I’m always fond of telling my out-of-town friends that the best fan of a place like Louisville often is someone from a city like Chicago or Atlanta.
I’ve lived in both of those sprawling metro markets – and several others – where the wear-and-tear of daily commuting is enough to take the wind out of your sails. I recently found someone who has come back to roost in Louisville and couldn’t be happier with the decision.
The newest member of the WAVE3 Sunrise Team returns to Louisville after 15 years as an award winning news anchor in San Diego, California. I asked Bill Menish to give us his “Louisville Perspective,” touching on what it is he loves, and possibly, dislikes about our fair town. Here’s Bill’s story in his own words:
I am thrilled to be home! It’s funny; I call this home, even though I grew up 99 miles north in Greenwood, Indiana. But most of my family left Indiana a decade or so ago, so for the last 15 years, I’ve been coming back to Louisville, which is my wife’s hometown, for all our holidays and vacations. It’s my adopted hometown.
I worked at WHAS in the early to mid 90’s. I even covered the 94 Blizzard and the Cat’s national championship. Now you would think that living in Sunny Southern California, I would be hesitant to return to our much more unpredictable climate. Actually, I couldn’t wait to get back. Here’s why…
Though it’s true the worst winter we had in San Diego was the year I had to shovel 5 inches of “partly cloudy” off my driveway, I actually missed the snow, and thunderstorms and even the summer heat. San Diego is too cold. Nobody tells you that, but the San Diego summer is filled with May-Gray and June-Gloom because the marine layer just sits over the beach. Besides, I’m a boater and I love our lakes. My folks now live in Knoxville, which is an easy drive, and their lakes are incredible.
When I got back to town, the first thing I had to do was slow down. Slow way down. Heck, I got a speeding ticket within days of returning. In San Diego, everybody drives 80 mph and the cops don’t even think about pulling you over until you’re doing 85. My “welcome to Louisville,” came from an unfriendly St. Mathews cop who got me doing a blistering 45 mph on Westport Road. When he told me the speed limit was 25 mph, on a four-lane stretch of road that was not in a school zone, I almost started laughing. Heck, I was surprised I was going that slow.
I still travel quite a bit, and the airport gets a 10 on the convenience scale. You only have to arrive 45 minutes before your flight, if that. And picking up someone at the airport is a breeze. In San Diego, you have to commit two plus hours to catch a flight, and an hour or more to pick someone up with travel time, pickup and the drive home.
Now food in San Diego was sensational, but I tell friends back there that on a per-capita basis, we have an equal number of restaurants. How the heck do they all make a go of it? My birthday dinner this past January was at an old favorite, Jack Fry’s and I can’t wait to get back to Vincenzo’s as well as try all the new ones that have opened while I was away.
The next thing I love about Louisville should be higher up in this article because my wife and I talked about missing this all the time when we were out west. I’m referring to the love of college sports and the passion of the fans. Sure Southern California has USC and UCLA, but it’s not the same. I had to declare my favorite – UofL or UK – before the flight attendant would let me off the plane upon our arrival. She didn’t like my answer, but she let me pass anyway. We will be season ticket holders very soon, and I can’t wait to experience next year’s football and basketball season. (Notice I didn’t reveal my favorite! I’m not crazy.)
Finally, it’s the people. In southern California, you meet many who are not genuine. It’s not as laid back as you hear. And the closer you are to the beach, the less “community” you experience. Here, we are in a church that makes us feel at home. I am at a news station that truly cares about the community where we live and every day I meet new people and make new friendships. This is now home and I believe it will be home for my family and me forever – or at least until my girls are old enough and say, “We want to move back to California.” I hope they see what I see and don’t say that. I know I’m not going back. I’m home.
So, there you have it. The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but maybe only for a while. At least that seems to be the story for Bill Menish and his family. Welcome home!
Grace. Peace. Bicycle Grease.
PS: Remember, every lane is a bike lane.
Share the road.
………( )/ ( )
Enjoy the ride home.
© Copyright, Kirk M. Kandle, MMXI
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