As a kid, there was no better time of the year. It still seems to be a day where the world sits still for a while, with egos being put aside and kindness triumphing.
This Christmas I awoke to messages asking if I was OK. Strange, I thought, but I hadn’t yet read the news of the bombing that occurred downtown in my new home city of Nashville.
Fortunately, I was in Florida with family and even more fortunately, I live 10 or so miles away from where the incident took place on Second Avenue.
There are still more questions than answers about why that explosion happened, but that is not the focus of this article.
While no one was killed and very few were injured, lives were still affected. To this day, Second Avenue is still closed to vehicle traffic indefinitely.
Local musician Buck McCoy may have experienced the worst of it.
His Christmas morning resulted in the loss of his apartment, his music equipment and almost everything but the clothes on his back.
He was reunited a few days later with his cat Molly, who went missing the day of the bombing.
For musicians, 2020 has already been the worst year of their lives and on top of that Nashville experienced an extremely damaging tornado back in March.
Fortunately for Buck, he was able to return to the stage the following week at John Rich’s Redneck Riviera on Broadway with the help of country star Brad Paisley, who gifted him a guitar after hearing of his story.
A Go-Fund-Me page set up by Buck’s friends has also raised more than $40,000 since Christmas Day.
And while evil and tragic circumstances can’t always be explained, the love, aid and assistance sent Buck’s way showed that we should not lose in hope in dark times.
Nashville does not stay sitting still for long.
It was only three days later and most of Broadway’s honkytonks resumed business and the crowds were the biggest I had seen since my move here back on Dec. 1.
Buck’s story should demonstrate that we should not allow ourselves to stay down during tough times and instead keep truckin’ on in the face of conflict and woe.
January is a tough month for a lot of folks. Life seems to slow down. However the days are getting longer and forward progress is on the horizon.
Keep your chin up and stay determined.
PJ Ferguson is a local musician from Dresden and former reporter for The Whitehall Times. He recently moved to Nashville and is sending regular dispatches from Music City.