The House Dreaming

Oh, I forgot to tell you all about the weirdness this week. Monday night I woke up because I heard knocking, four evenly spaced knocks like someone was driving a nail. But the dog wasn’t barking, so I knew it wasn’t really happening, that I was caught in a dream, even as I was waking. But then, Tuesday night, I woke myself up because I said “Marie” in my sleep. And, believe me, when you do something weird like talk in your sleep with your CPAP machine on, you will wake yourself up, just because of the change in air flow through your body (instead of going down into your lungs, the air all rushes out of your mouth, thus leaving you with this weird almost suffocating feeling).

But the thing that stuck with me on both occasions was the way the house felt, so calm and at rest, that I almost wondered if it was me or the house dreaming.

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Sometimes, I am Lucky

I just read this poem that blew my mind, about the Devil. I would love almost any poem about the Devil wandering around Tennessee, for obvious reasons, but this one I didn’t just love in that way you love a puppy you just met. I loved it in the way that makes you worried you’re going to be standing outside that poem’s window at four in the morning, hoping that poem will look outside and realize you are IT, when really, that poem is going to call the police. This poem makes me a fool for it.

I can remember being very young and writing my first and only fan letter to an author. I can’t remember who the author was, but I remember finding the publisher’s address in the front of the book, because it was, I think 666 Broadway (or 666 Something) in New York and I was young enough to be worried that even writing “666” might be problematic. I might get cursed or something. Clearly, my parents should have bought me a typewriter to protect me from just such occasions.

Anyway, obviously, I never heard back from the author. And this has been pretty standard for how the relationship between authors and me went for much of my younger life. They were off doing this strange wonderful thing I wanted to do, too, and they were so far above me that I was never even going to be a blip on their radar. Then I got the job at Wake and, when publishing poets, there’s a lot of… how shall we say… care that has to be taken. Poets, especially in a country as small as Ireland, all know each other and have their friendships and rivalries and it makes your life easier to take them into account. But the lovely thing about them was that they were incredibly friendly and gracious and whenever they were over here, you could just know them, as people.

In my current job, I’ve been very fortunate to just know some folks. And even count them as my friends.

And I have the great pleasure of having a couple writer friends I can talk writing with, send emails bemoaning my lack of talent, pshawing their emails bemoaning their lack of talent.

But, I don’t know, today, reading that poem, I had the same feeling I had when Nina Cardona said “Nashville author, Betsy Phillips,” like–yeah, this is how I want to spend my days.

I just started reading My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me and it is, so far, tremendous. I’ve got Cat Valente’s new book, Deathless, on the way, which I have a feeling is going to be a great follow-up. I will be up to my eyes in Baba Yaga, by then, for sure. Then I’m planning on following that up with So Much Pretty (warning, the review ends with an interview that takes a turn for the “That’s really your question?”), though I plan on finding that incredibly depressing.

So, ha, yes, obviously I’m to the point with my book where I’m staring at it thinking “well, it seems fine, but I suspect it sucks,” so I’m jumping out of it and into what other folks are doing.

The Mystery of the Cross Continues

You remember, when last we bothered to discuss the cross on the side of the road, that it was, as it had been since shortly after Christmas, just laying on the side of the road, looking discarded and forgotten.

It was still that way on Monday. Tuesday I didn’t walk the dog because I slept through my alarm and yesterday… well it was raining and I had to deal with the water heater.

So, some time, either Tuesday or Wednesday, not only did someone else finally notice the cross, they set it upright along the side of the road. Well, kind of upright. It’s leaning against a fence.

But man! I saw it today and it kind of gave me chills. Not the cross so much. Being a minister’s kid, I kind of have those down. But I know that thing was litter someone tossed on the side of the road, garbage as far as they were concerned. And I thought it was kind of interesting to watch it weather and all.

But I got the chills thinking about the person who saw it there and was like “No, that doesn’t just slowly sink into the mud. Not when I’m here to bear witness and do something about it.”

Cross-uprighter. It’s not something you can put on your resume. But for someone, that was something worth doing this week.

I don’t know.

That just really moves me. And it got “Up from the Grave He Arose” stuck in my head. So, if you hear me singing “with a mighty triumph o’er his foes” which is the best part of that song, melodically, that’s why.

We Have a New Water Heater

I know part of being an adult is having money in savings so that when you need a new water heater, you just pull the money out of savings and voila! It is paid for.

