Updated: Nov 19, 2020
What is The Nashville Strong Mural and How did it come about?
At around 12:45 am on March 3rd, 2020 a tornado ripped through Middle Tennessee. My buildings, located in Historic East Nashville at 5 Points, took a direct hit, causing major damage to my 3 restaurants. Beyond the Edge Sports Bar had a 70 foot-tall tree crash through the roof, destroying all the utility systems and just about cut the building in two. Drifters Tennessee BBQ Joint had 30 windows and doors blown out, the huge air conditioning units ripped off the roof and the roof itself damaged. Boston Commons New England Seafood Pub had the entire store front shattered, the roof peeled back, and the awnings destroyed, just to name a few of the major things. Of course all had water and equipment damage caused by the rain water, broken water pipes and the electrical surge created as the power grid was destroyed by the raging storm. And with the power gone 40 to 50 thousand dollars worth of food and beverage inventory went with it. In addition, the tornado completely destroyed a fourth building I owned on the property that housed Gold Club Tattoo Shop and Music City Vintage Clothing Store. That building and their businesses were a 100% loss. I guess I truly did have all my eggs in one basket, so to speak.
Thankfully none of my team or customers, who were inside the buildings when it hit, had been severely hurt. However, needless to say, I was personally "rocked" by the sight of all the destruction; not just of my properties, but of my neighborhood. And being no stranger to PTSD, I could easily recognize and feel the adrenalin surging through my veins.
Emotional trauma and I are old friends. I was first introduced to it over 28 years ago as a young Marine in Desert Storm, so I knew things were about to get really interesting. Trauma for me is usually followed by a surge in adrenaline that lasts for about 7 to 10 days. With that comes disrupted sleep patterns, and a hypersensitivity to just about everything. Thankfully, I had recently discovered EMDR (a cure for PTSD) and was finally dealing with the trauma of the past so I knew that I needed to listen to myself and where my brain and my emotions wanted to go.
At this point let me say 2 things: First, I realize that these were only commercial buildings and businesses. Many of my friends and neighbors lost their homes. Second, my East Nashville community is special in so many ways.
Immediately our Neighbors, the ones who were not hit, (heck, even some who were) and our neighborhood came out of their houses and came to our aid in the truest sense of the word "Community". I was so inspired by the acts of love, support, kindness, and care of wh