By EARL COX
Newcomers to Louisville and Kentucky might think we spend our time being concernedÂ about some strange things â€“ to them.
For instance: The media have kept us up to date on â€œThe Bridgeâ€ 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.
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 â€œthe mother of the bridge.â€
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 withÂ â€œLRS 102.â€
â€œShe tried to give the bridge to the city one time, but was turned down!â€
Added Ed: â€œWe used it to raise money for Bridge The Gap for Kids, a non-profit organization.â€
Ed Henson remembered a time when the bridge could have been lost. â€œIt caught on fire.â€
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 whatâ€™sÂ on her mind from time to time with this writer.
For instance, I checked on Rachel and asked her, â€œHow are things going?â€
She was a bit testy. â€œHow do you think I am? I just had a 150-pound colt. That was my second.
â€œIf men had to have the babies, there would be just one per family.â€
Not in My Makerâ€™s
And then thereâ€™s the bourbon scare.
Makerâ€™s Mark made worldwide news when it announced that it, in effect, was watering down its bourbon to increase the amount of whiskey becauseÂ of a world-wide shortage caused by the popularity of Makerâ€™s Mark. â€œNot in my Makerâ€™sâ€ was the loud and clear response.
Makerâ€™s Mark has since reversed that decision, announcing that they willÂ 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 Beamâ€™s Kentucky operation, the producer of Makerâ€™s. His son, Rob, succeededÂ his dad.
Bill Jr. was a talented writer and he used to produce catchy, humorous copy for his companyâ€™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 Makerâ€™s.