Open letter to Mayor and City Council regarding Panhandle Slim
I write to you to express my disappointment at the outcome of a recent debate on art —and what constitutes art — at a meeting of the Historical Site and Monuments Commission.
As a former seven-term city commissioner in West Palm Beach, Fla., I spent my political career learning about those things that make communities great, strong and vibrant. At the center of it all is our culture and cultural experiences.
There is no medium like art. There is no dollar value a city can really ever place on art, though we received continual impact reports on what it means to a city’s economy.
Nothing comes close to it. Not good restaurants. Not a beautiful waterfront (ours is spectacular). Art. All kinds of it. Throughout the city.
To think that Savannah, of all places, would go so far as to censor Scott Stanton’s (aka Panhandle Slim) talent and community voice, historic district or not, leaves me speechless. And sad.
Panhandle Slim has a national following. I have friends in St. Louis and Chicago and Tallahassee and Jacksonville and Miami who prize their Panhandle Slims. My office is filled with them. Your community supports his work, as well. It is a shame the leadership of Savannah does not. I believe this is your supreme loss.
Though you do not represent me in your elected duties directly, my family holds a special love for your city. We visit often, most recently during a soccer tournament — and delightful haunted tour.
It will be a long while before we choose Savannah again for a visit.
I will leave you with this. My late father, Captain Edgar D. Mitchell, was especially fond of Scott’s work and proudly hung his Panhandle Slim in his home.
If the sixth human to walk on the moon appreciates Panhandle Slim’s art and important voice, how is it remotely possible that Savannah does not?Kimberly Mitchell West Palm Beach, FL