The Dr. Carson I Met

Friday, June 14, 2013

I met Dr. Ben Carson in person during the 1990's when he was invited to Chattanooga and gave an inspirational speech at the downtown Trade Center. Very few, outside his Seventh Day Adventist Church, knew of him and much of the rest who did considered him uppity and arrogant. He was neither. 

When I was introduced to Dr. Carson he appeared more excited by the tattered, well worn and well read paperback book I took for him to autograph more so than his own accomplishments and life journey. The book was titled Gifted Hands, one of the first books he'd written, I believe. Dr. Carson proudly wanted to know who had read his book seemingly so thoroughly and what appeared to be several times over? I told him besides myself,  my youngest son who carried the book around with him everywhere he went. Dr. Carson was so humbled and grateful that a young teenage man had taken such an interest in his life story that he not only autographed the book but also included a personal and inspiring message to my son.  

My son would carry the book for the next several years, all through  middle school, high school. At  his first job at fifteen, he'd often read the book again and again on his breaks at work. Then through high school and when he attempted to open his own small business with money he'd saved from his job. The business didn't do too well, but the inspirational words of Dr. Carson inspired him to not give up. He'd also carry that worn and tattered book into college and on into the military when he joined the Air Force. A book with a few inspirational words, not put downs, that meant so much to a young man. 

The Dr. Ben Carson I met that day at the Trade Center in the 90's  would be disappointed that someone would use his life story and accomplishments as a cover to demean and vent intolerance, rather than as a means to uplift and inspire.  

Brenda Manghane-Washington


A Vote For Education Is Critical In Tennessee

In a state where just 28 percent of eighth graders are proficient in math and 33 percent are proficient in reading according to national assessments, education is deserving of more attention in 2014 elections. Across the country, more parents are making informed decisions about their child’s education, but for Volunteer State parents without resources, choices are difficult to come ... (click for more)

The Committee For Plain English On Hamilton County Ballots

First, there is no “committee.”  But there ought to be. Now I am not the brightest guy in the county. I only have a Bachelor of Science degree (five years), Graduate work in English, Philosophy and Economics (two years) and several years experience teaching at Chattanooga State and substitute teaching in Hamilton County public schools.  I recently voted in the November ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

Cold, Wet Front To Make For Chilly And Damp Trick Or Treating; Snow Showers Possible Saturday

A surge of cold, moist air will make for less-than-ideal trick or treat conditions on Halloween night. Temperatures are expected to dip below freezing this weekend. There is a possibility of snow showers in Chattanooga on Saturday. Here is the latest forecast: Today Showers likely, mainly after 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. Calm wind becoming northwest ... (click for more)

Owls Beat McMinn, 30-12, To Complete Unbeaten Regular Season

Undefeated. Sounds nice, huh. After a sluggish first half that produced only three points on a Laszlo Toser field goa., third-ranked Ooltewah came to life in the third quarter, riddled McMinn County’s defense with three Kelvin Leon touchdown passes in the third quarter and went on to beat the Cherokees, 30-12, at James N. Monroe Stadium to secure the school’s third unbeaten ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Clobbers Grundy Co. For 7-AA Title

Notre Dame coach Charles Fant is always hoping that his Fighting Irish football team can get off to a fast start. He never thought it would be as quick as what he saw Thursday night at Jim Eberle Field. With a District 7-AA championship on the line on an evening when they honored all of the fall senior athletes, a football game turned into a track meet and eventually a victory ... (click for more)