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During ramp-up to the 50th anniversary of first moon landing, you can go to Moon (really it’s not far)

The Rural Blog

The commemorations of the first moon landing ramped up over the weekend and will continue through the week, culminating Saturday with the 50th anniversary of Tranquility Base and the walk.

Observances are being held all over the country, but one of the more unusual will be in a Moon you probably never heard of: Moon, Kentucky, an unincorporated community between Crockett and Relief in Morgan County.

Or, to those not schooled in East Kentucky Coalfield geography, between the county seat of West Liberty and the Johnson County seat of Paintsville.

The weekly Licking Valley Courier of West Liberty announced in boldface type on its front page last week, “If you can’t afford the price tag and may never go to the moon with Space X, you can go to Moon, Kentucky, on Saturday, July 20, for the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing. In observance of the history-making event, Betty’s Grocery at Moon will be passing out a free Moon Pie and an RC Cola to the store’s first 250 customers, courtesy of the Chattanooga Bakery, West Liberty Kiwanis Club and RC Bottling Co. You can even take a giant step for Moonkind in the parking lot if you get the urge.”

It’s a fund-raising project for the club, which will be selling “Genuine Souvenir ‘Moon Rocks’ from Moon, Kentucky,” in a bag with a postmark even though the Moon Post Office closed in 1997, the Courier (which doesn’t put news online) reports in another story.

MoonPie (Photo courtesy of Candy Warehouse)

Chattanooga Bakery makes the MoonPie, a marshmallow sandwich of two thick, round Graham crackers with a flavored coating, usually chocolate. The MoonPie (the company merges the words) and an RC Cola are a longstanding, traditional snack (or even a meal) at country stores in Appalachia and the South, and that has been memorialized in song.

The event in the coalfield community will be fitting, since “It all began in 1917 when a Kentucky coal miner asked our traveling salesman for a snack ‘as big as the moon.’ Earl Mitchell reported back and the bakery obliged with a tasty treat aptly named MoonPie. It was filling, fit in the lunch pail and the coal miners loved it,” the website says.

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