Confessions of gang member
I will begin by confessing to being a gang member for most of my life.
I first joined an organized gang at the age of 11 with many of my friends and fellow students from Soddy Elementary School. An outsider from Chattanooga was responsible for our being tempted to join his gang. We were offered free attendance at sporting events and other enticements.
During the summer months, we would meet on rival gangs' turf and conduct battle. Frequently we would meet on a neutral site for our "warfare." We proudly wore our "colors."
Some of my gang members had recognizable names such as Varner, McGill, Smith, Murphy, Rose, etc. Some escaped the influence of the gangs to become responsible members of the community.
I have noticed an upswing in gang membership in the area now, with most activity at night around the lake area of Soddy-Daisy. Some members are no more than 5 years old.
There is a common thread between these youngsters and the gang members of my time. I hope they will all be able to survive as we did.
Our "neutral site" was Engel Stadium. Our leader was Joe Engel. We were Knotholers!
RANDALL CARD, Soddy-Daisy
Live by Scout laws to solve problems
The verbal assault against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) by the Chattanooga Times editors continues.
There have been incidents in the past that no one connected with the BSA should even think of condoning. The editorial (Sept. 21) details the steps that have been taken to ensure these incidents are less likely to occur.
The BSA could release every record of every kind that it possesses and not regain its reputation as a role model with the Times editors. The Times editors will only be supportive of the BSA if the Scout leadership compromises their principles and condones allowing homosexuals as members and leaders.
The liberal side of our local paper supports abortion, taking prayer out of schools and public places, not making people responsible for their own welfare, etc. They then wring their hands and bemoan the fact we have gang members gunning people down in the streets, a large percentage of our students can't do math or read and write, crime and drugs are rampant, etc.
Immorality is the root cause of a large number of the ills of society that we face today. Every boy and man living his life according to Scout law would go far in ameliorating these ills.
JOHNNY HENRY, Ooltewah
Pruitt deserves East Ridge vote
The citizens of East Ridge will elect new City Council members in November. I will vote for Ann Pruitt.
Ann has been extremely active in our city for many years. She has been a pillar of our community library and was very active in helping our city as the wife of our beloved mayor, Fred Pruitt.
Ann loves East Ridge and seeks the best for our people. She is a smart and savvy woman who sees beyond projected images. This senior citizen represents the "with it" seniors who truly care about East Ridge. She deserves our vote.
SHARAN PERRY, East Ridge