Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Michelle Foreman in-studio to discuss her background and roots in the state of Tennessee.
Leahy: We are joined in studio by a graduate of Nashville Law School, a good friend of ours. She’s been in-studio before. A member of the Tennessee State Executive Committee, Michelle Foreman. Good morning, Michelle. How are you?
Foreman: Good morning, Michael. I’m doing well. I’m so glad to be here. Thanks for having me again.
Leahy: It’s always fun to have you in here. The last time you were here, Terri Nicholson was in here with you.
Foreman: Yes, she was. And she’s a member of the executive committee from Wilson County.
Foreman: She is. She’s an amazing member of the executive committee.
Leahy: We’re going to make an announcement here.
Foreman: We are.
Leahy: I think we’re going to wait till the 6:00 hour to make that specific announcement.
Leahy: So we’re just going to tease it here in this segment.
Foreman: Okay. Sounds good.
Leahy: But tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and your background.
Foreman: Sure. I’d love to. I am a mother to my daughter Ella, who’s sitting right over here.
Leahy: Hello, Ella. How are you? She’s saying, oh, I’ve been in a radio studio before.
Foreman: She says that? Yeah. She says it’s a little early and she’s great. She’s a trouper, Michael. So is my husband, Tony, who got up this morning and made coffee. Fantastic.
Leahy: And I didn’t make coffee. I should have, but I didn’t. If you come in-studio, if you get in at this hour, your host, yours truly, should make coffee. I have a coffee maker out there.
Foreman: That’s good.
Leahy: But I’ve been getting a little lazy about making coffee. I’m stuck with the radio station coffee here, which is, I must say, I am not particularly skilled in the kitchen arts. But I can make a pretty good cup of coffee.
Foreman: Then that’s all you need. That is all it takes.
Leahy: Now where do you live?
Foreman: I live on Highway 100.
Leahy: In which county?
Foreman: It’s Davidson County, and we call it Harpeth. You really could kind of consider it southern Bellevue. (Chuckles)
Leahy: Southern Bellevue.
Foreman: Just put the southern in there and we’re good.
Leahy: Southern Bellevue. Now, where were you born?
Foreman: I was actually, technically, I was born in Memphis.
Leahy: Memphis! That’s in the state, isn’t it? Making a joke here.
Foreman: (Chuckles) My father’s side of the family is from Nashville, grew up in Nashville.
Leahy: What were you doing in Memphis, or what were your parents doing in Memphis?
Foreman: What were my parents doing in Memphis? They were visiting Memphis because mother’s side of the family is from Rutherford County.
Leahy: They were visiting Memphis. Your family lived here. They were going down to Memphis.
Foreman: That’s correct.
Leahy: And all of a sudden here comes Michelle.
Foreman: You know what? I heard the King of rock and roll, I said I’ve got to come out.
Leahy: So you were born in a hospital in Memphis.
Foreman: That’s correct.
Leahy: But then they brought you back here to your house. Where does your family live in Nashville proper?
Foreman: We lived in Green Hills.
Leahy: I think even though you were born in a Memphis hospital, I believe you can declare yourself a native Nashvillian.
Foreman: I’m going to do it. (Laughter) I grew up here until I was about 5 years old we lived in Green Hills. It looked nothing like it does now.
Leahy: Totally different. Yeah, I know.
Leahy: We moved down here to Nashville. Second-best decision I ever made. You know, the first, married my wife from Texas.
Leahy: But we moved here in 1991, so 31 years ago. And Green Hills then, and Green Hills today; Williamson County then, Williamson County today, totally different.
Foreman: Completely unrecognizable.
Leahy: In 1997 we were looking to buy a house and we thought, well, we’ll go into Williamson County because the first six years we lived here we lived in the West Meade area of Nashville.
Foreman: Yes. Nice.
Leahy: It’s very nice. But the housing price is little high.
Foreman: A little. (Chuckles)
Leahy: I got in the car one Sunday and we drove south and we got to Franklin and said, oh, wow, this is a long way out.
Leahy: And I said, well, let’s just keep on driving. And we discovered the Spring Hill-Thompson’s Station area. At that time, which seemed like almost the end of the earth in 1997. We saw a nice house.
We could afford it. We bought it. We’ve lived there ever since in the Spring Hill-Thompson’s Station area. What used to be the wilderness is now, in essence, the center of Nashville suburbia.
Foreman: It’s my back door now.
Leahy: There you go.
Foreman: It’s wild how that happened. And it seemed like it almost happened overnight.
Leahy: It does. It was the wilderness and then suddenly it was the center.
Foreman: Oh, yeah, right. I remember when Concord Road was the wilderness. Almost. We would go out there and play soccer, and that was a trap.
Leahy: Let us establish one thing with this conversation.
Foreman: Absolutely. Let’s do it.
Leahy: You are not a carpetbagger. (Laughter) You are not a carpetbagger!
Foreman: I’m original.
Leahy: You’re a native Nashvillian.
Foreman: Family roots run deep and I’m proud of it. Yes, sir.
Leahy: I’ve lived here for 31 years. I must admit, I am a Yankee originally.
Leahy: I see your daughter looking at me. Oh, you’re a Yankee. I don’t know. I don’t know. Born in upstate New York, not in the city. I’ve lived in Tennessee for 31 years by choice. I’m married to a Southerner from Texas. Would the carpetbagger description apply to me, or can I now be called a Tennessean?
Foreman: It’s interesting you ask, because the way that I look at it, if you’re coming here and you are going to be one of us, your carpetbagger status, it ends right when you get here. If you want to be one of us, you’re coming in and you’re getting involved.
Leahy: How do you get to be one of us, though? Because I’ve been involved in one way or another in local political activities. Well, I guess. I mean, I went down and did a little bit of the horn honking in 2000.
But my first involvement here came in 2008 when I ran as a delegate to the Republican National Convention and was elected not out of any of my own merits, but because of my name, Michael Patrick Leahy.
A lot of people thought I had the name ID with my distant cousin, the far-Left Senator from Vermont, Patrick Leahy. That’s why I got elected as a delegate to the convention. But I haven’t been involved in politics here for 22 years. How long have you been involved in politics?
Foreman: Probably since I was about 18, technically. Because I left high school and I went to Washington, D.C., and worked.
Leahy: You went to high school here where?
Foreman: I went to Brentwood Academy. I graduated from Brentwood Academy. I’m a BA girl.
Leahy: And how long were you in D.C.?
Foreman: I was in D.C. over the summer. Just a summer internship.
Leahy: Just a summer. Then you came back, to God’s country.
Foreman: That’s exactly right.
Listen to the full interview:
– – –
Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Background Photo “Memphis Skyline” by Thomas R Machnitzki. CC BY 3.0.