Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Genius Loves Company
Photo: Benn Bell Sculpture: Picasso Model: Ginger Bell
All Photos by Benn Bell
The Story of a Victorian Mansion
On one fine day in May I was strolling through one of old Louisville’s beautiful “walking courts” with my good friend and trusted side-kick Victoria Mansion. When much to our surprise we came upon a phenomenon down toward the end of the block for which neither of us was fully prepared. A Pink House! Now this wasn’t any ordinary sort of pink house it was an extra fancy with raisins sort of pink house. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t a house at all but a palace.
What caught our interest was a small gathering on the porch. Everyone had a drink in their hand and seemed to be having a good time. Come on in, they beckoned. Well it was just too hard to resist. Turns out it was an open house put on by a local real estate agency. The old Pink House was for sale!
Now let me tell you what they had to offer for refreshments: beer, whiskey, two kids of wine, cheese and crackers, and sushi. Well, we came right on in and helped ourselves. We were invited to explore the house which we did.
A little of the history of the place. The “Pink Palace”, circa 1896, features beautiful period architectural details and a massive turret. The entry foyer and elaborate and ornate staircase are impressive to see as you enter the front door. You will see quarter-sawn “Tiger Oak” floors and woodwork throughout and magnificent stained and leaded glass windows. The “turret” rooms are located on each level of the house are as you might imagine round and filled with light. Great for sitting or reading.
This glorious mansion began its history as a Gentleman’s Club and Casino for the male residents of St. James Court and Belgravia Court to relax and unwind. They enjoyed a good cigar, brandy, stimulating conversation and cards, as well as other past times including the services of ladies of the evening.
The Gentleman’s Club was in existence for only a few years before it was sold to the local chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union who bought the mansion for their headquarters and promptly painted the red brick structure pink. Hence the “Pink Palace.”
It is said the Pink House is haunted by a friendly ghost named Aviary.
He only appears at times of danger to warn the residents…
You can see Aviary in the mirror above the fireplace.
It was on a very merry day in May…..
In a few days I will be moving into my new digs located in Old Louisville. I’ll be moving there from St. Mathews which is in the East end of Louisville and rather tony, if you get my drift. This will be my fourth move since I moved back to Louisville in 2012 maintaining a life long habit of moving every few years.
First I lived in the Highlands, which I loved, then out Westport Road which is even further to the east, and now, finally getting back to my roots and a more urban environment, Old Louisville.
Old Louisville is a historic neighborhood in central Louisville nestled between Downtown Louisville and The University of Louisville. It is the largest preservation district in the United States featuring almost entirely Victorian homes mostly made of brick. With its wide avenues, beautiful treelined streets, and magnificent mansions it is truly a wonder to behold.
Old Louisville also sports a number of fascinating and interesting taverns, bars, and grills, and an odd assortment of restaurants. And I have been having quite a time exploring the area. Here are a few snaps of my new digs, and my new neighborhood.
See you in the hood!
The Garvin Gate Blues Festival is held the second weekend in October in historic Old Louisville. It’s a two day festival featuring performers both national and local that celebrates blues music. This event attracts both a multiracial and a multi-generational crowd. It has a 29 year history and is still going strong.
Featured here is the band Tweed Funk hailing from Milwaukee.
A poem by William Carlos Williams
Illustrated by Benn Bell
Dedicated to Ginger Peacock Jones
Mr T. bareheaded in a soiled undershirt
his hair standing out on all sides
stood on his toes heels together
arms gracefully for the moment curled above his head.
Then he whirled about bounded into the air
and with an entrechat perfectly achieved
completed the figure.
taken by surprise
where she sat
in her invalid’s chair
was left speechless.
Bravo! she cried at last
and clapped her hands.
The man’s wife came from the kitchen: What goes on here? she said.
But the show was over.
Word of the day: Resist
Protesters at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky
Greg Fisher, Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, gave a speech in support of immigrants and refugees, but stopped short of declaring Louisville to be a sanctuary city.