After my preamble trip to Hagerstown I had just enough energy to check my email when I arrived. It had been a rough day, considering I’d moved out of the family home I’d had for 30+ years, so when I pulled into the hotel just past 11, I didn’t even care that I’d missed the cut-off time for beer at the hotel mini mart by only 5 minutes. I didn’t even pitch a fit when the guy at the front desk told me that they were out of foam pillows. My allergies made me pay for that one.
At any rate, I was up at 8am and ready to go…. and after the mother of all time sucks, a visit to a local mall for some needed road supplies, I was on the road to Louisville and 534 miles awaited me. Were I driving with another person, 500+ miles wouldn’t be a big deal but alone? It’s drowsy time. Seriously, after about 375 miles or so I find myself chanting things like “badda badda bang ging gong bung ding badda ding big gong dang…” like some half-baked Bhangra singer with tertiary stage syphilis.
The trip to Louisville was one of continued happiness with the 70 MPH speed limit (cruise control set permanently to 77/78 MPH shaves a lot of time off of Google Maps’ estimates). I got a late start so time was tight and I had a firm 7:30pm start time for diner at a black-tie event in Louisville. You see, I just happened to time my trip with the annual benefit for Louisville’s Speed Art Museum and Saturday night was the Speed Ball (no, I’m not making that up). My friends Gill and Augusta Holland had graciously extended me an invitation and I’d be damned of I was gonna miss it. I already knew I wouldn’t make the pre-dinner cocktails so it was time to put the hammer down.
Make it I did, just at the crack of 7:30 After having changed into my suit at a rest stop 70 miles outside of the city and getting slightly lost, I pulled up to the museum, hopped out, put on my vest and tie and met Gill on the steps. Ducking into the men’s room to check my tie, I realized I still had my t-shirt from earlier in the day stuffed into my pants pocket. Nothing to do, but sacrifice it to the trash bin in the john, as there was some serious hob-nobbing to be done.
I expected this gala to be much like most other museum-located festivities, i.e. a load of stuffy people who feel important for supporting the arts jammed into a ballroom or atrium outfitted with a massive number of tables and a string quartet. I was wrong on pretty much every count.
First of all, the dinner was actually amid the art. So much so that many tables were sequestered in little areas out of sight of other diners, but full in sight of some work by masters. I got to eat my salad, tenderloin of beef and organic chicken breast a few feet from a Monet, a Cassat and a Sargent. I wish I’d had more time to explore the museum, because from my little perusal, it’s a pretty nice collection. Secondly, my dining companions were wonderful. I was seated next to filmmaker Elliot Greenbaum’s mother, Mary, the opinions editor for the Louisville Courier Journal and assorted other locals and out-of-towners, all of whom were interesting and engaging dinner companions and welcomed a stranger with class. The conversation was fine, the food good and the setting inspiring.
After dinner the event got a little…wacky. Of course there was a bar and apparently you could get soft drinks, but I needed reading glasses to read the small print. Utah this aint!
And as usual, after dinner, there was dancing, although this particular brand of dancing got a little….risque?
My apologies for the fuzzy iPhone pix, but in this case, maybe that’s a good thing!
The next day I got to tour Gill and Augusta’s fantastic development, The Green Building in Louisville’s East Market district. Check it out. It’s an amazing development, one that is poised to be the first commercial building in Louisville to be certified LEED Platinum.
Admittedly I didn’t really spend enough time there to really get a flavor of Louisville, I did see this, which is cool:
Next? Memphis and the best sandwich on earth…at least until Arkansas….