“Elvis”: Film Review Podcast Sunday, Jun 26 2022 

It is a significant topic as deep and long as the entire 20th C.

Elvis Presley.

Elvis.

Baz Luhrmann has attempted to tackle it, in his latest release, simply titled, “Elvis.”

Austin Butler is magnificent as Presley, who was known as the “King of Rock & Roll.”

Tom Hanks not so much as the equally important for the tale to be told manager, the self-proclaimed Colonel Tom Parker.

Because I grew up with Elvis and rock & roll, I have many thoughts and emotions about Presley, as well as about Luhrmann’s manner of telling to tale.

For significantly more details of my thoughts on both, listen to the podcast below:

Audio MP3

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The Importance of Elvis Monday, Jun 20 2022 

This piece was originally published at the turn of the century. It has been very slightly edited for clarity and content in advance of the release this week of the Elvis Presley biopic.

In his book “The Fifties,” David Halberstam chronicles the most misunderstood of the century’s decades. In the tome, he relates a conversation where noted composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein discussed political and social trends with Dick Clurman, an editor at Time magazine. Halberstam quotes Bernstein: “Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force of the twentieth century.”

Incredulous, Clurman suggests some other choice, Picasso perhaps.

Bernstein, not to be deterred, retorts: “(Elvis) changed everything — music, language, clothes, it’s a whole new social revolution . . .”

Elvis Presley is LEO’s Person of the Century.

That is not a typo. No Henry Ford or Winston Churchill or Bill Gates or FDR or Einstein or Rosa Parks or Jackie O could meet our standards at Louisville Eccentric Observer for such critical status.

Elvis Presley is the wise choice, the eccentric choice, the correct choice. Love him or loathe him. Pity his Greek tragedy of a life. Ignore him if so inclined. But don’t make the mistake of dismissing Elvis as irrelevant.

Elvis was the undisputed King of Rock & Roll but no longer a major player on the music scene twenty two years ago when he died ignominiously in his throne room. The causes: Terminal, drug-induced bloat and chronic ennui. He had become the caped, prescription pill-addled Elvis who arrived for a White House audience with Richard Nixon, carrying a handgun as a gift, then requesting a badge to fight drug abuse.

We chose the Elvis who in the summer of 1953 entered the Memphis Recording Service studio at 706 Union in Memphis to record an acetate for his mama. The Elvis who the following year, at the insistence of guitarist Scotty Moore, and with encouragement from Sam Phillips’ secretary Marion Keister, waxed revved versions of Bill Monroe’s “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right Mama.” The songs changed Elvis’ life forever.

And the lives of all who heard them.

And life itself.

As Renaissance Woman Caroline Dahl titled her magnificent needlepoint seen above, Elvis was “The New King of Heaven and Hell.”

Elvis Presley. The world’s been a different place since.

In “The Days Before Rock & Roll,” Van Morrison sings: “Without those wireless knobs/ Elvis could not come in.” Most telling this image of ten year old Morrison, born of the war baby generation, in his bedroom in Belfast twiddling the knobs of his radio tuning in Radio Luxembourg to hear this alluring, exotic sound like none before. His global compatriots were doing the same thing.

That is the beginning of the story. The phenomenon that was Elvis owes much to the influence of radio. Sun Records entrepreneur Sam Phillips provided Memphis deejay Dewey Phillips with a pressing of that first Presley’s 45. That night the wacky record spinner played the two sides exclusively. His phones lit up like a rocket’s red glare. Listeners wouldn’t let him stop playing the record.

They needed to hear it over and over again.

Phillips tracked down Presley at a movie theater. The King jumped in his Crown Electric truck and hightailed it to the studio for his first interview.

As excited as the shy mama’s boy was, he had no clue what was in store. Nor for that matter did anybody else, even huckster Colonel Tom Parker who was to become Elvis’ manager, mentor and Svengali. This unique moment of the century, a moment without prescience, was the first hint of vast societal revision.

As John Lennon, no minor cultural icon himself, once said, “Before Elvis, there was nothing.”

Admittedly, this incident was not the first indication of electronic media’s influence. That reality revealed itself on Halloween night in 1938. Enfant terrible Orson Welles and fellow pranksters of the Mercury Theater of the Air stunned the nation with a unique broadcast of “War of the Worlds” done in such a realistic manner that listeners believed aliens had landed in New Jersey. Panic ensued. Evidence was unmistakable. Mass immediate dissemination of information, whether true or just a shuck, had the capacity to sway.

