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.
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.
My grandson Andre and I walked to another monument, this one erected in 1869 and dedicated to “the unknown Confederate dead.”
Let’s retreat to Union City’s old town center, where one brief block speaks for the city’s entire mercantile past.
Look a little closer, and you’ll see shadows of the past.
And the more overt signs of decline…discard art.
Lest I paint too bleak a picture, the trains still run through Union City.
Albeit in a faded state.
I chanced upon this nurturing relationship.
Union City’s grainery is still there for area farmers.
Never having come across a grainery in New York City, or its suburbs, it took on a kind of Hitchcock-ian beauty for me.
Any trip to Union City should end with…the end.
For my grandson Andre, the Union City cemetary was but a backdrop for vanquishing an imaginery foe.
Or being vanquished?
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