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December 2016 | January 2017 VOL. I, ISSUE 1


A SOURCE THAT: • Preserves and protects the history. • Explores growth, progress and development. • Combines objectivity with passion. • Keeps all residents informed. • Is written, photographed and designed exclusively by West Nashvillians. • Builds community by building a community, because it . . . CELEBRATES AND CHAMPIONS WEST NASHVILLE.

INTRODUCING

A magazine for and about West Nashville.


Editor and Publisher MIRIAM DRENNAN

Creative Consultant EVELYN MARIE PARRISH

Masthead

Historian

YVONNE EAVES

Copy Editor JENNIFER GOODE STEVENS

Contributors: TINA BEMBRY

DEANA DECK

YVONNE EAVES

NAOMI GOLDSTONE

SCOTT MERRICK

LEANN STEPHENSON

Art Direction and Design ELLEN PARKER-BIBB

Photographer CLARK THOMAS

Distribution DANE MCCARY

Advertising Account Managers KAREN BROWN

BECKY CARTER

COVER: Survivor, by Frank Parrish, used with permission by Evelyn Marie Parrish.

Advertising Inquiries: 615.491.8909 or 372WestNashville@gmail.com. 372WN is a print and digital magazine published every other month by Next Chapter Publishing, LLC. All content presented herein, unless otherwise noted, is the exclusive property of Next Chapter Publishing and cannot be used, reprinted, or posted without permission. 372WN is free for readers; excessive removal of the product or tampering with any of our distribution racks will be considered theft and/or vandalism and subject to prosecution.


CONTENTS VOL. I, ISSUE 1 | December 2016–January 2017

MAIN FEATURE 6

Definitively, West Nashville

CURRENT HAPPENINGS 10

Connecting People, Places, Health and Wellness Along One of Nashville’s Busiest Corridors

14

Affordable Housing: What Can We Expect?

FEATURES 18

Rhino Books: Charlotte Avenue’s Escape Hatch

22

The Christmas Spirit: Alive and Well at St. Luke’s Community House

26

Pie Wagons: Nashville’s Original Food Trucks

32

OZ Arts: Pushing Boundaries for Artists, for Audiences

38

Celebrating the Holidays, West Side Style

44

Remembering Frank Parrish

50

Meet Joe Ryan and Kyle Moon, the Nucleus of Atomic Solace

54 The Birds & the Bees (and a few other odd assortments) 59

Helping Them Find Their Way Home

IN EVERY ISSUE 60

372WestNosh

63

Weedeaters

64

372WhokNew?

December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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kristin hostettler new year. new nashville. residential. commercial. property management. real estate professional. office : 615.297.7711 mobile: 615.476.2133 421 east iris drive #300 nashville, tennessee 37204


DEFINITIVELY,

West Nashville by Miriam DRENNAN and Scott MERRICK

When you launch a publication called 372WN, two questions emerge: Where is West Nashville? and What is West Nashville?

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efining our community caused much debate among the staff. Some would argue that West Nashville was everything west of the Cumberland, while others insisted West Nashville started at the railroad tracks on Charlotte Avenue, at 40th Avenue, and pretty much took in the area containing West Meade. We simply had to have a broader range of West Nashvillians weigh in, so we took it to the streets, asking a cross section of workers, residents, customers, business owners, those new to West Nashville and those who’ve never lived anywhere else. We admit, it’s a work in progress; by the time we’ve finished, maybe we’ll have a bit more consensus on the definition. Maybe not. (Who are we kidding? Probably not.) Gathering such critical research, we noticed one major trend. Rippling through all the thoughtful answers was a theme of community, almost always positive and often laced with nostalgia, or maybe even a tiny bit of resentment. No one can argue that our fair city is not changing and growing at a rapid pace, and it’s a fact of life that accelerating change can generate a yearning for the way things were. So see if your definition of West Nashville matches any of these, or let us know how West Nashville is really defined—we’re curious to know what you think.

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CANNONBALL White The Nations Where is West Nashville? To me, West Nashville is The Nations. From 46th Avenue, north of Charlotte all the way out to West Park. For most people, it’s where Murphy Road hits West End, but to me, The Nations is the heart and soul of West Nashville. What is West Nashville? A good place to live and raise a family. The people are good; they try to keep their places neat and clean. Cannonball White, West Nashville resident for 60 years and counting, owns Cannonball’s Covers at 51st and Kentucky.

ADAM Bancroft West Nashville Where is West Nashville? Geographically, West Nashville probably starts around Sylvan Park and pushes west to right before the old Bellevue Mall. What is West Nashville? West Nashville is home. It’s made up of all types of folks, some with deep roots and some fellow transplants who found a warm community when they arrived in town. It’s an incredible blend of sprawling highways, big developments and beautiful Tennessee countryside. We can look out behind the brewery and enjoy the 7.5 acres of land we sit on. A snapshot of what makes West Nashville great—drinking a cold craft beer from a local business overlooking rolling hills and knowing that only a few short miles away lies the heart of a booming metropolis.

MARY Woodruff Charlotte Park and Croleywood Where is West Nashville? If you want to get to the majority of West Nashville, get on Charlotte Pike. Once you are on Charlotte Pike, go away from downtown and you will find the heart of West Nashville—think shopping, food, the library, post office and even our wonderful thrift shops. West Nashville consists of Sylvan Park, The Nations, Charlotte Park, White Bridge, Beacon Square and Hillwood. I am sure I am forgetting a few areas, but West Nashville contains a lot of beautiful and wonderful neighborhoods. West Nashville is about 10 minutes from downtown, close to the Cumberland River and near the John C. Tune Airport. What is West Nashville? West Nashville is currently the best place to move to should you wish to be close to the city, great food options and just enough to keep you preoccupied. West Nashville still maintains a lot of its history and pride, yet major improvements are being made monthly. It’s a great area to live in. Mary (“MC”) Tankersley Woodruff has lived in Charlotte Park for a couple of years; prior to that, she lived in The Nations.

Dr. ANN Cook Calhoun Wessex Towers Where is West Nashville? West Nashville encompasses everything between Harding Road and Charlotte from Woodmont to Bellevue. What is West Nashville? For the most part, it is the quintessential middle-class enclave in our city. A published Shakespearean scholar, Professor Emerita at Vanderbilt University, former Executive Director of the Shakespeare Association of America and former Chair of the International Shakespeare Association, Dr. Ann Cook Calhoun currently lives in Wessex Towers on the top of West Nashville’s Nine Mile Hill.

Adam Bancroft is taproom general manager at Tailgate Brewery near Old Hickory Boulevard on Charlotte Pike. He moved to Nashville in 2013.

December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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DON McWright The Nations Where is West Nashville? Nowadays, you could consider West Nashville extending all the way to Kingston Springs. That’s where my ancestors originally homesteaded until heading into this community. What is West Nashville? There’s something different about West Nashville that’s different than other parts of the city. Hard-working people, especially on this side of Charlotte, very giving people. Years ago, during the Depression, my grandfather was captain of the fire hall here. He’d buy beans; they’d cook them out back, and there would be a line of people, hungry and they’d get fed. Most didn’t have jobs, but he did, and he’d use his paycheck to help feed his community. 51st Avenue used to be where they’d park the wagons. As children, my grandmother’s cousins, Priss and Twiss, would come to town to stay with her; back then, it was an all-day trip from Kingston Springs. My dad’s half-brother, Robert “Bob” McWright, was a city bus driver through here, so everyone knew him. Even today, some still remember him. West Nashville’s all I’ve ever known, and I love to hear all the stories from the older generations. As a kid, it was fascinating to hear how all of this evolved, when the city limits were at Richland Creek—there wasn’t even a bridge. I’d give anything to have taped some of those stories. A seventh-generation West Nashvillian, Don McWright currently resides in The Nations, living in the home his great-grandfather built.

DON Henry Where is West Nashville? My perspective might be different from a lot of people who grew up in Nashville because my parents had a farm on Pine Creek Road just over the county line in Cheatham County. So my West Nashville is kinda, you know, a little more expanded than a lot of people’s. But I pretty much consider everything from Centennial Park to the county line, from, say, Highway 100 over to the river. That’s what I really consider West Nashville. We grew up going to Centennial Park, to the Shoney’s in Belle Meade, to the Warner Parks, but that’s getting more south, the Warner Parks area. What is West Nashville? What used to make West Nashville different from the rest of Nashville was a lack of congestion and traffic. But that’s all changed (laughing). I can’t believe how they build and they build and they don’t do anything to the infrastructure. Don Henry is a Nashville native who is a retired craftsman in both luxury houseboat construction and kitchen design and construction. He also is an administrator of Facebook’s “West Nashville TN Memories (Past, Present, and Future)” page, which has nearly 3,000 members.

REID Campbell West Nashville Where is West Nashville? It seems kind of in between places right now because you know there used to be the Wonder Bread spot and there were funky little shops and stuff, and I feel like that’s not getting focused on so much as a place to get a beer and a burger. I don’t know—that’s all I’ve got. What is West Nashville? I knew someone a while back who told me that West Nashville was ugly. I’ve always thought of it as more utilitarian or maybe even honest. That’s why I’ve chosen to live on this side of town over any else for the last 10-odd years. As far as where it is, I don’t know. It’s in a bit of a transition period right now because what I thought was a very honest part of town is becoming maybe less so. Maybe that’s just my take on it. I’ve always loved this part of town because, you know, the streets are kind of more weedy and there are cracks in the sidewalks. Reid Campbell works sales at Rhino Books on Charlotte Avenue. Reid has only worked at Rhino for a year but he has lived in West Nashville a good long while.

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DEBORA Izaguirre

JAMES Anderson

James Robertson neighborhood

West Nashville

Where is West Nashville? For me, West Nashville is where . . . most of the synagogues are. When we first moved to West Nashville, it was because of Akiva School; my kids were attending that school. And we lived in South Nashville: Nolensville Road and Old Hickory Boulevard. The area where we live now is more like the old times, even though we came from Buenos Aires, Argentina, one of the biggest cities in the world. We wanted to live in a BIG TOWN, and now it is becoming more like a Big City. What is West Nashville? My brother came to Nashville around 1996, so when we decided to come to the States, we wanted to be close to him and his family, and Nashville was already amazing. When you talk to somebody else, and they hear your accent, immediately they ask you, “Where are you from?” and that does not apply to just what country; it also means other cities, states. You meet people from all over the world. Amazing!

Where is West Nashville? Somewhere between where it was and where it’s goin’. What is West Nashville? Unrecognizable. And that’s just because we’ve lived there 35 years. We have two city lots and the house sits right in the middle of it. We had great sunset, lots of room. My neighbors sold their house. I didn’t even know it was gone until they started scraping it. They put up four houses next to me, on two city lots also, and we can’t see anything but them to the west any more, can’t see the sunset. They have a communal backyard, and they’re all damn Auburn fans. James Anderson has been the bartender at McCabe Pub for the past 30 years.

Debora Izaguirre is a resident of James Robertson Neighborhood and co-owner of La Bahienese, a furniture and collectibles buy-sell business (http://lbsca.com/). Her daughter, Catalina, is a budding filmmaker and helps her mother in the family business.

How can all this be summarized?

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EASILY: West Nashville is in the eye of the beholder. We tap our man James Anderson at McCabe Pub who said it best: West Nashville is “somewhere between where it’s been and where it’s goin’.” Cue the music.

Jeff Estepp, LLC

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Miriam Drennan and Scott Merrick are residents of The Nations, albeit in separate residences.

West Town Development Group, LLC

December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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CONNECTING by LeAnn STEPHENSON

photos by Clark THOMAS/simplePhotographs.com (unless otherwise noted)

As you drive along Charlotte Avenue during rush hour, you can’t help but notice the changes that have taken place during recent years. Shiny new office and apartment buildings have cropped up where vacant lots or warehouses used to be. Area residents have a variety of new restaurants and retail options. And while one of those buildings is a fitness center and at least one restaurant features a vegan menu, the concrete and bumper-to-bumper traffic around you may not evoke visions of health and wellness. Efforts are underway to change that.

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372WN.com | December 2016–January 2017

In February 2015, Nashville was one of four cities — along with Boise, Idaho; Denver and Los Angeles — awarded a grant from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Colorado Health Foundation. The grant covered the study of Charlotte Avenue between 11th Avenue and White Bridge Road, focusing on opportunities to promote health and wellness and convert the four-mile stretch into a Healthy Corridor for those who live, work and travel on and near this major thoroughfare. Many projects underway or


People, Places, Health and Wellness Along One of Nashville’s Busiest Corridors

complete before the study began are reflective of the components of a Healthy Corridor. The 28th/31st Avenue Connector offers safe, multi-modal access between the north and south sides. Lentz Public Health Center provides health services to the community and encourages employee and visitor activity with an indoor walking track and a wide-open staircase; it also has open green space, an outdoor walking track available for public use and a B-cycle station. OneC1TY and Hill Center provide unique gathering places and activities — from collaborative work spaces to a beach

The OneC1TY development infuses healthy living into commercial, residential, research and retail spaces.

volleyball court, from a sports bar to a gourmet market. “OneC1TY is an example of creating a new space where nothing was there,” noted Tracy Kane, member of the ULI Nashville Grant Management Team and president of the Sylvan

Park Neighborhood Association (SPNA). New developments in the midtown area of Charlotte have converted bare or desolate space along the corridor into “nodes of activity” that support the community’s needs for housing and retail, while incorDecember 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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porating features that encourage engagement for both residents and business owners. Farther west, where thriving neighborhoods and businesses already exist, place-making becomes more about “preserving the best of the place and adapting to modern uses,” Kane said.

