Letters to the Editor

Give Me Liberty

To the Editor:

The Mid-South Fairgrounds is old and in need of renovation in some areas ("Disposable City," April 3rd issue), but Libertyland is not a part of the Fairgrounds that should cause embarrassment. On the contrary, Libertyland is a true asset that has been largely forgotten by Shelby County residents. I took my children (ages 5 and 3) to Libertyland last year for the first time and was amazed by the large number of attractions for visitors of all ages. The park was extremely clean, and the employees were all very friendly. On top of all that, the concession prices were extremely reasonable and offered a wide variety of choices.

Prior to my visit, I had heard all of the negative comments that Libertyland did not have many of the attractions that Six Flags offers in St. Louis, Dallas, or Atlanta, but I found that Libertyland does have ample rides, games, and shows to easily fill a day with your family.

I'm sure that if many of those who constantly talk negatively about Libertyland lived in a city with a Six Flags, they would be vocal in support of a smaller, friendlier, affordable amusement park that one could easily visit several times per year. As your article mentioned, a season pass to Libertyland is $50. That price has not changed since 1981, and it is roughly the daily entry fee for some of the bigger parks. There is probably not a better (and lesser-known) entertainment value anywhere in the Mid-South.

Libertyland's only problem is one of perception, and, unfortunately, it is being spread by word of mouth among those who probably have not even been there in years. Memphis is lucky to have one of these smaller, affordable amusement parks because they are not building them anymore.

David Wells


Checkered Record

To the Editor:

How can former Shelby County commissioners Tommy Hart and Buck Wellford justify speaking for former commission administrator Calvin Williams when he has cost the county government so much time, money, and energy? Williams made more than $100,000 a year. With his checkered record in local government, how can the commissioners consider giving Williams another county job, even with a lower salary ($28,248)?

No wonder taxpayers have so little faith in most of our elected officials. What political hold does Williams have over some of these commissioners?

Chas. S. Peete Jr.


Record Numbers

To the Editor:

This letter is to all the Memphis musicians out there who have been asking, "Is there a Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission? And if there is, what the hell are they doing?"

I have found the answer to those questions. Yes, there is an MSCMC, and they have recently teamed up with a group whose aims include helping to make Memphis music a priority. This group is called Memphis Tomorrow.

As a whiny, bitchy Memphis musician myself, I can fully understand the lack of interest so far in the seemingly stagnant MSCMC. However, I am happy to report that it looks like the MSCMC has survived the past few unproductive years to become a dedicated group that is honestly working toward making things better for those of us in the music business who have chosen to stick it out here in Memphis.

Very soon you will be seeing posters, ads, and articles about a survey. Or you may hear about the "Economic Impact Study." Don't run. Fill out the form. If we want to help ourselves, we have to participate. If we can come together as a community and let the city, county, and business leadership see documentation of the great impact on business those of us in the music industry have, then perhaps some purse strings will be loosened and we can finally grow again. In the near future, there will also be representatives of all music genres and businesses invited to "needs-assessment" and "brainstorming" sessions with Memphis Tomorrow. I feel these steps can initiate real progress in the music community.

We are one of the most fertile areas for talent in the world. All of us know the potential of our young musicians as well as the staying power of our seasoned artists. Our recording methods are unsurpassed, and our studios, songwriters, producers, and engineers are churning out record numbers of independent releases that are making the charts -- and money. All we really need is a little help to turn Memphis and the surrounding area into a music mecca -- a place where a profession in music is an honorable and profitable one.

Now is the time to act if you want to help. The MSCMC is holding out its hand.

Reba Russell


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