By the time Elvis recorded his hybrid, rebellious, ground-breaking songs, there were 20 million households in America with television sets, a twentyfold increase from 1949. Coincidentally it was in 1954, the same year as Elvis’ debut, that the force of that new medium was unleashed.

Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy was wrecking havoc with people’s lives and the fabric of the country’s political institutions with his scattershot accusations of rampant Communistic insinuation in American life. Thanks to diligent examination by Joseph Welch, McCarthy was unmasked, proven a charlatan. Most important, our republic watched on TV.

With its own eyes it saw that he who would be demagogue wore no clothes. Because of those flickering black and white images in the nation’s living rooms, McCarthy’s bully pulpit was snatched from beneath him. The thrust of media at full throttle from then on was a force to be reckoned with.

Enter Elvis. He arrived when information and imagery were beginning to travel at speeds rarely before comprehensible. People still had heroes they didn’t trade in every fifteen minutes.

Society was ripe for significant cultural liberation.

In the second world war, U.S. troops had shipped off to Europe and kicked some major Nazi butt. They’d sailed the Pacific and avenged the carnage at Pearl Harbor. The haberdasher from Kansas City dropped the bomb. The soldiers returned, battered, but with swagger and sense of a larger world than Norman Rockwell’s America. Though the U. S. was young as nations go, its status as world power was secure. Yet less than two centuries old, it’s culture was still in formulation.

The global effect of Japan’s nuclear decimation mustn’t be underestimated. The new truth was this: tens of thousands of people could be killed in a single mushroom-clouded instant. Civilized peoples wouldn’t hesitate to take such action.

From those wartime experiences — including a ravaged psyche dumbfounded by the holocaust — a live-for-today ethos evolved. Inherent in this new persona was the genesis of disaffection that primed the pump for the rock and roll era.

Post WW II America was booming. Appliance Parks and Levittowns were cropping up all across the land. The atmosphere vibrated from the pounding of hydraulic machinery and the thrust of combustion engines. Car sales skyrocketed. Even though the interstate highway system wasn’t yet in place, the desire to travel was epidemic. The Pennsylvania Turnpike opened in 1940. Americans had to move. There was a new mobile class that wanted to savor Howard Johnson’s 28 flavors along the way.

When Ike wasn’t asleep in the White House, he was playing golf at Augusta. While television was new and exciting, the screen was mostly filled with old vaudvillians, whose schtick seemed primeval to baby boomers craving a bigger kick, too east coast for the heartland.

This was not the world that fostered the teen idols that predated Elvis. The rah-rah-sis-boom-bah era of Rudy Vallee and his megaphone were long gone. So too the ba-ba-buh-boo of the Bing Crosby. Even the adoring throngs that greeted heartthrobs Cryin’ Johnnie Ray and Frankie Blue Eyes read like yesterday’s papers by the mid 50’s.

While all seemed Ozzie and Harriet tranquil on the surface, the truth was that western civilization — especially the young, lower and middle classes — was restless. The grass roots were ready to sprout. The masses wanted more, though they hadn’t been able to articulate exactly what. With his furrowed brow, James Dean was the insouciant rebel without a cause.

In “The Wild Ones,” motorpsycho Marlon Brando was asked, “What are you rebelling against?” His defiant answer, “What do you got?”

Early on Elvis was recording a tune at Sun. He wasn’t happy with the laggardly tempo. He raged, “That don’t move me, let’s get real gone.” A simpatico legion waited to march along, transistor radios in hand.

So they did. First the young, then so powerful was the impetus of change, that all society, all culture, was forced to change. Not just Ed Sullivan, the country’s stone-faced emcee who eventually succumbed, granting Elvis his imprimatur. When Presley finally made it to Sunday night primetime, nobody needed to see his pelvic thrusts hidden by conservative camera placement. Chaos already filled the air. Good rockin’ tonight was 24/7. Sullivan’s acknowledgement of Elvis was nothing less than a fading establishment crying “uncle.”

The importance of Presley to the world of music has been chronicled and dissected ad nauseum. He merged rhythm & blues with bluegrass. And with gospel. And with pop (there are those who say he merely wanted to be the next Dean Martin). And with jump — both the dance and the sound. And infused it all with an incessant, driving cadence that perfectly fit the tenor of the times.

The purpose here is not to dwell on Elvis’ music — that is almost peripheral to the point. Yet one must acknowledge the rhythmic turbulence of his early songs, which were recorded without drums. Then listen to, say, the RCA version of Carl Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes.” The new electric onslaught is instantly apparent.

This was a declaration of independence: “You can do anything you wanna do/ But don’t step on my blue suede shoes.”

Goodbye to the hot-diggity-dog-ziggity-boom years of “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?” Hello to the thrust of electro-metallic thunder.

Tapping Elvis Presley as Person of the Century has less to do with his repertoire than his social influence. That he changed the literature of music is clear beyond peradventure. That he opened the ears of the world to diverse sounds is a given.

All that said, though it’s this initial contribution that serves as a flashpoint, that may be his least important impression on society.

Remember what Leonard Bernstein elucidated — Elvis changed everything. On the surface, we changed how we dressed, the way we wore our hair, the way we talked. For the first time, world culture acknowledged not only that Bessie Smith was as important as Kate Smith, but Robert Johnson was as relevant as Lyndon Johnson. At a deeper level, how generations and societal strata related to each other — Who had the real authority? — was up for grabs. Elvis Presley did more to empower the working class than Walter Reuther and the wobblies combined.

An astonishing, surely unexpected turn of events it was. Here’s this sharecroppers’ son from the Delta, a loner, a mama’s boy with little self esteem (but a handful of ambition), who shocks the world to a new way of life.

One day this kid is driving a truck around Memphis, daydreaming seemingly impossible dreams. At night he’s stealing away to juke joints to hear forbidden music. The next day — almost literally — he is holed up in a small tight-knit culture of his own making as insulation from suffocating adulation of an adoring public clamoring to touch the hem of his garment.

Within moments of his arrival on the scene, he was imprisoned to a stultifying isolation from which he never escaped, and because of which he died an early, senseless death.

The rest of us were luckier. We cherished the new music that we could now experience thanks to the barriers Presley smashed. Youth, the proletariat and the bourgeois worldwide enjoyed a newfound freedom, an empowerment to contribute, to control — all wrested from elders and prior aristocracy.

Presley chronicler Peter Guralnick, in Louisville recently offered this about Elvis’ contribution to society beyond the music, “He was part of an evolutionary process — the triumph of the vernacular.

“Somewhere it was going to happen. The early 50’s were more than McCarthy and all that. There were the beats.

Magazines like Cashbox were already taking note that white kids were listening to black music. It was coincidence that it happened to be Elvis in Sam Phillips’ studio. It would have happened even if there was no Elvis.”

On its face, Guralnick’s view seems contradictory to our premise.

Not so.

Elvis as conduit — there’s a theory that fits both views. Yes the Beats existed in the 40’s, espousing freedom and immediacy. The fact remains that their Elvis, Jack Kerouac, had written his “That All Right Mama” — “On The Road” — years before. But it wasn’t published until 1957, after Elvis had broken down the barriers.

Rock & roll would have happened without Elvis. Sooner or later the rhythms of “race” music would have coalesced with hillbilly whines. The social upheaval that resulted in the tumultuous 60’s, the civil rights and feminist movements and new consumerism were all fostered by the new essence catalyzed by Elvis. Perhaps they would have evolved anyway. Nobody knows for sure.

Maybe what we are saying here is that Elvis was but a symbol — the catalytic moment for an inevitable change that would have gone down without him.

Yet . . . yet . . . there is an elusive voice that says no, that reiterates that Elvis Presley was something special. That Memphis in the 50’s, hard by the Mississippi and the Delta’s fertile ground — the very soul of America — was special. That Sun Studios, according to Guralnick, was home to a renaissance no less important than that of the Medici’s. That Elvis was not just a coincidence.

Bottom line: Elvis was all that. And more. A guy’s guy with feminine beauty. A rogue with charm. A rebel who respected his mama and served his country abroad. A take charge dude with significant self-doubt. An actor. A lover. A revisionist. A singer. An addict. An innovator. A performer. A vanguard. A philanthropist. A spendthrift. A simple man with a complicated life.

He was neon. Bright lights, big city. The 20th century’s pied piper.

