Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tullahoma becoming Manchester's suburb

I have lived in Manchester for almost all my life, and during this time, I have seen the town grow. Before the recession, there was a boom in housing, plus Manchester is an international player on the music scene with the Bonnaroo festival. Strategically located along Interstate 24, it is only a half-hour drive from Murfreesboro, which has been a city of enormous growth during the last decade or so.

Toss in quality of life perks like a blossoming park system, and Manchester is a town with a strong heartbeat.

Because of all this, I can't help but think of the role reversal Manchester and Tullahoma have seen. When growing up, the towns were opposites in many ways. Manchester is the county seat of Coffee County, but Tullahoma has the bigger population. Because of this, a natural rivalry exists between the towns.

However, the moods of the towns are different now. While Manchester has grown, Tullahoma really has not. When I was a teenager, it was very common to go to Tullahoma to see a movie or cruise around Northgate Mall. Today, Northgate Mall appears virtually empty and the movie theater is second rate. Why go see a movie there when just a little longer drive to Murfreesboro lets a person see a film in the comfort of stadium seating?

Bobby Dylan wrote: "The times, they are a-changin.'" He was right, but I don't think he had Coffee County in mind when he wrote it.

No comments: