much more closely resemble Democrats than they do Republicans. Thus, American voter turnout trends make the United States electorate significantly more conservative than the electorates of other developed countries."

According to Wikipedia, "Over the last 40 years, voter turnout has been steadily declining in the established democracies. This trend has been most strongly felt in the United States, and has been significant in Western Europe, Japan and Latin America." and "The decline in voter turnout is almost wholly concentrated among young people."

I think it's great that you are encouraging your son to vote as soon as he becomes eligible. The younger generation is our only hope for a better future.

Genevieve said...

Isaac is looking forward to being a voter. He can do a pretty good rant about how people who don't vote shouldn't be allowed to complain.

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