He was not only evolutionary but transition itself. Not only revolutionary but the cannon itself. He smashed the old mold to bits. He was the new, the modern, the contemporary, the future. In music surely. But also in manners. And mores.

Because of Elvis anything was possible for anybody.

Elvis was without agenda, yet changed that of world culture.

Whatever standards might be applied, be they academic, anecdotal or pop cultural, Elvis Presley clearly contributed as much to the way world society is today as any other person this century. Because of the resultant idolatry — the almost religious iconography — that emanated from his fame, Elvis remains in the public consciousness more today than in the later years of his life.

The King is dead, long live the King.

So influential was he that his image inflated to kitschian proportion.

Commenting on the mystery that is the Bermuda Triangle, Mojo Nixon, one of contemporary society’s leading philosophers, theorizes: “Elvis needs boats. Elvis needs planes.”

He also credits Elvis for Stonehenge. And the pyramids.

Nixon — Mojo not Dick — has stated:

“Elvis is everywhere.

“Elvis is everything.

“Elvis is everybody.”

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“Emergency”: Film Review/ Podcast Thursday, Jun 2 2022 

Is it possible to take a hackneyed movie genre and turn it into something else entirely?

Like, say, the it’s the last night of school before vacation let’s party til we puke and do stupid things flick, and use that premise to make a comment on socio-cultural reality, all the while being entertaining.

The answer we now know is Yes.

Thanks to “Emergency,” available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

Sean and Kuhnle are all set to be the first black dudes at their college to complete the seven stop Legendary Tour of parties before spring break.

Coming home for their “pregame,” they discover a white girl they don’t know, passed out stoned and drunk on their living room floor.

What to do?

The weirdness usually present in this genre of flicks comes about. But, so too, a take on what it’s like to be young and black in a moment fraught with peril in today’s culture.

This is not diatribe or finger pointing. What this is is an often very funny, continually entertaining and engaging, and periodically revelatory film.

For more, Listen to my podcast below.

Audio MP3

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“Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn”: Review Podcast Saturday, May 28 2022 

Alrighty then, here’s something completely and absurdly different.

A Romanian film, shot during the pandemic in Bucharest.

About a respected teacher at an upscale school, who makes a private sex tape with her husband.

Which somehow gets uploaded to the interweb.

Parental disapproval ensues.

This fascinating film, which — Caveat Emptor — contains graphic imagery and lots of dirty, really nasty words, provides an interesting take on the culture of that country, as well as the racism, contention and hypocrisy that is endemic world wide.

Plus, it’s really funny.

Well done, it won the top prize at the ’21 Berlin Film Festival.

I’d suggest actually listening to my podcast before going to Hulu or Amazon Prime to watch.

Audio MP3

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“Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent: Review/ Podcast Thursday, May 19 2022 

So, Nick Cage, he’s like a thing, right?

Because of his over the top acting style and other stuff, he’s more than an actor. A cultural icon, or, at least curiosity.

So it would seem.

He’s won an Oscar. He’s been in a 109 films. He’s made some bold choices in his portrayals, daring even.

Some hit. Some have you walking out of the theater, scratching your head. Even before the movie’s over perhaps.

He’s a flashpoint for aesthetic colloquy.

Now, he plays himself, along with his alter ego Sailer Ripley, his character in “Wild at Heart,” in what is either an astute bit of self deprecation, or vanity in the extreme.

Way more the former, I’d opine.

In “Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” you get all Nick Cage all the time.

It’s pretty danged funny. Astute. Often a brilliant send up of the movie industry.

For more on the movie, listen to my podcast below:

Audio MP3

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Back In New Orleans for JazzFest Thursday, Apr 28 2022 

My favorite thing in life, the New Orleans JazzFest, the best musical experience extant, is back after a two year hiatus because of You Know What.

So am I.

This will be my 33d Fest, the first in ’76.

Seven days of music on consecutive weekends, on ten stages inside Fairgrounds Racetrack complex from 11:30 in morning until 7:00.

Did I mention it’s in New Orleans, where you can also find something worthwhile to eat when out to dinner with friends?

I am beside myself with joy.

For the reasons why, listen below:

Audio MP3

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Le Brer (in A. Miner) Friday, Mar 4 2022 

The header is not a misspell. Read on.

