I Forget We Have History.


So, one of the problems of growing up in Chattanooga is that you often forget that there actually is a long and diverse history behind it. You think history is for other places like Charleston and Savannah, and we can’t possibly have had anything go on here.  Nothing goes on here now.

While heading to Hair of the Dog last night (and by the way, what was that building?), the boyfriend did one of those things that he does.  He picked up a Chatter magazine and brought it with us, unsuspectingly changing the fate of the free world, or maybe just making me get out earlier than noon on Sunday morning. I find our publications in Chattanooga highly suspect in that most of the people in them have familiar last names, swanky designer clothes, and soccer mom haircuts.  This, by the way, makes me a snob. I’m pretty much ok with it, but while I was rolling my eyes at Chattanooga “society”, I came across an article that made me gasp, and I was glued to the pages until I finished it.

Irish Influence

Wait, what?  We had a predominately Irish neighborhood downtown?  We’re practically Gangs of New York and nobody knew!  One of the things that makes me a snob is my disdain for how history is written, and granted, history has always been run by the  folks with the money, but real history has always been made by just people.  Any city can have a big fancy how that was owned by General So-And-SoForth, the third Earl of Kansas, but it’s hard to connect with somebody like that.  He funded history, but I promise you, he did little of the manual labor.

So out I went this morning with my camera.  I poked around a bit, just looking.  I took a few pictures, and seriously, did any of you know we had actual nuns?  Yes, yes…we have Catholic churches, but up until last night and today, the only place I’ve ever seen nuns was in New Orleans…and they were driving a mini-van.  (After my divorce, I swore I was going to be a nun. It was pointed out to me that 1. I was divorced and 2. I was raised Methodist. I could have gotten around this by creating a new identity for myself, but it was also pointed out that a lie was not the best plan to start a religious relationship, and I could hardly take this to confession.) But I digress!

Anyway, at this point, I’ve decided that I really want to find out more about the real history of Chattanooga.  Who lived here and where in the heck did they come from?  Of course, I’m going to record this photographically, and this is another thought I had, I take pictures my own way.  Sometimes they’re really odd, but I think the world is best seen by tilting your head. It’s easy to take a picture the way people are used to normally looking, but I think the real art of photography is to make people see things the way you do. Some people may not care much for that and to those people I say, “Well, you don’t have to look. Nobody’s forcing you to.”

If you are interested in the rest of the pictures, I have a flickr page and they seem to be here.  Now I just have to find somebody to take me under Market Street.  Takers?


2 responses »

  1. Was that the March issue of Chatter? My picture was in it!
    There is a Methodist church in North Chattanooga with an Irish-type cross on its steeple. Great post!

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