Here we go again folks. School starts in Metro Nashville Next Wednesday. When I was growing up, I always loved going shopping for my new school supplies and will never forget the smell of a fresh box of Crayola crayons. Unfortunately so many kids in the Metro-Nashville area do not get that experience. There are over 86,000 children in Metro Nashville Schools who are classified below poverty level, and a few of those children live in my neighborhood. Many families are struggling and parents are unable to provide the basic school supplies their children need to be successful. It costs an average of $75 per child for back to schools supplies, so this can be a heavy burden. With that being said, I have organized a school supplies drive for around 50 children that live on Katie Hill.
Next Tuesday night, we will be having our “Back To School” Cookout and “Nashville’s Night Out Against Crime” event at Katie Hill. Along with activities and food provided by local restaurants, we will be handing out school supplies and backpacks. With it just being one short week to go, I’m going to need all the help I can get. So here is how you can help.
Attached you will find a list of items we are in need of. If you would like to buy the supplies, I would be more than happy to come pick them up or arrange a place to drop off.
- If you do not have time to do shopping, that’s not a problem. I can take cash, check, or pay pal directly to LynclairLangley@gmail.com Which is a very easy process with the Paypal I phone application or on a computer and does not cost you anything.
I am so thankful for everyone who has contributed to the kids in our community over the past year. These little people are our future and I think its only fair we shower them with love, and that includes the simple things …. Like school supplies. As always, email me with any questions.
Updates on Katie Hill
Jason. So Jason is 12 , going on 23. That is... Michael Jordan 23. He was sitting on the brick wall this past Sunday as I mowed the lawn. I turned the mower off and asked him what he was up to. Before he could answer the question, he looked at me and said "What kind of job do you have Miss Lindsey?". As I began to bore him with Search Engine Marketing and web design, all he wanted to know is how many bedrooms my home had in it and if I had video games in the house. I explained to him that I unfortunately had no use for a play station, as I barely have enough time to watch the news. I then asked him, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" He quickly responds with, " oh of course, I want to be an NFL or NBA player, I'm really good and even play with guys who are in highschool." Jason is a legitimately a great athlete and plays AAU ball all over the place. You can tell by his actions he is extremely competitive and a naturally talented.
As we talked more, I asked him,"Well what if ball doesn't work out, what's your plan?" He goes on to tell me he would like to be a doctor. He said he didn't care what kind, but wanted to be the kind that makes the most money. I just started laughing and recommended he think about orthopedic or sports medicine since that still keeps him in the atheletic field. Of course naturally, 99% of all my conversations with children leads to some sort of "coaching" opportunity.
I struggle a lot with the fact that I live in my home while many of the families around me live a different less fortunate lifestyle. It could be a single parent household where the mother or father struggles to put food on the table. Or a couple that continually fights and domestic abuse occurs. It could be drugs. Or it could be just a regular happy home, but still struggling to make ends meet. I can arguably say that I don't personally stuggle with any of those situations (besides making ends meet, but certainly not to the same degree), but I am not blind to what goes on around me and what others are facing. And I'll admit sometimes it feels unfair to others and I'm embarrassed about it. But I then have to take a step back and think about how I have worked so hard to get where I am in life, and I'm just living in a shell. This just happens to be a shell that is happy on the inside. I don't want anyone to see me differently than them, because I'm not. But that's unfortunately not how society has programmed people to think these days.
Let's be honest for one minute. Brutally honest. My "life" as most see it from the outside, is not the same. We are some what from different planets. My income is not equal to those around me. I'm white. They are black. I'm in one tax bracket, they are in another. I drive a mercedes. They drive an older less expensive car. My house is big. Their house is small. My parents paid for my education. These children go to school with out basic necessities. Bottom line is, society says we should not be coexisting in the same environment.
All of these differentiators are what have created a completely segregated society in all aspects unfortunately to those who are basic / normal /non-progressive thinkers ( which is probably 90% of America). Society tell us " you are the company you keep". To a certain degree, I agree with this statement. If you surround yourself with those who succeed, you are more likely to be a winner also. But on the flip side, this creates a seperation in society all the way down to the community and household. What if you don't know any different? What is the definition of success? How is it defined based upon the environment we were brought up in? I bring this up for a reason.
I bluntly asked Jason a question that evening as we swept the sidewalk together. I asked him, " How many white kids are in your class buddy?" He looked at me funny and somewhat in shock. His response was astounding to me. Jason said, " hmmm none. I think there may be one mixed kid, but he left after a few days cause people were mean to him... And to tell you the truth Lindsey, I don't really know any white people besides you." I stood in stillness and almost utter shock. I honestly didn't know how to respond. I wasn't sure how to respond except I told him that we are really no different at all. But does society think that ? Does society create different expectations for different races or even sexual preference? ( I've even heard some say gays are "hard workers" ... Seriously? ) Let me be brutally honest again. Many Caucasian parents do not want their children going to inner city schools.... Due to the quality of education. I've heard it over and over again. Is it truly because of the quality of education? Or is it a race issue? Tennessee consistently ranks as one of the bottom 10 states for public education in the US. We also rank 13th as the least diverse school systems regarding race. Athough Ironically, 2 of the highest rated public high schools in the entire country reside here in Davidson C ounty- Hume Fogg and MLK. 50-60% of the student body at each school is classified as minority. To me, that's not a coincidence. That's hard data that diversity is better for everyone, especially when it comes education and life skills.