I live in a part of my hometown where everybody seems to be interconnected, where there are not a lot of degrees of separation. Where your cousin is likely to work with your neighbor’s uncle. The mother of your daughter’s current BF went to the junior prom 25 years ago with your boss’s brother. A former fellow bandmate of your Louisville contractor teaches guitar to your former fraternity brother. In New Orleans.

That kind of stuff.

An educated area, yet when asked what school one attended, the intention is to learn what high school, not college.

I’ve often joked that on my deathbed, two people will walk in together and provide the final tie in to everyone I’ve known.

I am used to connectivity.

So, I look for links in my life.

 * * * * *

I am a huge music fan.

Rock & Roll.

I’m full with it, my history with it. I can tell you exactly where I was when I first heard “Walk Don’t Run.” What acts were on the bill at the first concert I attended. “Biggest Show of Stars.” On July 29, 1961.

I’ve often mused whether I’d have made it as I have to double sevens without tuneage to provide a necessary soundtrack along the way.

Such is my obsession that I seek out anecdotia that will helpfully provide explanation for the music that has moved me the most. My mind is filled with way too much trivia.

Like, that General Norman Johnson of Chairmen of the Board was the leader of The Showmen, and sang “It Will Stand.” Like, that a band which played a dance for my fraternity, Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs (“Stay”) were once the Gladiolas, and did the original version of “Little Darlin’.”

But, as much as I know, there’s always somethin’ else, right?

Right. As I recently learned.

Which brings me to the interaction of those two seemingly disparate trains of thought above.

The other week I had one of those moments as described, when I learned of the person who connected my two favorite musical things.

The link, if you will.

 * * * * *

The first time I heard the Allman Brothers Band was July 3, 1970 at the Atlanta Pop Festival. I’d never even heard of them prior. Until the night before the fest, on a secondary stage deep in the woods, when a roadie kept announcing that Sky Dog Allman was coming to jam.

Who is this guy, I wondered? Too beyond blither, and in need of sleep, I didn’t stay.

The next night, the first of the official festival, from far away in the six figure crowd, I was drawn immediately to the stage. Wind picking up, their hippie length hair waving, ABB was playing “Every Hungry Woman.”

They had me from “Sad eyed woman/ Boogie til the break of dawn.”

I heard them do four sets when slide savant Duane Allman was still alive. Twice there in Byron, Georgia. Two sets that following winter at Reflections, a club in Cincinnati.

Plus many many many times through the decades in various lineup configurations, always with Greg and Butch and Jaimoe. In football stadiums. At baseball parks. Indoors. Outdoors. At a motor speedway.

When I’m down, when I need ballast in my life, required to take a breath and get to a serene spot, I put on one version or another of “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.”

The savage beast inside always succumbs. Serenity ensues.

 * * * * *

The other significant, identifying musical force in my life is the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

To which I was introduced by an old college chum in 1976.

In two months time — Lord willing and the creek don’t rise — I’ll be attending my 33d JazzFest. Because of the virus cancellations, I’ve not been since the last in ’19. The longest hiatus without visiting New Orleans in April for Fest since 1988.

Through the years listening to that incredible, soulful, funky music, I discovered connectitude with the Crescent City spirit force that goes back to my days of Top 40 News Weather and Sports, Big Hugh Baby on WLAC, buying 45s at Variety and Vine Records.

I had more Fats Domino platters than those of anybody else. Of course, I knew he was from New Orleans. But didn’t realize Allen Toussaint’s contributions. That it is him playing piano on some of those hits. Plus he produced the great one hitter, legendary Ernie K-Koe’s “Mother In Law.” Along with peripheral folks you might not know, like Bobby Marchan. Or stars you have, like Little Richard, whose Speciality tunes were recorded in the Crescent City.

Frankie Ford. Phil Phillips. The Dixie Cups.

Aaron Neville, tellin’ it like it is.

The influence of Longhair and Booker.

Understand?

I love the place. It’s music. It’s presence.

How it has sustained me.

 * * * * *

Connection Part I: So, it was a wondrous day for me a month or so ago, because such things matter to the core of my soul, when I discovered the missing link that connected the Allmans and JazzFest.

Duane and Greg grew up in Daytona Beach, attended Seabreeze HS.

Their band in their earliest days was the Allman Joys.

Connection Part II: In the early 70s, at the behest of the New Orleans city fathers, impresario George Wein was asked to develop a festival featuring the music and culture of the town and the state.

