Nashville Shows ‘Volunteer’ Spirit

By Tony Moorby March 17, 2020 809

There are lots of things whirling around right now; The coronavirus seems like it’s in the air we breathe, the stock market is on a helter-skelter ride – up one day, down the next and finally we had awful, deadly tornadoes here in Nashville.

Tennessee’s nickname is ‘The Volunteer State’, for good reason; a total of four tornadoes ripped through the Mid-State and five to our north, in southern Kentucky. They made their appearance during extremely unsettled and stormy weather between 12:30 and 1:30 in the morning. While it’s scary to think of these monsters roaming in the darkness, in way it was a blessing. The types of places that were hit would have been swarming with people in the daytime; schools, light industrial facilities and storage warehouses, restaurants, apartments, churches and healthcare buildings all razed to look like a war zone.

Twenty-two fatalities occurred mainly in sleepy subdivisions in Cookeville, a little way east. As if that’s not bad enough, it could have been many times worse as a daytime event.

 As daylight came, bewildered people were walking around like zombies, stultified by what they saw. Houses were lifted from their foundations and cars were thrown around like toys. Nothing was left standing for a forty-mile stretch of its path which, at times, was a half a mile wide.

 Manheim’s Nashville Auto Auction suffered considerable damage and will be closed for a while. I had built a showroom, recon center and 14 dealer offices adjacent to the auction back in 2003 and sold it five years ago to a huge wholesale operator – nothing’s left but rubble.

 Since the very morning after, the air has been abuzz to the chorus of chainsaws. Almost any tool that could be thrown into the back of a pickup truck has been employed by a veritable army of volunteers, coming from all directions to help get things back to some semblance of order. Cookeville had a two-mile tailback on the main road into town – volunteers made a traffic jam of the best kind of people itching to help out. The utility companies had to ask folks to stay away for a day so they could safely get to repairs.

 How come we have to wait for disasters to be nice to one another? There are, of course, the scumbags and cockroaches of society who are only too ready to swoop on the less fortunate and make them even worse off. Looters and scam artists should be taken out and shot at dawn in a public square, as far as I’m concerned.

 Now that the coronavirus has reached us, the gougers are out and about, emptying shelves and reselling on eBay and Amazon, praying on the fears of the frightened. Let’s hope that folks realize you can make your own disinfectants and face masks aren’t that effective at keeping out the virus so that these robbers get caught with thousands of dollars’ worth of inventory stuck sideways where the sun don’t shine! Speaking of there; Costco has had a run (pun intended) on toilet paper. Why? That’s the wrong end.

 I think we are just being made awfully aware of just how connected the world is. The markets are keenly aware that supply chains are under pressure internationally and many products will be more difficult to source. Our self-subsistence will be truly tested. Prices may go up as employment slows down – there’s a double whammy.

 I hope we can borrow some of Tennessee’s spirit throughout the U.S., throwing selfishness to the wind in favor of charitable giving. Remember the feelings immediately after 9/11, when everyone was kind and giving? That’s what I mean.






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Last modified on Tuesday, 17 March 2020 17:03