I don’t know what you did for Thanksgiving, but our family visited cool places, not counting the hotel we stayed in. We have just returned from an exploration of life outside Wisconsin. Wisconsin is unanimously viewed as being cold, while a few of us think it is cool, but not cool like where we have just been.
Many moons ago, our daughter and her family left their spacious wildlife-infested parsonage in Pittsburgh suburghia and relocated to a teeny-tiny apartment in Louisville. They are there to plant a church. Through years of large black snakes sunning themselves on the outside door frames of their house and tinier serpents infiltrating their basement, Susan prayed for the day when she could be surrounded by concrete. Her prayers have been heard.
We must start out right. For the sake of educating America, we did not visit Loo-iss-vil, nor did we visit Loo–ee-vil. It is Loo-uh-vul. Say that three times. Loo-uh-vul. Now you know where we stayed. I knew how to pronounce it long before going there, thanks to reading Ann Landers and Mark Twain in my younger years, but I listened carefully to the locals just to make sure I was getting it right.
Susan and her family reside on Bardstown Road, in the Highlands of Louisville. It is a gathering knot of the culturally colorful, a haven where old hippies never die and younger ones currently live the lifestyle to one degree or another. It is a place that confirmed I am fashionably valid — something I never suspected, but will now milk for all it is worth.
We spent an afternoon exploring the shops up and down Bardstown — many of them filled with semi-pricey vintage clothing. Upscale, fashionably savvy people come in droves from other parts of Louisville to buy garments identical to some I currently have hanging in my closet. Apparently, I am not a clueless fuddy-duddy after all. I am chic and never knew it. Next time you see me sashaying around in my hunter green Nehru jacket with the tapestry-covered buttons and the football player-size shoulder pads, remember what I have just said. I am not an oddball; I am trendy and cool. Now those of you who know me in real life will all wish you had not snickered, and you will be calling me for advice on how to morph yourselves into being cool, too.
I now know how to pronounce hookah (who-kah, not hook-uh). I knew what one does with a hookah from bygone days of reading The Count of Monte Cristo, but I did not yet have the correct pronunciation (unlike Loo-uh-vul). There are hookah lounges on Bardstown, along with the Hubbly Bubbly Smoke Shop, which specializes in whatever you need to get your hookah experience going. Susan and her family sometimes do second-hand hookah via the air vents from their downstairs neighbors’ apartment. It makes their dog sneeze. Susan assures me that not all hookah lovers smoke the substances that Monte Cristo’s heroine indulged in. I am not entirely convinced, though. Nothing like living the culture.
We scrounged the Peddler’s Mall for antique chairs at cheap prices for Susan and Chris’s church building. If I were to move to the Highlands (which I will not, but it is a safe form of entertainment to imagine it), I would sell all the furniture I currently have and start fresh with the stuff from the Peddler’s Mall. It would need to be fumigated or otherwise sanitized somehow, but it would be a fun, economical experiment.