Monday, July 16, 2007

Interstate 265

I can't be the first. In fact, I think I'm one of millions who have driven through Louisville on I-65 and asked the question, "Who the hell is Gene Snyder?"

Gene was first on my list of things to Google after returning home from an extended weekend in Nashville, Tennessee. Turns out he is some fellow who was in the U.S. House of Representatives for many years and from what I can gather, wasn't a guy I'd vote for, let alone name a stretch of highway after.

His claim to fame was being a Barry Goldwater supporter and voting against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I can think of a number of Kentucky Derby winners that would be more deserving of the honor. OK, that's a little harsh. I never met Gene and must have done something to endear him to many fellow Kentuckians. Still. Gene Snyder isn't as famous as Secretariat and I think politicians are far too revered in this country.

I would rather have seen the highway named after Muhammed Ali. I did see that a Louisville street bears the Louisville boxing great's name as does the city's convention center, but for those passing through Louisville these tributes go unnoticed.

I have to wonder how Gene Snyder reacted to the former Cassius Clay back in 1964 when Snyder was a young congressman.

[ More on this year's Nashville trek in the coming days. ]

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