Thursday, April 25, 2024

Oh, Princeton

You hardly ever hear anyone--even anyone from Princeton--call it "kuh-WELL" County anymore. It's almost, absolutely almost always "CALD-well" County. But that changed over the second half of the last century, and, if you don't believe me, would you take the word of the 1960 Caldwell County High School cheerleaders?

I cannot believe that this amazing BBC movie directed by Denis Mitchell exists and that I had not discovered it until an hour ago or so. For Pete's sake, do yourself a favor, stop everything you're doing and watch it in case the internet or you or whatever doesn't exist later this afternoon.

I'm pretty sure that's Princeton Dotson's Dwight Smith shooting jumpers in closeup at about 20:30.

Warning Explicit Content


  1. In 1960, Richard Nixon carried Caldwell County. He received 3,442 votes to 2,137 votes for John F. Kennedy.

  2. The radio guy from WPKY at 4:55 refers to it as "CALD-well" county. In this time, a lot of commentators noted that radio and television were contributing to more standardized pronunciations around the country. Certainly when my family moved to Western Kentucky in 1969, we would have trusted WPKY or WPSD on how to pronounce place names.

  3. The decline of the clothing industry in western Kentucky is a story that has never been adequately told.

  4. "You could identify a 'mill kid' usually by their socks." Hat tip to GoHeath for the nod to this by L. Darryl Armstrong: "Growing up in a 'Mill Town' – Remembering the Princeton Hosiery Mill – Thanks to Mom and Dad."