Recent Work

Kentucky Votes

It doesn't matter if you thought Obama needed Alison or you were ready to ditch Mitch, Louisville voters on Tuesday seemed to have one common thought: Their vote matters.

Mid-term election coverage took me to the Academy at Shawnee and Jeffersontown High School in search of voters ready to share their election season story. Some were new citizens, some voted by issue and some just voted because they disliked a candidate. However different the story, the conclusion was the same: Voting is a civic privilege in which everyone should participate.

Fantasy Battle Gets 'Real' For Louisville Area LARPers

Frequent Cherokee Park visitors may not know what LARPing is, but they've likely encountered it.

It stands for "live action role playing"—a game where people take on roles of mythical beings or fantasy warriors and battle each other with foam weapons called boffers. The game, which can take years to play out, is often described as part interactive theater, part Dungeons and Dragons. 

"The simple act of taking things away from the table and moving in a physical space changed everything, and I was hooked," said LARPer Geoffrey Runge.

Runge is a founder of ForgeHall, a local version of the game that is played out over several weekends a year at Glenn Wood Hills in Derby, Ind., about 70 miles driving west from Louisville.

The group meets again this weekend for the third event of the year. 

"The idea is to have an environment where everyone can come and bring their imagination and the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts," Runge said.

 

http://wfpl.org/post/video-fantasy-battle-gets-real-louisville-area-larpers

Welcome to the world

Meet Miss Piper Lynn Petty. 

As a photojournalist, there are fewer higher honors than being asked to capture a key moment in someones life. So, I was humbled when Chris and Callie asked me to capture their first child's birth.  It was pretty awesome to witness a the beginning of their new life as mom and dad. 

Lebowski 2014

Lebowski Fest co-founder Will Russell and festival employee Tyler Gill pose in the parking lot of the Executive Strike and Spare.

Lebowski Fest co-founder Will Russell and festival employee Tyler Gill pose in the parking lot of the Executive Strike and Spare.

Dressed as The Dude, Paul Spranger, of Muncie Ind., poses for a portrait with Chris Brown, of Detroit, Mich., who dressed as Walter Sobchak for Lebowski Fest.

Dressed as The Dude, Paul Spranger, of Muncie Ind., poses for a portrait with Chris Brown, of Detroit, Mich., who dressed as Walter Sobchak for Lebowski Fest.

Festival goers could pay $1 to toss a bag of "whites" out of a Gran Torino and hit a nihilist dummy to raise money for a local charity.

Festival goers could pay $1 to toss a bag of "whites" out of a Gran Torino and hit a nihilist dummy to raise money for a local charity.

Charlie Wellock, of Philadelphia, Pa., wears size 11 jelly sandals he purchased at the festival five years ago.

Charlie Wellock, of Philadelphia, Pa., wears size 11 jelly sandals he purchased at the festival five years ago.

Bryan Beisner, of Louisville, and Ed Fulop of North Palm Beach, Fla., pose with Larry's Homework while dressed as Walter Sobchak.

Bryan Beisner, of Louisville, and Ed Fulop of North Palm Beach, Fla., pose with Larry's Homework while dressed as Walter Sobchak.

Claire Manor, of Chicago, Ill., poses in her Marty the Landlord costume at Lebowski Fest.

Claire Manor, of Chicago, Ill., poses in her Marty the Landlord costume at Lebowski Fest.

To thee I wield

Aaron Mackison and Bekah Calabro stopped by a LARPing Meet and Beat after their nuptials. Live Action Role Playing is a fantasy game played in many different ways across the world. A Meet and Beat was held in Cherokee Park to get new players familiar with the game and weapons, or boffers, used to play.

Aaron Mackison and Bekah Calabro stopped by a LARPing Meet and Beat after their nuptials. Live Action Role Playing is a fantasy game played in many different ways across the world. A Meet and Beat was held in Cherokee Park to get new players familiar with the game and weapons, or boffers, used to play.

Portland

Roger Sutherland, who has lived in Portland for 30 years, cleans grass out of his sidewalk. Sutherland recently got a flour de lis tattooed onto his chest in honor of Louisville.

Roger Sutherland, who has lived in Portland for 30 years, cleans grass out of his sidewalk. Sutherland recently got a flour de lis tattooed onto his chest in honor of Louisville.

Louisville's Portland neighborhood has been a topic of hot debate. Investors want to revitalize the area and residence are worried that new business means rising rent. Read more about the story here.

Images of former owners and customers hang in the In-and-Out Dairy Mart on Portland Avenue. 

Images of former owners and customers hang in the In-and-Out Dairy Mart on Portland Avenue. 

