You live where?

I'm standing in line at my local bank, at least I think it's my bank; with all the buy-outs I can't be sure, when I overheard a conversation between two people in front of me. The nicely dressed lady asked the gentleman, "Now you live where?" The gentleman replied, "Oh, near Cordova." She then said, "Well I'm from Cordova also. Where in Cordova?" The man smiled but didn't answer her. The lady pressed on, "Do you live near Cordova Middle on Sanga?" "Around there I guess." The gentleman replied. With wide eyes and an inquisitive smile she said, "Well where?" At this point the man started looking at the tellers as if it would make them work faster. Trying that myself many times I could have told him it doesn't work. He then said, "I'm closer to Colonial Country Club." "Off Cordova road?" she asked. Looking at the man's face you would think he had been in a boxing match; the underdog in a boxing match. He was beaten. The man finally said, "I actually live in Memphis near Wolfchase." She responded with, "Oh."

This city needs a self-pride enema. We walk around in an almost apologetic state. I've heard people say they just moved to Memphis and residents will respond with, "Why?" With people like radio host Ben Ferguson greeting callers to his morning show with, "Glad you haven't been shot. What can I do for you?" to Forbes ranking Memphis one of the Most Miserable Cities in America, you would think the only thing left is to give the eulogy. Well nuts to that!

I've lived in Memphis my entire life, though I've traveled across this country and abroad I still proudly call Memphis my home and always will. I love this City, I truly do. This whole identity issue reminds me of my own experience when I held my first professional job. I was in my 20's and the company was located in East Memphis. My co-workers would ask where I lived and at that time I was somewhat ashamed, or maybe I just didn't want to be judged, so I would avoid letting them know I lived in South Memphis. I never felt good about that. Some of the nicest people I have ever known live in South Memphis. It was as if I was saying something was wrong with these people. In South Memphis we have beautiful parks, historic homes, a darn good institute of higher learning - THE LeMoyne-Owen College and neighbors that are the Salt of the Earth. One day when I was asked that question, out of no where came, "South Memphis." From that day to this I have never denied my roots.

We can't expect others to respect our City if we can't. Now this doesn't mean we ignore our problems. What it does mean is that we stop whining about them and do something to make things better.

So lets take an oath right now to do three things:

1st - Speak up for your city, whatever city that may be,
2nd - Don't down other people cities,
3rd - Actively work to make a difference.

So, where do I live? I live in Memphis.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I live in MEMPHIS!

That would make a great bumper sticker.

Anonymous said...

"Well Nuts to that!" Ha ha. It has been a long time since hearing anyone use that phase. My dad used to say that all the time. He'd be working on the car and get pissed because it wouldn't work and would throw the wrench down and say "Nuts to that!" Don't you ever stop fighting Reginald.

Anonymous said...

If we keep
electing the
same people
in office
over and
over again
you can't
expect this
city to go
anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Went and googled about Memphis being name the most miserable city in the country. CRIME, CRIME, CRIME that is the problem with this city. We need to lock these SOB up for life. They are dragging this city down. And what the heck is wrong with the Grizzles? All the money that we were FORCED to pay for these losers and they are the worst in the NBA. Thanks Willie.

Anonymous said...

I don't live in Memphis, but shop and sometimes play there. It is always good to be heading home out of Memphis at the end of the day. Home is what we know and where we should feel safe.

Anonymous said...

Count me in. "I live in Memphis."

My family have lived in Memphis for generations. Sure this city has problems but the real problems is when people move out of Memphis it seems to become their mission to attack everything about us.

I'm white and know whites who enjoy putting Memphis down because it is majority black.

Anonymous said...

Memphis has no one to blame but itself. To elect Herenton for five terms! What were these people thinking? I left Memphis years ago and it was because of the high taxes, crime, bad schools, STUPID politicians, and just so many low class people - black and white.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Memphis all of my life. Once I had children I made it my business to take my children on a Vacation to other cities every summer. A little over 2 years ago I recieved a job offer in Nashville and decided to move there. Nashville does not have the rich black culture that Memphis has. It is stuffy and stiff. It's country. It is not blues like Memphis. When I read the other comments I can tell they are "Bluesy" like Memphis is. I love Memphis and I'm looking forward to coming back after retirement. Also,thanks for coming to shop in Memphis. Proud to say I'm a Memphian, Born and Raised.
MissingMemphis

Soulsville said...

MissingMemphis has it together. Get you butt back here to Memphis we need you!!!!!