Russell Derby, Derby and Maggie Jones

Russell Derby, Derby and Maggie Jones

I recently attended the funeral of someone in the community that I had met but did not really know. Though I know her family, I had only met her a handful of times, mostly at community events. Her name was Cornelia "Connie" Anne Clark.

As I listened to the service, her 5 nephews got up and spoke about their Aunt Connie’s house on 4th Avenue (right across the street from theirs) and they talked about what her home meant to them.

She put in a pool so that it would be a gathering place for their large multi generation, Franklin family. She had the ballgame on and Gatorade and Doritos stocked at all times. She had meaningful talks on the couch with the kids after Sunday supper. She was in charge of snacks and carpool to her nephew’s ballgames and Vanderbilt women’s basketball games, and she was the matriarch of the family.

That was what she made time for when she was not doing her day job of Supreme Court Justice for the State of Tennessee, serving on countless boards in her community or serving her church.

It made me think about what an impact the word “home” can have. It can be a place or a memory. It can be a feeling of always being loved and accepted. It can be what makes you who you are and what shapes your personality. Your home is a part of your history.

We are celebrating homes in this issue. Whether it is farmland in Burwood or a historic property on Bridge Street or the 14th house built in the Hard Bargain neighborhood. Dennis Quaid has a new home in middle Tennessee where he has family close by. Shaun Cassidy is embracing his brother Patrick’s new home in Williamson County by throwing a benefit to help support our beloved Studio Tenn who has been hit hard due to the pandemic.

Home means something different to everyone.

Connie Clark’s service impacted my life by the stories told of the life she led – and by who she was. Though I did not know her, it made me think about what legacy I am leaving behind and what memories my family will have of home. With my daughter being a senior this year and going off to college soon and my son being a freshman in high school, I am left thinking about whether I need more Gatorade in the fridge, Dorito’s in the pantry and making sure we continue our Sunday night grill outs as a family.


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