A pocket of vibrancy With a playground, library, gardens and a variety of sponsored and organic programming, Richland Park has been identified as a “pocket of vibrancy” in West Nashville, an asset to be preserved and one that also provides opportunities to even better connect it to the surrounding neighborhoods. “Richland Park very much reflects the existing community and embraces its unique attributes,” said Kane. As home of the Richland Farmers’ Market, it provides convenient access to fresh, healthy food during growing season. Groups, including SPNA and the Sylvan Park Moms’ Club, host organized events in the park, the green space invites area kids to play soccer and a group of volleyball players holds court every weekend. Sidewalks that lead up to the park make it walkable from Sylvan Park, a stable neighborhood that borders the park. There is retail across the street, accessible by three crosswalks. “Before the 49th Avenue crosswalk, there was no way to safely cross Charlotte between 46th and 51st,” Kane said. “We could use two more pedestrian-friendly crosswalks because we want to make sure those on the north side of Charlotte have access to the park.” Creating safe walkways under Interstate 40 is a long-term vision to provide safer access and more engagement for neighbors in The Nations. Green space on the south side and retail on the north make for the opportunity to create a “Main Street”

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feel between 46th and 51st avenues. “We would like to see the business district more connected and engaged with the park,” said Kane. ULI Nashville offered a taste of the Main Street experience during Market Fest in May by setting up parklets to bring people, retail and green space closer together. Approximately 15 business owners participated and expressed interest in having a voice in shaping that section of the corridor. Kane pointed out some existing cultural resources that contribute to a Healthy Corridor: LeQuire Gallery for art, Darkhorse Theater

do so at Climb Nashville. And if a weekend warrior overdoes it, Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, Centennial Medical Center and Nashville

Neighborhood input is essential. Photo courtesy of the SPNA.

Richland Park: A pocket of vibrancy and opportunity.

for performing arts and the Global Education Center for multicultural arts programming. Just a few blocks off of Charlotte you’ll find the Martin Center for Nashville Ballet and the Noah Liff Opera Center, and Nashville Community Education’s office, as well as many of its classes, is at the Cohn School. The corridor also offers many opportunities to get healthy and stay healthy. Nashville Sports Leagues provides “free agents” and teams of all abilities to participate in organized sports — from basketball to kickball to ultimate Frisbee. Those who want to push their athletic ability to the next level can

General Hospital at Meharry are just a few blocks away. The American Red Cross and the American Heart Association provide education and assistance for all of Nashville. Creating a Healthy Corridor “is not just focusing on the corridor itself but also the impact it has for a couple of blocks to each side,” said Kane. And where a community asset already exists, “recognize it, appreciate and preserve it, and use it as a model to grow,” she added. It boils down to putting people first and, she said, “making decisions not by how fast a car goes from Point A to Point B.” But about those cars . . .


Keep It Moving Charlotte Avenue (originally known as Cedar Street) was one of Nashville’s first three east-west streets. As such, it has always served as a vital link between downtown and the neighborhoods and businesses on the west side; with West Nashville’s booming residential growth and areas along the corridor ripe for development, traffic has signifi

cantly increased in recent years — a trend that is likely to continue. The NashvilleNext Plan calls for increased density along sections of Charlotte Avenue, labeled by the plan as a high-capacity transit corridor. These recommendations make it difficult to put Charlotte on a “road diet” to reduce the number of lanes to create wider sidewalks or a boulevard, for example. “We’re not going to significantly reduce capacity for cars,” said Ryan Doyle, Committee Chair, ULI Nashville Grant Management Team and General Manager, OneC1TY. Instead, the focus will be on adding features to better connect Charlotte to surrounding neighborhoods, and

promoting other modes of travel while making them safer. To encourage the use of mass transit, in March 2015 the Metro Transit Authority launched Charlotte Pike Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) with limited stops between Music Central downtown and Walmart off River Road. Bike lanes offer a safer commute for cyclists, and B-cycle stations are located along Charlotte

for those who don’t have a bike and want to pedal to shop, dine or access the greenway. Crosswalks will make it easier and safer for pedestrians to cross, offering better connections from north to south. While the grant studies Charlotte only as far west as White Bridge Road, that doesn’t necessarily mean plans will end there. “We view White Bridge Road in a broader context than being just being the terminus of this project,” said Doyle. “We see White Bridge Road as a big potential transit center.”

Turning Ideas into Action To date, the Healthy Corridors work has centered on studies and ideas. The all-volunteer ULI Nashville Grant Management team has had conversations with community stakeholders; the national group has been in town twice, with experts bringing “outside the box” ideas and perspectives from other markets. Findings for the four participating cities was presented in Dallas in Occontinued on page 42 December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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by Scott MERRICK

Affordable Housing in Nashville— What Can We Expect?

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n April, West Nashvillians—along with all other property owners in our fair city—will receive a mailing from the Metro Property Assessor’s Office. You might want to be sitting down when you open that communication. Why? Well, for most of us living west of the Cumberland, our property values will go up, on a predicted average of 32%–33%. That’s on average; some neighborhoods may barely see a blip, while others will see considerably more. That’s a good thing, after all, isn’t it? Generally, we want our property values to rise, don’t we? The massive construction boom in Nashville is no secret—look around the city and count the tall cranes. On a recent drive through The Nations neighborhood, one resident and her visiting parent counted the houses that were under construction. They racked up a total

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of 120 new homes in various stages of construction on that day. With all this new building, it might seem that the new incoming property taxes would help the city meet its fiscal needs without raising taxes on individual residents. That will not necessarily be the case. Metro Property Assessor Vivian Wilhoite wants Nashvillians to be clear about the difference between increased property value and increasing taxes. “We can predict an average value increase, but we don’t yet know what that means for taxes,” she explains. “We have 244,000 parcels to assess by March, so that we can devise a fair taxation schedule so that Charlie Caldwell’s Office of the Trustee can apply the tax rate and collect the taxes.” So the property assessor’s function is

different from the trustee’s, but the two work in tandem in terms of a property’s appraised value and the amount of tax that will be applied. Understanding these two functions and how they work together are key when seeking relief—more on that in a minute. Meanwhile, with rents seeming to rise at an unparalleled rate, longtime renters in The Nations other gentrifying neighborhoods are finding themselves out of luck, out of a home and often out of the neighborhood. Most of the new homes are for sale, not for rent, and the housing units that are for rent tend to be truly “high-rent.” For example, two new developments that opened recently on Charlotte Avenue offer one-bedroom one-bath units, ranging from 600 to just over 750 square


feet, which start at $1,330 and $1,555, respectively. Two-bedroom, two-bath units range from $1,950 to $2,561. A month. Renters who dream of owning a home find it difficult to save for one when their rent is more than a mortgage payment. This leaves many West Nashvillians asking, where are the affordable options?

First steps The first week in September saw two important first-step bills approved by Metro Council. One of them, dubbed “Inclusionary Housing,” will offer incentives to developers (or rather, the opportunity to compete for a portion of the $2-million pie) for including affordable housing (either homes or apartments) in their development plans. It’s an “opt-in” plan, which is more carrot than stick; and how much it improves options for displaced or impoverished homeless remains to be seen. The program will be re-evaluated after two years of operation to be continued, revised or replaced. Current projections predict that it will contribute to the addition of around 100 affordable living units per year in Music City. It’s a modest start, to be sure. “This is just a small part of a huge need that Nashville has,” said Councilman Fabian Bedne, an affordable housing advocate who helped spear-

head efforts. “This isn’t just about affordable housing, but it’s about displacement. We have so many families in Nashville that are being displaced by the increased buying of properties. This is a way we can try to start reverting that process.”

The property assessor’s function is different from the trustee’s, but the two work in tandem in terms of a property’s appraised value and the amount of tax that will be applied. Get educated on who does what At a recent information meeting on the subject of affordable housing hosted by Metro Councilwoman Mary Carolyn Roberts, Metro Development and Housing Agency representative Brenda Gill noted that they are begging people to come in and take advantage of their assistance programs. These are federally

funded, so all mandates come from the federal government. “Education is key,” explained Property Assessor Wilhoite, who also encouraged all eligible Nashvillians to investigate the options for freezing property taxes and/or receiving federally funded tax subsidies to help with paying increasing taxes. In addition, Nashvillians who want to appeal their appraisals (which will arrive late Spring 2017) are encouraged to do so as early as possible. So to be clear, it is not the reassessment that raises the tax rate; it will raise or lower the value. Reappraisals are revenue-neutral; the city, however, adjusts the tax rate based on the reappraisal to generate the same amount of revenue. Metro can also propose/vote on tax rate increases, which will make the bills higher. If the property valuation hike does translate to tax increases, it will likely be due to revenue simply needed to pay the bills for government services and operations. The kind of growth we’re experiencing in West Nashville means more taxpayers, of course; but it also means ramping up services and oversight. As mentioned above, one might think that with the huge influx of new properties and new taxpayers, taxes might expect to go down, if anything. It’s a slippery algorithm that, for next year, appears to be slated to return

December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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a higher burden of cost on everyone, including the government and the people who pay for it. We’ve had plenty of time to prepare for it, by the way. Back in November 2015, former Davidson County Tax Assessor George Rooker predicted that the “hot” neighborhoods with rapidly rising property values would lead the field in what will likely be the highest tax hike since the state of Tennessee began requiring counties to reassess values every four years; at the time, neighborhoods like Inglewood and Cleveland Park in East Nashville would reportedly see the biggest increases, followed by The Nations, 12South and Wedgewood-Houston. So with this much notice, did anyone actually prepare?

Who’s trying to help? Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH) is "a faith-led coalition that is multi-racial and interdenominational comprised of congregations, community organizations, and labor unions that work to give voice to traditionally marginalized people.” Paulette Coleman, NOAH’s Affordable Housing Task Force chair, conveys deep understanding of the complex issues of the problem. “One thing is that we put it on the public conscience and made it an issue in the mayoral election,” she explains. “We also put a face on it: I think that our public meeting in February dramatized very significantly that this is a problem, and it’s growing and it’s not going to go away.” Coleman also called attention to several Nashville residential facilities that have been traditionally affordable; within the last year, they are no longer considered affordable or market-rate. She described practices by some of these complexes that include making leases month-to-month, and giving two-week notice of eviction, both of which arguably deny due pro-

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Next May, you’ll have the right to appeal a property appraisal if it does not appear to be accurate. cess to residents. NOAH is helping with these issues through Metro Social Services and Legal Aid to make sure those tenants’ rights are protected. Finally, NOAH had called for an Office of Affordable Housing in the mayor’s office and “at least there’s a Senior Advisor for Affordable Housing in that office now.” Which brings us to another important (and often overlooked) aspect of affordable housing—the ongoing issue of children aging out of foster care. Some may continue to receive substantial support from their foster families as they transition into adulthood, but many are not so lucky. A leading player in this arena is Monroe Harding, an institution in Nashville serving foster families and children for more than 120 years. Through their “Independent Living” program, these young adults spend transitional years in supportive group homes all over the city, including in West Nashville. According to one such youth, it’s the case workers who make the program what it is. “They tell you all the time, they’re going to continue to help you . . . whether you want it or not,” he explained. “They want it to be where when you walk out that door on your own you know where you’re going and what

you’re going to do with your life.” And the October 6 issue of The Tennessean reported that the nonprofit Dismas Inc. plans to build a 76-bed affordable housing facility in the 2400 block of Charlotte Avenue. This ambitious site will provide both transitional and permanent housing for many in need, and Dismas plans to increase its staff five-fold in the process. Groundbreaking is planned for the summer of 2017, and a capital campaign is underway to raise the approximately $5 million needed for the construction. “We all are concerned with the affordable housing issue; few are moving towards a solution,” explains District 20’s Council Member Roberts. “Any time there is a property that the government already owns but does not use, there is an opportunity for positive expansion. As you know, I am wholeheartedly pursuing the State of Tennessee to sell the beautiful, old state prison on Centennial Boulevard that includes an attached 200 acres with bluff views of the Cumberland. In selling this mostly unused property, the state will benefit in selling while prices are high and getting rid of a property that is falling down around them; we will benefit from its gentrification and repurposing. All of that said, I am in support of


the legislation both from the state and local municipalities regarding affordable housing but I think we need a more tangible approach . . . like selling the Tennessee State Prison.”

Wrap-around S E RV I C E S

What can individuals and families do right now, and in the near future? There is hope for certain portions of the population in the form of Metro’s Tax Freeze Program. If you feel you qualify for a freeze, you need to apply for your property tax freeze by December 31. Here’s how you may qualify: • If you are 65+ years of age, earning maximum of $41,666, you should appeal for a tax freeze. • If you are 65 years or disabled, earning a maximum income of $29,160, you should appeal for a tax subsidy. There’s help for property owners who do not meet the above criteria, too. Next May, you’ll have the right to appeal a property appraisal that does not appear to be accurate. At that time, property owners are encouraged to contact the Property Assessor’s office to request a review; based on those findings, you may file an appeal with the Metro Board of Equalization, which meets in June of next year. And if you disagree with Metro’s decision, you may also file an appeal with the State Board of Equalization before August 1, or within 45 days of the date Metro’s notice was sent, whichever is later. The Property Assessor’s office stresses that owners who are concerned about their appraisals do not need to put this off until the last minute; they need to begin the review and appeal process as soon as they receive their appraisals. You can find information about the Tax Freeze Program and Appeal Process on Metro government website, Nashville.gov. or contact the individual Metro office via telephone. The Tax Freeze Program is made available through the Metro Trustee, and the review and appeal process is handled through the Property Assessor’s office. Finally—though it’s more than likely these have already been included in the process leading up to it— should Nashville’s two-year trial of its opt-in prove less-than a promising solution, maybe our Council should take another look at pursuing any or all of the six routes suggested in a July 14, 2014, Washington Post article on the topic, including: establishing more public trust funds; looking at rezoning public land holdings; establishing and enforcing (important) inclusionary zoning laws; calling on employers to provide assistance to employees who want to stay in the city; embracing “Granny Flats” that provide

M

aking sure that affordable housing is available is just the first step of the process. Miranda Buell is database coordinator at Room in the Inn, and in a recent conversation, she brought up the issue of “wrap-around services” for those recently homeless who have been lucky enough to be rehoused. “They are few and far between,” she said. “Once an individual or family is relocated to a new space, they often find themselves in a room or rooms with no furniture or living support. It’s a big problem.” One operation that is working to help with those wraparound services is Cheryl’s List, a local nonprofit whose tagline is “Turning Empty Rooms into Homes.” Connecting those in need with those seeking to donate home furnishings, this entirely volunteer supported organization has shown real success, albeit on a modest scale, since 2014. If you have furnishings you wish to donate you can find them at www.cherylslist.org or give them a call at 615.838.2179.

