I’m a cheerleader for Macon. I don’t deny it. I want to write in a way that puts a spotlight on the positive things that Macon has to offer. The people, the places, the experiences, and all the things that make Macon great. I’m not a fool, as some would think to call me, because of my eternal optimism. I just believe that thinking and acting positively towards the things that are positive and putting your shoulder to the grindstone to make the negative things better is a much better system of changing things than constant complaint, throwing your hands up, and lack of interaction.
Sometimes it’s frustrating.
I was born in Macon, Georgia. I spent the first years of adulthood trying to get the hell out of this town. And I did leave and live in some fantastic places and some not so fantastic places, but when I came back I knew I had to make the city I was in a place I would love to call home.
Macon has everything a city needs to be spectacular. Great dining worth broadcasting in regional and national publications. Affordable living and landlords that are not slumlords. Charming neighborhoods where you can walk across the street and borrow a cup of sugar, just like your grandmother did in the old days. Historic preservation that gives us a sense of place and attracts more visitors than many suspect. A governmental body that, despite its in-fighting, disagreements, and unfortunate racial divide, still manages to get things done for its citizens and continually works to do more. Unique businesses that drive commerce from outside of the city. The fact that I could go on from here is a testament to how far the city has come since I moved back in 1996.
The blessing and the curse of Macon is the people. In 2003, when I was living in Los Angeles, I found that despite falling in love with the weather; the diversity of activities, food, and people; and the beauty of the coast, not to mention the mountains that were only a few hours drive away, I missed the unique friendliness that makes up Macon, Georgia. For example, when I moved back in 1996, there was a little coffee shop on Cherry Street. I’d moved from Boston and wanted just a good cuppa. John Relyea, the proprietor, not only had a great selection of teas but an eclectic group of customers that basically informed what I have come to think of when I think of downtown Macon. It was the only place I could go after 8pm. Now, I have a variety of places to plug in my laptop, so to speak, and though there is a different group of them, I wouldn’t trade the eclectic, diverse groups that make up my downtown experience for the world. I have made friends just by sitting at a bar and saying hello, something I have not been able to duplicate anywhere in the United States as well as I have here.
All That To Say…
Okay, this is not an ode. I’m pretty sure I would fail at writing an ode to musical joy on a Friday night, but if you want to, please let me know!
What I am excited about, in the same way I get excited about Girl Scout Cookie time or the sound that Skype makes when I’m looking for the call or the smell of old books sitting on a shelf waiting to be chosen, is all the music that is about to go down tonight!
Ummm, this whole weekend is full of music. Chock full of music. If we keep going like this, we might begin to be the music city we keep dreaming of.
The Secret to a Happy Ending (Free!)
THE SECRET TO A HAPPY ENDING documents the Drive-By Truckers and their congregation of fans as they explore tales of human weakness and redemption. Filmmaker Barr Weissman followed the band during three critical years of touring and recording — years in which the band struggles to overcome the trauma of divorce and survives a near breakup. SECRET combines band interviews, behind-the-scenes footage on the road and in the studio, along with legendary live performances. Reflective of the band’s roots in Alabama and Georgia, the film explores the changing American South — its tangled past and strange beauty.