But man, I’m still not great at this “Put money in savings” business. I mean, I do it, regularly, but not with a grown-up amount of money. And so todays adventure leaves $50 in my savings account.

I hope we don’t have any disasters that cost more than $50 after this.

But, really, as far as unlucky things go, this was a very lucky thing. It was in the garage, the plumber could replace it right away, and I have the money to pay for it and the vacation time to sit here while they do it.

We have not always been so lucky. So, I’m wigged out, but I’m really grateful, too.

Still Waiting on the Plumbers

I fret quite a bit, but I’m not a good waiter. Like, I’ve been waiting for the plumbers since noon and they just now called to say it’s going to be closer to 2:30 before they get here and I could be doing things like picking up or reading a book or playing with the dog, but I’m just kind of sitting here feeling anxious, since both my dad and my brother are convinced that I’m going to need a new water heater and it will be very expensive.

Granted, they are doing this diagnosis over the phone, based solely on their desire to freak me the fuck out, but there we are. I shouldn’t have posted that I was waiting for the plumber on Facebook, since that’s what spurred them to call.

I also wish we had something chocolaty in the house, but we do not.

I also wish I hadn’t eaten Sonic for lunch. The trouble with getting old is that, when you’re younger, you’re like “Ooo, chicken fried steak sandwich! It’s so bad for me!” and when you get to be my age, you realize, it doesn’t even matter that it’s “bad” for you. It matters that it so quickly makes me feel like shit.

I don’t eat a lot of fried foods, but damn it, I really need to cut them out completely. Not for my long-term health. Just for my everyday well-being.

Bleh, Water Heater

The Butcher said “Have a nice day, Betsy” and walked out the door. Then he came back in and said, “Um, something’s leaking in the garage.” And I said, “God damn it. Go to work.” Not together. But you know, “God damn it, something’s leaking and someone will have to take care of it and you can’t NOT go to work so it will have to be me so you go to work and I’ll figure out what the fuck to do.”

Which, yes, means basically calling the plumber, but it means calling the plumber and taking the time off work.

When shit like this happens, I seriously don’t know how single or working parents do it. I just have two grown-ups in my house and I find coordinating and arranging this kind of emergency crap to be very stressful.

Hats off to you today, parents.

 

Christ Almighty, I Almost Prefer the Victim-Blaming Version

Remember when the New York Times ran their story on that poor girl being gang-raped in Texas and it was all “Where was her mother? What was she wearing?!”

They’ve done a follow-up story. It’s a better story in that it’s not victim-blamey, but holy shit, it will rip your heart right out for this girl. Her dad is sick and can’t work. Her mom has a mass in her head she can’t afford to get removed. The girl went from being a bubbly, happy honor student to the victim of multiple rapes over many months. Yeah, it’s like this group of guys figured out that her home life had taken a turn for the worse (with her mom being extremely depressed about her medical condition) and that they could swoop in and exploit her vulnerability.

This whole paragraph from the victim-blamy story?

Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands — known as the Quarters — said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.

Turns out that her “friends” she’d been visiting for months were the adult and almost-adult men who had been raping her for those months. Those neighbors saw that her dress and behavior had changed and that she was hanging out with adult or almost adult male “friends” and they didn’t bother to see that as a sign she was in trouble, but as a sign she was Slutty McSlutterson. You wonder what kind of boys and men could decide to go on a months’ long rape and molestation spree of an eleven year old girl, calling their friends to come get in on it, without even a hint of remorse. And then you learn that their friends and neighbors saw them with that girl and got all judgmental about how she was dressed and behaving.

Months.

They raped her for months.

And the people in their neighborhood saw her with them and saw something was obviously wrong with her and said nothing, did nothing, turned their backs on her suffering.

Well, you know, sometimes you hear about shit like this and you wonder “How could this happen?” But, honestly, thanks to that shitty first article from the New York Times, at least in this case we know–it happened because these shitty fucks come from shitty fucks.

I Don’t Ask This Lightly: What the Fuck is Wrong with Bill Ketron?

When you’ve let whatever your pet cause is–illegal immigration, in this case–blind you to the fact that you’ve set out on a course to terrorize children, you need to take a step back.

What kind of sadistic fuck wakes up in the morning and is like “Golly, what can I do today that will cause little children to be afraid to go to school?”

And to ask the schools to become immigration investigators so that you can feed your sadism? It’s honestly disgusting.

