“Despite chilly winds and gloomy days, warm zephyrs are on the way” — Louisville Magazine, February 1982
1. If you’ve been enjoying this newsletter, will you do me a huge favor and forward it to two people you think would like to subscribe? And a slow clap goes to you for reading these past ten months:
👏…👏 …👏👏…👏👏👏…👏 👏👏👏👏👏👏
2. In a WFPL piece titled “Frustrations With Mayor, LMPD Turn ‘Community Conversation’ Into Shouting Match,” Eleanor Klibanoff details how new LMPD chief Erika Shields was met with boos at a recent forum, with one man inside the South End church shouting, “You’re not welcome.” Klibanoff writes, “Shields sat onstage mostly silent as the crowd raged — at her, at Mayor Greg Fischer, at former interim police chief Yvette Gentry, at representatives from the Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods.”
Josh Wood reported this LouMag story, about what it means to be a Black LMPD officer, late last year when Gentry, an LMPD veteran, had returned from retirement to serve as what she called “chief for a while.” (This after Steve Conrad was fired from the position June 1 and his acting successor, Robert Schroeder, retired Oct. 1.) Last month, Fischer’s appointment of Shields — who in June had resigned as chief in Atlanta following the fatal police shooting of Rayshard Brooks at a Wendy’s — quickly sparked backlash. Some in the community felt betrayed by what they interpreted as a tone-deaf decision to hire a white police chief tied to a high-profile police killing of a Black man — at a time when the city was (and still is) deeply wounded by the death of Breonna Taylor. Meanwhile, the city’s powerful police union has pushed back against Shields’ belief that racial disparities exist in policing.
The issues Wood describes will continue to face the organization under Shields. He writes: “Despite reforms, the events of 2020 have ‘shattered’ the relationship between LMPD and a community that was already distrustful of the organization, says Cherie Dawson-Edwards, the associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of Louisville. ‘And you can’t rebuild shattered glass,’ she says. ‘You have to do something else. You have to do something different.’”
3. The Bravo network just released the trailer for season 18 of Top Chef, which premieres April 1 and will feature Louisville chef Edward Lee, a former contestant, on a rotating panel of judges. In this LouMag profile, Chris Kenning writes about Lee’s Top Chef filming schedule during the pandemic, his love of frozen pizza, his penchant for belting out songs while shirtless in a karaoke bar, and so much more, including the struggle to survive as a restauranteur during the pandemic. Lee says, “It’s hard for me to look at any kind of expansion when I’m literally in the middle of closing restaurants and I’m in the middle of trying to help other people not to close their restaurants. And I’m seeing some having their careers basically ruined. That’s been a psychological roller coaster.”
4. I’d always seen but had never read the syndicated “Dear Annie” advice column in the back of the C-J until this morning, when a this-can’t-be-real headline made me do a double-take: “Husband slept with wife’s nieces.” (Yeah, plural.) Not gonna link to it and I’ll spare you the ew details, but the man, who signed off with the pseudonym “Regretful,” wrote, “I am not seeing a way to fix this. Any suggestions?” For him or for the paper?
To get your mind off everything I just wrote in No. 4, here are some local Valentines you can forward to somebody who makes you happy. (This was the magazine’s back page last February, illustrated by Shae Goodlett.)
Support for Louisville Magazine comes from the Metropolitan Housing Coalition. In partnership with the University of Louisville Oral History Center, MHC is launching Unfair Housing in Louisville: A Legacy Project, which will document housing discrimination against Black families in Louisville post-WWII and “unveil the scale of the racial wealth gap and the obstacles Black households face in building and maintaining wealth.” If you or somebody you know could be a potential interviewee, you should reach out to MHC’s development and communications director, Tony Curtis: email@example.com.
A little something from the LouMag archive.
On the February 1982 cover, three antiques from a Mary and William Furnish’s local collection of more than 700 Valentines (some more than a century old) captured “the nostalgia of a romantic holiday.” Stories about how “there’s not exactly an oversupply of romance these days” mentioned several gift ideas: a ubiquitous “I Luv Lou-a-Vul” bumper sticker (I’ve gotta figure out how to bring those back); “small trees adorned with English candies”; tiny cinnamon hearts from Muth’s (still on East Market Street!) “to singe your tongue pleasantly”; and even — sorry about this — a “portrait photograph that offers some tasteful approaches to idealizing a woman’s face: a mirror reflection or a candle-lit silhouette or a misty treatment in which faces seem to emerge from a dream-cloud.”
Miles, my four-year-old, had to get his temperature checked the other day to enter a building. It was like 20 degrees outside, and the woman holding the forehead thermometer on the stoop said, “You’re good, hunny, it says 90.5.”
editor, Louisville Magazine