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Editor and Publisher MIRIAM DRENNAN

Creative Consultant EVELYN MARIE PARRISH

Historian YVONNE EAVES

Copy Editor JENNIFER GOODE STEVENS

Senior Contributor NAOMI GOLDSTONE

Contributors CARLY BROWNING

CHRIS CLANCY

YVONNE EAVES

DENISE DAWES VON KIZER

HANNAH HERNER

MARC LYON

RICK MATHIS

Art Direction and Design ELLEN PARKER-BIBB

Photographers WILLIAM DESHAZER WARNER TIDWELL

Promotion and Publicity SUZANNE ISRAEL

Distribution DON GAYLORD

Advertising Account Manager LANE ABERNATHY

COVER Marsh Picnic

by CHARLIE McALISTER Advertising Inquiries: 615.491.8909 or 372WestNashville@gmail.com. @372WN

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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. II, ISSUE 3 | April–May 2018

MAIN FEATURE 6

Climate Change: What It Is, How It Affects Us and the Politics of It All

CURRENT HAPPENINGS 12 West Nashville’s Watershed Moment 18 Musicians Corner: Musician-approved, Fan-approved 26 The Five Best Camping Spots 36 Celebrate Spring in West Nashville

FEATURES 32 “See How We Run”: Achilles International-Nashville Chapter 42 Whatever Happened to Reno Riggins? 48 Saluting the Sun and Mother Earth: White Bridge Auto Wash Cleans Up 54 The New Shops and Complicated History of West Nashville’s Railroads

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S TA R T Y O U R D AY AT T H I S T L E FA R M S !

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by Hannah HERNER

According to NASA, the Earth’s average surface temperature has risen about two degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century, and the changes have been especially rapid since 1950. The American Medical Association, American Chemical Society, American Physical Society and a number of other reputable organizations agree. Scientific journals report that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree that it is extremely likely that these changes in temperature, and therefore climate, are due to human activity. But the discussion of climate change often covers much more than simply scientific evidence as people decide what to do—or not do—about it.

April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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WHICH IS IT: GLOBAL WARMING OR CLIMATE CHANGE? Jonathan Gilligan, co-author of Beyond Politics and associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, and civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University says the two terms are interchangeable. Scientifically, global warming refers to average temperature, while climate change looks at rainfall, heatwaves, numbers of storms and other aspects of the weather. However, a rise in global temperature changes all of the other elements of climate. “It’s very rare—even among scientists—that we get that picky. We generally just use the two terms the same,” Gilligan says.

A REFRESHER ON THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT The greenhouse effect is a concept that’s probably fresh in the mind of high school students—it’s a science requirement in Tennessee. Scientists think this phenomenon is the main culprit for global warming. There are gases in the air that prevent heat from the sun from escaping, causing the lower atmosphere to warm. The trapping of this heat, which subsequently warms the Earth, is known as the greenhouse effect. Some of the gases are there naturally, others are put there by humans, and some both. The one that scientists are most concerned about is carbon dioxide (CO2). We exhale the gas into the air constantly and it also comes from volcanic eruptions, but deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And since the Industrial Revolution, people have increased the concentration of it in the atmosphere by more than a third1. Carbon dioxide is the main cause of the heat-trapping greenhouse effect.

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WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS? According to NASA, the rise in global temperature has caused glaciers to melt, raising sea levels by eight inches since 1880. The level is projected to rise as much as four more feet by 2100. Due to atmospheric differences, global warming affects areas of the country and the world at varying degrees. Overall, however, there have been 2.25 high temperature records set for every one low temperature record in the past year, according to data by the University Corporation for Academic Research and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In the 1950s, there was 1.09 high temperature record set for every 1 low temperature record. “You wouldn’t judge whether or not the U.S. economy is getting stronger or weaker based on one stock on one day, so it’s silly to judge whether the global climate is getting warmer based on the temperature of one city on one day,” says Michael Vandenbergh, director of Climate Change Research Network at Vanderbilt and co-author of Beyond Politics.

HOW IS TENNESSEE AFFECTED? According to an Environmental Protection Agency report published in August 2016, Tennessee has not warmed as much in the last century as other states due to the natural cycles and sulfates in the air. Sulfates are air pollutants that actually reflect some sunlight back into space, but new regulations are curtailing sulfate emissions. The Southeastern part of the country may be less affected by temperature change, but it is more affected by flooding. According to the report, the amount of precipitation released by heavy storms has increased by 27 percent since 1958. Climate change can have positive and negative effects on agriculture. More carbon dioxide in the air and longer frost-free growing seasons can increase yields in many crops. On the other hand, especially in the western half of Tennessee there will be 15 to 30 more days with temperatures above 95 degrees by 70 years from now. This can decrease yields—especially corn and soybeans—as well as decrease productivity of dairy farms. Gilligan says that a lot of effects of global warming will not become apparent until much later, but some things we will see in our lifetime. He predicts, and the EPA report backs up, that in the next 20 years, the number of days with dangerously hot temperatures will be much greater — the types of days where kids and the elderly have to stay inside to avoid being overheated. He says this will especially affect sports practices and the way people experience the summer in Nashville.


WHERE POLITICS GET INVOLVED Through their recently published book Beyond Politics, Gilligan and Vandenbergh seek to show that whether you’re moderate, conservative or libertarian, there are things you can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow down the effects of global warming. “We can’t expect people who are skeptical about whether the climate is changing to change their view just based on new information about weather,” Vandenbergh says. “And that’s because their view isn’t really based on information about weather. It’s based on their worldview.” Vandenbergh says people let their views of government intervention on the issue of climate change influence the way they look at the issue as a whole. A Gallup poll published in January 2017 shows that 67 percent of Americans believe that big government is the country’s biggest threat, when asked to choose among big government, big business and big labor. “There is no reason to not believe in climate change just because you fear big government,” Vandenbergh says. “In fact, if you don’t like the idea of a big, strong, intrusive government, the best thing you can do is aggressively use the private sector to reduce carbon

if you don’t like the idea of a big, strong, intrusive government, the best thing you can do is aggressively use the private sector to reduce carbon emissions now emissions now to avoid the risk that we’ll need a bigger, more intrusive government response in the future.” When President Trump made the decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement in June, discussion of climate change came to the surface worldwide, including at the local government level. Signed in 2015, the Paris Agreement is a pact made by 195 countries that agreed to work toward a goal of slowing the rate

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of global warming. Republican Congressman Diane Black, who serves areas just east of Nashville from Hendersonville to Crossville, has previously expressed agreement with the president’s move. She declined to

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be interviewed for this story. Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper, who serves Nashville and areas west, out to Dickson, expressed disagreement with the United States pulling out of the Paris Agreement. He says what in-

forms his views on climate change the most is scientific discoveries. He also thinks it is important to find the most cost-effective way to address the issue. He says that it should not necessarily up to government policy, but up to people


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In his studies, Gilligan looks at how small changes from individuals can add up to large changes in carbon emissions. He says many of the changes he recommends can save individual households money, as well. Adding better insulation in the home and buying more energy-efficient heaters and air conditioners cost upfront but will save on electricity bills in the long run. It also saves on the amount of fossil fuels that need to be burned to produce that electricity, thus lessening carbon emissions. “We think the biggest misconception is that the only way to think about climate change is to

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WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO ABOUT IT?

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Gilligan says companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple are insisting on renewable power when choosing locations for centers around the U.S., making the private sector the main driver for renewable power. It only makes sense from an economic standpoint for Nashville to try and keep up with these companies’ renewable power demands, he says. “If communities like Nashville want to be competitive for the best, high-tech companies, they can’t ignore the carbon footprint of their grid,” Gilligan says. “They have to be willing to offer renewable power.” Transitioning to renewable power will affect those employed by more

ask, ‘What can the government do to solve it?’ And we say, sure the government can be part of it but the most important thing is to think, ‘What can anybody do?’” Gilligan says. For example, Gilligan and Vandenbergh worked with automotive engineers to find that if a car will be idling for more than 30 seconds, it’s actually better for the engine to turn it off and turn it back on. Letting the car run for a longer period of time contaminates motor oil and is hard on the spark plugs, while emitting more carbon. This practice saves on gas, too. “A lot of people think that anything that’s going to be effective for solving climate change has to be one big thing that is done all around the world, and that one thing has to solve the problem,” Gilligan says. “It’s not about one silver bullet that’s going to solve the problem, it’s really about lots of smaller things. Those things can add up to something big.” H

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traditional modes of energy production, and Vandenbergh says there is a moral obligation to help those displaced. But it is also important to make changes in energy generation that can be viable for the next couple 100 years. “Imagine that in 1900, in order to protect the horse breeding business, we had decided to suppress the building of the roads and automobiles. Where would the United States to be today?” he says.

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to do their part in being energy efficient and companies to work to find sources of energy that are cleaner and cheaper. “For some people, environmentalism is almost a religion," he says. "And I think that’s a mistake, because I think views should be science-based, and economics plays a big role. We all might have our own favorite technology, but it’s got to be affordable.”

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Hannah Herner is an alternative music

fan, tap dancer and a Jeni’s ice cream enthusiast. Source: https://climate.nasa.gov/causes/

Two decades of Quality Renovations and New Construction in 37209 Visit westnashvilleliving.com for listings.

