I’m not sure of the exact date because there was no social media to document it, but sometime in mid-August of 1999, I moved to Memphis. I was a newlywed. I was Mormon. I was twenty-two years old. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into.

Opening wedding gifts, August 1999

I moved my wedding china into the second floor of a midtown duplex on a broiling day. I was telecommuting to Evanston and still mentally kept a toe in Lake Michigan. Then we bought a house and had kids – one of them born right there in the master bedroom. I lost…

When we were both very small, my sister and I learned how to bat left-handed. My father spent weeks with us in the backyard, trying to perfect our swings from the wrong side of the plate. As a natural southpaw this didn’t seem an odd idea to me. If batting right-handed was going to be as hard as trying to use righty scissors to cut construction paper, then I didn’t want any part of it. The concept was a little less natural to my right-handed sister, but Dad was determined. We would learn to bat as lefties. …

I’m not ready, not for any of it.

The retrospectives and remembrances. The rehashings and new revelations.

It’s been a year, and I’m still not ready to watch the whole world settle into a permanent state of Princelessness.

My roots, of course, are a primary factor. Despite living elsewhere for more than half my life, I am fundamentally Minnesotan. That’s not just a geographical designation but a guiding life philosophy, one that reveres community, humility, and hard work. Prince was one of us. …

There are about 20 strangers in my house, plus a few folks I actually know. Every time I host a house concert I get people from all over the city and beyond. I cast a wide net — Facebook ads, Twitter appeals, neighborhood newsletters, and regularly pestering my own personal network — to gather an audience for the wayfaring songwriters I invite into my living room, so I never know exactly what’s going to bring them there other than the promise of free cheese dip and beer.

I’ve been scurrying for a few days getting ready for the show and…

Andria K. Brown

Gainfully employed English major, Memphisotan, house show host @FolkAllYall. More at andriakbrown.com, or andriabrown.com if you want to save time.

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