And the concocting of lists of children who don’t have the right paperwork? I love how anybody left of Nixon in this state is called a commie or a socialist and Bill Ketron wants Tennessee’s children to live like this is fucking Soviet Russia, everyone needing their papers at all times. Is being a commie a bad thing or not? Or is being called a commie terrible but writing state laws to make the state more like Soviet Russia is fine? Sincerely, what the fuck?

Here’s what I hope for Bill Ketron. I hope he gets what he gives. Like some kind of retributive twist on the Golden Rule–I hope his whole life is filled with others treating him the way he treats everyone else.

Because a man who would make little kids afraid to go to school deserves some bad, bad karma.

The Daily Beast Covers the Henry Granju Case

You can read the whole thing, but I’d like to draw your attention to this:

John Gill, special counsel for the Knox County District Attorney’s Office, wrote in an email to The Daily Beast: “It has been somewhat frustrating that the media has seemed to accept everything from a grieving mother without law-enforcement experience as an accurate assessment of the law… My office and the Knox Co. Sheriff’s Department has conducted an exhaustive investigation and have pursued all possible outcomes under the facts and the law. At some point all the info about the case will be public record.”

Now, you’d think John Gill would, oh, you know, read Katie Granju’s blog about all her failed efforts to discuss the case with the lead investigator on the case before he said something like “the Knox Co. Sheriff’s Department has conducted an exhaustive investigation,” since one would think that an exhaustive investigation would include talking to the victim’s family. Or maybe Gill thought the lead investigator would same something vaguely similar to what Gill had said.

But here’s what happened instead:

In seeking comment for this story, The Daily Beast reached the lead investigator by phone and asked if he’d ever met Katie Granju. He responded, “No, I have not.” When asked to confirm that he’d never met Henry, he promptly hung up.

Listen, I think Betty Bean is absolutely right–that they want to treat these overdoses like discrete cases, almost like accidental suicides. And I’m not unsympathetic to that position (which I know makes me kind of a heartless asshole). But any person living in Knox County or sending their kid to UT Knoxville should think long and hard about this portion I’ve highlighted.

Something terrible happened to Katie’s son. Some of it he did to himself. But he didn’t beat himself up and he didn’t manufacture his own drugs. Crimes were committed against him. And you, too, could be a victim of a crime in Knoxville. God forbid it be a crime that leaves you incapacitated or dead, but it could happen.

Are we, as a community, actually comfortable with the definition of “an exhaustive investigation” being one in which no one attempts to interview the victim? No one talks to the family about what the victim may have told them in the last days of his life?

That scares the shit out of me.

If that’s exhaustive, I’d hate to see what their half-assed investigations look like.

There are Deer Farms?!

I am still baffled by the knowledge that there are deer farms–places that deliberately raise deer for hunters to go and shoot–and that people want them in Tennessee. Now, I am not a hunter. But I do have a garden. So, I have to say, I am confused about why we would need places in Tennessee where deer are raised deliberately. Are there not already a shit-ton of deer in this state? Are they not already kind of a public nuisance? Have we not pretty much removed all apex predators from the area, thus rendering us deer’s only real threat?

People who aren’t even hunters kill deer in our state all the time, on accident, with their vehicles.

Help me out here, hunters. Why in the world would you need to canned hunt something so damn ubiquitous? Who would pay to hunt something they could shoot for free in their own vegetable garden?

Is it about the size and age of the animals? What? I’m not trying to be snarky. I literally cannot understand this enough to know if I should be in favor or oppose it.

Turn About is Fair Play

One of the Butcher’s friends has been giving him rides to work since he started his job. Yes his JOB! The Butcher has a job that he goes to and he makes money and some of it goes to pay bills and buy groceries and it’s wonderful, wonderful, won…

Where was I? Yes, so the Butcher’s friend has been giving him rides to work since he started his job. And today is the very first day the Butcher has his (mom’s) car. And the guy who always gave him a ride? Today, due to his problems with an infamously conspirator car dealer, he needs a ride to work. And so, this morning, I watched the Butcher leave a little early so that he could go pick his awesome friend up and take him to work.

That pleases me a great deal.

But listen. The Butcher’s awesome friend is in this lovely band I already told you about–Anchor Thieves–and yet I can see by my statistics that literally seven of you clicked through to download their damn album for free. It’s free. If you don’t like it, you can tell someone you secretly hate that it’s awesome and make them download it. If you do like it, it’s free! Enjoy. Sing along.

Just show these folks, one of whom has been so good to my brother, some love.

And I will owe you one.

