A name is like a reputation. When it is relegated to being second chair, its image is often tarnished.
I normally leave any strong criticism of the rapid financial race for our community developers to become the next “Big Apple”, “Chi Town”, or “Hot A” to the more hardcore bashers of the local and foreign investors and politicians.
However, to paraphrase one of the Birmingham Boys in the legal “Ambulance Chasing” (and tractor trailer field)—“This is personal!”
It’s hard to be my usual warm, humble, and charming individual when your Dad spent much of his adult life working at the above internationally known facility as either an employee of the REA (Railway Express Agency) or as one of the elder Trolley Masters of the onsite mini locomotive traveling around the premises entertaining tourists from all over the world for 25 cents. He was twice recognized as Employee of the Year - he was also acknowledged as best employee for a third consecutive year, but graciously stepped aside to prevent low company morale).
Glen Miller’s famous 1941 song, the thousands of men and women (all races and nationalities) who departed from the complex to fight (and many die) in the World Wars are much more important than any profit motivation and slick publicity releases attached to any news release and deserve permanent historical recognition. The Scenic City is on the Tennessee River not Lake Geneva, Switzerland where chalets are built.
I commend the three not regular critics to this website: S.A., L.G., and J.D.J. for speaking up on this issue.
The history and preservation of the community’s most famous landmark (along with the National Cemetery and Chickamauga Battlefield) is more precious than the financial greed of some and a relegation to a backseat of the Choo Choo part in the days of Chattanooga’s past.
(Perhaps other silent voices will sound off and the message will resonate that sometimes saving unparalleled history is more important than dollars?)