Three Things of Interest

Dublin Core


Three Things of Interest


At Eastern, in the 1930 to 1950 era, there was a loud whistle which was blown to start and end classes. For example, 9 a.m. end, 9:10 start. It was located near the power plant. The campus was much smaller then and the whistle could be heard in every corner.

This same whistle also blew when Eastern’s football or basketball team won. Many times I heard the whistle blow and knew that Eastern had beaten Western out west in Bowling Green. Of course, the Eastern whistle joined the chorus of horns, sirens, whistles and church bells on that August day in 1945 when World War Two ended. Sometime in the 1950s, the whistle was silenced. It was said then that it would only blow in emergencies.

Another tradition of the past was the passing back and forth of the “hog rifle,” going to the football team from Eastern or Morehead which had won the current game. This tradition ended in the 1960s. I believe that Morehead still has the rifle.

The ironic part of this story is that Eastern no longer plays either Western or Morehead in football. All of the Kentucky colleges — except the University of Kentucky — used to play in the K.LA.C. (the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference). Thus Eastern, in basketball, played Western, Murray, Morehead, Louisville, Centre, Transylvania, Kentucky Wesleyan, Berea and Union. Some of these schools did not field a football team. Eventually, the four state colleges and Louisville left to form the Ohio Valley Conference, along with Marshall, Evansville and Tennessee Tech (then called T.P.L).

I read the other day that the Bybee Pottery was 200 years old this year. The article said that all the Cornelisons were not potters. Seemingly, Walter Lee Cornelison was the chief potter, until his recent illness. I knew his father, Earnest Cornelison, when he was the Republican candidate for sheriff back in the 1960s, I believe.

Currently Buzz, Jim and Paula Cornelison Gabbard are family members working at the pottery. Long time employees include Harvey Conner — potter, Rick Hall and Brenda Cole. An outstanding feature of the Bybee pottery is that you can walk back and stand next to the wheel as the potter forms the piece of wet clay into a bowl, plate or whatnot. Walter Cornelison is my age, was a Waco High Cardinal and played in the Tobacco Baseball League, with which I was affiliated. All this, and a master potter.

One other issue: In the early stages of World War Two the Bluegrass Ordnance Depot (BGOD) can to Madison County. Pronunciation became an issue. Ordnance — with no “i” — is the military handling and storing of munitions (artillery shells, etc.). Ordinance with an “i” is what the city council passes.

Finally, there is the Madison County variation on the word depot. The “dee-po” is the train station. The “deah-po” is the military installation. Got it? But you knew that all the time.


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “Three Things of Interest,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed May 28, 2022,