Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

All Rooms River View

Watching the waters rise in Bellevue

May 7, 2010 It’s the strangest thing to watch televised images of people carrying other folks out in boats and know it’s happening only a few blocks away. I could hear the helicopter broadcasting the pictures I was seeing. Looking at the aerial shot of Bellevue, it was hard to believe anything was left of our little town. It felt wrong to be sitting there watching it, to be observing the wreckage of my neighbors’ lives.

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Wet Paint

The canvasses weren’t even dry when the water began to rise

May 7, 2010 During the months before the storm, our Leiper’s Fork neighbor Rachael McCampbell, an artist, was working in her home studio on a commission for the Parthenon in Nashville: a dozen or more large canvasses depicting the lives of women in Greek mythology. It was going to be an impressive show.

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Little House in the Rainy Woods

When the power goes out, the real fun begins

May 7, 2010 My husband was off helping to coordinate city relief efforts. I was on my own, and it was too early to cope by uncorking a bottle, even by the permissive standards of our household. The sky was dark except for frequent flashes of lightning, but we had to get the hell out of the house.

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It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Sometimes a drama queen is worse than the storm

May 7, 2010 Thirteen miles from my exit, the bottom fell out of the sky. The road seemed to disappear; drainage pipes spewed like muddy geysers. My sister called my cell phone in a panic, unable to reach our mother. “What about her cell phone?” I asked. “She’s forgotten how to use it,” she snapped. “I’m heading over.”

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Guitar Town

Facing what it means to lose the instrument of your dreams

May 7, 2010 Whether it’s a sixty-dollar pawnshop mutt or a purebred collectible, for musicians, a guitar is like a pet. They chose it. It’s theirs. It fits their lap; it fits their life. They keep it because it comforts them, and—as much as is possible for an inanimate object—they love it.

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Survivor’s Guilt

What if the worst natural disaster of your lifetime strikes, and you don’t even get a good story out of it?

May 7, 2010 Fortunate. Lucky. How many times have I said these words in the last week? How many times have I felt them as I clicked through photos of the devastation, feeling like a rubbernecker on the highway?

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