Wednesday, June 17, 1998


More than just the name...
Honeymooners head over heels about Henderson

Gleaner columnist

A certain Cape Girardeau, Mo., couple are mighty glad this community was founded by Judge Richard Henderson's Transylvania Company and named for the judge.

After all, if the town had any other name, this pair of newly weds would never have considered it for their honeymoon spot and they say that would have been a real loss.

The twosome selected Henderson for those first days of their marriage specifically because of its name. They'd never been here and didn't know the first thing about the city when they spied it on a Kentucky map about a month prior to their May 9 wedding.

As the bride recalls, "We knew we wanted to honeymoon in Kentucky, but we didn't know where. So we pulled out the map and I said, `Oh, my goodness! There's a town named Henderson!" They quickly decided this would be their destination.

Why is the name so significant to them?

Because they are Ron and Michelle Henderson, a young couple who met at Southeast Missouri State University five years ago. This is the first marriage for both of them and, Michelle says, "the ONLY one."

He's an engineer who is utilities maintenance manager for the university that's their alma mater, and Michelle currently is concentrating on establishing their home. She previously worked for Standley Batch Systems, and it was her co-workers there who looked up Henderson on the Internet for her and Ron and provided them with information that included the location of the L&N Bed and Breakfast here.

Then those thoughtful chums went one step further and paid for the first two days of the Hendersons' honeymoon stay at the inn owned by Norris and Mary Elizabeth Priest. Ron's co-workers paid for an additional day as a wedding gift.

The Hendersons fell in love with Henderson. While they were here, they went on the Downtown Henderson Project's porch tour, and thought it was delightful. They first stopped at Bart and Tiffany Sights' porch, where they related that they had just gotten married.

Word spread fast, and at subsequent porch stops Ron and Michelle had people asking, "Are you the honeymooners?"

Mike and Meg Farmer, whose porch was also on the historic circuit, wound up giving them a tour of their entire South Main Street home. The Hendersons say they found that kind of warmth and hospitality in abundance here. Among places they especially enjoyed are the downtown where they walked daily; the riverfront, where they found an unusual piece of driftwood that became a gift for the Priests; First Baptist Church, where they worshiped on Sunday, and several local restaurants.

They noted that one particular barbecue spot "is awesome!"

Michelle says if they'd stayed here any longer, "we wouldn't have wanted to go home at all." They plan to make a return visit at the end of July to celebrate her 25th birthday.

They've become a two-person tourism bureau for this community. As Michelle says, "We're telling everyone they should go to Henderson for at least a weekend."


Copyright 1998 The Gleaner