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A standup guy

BY MILTON METZI once asked Barry Bingham Jr. whether he remembered any shouting in his house during his growing-up years. (My house was no stranger to shouting, and I was curious.) He looked at me quizzically and said, “No-o-o, we didn’t do any of that.”

A keeper: Working for Barry Bingham Jr. was a true honor

Whenever Barry Bingham Jr. read something in The Courier-Journal or Louisville Times that he particularly liked or disliked, he would cut the story out of his paper and send it to the reporter or editor with a note that he typed personally and signed with a flourish in orange ink.

Which lessons will be left behind? What has No Child Left Behind wrought in Kentucky, and beyond?

The universal joke of No Child Left Behind, President Bush’s major education initiative that’s been law for four years now, is in its rhetoric: the very title carries such an impossible, absurd implication, particularly when you consider how the act has come to manifest itself in American public schools.

What a Week

Texas teaThe steady gurgle of cash bubbling from consumers’ pockets into Big Energy’s bank accounts continued unabated in DubyaDick’s Merka. Gasoline prices lurched higher an inexplicable 40 cents per gallon, just in time for locals to begin their SUV parade down I-65 to the Redneck Riviera. Meanwhile, natural gas rates tumbled 30 percent after a winter of pain, just in time for air-conditioning season.

Staff Picks

<ART>Thursday, April 6 & Friday, April 7‘Aesthetics of Large Format Photography’ As part of the show “AZO>CONTACT>PRINT,” photographers James Shanesy, Scott Killian, Steve Sherman and Joe Freeman (fellow exhibitor George Provost is unable to attend) will present the history and process of large format photography at U of L’s Ekstrom Library auditorium Thursday from 7-9 p.m. The artists will also be at the Paul Paletti Gallery during the First Friday Gallery Hop on April 7 from 5-9 p.m. “AZO>CONTACT>PRINT” is an exhibition of photographs produced from large format contact prints on Azo paper (it runs through May 31). Paletti originally curated the show for the Metropolitan Center for the Visual Arts in Rockville, Md. —Jo Anne TriplettPaul Paletti Gallery713 E. Market St.589-9254Free; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

A joyful man of the arts

BY ALEXANDER SPEEREXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ACTORS THEATRE OF LOUISVILLEI first met Barry Bingham Jr. when I joined Actors Theatre in 1965. Two years before, at the age of 30, he and a handful of other Louisvillians had joined with Richard Block in founding the city’s first professional theater company, Theatre Louisville, and served as its inaugural president. In 1964, Theatre Louisville merged with another newly established theater company, Actors Inc., to form Actors Theatre of Louisville. Barry then served as vice president of the merged Board of Directors and continued to serve on the Board in various capacities for the next 40 years.

A visionary who led by example

Thirty years ago, I was planning the first issue of Louisville Today magazine, my first venture in the publishing business, and I had only one idea for launching it with great fanfare: get Barry Bingham Jr. to sit for an interview. Fat chance, I thought. But I did not know Barry then the way I did later.

Rumor & Innuendo: Rumblings From the World of Sports

Save the sob story. Truth is, the Cards had an underwhelming season. Really? Yeah, really. More than a few Card fans are p.o’d. Not so much at how the season went but about how The Rick dealt with it. Truth: U of L was mediocre. The Rick had an off year coaching. No more excuses, s’il vous plait. It is sooooooooo boring. Admit it wasn’t good, shut up and move on. There are plenty of reasons: the reality that Taquan was second chair, injuries, youth (maybe), a bad system for this squad, not enough scorers, no legit slashers, no pre-conference tests. One thing rarely mentioned is the assistant coaching situation. Willard kept looking to next year. And the other trio schooled in PitinoBall — Theus, Davenport and Taylor — gone. Which is not to mention that The Rick has gone conservative compared to the old days, and his patience with prospects who don’t develop immediately is non-existent.

General Assembly winners, losers

With a few days left in the session, lawmakers have a tentative budget, and the winners — the University of Kentucky and public school teachers, chief among them — are coming into view.

He can’t say that, can he?

Writer and humorist David Sedaris has become Ira Glass’ poster boy for what’s wrong with the newly (over)zealous Federal Communications Commission.