Rooster Run

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Rooster Run

Rooster Run is a general store in Nelson County, Kentucky.[1] The store is known for the baseball caps featuring its logo[2] as well as a fiberglass rooster statue standing in front of the store.[3] The store has an entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, published by The University Press of Kentucky, which calls it "one of the best-known general stores in the country and one of Kentucky's best-known unincorporated businesses".[4]

Joe Evans opened the store, then called Evans Beverage Depot, in 1967 with $200 of his own money and $200 borrowed from his father.[5][6] At the time, it was the only location in the county that sold alcoholic beverages.[6] One evening after the store closed, Evans and some friends were gathered at the store, drinking beer when one of the men's wives arrived, sending him running.[5] One of the friends commented, "Look at that rooster run!", giving rise to the store's present name.[5] Shortly after the incident, Evans' mother began sewing baseball caps with the name "Rooster Run" on them for sale in the store.[5] Evans trademarked the name and the store's logo in 1986.[7]

The store's notoriety began to spread as truck drivers wore the hats to locations across the country.[5] A Louisville-based disc jockey also began telling Rooster Run jokes on the air.[5] Eventually, the store expanded, and its merchandising grew to include T-shirts and other promotional items, but the baseball caps remained the most popular item.[5] At one point, Evans had a standing order for 30,000 caps per quarter.[5] By 1991, he estimated he'd sold about 1.5 million caps.[5]

Although there was historically no Kentucky community by the name "Rooster Run", the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet placed the locale on official highway maps of the state.[3] Evans also convinced the Cabinet to erect signs along Kentucky Route 245 directing motorists to Rooster Run.[5] The United States Postal Service delivers mail addressed to Rooster Run as long as it includes the ZIP code of nearby Cox's Creek.[5] According to the Lexington-Herald Leader, "[t]he community [of Rooster Run] was named after and consists of the store."[8]

In the mid-1980s, Evans was elected as a magistrate for Nelson County.[5] In 1991, he made a bid for Kentucky Secretary of State, during which he legally changed his name to Joe Rooster Run Evans, to capitalize on the store's notoriety.[9] During the campaign, he toured the state with a 13.5-foot (4.1 m)-tall fiberglass rooster statue dubbed "Ozzie Frank" from the store to drum up publicity.[10][11] He finished last in the three-man Democratic primary.[12] In 1998, Evans sought to represent the 8th District in the Kentucky Senate, but lost to Republican Dan Kelly.[13]

Evans retired in 2004 and died in 2013.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bean, Dottie (September 25, 1989). "Communities Could Drop Off Map; State Will Use Population, Other Factors to Draw the Line". Lexington Herald-Leader. p. A1. 
  2. ^ Higdon, James (2013). The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate's Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History. Globe Pequot. ISBN 9780762784882. 
  3. ^ a b Holland, Jeffrey Scott; Sceurman, Mark; Moran, Mark (2008). Weird Kentucky: Your Travel Guide to Kentucky's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. Sterling Publishing Company. p. 156. ISBN 9781402754388. 
  4. ^ Delong, Hettie (1992). "Rooster Run". In Kleber, John E. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Associate editors: Thomas D. Clark, Lowell H. Harrison, and James C. Klotter. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1772-0. Retrieved July 17, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hicks, Jack (February 13, 1991). "Top Dog at Rooster Run Now in Middle of Politics". The Kentucky Post. Covington, Kentucky. p. 1K. 
  6. ^ a b Strecker, Zoe Ayn (2007). Kentucky: A Guide to Unique Places. Globe Pequot. p. 62. ISBN 9780762742011. 
  7. ^ Jester, Art (January 23, 2000). "Uncommonwealth". Lexington Herald-Leader. p. K1. 
  8. ^ "Rooster Run Owner Angry Over Fake Caps". Lexington Herald-Leader. April 15, 1986. p. B3. 
  9. ^ Hicks, Jack (January 24, 1991). "Political Notes – Poore's Commercial Leaves Analysts Scratching Their Heads". The Kentucky Post. Covington, Kentucky. p. 3K. 
  10. ^ Burdette, Dick (October 20, 1990). "Jug Keeps Anglers Clear of High Water". Lexington Herald-Leader. p. C1. 
  11. ^ Lawrence, Keith (August 5, 1990). "Political Crowd Loud and Large at Picnic". The Messenger-Inquirer. Owensboro, Kentucky. p. 1A. 
  12. ^ Isaacs, Barbara (May 29, 1991). "Babbage, Wright Win Secretary of State Races". Lexington Herald-Leader. p. A2. 
  13. ^ Brammer, Jack (November 4, 1998). "State Senate". Lexington Herald-Leader. p. A5. 
  14. ^ "Rooster Run founder dies". The Larue County Herald News. Hodgenville, Kentucky. January 14, 2014. p. A5. 

Coordinates: 37°53′11″N 85°32′59″W / 37.886358°N 85.549739°W / 37.886358; -85.549739