Sunday, April 23, 2006

Festivities & Faux Pas

The festival activities for the 70th Running of the Kentucky Derby are well underway. Yesterday an estimated 800,000 people packed the Louisville Waterfront to view Thunder Over Louisville, a humongous air show and what is billed as the “largest fireworks display in the world.”

I wasn’t there, although I seriously considered going. (The photographs I include in this post are from the Louisville Courier-Journal article on Derby events; there are many more pics, if you are interested in seeing them, click here). What changed my mind was a Friday night television news story that depicted people already pitching tents on the lawns of the Waterfront twenty-four hours before the event. Also, the Metro government decided to seal off the expressways to prevent the enormous traffic jams that developed after last year’s Thunder. That seemed illogical to me, especially since I live relatively close to the Waterfront and would not have used an expressway in any event.

Another reason I didn’t go is that I could watch the air show and see at least the highest fireworks from my back deck. Of course, I didn’t; I was immersed in studying for the Insurance Commission exams, which I finally have scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday. I did walk out on my back deck when I was disturbed in my studies by what I though was thunder. I looked out the window by my desk and saw a dark, but clear sky. I went out on my deck and saw in the northwest the fireworks exploding over the Waterfront one and a half miles away. I suppose the name “Thunder” is appropriate for the display:

Of course, Thunder was not the first of this year’s Derby festivities and there are many more to come. (For a complete list of 2006 Kentucky Derby festivities, click here). The festivities began on April 14 with the Derby Festival Night of the Future Stars and have contused non-stop since. There will be almost daily festivities up to and through the running of the 2006 Derby on May 6.

I have been relatively blind to this year’s Derby festivities. I have finally been able to schedule on next Tuesday and Wednesday the two state exams I need for employment in the insurance industry. Needless to say, I have been spending most of my time studying for these. In that process I have allowed other things to slip by me, much to my distress.

For example, today I committed a faux pas that still embarrasses me. One of our local United Church of Christ pastors retired today after serving the same congregation for almost forty-two years. Several weeks ago I was requested, in my role as Moderator of the Kentuckiana Association of the United Church of Christ, to participate in his retirement service. I placed the event on my calendar, but when I consulted my calendar last week I realized that I had neglected to note the time. Thus, last Wednesday, I telephoned the church office and asked what time I was to be there.

I suppose the church secretary didn’t understand my question because she gave me the time as 1:00 p.m. When I arrived at the church at 12:40 this afternoon, I found that the service was over and everyone had gone elsewhere to the retiring pastor’s celebration dinner. I had missed the service and another church official had taken my part in it!

I felt foolish, but drove to the dinner. When I arrived, I learned that one of my colleagues had telephoned my home, worried that there might be something wrong with me. And I suppose there is something wrong with me: I have too much on my plate at the moment and that is leading to a lot of confusion. Or, is it that I have just turned sixty?

I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know I am to chair an Association meeting next Sunday afternoon and pray that I will not commit another faux pas and miss that!


  1. OOoo Nick, we do indeed have a shared problem....'too much on our plates'! I guess both our saving grace is that in general we're not one's who regularly forget important dates etc.
    Best of luck for next weeks exam :O)

  2. Nick,
    I've tried commenting, but blogger hasent let me in!! I keep knocking, but no one was home ;-)

    Its so not your age. I'll be 34 in July, and just in the past month I missed 2 appointments! Not missed, but showed up either on the wrong day/right time; or right day/wrong time. Geesh!

    I love the tour of your town. It looks so quaint and peaceful.

  3. At times the faux pas would be the thing that makes life interesting - or embarrassing, which also can be interesting, except it is still embarrassing. We must either smile or crawl in a hole, my personal choice is the smile, which seems to be yours as well. ec

  4. Just wanted to thank you for the pictures in your blogg! I enjoyed the house pictures as well as the water front pictures! I am working at home in my office today. My goal is to file papers and make some order of this mess! I hope you are having a good day and are ready for your exams.