Saturday, February 5, 2011

Step Back In Time With "Then & Now: Bowling Green"

Like a lot of people, the first time I heard about the new pictorial, history book, "Then & Now: Bowling Green" by Kevin Comer and Ben Runner Jr., was on Facebook. These two authors were posting pictures and updating their status' about the book before it even hit the shelves. Naturally, I knew that I would like to have a copy of the book in my collection someday.

Surprisingly, I received my copy as a Christmas gift this past December from my elderly next door neighbor's daughter. My wife and I always look after our neighbor throughout the year in many different ways. So, I was really happy to find out what the gift was when I opened it.

"Then & Now: Bowling Green" is a charming little book especially if you're a native of Bowling Green or lived here for a while like me. Unfortunately, I am not a native of this beautiful city with a population about 60,000 with additional 20,000 or so when all the Western Kentucky University students are in school. However, since I moved here in 1988, I have seen the city go through many changes in the last 23 years. I can only imagine being born here 49 years ago and then seeing all the changes. But this book will give you a quick glance into the past and what Bowling Green was like even 100 years ago or more. The book has some awesome pictures of buildings, streets and churches from the past with the latest views of the structures and streets next to them on the same page. It really does gives you a strong sense of the past of what it was like to live in Bowling Green in those good ole days. The book is broken down into seven chapters, "Landmarks," "Street Scenes," "Fountain Square," "Business and Education," "Transportation," "Education and Religion," and "Entertainment and Recreation." Mainly, it's fascinating to look at the pictures and compare them to see what life was probably like back then compared to living in Bowling Green these days.

One of the biggest changes that Bowling Green has probably experienced in the last 40 years is that the major hub of business activity has moved from downtown "Fountain Square" to out on Scottsville Road near Interstate 65 and Campbell Lane. Scottsville Road and Campbell Lane is where all the restaurants, movie theatres and retail stores (Greenwood Mall) are these days compared to where they used to be-downtown. Even a lot of new shopping strip centers such as Buckhead Square on Campbell Lane have sprung up in Bowling Green in the last couple years too.

Even if you don't live in Bowling Green anymore or have never lived here, this little book is a really interesting, quick read. But mainly, you'll want to purchase ( and ) it for the pictures. It will help you take a step back in time into Kentucky's fourth largest city and relive the past.

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