Eddie and Michael are volunteers who serve newly housed formerly homeless Nashvillians at Cheryl’s List

continued on page 63 December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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Rhino Books: Charlotte Avenue’s Escape Hatch

by

Naomi GOLDSTONE

photos by Clark THOMAS/simplePhotographs.com

The Rhino Crash: Charlotte the Cat, Reid Campbell, Fred Koller (owner), Susan Perry and Patti Jones.

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am an English professor who loves to read, and any time I walk or jog by Rhino Books on Charlotte Avenue, which is at least three times a week, I sigh . . . I usually have my four dogs with me, so stopping in isn’t feasible. Dog-less, I set out one day to feed my book addiction; and Rhino Books does not disappoint. Owner Fred Koller grew up in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, and he attended the Art Institute of Chicago. There, he learned to play the guitar and later wrote songs with the likes of Willie Dixon and Shel Silverstein, among others. “I’m a lyricist who tries to give you a picture where one drawing would be that song,” he explains. “It’s like a title on a book—this is what it’s about, hopefully.”

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Nashville, Take 1 In 1973, Koller hitchhiked from Champaign-Urbana to Nashville with $20 to his name, but said it’s been “gravy ever since.” He rented a place for $40 a month—let that sink in, and then check out the article on page 14—and stole electricity from his neighbor. “I didn’t even have a car the first four years I lived here,” Koller said. “I lived on Music Row when it was really music row, and Nashville was incredibly welcoming.” Back then, he says, he could walk into any office and ask them if they wanted to hear the song he had just written. The first song he ever sold and got recorded was called “The Old Blues Singer,” and Lowell Fulsome recorded it in the original Stax Records in Memphis with Al Jackson on drums. After getting “burned out” by Nashville, Koller moved to Santa Cruz, California, where he opened his first bookstore, aptly titled “Words and Music.” He lived upstairs from the bookstore, and he said his customers taught him so much when they talked about the books they

had read. “I loved the interaction with customers,” he said, “and I was learning about new and arcane things every day and helping them build libraries.” After a few years, however, Koller said that when Santa Cruz changed, the city lost all of its appeal to a “musician who owned a bookstore.” So, he came back to Nashville to “see how things were.”

Nashville, Take 2 This time, Koller settled in West Nashville, then called the “Wild West Side.” He finagled his way back into the music scene, where he got to “work with amazing writers who

knew and loved true country music.” Koller is a prolific songwriter, and he has had songs recorded by the Sons of the Pioneers, Rosemary Clooney, Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty. “I have had well over 300 songs recorded by twice as many different artists,” he told me. Koller’s songs have produced several top five pop hits, including “Angel Eyes” by the Jeff Healey Band. He loves all the genres, including bluegrass, country (“REAL country,” he emphasized) and the blues. Koller also loved Sylvan Park, which back then was populated with working-class people paying affordable rents. “You could rent a house for a couple of hundred bucks and be on Music Row in 10 minutes,” he said. Residents went to McCabe’s to buy a drink with liquor, and although there were no bars in Sylvan Park, there were beer joints like The Trolley, which is now Betty’s Bar and Grill. Koller also spent time at “The Loftis Lunch,” where is where Flip Burger now stands. “You’d go there and you’d see bluegrass legends,” Koller said. “It was more like a corner tavern where everyone gathers and knows your name, but it wasn’t as expensive as ‘Cheers.’” (learn more about Loftis and The Trolley on page 26).

“My wealth is on the walls” Koller opened Rhino Books on Granny White Pike in 2002, and on Charlotte Avenue in 2009. He said that during that time, he was constantly going to yard sales and estate sales and “buying the kinds of books that I didn’t see all the time. I figured if I ever opened a shop, what would be the kind of stock I’d want to have? So I basically emptied my house,” he says with a laugh. “My wealth is on the walls.” When I asked him why he opened this location on Charlotte Avenue, Koller said he had a terrible fire when the Copper Kettle burned, and

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rhinoceros, used bookstores—especially the really good used bookstores one can usually only find in a college town—are an endangered species. “The neighborhood has gentrified at a pace faster than Usain Bolt,” Koller said, “but residents still need us.” Koller said that he’s been a book lover ever since he could first read the Wizard of Oz series when he was 5 years old. “When I wanted to make the world go away, I would play music or read a book,” he said. Methinks we all should escape to Rhino Books when we want to get away from our lives in favor of a good book . . . or for an engaging conversation with Koller. 2W

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ing to African-American history to Native American history. There is even a prolific section of cookbooks, with many regional ones from Junior Leagues around the country. You will find funny quotes around the store, including one in the children’s section that says, “Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy.” While I’m chatting with Koller, a mother calls and asks if they have a copy of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye because it’s on her son’s reading list. “They’re still teaching that?” he asks no one in particular. For Koller, Rhino Books is the place for people who “want a good read that will lead them to more good reads and take them down paths they never thought they’d go down and get them excited about reading again so that they can tell their friends what books they might read. Harry Potter is nice and gets kids reading,” he said, “but there is so much more.” Koller said he named his store Rhino Books because like the

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he lost about 50,000 books. He wanted to rebuild, and one day he drove by and saw a for sale/for lease sign, “and the rest is history.” Koller says that Rhino Books has the South’s largest selection of used and out-of-print books. The books range in price from a 25-cent children’s book to a $5,000 signed Hemingway novel. “We’re all over the map that way,” he said. “What we don’t carry is what I call ‘airport fiction,’ because people can get it cheaper on Amazon,” Koller added. Although Koller tried to sell his books online, he said he gave up after a few years because he’d “rather keep the books in the community.” When hardcore book lovers walk into Rhino Books, Koller said they often say: “Wow. You really have something.” Finding a real bookstore that offers this kind of selection is hard, but Rhino Books is one awesome used bookstore. The selection ranges from science fiction to classic literature to poetry to children’s books to hardback fiction to photography to garden-

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Christmas Spirit: THE

ALIVE AND WELL AT

St. Luke’s Community House by Deana

DECK

photos courtesy of St. Luke's Community House, used with permission.

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t. Luke’s Community House on New York Avenue was founded in 1913 as an outreach ministry of the Episcopal Church, providing a Well Baby Clinic for families of prisoners incarcerated at the nearby state penitentiary. Over the past 113 years, the organization has grown to include an infant and toddler daycare, a preschool and an after-school program, as well as activities and services for seniors. “We are generously funded through partnerships with the diocese and have a wonderful relationship with episcopal churches, but we are a secular organization in all of our services,” says Penny Anderson, St. Luke’s development director. “Our services are totally non-sectarian. We are here for those in need from any walk of life, any age, race, creed, religion, sexuality, disability or veteran status. It’s about keeping the door open. We enter everything with our hearts and minds open.” One annual activity that brings the entire community together to help families in need is The Family Christmas Program. Neighborhood families, businesses and individual donors band together to provide toys, clothing, books and school supplies to those in the community who would otherwise face a bleak holiday season. “In September, families are encouraged to come in and fill out a pre-registration form with us,” says Christie Bearden, St. Luke’s volunteer and community engagement manager. “Over the years, we’ve occasionally had to cap the number that enters and hold a drawing.” Fortunately, for the past couple of years—including this one—the number of needy families and the number of donors has matched up, so drawings haven’t been necessary. “During the month of October,” Bearden continues, “the families come in for an interview to register for the program. That’s when we check their photo IDs and children’s birth certificates (or their shot records, if they don’t have birth certificates). We ask for proof of address and proof of income to make sure that they qualify. And then, once all that has been checked, they go into the Family Christmas Program.” Anderson pointed out that since St. Luke’s doesn’t require birth certificates or social security numbers to participate in the program, they will accept vaccination records. “That allows us to serve anybody in need,” she

says. “Over the last few years, we’ve seen a significant rise in our Hispanic and Latino population. For us especially, it’s about need.” Families fill out a registration form detailing parents’ names and, for record keeping, their ethnicity. In addition, each child is registered according to age, gender and school grade. Included is the child’s favorite color, their favorite theme or character and a “dream” item under $50. Also on the list are clothing sizes and information about school uniforms and colors, if required, and whether school supplies are needed. In October, the staff starts spreading the word to attract donors. “We put it on Facebook,” says Bearden. “We send out fliers and emails. We visit local businesses. A lot of it is through word of mouth, and the neighborhood helps us spread the word. Volunteers do it, so do former donors. We have a very good source of volunteers and donors who are really committed, and they try to get the word out for us.” Donors come from throughout the city and are matched with families according to what they can handle. “They let us know what kind of families and what size family they want to work with,” says Bearden. “We have small families registered, with one or two kids, as December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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like to be matched with a senior, we provide them with a wish list from the individual. It’s like pulling teeth to get a senior to tell us what they would like for Christmas!” The Adopt-A-Senior program is so popular that St. Luke’s usually runs out of seniors, because so many donors are interested in them. For families who are not eligible for the Family Christmas Program, St. Luke’s offers a Christmas House Toy Market in their gym, where qualified parents can purchase gifts for their children at greatly reduced prices. This year, the Toy Market take place on Saturday, December 10. Donors are encouraged to come and help distribute the gifts they’ve brought at one side of the gym, and at the other side are hundreds of toys that have been donated for parents to buy for their children. “There may be a $200 bicycle that we sell for $20. Or a $50 Lego set a parent can buy for five or ten dollars.” Anderson says. “A parent comes in and says, ‘I think my child would like this.’ And they purchase it. And the amount of dignity, the pride we see on their faces, is overwhelming, all because they were able to buy their child something that they’re proud of.” Anderson tells a moving story about an incident that happened last year, when a young boy was given $2 to purchase a gift for himself. He picked out a science kit that he really wanted. As he prepared to pay for it, his little brother approached with a stuffed lion he had fallen in love with. Because his mom didn’t have any more money, the older boy put the science kit back and bought the lion for his little brother. “He loves the lion more than I love the science kit,” he said. “And I’ve never been able to buy him a present before.” WE

well as families requiring clothing for their kids ranging from size 2 to size 13.” It’s not just individuals who get involved. Entire "adopting" families make a tradition of adopting a needy family. Business, church and classroom groups sponsor families, as well, with each individual sharing the donation. The burgeoning growth of The Nations neighbor is also benefitting the Christmas Program. “Every year we see more businesses that are really getting involved,” Bearden adds. “And now many of the new businesses in the community have started calling to sponsor a family, as well.” Anderson points out that programs such as St. Lukes can inadvertently have a downside that prevents families from getting back on their feet. “We have worked very hard to bring families and donors along to an evolved model,” she says. Some donors used to go overboard with their generosity, but now the center asks that they limit the value of gifts to $50 or less for toys for each child, as well as providing clothing. “We may have a donor who wants to give $500 to the program. We ask that they buy a hundred dollars worth of gifts for the family and donate the other $400 to the toy store. We also present a $25 gift certificate to the parents that can be used at local grocery stores to help provide a holiday dinner for the family.” It’s not just families with kids who benefit from the Christmas Program. St. Luke’s has an Adopt-A-Senior Christmas program, as well. Seniors are matched with a donor and are invited to a Christmas lunch and bingo party where they can pick up their gifts. “Seniors register by providing documents to make sure they fall under the income guidelines,” says Bearden. “Ninety-nine percent of the time they do. When donors indicate they’d

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Deana Deck is a writer, an editor, an actress, a film and video producer, sailing fanatic and snow skier who loves animals, gardens, and life: “I am a happy person and I’m interested in everything.”


SANTA’S HELPERS: 61st Avenue UMC’s Last Minute Toy Store

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hat do 150 bicycles, 600 volunteers, 1,565 families, 4,863 kids, 12,393 toys, 4,863 books and 14,589 stocking stuffers add up to? A happy Christmas for thousands of Davidson County’s needy children.

Thanks to the 61st Avenue United Methodist Church’s Last Minute Toy Store, families who missed the deadline for registering for many of the county’s holiday charitable programs, or those who don’t qualify, can find gifts for their children. The church’s pastor, Rev. Marie King, former pastor Paul Slenz, Volunteer Coordinator Dale Robble, Child Youth and Family Ministries Director Nita Haywood, plus hundreds of volunteers, work year-round screening applicants, collecting new toys and spreading the word to make sure no child in Davidson County wakes up Christmas morning without a gift to open.

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To learn more, go to www.lastminutetoystore.com.

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For help in this massive endeavor, the church relies on partners as diverse as the U.S. Marine Corps and the Tennessee Titans. The Marines’ Toys for Tots program collects toys and cash from thousands of donors around the county, and the Titans hold a special event at one of their home games each year where toys are collected exclusively for the Last Minute Toy Store. There’s even a special online registry on Amazon where donors can purchase gifts for the program that are delivered directly to the church. VI

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THE 61ST AVENUE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH IS AT 6018 NEW YORK AVENUE IN NASHVILLE. Toy drop-off hours for those wishing to donate are: December. 5–9

9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

December. 10

9 :00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

December. 11

1 :00–6:00 p.m.

December. 12–17

7:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

December. 18–19

1:00–5:00 p.m.

Shopping days are December. 16–19, and families who are interested in shopping should call 615-784-TOYS or 615-395-5204 (for Spanish-speakers). photos courtesy of 61st Avenue UMC/LMTS, used with permission.

