Sunday, May 27, 2012

P1. The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, July 19, 2009


As God has called us to be his daughters and sons, we now call upon him with our needs and concerns, responding, By Your Grace, Hear Our Prayer.

1) We pray for our Advent Church family, for Bishop Ted, for Fr. Tim, for the Vestry, for the ministries for ourselves and those in need, seeking to answer God’s call to be his children; we pray for his guidance when we are deciding who it is we will serve, why it is we believe, and how it is that others know we are children of God; By Your Grace, Hear Our Prayer.

2) We pray for the church of all believers in the risen Christ, praying for and with our fellow Anglicans in the Church of Pakistan, our Episcopal family at Grace Church Hopkinsville, and our neighbors in the Highland Community Ministries at Highland Baptist Church; asking God to lead each of these bodies to the realization that whoever we are, in whatever place whether of power or poverty, we have all been called children of God; By Your Grace, Hear Our Prayer.

3) We pray for the leaders of the world, especially our president Barack, and all persons in positions of authority. We pray that through you, these leaders will be resolute in their duties of meeting the basic human needs of all people, of addressing abuses against the less-fortunate, of restoring and creating human and civil rights, and of ending despair wherever it is found, knowing they are called to serve all the children of God; By Your Grace, Hear Our Prayer.

4) We pray for our own families, our own trials, our own needs; we pray for our sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, wives and husbands and partners and friends, acknowledging your role as parent and provider and our role as worker and child. We pray for sustained health, clarity of mind, and determination of soul. We pray for your help in all these parts and parcels of our lives as children of God; By Your Grace, Hear Our Prayer.

5) We give praise and thanksgiving, for where we live, for who we know, for our forms of employment, retirement, entertainment, worship, and rest. We give thanks for the gifts of hospitality, education, comfort, and companionship. In our abundance, we also pray for those
in need, the sick of Advent Church, for [names go here], and for those other concerns we now address by word or in silence, [time goes here]; we pray as a family for a fulfillment of their health and needs; By Your Grace, Hear Our Prayer.

6) We also give thanks and offer prayers for those no longer among us, with whom we have shared our lives and hopes in this temporal place, especially remembering [Advent names go here], and all those, whoever they might be, whether by name or in silence, [time goes here]; we pray that all may one day be together as children of God; By Your Grace, Hear Our Prayer.

Conclusion of Prayers by Celebrant.
O God we pray with the innocence of our childhood, the knowledge of our present being, and the great hope of our future, that as a shepherd you guide us beside still waters, as a parent you protect us from harm and hurt, and by your goodness and mercy bring us together as one to share with Christ your son our eternity forever, Amen.

736. Prayers of the People

I've been reading prayers at church for many years.  I did so at my former church, Holy Family, and began doing so at my current church even before I was technically a member.  However, at Holy Family I was reading prayers prepared by others.  On a few occasions, I balked at what I was asked to read and took the liberty of emending the prayers from the lectern.  That is not the case at Advent, where I am reading prayers I have written.

Because this blog tends to be a repository of some of my writing I thought it would be appropriate to re-post the prayers over here.

In the Episcopal Church, the Prayers of the People are read each Sunday.  The Book of Common Prayer offers several "forms" to follow but also allows for some diversion away from these forms.  At Advent, there is a rotation of several prayer writers and readers.  We all follow the forms to a point but add our own writing talents and styles to the petitions.

It is my intention to post here on the blog all of the Prayers I have written over time.  They will be numbered with the letter P followed by a number.  I do not know how many I've written.  I'm still gathering them up.  Following this entry will be the first set, written for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, 2009.  As a note, tomorrow, or technically today since it is after midnight, is the Day of Pentecost for 2012.

Monday, May 21, 2012

735. Pandora Productions's Bare - a review

One line of Pandora Productions's mission is to "ignite and celebrate the unfailing hope and triumph of the human spirit."  That it does.

