Lightnin' in the Park

Why wouldn't you name a park after this guy?

With his usual style, aplomb and right-on-the-moneyness, mysterious local blogger Slampo — the Mike Royko of the local blogosphere -- has taken up yet another pressing issue: The City Hall-sponsored contest to name a new downtown park.

"We're sure the winning entry will reflect the cosmopolitan character of the city," he writes, "say, something urbane and sophisticated like World Class Centre." Or something else equally highfalutin' and developer-friendly like The Glades at Old Chinatown, we might add. (The park will be situated near the George R. Brown Convention Center.)

Slampo has a better idea — name the sucker after Lightnin' Hopkins. After all, as Slampo notes:

"A park is for relaxation and recreation, two of the enduring themes of Hopkins' prodigious recording career, whether he was singing about throwing dice or watching the ponies run or getting drunk last night and the night before or traveling to Louisiana to acquire a mojo hand that would mess up a woman's mind."

Not to mention the fact that he engaged in a few of those activities mere blocks away from this park's site on Dowling Street, that once-hopping, now-moribund ghettodelic strip he once called "a nice place to get an education." Just as this park would be a nice place for our city's residents to get an education about Lightnin'.

Once that's done, we'll start agitating for a South Side park named for DJ Screw, but first things first. — John Nova Lomax


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