December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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Pie Wagons: NASHVILLE’S ORIGINAL FOOD TRUCKS photos and text by

T

Yvonne EAVES

oday’s Nashville has no shortage of food trucks, and if you ask anyone older than 65 or 70, they will have memories of vintage food trucks. These mobile restaurants owe everything, however, to their ancestors: the pie wagons. And once upon a time, the Nashville area had an abundance of them. The concept of pie wagons actually came to Nashville around 1920, with the owner/operator selling pies out of a wagon-like cart. Public transportation had arrived in Nashville as early as 1865, using mule-driven trolleys. By 1889, these trolleys were replaced with electric streetcars, so a few enterprising individuals decided to transform the outdated trolley cars into pie/ lunch wagons. Usually parking near large businesses, these pie wagon entrepreneurs would keep up with workplace paydays. Seating was limited to about 20 people at a time. In 1922, brothers Hudson and Dan Coombs opened one such pie wagon in downtown Nashville. The trolley car was behind the old U.S. Post Office, and their “Majestic Café” became a 24-hour eating establishment. By the mid-1960s, their pie wagon had moved to 12th Avenue South and McGavock Street. Majestic Café had outgrown the trolley car, and the name was changed to The Pie Wagon. The restaurant relocated again in 2002, and it still operates today on Division Street. West Nashville had its share of pie wagons, too, but most of us know them by different names today.

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ibr ar y, Sp ec ial Co llec tio ns

rca r, ci e n i 's D Brown "Brown's Place," now

0. 192

to pho

L lic ub P ille shv Na f o sy rte cou

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Hillsboro Village’s iconic Brown’s Diner, at Blair Boulevard and 21st Avenue South, was originally a pie wagon. In 1927, Charles Brown towed two mule-driven trolley cars, placing them side-by-side, where they remain today (the typical size of one trolley car was 22 feet x 9 feet). In 1986, the owner built a cinderblock addition, to accommodate the increased demand for their delicious burgers.

photo: Yvonne Eaves

“Brown's Place,” now Brown’s Diner, circa 1920. photo courtesy of Nashville Public Library, Special Collections

Brown's Diner today. photo: Yvonne Eaves

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The 1931 Nashville City Directory lists Richland Lunch Wagon’s location as 5013 Charlotte Pike. Also known as Elmore Woods Restaurant and Derryberry’s, The Richland Lunch Wagon was owned and operated by Homer and Meredith Derryberry, and it was a popular hangout before and after school for students attending Cohn High School during the late 1940s and early 1950s. The Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway was located around 25th and Charlotte. In 1890, this very large West Nashville employer established “New Shops” that contained businesses and services that would assist in locomotive-related repairs: machine and erecting shop, foundry, blacksmith, paint shop, etc. Stretching from 25th to 31st avenues and Charlotte all the way to Centennial Park, the New Shops’ campus was distinctly different from its predecessors; whereas the old Nashville Shops buildings were framework construction and

Grigsby Pie Wagon and Ball Pie Wagon also opened near the “New Shops” main entrance, near 27th and Charlotte.

Ball's Pie Wagon, near 27th and Charlotte. photo courtesy of The Sarah Foster Kelley Collection/West Nashville Founder's Museum Association.

scattered throughout Nashville, the New Shops were contained within a 70-acre campus that included its architecturally beautiful “roundhouse,” among other buildings, and landscaped gardens and lawns similar to what we might see on a university campus today. When housing, schools and churches were built on the north side of Charlotte Pike to accommodate employees and families, both the

The 1931 Nashville City Directory mentions a restaurant near 45th venue and Murphy Road, believed to be a pie wagon formerly located near 15th Avenue and West End, since it was moved to 46th Avenue and Murphy Road sometime during the early 1940s. For years, the restaurant was known as the Sylvan Park Restaurant, located where Edley’s Bar-B-Que sits today.

The old Sylvan Park Restaurant was once a pie wagon, where Edley's Bar-B-Que sits today.

Richland Lunch Wagon

photo courtesy of Metro Nashville Archives

December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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Anyone who has opened a restaurant can attest to the numerous frustrations their inspections often yield; maybe a page from Henry Loftis’ playbook would inspire them. The Loftis Family lived at 338 42nd Ave. and the southeast corner of Charlotte Pike. In 1887, Leban Jasper Loftis purchased property on Charlotte Pike and by 1891, he owned the entire block, subsequently nicknamed “Loftis Corner.” Mr. and Mrs. Loftis had 10 children, and Henry was their youngest. Henry worked as a carpenter for Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway, and in 1929, the employees of the “New Shops” voted to strike. Using his carpentry skills, Henry decided to build his own pie wagon, and he designed it to be a replica of a “New Shops” railroad coach car, locating it at Loftis Corner. After the city started inspecting pie wagons, a city official met with Henry to explain that if he intended his structure to be a pie wagon, he would need to add wheels to his building. In response, Henry Loftis made four wheels and simply placed the wheels around the outside of the pie wagon, never attaching them to his restaurant. The family pie wagon was in operation for more than 65 years, with Henry’s daughter, Nina, eventually taking it over and providing 24-hour curb service. When a customer pulled up in their car and honked, Nina would prepare the order and deliver it directly to the car. Farther down the road at 4802 Charlotte Pike, John Gibson had opened Candy John’s Pie Wagon until 1931, when he was shot and killed over a disagreement. The eatery was moved by John Weiland around the corner to 407 49th Ave. N., and Candy John’s Pie Wagon was eventually renamed “The Trolley.” Most West Nashvillians today know it as Betty’s Grill on 49th Avenue. The outside of the building has seen changes and no longer looks like an old trolley car, but inside, the ceiling corners remain rounded, similar to the former trolley cars. The Rock City Hosiery Mills stood near 39th Avenue and Charlotte, and in 1929, property owner Fred Se-Ling launched Se-Ling Hosiery Mills as the first nylon hosiery mill, using German equipment. Originally the stockings were made using Japanese silk; later nylon was used. According to an article from a 1935 issue of The Tennessean, Se-Ling employed 150 people and had a $400,000 annual payroll, which was particularly significant at the height of The Great Depression and probably the reason Fred Johnson’s Pie Wagon, later owned by Homer Erwin, was located just across Charlotte Pike. By 1935, another pie wagon took advantage of the high-traffic location and opened for business at 3901 Charlotte. (additional

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photos courtesy of the Bryant Family. Used with permission.

Candy John's Pie Wagon, aka "The Trolley," now Betty's Grill. photo by Yvonne Eaves.

Betty's Grill still retains many of the old pie wagon features. photo by Yvonne Eaves


note of interest: During WWII, Fred Se-Ling’s company was known as Se-Ling Air Craft Company and it’s generally believed that the company manufactured parachutes.) When the developers built West Nashville, their intention was to create a manufacturing metropolis. With access to the railway and Cumberland River, Centennial Boulevard was particularly important to keep the manufacturing hub thriving. Businesses along Centennial included a chemical plant, hardwood flooring, grain elevator, cotton mills, refinery, the Tennessee State Prison . . . and at least five pie/ lunch wagons. Until the 1940s, businesses were limited west of White Bridge Road, with the intersection of White Bridge Road and Charlotte serving as Nashville’s city limit; east

photo courtesy of the Bryant Family. Used with permission.

of White Bridge Road was within Nashville’s city limits while west of White Bridge Road was considered rural, country surroundings. During the mid-1940s, at the height of their

popularity, six additional pie wagons were located along Charlotte Pike between 42nd to 53rd avenues.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Since 1952.

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As Nashville grows and builds, stories like West Nashville’s pie wagons need preservation; they are what makes our city unique and gives it the personality that attracts tens of thousands to move here each year. The next time you make your own melt at The Grilled Cheeserie or bite into a lobster roll from Cousins, take a moment to reminder the pie wagons that paved their way and maybe pay a visit to the ones still standing. VI

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Long considered West Nashville’s historian, Yvonne Eaves spends a lot of time documenting its changes through the lens of her camera. She is the author of Nashville’s Sylvan Park (along with co-author Doug Eckert, Arcadia Publishing). Sources used for this story include Nashville City Directories from 1922, 1931, 1935 and The Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway: History and Steam Locomotives by Richard E. Prince (Indiana University Press, 1967).

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Since 1952. “Country Cookin’ Makes You Good Lookin’!”

Wendell Smith’S ReStauRant 5300 Charlotte Pike • Nashville, tN 37209 • 615-383-7114 WENDELL SMITH www.Meatn3.net / www.Wendellsmithsrestaurant.net

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OZ Arts: Pushing Boundaries for Artists, for Audiences by

Naomi GOLDSTONE

photos by Clark THOMAS/simplePhotographs.com

December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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ocated off Cockrill Bend Boulevard in a very industrial part of West Nashville, OZ Arts is, as its website suggests, “the perfect backdrop for any event.” What is so amazing about OZ, owner and operator Tim Ozgener says, is that they have brought— and are bringing—the kinds of artists one used to only see in New York, Miami or Los Angeles. “The content is A+,” he said, “and the environment we create is so stimulating. And it’s quite beautiful and not far from the center of Nashville.” Located near John C. Tune Airport, OZ Arts is on the site of a former cigar warehouse, which housed C.A.O. International, the cigar company Ozgener’s father, Cano, started in the family’s basement and then built up with Tim and his sister Aylin. With 500 seats and 12,000 square feet, Ozgener describes OZ Arts as a “contemporary arts center” that brings “innovative art— living artists who are working on art that is pushing boundaries or might be a commentary on what’s happening in the world now.” Some people come to OZ Arts just for private events, which Ozgener says is not “abnormal” for a contemporary arts center. So it’s not surprising that sometimes people think it’s just an events center—yet it is so

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much more than that. OZ Arts brings in artists who are internationally renowned, but they also identify local artists and performers they see as having the potential to become traveling artists. The artist-in-residence works with the people at OZ Arts, fleshing out their ideas. During TNT (Thursday Night Things)—OZ Arts’ local spotlight series—the artist will present his or her work to a captive audience. One such TNT performer was local poet Stephanie Pruitt, a graduate of Vanderbilt’s MFA

Ozgener wondered about the benefit for both artist and audience to meet after the performances. “Since the artist is creating work that is vibrant and related to the times now or the recent past, wouldn’t it be great if the audience could ask the performers questions?” Ozgener said. With that, he invites each artist to hang out in the lobby after the show to do just that; over a glass of wine, audience members can ask questions of the playwright, the dancer or filmmaker. Thus, the dialogue that

program. OZ Arts also showcased a Nashville dance troupe called New Dialect during one of their TNT’s, and as a result, the group got some commissions out of them. “We’re proud of our outreach with local artists,” Ozenger said. One thing that makes OZ Arts so amazing is the disparate kinds of artists and performances that come through the building. “One month it could be contemporary dance,” Ozgener says, “and the next month it could be theatre or it could be film.”

began during the performance can continue afterwards. “It is through dialogue that change begins to happen and people begin to understand and empathize with what the performer was trying to convey through his or her performance or artwork,” Ozgener says. When asked what was the most interesting event that OZ Arts had ever held, Ozgener replies that “they’re all interesting and unique and different, including the TNT performance and the ones for the main stage and the international


traveling artists.� He does mention The Suit, a play directed by famed English director Peter Brook, was probably the most interesting one so far. Set during apartheid in Johannesburg, South Africa, The Suit tells the story about a woman whose husband walks into their apartment and catches her cheating. After her lover flees without his suit, the cuckolded husband punishes his wife by making her treat the abandoned suit as a guest of honor in their home. Ozgener said that the

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play was both funny and sad and that everyone who came to see it thought it was “something they could have seen in London or New York.” The 2016–17 season marks OZ Arts Nashville’s fourth year, and like the previous years, it features myriad artists from multiple art forms. The season opened September 10 with “Family Day,” which was headlined by Grammy-winning Los Angeles Band Ozomatli. The “indoor-outdoor extravaganza,” intended for young people and families, always includes a variety of Nashville artists and community organizations, along with hands-on activities for kids and their families to experience together. AZ

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ELLEN PARKER BIBB design | painting | letterpress

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December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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C E L E B R AT I N G T H E

HOLIDAY S West Side Style by Tina BEMBRY So maybe you missed Crafty Nashville and Nashvember last month . . . there’s still plenty of sparkle and joy decking the streets of West Nashville this time of year to help you and your family get into the spirit. Low-cost or no-cost, we’ve got you covered . . . festive lights, family fun, unique gifts and sharing with others mark the winter holiday season!

WAYS TO CELEBRATE AND SHARE THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT Angel Tree Program through December 10

You still have a few days left to make holiday wishes come true with the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. “Adopt” less-fortunate children and seniors who would otherwise receive very little or nothing during the holiday season. Angel Trees have been at The Mall

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at Green Hills since November 12 and will still be available through December 10. You can also adopt an Angel online at Nashville.SalArmyAngelTree.com. Purchase wished-for gifts and necessities and return them to a mall booth by 8:30 p.m. December 10.

Cheekwood’s Holiday Lights through January 1, 5:00-10:00 p.m.

It just opened November 25, so you’ve got the rest of the month to celebrate the season at nearby Cheekwood’s Holiday Lights installation featuring 1 million lights throughout the gardens! There are carolers, Sunday storytime with Santa, gingerbread workshops, art activities, real reindeer and more. Advance tickets start at $10 for members, plus parking—but this is a special experience to get you in the holiday mood. Learn more and purchase at cheekwood.org.

Caroling for Kids December 1–24

Since 1916, volunteers throughout the Nashville community have Caroled for Kids to benefit the Fannie Battle Day Home for Children. Funds from caroling help the home provide affordable year-round child care for

at-risk children in a nurturing environment and support the growth of healthy families. This program is well coordinated, with a songbook that can be printed or pulled up on your phone or tablet. Learn more at www.fanniebattle.org/caroling.