Tony Seabrooks stops for a portrait  while en route to the vet with his puppy, Blondie, who was a Father's Day present for Seabrooks. 

Tony Seabrooks stops for a portrait  while en route to the vet with his puppy, Blondie, who was a Father's Day present for Seabrooks. 

Passers-by ask to have their portrait made by Janes Brothers Hardware Store on Portland Avenue.

Passers-by ask to have their portrait made by Janes Brothers Hardware Store on Portland Avenue.

A bike sits in front of an old ad for a local pharmacy on the corner of Portland Avenue and North 25th street.

A bike sits in front of an old ad for a local pharmacy on the corner of Portland Avenue and North 25th street.

Transgender in Louisville

Henry Brousseau

Henry Brousseau

I met Henry and Max while on assignment for WFPL. Both boys attend school in Louisville and have helped bring the issues they face as transgender students and community members to light. You can read more about their lives in the wonderful series Devin Katayama created in the links below.

 

Louisville's Transgender Students: Henry Brousseau and the Question of Pronouns

Louisville's Transgender Students: How Schools Are Places Of Support And Stress

Louisville's Transgender Students: A Different Type of 'Passing' in School

Louisville's Transgender Students: What Happens When Schools Are Accepting

Trophies in Henry's room.

Trophies in Henry's room.

Max St.John

Max St.John

Making Mint Juleps with Jarod Schubert

Follow Louisville mixologist Jared Schubert as he teaches you how to make a traditional mint julep, a batch of mint juleps and a specialty mint julep called a cougar. Music: "Rythme Gitan" by Latche Sing (http://www.latcheswing.fr/)

NPR picked up this lovely video for their pre-Derby coverage.

Behind the brim

Sheila Nobles is half of the millinery team of CK Nobles. Her and her business partner C. Kevin Swansey started making hats more than a decade ago and served as the official milliners for the Kentucky Derby Museum for 10 years.

Sheila Nobles is half of the millinery team of CK Nobles. Her and her business partner C. Kevin Swansey started making hats more than a decade ago and served as the official milliners for the Kentucky Derby Museum for 10 years.

Water Front Wednesday

Being new to Louisville, I had never heard of Water Front Wednesday. The monthly free concert is held in the summer months and is hosted by WFPK, one of the stations operated by Louisville Public Media. Luck me got to make some cool photos for the station and have a great time with a record crowd on the water front.

Moon Taxi performs at the first Water Front Wednesday of the summer. 

Moon Taxi performs at the first Water Front Wednesday of the summer. 

Waterfront Park was filled with a record crowd for the first Waterfront Wednesday.

Waterfront Park was filled with a record crowd for the first Waterfront Wednesday.

Waterfront Park was filled with a record crowd for the first Waterfront Wednesday of the 2014 summer. Attendees watched the band from the lawn, Big Four Bridge and boats.

Waterfront Park was filled with a record crowd for the first Waterfront Wednesday of the 2014 summer. Attendees watched the band from the lawn, Big Four Bridge and boats.

Charlotte Glaab, 8 of Louisville, hula-hoops in front of the Big Four Bridge before the start of the first Waterfront Wednesday of the summer.

Charlotte Glaab, 8 of Louisville, hula-hoops in front of the Big Four Bridge before the start of the first Waterfront Wednesday of the summer.

New Job

Hello all!

I thought I would let you know that I started a new job in April. I am now the visual media producer for Louisville Public Media, a non-profit that operates three local radio stations. This is a dream come true for me and I look forward to many years of happiness and visual pioneering here with a great team of people.

 

Thanks for taking a look,

 

Alix

Finding love in war

It’s hard to argue that fate didn’t intervene in the lives of John and Renee Rothschild.

The Rothschild’s story begins in one of the darkest periods of human history, the Holocaust. This time of persecution under the Nazi Regime inadvertently lead to the meeting of two people whose love for each other saved them.

The couple shared their story with a group of North Oldham Middle School eighth-graders March 13 as part of their literary curriculum. Language arts teacher Janet Gruenberg said that learning about the Holocaust helps form a basis to learn how people deal with social challenges.

The students had read various fiction and non-fiction works about the Holocaust before the Rothschild’s came to share their story. Gruenberg organized the event, now in its second year, and hopes that the Rothschild’s story inspires the students to become well-rounded people.

