Backtalk

Letters to the Editor




Having been a lifelong friend of Thomas Boggs, I was disappointed and dismayed by your omission of a posthumous mention of Thomas in your recent "Who's Who" listing [August 2008]. The many lives he touched through his business relationships and many associations with various civic and humanitarian activities benefited this community greatly and should have been deserving of a mention, let alone the recent renaming of a major Midtown street in his honor.

Respectfully,

~ Paul Tashie

Memphis

editor's note: We did mention Thomas Boggs in the August editor's letter. He was a friend of the magazine, as well as the city.

Regarding "Pieces of the Past" [Ask Vance, August 2008], under the heading "Still Holding Up," it stated that the Goodwyn Institute building contained the WMC Radio Station. WMCT was also there for 10 years, 1948-1958.

Under "Wooten's World," Vance stated that WREC was the city's first radio and television station. Actually, WMC Radio went on the air in January 1923, WHBQ on March 18, 1925, and on January 3, 1927, WREC moved from Coldwater, Mississippi to Whitehaven, Tennessee.

WMCT was the first television station in Memphis and the Mid-South, signing on in November 1948. WHBQ-TV was second, and WREC, the third television station in Memphis.

I love [Ask Vance]. Thank you.

~ Philip Slavick

Memphis

I also come from an old Memphis family, but obviously our paths never crossed the Lauderdales. While his family was gliding around in a Daimler, my family tradition was Fords. My grandfather worked in the old Ford Plant, you see, and we are a loyal bunch. I did have a wayward uncle who drove a Pontiac, which was considered unfaithful, and my father's youngest brother (horrors!) once bought a Volvo, which looked like an overgrown Volkswagen beetle. That was considered extremely adventurous.

Recently I received a letter from my now-elderly uncle, the one with the Volvo. I had asked him to fill me in on family history by telling me what he could about his father's brothers, now long dead. The stories my uncle wrote were fascinating. All his father's brothers had led interesting lives, Uncle Earl in particular. My uncle wrote of Earl: "As a teenager he and some others were playing around on the Snowden House. (It was being built near Central Ave. and Lamar Ave. It's of course called the Snowden Mansion.) He fell and injured his head. Mother said she thought it affected his behavior." As a young man Earl went to Canada and for many years lived outdoors, prospecting for gold and, later, uranium. Sometimes he and a partner would salvage gold from abandoned mines. Earl never hit it rich, but he made a living, and he never married until he was an old man. When I was a boy, we used to see Uncle Earl in Memphis once a year in the winter, when it was too cold for prospecting in Canada.

Now here's my question. Please help me understand my Uncle's comments about the Snowden House. Does it still exist? Is it something special in Memphis, or is it just a nice private home? Is there a stain in the carpet from my Uncle Earl's bleeding head?

Thanks,

~ John Cross

Alexandria, Virginia

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