Louisville Magazine

JUL 2016

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 7.16 103 wuol.org/summerlistening Sleep or no sleep, it's 7:30 a.m. and Wilson has already ground and brewed his cofee, and is prepping for the frst meeting of the day. He walks to the hot tub out by the pond and sinks into its steam. One hundred and four degrees. Wilson's nephew, Woodland Farm manager Kristopher Kelley, takes of the 21c robe Wilson gave him, hops in. In this daily morning meeting where Wilson may or may not be naked ("You'll have to ask him," Kelley laughs), the two discuss moving bison from feld to feld. Te farm is getting away from pesticides, and as the grass grows, the bison must rotate. (Once the president of the National Bison Association, Wilson brought a trained bison to Capitol Hill as a lobbying tactic.) Tey talk about Woodland's sawmill and biodiesel facility, about their meat-processing plant in Indiana. Te planning goes on for 30 minutes to an hour. Geese fy over the pond and give the faintest whoosh. It is hard to leave a place that is so comfortable, but there's still so much to do. On May 27, Steve Wilson has 11 years, eight months, 18 days, zero hours, 52 minutes and 34 seconds to live. Long legs stretched in the back of the Audi, he calls his sister. Tey talk about an uncle who has recently died and been cremated. Wilson had planned to be cremated, but after seeing that tombstone near his house bearing the ominous initials, he changed his mind: Now he wants to be buried in a pine box by his home. Tere's purpose in 11 years. He wants to make Hermitage a successful operation, get his farms protected by conservation easements, see his grandkids grow into adults. He'd like to travel to Haiti, Fuji. Tere could be 21 21c Museum Hotels fnished by then — New York City, New Orleans and maybe even Cuba, Wilson's big goal now that the travel laws have started loosening. A whole slathering spectrum of penguins. "Got a lot of art to buy in 11 years," he says. Wilson doesn't think he'll make it to the end of the countdown, to zero. As much as he doesn't want to slow down, he sees his body deteriorating: the blurred eyesight, that nagging shoulder. He has been diagnosed with a degenerative joint disease of the spine that has caused muscle atrophy in his upper left arm and numbness in his middle three fngers. Treatment so far has been epidurals, but he's scheduled to have surgery in June ("by the same doc who fxed Peyton Manning"). (Post-surgery in Los Angeles, he says, "I'm going stir crazy in the hotel.") "I don't want to stop," he says, and there's a pulse of his father. "I certainly am never going to retire." Suppose the clock strikes death and Wilson's not dead yet. "Tere will defnitely be a party," he says. It'll be like New Year's. New life. He hasn't thought about specifcs of his alive/dead party. But you can picture it: Death masks. Skeletal celebration. Dia de los Muertos, an ofering at altars to those who died. Family surrounding. Performers, always and plenty. Sparks. When the clock's red digits stop — 00:00:00:00:00:00 —Wilson explodes from the death womb, or creaks out. Everyone dancing as naked as they were when they entered this time-choked world.

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