Archive for the ‘Kentucky Tattoo’

Leslie Jordan Dishes on His Drug Years, Getting Shot with a Crossbow, and the One Person He Hated Working With – LA Magazine06.29.21

When the inevitable COVID-19 nostalgia begins, right atop of the list of plague silver linings will be Leslie Jordans star turn, how he went into 2020 as 65-year-old veteran TV character actor and emerged as a bona fide Instagram star, amassing over 5 million followers who tuned in for his quarantine kvetching, singing, dancing, and occasional breakfast time porn watching. The year 2021 is shaping up to be a similarly auspicious with the release of his new memoir How YAll Doing and the recent second season pickup of his Fox sitcom, Call Me Kat, in which he stars alongside Mayim Bialik as a sprightly barista in a Louisville, Kentucky, cat caf.

Here, in this excerpt from a special Pride Month episode of Los Angeless podcast The Originals, Jordan reveals to host Andrew Goldman why he hates Star Trek but loves William Shatner, admits his lifelong battle with homophobia, and explains why Joan Collins wants him to just please shut up.

In your new book, How YAll Doing, you recount how you went from being a middle-aged, somewhat anonymous working actor to an Instagram celebrity during COVID. I wonder, becoming famous at the age that youre at, do you feel like you are more well-adjusted and ready for the adulation. Or is it possible that you could become a huge diva?

No, I dont think that could happen. First of all, Ive got a wonderful support system in my family, mama and the twins, my twin sisters, and they have this amazing life in Tennessee. I go home and I want to tell them about things that are going on in Hollywood, and they could care less. I couldnt possibly become a diva. The minute I start acting like a diva theyd just go, Shut up.

Your dad was in the military and died in a plane crash when you were only 11. Your father certainly knew you were a little effeminate, but do you think he knew you were gay?

This was the 60s so I mean, I think it was more along the lines of, Is he going to be like Liberace? Is he going to end up like Paul Lynde? What a terrible time to lose your dad. I was haunted with the feeling that perhaps Id been somewhat of a disappointment, because I wasnt good at sports. I mentioned that many years later to my mother and you wouldve thought Id slapped her. She was absolutely flabbergasted. She said, I dont know what youre talking about, I dont know what you based that upon. Your daddy adored you and supported you. I [came out] to my mother when I was about 12 and she didnt pull her Bible out, which I thought was what she would do normally, because were a pretty devout family, but she said, Im so afraid youll be subject to ridicule, and I dont think I could bear that, and just, why dont you just live your life quietly? So here I am!

Truman Capote comes up for a couple of reasons in your new book. I mean, you talk about your height. Youre four-foot-eleven. Youre from the South. Youre a gay man. Theres a lot of similarities to Capote. What was your reaction when you first saw him on Johnny Carson?

I threw up. Isnt that crazy? I saw him walk on stage on Johnny and I thought, Adult men dont act like that. He had that scarf, and that little lisp. Because of the way I was raised, I thought there was something shameful about it. Id never seen anybody act like that, but I was just fascinated. So, I went in the bathroom and threw up, but the next day I went to the Chattanooga Public Library and I checked out everything I could check out. Other Voices, Other Rooms. The Grass Harp. Everything Truman had ever written. And he led me to Tennessee Williams who was a master at the veiled references. You knew what Skipper and Brick were up to [in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.] I did. I knew exactly what was going on here, and it gave me kind of a sense of belonging somehow, even though I was so isolated in Tennessee.

So when you would saw a Paul Lynde or a Wally Cox on TV, did you recognize something that you didnt see around you at home?

Oh, absolutely. You see it, but you dont know what that is. What is an effeminate man? What is that about? What does that entail? Is that what Im to become? And I was just fascinated and repulsed by it. Its so hard to explain, but its just internal homophobia and its what every gay man on the planet has dealt withthis internal thing that we were raised with. It took me getting sober 22 years ago, for me to have someone look at me, one of these sorts of spiritual advisors within my recovery program, he said, Youre a fag hating fag. I thought, Thats a horrible thing to say. But it was true. Im a fag hating fag.

I have a southern accent, absolutely, but Ive also got that gay accent. You know, I open my mouth and 50 yards of purple chiffon come flying out.

Ive encountered this. I know a lot of gay men who are really turned off by effeminate men. I guess it could be a self-loathing kind of thing.

I remember when I first got to L.A. in 82, you could go to speech centers to rid yourself of that accent. I have a southern accent, absolutely, but Ive also got that gay accent. You know, I open my mouth and 50 yards of purple chiffon come flying out.

I watched your autobiographical 2000 film, Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel, about your life in Atlanta after coming out. I think if people only knew you from Instagram, they would get a sanitized sense of your life. You were doing a lot of drugs, engaged in quite a bit of petty crime. Youve said were legendary in Atlanta. What do you mean by that?

