Nashville: An American Self-Portrait — Glimpses of Y2K
The late John Egerton and I co-edited Nashville: An American Self-Portrait, an “intentional artifact” documenting the city’s remarkable year 2000 through the work of scores of writers, photographers and other contributors. The book went to press in August 2001 and reached stores in late September. It thus became not just a multi-faceted portrayal of one of the most news-filled years in our history but also a portrait in deep detail of an American city at the moment before terrorism transformed the country.
Jim Ridley, now editor of the Nashville Scene, penned the day-by-day chronicle of the year that ran as a ribbon alongside the book’s essays, photos and art. I have posted some nuggets from that variegated ribbon as time permits.
December 8-11, 2000 — Electoral uncertainty, an out-of-control Christmas display, lighting the Titanic menorah, and doom for the shed
December 12-13, 2000 — The future of the Thermal Transfer Plant, and the end, at last, of the presidential campaign
December 14-15, 2000 — The first $1 billion of Columbia/HCA’s penance (there was more to come), and the future of Watkins Institute in the balance
December 16-17, 2000 — An Opry Christmas for upstart troubadour Brad Paisley, and the new Shopryland megamall displaces neighboring retailers
December 18-20, 2000 — The year’s fifth police shooting, the Civic Design Center’s founding, a new home in Hope Gardens, and dinner at the White House for Eddy Arnold and Will Campbell
December 21-22, 2000 — Honors for the work of the Magdalene Project, remembrance for the year’s homeless dead, and two stories of Christmastime generosity to people in need
December 23-24, 2000 — A deer hunter gunned down, an emotional Christmas Eve return to tornado-ravaged St. Ann’s, and Coach Fisher named Tennessean of the Year
December 25, 2000 — A Christmas eclipse, followed by a rousing Titans shutout of the Cowboys
December 26-27, 2000 — The sad story of Jefferson Street Joe Gilliam reaches its end, and 5,000 Muslims pray in MTSU’s basketball arena
December 28-30, 2000 — Waylon and Jessi’s epic yard sale, a farewell to Joe Gilliam, and a festive celebration of Kwanzaa
December 31, 2000 — A glimpse of the century’s end