Happy New Year from Ono in Russell County, KY.
Isaiah Young explains how Ono County got its name in the mystery novel, Sandprints of Death by Nash Black on page 95.
"When the Corps of Engineers built the dam the county was cut in half by the lake. You have to go through two other counties to get from one part to another.
"After almost thirty years the state decided to clean up the mess for extra votes in their camp. They took bits of land from other counties and created a new county. The Board of Supervisors were to select a new name and no one could agree. Everyone kept say 'Oh, no!' to any suggestion. The judge lost his temper after hours of listening to their wrangling and ruled the most popular name was Ono."
Fiction is fun and Nash Black took wide writer's latitude to create an entire county from a small community on the shores of Cumberland Lake that sports a few homes, a church, and a wide entrance ramp to the lake.
On the road to Ono you veer to the right of the country store that still has benches on the porch for customers to sit while having a cold soft drink and sharing the latest news.
If you travel the back roads of any rural community you will find Nash Black's characters having breakfast at the local eatery, going to the same functions, having a greater interest in local politics than in the state machine except during elections, and like a famous resident of St. Mary Meade they are seldom surprised at the actions of people who expect to solve their problems with murder.
The geography of the fictional Ono County was broaden to include all of the land enclosed by five great rivers, the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Cumberland. It is an area that has seen many changes and yet the customs of the residents still extend a friendly smile and it isn't unusual to be called "Honey" by a waitress. Nothing is meant by this, except as greeting so don't get your dander up.
Enjoy Ono Almanac as it unfolds on this blog. The writers have no idea what will be added in the coming year after getting off to a rough start.
We'll be talking to you.