When I got high, there were no holds barred. I mean, Ive been in jailed. My mother used to tell me, Youre going to end up dead in a ditch. Ive never seen anybody with such a fascination with the underbelly of life. Just strippers, con artistsI just ran with the roughest crowd. It kind of started in school where there were people that I just loved that wore those black motorcycle jackets. Once again, back to Truman Capote, he used to say that he sat on a bar stool to get material. No, you didnt sit on that bar stool to get material! You sat on that bar stool to get drunk! And I ran with those people to get the drugs. It was Quaaludes, which we would take that with these biphetamine-220s, which was these diet pills that the truckers took. Wed mix it all together. Its just a wonder Im alive.

I dont think if Ive ever known anybody who has dated a guy with a teardrop tattoo, but you dated a guy who not only had a teardrop tattoo but a swastika tattoo too.

Yes. And I loved him. He was so misguided, bless his heart, and I just loved him. Here wed go to Hollywood parties, and wed put a Band Aid on the swastika. I mean, was he a white supremacist? I dont know. He was only 20-something years old.

And a teardrop tattoo means he murdered someone in prison, right?

He didnt even know that. I said, The teardrop means you murdered somebody! I even took him home to meet mother. They were just appalled. I knew his family. Hed had a rough go. I think, the problem was I was always bringing strays home. Stray dogs, stray cats, stray boys.

Youre also the only person Ive ever interviewed whos been shot with a crossbow in a lovers quarrel.

That same boy with the teardrop tattoo shot me! And I bought it for him! We were up in Big Bear Lake, and he said, Can I get a gun? I said, No, you cant get a gun. Well get in a fight and youll shoot me. We were big drinkers back then. And he said, Well, can I get a crossbow? I said, I dont even know what that is. And he showed it to me and I said, Oh my god, thats lethal looking. He said, Im just going to shoot at cans and things. And I bought it for him, and then we got in a fight and I found myself staring down the crossbow. But the arrow just winged me. It didnt stick in.

In 2006 you won an Emmy for playing Debra Messings characters nemesis Beverly Leslie on Will & Grace. Is it true that you were not actually the first choice for that role?

They wrote it for Joan Collins. Well, I got in trouble for explaining it so much. I put it in my [one man] show, and her husband Percy wrote me a letter and said, This is diminishing Joans chances for employment, and I said, Shes 87! But anyway, the character was going to steal Rosario the maid away from Karen Walker, and they wanted a Dynasty cat fight and the two of them to wrestle around and pull each others wigs off. Apparently, Ms. Collins just said, No, Im not going to have my wig pulled off. And they said, Well, thats the joke. So, they re-wrote it, and thats how it started.

Its so interesting. How does a casting person go, OK, were not going to get Joan Collins. Lets get Leslie Jordan in here.

Well, they didnt want Leslie Jordan. They didnt know me apparently, because I went in to the audition andits a crazy story. My mother had just called me and this woman in my church had had a baby out of wedlock, and it looked like a pig, and mother was telling me this funny story, and I walked in the door of this audition and I said, You know, listen, Im so sorry Im late, but this woman in my church had a baby and it looked like a pig, and my mama and I was just talking. And one of them said, Youre it.

You got your first guest starring role in 1986 on The Fall Guy and since then, you did a ton of guest roles on shows like Night Court, Murphy Brown, Newhart, and Ally McBeal. Youve written that at a certain point you decided you were neither going to try to play straight or lose your Southern accent. You played a Ferengi on Star Trek Voyager. Can a Ferengi have a Southern accent?

No. And that was the big problem. When I delivered my line everybody laughed, and they had to get a woman to do the voiceover with me after, and she was kind of mean to me. She said, Mr. Jordan, feather doesnt have four syllables. I said, Ill never, and then they called and they said, listen, they want you back. And they said, Leslie, Whoopi Goldberg is going to be on it. I said, I dont care if Jesus Christ is going to be on it. I dont want to do it again.

Youve written wonderful things about so many people that youve appeared with and metBeverly DAngelo, Billy Bob Thornton, Mark Harmon, Dolly Parton. Anyone you didnt especially enjoy working with?

There was only one and shes no longer with us.

Great, lets talk about her.

It was the Bob Newhart show, not the one with Suzanne Pleshette.

Oh, Newhart? The Vermont inn one?

Yes, and his wife was played by an actress named Mary Frann. Miss Mary Frann. Now, I was not privy to anything, but I was warned [about her]. But then, the set was so loose and relaxed, and we were having such a good time, but then door opened and she came in.

And so I went that afternoon to my agency, Cunningham, Escott, and Depine, who handled me for commercials. And Mr. Escott, T.J. Escott, unbeknownst to me, had been married to Mary Frann. I didnt know that, and I walked in there and said, What a bitch! and everybody in the office was going Shhhh! And then from the office, T.J. said, I agree with everything hes saying!

You had a recurring role on Boston Legal. What was working with William Shatner like?

I love Mr. Shatner. We share a love of saddlebred horses, the high-stepping show horses. He breeds them on a farm in Kentucky and Mr. Shatner and I would talk about that a lot. I adored him because he would say funny things. We adored James Spader but James wants to do the work. Like, wed do 14 takes, and he would say, I just feel like I have one more. Mr. Shatner said the me, Aye, aye, aye. Hes always going for the envelope. Id rather go for the parking lot. Lets get out of here. I dont want anyone to think that I dont love Jimmy Spader. I really do and I enjoyed every minute working with him.

