copyright Bill Widener 2000

A little bit country, a little bit sarcasm...

is Dyn-O-Mite

How about some reviews of country CDs. Maybe you all could use something from the Nasvhille Scene. There are many country fans in the Bluegrass area and I think they would enjoy seeing some of these. I would like to see some reviews on some of the "Americana or Alt. Country" artists. They definitely need the exposure.

Several of these artist perform at Lynaughs regularly. Maybe some sorta of interviews would be great.


Jimmy Walker

A little bit rock and roll

Good to open up Ace and see Raaahb "big city" Hulsman had graced your pages with a Pete Townshend review [CDs/Wax Sep 28].

Long live RAWK.

Rich Jordan

I've never heard of Sundowner Syndrome [Oct 5, Rock and Roll Quarterly], and I doubt anybody else has either, but it was refreshing to see musicians on your cover that haven't been "making the scene" here for 15 years. Isn't 10 Ft. Pole dead yet?

Eddie Hawkins

I just wanted to say thank you for putting ACE on the web; I recently moved away from Lexington, and it's really nice to be able to keep track of what's going on in Lexington.

I especially enjoyed the cover story on Sundowner Syndrome the week of October 5. I always thought Lexington had a local music scene to rival any big city, but with better personalities attached. (Ethical bands? no way!)

Rob Bricken, by the way, is a fabulous writer. You ought to send him to the SF Bay Area to write about something or the other. For a week. Or more. (Don't worry about hotel fares, I'll put him up).

Jinjer Larsen

via email

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Can't get there from here

What Lexington Needs..... is an airport.

A real airport, not the "boutique" variety that currently graces Versailles Road. One with real runways, and far more importantly, a real hub for a real airline.

That's what our readers tell us.

They write moving essays about it in our Best of Lexington issue. They cite it as the major impediment to Lexington becoming "a real city." They discourse eloquently about how it is absolutely vital to any kind of sustained economic growth. And so on.

Ace has always sounded a hearty "Amen!," but for me personally, the debate has always been at least somewhat theoretical, in that I don't fly.

Not ever. Under any circumstances.

Of course, there's an exception to every rule, and I recently found myself in a position of trying to locate a direct, non-stop, flight to a city far, far, far away.

The details are unimportant, but it was a necessary trip, and there was no time to drive (which is my usual practice if the destination is anything under 3248 miles from here. That's my limit.)

I required direct, non-stop because my suspicion was that if the plane stopped anywhere along the way, I would just move there. One plane in one day was already one too many. I would just get off the second we touched down and promptly relocate to whatever garden spot we'd landed in. I'd find a job. Get a house. Ask the kennel to ship my dogs.

So in order to avoid an impromptu, ill-advised, unplanned relocation to say, Cleveland, I went in search of direct, non-stop.

You veterans of the sky are chuckling already.

Of course, Bluegrass airport offers direct non-stop to Louisville and Cincinnati, and a handful of other largely worthless destinations - forcing an inconvenient commute to Cincinnati (where the airport is also, frankly, nothing to write home about). Of course I could've flown to Cincinnati, but 1.the pharmaceutical industry is frankly ill-equipped to handle a circumstance that would require me to board a small, claustrophobic, low-tech tin can that I might well be asked to pedal at some point, and 2. adding a leg would've been ridiculously expensive.

So while I trudged through the cleverly named Cinci airport (given its location in northern Kentucky), I watched hundreds of people milling about - buying everything from coffee to books to luggage to alcohol in the surrounding retail zone - not to mention the dozens of passengers who were riding the various hotel shuttles from the neighborhood.

So that's one area of revenue Lexington misses out on - that generated by the actual airport itself.

My second direct experience with our airport inadequacies was a recent attempt, here at the paper, to organize an October meeting for VVM publishers. It wouldn't have exactly qualified as a million-dollar gathering, but it would've meant hotel revenue, entertaining, dining, and so on. But Lexington was nixed in favor of Nashville, primarily because of our onerous accessibility by air. So now I guess they'll all be soaking up the atmosphere at the Bluebird or 12th & Porter instead of knocking back bourbons and betting on the ponies here.

My third brush with this issue came this past weekend, when a group of my east coast friends and college pals decided to fly in to celebrate my birthday. Again, hardly a million-dollar gathering. Ultimately, everyone flew into Louisville, and ultimately (because we are lazy), we just stayed and celebrated there. As a group, we spent money at several retail establishments, the St. James art fair, two art galleries on Bardstown Road, Stevens & Stevens deli (where we also picked up a substantial amount of carryout to bring home to the natives, who had filled our pockets with cash and orders, scarcely believing our tall tales of imaginative, tasty cuisine at bargain-basement prices), and then a fancy downtown restaurant for dinner.

It made me wonder how much of this everyday revenue Lexington constantly loses to Louisville and Cincinnati - purely because they're equipped to shuttle people in and out cost-effectively and we're not.

That doesn't begin to take into account the damages we can never calculate - namely, all the business and industry that refuses to consider locating here because the city is so inconveniently accessible by air. All the talk of making Lexington a capital or another Silicon Valley is purely ludicrous in the face of such a substantial impediment.

Growth, in and of itself, is neither good nor bad. What it is, is inevitable.

The question is, are we going to grow in a sustained, well-conceived manner that utilizes infill and considers our existing infrastructure? Are we going to work to expand research parks and think tanks? Can we entice high tech industry without giving away the store?

Or are we going to continue to try to seduce misery-industries like poultry farming and processing?

Do we want to be Georgia, or do we want to be the North Carolina triangle?

Are we going to build yet another string of super Wal-Marts that stretch from here to Frankfort, or Richmond, or Danville? (And if those Wal-Mart jobs are as great as those chipper smiley seniors suggest on television, why do the people who have those jobs in real life always look like they want to kill themselves whenever you encounter them?)

SPRAWL is not GROWTH. It's just depressing.

As for me, I have no plans to ever get on another plane if I can help it -they remind me too much of that bus scene in the series finale of M*A*S*H - desperate walls of humanity crushed against humanity, crying children, decaying old people, the omnipresent threat of insurrection... everything but the loose livestock. Alan Alda may be self-righteous, sanctimonious, and generally annoying, but if there had been a Hawkeye around to mercifully smother me, I would've frankly welcomed the blessed relief that death would bring. A fiery crash would've come in a close and selfish second (given all the families on board who probably were not of a similar mind as to what constitutes respite).

But that's just me.

Maybe what I need is a drink.

But what Lexington needs is a real airport.