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I believe in Nashville
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As I’m sure is similar to many others’ experiences, waking up to the news early Tuesday morning, regarding areas being torn apart by tornadoes in the night, was a terrifying and heartbreaking experience.

I’d received a few texts over the night as I slept. However, I am a champion snoozer and can sleep hard. I awoke to three texts from the early morning hours which said, “The Basement East is destroyed… 5 Points got hit!,” “We are good” and “Beyond the Edge is leveled according to Channel 2.”

While still in a fog upon waking, I texted back “Oh, no! Is it leveled now, or will it be soon?” thinking with all of the changes and construction taking place on the East side and throughout Nashville, in general, my beloved late-night hang out space, Beyond the Edge, was closing down or being renovated. 

The thought of a tornado striking East Nashville hadn’t even crossed my mind. However, as the realization hit, fear and sickness sunk over my body and mind.

I quickly began calling my dear friend who I’d lived with in East Nasty before moving back to McMinnville. When he answered saying he was OK, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief, but my heart shattered for the community I had lived in for several years and continue to spend the majority of my weekends at. 

Five Points is in the center of East Nashville and contains some of my favorite spots. I worked at Tenn Sixteen between Three Crow and Five Points Pizza. I was there almost every night or day. As of yet, the well-known corner bar and the pizzeria joint providing tasty slices late into the night weren’t damaged, nor was the hip, house bar Rosemary’s or the 5 Spot, home of the monthly groove session Funky Good Time. 

The tragedies left in the wake of the tornadoes passing through the state Tuesday morning bring a surreal feeling.

I left East Nashville a few years ago because I felt I needed to come back home for a bit to improve my physical and mental well-being. I moved back and began taking the steps to better prepare myself for when I’m ready to venture back into the world.

I was focused on moving back to East Nasty when the time was right, and I still am. I will head up on Saturday to hand out bottles of water and volunteer with Hands-On Nashville to help in whatever way possible. I adore the community and what was once my home, and I want to be a part of returning that love to those currently struggling there.

An iconic mural painted on a wall of the destroyed Basement East still holds strong, expressing a message of hope: “I Believe in Nashville.”

Along with hope, the experience confirmed the realization of how fragile we are, the importance of spending as much time as possible with those we love, how small we are in the grand scheme of things and to appreciate each moment of the life we’ve been given.

Standard reporter Atlanta Northcutt can be reached at 473-2191.