The More Things Change, The More Blah, Blah, Blah….

Growing up, my mother used to tell me about this amazing skating rink that was located in downtown Nashville called the Hippodrome.  She said they all gathered there whenever they could and then one day, it was gone. 

Gone and turned into what I remember as a car dealership all through my youth and beyond.  My mom also added how tough it was seeing something that was so special to so many, turned into something else. 

For me, it is not a skating rink that has evoked so many memories but a building in Donelson that is now being torn down and  going to be turned into a library.  

A building that through the years has held many titles.  It was a hardware store, Halloween costume shop and at this time of the year, my Christmas store.  

For those that grew up in the Donelson area, will tell you as well that the Castner-Knott department store was also their home away from home during Christmas time.  Sure, we had malls but my mom wanted to go in the neighborhood where the same items were just down the street, instead of driving out to one of the malls.  

I drove by the store the other day and just stopped and stared.  My car was flooded though, after I stopped.  Not by a creek or some rainfall, but at emotions of going there with my mom and shopping through the years. 





See, we didn’t have a ton of money growing up and my Mom made sure at Christmas time, my brother, sister and I had everything we needed and more.  We go to to that Castner-Knott and shop, all the time.  Everything she needed was in that store and every time I would drive by, every single time, I would look over and smile, until this last week when I took the pics of the building being torn down.  

For some odd reason, I smiled even bigger after I took them.  Sure, the building housed some incredible memories at this time of the season, but all of those moments with my mom are inside of me, not some building.  For instance, the time she would give me 20 bucks to go shopping for her.  I would buy that present, take it downstairs where some sweet lady would wrap it for me like it was all the gold in the world and I would take it home and protect it like a Mama bear until Christmas Day and then give it to my mom.  She would act like it was the best present ever given to her, even though it was some awful perfume or a piece of jewelry that didn’t last long.  Did not matter. 

Again, the building will be turned into a much needed bigger and better library for the Donelson area and I have nothing against progress at all.  

I just thank God I have those memories with my mom as I am sure, many others do who frequented that building during that time. 

And I also thank God it was not turned into a cash advance store, a mattress store or a title-loan store. 

Now that is what I call progress!



  1. Brutus December 11, 2018 9:47 pm  Reply

    I spent so much time there as a kid, I knew all the hiding places.

    • Joe Dubin December 13, 2018 3:33 am  Reply

      You little thief…

  2. Brant December 12, 2018 3:49 am  Reply

    I not only mourn the destruction of that location of that Castner-Knott, but ANY location of Castner-Knott. There hasn’t been a department store that has come ANYWHERE as close to having its pulse on what we in this area wanted, or wants, to buy.
    My Grandmother was a lady of modest means; however, she had a Castner-Knott Charge Card, and every year for back-to-school and Christmas all 3 of us Grandkids would get new outfits there. She didn’t care if we bought name-brand or store brand as long as it fit us correctly! I found out later that she’d work extra throughout the year to pay off that card., and for that (and a million other reasons) she’s one of the few people who I admire more as I get older. My parents still have some old Christmas bows in those CK boxes!
    Finally, I saw where the Stockyard Restaurant’s being torn down. I wonder how many people are crying as they drive by there remembering when it was THE place to go for a big-time, classy meal.

    • Joe Dubin December 13, 2018 3:42 am  Reply

      That is perfect! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Mike December 12, 2018 1:49 pm  Reply

    Remember it well.

  4. Wayne Coward December 15, 2018 4:56 am  Reply

    Amen brother. Those who went to Donelson and McGavock remember all of the good times and places back in the day. So sad that kids today cant share those memories.

    • Joe Dubin January 8, 2019 8:37 pm  Reply

      It sucks getting older…

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *