Lightening Never Struck

I left the early-voting location with trepidation. Surprisingly, lightening didn’t strike. I thought immediately of my deceased mother, hopeful that she wasn’t watching from above.  My just-completed, totally unprecedented action would really disturb her:  I had just voted in a Republican primary! As a life-long Democrat, I confess to voting on rare occasions for a Republican candidate  in a General

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The Faces of Energy behind the Music City Center

Like me, I’m sure that you have often heard the ubiquitous phrase: “They said.”   Quite often the person citing “they” is hard pressed to name the actual source that said something, anything or, even nothing. As the effort to educate Middle Tennesseans about  the benefits of the proposed Music City Center moves forward, we might lapse into the “they said”

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Brilliance+Wisdom+Trust=Health Care Solutions

As an astutely brilliant former Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives once told me: “Neither party has a monopoly on ignorance;” his statement framed one of my earliest, most significant political lessons. The current furor over the nation’s health care reform is an excellent demonstration of that Speaker’s insightful adage.  The idiocy of the right, railing about death panels

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Music City Looks Ahead

A friend of mine figured prominently in two recent stories of great significance to our community. It was no coincidence that Butch Spyridon was quoted in both front page articles in the Tennessean: One announced plans for a world-class Music City Music Festival, and the other presented the report for the Music City Center, Nashville’s hoped-for new convention center. In

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The Fallen Hero

Pride and pain. These words resonated again after a recent Nashville Tennessean article on the mounting casualties in Iraq for the 101st Airborne, headquartered in neighboring Clarksville. As a veteran, I am filled with pride by living near the historic 101st, and feel, if only tangentially, the pain suffered by the parents, spouses and children of those who, no doubt,

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A Different Kind of Politician

Over the past several decades, I have had the pleasure (and occasional displeasure) of knowing many politicians.  Some were good, some were great, some were not so good, and some were outright bad; yet most of them reflected what their constituents wanted in their elected officials. I suppose that’s why I find it so ironic to see Governor Phil Bredesen’s

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Maybe we need another helicopter ride

There was no strain as the helicopter carrying 1200 Nashvillians took off and flew us into the future. Most of us were mesmerized as the then-mayor, Phil Bredesen, piloted the virtual helicopter six years into the future.  We looked out in amazement to see a new Nashville arena, and, wait, across the street a new downtown hotel…and, wait, can you

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Unnecessary Things

“Thank God for unnecessary things!” That was my conclusion to an NBC reporter, who had asked me (as president of the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville) “Are world’s fairs necessary?” I replied: “Absolutely not.  Neither are symphonies, great works of art and football games, but, thank God for unnecessary things.  It’s the unnecessary things in life that make living so

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First Kiss

Who can forget their first kiss in a relationship? I never could, and never wanted to. I feel nearly that same situation every time I come in contact with a wonderful piece of art. I had 95 first kisses last year when I first saw the Rau Collection,,: Six Centuries with the European Master. This led to our bringing it

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Celebrate Music City

It was the most unlikely of places and of circumstances when I experienced the kind of cold chill that comes unexpectedly from a special moment. Standing for the national anthem with friends at the first-ever sporting event held at the new Nashville arena (boxing matches promoted by none other than the wild-haired impresario Don King), the chills came as country

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