It didnt take much to rock my world in an instant. On June 28, at 2:17 p.m., I was cradling one of Macons newcomers in my arms and fell into the deepest trance Ill ever know when my newborn sons eyes locked with mine.
Welcome home, Jameson Walden Weatherford. Youre going to do just fine here.
For a long time now, Ive dreamed of how well share our hometown with you. Ive watched the children splash in the waterfalls and streams of Washington Park on a Second Sunday and wondered of the glee youll feel when the running water washes over your toes -- all while live music plays and your community surrounds you like one big picnic blanket. I hope youll grow to ask me over and over, is it Second Sunday yet?
Your daddy is already eager to promenade you around Tattnall Square Park, where you will enjoy nature, concerts and events in the backyard of our College Hill neighborhood. Without a doubt, as you grow to know the landscape of Tattnall, youll also quickly learn the magic of the Mercer University Bears.
Construction has begun on the in-ground slide that will coast down Coleman Hill. I imagine the outdoor lunches well have looking over the steeples of our city and the cupola of the Hay House before we scoot down toward downtown, where well wander the sidewalks, and Ill tell you stories about folks named Otis, Little Richard and Pearly Brown.
See son, were calling you Walden, a nod toward your Macon roots that run deep. They are roots that are intertwined with an amazing story of American music sprung from this city stranger than any fairy tale.
Your great-uncle Phil was knee-deep in it. And he took our family with him, changing their course from newspaper routes and mens clothing sales to managing artists like Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Percy Sledge, the Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd all right here in your hometown.
But if there is anything I want you to take from this, its that it wasnt about the gold records and the royalties. All of this began during a time when the South forced black and white people apart. Through music and the friendships that were formed, your family helped break barriers that I want you to never take for granted.
And thats not all, sweet son. There is a poet and a musician in your blood. Your mothers mother is a Lanier, and we can trace those roots to your great ancestor Sidney. Just down the road from your home, well walk the brick roads of High Street, and Ill show you the cottage where the true founding father of the Southern music movement was born. I hope youll love the words well discover, and the amazing history well uncover as we trace the footsteps of Macons famous sons and daughters.
And then there are the lyrics. May Macons songs be your lullabies. May your babbles be your own wop bop a loo bop. May you know the wind in your hair as we roll down U.S. 41 with church bells ringing everywhere. May you try a little tenderness with all that you touch. And finally, my son, may you be a simple kind of man. May you be something you love and understand.
Welcome to Macon, Walden. I know youll love it here.
Jessica Walden is the director of communications for the College Hill Alliance and co-owner of Rock Candy Tours. Contact her at email@example.com.