I went inside to my big home that night and watched him walk back down Katie to his house. Jason wasn't threatened by me as a white girl, and I certainly was welcoming to the little guy, especially after he told me he thought I was 21. It's Funny how kids don't know ever pick up on racial stereotypes until society tells them what they shouldn't or should think.
I then wondered what Jason's idea of success was being a young black male. Based on the conversation we shared about what he wanted to be when he grew up. Is it because young black males are taught to "get money" and that equals happiness? Is it because he watches athletes and thinks that's the only way or "coolest" way a man can "get money"? Will he know how to function in a blended society one day? I have the same questions for the white kids across town who aren't attended truly integrated schools and environments with diverse income and backgrounds.. I wonder if Jason sees me as the white girl with money? Do I really know how this blended society is supposed to work? What can I do better to break the barrier that exist so we can all just see each other as humans ? I'm seriously lost.
The problem as a whole is bigger than my mind can comprehend or solve. But let me say that it confuses me and hurts my heart. It hurts me to think that society as a whole can't seem to function as a unit. All incomes, all backgrounds, and races. Sure, we have come a long way thankfully to people like MLK, but each individual in this country has to begin doing their part and it's starts simply in our own back yards. This world is segregated and I am tired of it. I'm tired of being labeled by what the color of our skin is and the dollar amount in our bank account vs. how we help others and give back. I know I live well financially and I work hard to enjoy nice things. I'm not ever going to deny that. But that's not who I am. If I lost everything tomorrow and had nothing, I'd still be full of love, and that's what matters. We have to teach young people that it is completely normal and healthy to have goals and strive for financial success. But to truly change the world, each and every one of us must invest in one another, be accepting, and LOVE. No matter where you come or what you have. I'm not sure I can change the whole world, but if I can make a positive influence on one person, my community, and encourage others to take a step out of their comfort zone into the unknown, I promise they will learn more about themselves than they ever imagined possible.
We are all the same. One Love.
Huge day in Nashville North By Northeast. The Hallmark Inn on Trinity Lane has been declared a public nuisance in a temporary injunction and padlocking order issued by Criminal Court Judge Steve Dozier after District Attorney General Torry Johnson’s office filed suit. This will impact our community in a huge way. Hallmark Inn has received over 1600 calls to metro Police since 2010 and as Commander Graves stated, "Sometimes enough is enough." Awesome work by Commander Graves and the North Precinct For executing on this and also ensuring the families living in this hotel will have the services needed in this transition to find a safe place to stay.
I was proud to stand with my Nashville North By North East Colleauges to address the media this past Tuesday on the importance of this step to make our community better and safer for those who work and live in the Nashville North By North East Community.
I have been exiting the Trinity Lane exit for over a year now. After about 5 months, i noticed this fenced in area with grown up weeds surrounding 4 or 5 beautiful old trees. Jack Cawthon initially told me the Trinity Lane area was named Talbot's Corner and about 15 years ago he organized a cleanup of the cemetery that now sits oof of I-65 and Trinity Lane. As I became more intrigued with the history of Nashville North By Northeast, I did more and more research. As you may have read in a previous blog , I have a bit of a strange passion for preserving historical cemeteries, even since my youth. As a high school student I organized a clean up for a cemetery in my hometown that had historical significance to the Franklin/ Harpeth community. Why on earth would we not preserve the resting place of those who came before us? In my opinion, it is completely disrespectful to let these historical cemeteries become neglected. It hurts my heart to think that this was a place where their descendants could come to pay their family members honor and respect.
