The Richmond Register


April 28, 2013

That’s just how it is: Part one

RICHMOND — Now that I’ve announced my retirement, I’m going to share with you some of my most memorable experiences as publisher.

Just remember, I will be poking some fun at some of you, so please don’t take it personally.

If you are mentioned, it just means I respect you as a community member whether you agreed with me or not. I hope to bring you some humor, but also give you food for thought about the future of our community.

This is the first installment of “That’s just how it is”… I felt that was a good name for it because that’s been my philosophy and how I write … so here you go. Enjoy!

I remember the first day I walked in this building as publisher. It was a special day in more ways than one. It was my deceased father-in-law’s birthday who in many ways was the real father I never had.

On that day I was excited, anxious and ready to take on this community and make a difference. I really didn’t know what the future would hold, but as we now know, it’s was an interesting ride.

I remember one of my first close encounters was with Phil Seyfrit. I didn’t know much about this guy who I’ve come to know and respect.

As you know, The Herd and The Colonels had a rich history on the gridiron. He stopped in to talk about something and noticed I was wearing a Marshall University sweater.

I guess that didn’t set well with him. So, Phil looked me square in the eyes and in the most politely way said, “Mr. Lewis (I think that’s what he called me), you just don’t wear that stuff around here.”

I thought to myself … whoa baby … I’ve only been here a short time, hadn’t written anything yet, and I’m already making people mad. I guess it was just a glimpse of what the future held for me.

I responded, “Well, just get me some maroon, and I will wear it.”

Eventually, maroon apparel started showing up, including an EKU tie that I still wear proudly. Even today, I still get razzed about wearing green, but the fact is that I wear much more maroon than green.

When my youngest daughter graduated from EKU, I officially became an EKU dad and I’m proud of it. But make no mistake … I will always bleed Kelly green and that’s just how it is.

When I started writing columns about what is now Paradise Cove, they pushed some folk’s hot buttons, especially former city commissioner Kay Jones.

She called to defend the project and former Mayor Connie Lawson. I remember looking at the caller ID when the phone rang and thought this is going to be interesting.

Jones didn’t like what I had to written … imagine that. Anyway, she informed me that I wasn’t from around here and what gave me the right to write such a column. Of course, I was very professional and respectful in my response; however, when I got off the phone I remember saying to myself what I would have like to said … Commissioner Jones … it’s my job so I can … get over it!

One of the more interesting rumors about me worth writing about came out of the Camp Catalpa fiasco. I always felt that this issue ultimately secured the fate of former Mayor Lawson and the city commissioners.

I wrote several columns about it, but the one just before the 2010 election exposed two rumors in the community. One rumor flying around was that the former city commission had agreed to an out-of-court settlement for $750,000, which became reality. Funny how rumors eventually become fact. I always believe where there is smoke, there is fire. In this case there was fire.

At this same time, a rumor was circulating that if Jim Barnes was elected as mayor, I would become his city manager. Can you imagine if they gave me the keys to the city? I would be looking out those big windows at Main Street thinking to myself … finally, it’s all mine.

I’m just kidding folks; please don’t start any rumors. City Manager Jimmy Howard is not leaving and has done a great job steering the city through rough waters. Besides I’ve been working in a business that has been 24/7, and that’s something I’m not ready to take on anytime soon. But who knows what might happen down the road; anything is possible.

And that’s just how it is.

Text Only
  • 06.29 CrystalFarewell.jpg Starting over at Head Start

    All I ever wanted to be was a journalist. Having worked on my high school and college newspapers, I knew it was the career for me.
    I love talking to people, listening to their stories, being creative every day and experiencing new things. But as you know, news happens outside the hours of 9 to 5, and my job here at the Register rarely stayed within that time frame.

    June 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ike Adams They don’t make strawberries as they did back in the old days

    I’m not inclined to go through my archives at the moment, but it almost feels like the column I’m about to write has almost become an annual thing over the years.
    At least I know for sure that that this is not the first time that memories of picking strawberries there on Blair Branch on hot days in June has triggered this keyboard about this time of year.
    I grew up on a little subsistence, hillside farm deep in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, among the coalfields near the Virginia line.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ike Adams Baby boomers have let technology rob their grandchildren of the joys of youth

    When I was growing up, it was not uncommon to see fathers and sons along creek banks fishing together or in the woods hunting squirrels or pitching horse shoes or even shooting marbles late in the afternoon in the cool hours before dark.
    Dads were teaching kids to play the games they grew up with. Little girls, learned from mothers,how to skip rope, play with jacks or play hopscotch.

    June 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg No Lincoln or Douglas in this debate

    Remember the famous slap-down in the 1988 vice presidential debate when Republican Dan Quayle compared his youth and limited government experience to those of John Kennedy’s when Kennedy ran for president?
    His Democratic opponent, Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, acidly replied: “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

    June 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Senate campaign already in full bloom

    Any hope for a respite in the U.S. Senate campaign following Tuesday’s primary disappeared immediately.
    Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes came out swinging in victory speeches which sounded like campaign kickoffs.
    McConnell commended Matt Bevin on “a tough (primary) race” and appealed to Bevin supporters to unite behind his re-election bid. That will be hard for Bevin and those who backed him.

    May 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Waters.JPG ‘Taxpayer-eaters’ meet ‘self-serving politician-eaters’

    What some candidates could gain in this year’s election – beyond just winning office – is a stark reminder of how wrong political leaders were when declaring last year they had adequately addressed Kentucky’s public-pension crisis.
    Instead, legislators with serious courage deficiencies failed to agree on reforms beyond what they believe are “politically feasible.”

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ike Adams Step Out, Step up for Diabetes Association

    Six weeks ago when I wrote here announcing the 2014 Edition of Team TKO’s American Diabetes Association, Step Out Walk Team, several dozen of you readers sent generous donations to sponsor grandson Tyler Kane Ochs (TKO) and me in the walk that takes place, rain or shine, in the mud or not, at Keeneland on the morning of May 31.
    Another several dozen of you either called, emailed or dropped a card in regular mail and asked that I remind you again “after the holidays” (Easter and Mother’s Day).

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Hitting the campaign trail

    The most watched race in the country ? the battle for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Mitch McConnell ? has so far produced a bevy of charges and not much substance.
    We haven’t seen that much of McConnell or his likely Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes out on the campaign trail.
    McConnell’s primary opponent Matt Bevin has been much more active and visible, but his performance hasn’t enhanced his chances.

    May 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • The case of the scary black cat

    If Margie didn’t believe that black cats were the harbinger of bad luck, she certainly believed it when a black cat brushed against her leg while she was leaning over a large trash can burning garbage one late afternoon.
    Startled by the sudden appearance of the feline, Margie opened her mouth wide and let out a blood-curdling scream that could have awakened Count Dracula himself.

    May 10, 2014

  • Ike Adams Basking in the spring sunshine

    If you had asked me, as recently as two weeks ago, to make a list of things I expected to see on the first Monday in May of 2014, two of the things that I actually did see would not have been on the list, even if you’d required that it contain at least 500 items.
    I’d have been a bit skeptical about Ralph’s purple asparagus and his gorgeous snowball bush, both of which came through most admirably. And I would have had my doubts about the poppies that have been in our back yard for several generations and the bearded German Iris that Jeanette Todd gave us more than two decades ago. It faithfully stuns us there at the corner of the front porch every spring, but there they were, basking in absolute glory as the sun set Monday afternoon.

    May 8, 2014 1 Photo