Letter to the Editor

Bring prom queen back to dance

Sunday, February 24, 2008

To the editor:I read and hear a lot of complaints about the sad appearance of parts of Cape Girardeau, especially sections of Broadway. Some areas do look like a prom queen long past her prime.

Why can't university students studying architecture, design and art plus volunteers and retired tradesmen lend their talents to restore good looks to buildings and houses in ghettolike disrepair? Students might earn college credits. Steer graffiti artists toward productive work.

Necessary money or supplies could be donated by building owners and community-minded people. This could be made into a citywide crusade to restore civic pride. Have a leader or two, but no wrangling committee people.

I once heard about a plan to hire out-of-town consultants and pay them millions of dollars to come up with restoration projects. What a waste of money when local people could do the job for much less.

Like Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland used to say in the movies, "Hey, kids, what say we all get together and put on our own show?"

I've heard out-of-town building owners don't care. Surely there is some legal way to get their attention.

Perhaps my approach is naive. Perhaps someone else has a better idea. I've also learned it's hard to know anything about doing someone's job unless you've done that job yourself.

It just seems like all of us ought to be doing something to bring the sad-looking prom queen back to the dance.