Tag Archives: Charlotte

The County of Wilson

25 Apr

A new bridge is being built across the Cumberland River, and, the other day, I drove across it for the first time. I guess that means I drove across it twice. First, I went over it. Then, I came back. It was that return trip that I noticed our county seal displayed prominently.

This took me by surprise because I have lived in Wilson County all of my life and had never seen it. Heck, I did not even know it existed. However, that was not the only thing that surprised me. It did not look like a typical seal.County Seal

Most seals that I have seen have symbols that represent the area. There may be some sort of plant that grows in the area. There may be a farmer. There may be some representation of industry. The Wilson County seal looks like something you would see at the post office. The bald eagle is patriotic, but I have not seen many bald eagles around here lately.

It made me think that this must be a more recent creation. The seals with crops, farmers and industry are from a time long past. This one looks more modern. With this on my mind, I called the Wilson County Archives to find out when this seal came into being. They had no idea but agreed that it must come from more recent times.

Anyway, I am on a mission to find out when the Wilson County seal was created and why it does not represent anything special about the area. It is American, but it is not Wilsonian.

That brings me to something that has bugged me for a long time. Why is Wilson County named Wilson? I know why our city is named Lebanon. The settlers saw all of the cedar trees and thought of the Cedars of Lebanon in the Bible. Unfortunately, they are not cedars. They are junipers.

Here is something else. Lebanon, Oregon is named after Lebanon, Tennessee. Some guy from here hopped on the Oregon Trail and named his new town after his old one. That means there is a city in Oregon named for a city in Tennessee that is named after the wrong kind of tree.

Now, back to Wilson. The county is named for Major David Wilson, a prominent man who lived in Sumner County. That is the county that sits on the other side of the new bridge. He was born around Charlotte, North Carolina and fought in the American Revolution. He settled in these parts, which was the western part of North Carolina, and involved himself in many activities of a landed gentleman. Politician, surveyor and other jobs that do not require strenuous labor.

I am sure he was a great man. Wilson County was named in his honor in 1799, a few years before his death. However, I am wondering something. Did he ever make his way across the river and into the land that would bear his name? Did he own property here? Did he help create the new county? What role did this man play in our county’s history?

It is like the seal that really does not represent anything about Wilson County. Did the man who it is named after represent the county?

I guess it does not matter, but it still makes me wonder.


Cancun – Descending Into the Polar Vortex

17 Jan

While in Cancun, we kept hearing about the Polar Vortex, this huge weather system that was bringing frigid temperatures into Tennessee and everywhere else. First, I wondered where the term Polar Vortex come from? Do meteorologists sit around and come up with sinister sounding names for weather systems. In the old days, I thought it was an Arctic Blast. Second, we knew that at some point we were going to have to go home, and that meant going from the 80 degree average of Cancun to something completely different.

We woke up bright and early on the day of our leaving and prepared to make the trip to the airport. We dressed as we had dressed each day because we did not take any coats. My wife said that we wouldn’t need coats in Cancun. Unfortunately, we would need them in Tennessee. Luckily, I packed a pair of long pants to wear.

We took the ride to the airport and got dropped off into chaos. There was a huge crowd of people trying to check in. It was made up of people like us who were scheduled to leave that day, but it was also made up of people who were supposed to leave earlier and were trapped by cancelled flights. We talked to some people from Boston who had been trying to get home for a couple of days. This Polar Vortex thing was so powerful that it cancelled flights in Mexico.

We must have hit the sweet spot because our flight was on time. That gave us a chance to study the airport. There was basically a duty-free mall. There was a Johnny Rocket’s. There was also some dude dressed up like the Mask. Put together, it was kind of surreal.

We flew out of Cancun and made it to Charlotte. There we had to go through the hassle that is customs. Apparently, the United States does not trust the capabilities of other nations. We had to get our bags and have them rescanned. Once that was done, we made our way into the terminal. It was chaos all over again. Flights were cancelled. People were huddled in corners. Those who were coming in on delayed flights were barely missing their connections.

Once again, we were lucky. Our flight to Nashville was only 30 minutes late. However, the way people were dressed gave us an idea of what was happening outside. Heavy coats and hats were the norm. In fact, we stood out with our short-sleeved shirts.

The flight to Nashville was a little rough, and my window seat offered a glimpse of what we were descending into. As we got closer to the ground, the area just looked cold. Hardly any cars were out. The sides of the roads were white with ice. I can’t describe what cold looks like, but I know it when I see it.

Walking through the terminal, our summer clothes were looking really strange. However, we planned ahead. The guy picking us up brought heavy coats for us to put on. Despite those coats, walking outside took our breath away. The last time we were outside it was 80 degrees. Suddenly, we were hitting air that was 6 degrees. As we walked to the car, I tried to keep warm by thinking of this.Cancun - Poolside

And this.Cancun - Volleyball

And this.Cancun 216

Despite the temperature, we were glad to be home. One thing we all agree on is that it is good to travel, but it is also good to return home. It was also good that my mom had made up a big pot of soup.