Saturday, March 10, 2018
I'm sitting in the McDonald's in Nashville, Arkansas where they're playing Christian music on the PA system.. I'm on a short visit to see relatives on my mother's side. Nashville was y favorite place in the world when I was a kid. Their high school football team, the SCRAPPERS, are legendary in Arkansas.Many of my family, including the woman who would become my mom, walked the hallowed halls of NHS. This is from March 1, 2014.
Yesterday, I was dropping my keys into the basket at Chancellor's Tennis Center's front desk, preparing to swim, when I heard a voice calling out to me. I was wearing the shirt seen above in a shot from last July in Can Tho, Vietnam. (I'm only about 6'1" but I'm a giant in Vietnam as I pose with Nguyen on my right and Dat on my left!) A young man, whom I take it is a tennis instructor at Chancellor's, told me he was from Nashville, Arkansas, the proud home of THE SCRAPPERS as my shirt attests. I told him Nashville was my mom's home town. I mentioned my mother's maiden name (Chesshir) and he recognized it. He told me his name but it was not one I was familiar with in Howard County, Arkansas. We shook hands and I left feeling I had made if not a friend at least an acquaintance and it was all because of the shirt.
(Short comedic detour here: One of the funniest interchanges I have ever seen occurred at this very same spot several months ago. I was depositing my keys when a gorgeous woman of Asian descent walked off the adjacent tennis courts. An American guy who was also in the lobby was visibly impressed. He walked up to the lady and obviously hoping to score some points, greeted her with ''你好,'' (Nee how!) Her short and sweet reply- 'I'm Korean.' End of chapter as guy slinks away with any chance of romance dashed in the wink of an ethnically challenged eye.)
There is only one way the tennis instructor made any connection with me and Nashville, Arkansas: he recognized the t-shirt. I could have been wearing Astros or Texans or Red Sox gear and he would have said nothing. But, he was certain that I in some way was affiliated with this little town in Arkansas. And the amazing thing is that I did not have to say a word. People notice little things about us all the time and we do the same in regards to strangers. I try to be extra careful when I'm wearing Westbury Christian clothes, a point I make constantly with the girls on my team. Jesus talked about His followers being the light of the world/a city on a hill. Well, lights and cities are visible to the naked eye and as I was reminded, so are t-shirts. Visual and verbal clues can be very revealing as to who we are. Peter's Galilean accent gave him away on the night Jesus was betrayed. But in Acts 4, just a short time later chronologically, Peter was recognized as having been with that same Jesus he denied knowing. What assumptions does the world make about me based on how I dress and speak and act? I can't answer that question. I do know The Nashville Scrappers of Nashville High are known as one of the dominant small town football programs in the state of Arkansas. I hope I am a good ambassador for my relatives still abiding in the home of my ancestors. Shirts don't lie!
Applicable quote of the day:
“Who you looking for
What is his name
you can prob'ly find him
at the football game
it's a small town
you know what I mean
it's a small town, son
and we all support the team”
― James McMurtry
Steve/related to conservatively at least 1/2 of Nashville, Arkansas
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 2:10 PM