Monday, October 5, 2009

Get Ready for the Day of Celebration: October 14, 2009

As many of you in Riverview-South Central got in your doors and mailboxes over the weekend, Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 will be a BIG day in the community. For everybody else, on the left, is your personal invitation to be part of history.. the special events on that day. Riverview has had many ups and downs in its 71-year history, and, has also had many things to celebrate over that time.

But never has it had THREE really BIG celebrations, ALL on the same day.

That's why Wednesday, October 14th is a day to take off from work early.. either get somebody to watch the kids or just bring 'em with you.. come back from vacation early.. postpone that trip to Food City and Belk's.. TAPE the stories instead of watching 'em.. and generally put off ANYTHING you've got to do. That day is entirely TOO special for the Riverview community to pass up.

It is the day we have waited for, since the demolition of the Historic Riverview Apartments in the winter of last year, that left many of our people scattered in so many different directions, all longing to come back home someday.. A day hasn't gone by that our relatives, friends and neighbors haven't remembered the closeness we all shared with others, before control of our homesteads was wrestled away from us by the drug dealers and knuckleheads who sought to take our homes and history away from us. Most of them are gone now, banished to other regions, other worlds, and we rejoice in their absense..

It is the day we have waited for, since the demolition of the Historic Douglass School Auditorium that brought hundreds to its Last Great Program, and left them with tears in their eyes at the memories, that wonderful hall had for us. From recitals to concerts.. from plays to choral arrangements, each of us had a special memory of the city's most soundproof auditorium, where Professor Dobbins told us to use what we have learned.. go forward and be good citizens of the community.

It is the day we have waited for, since the decision was made NOT to tear down our Historic Douglass High School, and instead renovate the walls into Kingsport's Non-Profit Center, that will be home to your Douglass Alumni Association offices, giving us yet one MORE reason to be proud of our neighborhood and our Riverview Community. The one request that we all made AS A COMMUNITY to keep the name "V.O. Dobbins Sr. Community Center" on the one symbol in the neighborhood that represents our upbringing. It is the single, most asked-for request from us, the city has honored..

On Wednesday, October 14th, the Schedule of Special Events goes like this:

2:30 PM --- "Groundbreaking for the HOPE VI Homes in Riverview" (at the corner of Louis & MLK Streets).

3 PM --- "Raising of the Signed Steel Beam" Ceremony (at the new gym on Louis Street). It's the beam that many Douglass Alumni and Riverview residents signed, to be hung with honor in the renovated building.

5 PM to 7 PM --- "Riverview Community Meeting on Artwork, Photos and Sculpture" (in the Sanctuary of the St. Mark's United Methodist Church, 929 Maple Street, Kingsport).

Every day this week, beginning Tuesday, you'll find stories right here in the NEWS AND CURRENT EVENTS section, outlining each of the events above that, as alumni, residents, friends and neighbors, we should turn out in full force to represent.

Special notice goes to the community meeting at St. Mark's, that will be very, very important to what you will see, both inside and outside the renovated V.O. Dobbins Sr. Community Center. The city of Kingsport, the architects, the designers and planners, and the Arts Council, all want the community's input into what should go into the renovated building. They want ideas on pictures and photos, also sculptures, molds, ceramics, and statues, how big they should be, where they should be placed, things like that.

Bring those ideas with you to the meeting, but keep in mind, there IS a budget on what can be spent for the above things. Be reasonable with your suggestions, and think about some good ideas that will put a "Riverview" flavor in the building--that's what I'm told the powers-that-be are looking for. They want sculptures, photos, artwork and memorabilia that reflect the spirit of the Riverview neighborhood from times gone by. They also want LOCAL artists, sculptors, photographers and graphic artists to contribute their works and their ideas to the renovated building. We know we have some of those in the family, and we need to hear from them. Think of the great honor they'll have, if they're commissioned to do a sculpture or some artwork that is representative of the Riverview Community.

This is your chance to tell the city what you want, so don't blow it (LOL!). There's nothing worse than listening to folks complain about the way something is done or the way it looks, when they had a chance to voice their opinion about it. Once it's done, your opinion about it doesn't mean a hill of beans.

We really need to pack St. Mark's with a lot of community residents and folks, who have good ideas for consideration.

The city is listening to us..

They want OUR ideas..

Let YOUR voice be heard.