A Freidenker’s Story of Life in America’s Flyover Middle

In an eccentric travel book about America’s flyover middle, a cynical old curmudgeon invites us on a humorous road trip.  The man who bought the town of Story, Indiana, and its 19th-century inn, he  highlights the historical landmarks and sharing tales of the diverse folks who populate the region. Historical photos and loony adventures included.

Kentuckiana Southern Indiana Travelog Book Cover

Nestled discreetly along the border between the placid farmland and the hillbilly hills left by the last Ice Age in greater Kentucky – Indiana – Ohio, a specific culture has evolved in America’s heartland. Actually, several contrasting cultures that overlap but rarely mix. The author describes how this area became what it is today, a land of clapboard churches, limestone quarries, manufactured homes, Harley Davidson rallies, caves, distilleries, meth labs and gun stores, wine festivals and the bed-and-breakfast crowd.

Hofstetter employs his academic pedigrees (BA History, MA Political Science, Indiana University; JD, Duke Law School) in a readable, and tantalizing, exploration into the mindset of the people who populate Flyover America. Why did this region overwhelmingly vote for Donald Trump? Why do they own guns, fly Rebel flags and loathe coastal elites? What makes them so religious?

This book is the first of its kind to explain the drubbing that Democrats took in November, 2016, and the fractured future that faces our polity. “Kentuckiana Roads” should be seen as a companion book to JD Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy”, written by an outsider who spent his life immersed, but never quite rooted, in Kentuckiana culture.

About The Book

Rick Hofstetter

Rick Hofstetter is a recovering lawyer (and a recovering Catholic) who knows a good story when he sees it. Finding the town of Story, Indiana, up for grabs, he and a partner acquired the whole place. Soon he found himself serving as inn-keeper and a one-man chamber of commerce, travel bureau, and tax collector.

Whether he’s on the road or hosting the local elite, and not-so-elite, keeping America’s heritage alive or touring old cemeteries, Rick takes notes on quizzical cultural contrasts and tidbits of history that encapsulate much of America’s social and economic variety.

Jane Simon Ammeson, an accomplished travel writer, was Rick’s accomplice in some of the adventures described herein, and in the adventure of writing this book.

Jane Simon Ammeson

Born in East Chicago, Indiana, Jane Simon Ammeson is a freelance writer who specializes in travel, food and personalities. She writes frequently for The Times of Northwest Indiana where she has a travel/food blog and writes about books for her Shelf Life column. You can also find her work in Travel Indiana, Edible Michiana, Cleveland magazine, Long Weekends magazine, AAA Home & Away and other publications.

Because she loves to eat, Jane also writes a weekly food column & a bi-weekly food front for the Herald Palladium, the largest newspaper in Southwest Michigan and has authored nine books (including Brown County Indiana with Rick Hofstetter and A Jazz Age Murder in Northwest Indiana, a true crime story that took place in her hometown). She has two new books coming out this fall for Indiana University Press — Hauntings of the Underground Railroad and Murders That Made the Headlines.

A graduate of Indiana University with a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology, Jane is a James Beard Foundation Great Lakes nominating judge, member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Midwest Traveler Writers Association, and a restaurant reviewer for  A graduate of Indiana University (BA & MS Educational Psychology), Jane also holds a Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) and is licensed as a social worker and school psychologist. It’s this background which enables her to work with Rick. Her base camp is on Lake Michigan in Southwest Michigan.

Follow Jane on Twitter

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Photo Gallery

View the complete collection of photos used in "Kentuckiana Roads."

Censored Excerpts

Additional excerpts from "Kentuckiana Roads" censored by the editors.

Additional Resources

Complete list of additional resources with links and information about each.


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The Constitution & The Flyovers

Read a chapter of the Kentuckiana Roads wherein the author invokes Article 5 of the Constitution of the United States to propose amendments that might help straighten this country out!