Saturday, March 11, 2006

I'm a Tennessean, thank you

In recent days I have had the pleasure of hearing from an old college friend of mine, Chuck Mountel, who found my blog as a result of his shared grief over the death of our former priest and mutual friend Father Chris Rohmiller (Chuck had only recently learned of Father Chris' death). In one of the e-mails he sent me he suggested that I ought to "move back to Cincy," which translated means that Chuck believes that I need to return to Cincinnati. Reports of any return to Cincinnati by Nicole and myself are greatly exaggerated, as such a return will happen...never.

There are many things I liked about Cincinnati. All that good German food sure didn't hurt, and I enjoyed teaching children CCD at St. Catharine Church and School, and I especially enjoyed the hospitality of my brother Knights at Archbishop Purcell Council of the Knights of Columbus. I miss cheap Reds bleacher seats, and I especially miss mettwurst(which is somewhat like a bratwurst, but is seasoned with corriander and white pepper and smoked), the taste of which people in East Tennessee would come to appreciate if you could find mettwurst at the grocery store.

I did not the least bit enjoy, however, the ungodly taxes I was forced to pay on my meager income. I did not enjoy calling the city hundreds of times during a snowstorm just to get someone to clean off the curbcuts on the sidewalk up and down Montana Avenue just so I could get to work-this after I had paid the monstrous above-mentioned taxes so that situations like that could be addressed. I found no fun in daily exercises in futility that involved trying to get around town with my wife without nearly every motorist on the road behaving like an absolute idiot. I used the Metro and TANK buses each day to get around town on my own. Most of the drivers were great folks, I even struck up a friendship with one of them. Barely a day went by, however, when I would meet at least one driver on my four-bus round trip daily slog that didn't treat me as though they wished that I were not there.

I did not understand how, in a town that is so overwhelmingly Catholic, the Archbishop could allow such rampant liturgical abuse and allow so much decent from Church teaching, then wondered why he had a problem with bad priests after failing to enforce orthodoxy.

I failed to grasp why I could not afford a home in Westwood, a neighborhood I grew to love, because taxes were too high for me to afford to buy property-and then City Council wondered why they couldn't bring people back into town to settle.

On the other hand, the taxes here in Knoxville and East Tennessee are low, and Nicole and I still don't have a lot of expendable cash, and yet we're looking at buying property and starting our own business. The KAT busses here in Knoxville do not run nearly as late as I would like, and I dearly wish they would fix all the lifts on the busses, but all the drivers are sincerely friendly and want to help. While I have complained to the city about problems, not one of those problems has had to do with clearing away snow-we don't get much snow in Knoxville and when we do, everything in town shuts down anyway.

The Catholic population here is small but vocal and mighty, and most of the other churches are unafraid to work with us to accomplish common goals. Our bishop is a quiet man, but he does not have a yellow belly and he does stand up for what is right. I have known a few Catholics around here who think he is "liberal." Trust me, you don't know how good you have it.

The politics in this town, like the TVs (as Kenny Chesney would say) are black and white (in the moral sense), and everyone I have talked to here wants my involvement. I think certain ones in Cincinnati were scared of me and didn't want to deal with me. I found no such attitude like that among GOP leaders and others here.

On top of all that, though, I love East Tennessee, it is my home, and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

The only thing I'd ask is a hall for the Knights of Columbus, and metts at the grocery store.


At Monday, March 13, 2006 10:28:00 AM, Blogger Chucko said...

Well Dave, you know I can't argue with you on the utter incompetence of the Cincinnati city council. Also, I agree regarding the Archbishop. I was truly surprised when I moved down to Florence, KY for about 5 years and found that the liturgy, despite being about 10 miles south of Cincinnati, was considerably more orthodox than that north of the "border." It infuriates me that some priests take liberty with the sacred process of the mass, and I've been working to try and fix that in Cincinnati. I have found, however, a great church in Sts. Peter and Paul, where Father Mike Leshney has Mass and "keeps it real" for the most part. At least at the 4:30pm. Also, St. Louis downtown has a great Mass. There is no music, but it is extremely orthodox and there is much time for meditation and prayer. I registered in hopes of starting a site to report on the orthodoxy of different parishes, and post blow by blow reviews to help the faithful find a church that they can attend regularly without having their ire drawn. I think it would work better in blog format, and I'd love it if you'd collaborate with me.

Otherwise, Cincinnati is the best city in the world... heheh... hey, largest metro area to go Bush! But I'd like to apologize to the world for the complete idiocy that is our leadership (locally).

At Monday, March 13, 2006 10:51:00 AM, Blogger Chucko said...

OK Dave, if you're not going to move back to Cincy, at least move to a respectible city like Nashville, home of the best NFL team. I might travel down there later this year if I can get some Titans tickets, let me know if you'd be interested.

At Monday, March 13, 2006 1:43:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

IN Knoxville, there is no priest shortage, and I am still a Bengals' fan.

At Monday, March 13, 2006 2:27:00 PM, Blogger Chucko said...

One thing I did notice when I attended church in the south on business trips is the closeness of the communities. I felt very welcome in these churches, and everyone seemed very committed to the Church and each other as a community. Also, they seemed a little closer to the orthodoxy I love.

I'm going to see if I can get Titans/Bengals tickets. I think they play in Nashville this year.


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