Tonight my friend Michael and I attended the closing performance of the rock-opera Bare, staged in the Bingham Theatre at Actors Theatre of Louisville on West Main Street.  The show's run began May 10th.  It was first performed at the Hudson Mainstage Theater in Hollywood, California on October 14, 2000.  Pandora's Producing Artistic Director, Michael Drury, brought the production to Louisville under the sponsorship of CaolSpa Rejuventation Center and Calobrace Plastic Surgery Center, and overall sponsorship from Michael Taggart Photography.

Let me get down some thoughts before I forget them, something which happens much more often that I usually admit.

First, I've never been to a Pandora play where a few tears were not shed.  This one was no exception.

Second, this was a musical and there were more than a few really great performances, all accompanied by a really great set of musicians.  (I will be adding more about the musicians later - when I get the info).

Third, an ensemble cast appeals to me, where several cast members have several important performances simultaneously.  You see the "simul" in simultaneously and the "sembl" in ensemble are etymological cousins meaning "together."  An ensemble cast acts several differing parts together.  Okay, I'm getting too technical.  Just let me say, I was in a high school play performed by an ensemble cast - a play which involved a group of high school seniors trying to find their place in the world.  That play was "Here and Now."  This play had some borrowings from that one.

Fourth, as a Shakespeare aficionado, I enjoyed the parallels between this play and the play within the play, Romeo and Juliet, from star-crossed lovers to the deaths of best friends at a young age.  It is a wonderful technique and the play made full use of the inventory.

Finally, poignantly, one scene in particular reminded me of my friend Rob and his single alliance with a particular young lady which led to her pregnancy, with the child born of that alliance delivered one week to the day after Rob's untimely death. 

I think I've covered the outline.  Let me go into a little detail.  The play concerns seniors at a Catholic boarding school in their final days as students together.  Keeping straight - no pun intended - who was in love with whom required a short-form score card, but once you understood, it all made sense.

There was the star, Peter - who in one reversal of roles, denies Christ, in the person of the priest/headmaster, instead of the other way around as presented in the Gospels concerning Jesus's last days before the Crucifixion.  Peter was played by Robbie Lewis in his fifth Pandora performance.  Robbie sings throughout the play and his singing ability is first-rate, top-shelf.  I told him as much in the rope-line following the performance.

Peter's love interest in the play is Jason, played by Jason Button, who is torn between feelings for Peter as well as another student, a female.  I feel bad here, because I am not sure who the woman was in that role.  I believe her to be Katie Nuss, but I could be wrong - it could have been Valerie Hopkins.  Again, my apologies.  Whichever it was, she was quite a singer.  In the play, while being chased by another boy, Matt, she was betrayed by Jason, but not before he left her pregnant with his child.  Jason loses his life to a drug overdose toward the very end of the play, leaving the cast mournful on their graduation day.  How many of us went through high school only to lose a friend to drugs, alcohol, or a car wreck on prom night?

Again, the female love interest (who I can't identify) had another would-be suitor in Matt, protrayed by Amos Dreisbach, who is a Theater Arts senior at the University of Louisville.  Amos is great in the role of the unrequited lover.  Amos, too, has a suitor in whom he has no interest (if I followed the story line correctly).  That was Nadia, played by Kate Holland.  Kate is a U of L graduate in Theater Arts.  She plays a forlorn and overweight girl who feels rejection at every turn.  Every one of these turns is played out in some stunning singing performances by Kate, the best of the cast.

I've covered the main "relationship" roles and their intracacies, but there were others in the play worth mentioning.  The play's "badboy" is Lucas, played by Neill Robertson.  One of my seven faithful readers may recall that I've previously identified Neill as the best "Jack Worthing" I've ever seen performed.  In this role, rather than the dapper and meticulous "Uncle Jack" Neill is a ne'er-do-well, a goth perhaps, and the local provider of drugs and alcohol, but one who is often seen in the play as off to the side and by himself.  In his featured role, he does a fantastic rap number from atop a picnic table, launching himself at the end into the stage below.  It was very good.

