Thursday, January 20, 2011

672. Billy Joel, Alison Lundergan Grimes, and Hidden Location #10

Back on November 3, 1973, as I was beginning the 8th grade at Durrett High School, California singer Billy Joel released his ode to lounge-lizard listening, a song entitled Piano Man. It is one of several songs I learned to play a few years later under the guidance of Shera Baker, a young lady who was two years behind me in school. Her living room and its piano served as a launchpad for those of you who've since heard me play, for good or for bad.

The first line of the fourth verse of Piano Man is "It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday, the manager gives me a smile ... " While today wasn't a Saturday, and there were no pianos involved, there was a pretty good crowd today at an event I attended after work, and the manager, so to speak, was all smiles.

If you are in Louisville, you know we've been threatened with four to six inches of snow, an accumulation which has probably fallen from the skies, but for one reason or another has not quite accumulated on Mother Earth below. Nonetheless, the city went into its usual "snow mode" letting school out early, closing businesses, and generally providing a sales boon to the local groceries. See the picture below for a snowy scene in downtown Louisville.

Despite the cold weather and heavy falling snow, a "pretty good crowd" gathered today on the second floor of Louisville's famed Glassworks facility at 9th and Market streets - technically 9th is still Roy Wilkins Avenue at that point, a name typically observed only in the breach. The event was the Louisville reception for my friend Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Lexington attorney who today filed her papers for the Democratic nomination for the office of Kentucky's Secretary of State. Earlier events were held in Lexington and Frankfort, and tomorrow there will be additional events culminating in Maysville, a small river city in northeastern Kentucky, and the hometown of Alison's father, former Kentucky Democratic Chairman Jerry Lundergan, the metaphorical smiling manager in Joel's song. I'm supporting Alison in her bid to this office in the election which will be decided this fall.

Alison addressed the "pretty good crowd" for this snowy afternoon with three important women in her life looking on from the front row of the room, her mother and her two grandmothers. Her mother, Charlotte Lundergan, and I serve together on the Kentucky Democratic Party State Central Executive Committee. She is also one of Kentucky's representatives on the National Democratic Committee. Alison was joined by other members of her family as well as a host of Democratic luminaries from across the state. The current and two former lieutenant governors were present, as well as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives Greg Stumbo of Floyd County, who introduced the candidate. There were also a few members of the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee present, along with others of the general public. The press was represented by Joe Gerth, a writer for the Courier-Journal. Again, for a snowy late afternoon, it was a "pretty good crowd."

Below is a picture which, for lack of any others in hand, we'll use as Hidden Location #10. For those who live or work downtown, as I do, this one should be relatively easy. Leave any comments below.

Finally I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge today's 50th anniversary of the Inauguration and speech of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the first inaugural of my lifetime. It was on this date fifty years ago that the new president admonished and obliged the American people to "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." I grew up with that expression never too far removed from one's mind, an era when the American populace was more concerned with the collective "we" which comprises America, as opposed to the individualistic "I" which, since the presidency of Kennedy's later successor Ronald Wilson Reagan, has destroyed the fabric of American culture, a great loss to each other, our Republic, and the world. When "The Fall of the American Republic" is written, which it will be soon, perhaps in the next fifty years, one of the turning points will be when Ronald Reagan reported in his inaugural that "the government isn't the solution, but rather is the problem." How more different could the attitudes be between Kennedy and Reagan, the former telling us to be concerned about our country to the point of "doing" for it; the latter proclaiming that the government is the problem and should be abandoned. Sad!

Again, Hidden Location #10 is below.

1 comment:

Joanna Erny said...

8th street looking towards Main! :)

The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.