Nashville Christmas Parade 10:00 a.m., December 3

The Annual Piedmont Natural Gas Nashville Christmas Parade begins at the intersection of Eighth Avenue and Broadway, heads east down Broadway to Second Avenue North, crosses over the Cumberland River and ends at the base of the Woodland Street Bridge. Information at www.nashvillechristmasparade.com/

Rise Nashville’s Open House 2:00-4:00 p.m., December 4

Is there anything better than fresh pastries? Rise Nashville’s Open House is free, and attendees can enjoy snacking on a variety of sweet and savory foods. It will also be packed with The Nashville Food Project (TNFP) holiday delicacies available for purchase. It will be held at TNFP’s headquarters in Green Hills at 3605 Hillsboro Pike. This is a very interesting nonprofit to get to know!


It’s a Wonderful Life December 4

The Wonderful Life Foundation invites you to celebrate the spirit of generosity and thankfulness by watching the classic movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, and enjoy dancing, refreshments and a silent auction. The foundation works to provide relief for families experiencing financial hardship while fighting pediatric cancer, and donations are made in advance or at the door. Check their website for more details: https:// wonderfullifefoundation.org/ (Missed this event? You can still watch the film at The Belcourt December 17–24.)

Kids Christmas Party and Craft Time at Richland Park Library 4:30 p.m., December 8

Fun, food and crafts to celebrate the holidays! For all school-aged kids. 4711 Charlotte Ave.

Music City Winterfest December 10

A free day of family-friendly holiday cheer, activities, shopping and entertainment. The Holiday Market features gifts from Nashville craft artisans. Food trucks, live music at the Beer Garden, kids’ activities,

horse-drawn carriage and train rides, pet portraits, snowball fights, choral performances, Santa and more. Find out more at musiccitywinterfest.com/

The Sylvan Park Neighborhood Association Potluck and Caroling Party 4:00 p.m., December 11

SPNA hosts a free holiday potluck and caroling party in the neighborhood each year in early/mid December. More details posted at www. sylvanpark.org Sylvan Park neighborhood caroling, photo

Holiday Story Time at Richland Park Library 10:30 a.m., December 12

Special holiday stories, songs and crafts. Make your own ornament to take home! See events calendar at http://nashvillepubliclibrary.org/. 4711 Charlotte Ave.

The Last Minute Toy Store December 16–19

A ministry of Sixty-First Avenue United Methodist Church, the Last Minute Toy Store distributes free toys and other gifts for low-income children and youth who live in Davidson County. Last year, they served 4,863 children! You can donate new, unwrapped toys and other age-ap-

courtesy of Tracy Kane

propriate gifts in the $10–$25 price range for ages newborn to 18, volunteer, or you can donate. 61st Avenue United Methodist Church is at 6018 New York Ave. Toy drop-off times and full information, including how to donate, at www.facebook.com/ lastminutetoystore or lastminutetoystore.com. Learn more about this West Nashville tradition on page 25.

Nashville Rescue Mission Christmas Meals Help provide Christmas meals for indigent and very low-income people through donations and volunteering at the Nashville Rescue Mission, which is at 639 Lafayette Street. You can donate a meal for only $2.26! More information at nashvillerescuemission.org.

NOW I’M STARTING TO SEE THE LIGHT(S) Nashville Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 6:00 p.m., December 2

Join Mayor Megan Berry as she flips the switch to light the Nashville Christmas tree at Public Square Park. There will be family fun, including live music. December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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The Hillsboro West End Neighborhood does the season up big with lots of lights, inflatables, lighted archways, artsy manger scenes, music and more. Some locals claim that you can find the BEST Christmas Lights in Nashville here! You don’t have to pay to enjoy the festive scenery— most of the neighborhood has sidewalks, making it safe to explore on foot. According to many neighbors, some of the best streets in Nashville to see lights are (alphabetical by street name): Central Avenue between the 3500 and 3700 blocks

Last year's HWEN decorating contest winner.

Eastland Avenue between 14th Street and 16th Street Elmington Avenue Fairfax Avenue and Blair Boulevard Illinois Avenue Indiana Avenue Kentucky Avenue Michigan Avenue

Indiana Avenue, photo courtesy of Tiffany Defore

photo courtesy of Aaron Gong

Morrow Avenue Park Avenue Richland Avenue’s 3500 block Sunset Place between 25th Avenue and Natchez Trace West Linden Westmoreland Avenue Westwood Avenue

Holiday Lights – Horse Drawn Carriage Tours 5:00-8:30 p.m., December 3, every 30 minutes 4:30-8:00 p.m., December 4, every 30 minutes

If you are feeling Victorian, you can take in the holiday lights on a nostalgic horse-drawn carriage ride through the Hillsboro West End neighborhood and make a special memory. Individual tickets are $23; children younger than 2 who ride on an adult’s lap ride free. Group tickets are available. Park free at 2800 Blair Boulevard at Natchez Trace to start the ride. Carriages depart every 30 minutes. Tickets can be reserved at www.hwen.org/tour/ more-about-tickets.

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Lollipop Garden in Charlotte Park, photo courtesy of Ashley Hall

Jellystone Park’s Dancing Lights of Christmas 5:00-10:00 p.m. nightly through January 1

For a truly spectacular experience, visit Middle Tennessee’s largest drive-through Christmas light display—hundreds of thousands of lights are set to Christmas music favorites at Jellystone Park’s Dancing Lights of Christmas. Tune into the music in your own vehicle at radio station 98 WSX while the lights dance to the music! Experience Fox 17’s Santa’s Village, complete with petting zoo. For additional fees, you can get pictures with Santa, children’s pony rides, spider jump, inflatables and lots of treats. Extended weekend and holiday hours to be announced.

photo courtesy of Aaron Gong

Cram friends and family in to make the most of the $25 per vehicle fee. Jellystone Park is at 2572 Music Valley Drive. All the details are at www. thedancinglightsofchristmas.com.

Walk Through Bethlehem Typically 1:00–7:00 p.m., December 11

Experience the village of Bethlehem as if it were the day of Jesus’ birth. Up to 400 costumed characters perform historical roles in society, going far beyond the typical Nativity scene. Along with live animals, the story at the heart of Christmas is shared in an unforgettable way. Held at Woodmont Christian Church at 3601 Hillsboro Pike.


photo courtesy of Aaron Gong

Park Avenue home, photo courtesy of Aaron Gong

Sylvan Park Mom's Club Holiday Market

Nashville Flea Market

WE’RE TALKING GIFT PERFECTION, AT ANY PRICE I love poking around thrift stores, consignment shops, locally owned gift emporiums and the flea market to find budget-friendly gifts as unique as the people dearest to my heart. So when I’m not shopping the wonderful options for us right on Charlotte Avenue’s thriftstore corridor, including Goodwill, Southern Thrift, Unique Thrift Store and Cool Stuff Weird Things (all within a few blocks between 54th Avenue North and 47th Avenue North) or This-N-That Thrift Store on Georgia Avenue at 51st Avenue North, you might find me looking for bargains and baubles at some of these places:

December 16–18

The Nashville Flea Market allows you to dig around for unique, nostalgic, antique and odd gifts, or find the fanciful bits and pieces to create your own gifts. Keep up to date at www.facebook.com/nashvillefleamarket or www.thefairgrounds. com/fleamarket.

Sylvan Park Holiday Market 1:00–5:00 p.m. December 4

Support local moms, find special gifts, mingle with neighbors, listen to Christmas tunes and get in the mood with favorite holiday movies. It’s free to shop, and there will be door prizes! Held at St. Ann’s Catholic Community Church at 5101 Charlotte Ave. The event is put on by the Sylvan Park Mom’s Club, and all the vendors are local moms. More details available at www.sylvanpark.org.

Fabu Shop and Sip

scarves and jewelry, a room filled with gifts for men, a children’s gift room, home furnishings, kitchen accents and more. Each Thursday from now until Christmas, they host a Shop and Sip from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Connect with them at www.shopfabu.com.

OAK Nashville 25 Giveaways in 25 Days December 1–25

A visionary specialty shop that opened along Charlotte Avenue in Sylvan Heights three years ago, before the West Nashville boom of boutique eateries, stores and new housing. The beautiful, carefully curated household décor featured in the store would make anyone feel very special indeed – even if you buy something just for yourself! Their 25 Giveaways in 25 Days starts Dec. 1 and runs until Christmas morning. The gift values increase every day! Follow them to see what’s new in store at www.facebook.com/OakNashville.

A wonderland for holiday shopping with many quirky, elegant, funny, artisan-made and creative gifts. Located at 4606 Charlotte Pike, they have fashions and accessories like December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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Hosted by the famous reindeer himself, Rudolph’s Red Nose Run is a fun 5K merry with runners and walkers of all ages decked out for the costume contest. Snap a picture with Rudolph and enjoy the family-friendly event with lots of holiday

Begins at 8:30 a.m., Brook Hollow Baptist Church, 678 Brook Hollow Road. A more challenging course that takes you through West Meade’s hills, proceeds help support Room in the Inn. Learn more at: www.hillyeah5k.com.   ST

December 3

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Rudolph’s Red Nose Run

Hill YEAH! 5K* Resolution Run

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there are lots of festive opportunities to actually run! Or, walk! Many are ways to give back to the community as well!

The 12South Winter WarmUp 6K and 12K race starts at Sevier Park and meanders around historic 12South. There’s a Kids 1K run, too. Celebrate your athletic achievements at the Winter Warmer Beer Festival after the race. Registration fees range from $30 to $45, which makes it on the more expensive end of holiday activities, but it benefits Hands On Nashville. 12southwinterwarmup. racesonline.com

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December 3

treats. Starts at the East Bank Landing Greenway at the Cumberland River (Nissan Stadium). Discounted registrations for early birds at www. rudolphrednoserun.com Benefits Needlink Nashville, helping financially struggling Davidson County residents meet their most basic needs.

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RUNNING AROUND . . . THAT’S GOOD FOR YOU

12South Winter WarmUp/Winter Warmer Beer Festival

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Tina J. Bembry resides in ‘’Three Cat

Cottage,’’ a charming 1958 home in Sylvan Heights, surrounded by five furry and two feathered friends—dogs Skye and Willow; cats Rogan, Sparrow and Sylvie; and parakeets Brennan and Olive. Besides pets, her passions are animal rescue, gardening, reading, thrifting, and collecting vintage hats.

Connecting People, Places, Health and Wellness, continued from page 13

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372WN.com | December 2016–January 2017

four to eight sections to better focus on the greatest need for each. Regardless of the approach, rapid development along Charlotte creates a sense of urgency. As Doyle stated, “it’s a priority in all our minds.” If you would like to become involved in the development, re-development and preservation efforts on Charlotte Avenue, contact Ryan Doyle (ryan@onec1ty.com) or Tracy Kane (tkane@dodsonparker.com).

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ULI Nashville and the Nashville Civic Design Center had researched challenges and opportunities along Charlotte, and changes were already taking place. Continuing those efforts and implementing ideas from the study “will rely on a broader group than those who have been participating to date,” Doyle said. “We need to build a coalition of all parts of the community and different organizations.” That cooperation extends to funding for projects. Both public and private sources of funding will be required to implement proposals, and Doyle believes that “ULI National will have opportunities for future investment.” With diverse neighborhoods and needs along this four-mile corridor, tying everything together will be challenging. Doyle admits it may be easier to break the corridor into

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tober, marking the point where the original grant study was completed and the real work began. According to Doyle, the team is taking the ideas and determining how to make them implementable. From there, they determine how they will be implemented, who will implement them and how they will be funded. Doyle says another big question remains: “How do we create a cohesive organization that can help map and coordinate development and re-development? (The local team) agrees there is some way to do this with an organization that exists.” That may require adding or redefining a position “to be charged with convening and managing the work,” he said, adding that the role is critical to avoid disconnected efforts and projects, while still respecting property owners’ rights. Before the grant was awarded,

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LeAnn Stephenson is a resident of Sylvan Park.


Holiday Directory

It's not too early to reserve your spot in our FREE LAPEL PIN WITH $2 PURCHA 0 SE!

Americans for Understanding t-shirts, bumper stickers, lapel pins, magnets

2017 Holiday Directory! Contact us at 372WestNashville@gmail.com for more information.

ellenparkerbibb.com December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN

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Remembering Frank

Parrish

by Naomi GOLDSTONE photos courtesy of Marie PARRISH, used with permission

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n June 2007, I moved to Kentucky Avenue and one of the first people I noticed was some strange, older white dude with an unkempt white beard, whom I would see walking in his bare feet across the street from one house to another wearing pajamas . . . and occasionally, socks. I would soon learn that pajamas were Frank Parrish’s standard uniform, no matter what time of day it was, and that he and his wife Marie lived across the street from one another in separate houses (which may be one of the secrets to their successful 47year marriage). In fact, I learned there was much more to the man than his pajama pants and socks— he was a renowned artist, neighborhood champion and West Nashville icon.

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Early Years Frank Joseph Parrish was born on Kentucky Avenue in Nashville, Tennessee, on January 4, 1940. After his parents divorced, his mother married J.J. Herman Parrish, a decorated World War II hero. As military children, Frank and his sister Judy lived in Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Benning, Georgia; and Heidelberg, Germany . . . but they always returned to Nashville and to Kentucky Avenue where their grandmother lived. He attended Cockrill Elementary and Cohn High School, and his parents gave him permission to enlist in the U.S. Navy after high school. Frank served on three aircraft carriers as the radio man for the ship, using Morse code; during one particular mission, he witnessed a plane crash into the ocean. A mechanical failure prevented the pilot from ejecting from the plane, and the Navy men did everything they could to save him. As the plane was sinking and it was clear that the pilot was going to die, Frank remained calm as the pilot’s final request was that Frank tell his wife that he loved her. Years later, Frank would recall that this was his saddest day in the military, and it became important to him to thank veterans for their service—even when they were serving during peacetime— because they were still putting their lives on the line.

