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Having A Ball: Kentucky Style

I’m writing this post mostly to embarrass my girlfriend Gwen Mayes, but also because I’m mentally exhausted from preparing Grand Rounds for publication tomorrow, and thought I’d engage in some frivolity.

Gwen and her friend Scott are pictured here en route to the Kentucky Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC. Most states are hosting their own celebratory ball tonight – and Kentucky’s Bluegrass Ball won an “Editor’s Pick” from the Washington Post. It’s one of the largest and best balls, and I suppose that makes sense if one assumes that southerners do this kind of thing well (I lived in Texas for four years, so I’m allowed to joke about that).

The Bluegrass Ball has some predictable highlights, including the “Kentucky Bourbon Trail” sponsored by the Kentucky Distillers Association, and a guest list that includes everyone from Governor Steven Beshear and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to the band “Joey and the Cruisers.” What I did not expect, however, was that the caterer for the event would import “720 heads of Bibb lettuce” as part of a “Kentucky-friendly menu.” I soon learned that Bibb lettuce was first cultivated in Kentucky by Jack Bibb in the late 19th Century. Am I the only person who didn’t know this?

I’ll be attending a few events on Pennsylvania Avenue tomorrow during the inauguration day parade. Gwen and Scott will be spending the night at my place – and I can only hope that they bring me back a goodie bag filled with Kentucky goodness – especially the Bibb lettuce.

Addendum: My friends make a b-line for the Maker’s Mark booth…

And here they are horsing around:

And no, they didn’t bring me any Bibb lettuce back from the ball (dang it)… just a floral arrangement they picked up from some guy in the subway who was returning home from the Indiana Ball. Oh… and some Maker’s Mark.

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