You have heard our promotional announcements (promos we call them in the biz) with Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity saying they're proud to be on WTKS in "America's most beautiful city." While that's an ethnocentric statement that folks in Charleston, San Francisco, or fill-in-the-blank might take exception to, we do have a strong argument. Look at all the comments on Trip Advisor and other visitors who come here by the millions annually--some 10-million-plus last year. But some years back someone described our fair city as: "A beautiful lady with a dirty face."
A lot of that reputation has been corrected. We've revitalized our parks and squares. I can remember as a kid many of our squres had fallen into such disrepair that most motorists drove through, not around, them. That's right! Paths right through the middle were auto worn--no fences, no flowers--there was even talk of getting rid of most! Thank God cooler heads prevailed. Likewise--taking a lesson from our old rival city Charleston--we began preserving our historic buildings rather than razing them and revitalizing downtown. I worked downtown in the early 80's and the place was a ghost town by 6:00 in the evening.
Yes, we'd done better and we look better and we've turned lots of lemons into lemonaide. But we still have work to do when it comes to local pride. Driving into many cities (Daytona Beach comes to mind) the highways are beautifully landscaped. Driving into Daytona from I-95 you'll see a beautiful sign all across the side of an overpass saying: "Welcome to Daytona Beach." And to let you know they mean it...it's thickly planted with beautiful palm trees one end to the other. The cloverleafs coming off the interstate and beautifully landscaped. Orangeburg, South Carolina (of all places) has a beautiful American Flag on one side of I-26 and the Palmetto State crest on the other. What does Savannah welcome those driving in with? Weeds, tall grass, and bushes covering up half of the road signs rendering them just about worthless in some cases.
Any reason we can't get some prisoners who could use some fresh air and sunshine out there to cut this stuff down and give visitors the impression that somebody actually lives here? Would our friends at the American Communist Lovers Union have a cow and start suing Sheriff Al St. Lawrence for cruel and unusual punishment? Just wondering. If not prisoners, some city/county workers could be used along with those who have been sentenced to "community service" for some misdeed. Case-in-point...the new phase of the Truman Parkway that was 60-years in the making. Could we sprinkle some wildflower seeds in the medians hoping at least some of them will sprout? How 'bout azalea bushes? There's a broken down car on the Truman at this writing that's been there for over a week! We're so all-fired and hell-bent on towing cars downtown when they're illegally parked--what's the deal here? Towing companies too busy? This isn't rocket science just community pride. One would think as beautiful as our city is we'd like to present it like a wedding cake--doesn't look half as appealing or beautiful without the icing.