Much fun and mischief was to be had at Lexington’s 4th of July parade, so here’s my little tardy rundown of the festivities. (in every sense of the word, perhaps)
First, I must note that the fun began Thursday night the 3rd, as our own Hollywood elitist liberal, David Schankula snapped the Lexington fashion photo of the year, as Dudley Webb crony Harold Tate was completely rocking out his seersucker pink pinstriped shorts, with matching pink watch, at Thursday night live. You can say what you want about Harold completely ignoring the Downtown Master Plan to pave the way for Dudley’s Vertical Lexington Mall, but the man has friggin’ STYLE.
David and I then attended the Council meeting discussing the TIF for CentrePointe (Yes, shockingly, they’ve reversed positions and they now want the TIF. Whooda thunk it???). The first hour literally consisted of the clerk auctioneering the docket for an hour. The fun was interrupted by a slick dressed Smooth (shoe shine dude) coming in and praying for a minute on his knees in the second row, then about 20 Japanese women in kimonos filing in and sitting in the first few rows. Yes indeed. During the endless reading, Dick DeCamp and Councilman Meyers shared a terrorist fist jab. I kid you not. As for the actual discussion of the TIF, not much happened (Fortune’s account was quite accurate). Don Blevins impressed me once again, as he lamented how the Council was flying by the seat of its pants on this debate, without any rules or structure.
OK, now for the 4th parade.
I headed down Limestone to see the rather non-festive rubble of the Triple Crown Lounge amongst the otherwise festive atmosphere. Again, so nice of the Webbs to do this right in time for the parade. Directly in front of the rubble was an absolutely fitting booth. I kid you not, it was occupied by the “Center Point Church of Christ“. Ugh. I REALLY want to find out who was behind this placement. There is ZERO chance that this is coincidence. Was this a big FU from folks on the Mayor’s staff, or was this a subliminal move by someone on our side? Inquiring minds want to know…
Anyway, a nice young man was passing out cards for the church, and Schankula and I started up a conversation, of course asking if his church was affiliated with the CentrePointe project. (It should be noted that this is obviously a good all-American church, as it doesn’t use the smelly cheese French spelling). He said that their congregation actually meets in a movie theater on Sunday mornings. I asked if they ever just watch Passion of the Christ in there instead of doing a sermon. Alas, they never have. Nevertheless, their setup brings up countless jokes for me, but I’ll leave them for you to come up with on your own.
I visited my good friend Elle over at the Fayette County Democrats booth, which was absolutely hopping and completely sucked dry of Obama buttons and stickers. A wonderful cutout of Obama was there (complete with lapel pin) that everybody was taking photos with. FCD honcho David O’Neil was a good enough sport to chat with me, even though he’s not fond of me (Horton was not, however). O’Neil did question whether I was a Democrat, which means the CS must still be spreading her stupid false rumor to everyone that is listening (oh, how scandalous!).
Elle tipped me off that the Fetus Fetish Folks had a booth down on Vine St., so I had to pay them a little visit. My back and forth with them fit almost perfectly with every other time I’ve questioned these folks. I picked up one of their pamphlets, titled “The Evils of Planned Parenthood”, complete with a scary snake on the cover. The inside told me that their agenda is “pro-sex”. Wonderful. Anyway, here’s my rough transcript of the chat with a soft spoken guy with two non-aborted kids by his side.
“Hi, so, do you think that abortion should be illegal?”
“Oh, yes I do.”
“Well, once it’s made illegal, what type of prison sentence do you think the woman should have? 20 years? 30 years?”
(shocked look)” well… I don’t know.”
“You don’t know? Have you ever thought about that before?”
“Uh… no, I guess I haven’t.”
“Never? I mean, if it’s illegal, she’d have to go to jail, right?”
“Well, not everybody goes to jail for committing a crime.”
“Oh, so it could be kind of like a jaywalking ticket?”
“Well… no. I guess I’d put the Dr. in jail, but not the woman.”
“Really? But it’s murder, right? I mean, if you hired a hit man to kill someone, you’d get the same murder sentence, right?”
“Well, I’m not a lawyer.”
“Well, you don’t have to be a lawyer to know that you go to jail for murder, trust me.”
“Well, I don’t know… maybe.”
“How about capital punishment for women?”
He strictly went with the “I don’t knows” at this point. Then, a fiery red headed man came up, asking if I’m causing trouble. I told him this is an information booth, and I’m merely seeking information through this man and your pamphlets. I launched into the same spiel with him, but he was much more direct. Though we went through the same progression of questions and answers, he got riled up and went a little further when I mentioned capital punishment. To say the least.
“So what about capital punishment for these women?”
“Yeah! Yeah, I think we should kill ‘em all! (red faced and furious at this point)”
“Oh, OK. I was just checking to see if you are really “pro-life”. I guess you’re not.”
“No, I’m pro intelligent life!”
Another wonderful brush with fundamentalism.
On my way back to Upper and Main for the Newberry Jeer, I saw Mr. Pink Pinstripe himself, Harold Tate, standing next to downtown Lexington designs, selling individuals on the Downtown Master Plan, which has so skillfully been thrown in the trash by his CentrePointe enabling.
Mayor Newberry came early in the parade and received a big boo from a large group of folks amassed in front of what used to be the Dame and Busters. Mission Accomplished. As soon as the boos started raining, his head immediately turned to the other side of the street and stayed there until he was well past us. Somebody said that Newberry had extra police security alongside him, which I didn’t notice, but would be quite hilarious if true. Ever since I posted the Newberry Jeer on the Facebook group, B&P was swamped with hits from the LFUCG building, several searching for “Newberry 4th of July protest”. “Save us from the angry mob, oh noes!!!”
Several folks got big cheers, such as KFTC, Peace groups, environmental groups, bike riders, and gay groups. Politicos got big cheers, including Eric Thomason, Ernesto Scorsone, Kathy Stein, and Bruce “Shawty” Lunsford. But the biggest cheer of the day, with no one else even coming close, was for Vice-Mayor Jim Gray, who has stuck his neck out repeatedly for us in fighting the CentrePointe debacle. He seemed to really appreciate the greeting.
Newberry wasn’t alone in the jeering. McConnell and McCain had a small contingent of folks carrying signs, and they arguably faced an even more hostile reception. (Cheers and Jeers are always a tradition at this section of the parade, which I’ve staked out for years now). The horrific Friends of Coal float received a similar reception, as Taylor Shelton noted.
Ben Chandler’s Republican challenger, Jon Larson, made a pass at Schankula’s mom, kissing her hand for some reason. I heard from 3 different people at the parade that half of the longshot’s campaign funds have already gone up his nose. Again, that’s just what people were telling me.
Anyway, a wonderfully festive 4th. I can’t wait until next year, when the floats go past the giant hole in the middle of downtown. Maybe the Webbs’ jumbotron will be up by then…
(oh, and Chuck has some priceless photos of the parade rubble at Black Wednesday. and how dare Chuck be in town and not contact me?)