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Life in the Time of Corona: David Fox and The Boss of Weeds

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“Porchtrait” by Jen McDonald at JenM Photography

David Fox our almost-mayor and his lovely wife Carrington stop in at Bacon today for the classiest interview ever.

Hi, David & Carrington! I wish we were enjoying this conversation over a glass of wine! I’d even settle for a cup of coffee and I don’t drink coffee.

What’s your daily life like right now? What is your state of mind?

David: Since I’ve been working from home for the past couple years, my work life is pretty much the same, though as a financial markets trader, I’m navigating markets that are much more volatile now due to the virus and its economic consequences. Otherwise, as a fairly introverted person, I suppose I’m less frazzled by the new daily normal than many people.

Carrington: Take away the health risks and uncertainty about the future, and I’m happy as a clam, grateful that I can continue my work for The Wills Company remotely. I’m grateful to have the Safer at Home experience when our three boys still live under our roof but are self-sufficient when it comes to managing schoolwork and entertaining themselves.

I feel like everything changes every day. How do you plan for anything at all?

David: I’m not doing much short-term planning these days, but still have longer term goals, which I think are worthwhile since I’m optimistic about an inoculation being available in the next couple years.

Carrington: A friend recently suggested planning two weeks at a time, and I find that a short horizon minimizes my worry about the future.

JP: Glad you’ve got short term and long term covered. Well done, you two!! 

How has your neighborhood responded? Your friends? Your sons?

Carrington: Our neighborhood has been a source of joy and comfort. We live within walking distance of my mom and several cousins, so we spend a lot of time roaming sidewalks. The boys’ enterprise, FoxBrosMows, has pressure-washed and mowed every flat surface within about a mile radius.

Million Dollar Question: How do you feel about the city’s response? The state’s? Do you have any advice to offer?

David: I think locally our government has done a fine job leading us in a smart, healthy direction. Now, I think it’s essential that an equal effort go into restarting the economy ASAP in a healthy manner, otherwise the human/financial costs of sheltering/isolation for individuals and governments will be catastrophic and permanent. I wish Metro had exercised far more discipline in its borrowing behavior in recent years so that in this time of budgetary crisis we could sell a big passel of bonds to help tide us over until a more normal economy resumes. Still, I expect Nashville will make it through. I’m far less sanguine about the odds of our doing so at the federal level.

Carrington: I am grateful for Mayor Cooper’s data-driven caution and open communications, and I appreciate how First Lady Laura Cooper shares information through social media in a way that feels positive and hopeful.

What has surprised you about yourself or others in the Time of Corona?

Carrington: I am overwhelmed by my gratitude for health and home.

How worried are you about getting the virus yourself?

David: Carrington and I are generally pretty cautious, so our family was early to self-isolate and minimize risks.

Carrington: I am a well-documented worrier, so, yeah, when I pass someone on the sidewalk I immediately start contact-tracing their last 14 days. But my concern is always more about my family members.

What has been hardest about this time? What do you miss most?

David: We have lost some friends to the virus, so that of course is the worst part.

Carrington: And I miss my niece, Lillian. She will be 3 in June, which means that I have not been able to hug her for the last 4% of her life.

What has not changed at all?

Carrington: David

What do you do to relax/decompress?

David: Yeah, I have room for improvement in that category.

Carrington: Gardening soothes me with a false sense of control. If I can’t control germs, at least I can be the boss of weeds.

What simple (or complicated) pleasure do you especially appreciate in the Time of Corona?

Carrington: About a year ago, a neighbor installed some large stone steps down to the creek near our dead end. Every morning, I walk there and sit by the water’s edge. It’s a peaceful way to start the day, and I am always grateful for the vision of that neighbor who created such a tranquil common space. Also, David has been cooking beautiful dinners, and the new less-frantic schedule allows us to linger at the table to enjoy them.

What are you reading, watching, or listening to?

David: We’ve been wrapping up dinner every night with a round of Trivial Pursuit questions, circa 1981. We have a delightful advantage over our 21st century kids.

Carrington: I’ll binge-watch anything the boys will watch with me, from “Jane the Virgin” to “The Money Heist”. But I haven’t read anything longer than an Xfinity synopsis in months.

