Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tourism vs. Soul

Each side brings with it honor as Jack Thorpe files his lawsuit against Jim Thorpe (the Pennsylvania city, not his iconic father). It is very unlikely they will leave the courtroom that way.

Son Thorpe, 72, has brought suit against various people and the government of what was once Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk, until they made a deal to merge and rename themselves Jim Thorpe, Penna., and rebury the remains of America's most famous non-warrior Native American. The deal made with Thorpe's third wife — JT is son from the first marriage — was that the town would inter and celebrate the great man's life. The son says fifty years on it is time for the great man's soul to be put at rest through reburial in tribal lands in Oklahoma.

Unfortunately, as is the way of most judicial pursuits, from this point forward younger Thorpe is more and more likely to come across as someone taking his own last shot at fame and money while the town fathers (and mothers) will appear ever more pigheaded and small.

On the other hand, it could be the two sides are in cahoots to bring some more attention to the legacy and create a  little tourist buzz as well. If so (and we can only hope) then consider WD well played.

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