Preston drives the shuttle for the Hutton Hotel, a trés mod boutique hotel in midtown Nashville.
He’s well-heeled and discreet, as his job requires, but has great personable virtues, as well. He laughed at our story of an awkward encounter at Josephine on 12th, and recommended us to the Patterson House as a palliative.
(When we asked where he likes to go for drinks after work, he skirted the question with skillful delicacy, leaving it to us to infer that we might possibly be not welcome there.)
In addition to being a diplomat, Preston is a man of letters, a constant reader. Right now he’s working through a biography of heavyweight champ Jack Johnson. And as a native of Nashville, who has lived in many parts of the city throughout his life, he has the perspective of someone “truly from here.” He told us about the devastation of the 2010 floods, when his friends’ entire houses were washed away. He notices that though the city’s welcoming demeanor hasn’t changed, in the last few years people have begun drawing distinctions between who’s from here and who’s not.
“The city is really what you make of it.”
What’s the best thing about living in Nashville?
“Historically it’s a major city, but it’s a smaller southern city. It turns into a nice combination. If I want a big city feel, we have a thriving downtown. If I want a small-town feeling, I can go to the lake, or go visit a friend who has a house with a lot of property.”
What’s the worst thing about living in Nashville?
“That everybody assumes that everyone here listens to country music. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We all live on farms, we all taaalk laaahk theeeyis, and we all wear big cowboy hats.”
More best and worst.