I am Completely Over this ‘Exercise is Good for You’ Crap

First, when Mrs. Wigglebottom and I were at the park yesterday morning, we were attacked by fucking ducks. Not like ducks I’m angry at, though I was a little angry, but actual ducks en flagrante who did not appreciate being disturbed. And the dog hid behind me, after barking at them and provoking them further, as if I had magical duck calming abilities or something.

But then, like three quarters of the way through our walk, I got this weird… I don’t quite know how to explain it. But you know sometimes how you’ll get a pain in, say, your knuckle that lets you know you need to crack said knuckle and you do and everything is wonderful? I got that in my foot. It’s still there now. It’s like right in the arch of my foot and I can’t figure out how to crack it. But oh my god, it’s the most annoying pain ever. Not the most painful pain. I mean, on a scale of one to ten, I’d give it a two or a one and a half, but a two or a one and a half with a shrill voice. And, because of that, I was walking on my foot funny, which caused my ankle to fucking fuck and so this morning I was all “I will walk the dog and that will somehow fix things.”

I don’t know how I thought that was going to work. It’s like getting stabbed and then stabbing yourself to fix it or something. I have no fucking idea.

But, while I was at the second park yesterday (Don’t even try to match my park-going prowess, Nashville, it’s not going to happen.), Polerin showed me how to LARP sword-fight and it was awesome. I mean, you ever have one of those moments where someone has some kind of nerdy knowledge that you did not know you needed but they start to talk and you realize they are answering every question you didn’t even know you had?

Folks, it was like that. She gave me a little sword-construction theory (it involves a trip to Wal-mart, much to her chagrin), sword-holding strategy (keep your sword-hand elbow from jutting out or someone will take it off), and she even whooped me in the back! It was awesome. Oh, and then she did these fancy moves where she showed me how she would use two swords at once on the field and how she has this set-up she likes with a short sword and a spear so that she can either keep you further away from her than your weapon can reach with her spear or she can move in closer than your weapon can defend and stab you with her short blade.

I asked if it was customary to give newbies fifteen minutes to get all the “Ooo, I’m going to stab you with my massive sword,” double entendre bullshit out of their system, because, even writing the above paragraph, I’m all “Heh heh heh.”

If not, I swear, I volunteer to be the person who listens to all that and laughs along, because I am not mature enough not to.

Getting to the Bottoms of Things

This Ida Cox Thing Has Made My Whole Day

So, there’s a moment in the novel where the narrator is talking about the importance of Led Zeppelin’s “Traveling Riverside Blues,” even though she was not allowed to listen to Led Zeppelin growing up because they were somehow beyond evil. Sure, there was Dio and Slayer and Black Sabbath and all these bands whose records were going to get burned whenever there were record burnings to be had. But Led Zeppelin was even beyond them. Like, those other bands were just Satanic, but something about Led Zeppelin was insidious.

And then she goes on to discover that this isn’t a Led Zeppelin song at all, but is actually a reworking of an old Robert Johnson song, “Traveling Riverside Blues” (head’s-up: it’s very different, but stick with it for a minute and you’ll start to hear familiar stuff). And she talks then about her love for finding these old bases for current songs. So, she brings up the whole Alan Jackson thing, which I regaled you with last night. She’s completely committed to and finding great meaning in the whole “Up from the Delta” myth of popular music.

And then, the first time she’s in Clarksdale, she stops to get gas, and the attendant, seeing that she’s a woman, assumes she might be interested in knowing that Bessie Smith died north of town before she was scheduled to perform. And she doesn’t even know who Bessie Smith is. So, you know I just spent a good twenty minutes crafting the sentences that would let me drop that tidbit about Ida Cox singing that verse a decade before Skip James.

I’m really fascinated by the ways in which the narratives we use to make sense of things can be so detailed and work so well and also not be true or not be the whole truth.

And that “up from the Delta” myth does work so well. And it pretty much completely sleight-of-hands away the enormous influence that these wildly famous blues women had on the men who have now become legends.

And there’s a lot going on here because it sits at an intersection of race and gender that we, as a culture, don’t navigate well at all. I’m just trying to imagine what it would be like to move black women to the center of the history of popular American music, to rightly say, “If not for them, we don’t have Robert Johnson the way we know him, which means we don’t have Led Zeppelin the way we know them (or any other variation on the story).”

And I honestly don’t know. It seems strange, even to me, because I’m so used to the story that goes “influential women on rock are influential because of their great pussies, which they graciously provide to the men in the bands, who then write songs about them.” Woman as muse, not woman as musician, you know?

