polar bears

More biking yesterday, with Younger Daughter at Fort Negley and Centennial Park, this time while we both waited for Older Daughter to finish her Biology exam and join us for summer break. Now that school’s out for us all, the play can really begin!

And, how gratifying it was  at the final parent-teacher conference of the year to hear that our girl so perfectly embodies the profile of success at her school: inquisitve, humble, hard-working, excited to learn. Don’t ever lose that spirit, sweetie, it’s also the profile of the life-long learner.

Neglected to mention one last local landmark of note on Thursday’s tour de ‘ville: the Polar Bears:

Made in 1930 by the G. Mattei Plaster Relief Ornamental Company to promote the Polar Bear Frozen Custard Shops, the 600-pound, five-and-a-half foot bears were inexplicably purchased by Zema Hill in the 1940s, who placed them in front of a residence at 1408 Edgehill where they remained for more than 50 years. Following a city-wide competition to design a new home for them, the bears were cleaned up and installed at the corner of Edgehill and 12th Avenue South, already marked by a historic marker in honor of DeFord Bailey, the first African-American member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Soon after arriving in Nashville thirty summers ago (!) I made the first of countless drive-bys on my way to Greer Stadium. (I’d never seen minor league baseball before.) The bears were still in their original location, and quickly became kitschy old friends. Usually don’t go that way anymore. It was great seeing them again.

And that plaque reminds me of the time I saw Sports Illustrated writer/NPR commentator (and Baltimore native) Frank Deford try to ingratiate himself with the local audience by claiming a tenuous nominal connection. Someone had to explain: down here that name is pronounced DEE-ford.

This is its own place.

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