I dont know what Lady Gaga was up to in the Roanoke season of American Horror Story, but in one scene it looked like she was sort of riding you. What happened?

That pretty much describes it. We had worked all day. She was supposed to jump out and blow fairy dust in my eyes. I was supposed to hit the ground and then try to crawl away. Shed poke me with a stick, and then she was supposed to kick me and then straddle me. Right before we were ready to go she said, Can I talk to you just for a second? She said, I tend sometimes in my acting to sexualize things. I dont want to do that with this character, but And I thought, God, wheres this headed? I didnt know what she was going to do. They said, Action, and she rode me like she was in the rodeo, rubbing her hoo-ha on me and throwing her hair. It was thee oclock in the morning, and I remember just lying there thinking, How do I get myself into these situations?

You arrived in L.A. in 1982, the year after AIDS officially declared an epidemic and volunteered with a program called Project Nightlight. What was the program?

I went and volunteered, as we all did. Around 1981, this wonderful Cassandra Christensen started Project Nightlight. The idea was that everybody is ready to get people to live. There has to be a time in which people can die with dignity. People that had AIDS, their families turned their backs, sometimes their lovers walked away. So we were given training on how to basically be there for someone at the end, and I did that for years, and people say, How did you do that? It had to be done and I could sit with anybody. I was still having a little struggle with drugs, so I was up all night anyway. They said, Hes just a martyr. Well, no, Im strung out on crystal meth, but anyway, I would sit with people.

So you were there when many people died?

I was there at the very end. I think maybe I held 14 when they died. I get teary eyed even thinking about it. And it isnt always like the movies where theres someone just lying there going, Just let go, just let go. It can be pretty gruesome. There really is like a death rattle when a person takes that last gasp. I dont know what your beliefs are, but Im going to tell you something. When someone is near the end, they became bathed in some kind of Godly light. The telephone lines go up. Something happens, you know?

Do you think at this point in your life youre completely cured of your homophobia?

Oh no! It can go like that, just walking down the street. I can go there in a minute, but I think, Oh, I know what that is. Thats that fear of being a sissy or whatever. Let go of that one. Ive gotten to the point where I know to register, Oh, I know what that is. But I dont particularly like to hear myself because I think I sound very effete. I dont particularly like to watch myself and Im always trying not to move my hands too much. But you know, the good news is that theres nothing wrong with being somewhat effeminate. Thats just how I am.

Its kind of your moneymaker, right?

Exactly. And Ive tried before in different roles to butch it up. And they go, Honey, it aint working.

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Kentucky tattoo artists cover racist tattoos for free: Our calling to extend the grace we have received – Denison Forum05.31.21

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When Kentucky tattoo artists Ryun King and his colleagues watched the protests, inequality, and people standing up for racial rights last summer, they felt compelled to try and help. So when Covid restrictions eased and they were able to reopen their shop, they posted on Instagram If you have a racist tattoo and you want it gone, Ill cover it for free. No questions asked.

As Daniella Genovese writes, the response was beyond anything they could have imagined.

As their post began to make the rounds, people started reaching out from California to New York and even overseas from places like Ireland and South Africa. Now King and the other artists at the Gallery X Art Collective spend every Thursday turning swastikas, Confederate flags, SS bolts, and other racist tattoos into something that can be displayed with pride.

Often, the only things more impressive than the final product are the stories that go along with them.

As King notes, Ive had a father that told me that he didnt take [his] shirt off in front of his kids ever . . . because of some mistake he made when he was in his early 20s in prison and got in with the wrong crowd . . . I dont think Ive ever heard anyone go . . . I generally hated this race. It was always like I felt pressured into this . . . or I thought I was going to die in prison.'

While their ability to transform racist images into something else is a big part of the endeavors success, its the promise of No questions asked that drives most of the response.

Normally, those who are ashamed of these tattoos are pretty much at the whim of whoever is going to be able to cover that for you, if you feel brave enough to even enter the establishment to say, yes, this was me, no, this isnt who I am.' By creating an environment in which people can feel comfortable owning their past and then move on from it, they have transformed the lives of countless individuals.

As Christians, we are called to do much the same.

One of our key callings as followers of Christ is to Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).

While we may know and recognize that we are called to exhibit that kind of forgiveness, actually doing so is often much more difficult. And God knew it would be. Thats why our forgiveness of others is meant to be an extension of our gratitude for and understanding of the forgiveness that we have received from him.

When we remember all that he has done for us, it enables us to better extend the same grace to others. That step is crucial, especially when trying to minister to people who look at their past with shame and regret.

However, as Ryun King and his colleagues can attest, creating a safe space where people are not defined by their worst mistakes but rather are free to accept and embrace a new life can enable them to do just that.

That should be a defining characteristic of every Christian community.

What can you do to help it define yours?

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Walter Suza: A city along the Mississippi seeks to defeat hate – Ames Tribune02.11.21

Walter Suza| Guest opinion contributor

Theres hate in Dubuque, Iowa.

