Nashville Girl

Centennial Park, Nashville

Four generations in Centennial Park

I was raised in Nashville, Tenn., in a family of Alabamians.

I graduated from the University of Tennessee even though my parents, grandparents and younger brother all attended Auburn. War Eagle!

My first job was at Opryland Theme Park. My first kiss was at Hickory Hollow Mall. My daughter was born at Baptist Hospital. I have survived three rounds of 13-year cicadas.

Professionally, I led The Tennessean’s digital team during the Flood of 2010. We were finalists for a Pulitzer.

Here are a few stories I’ve written about the place where I grew up and the people who raised me there.

Oh, Tennessee: Do we see ourselves as others do?

Oh, Tennessee. For generations, you were the kind of place people “escaped” from. One state north of Deliverance. But now with all these people wanting to move here from other places, it’s totally understandable you’d be going through a bout of New Girl Syndrome. More…

Risque Photo Leaves Much to the Imagination

Why did Dad’s mom take half-naked photos of herself? When you don’t know the story, your imagination fills it in. That’s true in all exchanges and relationships, and it is true with my dad’s mother. More…

The One Thing Verses The Whole Thing

I was a better delegator in other parts of my life than I was in my work life. But then I figured out that my team needed a leader, not a servant. An inspiration, not a mom. More…

The Romance of Brood XIX (13-year) Cicada

The nasty things will collide drunkenly into you, your car, your kid – tangling themselves in your hair, tormenting your dogs, discarding their crunchy exoskeletons on telephone poles and window screens, and in giant piles beneath your trees. Mad sexy, I say. More…

Sing It For Me One More Time, Nashville!

I fell in love this year. Not with any one particular person or band or venue, but with my city … my Nashville … and my life in it. It has been a year worth remembering in song, starting with Rob Zombie. More…

The Flood 0f 2010: Comfort in a Child’s Toy

Remember those little gel-cap toys that turn to sponges in water? Two weeks after the flood, they made me cry. More…

If I’m Ever Incapacitated…

If I am connected to machines to keep me breathing, and if I’m disconnected from the world that has kept me alive, please, please dear loved ones, know this – Know I am still here. I am still a part of this world. Do these things for me… More…

Williamson County White Lady Problems

I was never, EVER going to turn left out of the parking lot like I needed to, because there were 23 miles of bumper-to-bumper limos and whatnot heading in the opposite direction toward the CMA Awards. Y’all watched those, right? Yay for you. As for me? More…

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