voight-gholston

Talk Turkey: CBS News and ABC News report Jon Voight — father to Angelina Jolie and currently hanging out in the big “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” movie — gave Louisville’s Home of the Innocents something to be thankful for this week.

Sydney Gholston, director of food and nutritional services at the home, met Mr. Voight in the checkout line of a local Walmart. She had six turkeys in her cart, prompting the man behind her to say, “You must have a big family. That’s an awful lot of turkeys.” Gholston explained where she worked, who the turkeys would serve and answered his questions about the Home of the Innocents.

Mr. Voight was so moved he wanted to help, so when it came time to pay the bill, he pulled out his wallet and took care of it.

Said Ms. Gholston:

“I thanked him and and we took a picture. Very nice guy. He was very interested in what we did at the home. He said that was wonderful.”

The turkeys will feed 70 of the home’s 196 residents. The other kids have dietary restrictions or other arrangements with family.

Mr. Voight is in town shooting a movie, by the way. He seems to like shooting in Kentucky — he was just in town not so long ago filming his Hallmark movie, “JL Ranch.” These new film incentives, I tell you. Seem to be working.

If that’s his cart in the photo, he’s picking up a Walmart brand stomach sleeper medium pillow and a big stick thing — what is that? I hope he’s sleeping OK. 

Lamar Jackson | Courtesy of UofL Athletics
Lamar Jackson | Courtesy of UofL Athletics

Holding On: Last week, we talked about your University of Louisville fighting football Cardinals and the implications of their loss to the Cougars of Houston. So now we know a few things.

First: the rankings. Louisville fell all the way from No. 3 to No. 13, says Bleacher Report and NCAA.com, which, you know, is just what happens after a loss.

With that loss, their second, ESPN says Louisville has been eliminated from the College Football Playoff picture. See also: West Virginia and Utah. And that’s pretty much what everyone said was going to happen, too.

There is still a little hope for post-season play: FOX Sports says your Cardinals could still qualify for an Orange Bowl appearance if they can hold off the Wildcats of Kentucky, also yours.

And then there’s the Heisman Trophy. Last week, Mr. Jackson did not play so well. His worst game of the season, for sure. It might have been his worst game since maybe middle school. So where does he stand?

ESPN says his play for most of the season put him too far out front for the Houston game to knock him down. They quote one Heisman voter as saying:

“I think he was too far ahead for one bad game to bring him back to the pack. I didn’t think Louisville’s poor performance was as much about him as its offensive line. I’m not sure any quarterback would have been successful with such lack of protection.”

He was sacked 11 times, so that’s a fair appraisal.

Sports Illustrated agrees. They don’t find the Houston game significant enough to move him. He’s still No. 1 there.

USA Today disagrees, but only slightly. They say there’s room to catch him, but there’s not really anyone in the field to do it. So he’s still No. 1 on their list.

And 24/7 Sports cuts right to it: “Stop the ridiculousness: Lamar Jackson is winning the Heisman.”

Your Cardinals will host your Wildcats this Saturday at noon. ESPN will broadcast.

A close-up of the Confederate monument
A close-up of the Confederate monument

Moving Day: Reuters and NBC News (via AP) say the Confederate monument that stood at the edge of the University of Louisville is getting a new home. Workers began dismantling the 121-year-old statue last Saturday.

The statue will move from its campus location between Second and Third streets to its new home in Brandenburg, Ky. It’s still close to town, about 40 miles southwest, and Brandenburg holds Civil War re-enactments every two years, so Mayor Greg Fischer says Brandenburg offers a “more proper context” for the statue.

The attempt to move the statue started back in April. Mayor Fischer said at the time:

“The stain of slavery and racism that this monument represents for many, many people has no place in a compassionate, forward leaning city.”

The Sons of Confederate Veterans opposed the relocation and brought suit against the city to halt the move. Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman ruled the city could proceed.

“These monuments, as well as other symbols of the Confederacy, are now viewed as a romanticism of the past, pride in ‘Southern Heritage,’ history to be acknowledged and lessons learned, reminders of slavery or indicative of present racist sentiment. The court recognizes, even if it does not agree with, these often-times competing emotional elements.”

bennie-hart
Bennie Hart

Oh, God!: The BBC reports Bennie Hart of Kenton County, Ky., is suing the state transportation secretary after being denied his personalized license plate. Mr. Hart wanted his plate to read, “IM GOD.”

Said Mr. Hart:

“I simply want the same opportunity to select a personal message for my license plate just as any other driver. There is nothing obscene or vulgar about my view that religious beliefs are subject to individual interpretation.”

The transportation cabinet ruled the plate might distract other drivers and questioned its taste.

Mr. Hart says he had the plate for 12 years in Ohio without incident.

lawrence-vf-2016-head
Vanity Fair

Cover Girl: Your girl, Jennifer Lawrence, graces the cover of the December issue of Vanity Fair. In the accompanying feature, she waxes on her work, her pals and rumored boyfriend, Darren Aronofsky.

