Memories - they’re like small pieces of our psyche. They can be brief or long-lasting, embedded or fleeting. And almost all of them create some form of emotion. They transport us back to a time and place, a circumstance, or a moment. There is a quote from Dr. Seuss that I like - “Sometimes you won’t know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” I like that he uses the word "value." Memories are valuable! And sharing them increases their value by spreading the memory and the emotion to others.
When I first came to the Capitol last March, I fell in love with the history and the legacy of this intimate venue in the hills of downtown Greeneville. This was a place that had been through so much - purpose, ownership, renovation, and restoration. The year the Capitol opened was filled with memories for the entire country - Donald Duck made his debut, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was opened, the 1st Credit Unions were established, and the 1st US Soap Box Derby was started. People in Greeneville flocked to the theatre to see movies. And all of them started creating memories.
As I worked on events early last year, people kept commenting on memories they had of the Capitol. I heard “I haven’t been in this place in years” and “I had my first kiss on that back row.” One gentleman shared the memory of how he and his friends would come every Saturday, sit in the balcony, and watch westerns. Another poignant story was a gentleman who said, “I haven’t been here in over a decade. I was born in Greeneville and spent many an evening here, but moved away for work. Tonight I’m back and this is my son and my grandson coming here for the first time!” That really got to me and inspired me to start a project.
MY CAPITOL MEMORIES is a way for people to share their memories and memorabilia with others. It’s a way to express to others the significance of a small-town venue that has been around for over 80 years. I am asking everyone to share their memories of the Capitol. It could be stories like the above, the first movie you saw, or the first theatre experience you had. What about looking through your old yearbooks or the personal collection and seeing - did the Capitol have an ad? Is there an article about the Capitol? Do you have pictures in front of or inside the Capitol throughout the years? We want to collect those and share them. I have a dedicated wall at the Capitol where we can share practical items - photos, newspaper articles, etc. We will also share everything on our website and through social media.
“Memories are timeless treasures of the heart.”
Take just a few minutes. Think back to these memories you have, and then, share them with us. You can write them out, record your memory, or even make a short video! Here is a link where you can send your treasures. And thank you for sharing them with us.
“The best thing about memories - is making them.”
Talk to you next time,
Submit your memory here.