Saturday, April 10, 2004

Sliding Down Into The Muck

Down below, in my huge music and tourism rant, I mentioned how the Fairgrounds is been slowly being allowed to decay. Remember the fire back Christmas week at the Shelby County Building? Even with Christmas right around the corner, the City still managed to get crews out there almost immediately to tear the remains down, even though some of it appeared to be salvageable. It seemed suspicious.

Word today (second item) is that the cause of the fire is "undetermined." A single paragraph is used to summarise the results of the Fire Department report. No direct quotes from the report.

So now we're left wondering. Suspicious (OK, paranoid and jaded) folks like me think it's all too convenient how quickly and conclusively the whole situation was dealt with in a City famed for dicking around. Part by part, the whole Fairgrounds complex is falling apart and rotting into nuisance.

I'm not the only one, apparently, who thinks that. On Wednesday a letter writer to the Commercial Appeal pointed out:
Within the past 10 years the swimming pool at the Fairgrounds has been bulldozed, without fanfare. Now there is talk of destroying the Mid-South Coliseum. Is the Fairgrounds doomed to become a parking lot, despite its important place in the city's history?

Laugh if you like, but I sense a pattern. And the final result of the pattern fits perfectly with previous City history and actions. Look at how big that area is. Imagine a Federal grant for "urban renewal." Don't you think Harold Ford, Jr. would get in on that? Lots of land for new development. Lots of opportunity....

Keep your eye on this. I'm sure.

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