Renee’s journey

Renee lived in Kehl, Germany when the rumblings of a second world war caused people to take action to secure their futures. She and her father went to Paris and were to be followed by her mother and sister. This plan changed with the Kristallnact, or Night of Broken Glass. On Nov. 9, 1938, the Nazi party spurred on violence against Jews across Europe by trashing and looting Jewish-owned businesses, hospitals, schools, synagogues and homes, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Renee worked in Strasborge from Easter 1937 to Sept. 1, 1939. During this time she befriended a woman named Rita who lived in the same work housing. This chance friendship would later prove to be a key part in John and Renee’s story.

While on her way to visit her grandmother in Niort, France, a train derailment stopped Renee’s travels. After discovering that all of the hotels were full, Renee remembered that her friend Rita lived in the area. She called to ask to stay the night, Rita agreed and Renee set out for the St. Radegonde, the estate and farm were Rita lived with her extended family. Rita’s aunt had purchased St. Radegonde in southern France so her extended family would have a safe place to wait out the war.

After staying one night, Rita’s aunt asked Renee if she would stay on to help with work on the farm. The majority of the men had gone to war and they needed help bringing in the harvest. Renee agreed and set to work around the farm alongside Rita’s cousin, John.

“It was a lucky day for me,” John said. “Our romance started while we walked, talked and worked together.”

The engagement

After three weeks, nineteen-year-olds John and Renee decided that they wanted to become man and wife. They informed John’s mother and she told them that they could not marry until John had served his time in the Swiss military. They agreed and John left his home country of Switzerland after the fall harvest of 1941. Renee returned to Paris in 1940 because her visa to stay in the free zone of southern France expired and she could not get a new one. While taking care of her uncle’s children in Paris, Renee was arrested four times. The first time for being German, the other times for being Jewish.

In 1940 Germany deported all Jewish people living within its borders and Renee’s mother was taken to Camp Gurs, an internment camp in southern France. When Renee’s father heard where his wife was, he went to visit her but was kept as a prisoner because he was a foreign Jew.

John visited Renee’s parents in Gurs but was not kept because of his Swiss citizenship. During his visit, John received notarized written permission from Renee’s father to marry her, a letter the couple still has today.

Renee’s parents were then sent to Auschwitz in 1942 where they became casualties of the war. Renee’s sister was collected in 1943 by the Nazi’s in Germany while working at a Jewish senior citizen’s home and sent to Theresienstadt before she was sent to Auschwitz.

On May 18,1940 Renee was interred then released and on August 14,1942 she was arrested for the final time at 5 a.m. and taken to Camp de Rivesaltes in Southern France. While Renee was being arrested she gave one of the officers her fiancée’s address and some money and asked him to send a telegram to John so he would know where Renee was being taken. The officer sent the telegram and John began working to free his fiancée.

The rescue

As a citizen of Switzerland, a neutral country in the war, John had more rights even though he was also Jewish. John got a permit for Renee to come to Switzerland on Oct. 1, 1942. He sent the permit to the camp but they did not release Renee. The camp officials said that John had to come and pick up Renee for them to release her.

On Friday, Oct. 10, 1942 John received a call from the Red Cross saying that Renee had been selected for transport to a concentration camp. John had until midday Monday to get to the camp and save Renee.

While interred, Renee had worked with the Red Cross to get milk for babies and also made herself available for translating documents and conversations that took place in the camp. By making herself valuable, Renee garnered friendships that saved her life.

After taking off work and being given an advance on his pay, John arrived the following Monday and entered the camp to free Renee.

“I had a frightening feeling as the gate closed behind me,” John said.

John met with the commander of the camp who said that Renee was “worth her weight in gold,” for the translating she had done for his office. He agreed to release Renee if the mayor agreed. John left the camp and waited for a response. He checked in with the Swiss consulate twice a day to let them know he was still there and see if they had word on Renee.

On Oct. 15,1942, Renee was freed and John picked her up from the camp.

Going home

The reunited couple’s next move was to wait for visas to travel back into Switzerland. After waiting for nearly a month, they heard that US Forces had invaded northern Africa and thought that the Reich would soon take over the free zone in France. They decided to take a risk and continue on their journey with no visas before they were caught in southern France by a Nazi invasion.

While on their way to the Swiss border, the cab driver informed the couple that they would have to pass through six checkpoints. With no visas, John and Renee could end up in jail.

“We pulled up to the checkpoint and the crossing gates were up,” John said. “No one was around.”

This same scenario played out five more times for John and Renee. They later found out that the French military had left the posts and the Nazi’s had not yet arrived to take over control of the border crossings.

The couple made it to the last city before Switzerland, Annemasse. John and Renee then went to the Swiss consulate where they were told that legal passage into Switzerland would be impossible. The agent gave them the names of two men who worked at a local Jewish-owned department store. They visited the store and discovered that the men had already crossed into Switzerland. A woman who worked at the store gave them the name of a guide who could safely take them across the border for 180 Swiss Francs.