Two other women are important in the play, that of Peter's mother Claire - as a note, the older woman in my high school play "Here and Now" was Claire - in this play emphatically performed by Susan Lynch, although while performed emphatically, the role itself was a good definition of a lack of empathy.  Susan's appearance from a balcony off stage added to the Juliet leit-motif of the the play.  Finally, and importantly, there was the performance of Chantelle and Mary - yes, that Mary, Jesus's mother.  In one scene, Peter reports to Jason of a dream in which Mary, the ever-virgin mother of God, appears as a full-bodied black woman in a playboy bunny outfit of sorts accompanied by similarly attired angels-in-waiting.  Mary's message is simple - God loves you as you are.  In other words, also heard in the play, "God don't make no junk."  The Mary character is supremely played by Tymika Prince in her debut performance with Pandora.  Appropriately, Tymika dedicated this performance to her own mother.  A note here - as a Catholic kid (although I wasn't officially one until I was 18 and gave up that role at the age of 49), I have a strong love of and affection for Mary.  Mary is represented in every good woman, indeed in every woman and Tymika made a great representation of her tonight.  That may be hard for some to accept, but in the end, every boy loves his mom, and the one mom we all share is Mary, the mother of Jesus.  She is Everywoman.

I've overlooked a few characters - the priest and a few other kids in the school.  They had their parts and were well-performed.  Of particular, and perhaps where I should have began this review, is at the beginning.  The play begins during a mass for the Feast of the Epiphany.  The whole play is epiphanical in its message.  Beginning at Epiphany was a great foreshadowing, another leit-motif.

In closing, let me say a word about the closing.  It happened before I knew it had happened.  The entire story had, indeed, been told by that point - the epiphany revealed and experienced.  I just didn't know it was going to happen and be over with.  That, however, is what happens once an epiphany is made.  More often that not, the build-up to such a moment is far greater than whatever happens once the event has occurred.  Post-event is truly anti-climatic.  Life gets easier.

I had a really good time with this play - the performances mixed but mostly above average with a few of the singers, as noted, par excellence.  Congratulations to Mr. Drury and the cast and staff of Pandora Productions.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

734. State Democratic Party elections - an announcement and a trivia contest

As many of you know - probably all of you - I am involved with the Democratic Party not just as a registered voter but also as an internal Party official.  My involvement with the Democratic Party, other than as a voter, began in April 1980, when I announced my candidacy for Legislative District Vice Chair of the 45th District, which, at the time, covered areas from Jefferson Hill and Keys Ferry roads on the west, eastward over to McNeely Lake Park and Pennsylvania Run on the east, all generally south of the old Louisville City Limits line starting around Strawberry Lane and Southside Drive eastward over to the Outer Loop and what we used to call Old Shep, now known as Shepherdsville Road, and extending southward to the Jefferson-Bullitt County line.  I ran that year on a ticket with Carolyn Beauchamp, an advertising and public relations lady from Okolona.  We opposed the incumbent LD Chair Ed Louden and his Vice Chair candidate Betty Jo Monroe, who were also from Okolona, which was, generally, the center of the district.  At the time, I was 19 years old.

When LD Election Day arrived, we were hopeful for victory.  As the incumbent, Mr. Louden had chosen as the site for the LD election the old Fibber McGee's Tavern, which had just a few years earlier relocated from a block west of Preston on Pinecroft Drive to its still-current location at the corner of Preston and Pinecroft.  With the votes tallied, Carolyn and I were declared the winners and proceeded downtown to "Fourth Street" where the county-wide races were held for County Chair and Vice Chair.  In those days, we did not have an At-Large person for each LD as we do now. Back then, there were seven or eight At-Large positions.  Quite frankly, they were, by an unspoken agreement, somewhat reserved for some special interests which supported the Party apparatus with both personnel and greenbacks.  The At-Large folks were nominated at the meeting and chosen a month later.

