Louisville Magazine

OCT 2018

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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jeffersonbourbon.com louisvilledentalsociety.org LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 10.18 29 cup with her grabber. "It's nice to see all that pride coming back to the West End." Phoenix and Ellington have some theories as to where it went. "We've lost our morals," Phoenix says. She mentions a woman she knows whose 12-year-old daughter beat her up. "Not in my house," she says. Ellington nods along, a bandana tied around her forehead. Phoenix talks about teenagers getting pregnant, young parents failing to instill her two favorite virtues: respect and discipline, words she uses about as often as "the" or "and." The two share an admiration for the olden days of spanking kids. I ask them if they get frustrated with cleaning the same streets over and over. "I wish they would be more conscious of litter, so we could clean something else," Ellington says, a golden tooth gleaming in her mouth. Phoenix isn't so hopeful. "I look at it this way," she says. "If they didn't keep dirtying it up, I wouldn't have a job." The two have happened onto some interesting scenes on their cleanups. They saw the manager of a McDonald's refuse to serve unaccompanied minors on a school day, only to incur the wrath of their mother. "When you use a lot of curses, I learn something about your vocabulary and intellect," Phoenix says, re- membering the woman's tirade. Another time, they saw a man brandishing a brick toward a smaller homeless guy Phoenix recognized. "Aren't you all tired of all the killing?" she asked him, calming him down. When the homeless guy kept trying to pick a fight, Phoenix shouted at him: "Get out of here or I'm gonna take the brick and hit you!" A couple hours into the day, the two take a break in the shade of a tree outside the Louisville Urban League headquarters. When Phoenix was a kid, she says, she had to put cardboard in the soles of her worn- out shoes. "I knew then I didn't want to live like that," she says. "I wanted a house, a car, a new pair of shoes a week." So she's been working just about her whole life. And she got most of what she want- ed, too, though she sold her house and moved back to Sheppard Square in 2014. Ellington recently visited her at home, and Phoenix tried to get her to take some of the new clothes she's never going to wear. No joke, they say: There are some 113 pairs of shoes in her closet. — DJ

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