Friday, May 06, 2011

The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved

Note: It is Friday -Derby Eve- and is the usual custom around here, I offer the following for your enjoyment. It is a timeless classic written by a native Louisvillian. Have a safe and exciting weekend. And remember the "good times" as detailed in the story below - back when the horses were bred and run for the sport instead of the money. - Brian

The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved

by Hunter S. Thompson

I got off the plane around midnight and no one spoke as I crossed the dark runway to the terminal. The air was thick and hot, like wandering into a steam bath. Inside, people hugged each other and shook hands...big grins and a whoop here and there: "By God! You old bastard! Good to see you, boy! Damn good...and I mean it!"

In the air-conditioned lounge I met a man from Houston who said his name was something or other — "but just call me Jimbo" — and he was here to get it on. "I'm ready for anything, by God! Anything at all. Yeah, what are you drinkin?" I ordered a Margarita with ice, but he wouldn't hear of it: "Naw, naw...what the hell kind of drink is that for Kentucky Derby time? What's wrong with you, boy?" He grinned and winked at the bartender. "Goddam, we gotta educate this boy. Get him some good whiskey..."

I shrugged. "Okay, a double Old Fitz on ice." Jimbo nodded his approval.

"Look." He tapped me on the arm to make sure I was listening. "I know this Derby crowd, I come here every year, and let me tell you one thing I've learned — this is no town to be giving people the impression you're some kind of faggot. Not in public, anyway. Shit, they'll roll you in a minute, knock you in the head and take every goddam cent you have."

I thanked him and fitted a Marlboro into my cigarette holder. "Say," he said, "you look like you might be in the horse I right?"

"No," I said. "I'm a photographer."

"Oh yeah?" He eyed my ragged leather bag with new interest. "Is that what you got there--cameras? Who you work for?"

"Playboy," I said.

He laughed. "Well, goddam! What are you gonna take pictures of — nekkid horses? Haw! I guess you'll be workin' pretty hard when they run the Kentucky Oaks. That's a race just for fillies." He was laughing wildly. "Hell yes! And they'll all be nekkid too!"

I shook my head and said nothing; just stared at him for a moment, trying to look grim. "There's going to be trouble," I said. "My assignment is to take pictures of the riot."

"What riot?"

I hesitated, twirling the ice in my drink. "At the track. On Derby Day. The Black Panthers." I stared at him again. "Don't you read the newspapers?"

The grin on his face had collapsed. "What the hell are you talkin' about?"

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

"Riverside Riders" Inaugural Ride: Saturday, May 14

Louisville Loop mile marker
Join the newly-formed Riverside Riders bicycle club on its first group ride on May 14th! The group will be meeting at Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing(weather permitting) at 8:00 am and will ride on the Louisville Loop to Nana's Country Kitchen for breakfast (each rider is responsible for covering their own breakfast cost)--and then will ride back to Riverside.

If you want to come see what the group is all about and take part in the ride, let them know by May 12 so that the restaurant has plenty of seats for our group. Call 502-935-6809 or e-mail

Monday, May 02, 2011

Derby Week starts off with BANG as bin Laden killed, buried at sea

- So it looks like Derby Week 2011 begins with the killing of the world's most hated bastard, Osama bin Laden, brought to you by the boys of Navy SEAL Team Six. I don't know about you, but I'm sure glad that shady, ruthless gang of experts is on our side. Let's hear it for government employees!

Don't you wish we could kick off like this every year? Hell, I'd even buy a Pegasus Pin from that other shady, ruthless gang of experts - Kentucky Derby Festival, Inc.

While some fear the killing of bin Laden might spur some sort of backlash, others are taking it in stride and I am one of them. The news is sure to clear away any lingering fear and doom left over from the torrential rains and set people in Louisville to Party Mode.

-  To encourage Louisville residents and Derby Eve revelers to plan ahead for a safe ride home, Miller Lite Free Rides™ is offering free bus and trolley service on Derby Eve in partnership with the Transit Authority of River City, Kentucky Derby Festival and River City Distributing. For the third consecutive year, free bus and trolley service will be provided Friday, May 6, from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m., courtesy of Miller Lite. Rides on all regularly scheduled TARC bus routes will be free, and a special free trolley service will run every 10 minutes until midnight on the Main-Market route, just south of Waterfront Park. Bus and trolley service will travel to popular Derby Eve destinations including restaurants, bars, neighborhood events and the Derby Eve concert presented by Miller Lite at Waterfront Park. For additional route and schedule information, visit, text "FREE RIDE" to 30364 or call 1-800-FREE RIDES (1-800-373-3743).