April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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WEST NASHVILLE’S

Watershed Moment written and photographed by Marc

LYON

The Draining Effects of Urbanization

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Urbanization is breaking our watersheds. Watersheds are much like

bowls, with rainwater flowing from the highest ridge to a stream at the bottom,” says Monette Rebecca, scientist and founding director of Richland Creek Watershed Alliance. “The Richland Creek watershed has been hit hard. Preventive and restorative efforts, along with abatement projects, need to continue.” A watershed, properly defined, is any land area that drains into a given body of water. Watersheds can range from a well-manicured lawn to the rugged, forested terrain of a rolling hillside. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has identified 55 large watersheds (basins) across the state, and Davidson County is part of the Cumberland River Basin. Protecting the watersheds can start as small as a homeowner’s backyard, especially when it comes to managing the water that drains into streams and rivers, Rebecca says. Another way to think about a watershed is as a natural sponge and sieve. The underground aquifers—along with trees, shrubs, bushes, wild plants and other surface vegetation—serve as speed bumps and filtering agents that sift out pollutants from the water. When the watershed’s land areas are diminished or eliminated by human activity and development, rainwater falls on roofs, roads, parking lots and construction sites. From those, it flows into creeks and rivers at a faster rate, which erodes banks, alters steam channels and damages aquatic habitats. Higher volumes of water flow into the city’s storm drainage system, requiring it to perform at or beyond its limits. This means more pollutants, such as motor oil, chemical fertilizers, silt and others, are entering streams and rivers.


Watersheds are vitally important to the health and safety of our environment, and scientists who study and monitor them say Nashville’s rapid development and growing population are threatening the region’s natural water collecting network.

Stream buffer at McKay's Used Books

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Richland Creek flows 13 miles north from its starting point in Forest Hills—through Green Hills, Belle Meade, and the heart of West Nashville—into the Cumberland River. The Cumberland River flows into the Ohio River, which empties into the Mississippi River. The rapid development in West Nashville over the past decade has meant a shrinking of the permeable watershed surface area. Ridges, hillside forests, vacant properties and lowlands once thought unsuitable for development have been transformed into hilltop condominiums, tall tiny houses, large apartment complexes and expanding shopping centers. Metro Codes Department data shows that more than 430 residential demolition permits were issued (plus many other construction permits) in The Nations and Charlotte Park areas between September 2014 and September 2017. That number ranked first among all the residential areas in Nashville—topping even 12 South-Waverly and Green Hills. During the first two months of 2018, the codes depart-

Retention pond at McKay's

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ment has issued more than 70 residential demolition permits—nearly half of them for residential structures in 37209 and 37215—through which Richland Creek flows. “We are at a watershed moment due to rapid growth,” says Dan Fitzgerald, director of watershed science and restoration for the Harpeth Conservancy (formerly called the Harpeth River Watershed Association). Fitzgerald’s organization monitors and studies watersheds and water resources across the state. Richland Creek has been designated as “impaired” by TDEC, which means humans and wildlife are threatened by human activities in the watershed. A TDEC study indicates Richland Creek’s impaired status is due to a higher presence of nutrients (pollutants) that cause algae to grow, and to excess sediment that chokes wildlife habitats. The pollutants come with the higher volume storm water runoff from developed land, and the sediment runs off of construction sites where bare earth is exposed to pelting rains. Secondary sources of pollution include random sewer failures and unpermitted or illicit discharges. Rebecca says many of the creeks and streams running through urban areas are impaired. “Urban waterways face unique [water quality] challenges . . . due to their proximity and use by human populations,” says Kim Schofinski, spokeswoman for TDEC. “While TDEC does not have data from every urban stream in Tennessee, it is

Top: Traditional paved (impervious) parking surface does not absorb rapid water run off. Below: New parking lot at Percy Warner golf course includes porous surface.

true that many have been impacted by pollutants in runoff such as nutrients or pathogens, or by physical alterations.” In 2016, Metro Water Services revised its storm water management regulations for home builders and developers, adding requirements for reducing water runoff and strengthening single-family residential infill requirements. “The updated regulations minimize the impact on the environment and storm water runoff,” says Rebecca Dohn, low-impact development and sustainability coordinator for Metro Water Services. “Metro’s updated regulations surrounding new construction permits and TDEC made low-impact development (LID) mandatory for most development sites starting in February of 2016,” she adds. “Unfortunately, much of the development in the Richland Creek Watershed occurred prior to [even the earlier] storm water regulations being in place—2012. Many areas


are in need of additional stormwater infrastructure and/or improvements to existing infrastructure in order to adequately and properly convey stormwater,” says Sonia Allman, Metro Water spokeswoman. “Phase one of the Sylvan Park area project (new storm water structures, including curb and gutter for improved drainage plus a new water main for improved water pressure), completed in 2016, was done for this purpose. Similar work is being done throughout Davidson County as needs are defined and funding is available.” Healthy, undisturbed watersheds work free of charge, says Dan of the Harpeth Conservancy. “The most affordable collector of rain water is the watershed. Watersheds do not come with a price tag. The work they perform does not carry a cost,” he says. While Metro Nashville water officials have strengthened regulations in recent years to protect and restore water bodies and watersheds, the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency appears to be taking a step backward. In January, the Trump administration formally suspended (for up to two years) a major Obama-era clean water regulation. The Waters of the United States rule had been scheduled for implementation in 2018. It would have limited the use of pollutants, like chemical fertilizers, that run off into small streams. The rule is designed to limit pollution in about 60 percent of the nation’s bodies of water. Farmers, ranchers and real estate developers oppose it as an infringement on their property rights. With newer LID requirements in place, the Richland Creek Watershed Alliance is urging Metro officials to prevent further degradation to local habitats. “We would like to see more contemplative decisions in consideration of future permits in the Richland Creek watershed, to

mitigate the recent growth that occurred before the mandatory LID requirements were enacted,” Rebecca says. “We need to protect Richland Creek and prevent further degradation to the aquatic wildlife and its habitat.” “The most effective way of preventing damage to local streams,

creeks and rivers is by protecting and preserving our natural watershed areas,” Dan adds. “Whatever we do in our own yards and neighborhoods—plus how we handle future development—is vital to preserving and protecting our watersheds.” McKay’s Used Books in West Nashville is one business that took

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• Limit use of fertilizers. Follow instructions regarding amount of fertilizer that should be used for your size property. • When repairing or replacing your driveway, install a porous surface. • Become engaged in a community organization that informs and educates on maintaining healthy watersheds and water bodies.

In Your Neighborhood • Work with your neighborhood association to develop a water conservation and clean environment checklist that you invite your neighbors to follow. • Learn more about what agencies such as Storm Water Management, Planning and Zoning, and Building Codes do to protect your neighborhood’s watersheds.

In the Community • Establish a Building Permit Review Group.

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• Dispose of chemicals properly. Do not pour chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil or paint into the drain or toilet. (Two Metro recycling centers that accept used chemicals, motor oil and antifreeze: 943 Dr. Richard Adams Drive and 3254 Ezell Pike.)

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steps to reduce water runoff when it opened its new location six years ago. McKay’s was founded 35 years ago in North Carolina with the goal of recirculating reusable resources—buying, selling and trading used books, CDs, movies, games, and electronics. From one tiny used book store, McKay’s has grown to five locations. The company moved from Charlotte Avenue to a six-acre tract of land at the I-40/Old Hickory Boulevard exit in Bellevue. And its new location features the largest pervious (porous) parking lot in Tennessee, according to Nashville McKay’s manager Will Hart. “We spent nearly double what it would have cost to pave with asphalt and install sewer mains,” Will said. The parking lot is nearly 100,000 square feet. “The contractor installed the pervious paving stones and gravel base (sourced from rock removed and crushed to create space for the parking lot) in under three weeks,” says Will, who formerly worked as an engineer in the hotel development industry. “We were aware of Metro’s storm water requirements, but we went beyond those. We want to lead by example when it comes to employing more environmentally friendly practices in our facility operations.” Will said the rain water falling on the porous parking area naturally seeps through to the earth below. They also installed a retention pond and pervious retaining wall on the site to further abate runoff. “If everyone—from homeowners to— would do their part on their land, we would not have a problem. The water will be cleaner automatically,” Rebecca says. “All of our efforts add up to a lot, one action at a time. A watershed is common ground, and a healthy one is common good.” VI

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Marc Lyon is a West Nashville resident and Nashville-based freelance writer.

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MUSICIANS

CORNER

musician-approved, fan-approved

John Paul White performs. photo by Nathan Zucker

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by Hannah HERNER

It’s a springtime Saturday in Centennial Park. Thousands of music lovers from Nashville and beyond are spread out on the grass with blankets and chairs. Kids have their own area to play games, make crafts and learn about music. Those of age can grab a local brew. Food trucks share their eats, and local artists share their talents. A diverse lineup of Nashville musicians and touring artists just stopping by are about to hit the stage.

April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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n its ninth year, Musicians Corner isn’t your typical music festival. The yearly event, presented by The Conservancy for The Parthenon and Centennial Park is set over 20 days, has more artists than a typical fest, offers patrons a little more than typical elbow room, and it’s free. In 2010, the festival’s first year, 5,000 people showed up. Last year attendance hit 75,000. Every weekend in May and June, starting May 11, musicians will take the stage in the Southwest corner of the park, near West End and 27th Avenue. This year, there will be acoustic Friday nights throughout the series, setting the stage for the mainstay Saturday concerts. And for those wanting more after the spring shows, the organization will be introducing Thursday-night concerts in September. These smaller events will focus on local acts and cater to those looking to escape the mid-week slump. Each performance night, John Tumminello, event emcee and vice president of The Conservancy, asks folks who have traveled from other cities and towns to raise their hands. As the crowds have grown, the number of raised hands raised has grown along with it: People are traveling for the rare free music event in the Music City. That’s the goal of Musicians Corner—to book great acts that attract people from near and far.

