Monday, August 25, 2014

An Evening With The Tiny Art Show at Four Pegs

If you’ve been to The Four Pegs Beer Lounge recently you may have noticed some art work on the wall.  Those paintings, pictures, prints, and multimedia combinations are all part of the Tiny Art Project, an effort to promote local artists and get their work out into the public eye.  I recently met with the founders of A Tiny Art Show – Tom Willis, Suzanne Sprawls, Scotty Haulter, Greg Toms, Laura Doll and three local artists as they planned their next show at a table on the patio of the Four Pegs Beer Lounge. All members of A Tiny Art Show, with the exception of Halter, live in the Schnitzelburg-Germantown neighborhood. 

Organizers meet at Four Pegs
Sitting in on a Tiny Art Show planning session, if you can call it that, was an incredibly fluid experience – imagine  a meeting of the flying monkeys with a Gonzo vibe and you're almost there.  Several times during the course of the evening as the conversation channel-surfed through a barrage of unrelated topics - everything from the merits of minimalist art to the aesthetics of glazed buffalo wings - with dissenting opinions served up from all sides - I was reminded of that old joke about the Anarchist’s convention that had to be cancelled because nobody wanted to form a line at the registration desk. The Tiny Art Show doesn’t have a vision or mission statement or any real protocol for that matter (Robert’s Rule’s of what?).  However there is unanimity where it counts.  Tom Willis, one of the founders, put it this way, “If we had a mission statement it would be ‘Have Fun’ and as long we are doing that we will continue.” His comment drew a big collective nod from all heads around the table.   

 Like a lot of memorable inventions, the origin of Tiny Art project was due more to incidental circumstances than design.   Willis put down his chicken wing to explain: “It all started at Scotty’s party. I was talking to Suzanne about a photographer's work that we had both seen on Facebook.  We agreed that she should show her work.  Since the photographer didn't know anything about showing we decided to help her.  We were here at Four Pegs one night discussing it and I looked around and said, ‘What about here?’  I asked Smitty (the owner of Four Pegs) and he was cool with it.  So that got the ball rolling and we got together to organize it.”

“Then beer ensued.” Laura laughed. “In case you haven’t noticed we’re a VERY informal group.” 

The marriage of art and beer - or I should say beer and art, since there was unanimous agreement around the table that beer precedes art in the great ontological scheme of things - has been successful.  

According to Tom it’s the kind of deal that works out to everyone’s advantage.  “The beer lounge gets a free artsy makeover and opening night brings in a lot of business because friends and family of the artists come to see the work of the people they know on display.  Artists love it because their work sells there is no cut for the bar or A Tiny Art Show.  We step them through the process that is important because most of the artists in our shows have never exhibited before.  That is a huge confidence builder for someone who is just starting out.”

So far the Tiny Art Show has produced four shows. The first two involved the work of single artists, and the shows carried the artists’ names. “Now,” said Suzanne, “we have multiple artists on display so we give the show names. We come up with titles based on a striking feature of the work or something thematically relevant.  Our third show was called Tres (three in Spanish) and the fourth was called vijf femmes (Vijf is Dutch for five and femmes is women in French.)  That show was so named because it featured the work of five female artists.”  The upcoming show has not been named yet.  Lots of suggestions were batted around the table.  Someone threw out “Three Guys Who Paint.”

Artwork slated to be on display
at the September show
The Tiny Art Project aims to be as inclusive as possible. Because these pieces are hanging in a bar, instead of a gallery, the group has to be mindful that the subject matter is appropriate for the general public.  This has not been a problem.  Aside from that there really aren’t any rules about submitting work.  Artists will frequently submit more work than the walls will hold.  This happens most typically with photos.   In this case the group gets together and does a triage, each member selecting a few of their favorites which are then further narrowed down by a group vote.  The artists are notified in advance about the selection with the understanding that they can override the panel’s choices if they disagree.  So far, that hasn’t happened. 

How big can tiny be?  I wanted to know.  “Tiny,” said Tom, “refers more to the intimacy of the setting than the size of the individual pieces. We wanted to create a more informal environment than the established gallery setting.  We don’t have size specifications and would not exclude larger pieces, provided there is space for them.  We generally exhibit 30 pieces per show. But, of course, that depends on the size of the work submitted.”