Self Portrait by Frank Parrish.

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June, 1972

‘Whatever you do, do it well’ “Whatever you do, do it as well as you can,” Frank used to tell anyone who would listen. Following his military service, Frank returned to Nashville because “he wanted to get out and do other things, and Mother was ill,” his sister Judy explains. Frank continued to use Morse code, and eventually became the top operator. Each year, he competed in a Morse code competition, and year after year he would beat people so badly that they finally asked him not to participate anymore. Frank was also into ham radio and spent hours communicating with people from all around the country.


Around this same time, Frank pursued a career in art and found work with several Nashville publishing houses and several major department stores, designing fashion ads for places like CainSloan and Gus Mayer. At Photographics South, Inc., a studio he co-owned with his mother, Jacqueline, Frank designed album covers for Nashville musicians and photographed hundreds of subjects. He eventually moved to Atlanta and designed book covers for Pendulum Book Company. Shortly after his first marriage ended in divorce, Frank moved to California, a place he loved. He worked in Los Angeles as art director for Sunset West and for UCLA. At UCLA, he met Pablo Picasso, and the two worked together on one of his exhibits. When his beloved grandmother “Nannie” became ill, Frank returned to Nashville to care for her.

Frank the Artist A self-taught artist, Frank’s keen eye for beauty, composition and form was expressed in a variety of media and projects: painting, sculpture, photography, illustration, graphic design, and even gardens and landscapes. “He was always ‘doing art,’” Judy remembers. Frank painted in watercolors and acrylics, and most of his subjects were based on travel and experiences. He painted scenes from Europe, Asia, rural Tennessee and Georgia. “I think my style of watercolors is a little bit different than other people’s, because I’ve had no formal education in art,” Frank once said. “In art schools, they teach you a certain thing, and whatever it is that they teach those people, I missed it.” Unlike a lot of other artists, Frank said that he did not have a “great deal of loose water flowing around in the dish from which he painted.”

Spring Airing by Frank Parrish.

Many observers complimented Frank’s artwork for being realistic, and he said that he tried to “paint things I think other people may enjoy, and that I enjoy.” He would often drive around the city and the countryside, trying to find ideas. Frank said he usually carried his camera in the car in case he ran upon a scene that he wanted to remember to paint. He also loved to paint at night, saying that he “couldn’t paint during the daylight hours if I had to. At two in the morning, the house is quiet, my wife is quiet, my dog is quiet and the TV is quiet,” he explained. Frank could spend as long as four months on one painting and as little as three hours on another. “It’s just how everything works together,” he would say. “Some days I can fly, and others it goes real slow.” When he got tired of painting, he would just stop. “I can’t do it. I just won’t do it if I don’t feel like it,” Frank said. He worked on commission, and also sold his work through art shows, special events, and through his mother’s interior design business. Frank designed the photographic gallery and taught photography courses at Nashville Technical Institute (today called Nashville State Community College), where he made sure that his students understood that “photography is creative work.” To fulfill a longtime desire to work in metal sculpture, Frank took welding classes there, too, and won first prize in Modern Art in the 1969 Weld-O-Rama. The school displayed some of his sculptures, and some of his work remains in the atrium to this day. On April 4, 1976, Frank opened his first one-man art show in Nashville to showcase his wide range of artistic talent; it was at Art Investments Gallery on Music December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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Square West. One reviewer described Frank’s painting style as “modified romantic in character. . . . Although his careful delineations are rich in color and detail, they are not sentimental.”

Frank and the Kids of Kentucky Avenue In her eulogy to her father, BaBette Davidson said that Frank always said that he hated children, and that those who lived on Kentucky Avenue knew that was just not true. For many years, Frank and Marie would host what many called the “biggest Halloween display in West Nashville and maybe in Nashville,” she explained, with a graveyard scene, antique wooden casket (Marie served as the casket’s occupant), lights and skeletons. Hundreds of children would come by each Halloween, and for Frank, this was one of his gifts to the Nations and to West Nashville. Frank also volunteered his time to coach sports teams, build soapbox derby cars, and find ways to keep the children in his neighborhood occupied and focused. He might find small jobs for them to do or let them watch while he worked in his studio. He cared about keeping them off the streets and helping them discover new, positive ways to spend their time. Christmas was also a special holiday for Frank and the neighborhood children. He would make toys in his woodshop so that neighborhood

children would have something to open on Christmas morning. Late in the evening on Christmas Eve, Frank— with his signature white beard—would dress up as Santa Claus and walk down Kentucky Avenue and yell “Ho! Ho! Ho!” as children looked out of their windows and wondered if St. Nick was about to stop at their house.

Frank and Marie, A 47-Year Love Story Christmas Day held another special significance for Frank. While working as Cain-Sloan’s art director, Frank met and fell in love with Marie Waggoner, the production manager. “He was kind of odd-looking, because of his overall appearance,” Marie recalls. “He was real thin, had a Van Dyke moustache, which no one had back then, and he even wore Nehru collars.” After two years of dating, Frank proposed . . . but Marie wasn’t ready to marry him. She wanted to make sure he was really in love with her and not just infatuated with her.

With daughter BaBette Davidson.

Frank and Marie, Christmas Day 1969.

Eventually, Marie accepted. “I fell in love with his hands,” she explains. “Besides, all the women at Cain-Sloan were in love with him, so I figured I’d better accept his proposal before one of them got him.” Frank and Marie were married on a snowy Christmas Day in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1969, at Frank’s mother’s house. “We had to spend the night, and the next morning, Mrs. Parrish opened the door and announced—with us in bed—‘Good morning Mrs. Parrish,’” Marie remembers, laughing. “What a way to wake up on the first morning of your marriage!”

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Frank with his beloved Buster.

A Legacy

Americans for Understanding

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Though seemingly rough around the edges, Frank actually was a very kind and compassionate soul. A lifelong chess player, he collected hundreds of chess sets. He was also a self-taught and avid golfer; his golfing buddies remember him as a competitive player who usually had some colorful words to say when he missed a putt—no paintbrush required. Those who knew Frank also knew about his love for animals, including the stray cats that he cared for. He often joked that he loved his dog Jasper more than he loved people. Looking back, I’m not really sure he was joking, but it was evident he clearly loved Marie, his sister, his daughter and grandchildren, and his neighborhood. His death on July 17, 2016, at the age of 76, left Kentucky Avenue without its most famous—and infamous—character. Kentucky Avenue, the Nations, and West Nashville lost a talented artist and good friend. His indelible mark on West Nashville and in our hearts is a legacy of straighttalk, standing firm for what’s right and always, always finding beauty in the most unusual places. We’ll do our best, Frank. But we’ll always miss you.

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Joe Ryan & Kyle Moon: The Nucleus of

MEET

by Miriam DRENNAN photos by Clark THOMAS/simplePhotographs.com

There’s a tiny little tempest building deep in the James Robertson neighborhood, and it can usually be heard rehearsing in an undisclosed location on Thursday evenings. Two Robertson residents are primarily responsible: Joe Ryan and Kyle Moon, the songwriters who founded the band Atomic Solace. With obvious influences like Pearl Jam, Sublime, Dizzy Gillespie and Ben Folds, their music could almost be considered some sort of identity crisis . . . except that it’s intentional. “We’ve always had this vision: Change the world, one song at a time,” Joe explains. “So when I write, I don’t want to be restricted to a certain genre.” Talking to Joe and Kyle is a bit like talking to one’s grandparents; they finish each other’s sentences, correct each other, then re-correct each other on various points of the Atomic Solace story. And after hearing the many phases and stages of the band’s story—including the near-misses and various compositions of the group—it’s clear why this partnership remains the group’s core.

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What’s on

ATOMIC SOLACE’S Christmas list?

JOE is asking Santa for a new vocal effects pedal, success with upcoming shows and a prolific 2017.

KYLE is asking for a variety of guitar effects pedals, some awesome members to assist us in accomplishing our vision.

           ATOMIC SOLACE HOPES EVERYONE HAS A PLEASANT HOLIDAY AND ARE ABLE TO SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY AND LOVED ONES.

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Joe Ryan and Kyle Moon met in 2003 as Phi Kappa Tau brothers at Eastern Kentucky University. “Since we were both musicians, we said, ‘Hey, let’s put something together,’” Joe recalls. That “something” became a band called Solace. For several years, Solace played shows around the area, eventually catching the ear of producer Phil Weisenberger. The band moved to Georgetown, Kentucky, to record their first album, Left to Lead, an 11-song album produced by Weisenberger, which released in 2007. The album helped them secure a spot on the Crocs Next Step Campus Tour, which also included acts like One Republic and Faboulous. So at what point did Solace become Atomic? “We were on tour in 2009, which included a gig at SXSW,” Joe says. “And there was another band from New Jersey that was also called Solace. We were playing more shows by then, opening for a lot of national acts, and it became complicated.” The New Jersey-based Solace contacted the Kentucky version. “They said, ‘You guys need to change your name because we’ve been Solace since the 1990s,’” Kyle recalls. “We actually held a contest to come up with our new name,” Joe explains. “Then one of our bandmates during that time came up with the ‘Atomic’ idea, and we’ve been Atomic Solace ever since.” Coming off the mini-tour in 2009, they connected with legendary producer Eric Greedy to record their new EP in Nashville’s Java Jive Studio. The next couple of years were rather whirlwind; following a successful showcase at the Millennium Music Conference in Pennsylvania, they crammed 21 shows into a 28-day tour, released their EP and a music video, and went on another tour with Camplified Summer Camp Tour. After playing an assortment of shows in New York City, they toured the region through the first months

of 2012. “We also opened for Lit, Forever the Sickest Kids, Unknown Henson, MTV Amplified Tour, Cody Simpson, Thomas Fiss and Halfway to Hazzard.” Both enjoy maturing their music, so they lean into the challenge. “I want everyone to come to a show and find something they like,” Joe explains. “Kyle writes the same way. We take pride in not sticking to one genre, but still keeping some continuity and a solid sound that’s clearly us.” Kyle sums up their sound as “eclectic pop rock,” to which Joe adds “. . . with a conscience.” “Everything’s got a pop structure,” Kyle explains. “There’s not a lot of 20-minute drum solos or anything like that. We’ve been [in Nashville] three and half years, and new Atomic Solace members bring their own personalities to the live show. That’s been good. When you come to Nashville and expect to play, you kind of have to have your act together; so adding Nashville musicians this time around has been great. That helps our vision come to life; these musicians just pick up what we present, and that’s a level of talent and professionalism that complements our writing. “Bob Dylan once spoke about how all the songs are out there in the universe, and you’re just the vessel that brings it into existence. When we write, that’s kind of what I feel like is happening. There’s a way that song should be, and for me, the challenge is trying to make it meet that expectation . . . lots of nuances, from how the drums sound, or whether you choose this part or that part to sound a certain way. And that vision differs from song to song. You know, like, ‘Here’s the way a snare should sound in a reggae song,’ or if we’re writing something with more of a country influence, we might work on how the tambura guitar is supposed to sound.” “Coming to Nashville, I didn’t


Joe Ryan: lead singer and main songwriter Kyle Moon: lead guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter

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her we’d been looking for a house. She told us she’d been looking for someone to rent out her house, and Kyle and I just looked at each other and said, ‘Seriously?’ We knew then it was the right decision, the right time and definitely the right location. The people here in West Nashville are really inviting and friendly. It’s definitely growing tremendously, and just a great scene.” We couldn’t agree more! 2W

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Which brings us to our final point . . . how exactly did they wind up in West Nashville? “We were looking for a place, and our manager at the time was dating a woman from here who had a house available for rent,” Joe says. “She gave it to us to help us out; gave us a great deal.” “So in a way, West Nashville chose us,” Kyle adds. “Yeah, exactly,” Joe continues. “We thought it was time for us to pursue our dream here in Nashville. We’d been looking, for sure—everything was expensive, and we were frustrated. She just happened to ask what we’d been doing, and we told

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know how well we’d go over,” Joe admits. “I thought it would be so driven by country music, but the independent rock scene and sound is big here. Listening to new bands coming out of here has definitely influenced my writing a bit. I want to grasp onto the format that they’re using. Sometimes, the other members might bring ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of, and we like trying them out from time to time. We’re always open to new ideas. “The chemistry’s really good with all of us. My goal is to inspire through music. Write to the point where people are asking themselves some questions, really building them up—all of us up—to become better people. If you can do that, even with just one person, you’ve done your job.” One thing that took them pleasantly by surprise is the amount of crossover influence that occurs in Nashville’s music scene, particularly with country music—even though this is how they approach their own songwriting, “I didn’t really know much about country music until we moved here,” Kyle explains. “But learning more about Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and seeing how that permeates the indie rock scene has kind of grown on me. So many local acts I really like . . . Los Colognes is a local band I’ve gotten into, Moon Taxi, Cage the Elephant, Lazy Sunday (out of Louisville) are all really cool.” Wrapping up 2016 and looking into 2017, the band just launched a website, AtomicSolace.com, complete with new merchandise. In addition to refining their live show, they’re in the process of recording a new 11-song album, “with all new material,” Joe says. “We moved down here to strictly be an original band with original music. So we’re adamant about playing live as much as we can, hitting the local scene and maybe even booking a tour or two. We’ll see what happens.”

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Miriam Drennan is a freelance writer who lives in The Nations.