Viva Mariachi photo by Nathan Zucker

Crowd enjoys Musicians Corner 2017. photo by Nathan Zucker

THE HISTORY Musicians Corner was inspired by Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park in London — a space where speakers are encouraged to take the stage for impromptu speeches. The similarities between the two spaces start and end with being located in the corner of a central park, but Tumminello says they’d like to see Nashville’s corner move more toward the London model, with a more permanent stage used by locals and out-of-towners to busk and share their craft in an informal way. The Conservancy started considering the idea for such a space back in 2006, with the overhaul of the park. In 2010—the same year Musicians Corner started—a plan to remaster the entire park in two phases was introduced. The first phase was completed in 2015, and with it, Musicians Corner got its

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Blank Range performs. photo by Nathan Zucker


Steve Moakler photo by Nathan Zucker April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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own dedicated corner in the park. Phase two begins this spring with the goal of revitalizing the Great Lawn, adding walking and biking trails and a new outdoor pavilion.

THE MUSICIANS Justin Branam, program director, says he makes an effort to choose a healthy mix of genres, locals and touring artists, and newcomers and established artists. The goal is to have diversity on the stage, which will ideally be reflected in the audience. “We try to have a little bit of something for everyone. Every show, the thought is that it will be multi-genre. No matter where you come from, the thought is that there would be at least one artist that you would really enjoy,” he says. Branam also says many see the event as a way to discover new acts. Kyshona, a Madison, Tennessee-based bluesy singer-songwriter, has performed at three Musicians Corner events. She appreciates meeting fellow artists at the concerts, people who play drastically different music than she does, and with whom she would not typically share a bill. And as she likes to connect with other artists, Kyshona says the crowds at Musicians

Corner are more interested in connecting with her than those in other cities that she has played. She’s had people come up to her at the grocery store and compliment her on Musicians Corner performances, even months later. “First thing I noticed was just how dedicated the people of Nashville are to Musicians Corner,” Kyshona says. “They just trust and come out no matter what weekend

Kyshona is fast-becoming a Musicians Corner fixture. photo by Nathan Zucker

Langhorne Slim photo by Alex Justice

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it is. There’s always a crowd, and they are there to hang all day and just enjoy the music. It’s a listening audience—it’s hard to expect that at an outdoor venue.” Kris Allen, an acoustic guitar-strumming pop singer-songwriter agrees that the Nashville audiences listen closely. The “American Idol” alum and Arkansas native moved to Nashville four years ago and now resides in Sylvan Park. He says he never wants to leave. “That is what Nashville is known for,” Allen says. “If you have a great song, people will notice. In other places it might be more about the performance or the production.” The organizers describe Musicians Corner as an artist-centric organization. The first year, all the artists volunteered their time. The second year, 15 percent got paid; the third year, 50 percent got paid. From 2013 to the present, all artists who perform are paid. Branam says

Our goal is to deliver enriching arts programming to the community, making it free so that people of all socioeconomic groups can experience it. There are no barriers to entry.

they like to give emerging musicians a chance to build their fanbase by supporting a larger artist. “It’s really fun to be able to give people in the Music City the first opportunity to hear people who might be tomorrow’s stars,” he says. Musicians Corner has hosted a few established artists, too, like Chris Stapleton, Margo Price, Vince Gill and Emmylou Harris.

The big yearly events are run mostly by volunteers and interns, headed up by a small team of staff at the conservancy. Like any nonprofit, fundraisers, donations and partnerships keep Musicians Corner going,

FINANCES Throughout the year, Musicians Corner holds fundraiser concerts, where artists donate their time. Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei. photo by Alex Justice

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The concerts and other events throughout the year keep the Musicians Corner community going. Allen says he appreciates the relationship aspect of the organization. “They have been so good to me and always include me on things. When I moved here I was searching for that, I was searching for a musical community,” Allen says. “I feel like that has been the biggest way for me to meet up with other musicians, and I love that.” Kyshona says she’s thankful to be pulled into the conversation at

Branam says. In Music City, perhaps unlike any other place, the musicians and the concert-goers are one and the same. “The great thing about it for me is people come out no matter what, because it’s a beautiful spot. I go out there myself just to hang out, eat food and listen to music, and I feel like it’s a great spot to do that,” Allen says. “They always get some of the coolest and best artists from Nashville.” WE

THE COMMUNITY

Musicians Corner events. She goes about her career in a grassroots way, trading favors with musicians to promote each other and book shows, so the community is key. “They’re just really good about supporting the artists,” she says. “They get behind you. I can say I’m appreciative because they don’t have to. They could just have us play and be like, ‘Thanks!’ but the fact that they carry on that relationship with us after the festival, it just makes you feel like you’re a part of this really cool family—people who truly care about the artist and the community of it all.” Like the artists that come together and share opportunities, the people in the crowd share blankets, food and fellowship. “Musicians Corner, for me, is a really tangible display of Nashville’s community spirit,”

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but keeping the event free is very important to the organization. “A very good part of our audience would pay to see these same events, but then there’s a whole portion who couldn’t afford it,” Tumminello says. “Our goal is to deliver enriching arts programming to the community, making it free so that people of all socioeconomic groups can experience it. There are no barriers to entry.”

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Hannah Herner is an alternative music fan,

tap dancer and a Jeni’s ice cream enthusiast.

Musicians Corner is dog friendly . . .

photo by Nathan Zucker

. . . and kid-friendly.

photo by Nathan Zucker

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Spring makes all things NEW!

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TH E FIVE B EST

(Within two hours of West Nashville)

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SPOTS by

Rick MATHIS


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ven if you’re a year-round camper, there’s something special about hitting a campsite on a warm spring weekend. There’s just enough chill left when the sun goes down to enjoy a campfire at night, and the humidity hasn’t caught up yet with the sun’s warmth during the day. Middle Tennessee provides many countless opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, whether your idea of camping is ‘roughing it’ with a tarp, ball of twine and a backpack or full-blown glamping in your Prevost H3-45 just off a 50-city tour. We at 372WN love camping, too, and want to share five great campgrounds for a quick weekend getaway, all within a two-hour drive of West Nashville (factoring in Nashville traffic). And just so we’re clear: When we say ‘getaway,’ our selections are based on a goal of getting out of the city, so we’ve stayed away from tourism-based camping selections. We’ve also kept our selections to great areas to take a group of friends, or entire family. Our hard-core scouting friends often refer to this style as ‘car-camping.’ So if you need to escape with your tent, vintage travel trailer, pop-up camper or fully equipped motorhome, here are some of the best!

Montgomery Bell State Park Montgomery Bell is part of the Tennessee State Parks system and is a scenic, 45-minute drive west on Highway 70/Charlotte Pike. This route leads to Montgomery Bell State Park, and the campground has 47 spots for full-sized campers with electric, water and sewer connection, 40 with electric and water, and 22 sites exclusively for tent campers. Montgomery Bell also provides opportunities for backpacking on an overnight trail, which requires a back country camping permit. Montgomery Bell is open for camping year-round. Great for: Camping, hiking (over 16 miles of hiking trails), mountain biking (23.5 miles of mountain biking trails), fishing and in the summer, boating and swimming. Montgomery Bell also has an 18-hole par 71 golf course. Tips: • Most camping sites at Montgomery Bell can be reserved, and they fill up fast. • Sites 62 – 71 are a bit short and can be tough to fit anything but a small camper • Sites 1,2,3, 6, 9,12, 15, 18 & 21 are close together but would make great places for groups of friends to bring their campers for a weekend together. Reservations: https://tnstateparks.itinio. com/montgomery-bell

April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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Get the Most Out of Your Camping Gear • Clean your gear as you pack it up. If you pack up in the rain, get your gear back open as quickly as possible once you’re home—hang tents in your garage, basement or patio/deck to dry/air out. • Check tire pressure before taking your camper out. Make sure they are inflated to the tire pressure listed on the sidewall of the tire. • Replace trailer tires every five years, regardless of wear. Do not use passenger car tires on trailers—many tire dealers in West Nashville carry proper trailer tires. (Editor’s Note: Our friends at Midas 6008 Charlotte Pike sell them starting at $113 each) • Follow your trailer manufacturer’s instructions on re-packing bearings. Nothing ruins a great trip like a burned out bearing. Many of West Nashville’s vehicle repair shops can re-pack bearings at a reasonable cost. (Editor’s Note: Our friends at Midas 6008 Charlotte Pike will re-pack for $150 per axle—new bearings, new seals, new grease) • Check your spare tire as well. Better to have it ready and not need it than to need it and not have it ready.

