Thoughts from the shadows of a great American city

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Why should you support Special Olympics Tennessee? A letter I just received answers that question beautifully. It reads in part, “Through sports, Special Olympics athletes learn teamwork and fair play. They develop self-confidence and self-esteem. They gain the opportunity to realize their potential. These athletes challenge every negative stereotype and rise above every rejection, to tell the world that individuals with intellectual disabilities can be leaders, can be heroes.” To support Special Olympics Tennessee, please call 1-800-643-1691.

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In underground Nashville, the dreams keep dying

by Dave Carew

Shortly after noon today, I walked into a new neighborhood bookstore that recently opened with a lot of fanfare. The store is, as Hemingway might have said, “a clean, well-lighted place,” and you can tell a lot of thought, sweat, and passion went into creating it. The store is an obvious, tangible manifestation of the owner’s desire for his small sliver of the American Dream, forged in a way that brings comfort and enrichment to his customers.

After I made my purchase, I asked the owner if he could place a special order for me. He eagerly agreed, but we discovered, moments later, the particular revised edition of the book I’m seeking (Howard Zinn’s Peoples’ History of the United States) will not be released until May.

“No problem,” I said. “I’ll come back then to special-order it through you.”

“Okay,” he said, “if we’re still here then.” He said it without a trace of self-pity or anything other than complete courage and dignity.

“Perhaps the American economy is turning around,” I thought to myself. “But it won’t be fast enough to uplift a good man’s dream.”


David M. (Dave) Carew is editor of “Underground
Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.”

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