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There has been little that surprises any more in 2020.

Heck, there is a Sahara dust cloud being called Godzilla headed this way. There was even a story about an alcoholic monkey in India killing a man and attacking 250 people before being sentenced to life in custody.

Forget the surreal for a second. This week served up a couple of real-life reminders of the lifetime memories lost for area seniors because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was the online Best of Preps banquet that tried to fill the void in our normalcy with a tradition-rich event. This weekend, there will be a whole bunch of virtual graduations.

To the athletes, there is nothing I can say to bring back those lost games and memories.

For the graduates, congrats and trust me when I say no one actually remembers much from their high school cap and gown procession.

 

Well said, Mr. Mayor

Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed amid the budget debates this week, and the City Council approved a budget that wisely didn't defund the Chattanooga Police Department.

In fact, I have never been more in agreement with Chattanooga's mayor than in his words about the budget controversy and efforts to defund the police.

"I do not believe that we should defund the police," Andy Berke told this paper's Sarah Grace Taylor during the budgetary back-and-forth. "We need a skilled, highly trained, collaborative department that uses the best rules so that we can keep people as safe as possible."

On the other side of the coin, one of the quotes in favor of defunding the police in Taylor's story was, "The only way to work towards serving the public is to defund the police and reallocate the money to support health care, housing and education."

Uh, in real-world situations in regard to issues this complex and challenging, to start any statement with "the only way to" is at best completely self-serving and at worst the very definition of the divide that grows like coronavirus cases in Florida.

 

Obit observations

Have to admit that I missed this one the first time, but many thanks to loyal reader Martha for calling it to my attention.

Last month, Edgar Bennett Jr. died. He was 73.

His obit was as eclectic as Edgar was, considering he was a Georgia Tech-educated mechanical engineer who worked for NASA and nuclear projects at TVA as well as stun-gunning butterflies and working on muscle cars.

According to the obit, Edgar shunned religion and was proud of not having kids, and his stance on each was the foundation of a strong belief system that was summed up in the obit at the end with firmness that Edgar almost assuredly lived: "He felt that ALL of these problems are a direct result of the overpopulation of a fragile planet and governments that want more and more control over the people that they were elected to represent!"

There were no survivors listed in the obit, but here's guessing that Mr. Bennett left an imprint on a whole bunch of folks in his own way in this life.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com.

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Jay Greeson
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