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Harpeth River Bridge Campground Provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this hidden gem is about a 45-minute drive out River Road and just off Highway 49. Open April through October, this recently renovated campground offers 15 campsites suitable for RVs or tent campers. All sites have water and electric hook-ups, there is a restroom with showers and a playground. There is also a load-in ramp for boats and a picnic shelter for family gatherings. The Corps of Engineers note that “Harpeth River Bridge Campground is located on the right bank of the Harpeth River. The water wraps almost all the way around the campground so that every site can be considered a water site. Beautiful old trees litter the area and provide cool shade on even the hottest days.” Great for: Camping, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddle-boarding, fishing, boating and swimming. Tips: • Book early! Weekends at this campground fill up quickly (weekdays are almost always open, however). • This campground is close enough that one could camp during the workweek and still make for an early shift. Reservations: www.recreation.gov/camping/harpeth-river-bridgecampground-tn/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=123690

Lock A Campground Provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this campground is about an hour drive out River Road, through Ashland City and just off highway 12. Lock A is on the water at Cheatham Lake and is part of the Cheatham Dam Complex and adjacent to two wildlife refuges, the Dyson Ditch Wildlife Refuge and Pardue Pond Wildlife Refuge. Open April through October, this campground offers 45 campsites, 38 suitable for RVs and seven for tent campers. All sites have water and electric hookups, there is a restroom with showers, and a playground. There is also a load-in ramp for boats and a picnic shelter for family gatherings. Adjacent to the Cheatham Dam Right Bank Recreation Area there is a beach on the lake with an additional picnic shelter and playground. Registered campers also have access to the Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail, a 6.5-mile rails-to-trails project that crosses nearby Sycamore Creek on an abandoned railroad trestle. This campground is well-shaded and well-kept, it is great for a relaxing weekend or few days away. The drive is along scenic Highway 12 with lots of twists and turns, the final drive into the area is rather steep. Great for: Camping, walking/hiking the greenway, canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddle-boarding, fishing, boating and swimming. Reservations: www.recreation.gov/camping/lock-a/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=71265


Bledsoe Creek State Park photos by David Duplessis ©TennesseePhotographs.com Bledsoe Creek is part of the Tennessee State Parks system. Located east of Gallatin off Highway 12, Bledsoe Creek is about an hour and a half drive in afternoon traffic. The drive involves traveling northeast via I-65 and Highway 386 to Gallatin and Highway 12 to Zieglers Fort Road. The campground has 57 sites, all with water and electric. Some of the roads within the park are narrow and won’t accommodate trailers over 30 feet. Bledsoe Creek is open for camping all year-round; it has six miles of hiking trails that meander through the forest and along the lakeshore. There are two boat launches, one for registered campers and one for other park users. Bledsoe Creek is also great for birding. According to the State Park System, “The paved Mayo Wix Trail winds through young woodlands, leading to an observation deck. From here the trail hugs the lakeshore. The lake edge offers opportunities to see birds such as the Prothonotary Warbler, Hairy Woodpecker, and the nesting Wood Duck and Red-shouldered Hawk. Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets hunt for fish in shallows alongside basking Red-eared Sliders. Winter waterfowl such as Ring-necked Duck and Redhead can be seen between November and April. Juxtaposed to level lowlands are several steep trails leading to hilltops covered by hardwood forest.” Great for: Camping, walking/hiking, birding, canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddle-boarding, fishing, and boating. Tip: Bledsoe Creek fills up quickly, so make reservations early. Reservations: https://tnstateparks.itinio.com/bledsoe-creek

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Natchez Trace State Park Natchez Trace is part of the Tennessee State Parks system. Located 90 miles west of Nashville, the park has 208 sites in three campgrounds. Two of the campgrounds, the Pin Oak and Cub Creek camping areas, are for RVs and Tents. The Wrangler campground is designed for campers with horses. Natchez Trace State Park is located along an alternate route across the Tennessee River from the old Natchez Trace currently delineated by the Natchez Trace Parkway. The state park was originally established as part of the New Deal. Along with the campgrounds, the park provides swimming, hiking with over 47 miles of hiking trails, mountain biking with 50+ miles of trails, fishing with four lakes (most of them stocked), and horseback riding with over 60 miles of riding trails. Natchez Trace State Park allows camping year-round. Reservations: https://tnstateparks.itinio.com/natchez-trace

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A 21-year resident of Bellevue, Rick Mathis loves camping with friends and family, hiking and spending time enjoying Nashville’s parks and greenways with his beagle, Teddy.

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MORE TIPS FOR YOUR

WHERE TO GO NEXT? In addition to Scouting’s 10 Essentials for Camping (first-aid kit, filled water bottle, flashlight, food, sunscreen, whistle, map, compass, rain gear, knife and matches/firestarter), make sure to be ready with extra food, a great book to read, games to play with friends or the kids, should the weather keep you in the camper/tent. Knowing that you might be sharing a bath house with others, a bottle of Clorox or Lysol wipes can help take care of a quick cleanup while waiting on the campground

• Tennessee State Parks have details on all of their parks at tnstateparks.com • US Army Corps of Engineers parks and many other Federal campgrounds have details at recreation.gov • Several other states have reservations available at reservamerica.com • Good, independent reviews of campgrounds are available at www.rvparkreviews.com and www.campingroadtrip.com

staff. And never forget your own roll of TP.

RICHLAND ACE HARDWARE 6401 Charlotte Pike Nashville, TN 37209 615.356.0560 www.richlandacehdwe.com

April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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by Naomi GOLDSTONE photos by William

DeSHAZER

“See How We Run” ACHILLES INTERNATIONAL-NASHVILLE CHAPTER

“W

e didn’t want to just do stuff for disabled athletes; we wanted to do stuff with disabled athletes,” Sarah Hart, co-founder of Achilles International-Nashville Chapter, says. Founded in 1983 in New York City by Dick Traum, Achilles International is an organization whose mission is to help people with “all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream running events” by pairing disabled athletes with able-bodied ones. In

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1976, Traum—an above-the-knee amputee—became the first known amputee to complete the New York City Marathon, finishing the race in 7 hours and 24 minutes. “When an able-bodied runner gets passed by someone who is blind or on one leg, it changes their perception of what the disabled can do,” he says. In 2003, Achilles International founded the Achilles Hope & Possibility, an “annual road race for able-bodied runners and athletes with a variety of disabilities,” and

on April 18, 2012, Achilles Nashville held its “first true workout” at the McCabe Community Center in Sylvan Park. Hart said creating the Nashville chapter was something she’d wanted to do ever since she lived in Austin, Texas, near the Texas School for the Blind. “I was volunteering for the Austin marathon,” she explains. “While we were taking the starting line down, I saw someone standing there and asked if I could help him. His guide runner had


not shown up.” A runner herself, Hart wondered if there was a way she could help those without sight enjoy running the way she did. After moving back to Nashville, Hart said the idea for helping disabled runners “kept brewing in my head.” She had a friend who ran as a guide runner for Achilles for the New York City Marathon, but to guide a runner from Nashville in the NYC Marathon, Hart would need to work with a local chapter, which Nashville did not have. Hart spoke with others in her running group, a recreational therapist at Vanderbilt, the president of Nashville Striders, the president of the Tennessee Association of Blind Athletes, and others to “get a pulse on the need of our city.” The following January, the group met at the multipurpose room at McCabe, and Hart said that every person there said yes to starting a chapter. “We barely cracked the door,” she recalls. “And then it started flying open because so many people saw the need for Achilles in Nashville.” According to Lizzy Solomon, co-director of Achilles Nashville, “After New York, Nashville is the second-largest chapter, with 330 athletes and 410 guides.” Meetings are 6:30-8:00 p.m. every Wednesday at the McCabe Community Center and at 7:00 a.m. Saturdays for participants who are training for an upcoming race, like the St. Jude Rock ’n’ Roll Nashville Marathon and Half Marathon at the end of April. The weather sometimes determines how many athletes show up to train on Wednesday evenings, however. “If there’s ice and snow, then we’ll cancel, but if it’s raining, we’re here,” Solomon says. “I think it’s fair to say that on colder days, the gatherings are fairly small,” explained Board President and guide John Lavey. “But when the weather is nice, there are about 50 people who come.” The Wednesday workouts vary depending on each athlete’s skill

and need. “Everyone has a different workout program depending on what they’re capable of doing,” Lavey said. “The primary purpose of Achilles is to support athletes through guides, so some people just walk while others will go on a long training run.” One athlete Lavey has supported and guided is Joe Shaw, who is blind. A runner himself, Lavey has guided Shaw for several years and has been a part of his remarkable transformation. “Joe is a bigger guy, and when he started working with me, he couldn’t do fifteen minutes of training,” Lavey said. “Now he’s done several full and half marathons, and we’ve done the New York City Marathon twice.” Solomon, who uses a walker because of cerebral palsy, joined Achilles three months after the

group formed. “When I went to college [Lipscomb], I got an electric scooter because the classes were further apart, and I gained the freshman 15,” she says, laughing. “So, in order to get back in shape, I came to Achilles.” Solomon now trains with a hand cycle, and on January 14, 2018, she completed her first marathon—the Chevron Houston Marathon, finishing the race in five hours. “I thought it would be warm, but it was so cold,” she said. Although Solomon was not able to travel to Houston with the guides she trains with here in Nashville, she greatly values her guides and the relationship they have cultivated. “You make a bond with your guide,” she said. “You start to hang out with them, and it becomes a friendship rather than the person just being your guide.”

