Someone Can ‘Fess Up Now, Right?

So, I’m reading about Glendale Park and the carousel that was there called The Flying Jenny. And, honestly, is that not the greatest name for a carousel ever?


The horses from the merry-go-round showed up as an Easter display at Harvey’s Department Store in downtown Nashville in 1942. Later they became a permanent part of the store decor, disappearing again when Harvey’s closed. It should be noted that while Harvey’s had a full-size carousel in its Monkey Bar restaurant it was not the Flying Jenny from Glendale Park.

Wouldn’t you love to know where those horses ended up?  Had to be to someone’s (or someones’) basement(s), right?

I’d love to know if any of them survive.

Nashville History

Work on the fake ghost stories continues.  I was kind of running up against the problem of not yet having a good country music related ghost story and also only having one ghost story from East Nashville.  So, I decided to write a ghost story about Jim Reeves, whose house was torn down to make way for… um… a big patch of green grass in front of the Home Depot on Gallatin, there at Briley Parkway.  This house was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, structure in Nashville and there was a huge, embarrassing controversy when it was torn down, with people trying to claim that the permit to tear it down was issued in error.  I got all caught up in the real story, in other words.

But it got me thinking about how rich our city’s history is and how we have these whole rich landscapes all around us that most of us don’t know anything about.

It’s like the past is one of those neighborhoods in Nashville that you’re not explicitly told to stay out of, but the silence around it tells you it’s best not to go there, or to only go there if you have a proper guide who can keep you on the right track.

But Nashvillians past are our neighbors, too.

And I think the past is just another Nashville neighborhood, one located in time, though, not in a physical space.

So, hell yes, if you live here, you should occasionally hang out in the past.  Go drive around it.  Check out the music (it’s great fun).  Eat some food.  Come to learn the people.

Don’t worry about not completely understanding it. You don’t go into a new neighborhood and expect to immediately know the geography or who the people to talk to are.

Same thing here.

Apparently, Zach Wamp Doesn’t Mind if You Get a Little Poisoned

I had coffee with Genma Holmes this morning and the whole thing was just like you hope when you meet people–funny, thought-provoking, wide-ranging.  But the thing that has stuck in my brain all morning is that, when we briefly talked about our state’s abysmal infant mortality rate (a topic near and dear to both of our hearts), she mentioned that all the education in the world, all the taking women to doctors, and making sure we eat right doesn’t do much if women can’t be pregnant and give birth in communities that aren’t filled with things that poison us.

It struck a chord with me because I had been thinking about what Woods quoted Wamp as saying the other day.

“Listen, if the snail darter or whatever gets in the way of our state moving forward at a time like this when people are hurting, then it’s going to be really a crying shame.”

Because, I wonder, just how does Wamp think that the snail darter or whatever is standing in the way?  Does he think that corporations are all “Well, in order to keep our employees happy, every day at noon, we propose they all go out and stomp on snail darters.”?  (Though, if you do plan on stomping a snail darter, please watch for slippery rocks.)  Yes, sometimes it’s a matter of altering the landscape in such a way that habitat is lost.

But more often, when we lose species to corporations, we lose them to corporations who are poisoning them. And this is a concern for us, not because we’re all commie hippy softies about ugly fish, but because what can kill a fish can, in high enough concentrations, kill us.

I appreciate and have come to dearly love the “Whatever you throw at us, fuck you, we can take it” attitude of the people of Tennessee.  But there comes a point when we have to ask ourselves, even if we’re tough enough to withstand being poisoned or losing our homes to negligent power companies or getting by on scraps, why should we?