july 15, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Be thankful for what you have. Be fearless for what you want.” ~ Unknown




You’re wondering what this giant ball is, aren’t you? Meteorite; Canon ball; Spoiled cantaloupe? Not even close. This is a hair ball, known as the Immense Hairball, at Transylvania University’s Moosnick Museum. This hairball has its own twitter account @ImmenseHairball. Not every hairball can say it has its own twitter account. The Immense Hairball was donated to Transy by Mary Todd Lincoln’s brother. It came from a cow in the Maysville area, but no one knows how Todd came to have it. A smaller hairball was donated to Transy by one of Henry Clay’s family members. It does not have a twitter account. Back in Lincoln’s day folks used to think hairballs like this, also called a bezoar, was thought to have medicinal properties. They were used particularly for poisons; either to absorb it from an external bite or scratch, or internally much like we use charcoal today to absorb ingested poison. Yes, the afflicted person actually swallowed a part of a hairball. Science has come a long way…thank God!


medical models


This is Transylvania University Physics professor and tour guide Jamie Day. He has incredible knowledge of the Moosnick Medical and Science Museum’s holdings as well as the University’s history. He gave us an incredible tour on Friday. For those that don’t know, Transy was a medical school. In fact, being founded in 1780, it’s the oldest University and medical school west of the Alleghenies. Lexington was the Western Frontier when Transy got off the ground. Its population was rather small. There were few residents willing to be dissected after death and grave robbing wasn’t very useful since everybody knew the newly departed. Nevertheless, student surgeons needed practice. Interested parties began to develop medical models. Transy has a lot of the oldest models still in existence. Over time, bad things happened to campus buildings and to the university itself. For a brief period it was even combined with the University of Kentucky before returning to a stand-alone University. A lot of their medical displays were closeted and forgotten during all the upheaval. That turned out to be a good thing because, by the time it was rediscovered, the majority of it was antique, making the collections of the Moosnick one of the most unique in the world. They also hold quite a large collection of stuffed birds like the Kiwi beside the fetus skeletons below (you might remember Kevin by a parrot from Friday’s post). Turns out the birds are full of arsenic. Who knew! In any case, this is the kind of fascinating information Jamie pulled out on Friday’s tour. They do tours by appointment only, but if you ever have the opportunity to go, do. It’s pretty awesome and Jamie is hilarious. 


skeletons and such

july 14, 2018

posted in: art, photography, Solidago | 0

“Perhaps the biggest mistake I made in the past was that I believed love was about finding the right person. In reality, love is about becoming the right person. Don’t look for the person you want to spend your life with. Become the person you want to spend your life with.” ~ Neil Strauss


homegrown authors


Today, Solidago Literary Journal was at the Lexington Farmers Market representing Brier Books at the Homegrown Authors table. Catherine, Susan, and I talked with people interested in what we were doing, gave away free bookmarks, marveled at the woman with a dog in a baby carrier strapped to her belly, and sold a few copies to complete strangers; “not sympathy sales” as Catherine called them. We saw a few old friends (Gail Kennedy smiling below, and Bethany I-didn’t-catch-her-last-name smiling above), and made a few new ones as well. In between all that we plotted the future of Solidago, solved the world’s problems, and ate sausage breakfast biscuits. Okay, I ate the sausage breakfast biscuit. All in all, It was a rousing success and I remain humbled by just how cool this project is. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever been involved with.



july 13, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“You either get bitter or you get better. It’s that simple. You either take what’s been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down.The choice does not belong to fate. It belongs to you.” ~ Josh Shipp


birds of a feather


I’ve had an excellent week capped off by a trip to Transylvania University’s Moosnick Museum and Special Collections. My old friend and former housemate Kevin Johnson is Transy Library’s latest hire. He joined us on the tour (“us” as in UK Libraries’ Special Collections crew). You sort of met Kevin way back on January 4, 2012 when the outhouse first sprang to life. Actually, you only met his wrist (watch), so this is the first time you see his face. Kevin probably doesn’t know that his calm demeanor and steady friendship helped hold me together during one of the worst periods of my life at the death of my BFF Jim Brown. You can’t replace friends like that.


I love us


I’ll talk more about Moosnick later because there’s a lot to talk about and it’s very cool, but this post is about three old college friends who somehow, after twenty years, managed to find themselves on a workday in the same place all armed with cameras, on Friday the 13th no less. We shot plenty around Transy, but we shot lots of each other, too. I think our colleagues were entertained by our three ring circus. In case I haven’t told the story: Kevin was in the MFA program at UK as Crys and I were working on our undergrad degrees (all in photography). Kevin took us under his wing, and in many ways, taught us more than we would have ever gotten from our coursework. We forged lasting friendships. Fast forward all these years and Kevin is happier now than I have ever known him to be. He has a son in whom he delights, and now he has landed a job with people who truly appreciate his highly evolved silly photog ways. He even gets big bear hugs from Marie. It makes me so happy to see him well and peaceful. He’s a great man and Transy is fortunate to have him. Me and Crystal are pretty lucky, too.



july 12, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” ~ Pope John XXIII


work family (snapseed)


Wonder Woman, Marietta Watts, convened Humanity Academy grads for lunch again today. We were a small but mighty crowd, but make no mistake, the conversations were no less powerful. I’ve probably said this before, but it’s worth repeating: the University of Kentucky is damn lucky to count Marietta among its ranks. Her spirit is boundless. When I look around a room of HA grads, I marvel at the complexity of the personalities sitting shoulder to shoulder and being happy to be there. One of the most important things said today was that HA grads, as attendees, come to the program with open hearts. Not everyone agrees, not everyone should, but what happens after a week of coming face to face with our preconceived notions of who we think other people are is a deep understanding that we are all just human beings. Every label, every stigma, every negative thought we hold about others different from us, and even about ourselves, are products of some weird socialization that’s gone horribly wrong. It has nothing to do with our basic needs as human beings. HA grads learn to talk about the elephants in the room. Most importantly we learn to listen. Humanity Academy is a gift from Marietta and I’m so grateful Stacy Yelton nominated me to participate a decade ago. I’ve made lifelong friends from HA, and so many of my other UK colleagues are members as well, like Renee Collins (smiling), Marie Dale (head turned listening to Marietta), and Judy Sackett (way on the back), who, I learned today, was in the HA pilot program in 2006. It is amazing how good I feel about myself, and about being a UK employee, when I leave the company of our HA meetings. That is power in the most wonderful way. Thank you, Marietta, for being a light in this world.

july 10, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” 
~ Marcus Aurelius


no dumping


Lexington is one of the largest metropolitan areas that isn’t built on a major waterway. The reason for that has more to do with the early settlers than anything…I think (correct me if I’m wrong). They were attracted to a beautiful fresh flowing spring called McConnell Springs. That was in 1775. The town took off, exceeding the spring’s area so that the larger town grew around the middle fork of Elkhorn Creek later renamed, not very creatively, Town Branch. At one time, one could see the whole of Town branch and actually walk along its banks, but I have never seen Town Branch until it re-emerges around the old Pepper Distillery near Old Frankfort Pike and Forbes Road. Through downtown Lexington, Town Branch is buried under Vine Street, and as I understand it, Central Avenue. Before Central Ave, I’m not sure where it goes, though it’s probably under Richmond Road. I suspect our street-side storm drains empty into Town Branch, and the city has made great efforts to curb the pollution finding its way into the stream. There are plans now underway to help Town Branch re-emerge a little closer to downtown. It will be highlighted by a Town Branch Trail of green space, walking paths, dog parks, an amphitheater and the like. It’s a long project but it will be beautiful when it’s done. Whether you’re in Lexington, Kentucky or Lexington, Massachusetts, all drain water flows downstream. Be thoughtful of fish, fowl and your fellow man. 

july 9, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Life is precious and time is a key element. Let’s make every moment count and help those who have a greater need than our own.” 
~ Harmon Killebrew


Three Amigas


Because we had fun at Graeter’s Ice Cream, we also had fun with selfies afterward. That’s all I’ve got at the end of a super busy Monday. It’s summer, eat ice cream. And lots of it. That’s my advice!

july 8, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” ~ Henry Ford




Michelle Shute couldn’t exist if she couldn’t make faces. These are just a few from today after her long weekend in Lexington. We were talking about how long we’d known each other this afternoon. We met in 1991. I think it was when we played at a great dive bar called Sluggo’s in Pensacola, her hometown. She came backstage and I remember signing her guitar. Then, she brought her sister to see us at one of the best bars in America called The Big Apple in Puryear, Tennessee. Those were good times for sure. She’s gone back home now and we’ll miss her. Michelle’s a light in my world. 

july 7, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors,
but today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.”
~ Kahlil Gibran




It was an utterly gorgeous day in The Bluegrass. We scooped up Michelle and took her to Wallace Station for a cheeseburger. The ride through horse country with the windows rolled down was like a drive through heaven. Fresh cut grass wafting through the air as weanlings frolicked about. As usual, Wallace Station didn’t disappoint, and Stacy brought home a box load of their delicious baked goods. I enjoy Michelle’s visits so much. They’re too short, but I’m glad we get ’em. She’s a nut and I love her. 


makin’ faces

july 6, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” ~ Henry David Thoreau




Michelle Shute flew up from Florida, then she, Stacy, and I drove to Cinci to meet one of Stacy’s old high school friends, Beverly Hodge. We then proceeded to the Taft Theater where we rocked our socks off to the Pretenders. (Crystal Heis and Mr. Boyfriend were in the balcony. We waved at each other.) Chrissie Hynde was adamant about no pictures, so an empty stage was all I got, and a selfie of us after the show. As much as I like Chrissie, I fell in love with her guitarist James Walbourne. In fact, his band, with wife Kami Thompson (whose parents just happen to be Richard and Linda Thompson) opened the night. They were totally captivating. They’re called The Rails. Tonight, they played as a duo, and that was perfectly okay because they were transcendent. Chrissie was extremely complimentary of them as well. In fact, I’ve never seen her smile as much as she smiled tonight. I saw the Pretenders at Memorial Coliseum on UK’s campus way back in ’86 when Get Close came out. Iggy Pop opened. It was a good show. Tonight was a good show, too, but this guy James Walbourne – he blew me away. Imagine if Lindsey Buckingham, Jeff Healy, and Richard Thompson had a baby. That’s what he plays like. Plus, he has a great voice. And did I mention that Beverly Hodge is a keeper? She was an absolute delight and I hope we see her again soon. This was a beautiful day, start to finish. Remember that name: James Walbourne. 


and roll
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