April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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Another athlete who joined Achilles Nashville from the beginning is Tony Grossi. Noticing his yellow Achilles shirt at the 2012 Boston Marathon, Melanie Yappen—the other co-founder of the Nashville chapter—stopped and chatted with Grossi. Yappen learned that Grossi was from Chattanooga (which doesn’t have an Achilles chapter), and she invited him to join the then weeks-old group in Nashville. Although Grossi had been involved with Achilles International since 2006, he had never been part of a regular training group. Grossi’s job brought him to Nashville every two weeks, so he enthusiastically joined this chapter. “It wasn’t until the Nashville chapter formed that I started going to the meetings and actually got to meet people in person,” he said. Born with fibular hemimelia, Grossi and Hart trained together to run that year’s New York City Marathon. Grossi had run the NYC Marathon many times before, but it was going to be Hart’s first one. Though Hurricane Sandy had pummeled the area earlier that week, Hart and Grossi traveled to New York City that Friday morning with hopes that the Sunday-morning race would not be canceled. That afternoon, however, they learned that Mayor Bloomberg had canceled the race. While disappointed that they wouldn’t be able to run, Achilles International runners from all around the world decided to gather in Central Park that Saturday morning for a group run, and they later gathered on Saturday evening for a group meal. “Even though we missed running the NYC Marathon, it was still so wonderful to be around so many athletes who were just grateful to be there,” Hart said. Like Grossi, Matt Davis joined Achilles from its inception. “I had heard about Achilles before, and then I met Sarah at a race in

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Nashville, and she asked me if I was interested in seeing what the Nashville chapter was about,” Davis said. Born with spina bifida, Davis is a wheelchair athlete from Bowling Green, Kentucky. When he was an undergraduate at Western Kentucky, one of his mentors—herself a runner—helped him get his first racing chair. “I’ve been addicted ever since,” he says. He has been racing for nearly 20 years, and in February, Davis completed in his 68th marathon in Miami. “If I can find a race between now and the Boston Marathon in April, Boston will be my 70th marathon,” he adds.

Davis still lives in Bowling Green, where he is the assistant director for disability services at Western Kentucky University. For the past two years, he has driven to Nashville for Wednesday-evening practices (and a trip to Trader Joe’s) to mentor and coach JRod Denning, a freshman at Big Picture High School in West Nashville. Born with spina bifida and lumbar sacral agenesis, JRod said he has always been an active kid. When he was 4, started playing wheelchair basketball with ABLE (Athletes Building Life Experiences) Youth, and he joined

Achilles to get in better shape for it. Then, he said, he fell in love with wheelchair racing. “I’m very competitive, and I was looking for another sport to challenge me. I didn’t want to just sit around and get a beer gut,” he said, chuckling. JRod came to Achilles, and in just two years, he has gone from competing in 5K races to completing a half marathon. “I’ve done over 50 races and a half marathon,” he says. “And I’m working my way up to a marathon and plan to compete in Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics.” JRod’s father, Oscar Denning, marvels at the athletic strides his son has made while working with Davis and Achilles. Denning says JRod is just a “typical boy who just happens to be in a wheelchair—he gets in trouble, plays video games, talks on the phone.” Oscar Denning likes that the folks at Achilles don’t pressure the athletes to do races but that “they do push their physical limits. It gives them a new outlook on what they can do.” Denning again stressed his excitement at JRod’s progress after just two years. “I would have never thought JRod would be doing half marathons, and now he’s competing with the goal of going to Japan,” Denning said, proudly. Both JRod and his father emphasized the bonds that are cultivated at Achilles that have allowed JRod to make life-long friends. “It’s a family—a big, diverse family,” Oscar said. Though every Achilles athlete is loved and each of their achievements is celebrated, few stories warm the heart like Austin Crymes’ did at the Hope & Possibility race on May 9, 2015. An athlete with cerebral palsy who walks with two canes, Austin has been coming to Achilles Nashville since they first opened their doors at McCabe Community Center. Often finishing last in his races, Austin told his mother Shawna that he was eager to finish a race with everyone else.


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race (achilles5miler.racesonline. com) that begins on the Dominican Campus in Nashville—so that you will “See How We Run.” ST

they can do by themselves.” Saffell describes the best part about Achilles: people with disabilities and people without disabilities get to exercise together. “A lot of times, people with disabilities don’t ever get to do sports with people without disabilities, and Achilles allows people without disabilities a chance to see what the disabled can accomplish,” she explained, then added: “Achilles helps society see what someone with a disability can do.” This sums up perfectly what Achilles does so well. If you’re an athlete who wants to participate in Achilles Nashville or you want to be a guide, please go to their website at achillesnashville.org; find them on Facebook atfacebook.com/AchillesInternationalNashville; or email them at achillesnashville@gmail.com. They also want you to join them on Saturday, October 20, 2018, for the Hope & Possibility 5K/5 Mile

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So, he worked extra hard with his Achilles guides and his trainer— Wil Santi, a former professional football player and owner of Wil Power Sports Training. With Santi at his side as his guide and his friend, Austin started the race at 5:30 a.m.—two hours before the race officially began—so that he could complete the five-mile course with the other competitors. “It felt amazing to cross the finish line with everyone else,” Austin said. “It was so exciting, and I loved it.” Amy Saffell, executive director of ABLE Youth, also started coming to Achilles Nashville the day the doors opened. A wheelchair athlete who was born with spina bifida, Saffell notes that Achilles gives disabled people a different option for exercising. “There’s been a focus on people with disabilities doing team sports, but not everyone is good at them,” she explains. “It’s nice for them to have something

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When she is not being dragged around The Nations by Ms. Butterfly McQueen and her other two dogs, Naomi Goldstone is a professor of English and coordinator of the African American Studies Program at Austin Peay State University. She is the author of Integrating the Forty Acres and blogs at dwonnaknowwhatithink.com.

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April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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Dawes VON KIZER


8th Annual Nashville Outdoor Recreation Festival and Expo

Spring has sprung, and it’s time to shake off the last of those winter blues and enjoy this new season. From star-gazing to live music to walking with your pup to support cancer research for both pets and people, West Nashville’s spring is packed with fun events!

April 14th, 9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Bell’s Bend Park, 4187 Old Hickory Boulevard (FREE)

Co-sponsored by the Friends of Bells Bend Park, this grassroots event features food, a Kids Zone and over 40 vendors. Held in and around the Bells Bend Outdoor Center, outdoors enthusiasts can get an up-close look at the latest equipment and get insider tips, whether they’re testing the latest bicycles from Trace or sampling a bit of Tennessee Artisan Honey. A great way to spend a lovely spring day—call 615.862.4187 for more information.

Cherry Blossom Festival Richland Park Farmers Market Saturdays in April, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Saturdays in May, 9:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Richland Park, 4711 Charlotte Avenue (FREE)

The Richland Park Farmers Market features produce from surrounding Nashville farms, locally made home products and freshly baked goods. For a full list of vendors, visit www.richlandparkfarmersmarket.com. Well-behaved dogs on 6-foot leashes (or shorter) are welcome.

Telescope Nights April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13, August 10, September 14, October 12, November 9 (times vary due to sunset times) Dyer Observatory, 1000 Oman Drive, Brentwood ($6.24 per person)

The Dyer Observatory telescopes are set up for gazing, and the observatory is open for viewing exhibits and speaking with astronomers. The format is “open house,” so you may arrive and depart any time during the event. Visit dyer.vanderbilt.edu to purchase tickets up to 30 days before each event.

April 14th, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Public Square Park (FREE)

Celebrate Japanese and American culture at the Cherry Blossom Festival. A schedule of music, dance, martial arts and lectures creates a full day of cultural and educational entertainment. There’s a Cosplay Contest, with local enthusiasts elaborately dressing as their favorite characters from Japanese anime, manga or video games.

Sylvan Park Puppy Play Day April 15th, 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Richland Park (FREE)

Sponsored by Wags & Whiskers and Daddy's Dogs, bring your favorite two- and four-leggers for an afternoon of fun! Games, hotdogs, puppy treats, human treats, special stuff for kids, and more.

Rites of Spring April 20th–21st Vanderbilt University Alumni Lawn ($40 Advance)

Since 1971, this two-day music event has featured some top-notch headliners like Jason and the Scorchers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, NEEDTOBREATHE, and Chance the Rapper. Food, nonalcoholic beverages and beer will be available for purchase at the event. Backpacks, coolers, large bags or items, photography/video equipment and pets are not allowed. For a full list of performers and other information, please visit vanderbilt.edu/ros.

April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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Richland Creek Run

Art on the West Side

April 21st, 8:00 a.m. Cohn Adult Learning Center 4805 Park Avenue

April 21st–22nd Gordon Jewish Community Center, 801 Percy Warner Boulevard ($15 suggested donation)

The Richland Creek Run & Walk is a 5-mile stretch that weaves through the Richland Creek Greenway and Sylvan Park. All proceeds from the event benefit the creation, protection, preservation and promotion of Nashville Greenways. There is a 1-mile children’s “Dinky Dash” before the race at 7:30 a.m. Dogs and strollers are welcome, the race will be held rain or shine. For more information, visit greenwaysfornashville.org.

Shred Day for Earth Day April 21st, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. 720 Cool Springs Boulevard (FREE)

A bit off the West Nashville path, but a great way to kick off Earth Day while saving space and protecting yourself from identity theft. Your old personal documents will be destroyed by a Shred-it® high-speed, mobile, cross-shredder. All shredded material will then be recycled. Hosted by Lighthouse Wealth Group for their clients and the surrounding community.

Earth Day Festival April 21st, 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Centennial Park (FREE)

A celebration of the outdoors and the local green community, the Earth Day Festival features a live music show, green market, beer garden, Goodwill donation drive and children’s educational activities, and is limited to only environmentally friendly items such as locally made clothing and organic food. This “producer-only” market means that those selling are directly involved with production of the items.

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Celebrating its fifth year, Art on the West Side hosts over 50 artists each year, ranging from painting (oil, watercolor, acrylic) to glass, clay, jewelry, photography, wood, and fiber. This year’s featured artist is Harold Kraus (and we also need to mention the work of 372WN designer Ellen Parker Bibb will also be shown!). The event is held each year at the Gordon Jewish Community Center. The Gordon JCC receives 30% from all artist sales. Saturday kicks off the event with a cocktail reception from 6:00–9:00 p.m. and Sunday includes a jazz brunch. Visit artonthewestside.org for more information.

