I was introduced to true hospitality in 2001 when I came to Shelbyville to work and live. Since then, I've interviewed so many people who have said they chose — yes, chose — Shelbyville because people here are just nice.
They're right. The people here are, as a whole, very good people. There are exceptions, as there are with most anything., but overall we get an A+ for being friendly and welcome.
With that, I list 25 specific things that, in my opinion, make Shelbyville/Shelby County what it is. These are not rankings; they are in no particular order. I'll probably think of something else later, and I'll probably miss something very important. Here goes:
1. People still wave, smile and say "hi"
2. Lunch at McKinley's Deli
3. A vibrant downtown
4. Church bells still ring on the hour.
5. Shelbyville-Shelby County Parks & Recreation
6. Having Pure Reflections owner Rusty Barrett toss me the keys to his personal truck so I'd have something to drive while his company worked on my vehicle. I think his house keys were on the ring, too
7. Juicy hamburgers at Hilltop Produce
8. Open prayers, even when it's not exactly PC
9. We're on first-name basis with nearly everybody, including the mayors and other government leaders.
10. Ever notice there are no girlie magazines available?
11. Professional and well-trained police officers and firefighters
12. Close to Louisville, yet far from Louisville
13. People will give to a good cause
14. Strong sense of community
15. Antiques shops
17. Healthy high school rivalry
18. Scenic drives
19. Jeptha Knob
20. Front-porch sitting
21. We are relatively safe
22. People stop for funeral processions
23. Shelbyville Horse Show, and beautiful saddlebred farms
24. Relatively cheap electricity
If you have anything to add to the list, please feel free to comment.
ADDENDUM: 26. How the bad weather usually follows the river and misses us.
Writer James Mulcahy
spent 35 years as a newspaper journalist at small and large papers. He is currently a freelance photographer/writer/graphics designer, and he drives a school bus.