The great thing about living in Jeffersonville is that you know you ain’t living in New Albany. When I think about these two rivertowns I’ve become aware of what a great book could be written about these two rivals. For side by side burgs in central Southern Indiana …they certainly are different worlds. Clearly, Jeffersonville is better…not because it’s that great or anything….it’s just that it doesn’t SUCK.
Jeff was originally, lets face it, a haven for river pirates. There are still family’s, steeped in the criminal way of life, and they represent some of the oldest and most fecund families we all know and love. Back in the old timey days they made their way by hustling across the Ohio River, stealing swag off of south bound barges and steamboats and high tailing it back across the river to their cubby holes and hide aways in Jeff. This was a form of prosperity. It generated a neiscent boat building market and milieu. This, in turn, attracted more ‘respectable’ folk and still, Jeff maintained a strong current of free market capitalistic criminal activity.
As we moved forward, into the twentieth century, these Jeff stalwart families transitioned into the other notable criminal organized activities of the day….gambling, bootlegging and whoring.
What was going on during these eras in New Albany?
The weird thing about Nawlbany is the marked demarcation between the blue bloods and the low lifes. Certainly, New Albany had its “Silver Hills” crowd. A group of blue bloods that, truth be told could hold their own for snobbishness in any Boston Hob house. They even, (to their eternal credit) produced a US Supreme Court Judge…Sherman Minton. Though Justice Minton was probably one of the dimmest legal lights to ever hold a seat on the Court, the fact he made it there cannot be denied. The weird thing about New Albany though, is that there was no middle.
In Floyd County, you were either a blue blood…or a white trash dumbass. There is about 96 percent white trash dumbass in New Albany. Five percent elite. That’s why we can say…with extreme confidence New Albany SUCKS.