Borders’ Closing Leaves Vacancy in Clarksville

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on September 2, 2011

Borders bookstore’s closing has left a vacant hole in my Sunday regime. I’ve hardly ever missed a browse through or a chance to do some pre-Christmas shopping in the “Clarence” section. Now those Sunday explorations are but a memory.

At Borders, the borders were all reachable. Everything bordered on something, and each Border bordered on another. Each shelf was a segue to another section, an unexplored shelf. I could have explored there for hours. I always bought those calendars, which went wanting in mid-March, for a dollar. Most of them ended up on sets here at the Roxy.

I’ll need to make friends of Books-A-Million, and I will. It’s not that I don’t like Books-A-Million; it’s the “million” that gets me. I know I’ve not read enough, but a million? If I started now, at 64, I could read no more than a few hundred. The million is hard to swallow.

My partner Tom had an unexpected burst appendix while on holiday in Fort Lauderdale. That’s where I first discovered Borders. It was my oasis between hospital visits. The mind could wander away from illness to stillness with the turn of a page of a browsed book. So, for me, the store held a sentimental fondness.

I was told that the Clarksville Borders was doing well, so what caused it to close? A glutted market? Kindles? Corporate greed? I still need to hold the book, turn the pages by hand, glance at the bookmark, and ponder the paper.

I’ve discovered that there is a fellowship of mall workers of which few of us are aware. When I asked Borders employees about future jobs, most said that other opportunities at Governor’s Square Mall have opened for them, so many have work or other employment already.

The theatre will be dark for a few weeks — one very dark, without even rehearsals occurring — and then two weeks of rehearsals, but no performance until our pay-what-you-can preview of Beehive: The ’60s Musical Sensation on Friday, September 16, at 8pm. All tickets not pre-sold at the regular price will go on sale at 7:30pm for whatever you wish to pay.

Saturday, September 17, is “Frolic on Franklin: A Celebration of the Arts,” an all-day event from 9am until 4pm, culminating in the 29th Anniversary Roxy Gala.

I’m sure, but have no idea of exactly how many, lives have been touched, moved or awed by experiencing live theatre here on the corner of Franklin and First: locals who have learned over the past 29 years that it’s not always better in Nashville; bus loads of children who experience live theatre because an educator knows that reading, hearing and seeing a piece of literature will expand the mind and broaden a student’s understanding; and the myriad of little ones whose eyes say it all.

What we have done here has value, great value.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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