I love winter. Not all of the time, but I love it this year because it has actually been cold and snowy. If we are going to have to suffer through the cold and achy seasons, then it should be pretty. The thing is, despite my love for winter, this one is beginning to hang on a bit long.
I’ve worn a long wool coat for the first time, and it seems as though it weighs 20 pounds on its own. Every time I pull it off the hanger and put it on, I feel encumbered-heavy. I’m short, so the extra weight to carry is no fun. It also seems that when I wear this coat, my son also weighs 10 pounds more. Suffice it to say, I am ready for spring.
I need the sun to warm my dry, cracking skin. I need it to filter through my lashes as I enjoy a day outside of the house without a coat. Come on coat-free weather, flowers and sunshine!
I remember back in the day when spring would roll around; my sister, myself and everyone we knew would show up on Bardstown Road, desperately seeking fellowship after months held hostage in the house with parents. We never actually minded spending time with our parents, but we sure missed scoping the scene on Bardstown. Winter shows were never quite as fun as those wild summer ones.
So much happened during the hours spent walking from Electric Ladyland to Twig and Leaf, and then the trek down toward White Mountain Creamery, ear X-tacy and, on Sunday afternoons, straight to Tewligans for the all-ages show. There was the time my friend Jocelyn, a relatively soft-spoken Filipino, smacked her sister Gemma (for whatever reason). Gemma stumbled into my sister, Aisha, who fell over in the grass. We still laugh about it. Then there was another incident in which Gemma, in all her 5-foot glory, got angry (Gemma was often angry) and pulled a knife on a guy who almost hit my sister with a car. Good times. I remember much happening and yet, quite often, nothing happened. We’d post up on the benches outside of White Mountain and watch the day go by.
Occasionally we stopped for food. One such afternoon we went to Pasquales. The notorious “Pee Wee Pizza” moment happened when we learned one cardinal rule of life: Never make fun of someone with bowel issues, because quite soon after, that curse will make its way straight to you … in public and after you’ve left the original restaurant destination. Thank goodness for Captain D’s bathroom being nearby.
What I’m nostalgic for is not only warm weather but also the chance to take a walk down Bardstown Road and remember what it used to be, yet appreciating what it is now. The shops have changed. The vibe is a little more polished and less punk rock than it was then, but fundamentally, Bardstown Road is where the weird kids still show up to commiserate.
It would be nice to walk through the Highlands and see telephone poles thick with show flyers. I used to collect them. I eventually gave my folder of punk show flyers to a friend who has them pasted to a wall in his basement. It’s a great tribute to one of Louisville’s greatest attributes — its music.
I was sad when the flyers stopped, though it was easy enough to go to ear X-tacy to find out what shows were happening. I still love the stapled evidence left behind all these years later.
Come 70 degrees, I will be hitting Bardstown Road with my son and a stroller. How punk rock is that? I’ll give him his first taste of the Highlands and hope I run into old friends who are doing the same thing, whether with their kids or just seeking respite from a long winter stuck inside. Maybe I’ll find him a tiny parka at one of the head shops or perhaps a baby’s first bong. I’m joking. He’ll buy his own in time, I’m sure. By then, of course, it will be legal. His memories of the Highlands will be colored by other things, and he’ll have to drive much farther than we did to get there, but I’m pretty sure it will still have mythic resonance.
So, come on, spring. I’ll see you in the Highlands, having a tea at Heine Brothers on Longest and pushing a stroller while remembering youth and enjoying my life in warmth.