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Derby Writer’s Son Presents Memoir at The Brown Hotel
Free Derby Week Event Will Air as Part of The Spoken Word Radio Series

(Louisville, KY, April 16, 2004) – On Thursday, April 29, Public Radio South will host a live taping of an episode of The Spoken Word at The Brown, A Camberley Hotel. As part of Derby week activities the evening’s program will feature a reading from “Blood Horses: Notes of a Sportswriter’s Son” by author John Jeremiah Sullivan, son of veteran Courier-Journal sportswriter, Mike Sullivan. A question-and-answer session will follow.
John Jeremiah Sullivan’s father spent three decades in the press box covering the Derby for The Courier-Journal. When John asked his father what he remembered best about his experiences at the Derby, Mike’s answer came as a surprise. “I was at Secretariat’s Derby, in 1973. That was … just beauty, you know?” After his father’s death, Sullivan, a former Harper’s editor, decided to learn more about the beautiful mystery and charm of horses and the world’s most famous horse race, The Kentucky Derby. He turned his quest into a smart and witty memoir.
For the April 29 event, the doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the taping will begin at 7 p.m. in the Gallery Ballroom of The Brown. The reading and subsequent question-and-answer session will be recorded for an upcoming broadcast of The Spoken Word public radio series that will air at a later date on public radio stations around the Southeast, including Louisville’s WFPL. Carmichael’s Bookstore will have copies of the book for sale at the event. A cash bar will be available.
Daren Wang, Executive Producer of Public Radio South and host of the series, said, “The Brown Hotel, Mike Sullivan, WFPL, and the Kentucky Derby – For The Spoken Word, it’s like wrapping all the great Louisville traditions into one talk. And John Jeremiah Sullivan’s book does a great job of capturing the spirit of his father and the lasting power of these same traditions.”
For those unable to attend The Spoken Word taping, an additional book signing will be held the following morning (April 30) at 11 a.m. outside of J. Grahams Café, located on the first floor of The Brown.
Both events are open to the public, and admission is free. Call (502) 583-1234 for additional information. This Spoken Word event is sponsored by Public Radio South; Carmichael’s Bookstore; WFPL; Farrar, Straus & Giroux and The Brown, A Camberley Hotel.
Derby has always been a very special time at The Brown Hotel. Ever since the hotel’s opening 80 years ago, celebrities and guests have traveled from all over to stay at The Brown and attend the races. There is even a legendary story of guests sneaking a winning horse into a suite.
Brad Walker, General Manager of The Brown, said, “We consider Derby week our time to shine at The Brown. As legendary jockey Eddie Arcaro once said about The Brown… ‘it was the meeting place… the place where you went to see people’. We like to think that the qualities that have made The Brown special to so many Louisvillians over the years are magnified during this special time.”
The hotel’s builder and first owner, James Graham Brown, was an avid horseracing fan, owning many horses during his lifetime and winning an estimated 800 races, although never winning the Kentucky Derby. When Mr. Brown was not at his beloved hotel, he could often be found at the racetrack.
Located at the corner of Fourth and Broadway, The Brown Hotel has been a longstanding Louisville tradition for 80 years. For reservations for dinner or an overnight stay, call 502-583-1234, or visit The Brown’s Web site,


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