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    Musician Howell Dawdy facetiously reviews 2019. Beware the influence of Big Lawnmower.

    What did Louisville get right this year?

    “Gotta go with traffic on this one. I think the traffic situation is finally sorted out. I don’t want to jinx this, but they seem to finally have the right number of lanes going toward all the places people want to go. And I think people are finally getting to their destinations. You’re seeing people arrive at places now, which is huge.”


    What did Louisville get wrong this year?

    “Gotta go with the weather. Every day of 2019 was officially too hot or too wet or too dry, or the sun had to shine right into my face while I was trying to nap on the couch. What happened to seasons? Time to move our whole civilization underground. But I know Big Lawnmower can’t have that.”​


    How did Louisville surprise this year?

    “There were a bunch of great surprises this year, from running the Kentucky Derby in the opposite direction to the discovery of those ancient tunnels under Irish Hill to the 16 feral cats that took over the Big Four Bridge for two blisteringly hot days in late July.”


    If 2019 in Louisville were a color, what would it be?

    “This one’s easy: 2019 in Louisville would have to be the pleasant shade of cafeteria-butter-pad yellow we just painted the Clark Memorial Bridge.”


    If 2019 had a smell, what would it smell like?



    What’s been overhyped/underhyped this year?

    “Gotta go with sports for too much AND too little hype this year. Everybody’s still acting like they’re super into sports, but I can’t even name who the coaches are right now or what their big scandals are. Who are these coaches? What is their deal? What are they doing on the weekends? Much remains to be seen, but I will be keeping sports at arm’s-length until I get some action from these coaches.”


    Who or what had a great year?

    “2019 was a great year for e-scooters. Those little guys are multiplying, and I am here for it. Please clog every spare inch of public space in my life with rentable e-scooters. Not seeing any drawbacks so far with those things.”


    Who or what didn’t have a great year?

    “I guess the belief that people should be able to camp on public land without losing their dignity had a rough 2019.”


    Of all the Louisville years you can think of, where does this one stand?

    “According to my research there have been 241 years since the founding of Louisville. A lot of those years, I imagine, were pretty bad, because of wild bears eating people and dysentery. And then some years were probably really great because the Toy Tiger was still around. So somewhere between those.”


    Is there a defining moment for the year?

    “The release of my album It’s Gonna Stink. I think that was in the summer sometime.”


    What’s this year’s word?



    This originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Louisville Magazine under the headline “Old Acquaintance Be Forgot.” To subscribe to Louisville Magazineclick here. To find us on newsstands, click here.

    Illustration by Shae Goodlett,

    Cover photo: Howell Dawdy // Facebook


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