MLK Boulevard should harken earlier days
The story about the Strut being a bright spot for old Ninth Street is the type of reporting that a great newspaper does. Your reporter, Ellis Smith, is a bright spot for the Chattanooga Times Free Press and deserves a bonus for showing how it's done.
As for the long-suffering, sad decline of what was once the most lively street in town, what that street needs is a rebirth of the nightclub scene, which was what made it famous before its name was changed to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
There is no reason why the Bessie Smith Hall and Museum can't do what it was intended to do -- create a live-entertainment scene as an entrance to the street so that the people could be drawn in to this great historical area.
To those in high places, the only way to rejuvenate this part of MLK is to resuscitate it by bringing Old Ninth Street back alive with its many night clubs, musical entertainments and its little shops and eating spots. It would be a sin to allow this street to thirst to death because the church people think drinking is a sin.
Brooks' column points out society's downfalls
Sometimes it takes a blind man to see the light. David Brooks, a congenial soul at worst, a right-leaning mugwump at best and very intelligent, has laid out several concepts, quite related, to which I must say, I agree. It takes very little talk of commonality to suck me into agreement. Exposing the subversive underbelly of ourselves and society, at times may not be the right thing to do. It just might fracture the shallow remaining bonds of our larger community causing something more violent than a rift.
Our Western world -- conceived in violence and grown through the destruction of nations -- has precious little holding it together other than a common belief in a fast-fading God and an increasing faith in a fictitious dollar. The devil having lost its reality factor we now fear most of all exposure of any nature. The private self, nurtured by the religion of technology is becoming more private and self-centered, not wanting to know of larger bungling and manipulations of those running our society.
So we have Brooks' excellent column decrying the violating of society's rules of the road while exposing those things which, indeed, may actually bring down the ill-formed society itself.
Saggy pants set a bad example
I have had my fill of seeing boys, young men and men walking around with their pants below their rear ends in public places! I do not understand this fashion statement, and I'm tired of going out to shopping malls, Walmart and public streets having to view this ridiculous and nasty expression. Isn't there something that can be done?
Walking around exposing your underwear should be against the law. It is the same as indecent exposure in my eyes. I don't allow my kids outside in their underwear, so why should I have to look at someone's underwear in public?
This country is in disarray already, and if we relax when it comes to common decency in public, then we are no better than animals! I cannot be the only person who takes their children out and has to explain why someone looks so ridiculous and foolish.
JILL KILGORE, East Brainerd
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Blues. Barbecue. Brotherhood. All were cited as among the primary draws of the Bessie Smith Strut, which attracted thousands Monday.