Friday, May 7, 2010


With horror and dismay I have watched television coverage of the record flooding that inundated Nashville and much of middle Tennessee.
For 17 years I lived just south of Nashville in Franklin, which itself has suffered record flooding. What I have not seen in any of the coverage I've watched is President Obama stepping up to the familiar podium, flanked by teleprompters, to express compassion for the people of Nashville. Oh, the President has been to the podium several times since nearly two feet of rain fell on Nashville, but nary a word for that beleaguered city or its people...not a word of condolence for the 28 lives claimed by the deluge...not a word of compassion for the hundreds of homes and businesses lost to the flood waters, which left behind an estimated billion dollars in damage as they finally began receding.
I find Obama's lack of compassion, his lack of even a casual display of empathy for Nashvillians deplorable.
What I saw and read made me realize that Barach Obama's words were not needed to lift the spirits of those who have lost so much.
When up to ten feet of water inundated the Grand Ole Opry House, the show went on as scheduled at a higher, dryer venue in downtown Nashville, the old Memorial Auditorium and then the Ryman Auditorium, the historic mother church of the fabled country music show.
Grand Ole Opry veteran Jeannie Seely was one of the regulars who performed in that first show Tuesday at the new venue. Seely lost her own home to the floods and the Associated Press reported she had to perform in borrowed shoes. But perform she did.
At the end of that first show, as the flood waters were still swirling through the new Opry house, Seely joined hands with her fellow performers and sang the old Christian song, "Will the Circle be Unbroken."
Not by the Jeannie Seely's of this world.

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