Maysville Kentucky Blog

The Maysville Kentucky Blog is your guide to the beautiful and historic small town of Maysville Kentucky, snuggled into the rolling hills along the Ohio River. Though this blog has been discontinued, you can get your Maysville Kentucky fix over at Ken Downing's Mason County Kentucky Blog @

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The Prichard Tapes

Sometimes in politics you can only say what you really wanted to say after you are dead and gone. That seems to be what New Deal activist and political commentator, Edward F. Prichard Jr., was thinking when he made candid tapes criticizing education in Kentucky and lambasting Supreme Court Justice and Maysville notable Stanley Reed as well as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, President Harry S. Truman, President Jimmy Carter, and others. After recording these criticism, he locked them away with the stipulation that they weren't to be released until he and his wife had passed away.

The tapes were released to the Kentucky Oral History Commission after the death of Prichard's wife in June.

Some of the commentary is downright entertaining. For example, when describing a visit to the White House to dine with President Roosevelt, he recalls:

The Frankfurters took me to the White House to dinner (in 1939). There wasn't anybody there but the President and Mrs. Roosevelt and the Frankfurters and me. And we ate in the family dining room.

I spilled some of the green beans on the floor.

Well, I was horribly embarrassed, particularly at the thought that when the president was wheeled out in his wheelchair he would go right by my little mess of green beans. And this kept me in a tizzy all during the dinner, but I was saved by his dog who cuddled up to my chair and licked the green beans and left not a trace of 'em.

I never was a man so grateful to a dog.

Of Maysville's beloved Stanley Reed, he said:

Reed was not an intellectual heavyweight. He was rather a dull person, you know, perfectly decent, tried hard, worked hard, although Phil Graham (Prichard's friend who later became publisher of The Washington Post) and I used to say the motto on Reed's crest was "Anything for a free meal." He went to every party in Washington to which he was invited.

That's not a very flattering portrayal. I guess some things really should be said posthumously.

Read the full story here.