At the recommendation of the head of Tulane’s Jazz Archive, Wein commandeered a couple New Orleans twentysomething music obsessives to help him track down performers and administer the festival.

One was Quint Davis, who remains to this day, the major domo of Fest.

The other, Alison Miner.

She, similarly imbued with the wellspring of indigenous music of the area.

Miner became Professor Longhair’s manager. She and Davis formed the Fest. Years later after moving to Cleveland, but returning to the city where she needed to live, she developed the Music Heritage Stage at JazzFest, interviewing performers.

And performing herself on occasion.

Ms. Miner could sing. Ms. Miner knew her stuff. Ms. Miner felt it to the core of her soul.

The first band she sang with was years before in high school.

Seabreeze HS in Daytona Beach.

Where she fronted a band with classmate Duane and his brother Greg.

A. Miner & The Allman Joys.

Now I understand how the combination of the two render the chord of my being, a scale with no flats and no sharps.

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A.

A Miner, if I might.

I am Le Brer (in A. Miner.)

— c d kaplan

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How to Find a Gift People Will Love Friday, Feb 5 2021 

Buying gifts can be challenging, and year on year, it can get more difficult. Knowing what gifts your friends and family will love will while staying unique and creative can be challenging. Knowing what to buy for friends and family can leave you feeling stressed and anxious, but, it doesn’t have to be so difficult. Here are some top gifts you can give that any recipient will be sure to love.

Donate or Give to Charity

Whether this is regularly or a one of donation, it all adds up. Whether you give time or money, it is always valuable and greatly appreciated, so why not donate what you can to the recipient’s favorite charity or organization. Find out what charity or non for profit organization your friend supports and then offer to support them too.

Sponsor a child

There are children right now all over the world who are unfortunately struggling. Whether they lack clothes, food, or education, they are vulnerable and need help. Providing sponsorship of a child for at least a year will make you and the recipient feel good, and it will make a difference to the child you are sponsoring too.

Create and give them a Hamper

If you have a good idea about what they love and enjoy, then why not put together your own hamper for them. From essential oils to CBD products from vapecbdworld.com there is so much choice and variety, meaning you can create a hamper that is unique and personal to each individual. When you put together a hamper yourself (as opposed to buying one), you ensure that all of the items you buy will be both used and loved.

Protect endangered animals

There are animals at risk of extinction. Perhaps their habitats are being destroyed, or they are being overhunted. No matter what the situation, animals need assistance and help, and so do the organizations that are trying to save them. So, why not sponsor an endangered animal for your friend and help where you can. In return, they will most likely receive a once a year email update or a cuddly toy.

Chocolate

For some, chocolate may feel like an impersonal and easy choice when buying a gift; however, this doesn’t have to be true. The majority of the population enjoy these sweet treats every now and again, meaning it’s sure to be appreciated. Furthermore, many chocolatiers and stores are able to create personalized chocolate gift sets, where you can select a range of different flavours that you know your friend or family member will love.

When giving a friend or family member a gift, it is important not to get carried away spending money; remember that price is not everything. Spend how much you can afford to, but don’t feel pressured to spend more than you can as this will cause resentment and ill feeling. Remember that gift giving is supposed to be fun, and is supposed to show the recipient how much you care about them.

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Bike Stations to Display Black Lives Matter Message Saturday, Jul 11 2020 

Displaying a message for equality throughout Louisville. All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until Black lives matter. 

Louisville Bike Share known as LouVelo (operated by CycleHop) has partnered with Louisville web designer and graphic artist, Mr. and Mrs. Smith LLC to display a series of posters on bike stations across Louisville featuring a message in support of Louisville’s Black Lives Matter movement. 

When asked as to why Black lives matter, Jason Smith, founder of the Louisville Web Design firm reacted “They matter since they are children, siblings, sisters, moms, and fathers. They matter on the grounds that the treacheries and injustices that they face take from us all — white individuals and non-white individuals the same. They take away our very mankind and humanity.” 

LouVelo wanted to send a message of hope and support for the residents of Louisville, KY. Matthew Glaser, General Manager of LouVelo said “We support Black Lives Matter and the equal and fair treatment of all.” 

The messages also display quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. such as “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle” to remind us that we must continue to work for change and progress. 