The hate in Dubuque has manifested as cross burnings, denigrating graffiti and racial profiling of Black people. Ultimately, the question Why do we hate? was posted on billboards to try to get to the heart of hate.

The hate has left emotional scars in its victims.

My parents taught me to get an education and follow the rules and you can have whatever life has to offer. Then I came to Dubuque and was treated like garbage," lamentedJason Greer in the LA Times."What did we ever do to you?" he askedin the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

There are no simple answers.

Over the years, there has been an amalgam of attempts to hire more minorities, preach against racism in church and promote the value of multiculturalism in schools. In spite of these efforts, hate continues to thrive in Dubuque.

Hate cant be defeated by external forces alone.

We cant defeat hate by forcing people to live and work together. Our attempts to force integration can create resentment from the perception of favoring racial minoritiesover the white majority.

To defeat hate we need to know why people hate.

People hate what they fear. But we might argue that we arent afraid. We might argue that we dont fear because admitting fear can be seen as being wrong can be seen as being weak or less than.

But we all have fears.

Even though were born unafraid of other people, our fears can increase from our lifes experiences.

We were at a playground in Lexington, Kentucky. My daughter was eight years old. With the curiosity and grace of a child, she walked toward a white kid about her age. I guess, to find a way to play with the white kid.

Get away from her honey! yelled the white woman as she rushed forward and yanked her daughter away from my daughter.

My daughter looked puzzled.

I wondered, did the white woman fear or hate me and my daughter? Did the white womans action teach her daughter it was wrong to play with Black kids?

Hate is learned.

After enslaved Black people were freed, the negative labels placed on them stayed with them. From using skull circumference as an indicator of intelligence to depicting them in films as criminals, the black labels created a negative image of Black people. The black labels were created to justify the treatment of Black people as less than.

Racism also led to the birth of the ghetto where poverty and despair resulted in justification for excessive policing. These unfortunate outcomes of racial segregation became fodder for the medias portrayal of Black people as inherently dangerous, deserving increased law and order.

What we fear causes discomfort in us so we attempt to relieve the discomfort by actions to minimize the threat. But those actions have frequently been lethal for Black people.

To defeat hate we must use love. This is what Greg Howell did.

Howell had a rough childhood in the flats of the north side of Dubuque, which had a huge rate of poverty and also a larger population of Black people.

Howells parents divorced before he was 10 years old, but he grew up to find solace from skinheads. Ultimately, Howells body was decorated with tattoos symbolizing hate.

Howell was only able to find freedom from hate after the birth of his son. He left the hate group and became a tattoo artist who used his skill to cover racist and gang-related tattoos at no cost. Love is power.

But we will need to learn how to love.

Learning how to love is a journey and it starts with our admission that we have a role in perpetuating hate, followed by our action to use love to defeat hate.

Lets think of actions we can take to fight hate in America.

We start by owning the truth that we have a role in the suffering of Black people. We dont dismiss their resentment for the wrongs done to them. We avoid blaming or shaming them for speaking about their suffering. We strive to right the wrongs.

The ultimate remedy to defeat hate is finding forgiveness.

But the journey to forgiveness is also long and hard. Unrelenting inner work to find love in our hearts helps us arrive at a place where we can forgive each other. This is what Jason Greer did.

Seventeen years after departing Dubuque, Jason wrote letters of forgiveness to the city of Dubuque and the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

"I wish you well Dubuque and I hope that one day our family can return to a racially diverse/racially accepting Dubuque," wrote Jason.

"You are forgiven Klan. I hope that you can forgive me for my past hatred of you."

Walter Suza of Ames, Iowa writes frequently on the intersections of spirituality, anti-racism and social justice. He can be contacted atwsuza2020@gmail.com.

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Kentucky Governor’s Awards In The Arts To Be Presented Tomorrow – Broadway World01.26.21

Acclaimed country singer/songwriter Tom T. Hall and television host and folksinger Michael Johnathon are among recipients of the 2020 Governor's Awards in the Arts to be presented virtually by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear on Tuesday, January 26. The ceremony, which will livestream, was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual award honors prominent Kentuckians, businesses and arts organizations for outstanding contribution to, achievement in and support of the arts.

Tom T. Hall, who will receive the National Award, is an acclaimed singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, novelist and short story-writer. A native of Olive Hill, Kentucky, he is perhaps best known for writing the song "Harper Valley PTA," which was made famous by singer Jeannie C. Riley, and his own hit song "I Love" in the 1970s. He is ranked among 100 Greatest Songwriters by Rolling Stone Magazine.

Michael Johnathon is a folksinger and songwriter, as well as the creator and host of the acclaimed internationally syndicated television and radio program WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. The program, which originates each week in Lexington, features a wide array of musical artists and airs on RFD-TV, public television stations throughout the United States and hundreds of radio stations worldwide.

"Of all the honors and awards any artist can receive, it is the ones from the home community that mean the most," Michael Johnathon said. "It is the acceptance and encouragement of friends and neighbors that are the fuel for any artist, especially now. Because so much of what I do is community and volunteer-run, the award helps validate the heart and spirit of so many that make artistic efforts become reality.