But it’s hard, once you realize something’s been glossed over, moved aside, to not want to go back and hear what it is you were kept from and to ask yourself what it means that it was kept from you. This is the part about racism and sexism that are hardest to get across–the people who bear the brunt of it are not the only people getting screwed. We are all losing from this arrangement. If you are a white person in a society premised upon white supremacy, you are, every day, being lied to about things, given a distorted truth about history and your place in the world. You are missing out and you won’t often know what it is you’re even missing out on. Same with sexism. If you are a man in a society premised upon male supremacy, you are being lied to everyday and missing out on stuff you don’t even know you’re missing out on.

How do you not know about Ida Cox or Bessie Smith or Ma Rainey if you are a fan of pop music?

That’s a real loss, and not for Cox or Smith or Rainey. They had good careers and are dead.

That’s our loss. And we don’t even know it.

Music Nerds! I Need Your Help

I know this is a dorky thing to wonder, but I’ve got it fixed in my brain now, so here it is. You know Alan Jackson? He sings “Mercury Blues,” in which is contained the line “gal I love, stole her from a friend, he got lucky stole her back again.”

This is a cover. The original is K. C. Douglas’s “Mercury Blues” (sometimes called “Mercury Boogies”), which dates from 1949. He sings “girl I love I stole from a friend, the fool got lucky stole her back again.”

Robert Johnson, in ’36, in “Come On in My Kitchen,” sings “the woman I love, took from my best friend, some joker got lucky, stole her back again.”

Then, back in ’31, Skip James, in “Devil Got My Woman,” sings “The woman I love took off for my best friend, but he got lucky, stole her back again.”

I can see why people borrow the shit out of that line, it’s great. But I wonder if you know of any instances of it older that James’s?

Blah-terday Day

My parents came through on their way back from Florida, where they seem to have had an awesome time. They took the Butcher with them so that he could get my mom’s car. This is an incredibly generous thing they’re doing for him–giving him mom’s car–and it’s going to make  our lives much easier. But while Dad and I were alone for a brief second, I learned the real reason this is happening–it gives my dad a way to keep my mom from driving without having to fight with her about it.

Her eyesight just is not good. To put it mildly. It’s funny. He can be such an asshole when it’s not needed, but he can’t just say to her “You can’t drive any more, Betty. You’re a danger to yourself and others and I’m worried whenever you’re on the road.” Even though she must suspect that, since, whenever they go anywhere together, she never drives, and she’s letting him give the Butcher her car.

Still, I feel bad for her. She’s bound to live forever, like my grandma, but my grandma has a lot more independence than my mom’s going to be able to have, just by virtue of the fact that my grandma can see.

My dad says he feels she can drive well enough to take him to the hospital if there’s an emergency. But if they have to then transfer him someplace, he hopes I’ll be able to come up and drive her around.

I don’t know. It broke my heart.

I went to Lowe’s this morning looking for something to keep my peonies upright, like a tomato cage, but shorter, and the guy told me no such thing existed, that people were just coming in and getting small tomato cages. I was like “I’m going to invent the peony cage and make a million dollars!” But then we went to look at stakes to tie them up to instead and there, in fact, were exactly what I was going to invent, hanging by the stakes.

So much for my million dollars.

But I also noticed that the lilacs have new growth down by their roots, new shoots coming out of the ground. And that’s very nice.

That’s about all the gardening I’m going to get done this weekend, unless the weather rapidly improves tomorrow. I’ll be spending today working on the book.

Edited to add: Someone on Amazon is selling white sage seeds. I’m going to try to get some up. I’m not sure where I’ll put them once they get up, but I’m going to try to cultivate them.

An Open Letter to Paul Stanley

Dear Ex-Senator Stanley,

I admit, I find your desire to dwell on the circumstances that got you kicked out of office to be baffling. What, exactly, is it you say to yourself that makes you think, “If only people really got _________, they would see that, though I have some responsibility for my present circumstances, others also share the blame, perhaps even nefarious others?” Do you think there’s going to be some fact that undoes the truth that you fucked a gal you were not married to knowing that your wife thought you’d promised her you wouldn’t fuck other people?

Do you think that, if we all learn that a gal willing to run around with someone else’s husband is also willing to extort said husband, we’ll see how she’s to blame? Dude, guess what? A gal willing to run around with someone else’s husband? Someone old enough to be her dad? No one is surprised to learn she has ulterior motives. You found out the girl willing to help you do a very not-nice thing to your wife was capable of doing a very not-nice thing to you?