Rock’n’Roll Marathon & 1⁄2 Marathon Saturday, April 28th Downtown Nashville at Eighth Avenue & Broadway

For over 20 years, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series has made running fun by infusing each course with live bands, cheer teams and more. Find live music and entertainment while you cheer your fellow Nashvillians along the route, and after the marathon, catch the Toyota Rock ’n’ Roll Concert Series headlined by five-time Grammy® nominee Hunter Hayes! Visit runrocknroll. com for more information.

Musicians Corner Saturdays in May/June noon–5:00 p.m. Centennial Park (FREE)

Come one, come all and enjoy free music in Centennial Park! From up-and-coming artists to seasoned veterans, musicians and music-lovers gather together here to celebrate what Music City is all about. Bring Fido along to visit “Dogville” and taste some free treats or snag a nail trim. Kids can head over to “Kidsville” for free activities, crafts and challenges. Food trucks on site make this a one-stop shop for fun outdoors.


Puppy Up Walk

Historic Rural Life Festival

May 5th, 9:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Edwin Warner Park

May 10th–11th, 9:00 a.m.–noon Tennessee Agricultural Museum ($3)

The Puppy Up Foundation is committed to discovering the common links between canine and human cancers and the causes of these cancers through comparative oncology research. This is a two-mile walk along the Little Harpeth River Trailway to promote awareness of canine cancer and fundraise for cancer research to benefit both pets and people. This heartwarming and energizing event includes vendors, a silent auction, live music, food and fun! Contact Nashville@puppyup.org for more details.

Tennessee Craft Fair May 4th–5th, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; May 6th, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Centennial Park (FREE)

Artisans from all over Tennessee and contiguous states come together to market their wares in Centennial twice a year, in May and September. Shop for pottery, wooden crafts, furniture, paintings, sculptures, leather goods and more in one of the largest craft fairs in middle Tennessee. Leashed dogs welcome. For a list of vendors and more information, visit tennesseecraft.org.

Children and adults alike discover life before iPhones and cars at the Tennessee Agricultural Museum’s celebration of farming methods, livestock care and artisan craftsmanship. Witness butter-churning, blacksmithing, spinning, weaving and pottery-making.

Iroquois Steeplechase Saturday, May 12th Percy Warner Steeplechase Grounds ($20+)

Partake in a Nashville institution when you attend Iroquois Steeplechase horse races. There are a variety of ticket options that provide entry to general admission, tailgating or VIP areas. Food trucks are available in tailgating areas and food/beverages are permitted (no glass). Gates open at 8:00 a.m., first race at 1:00 p.m. For additional information, go to www.iroquoissteeplechase.org.

April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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West Nashville Dream Center 5k

Full Moon Pickin’ Parties

May 12th 4007 Delaware Avenue ($35)

May 25th, June 29th (and also July 27th, August 24th, September 28th, October 26th) Warner Park Equestrian Center ($ Varies)

The West Nashville Dream Center is a ministry center committed to PROTECT and EMPOWER those living in distress in our community. Strategically located in a food desert (a place that lacks grocery stores and traveling by foot or bus is a means of transportation), The West Nashville Dream Center’s food ministry houses and mobilizes both perishable and nonperishable groceries, daily, and provides meals for our neighboring families from these donations as well. The race starts and ends at the Center, and caps off with a block party to congratulate our participants. Participants are also encouraged to bring a bag of food with them on race day to donate to their food bank.

Warner Parks celebrates the full moon with a bluegrass pickin’ party that also serves as a park fundraiser. Come with lawn blankets and chairs to listen to music, or bring an instrument listed on the website to participate in the picking and save on admission. Tickets are available for purchase online (nowplayingnashville.com) or at the gate.

Bluebird on the Mountain Concert Series May 19th (and also) June 16, July 21, August 25th, September 8th, September 22nd, October 6th Dyer Observatory

Situated on one of the highest hilltops in Nashville, musicians entertain stargazers once per month outside the observatory. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, food, drinks . . . enjoy while listening to musicians and singer-songwriters of the Bluebird Café perform. Season tickets are already sold out, but individual tickets are available online through Eventbrite only. Tickets are good for one carload of people, up to eight people maximum. No pets or RVs allowed. Ticket information and additional inquiries should be directed to info@bluebirdcafe.com.

Tour de Nash May 19th

Now in its 14th year, Walk/Bike Nashville has organized this bike tour, designed to encourage peddlers, coasters and racers to explore the city’s bikeways and greenways. Now Nashville’s largest urban bike tour, Tour de Nash offers 8-, 25- and 45-mile options and gives two-wheel explorers an opportunity to see some of Nashville’s best neighborhoods (including those west of The Cumberland!). Paid registrants receive a voucher for some free nosh, but all are invited to join the food, music, and fun at the finish line. Visit www.walkbikenashville.org/tourdenash for more information.

Bill Ramsey’s Ode to Otha Sweetbriar Street Party June 2nd 1711 Sweetbriar Lane ($30 ages 13+)

Pay tribute to a lifetime of music as Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee pairs up with local attorney Bill Ramsey to host this birthday bash that also pays homage to legendary fife player Otha Turner. Price includes all food and beverages. For a lineup of artists and more information, please visit othaturner.com/party.

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DISCOVER NASHVILLE’S BEST RADIO STATION.

WXNA is Nashville’s all-volunteer, non-profit, freeform community radio station with over 90 different shows featuring everything from funk to metal and all points in between. And while our signal doesn’t reach all the way to Bellevue quite yet, you can stream us on WXNAfm.org, the TuneIn app or just ask Alexa to play WXNA. April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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by

Chris CLANCY

photos courtesy of Neal Hargrove, unless otherwise noted

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n the office of Hargrove Body Shop, a three-bay shop on the corner of Michigan Avenue and 51st Avenue North, there’s an 8-by-10 photograph of an oiledup, musclebound man wearing not much more than dark wrestling briefs and a magnificent mullet. Holding his opponent in a choke hold, the man is sneering into

the camera and declaring, via cartoon balloon, “I used to wreck bodies, now I fix them!” You can forgive a person for not making the connection between the young body-

wrecker in that photograph and Neal Hargrove, who’s behind the office’s only desk. Neal wears glasses and keeps his thinning hair short; his face is fuller, his movements slow and deliberate. But when he opens his mouth to tell a story—one of hundreds culled from professional wrestling’s Golden Age—the connection is easily made. “From the late ’80s to the late ’90s, I wrestled every major star in professional wrestling,” Neal likes to say, as matter-of-factly as someone who’s telling you what they ate for breakfast. “Including Ric Flair.” According to Neal, there are two types of wrestling fans: those who admit it, and those who don’t. And after sitting down and listening to Neal’s stories of the squared circle, being a fan of professional wrestling becomes downright easy to admit.

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native Nashvillian, Neal wrestled under the name Reno Riggins. The name was inspired in part by NFL Hall of Fame running back John Riggins; the Reno stemmed from Hargrove’s love of alliteration. Measuring fivefoot-nine and weighing 215 pounds, Reno Riggins was known for his highly athletic style—as capable of executing a flawless flying dropkick as a common wristlock. “When they first hired me—and my not being six-foot-ten, four hundred pounds—they looked at me as good throwing weight for guys like Mabel and Earthquake, the bigger guys in the territory,” Neal says. While pro wrestling’s records can be spotty, the result of countless mergers and partnerships over the past few decades, the Internet Wrestling Database has Riggins’ televised WWF win-loss record at 0-98. A quick YouTube search backs up this perfect record, turning up match after match that all end the same way—with Reno Riggins soundly squashed. Reno Riggins was what is known in the industry as “enhancement

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talent,” which is someone to make the other guy look good. Starting out, Reno mostly took on villains or “heels,” often finishing matches dealing with some form of abuse or humiliation. The Repo Man once strung him up and dragged him out of the ring. Doink the Clown once gave him a balloon after the match, only to pop it. Later on, after years of playing “the goody two shoes who can only get beat up so much,” Reno turned to the dark side, becoming an enhancement talent heel. It was a move that allowed “faces” like Mr. Perfect and Tatanka the chance to show off for their fans. Neal admits to feeling he was held in the enhancement talent position a bit longer than he wanted, but he realized early on that there were literally thousands of guys ready at a moment’s notice to take his place as a jobber to the stars. So he kept his nose clean and his mouth shut. “My cousin worked for a company that cleaned carpets, and he would always say, ‘Neal, that guy beat the tar out of you! Why’d you let that guy do this, do that?’ I said, ‘Does your boss ever tell you to go clean that carpet?’ And he said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘Well, do you do it or do you not do it?’”