Other recipients of the Governor's Awards in the Arts include:

Silas House (Artist Award)

Silas House is a novelist, playwright, music journalist and environmental activist. A native of Laurel County, he now resides in Berea, where he serves on the fiction faculty at the Spalding School of Creative Writing and as the NEH Chair at Berea College. His work includes the critically acclaimed novels "Clay's Quilt," 2001; "A Parchment of Leaves," 2003; "The Coal Tattoo," 2005; "Eli the Good," 2009; "Same Sun Here" (co-authored with Neela Vaswani) 2012, and "Southernmost, 2018--as well as a book of creative nonfiction--"Something's Rising," co-authored with Jason Howard, 2009; and three plays: "The Hurting Part" (2005), "This Is My Heart for You" (2012), and "In These Fields," with Sam Gleaves, 2016.

Tidball's (Business Award)

Founded in 2001, Tidball's is the Bowling Green music venue that is known nationwide as one of the best rock clubs in the South. The venue helped launch the career of the Grammy-winning rock band Cage the Elephant. The club's owners are also known for their community support, having raised thousands of dollars for many charities in the area by hosting fundraising events.

Artists Collaborative Theatre (Community Arts Award)

Based in Elkhorn City, Pike County, the Artists Collaborative Theatre is the most awarded community theatre in Kentucky, having won state, regional, and national awards. It is known for its outstanding theatrical productions as well as a free music and art classes.

Paducah Symphony Orchestra (Education Award)

For over 40 years, the Paducah Symphony Orchestra has been known as the premier musical organization in Paducah and the surrounding region. Founded in 1979, the PSO is home to several ensembles, including a professional symphony orchestra, an adult chorus, a youth and children's chorus and other music education programs and services.

Shelly Zegart (Folk Heritage Award)

Shelly Zegart is considered one of America's leading experts on quilts. The Louisville resident is a quilt collector, lecturer, curator and author who writes about quilt aesthetics and history. She is also one of the founding directors of The Kentucky Quilt Project, the first statewide quilt documentation project in the United States. She is the author of the book "American Quilt Collections: Antique Quilt Masterpieces." She also executive produced and hosted the public television documentary "Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics."

City of Somerset (Government Award)

The city of Somerset has attracted attention recently for its downtown revitalization programs aimed at enhancing cultural attractions and boosting tourism. Since 2019, the city has created four new festivals, opened a new indoor-outdoor farmer's market and invited local artists to create murals that tell Somerset's heritage and culture.

Al Da en Amrica (Media Award)

Al Da en Amrica is Louisville's Spanish-language newspaper, serving the area's second largest and fastest-growing minority population.

The Governor's Awards will be presented on Tuesday, January 26 at 11:00 a.m. ET, streaming at:

The Governor's Awards Facebook page: https://fb.me/e/2aLCeOdyu.

The Kentucky Arts Council's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kentuckyartscouncil.

The Kentucky Arts Council's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/KYArtsCouncil.

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20 touching photos from the Flint area in 2020 – MLive.com12.28.20

FLINT, MI -- 2020 became the year of hands off.

Hands off your face, mouth and eyes.

A handshake turned into fist bumps or foot taps, hugs became waves through a window, and high fives reverted to head nods of recognition.

As the COVID-19 pandemic changed how people interacted with one another in Flint and Genesee County, there were still moments in which hands came together in celebration, grief, and protest.

Here are some of those touching moments from 2020, a year that will be talked about for decades to come.

Dachelle McDonald soaps up and washes the hands of her 2-year-old son James McDonald Jr., 2, before serving dinner on Sept. 16, 2020 at their home on Flint's north side. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Flint children exposed to lead suffer from dental problems, learning disabilities, other issues

Felicia Johnson-McGee lays her palm to the glass of her window on March 19 at her home in Flint. Funerals for loved ones are changing as the impact of coronavirus is felt in Michigan. Johnson-McGee was at a funeral recently when the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic sunk in for her. "The first thing people wanted to do was hug me and I felt rude because I had to say, 'Remember we can't hug, we can't touch each other -- that's what's making this real for me," Johnson-McGee said. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Flint residents call stay-at-home order necessary, urge compliance during coronavirus emergency

"It's very scary. I broke down in tears crying. I wish the best for people. I believe it's going to kill thousands of people," said Nakia Nakiayafields, 32 of Flint, seen picking up essentials after work on Monday, March 23, 2020 in Flint. "We didn't take it seriously enough at first, and now this disease is going to cause so much disorder in America today. The hospitals can't isolate the disease, and there has been food and supply shortages. It's going to get worse before it gets better." All Michigan residents and most businesses are required to stay in their homes under an executive order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Coping with the coronavirus in March

Graduate Jack Baldridge, 17, adjusts his tassel as the sun sets before about 650 Grand Blanc High School graduates attend a commencement ceremony on Thursday, June 4, 2020 at US-23 Drive-In in Mundy Township. The school district switched to the location for the commencement ceremony to provide a safe space for social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Grand Blanc High School Class of 2020 celebrated at unique drive-in commencement

