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Middle of Everywhere shares big stories from the small places we call home. Rich with examples of tribalism and kinship, skepticism and idealism, defeat and triumph, we tell stories of life in rural and small town America. Hosts Ariel Lavery, a transient American who has settled in small town Murray, Kentucky, and Austin Carter, a Murray and rural life native, take the pulse of an overlooked geographic news region. They provide a connection for those who have left, but still identify with sm ...
 
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Brent and Jason hear the story that drove famed frontiersman Simon Kenton into Kentucky in his youth. The Fake History Sponsors are the Royal Worchester W.C.C. Corsets for playing tennis and Stafford Magic Couch for exercise, and another Driving Tip. Share comments here or on the Apple Podcasts app, iTunes or NPROne. Old Kentucky Tales is produced …
 
How do you feel about confederate monuments and what they represent? Does your race influence the emotions you have toward these things? Can you separate your feelings from historical facts? In this last episode of our season, we’re going to talk with the only Black person ever to have managed the Jefferson Davis Historic Site in Fairview Kentucky.…
 
Brent and Jason look at old slang terms, especially those that soldiers in World War II brought back after serving overseas. The Fake History Sponsors are the Cerulean (cold water) Springs Resort and Dr. Houghton's Pepsin for dispectics, with another old Driving Tip. Share comments here or on the Apple Podcasts app, iTunes or NPROne. Old Kentucky T…
 
Do you ever wonder where your food comes from? What’s the story behind that tomato in the produce department? How did it get to the store? Who grew it? Is it genetically modified? In this episode, we hear from Bill and Michael Best, father and son heirloom seed savers. Active in the small farming revolution, Bill also helped start the Lexington and…
 
Have you ever heard of a sundown town? Can you imagine fearing for your life if you were caught downtown after dark? At one point in history, there were thousands of these places all over the country, including the small Appalachian town of Corbin, Kentucky. This week we are featuring an episode from our friends at Black in Appalachia. We’ll hear h…
 
How does Black history get preserved in small towns? Who decides what sticks around from our segregated past for future generations to learn from? In this episode we learn about how Betty Dobson saved a little known gem from being destroyed forever. Betty embarked on a journey to save and rehabilitate the Hotel Metropolitan in Paducah, Kentucky, fo…
 
Jason and Brent recount a simple story of Abraham Lincoln who uses his easy wit to cleverly zing an arrogant vocal competitor. Lincoln's inate cleverness, curiosity and patience come together for a one-liner from the past. The Fake History Sponsors are early ads about Jack Winter clothing and P. U. Major, Attorney At Law, with another classic Drivi…
 
Did you hear the one about the gay ex-Zumba instructor from Kentucky who pursued a standup career in LA? Adario Mercadante grew up in Murray, KY and he says it’s a wonderful place to raise a family, connect with nature, and enjoy the slower pace of small town life. But it wasn’t meant for him. Even though he left his small hometown, he found many s…
 
Brent and Jason take a look at the explosion of soda fountains at the turn of the century, when young and old lined the drugstore counter to watch a soda jerk make an egg phosphate or cherry root soda. The Fake History Sponsors are a 1971 microphone to use in your car and The Safer Soda Fountain, with more classic Driving Tips. Share comments here …
 
Where did our podcast title, “Middle of Everywhere,” come from anyway? And what does it mean? In this episode we talk to University of Minnesota Professor Ben Winchester about what the data really says about small town America’s prosperity. A strong advocate for rural communities, we hear Ben dispute the “rural despair” narrative and share informat…
 
Brent and Jason restarted recording Season 7 with this seemingly obligatory episode on the pandemic, that is, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic! They take a quick look at the similarities of that time with life in 2020, with a story of a pastor who defies local stay-at-home orders. The Fake History Sponsors are more old ads(!) with Impregnating Cows, T…
 
What happens when a silly prank turns into a year-long crusade to obtain police records? In this episode, a twice-stolen Christmas display, and the records surrounding it, lead Ariel and Austin to question why the local police have withheld the full records even in the face of a ruling from Kentucky’s Attorney General. And they enlist the help of a…
 
