Tom Owen, D-8, is a living, breathing, walking, bike-riding encyclopedia. He knows basically everything about anything in Louisville and is happy to espouse his knowledge whenever and wherever — in community gatherings, at Metro Council meetings, while pumping gas at Speedway, etc. Chances are, though, you won’t find him often at Speedway since the 76-year-old prefers getting around town on two wheels.
Owen has served as the Highlands representative for 22 years and announced he will not seek re-election late last year, which has caused a flood of candidates interested in the position. He tells Insider he plans to remain at his full-time job — as archivist and local historian at the University of Louisville — for the foreseeable future, so don’t think he’s off to the land of shuffleboard tournaments and early bird specials.
After he serves his last term, the wise old owl says he’s most looking forward to not having to say “Can’t do it” as much, which he’s had to say over and over to some folks in his jurisdiction — “people want paving, sidewalks, instant solutions, speed humps, expensive services, no crime, no missed pickups …” he explains.
For a man who can talk for hours about the concerning decline of the bee population, his answers to our 7 Questions were short and to-the-point. We like that in a council member.
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
Become a gourmet cook.
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
I’m too old for posters. When 5 years old, I had a massive photo of Republican candidate for U. S. president Thomas E. Dewey in our living room.
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
I’d give a “Key for a Day” weekly to unheralded good citizens.
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
I’d like to try being 41 again.
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
Abraham Lincoln with his hat on.
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
Anyone willing to take a nap.