Sanford resident Kendra Tucker wipes away muck after finding a family photo for her aunt and uncle after their home was washed away in flood waters on Thursday, May 21, 2020 in Sanford. After multiple dam failures upstream this week, water flooded the village, destroying homes and business, uprooting trees and crumbling bridges and infrastructure. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Our whole life is gone, says woman whose Sanford home was washed away in Midland floods

Terry Turner, 27 of Flint, gets his hair cut by Timothy Tyler, a co-owner of MagnifiClips who has been cutting hair for 17 years, on Sept. 17, 2020 at MagnifiClips, a new barbershop located at 134 W. Second Street in downtown Flint. Tyler has cut Turner's hair since Turner was in eighth grade. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: New black-owned barbershop brings new life to downtown Flint

Dane Lubick, co-owner, cooks up some pancakes and ham for a breakfast order as customers steadily stream inside to dine at Daner's Diner, located at 224 W. Genesee Street in Lapeer. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a three-week public health order that restaurants and bars cannot provide dine-in service until Dec. 9 throughout the state. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Mid-Michigan restaurants band together to reopen for indoor dining service amid statewide ban

Pamela Bacon receives a hug from one of many of her son's friends in attendance at a celebration of life ceremony for Kevin Bacon on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020 at the Universiy of Michigan-Flint's Center for Gender and Sexuality in Flint. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: U-M Flint students, staff share memories of Kevin Bacon

Victoria Ranger, 22 of Flint, uses chalk to create her own spin on the popular character the Grinch for a specials board on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020 at Cafe Rhema in downtown Flint. She said "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" is in her top three favorite holiday movies, but her top choice will always be the 1983 classic, "A Christmas Story." Ranger, a barista and an artist, said she has made art her entire life."Art is my passion. It is an extension of me. No matter the piece, there will always be a piece of me or my emotional state in every piece of work," she said. "Ultimately, my goal is to impact Flint with my art. I absolutely adore what I do, and want to share my gift with the city." (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Uniformed men fold the American flag during a funeral service for World War II veteran Ferrald Fredie Waller on Monday, April 20, 2020 at River Rest Cemetery in Flint Township. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: 105-year-old World War II veteran laid to rest in Flint

Pastor Ezra Tillman, of First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, prays in his church on April 30, 2020 in Flint. Tillman is receiving a key to the City of Flint from Mayor Sheldon Neeley for his work helping Flint residents throughout the water crisis, especially with water distribution. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Pastor Ezra Tillman awarded key to the city of Flint for water crisis work

Laelle Jackson, 9 of Flint, uses web access at the business center at Berston Field House for online learning on Sept. 1, 2020 on Flint's north side. Some families are using Berston Field House's business center and its facilities to help transition into virtual education and utilize web access. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Flint kids learn from grandma, retired teacher at century-old community center

Ravinder Singala, a physican and UM-Flint graduate, receives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shot on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 at McLaren Flint Hospital in Flint. Singala was one of the first five frontline workers at the hospital to receive the vaccine. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine is the only way to beat it, says first Flint McLaren nurse to receive shot

India Collins, 20, pulls at her shirt featuring a photo of Sultan Rahman-Rahim Brewster II as the sun kisses her tattoo that reads RIP Bro Manny during a vigil in his honor on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 in Beecher. Brewster II, who went by Manny, was shot and killed early morning on March 17, 2019 near 13th and Saginaw Streets in Flint. "He was always a big brother to me," she said. "He was fun, always happy and there for the people he loved. I'm just trying to be strong for my friends, for our family. We have to lift each other up." (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Mother still looking for answers one year after shooting death of son

Jimeya Lacy, 20-year-old niece, reaches out to hold her uncle Mose Lacy's hands one last time while paying her respects during a public visitation for the Beecher legend and championship basketball coach on Friday, Aug. 28, 2020 in the Moses Lacy Fieldhouse in Mt. Morris Township. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Beecher gives legendary basketball coach Mose Lacy send-off fit for a king

Family and friends lift their candles to the sky and release balloons to honor Calvin Munerlyn during a vigil on Sunday, May 3, 2020 in Flint. Munerlyn, 43, was shot and killed Friday, May 1 at the Family Dollar store off of East Fifth Avenue in Flint. He'd worked at the store as a security guard for a little more than one year. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Slain Family Dollar security guard mourned at candlelight vigil

Clio couple Julie and Jeff Thompson exchange vows as they are formally married on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 at Freddie's, the newlyweds' favorite marijuana dispensary in Thetford Township. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Michigan couple ties the knot at their favorite marijuana dispensary

A crowd of more than 500 sang Happy Birthday to Breonna Taylor before walking in peaceful protest from the parking lot of Kohls in Grand Blanc to the City of Grand Blanc Police Department. They all gathered for a peaceful protest in support of Black Lives Matter Friday, June 5. The protest also honored Breonna Taylor on what would have been her 27th birthday. Taylor was killed in March by police executing a no-knock warrant at a Louisville, Kentucky apartment in the middle of the night. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Youth-led protest against racial injustice in Grand Blanc draws hundreds

