Monday, January 11, 2010

Why Do Walks of Fame...

Invariably turn into walks of shame? Perhaps shame is much too strong a word, but such projects often become magnets for controversy. Several years ago when the city of Athens proposed memorial and honorarium bricks as a revenue producing project for the state's veterans' museum, no one foresaw the heated controversy that eventually arose over the donation of bricks in the names of those who had not served in the military.

Conversely, Florence's Walk of Fame has garnered little bad press, perhaps due to the fact the project received little publicity before its completion. Now the town of Tuscumbia wishes to establish its own Walk of Fame, with Mayor Bill Shoemaker openly requesting nominations of those who have performed "meritorious" service to the small Colbert County town.

Names mentioned so far include Helen Keller, Hienie Manush, Howell Heflin, G. W. Trenholm, and various members of the Deshler family. Does one's nativity constitute meritorious service? If so, the city of Sheffield should be giving Lawrenceburg a tough time over its claim to Fred Thompson.

No mention has been made of honoring those still living, as does the Florence Walk of Fame. Obviously, philanthropist Harvey Robbins would head this list, but we wish to nominate a native Colbert Countian who now makes her home in Tuscumbia. Beverly Beaver, aka Beverly Barton, is known worldwide for her scores of best-selling romantic mysteries, yet she continues to reside in and contribute to the town of Tuscumbia. It won't be a true Walk of Fame without her.

Apologies: Yesterday's column on Tuscumbia author Jim Smith failed to mention his second book Miss Bernice. It's also available at Coldwater Books in Tuscumbia and at