Monday, June 20, 2011

Commencing Clarksville blog -- my third blog!

Three is one of the significant and symbolic numbers of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, I find it significant that I'm starting my third blogsite.

Since the start of the second year of the Century and Millennium, that is, since January A.D. 2002, I've dwelt in three very diverse cities. I'm now into my second week in the third city, Clarksville, Tennessee. This follows Nashville and before that San Antonio. I've truly come full circle, because the first few days of that secon millennial year I lodged in C'ville.

It's where I belong; I have family here. I didn't in Music City nor in the Alamo City (excepting the brief months my brother and sister-in-law were at Fort Sam Houston).

And FYI, Clarksville, altho' classified as a metropolitan (statistics) area, STILL truly has the atmosphere and "feel" of the small town it used to be. It's nicknamed the "Queen City", Nashville being the king burg on the Cumberland River (or king burg in Middle Tenn.). I, however used to like to tell folks C'ville was a queen city because it was the "Winter Queen" -- I experienced the coldest outdoor temperature ever in my life here -- and NOT in the State of my raising, Idaho! -- on Christmas Eve night/ Christmas Day morning in the Year of Our Lord 1983. Seventeen below! That's degrees Fahrenheit, not Celesius/Centigrade, dear reader.


Clarksville's rather unique among metropolitan areas in which yours truly has lived. When I first became acquainted with it, 1977, it had a very elongated shape, with US 41A hiway being the mid-line of the elongation. That's Madison St. - Providence Blvd. - Ft. Campbell Blvd. Get a mile and a half or two away from 41A on either side and you were outside the C'ville city limits.

Get so far to the west of the Ft. Campbell Blvd. segment of 41A and you're inside the military reservation of Fort Campbell Army post. Home of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The Hundred and First "Screaming Eagles", my final major unit when I was serving active Army duty(last half of A.D. 1983).

Due to the elongated shape back then, there really was only one road to go on to get directly from downtown Clarksville to the post or vice versa. You can imagine the major, MAJOR traffic jams and resulting headaches and overheated autos!

But in the 1980s Clarksville truly began to change in many ways. The unincorporated community of St. Bethlehem to the northeast of downtown was seeing significant growth thanks to the Trane h.v.a.c. factory which had arisen there. Clarksville incorporated Saint B (as it's affectionately known for short), and thus put a segment of rounding out to its general incorporated shape. A second and larger mall, Governor's Square, was built not far from Exit 4 of IH 24, which itself was fairly new in the length that passes by C'ville. More businesses followed, including a K-Mart, a Wal-Mart and numerous hotels, motels and restaurants. These sprang up along the Saint B main drag, a US Hiway (79) that was christened "Wilma Rudolph Blvd." after Saint B native and star Olympic sprinter Wilma.

However, the rounding out of Clarksville's shape to the north and east will not be matched by any in the other direction. You see, my once-and-anew hometown has got to be the largest city built all on one bank of a major river (the Cumberland) with downtown -- the original settlement -- atop bluffs overlooking the stream, and no corresponding incorporated development on the opposite bank. Just farmland!

The various unique aspects of the city, especially the Army post and the all-on-one-side of a river, endear it to yours truly.

So. . . I'm glad to be back in the Queen City! Even if come winter it becomes again the "Winter Queen"!

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