One Man's Perspective ... Of Me
Tonight I had dinner with an old friend and fellow native Charlottean, Andrew Taylor. We have not seen each other in 10 years, when we went on our first (blind) date, arranged by my Mother.
I can remember her calling and telling me (not asking) I was going to take this guy out that she had met. I was all "Noooooooooo way! Nope. Been there, done that. NO NO NO!" She didn't let up, "Jenna, he is cute and funny and he's from Charlotte....." (my eyes were rolled so far in my head, I am surprised they aren't still stuck).
She told me I could take him to the Panthers game. Dammit, she knows my weakness. So...off we went to the Panthers game.
Turns out my Mom was right. Andrew was cute and funny and we had a lot in common. First observation: we were at a Panthers game and he wore a Red Sox shirt - Strike 1. Really? Everyone is wearing blue and I'm with the guy wearing a red baseball T. Typical.
I do recall we had a blast that day. After the game we hit up Angry Ale's (when it was downtown on Church Street where Ink N Ivy is now). It was a typical Carolina Sunday Funday. I have nothing but fond memories of the that fun, blurry day. I even found a photo - I mean, what are the chances I took a photo? Like a Kodak developed photo - old school.
Fast forward ten years and we reconnect on Facebook. Chit chatting and catching up (Andrew is now happily married with two kids) and talking about who we know in common (lots of people) and swapping stories about high school (he went to West Charlotte High School, I went to Myers Park and East Mecklenburg) and of course, what it was like growing up in Charlotte. Andrew now works for Downey Properties; I've known Bobbie Downey for years. He sells homes in the Cotswold neighborhood where he lives, in the home where his Grandparents lived. You don't get more Charlotte than the two of us.
He takes pictures as a hobbie and does a series called the Charlotte Landmark Series, which I am a huge fan of and old enough to remember most of the places he has photographed. He also does a series of portraits and profiles of people in Charlotte, which leads me to the photo below. Unplanned and I honestly HATE having my picture taken. Especially candid shots. But as you can see, Andrew worked his magic. I'll be covering more on Andrew and I am looking forward to collaborating with him in the future (possibly putting together a coffee table book of his work of Charlotte?? Would people buy it? I would! Stay tuned on that).
Again, thank you Andrew for the great night and swapping stories of growing up in Charlotte. Next date, lets go to your Grandma's house. I love talking to 94 year olds.
the below was written by Andrew Taylor
Ladies and Gentlemen.... Please. Put your hands together for the incomparable, the irreverent, the one and only Jenna Fucking Gribble. Perhaps you've seen her J.F.G sign outside of I-277. And if you get that joke, you might be a Charlottean. After 10 years, Jenna and I finally had our 2nd date. In 2008, I was waiting tables at LaTorres in downtown Charlotte and I had the pleasure of waiting on Jenna's mother. She was so impressed with my waiting table abilities, she set me up on a date with her daughter. I can only recall a handful of memories from that day. I know it was a Sunday. I can tell you for sure we went to a Panther's game, and I know after the game... we went to Angry Ales. That's where both of our memories of that day end. For those who know Jenna well... you'll know many of your interactions with her end with some version of a fade to black. Unlike my other Portrait/ Profile photos, you'll notice this photo has no quote. That's because Jenna is a walking talking Charlotte legend.
She does not need to profess her love for Charlotte, because she is one of the ORIGINAL's. She IS Charlotte, and if I was blonde and pretty, you'd be hard pressed to tell us apart. If you don't know Jenna. You don't know Charlotte.
Check out her blog @helloimjenna