Meet Speedy. One of Paducah's most famous citizens.
Speedy was a poor African-American laborer in Paducah during the 1920s. In 1928, Speedy went fishing and never returned. His body was turned over to the Hammock's Funeral Home for a pauper's burial. Instead, the owner A.Z. Hammock used an experimental super-preservative to turn Speedy into a type of statue.
Speedy spent the next several decades in a closet of the funeral home (except for a quick swim during the great flood of 1937) from which he would be pulled out occasionally for the entertainment of tourists and school children. He eventually became a bit of a celebrity appearing in Jet Magazine and Ripley's Believe It or Not.
Eventually, someone took mercy on old Speedy and finally buried him in Maplelawn Cemetery in downtown Paducah.
Now, if that's not a reason to come visit, I don't know what is. I'm going to get y'all here one way or another!
~ Sarah Stewart Holland