Date: Sun, 18 Aug
1996 06:32:19 EDT
I've been meaning to write this up. It was my first f2f in a while, and I was somewhat anxious that certain skills had atrophied. And they had: surprisingly, we talked very little of Words-L. We were more concerned with 1) cemeteries, 2) historic buildings and their preservation, and 3) general fellowship.
CEMETERIES. We met at the gatehouse of Lexington Cemetery (est. 1849) and Larry was able to get some photographs and clear up some facts about the Breckinridges for his Political Graveyard database. Toward the end of the day, we wound up at Pisgah Church, just across the Woodford County line, and viewed the graves of Gov. A. B. "Happy" Chandler and artist Victor Hammer. Both burying grounds extremely peaceful and attractive. You should have bought the book, Larry. Shall I send a copy?
PRESERVATION. I had to enlist help here, and I got the right man for the job, my colleague Jim B., who has lived in Lexington only since 1980, but knows the builder and occupants of every historic habitation in the Bluegrass. We spent some time at his own Elley Villa (early 1850s; McMurtry), a Gothic revival mansion sometimes described as "charming" but more along the lines of "imposing" to me. The rest was driving around the city with Jim as interpreter. We even pulled up to the course at Keeneland. Larry found a notable octagonal house at The Red Mile Racetrack. One of Jim's themes was that the wrecker's ball will always demolish the preservationist's dreams, but we saw ample evidence of the opposite outcome in this city.
FELLOWSHIP. Getting-acquainted lunch was in the bar at Stanley Demos's Coach House (where Marcia and I did the same not so long ago). I like these people! Jim's wife Martha joined us for dinner, a long, leisurely affair at The Atomic Cafe, a Caribbean hotspot on Limestone Street near Transylvania U. (I had been charged to suggest something "exotic-ethnic" and believe I succeeded, judging from the way plates were cleaned. This is henceforward the official Words-L dining venue in Lexington, KY.) We talked of many things, but Larry's reflections on local and national politics stand out in remembrance.
It was a fine day. One wished it did not have to end. Larry and Janice headed to Covington and we Lexingtonians to our abodes. Friday morning I retraced L & J's route from Shakertown at Pleasant Hill, where they overnighted Monday. The fog was heavy, especially at the Palisades of the Kentucky River, but had burned off by the end of the day on my return. It has been a very atypical summer weatherwise. I love this area! Perhaps it takes visitors to make you appreciate where you be.
P.S. Janice is not near as bossy as y'all have made her out. And her psychological observations are uniformly astute.