I Have Lost My History Cred

Here’s what you need to know about Bill Carey, if you don’t already. He knows a lot about Nashville history. A lot. In general, if I were going to get into a history fight with Bill Carey, you can rest assured that he would wipe the floor with me without even breaking a sweat. I strive to know a millionth of what he knows.

So, you can imagine my alarm when I read this: “WITHOUT IT THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY, AND WITHOUT IT, NASHVILLE WOULD NOT HAVE BECOME ‘THE ATHENS OF THE SOUTH.'” It being the United Methodist Publishing house. I mean, yes, it’s alarming to realize I’ve pissed off Bill Carey, who is someone I deeply admire. But it’s really alarming to realize I’ve pissed him off so much he’s muddled up just when Nashville became the Athens of the South, which was, of course, as Bill Carey knows, decades before Vanderbilt was founded.

It’s like when my dad would just holler “BetsyBenBartFritz” because he was so angry he couldn’t get the right kid’s name out, so he just ran through them all. I’ve made Bill Carey do the historian’s equivalent of my dad’s sputtering rage.

So, that’s awkward. If there’s some cool secret cabal of Nashville history nerds, I’m never getting in now.

2 thoughts on “I Have Lost My History Cred

  1. I just think you’re a little confused by Bill’s phrasing. The antecedent of “it” in both halves of the sentence is UMPH, not Vanderbilt. So it doesn’t matter that Nashville was “the Athens of the South” before Vandy was founded since Bill means “without [UMPH], Nashville wouldn’t have become the A of the S.”

    But the all-caps are a little unnecessary.

  2. Oh, I think you’re right. But it’s the same problem in the end. We were the Athens of the South before 1850 and we didn’t get a Methodist publishing house until 1854.

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