One of dozens of Flint Township police officers holds a baton at the ready as hundreds march toward the township's police headquarters during a protest seeking justice for George Floyd on Saturday, May 30, 2020 on Miller Road in Flint Township. The batons were put down peacefully, as area police officers followed the example of Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson to walk with the protesters. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Flint-area police join protesters marching to seek justice for George Floyd

Flint residents Adam Baker lifts his fist to the sky in protest as he joins more than 300 Flint-area residents to honor George Floyd and protest police brutality in a peaceful demonstration on Sunday, May 31, 2020 in Flint. (Jake May | MLive.com)The Flint Journal, MLive.com

Read more: Organizers call for seat at the table with police during second night of protests in Flint

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20 touching photos from the Flint area in 2020 - MLive.com

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Hey! Have you guys heard about this virus sweeping America? – Deadspin12.28.20

Rashard HigginsPhoto: Getty Images

Jarvis Landry is among the five players, including the bulk of the Browns receiving corps, who went on the COVID-19 list as close contacts of virus-positive linebacker B.J. Goodson and have to miss Sundays game against the Jets.

Rashard Higgins, one of the receivers ruled out, said that he does not have coronavirus and that this shit sucks.

Yeah, it sure does suck that its December and were still dealing with this pandemic and there are more than 100,000 people in America hospitalized with COVID right now. Thats some shit, and it sucks. Not getting to play against the Jets also does suck, but the reason is that even though Higgins doesnt have COVID, there are safety protocols in place to try to prevent the disease and allow stupid things like a Browns-Jets game to proceed at all. The whole thing about a close contact is that you might have the virus and be able to spread it, but not yet be testing positive.

Heres hoping that Higgins simply doesnt have it, but the lesson that America still hasnt learned, even in the face of 330,000-some deaths, is that its better to be too careful with a deadly virus than not careful enough.

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October: Greg Norman criticizes COVID-19 restrictions in Australia, while praising Donald Trumps handling of the virus in America.

December: Norman hosts a golf tournament in Florida, then gets COVID, as do his wife and son.

Its weird how this kind of thing keeps happening to people. If only there were some way to prevent it. Ah, well.

Its nice to see that even though theyre in Las Vegas now, the Raiders have retained the institutional memory of taking a phenomenally stupid penalty to blow a game that seems unblowable.

Lots of teams do that, really, but its especially Raiders to take a late lead, somehow blow it, manage to get the lead back, and then have the phenomenally stupid penalty to finally blow it for good.

The Patriots adding kicker Roberto Aguayo to their practice squad is notable for the return of the 2016 second-round pick to an organization, and hilarious because the Patriots used their fifth-round pick on a kicker, Deadspins 39th-ranked Idiot of 2020, white supremacist tattoo enthusiast Justin Rohrwasser.

Its wrong to say a misprint could only happen to the Knicks, because its a bizarre mistake that could happen to anyone heck, its happened multiple times to Wayne Gretsky uh, Gretkzy Gretzky.

But of course it happened to the Knicks.

The Knicks lost to the 76ers by 20 points.

Yahoo: John Calipari fumes about schedule as Kentucky falls to 1-6 after loss to Louisville

Yeah, whos the jerk that put together Kentuckys schedule? Just wait until John Calipari gives that guy a piece of his mind.

Saturday Down South: John Calipari after Kentuckys 1-6 start: This was the stupidest schedule Ive ever put together

Okay!

Coastal Carolinas undefeated season finally ended with a 37-34 loss in the Cure Bowl to Liberty, on a blocked field goal in overtime.

Whatever, the Chanticleers should have been in the College Football Playoff. You can understand taking a loss with the disappointment of getting sent to Orlando for a bowl game instead of The CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, presented by Capital One and Jerry Jones as part of the Master License Agreement, Co-Owned By The Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the City of Pasadena Pasadena, California, Not Pasadena, Texas.

If Alabama doesnt rearrange its schedule for next season to give Coastal Carolina the shot it deserves, Nick Saban is a coward.

Sure, now Northwestern beats Ohio State. One Saturday too late, Wildcats.

Congratulations to David Ndukwe for waiting until December 26, after our Idiot of the Year voting closed, to well, looking back at this year, he wouldnt have been close anyway, but still

Ndukwe is a player for Western Kentucky.

Western Kentucky was 5-6 this season.

The Hilltoppers were in the Lendingtree Bowl for some reason anyway.

Ndukwe was ejected from the Lendingtree Bowl for putting hands on an official.

Ndukwe was not in the game for the play that resulted in his ejection.

Not in the game! Not in the game for losing-record Western Kentucky in a bowl that sounds made up, in Mobile, Alabama, against Georgia State, whose home stadium is a baseball park. Theres no way to tell that story and even start to sound cool.

And Western Kentucky lost, 39-21.

