Up From Indiana Down To Tennessee –The Beginning (Fall 1990)

I never thought I’d leave Indiana for good, but thanks to the Best Man at my wedding we ended up here. I come from a Northern Indiana factory town where everyone knows everyone else in a wierd way. My hometown, although fairly good-sized is still one of those places where if you tell a new acquaintence where you went to High School they will invariably rattle of the names of six to eight people who also went there and were most likely in your study hall. To me it’s as comfortable as an old shoe, but to my husband–a Pennsylvania native–it was stifling. So he sought some advice from his old college roommate. David had already decamped to live with his brother who came here to make it big with his band, proving true my theory that EVERYONE who has moved to Nashville in the last 30 years is somehow connected with someone who wants to be in the Mewzick Bizniss.

My first impression of Nashville was the Band Guy’s house on Gartland. It was a decrepit hive of bachelors and dogs (three men, two dogs) with a severe guano problem. Band Guy was a techie by day and bought the house on the cheap as an investment. 1991 was the very front edge of the Gay East Nashville Makeover, so everyone assumed that the Bachelors were gay. Given the constant parade of nursing students, insurance secretaries and Applebee’s bartenders–all female–either they were as straight as Wilt Chamberlain or in denial as deep as the guano in the attic. My first night in Nashville was spent on the floor of their living room, lying awake and wondering what the hell I was getting into. And reassuring myself that it was just temporary. As soon as Hubby finished Grad School we were Hoosierland bound.

Our first day was spent walking from Gartland to a key-making hardware store much farther from the house than we initially thought. I was big on quoting Woody Allen at the time (snot-nosed college kid) and insisted that “everyplace was within walking distance if you had enough time.” Technically true, but not the best idea to practice in a new city. Woodland was a long string of run-down shops, empty storefonts, bars and car mechanics. Nashville had been sold to us as a city of great promise, with jobs aplenty and bright futures on the horizon, but that day strolling through the depressed area made me feel like the Joads rolling into California. If there was promise or plenty it was buried under old grease and despair. Detroit with better sunshine.

I was ready to insist that my beloved get over his wanderlust and resign himself to a life in Indiana, but then David drove us to Davis-Kidd. They were still in Grace’s Plaza (where they should move back) and sold more books and fewer windchimes. It was my personal oasis. I figured any city that had a two story bookstore could be a place I could move to. So I bit the bullet. We’d spend the three years in Nashville that it would take for Hubby to get his Masters in Clinical Psych. Then we’d go home to Indiana.

Tomorrow: 1991

3 Comments so far

  1. Busy Mom (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 11:59 pm

    Busy Dad worked at Davis Kidd in 1990. He was in charge of special orders.

  2. Busy Mom (unregistered) on April 14th, 2006 @ 12:00 am

    Oh, I love that John Mellencamp song. Notice I left out “Cougar”

  3. Katherine Coble (unregistered) on April 14th, 2006 @ 9:39 am

    I love that song if for no other reason than that one line.

    If Busy Dad worked at DK in special orders, I’m sure that I gave him extra work to do…

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