Thursday, September 17, 2009

Iron City Blues (Please Help Me, I'm Falling)

Iron City, known as Arrn City to the locals, is a small town--small as in a population of 368 in the 2000 census; however, this small town has a big reputation for crime. The Tennessee village lies just north of the Alabama state line, straddling Lawrence and Wayne Counties. Once a prospering municipality whose early growth was based on iron ore mining, hence the name, the town's fame now lies in its reputation for crime both organized and otherwise.

A 2007 film, Iron City Blues, even won an honorable mention at UNA's George Lindsey film festival. One would have thought a movie about goobers would have placed higher in the annual event, but perhaps the judging panel that year inadvertently included a film buff from New York City.

Now Iron City is in the news again due to the death of a Florence man. Douglas Lawson, 26, and his girlfriend Megan Dennis, 29, were visiting a local tourist attraction aptly named "Insurance Bluff" due to the number of stolen and stripped vehicles residing at the bottom of the seventy-foot gulch. After an evening of scintillating entertainment tossing either beer cans or rocks (depending on Dennis' changing versions of the event) from the bluff, the woman decided to leave her companion. Lawson then stood up to follow, lost his balance, and fell from the precipice. Dennis states she saw his eyes as he fell--a pretty neat trick in the rural darkness--then fell herself from the opposite side of the bluff. Dennis was uninjured in what she termed a fifteen-foot plummet down the other side of Insurance Bluff, a side locals describe as a slope of only inches.

The death in still under investigation, and Lawrence County authorities have not ruled out bringing charges against Megan Dennis. Assuming Miss Dennis is indicted in Lawson's mysterious death, we see another film in the near future. In fact, American International Pictures should base a studio in Iron City; there's certainly enough material.

What's up with this: Elmer Lopez of Russellville has just been arrested in connection with the rape of his fifteen year-old friend, according to reports in the TimesDaily. We're pretty sure in this case reporter Tom Smith misused the word "friend."