Friday, May 14, 2010

We Need Sidewalks

There is a section of Nashville called Belle Meade that can fairly be described as the richest part of town. The homes and lots are large and beautiful graced with old dogwoods and magnolias, stunning landscapes, elegant porches, fountains and tiled roofs. Collected within this smallish sector of town – replete with its own police department and magnificent country club – is the grand wealth of this city: old money, mostly – but some new money, too – think health care.
Some of you know by now that our fair city has just been through a chaotic and devastating nightmare in the form of torrential rains and subsequent flooding. Tens of thousands have been displaced from their homes, clean and plentiful water continues to be a huge issue and businesses throughout the surrounding counties have been lost or temporarily closed.
I happened to be driving through Belle Meade this evening and noticed something that really pissed me off. I’d seen this in recent months and it irritated me a little bit but in light of our recent tragedy it really got to me tonight. In yard after yard there were these little green placards that said, ‘We Need Sidewalks!’
They need sidewalks. People need homes, clothing, diapers, food, shelter, cars, money, help, assistance, medicine, relief, hope and an infinite number of other things. And these people need sidewalks.
The collective wealth of Belle Meade could probably build sidewalks that run the length of the Wall of China and have plenty of cash left over to ship in some fabulous Bordeaux’s and Cognacs from France to celebrate the opening.
A couple of suggestions for you aggrieved:
Hop in your Jaguar and go out and see the poor side of town. Take some sandwiches along (they are made with bread, lunch meat and cheese that can be purchased at your local grocer by whomever it is that buys food for your home.)
Attempt to put things in human perspective. (This will require years of unlearning that you are not the center of the universe.)
When you play golf – walk. (There are no sidewalks on golf courses – they are celled cart paths.)
If you can afford to pay the dues at Belle Meade Country Club you can afford to have the people who built those cart paths build you a sidewalk in front of your house.
Take those signs down. They are blasphemy to people with a conscience.


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