Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Grayson County

There are a lot of counties in Kentucky – 120 to be exact. I’ve been through quite a few of them and some of them hold special meaning and some them are just little more than green signs you see when you pass them on a drive. Grayson County used to be one of the latter. I would pass through it back in my UK student days. The only two things about it that I remembered was the most expensive toll of the Western Kentucky Parkway was at Leitchfield (1.00!) and that there was an unattended toll booth at the end of the exit to Caneyville that required exact change. Later when the tolls were removed, the Leitchfield exit was the one I thought had the best restaurants on the whole Parkway. Plus, the convenience mart containing the Taco Bell there had Donna’s favorite gum – Super Bubble. Over the last several years, Grayson County has come to mean a lot more to me.

During Josh’s last year and a half at UK, he moved to a new apartment off of Richmond Road. He acquired a new roommate – Bryant Clemons. I had met Bryant before when Josh preached a lesson at the Nicholasville church of Christ. Afterwards, a bunch of us went to Red Robin for lunch. I met him and he told me that Josh’s words were “pearls of wisdom dripping from his lips”. This of course made me laugh out loud. We were glad they were roommates. I knew Bryant was a Christian but as we got to know him we found out that he was a fine young man as well. He also had to be a patient person to survive rooming with Josh. He went out to eat with us often when we came to visit Josh because we felt we owed him for putting up with Josh (ha..). We even played a little basketball and tennis together. But alas, young men grow up and go their separate ways and Josh left to live and work in Wisconsin.

Early in the year we found out that Bryant would be getting married. We really wanted to attend, we considered him one of several surrogate sons we had that lived in Lexington. Bryant and his fiancee’ Rachel sent us an invitation so we were glad to be able to go. We went up on the appointed day and had little trouble getting there. There was a good amount of road construction in the West Kentucky Parkway but we made it to Leitchfield fine. We did run into a roundabout on the way to where they’d be married. Wisconsin is full of roundabouts and they always confuse me and make me think of Chevy Chase in “European Vacation”. We ended up being in the wrong lane and got off a street to early but finally made it to our destination.

As well pulled into the parking lot, we were greeted by another of Josh’s friends from Lexington – Kevin “Kev-man” Young and his fiancee Erika. We went inside and got to see Josh looking quite dapper plus Bryant came out and talked with us as well. We got to see our friend Brandon Rader from North Lexington church of Christ. Brandon and his wife Sabrina pretty much are surrogate parents to the college kids that attend North Lexington church of Christ. We were so thankful Josh had them in his life there. Brandon would be performing the wedding service. He did a fabulous job keeping things lighthearted but also stressing the importance of God in a marriage and what the Bible said God intended marriage to be. Everything went great and Bryant and Rachel were officially married. We then headed to “Centre on Main”.

We got there and sat at a table with Kev-Man and Erika, Brandon, his wife Sabrina and daughter Anna and Josh and Shelby. The buffet meal was excellent. Rachel and her dad had a father daughter dance which evolved into what I can only describe as a medley of different dance routines. Then Bryant was called up to stand with his father and new father in law as they were decked out in overalls and beards and singing “He’s in the Jailhouse Now”. It was quite entertaining. In fact, it was one of the most entertaining wedding evenings I’ve ever had. We had quite the enjoyable time at our table talking with our old friends. I finally got to meet Bryant’s mom and later his dad. His dad and I talked for quite some time and even discussed those old Grayson County toll exits. I could have talked for even longer with him but the evening was wrapping up and we had a 2.5 hour drive ahead of us. The only remotely non-good thing of the evening was when I committed the faux pas of visiting the desert table before the bride and groom had cut the cake. We stopped to congratulate the happy newlyweds and the new Mrs. Rachel Clemons even told me to take all the cookies I could hold with me for the trip home.

I can tell you now when I drive through Grayson County, it’ll be with a smile on my face thinking of all the wonderful memories I associate with it.