Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mt. Vernon Smells Like Popcorn

This little town in the bend of the Ohio River has a hominy mill.  Each month during the processing of the corn into hominy, it smells like popcorn.  When you come into town - it's as strong as a movie theatre lobby.
   My Mother grew up in this little town and told stories of the 1910's and 1920's.  Oneof the finest harbors on the Ohio was right here so the steamboats that would ply the river would anchor at the foot of Main St.   The caliope rattled the air and all would know there would be a performance that night. 
  My Mother was a dramatic talent and I know she learned her love of acting came from these shows.  She was a brilliant pianist and at 12 was playing professionally at the silent movies - following the westerns, the romances, etc.  She went on to play the lead in the high school plays.
   Her father owned the biggest grocery store in town and was blessed by the steamboat business as they would restock at the store.  Cracker barrels and checkerboards were mainstays.
   Another family story was about my Grandfather buy8ing the first electric car in town - and my Grandmother rode the fastest horse in town!  Her railing against the progress of cars was known throughout the community.
   Mt. Vernon grew into a very progressive town - attracting a Johnson & Johnson Research facility, a boiler factory that supplied NASA for the space explorations and a large refinery. 
   I always thought this was a cameo vignette of small town courage and forsight.  I trust you have enjoyed this long ago and far away. view.