When I signed up for Focus Louisville, I figured it would be a great networking opportunity and that I would hear a lot of what I already knew about Louisville throughout the programming. As a native Louisvillian, I figured there couldn’t be too much about the city that I hadn’t already heard. Boy was I wrong.
Even just two hours into the program, while on a walking tour of downtown Louisville with National Treasure, Tom Owen, I realized how much there was to learn. I soon realized this would be the theme throughout. Our first steps with Tom included a tour of the Iron Quarter (Main Street, from 7th to 9th Streets), where we learned delightful trivia such as, the pattern of the bricks in the sidewalk points out the buildings with iron facades. The metal work around each tree tells the story of the history of adjacent buildings. I could go on, but you will just have to seek out a tour with Tom to hear more.
We also visited downtown Jeffersonville, which I thought would just be a normal highway exit from I-65. Wrong again. The historical area is filled with cute locally owned shops and delicious eateries. If you have a sweet tooth, it’s definitely the place for you – Schimpff’s and Adrienne & Co are a delight!
Day two included site visits to Jefferson County Public Schools and local social service agencies. After these field trips, we discussed our experiences. In particular, everyone who had visited the Salvation Army had the same feedback – that they had no idea of the breadth of services it provides. Everyone knew of the bell ringing and Angel Tree around the holidays, but came back knowing about their shelters for families, among many other invaluable services.
It would take me a novel to talk about all the things I learned at Focus Louisville, but the most important thing I learned is that there is always more to learn, no matter what you may already know. Only through that knowledge can you take action. Learn more; volunteer; spread the word; take any action that will encourage all of the great activity going on in our fantastic city.