Four Pegs is only place in town you can see the Tiny Art Show. And it is likely to stay that way.  “We thought about expanding to other venues,” said Susan, then added after a pause, “but then we wouldn’t be tiny anymore.”

Indeed!  Long live Tiny Art!

The opening of the next Tiny Art Show is tentatively scheduled for September 18th.  If you are an artist and would like to show your work, or just want more information about "A Tiny Art Show" go to:

Thanks to Steve Cambron for writing and contributing this story.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Old Hickory Inn's White Bean Soup

Schnitzelburg resident Gary Liebert holds many titles: SACC Board Member, Emerson Community Garden Manager, and Recipe Creator for the SACC Newsletter.  His recipes always feature seasonal ingredients and emphasis on fresh produce.  Gary's latest recipe is a bit unique - so we thought we would feature it on the blog.  Gary recently visited the Old Hickory in after hearing rave reviews about their bean soup.  He loved the soup and, being a sweet-talker, was able to get the recipe to share!   

Look for Gary's recipes in the newsletter, but for now, from Gary:

Schnitzelburg Culinary Treasure

The Old Hickory Inn, at the corner of Lydia and Hickory Streets, has been around since the 1930's. After a fire closed the Inn for about a year, it reopened in 2010, the week before Derby, and the Ol’ Hick’ now enjoys a steady stream of customers from the neighborhood and beyond. The Schnitzelburg pub is known as a friendly place to get good drinks at good prices.  

The barkeeper, Jeannette, is also known as a cook.  She makes hearty dishes, mainly on the weekends, featuring favorites such as cabbage-potato soup, "Manwiches," and white bean soup.  I sampled the white bean soup recently, and while enjoying it, asked for the recipe.  She said it’s more commonly served in cooler months, but I made it at home - in July!  Here is the recipe, with thanks to Jeannette.   

Jeannette’s Old Hickory White Bean Soup

1 pound dry Great Northern beans
2 medium onions, chopped finely
6 sticks celery, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
Large chunk of pork jowl or ham hock (optional, but it really adds flavor!)
Garlic powder (1 tablespoon) or chopped garlic (3 cloves)
1 small can tomato paste
One tablespoon crushed red pepper, or 3 whole dried red peppers 
Salt & pepper, to taste


Soak beans overnight in water; discard water and put beans in a big pot or Crockpot and start to cook on high.  Add the rest of the ingredients. After the beans have come to a steady simmer, turn down to low and cook for 4-6 hours.

Check beans for doneness and add salt and pepper.  When cooked, serve beans over rice or by themselves in bowls.   Put a bowl of freshly and finely chopped onions in a bowl to add as a topping.   Jeannette says, “it really goes well with jalapeno cornbread!!”  (Maybe a future recipe?)  Enjoy beans any time of the year! 

Thanks to John Malone, the tavern's manager and Jeannette Gilliam, cook and barkeep.  

Old Hickory Inn
1038 Lydia Street

(502) 634-3011

Jeanette behind the bar at Old Hickory Inn.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

You're An Old Time Schnitzelburger If You Remember When...

Duck Pin Alley existed?  Sam Lauyans fought the oilman at Jimmy Dell's Punch Bowl?  Gude's operated a post office at Hoertz and Burnett?

We recently stumbled upon some old #1 Citizen Dinner programs and were tickled to get a glimpse of Schnitzelburg history.  We particularly liked the "You are an old time Schnitzelburger if you remember when" blip.  There may not be many "old timers" left, but if you remember any of these, please share your stories!

The map in the images below don't reflect the modern Schnitzelburg boundaries, which currently extends to Clarks Lane, beyond Eastern Parkway.  The map does show an example of a street car that used to cruise the "Schnitzelburg Loop."  Street cars on Texas?  Guess you have to be a an old time Schnitzelburger to remember that!  So...

You are an old time Schnitzelburger if you remember when...