December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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by Tina BEMBRY

& Bees

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(and a few other odd assortments) QUACKING UP in CHARLOTTE PARK Andy Sahn moved into moved into the Charlotte Park neighborhood about a year ago. In the past, he’d run a small farm that included ducks. He’d always wanted to keep ducks again. “They’re really funny to watch,’’ Andy says, ‘’especially when they’re catching bugs! They jump around, bob their heads, quack—whatever one does, the others follow.’’ Andy’s four female ducks are prolific egg layers, a key feature of the Khaki Campbell breed. This English breed averages 300 eggs a year! I asked Andy about the eggs. “Duck eggs have a higher fat content than a chicken egg, so many bakers and cooks prefer them. They’re great in frittatas, omelettes, and other egg dishes.’’ His ducks roam freely in the backyard, where they have a shelter that they don’t use very often—after all, rainy weather can be a duck’s playground—and their water troughs are large enough for them to take a swim. They primarily eat a nonGMO poultry feed and really enjoy tender greens from Andy’s garden, along with free pickings from the grass and foraged bugs, all within the safe confines of a chain-link fence. Although the flock is friendly, they don’t enjoy being picked up, and they’re camera-shy, so Andy is content to watch their silly antics and enjoy the benefit of fresh, free-range eggs.

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photo courtesy of Sahn 372WN.com | Andy December 2016–January 2017

West Nashville is a great place for pets, probably because we love them so fiercely. Neighbors are always willing to help lost dogs and cats find their way home (or find a home in the first place), and pet lovers usually seem happy to offer recommendations to those who ask. Our pets aren’t just limited to the canine and feline assortment, however; as one of the last ‘urban frontiers’ in Metro, WN boasts an eclectic assortment of creatures that deserve some recognition . . . including the legendary wallaby that left our community just a short time ago, but that’s another story. We put the word out that we were looking for our oddest and our weirdest, and you all did not disappoint. Responses came back tenfold; we simply couldn’t feature them all, but we may pop a few more of these into future issues. That said, feel free to reach out at 372WestNashville@gmail.com and let us know which ones we missed—because we’re certain many have been overlooked—and let’s embrace the menagerie of cluckers, creepers, quackers, and other beloved pets that are part of WN’s fabric.

photo courtesy of Kobie and Mias Pretorius

Bwak, Bwak BWAK! Make no mistake: Chickens are a thing in West Nashville. Take a walk in any of our lovely neighborhoods and you’ll eventually hear a cluck-cluck-cluck from a nearby coop. Some have reported they’ve heard roosters crowing at dusk and dawn . . . but we will neither confirm nor deny these reports. “We have been keeping chickens for more than 20 years,” says Father Parthenios Turner of St. John Chrystostom Greek Orthodox church, located in The Nations neighborhood. He cares for chickens and tends beehives


SAVING the BEES, ONE HIVE at a TIME photos courtesy of Kobie and Mias Pretorius

in his own backyard within Sylvan Park. “They’re therapy,” he jokes. Therapy? We had to learn more. So off we went, to snoop through a few West Nashville coops. When Kobie and Mias Pretorius bought 12 chicks in 2011, they

The UT/TSU Extension provides helpful information about raising hens, and you'll find the legal requirements online, along with the permit application, at www.nashville.gov. Type “domestic hens” in the search window.

were surprised to learn that keeping chickens in Davidson County was illegal. They joined Urban Chicken Advocates of Nashville (UCANN) and celebrated the 2012 victory when the Metro Council legalized “micro-urban hen-keeping,” allowing between two and six hens per property, based on lot size. “We love having chickens!” Kobie says. So much so that Kobie, along with some friends, hosted a couple of chicken coop tours throughout Nashville. She appreciates the benefits of her small brood: “I love collecting warm, fresh eggs every day. I love having my hens around my feet when pulling weeds or working in my backyard. I love it when a neighbor peeks over the fence, and we can talk chickens!” Brittany Pharr in Sylvan Heights

Yes, some people get warm and fuzzy about the buzzy-buzzies. Kobie and Mias Pretorius caught the ‘’bug’’ to keep bees initially from an evening class at the University School of Nashville (USN) and a line in the 2009 documentary The Vanishing of the Bees that said, “The future of beekeeping is not in one beekeeper with 1,000 hives, but rather 1,000 people with one hive.” For four years, after a great start, the hives died each winter. “Many things can kill a hive— from bugs to drastic temperature changes, which are common in Nashville,’’ Kobie explained. Due to the ice storm in early 2016, they relocated their hives to USN’s river campus located at White Bridge Road and Briley Parkway, on the banks of the Cumberland, where the bees get plenty of sunshine and greater access to water and wildflowers. Kobie and Mia have passed on their love of the hives to their kids, and they are thrilled to share their passion and knowledge with USN teachers and students.

December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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The MISADVENTURES of MAIZIE photos courtesy of Ellen Parker Bibb

Not quite a squirrel, or a mouse, or a rabbit, Chinchillas belong in the ‘’cute-overload’’ pet category. Just look at Maizie, a sixyear-old female with the softest, densest gray fur; her teeny nose is surrounded by questing whiskers—and those wee front paws, oversized ears, and big black velvet eyes, are irresistible. Maizie was a special gift Ellen Parker-Bibb gave herself two weeks after her father passed. “After losing him, I wanted a pet that was sweet, cute, and comforting,’’ Ellen said. “I held one at a pet store, and fell in love.’’ Maizie loves chew toys, burrowing and hiding, and keeping an eye on everything going on at her home in Sylvan Park. She may be at her cutest at dust bath time. “She is adorable to watch,’’ Ellen agrees. “She gets on her back, scoots around, and comes out looking all bouncy and clean. Then, she sits on her back, clenches her tiny fist, and wipes her face.’’ Sometimes, the family brings her out of her cage, and she has a special safe area. One time, Ellen said, she escaped, and no one saw her for three long days! “I thought she was a goner. Then, I was in the kitchen, and I thought I saw movement. It was Maizie, hopping by to get to her food! I think she’d had enough adventure, and was ready to go home!’’

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looked into the idea three years chosen for high egg productivity. ago, and she decided to try with She enjoys the different colors some baby chicks she purchased of the eggs they lay—blues and on the Internet. (photo possibiligreens—and thinks the birds look ty-chick in cup) Her father built a cute as they enjoy grazing in the coop, and she began the learning yard. (photo possibility eggs in curve. “Chickens are a lot of fun, basket or of hens in yard). “They and they’re easy,” she says. “But are a great conversation-starter if you start with baby chicks like when I have friends over,” she said. I did, it takes special care and Brittany likes to share eggs with equipment, since they can’t yet friends and finds they are perfect regulate their own temperature.” housewarming and hostess gifts. She recommends The birds have buying juvenile been healthy, and hens from a local when a problem hatchery instead; comes up, there is at that age, she great information explained, caring online to figure for them is much out what to do. Aceasier and they’ll cording to Brittalay eggs as early as ny, hens adapt well six months of age. to natural seasons photo courtesy of Brittany Pharr “There are some and do just fine in things you need to know going the winter, as long as their water into this,” Brittany said. “If you’re doesn’t freeze. They’ll usually just getting started, you need to huddle together in their coop, out have at least two hens. They are of the wind and moisture. social and need to be part of a They do, however, need to be flock.” That said, chickens form a protected from predators such flock identity and are territorial. as opossums, raccoons, hawks, “You can’t just add an adult bird roaming dogs and cats (and your to your flock,” she continues. own pets, too), some snakes and “There is a process for the flock to even the rare fox or large owl. The accept a new member.” chickens need to be safely shut Brittany’s flock is a mix of ornainto the coop each night. mental types—these pretty birds And as Fr. Turner mentioned, are often friendlier than the types there may be some therapeutic

photo courtesy of Brittany Pharr

372WN.com | December 2016–January 2017


benefits to having them, too. Nations resident Troy Jacobs lives in a home that was built in 1908, and has been in his family since The Great Depression. Troy will tell you that he counts his blessings when he counts his chickens. His stepdaughter was struggling with social interactions and even coming out of the house; as soon as Troy brought his first chickens home, she lit up. She read up on different varieties, befriended the young chicks and started to hang out with them in the yard hours each day. “She now has a nightly ritual with them,” Troy laughed. “They follow her up into the coop to go to bed. She plays ball

GARGANTUAN TARANTULAS

photo courtesy of Brittany Pharr

Tim Ulrich’s two tarantulas are about the size of a hand. And very hairy. “They’re so big, they don’t really seem like spiders," he explains. Aragog, named for the SpiKumonga, der King in the Har- photo courtesy of Tim Ulrich ry Potter series, is a six-year-old Chilean Rose Hair. The generally docile variety is popular for new owners. Aragog’s photo courtesy of Andrea van Veggel skin and hair are a metallic rose. Depending on the breed, males may not live long once they reach full maturity, which Aragog is nearing. Kumonga is a Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula named after the giant spider in the 1967 Japanese horror movie, Son of Godzilla. "She’’ was only the size of a dime when Tim’s brother bought her for his birthday at Repticon. It takes many molts (shedding exoskeleton) before an expert can tell a spider’s gender, but Tim thinks it’s likely that Kumonga is a female. Incidentally, tarantulas can replace internal organs, such as stomach lining, and can even regrow lost legs, during the molting process. Tim enjoys watching his pets, but he doesn’t have a strong emotional bond with them. Andrea van Veggel, however, has found room in her heart . . . and a room in her house. When she was in high school, her boyfriend gave her a tarantula. Now, Andrea has a spider room housing around 50 adults. Her knowledge dazzles; she even breeds them and sells to other hobbyists, breeders and dealers. “I’ve named some that I’ve had for a long time,’’ she laughs, “and I’m fond of them. They do a happy dance when they’re fed, and they are pretty much the easiest pet.’’ And while their habitats are clean, “you do have to pick up the exoskeletons of Kumonga, their prey.’’ photo courtesy of Tim Ulrich

photo courtesy Troy Jacobs

December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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photo courtesy of Kobie and Mias Pretorius

Brittany Pharr holds a feathered friend. Tina J. Bembry resides in ‘’Three Cat

Cottage,’’ a charming 1958 home in Sylvan Heights, surrounded by five furry and two feathered friends—dogs Skye and Willow; cats Rogan, Sparrow and Sylvie; and parakeets Brennan and Olive. Besides pets, her passions are animal rescue, gardening, reading, thrifting, and collecting vintage hats.

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If they have some grassy areas to roam part of the day, that supplements their feed. Troy said, “I also keep a patch of damp earth for them in the yard in the summer. They really like it!” He is a wealth of knowledge about raising hens naturally, using garlic to help with respiratory health, pumpkin seeds as a regular wormer and herbs to keep the nests fresh. He is proud of how clean his eggs are straight from the hens. “The cleaner the egg is, the healthier the hen is. And you can tell they eat a high-protein diet, because their shells are thick and the yolks are tall and deep in color.” Brittany Pharr, Kobie Pretorius and Troy Jacobs are happy to share tips and suggestions. If you would like to reach them, or you’d like to ask Troy about building a coop, email tjbembry@gmail.com.

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with them, and they eat out of her hands.” (hopefully photo possibility) He shook his head, wondering at the difference the birds have made. He admits that he pored over Pinterest how-tos for many hours to come up with an 8-ft. x 10-ft. hutch that is truly beautiful, and customized for the health and longevity of his flock. (photo possibility of completed hutch) He crafted a clean watering system and feeder, excellent protection from bad weather, roomy brooding tubs and even an Alpine touch from the green siding rooftop. Now, he makes hutches to supplement his disability income. There are a few parts to a coop—the ground level is called a “run,” it is screened in with chicken wire and includes a box for the chickens to have a dust bath. There is a “roost”—usually, a wooden rod the chickens can snooze on. This is where you’ll usually find them waiting out bad weather. And there are “nesting boxes,” where the hens lay eggs. The boxes Troy uses are simple plastic washing tubs that can be lifted out, making them easy to keep clean. He keeps a white golf ball in each nest, a trick to help the young hens begin to lay regularly.

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HELPING THEM FIND THEIR WAY

HOME by Becky CARTER

would likely never have the ability to hang lost signs or go online.” In addition to the above, file a report with Metro Animal Control and the Nashville Humane Association to let them know you have found the animal. These are the first places an owner is likely to look, and the reports can be filed online via the organizations’ respective websites. Finally, don’t be afraid to take the animal to Metro Animal Control (MACC). This is the most likely place an owner will go to search for a lost pet. Three days is the typical time an owner spends looking for their pet, so the sooner MACC is made aware, the sooner they can be reunited. I have worked with MACC and the Humane Association to reunite several dogs and cats with owners. They are patient, helpful and typically, have seen it all. A good friend of mine said it isn’t so bad to find your lot in life. The lost pets and strays of West Nashville seem to cross the paths of many who care and want to help . . . so take the steps outlined above, share them with others, and let’s help them find their way home. S

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previous abuse. Always assume they are lost until you have exhausted the possibilities. So what are these possibilities? For starters, take the animal to a nearby veterinarian’s office, humane association, or animal control to scan for a microchip. No appointment is needed, just walk in and tell them you need to have the animal scanned for a chip. Microchips (or “chips”) have helped prove that lost dogs can go far, fast and they help reunite pets quickly and even sometimes years after they have gone missing. Thankfully chips are becoming a much more popular way to reunite pets with owners. The chip is typically placed between the shoulders blades on the back of the dog and when scanned can provide all the information needed to make a reunion. Jack Kitsch administers the Skippy Lou Lost and Found Pets Facebook page, and says the number one way to help get a pet home is to post signs. “Even though we have a lot of online mediums like Facebook, Craigslist and lost and found pet websites for reuniting pets, a large majority of our population who lose or find pets are either never going to know about the pages or just don’t have internet access,” Jack explains. “You can’t beat good old-fashioned road signs for reuniting pets. On my lost and found pages, we see a lot of pets reunited through signs, especially with pets owned by senior citizens who

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est Nashvillians love their pets and we’re in no shortage of dogs and cats. Since moving to The Nations, nearly three years ago, I estimate that I have helped reunite and rescue more than fifty dogs and trapped, fixed and released more than thirty. Each one has been unique; and while getting everyone home again takes many different paths, the basics tend to remain the same. Quite often, the dogs especially seem to find me. They run in front of my car, sleep on my lawn or follow me home. Just this morning, I was shopping at Kroger on Charlotte and a grey pup whizzed past me as I was headed for check-out. Employees were trying to round her up to take her back outside, but the automatic doors made coming back inside easy and fun! I had a leash in my car and told them I would be right back. In just a few minutes with a leash, a purchased pack of bologna and the help from staff, we managed to spoil her fun and put her safely in the back of my car. The hardest part about rescue is remembering that a found dog or cat is, in fact, usually a lost dog or cat. It is easy to let yourself create a story for an animal you just found, but truthfully, collars can slip off and they can get dirty quickly. A lost dog can act very differently outside of its normal comfort zone when it is under stress, the cower or reaction may be just caution—not

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Becky Carter is a nonprofit professional.

