Thoughts from the shadows of a great American city

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective. As I told ‘The Tennessean’ in 2008, “since moving to Nashville twenty-five years ago, I have met people whose lives do not remotely reflect the caricature of what many outside our city presume to be a Nashvillian” or the Nashville experience. “Underground Nashville” thus explores the soul of the city, not its surface—offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew


As we head into Thanksgiving week, please do not forget those less fortunate than you. The Nashville Rescue Mission just released a statement declaring “about 5,000 people will find their way here on Thanksgiving Day alone.” To make sure they receive love, friendship, and a comforting meal, please call (615) 255-2475 or visit  Thank you.


Getting zinged by The Salvation Army

by Dave Carew

So I’m coming out of Kroger yesterday, and I hear, for the first time this year, the evocative sound of The Salvation Army man ringing his Christmas bell.

I stop my shopping cart as a tall, old, African-American gentleman, ringing the bell, offers me a wide, warm, mischievous smile.

“You’re starting early this year, aren’t you?” I say to him, smiling.

He chuckles and says, “Well, you know what they say. Giving has no season.”

I smile, nod, and place a couple of dollars in The Salvation Party pot, as he continues to ring his bell.

As I walk off, the old man’s bell briefly stops ringing.

“You’re a man among men,” he calls out to me. “I don’t care WHAT your wife says!”

Somehow, that I am not even married makes his wisecrack especially audacious and amusing.

I look back at his beaming face and match it with my own.

David M. (Dave) Carew is editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.”


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