Clarksville, Tennessee – Founded in 1785 with a current population of over 135,000, fifth largest city in Tennessee, and yet this is all we have to be proud about?
Rachel Smith – Miss USA 2007???
Now I am not saying that Rachel Smith (Miss USA 2007 who fell flat on her ass during the Miss Universe Pageant, (watch it here!!!) has not done AMAZING things…why, she walked around, and she wore a crown and was even on Donald Trump’s MTV reality show Pageant Place. I however, find the fact that Clarksville only has real “tributes” to only two Clarksvillians of some importance a shame. The other of course being Wilma Rudolph, the famed Olympic runner who overcame crippling polio and led the Unites States 1960 Olympic team to win three gold medals in track and field, in the midst of constant discrimination (until she won) due to the racial upheaval prevalent in this part of the South. Rudolph actually accomplished great things, was more than a person who was born pretty, and deserves all the credit she has coming. But Hell, all Wilma Rudolph has in this town is the statue at the River Walk, which, is pretty OK, and that god damned Wilma Rudolph Boulevard, appropriately named because on most days you could get out of your car and run it faster than you can get through all the red lights, and yet that chick who couldn’t even walk across a stage is the virtual gate to all corners of Clarksville.
But I digress…
The point I am trying to make is that it is pathetic that in one of the oldest cities in Tennessee, with hundreds of people who have contributed volumes to either the history books, or American Culture, all we do is emblazon every entrance to Clarksville with those god damned signs – “Welcome to Clarksville, Tennessee. Home of Rachel Smith Miss USA 2007″
WHO CARES?!?!?! I didn’t care then, don’t care now, don’t know anyone who does. Furthermore, who even watches that shit on TV anymore, but, I digress.
So, many of you are asking yourselves now, “Well who should we care about then?” Well hold on a damn second and I will tell you.
Here are some famous Clarksvillians who were born, spent a majority of their lives here, or contributed to the area in a positive manner…mostly, but are totally ignored by the City.
* Allen Tate and Caroline Gordon
-Both famous literary figures of for over 60 years, and influential with the group “The Fugitives” at Vanderbilt University.
-Gordon received the Guggenheim award for literature, and Tate was heavily published worldwide with insightful and satirical essays on the political climate of the era.
-collaborated with the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, T. S. Eliot, Robert Penn Warren, and Ford Madox Ford, at their Clarksville home, which you can still see today, across from what will be the new marina. It is the giant house with the big red roof on the opposite side of the river.
* Robert Penn Warren
- Native of Guthrie, Kentucky but lived in Clarksville for many years and graduated from Clarksville High School.
- United States Poet Laureate 1944-1945 and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1947 for his novel All The King’s Men. (Yes, the one that Sean Penn and Jude Law were in a few years ago) His novel “Night Rider” was written about the tobacco price wars and the epic violence caused by them, including nighttime field burnings, that existed in the Guthrie, Kentucky and Clarksville, Tennessee in the first decades of the Twentieth Century.
*Horace Harmon Lurton
-Justice of the United States Supreme Court
- Lived in, and practiced Law in Clarksville for many years.
-Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1910 – 1914.
Ok, I know what you are saying, that was a century ago, but seriously, dude was the Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Technically, in many matters, this person has more power than the President. Think about it, someone from Clarksville, Tennessee, ruling the nation…scary isn’t it? I think he could at least get a sign up somewhere though???
-Film actress born in Clarksville, who starred with the likes of Clark Gable, Lionel Barrymore, Walter Huston and Jimmy Durante.
-Married to Merian C. Cooper who co-wrote and Produced the original 1933 King Kong.
- Strongly considered for the role of Melanie Hamilton in “Gone With the Wind.”
- T.V., film, and Broadway actor born, raised, and buried in Clarksville, Tennessee.
- Sergeant in the United States Army in World War II.
-Starred in the television show “Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.” as “Sergeant Vince Carter” after his role spun off from his appearance on the “Andy Griffith Show”
-Appeared in multiple episodes of the famous television dramas’ “Gunsmoke” and “The Untouchables”
- Starred in 1962 episode of “The Twilight Zone” See the whole episode here
I mean, come on people, for someone from Clarksville, forty years ago, to have made it to Hollywood and be on shows like Gunsmoke and The Andy Griffith Show and then get his own starring role on Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. for four years. It says a lot. There is not one mention anywhere in this town that he ever even lived here. Go to his IMDB page here, it is ridiculously long.
There are dozens more who contributed something more than being born with moderately o.k. genetics to either this city or to American culture who are not listed here, like Ben Clark, who is the second youngest person to ever climb Mt Everest, and also from Clarksville, yet we give the girl who fell down on the stage during the Miss Universe pageant signs all over the damned city??? This girl has done nothing wrong, we have no beef with her, but its frivolous. We have Pulitzer prize winners, Supreme Court Justices, television and movie stars – who were in REAL productions, who don’t even have a mention anywhere but the chick that sold out for Donald Trump gets her name blasted all over the side of this town? Do I blame her for getting the Hell out of here, absolutely not. I just don’t understand however how the City can commend someone for moderate attractiveness, make their name the virtual gateway to Clarksville.
Clarksville, What the Fuck???
But like I said, there are lots more who contributed something to society, or were just flat out born here, which I think is enough, If you wanna be lazy and not Google them, you can go to the Clarksville Wikipedia page here, or you can visit your local library. But you don’t have to take MY word for it!