  • Western Union delivered telegrams by bicycle.
  • X'tras were sold after a championship prize fight.
  • Street cars were lined up at Texas and Burnett Streets to take a crowd home after the Thanksgiving Day football game.
  • Sam Lauyans fought the oilman at Jimmy Dell's Punch Bowl.
  • The pretzel-man came through the 'burg on Saturday morning.
  • You shot marbles, spun a top, rolled a hoop, played MUMBLETY PEG, and went swimming in Beargrass Creek.
  • You worked at the Cotton Mill for 25 cents an hour or even less.
  • You could get a job at Standard Sanitary by telling Herb Goepper you were from Schnitzelburg.
  • There was a Duck Pin Alley at Spratt & Goss.
  • Someone shouted "Out Shelby" and you knew what that meant.
  • You could buy the C.J. for 3 cents and the Sunday paper for 10 cents.
  • You could go to Johnson's Hardware and get 25 cents worth of sand and the same amount of gravel & cement.
  • Gude's had a post office at Hoertz & Burnett.

We can't help  but wonder - what in the world is Mumblety Peg???

Monday, August 11, 2014

Storm Drain Marking Project


Schnitzelburg is one of the few neighborhoods in Louisville that will be outfitted with new storm drain markers, compliments of the Beargrass Creek Alliance (BCA)!  The purpose of the storm drain markers is to educate the public that whatever goes into the storm drains ultimately ends up in our waterways, particularly Beargrass Creek.  According the BCA, these markers "encourage 'Best Management Practices' that benefit our community's water quality regarding Non-Point Source Pollution Prevention, a major factor in the decline and degradation of water quality in Jefferson County."

This project is one more way Schnitzelburg can be greener!

Volunteers will meet at Emerson Park at noon on Sunday, August 17th.  The project will take about 2 hours.  We need at least 15 volunteers for this project.  Volunteers will be divided into teams of 2-3 people.  Each team will receive a map with a section of Schnitzelburg they will be responsible for marking.  Each map will have the storm drains identified - easy breezy!

All supplies will be provided by Beargrass Creek Alliance.  All you have to do is show up!

Participants in the storm drain marking project will each receive a kit to mark storm drains, educational resources, a rain gauge, a reminder magnet to limit water use during or after a storm, and native plant seeds.

After the project, volunteers will gather at Dairy Del on South Shelby Street for free ice cream, courtesy of Dairy Del!

If you are interested in volunteering, please email, call 502.641.7534, or just show up at the Park on Sunday!

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hot Off the Press: The August Newsletter!

The August newsletter is here!  It's chocked full of great information!

Don't forget  to add these events to your calendar:

Sunday, August 17th - SACC & Beargrass Creek Alliance Drain Marking*
Monday, August 25th – SACC General Meeting at the All Wool & a Yard Wide 7 pm featuring a speaker from the Beargrass Creek Alliance
Saturday, September 13th – SACC Community Yard Sale @ the corner of Texas and Burnett*
Saturday, October 4th – 7th Annual Schnitzelburg Dog Jog*

Saturday, October 11th – Movie Night in Emerson Park featuring Beetlejuice*

*Stay tuned for more information on these fun events coming soon!

All newsletters, past and present, are archived in the newsletters tab at the top!  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Are You a SACC Member???

At my first SACC meeting a few years ago, I was asked to become a member for $10.  With a shrug of my shoulders, I decided, "Why not?"  Ten dollars was an amount I was going to spend on lunch or a couple of drinks at a bar, so why not give that same amount to an organization that could use the money to build a better community in which I had just bought a house?

Fast forward to 2014.  As the current Chair of the Membership Committee, I'm now the one asking people to become SACC members.

In the past two years, SACC has made a lot of improvements to membership in an effort to boost lackluster numbers.  Each new member is sent a welcome letter, magnetic SACC event calendar, and SACC sticker.  You can now pay your membership in the comfort of your own home via PayPal.  Memberships can be purchased at any SACC event and we can even take your credit card payment with our Square app.  Membership cards have a fresh new look and entitle the holder to monthly Membership Deals with local businesses.  Soon, business members will have new window decals to proudly identify theur support of SACC.

We've made it simple and worthwhile to be a member, but why are our membership numbers so low?