On November 13, 1942 John and Renee walked into a bar around 8 p.m., ordered a coffee and waited for a man seated at the bar to give them a signal. He pushed his hat back then left, John and Renee soon followed and were led to a fence that marked the border. They then walked until they came to a downed section of the fence where they walked into the safety of Switzerland. After giving their guide a password to take back and exchange for his payment, John and Renee set off to start their life together. They were married on December 5,1942.

Lasting love

John found work as an engineer for a company that made machinery to build automobiles. After exporting machinery to America, John asked his company if he could go and learn the American process for building cars. They allowed him to quit his job but agreed that if he ever returned he would have a guaranteed spot in their company,

In May of 1951 John and Renee moved to Detroit, Mich. where John got a job at General Motors. Renee got her masters degree in Romance Languages and began teaching at a community college. The Rothschilds had two children, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. After retirement the couple moved to Louisville to be near their son.

When asked what their favorite memory together is, Renee answered “Everyday. He’s my knight in shining armor.”

The couple went on to explain that they had saved each other from the death knell through their love. Without the proposition of marriage, John probably wouldn’t have been urged by his mother to carry out his military service early. That means that he would have been at St. Radegode when the Nazi’s came for his family on July 16,1942 and sent them to Auschwitz. And without John’s intervening for Renee’s release, she too would have been sent to a concentration where she would have likely died.

After 71 years of marriage Renee said, “Everyday we get up and are grateful to be alive.”

Kiss the pig

Principal Andy Moore puckers up for Herbert the pig during the schools annual Kiss the Pig fundraiser at Locust Grove Elementary. Students vote for their teachers to kiss Herbert by donating change to that teacher throughout the week and the teachers with the most money have to kiss Herbert. Money from the fundraiser will go toward expanding the playground area and adding a kickball field.

Principal Andy Moore puckers up for Herbert the pig during the schools annual Kiss the Pig fundraiser at Locust Grove Elementary. Students vote for their teachers to kiss Herbert by donating change to that teacher throughout the week and the teachers with the most money have to kiss Herbert. Money from the fundraiser will go toward expanding the playground area and adding a kickball field.

Locust Grove Elementary students react to their teachers kissing Herbert the pot belly pig during the schools annual Kiss the Pig fundraiser. 

Locust Grove Elementary students react to their teachers kissing Herbert the pot belly pig during the schools annual Kiss the Pig fundraiser. 

Third grade teacher Roxanne Lund high fives Principal Andy Moore after being called down to kiss Herbert the pig.

Third grade teacher Roxanne Lund high fives Principal Andy Moore after being called down to kiss Herbert the pig.

Herbert the pig waits to be kissed before the annual Kiss the Pig event at Locust Grove Elementary. Herbert is owned by Dale and Barb McMacin who volunteer Herbert to be kissed each year for the fundraiser.

Herbert the pig waits to be kissed before the annual Kiss the Pig event at Locust Grove Elementary. Herbert is owned by Dale and Barb McMacin who volunteer Herbert to be kissed each year for the fundraiser.

Jubilee

Caleb Von Busch, striped shirt, answers a math question during an end of the day game at Jubilee Academy.

Caleb Von Busch, striped shirt, answers a math question during an end of the day game at Jubilee Academy.

Let it grow

Marueen Ford waters Easter Lilies that were planted around Christmas time at Goodwin Greenhouse on Hoffman Lane in La Grange. According to greenhouse owner Steve Goodwin, a greenhouse has stood on the land he now operates since the 1900's. Goodwin's is mostly a wholesaler but does open one house up to the public.

Marueen Ford waters Easter Lilies that were planted around Christmas time at Goodwin Greenhouse on Hoffman Lane in La Grange. According to greenhouse owner Steve Goodwin, a greenhouse has stood on the land he now operates since the 1900's. Goodwin's is mostly a wholesaler but does open one house up to the public.

District 29 Championships

Oldham County guard Hayden Hawes takes a shot during the Colonels 74-67 win over the Dragons in the final game of the District 29 Basketball Tournament in Goshen. 

Oldham County guard Hayden Hawes takes a shot during the Colonels 74-67 win over the Dragons in the final game of the District 29 Basketball Tournament in Goshen. 

Oldham County junior Kyle Eldridge reacts to his team scoring a point during the Colonels 74-67 win over the Dragons in the final game of the District 29 Basketball Tournament in Goshen. 

Oldham County junior Kyle Eldridge reacts to his team scoring a point during the Colonels 74-67 win over the Dragons in the final game of the District 29 Basketball Tournament in Goshen. 