Jason and Brent talk about cottage cheese. Yes, cottage cheese, for the entire episode. So if you love cottage cheese, if you hate cottage cheese, if you are fascinated by World War 2 food rationing programs or if you have zero else to do, this episode is made for you. The Fake History Sponsors are 1963's Blood Feast movie and a 1914 bank ad for Va…
 
Hoppy Henton is a Kentucky farmer working the land that’s been in his family for 9 generations. His talents and passion connect him in a lifelong relationship with the Kentucky Farm Bureau. In this episode, we learn about his 40-years-long struggle to eliminate the conservative policies in the Farm Bureau’s “secret policy book”. We also hear from k…
 
(This episode was recorded before the early 2020 pandemic hiatus.) Brent and Jason discuss a tale of early 1800s political fisticuffs involving Kentucky Congressman Cassius Clay, for whom Muhammad Ali's father was named, who then passed his name to his son, the future world famous heavyweight boxing champion. He changed his name to Muhammad Ali in …
 
What can a recipe be, besides just a list of ingredients? And what can it mean to the people who cook and eat it? In this episode we explore a Kentucky culinary tradition called “burgoo” and trace the history of the dish. We’ll also meet two talented cooks who weave their Kentucky traditions into their food. What story does a meaty frontier stew ha…
 
(This episode was recorded before the early 2020 pandemic hiatus.) Brent and Jason's guest is Jarib Burnett, revealing funny and memorable events during his military service in the Missile Defense Force as well as his work as a "cool preacher". The Fake History Sponsors are 1915's Stare-O Wax Man and a pair of Dueling Pistols from 1851, with a segm…
 
Early Kentucky settler, Joseph Perkins Ellis, carried a mystical stone which had been passed down in his family for generations. The faith of the Ellis’ in this “Mad Stone,” along with their Baptist convictions, propelled them to make a good life for themselves and their community in the face of a devastating disease like rabies which the stone was…
 
Brent and Jason return for a 7th season! Our first 4 episodes were recorded before OKT went on hiatus in March with the rest of the planet; the last 6 episodes were recorded 5 months later. They talk to Alexander Watson, author of the book River Queens: Saucy Boat, Stout Mates, Spotted Dog, America. Joined by his partner and intrepid shipmate, Dale…
 
We’re excited to announce our new podcast Middle of Everywhere! Join us to hear big stories from small town America that feature vibrant characters who help us discover these places. Hosted by Ariel Lavery and Austin Carter. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts! Visit us online at middleofeverywherepod.org and follow us on social media @mid…
 
Brent and Jason check out some odd traditional dishes from Christmas advertisements in the early 1900's. Some are just old fashioned and some are hard to imagine ever being eaten. The Fake History Sponsors are St. Bernard Mining's Company Store Christmas from 1913 and A Lamp For Christmas! at Brown's China Palace during 1900. Share comments here or…
 
Brent and Jason look at an account of the greatest celebration in the early years of Louisville, built around a shooting contest and cockfighting as told through the words of former slave Harry Smith. They also make an attempt at a dramatic reading of the last scene of the movie Slingblade. The Fake History Sponsors are 1901's Johnston's Sarsaparil…
 
Brent and Jason are joined by attorney Johnathan Oliver as they discuss specific curious laws from 1873 and look for parallels with today's regulations. We also discuss the famed Bloodhound ad that helped propel Mitch McConnell to the Senate in 1984. The Fake History Sponsors are 1917's Calumet Baking Powder and 1893's Williard's Obesity Pills. Sha…
 
Brent and Jason are joined by teacher and historian Derrick Lindow, who chronicles Kentucky's role in the Civil War, with photos and stories, in his blog at kentuckycivilwarauthor.com. We discuss the diary of Samuel K. Cox and Derrick's experiences as a reenactor. The Fake History Sponsors are 1920's ads for children's Christmas toys and good old D…
 
Brent and Jason discuss famed doctor Ephraim McDowell who performed the first successful ovariotomy in 1809 with guest David Heflin adding some medical perspective to this amazing story of the pain and perseverance in frontier medicine from McDowell's own detailed account. Pictured here is the statue in question during this fairly ridiculous episod…
 
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