Thus began what has been a life-long involvement for me with the inner workings of the Democratic Party at both the county and state level.  Later that summer, I attended the State Democratic Convention, held that year at the Capitol Plaza, a downtown Frankfort development built in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  As I have done at every State Democratic Convention then and since, I got myself nominated for a seat on the State Central Executive Committee.  That year I ran for the "Person Under 30" position - it is now the "Person Under 35" position - from the Fourth Congressional District where I was a resident.  As a note, my mother still lives in that residence, but her representative district in Congress has gone from the 4th to the 2nd and this year, finally, to the 3rd.  As a second note, she is proudly displaying a yardsign for my favorite member of Congress, John Yarmuth, who has come to be known, thanks to a creative writer ironically from Lexington, as Congressman Awesome.  But, I digress.

I lost that race to someone named Neil - who he was I don't really know.  What I did know was that he was supported by higher-ups than me, most especially the governor, at the time, John Young Brown, Jr.  Brown had been elected the previous year in a race where, in the Primary, I supported then-Lt. Governor Thelma Stovall, the first of the two female lieutenant governors, who served successive terms, from the Commonwealth.  Governor Brown's November opponent was former Governor Louie B. Nunn, who, while a Republican, always seemed to be very well-respected in my family's home.  I voted for Brown in the Fall race.

That loss at the state convention was the first of many I would go on to lose.  Every four years, I'd get myself nominated, either at the Congressional Caucus level in the morning sessions or at the State At-Large levels in the afternoon.  For two conventions in a row, Tom Barrow and I made our way to the microphone together, he to nominate me and me him.  Neither of us were ever elected.

My continued success at losing state races was not mirrored at the local level.  Due to a relocation, I found myself living in the 35th District, then generally a compact area from Broadway south to the Watterson and from the L&N RR east to Newburg Road.  In that district, over time I served in the appointed position of Secretary as well as the elected positions of At-Large and, eventually in 2000, Legislative District Chair.  That position is currently held by Colleen Younger.  In 2001, then-Party Chair Larry Clark appointed me as the Jefferson County Party's By-Laws chair and a group of us proceeded to rewrite and codify the local By-Laws, passing them by the committee in late 2001.  I held the By-Laws chair position for many years, even after my term on the Executive Committee expired in 2004, although I am no longer there.

It was 2004 when I finally won a seat on the State Committee at a convention held in Lexington.  With the help and encouragement of Aaron Horner, his former wife Mary Ellen Weiderwohl, and Dr. Ted Shlechter, a South Louisville political activist, and others, including Jerry Lundergan and Dale Emmons, I unseated one of the two sitting "committeemen" and took my own seat as Third Congressional District Committeeman, alongside the late Leonard Gray, a friend and mentor who lived in the Chickasaw neighborhood of Louisville's West End.

In 2008, after a contested race, I was seated as a State At-Large member on the State Central Committee.  I've enjoyed attending County Executive Committee meetings across the state, although generally not far from here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606.  I've been to meetings in Jefferson, Bullitt, Shelby, Franklin, Oldham, Trimble, Grayson, Powell, Mason, Caldwell, and Fulton counties, among others.  My term as a State At-Large member comes to an end at the end of this month.

For several reasons, I've considered not running again in the committeeman position - at either the congressional level or the state level.  I've encouraged a few others to make the race and I am confident several will.  Among those who I think would make a good addition to the State Party are Charles Booker and Shawn Reilly, both of whom could run as either a committeeman or a committeeyouth.  I've also told Abby Woehrle she would be a good addition.  I know that my friends Allison Amon and Queenie Averette will seek re-election as committeewomen, so I am hopeful that should Abby run, she does so in the youth position.  My options to run are limited to two - either as a committeeman at the congressional level or in an At-Large position at the statewide level, something I've really enjoyed these last four years.

