Allan M. Trout’s career as a political reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal spanned more than 38 years. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1931, he also received the Governor’s Medallion for distinguished public service through journalism in 1959 and 1966.
But Allan Trout had a parallel journalistic career as the author of “Greetings,” a daily column of humor, folklore and “barnyard science” that debuted in the Courier-Journal on January 2, 1939. Before long, readers all over Kentucky and southern Indiana were sharing their own stories with Trout and addressing him like an old friend. The first book of collected “Greetings” columns, published in 1947, sold 10,000 copies in two weeks.
When Trout announced his intention to retire at the end of 1967, “Greetings” fans were bereaved. “Not being able to start the paper with ‘G’ will never be the same, wrote one. Another counted himself among the “old timers who have read after you these many years” on subjects as perplexing as “skunks and why these varmints invaded this part of Kentucky west of the Tennessee river, the luck of buck-eyes, the protection from evil given by carrying the left hind foot of a Jack rabbit in your pocket, the curative value of a pod of asafetida worn about the neck, [and] why the cock crows at midnight.”
After Trout’s retirement, he gave his collection of papers and artifacts to WKU’s Special Collections Library. Included were correspondence, speeches, photos, books and curious historical items he had acquired over his long and unique career.
A finding aid for the manuscript portion of the Allan M. Trout Collection can be downloaded here.