Franklin & Nashville During COVID-19
Today I took a little time to go for a drive to Franklin. My goal was to take some photos of flowers and trees in bloom but that’s not what happened. My photo subject became something much more real.
The small, popular tourist town was very still and quiet with only a few shop owners painting their windows and restaurant workers delivering curbside pick-up. There were a few walkers out and about, keeping their distance. This was a visit on a holiday weekend; a time when Franklin would normally be elbow-to-elbow with people. Now, it was eerily calm.
Despite the sparseness of the sidewalks, this lovely town still maintained its Southern, friendly charm. Workers donned gloves and masks but you could still sense kindness and smiles under them.
After spending a few minutes observing the stillness, I decided to take a minute to support a local business. I ordered Grilled Cheeserie from their app and took advantage of the curbside service. My snack was delivered to me from a woman wearing protective gear, attempting her best to keep us all safe. I was impressed that through the mask I could feel her smile and she was happy to oblige when I asked for a photo.
Next, I traveled to downtown Nashville to do the same. Once I arrived, it took a few minutes to gather myself after I saw just how deserted our usually popular downtown area was. One of the honky-tonks still blared music from outside speakers to make it feel like Music City again. It honestly felt like watching a scene from an apocalyptic movie. I felt sad.
It was unusually easy to get a parking spot so I found one and walked around our empty downtown. Somehow it was still beautiful but I was able to see it in a different light on this day.
One of the things that stood out was the homeless population on the street. They were more spread out than usual. Our local businesses made sure they stayed fed, though. After seeing what downtown Nashville was like, I drove to Hillsboro Village and, for the first time in my two decades here, I saw Pancake Pantry with no line. It was like a ghost town.
I did see something unusual; a sign was up that read, “Boozy Drinks to Go.” This brought a smile to my face when this was hitting me hard.
I wanted to capture this day and this time so I could look back on it. I want to look back on it on the days when I complain about the lack of parking and busy streets. I want to be reminded of these local businesses that stepped up and stayed open for families to pick up food when they were tired of cooking and cleaning.
Let’s all take the time to support these local businesses that are offering curbside pick-up. Go have a picnic in an empty parking lot. Our deserted movie theater parking lot had several cars doing that very thing.