Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Throughout my life, I have had the good fortune of living in different parts of the country.  Born in San Antonio, school years in Memphis and Oxford, MS, then on to Pennsylvania, Houston and finally back in Memphis.  I am here to say that there was a community spirit in all areas where I have lived, however, there is something very magical about the people in Memphis.It is a quiet, yet overwhelming "southern thing," that I have not picked up on, even in other southern cities. With that said, let's get on with my blog (901, by the way, is the area code for Memphis).

Memphis loves its heritage.  There is even a celebration on September 1 (901).  They can make a reason to celebrate when others would not even think twice about it.  Call it the culture, the climate, the human spirit, you pick your own word.  It is here. A celebration always going on is a good way to look at it.  

Sometimes you are in the right place at the right time. Your path crosses with another's that will help to make you a better person for it.  For me, a number of years ago I met a very special woman.  She had a smile on her face for everyone, as well as a humorous outlook on life. Amy McSpadden took this outlook and ran with it; an idea that has taken Memphis by storm.  

As soon as I read about it on FaceBook, I wanted to be a part of it. Amy is a very creative soul, an artist who loves bringing her community together. The ideas that Amy, along with her friend, Lisa Dawson, the founder of this project, continued to grow as they worked together to make it all happen. They are true believers in Memphis and love the good things that are going on in our city. The expression, "901 Rocks" came to be.  They started to paint rocks with '901 Rocks' painted on them, as well as characters. Then the idea was to hide them and let others find them as a treasure. They had a 'Closed Group' on FaceBook that started as 4 and grew by leaps and bounds daily. Now the number of members in the group is over 32,000.  

Members would take a picture of their rocks and give a clue about where they may be taking them to hide.  Others would take pictures of the smiling faces of those who found them and tell where and how they found them.  Most of the time, the finder would post where they wanted to re-hide the rocks so that others could share in the joy.  Members have posted that as much fun as they had in finding the rocks, it is even more fun to hide the rocks and scroll the FaceBook page to see if anyone had found what they hid.  Who knew something so simple could take off like this?  I have not even mentioned the happiness that it brings the person painting the rocks.  It is an all around fantastic experience.  

Amy and Lisa have been featured in the local papers, as well as on local news programs.  Their enthusiasm is contagious.  Members write in asking what kind of paint is the best, what kind of gloss do you use, how do you get the lines thin?  Some of the rocks are very detailed and then some are much more primitive, such as mine.  I loved the fact that my granddaughter found some of the rocks that I painted and loves them.  She calls them her pet rocks. 

Truly, I was quite proud of my rocks.  She wanted the fish and the heart rock, and left the one that I did to be Oscar.  I thought it looked a lot like Oscar, the Grouch.  She thought it was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.  Oh well!  Each person sees art in a different light.  Who am I to say? She is four years old and has a lot more imagination than I could hope for.  

There actually was a member of the group who asked for a pen pal from Memphis so that she could paint rocks and send them to her pen pal to hide.  One other aspect that is coming to light is that there are other cities who are picking up on this with their own area code to help rally around their city.  It is contagious and spreading like wildfire.  

Let me share a few pictures so that you can see the creativeness of the 901 Rocks group:
901 has lots of SoulShine! STAX is here, after all!
These are from someone who wants a 901 pen pal.
Trick or Treat!
Look at the detail on Corduroy, The Bear!
A surprise for her mail carrier!
Did you read my blog on Arachnophobia?

This is the rock that I found, never expecting to find a rock. Grown ups or kids find and hide rocks. No age limit!
I had so much fun posting this picture of the clue of where I re-hid the rock.  I did post that I found the rock at a restaurant and was re-hiding it in a large store in the same shopping complex.
The examples of painted rocks and the stories that go with them simply warm my soul. Memphis has so much to offer.  We should be proud and spread our wealth around the country.  Why stop there?  Spread it around the world!  Let's not be selfish.

One small idea can snowball into an avalanche of fun with lots of community spirit.  The human spirit is totally amazing in the stories that are surfacing due to this project.  One person saw a picture posted of a rock with the Rolling Stone logo on it.  The person who painted  it put out clues.  One lady saw the clues and went out searching for the rock.  She and her daughter could not find it and stated so on the FaceBook page.  The man who painted this rock met her in the town square to show her where it was hidden. She had told him how much her Dad loved The Rolling Stones and that he had passed away 27 years ago, 2 days before her first child was born. This is why she wanted to find this particular rock so badly.  The next day she received a message from this gentleman asking her what area of town did she live. After the meeting with him when he showed her where the rock was hidden, she felt comfortable telling him. The next time she went out her front door, there was another rock painted just for her:  
Against the odds, that many would have us believe, there is so much positivity and hope in this world, let us never forget it. Let us always be a part of it.  We are all in this together. We are lucky to be Walking in Memphis!

No comments:

Post a Comment