march 16, 2019

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“Never trust someone who isn’t kind to animals.” ~ Unknown


KY Market


1. Annie Bassoni and sweet, sweet artist friend Katie Swartz from Mason, Ohio.
2. Artist and BFF Deb Chenault selling her wares as Annie and Jeanne Marie Hibberd (and my forehead) look on
3. The totally awesome maker of the coolest crows ever, artist Steve Heartsill
4. Longtime BFFs and artists David and Rebecca Miller Campbell were surprised that I didn’t have the large camera. I like to keep them guessing!
5. The Morgan County Corner of Kentucky Market was more than well represented with photographer Dean Hill next door to David and Rebecca. They make Morgan County proud.
6. Mary Barber, whom I had not seen in easily 40+ years, recognized my name as Annie yelled “Kopana, I’m going to the restroom.” I grew up and went through school with Mary’s youngest sisters, and graduated with the baby of the Barber Clan, Cynthia. It was absolutely wonderful to catch up with her.
7. Yours truly entered these photos in the KY Arts Council’s Veterans traveling exhibit. This is the second time I’ve had work in an exhibit that ended up at The Market. #proud
8. Annie and an adorable cup made by Katie. It was a gorgeous day in the Bluegrass, a perfect day to see beautiful art and wonderful friends. I call this day a win.

march 9, 2019

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“Negative people need drama like oxygen. Stay positive. It’ll take their breath away.” ~ Unknown




I paid a visit to my friend LaTosha Hall at The Clock Shop where she’s been apprenticing when she’s not working at UK. I took along my new macro lens for a closer look at gears and such. It did not disappoint. I love this kind of little adventure. There’s no end to glorious things to photograph in this unique shop. Thanks, Tosha, for letting me enjoy your super cool gig.


the clock maker

march 5, 2019

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“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe” ~ Unknown


good words


Poor Richard’s Books in Frankfort, Kentucky is one of the best little bookstores going. I picked up a copy of C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity when we were there after our KHS tour a couple of weeks ago. They have a wide selection of Kentucky authors and great kitschy stuff like adorable finger puppets. And you can’t beat the railroad tracks out front for the ambiance.

march 2, 2019

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“We tend to think of age only in time, but I don’t think it has much to do with time at all; there’s a whole load of other things. I’ve met 16-year-olds who are old and 90-year-olds who are young.” ~ Roger Daltrey


strange herd


Stacy and I were near the Man-O-War/Blazer Parkway area when we simultaneously saw this sight, saying a subtle “wow” in unison, vowing to return when our business was complete. And so we did. At least one of the horses looks as if it was part of the Horses Mania project years ago (the first was in 2000, the sequel in 2010), but it’s possible both horses came from that project. I have no idea what the buffalo is about. I noticed that the buffalo and one of the horses both have yellow eyes. I don’t know what that’s about either. If anybody in the Lexington area knows more about this unusual statuary triptych, tell me. It’s bound to be a good story.


really strange

february 18, 2019

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“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” ~ Maya Angelou




I was talking to Gurney when Pam Meade popped up behind him. Hugs and selfies ensued. I’ve known Pam for so long that I don’t remember the first time I saw her. I’m sure I was just a child. Our families go back a long way as if we’re related. Oh wait, we are! We share common ancestors in Benjamin and Moonglow Hamilton. In fact, I think about half of Morgan County can trace their roots back to this couple. He was a Revolutionary War soldier from Virginia (1761-1849) and she was from Tennessee (1770-1846). As her name suggests, she was of Native descent, though she carried the Christian name Susannah Hurst. Moon, Kentucky was named after her after they settled there and they’re both buried near their home (I don’t think it’s standing anymore). They had 10 children; One became my line (David Hamilton), and another became Pam’s (I don’t remember which one, though). This is just one of the many connections Pam and I share. She has introduced me more people than I can count; people that I love to the core from now until the sun sets. She has propped up my art and dragged me along, getting me involved in the arts more times than I know. I hope someday I’m able to give back to her all the wonderful blessings she has given to me throughout life. 

february 14, 2019

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“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” ~ Edmund Hillary


ol pals


Kentucky has birthed a whole herd of gifted writers, and many of them inducted into the Hall of Fame have, thus far, already crossed into the next etherial chapter. It’s a pretty big deal to have two of the Hall of Fame inductees still alive to participate. Gurney is used to my unusual selfie approach, but it was new for poor, unsuspecting Ed McClanahan. It didn’t matter. That Merry Prankster was all for it, sniffly cold and all. Both Ed and Gurney read hilarious work as part of their presentations. Ed’s known for his humor, but Gurney’s humor is usually weaved into a story like a silver strand. Not last night. He read a chapter from his upcoming book that had the whole crowd laughing until we cried. It was one of the most hilariously accurate character portrayals of a small town lying shyster I have ever heard. I cannot wait to get my hands on that book. I look forward to running into Ed again so we can practice the selfie a little more. What a great night we all had together, friends and strangers alike.


old theater

february 13, 2019

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“According to the great wisdom traditions of the West (Christian, Jewish, Islamic), the heart is first and foremost an organ of spiritual perception. Its primary function is to look beyond the obvious, the boundaried surface of things, and see into a deeper reality… a world where meaning, insight, and clarity come together in a whole different way.” ~ Cynthia Bourgeault


the man, the myth, the legend


It’s no secret that my favorite Kentucky writer is Gurney Norman. I remember meeting Gurney when Stealin Horses was playing what would be the first of several Christmas parties at Appalshop. That was probably 30 years ago. Several years later, when I’d stopped touring and enrolled at UK, I took my first creative writing class with Gurney. That class set my life on a different course in the most meaningful way. I’m too tired to explain it further than that right now, but suffice it to say, Gurney had a profound impact on my life. I am far from the only student throughout his 40 years of teaching who would say that. He’s been vitally important to literature and exceptional to Kentucky. I was beyond proud to see him finally inducted into the Kentucky Writer’s Hall of Fame tonight. Nobody deserved it more. I might be a tad biased, but I’m also right. At least about Gurney.

january 30, 2019

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“You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding.” ~ Cheryl Stayed


RR Xing


You’ve heard me mention The Burl Arcade, but in a separate building just across the parking lot, The Burl also offers live music. That building – seen here with this really cool mural by an unknown (to me) artist – sits beside the railroad tracks and just across the street from the old Pepper Distillery that, today, houses Goodfella’s Pizza, Crank and Boom Ice Cream, and a host of other eateries in the Distillery District of Lexington on Manchester Street. I especially liked the outdoor fire pit surrounded by what looked to be beach chairs. I look forward to seeing some live music at The Burl. I’ve threatened to go before. I think I’ll make that come true in 2019.


Artie Johnson would hang out here

january 24, 2019

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“One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.” ~ Jack Penn


Alice Allison Dunnigan


I made my way to Young Library on Tuesday and saw for the first time the beautiful sculpture of Alice Allison Dunnigan. Created by Amanda Matthews from here in Lexington, the statue was first displayed in the Newseum in Washington, D.C. before coming to UK. It will eventually land in Dunnigan’s hometown of Russellville, KY. In 1906, Dunnigan was born to a sharecropper in Logan County, Kentucky. There were few prospects for a woman of color in America during those times, but she managed to get herself an education, write columns in various area newspapers including Hopkinsville and Louisville, and she taught school. When that school closed, she headed to Washington, D.C. where she landed a job writing for the Associated Negro Press. One thing led to another until she became “the first African-American female correspondent for the White House and first African-American woman to be a member of the Senate and House of Representatives press galleries.” If you didn’t know who Alice Allison Dunnigan was before now, I hope you’ll take the time to read more about her here and here. And if you’re on UK’s campus anytime soon, by all means see her sculpture in W.T. Young Library’s lobby. The artist did a great job and Alice Allison Dunnigan is a star of American history. 

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