As the sun rose over Marlboro Avenue this Fourth of July morning, I noticed what appeared to be foggy conditions in East Ridge.
Walking across the street to put the Sunday Times Free Press on my neighbor’s doorstep, the unmistakable smell of spent fireworks wafted through the air. Oh, glory! Ain’t it great to be an American on Independence Day? I’m not looking forward to getting an update on how my next door neighbor’s dog weathered the “rocket’s red glare and the bombs bursting in air” from last night.
I’m glad my old friend and former neighbor who was traumatized in Vietnam 53 years ago wasn’t here to endure what most certainly is a not-so-friendly reminder of what happened on his base that was overrun during the Tet Offensive.
None of that is important, however, as everybody knows it’s a God-given right for red-blooded American’s to discharge fireworks whenever they want to. It’s in the Constitution, right?
Well, it ain’t in the Charter of East Ridge. As a matter of fact, it is illegal to shoot fireworks within the city limits. But, when you have civil disobedience on such a grand scale it’s ridiculous to enforce such a law. I say right here and right now, it’s time for our City Council to act. Repeal the law against discharging fireworks! By doing so, the city will no longer be ridiculed for it’s stupid stance of allowing the sale of fireworks but forbidding a match to be set to them.
Let the pets and vets suffer! Let the rest of our good citizens blow up as much money as they care to.
And speaking of fireworks … the city is planning a big birthday bash at Camp Jordan Park in early fall celebrating the 100th year since the incorporation East Ridge.
Get this, there’s gonna be beer in the park for those who like to hoist a cold one. There’s going to be music, as more than one band is going to lay down some jam. Food trucks will be there, so those that are drinking cold one’s won’t get too sloshed and embarrass themselves therefore putting in jeopardy any further massive celebrations in our wonderful park. For all the information on this events, click on this https://www.eastridge100.com/
As a run-up to the big celebration, Camp Jordan is hosting a hot-air balloon event from July 30 to August 1. “Light up East Ridge” will have 10 balloons on static display for three nights. For more information click on this link
Here’s a dud of a firecracker … Kenny Custer has left City Hall for the last time. Friday was officially the last day for the Assistant City Manager, who has spent more than two decades serving our residents.
Custer began his work for the city as a volunteer firefighter before becoming an engineer as a paid firefighter. Over the years, he climbed his way up the hierarchy of city leadership serving at one time or another as the city’s fire inspector, Fire Marshal, codes enforcement guru, WWTA representative, Interim City Manager and on and on and on.
Love him or not, It’s my opinion that Custer had at least one characteristic that made him stand out in East Ridge; he cared about the city, it’s residents as well as it’s employees.
Custer shared these parting words to all city employees on his last day. He sent it to East Ridge News Online to share with you, dear reader:
“As I sit here in my final hours reflecting on the last 20 years, I must say we have all come a very long way together. It has been a privilege and an honor working with so many of you. Each of you provide such tremendous value to the citizens and visitors of this community. The future success of this city lies within each of you. Together you all must continue to educate, support, and guide each other through the good times and the bad. Unfortunately, at some point each of you will find yourself in a challenging situation that will provide you with limited options. I truly encourage you to face it head on and rise to that challenge. The road less traveled is not easy, but it is what has driven change over the last several years. We still have a long long way to go but in my heart I believe this team is up for the challenge. I wish you all the best and hope that each of you will do your part to keep the city on the path of progress. Remember we are the Pioneers of Progress.”
All I can say is that we all need to send up prayers for City Manager Chris Dorsey in Custer’s absence. I know everyone can be replaced. It ought to be interesting to see who’s next to sit in Custer’s chair.