To the Editor:
It was great to see an entire page in the Flyer dedicated to skateboarding ("On Board," June 27th issue). Bianca Phillips' article on skate parks said that Memphis got its first one in 1999. Memphis actually had TWO skate parks in the 1970s. They were called Jet Way. One was in Bartlett (there were remnants of it until the late '80s when it was bulldozed to make way for a strip mall), and another one was on Mt. Moriah.
Urban legend has it that the insurance costs became too high, and the parks were closed and filled in with dirt. I don't have any other details. Maybe we should "Ask Vance."
Elvis Is Dead
To the Editor:
When asked about some of his "creative" projects that were presented to the Memphis Music Commission he heads, Jerry Schilling trotted out the same tired old Elvis/Sun Studios rhetoric (City Reporter, June 27th issue). I love Elvis and Sun Studios as much if not more than the next guy, but if we don't start looking forward instead of backward, Memphis musicians will never have anything to look forward to except making $50 to $75 a night, playing to tourists who only want to hear cover material.
To pay Schilling that kind of salary and have nothing to show for it is nothing short of criminal. Let's turn the River Museum on Mud Island into a mecca for local and national musicians who want to learn the art of writing and recording new material. A state-of-the-art video and audio recording center/school would have students flocking to it. Scholarships and funding could be sponsored by record labels and audio/video equipment manufacturers, as well as the big employers who call Memphis home.
Artists come to Memphis to write and record because of the feel that this city has to offer. It's that kind of weird vortex of different thinking that spawned Dewey and Sam Phillips, Elvis and Sam the Sham. If we don't nurture the kids who are rocking and sweating in hot garages right now, history is all we will have.
I do not know the inner workings of the Music Commission, but Schilling, of all people, should know that Elvis has left the building ... empty. Let's fill it back up.
To the Editor:
The Naifeh plan for a state income tax and the recent remarks supporting it (Viewpoint, June 20th issue) seem to unfairly target the hard-working professionals of Tennessee. The statistical data presented in the examples given by the Speaker and the Tennesseeans for Fair Taxation are, in my opinion, a misrepresentation. Given the same basic needs (food, clothing, gasoline, and driver's licenses) at the same basic costs, of course, a family making less money is using a larger percentage of its income. This is not because they are unfairly taxed nor is it because the higher-income family is not doing its fair share, as alleged. It is basic mathematics.
If the state government finds it undesirable to tax consumption of basic needs, then don't. Taxing those working but not living in Tennessee deserves serious consideration. Just don't make those who have a higher income out to be villains or the source/fix for the state budget crisis.
What is fair about an alleged "flat" tax when one pays more simply because one makes more? The idea that a state income tax will serve as the best long-term solution is questionable. There are several other states that have an income tax that are also in a budget crisis. It will serve the citizens of Tennessee well to not be misled into believing that one certain segment of the population is being taxed unfairly but to investigate the issue and demand a better approach to budget reform.
To the Editor:
What's Chris Davis' deal with Covington ("Quick Getaway," June 20th issue)? Is he that pretentious that he has to ridicule a small town for its lack of urbane culture? Of course, tapas and foie gras are not to be found, nor is visiting here the same as drinking black Chianti in Tuscany, but it's a small Southern town. That's where its grace lies. There are no four-star attractions here, no hip film festivals or trendy cigar bars, but that didn't stop my wife, son, and me from moving here last fall. What we've found is a quiet community with some beautiful examples of Southern architecture, a quaint town square, and a place where we can enjoy the simple pleasures of living -- even a Cabernet on our front-porch swing now and then. If we are looking for things we cannot find here, we simply drive to Memphis.
Davis needs to learn to appreciate a place's culture without relating it to his own egocentric perspective. Looking for things to do here? Get to know the people; walk down Main Street on a summer evening; drive out to see cotton being harvested; absorb the Southern culture. And, trust me, the fried chicken of nearby Gus' beats foie gras any day.
Adam Calhoun Simpson
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