Last week's cover story, "Some Call It Home," was very special to my daughter and me. "Spoon" is the father of my 17-year-old daughter. Although he and I never married, I always allowed him to be a part of Vanessa's life and vice versa. Your article was very uplifting for her, and she's glad that someone takes the time to actually go to places that many of our citizens would rather pass by or totally ignore. We do have many homeless or at-risk people in Nashville, often for reasons beyond their control.
Spoon has always taught our daughter to respect others and press toward her dreams. He was also there for my son, Kenneth, who is now 20 years old. Spoon was the father figure for my son, even when he got into trouble, and Spoon was there to try to give him good sound advice to prevent him from becoming just another statistic. God bless.
Vickie S. Britton
A sober reply
Susan Adcock only skimmed the surface of life at Mercury Courts with her photo essay in last week's Scene ("Some Call It Home"). Unfortunately, her story tends to reinforce a stereotype of life at the state's largest single-room occupancy facility. The reality is more complex. Yes, the Courts have a few hardcore alcoholics like Barney and Steve, but they are the minority. Drugs are forbidden and will get you kicked out. Most of the 162 residents are suffering from some mental or physical disability, but we also have residents who work a steady job or go to school.
Life in this "gated community" would surprise outsiders. We offer classes in video production and Web site design, a literacy class (taught by a resident who is a former college professor with a Ph.D.), and have a vibrant residence association that operates its own vending machine business on the property and throws monthly birthday parties. We have a program that helps residents find work, three dedicated on-site counselors and a transportation service that employs residents. (Most residents do not have a car.) The property has two community rooms, a meeting room, two computer rooms, a workout room, a communal kitchen and 20 new one-bedroom apartments opened last year. Mercury Courts is a real community providing a valuable service to greater Nashville and to its residents.
Nell Levin SEED Program coordinator
Frist a flop
Roger Abramson's Political Notes column (June 3) about South Dakota and Sen. Bill Frist failed to mention that Stephanie Herseth, a Democrat, won election to the state's statewide congressional seat there on Tuesday, June 1. President Bush's "vision," even when pitched at high volume by many Republican luminaries, isn't selling all that well on the Great Plains. It's hard to know which part of the "vision" is causing the problem. The Medicare drug card flop, an energy policy designed in secret by Enron, an education program panned even by Republican state legislatures, the torture program? There are so many misadventures. Evidently, voters are looking beyond Sen. Frist's visions by looking at performance.
6542 Cornwall Dr., Nashville
Er, but what about your literacy rate?
I was just reading your commentary on President Bush's visit to your city ("A List," June 3) and offer the following comments.
Nashville is a wonderful city, with lots of Southern history and deep roots in country music. The Opry Mills development is a wonderful place to visit and shop, as are many of the other area attractions. The only down side seems to be the transportation infrastructure, which seems in serious need of improvement. Perhaps President Bush was unable to remember the mayor's name because of the nervous feeling he got from traveling between the concrete barriers. I know they made me nervous enough to nearly miss an exit.
I certainly look forward to visiting your fair city in the future, but maybe the roads will be improved before then. In the meantime, I will enjoy going home to Alabama where our roads seem to be much easier to navigate, even without a lottery. Roll Tide!
DONWCPA@aol.com (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
I write to bid a fond farewell to two former (albeit fictional) constituentsthe Watts family and Jennifer McCullerswho, according to The Fabricator (May 27), are using the newly opened Gateway Bridge to move from East to West Nashville. But if their reasons for departure are truly "because of crime," then some clarification is in order.
Ms. McCullers, I regret the robbery that prompted your peripatetic pursuit. But according to Metro Police Department statistics published in September 2003, the area you've chosen for your new home (the "Vandy area") actually exceeds District 6 in robberies, burglaries, larcenies and every other major-crime incidents. What's more, you're moving away with your dog Wendall just as East Nashville opens the first dog park in Davidson County. Good luck finding a spot for Wendall to play on the Vandy campus.
And to the Wattses.... Well, who can blame you for choosing West Meade? I'm sure you'll find (yawn) contentment there. But no doubt we'll see you again. Especially since half of your new neighbors migrate back across the river every night to our nationally recognized restaurants, clubs and hip businesses. (Maybe that's why our property values skyrocketed in comparison to West Nashville in the last appraisal. But who's counting?)
Yes, the Gateway Bridge offers a new route to westbound travelers. But something tells me the Wattses, McCullers and others will soon appreciate its most obvious feature: It's two-way.
Mike Jameson Metro Council member, District 6
1218 Forrest Ave., Nashville
We love a wise ass
I hope the Nashville Scene has the same foresight as The Tennessean and writes an editorial touting the movie The Day After Tomorrow as a warning of sorts about global warming. After all, Al Gore has apparently heaped praise on the film and recognized the important implications behind its message.
I thought it unfortunate that editorials and politicians didn't bother to warn us against space invaders when the film Independence Day was released a few years ago. And even though I'm not old enough to remember, I'd like to think that editorials and politicians from the 1950s warned us against giant ants when the movie Them was released. I swear the ants crawling in my kitchen are getting bigger every year. Something just ain't right, folks!
The caption in May 27's theater story about Palisades mistakenly identified actor/playwright Josh Childs as his brother, Jeremy.
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