How's it going, everybody!? Today is September 1st, 2017. Which means for us Memphians it's 901 Day! I don't know if other cities around the country celebrate a day (I'm sure some do) dedicated to their area code. Most Memphians I know are proud to be from this city. I figured I would touch on why Memphis means so much to me and why I love this city!
I was born and (basically) raised in this city. I say basically because there's a five-year block when my family moved north to Dyersburg. Other than that quick stretch of time I've been a Memphian for my entire life. I had so many "firsts" in Memphis which I'll never forget. Small things like first beer, or first date. As well as huge things like first video game played (Mario duh), first love (and final love, what's up, Summer), and first child. But all these 'firsts" don't define why I love Memphis the way I do. It digs deeper than those wonderful things.
I, like many young children growing up, hated their city at first. I too often bitched and complained about how "there's nothing to do in this rotten city" or "shit, I can't wait to get out of this hell hole". But as I grew older, made friends, and found things to interest me I started to waive off these feelings. I went from hating Memphis to 901 for life! A huge change for me was an NBA franchise relocating to our small market. Little did I know years later I would be enthralled with our beloved Memphis Grizzlies. Sure, I'm not a super fan like Katee Forbis, Rich Terry, or Robert Taylor. That doesn't mean every fall through summer I don’t bleed Beale Street Blue and Yellow. The Grizz moving to Memphis only opened a portion of my heart I thought to be closed forever. Oh, the joy I felt seeing a city I once thought to be full of crime and hate, only to be unified once the Grizzlies nestled into their new home, the FedEx Forum. It was the beginning of a maturing process for me. A process which started out as a small flame to now be stoked to a raging fire of passion.
The passion I speak of is naturally the ever-growing Nerd Community here in Memphis. A community myself and Adam are trying to help nurture and grow. Starting Nerd901 helped me connect with not only nerds like myself, but a ton of other people across social media. Every day as I continue my "addiction to the scroll" on Twitter, I interact with people I followed to help expand Nerd901's landscape. Connecting with these people helped fuel my love for this city. I was able to find people like Kevin Cerrito, Dustin Starr, and CJ Hurt to name a few. These guys, who are "nerds" in their own right (Okay, Dustin maybe chill out with the headlocks!) are out in the city hustling every day. As I watched these talented men get more and more fantastic opportunities, I knew deep down, if it wasn't for the incredible people in this city it couldn't happen.
This site has only grown stronger because of those same people. The fantastic people who help make Nerd901 thrive. People like Pixels & Papers, 2 Player Co-op, Shelfie Podcast, Lee Travis, and Johanna Edwards. Discovering these wonderful people makes me love this city. I never knew "nerdy" people like myself existed in Memphis. And we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of our continuously growing nerd community. Transplants to our city like Dr. Stephanie Madden, who brought the incredibly special Nerd Nite to Memphis, continue to build this community brick by brick. I can't say Memphis may have never gotten our own Nerd Nite, but I can say it wouldn't be so special without Stephanie. She has rightfully planted herself as a Memphian now! I can only hope Stephanie and her wonderful husband, Michael Steudeman, never have to leave this city. Meeting and getting to know all these wonderful people, some born and raised, some transplants further push the narrative of the undying love I have for the 901.
I know I'm not the only person who loves Memphis with this much passion. Hell, I'm writing this because of 901 Day. We've got thousands upon thousands of people who love our city. People who anchored down in this community. People like, Holly Whitfield, who runs the I Love Memphis blog. Don't you see it people!? There's an actual person running a blog declaring it's love for our city. Holly highlights Memphis as no other person can. She makes sure we all know the awesome events or big news stories happening in Memphis. There are businesses who could probably go on to other cities and possibly thrive more, but they love this city. They stuck around to help build and grow it. Local beer breweries, coffee joints, and recreation spots have only helped show the city, nay the country Memphis is here! And we're aren’t going anywhere anytime soon! Grit and Grind my fellow Memphians! I love you! All the best!