She is originally from Colorado, but set down roots in Nashville four years ago as a neighbor in the Nations community. When not hanging out with her dog, two cats or six foster dogs, Becky can be found volunteering with animal rescue or enjoying Nashville. You can reach her on Twitter at @Becky1780 or via her animal rescue page on Facebook at Facebook.com/ BarneysBackyard.

December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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372WestNosh

by Naomi

GOLDSTONE

Think you have to travel to another part of the city for a good breakfast, lunch, dinner or evening cocktail? Regardless of your preference or palate, West Nashville’s got you covered. Whether we’ve driven by them a hundred times or just spotted a new one we want to try, 372WestNosh is committed to eating and drinking our way through the West side . . . in the name of fair reporting and happy tummies, of course.

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endell’s Restaurant is a family-friendly breakfast (and meat & three) diner with a down-home vibe. Opened in 1952 on the corner of Charlotte and Morrow Road, Wendell’s is perhaps best known for its “good fresh food and great cooks,” according to its website. “We keep it the same. I don’t have to be like the new restaurants to keep up with the trends and the newest diets,” says Benji Cook, the third-generation owner of the restaurant. “I’m thankful people come here for the same thing.” Cook says that the most popular breakfast items are the bacon and eggs, sausage and eggs, and the country ham, which is a generous piece. Wendell’s also serves biscuits and gravy, and they make their own sausage gravy from scratch every morning. “None of that prepackaged stuff,” Cook says. “In fact, most of the food we serve here is made from scratch.” There are many regulars who dine at Wendell’s, and Cook greets many of them by name. His employees do, too; many of the servers have worked there for several years, and

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the cook's been there for 25. When asked how gentrification of the neighborhood has changed Wendell’s, Cook says that it really hasn’t. “We do have a few more ‘hip’ customers who come to Wendell’s because it’s seen as a cool place, but we still serve a lot of blue-collar folks because the food and the service—and the prices—are still the best in Nashville.” The décor is understated and welcoming, down to the wood paneling

on the walls. This is the place to get a freshly made breakfast of country ham, scrambled eggs, grits and biscuits with strawberry jelly for a reasonable price. Then, come back later for your banana pudding or homemade pie fix. HOURS: 6 a.m.–7:30 p.m., Monday–Saturday CREDIT CARDS: Yes, all types RESERVATIONS: No


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n Annex Avenue near the Nashville West Shopping Center, and across from the Publix on Charlotte Avenue, Hillwood Pub is a non-smoking restaurant/bar that serves “meat and three every weekday and great pub food nightly.” From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, Hillwood Pub features a daily lunch menu—Monday: Chicken Fried Chicken; Tuesday: Fried Pork Loin & White Pepper Gravy; Wednesday: Meatloaf & Brown Gravy; Thursday: Openfaced Roast Beef Sandwich with Gravy; and Friday: All-You-Can-Eat Catfish. For in/around seven bucks, you can select from “Meat & 2,” a “Meat & 3,” or a Veggie Plate. The regular menu has a wide variety of choices, including appetizers, soups, salads, pizzas, burgers, wraps and pasta. There is also a different dinner special every night. If you’re looking for a weekend brunch spot, Hillwood Pub serves it up from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. They serve homemade cheddar-and-pepper hash browns; made-from-scratch biscuits with sausage and gravy; make-your-own omelettes; and waffles, among other brunch menu items. They also offer two-for-one Bloody Marys, mimosa buckets and 100-ounce mimosa towers. “It’s probably the best-kept secret in town,” General Manager Chuck Hammond says. Hillwood Pub has a smoker on-site, and they cut their own meats. Their Spicy BBQ wings and their chili are absolutely delicious, so it should come as no surprise that each has won an award (2014 Nashville Hot Wing Festival and

2015 Nashville Chili Cook-off at Yazoo Brewery, respectively). Just about everything you order is prepared from scratch, including the dipping sauces for those award-winning wings. There’s patio seating outdoors and ample tables inside, along with 10 flat-screen televisions—all set to sports channels—evenly spaced throughout the restaurant. The restaurant “gets a lot of people who have moved here from other places,” Hammond explains. “We carry all of the major sports packages so that fans will choose us when they want to watch their favorite team play on television.” To that end, there’s a full bar and a wide variety of craft and domestic

beers: 16 taps, with about half of them dedicated to local breweries and rotated on a weekly basis. Happy hour is 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and they offer twofor-one drafts, $4 well wine, and twofor-one Ole Smoky Moonshine. The Ole Smoky Moonshine special also runs during University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt and MTSU football and basketball games. HOURS: 11 a.m.–11:45 p.m., Monday–Thursday 11 a.m.–1 a.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.–11:45 p.m., Sunday CREDIT CARDS: Yes, all types RESERVATIONS: No

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ronounced "ah-vo" like in avocado, Avo is in the relatively new OneC1TY development at 3000 Charlotte Ave. “We wanted to bring a healthy option to West Nashville since the East side seemed to be where people went for vegan and vegetarian food,” says General Manager Vanessa Antonino. She explains that in order to bring Nashvillians the healthiest foods on the planet, Avo works with “sustainable businesses

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we ordered was fantastic, and Avo made this meat-loving writer a believer that vegan and/or vegetarian food can really be good and tasty and filling. HOURS: 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Monday– Saturday HAPPY HOUR: 2–5 p.m. and 8–9 p.m. CREDIT CARDS: Yes, all types RESERVATIONS: Yelp! and call restaurant

HOURS: 4:30–9 p.m., MondayThursday 4:30–10 p.m., Friday and Saturday Closed Sunday HAPPY HOUR: 4:30–7 p.m. weekdays CREDIT CARDS: Yes, all types

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f you’re looking for “farm fresh and local ingredients” with an Italian flair, you’ll want to stop at Fifty-First Kitchen & Bar for happy hour or for supper. On the corner of 51st Avenue North and Illinois Avenue in The Nations neighborhood, Fifty-First Kitchen & Bar is a “traditional small-plate restaurant,” Operations Manager Wilton Belk says. Friendly, cozy and welcoming, the folks who run Fifty-First Kitchen & Bar want you to “step into our restaurant and feel like you’ve stepped into a friend’s house,” General Manager Angel Lyle says. “We want you to order lots of little things and eat as if you’re at a friend’s table.” The roasted pumpkin gnocchi is a popular fall menu item, or you might order the Porcini Pappardelle or the Gulf Red Snapper. You can pair your small plate with one of Fifty-First Kitchen & Bar’s signature cocktails. The Hoo-man-doo (bourbon, Cathead Hoodoo chicory liquor, Cynar and lime) is very popular, as is their Lonely Lemonade (Cathead honeysuckle vodka, sage simple syrup, lemon, pepper). The bartender will create a drink for you, and they also have a wide selection of bottled and on-tap beers. On Wednesdays during the fall,

from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Fifty-First Kitchen & Bar offers Jazz on the Patio. “We wanted to utilize how beautiful Nashville’s fall is and how nice the space is,” Lyle says. During the winter months, Fifty-First Kitchen & Bar will offer the restaurant for more private events. “We’re such a small restaurant, and it’s so beautiful,” Lyle says. “It’s just far enough from downtown that if you want to book your company party, you can still get the downtown feel without having to go downtown.” Chef Francisco Vito also will create a special menu for private events. Happy hour runs from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily, and they feature vodka from Cathead Distillery. “One dollar of every bottle that Cathead sells goes to a music charity in Mississippi,” says Lyle, “so with us doing live music on Wednesdays, it seemed appropriate to feature them.”

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and local farms to secure the finest plant-based ingredients.” Opened initially as a vegan and raw restaurant, Avo has slightly revamped their menu (and their kitchen) to include some cooked options and a few items that contain gluten. The menu is still plant-based, and they do not use any processed ingredients. Most items are dairy- and egg-free, and the full bar is vegan. “We avoided everything with animal products,” Antonino says, “so the offerings are organic, biodynamic, gluten-free and/or additive-free.” Avo is nestled inside a recycled shipping container—in fact, all of the businesses in the C1TYblox are in what were once shipping containers—but you could never tell once you are inside. The décor is inviting, the music is calming, the tables are well decorated and the restaurant smells amazing. You can also watch one of several volleyball games outside while you wait for your food. The server was incredibly knowledgeable and steered us to the Avo Margarita, Avo’s signature cocktail that Antonino describes as “fun and popular and refreshing.” It was absolutely delicious. For appetizers, we ordered the Kimchi Spring Roll, which comes with a wonderful Thai almond sauce, and the Oyster Mushroom Tartare. For our main meal, I ordered more Kimchi Spring Rolls, and my friend ordered the Smashed Avocado Toast. Everything

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by Miriam DRENNAN

WEEDEATERS only YOU have to know it’s yard clippings

West Nashvillians are known for their resourcefulness, so it only makes sense that we start Nashville’s yard-to-table movement! We’re not talking lawn-on-a-plate here; these are easy, delicious creations with lots of good-for-yas, dishes that’ll fit your budget and impress your dinner guests. Only you have to know it came from your yard clippings. PURSLANE KOOTU

CAUTION: Be careful where you pick! Avoid weeds that have been treated.

3 large bunches purslane, chopped coarsely, including stems (give stem base, attached to the root, to chickens or compost it)

PURSLANE

2 1-inch pieces of ginger, peeled 4 garlic cloves, peeled 4 chilies (red or green, leave seeds based on your heat preference) 1 cup cilantro, packed 2 tsp. mustard seeds 2 tsp. dry black lentils 1 tsp. turmeric powder 2 Tbsp. olive oil Salt, to taste 2 tsp. tapioca flour or chickpea flour (roasted gram)

Purslane is succulent that’s drought- and heat-tolerant. And it’s everywhere—sidewalk cracks, pathways—no doubt you’ll find it bullying your vegetables . . . but only because it wants some attention. The stuff is packed with nutrition, after all, and wants its due diligence. Consider that it contains: • Six times more Vitamin E than spinach • High levels of Vitamins A and C • Seven times more betacarotene and 14 times more Omega-3s than carrots; in fact, more Omega-3s than any greens (possibly more than even fish oil)

Boil six teaspoons of water by microwaving in microwave-safe dish. Cook lentils by adding them to the boiling water and simmering/soaking for about ten minutes, still in the microwave. While they cook, us a food processor or blender to grind ginger, garlic, chilies and cilantro into a smooth paste (you can add a bit of water if you like). In a large pan, heat oil on medium-low and add mustard seeds and lentils until they splutter and turn golden brown. Add the greens, turmeric powder and cook covered until the greens are done. Add both the ground paste and salt to taste/heat preference, and cook for additional two minutes. Remove from heat and add the flour. Serve immediately.

• High levels of iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, copper and calcium. It goes particularly well with tomatoes and cucumbers, so if you’re the type who throws mint leaves in your salads, try subbing with purslane leaves. Others throw it in bone broth soup, as it’s believed to help with gastro-intestinal and joint ailments. When harvested in the morning, purslane will have more bite; in the afternoon or evening, less so.

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The following recipe is a variation from the traditional Indian side dish. It’s an easy recipe to tinker with and difficult to mess up, so commence pickin’, y’all! AZ

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Help us start a yard-to-table movement! Send the Weedeaters a recipe or idea: 372WestNashville@gmail.com. S

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Affordable Housing in Nashville, continued from page 17

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who currently resides in The Nations and teaches public elementary school students about technology. Connect at http://about. me/scottmerrick.

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Scott Merrick is a West Nashville native

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should cease supporting efforts to help achieve it. We might feel better about increasing tax payments, should they come, if we were more certain that substantial portions of taxes collected will help those in dire need of a predictable roof over their heads. WE

self-contained accommodations adjacent or attached to an existing property; and rejecting the idea that rapid rehousing (through temporary subsidies) will solve the problems. Affordable housing may be out of reach for many in Nashville, but that doesn’t mean any of us

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December 2016–January 2017 | 372WN.com

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372Who kNew? Name: What’s your relationship to West Nashville? How long have you been here? Favorite thing about West Nashville? Favorite food? color? drink? dessert? hobby? Where will you be on Friday night? Dog or cat? Mustard or mayonaise? Mountains or beach? Dream occupation when you were five? What’s your hidden talent? What’s your superpower? What excites you about West Nashville?

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372WN.com | December 2016–January 2017


Celebration Hall is Now Open. CP3: Family Legacy (West Harpeth)

As long standing members of the community, we are approached often about providing a comfortable gathering space with hospitality service for families, civic groups, friends, or memorials and life tributes.

We designed “Celebration Hall” for you. If you’re planning a gathering, consider reaching out to us. Celebration Hall is a comfortable venue to enjoy food, beverages, and modern amenities. Most importantly, it’s a space to create lasting memories.

We would be happy to serve you and create a memorable experience for you and your friends, family, and colleagues.

Call today for more information.

615-352-9400

CELEBRATE LIFE. REMEMBER FOREVER.™

Michael Illobre Funeral Home Manager

©LeapTie

6962 Charlotte Pike Nashville, TN 37209


372wn vol i, issue 1  

Dec 2016-Jan2017 (our premiere issue!)

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