Highs and Lows on Tuesday: Herbstreit, a Festival of Ideas and Meeting a Reptile

Quite a week in my hometown. On Tuesday, ESPN commentator Kirk Herbstreit answered questions friend of Rusty John Asher at a charity luncheon for Catholic schools held in conjunction with the Trinity-St. X football game on Friday. Herbstreit said he’s a regular at the Derby, which Asher reminded us is only 214 days away.

It was the start of the Idea Festival, where Angie Fenton hosted a session called Thrivals targeting young adults. I stopped in and heard several high school students ask intelligent questions about what will be different in 2035. One young man named Thomas was from Fern Creek High School, and his concern was about light pollution and how we can’t see the stars at night in cities. As he was speaking, I got a text alert from a news station that his school was on lockdown after a shooting.

Later, at Louisville Collegiate School, the writer Carl Hiaasen spoke about his book, “Skink-No Surrender”. In conjunction with the appearance, Carmichaels Bookstore invited the Louisville Zoo to bring along some actual skinks. Now I don’t know much about lizards and skinks and reptiles of any sort, but I did get to see the slimy creature below up close. Hiaasen talked about his approach to writing, saying that he doesn’t do outlines and just lets the characters and stories go where his mind takes them. He credited the real life weirdness of Floridians for inspiring the strange actions his characters sometimes take, and took questions from a mix of the old and young among the several hundred book-lovers who showed up.

As Carl spun tales about the real-life criminal mind that inhabits the Sunshine State and inspires his novels, I couldn’t help but think about how, well, we’ve got enough goofballs around here who break the law in strange ways, plus corrupt politicians and even some people who manage to do the right thing,  that I ought to write a similar book featuring Kentuckians. I’ll put that on the list.

zooguybeRelevant Herbstreit