Rex has been enjoying the outdoors as of late and enjoying some classic literature that his Mom didn’t throw out with his baseball cards. Yup, that’s right, Rex has been perusing old comic books.
Apparently Rex got to browsing through his old collection after learning that country music star Trace Adkins is about to be serialized in a four-issue comic series called “Trace Adkins is LUKE McBAIN.”
According to the publisher of the book, Adkins’ character will be taking back his hometown in Louisiana after returning from a prison sentence. The cover of the first issue harkens back to Walking Tall and a Joe Don Baker-like Adkins carrying an axe handle to administer justice.
This is apparently the first time a country music singer has been turned into a cartoon character (on paper) but music fans will note that this same stunt was pulled back in 1977 when the rock band Kiss published a comic book and publicized it by pouring small vials of their own blood into the red ink used for the press run.
Rex got to thinking what other country stars should have their own comic book alter ego and came up with an idea.
The series would be called “John Rich and the Barstool of Justice” where Rich fends off wannabe musicians with excessive force. His sidekick could be has-been rock singer Sebastian Bach, whose special powers are to drunk-dial enemies into submission.
Barring guns in parks and bars
Rex has been watching with interest the movement by restaurant owners and various local governments to block guns from being allowed in bars and city parks.
So far the Shelby, Hamilton, and Williamson county governments and cities such as Brentwood, Bristol, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Johnson City, Memphis, Murfreesboro and Signal Mountain have already said ‘no dice’ to guns in parks. Columbia, Jackson and rural Meigs County have chosen to allow them.
Nashville/Davidson County appears to be on the fence with Metro councilmembers hemming and hawing over how to address the issue. Rex wonders if one compromise would be to allow Shooter Jennings to play in Centennial Park, but isn’t sure if the intelligentsia would allow that.
In addition to the battle over parks, a lawsuit being supported by restaurant owners that would overturn the state law allowing guns in their establishments is winding its way through the legal system in Davidson and Shelby counties.
Rex has been within earshot (sorry, couldn’t help myself) of a few conversations that have led him to believe that some members of the state legislature who supported the laws are now having second thoughts and might join the lawsuit filed by the restaurant owners.
If these legislators pull the trigger and join the lawsuit, does that mean they are backstabbers? Rex wonders.
Two candidates, one thankless job
The not-so-quiet campaign for the thankless Metro Council pro tempore slot has reached a fevered pitch and seemingly left two candidates in contention.
First-term district Council members Sean McGuire and Erica Gilmore both want the job and have worked to secure support from their colleagues. Gilmore was nominated for the job last year, before bowing out to Greg Adkins.
The job is generally limited to pinch-hitting by running meetings when the vice mayor is absent, but there is a line of succession that bears remembering.
Should the vice mayor step down or be forced to replace the mayor, the pro tempore is next in line. That’s how Howard Gentry became vice mayor originally before winning the job by election in 2003, after replacing Ronnie Steine.
Look for a divided vote when Metro Council makes its choice in September. One month out, Rex hears McGuire has the edge, but Gilmore has a decent shot as well.
The book Rex is waiting on
Rex wants to congratulate the Metro Police Cold Case Squad and the District Attorney’s office for finally closing the book on the mystery that was the murder of Marcia Trimble.
Since 1975, a generation of Nashvillians has wanted this case solved more than any other. No disrespect to the other cases that remain unsolved, but this one struck a nerve that has resonated through the years.
Rex especially wants to say how moved and touched he was by the testimony and public comments made by Virginia Trimble Ritter, Marcia’s mother. While we never know the anguish she has endured over the years waiting to know who killed her daughter, her poise and eloquence brought a tear to even the most jaded newshounds.
In the verdict that found Jerome Sidney Barrett guilty of murder, it also exonerated two men who had endured years of public suspicion by law enforcement officials.
Jeffrey Womack and March Egerton, then-teenagers who lived in the Trimble neighborhood, endured years of public speculation that they had something to do with the crime. Womack was even arrested twice, both times on his birthday, and was even once charged with murder by Metro Police before the DA refused to prosecute.
While law enforcement officials are patting themselves on the back for a job well done, there are some retired cops who might not be smiling for long due to their relentless pursuit of Womack.
Womack, along with his attorney John Hollins, and former Tennessean reporter Leon Alligood are writing a book about the case. Needless to say, Rex doesn’t think that Womack will be complimenting the police when the book is published.
That’s one read that will be on Rex’s book club list.
Rex Noseworthy appears Mondays in The City Paper.