23. Ehab and the 500-story telephone pole in the Nashville neighborhood of Sylvan Park.

When Ehab Sabry immigrated to Nashville from Cairo, Egypt he said the first thing he saw when he got off the plane were the telephone polls. “In Egypt we bury everything. Everything is underground.” Ehab said he walked up to a telephone pole and looked and saw nails and staples and thumbtacks. “Hundreds!”

wooden utility pole with thousands of nails and screws in it with a hand written sign partially visible at top of photo. We can see a hand drawn arrow and "38th & NEBRASKA" written on white paper with dark border. In the background we can see a paved street in residential area with bicycle symbol painted on street inside white line running parallel to a curb obscured by debris.

He said he was amazed because every nail, every staple, every thumb tack once held a sign, a message from someone.

Lost puppy.

Yard sale.


He said, “Those weren’t nails to me. Those were all stories. Five-hundred different stories!”

Ehab said Nashville is big but it feels little. He said, “Nashville is the biggest little village in the world!” He said this will change, though, unless people in Nashville decide to protect these things. He said, “In ten years all people will have are museums” of these things, unless they preserve them. He said Nashville still has its old story living among the new. 


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