The New Graceland
Several years ago, a friend and his wife from Rhode Island came to Memphis for a visit. The first thing they wanted to see was Graceland. When we arrived there, they were shocked to see the mansion in the middle of an area of congested streets and urban sprawl. Their vision of Graceland was shattered. They had thought of Elvis' house as an isolated estate surrounded by bucolic forests.
Of course, that idyllic vision cannot be duplicated, but the reasoning behind the proposed $250 million investment to redevelop Elvis Presley Boulevard ("Follow That Dream," January 10th issue) is beyond reproach. Elvis fans, Memphis, and the legacy of the King deserve a much improved Graceland experience. Incorporating the Elvis mystique into the surrounding area makes perfect sense. Give the fans something they can immerse themselves in for days instead of just visiting for a few hours.
Elvis Presley is an American icon, perhaps the American icon. CFX CEO Robert Sillerman understands this. If the city gets behind his vision, Graceland could be part Las Vegas, part Disney World — rolled into one incredible attraction.
I enjoyed Jackson Baker's revealing look at the last days of Fred Thompson's ill-fated presidential run ("Over and Out," January 24th issue). I don't think ol' Fred ever had a clue — or a plan, for that matter — other than to try and "look" presidential and ride his Law & Order fame into the Oval Office.
Next to fall? I say it's Rudy Giuliani. After Super Tuesday, we will be down to a Romney/McCain contest on the Republican side (though Huckable might hang around for a while). That will be a tough choice for Republicans — between a flip-flopping Ken doll 'droid and a crotchety old fart who loves George Bush and his war in Iraq. Even the Democrats shouldn't be able to screw up this election.
Back when Bill Clinton was president, political satirist Mort Sahl used to tell this joke: George Washington couldn't tell a lie. George Bush couldn't tell the truth. Bill Clinton couldn't tell the difference.
Do we really need eight more years of the Clintons in the White House?
Hillary Clinton is a candidate of the people. She has real solutions for real problems that affect real people. And solutions are what this country needs. Hillary has plans to provide affordable, accessible health care for every American, create new jobs while decreasing our dependency on foreign oil, and end the war in Iraq.
I just returned from the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and with Hillary's view on abortion being "safe, legal, and rare," I feel she is the only Democrat I can support. While I may not be of age to vote, I can support Hillary, and I choose to do so.
Point of Order
The article by Jackson Baker titled "Points of Order" (January 17th issue) mentioned a recent forum, "Race Relations in Memphis Politics," co-hosted by New Path. In the article, Baker writes about the irony of Commissioner Sidney Chism appearing at the forum after he "had taken the lead recently in preventing commission endorsement of a planned Chamber of Commerce outlay to New Path."
The planned outlay from the chamber (for the Memphis Fast Forward initiative) in actuality was intended to support the efforts of MPACT, an organization that is entirely separate from New Path. The real irony, of course, is that Baker had made the same mistake as several of the county commissioners by confusing New Path and MPACT. Although we're sure this error was unintentional, we wanted to clear up the confusion.
Program Director, New Path
In the January 24th issue's "Cheat Sheet," the writer refers to U.S. congressman Steve Cohen as a state senator, his former title. Cohen, of course, is no longer a state senator but rather our Ninth District representative in the United States Congress. Furthermore, regarding his appearance on The Daily Show, I don't take Cohen's actions as anti-union in any way.