Other Louisville businesses chimed in too including Hilltop Tavern, on Frankfort avenue; The Louisville Jazz Society and Louisville Attorney, Graham Whatley who all sponsored posters in support of this message of hope and for equality in Louisville. 

About Mr and Mrs Smith LLC A Louisville Web design and Management company, specializing in creating amazing Web designs for local (Louisville, Kentucky) small – midsize businesses. To learn more about Why Black Lives Matter visit https://www.mrwebsmith.com/blm/ Mr and Mrs Smith LLC: Jason Smith, Founder; 502-295-7851, Jason@mrwebsmith.com 

About Lou Velo LouVelo is Louisville’s official bike share company. The program launched on March 25, 2017 and consists of 320 bikes and 37 stations across Louisville, KY and Jeffersonville IN. LouVelo is operated by CycleHop with PBSC equipment and overseen by Louisville Metro. To access the bikes download Transit App. To learn more about LouVelo visit www.Louvelo.com. Matthew Glaser, General Manager; 502-643-0363, matthew.glaser@cyclehop.com 

Castleman Statue Rode Out of Cherokee Triangle Monday, Jun 8 2020 

FROM METRO GOVERNMENT

City wins court appeal, Mayor orders immediate removal

LOUISVILLE, KY. (June 8, 2020) —The John Breckenridge Castleman monument is being moved this morning from Cherokee Triangle, after a Jefferson Circuit Court judge ruled Friday afternoon that the city has the right to do so.

Crews began work at about 6 a.m. The statue is being taken to a city storage facility for cleaning, in anticipation of a move to Cave Hill Cemetery, where Castleman is buried; the plinth below it will be moved later. Negotiations with Cave Hill about the move are ongoing.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced plans to move the Castleman monument, as well as one of George Dennison Prentice, in August 2018, after reviewing a report issued two months earlier by the Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee, which had created a guiding set of principles for evaluating existing and future public art and monuments in the city.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced plans to move the Castleman monument, as well as one of George Dennison Prentice, in August 2018, after reviewing a report issued two months earlier by the Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee, which had created a guiding set of principles for evaluating existing and future public art and monuments in the city.

The committee held seven public meetings in 2018, gathering hundreds of comments from residents throughout the city before submitting its report to the Mayor. The Mayor said at the time that, “We all agree with the report’s finding that our city must not maintain statues that serve as validating symbols for racist or bigoted ideology – that’s why we relocated the Confederate statue near the University of Louisville” in 2016.

And, “While Castleman was honored for contributions to the community, it cannot be ignored that he also fought to continue the horrific and brutal slavery of men, women and children; heralded that part of his life in his autobiography; and had his coffin draped with both a U.S. and Confederate flag,” he said. “And while Prentice was founder and long-time editor of the Louisville Journal newspaper, he used that platform to advocate an anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant message that led to the 1855 Bloody Monday riot where 22 people were killed.”

The Prentice statue was moved into storage in December 2018. The Castleman move required a Certificate of Appropriateness because it is located in the Cherokee Triangle Preservation District. The Cherokee Triangle Architectural Review Committee denied the certificate in January 2019. The city appealed that decision to the Landmarks Commission, which approved the move in May 2019.  The Friends of Louisville Public Art appealed that decision to Jefferson Circuit Court, which denied that appeal, making way for today’s move.

In announcing his decision to move the Prentice and Castleman statues in 2018, the Mayor rejected the idea that moving them was an effort to erase history. “Moving these statues,” he said, “allows us to examine our history in a new context that more accurately reflects the reality of the day, a time when the moral deprivation of slavery is clear.”

Today, the Mayor said moving the Castleman statue from its public space sends an important message. “But the events of the past weeks have shown clearly that it’s not enough just to face our history – we’ve got to address its impact on our present. Too many people are suffering today because the promises of justice and equality enshrined in our Constitution are unfulfilled by a society that devalues African-American lives and denies African Americans justice, opportunity and equity. That’s got to change. People want and deserve action. We need a transformation.”

No decision has been made about how the Cherokee Triangle site will be used after the statue is moved. Sarah Lindgren, Metro’s Public Art Administrator, said any new proposal for artwork or monuments on public property would be reviewed through the city’s public art guidelines.

Information about the city’s review process for artworks in public places, including the Commission on Public Art guidelines and documentation of  the Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee, can be found at https://louisvilleky.gov/government/public-art..

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