Louisville Magazine

APR 2019

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

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/1096834

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Page 72 of 148

LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 4.19 41 show that began in 1989. "We kind of got into an argument on television and somebody said, 'You all are like those two old Muppets,' so that's kind of stuck all these years." So where's all this stuff gonna go when Berry retires in September? "at's under negotiation," the 58-year-old says. "Not between me and the festival — between me and home. My partner walked in and said, 'What are you gonna do with all this? You can't keep all of this.' 'You mean my Tom Brady jersey?!' If I take all of these things off of the walls and with me, my office is prob- ably going to be in the garage where I'm living." After 23 years as CEO and 36 with the festival (which officially began in 1956, though a version of it ran for a few years in the 1930s), Berry says he decided to retire to spend more time with his grandkids, who live in town, and with his partner in Florida during the cold months. What he says he will miss most is the festival staff of 22, plus the board members and volunteers who every year pull off the festival of 70-plus events leading up to Derby. "I can be having a crummy day and I can walk down the hallway and sit down and talk through it or talk about college basketball or a TV show or political discourse to reduce stress," Berry says. "Sometimes you get so close that you think the world revolves around the parade." While the festival searches for his successor, Berry says nothing is leaving until his last day. "It would be like moving your furniture out of your house and then living in it," he says. "I want to be relative up until the last day. I'm not coasting." One of Berry's major contributions has been developing KDF archives, which had been almost nonexistent prior to the '90s. Here are a few ob- jects that mean the most to him. Delta Queen Replica "The very first Derby Festival event I went to was the Steamboat Race when I was seven years old. My mom worked for the Coast Guard, and her office always got to put people on the boats. I went with mom and I was hooked at that point on being a steamboat buff. The first race that I went on, there was a guy that had made a bunch of these (handmade Delta Queen replicas). I bought one and this is one of my favorite keepsakes. "This (photo) was from the Steamboat Race in 1973. I was 12. The Delta Queen had won for the first time in five years, and I had been on it all five of those years as a kid. It was on the front page of the Courier. That's me. I love this picture just because it brings back memories."

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