But Did They Spell Our Name Right?

Grateful Threads Gets Less Than Desirable Ink

By Paul Moffett

When a Courier-Journal writer called Ellen Corn, owner of Grateful Threads, a Bardstown Road clothing shop specializing in Sixties duds, it looked like an opportunity to get some free publicity.

The writer came and talked to Ms. Corn, stating that she was working on a story related to the (then) upcoming Grateful Dead concerts. A photographer came and took pictures of a painted hearse owned by Corn and her husband Larry for use in the story.

The story, as it turned out, was not about the Grateful Dead per se but was about concert rules related to drugs. Smack in the middle of the story was the photo of the Corns and their fancifully painted hearse.

From Larry Corn's perspective, the story seemed to suggest that Grateful Threads was a 'head shop,' handling 'paraphenalia,' – read 'drug paraphenalia.' The only 'paraphenalia' that Grateful Threads sells are Grateful Dead items such as T-shirts, headbands, necklaces and the like.

"The people upstairs said that the police were parked in front of the store the next day," Larry Corn said, apparently in search of illegal objects. Corn was emphatic that the store does not handle any drug-related paraphernalia, only clothing and fashion items.

"It has helped the business, though," he said.