Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November 13th, 2019

Wow. That was short lived…

‘Controversial video documentary about Lambert…’ barely had a live week on YouTube before its creators succumbed to politics and pulled it off the air.

I watched all three episodes. Not just to find my interviews and scream, ‘Look! I’m on Youtube!’ I watched it because of Sarah. Conrad. Bill. Rowan. I watched my heroes talk about their old battle to save our homes. The same heroes I grew up listening to and thought they would win against the airport. Their perspectives have not changed in the 30 years of the disaster that is the new runway. It seems that once again, our personal stories got ungraciously dismissed in political tugs of war.

I knew that by doing these interviews what they may may become. The production values had some real money beyond a simple documentary telling a story about an area. Beforehand, I researched Rex, First Rule, and where the political positions the creators of this documentary fell. I can’t say I agree with everything they do. However, when offered a platform to support the former residents of Carrollton and this area of Bridgeton, of course I was willing to give a voice to the historical tragedy that is the loss of our entire community.

In the StL P-D article today, the airport spokesperson said that the documentary did not accurately reflect today’s numbers. I will say that the historical context of the documentary seemed pretty accurate in regards to my own notes and research on the 1989 expansion and the W-1W runway. Since 95% of the documentary focused on the airport’s past events, pulling the episodes off all media does little more than silence those who lived in the area and just want our stories heard. Once again, political forces tell those of us trapped in the middle to shut up and accept our fates at their hands.

The controversial question around why the documentary was pulled didn’t have much to do with the documentary itself. The question is, ‘Should the airport be privatized or remain in the hands of St. Louis City?’ Interesting and much more controversial than anything that was actually in the documentary (timing and political pressure did it in). Despite all that St. Louis City has done to destroy Bridgeton, I still have much love St. Louis City. I have traveled far and wide and lived outside of StL for some time, but St. Louis City’s people and institutions are by far the absolutely best in the world. I love this City like no other, and carry the red, yellow, and blue flag with me. Can St. Louis carry on with the responsibility of managing the airport? While I’m not an expert on general airport management, St. Louis City’s history regarding the airport expansion has been terrible at best. Given the condition the airport and surrounding land is in now, I don’t believe any private entity can or will do any better with it either. I do think private interests and public City managers needs to accept two realities of Lambert- 1. The new runway was a horrible, shortsighted, and costly mistake that still has ramifications today, and 2. In many decades to come, Lambert will still be what it is now- a struggling midsized airport with no future of becoming a world-class airport or air-shipping destination. I don’t think any entity, be it public or private, could make that happen in the future if it already hasn’t. I don’t think there will be any winners in this, whatever happens to Lambert’s ownership. I say this not as any kind of airport expert, but as someone who has passively watched over Lambert’s skies my entire life.

And Sarah, Conrad, Bill, Rowan, all of us will still tell our damn stories.

Read Full Post »