Times have changed

Published 8:58 am Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Yes, times have changed. And, yes, we live in a different world today than we did 50 years ago. But there are still times when we look back at things that have been published in this newspaper and can only shake our heads in amazement. Clyde Parker’s most recent Looking Back column caused us to do just that.

The column (Looking Back: City stipulates a man for the chamber, Clyde Parker, Oct. 3) reprints, at least in part, a news story in The Tidewater News from Oct. 3, 1964, in which it was reported that the City of Franklin — not a private business, but the local municipal government — offered to pay higher membership dues to the Franklin Chamber of Commerce if it would hire a man the next time the executive secretary (later known as executive director) position came open.

An excerpt from the story follows:

In this regard, a Chamber committee recently conducted a survey of its members. According to Chamber President Woodrow Livesay, the consensus of the survey indicates that a significant number of Chamber members, as well as members of the Chamber committee, believe that a man would be more effective in interfacing with the business world. And, they believe that a man would be more able to interact with Chamber members, up and down the street — and out and about. A man could go to places away from Franklin. He could travel with other local officials to out-of-town meetings that sometimes require over-night stays. A man would be more able to persuade new industry to come here.

Livesay commented further on the matter. “Obviously, some people disagree with the position taken by the City and the Chamber Committee,” he said.

We can only imagine what the public reaction would be if a similar survey were even conducted today, let alone the backlash if it were to yield similar results.