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Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017

You can't go home again.

Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2010, at 10:04 AM

A couple of weeks ago I had an appointment to meet two friends I used to work with for lunch at the Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville. They work about a block from there, so it's convenient for them. I park in the city garage behind the library and just walk the short distance to the hotel. As it turned out, my husband was having back problems that week and decided to go to Nashville with me, since he didn't feel up to the outside work he enjoys. He knows both of the ladies and planned to eat with us.

I was so excited that day. We had done this exact thing in April, but without Jim. I had mentioned to him that I was looking forward to visiting downtown Nashville on that particular day. I had worked in downtown Nashville for 46-1/2 years, and I had to face all that traffic getting down there every day. It was the traffic I detested, but I loved Nashville.

We parked and walked out on Church Street from the library and then turned east for the short walk to 6th Avenue. All at once it hit me that this was not what I missed. On both our walks to and from the hotel, we saw very few people. There were few cars on the streets. Several stores were closed and for lease. Nothing was going on. Then it hit me. This was not the Nashville I missed. Like any older person, I remember the way it used to be. I miss Harvey's, Cain Sloan, Castner Knott, Woolworths, Holiday Shoes, B & W Cafeteria, Cross Keys, etc. I can go on and on. I remember going to Grants and eating turkey and dressing at the counter restaurant once or twice a week when I was pregnant with my second son. I knew it would give me heartburn, but it was so good. Christmas shopping was always taken care of at those big department stores on my lunch hour. I was talking with some friends a few days ago about the nice restaurants in those stores. They had models wearing beautiful outfits walk by the tables while you were dining. They really had a monkey bar and a carousel at Harvey's. There were people walking in all directions, and cars created traffic congestion on Church.

Yes, that is the downtown Nashville I miss, but I still enjoy going back to visit -- especially to see my friends.

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