Some traditions nothing to celebrate

I was deeply disturbed and somewhat amazed by what your reader Craig Coleman had to say [Letters, Dec 5] regarding Frank Walker's article on My Old Kentucky Home. He was quick to point out that Mr. Walker had an unresolved issue regarding Kentucky's Alma Mater. How can this issue be resolved by Mr. Walker and any other African American living in Kentucky if the issue is still very much a concern today. It's nice how Craig attempts to justify the clearly racist anthem by using Christ, when in fact all he is doing is adverting the subject, and besides, I don't remember Christ saying let there be darkies. Why should we have to uphold a racist song?

Just because it is part of our history does not mean that our history was something to be proud of. The song SHOULD be done away with! It is sad that not more people are aware of the original lyrics.

Craig, it is not about harping, it is about RESPECT and for anyone to uphold this song is obviously lacking in that area. Without African Americans, this country would not be much if any of what it is today, so in closing, I feel that we deserve more than just to be recognized as "darkies," after all, white people needed black people before black people needed white people.

April Stevenson

Letters Policy: Ace LOVES to publish our mail (250 words or less please); please include name and daytime phone. No photocopies. No bulk mail. First come, first served. We may edit for space and grammar; we will limit frequency; and, on popular issues, we may print one or two letters to represent a segment of public opinion. Private correspondence should be labeled “NOT FOR PUBLICATION.”

Mail: 486 West Second St , Lexington, Ky 40507

Bluegrass Bachelor Emeritus

Dr. Chris Marek, a charter alum of Ace Weekly's Bluegrass Bachelor Auction, was married Oct. 11, 2002 to Nykhole Jeanne Stewart, in Berea. As readers will remember from his profile, the groom is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and the University of Virginia Medical School in Charlottesville. He also fetched the highest bid at the inaugural bachelor auction, in February 2001. No need for tears that he's off the market: nominations are currently pouring in for the 2003 Auction.

Arch Bishop

Lexington's Catholic Comm-unity has a new leader. The Vatican appointed Monsignor Ronald Gainer to be the new bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Lexington. Gainer's appointment follows the resignation of Bishop J. Kendrick Williams.

Ring in the new mayor

The inuagural creremony for new mayor Teresa Isaac will be held , Sunday, January 5th, at 2pm in the Kentucky Theatre on East main Street. A reception will follow in the Ballroom of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Center.

Testing, testing

Smallpox deadly UK researchers hope to have their vaccine approved by the FDA within a couple of years. Right now, they're looking for volunteers to be inoculated.

The vaccine is not without risks, however. For every million people vaccinated, up to fifty could experience complications or serious side effects. In rare instances, it can be fatal. Healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30, can call 323-1673.

To submit an advocacy/activism activity or event for Quickies, email rkirkland@aceweekly.com, or editor@aceweekly.com.


Comin' and Goin'

Man, I don't think you can say that we're lost. I think we're just sort of misplaced.

-William Phillip Burden

This time last year, we had just finished up our interview with the "Model" Citizen of 2001. THAT year's model was Bobby Ray. (In this year's annual edition, we highlight several "new" models who are working within the community to make this a better place to live, for all of us and not just some of us, as one reader put it.)

We knew with Ray leaving Lynagh's, the complexion of the local music scene was bound to change.

What we didn't know (for certain) was that his departure (and a host of other factors) would end with the closing of Lynagh's music club.

Despite the fact that Catawampus Universe played their swan song there, the club went out with more of a whimper than a bang-having had its imminent demise reported erroneously and frequently in the months prior. Hearing "wolf" one too many times, music fans stayed in denial for some time to come.

And just as there has been no heir to the Wrocklage since those legendary doors closed, no one has yet stepped up to fill the Lynagh's void.

In the spring, we were all caught up in the mayoral primary-excited for once-but key strategic errors were made, and Jim Gray lost.

This resulted in a runoff that was one of the ugliest in memory-exacerbated when local media allowed themselves to be played like a fiddle by both camps, treating rumors and accusations as "news" (an irresponsible, ongoing, persistent tendency which will be examined, in excruciating detail, in upcoming issues).

Still, it forced many of us in the media to re-evaluate how we define news, and reminded us (some of us) that there are bells you can never un-ring.

Neither the Herald-Leader nor Ace offered a mayoral endorsement in November.

The water company is still not for sale, but warring factions continue to wage the battle between prospective LFUCG ownership and ownership by a German conglomerate. The issue may've been the swing vote in both the mayoral and urban-county council elections.

Crosbie's mayoral loss may've thrown a wrench into the Republicans' longterm plans for state leadership-but Patton's Kennedy-esque confessions threw the Democrats an equally painful curve.

In moments like these, we'd all do well to remember The Cure's bi-partisan admonition, "Boys don't cry."

On the Cuisine Scene, Starbucks hit town in a big way, moving into the long-lamented Cosmo's digs. (Rumor had it, briefly, that Dean & DeLuca would take over that space...but to be fair, it's entirely possible that we actually started that rumor.) Meanwhile, just around the corner, the still-popular Roy's East High Diner quietly closed its doors.

In addition to yet another Starbucks, downtown has a new Justice Center and a new Arts Center, a controversial plaza, and continues to expand dining and drinking options. Metropol opened near Cheapside. And Phoenix will strive to bring some of that lucie-magic to Victorian Square.

Downtown still doesn't have a grocery store, or any meaningful improvement in retail options, which will likely only follow an improvement in residential options, i.e., people spend where they live.

Farmer's Market has filled some of that void in the summer, as its Saturday mornings continue to experience record growth and replace Cosmo's as the place to see and be seen (forcing some of us to shop in the pre-dawn hours to avoid the meat market).

In sports, hockey came back to town (and was greeted by backlash from the last time hockey came to town). Mitch Barnhart arrived at UK, to mostly positive reviews. Coach Morris prepares to leave UK, a departure also greeted by a few positive reviews.

Among Kentucky's literati, new books hit the shelves by Chris Offutt (amid great controversy), Ed McClanahan, and Crystal Wilkinson, to name a few.

Looking ahead: the Troubadour Series turns ten this year. Indoor football will offer sports fans still more March Madness. Ace is going on 15 (next month marks two years of a return to local ownership). And come January, the city will inaugurate a new mayor.

On a more global level, we wind down this year the same way we wound down last-with rumors of war. A generally terrifying prospect.

So, in our closing holiday good wishes for all of you, we conclude with the immortal words of David Sedaris (in Holidays on Ice, the best gift ever): "Generosity can actually make people feel quite uncomfortable if you talk about it enough. I don't mean the bad 'boring uncomfortable,' but something much richer. If practiced correctly, generosity can induce feelings of shame, inadequacy, and even envy, to name just a few."

Season's Greetings from Ace!

~Rhonda Reeves editor/publishern