a thousand words Beyond the Hill

Brett Marshall

“Bingo!” yelled Brownsville native Jethrow Hogan.

Joe Gibson, pictured, is also a native of Brownsville. They, like many others at the Edmonson Health Care Center, have something in common. They stayed in the area where they grew up, and they are now spending the remainder of their time at home in the health care center, which coincidentally is the town’s largest business. The residents and employees are like family at the center. Many of the faculty are related to one if not more of the residents in their care.

Once childhood friends and neighbors, Joel Madison and Junior Lindsey now live next door to each other at the center. Joel, also known as “Doogan” to his good buddy Junior, often leads the pair in recollection of yesteryears. They belt out old gospel tunes to recall their conviction to the Lord and to remember the good old days.

Although life inside the health care center is very much alive, many of those who live in Brownsville, including those in the center, say the town isn’t what it used to be.

“The town square has went to nothing,” Madison said.

He remembers a time when men brought mules for trade to the courthouse, and when teenagers sat on a bench around a large oak tree in the middle of town and told stories. Now, tractors have replaced mules, and industrial growth in surrounding areas like Bowling Green and Leitchfield has drawn young people away from Brownsville, away from home.

Brett Marshall is a senior photojournalism major from Florence. He can be reached at [email protected]