Downtown Chattanooga: a man and his mural

October 10, 2007

Chattanooga’s Main Street area is on the rebound, and while walking through it last month I came upon a man holding a large piece of paper and staring intently at a mural in the works on the other side of the street. He turned out to be Shaun LaRose, master of murals and fine art.

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Sewanee turns 150

October 10, 2007

The University of the South, more popularly named Sewanee for the town beside which it stands, just celebrated its sesquicentennial with honorary degrees, a ceremony conducted in Latin, and no doubt some life-affirming toasts of bourbon and branch water.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press chronicled the proceedings, which culminated with a Founder’s Day address by Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek magazine, who said, “Let us be bold and tell it straight. Some of our founders were not the men we may have wished them to be. But then are we, you and I, the people we wish to be?”

Well, we aren’t slaveholders and people who wage war on our own country, but nobody’s perfect.

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One of the interesting facets of Sewanee is its affiliation with playwright Tennessee Williams. Williams died in 1983, and when his will was probated, he made a curious bequest, leaving about $10 million to Sewanee yet putting the fund under the control of the “chairman of the creative-writing department of Harvard University.” The problem was that Harvard had no “creative-writing department.”

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