copyright Bill Widener 2000

Title IX

How could any self respecting journalist write an article on Title IX at this time and not comment on Bush's plan to repeal parts of it, and soften the rest of it??? You let us down this time, Jeff, by merely writing a 'puff' article on the status of womens' sports opportunities due to Title IX [sportspeak], and the threat of its demise by the Bush administration. What a missed opportunity to make others aware of Bush's latest shenanigans.

Jenny Miller,


Dance Fever

Greetings Mr. Bricken,

...I'd like to thank the staff of Ace Weekly. Each month, I receive at least 6 emails stating interest in the dancing and a few show-ups for dance directly due to the listing in ACE. While I attract attention through other means (Kernel listing, etc.), by far the best source for getting word out about dance is with ACE. Thank you very much for providing the kind of information/entertainment that would speak to such an audience as would be interested in Medieval/Rennaissance European dancing.

Have a good day,

Gabriel M. Jones

Bracken's Crackin' Up?

Rob, I'm gettin' worried--the tone of your film "rave-ues" is gettig a bit edgy. Not that I disagree at all with your descriptions of the generally dismal fare but I hope yer not actually making yourself audit all of that stuff. Save brain cells & time--y'know a film like Joe Dirt & the Pussycats can be accurately assessed merely from the "adver-trite-sing".

Darryl Weaver

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Mail: 486 West Second St , Lexington, Ky 40507


The Elusive Wild Turkey

It's a beautiful thing when Lexington's arts community comes together as one. When they put aside their differences to achieve a common, greater goal. At no time have I been MORE impressed with this than I was this past weekend - when I found myself in dire need of a fifth of Wild Turkey on a Sunday evening. It's the preferred drink of author Larry Brown - whom I was scheduled to pick up at the airport (and I had thoughtlessly forgotten to shop ahead).

I suppose I could've gone to a bar and ordered it in mass quantities by the glass (and poured it into the handy bourbon reservoir compartment of my Kate Spade bag) - but I know all the local bartenders so 1. they know I don't drink Wild Turkey, and 2. I think they would've cut me off around the time I ordered the 16th double tall. (I certainly hope they would.)

Resourceful as ever, with a wide community of alcoholics to choose from, I began dialing frantically.

I hit up every author, artist, musician, photographer, poet, painter, dancer, and sculptor I could think of (along with a few lawyers and CPAs, just for good measure).

The funny thing (to me) was, that not ONE of them seemed remotely taken aback by my breathless, unprefaced plea, "Hey, I need a fifth of Wild Turkey. Do you know where I can get one?"

No one paused to ask "Whyyyyyyyyy?"

No one paused at all. You'd think I did this sort of thing all the time (and I swear, I don't.)

One did muse helpfully, "Hmmmm. What would Erskine Caldwell do?"

But amazingly, no one offered any judgment as to what demons might be possessing me in that I was suddenly reduced to calling my entire rolodex on a Sunday night in search of alcohol.

No, they treated my request as matter-of-factly as if I'd called to borrow a cup of sugar.

And, more importantly, they ALL immediately stopped what they were doing and mobilized.

United as one, they became a force - fanning out across the city, in search of the elusive Wild Turkey - seemingly undaunted by the fact that we live in a town where Makers' Mark and Woodford Reserve are the dominant presence in every local liquor cabinet.

The point was, my reputation as a thoughtful southern hostess was on the line, and they were NOT going to let me embarrass our fair city.

(Consequently, I came home to a front porch sagging and groaning under the weight of God knows how many liters of scotch, bourbon, whiskey and every other permutation of mashed alcohol. I either have to throw a party, or quit my job and become a full-time alcoholic.)

I bring this incident up, only by way of a long introduction to just how generally impressed I was by Lexington this weekend.

I am as guilty as anyone of whining about the fact that there's nothing to do here. But this weekend, we were beset by a positive embarrassment of riches - and I certainly hope (and believe) it's a taste of things to come.

Friday kicked off with a superb Gallery Hop, where we wandered downtown successfully searching for art that did more than match our sofa. The evening ended at Common Grounds, where we danced the night away in our pajamas - hopped up on everyone's favorite blessed legal stimulant, caffeine.

Saturday morning began - as it always does and always should - at Farmers' Market downtown on Vine. Saturday night ended on a high note with Alejandro Escovedo's sold-out concert at Lynagh's. Lexington remains one of the Austin rocker's favorite tour stops (evidenced by the fact that, once he gets here, he always has a hard time leaving - frequently hanging out for days on end). As usual, the show didn't contain one bad note. And his Townes Van Zandt tribute, "Follow You Down," was enough to bring tears to your eyes. While throbbing house rockers like "Castanets" and "Velvet Guitar" (from the encore) were enough to prompt music lovers everywhere to go home and have sex with people they didn't know very well.

And on Sunday, the Lord's Day, we rested. Content to relax with a leisurely brunch among longtime friends on my front porch, followed by an afternoon showing of Memento at the Kentucky Theatre downtown.

Content until we had to begin the frenzied search for the Wild Turkey.

By midnight (no longer the Sabbath), I was happily matching my heroes whiskey for whiskey and Marlboro for Marlboro - trading stories of love, loss, death, dogs, goats, cows, animal husbandry, antabuse, snakes, and the glory of big trucks with big V8, 5.4 litre engines and hard front axles.

As if this wasn't enough, Monday night was Larry Brown's moving reading from Billy Ray's Farm at Joseph-Beth, accompanied by Alejandro Escovedo (who once again tore up the crowd with his acoustic rendition of "Follow You Down"). Then everyone trouped down to Lynagh's for another (more or less impromptu) gig by Escovedo ("impromptu" meaning Lynagh's booker Bobby Ray threatened everyone with death if they mentioned it anytime before the Saturday gig, when it was announced). And as we pointed out in last week's cover story, Lexington IS one of only three cities that's hosting the Larry-Alejandro tour. Chicago and New York are the other two.

I'm back at my desk now, suffering mightily from post-party depression.

I have a stack of Derby invitations on my desk that are languishing, unanswered. My friend Madeline just called to invite me to join ArtForum (a group of people who are interested in upping the vitality of our arts scene, which I'm all for). Tomorrow, I'm heading out to the Headley-Whitney Museum to judge some kind of footwear event (finally my obsession with Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo is GETTING me the recognition I've fought so hard for).

We spend so much time focusing on Lexington's faults, that I thought it was worth taking a moment to point out the fact that a lot of people are working very, very, very hard to make this place more livable, more sustainable, and a helluva lot more fun- people who realize that there is a world for us beyond hoops and horses (not that there's anything wrong with either).

I am so heartened by what I saw of our town this weekend, I'm practically verklemt.

We are the World baby. Don't let anybody tell you different.