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Kentucky Color: Where am I

By Billy Joe Fudge

Graham's picture of Greater Cincinnati brought back a quasi-disturbing and somewhat humorous memory from a convention stay in Covington. Given that I cannot even remember the subject matter of the Kentucky Division of Forestry sponsored convention but remember a waylaid traveler's dilemma and our subsequent conversation speaks volumes.

Just for some perspective, the convention was held in what is now the Radisson Hotel, Cincinnati Riverfront in Covington Kentucky. I cannot remember if it was a Radisson at the time but traveling North on 75/71 at the Ohio River, it is easily recognized as the round, silo style hotel standing about 50 yards East of the interstate.

The convention had ended and I was making a trip to my truck with luggage prior to checking out. I encountered a man standing with his back to the building doing a perfect impersonation of a spring groundhog warming himself in the morning sun. I said "Howdy, pretty morning ain't it"?

I passed on by and with some hesitation he replied, "Yes, it surely is". Then on my way back to check out, the conversation continued, quite awkwardly I might add!

The gentleman cleared his throat and with an obvious tone of excited confusion and frustration asked, "Where am I"?!?!

I must say that the next 5 seconds of silence on my part were filled with, at the very least, 5 minutes of mental calculations about a whole range of subject matter in preparing my response; mental illness, drug addiction, prison escapee, a prelude to assault and on and on, ran through my mind. Finally, after performing both a quick CAT scan and MRI on this gentleman, I said, "You're in Kentucky".

Suddenly, quickly and without hesitation he declared, "I am not in Kentucky, I'm in Ohio"! To say that I was taken aback would be a gross understatement. Then, before I could get more than 1 second into another 5 seconds of silence, he continued. "That's what the last man said! My plane landed at the Cincinnati airport last night and had a couple of mechanical issues! The courtesy van brought us passengers directly here last night while the repairs were made and we did not cross that river and the last time I checked Cincinnati is still in Ohio!"

As I was walking off backwards, a maneuver designed to allow me to keep both eyes on this obviously disturbed individual, I said, "Cincinnati's in Ohio but the Cincinnati Airport is in Northern Kentucky".

As the sliding hotel door was a half a hair from being completely closed between me and Hannibal Lecter, I heard this one word reply, "Oh".

This story was posted on 2021-05-09 20:33:18
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