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Hey! Have you guys heard about this virus sweeping America? - Deadspin

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Best In Show(room): Mattress Macks Runhappy And Chester The Affenpinscher – US Racing12.23.20

By Maryjean Wall

Chester Courtesy of Rhonda Cassidy

You cant say Gallery Racing has gone to the dogs. Not with a Breeders Cup winning horse, Eclipse champion Runhappy, and a presence that has redefined racing sponsorship and support of the sport.

Going to top dog status is more like whats going on. A tiny dog owned by Gallery founder Jim Mattress Mack McIngvales daughter, Laura McIngvale Brown of Austin, Texas, was among seven top dogs judged winners of their groups in November at the National Dog Show in Philadelphia.

While Chester strutted his stuff on the Thanksgiving Day Best in Show competition televised by NBC, commentators made a number of references to the McIngvale family of Houston.

Alas, Chester his formal name is Tamarin Tattoo did not win Best in Show. But theres always another year, another round, and 3-year-old Chester might yet win Best in Show at one of the big ones. The McIngvale family certainly hopes so, after having realized with Runhappy that success is possible if you work hard enough and wait.

McIngvales goal has always been to win the Kentucky Derby. Laura McIngvales goal is to win the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Best in Show. To win Best in Show at Westminster would be her Kentucky Derby; winning a group division on the way to Best in Show at that event would be like winning a prestigious Grade 1 in horse racing.

I got my parents into racing, Laura said. Her parents, in turn, bought Chester for $15,000 as a Christmas present in 2019, to get her to the level in dog shows where she aspired to compete. The venture was somewhat removed from the McIngvale familys horse racing experiences but no less competitive, the family soon discovered.

I think he thinks Im crazy, Laura said of her fathers view on dog shows, but I think after watching the National Dog Show on TV he understood the itch for it.

Chester is an Affenpinscher, a breed frequently described as little monkey dogs because these dogs do have a bit of a monkey face. Theyre smaller than a Jack Russell terrier. But no less mighty. At dog events, they compete in the toy dog group.

With Chesters winning the toy dog group at the National Dog Show, Laura feels that patience will pay off in getting to Westminster. After all, it took some 20 years before her parents Gallery Racing won the Breeders Cup Sprint in 2015 with Runhappy. Waiting nearly a quarter-century for something big for Gallery Stable taught all in the family that winning in a competitive arena does not come quickly or easily.

Winning did not come easily for many years for McIngvale. He came into racing as a newbie who failed to understand how the sport worked. He spent millions of dollars on initial forays into yearling sales and thought the money spent would bring instant results. He was so wrong, as two decades of trying to win a big one taught him.

Underlying McIngvales endurance was a love he had developed for racing, a fondness that grew out of numerous nights of watching a documentary about Secretariat when daughter Laura was young. They watched it together, back when VHS tapes were the medium. We wore the tape down to nothing, Laura said.

With Runhappy, Gallery Racing began to realize the returns it sought. Runhappy raced in racings biggest leagues; meantime, McIngvale had begun giving back to the sport. He had a long history of sponsorship, after supporting stakes at Turfway Park under Gallerys name.

Gallery sponsored the Metropolitan Handicap. Gallery also sponsored the Runhappy Travers Stakes. Gallery sponsored an entire race meet at Kentucky Downs. Gallery offered a $100,000 bonus to the owner of any Runhappy offspring that might win an unrestricted maiden race at the summer meets at Del Mar, Saratoga and Kentucky Downs.

He really wants to promote the (racing) sport, Laura said of her father. In one marketing venture to promote Runhappy, McIngvale came up with the idea to sponsor winners lounges at Del Mar and Kentucky Downs. McIngvale supplied the furniture from his Houston stores; the connections of winning horses could relax after their races in these lounges, where Runhappys name loomed large.

The people loved that, McIngvale told Bill Finley, writing in Thoroughbred Daily News. When they won, they got to sit on this nice Runhappy sofa and sit on Runhappy bar stools and everything was labeled Runhappy. It made it special for the owners. Whether they won a maiden claiming race or a stakes race, they got to go into the Runhappy lounge and go and celebrate their victory. They got to think about Runhappy when they were still in a state of euphoria over winning.

With his history of promoting racing, its a solid bet that McIngvale will turn to sponsorship of dog shows if Chester continues his winning ways. Its the way of Gallery Racing. People in the dog show world can expect to hear more from Gallery Racing and the McIngvale family of Houston.

Maryjean Wall is the former turf writer for The Lexington Herald-Leader. She retired from that publication following a career that spanned four decades and included three Eclipse Awards and an AP Sports Editors Award. She holds a Ph.D. in U. S. History, has taught history at University of Kentucky, and continues to write about horse racing as a free-lancer. She has been published in Sports Illustrated, Wall Street Journal, Forbes Life, Cincinnati, and Keeneland, among other publications. She has authored two books focused on horses and racing: How Kentucky Became Southern: a Tale of Outlaws, Horse Thieves, Gamblers, and Breeders; also, Madam Belle: Sex, Money, and Influence in a Southern Brothel. When she is not writing, she is photographing, always pursuing the creative muse.

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Best In Show(room): Mattress Macks Runhappy And Chester The Affenpinscher - US Racing

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