Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Home Town

City of Bristol, TN population estimate of 2006

City of Bristol, VA population estimate of 2006

For a combined population of: 42,847

When people ask me this question of population, I never know the answer, therefor I throw out a wild guess. If you add the residents who live in the counties of Sullivan & Washington, our numbers grow to a point where the non visitors may think we are a much larger city /town.

Bristol is split right down the main street ( State Street ) by a state line which can make for interesting situations. Mostly, cooperation between the two cities prevails. For the record, I am on the Tennessee side of the proposition. My office is right at the state line which means I am in and out of Virginia constantly. This is not an exclusive situation here in the U.S. of A.
We have two city governments, two courthouses, two police forces, a TN High School and a VA High School. A true "Twin" city.

The thing that puts us on the map nationally is the fact that we have claim to the world's fastest half mile, Bristol Motor Speedway. This may be of little interest to many but to 200,000 NASCAR fans, it means a lot twice a year.

We are also ordained congressionally as "The Birthplace of Country Music" based on the recordings of Ralph S. Peer in 1927, who captured the audio styling of The Carter Family and Jimmy Rogers ( The Singing Brakeman ) right here in downtown Bristol.
These recordings became the first commercially distributed slabs of "mountain" music and became known as "Te Big Bang" of country music.

I am neither a NASCAR fan nor a country music fan. ( at least not the music of today being sold as "country".)
I do like some fringe elements known as Americana or roots music. ( Even some Newgrass )

This brings me to the next item that has the potential of putting Bristol on "the map". Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Festival. It is taking place this very weekend
for the sixth year in a row. September 14th through the 16th.
To the untrained or unadventurous eye, it may look like a "bluegrass" festival but,
it really covers a lot of ground in the Americana area, including some blues.
( see local favorite "Lightening Charlie" )
This festival hit the ground running and has grown by leaps and bounds in it's short six year time span. With multiple outdoor stages and musicians playing in every nook of downtown, there is truly something to feed your need for ear candy at every whipstich.
(Webb Wilder, Last of the Full Grown Men, performs at B.R.&R.)

Bristol is a community of very slow growth, I like it that way just fine.

So anyway, for those just passing by, this is a brief explanation of where I am on this big belew marble.



belewbloggfan said...

What an interesting situation. I only know of one other town that shares a similar 'predicament' - Lloydminster straddles the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. I'm sure the only thing interesting about this town, is the fact that most of the inhabitants who live on the Alberta side, have post office boxes on the Saskatchewan side of town, specifically in order to save money on things like car insurance (which is cheaper in that province). Pretty boring in comparison to Bristol's "Birthplace of Country Music" claim to fame..... :-D

blockdog said...

We have a difference in taxes between the states, lots of people slip across the line into VA to do their shopping.

Thanks for your comments !