Saturday marked the 10th Fancy Farm I have personally attended… a decade of BBQ and political tradition is something to feel good about and a good place to hit pause, again.
A likely record attendance of 15,000 people gathered in the village of Fancy Farm on Saturday afternoon to once again water the political speaking stump. The atmosphere was electric and not because of the resonant electricity in the atmosphere after early morning thunderstorms lashed the area, leaving one newly constructed nearby home in ashes.
The crowd inched forward on all sides engulfing the media, and squeezing to every nook and cranny hoping to cheer and jeer for their “side.” When Gov. Andy Beshear and Republican challenger Daniel Cameron stepped forward it was as if a metaphorical bomb exploded – both sides let loose – if the picnic is any measure of their strong feelings about this particular race, this could be a close contest all the way to Election Day in November.
Politicians and onlookers did not hold back – growing so loud at points the speakers were drowned out entirely for those in attendance. Both sides swung hard in their rhetoric, and then almost as soon as it began it was over. Tensions eased as the first half of speaking ended and the crowd thinned after seeing the gubernatorial candidates and their running mates deliver their lines.
For me, it was another reminder of the impermanence of things… Yes, the picnic will continue, someone on that stage will be elected governor, and after that someone else, and so on – but Saturday we collectively paused and found that Zen in the present. The moment will inform those to follow, but we all took part in a larger dance whether we realized it or not.
Knowing these traditions will outlive me I can enjoy every moment as if it is the last time. These last several years running Kentucky Fried Politics have been a joy.
I’ve tried to live this time following the advice of another man who called Kentucky home, Trappist Monk Thomas Merton, who declared, “We make ourselves real by telling the truth.”
I sincerely hope I have been real, and that the truth will be used to make the best decisions possible – that’s the job after all. My part was that of the truth-teller and questioner, your part has been and will continue to be the viewer, reader, also the questioner, and, ultimately, the voter and decider.
I’ll be stepping back from Kentucky Fried Politics. I’ll keep you all informed on the next steps for this site, I hope to make an announcement on that very soon. But for now, and forever, change is the only constant. I’ve truly enjoyed dancing with all of you.
Keep questioning. Keep being informed.