How do you think you will be changed by Life in the Time of Corona? Our society/our world?

David: A crisis like this jeopardizes things that have become fragile. For example, I wonder how colleges, with their absurd cost structures, will survive. And I expect China’s role in allowing Covid-19 to spill into a global pandemic is showcasing that government’s longtime aggressive hostility toward the West, which will lead the free world to isolate – belatedly and appropriately – that country as long as it’s led by the Communist Party of China.

Carrington: I suspect we’ll all talk louder from here on out.

And to finish up with a few speed dating questions, just for fun…

Favorite comfort food in the Time of Corona?
David: Paella from The Yellow Porch, chicken tikka masala from Shalimar.
Carrington: Fried egg sandwich with orange marmalade

Favorite beverage?
David:
Got an IPA growler last week from Jack Brown’s – first beer in weeks, nectar of the gods!
Carrington:
Any batch cocktail delivered by The Yellow Porch

Favorite project around the house/in the yard:
David: Watching our grass come in beautifully, but only in the few locations around the edges where shade protected it last summer from being decimated by the sun. The rest is bare. It all uncomfortably reminds me of my emerging hairline.
Carrington: New shade garden by the chicken coop, with perennials I’ve been swapping with neighbors.

Exercising?
David: Treadmill 30 minutes daily. (I say this because I think my cardiologist might read “Bacon,” not that I’m truly exercising every day.)
Carrington: Walking, digging holes, hauling dirt

Greatest annoyance?
Carrington: My lower back

Most important virtue in the Time of Corona (in yourself or others)?
David: My best virtue is that I married well and have a partner who is a great leader of our family in times like this.
Carrington: I’m pretty flexible.

First place you’ll go when you’re comfortable flying again…
David: If it’s summer time when our flying resumes, I hope Maine will be our family’s next destination.
Carrington: I hope we’ll have time to squeeze in an East Coast college tour before applications are due.

First restaurant you’ll eat at…
David: Hot Diggity Dogs off of Lafayette
Carrington: La Juquilita

*      *      *

My favorite virtue in the Time of Corona – and always – is generosity of spirit.

David and Carrington have it in spades.

 

29 Comments

  1. Love this! A special family indeed!!

  2. Always good to hear from Carrington and David. As I have spent more time at home, I realize I need Carrington to start an online class series or YouTube channel on how to do some home carpentry, garden, raise chickens, or any myriad of the things I should be doing!

  3. Wonderful interview! Thank you for sharing. I am glad the mowing service is going strong and I am also a fan of the Paella from Yellow Porch!

  4. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  5. There is so much intelligence, kindness, and grace in this interview! Thank you for starting my morning with such thoughtful hopefulness.

  6. I keep my David Fox for mayor sign up because it reminds me of how I love this family. Decent, principled but most importantly tenderhearted and gracious to all.

  7. And whether in a global pandemic or personal crisis, I can think of no better family to have supporting you.

  8. Love them and you

  9. Just the break I needed at lunch time – reading this calmed me. Best – Patricia

  10. Yay, Fox Family! Your neighborhood is lucky to have you! Thank you for sharing some insights. Peace, ML

  11. Jennifer, you know I always love Bacon, and today was a particularly special experience for David and me, a chance to reflect — separately and together — on this rare moment in history. Your questions were a gift to us. Thank you. Much love.

  12. I enjoyed reading about Carrington’s family and their thoughts in the time of Corona. I met her at Artlectic she was selling her children’s blocks of wood and I had a booth with my sculptures. I enjoy reading her blog BUILDMEUPBUTTERCUPBLOG.COM. Thank you Jennifer for another great read on the Bacon.

  13. I am as much a fan of the Fox Bros (Who just pressure-washed our front walkway and used WINDEX to clean the windows when they were finished! What kid knows to do that?!) as I am of Carrington and David. Lovely post about a fun and beautiful family ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ .

  14. Great interview Jennifer! I served with David on the MNPE BOE my first two years on the board so I can hear his slight, measured voice in answering these questions.

  15. What a wonderful way to interview these two amazing, brilliant people! Love this whole, extended family–Yellow Porch and all.

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