Louisville Magazine

JUL 2019

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 7.19 65 Elizabeth Pryor loves the South End. When several colleges offered the 2014 Iroquois High School graduate basketball scholarships, she passed on them all because they would've required her to leave the 'hood. Instead, she commuted to the University of Kentucky, where she'd won an academic scholarship. "Nobody really leaves south Louisville," she says. "A lot of people look at that as a bad thing. But I like to think of it as: We just like where we're at." Her allegiance is so strong that, one day in April, the 23-year-old dreamed up an identity for the community to rally around: SOLOU, as in, south Louisville. Pryor, who is preparing to enter an MBA program at Indiana University Southeast, has a shock of brown hair rising above her brow like a breaking wave, sort of like k.d. lang circa 1989. She ordered 20 T-shirts that first day and gave eight to friends, then watched with surprise as the idea took off. Within 24 hours, she'd sold the rest of the $20 shirts. She ordered 40 more. "And before I even placed that order, I had to make a second one for 50," she says. "I'm trying not to get overwhelmed with the fact that I still have 300 shirts sitting in my bedroom." She gave the initial profit to Iroquois High School to help a half-dozen graduating seniors cover the $50 fee for caps and gowns. After more sales, money went to the Taylor Boulevard Neighborhood Association to help it fight a developer planning to locate fast food restaurants in the neighborhood. She sells quite a few near Churchill Downs at the iconic Wagner's Pharmacy, where she's a cook. (Her mother, Pam, is the head cook.) Andy Beshear, who won the gubernatorial Democratic primary, bought a shirt on election night in May. "There is something to be prideful about in south Louisville," Pryor says. But she acknowledges that not everybody can thrive there. "You really have to have that mental toughness to survive," she says. — Jenni Laidman Six things Pryor wants you to know about SOLOU The Southside neighborhood, between Third Street and Strawberry Lane, is the city's most diverse. Angilo's Pizza is 55 years old, Uncle Miltie's Pawn Shop is nearly 70, Wagner's Pharmacy is 98 and Suburban Fish Fry hit the century mark in April. The three bright-red basketball courts (with glass backboards!) at Wyandotte Park were designed by Nike and Grammy- nominated R&B/hip-hop star Bryson Tiller, who grew up in the South End. Sister Bean's for a cup of joe, Tickled Pink for thrifting and antiquing. Ethnic food — Vietnamese, Caribbean, African, a halal grocery — on Woodlawn Avenue. Everybody in the South End is a capitalist during Derby Week, making money on parking spaces, beverages, rain ponchos, cookies — you name it. SOLOU LOVE IT'S NOT A BALLGAME WITHOUT THE ORGANIST Bob Ramsey, the organist at Louisville Slugger Field, likes to think he completes the baseball experience. "There's the crack of the bat, and the roar of the crowd," he says. "But there's also the bark of vendors and the baseball organ. I like to think of it all as the way baseball sounds." He should know. A pony-tailed studio musician and rock keyboardist who today plays with several "event bands," Ramsey got his baseball start with the old Louisville Redbirds and continues with the Triple-A Bats, now in their 20th season at Slugger Field. These days, Ramsey is stationed in the press box, with an organ keyboard in front of him, flanked by screens and cables. In the olden days, when the Redbirds played at the Fairgrounds, Ramsey set up an organ in the stands, and little kids clambered around him, even popping up heads under his arms to watch him play. "They'd shoot little looks over to their moms and dads, like, 'Is this all right?'" he says. Once, Ramsey even had an interaction with a player (he thinks it was Barry Lyons) — while the game was going on. This was back when clubs were introducing personalized "walk-up" music for each hitter coming to the plate. "I picked out a tune with a beat to it and played that the first time he came up," Ramsey says. "He made an out. And then the next time he came up he struck out. But instead of going back to the dugout, he climbed into the stands and started coming up the steps to me, and I was way up there. Everybody was watching this. When he finally got up to me, he's shaking his head. 'No hits in that song, man. No hits in that song.'" — Bill Doolittle

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