Once I started Reseaching theTalbot family, I learned so much (and continue to learn) about who they were and how they got here. I learned that Thomas Talbot, the head of the family, was a very interesting and important man regarding the history of Nashville and how we became who we are. I also learned that he owned the land in which my home sits. After learning many of my neighbors still have fruit trees in their yards, the pieces of the puzzle suddenly connected. Here is a little snipit of how the story goes: I found this article here
Thomas Talbot was born in Virginia and when a young man, moved with his father and brothers to the Watauga Settlement in what would become Tennessee, the first self-governing community in the United States. Along with his father and several of his brothers, he volunteered for militia service under John Sevier and was present at the Battle of Kings Mountain where he was wounded in the head by a musket ball. He served as the Sheriff for Washington County, North Carolina, a county that would become part of the State of Tennessee. When the citizens of the Watauga Settlement organized to form their own state government, Thomas Talbot was elected as the Clerk of the Senate for the short-lived State of Franklin. He married Ruth Greer, the daughter of another distinguished frontiersman, Andrew Greer. Together in 1785, they moved to Fort Nashborough which would in time become the city of Nashville. He purchased a large acreage north of the Cumberland River adjoining Eaton's station and extending from the Dickerson Pike to the river. Here in 1791 he built a large house and operated a plantation that included many fruit trees from which he made brandy. In 1804, together with his brother Clayton, he opened a tavern on the east side of the square that for many years would be a center of Nashville society and politics. Talbot's new tavern became the leading hotel of the city and it was here that a public dinner in honor of Aaron Burr was given by Andrew Jackson. In 1813, the tavern was the scene of the famous brawl between Andrew Jackson and John Coffee on one side and Jesee and Thomas Hart Benton on the other. Jackson was seriously wounded during this fight. Thomas Talbot was for many years one of the leading citizens of Nashville and died at his plantation home on 28 January 1831. Sometime before his death, he married Elizabeth Paw. All of his children were by his first wife, Ruth Greer.
Pretty cool huh? And a bit sad at the same time. How could a family with such impact on the Nashville community be somewhat forgotten? I even found an article dated back to 1964, where Talbot Feild ( presumably a deschendent of Thomas Talbot) wrote regarding the stones of the Talbot Family Cemetery have been destroyed, but burried there are Thomas Talbot, a Revolutionary Soldier, his wife, Ruth Greer ( daughter of Andrew Greer and sister to Joeseph Greer, Eli Talbot, and also the tomb of Thomas H. Fletcher and wife Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Ruth Greer Talbot. ( see pictures below of those tombs that I discovered)
Words written about Mrs. Ruth Greer Talbot:
Hard by the "mansion" where she lived, in the thick shade of a beautiful grove, in the valley of he little stream called " Page's Branch" , is the quiet burial ground in which is her grave beside that of her husband, Thomas Talbot. She was a woman of strong character, energetic, and industrious; the mother of eight children, and is described as " an affectionate wife, mistress, a kind neighbor and charitable to the poor" .
Wow. What I wouldn't give to have met Mrs. Ruth Greer Talbot. She is described in the Nashville Presbyterian Historical book as the type of lady I would want to know. I feel somewhat strangely connected to her because I fell in love with Page's Branch when Troy and I got lost picking up trash a couple months ago. What a beautiful little hidden water way through Nashville that I never knew existed, although I drove over it everyday.
As you look at the photos below, you will see that this important Nashville landmark is still neglected years later. It is my goal to organize a clean up crew to preserve this cemetery and honor the Talbot Family. I will be working on this the next couple of weeks, but I will need the support of the community in order to make that happen. I also would like the find a local landscaper or contractor who would be willing to donate possibly their time and supplies to re-build the fence surround the Talbot family cemetery. If you personally would be interested in lending a hand, landscaping tools, supplies or services... or have someone in mind, please reach out to me. This is a project I hope to complete prior to the end of July or August. I am hopeful we can give this family the recognition, honor, and respect they so rightfully deserve.
After nearly a year of organization and meetings, we were ready for Mayor Karl Dean to visit our group of community leaders, officials and neighbors. I remember in August of last year when Jack and I spoke and it was just the 2 of us talking about our vision and what we would like to see. I have watched my neighborhood visually change so much just the past 12 months. We had a room filled with over 50-60 individuals this past month to discuss the progress of Nashville North By Northeast and what plans to come in the future. I will continue to push forward regardless of what others do. Sometimes I get discouraged with what other people are NOT doing, such as maintaining their property and keeping up with their commitment to improve the area. This is NOT about money to me, but about community and preserving our neighborhoods and historical attributes, which i will write about in a future blog. But I am excited for our future! Non The less, here are some of the photos from our last meeting. I love meeting so many people interesting in revitalizing NASHVILLE NORTH BY NORTH EAST!
We had our first summer Katie Hill neighborhood meeting last Thursday. I was overwhelmed with the turnout of over 40 neighbors and community leaders. What was so amazing about the meeting was to look around at the different demographics. All ages, races, and income levels, in the same room, with the same goals of building and uniting our community of Katie Hill. What a blessing! We were honored to have Courtney Wheeler with the mayor's office of neighborhoods, the zone director for NAZA, the afterschool care and initiative created by Mayor Karl Dean, Sgt. Mitch Kornberg from the Metro Nashville police North precinct, and of course our great councilman of district 2, Frank Harrison. Frank kicked off the meeting talking about the importance of community engagement and as our councilman, he works for us. And we are very grateful for that! We came up with some great ideas regarding the children and our neighborhood and having a summer block party. I can't wait to see even more great things from Katie Hill. I love my neighborhood and everyone who calls Katie Hill Home sweet home!