guillermo

Guillermo’s Louisville (7.20.22) 

Springhurst

You know those “______’s Louisville” banners on the sides of buildings throughout the city? Ali and Jennifer Lawrence and Diane Sawyer and more “notable” names. We think the blank should be for all of us. (Who do you think Louisville Magazine should interview about our city? You can tell us here.)

Here are photographer Guillermo A. Sollano’s answers. Published Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

Since March 2020, what’s something you’ve lost?

“Family members to COVID.”

Since March 2020, what’s something you’ve gained?

“Deeper understanding of the fragility of life and our impermanence.”

What gives you hope? 

“That there still are people who care and love beyond political agenda, religion or beliefs. They accept you regardless of the color of your skin, sexual orientation or nationality.”

Who inspires you? 

“My grandfather Florentino Sollano became the caregiver of his brother and sister after the death of his mother. He only went to one year of school, where he learned how to write and read. That allowed him to learn how to self-educate himself. He became a successful and charismatic politician and entrepreneur. He is the reason for my love of reading and learning. The day of his funeral, hundreds of people attended the service, and I understood how fortunate I was to have had the opportunity to be his grandchild, and to tell him how much I loved him.”

Since March 2020, what’s something Louisville has lost?

“I see a more divided community today.”

Since March 2020, what’s something Louisville has gained?

“Empowerment.”

Where are you a regular? 

“Wiltshire Pantry — anything is good.”

What Louisville dish have you eaten more than any other?

“Hot Browns.”

What closed Louisville business do you miss most?

“Lynn’s Paradise Cafe.”

What should be Louisville’s theme song?

“‘We Will Rock You,’ Queen.”

Favorite Louisville building?

“For me, the Heyburn Building on West Broadway is the most characteristic of the Louisville skyline.”

Favorite Louisville street?

“Frankfort Avenue. Twenty-plus years ago, I walked every day from Story Avenue to Lexington Road looking for work. It was a very important street in my life.”

Where in town do you always take visitors?

“Big Four Bridge.”

Most memorable show/concert you’ve been to in Louisville? 

“U2 at Cardinal Stadium in 2017. No, it wasn’t Depeche Mode, but U2 is one of my favorite bands and most of my friends were there.”

What’s a Louisville law/ordinance/rule/etc. that needs to change?

“I don’t know about laws much. I just wish it could be as safe as it used to be. I wish we could have more programs where people could get to know each other. I wish we could teach citizens to apply tolerance, respect and love one another.”

What’s one thing Louisville is missing?

“Leadership.”

Favorite Louisville smell?

“Honeysuckle.”

What does Louisville have that it should be known for but isn’t?

“The people. I fell in love with the people, which is why I moved here.”

Besides whatever it is you’re currently doing: What’s the best job you’ve ever had? 

“Interpreter at the U of L ER hospital. I felt I made a difference.”

What’s your drink?

“Coffee.”

Who would you shadow for a day?

“Elon Musk.”

What book have you given away the most?

Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, by David R. Hawkins. It will transform your life.”

What three people (living or dead) would be on the guest list to your ideal dinner party?

“Frida Kahlo, Robert Plant, Nelson Mandela.”

What’s the first thing on your bucket list?

“Visit India.”

What’s something nobody knows about you?

“I am color blind.”

In one word, what’s your biggest hope for Louisville?

“Unity.”

In one word, what’s your biggest fear for Louisville?

“Division.”

Who should Louisville Magazine interview next? Let us know here.