Laetitia and her group began their day by visiting a stable near Cave Run Lake, Kentucky, and doing a trail ride. Later they visited the restored fire tower on Tater Knob. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934, the tower extended 35 feet above the highest point in the area, giving a panoramic view of the surrounding forestland within a radius of 30 miles. During the season when the probability of forest fires was high, one or two rangers staffed the tower cab, which was furnished with a small wood stove, two cots, a cabinet, a storage box, a small table, and a stool. In the center of the cab was an alidade used to take a bearing on smoke sightings. After taking a bearing, the ranger would call other towers, and they would fix the location of the developing fire by triangulation. Aircraft surveillance replaced the tower system in the 1970s.
Laetitia’s job required that she always be on the lookout for words or phrases that make good limericks, and Tater Knob was a possible candidate. “Tater” is a surname and a slang word for potato. Both tater and knob also have slang meanings that are often used in rude ways. Tater may be a slang word for female breast, and knob may mean penis or nipple. Laetitia thought about the words for a bit as the group moved on to Sandy Hook, their destination for the evening, but nothing came to mind.
Sandy Hook is a town of about 700 residents in eastern Kentucky, not to be confused with the town and National Park of the same name in New Jersey. Its name comes from its location on a bend on the Little Sandy River. It was the hometown of country singer/songwriter Keith Whitely, who, during his brief career of five years, had 19 singles on the country music charts and five in the number one spot. He struggled with alcoholism and died of acute ethanol poisoning at age 35. He is buried in Spring Hill Cemetery near Nashville, Tennessee, but there is a statue of him with his guitar in the Sandy Hook Cemetery, and they renamed a local street, “Keith Whitely Boulevard.” At happy hour Laetitia heard some gossip about an aspiring local photographer that spawned the limerick of the day.
When a man from the town Sandy Hook
Saw two girls bathing nude in a brook
With a sense of abandon
He pulled out his Canon
And he relished the pictures he took.