The Melanated Nerd Is Writing…4 Bridges Over Chattanooga, Part 3 -How Not To Be A Bitter B—h

Chapter 3-4 Bridges Over Chattanooga

Walnut Street Walking Bridge, Chattanooga TN

4 Bridges Over Chattanooga…So Not Bridges Over Madison County or Is it Just Melanated?

This is the true story of wretchedness survival in a city in the dirty South. Gig City, Chatta- Boogie to those in the know, my hometown Chattanooga Tennessee. Follow-up of Part 2 when Wanda Grace Jr. comes calling for money, and Vance Carter stops in on his way back to Dallas.

Part 3 Continues…

“Never let bitterness be your default. How? You can say no. Never live with regrets. Never be ashamed of your success. And never forget to thank God for “favor”. Fuck the Haters, get your and keep your bag.” Wanda Grace Byrd, Everyday

(Perspective and voice, Jackie aka J-Boogie)

“Fussing With My Gangsta Grandma” is really a thing. This passion project podcast recorded in Chattanooga, then picked up by Revolt would launch and make Big Mama Wanda and me, J-Boogie, local and then regional celebrities. The rooftop of Hot Diggity not only served as the open air, Podcast, and Livestream studio with the backdrop of downtown, but became the de facto, current-COVID pandemic, local meet up for Sunday and weekday football, but as the city attempts to emerge from this pandemic the science abiding and risk-averse populace needed Dr. Fauci approved ventilation quenching the need for being social but still needing to be distant, this rooftop would become the local spot to watch football, and several shows streaming from 90-day Fiancé to Succession, to Insecure, Harlem, and most recently the Sex In The City reboot. Most people subscribe to many streaming services but this was a way for friends to reconnect outside of the home as we all craved adult companionship other than immediate families. Everyone was completely into “And Just Like That” when just like that… Big was dead. The entire bar erupts into shock disbelief and complete annoyance. With exclamations, “That’s why I don’t exercise.” With follow-ups, “You don’t exercise cause you lazy as hell!” Then a round of guffaws. I was enjoying the scene when all of a sudden I heard from the back room…drama building.

“What we are not fitting’ to do…” says Big Ma with a whole-body roll and a finger wag for emphasis.I turned my head slightly to see who my grandmother’s ire was directed to. And lo and behold, it’s my mother. “Little Grace” Brown Jackson Hewitt. Yes, the three separate last names were due to the fact that she’s been married a minimum of three times and added her husband’s names as trophies. She walked away from as many relationships as people, tossed aside like used Kleenex. The one that could’ve hurt the most and almost did destroy me was when she married her first husband but she did me a favor and left me in the care of her namesake, Big Mama, Wanda Grace.

Everyone knows Big Mama doesn’t take any shit, so why does Grace try her? It took Big Mama almost 25 years to get to where she is today and she was not going to let anyone get the best of her. Not even shady building inspectors, tax collectors, and family members like her own daughter who were simply on the take. She recognized “game” and had no tolerance for it, and didn’t care if you were related to her or not. This was going to be messy, and potentially loud. So whatever was about to go down, I was here for it! Then I looked around at the full tables of unsuspecting patrons. I had to quell my need for entertainment to not having my family and in particular, Big Mama, drag another black woman, in front of these paying white folks. That would be a little tacky.

Until we meet again…Presidential Box. AT and T stadium. My only daughter will stalk both of you online…

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