Friday, October 17, 2008

Start the INSANITY

Susan Powter used to say .. "Stop the insanity."
Here in the sleepy little town of Mt Sterling KY, it is time to start the insanity. For the next four days, our peaceful town will be turned upside down by "Court Days"

Let me explain. In the 1800's, Montgomery County was the largest county in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It began where it begins now and extended all the way to the West Virginia state line.

Then our American form of government was based on the English County System, brought to this country by the early settlers. One of the system's most important elements was the English Common Law, which was administered throughout the colonies. After the settlers had spread out over the countryside to farms where they were no longer confined to communities or forts, they revived the old English custom of setting aside an annual day on which county officials would sit as a court to adjudicate matters brought before them. This court was served by a sheriff, as in England. And the day designated for the meeting of the court became known as "Court Day".

It became a day to do business. Farmers would bring their livestock and produce. People would bring dogs, guns, and other items to town for trade.

Since then, Montgomery County has been divided and subdivided until it is one of the smallest counties in the Commonwealth. However, the tradition of Court Days still continues. For four days in the middle of October, vendors descend on our calm town. The population of 5600 is added to by estimates of over 80,000 visitors. Let the insanity begin.

The fun part of all of this is where our house sits. We are the closest house to the area designated as the court day area. From my porch I can see vendors and food trailers. The smell of fresh cooking wafts across my porch all the four days. Getting in and out of my drive and going to a store takes 30 to 45 minutes for what normally takes 5 minutes.

Oh yes, let the insanity begin.

They actually close the schools here for the Friday and Monday of court days. Buses cannot navigate the streets necessary for student transportation. That, and who wants to be in class when you can walk around and mingle with 80,000 strangers.

What is most fun is how Tammy reacted to our first court day here. We had just moved in. We had been here just about 2 months. The first day of court days, she looks out, and there are armed men walking up and down our street carrying shotgun, rifles, and all manner of pistols. They are here for trading. Back in Lex, it would have meant you needed to lock the doors and stay away from the windows. There was fixing to be a shootout.

Let the insanity begin.

Today, She is out there amongst them. I am checking the fridge (not red yet) to make sure we have provisions stocked for the 4 day siege. If she comes back from the melee with red automotive spray paint, I know a certain Tennessean that is going to hear from me.



Retro Girl said...

Y'all gonna make a nice profit from parking cars? heheh.

Went to Court days with my old co-workers from Lex. We had so much fun. Bought a carload of stuff, ate tons of kettle corn...Man, I wish it were just an hour or two drive...I'd be right over!

Baby Tunnel Exodus said...

That sounds like so much fun! (says me from MN, since I don't have to give up all semblance of normalcy for 4 days) I'll add this to my big places I've got to see list.

Blessings, Whitney

PS. Seriously, I'm rooting for the red fridge... can't wait to see pictures! :o)

Octamom said...

Wow! That's a pretty significant population bump! Hope a good time is had by all!