Much of my enjoyment has been as a member of the By-Laws Committee on the State Party.  I had served on this committee from 2004-2008 but was not reappointed until 2011 by the current Party Chair Dan Logsdon.  Our committee has been in the process of a meticulous study of the By-Laws, article-by-article, under the direction of By-Laws Chair George Mills, who has done a wonderful job of keeping interest alive in a process which is tedious for many.  I'm not one of those - I completely enjoy the work.

For that reason, I've decided to run again at the convention in two weeks.  I will be seeking my old post of Third Congressional District Committeeman, the post I held from 2004 to 2008.  To those of you who are eligible to vote in the Third Congressional District caucus on the morning of June 2nd, I am humbly asking for your support and vote.  While I am not confident of a win, I am confident that I could serve well, especially in the completion of the task of rewriting those sections of the State Party By-Laws in need of amendment.  If I lose, I may run in the afternoon session since it has been a tradition for me since 1980, 32 years ago.

Thanks for reading and let me know how you feel about my candidacy.


Some political trivia for you.

1.  I mentioned "Fourth Street" above.  Where was that?  What was the name of the building where "Fourth Street" was housed?

2.  The 45th District, once in Jefferson County, is now in Fayette County.  Who was the last Jefferson County Democrat to serve as 45th District State Representative?

3.  I mentioned Fibber McGee's Tavern in Okolona.  For whom was it named and why does the answer have anything to do with the answer to Question #3?

4.  I mentioned Governor Brown and Lieutenant Governor Stovall, who were opponents in the 1979 race.  Who was Governor Brown's lieutenant governor running mate in 1979 and, as a bonus, what do the two of them - Brown and his running mate - have in common as far as subsequent races in Kentucky for lieutenant governor?

5.  I mentioned that Governor Brown's Republican opponent was Louie B. Nunn.  Who was the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor that year?   As a note, while this person lost that race, they presently serve in one of the most powerful positions of anyone in Kentucky.

5.  This year's convention will be held at the State Fairgrounds, a name eschewed by state government officials.  What is the official name, according to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, for this Louisville venue? 

Post your answers in the Comments section below.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

733 addendum - How did I do?

Not very well.  None of my Exacta Bets would have been cashed.  I did get half of the entry here and there, but not enough to write about.  Although, that is exactly what I am doing - writing about it, because that's what I do.

So, below will be my prediction and the actual winners.  My choices, if in the money, will be bolded.

Race 1 - My choices - Point Taken and Politicallycorrect.  The winning Exacta ticket was Atigun and Politicallycorrect.

Race 2 - My choices - Easy Vice and Hamiltonian.  The winning Exacta ticket was Big Ring and Vasten.

Race 3 - My choices - Windsurfer and Skyking.  The winning Exacta ticket was Skyking and Golden Ticket.

Race 4 - My choices - Southern Anthem and Vertiformer.  The winning Exacta ticket was Night Party and The Program.

Race 5 - My choices - Mile High Magic and Adena's Choice. The winning Exacta ticket was Macho Macho and Thelmal Cat.

Race 6 - My choices - Bridgetown and Great Mills.  The winning Exacta ticket was Great Attack and Bridgetown.

Race 7 - My choices - Shackleford and Will's Wildcat.  The winning Exacta ticket was Shackleford and Amazombie.

Race 8 - My choices - Annabel Lee and Marketing Mix.  The winning Exacta ticket was Hungry Island and Tapitsfly.

Race 9 - My choices - Musical Romance and Salty Strike.  The winning Exacta ticket was Groupie's Doll and Musical Romance.

Race 10 - My choices - Get Stormy and Slim Shadey.  The winning Exacta ticket was Little Mike and Slim Shadey.

Race 11 - My choices - (I offered two sets) - Union Rags and Creative Cause - and - I'll Have Another and El Padrino.  The winning Exacta ticket was I'll Have Another and Bodemeister.

Race 12 - My choices - Enclosure and Da Price.  The winning Exacta ticket was Bet The Power and Shrill.

