Down Town Union City

I married a Southern lady from Union City, Tennessee, population 10,000.  

As a New Yorker by birth and blood, I had some prejudices to rise above.  My wife’s Southern charm, progressive outlook, and quick intelligence took me a long way.

Union City was named for being at the junction of two railroads–one running east-west, the other north-south.

Wikipedia notes that the town has two distinctions: it was the site of a “minor” Civil War Battle; and it “formerly had a Goodyear Tire plant.”

It’s still high on tires. 

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Visiting Union City is, for me, quite a trip.  And it starts with the town’s historical attachment to the Confederacy.  

This Civil War monument was erected in 1909.

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My grandson Andre and I walked to another monument, this one erected in 1869 and dedicated to “the unknown Confederate dead.”

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Let’s retreat to Union City’s old town center, where one brief block speaks for the city’s entire mercantile past.  

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Look a little closer, and you’ll see shadows of the past.

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And the more overt signs of decline…discard art.

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Lest I paint too bleak a picture, the trains still run through Union City.

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 Albeit in a faded state.

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I chanced upon this nurturing relationship.

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Union City’s grainery is still there for area farmers.  

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Never having come across a grainery in New York City, or its suburbs, it took on a kind of Hitchcock-ian beauty for me.

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Any trip to Union City should end with…the end.

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For my grandson Andre, the Union City cemetary was but a backdrop for vanquishing an imaginery foe. 

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Or being vanquished?

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Only to rise again, to make your own monument…not mired in the past, but

a child’s monument to imagination, and the ever present

present.

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4 comments

  1. BrantleyNewton · March 15, 2014

    Tennessee can be such a beautiful place, but like much of the south, it is littered with pockets of poverty and decay. They do a great job of preserving their history round those parts though.

  2. April Moore · March 16, 2014

    Thanks for the tour, Ira. Never having been to Rebecca’s hometown, I’m happy to experience it through your eyes.

  3. Lancish · April 10, 2014

    Hoo Ha, what a poetic lens you bring to everything, Ira! With the best being Andre’s pointing to the stars, standing on the shoulders, at least the gravestone, of others!

  4. Linda · April 14, 2014

    Union City, like so many places, needs something to look forward to in order to leave the past behind. Andre is a handsome boy; so glad to get to be Popi. Lin

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