A lot will be written about the contributions of Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger in the months ahead until he walks away from his gig.

And almost all of it will be understandably positive, considering the transformation our county has made during what will end up being his 12 years in charge.

With that, I think it's fair to say that for the next handful of years there simply will not be an election that will have more of an impact on your life and mine than the race to choose Coppinger's successor.

Here's hoping for a field of worthy candidates and the chance to pick the right leader rather than selecting the best bad choice.

Need in deed

As we head toward the holidays, there will certainly be a number of good causes that want and need our help.

If you have one you support, please continue. If you are looking for one or possibly another way to give back, can I suggest Wreaths Across Chattanooga, the eternally noble effort led by Mickey McCamish and our area Veterans Services folks to place a holiday wreath on each of the 48,000 gravestones at the Chattanooga National Cemetery?

It's 10 bucks a wreath, so the simple math tells you it's a tall order.

But with big-ticket donations from area power players like Unum, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Aauthority, as well as local groups from the Daughters of the American Revolution to an outlying softball association, the foundation has been laid.

But the path to the ultimate goal — and to avoid not having to decide which of these American heroes will and won't get wreaths — will be paved $10 at a time from as many of us who can help.

If you are interested in donating, go to for more information.


Markers miscue

OK, the statue business is a dangerous game these days.

The progressive members of the New York City Council voted unanimously this week to remove a statue of Thomas Jefferson from the council chambers where it has resided for more than a century.

But completely shunning the legacy of one of the greatest Americans was not enough for some of the liberal New York leaders. The council will leave Jefferson's memorial in place until a suitable — read storage — alternative location is found.

Said Charles Barren, a New York assembly member and former councilman, at this week's vote: "I don't think it should exist. I think it should be put in storage or destroyed or whatever."


And at the other end of the spectrum, one of the most recent statues New York City commissioned was a tribute to George Floyd that was unveiled in June.

Are we really going to look at the career body of work between George Floyd and Thomas Jefferson, and then remove Jefferson's statue?



Obit observations

So often the conversation in the obituaries is understandably about death.

But the words almost always lead me to imagine the life those written about lived.

Wanda Weller, for example, died earlier this month. She was 96. But her life was filled with the joy of music, the strength to be a 35-year breast cancer survivor and the faith to be an active member at the Tyner United Methodist Church for close to 70 years.

That's a lifetime of triumph and perseverance that jumps off the page.

Contact Jay Greeson at

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Jay Greeson