Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, short story writer, and the founding editor and publisher of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of literary writings. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Michigan Journalism Fellowship, a Golden Presscard Award, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize, Six Writer of the Month Awards in the Scripps Howard Chain and twice Runner-up for Writer of the Year. He is finishing a novel, "Red State Blues," set in his native Tennessee and Iraq. He is also the author of "Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes, the Best Writings About People by Don Williams" (New Millennium Writings, 2005, sold out) and "100 Columns Strong, the Best Commentary by Don Williams," due out this fall.
Don can be reached at email@example.com.
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Don Williams comments
George W., Dr. Suess, Cormac, Clinton and Rush address weighty parking problem
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved 04/26/2002)
In keeping with a short tradition, I've assembled a
panel of experts to explore a vexing question of the
day. "How serious is the parking problem in downtown
George W. Bush: It is improssibable to over-extenuate
the magnitude of this problem. Let me speak clearly. I
expect the city fathers to give private enterprise the
opportunicity to settle this issue with a substantial
tax rebate to the richest men and women in Knoxville.
Put money in the hands of private parking lot owners
(and a few outside consultants--preferably from Florida
or Texas) and parking spaces will descend on Knoxville
like rain from the sky. At the least they'll trickle
down. Again, we must be clear. I'm telling you to build
more lots and if you don't, I'll send Colin Powell down
there to tell you in person, and if that doesn't work
I'll simply declare success and move on. Time's wasting.
Bill Clinton: To answer your question, it all depends
on the meaning of the word "park." I'm not trying to be
evasive. I feel your parking pain. Growing up in Hope,
Arkansas, there were plenty of opportunities to park,
but downtown was the last place you wanted to take your
girlfriend after the ballgame or movie to go parking.
For serious action I sometimes liked to drive out to
this little ridge overlooking Lake Conway, about nine-
and-three-quarter miles northeast of Little Rock. We
called it "watching the submarine races." Some naive
girls really thought that's what we were going to do,
heh-heh, like they thought some kind of submarine base
or something was out there at Lake Conway and sailors
were racing the submarines around and around the lake.
I remember one young lady telling me she could see
their little periscopes moving around in circles out
there on the water. Not that I ever laid a hand on that
woman, ahem. So, tell your young people, I feel their
pain, but when it comes to parking, there is no free
ride. Not downtown anyway. Go out to some lover's lane
Dr. Seuess: You cannot park to buy a coke./ You cannot
park to have a smoke./ You cannot park to catch a
train./ You cannot park there when it rains./ You
cannot park to pay a bill./ You cannot park to eat your
fill./ You cannot park without a fuss./ You cannot park
to catch a bus./ You cannot park cars here or there./
You cannot park them anywhere./ So if you go, don't go
by road./ The lots are full you silly toad.
The Rev. Billy Graham: Scriptures tell us, "Yea shalt
thou build a mighty tower. And the length of this tower
shall be 200 cubits and the breadth of it shall be 100
cubits and the height of it shall be 150 cubits, so
that all who enter Knoxville from the East or from the
West or from the North or from the South, and all who
dwelleth roundabout, shall see it. And thou shalt carve
a great arrow pointing to a gateway. For free parking
is the gate that leadeth to prosperity for all who
dwell roundabout. Until that cometh to pass it shall be
easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of
Knoxville... in a car." Thus it is written.
Cormac McCarthy: Now in the dusty clockless hours of
the town when the streets lie barren and empty in the
wake of tow trucks and meter maids. And now when the
drunk and the car-less have washed up in the lee of
walls in alleys and stand wall-eyed and rattling their
keys in grim perimeters where lightware shadows make a
gothic harp of cellar doors, no one may walk save
you... and you... and you and you and you.
Rush Limbaugh: Only a left-wing neo-communist
environmental wacko would complain about lack of
parking in Knoxville. The problem is solved if Mayor
Ashe has the courage to cut down every tree in
Knoxville and replace each one with a parking space.
There are enough little dogwoods and redbuds and
decorative pear trees taking up space in this town to
provide parking for the post office, federal building
and library combined if the mayor will get off his duff
and do something. I know the mayor's a Republican, but
he's clearly in cahoots with the tree-huggers. Why else
would he spend all winter waving his arms around and
carrying on about "a penny for parks." How about "Chop
down a tree and park for free?" There's a slogan that
might catch on. Let people make their own parking
spaces. They could carry chainsaws in their trunks. Cut
down a few trees and we might get a view of all those
social service and welfare buildings taking up space.
There's no shortage of parking if you know where to
look. Start with the trees.