Let's crunch some numbers.  There are varying numbers for Schnitzelburg's current population, though most numbers are in the 4,000 range.  We'll use City Data's number of 4,635.  For the 2013/2014 membership year (membership runs a fiscal year from June to July), we had a combined household and business membership count of 110.  That's only 2.3% of Schnitzelburg's total population supporting the SACC.

Household membership is only $10 a year.  That's it.  Break it down and that's only 83 cents a month.  Less than a dollar every month to support the community.

The Schnitzelburg Area Community Council is not religiously affiliated.  We don't support a particular political party.  We don't have any paid board members.  We don't have a hidden agenda.  Our goal is easy: Make Schnitzelburg a stronger, healthier, happier neighborhood to live, work, and play.

The majority of SACC is funded in two ways: 1) Money raised through membership 2) NDF money.

What is NDF money?  Each member of Metro Council has an allotted amount of discretionary funds in their budget for Neighborhood Development Funds.  Organizations apply to receive NDF money for approved projects, such as planting a community garden, hosting a community block party, painting a mural, installing bike racks - as long as the money is used for a public purpose.  In the words of SACC President Mike Morris:
This money is very important to the SACC, the surrounding neighborhoods, and the City of Louisville. I am not aware of a more active neighborhood association and our volunteer work coupled with the NDF money is paying big dividends. Not only do our efforts vastly improve Schnitzelburg but they also have many positive spillover effects in our adjoining neighborhoods, especially Germantown.
HOWEVER, after some Councilpersons abused these funds, new rules were set in place for applying and receiving NDF's.  While these rules are needed, especially for accountability purposes, it has become harder for honest organizations to get funding from the already dwindling NDF funds (Jack Trawick, the former Director for the Center for Neighborhood's wrote a letter to Metro Council on the importance of these funds).  Due to the red tape and vanishing NDF money, the SACC is now even more dependent on raising money through our own efforts.

Here are some examples of what SACC is doing with membership money:

  • Beautification projects
  • Buying and planting trees
  • Publishing a monthly newsletter
  • Hosting events, such as a movie night, an Easter egg hunt, potlucks, the #1 Citizen's Dinner, the Dainty Contest, etc.
  • Hosting bi-monthly general meetings that serve as open community forums
  • Covering overhead, such as office supplies, stamps, stickers, event calendars, etc.
  • Sponsoring other organizations, such as Germantown baseball and softball teams

The SACC is made up of volunteers with diverse backgrounds and talents who are dedicated to enriching our neighborhood and connecting with neighbors.  We hope you now understand better who we are, what we do, and how important your membership is to the SACC.

If you aren't currently a member, please consider joining!  Membership can be mailed (SACC PO Box 17603 Louisville, KY 40217), paid via PayPal (in the right sidebar), or you can join at any of our meetings or events.  All we need is your address, phone number, email, and money!  Check out the "Membership" tab at the top of the page for more information.  And you don't have to live in the neighborhood to support it!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Post Dainty 2014

The 44th Annual Dainty Contest has come and gone.  The balloon arch has been removed, trash cleared, and the orange netting has been rolled up and stored away for next year.  It was one of the coolest Dainty Contests in the history of the game (we even hit a record low last night of 56 JULY!).  Congratulations to Ned Daily, this year's winner, who hit the Dainty a remarkable 131 feet, but was not enough to beat James Brown's record Dainty length of 149 feet in 2013.

In case you missed it, or if you're hankering to relive some of the Dainty fun, one of our board members has created a photo album of snapshots from yesterday's event.  If you went yesterday, try finding yourself in the crowd!

Below are some of our favorite pictures (don't those clouds look painted?).  Click here to view the rest of the album.

SACC President Mike Morris taking a whack.  Photo courtesy of whattheSchnitzelburg

Members of Team Check's were all smiles

SACC Board Member Gary Liebert and David Pisterman

GPNA Secretary Steve Magre and friend

Some fine ladies enjoying the fine weather

Local news outlet, WDRB, also has a great slideshow with pictures of the event on their website.

Also, check out Dainty: A Democratic Pit Stop in Louisville on the Road to Fancy Farm from WFPL which touches on the political affiliations of Dainty and includes a video of some local politicians, including KY Attorney General Jack Conway, taking a swing.