Monday, October 18, 2010

Rain and the arena.

The rain started late in the afternoon Wednesday last week. It had been August 23rd since we had more than a sprinkle of rain in Louisville. The weather heads had maps showing the approach of rain, so it was predicted. I was skeptical as this kind of thing had happened several times during the past six weeks without result.
From the New Yorker, October 18, 2010 issue.  I scanned it so no link.
I had been reading and dozed off sitting up with the book fallen from my hands. The cat must have heard it approaching as she came running up the steps to sit near the chair. Her growl woke me.

There on the skylights was rain. I sat at the top of the steps looking out the smeared window as water fell onto the dry acre out back. It was pouring so after a while I went downstairs to stand at the door watching. There's something comforting about a hard rain after a long dry spell.

It continued all night and early the next day. The rain had left traces on the asphalt parking lot. Moisture had already gone from the big pot of lavender by the door. The grass was still brown and it wasn't long until leaves crackled again with the bunny family moving in and out of their den under the holly bush.

By afternoon you wouldn't have known it rained at all.

At Keeneland the turf course was a bright green and the horses running over it were beautiful, dark and fleet. But off that ribbon of grass the lawn around the clubhouse was brown and dry.
From the Courier-Journal, October 17, 2010
The $256 million Yum Center opened Saturday night for the first performance. The Eagles came to town to excite and entertain us. The previous week the police and mayor had a press conference where they reviewed the way traffic moves around the new building now. One hundred police officers were assigned to help with all the cars expected. Extra TARC buses were being put on the route. An official counted all the on street, off street and garage parking within five blocks of the arena and our Mayor announced, "There are 19,000 parking spaces nearby."

Yet ticket holders to the Eagles' performance were told to get to the arena early. No one wanted to talk about getting home afterwards.

The restaurants near the venue were all excited and new menus had been previewed. Extra help was put on shift and provisions bought. The effort was justified. Waits for dinner were over an hour everywhere, though most believed the wait was exacerbated by people who had eaten a late afternoon meal and were sitting at their table waiting to walk to the arena, thereby hogging the seats for later diners.

The Mayor had tickets and was being interviewed just prior to the show starting, "There are thousands of people walking on the streets this evening. This is the kind of thing a mayor likes to see." Well I think we all appreciated seeing real live suburbanites on the streets of downtown Louisville near dark. It's something that's seldom been seen since the late '60's, when most all entertainment was downtown.

Today there was a letter to the editor in the local paper. The writer had been to the Eagles' concert Saturday night and thought it was a great one. They even had compliments for the wonderful lux NBA worthy arena. But they said they would miss our old arena Freedom Hall. I will miss that place too.

I remember going to my first Toys for Tots concert there.  I went with a GI I had met at a USO dance.  It was 1969 and he finished his training at Ft. Knox.   We both thought he was going off to Vietnam.  We walked two miles from my apartment in the December cold to the arena.  I wore my brown Chesterfield coat, dress shoes, stockings and my nicest Sunday-go-to-meeting dress.  He wore his Army green uniform.  We were the best dressed and most sober people there.  Everyone else at the concert was stoned out of their minds in tie dye and bell bottoms.

Somehow I don't think the YUM Center will ever have that ambience.


  1. I have so many thoughts on this post and they are all fighting for attention. In the back of my head I can hear this, "Tick tock turn the clock." Someday, someone will write a blog about The Eagles concert and the YUM center when it is a thing of the past. It will be the place with the ambience. They will have gone with their boyfriend before he left for Iraq to that very same Eagles concert. And they will be writing a blog about seeing some band in the NEW PLACE 40 years from now and claiming it that will just never be the same as the YUM Center. Tick tock turn the clock. BTW, great post.

  2. When I was at the UofA the built the new Walton Arena which was more than twice as big as the old basketball arena. Funny thing was, I thought the old, much smaller arena was much louder than the fancy new one with 20,000 people in it.

  3. I'm just 'et up with envy that you got to see the Eagles..sigh*

  4. Opening a new arena with a 60-70s act? So they were trying to attract folk over 55...

    But it's good to see new projects being completed.

