Glorious rest day and apparently much needed because I went to bed last night at 9:30pm and woke at 7:45am.
Berea is known for its Appalachian Art Center and the famed Liberal Arts College after which the town is named. The College's claim to fame was that it accepted all races and both sexes since its founding in 1855. The founder, John Fee, gave the College its motto: God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth.
It remained coeducational and integrated until 1905 when Kentucky passed the Day Law which prohibited private organizations from integrated education.
Berea fought back and the case eventually went to the United States Supreme Court where a 7-2 majority held in favor of Kentucky. Unsurprisingly the issue had nothing to do with the lack of wisdom or immorality of segregation but hinged on whether corporations had the same rights as individuals. There was no question, the Court reasoned, the a State could not restrict private individuals teaching on a coeducational and integrated basis. Did corporations have the same liberty. The Court held they did not. Berea knocked under and established a non-white college more than twenty five miles away until 42 years later when the law was repealed.
Currently there is no "tuition" at the College but all students must work 10 to 15 hours a week at the institution. Most students come from the Appalachia region. Students also have an income based family contribution that range as little as $200 a semester to $8,000 but that includes all books, Room and board.
It's a lovely campus.
Dinner tonight at the Historic Boone Tavern which has, since 1909, been an extension of the Berea College. It was originally set up as a guest house for visiting guests of the College. Dominating the small historic campus with its white columns and blue awnings, it is a welcome oasis from the convenience stores, camp meals and homemade cold cut sandwiches that have sustained us so far.
John (Retired Appellate Attorney, Drinks wine only, pictured) shakes his head in disbelief. "Yesterday I had a dream I ate dinner in the parking lot of a cheap motel. Today I'm here. That's Adventure Cycling....it's an adventure!"
Introducing us to Kentucky Bourbon for desert, our waiter Michael explains that it's meant for sitting on the porch with your legs up on the rail.
"With your dog Red or Blue. What other good names are there for Kentucky dogs?" I ask.
"Nothing with a lot of syllables," Michael says, "When you chew your words you don't use a lot of syllables."