Race 13 - My choices - the entry of Dynamical and Moon Traveler with Grand Contender.  The winning Exacta ticket was Mr. Ticket and Dynamical.

So, to recap, of the 29 horses I expected to be in the money, 8 of them were.  In baseball, I'd be batting .276, not all that shabby in my book.  And, this was my book.

Happy Derby and congratulations to I'll Have Another with jockey Mario Gutierrez aboard, pictured at the top, on their win in the 138th Kentucky Derby.

733. The 138th Kentucky Derby and twelve other races

Being a born-and-raised Kentuckian, I, like all Kentuckians - and especially those from Louisville and Lexington - have become something of an expert of horse racing, an affliction which happens every year around the First Saturday in May, a High Holy Day in Louisville, wherein will take place the 138th Kentucky Derby, the eleventh race on a card of thirteen.

Tomorrow - weather permitting - we've had some hellacious weather the last few days - 150,000 or so patrons of the Sport of Kings will descend upon Churchill Downs for an afternoon of fun, frolic, and figuring out a racing sheet. That's where this entry comes in. I've made my predictions - bets which I may make in each of tomorrow's races. My bet of choice is the Exacta Box, where you pick two horses, either one of which will finish first and the other one second. There are many other "exotic" type bets but this is my favorite. So, if you haven't decided on your bets tomorrow, print this post and carry it with you to the track. You just might come home winner. Or, maybe you won't - remember the people at Churchill Downs are capitalists and the idea is for you to leave with them having taken possessions of your money. I'm offering you a chance to at least have a few bucks for a tank of gas to get you back on the interstates and out of Louisville by sun-up on Sunday.

Race 1 - 1 1/16 miles for 3 year olds - #1 Point Taken and #5 Politicallycorrect.

Race 2 - 6 furlongs for 3 year olds and older - #5 Easy Vice and #6 Hamiltonian.

Race 3 - 1 1/16 miles for 3 year olds - #10 Windsurfer and #1 Skyking.

Race 4 - 1 1/16 miles for 3 year olds and up on the Turf - #1 Southern Anthem and #5 Vertiformer.

Race 5 - 7 furlongs for 3 year olds - #3 Mile High Magic and #13 Adena's Choice. There will no doubt be a number of Exacta Boxes honoring the Kentucky Wildcat Basketball 2012 NCAA Champions, boxing #5 Big Blue Nation with #7 Devoted Wildcat.

Race 6 - The Twin Spires Turf Sprint - 5 furlongs for 4 year olds and up - #4 Bridgetown and #10 Great Mills.

Race 7 - 7 furlongs for 4 year olds and up - #4 Shackleford and #8 Will's Wildcat.

Race 8 - The Churchill Distaff Turf - 1 mile for 4 year olds and up - this is one you can make some money on - #6 (and the longshot) Annabel Lee and #3 Marketing Mix.

Race 9 - 7 furlongs for 4 year olds and up - #8 Musical Romance and #4 Salty Strike.

Race 10 - 1 1/8 miles for 4 year olds and up on the Turf - #4 Get Stormy and #5 Slim Shadey.

Race 11 - The 138th Kentucky Derby, ran continously on the track at Churchill Downs every year since 1875 - I'm offering two bets here, the first for the conservative better (me) and the second for the less-conservative better - #4 Union Rags and #8 Creative Cause. This is a bet I've already made. The exotic for this race is #19 I'll Have Another and #16 El Padrino. I've made this one as well.

Race 12 - 6 1/2 furlongs - 3 year olds and up - #11 Enclosure and #5 Da Price

Race 13 - 1 mile for 3 year olds and up - there is an entry in this race where two horses are paired up and bet under one number. I always bet entries, so #1 and #1A Dynamical and Moon Traveler and #3 Grand Contender.


I'll be out of town for the race and may end up at Keeneland in Fayette County, something I did last year. We'll check back on Sunday and see who took my advice and was a winner.

Happy Derby!

By the way, what is the name of the horse in the picture? This should be easy.

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.