Monday, November 10, 2008

First Note of a New Song

Howdy, readers one and all! Welcome to "Music City, USA!"

My earlier endeavor at blogging was called "Glen Alan's San Antonio"; it journaled my residence in that enchanting Texas city and my responses to the things that make San Antonio "San Antonio."

But that was then -- pre end of July. This is now -- and I've moved to Tennessee. It wasn't a smooth landing here in Nashville. I spent two months jobless and a week technically homeless. However, those things are also past. Having dealt with such distraction as job search I can concentrate on the city that is my new camping spot on the journey of life!

It's different from the old camping spot, back there in Texas. And yet similar in some notable ways. I shall go over these in a soon-to-be posting.

Right now I want to emphasize that I’m BACK in Music City. My family and I actually lived here from September of 1984 to July of 1991. Then we moved out of state, and then to Clarksville, 50 miles to the northwest. During the Clarksville sojourn I worked off and on at Opryland. And during the prior residence in Nashville I earned a Master's degree at Vanderbilt University.

So-o-o-o, my first posting on this new blog site expresses how good it is to be back in "the greenest state in the land of the free"! And how startling to see some of the changes in Nashville during my absence.

The first startle was over all the name changes of prominent places. What WAS the Adelphia Coliseum where the NFL Titans play and where I experienced my only Billy Graham Crusade is now labelled "LP Field". Ho hum! What WAS the Nashville Arena and then the Gaylord Entertainment Center where I experienced the latest of four Promise Keeper events is now the Sommet Center. Almost another "ho hum"! What WAS the Cumberland Science Museum (much, much earlier and in another locale the Childrens Museum) is now the Adventure Science Museum.

Truly I'm surprised that Nashville hasn't renamed the Grand Ole Opry, too!

Then there is all the new x-rated statuary. A couple of these (one or two on the Vanderbilt campus) are too small to bother with, but one is prominently stationed at the head of Music Row (Demonbreun Street and Sixteenth Avenue). Standing in a traffic circle is a sculpture of several over-size naked and anatomically-correct men and women. Their bodies and limbs are a swirl of activity (if one can speak of "activity" re the motionlessness that is statuary). As the buses and cars are forced to circle around this monstrosity, the viewer gets a distinct impression that the sculptor was endeavoring to capture a snapshot of a Greco-Roman bacchanal. Or a modern-day "gang-bang". Kind of disgusting, if you ask me.

Another startling change is the deterioration of city bus company or MTA in the twenty or so years since I last patronized it. And often I'm the only non-African aboard. Indeed it's clear that Nashville now has joined the ranks of such African-majority cities as Detroit, D.C., New Orleans, and Memphis.

I'll need to get adjusted to being surrounded, not by a sea of bronze/bronce chicanos as in San Antonio but by a sea of chocolate faces. This will be interesting! Will I come to enjoy reggae as much as I enjoy conjunto? Or chitterlings as much as tacos? We shall see. . . .

1 comment:

Glen Alan Graham said...

On Sunday evening, 8 February A.D. 2009, a fellow bus rider got into a conversation with me. A white fellow a little younger than yours truly, he declared that he was born and raise here in Nashville, and had been elsewhere in the early '80s. He confirmed my impression that since my earlier sojourn here (1984-91) the city's populace had definitely gone international in complexion and had achieved an African majority. Interesting confirmation of my observation!