March 31, 2009

Bardstown Road

Last Saturday we drove to the Highland area of Bardstown Road to pick up a ceiling fan she had ordered awhile back. Bardstown Road has so many bars, cross streets, pizza parlors, tattoo parlors, coffee shops, antique shops, music stores, and book stores that it’s a unique yet confusing jumble of tossed together buildings snuggled together. The Bardstown Road area has always been the Haight-Ashbury of Louisville with left over hippies, gen-Xer’s, grunger’s and goths crowding the sidewalk and shops.

At last we saw the sign “Alcott & Bentley”. We had to park two blocks away. I love browsing this store. They sell mainly ceiling fans but also have chandeliers, Tiffany lamps, original paintings, sculptures and novelty items. An unseen radio is always tuned to WFPK as an added bonus.

I was looking at small table top sculptures at the front of the store, the large window in the background with a wide view of the sidewalk along Bardstown Road. I quit looking at the sculptures and was looking at the mostly young pedestrians and cyclists zigzagging to and fro in front of the shop.

There was a tipsy couple leaving a bar on the sunny-blurry side of the street. There were stoners with the red-rimmed chinese-eyes, looking down at their shoes as they walked. There was a man about my age with salt and pepper hair pulled back in a pony tail, faded jeans, and leather jacket. There was a slim long-legged woman with long strawberry blonde hair and painted on jeans. All the men took leisurely side long glances as she passed by.

I see the old Lentini’s restaurant across and down the street. Lentini’s went out of business not too long ago. Lentini’s is where I, along with my brother and sisters, had our first taste of wine. It was my older sister’s birthday as I recall our parents took all of us out to eat at Lentini’s and, I don’t know why, but dad ordered a large carafe of Chianti for all of us to partake. We thought it sophisticated and special to be drinking wine with our meal.

There is the Phoenix Hill Tavern, alive and still kicking. It’s still offers live music most every weekend. I’ve had some wild times there in the past. Wild times
that I prefer not to discuss in blog land.

I guess most every city has a street like Bardstown Road, a street lined with local businesses, local eateries, and unique, one-of-a-kind shops.

March 28, 2009

Daniel Boone

I finally finished reading "Boone" written by Robert Morgan and although Daniel Boone remains a shadowy figure of the frontier era in American history, you get a good sense of what made the man tick. Daniel Boone was famous in his own time and this generated stories about Boone that were half truths and outright fiction. The real story of Daniel Boone is complicated and far more interesting than the fictional accounts.

Boone never wore a coonskin hat. He thought they were uncouth, heavy, and uncomfortable. He preferred the beaver felt hat to protect himself from the sun and rain.

In Boone's own time he had detractors who accused him of everything from treason to fraud. He was court-martialed once, only to be exonerated of all charges.

In Boone's prime, he would be gone for months at a time, the longest being when he went on his first exploration of Kentucky for two years. When he arrived back home his wife didn't recognize him upon first sight.

Robert Morgan frequently refers to Boone's love of the wilderness in sexual allegories. Boone inspired writers such as Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman.

Daniel Boone was captured by a tribe of Shawnee Indians and became the honorary son of the chief, Black Fish. He escapes and returns to Boonesboro four months later to warn settlers of a pending attack by the British and Shawnees.

Towards the end of Boone's life in Missouri, people passing through would stop by to meet and talk with the famous pioneer. When he got wind of a visitor he would often disappear.

He lived to be eighty-five years old and was buried in Missouri. Boone and his wife, Rebecca, were later moved and are now buried in Frankfort, Kentucky.

March 27, 2009

Ball And Chain

"Ball and Chain" was written by Big Mama Thorton in the 50's and was one of her biggest hits. In the late sixties Janis Joplin covered the song and it was one of her biggest hits. This is Janis Joplin singing Ball And Chain at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. In the video you can see Jimi Hendrix and Mama Cass Elliot watching the performance. Janis's back up band is Big Brother and the Holding Company who were a ho-hum band. Janis claimed she would sing with no one else. Nobody could sing the blues like Janis. If you're in the kind of mood I've been in lately, it's like musical therapy.

