The Woman from Kentucky

Last week a friend and I went to a diner for lunch. The food wasn’t that remarkable, however, we both thought our server/cook was.She was 74 years old and waited tables and cooked all by herself. The only help she had was a dishwasher. She was originally from Kentucky, the same part of Kentucky that my friend’s grandparents were from. That is what got the conversation going.She came to Indianapolis in 1956 in a 47 Dodge truck newly widowed, and with six kids.Leaving Kentucky I’m sure was hard because that was where all of her family was. That was also part of the reason for her leaving. It seems her family wanted her to give her kids up for adoption. Since she “couldn’t afford to raise them on her own.” She eventually grew tired of the familial interference and bolted for Indianapolis with her kids and started working at Steak and Shake.Now her kids are grown with families of their own. And, as she said, “none of them set the world on fire.” But they’re all gainfully employed. Somewhere along the line she remarried; to a man about 10 years her senior. I am sure the presence of a man helped the family unit. But it doesn’t negate her incredible accomplishments.


I can’t help but wonder what the story would be like set in 2012.From a statistical standpoint, a single mom in her 20s with six kids would probably be dealing with at least four different babies daddies. None of whom would be paying any child support. She would also be drawing welfare, food stamps, aid for dependent children and would more than likely be living in subsidized housing.With the modern 21st century storyline. I wonder how the kids would grow up.

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