01 May 2009

It's Almost Derby


As the month of April drew to a close, and May was upcoming I remembered

the first Saturday in May is the Kentucky Derby, the Run for the Roses.

Derby was always something of a big deal when I was growing up in Kentuckiana--the locals' name for any area demarcated by the gentle jumble of small Indiana towns hugging the north shore of the Ohio River, the big city of Louisville KY sprawled along the opposite shore, and the river herself.
By the time the sad story of the Louisville Falls Fountain Fiasco had begun in 1988, some of us were dreaming and scheming escapes to some place/any place more jammin' than our pathetic little river cities. We were bored and amused by Louisville's wannabe posturing.

For the celebration,
hundreds gathered on the Clark bridge to watch the launch.
At sundown the switch was flipped and the colored lights came on
and the water shot up 420 feet in the air for the first time.

The next year I met J. His birthday is 3 May. I usually think of him on his birthday.

When I look at this picture (shot in Louisville, KY in 2005 with my cell phone during a very long 7-day visit I made) I remember his bright blondness. So fair that he nearly disappeared in the sunlight sometimes, like in this picture; but his will and ego and talent and desire were solid things that took up space in the world.

I look into the eyes of this image and can almost feel his presence. Or feel his presence as it presented 20 years ago.
I don't know him today.

And if you were only looking at this picture for the first time
without knowing the man
you might perceive none of this...
might take a very different impression...
looking at this White Man with Long Fingers.

Now I live in New Orleans. Another river city but in New Orleans May means JazzFest.

This is the second of the two weekends of JazzFest. I gained admittance to the Fest yesterday by administering 20 surveys among the audience around the Gentilly Stage. Then , in exchange for turning in the surveys, I received one admission ticket good for any of the remaining days of the festival. I'll probably go Sunday.

Thanks and appreciation to my dear friend, Bill, who shot these pictures of me yesterday, preserving for posterity Miss Alex Surveys JazzFest 2009.



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