March 25, 2009

News That Makes Me Shudder

Below is part of a news story I grabbed from Yahoo news today. If the switch to Direct Lending passes, the corporation I work for will close it's doors and we'll all be unemployed.

"The House measure also backs Obama's plans to essentially eliminate the federal guaranteed student loan program, replacing such loans with direct loans made by the Department of Education. The proposal would be advanced on a fast-track under the plan, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates would save $92 billion over 10 years that could be used to fund other aid to students."

The savings of $92 billion is highly suspect. If the fed takes over higher education student loans do you really believe it will save money? I think not. Just this morning a local radio station played an ad for higher education student loans from the U.S. Dept. of Education. The budget plan hasn't even been passed yet and they're spending money on ads. I've heard that the biggest lender of student loans (Sallie Mae) has already been chosen to administer these direct lending loans and they're not doing it out of the goodness of their heart either.

I voted for the man and now I feel I was played for a fool. It's time to polish up the resume. Obama schnobama.

March 18, 2009

Jessica Lea Mayfield

This blog is one year old today. Whoop-dee-doo!

There is a musician by the name of Jessica Lea Mayfield who's been getting alot of airplay lately. She's a nineteen years old from Kent, Ohio and grew up singing in her family's band. She started writing songs and playing guitar when she was eleven years old.

This is "For Today" from her debut album Blasphemy so Heartfelt.

March 13, 2009

March 9, 2009

A Few Pics

Spring is right around the corner.

Charlene's white coconut cake.

Virginia's pineapple upside down cake.

The crocus's have come up.

March 6, 2009

John Mellencamp

"Check It Out" is from John Mellencamp's Lonesome Jubilee album, recorded in 1987. One of my favorite Mellencamp songs. Have a good weekend everybody.

March 5, 2009

Fire, Spring, Great, and Grand

Tonight's probably the last fire in the old Ben Franklin for the season. Even though it climbed to a mighty sixty degrees today, it seems the cold air gets pulled in from the walls that somehow store it up during winter. It's a bone chilling cold.

I'm tired of cold. I want Spring and I want it now. I want Bleeding Hearts bleeding, Forsythia on fire, and Red Buds that lavenderize all over themselves. The trunk of our Cusa Dogwood needs a couple of carriage bolts put through it to pull the split trunk back together. The ice storm's terrible handiwork. Everywhere in Louisville are piles of tree branches fronting every house. The city says they're going to speed up efforts at removing the debris. We'll see.

I have a niece who's baby is due on April Fools day. I have a question to ask anyone who wants to answer: Does that make me a Grand Uncle or Great Uncle? I say it's Grand but my wife thinks it's Great. The future of this argument is in your hands.

March 2, 2009

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

Last night we were watching the weather and he predicted the morning low was to be seventeen degrees. He said March was coming in like a frozen leg of lamb. After I gained control of my hysterical laughter, I asked my wife if the old saying for March weather was indeed in like a lamb, out like a lion or vice versa.

"I don't know."
"It's got to be one or the other."
"I don't know, who cares?"
"I wonder when the saying was first coined, and who said it?"
"Only you would want to know something useless like that."
"I'll have to google it tomorrow."
"You do that...good-night, geek."

This is from the USA Today:

"For most locations, the average temperature at the end of the month is higher than at the beginning, so the proverb typically has some meteorological truth to it, but where did it come from?

The phrase apparently has its origins with the constellations Leo, the Lion, and Aries, the ram or lamb. It has to do with the relative positions of these constellations in the sky at the beginning and end of the month."


I recently went back to wearing contact lenses. I was sick of wearing glasses and, short of getting lasik surgery, contacts were my only choice.

The clock radio blares music too early and I make myself roll out of bed and stumble to the kitchen and put water on for coffee. The shower doesn't do much to wake me up. I've got to start getting to bed earlier. I have to hustle to make the van which leaves at 6:40 sharp. I brush my toofers, dress, and pop my contacts in. I pour coffee in the go cup and run out to my truck.

On my way to the parking lot, everything's a blur. I think I must have put my contacts in the wrong eyes. Sitting in my truck I reach up to tweak my contacts and I discover, by force of habit, I had put on my glasses. I take them off and everything becomes crystal clear.