Am I even permitted to disagree with my pal Phil Damiani. He’s one of my favorite guys. We’ve worked on projects together. We’ve shared a lot of laughs and a lot of stories. I hang on to his every word and respect him dearly.

I have to challenge Phil’s letter in today’s Delaware County Daily Times where he suggests where the Fredia Gibbs statue should be placed.

Chester native Fredia Gibbs is a world class athlete who may be best known for becoming the first African-American female Kickboxing ISKA World Champion. She earned the name “The Most Dangerous Woman in the World” during her kickboxing career as she also held the WKA and WKF World Kickboxing Titles. Before her kickboxing career, she won three world titles in Tae Kwon Do and was an All-American in basketball and track.

I’d say she deserves a statue.

The statue is just about complete and Damiani’s been contemplating where it should be unveiled. Obviously, Chester is the most logical city to place the statue – but where?

Damiani mentions the serendipitous turn of fortune having the Christopher Columbus statue removed from its base on RT-291 right across from Chester City Hall and quoted Mayor Kirkland as saying what replaces Columbus should reflect and embrace the changing demographics of the City of Chester. I couldn’t agree more.

Here’s where I disagree with my pal Phil.

Although it’s perfectly convenient to take advantage of the great vacant parking spot for Fredia’s statue on RT-291, I suggest we move the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s bust from Veterans Memorial Park to RT-291 and place Fredia Cheetah Gibbs’ statue in the park.

Why? One, because Gibbs is an athlete: she would look great in a park where athletes perform. And, for the same reason MLK enjoys his perch in the park, it is right outside the public library where hundreds of visitors a week pass in and out and have the opportunity to research the lady of bronze on display just a few feet away.

Dr. King is perfectly suited for RT-291 because the road itself as it stretches from end-to-end in Chester is named Rosa Parks Memorial Highway. Need I explain the connection here?

I always seem to stir up some type of controversy, so why not one on where these two great statues of two great people be placed in Chester.

Please chime in. Where would you like to see Fredia’s statue displayed? There’s still time to offer your opinion.