Trolley Stop Bet
Recently, I challenged Preservation Memphis and a Flyer reporter (Letters to the Editor, December 1st issue). I said there never were trolley tracks on Poplar Avenue. I said the "turnaround" on Poplar, west of Cooper, had been for buses only, not trolleys. Then Calvin Turley of the Cotton Museum challenged me. Turns out, he, your reporter, and Preservation Memphis all were right. I was wrong. Trolley tracks on Poplar were removed in 1935, and our family didn't arrive in Memphis until 1937. So I apologize to all.
P.S. Turley also won our bet, and the Cotton Museum is just a little richer.
A new top export should draw the attention and action of all our elected officials. At least those involved in balancing a budget. According to an AP news story, that export is fuel.
I hope that has gotten your attention. Now the action you might want to consider: As much as I am against price controls or a ban on certain exports and although we do ban exports that affect our national security, I would like to see local and state officials lobby our congressional delegations to meet with the heads of our refining and oil industries. The meeting would ask for a stop to exporting fuel. Then drop the price of jet fuel, gas, and diesel fuel in the U.S.A.
If we have a fuel surplus, that surplus should be used to drop prices here at home. We all know what a wonderful boost that would be to the American economy. The airlines and trucking industries would be able to save thousands of jobs. Made-in-America products would be cheaper to produce and perhaps allow companies to hire more labor.
Would it be a sacrifice for big oil? Yes, but not as big as the one our troops have made over the past nine years. I believe it is a national security matter and pray that you do too.
As results of the Iowa caucuses dribbled in (Politics, January 5th issue), Americans got to see how the Republican candidates greeted victory and defeat. Rick Santorum rose to the occasion, but his true nature showed through the new camouflage he has put on.
Nobody had been paying attention to Santorum, so he was given a free pass and was able to sneak under the radar. Hello! Santorum put the "e" in extremism. He has all the usual Republican/evangelical baggage: hard-core antiabortionist, antigay all the way, anti-immigration, and if he was currently in office, Santorum would surely have signed Grover Norquist's "antitax" pledge.
Speaking of pledges, Santorum recently signed a pledge implying that African-American children were better off under slavery than they have been since President Obama's election. How do you answer idiocy like this, except to say, I bet the Republicans' Tea Party religious base loved it.
Grizzlies Cover Jinx
I love Greg Cravens' cartoon illustrations that he does for the Flyer's annual Grizzlies preview stories. This year's version showing Mark Gasol, Mike Conley, Rudy Gay, and Zach Randolph as the "Fantastic Four" was great (December 22nd issue). But I'm starting to wonder if, like Sports Illustrated, the Flyer possesses the power to jinx the athlete or team featured on its cover.
Last year, it was Rudy Gay who went down for the season. This year, our heart and soul, Zach Randolph, is out for eight weeks. Maybe next year, the Flyer should just run a photo of the Griz mascot. (Sorry, Griz.)
Correction: In the Flyer's "Best Docs" story (January 5th issue), Frederick Martin Azar was listed under the Ophthalmology category. He should be listed in the Orthopaedic Surgery category.
Which leads me to put on my Dr. Phil face and say what has to be said: It's time for Memphis and Shelby County to start seeing other people. We've tried for years to patch things up, to come to some sort of mutual understanding, but we need to admit that we have irreconcilable differences. We don't even know each other any more ...