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Our Kentucky Experience or....
Doing Time In
Southeastern Kentucky

Laurel County Kentucky......A wonderful place to live; beautiful country-side scenery, top rated
recreational sites, great place to bring up a family.........IF:

1. You are born and raised there.
2. You are preferably Baptist by faith.
3. You do not believe in drinking alcohol or being in the same vicinity as alcohol.
4. You are strictly a Kentucky Wildcat fan.
5. You eat, drink and breathe country music...

If you are an "outsider" you will not fit in. My family moved to Laurel Co., Kentucky from Southern Illinois in 1986, due to a job transfer.
I had always heard such wonderful things about Kentucky. My Father lived in this Commonwealth a good part of his growing up. When we learned we were to live in Kentucky we thought of warm, gracious "Southern Hospitality." Boy were we fooled. We were Catholic by faith and that is a very big strike against an individual moving into this particular community. First of all, if you are an "outsider", well that is bad, but an "outsider" who is Catholic by faith AND a "Yankee"?.....well you might as well give up trying to fit in. I thought the Civil War was over, yet people from the North are still referred to as "Yankees". If I would call these people "Rebels", I am sure that it would start another war.
THE TERM "REBEL", IN THE DICTIONARY, STATES:

1. a person who engages in armed resistance against the established government of his country;
2. a person who resists any authority or control:
3. rebellious, which means, difficult to treat or handle.

ON THE OTHER HAND, THE TERM "YANKEE" MEANS:
1. a native or inhabitant of New England;
2. a native or inhabitant of a Northern State;
3. a native or inhabitant of the U.S.

Gee, looks like Southerners are also, "Yankees" according to the dictionary. I have NEVER in my entire 44 years of life called a Southern person a "Rebel", yet these people which I lived among felt they must label a person, who just happens to be born in the North, a "Yankee".
After living there we have decided that it must be like living in a foreign country. I have NEVER been a prejudice person. I was raised to accept everyone no matter their color, religion or beliefs. I am sorry to say that since our move to that lovely little haven, Laurel County, I now am prejudice.......not against Southerners, Kentuckians, Laurel Countians, nor Wildcat Fans....I am prejudice against the people (and they know who they are) that won't accept "outsiders" into this community. I have met quite a few wonderful people there that I will always think of fondly. Laurel County and most of Southeastern Kentucky does not want to better itself. It wants to stay in the past......Civil War, Prohibition, Dark Ages. Yes, if you want to relive the past just visit Laurel County Kentucky. Oh, the people and the community look up to date, but that is just a front. Inside and behind the scenes most of the people are very behind the times...narrow-minded. The high officials who are in government and leadership are worse. Laurel County is the most corrupt place imaginable. Just because it is a "dry" county doesn't mean that it is "dry". There are probably more drugs and alcohol available there than any "wet" county you could think of in Southeastern Kentucky.
I want to add that I am not blasting Baptists, Kentucky Wildcat fans and country music. Most of my family are Baptists as well as Wildcat fans not to mention lovers of country music. I myself prefer rock and roll, but that does not make me a bad person. I would like to add one more thing.  Catholics do NOT worship Mary! That is totally absurd. You people who actually believe this show your ignorance and complete lack of knowledge. Before you make accusations, study up.  Laurel Countians need to learn that there are many many different kinds of people out there.
God made everyone different. If everyone were the same, it would be a very dull world......(hey, just like Laurel County).
I have a suggestion for the Laurel Countians.....You should build a large dome over the entire county to keep people in and better still keep people out. Think of it, you could stay the same and things would never change...no progression!
Luckily, we now reside once again in our hometown where there is true "Southern Hospitality". Our time in Southeastern Kentucky has been served.


I could have not said what you did better about Laurel County, and I still live here.  I was born in Wofford, and raised in Cincinnati, my husband is from Corning, New York.

What you said about Laurel County goes Triple for Williamsburg, Whitley County. We lived there for 25 years and was never made to feel welcome, it was a struggle every step of the way with those Biggoted Snots.

We finaly bought a home in the country, just inside Laurel Country, it is a little better, but Hey, I am no longer a People Person, I keep to myself, and our Jehovah neighbors leave us be. We are very content.  I do worry about our Bi-racial grand-sons future around here though, you were right, they are living in the Dark Ages. 
We just may Retire and move to New York in a few years, what do you say?

Mrs. Louise Walters Sherlock   lsher@bellsouth.net
Corbin, Ky. Laurel County

PS: I'm thinking about writing a book about our years in this area, boy wouldn't that raise some eye brows.