A police officer reportedly confirmed neighbors' suspicions recently that prostitutes were living and hooking on 6th Avenue North, and that "it's been like that for 15 years." The officer made those comments after police responded to a fight between men visiting the apartments of the alleged hookers on 6th during the last weekend in April. Neighbors tell me that various older men come and go from the back of the women's apartment at all times of the day and night.
Yesterday evening, I observed a woman (white, fair-skinned, brunette, larger-than-average build, short pony tail and plastic-rimmed glasses) hanging out near the Morgan Park Community Center construction site (corner of 5th and Hume) for about an hour like she was waiting, drinking a quart of malt liquor, talking on her cell phone, chatting with a couple of pick-up truck drivers who stopped by, and then leaving on foot with an older man towards 6th. Those who have witnessed the suspicious activities at the 6th Avenue apartment tell me that the woman I saw fits the description of one believed to be hooking.
The apartments are a neighborhood blight and they look to me like they could be owned by a slum lord. According to Metro maps, they are actually owned by a "Lester C. McClain" of Brentwood, TN. What I'm wondering at this point is whether that is the same Lester C. McClain of Brentwood, TN who was just appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen to a state safety board. If such is the case, then it would be pathetic that a safety official owns a property that threatens the safety of Tennesseans living in Salemtown. (The front of this property was also the location of a recent major drug bust, in which a large quantity of cocaine coming into the neighborhood was seized).
In the meantime, some of us are beginning to worry about the police and the possibility that they might not be as concerned about our safety as the should be. What other explanation would they have for expressing casual indifference toward 15 years of hooking in Salemtown?
UPDATE: The ever-resourceful Sageish comments below that after searching he has found only one Lester C. McClain in Brentwood, TN. He also posts Mr. McClain's phone number. Leave it to the on-line neighborhood to do the work that ought to be tailor-made for "professional journalists," none of whom (not even the mainstream media bloggers) seem interested in this story.
Lester C. MClain is also listed in a 2003 list of Notary Publics approved by the Metro Council. And he is listed on the Board of Directors of the Williamson County UT Alumni Association. His e-mail on the latter list is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: Brittney at Nashville is Talking (WKRN's blog) has picked up the story.