Letters to the Editor

The Trolley Folly

To the Editor:

I enjoyed your frank and candid comments abut MATA's Madison Avenue trolley line ("A Tale of Two Trails," April 8th issue). Though I support the antique trolleys along Main Street Mall, where they provide ambience to the historic downtown, the expansion of a trolley system to other areas of our city is ridiculous.

One of the biggest justifications for the Madison line was that it would connect two major employment centers of our city. However, there is little to no interaction between downtown and the medical district. Each functions independently. Workers commute to either center. We need to be working on a mass transit system that brings large numbers of people to these centers efficiently from the far-flung neighborhoods and suburbs. Suggesting that Southern College of Optometry students will ride the trolley downtown for lunch is ludicrous. As a graduate of that institution, I know that the workload will not allow it. I'm sure I speak for the overworked UT medical students as well.

Memphis has always been a railroad hub. Though many rail lines remain active, there are some abandoned routes. MATA has foolishly ignored these potential routes. In your article, the former L&N and CSX routes were mentioned as a greenway trail. Light rail was never mentioned as a use for these former rail lines. Other cities have capitalized on activating abandoned rail lines for commuters. Nearby St. Louis is a fine example, where 40 miles of off-street, high-speed light rail exist.

Walter Cygan


Still Swinging

To the Editor:

My friends and I would like for you to know how much we enjoyed Chris Davis' cover story on "The Swinging Sixties" (April 15th issue). We were single and living in Memphis at that time, and your article really brought back a lot of great memories.

Two of the couples met at Ernie Barrasso's Thunderbird and Club Caesar and have recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversaries.

We frequently get together and reminisce about all of the good times. We all agree that we have never had as much fun as in that era.

We would love for you to write an article on what Ernie Barrasso is doing now and if he has any future plans for opening another club in Memphis.

Thanking you so very much for a super article. We loved it.

F. Ilsley


Put a Casino Where?

To the Editor:

"Put a casino at the Mall of Memphis. They have lots more space out there, and it's empty." What is Paula Casey thinking? (Viewpoint, April 15th issue).That is thesecond-dumbest idea I've heard about what to do with the Mall of Memphis. The first was some birdbrain who suggestedthat the Mall of Memphisshould be turned into a jail!!!

I don't know why everybody wants to turn my community into a Vegas strip.Oh yeah, a casinois just what we need.Let's see ... Platinum Plus haslong poles for our kids to swing on; Christal's has the prefect outfit for Sunday brunch;you can stop and get a couple of bottles of Wild Turkey at the new liquor storeonPerkins onthe way to the bar mitzvah.

My husband and I just got married andare trying to start a family.Our neighborhood is not empty!There are people here. Why doesn't somebodydo something "exciting andcreative" in theCottonwood/Perkins/American Way area? Casey can take her casino somewhere else.

Sonja Walton


Hear This

To the Editor:

Thank you for "Building Anew," a truly great editorial (April 22nd issue), in which you observed, "The politicians want their voices heard."

They may want their voices heard, but we have the right not to listen to them! In Freedom of the Press: A Framework of Principle, the late William Ernest Hocking wrote:

"The speaker has no right to compel a hearing; there could be no right of free speech if there were not a corresponding right not to listen. It would hardly do to make free speech free and listening compulsory, though that might be the speaker's dream."

Arthur H. Prince


The Memphis Flyer encourages reader response. Send mail to: Letters to the Editor, POB 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. Or call Back Talk at 575-9405. Or send us e-mail at All responses must include name, address, and daytime phone number. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.

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