We Are Clarksville, Not Opryland or Franklin

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on November 22, 2013

Why do we want to look like Opryland? Why do we want to be Franklin? We are Clarksville.

We spend so much money, energy and time paying at least five city workers to wind cheap Christmas lights around all of those tree branches. They started at the end of October (has Halloween ever lasted so long before?) and will be doing it up to the last minute. Then they will spend as much time afterward taking them down.

I have pleaded, begged and moaned over this waste. I have strongly suggested industrial, bolted-down floodlights aiming up from the already wired bases of the trees — lights which could be green and red for Christmas, or perhaps white to brighten the gloom of January and February when the street is the darkest and when everyone suffers from the post-holiday blues.

If you divide by ten whatever we are paying those workers to twist lights and climb up and down ladders for eight weeks or more, you would still have money left over.

Please do not spend thousands of dollars on another survey. Just go out and purchase industrial, heavy-duty, glass-topped steel lamps, secure them in cement, and see if that does not free up our superb street department to do what they are contracted to do. Call me Scrooge, but call me sane.

After picking up my baggage and then heading out to catch a cab ride to my Key West digs, standing there was a fellow smoking a cigarette. An airline official told the man he would have to cross the street to smoke. The man tossed the cigarette onto the pavement. The airline official grumbled something like, “Come on … in the street?” and pointed to the trash bin. The man said, “Sorry,” picked up the cigarette and put it where he was advised.

I flashed back to Clarksville and the emptied car ashtrays on parking lots at Kroger, Kmart and The Dollar Store and the finished cigarettes thrown into the streets. I don’t think we would be so cavalier about disposing of them in that fashion if we all knew that all of that street debris which finds its way into the gutter ultimately finds its way, unfiltered, into the Cumberland River — and we swim, ski and boat in what has been used as an ashtray.

“I have seen many adaptations of The Great Gatsby. However, this has by FAR been the best. The actors really brought Nick, Jay, Daisy, Tom, Myrtle, George and Jordan to life, straight from the mind of Fitzgerald himself. I found myself experiencing the same emotions of pity, sadness, anger and happiness that I feel when I read this, my most favorite, novel (which I have read at least once a year since the 8th grade). Kudos to the actors, director and other support personnel who made this experience possible for my students!!!!!!” [Taimeka Berry, West Creek High School]

The Great Gatsby finishes its run tonight and Saturday at 8pm.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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