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Kentucky man named 'Porkchop' is 'kind of an institution' in LaGrange community

"He's just a jovial fella," Mayor John Black said. "People miss Porkchop when he's not around."

OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. — Every small town has that one person everyone knows. Over in LaGrange, Kentucky, it's Porkchop - and he's become an icon some locals say they couldn't live without.

His real name is Donald Ray Ross, but everyone knows him as 'Porkchop.' Most days, you'll find him rocking in a chair at his favorite corner at Main St. and Walnut Ave.

"He's kind of an institution," Jody Curry, the owner of Mercantile on Main said. "He just sits, waves to people, talks to people. The community takes care of him."

It doesn't take long to see drivers passing by, waving back, rolling down their windows for a quick chat, or simply shaking their head with a smile.

"I love me some Porkchop!" one driver yells across the street.

The LaGrange native is always looking for good conversation, but recently, Porkchop's more inclined to strike a note on his guitar. Make no mistake - he can't carry a tune, and he knows it.

Credit: Brooke Hasch, WHAS11
Donald Ray Ross, also known as 'Porkchop' from LaGrange.

"He's just a jovial fella," Mayor John Black said. "People miss Porkchop when he's not around."

He's known to work odd jobs around town, from cleaning storefronts to digging trenches for locals.

"He'll ask people, 'You got a job for me?'" Curry said.

"He loves the construction trades. He's a hard worker. He's a strong fella. If you're tearing a roof off or something intensive, demanding, Porkchop's your man," Mayor Black said.

Porkchop admits, he has a past.

"I was in the Penitentiary when I got my name," he said, the place where he served pork chops to other inmates.

Today, he serves his community in a different way.

"He's my security, undercover," Mayor Black said. "I can usually go to Porkchop and within 24 hours we'll have a case resolved."

Nearby shop owners aren't afraid to call him boisterous.

"Every so often, I'll go out and say, let's get a little quieter, Porkchop," Curry said.

But even she wouldn't have it any other way.

"He's just here to live out the rest of his days, on this corner. I just hope he doesn't leave our town and go on tour," Black said.

"I'm blessed and I can't ask for anything more than that," Porkchop said.

Contact reporter Brooke Hasch atbhasch@whas11.com. Follow her onTwitter (@WHAS11Hasch) andFacebook.

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