A Little History About Big Four

Photo by CHRIS HUMPHREYS | The Voice-Tribune

Photo by CHRIS HUMPHREYS | The Voice-Tribune

Sports Columnist
The Voice-Tribune

Newcomers to Louisville and Kentucky might think we spend our time being concerned  about some strange things – to them.

For instance: The media have kept us up to date on “The Bridge” and how many pooches have been pooping on it without telling us how the Big Four Bridge came to be owned by the Henson family, whose members have been involved in radio for about half a century.

Until now.

Ed Henson, who now owns radio stations in Western Kentucky, said that after the family bought the bridge at auction for very little, his sister, Louisa, became “the mother of the bridge.”

The Hensons used the bridge to promote their radio station WLRS by putting lights on the bridge at Christmas time, lighting the middle of the bridge with  “LRS 102.”

“She tried to give the bridge to the city one time, but was turned down!”

Added Ed: “We used it to raise money for Bridge The Gap for Kids, a non-profit organization.”

Ed Henson remembered a time when the bridge could have been lost. “It caught on fire.”

Rachel Report

Where else but Kentucky would the news media issue almost daily reports on the health of one of the greatest female horses in the history of racing? That would be Rachel Alexandra, who has been known to share what’s  on her mind from time to time with this writer.

For instance, I checked on Rachel and asked her, “How are things going?”

She was a bit testy. “How do you think I am? I just had a 150-pound colt. That was my second.

“If men had to have the babies, there would be just one per family.”

Not in My Maker’s

And then there’s the bourbon scare.

Maker’s Mark made worldwide news when it announced that it, in effect, was watering down its bourbon to increase the amount of whiskey because  of a world-wide shortage caused by the popularity of Maker’s Mark. “Not in my Maker’s” was the loud and clear response.

Maker’s Mark has since reversed that decision, announcing that they will  keep the alcohol content at the original 45 percent.

I have known Bill Samuels Jr. and been a fan of his for a long time when he was head of Beam’s Kentucky operation, the producer of Maker’s. His son, Rob, succeeded  his dad.

Bill Jr. was a talented writer and he used to produce catchy, humorous copy for his company’s advertising.

Beam produces several other brands of spirits, including Basil Hayden bourbon. UK fans may be surprised that Hayden was an early basketball star and head coach of the Wildcats.

Full disclosure: I have been known to partake of Maker’s.