Don't Slash Your Wrists
I read with sadness Commercial Appeal editor Chris Peck's recent Sunday column lament that he considered slashing his wrists over an accurate but incomplete story in a rival publication's account of his stewardship of the newspaper. The full story is far worse.
For 11 years of award-winning work at the CA as the editorial cartoonist, I often acted as its public ambassador-at-large. I always spoke proudly of the role the CA plays in this community. I talked to dozens of civic groups, gave hundreds of school presentations, and mentored many young artists. Then, one day a month ago, I was summoned to the personnel department. I sat next to Peck as I was told to relinquish my ID card and office keys and ordered out of the building within the hour.
That afternoon, I went home to inform my wife and three young sons of my layoff. It was a crushing experience to explain it to them, and they wept. So did I. After more than 25 years in a specialized career, I have yet to be offered any opportunities to display my talents for employment. Foreclosure on my home looms on the horizon, and my weekly unemployment check barely covers the groceries, let alone any insurance premiums for my family. I can forget the dream of sending my children to college. An ambiguous offer of freelance work was offered by Peck, as if I could support a family on it.
In short, I have joined the many former employees of The Commercial Appeal in an agony of nightmares and despair. Yet strangely, like most of them, I still love the newspaper and I pray with all my heart that it survives. I guess old habits die hard.
If anyone should consider slashing their wrists, it is those of us he has thrown to the wolves. But we will endure and survive somehow. I need to inform Peck that, as he has told us, the personnel department is available to help with counseling so that he can get a better perspective on life. The poor man. Please, Chris, don't slash your wrists.
As a citizen of Tennessee, I was shocked to hear one of my senators attempt to defend torture. As Attorney General Eric Holder was being questioned, Senator Lamar Alexander stated that Congress might have to go back to the Clinton administration to look for torture. As if 9/11 happened before George Bush became president.
This thinly veiled threat was Alexander's way of saying that he and his fellow Republicans would do anything to stop the Department of Justice from continuing to look into who ordered and approved the use of torture by the United States of America.
The former party of law and order now stands on the side of criminals and the use of torture to further their aims. That's what was really happening behind the use of torture. Bush and Cheney wanted someone to say Saddam (and Iraq) had WMDs, and if torture had to be applied to get them to say it, so be it. They had planned a war, and no one was going to stop them.
In the Flyer's recent "Eyesores" cover story (April 2nd issue), Michael Finger included the former Trousseau building on Union and gave readers the impression that our business had closed. I am happy to say that Trousseau II is still serving customers at our new location at 408 Perkins Extended. We are owned and operated by members of the original family, and we are about to celebrate 60 years of continuous business in Memphis.
In addition, my family is as dismayed as anybody by the condition of our original building at 1775 Union, but we would like to point out that we no longer own the property and are not responsible for its state of disrepair. In fact, we wish the current owners would remove the Trousseau name from the facade. It's still a very nice-looking building, though, and perhaps it can be saved instead of being turned into a parking lot for Schnucks.
Amy Friedman, Owner