Not a surprise.

And yet, you still seem baffled–like it’s some unfair injustice that, when you started doing no-good things, you found no-good people to do them with.

You, sir, you fucked up. You knew you were married. You knew your wife didn’t know you had decided to change from monogamy to polyamory. And you, one of the most powerful men in the state was too stupid or egocentric to even consider that the person you might get up to nefarious things with might herself be nefarious.

And until I see some post from you that’s willing to look that dead in the face and come to terms with it, I’m going to assume that you continue to be a self-destructive idiot.

Case in point:

People ask me lots of questions about the issue, one of the most common being, “Do you believe you were set up?” Even my former spouse feels she knows the answer to this question. We talked about it as recently as last weekend. Until now I have only discussed the issue with close friends and family. In one sense it does not matter because the outcome is still the same.

I have to ask: why are you even putting this out there? Even dropping it into the world that you think there’s a chance you were set up?

Let me be very clear, in order for you to be set up, someone would have to know that you have a weakness. How would they know that? How would Morrison and Watts know, if they plotted to do this from before you started fucking her, that you’d be unable to resist a cute young thing, someone young enough to be your daughter, who put herself in your way?

You see what I’m getting at? How would they know that you wouldn’t bother to resist her?

Right now, people are just wondering how you could be so dumb as to make this one mistake. You really want people wondering if you’re angry because one of your mistakes got out of hand?

Dude, come on!

Chagrined,

B.

The Professor and Her Floozy Minister

I have known the Professor a decade. I count her among my dearest friends. And today at lunch, she said to us something so shocking, so out of left field, I am still a bit in awe of it.

She thinks Reverend Dimmesdale is hot.

Yes, the floozy pastor from The Scarlet Letter!

I feel almost compelled to go back and reread to see if there’s something in there I missed.

 

I am Old

I went to bed at 9:00. The only reason I didn’t go to bed at 7:30 is because I would have been embarrassed for anyone to learn I went to bed at 7:30. But I feel good now.

It remains to be seen how I feel at 7:30 tonight.

So, THAT’S the Deal with Mike Turner’s Mustache

Folks have been asking me “What’s the deal with Mike Turner’s mustache?” And I don’t know. I just assumed all firemen are required to grow one at some point in their career and it was finally Turner’s turn.

But today, thanks to Tennessean photographer, Jae Lee, we learn the truth.

Look:

See what I mean?

No?

Look closer:

Now, I can’t say for sure what’s going on here, but either Turner’s mustache is smoking a pipe?! which is pretty bad-ass or his mustache is shaking its tiny fist at David Hawk. Either way, visual confirmation that Turner grew a mustache to have a tiny enforcer with him at all times.

 

The Old Hospital

One of my least favorite things about Nashville is that, in its attempt to be a modern New South city, it tries to just bulldoze away as much of the past as it can. One of my favorite things about Nashville is that this bulldozing has not been completely successful. So, a gal can be going to get the new tags for her car and walk right by an old Civil War hospital.

Now, it’s true that pretty much every old, large building in town was used as a hospital during the war. But, as far as I know, there are only two buildings that were specifically built as hospitals still standing (and someone who knows Fisk better than I do is going to have to confirm if I’m right about this): the little white wooden building of Fisk’s campus, along D.B. Todd, kind of across from Albion, and the old Federal Officers’ Hospital up top of the hill on the south side of downtown.

That photo over there to your left is the old Federal Officers’ hospital back when it was new.

And it’s remained a useful building to Nashville. For a while it houses the University of Nashville’s Literary Department and then it was Lindsley Hall when the Peabody Normal College was on this side of town.

It’s still called Lindsley Hall today and it has some job for the city. I guess it’d be easy enough to go see what it is now, but I kind of don’t want to, which is hard to explain. I’m glad that the building has practical uses and continues to be a part of our city, but seeing it used for ordinary things? I just never want this building to be something so familiar to me that I don’t see it any more.

Anyway, I think that photo there is taken from the back side of the building, not only because of the out building, but because the side of the building I took my picture from has this cool window that matches the shape of the doorway.

Had I seen the old picture first, I would have gone around back and confirmed that for you. But I’m pretty sure that the old one is taken from the river side and I know mine is taken from the other side.

But anyway, adventures in historical Nashville make me happy.