Losing the name game

Naming buildings after the living can be an embarrassing gamble

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We wince a bit when we hear about some public edifice being ceremoniously named for a living person.

Not that we think our contemporaries are undeserving. Local roads have been named for U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Perry M. Smith (retired) and former Congressman Doug Barnard – and a stretch of I-20 for former Gov. Carl Sanders. It’s just that they are such exemplary leaders that, well, you just can’t go wrong.

But in other cases there’s a latent danger. When you name a building after someone in your midst, that person could resurface under sad or shocking circumstances, turning an honor into an embarrassment. You’d better be doggone sure, is all.

Which brings us to Patrick J. Sullivan Jr.

Sullivan retired in 2002 after spending 19 years as the sheriff of Arapahoe County, Colo., in suburban Denver. He’s been honored for his heroism. He’s a nationally acknowledged expert on cyberterrorism. He won the Sheriff of the Year honor in 2001 from the National Sheriff Association.

Now he’s been arrested. Sullivan faces charges that he dealt methamphetamine, and tried to trade the drug with a man in exchange for sex.

Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. is being held in Arapahoe County’s jail – or, as it’s officially known, the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility.

TV journalist John Stossel coined the pun “edifice complex” to describe the phenomenon – and potential folly – of naming things after people who are still alive. Perhaps it’s best to wait for a dignified death to bestow such an honor, to assure the honor doesn’t collapse into an ignominious joke.

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allhans
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allhans 12/02/11 - 09:37 am
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The name game is to the point

The name game is to the point that after living here for 40 years I no longer know where to go or how to get there.
It is ridiculous nonsense. If it's a court house, then call it a court house and so on.
If it is a memorial then place a monument on Greene St.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/02/11 - 10:00 am
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I just had a horrible

I just had a horrible thought: what if the commission re-names the Julian Smith Barbecue Pit after former mayor Larry Sconyers?

Chillen
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Chillen 12/02/11 - 10:58 am
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One drive through Atlanta and

One drive through Atlanta and you'll see exactly what this editorial is talking about. Every crooked politician - local & federal - has a road, highway, etc. named after them.

One example? "Cynthia McKinney Parkway"

Self centered idiots.

burninater
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burninater 12/02/11 - 11:37 am
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Oh LL, why did you have to

Oh LL, why did you have to mention Sconyers? Two years after my only meal there I had just about gotten the taste out of my mouth ...

Chillen
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Chillen 12/02/11 - 12:21 pm
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I agree burninater, I don't

I agree burninater, I don't see all the hoopla surrounding Sconyers. Mots or Shanes are much better.

burninater
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burninater 12/02/11 - 12:28 pm
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Locally I like BBQ Barn's

Locally I like BBQ Barn's sauces the best, but Farm Boys in Chapin on Thursdays when they have fried pork chops is my hands-down favorite.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 12/02/11 - 12:59 pm
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Personally I like Sconyers,

Personally I like Sconyers, especially the potato salad....rather have hash and rice than brunswick stew too. BBQ Barn is also good if I happen to be on that side of town.

allhans
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allhans 12/02/11 - 02:31 pm
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I'm a Sconyers person. I

I'm a Sconyers person. I don't know what they have done with their sauce though. For the last year or so it tastes sour, they should go back to the original recipe..

bjphysics
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bjphysics 12/02/11 - 04:06 pm
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The Riverman Green Technology

The Riverman Green Technology Center

The Harley School of Liberal Arts

I like it

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 12/02/11 - 04:06 pm
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Speaking of naming things

Speaking of naming things after living people you can name anything after me. I promise I won't rob a bank or any other dastardly deed. Can't you see it now- "SCOOBYDO" Avenue or SCOOBYDO Court House.

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 12/02/11 - 04:10 pm
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The Scoobydo Hall of Gangster

The Scoobydo Hall of Gangster Rap Fame

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 12/02/11 - 04:14 pm
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That will do it, BJ.

That will do it, BJ.

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 12/02/11 - 04:18 pm
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Burninater’s Hot Wings Palace

Burninater’s Hot Wings Palace

bjphysics
36
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bjphysics 12/02/11 - 04:22 pm
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Chillen’s Chicken Chack

Chillen’s Chicken Chack

Taylor B
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Taylor B 12/02/11 - 10:34 pm
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How dare ACES quote John

How dare ACES quote John Stossell!

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