Born in West Nashville and moving to Inglewood as an adolescent, Neal grew up with athletics, playing football at McGavock High School under local legend Wes Elrod. (“I’d run through the wall if Coach asked me to,” he says.) His love of professional wrestling started in the 1970s, when his Uncle Emory would round up the neighborhood kids and take them to the fairgrounds to catch the legends that brawled there on Saturday nights: Bill Dundee, Jackie Fargo, Dutch Mantel. After leaving the University of Tennessee (after realizing he probably wasn’t going to start for the Vols at linebacker), and coming across a magazine cover declaring Hulk Hogan the highest-paid professional athlete in America, young Neal began making plans to return to the fairgrounds—this time to launch a wrestling career. “Somebody said to me, ‘Neal, I bet you could do that,’ and it was like someone hit me on the head with a magic wand,” he says. “Of course, none of it was really


photo by Warner Tidwell

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thought out very well.” It took five Saturday nights of pestering the legendary heelturned-trainer Tojo Yamamoto (real name: Harold Watanabe) before Yamamoto agreed to train the kid. It was another five weeks before Tojo allowed Neal to step into the ring. Then another two years of training—Hargrove paid the bills by working for his old man’s burgeoning auto painting business in The Nations—before he was deemed ready for a match. What followed were long car rides with his fellow hopefuls throughout the Southeast, stopping anywhere they had a ring and a camera and a couple rows of folding chairs. Sometimes they were paid just enough to cover the gas for the trip home. Sometimes, they were paid nothing. “I heard a lot from promoters, ‘This is for the exposure, kid. You ought to be paying me,’” Neal says, laughing. “It’s just how hungry I think you have to be in order to get to wherever you’re going to get. It’s that struggle of fighting through all this stuff to get there. You’ve got to want it.” He definitely wanted it. Wanting it is what put him at the door of Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium at the tender age of 20, asking the security guard if he could speak to somebody about getting a job. “I’d heard the WWF was coming to town, so I took my promo pack with me, put my suit on and went down there because, by golly, this was my chance,” Neal says. “So I go strutting through the back door, and I see Randy “Macho Man” Savage walking in with Ravishing Rick Rude, all the big stars I’ve seen on TV, and I was star-struck. “At the time [1987], the WWF was really starting to become a household brand. The wrestlers were making the TV talk show rounds, they weren’t just quarantined to their own little world.” Neal didn’t make it inside on his

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first attempt, but after posing as a FedEx deliveryman with a Very Important Package for Mr. Vince McMahon, he made it in and managed to track down Terry Garvin, the former Canadian wrestling legend and then-vice president of Titan Sports, WWF’s parent company. “Sorry, kid,” Garvin said. “Maybe try us again in a couple of years.” And then Neal dropped the name Tojo Yamamoto, who, it turned out, roomed with Terry Garvin back in the 1960s. Suddenly a spot opened up for Riggins—a match in Bristol, against Ray “Hercules” Hernandez.

If any one theme emerges from Neal’s stories, it is this: Professional wrestlers are some of the nicest guys in the world. As much as they shout, strut, point fingers and talk trash to one another in front of the camera, they’re just as likely to trade photographs of their children to one another behind it. To wit: Hercules Hernandez is “one of the absolute nicest guys on the planet,” and his manager, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, is “a super-nice guy.” After the match in Bristol, Reno traveled to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to battle “The Outlaw” Ron Bass, another “super-nice guy” whose wrestling style was “light as a feather.” It goes without saying that both nice guys left Reno flat on his back. Nevertheless, a star was born— sort of. Neal shared green rooms with Andre the Giant, traveled with Owen Hart, turned up often on TV, and made good money. In 1994, Neal figures he worked at least 320 live events, because “there’s no off-season in professional wrestling.” However, after a couple of years, his body started to feel the effects of all those of clotheslines and body slams. It was only a couple of years into his WWF career that Neal suffered a couple of broken

ribs, caused by a backbreaker from Bam Bam Bigelow (“super-nice guy”). But he got into the ring the very next night, wrestling through the pain and doing his best to make it to the next day off. “Back then, we didn’t admit that wrestling was choreographed,” he says. “I’ve never wanted to say it was fake. The way I feel now, all that stuff I went through, it couldn’t have been fake.”

It was in 1995 that Neal made the decision to leave the WWF, marry his longtime girlfriend Tracey, and move back to Nashville. Once the honeymoon was over, though, Neal felt the itch again. He picked up two or three independent bookings per month, but otherwise passed the time helping his dad with clerical duties at the shop. Then in 1997, he joined Music City Wrestling as a way to get himself back into ring shape. In the smaller market, Neal found the freedom to get creative with the Reno Riggins character, turning it into something more than enhancement talent. He even emerged victorious from a few matches. Later on, he teamed with Steve Doll, who wrestled under the name Steve Dunn, to form the tag-team duo the Tennessee Volunteers. With its emphasis on speed and athleticism over size, Neal found a new approach to the sport, one more in line with his talents. Soon enough, the Tennessee Volunteers had an ongoing feud with Flash Flanagan and Wolfie D, which the fans ate up. And they took the National Wrestling Alliance (Nashville) North American Tag Team title in 1998 and 1999. When the wrestling periodicals began taking notice, chatter about a possible return to the WWF began. But Vince McMahon, the “Mack-daddy of them all,” didn’t much go for tag team wrestling, so the moment passed.


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“I’ve wrestled in Italy, England, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, India, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Mexico, Canada, and every major city in the U.S., multiple times,” Neal says. “And a lot of towns in the U.S. you’ve probably never heard of. If you’re young and single, it’s a great life.” Neal has been married for 23 years and has two boys, aged 11 and 15. After walking away from professional wrestling, he made money with Showtime All-Star Wrestling and NWA Southern AllStar Wrestling out of Murfreesboro and investing in rental properties around town. Meanwhile, Hargrove Body Shop kept chugging along, despite some lean years. “Back in 2010, it was pretty bad, but we were able to hold on,” he says. “And now it’s really starting to come back. “You know, being here since I was a kid, I’ve seen it where if the sun went down and you weren’t out of The Nations, you might not make it out of The Nations. But

now, I feel like there’s such great community support. You used to never see anybody on the streets, but now I see people all up and down the sidewalk, walking their dogs and such. There’s a lot of great people in this community now that have a story to tell.” WE

Riggins and Dunn took their act on the road, hooking up with the World Wrestling Alliance and playing the USO package circuit. Young soldiers stationed in Germany, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Korea couldn’t get enough of the Tennessee Volunteers, the Bushwhackers, the Rock and Roll Express, and a bunch of “doggone great wrestlers that never broke into that next-level, household-name place.” Neal considers this time the highlight of his wrestling career. “All the soldiers were so respectful and gracious and accommodating,” he says. “Right then and there, it opened up my eyes to the world. Tom from Texas, Bill from Oklahoma—these guys are here on my behalf. I was pro-military from then on. It changes you, seeing that.”

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• ASIAN • DOMESTIC VEHICLES

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Saluting the Sun and Mother Earth:

WHITE BRIDGE AUTO WASH

CLEANS UP written and photographed

by

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Carly BROWNING


As As consumers, consumers, we wedon’t don’t often examine examinethe the nuances nuances of of something something that that seems seemsas as commonplace commonplace as as a car wash. wash.We Wego gototo the theclosest closestone, one, the cheapest cheapest one oneor orthe theone one we wealways alwaysuse. use. And And while the the family-owned family-owned White WhiteBridge Bridge Auto Wash isis certainly certainly aafamiliar familiar neighborhood neighborhood spot, spot,there’s there’s more moreto to itit than meets meets the theeye. eye.

April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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ounder Karl Peters, a Detroit transplant, saw an opportunity in the full-service car wash game back in 1984, and he knew he could find a home in Nashville. It was a slow start on what was then a quiet, residential road, but Karl’s passion for cars and the growing community soon yielded him a regular clientele and a loyal staff. “We’ve got a lot of employees who have been here for 10, 15 years,” says Karl’s son Paul, who is the current owner and manager. “We feel fortunate to have that continuity in a business that’s typically plagued with high turnover.” As Paul grew his involvement in the business, and eventually took the reins, he transitioned out of his bank job and into the life of a small-business owner. “It’s difficult transitioning from a corporate setting with a set schedule to a job where you’re always on,” Paul says. “There’s never really a full day off. Even when you’re not here, your phone is ringing and there’s something

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going on.” A smile plays across his face, hinting at just how much he works—and how much he enjoys it. Once Paul took over, he began to shift the wash toward a more environmentally friendly focus. “Car washing at home is not very environmentally friendly,” he says, adding that 120-140 gallons of water are used. “You use a lot of water and all the dirt and soap go in the storm drains, which then pour into the creek.” White Bridge Auto Wash has reduced that water use by about

75 percent as part of their mission to be more sustainable. And it’s more than just how much water goes down the drain. “We worked to minimize our high-pressure washer wherever it’s possible,” Paul explains.


“We were sort of early on the solar front,” Paul says. “We use it when the sun’s out, and it works well for our peak hours to help substitute some of our power.” “And we look at our water usage,” comparing water bills and detecting discrepancies to fine-tune the system. They’ve also replaced all of their lighting, swapping out for T8 fluorescent lighting, which not only uses less power but lasts a great deal longer. Their real environmental push, however, has been the solar panels they installed in 2011. The panels can power up to a third of the wash, and they are always collecting energy. The entire roof at White Bridge Auto Wash is covered in these first-gen solar panels. “We were sort of early on the solar front,” Paul says. “We use it when the sun’s out, and it works well for our peak hours to help substitute some of our power.” But rain or shine? Not so much. While the system is always collecting energy, it may not be enough to justify the extra power push if the sun is not out. The unused power gets sold back to the power company and passed along to the next user. “We’re out of room with our current system,” Paul explains. “We maxed out. Hopefully [one day we can] look at upgrading to a more-efficient system that would be able to produce more with their existing footprint.” Then three years ago, the Peters’ purchased a second location in Brentwood—Brentwood Auto Wash. With the new space, their push to find sustainable alternatives grew larger, and they began to look into sustainable cleaning supplies. To start, they’ve been focusing on that perfect, streak-free window job. April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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thank him for his decades of hard work and dedication. “We’ve got a picture of him when he was coming out of high school at 18,” Paul says. “I’ve grown up with him. I think the real story of our wash is our employees. Treating people fairly and with respect is really the key.” WE

“We recently switched to a cleaner we’re making in-house with vinegar, dish soap and regular kitchen items that are all incredibly safe,” he says. This secret recipe has been refined over the past few years until they arrived at the perfect solution. While they aren’t making any other cleaners in-house, they’ve switched to entirely all-natural cleaners at both locations. Paul is usually on the lot greeting, working and washing cars every day, making sure every person who comes through the wash has a wonderful experience. That’s the focus of all of his employees, whom you might recognize if you’re there even more than once. This past year, for example, staff member Chris Dawkins reached his 30-year anniversary with the wash. To celebrate, Paul and the team sent him on a weekend getaway to

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WHITE BRIDGE AUTO WASH 212 White Bridge Pike HOURS:

8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday For a full list of prices and services visit www.whitebridgeautowash.com.


