A Royal address

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A recent caller asked why he was receiving mail addressed to "Royal, Tennessee" instead of Shelbyville.

My former cell phone provider claimed I lived in "Royal, TN 37160" and I've seen Shelbyville listed as "Royal" on the Internet.

It's amazing that, specifically due to today's high technology, "Royal" has made a comeback. Apparently old maps showing "Royal" have been scanned into computers.

The caller said he wasn't really aware of Shelbyville's history.

"Royal" was the name of an old post office located in the "mill village" near the old U.S. Rubber Co. plant (later known as Uniroyal) at the end of Shelbyville Mills Road. The plant made "U.S. Royal" tires.

The "mill village," never actually an incorporated town, was pretty much self-sustaining. It had its own ball teams, school (first through eighth grades) and was a couple of miles or so west of Shelbyville itself. The "village" gradually lost its isolation, if you could call it that, as years went by.

The "village," in its own way, is still very much alive and growing today. The row of smaller homes on the east side of Shelbyville Mills Road and, behind them, on the end of Cedar River Road nearest West Jackson Street remain from the "village." They're surrounded with new residential development today.

A few random observations:

*Severe weather season's nearing and, while using churches as storm shelters is a great idea, sirens are also needed.

Most storm victims I've interviewed over the years didn't seem to have been prepared. Not everyone takes TV warnings as seriously as they should, no doubt partially because Nashville TV plays up every minor thunderstorm as if they're all dangerous.

Storms strike at all hours of the day and night, including the overnight hours as in Florida last week. Sirens could arguably awaken people in time to find a somewhat-safe place.

Of course sirens cost, but if lives are saved then the expenditure would be well worth it.

I wonder what would happen if the lead time to reach safety is only a few minutes -- too short for someone to make it to the nearest open church?  *Pennies are the most useless coin ever invented. Surely businesses could price everything by zeros and fives so there would be no need for the pesky little things. Rounding everything up by two or three cents can only help the bottom line, although from a consumer's point of view it should be rounded down.

* I select the quotes published at on the "bottom rail" of most days' T-G front pages. That's why I was gratified to hear from someone last week who said he reads them every issue. I was beginning to wonder if they were actually being read.

It takes about an hour every Thursday afternoon to find and set up a week's worth. I try to mix the old, traditional quotes from historic figures with some from people who are still alive, even the very young since they, too, can have wisdom. But it seems most under age 50 talk only about themselves rather than how to help others.

How about this quote I didn't choose: "Everyone ought to spend part of their life making someone else's life better."

Good advice. But would our readers really accept advice from ... Jerry Springer?

Dumping the sleazy talk show could help Springer's reputation enormously, even if his income took a hit.

*Two bald eagles recently attempted to snatch someone who was paragliding 8,500 feet above Australia, news reports indicate.

Our national symbol would kill us for food if it had the chance. Think about it.

David Melson is a Times-Gazette copy editor/staff writer. Comments welcome: dmelson@t-g.com .