Editor's note: This column was written before A.J. McCall's decision Sunday to drop out of the Senate race.
There’s an old saying: If your mother tells you it’s good, ask somebody else.
The parents of A.J. McCall, the furniture fortune scion seeking the Republican nomination for Senate District 16 (Wilson County, among others), purchased a second-floor condo at The West End, the complex at the corner of 31st and, uh, West End, for $335,500 in mid-December.
Perhaps the elder McCalls wanted a retirement pad within walking distance of the world’s most poorly placed Walgreen’s.
Or maybe Ma and Pa McCall think their boy is a lock for the Capitol.
The condo recently served as the venue for a fundraiser for the (ultimately successful) Senate campaign of West Tennessee conservative firebrand Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown. And despite what the good folks at the Davidson County Register of Deeds tell us, one attendee said the pad is “definitely A.J.’s” and not so much a permanent address for the Social Security Administration’s rolls.
Does this suggest overconfidence? As legislative crash pads go, he could certainly do worse. The West End boasts concierge service and a rooftop pool, and it isn’t too far from Walmart.
But there’s still a road of bones before him. Not only are we talking a victory in next November’s general election, but the Republican primary is likely to be testy, too. He’ll face off against state Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet.
What was it Ma always said about counting chickens?
Rex had gotten pretty used to the sparseness of The Tennessean’s business web page of late. Imagine his surprise when a routine visit suddenly showed the number of pictured columnists had grown by a whopping 400 percent.
About a half-second later, Rex realized all four of the new faces joining the lone staff biz columnist are outside contributors: Norris & Norris attorney Barbara Moss, Bohan Advertising/Marketing CEO David Bohan, consultant Schatzie Brunner and Belmont University Center for Entrepreneurship director Jeff Cornwall.
Think new publisher Carol Hudler is trying to create the illusion of depth in the absence of a sufficiently staffed business desk? Adding contributors to the section’s home page — in exactly the same format as the pictured staffer — seems like a good start.
Rex ventured down to lower Broadway last weekend to take a gander at the fissures that opened when our recent arctic freeze caused all those water mains to burst, resulting in a number of momentarily shuttered downtown businesses.
It was an ugly scene. Some basements filled with close to four feet of water. Submerged in the urban swamps were restaurant supplies, electrical boards, furnaces and country star John Rich’s humility — or so we heard.
Metro workers had to cut through train tracks — once part of the Nashville-Franklin Interurban, a rail service started in the late 1800s and dropped during World War II — to get to the busted pipe in front of the Hard Rock Cafe on Broadway.
About a foot of asphalt had accumulated atop the trolley tracks, and the pipes were still a few feet under that. One Metro worker said crews unearthed a wagon wheel while fixing one of these a few years ago.
Rex was thoroughly impressed by the show of force city workers gave to try to fix the problems. Did it take longer than business owners wanted? Yes. But that isn’t because public works crews were slacking.
When you have to fix pipes laid by Moses, it’s going to take some time.