On Aronofsky, she neither confirms not denies their involvement, but describes him as “a visionary.”

She also talks her friendship with Emma Stone:

“I love my job. I don’t know what I would be without acting. So if there is someone who loves the same thing, it should bring us closer. But it depends on how that person is, and Emma is so normal and lovely. If I wasn’t her biggest fan, I would’ve Tonya Harding’d her in the kneecaps.”

That turn of phrase at the end caught my attention with the “Harding” as verb. It’s a reference I use from time to time, only I’ve always gone with “Gillooly” as the verb since he was the one who did the swinging. As in, “After our argument, I’m really worried he’s going to gillooly me in the parking lot.” Which could mean any sneak attack really. It’s not limited to the knee.

Not coincidentally, I imagine, he doesn’t go by Gillooly anymore.

jeff-gillooly-tonya-harding
Jeff Gillooly and Tonya Harding

Look at Tonya Harding up there. You see Amy Adams? I do too. So I looked it up and the Internet was all, “Yeah, we’re way ahead of you.” Because I had a ridiculous amount of Adams/Harding side-by-sides from which to choose for this:

adams-harding

So I’m thankful for that.

Speaking of, hey — happy belated Thanksgiving to you and yours. Hope the day went well for you and you managed to avoid any major post-election familial squabbles and what-have-you. If you solved Medicaid and health care with Uncle John by the time the pies hit the table, then bless you and we thank you. Otherwise, probably not worth it.

So I’m thankful for a few things:

Thankful to Sarah and everyone here at Insider Louisville. Writing from the mighty “In Other News…” headquarters means I don’t see anyone much in person, but their support —read: patience— for this column and writer do not go unnoticed.

And then there’s you, of course, for whom this is for. I’m grateful every time any one of you clicks, reads, shares, writes or responds. I don’t print reader mail much anymore because I’m trying to behave better with my word count — which I totally blew this week — but I read everything and always respond.

And I’m thankful for the work. If you would have told me in elementary school that I’d be working as a writer, actor and artist — that it was even possible — well, I was an optimistic kid, so I’d probably have believed you. But I’d be grateful you said it.

And then there’s Megan, of course. We’re getting married next year and I’d need another weekly column to list all the ways being with her has profoundly changed my life. And because we really focus on partnership together, my hope is she can say the same. But I will say in brief, I so admire her passion and compassion and how very deeply she just cares. About most everything. That’s hard to do for most of us, but it’s just who she is. She’s the best thing to happen in the history of ever.

We just celebrated an anniversary this week, for which I’m also grateful. We’ve been a little crazy schedule-wise, so our anniversary mostly consisted of various stages of work from sunup to sundown and then for me, sunup again.

Which, you know, I don’t want to tell you your business, but don’t do that. Any of that. It’s just silly.

But anyway, we didn’t celebrate much because of that.

There’s a book called “20,000 Days” I read a while ago. And it’s about thinking about your life as a countdown of sorts, to get you energized and prioritized. These are the days you have so make them count. That sort of thing.

I hated that book. Mostly because I just thought the weight of all of that was too much, really. And the prioritization tool and philosophy makes sense to me, but also, you have to be able to do the dishes without feeling like you just let 1/100th of one of your last days slip away from you on a menial task. If I have to think about the implications of my mortality every time I take the garbage out, I’m not doing it. “In Other News…” headquarters will just have to stay cluttered, because there’s no time! “Let the cats feed themselves! There’s work to be done!”

The Dark Lord.
The Dark Lord disapproves.

But after some time away from it, I could at least appreciate the sentiment, even if I’m clearly not an expert at putting it into practice, and it comes down to what the holiday is supposed to be about:

Be grateful for whatever it’s possible to be grateful about, do something meaningful no matter what your present station in life, and make sure you’re telling the people who matter most to you that they matter most to you as much as you can without getting annoying about it.

Because you just don’t want to wait on any of that. Which everyone always says like it’s the most profound thing that’s ever been said when like, one of the first cave paintings was likely a guy playing with his kid instead of hunting the 45th boar. So it can come off a little easy, maybe, but I think people keep saying it because if you look at our behaviors, a lot of us? Still not doing it.

We visited a dear friend this weekend and observed him telling his three daughters the story of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” which he just directed and they were about to see. And they were riveted and it was beautiful. And I say, which was more important? The directing of the show or the time spent making this moment with his kids. And I feel like one may tilt, but I’m going to say both need to be there in this case. The one makes him a better father, the other a better director. The trick is making sure to figure out the balance.

They also decided we were slacking on our wedding preparations, so they went ahead and drafted a “save the date” for us.

save-the-date

Anyway. To circle back, this is my Thanksgiving: gratitude, making it count, and figuring out how to let people know they’re loved as best I can.

And also fixing this whole anniversary thing.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

See you next week.

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Kyle Ware
Kyle Ware is a Louisville-based actor, artist, educator and writer. His column, In Other News, appears at Insider Louisville every Friday.