LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — As long as everyone is maintaining their social distance, Apollo Pizza owner Wesley Browne doesn’t mind the makeshift memorial that’s growing outside his Leestown Road location.
“We want to give people an outlet for their grief, so if that’s what they feel moved to do, we’re okay with it,” Browne said on Thursday.
Brown understands their grief. Central Kentucky may not have any bigger John Prine fans than Browne and his wife. So when the three-time Grammy Award winner died from complications from COVID-19 two days ago, they were devastated.
“We have two kids and we saw John (in concert) during both pregnancies, Browne said. "So we always joked that he was good luck!”
About two years ago, Browne commissioned an artist to paint a mural of Prine on the side of his restaurant’s wall, getting permission to do so from a very unlikely source.
“I got an email back and it was from ‘Fiona’ in all caps, and I thought it was spam because I didn’t recognize it,” he said, before revealing that the person who replied was Prine’s wife, Fiona.
She had given her blessing and the mural was completed in June of 2019. Now it’ll serve as a lasting image of someone who will leave an indelible legacy.
“His music was perfect, in my mind,” Browne said, while adding, “there’s something undeniable about John Prine.”
So he’s not about to deny anyone a chance to leave a tribute under his mural. Just do it from a safe distance.