A couple of weeks ago, Church Hill People’s News posted a link to this audio of WCVE commentator Brooks Smith talking about possible origins of where the name “Chimborazo” may have come from. He starts out with this amazing little poetic hymn about Richmond, and it really caught my attention and made me drop everything. I thought…”That is exactly how I feel. That’s exactly what you can’t ever figure out how to describe when you want to describe Richmond to someone who’s never been here.” I feel like many times, when talking about the strange lure of this town, people have tried to get this across, but none yet so eloquently.
Richmond is a song, with lyrics lost, and found, and lost again.
She is a quality of noise, a tremble of falling water, a pulse of falling brick.
She is an exultation; not quite what she seems, but more, always more.
Like a muse in the ashes of what was, or could have been.
And though we have studied her, poking and prodding at the marks of her past,
Though we have recorded what seems like every grain of her fame and infamy,
Still there lingers the sweet, uneven pulse of the unknown.