  5. I was at that same Toys for Tots show. I wasn't stoned either. Dad dropped me and my friends off at the door. Good times.

    I missed the Eagles but friends tell me they were great. The last indoor concert I attended was CSN at the Palace. The crowd was so rude and obnoxious I swore I'd never do it again. I only attend outdoor festival venues anymore so I can move away from the idiots if need be.

  6. Robin: Yes, I know. I won't be here to comment on it!

    Jay: It's a competition between cities. Indianapolis has a new place and other regional cities do, so it seems we have to. Then there's that whole, keep the godlike coach here by giving him something bigger or more lux than the next one. Like his astronomical salary isn't enough?

    YELLOWDOG GRANNY: Don’t be 'et up. I wasn't at the Eagles concert. I know people who were and have actually had physical contact with them since!

    Wolynski: Well this is Kentucky. In Louisville folks over 55 are the target market!!

    Lonnie: WOW I was speaking of people I saw and we were sitting near, of course. I'd not even met you or our dad and mom at that time either. I cannot imagine your being stoned and your dad picking you up!!

    The last music concert I went to was Bonnie Raitt at the Kentucky Center. Last time at the Palace was Garrison Keeler.

  7. When my children go to music fests ( I am not allowed to call them pop festivals) They camp and have good facilities, they are ferried to and from the place by a doting parent... thousands of us actually! .. and they always have plenty of money.

    They will never know what these events were like... they don't dance naked for one thing!

  8. KY never get anything great! Although Bonnie Raitt is great!

  9. Joyce and I were at that same Bonnie Raitt show. WoW! We love Bonnie!

  10. Sarah: I would never have danced naked at an outdoor concert either though these days I ask, "Why not?"

    Missy: Bonnie Raitt is great and so is the Kentucky Derby!

    Lonnie: Are ya'all stalking me?

    AnnoyingJoe: YUM is the parent company for Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell and other fast food stores.

  11. Charlene... nor me either :) But the thought is delicious!

  12. Wait, I thought it was am i out of the loop. KFC and Taco belly certainly are yum...

  13. Oh dear. Your worldwide readership may need a little help here, to appreciate the full flavour of your post. A short glossary, perhaps?

    Yum centre? (No idea what this is)
    Eagles? (Nor this)
    Parking space? (Can't find anywhere)

  14. Sarah: Yes!

    AnnoyingJoe: LOL Yes!

    Christopher: YUM is a huge fast food corporation that owns several American brands; though their goal is world wide domination of fast food so every country can be fat and sick!

    Eagles = this is a rock band from the late 60's and 70's. Famous in America.

    Parking space - the universal problem of never enough.

    Just telling it like it is: Thanks!

  15. i love the rain, everything seems so clean after a day of healthy rain.

  16. I loved this post.
    I could feel and smell the rain.

    I only wish I could have been at the concert to see the Eagles.

  17. I left you a little something for HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY. I hope you like it:-)

  18. i have never seen the Eagles play, although Don Henley is from a little town just north of here. He has done good work with preserving Caddo Lake near here. Thank you for dropping by "No Hope Without Truth in Government".. I also have a "fun sit. You are invited,,,
    Serendipitous Surpluses...glenn

  19. I love reading your blog, never bored, you have a great way with words!

  20. Thank you for your insightful comment yesterday.

  21. Hey you... we got our first serious rain here in the Mississippi Delta on Sunday... rained, thundered, and lightninged all afternoon and night.

    Man did we ever need that!

    I would go see the Eagles...


  22. Margaret: We got more rain this week as well as wind. No damage though.

    Robin: Thank you Robin!

    Glnroz: You should go visit your neighbor some time. Bake a pie and take it to Mr. Henley.

    Jilda: Thank you for the kind words. I enjoy your blog too.

    KrippledWarrior: Thank you!

    Red Shoes: I think we all would go see the Eagles!

  23. We saw the Eagles last spring in Phoenix - they must still be touring! I like your description of the rain and the dryness in your area. I've never been to Louisville - sounds as though you're a long-time resident.

  24. Have you gotten any rain yet? We haven't had much at all. Keep watching the forecast hoping it will have a shower or two in it.


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