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We Are Nashville: One Year Later

A year ago today, with a 589-word blog post that I fired off before I went to work, my life changed.

I admit, in hindsight, I did have a hunch that I was writing something that might go a little bit further out than the usual Predators’ blog circle. However, I never had any idea what kind of impact that it would actually have.

Considering how easily the blog came to me that morning, it’s sort of funny to me that for an entire year, I have not really been able to put into words why or how I wrote it.

I’ve seen the shirts “in the wild” and it always makes me feel somewhat awkward. I’m just a guy that writes for a blog. I don’t get paid. I’ve never been paid to write anything. I only write for my own amusement. That morning, however, I realized that I had a vehicle to post my thoughts and so I did. Yes, we’re a hockey blog, but that doesn’t really matter. I’ve been asked time and again why I posted it on a hockey blog…and it’s pretty simple: I’m a hockey blogger – this is where my voice is heard.

All I wanted to do was remind the people that were reading that the tragedy was only temporary, that we would get through it, that we were a community of strong people and that we could rebuild.

Granted, there have been some setbacks in the past year – Opry Mills still isn’t open, there are homes that still need to be rebuilt and other homes and businesses that are so far into disrepair that their families and employees can never move back into them. Some people suffered losses at such a great amount that no amount of flood relief can remotely rebuild what they had.

It’s almost unbelievable to think about even a year later. Our city – our entire community was underwater. Some of our neighbors drowned, lost to a disaster that the majority of us never even imagined.

Yet, we’re still here – almost all of us. Certainly, a few people picked up their stakes and scooted out of town last year because of the floods, but most of us stuck around. It’s what we do. We stick it out and we stick it out for each other. Those of us who have survived have to survive so that the memories of those we lost and what we lost is not in vain.

It seems strange that in a week in which we hit the anniversary of our tragedy, our neighbors to the east, west and to the south have suffered a similar fate. Alabama has been absolutely devastated by tornadoes. The entire state is a disaster area, yet it appears to have been quickly forgotten due to Will and Kate’s wedding. Obviously, other important events happened later in the weekend that rightfully take the front page in the news, but our friends in East and West Tennessee, North Georgia and all of Alabama are still hurting. Don’t forget them. They need help.

I know you won’t forget. We’ve already seen what this community can do for our neighbors.

The thing is, we are still Nashville.

To assist with tornado recovery in Alabama, please click this link.

To assist with continued flood relief efforts in Middle Tennessee, please click this link.

To assist with tornado recovery in Chattanooga and North Georgia, please click this link and designate your donation to “Disaster Relief Fund”.


  1. Merri

    May 4, 2011 at 7:37 am

    So very true! We are still NASHVILLE. Still makes me proud to have lived in this Community since 1986. Thank you for reminding us how lucky we are to have neighbors, co-workers, friends and family that will still stand and say WE ARE NASHVILLE.

  2. Wendy of TN

    May 4, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Your words about hockey are always welcome and well written. Then when you have spoken about the flood and now the anniversary you touch my heart in a way reading words have never done before. Thank you for sharing your talent and skills with us regardless of the topic you choose to write about. I still have the original posting hanging in frame on my wall to remember. You are very gifted and deserve all the kudos you have been given and will continue to receive for your love of the written word and your love of all things Pred!!

  3. Mark Hollingsworth

    May 4, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Thanks again, Patten.

  4. Your Dad

    May 4, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I am always so proud of you and your graciousness to others. Keep writing from the heart and people will always listen!

  5. Cari Renee

    May 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Those of us that’ picked up stakes and scooted out of town’ had no choice in the matter because we had no job and no way to pay the bills, thanks to the flood. And trust me, I’M DYING to be back home.

    • Patten Fuqua

      May 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      Wasn’t meant to be a knock. Well, it was a knock at Mother Nature for driving people out of their homes.

  6. Travis Gellinger

    May 4, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I commend the city of Nashville on the way this was handled. I still talk about it to this day up here in the north. Really the only way I kept tabs on it was through the internet which is taking over mainstream media anyways. I had not a shadow of a doubt that Nashville would rebuild without the help of anyone but their neighbors. Was FEMA even sent down to you guys that I never found out, I’m sure they were more of a bother than a help to community of people that for the most part “love thy brother” I dont think you I could of said it any better about the looting and mass chaos NOT being there.

    As Rodney Atkins says “Thats what I love about the south” Three reasons I look forward to moving to Nashville 1. Hockey 2. Friendliness 3. No state income tax

  7. Tracey Rodenbach

    May 4, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Patten, well said then, and well said now. Never have I been more proud of where I live and its people. I too was remembering those horrible hours, watching the water creeping up 2nd Avenue and beyond. The people of Nashville and this area have their priorities straight. Yes, much was lost. But, much was gained. I made new friends, working side by side with them while cleaning up and learned more about my neighbors. I learned to value THAT- friends, the fellowship at hockey games, scaring the crap out of out of town Flyers fans by offering to buy them a round. That blog entry was poignant and so totally summed up how we really felt, and the pain we feel now for our neighboring counties and states. We are and always will be Nashville!

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