I’ve mentioned the Nashville Scene—our alternative newspaper—several times here as a great resource for when you’re planning to come to Nashville.
When I was a newly single mom in 1990, the Scene was new too. It came out on Thursdays, and there were racks for it in strategic places around town. Stopping to pick up a Scene was part of my Thursday routine (because by Friday afternoon they might be gone). This wasn’t because I had such an active social life. I had a six-year-old at home.
No, it was because I’m a reader, and the Scene was then and is now a great newspaper, full stop. The editor, Jim Ridley, is (was) a guy I never truly knew (met him a couple times) though several of my friends did, in varying degrees. Back in the very early ’90s Jim was a student at MTSU and working at a local record store. When he graduated and moved to Nashville, I happened to be the person who was hired to fill his slot on the work schedule at the store. He was much loved, even then, by a bunch of cool kids at the record store. When I made that remark on Facebook, a friend of mine said, “As far as I know, he’s always been king of the cool kids.”
Jim was known far and wide in Nashville; he never met a stranger. He wrote brilliant film reviews for the Scene. And he died unexpectedly yesterday, just fifty years old. I bring all this up simply because there have been some lovely things written about him in recent days—
—which also says, I feel, something about our community. My friend, who knew him, says, “He just happened to be one of the nicest and warmest people I have ever met. There was no one like him and Nashville was lucky to have him.” Indeed we were.