Friday, January 26, 2007

Fame [CCR]

One might say Hollywood has stooped to a new low. Can someone really buy their own star on the Walk of Fame? If not, I’m not sure how Donald Trump just received the 2,327th star. I don’t recollect his great movie. In fact, I think his best phrase might be “You’re fired!” Most of us aren’t fond of that phrase unless we like watching someone else in misery. Nor do I count news about two bickering spoiled brats as a reason for distinction. I guess we have taken the “fame” out of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. According to my research the stars are assigned by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. What have they done?

If you examine how fame is obtained you might realize we have our own claims right in Northwest Alabama. According to fame is defined as “widespread reputation, esp. of a favorable character; renown; public eminence: to seek fame as an opera singer.” If you think about it, you probably have several renown people all around you, including many in your very own family. Each of us can build our own fame by the deeds we perform.

Have you taken a trip out to the Coon Dog Cemetary on Labor Day? If you have you already know many famous people. Our very own Uncle Dewey Denton could easily play the banjo and dance a jig. Lunchford “Lunch” Aldridge is another person who gained prominence there and at many other locations around Colbert County. Our memories of these great people only expand through lore and legend because of their talent. How do you think Davy Crockett got to be so famous? It wasn’t because he bought a section of space on a sidewalk.

Many people in our families develop notoriety that begins within the family and can expand. As a small child I remember the stories of my very own Uncle Jimmy McCullough. Uncle Jimmy was Grandmother Daily’s brother. If I told you a tale about Uncle Jimmy as pictured in my mind it might not totally agree with those who witnessed the event, but his prominence to me builds his legend through my perception. If you ask me Uncle Jimmy could shoot a snake directly in the head, saving the skin for a belt. He could easily find his way around the vast woods of Mountain Springs while a whole army of people searched thinking he was in trouble. Uncle Jimmy could wander home the next morning never realizing he was in any sort of imagined danger.

Maybe next Labor Day you should head out to the Coon Dog Cemetary and discover the foundation of legend and lore. If we gathered the information on the famous people in the area where I grew up, the streets of Cherokee would be paved with those stars. I bet we could easily surpass those 2,327 stars people can see in Hollywood. No, I don’t want to belittle those who may deserve the stars you find out there. I’m just afraid the folks at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce dulled the shine that once glittered the streets of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.