I sat down to write this story as mad as one could possibly be. An iconic spot for so many people that grew up in Nashville was being taken away. Yes, it is happening all over Music City but it does not mean we have to like it.
Mad. Angry. You name it, I was feeling it. I had every intention of just letting loose and going off on developers who are coming into our town and tearing down places that mean the world to us. I was prepared and ready to go.
Then, something happened. I had no idea it would until I started writing. I sat down and all the great times all of us have had at Donelson Bowl came rushing to me as if I was on the shore and waves were crashing over and over. Nearly 40 years of memories popped up as if they were happening right now. It was like spam calls for your car warranty but these, I wanted to answer.
I did answer them all. From bowling leagues throughout the week growing up and into adulthood, to taking dates there and buying them the greasiest worst and best hamburger they ever had, to meeting up over Christmas break when you came to town for college and on and and on. I thought of friends who are no longer with and the great moments we all had at this bowling alley that has not changed one iota in 60 plus years.
Maybe that was the allure for us after all this time. We could simply walk in and see things, tangible things, the way they were when we were teenagers. Sure, some of the bowling balls looked as if they came over on The Mayflower but we did not care. How often can we do that? Especially at such a place that meant so much to so many. I bet the answer is no. That is why twenty five years after it closed, Opryland USA theme park still drives us insane. Sure, they changed a few rides here and there but it wasn’t about that. It was the connection and it was perfect.
I am going to use a Dr. Seuss saying for the first time in any story that I have written and it is so apropos for this. “Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.” That is why I can’t be angry. I just can’t. It did happen and my heart just overflows with those memories and moments that are locked away.
I read one time that when you sit down and start to write, let your heart be your guide. That is what happened here. My heart took me back on a wonderful journey that no developer can ever knock down.
It is just a simple thank you.