Saturday, April 27, 2013

being a local, proudly

i was born and raised in memphis. it wasn't until i was a teenager that i had ever heard a disparaging remark spoken about the city. i did some pretty cool stuff here is a child. we had field trips to the children's museum, orpheum, and our nationally recognized zoo. i brought friends to adventure river and remember the countdown to the opening of the wolfchase galleria. i've experienced living in cordova, germantown, the university of memphis area, and downtown. i left once, for one year, to go to college in knoxville. i missed home, so i came back. i feel honored to have attended and graduated from rhodes college, a gem of an institution in the heart of midtown memphis. i was proud to attend and graduate from the university of memphis' law program. the professors are wonderful, and the school spirit was ever-present. i have enjoyed married life in downtown memphis. andrew and i do everything from grizzlies games to the farmer's market. 

so, you get the idea. this is my home, and i hold it near to my heart. 

so, when tj simers writes an article bashing memphis (again), my instinct can best be described as defensive. it's funny because i know memphis is a strong city with strong character. it doesn't need an outraged citizenry to attack one man who recycles the same ol' garbage each time he comes to memphis. that being said, it is beautiful that the citizens were outraged. i know, i know. attention is what he seeks. it's the name of the game. i can't speak for all of memphis, because we are as diverse as they come, but there is an element of being a memphian that makes me quick to defend my city. i know we weren't attacked with bombs like boston or new york, but we have been terrorized by negative press for years. yet, we know. sometimes it feels like we are holding on to a well kept secret. people on the outside can judge until the cows come home, but we know. we know that character is not something that can be manufactured. it builds from years of undulating through triumph and adversity. it builds from being a critical location for the civil rights movement. it builds from having sports teams that stand on the shoulders of our constant support. it builds from having a unique musical sound that we are proud to claim. people always try to chip away at the character of memphis, but it was built too strong. we were built to withstand earthquakes, not the bullying echoes of an outsider. 

so, whatever happens in this basketball series, i hope mr. simers realizes he was successful. not only did he get the attention of a city that he was so obviously seeking, but he rallied a mightier community behind a team in which we have always believed. grind forth! 

the farmer's market in downtown memphis

fresh strawberries

the fresh eggs i look forward to purchasing every week from donnell century farm

and, once again...just because it worked so well last time :)

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