Saturday, July 10, 2010
Indian Head Rock Is Headed Home
The Legend of Indian Head Rock
The infamous Indian Head Rock is headed back home
To the Ohio River bottom that Kentucky does own.
The local landmark once sat above the fair river's crest
An attraction for residents, a natural sandstone bequest.
People marked the fabled stone with curious artistic design
That became worn graffiti and some mysterious lines.
But the dams built in the '20s water-sealed it below
And it lay forgotten until the water resided a short time ago.
Soon imaginative stories of the rock stirred quite a rift
Calling a face-life carving a Native American petroglyph.
And the rock could read "Crocket" or "Tecumseh" or "Boone."
And shouldn't all of the populace get to gaze on it soon?
So, some mighty, bold explorers from the Ohio shores
Speculated some great worth in the rock's potential lore.
The men hooked up the boulder from Kentucky's fair natural scene,
And they plucked it from the river and made off with it clean.
The act caused a great archaeological and historical fray
When Kentucky claimed the Buckeyes had stolen it away.
The high lawyers did argue and the fine legislators did rail
About what should be done about this rocky, treacherous tale.
Ohio said, "What good is a rock that cannot even be seen?"
While Kentucky answered, "You had no right to disturb our river so pristine."
Even the the Kentucky House said, "Put the rock back in the river or we'll launch a raid to get 'er done."
To which the Ohio House Speaker answered, "It's ours now and we'll defend it with a muzzle-loaded shotgun."
So, while the press gathered around and spread the story to a nation
For three years the rock sat in a city garage, enjoying a dry vacation.
People lectured and legislated and took photos with the rock.
And the whole thing made the area quite a huge laughing stock.
But as the old legends and the truth mixed together to tell
The speculation of any historical value considerably fell.
Court motions called Indian Rock and Indian Head Rock two different stones?
So, was any law ever made by a group that said "leave this antiquity alone"?
Finally the courts dismissed charges that made all parties safe,
Just fortunate they had escaped from being between this rock and a hard place.
Sirs Shaffer and Bauer and Vetter lost most considerable fame
When all rights to the rock gave Kentucky its prized, final claim.
So, after the federal court finally dismissed the long, stony case,
The 8-ton boulder now will return safely to its water-bed place.
So, if you ever see a rock face jutting out of the river.
Don't disturb it, or take it, or break a piece ever.
For grown folk with big laws and long charges and court papers
May make you long suffer for your quite serious criminal caper.