Oldham County senior Austin Perkins fights for possession during the Colonels 74-67 win over the Dragons in the final game of the District 29 Basketball Tournament in Goshen. 

Oldham County senior Austin Perkins fights for possession during the Colonels 74-67 win over the Dragons in the final game of the District 29 Basketball Tournament in Goshen. 

South Oldham guard Michael Griffin takes a shot during the Colonels 74-67 win over the Dragons in the final game of the District 29 Basketball Tournament in Goshen. 

South Oldham guard Michael Griffin takes a shot during the Colonels 74-67 win over the Dragons in the final game of the District 29 Basketball Tournament in Goshen. 

South Oldham guard Kyle Young takes a shot during the Colonels 74-67 win over the Dragons in the final game of the District 29 Basketball Tournament in Goshen. 

South Oldham guard Kyle Young takes a shot during the Colonels 74-67 win over the Dragons in the final game of the District 29 Basketball Tournament in Goshen. 

South Oldham guard Holly Schumm takes a shot during the Lady Colonels 50-43 win over the Lady Dragons in the District 29 Girls Basketball Tournament in Goshen.

South Oldham guard Holly Schumm takes a shot during the Lady Colonels 50-43 win over the Lady Dragons in the District 29 Girls Basketball Tournament in Goshen.

Oldham County guard Ashley McMurtrey fights to keep possession during the Lady Colonels 50-43 win over the Lady Dragons in the District 29 Girls Basketball Tournament in Goshen.

Oldham County guard Ashley McMurtrey fights to keep possession during the Lady Colonels 50-43 win over the Lady Dragons in the District 29 Girls Basketball Tournament in Goshen.

Oldham County guard Jayla Davis looks to take possession after a rebound during the Lady Colonels 50-43 win over the Lady Dragons in the District 29 Girls Basketball Tournament in Goshen.

Oldham County guard Jayla Davis looks to take possession after a rebound during the Lady Colonels 50-43 win over the Lady Dragons in the District 29 Girls Basketball Tournament in Goshen.

Oldham County junior Kasey Wernert cuts down the basketball net after the Lady Colonels 50-43 win over the Lady Dragons in the District 29 Girls Basketball Tournament in Goshen.

Oldham County junior Kasey Wernert cuts down the basketball net after the Lady Colonels 50-43 win over the Lady Dragons in the District 29 Girls Basketball Tournament in Goshen.

Oldham County junior Kasey Wernert holds up Ty Bryant, son of Lady Colonels coach Jace Bryant after the Lady Colonels 50-43 win over the Lady Dragons in the District 29 Girls Basketball Tournament in Goshen.

Oldham County junior Kasey Wernert holds up Ty Bryant, son of Lady Colonels coach Jace Bryant after the Lady Colonels 50-43 win over the Lady Dragons in the District 29 Girls Basketball Tournament in Goshen.

District 29 Basketball Tournament

Oldham County center Austin Perkins looks to pass during the Colonels 66-48 win in the semi-final of the District 29 Boys Basketball tournament in Goshen.

Oldham County center Austin Perkins looks to pass during the Colonels 66-48 win in the semi-final of the District 29 Boys Basketball tournament in Goshen.

Oldham County sophomore Jacob Bates dribbles through North yards during the Colonels 66-48 win in the semi-final of the District 29 Boys Basketball tournament in Goshen.

Oldham County sophomore Jacob Bates dribbles through North yards during the Colonels 66-48 win in the semi-final of the District 29 Boys Basketball tournament in Goshen.

The Oldham County student section cheers on their team during the Colonels 66-48 win in the semi-final of the District 29 Boys Basketball tournament in Goshen.

The Oldham County student section cheers on their team during the Colonels 66-48 win in the semi-final of the District 29 Boys Basketball tournament in Goshen.

South Oldham center Emma Sedoris fights for possession of a rebound during the Lady Dragons' 61-54 win in the semi finals of the District 29 Girls Basketball Tournament against Trimble County in Goshen. 

South Oldham center Emma Sedoris fights for possession of a rebound during the Lady Dragons' 61-54 win in the semi finals of the District 29 Girls Basketball Tournament against Trimble County in Goshen. 

South Oldham guard Jodi Ansert looks to take a shot during the Lady Dragons' 61-54 win in the semi finals of the District 29 Girls Basketball Tournament against Trimble County in Goshen. 

South Oldham guard Jodi Ansert looks to take a shot during the Lady Dragons' 61-54 win in the semi finals of the District 29 Girls Basketball Tournament against Trimble County in Goshen.