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New Shops,1920. credit Metro Archives

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The New Shops and Complicated History of

WEST NASHVILLE’S

RAILROADS Nashville’s location played an important role in the railway coming to this area. The first trains in Nashville arrived via riverboat at First Avenue and the Cumberland River. A team of mules dragged the engines off the riverboats, and by the mid1800s, residents in Southern cities looked forward to the railroad arriving in their towns. Business investors welcomed them, as well, and eventually the network of tracks would connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. By 1900, if you were traveling to or from the Midwest, your travel would likely go through Nashville. The history of the railroad in West Nashville, however, is complicated.

by Yvonne

EAVES

photos courtesy of

Sarah Foster Kelley Collection WNFM (unless otherwise noted)

April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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LOUISVILLE & NASHVILLE RAILROAD

NASHVILLE & CHATTANOOGA RAILROAD

Between 1880 and 1930, trains were the most powerful means of transporting groups of people and freight. As early as 1858, a single railroad went into operation from Louisville to Nashville known as the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. Nashville was considered a transportation hub, since it was in the center of the state and of the mid-south. During the Civil War, the Union troops took advantage of the L&N Railroad, and after the war, L&N acquired all the rail companies coming to Nashville except the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. By the late 1800s, L&N had a near-monopoly on the railroads in Middle Tennessee and the southern part of the country. By 1901, L&N owned 1,195 miles of tracks in America, with 875 of them in Tennessee. In 1957, its first major expansion after WWII, the Nashville, Chattanooga & Saint Louis Railroad officially merged with L&N. The NC&StL tracks ran 1,200 miles, connecting Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Atlanta.

On December 11, 1845, the General Assembly of the state of Tennessee issued a charter authorizing the construction of Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad. Approximately 151.7 miles of tracks linked Nashville and Chattanooga, and all equipment and supplies needed during that time were transported by horseback, as it was the only means to get through the tunnel cut through a mountain to Chattanooga.

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Vernon Stevenson was the first president of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad. By 1872, N&C had built tracks to St. Louis, becoming Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad. Then NC&StL and L&N Railroads agreed to partner and share their railway tracks. In Nashville, however, some business leaders were not happy with the Kentucky railroad. Many Nashvillians preferred a railroad run by local residents. L&N controlled all trains coming through Union Station, and by 1880, L&N had controlling stock in NC&StL,

but allowed it to operate as its own railroad entity. NC&StL board members were picked by L&N, and newspapers and businesses were intimidated by the Kentucky railroad giant.

THE “NEW SHOPS”

2222222222222222 Before 1890, the NC&StL railroad shops were where The Gulch now sits, and the passenger station stood north of Church Street. As NC&StL started growing and building toward Atlanta, plans for Nashville’s “New Shops” were underway. Construction on the “New Shops” began in 1888 on Charlotte Pike. The New Shops project was completed in 1890, at a cost of half a million dollars. The New Shops campus was on 70 acres of Charlotte Pike, running from 25th to 31st Avenues. In 1897, a depot was constructed on Centennial Boulevard. The depot provided transportation for West Nashville residents who worked at the New Shops. The New Shops complex looked more like a college campus than a group of railroad shops. A local greenhouse provided beautiful cannas and other live plants for

Roundhouse employees, 1900.

The City of Memphis.

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New Shop employees, 1900.


the grounds. On Sundays, NC&StL would often host picnics for employees and families. Trains in Nashville meant jobs. New Shops’ most notable building was a 40-stall roundhouse, that cost $75,000, for steam-engine maintenance. Other buildings on the New Shops campus were a locomotive erecting shop, the boiler and tank shop, paint shop, blacksmith shop, planing mill, tin shop, freight car shop, wheeled and tender shop. New Shops provided jobs for many employees: carpenters, welders, pipe fitters, sheet-metal workers, painters, cabinetmakers, upholsters, electricians, blacksmiths, boilermakers and machinists. New Shops’ employees were not limited to repair and maintenance work. Trains were built from the track up, and in 1947, employees begin constructing the City of Mem-

Roundhouse employees, 1956.

New Shops,1920.

The Roundhouse.

The New Shops. credit Tennessee State Library & Archives

April–May 2018 | 372WN.com

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phis, which replaced the Volunteer. Costing more than $300,000, the City of Memphis was the first locomotive built in Tennessee; it took seven months to build. Once finished, the diesel engine and six cars could travel to Memphis two hours faster than any other train leaving Nashville; previ-

ous trains traveled at 47 miles per hour, while the City of Memphis’ average speed was 75 miles per hour. The six cars included three coaches, one dining/lounge car, an observation car and a Railway Post Office car. Each coach car had luxury accommodations, and all six railroad cars were equipped

with air conditioning. Steam engines were difficult to maintain, and by 1950 they were no longer used. After WWII, diesel engines were already in production. Though they were more expensive to build, labor costs were lower, since only one person was needed to operate the engine.

New Shop employees.

New Shop employees.

WWI soldiers returning home.

Locomotive 576. photo by Yvonne Eaves

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By the late 1950s, L&N’s Radnor Yards were operating, and the buildings at the New Shops were vacant. L&N eliminated an estimated 800 jobs.

TENNESSEE CENTRAL RAILROAD

2222222222222222 In 1902, The Nashville & Knoxville Railroad was reorganized into the Tennessee Central Railway and built its own line into Nashville from the Knoxville area. Tennessee Central Railway eventually built tracks farther on to Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Tennessee Central had a depot near 31st Avenue and Charlotte Pike. Today when traveling on Interstate 440, we are on the former Tennessee Central Railway bed. Jere Baxter was the mastermind of Tennessee Central.

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 former president of the Cohn High School Alumni Association and author of Nashville’s Sylvan Park (along with co-author Doug Eckert, Arcadia Publishing). Sources used for this story include: Website History.com/topics/world-war-ii/us/home/ front, during-world-war-11; Nashville Since the 1920s by Don Doyle; Thayer Fare newspapers Tennessee State Library & Archives and Metro

Archives; and Vertical Files at the Nashville City Room, Nashville Public Library. SOURCES: Vertical Files Nashville Room at Nashville Main Library. West Nashville, Its People and Environs – Sarah Foster Kelley NC&StL A history of the Dixie Lands - Dain L Schult Fortunes, Fiddles & Fried Chicken – Bill Carey Websites: www.nashvillesteam.org & www.tcry.org

Baxter was against the powerful L&N Railroad. He attempted to gain access to the L&N’s Union Station, because he wanted to create a successful railroad that was not under control of L&N. The dominating L&N would not allow Tennessee Central to use Union Station, and Baxter passed away without seeing his dream accomplished. An old Tennessee Central Railway freight depot still stands near Hermitage Avenue, south of downtown Nashville. The depot is at 220 Willow St. and has been transformed into the Tennessee Central Railway Museum. The museum has quite a collection of railroad memories, with diesel engines, dining cars, box cars and cabooses on exhibit.

LOCOMOTIVE 576

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Since 1953, Centennial Park has been home to Locomotive 576, one of the remaining NC&StL steam locomotives. No. 576 served our country during WWII, hauling our troops and supplies. A group of dedicated train enthusiasts are working to see Locomotive 576 operate again, and the Nashville Steam Preservation Society has created a website: www. nashvillesteam.org. VI

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372WestNosh

by Constant

EATER

Whether we’ve driven by them a hundred times or just spotted a new one we want to try, West Nashville’s got you covered for breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening cocktails.

Breakfast BILLY’S CORNER 4400 Murphy Road 615.298.5615 billyssylvanpark.com

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estled amid the trendy shops and restaurants on Sylvan Park’s Murphy Road sits Billy’s Corner, owner Billy Hance’s vision of a full-service station, general store, short-order restaurant and craft beer haven. Make sure you don’t miss it, because this vision combines the best parts of each. We’ll just start by stating the obvious: Breakfast at Billy’s is da bomb. Not only is it inexpensive, it’s great food and you get the chance to catch up with general manager Adam Baker and kitchen manager

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Richard Burk. “I get to cook for my neighbors, which is great,” says Richard. “You get to catch up on all the scuttlebutt, and hear what’s going on with the neighborhood.” He also mentions that the ingredients are top-notch and everything is made from scratch, including their signature item, the breakfast taco. Some of our favorites have been the breakfast platter than includes sides like hashbrowns and a biscuit, or the sausage biscuit if we’re in a hurry. There’s also a lunch menu that includes a two-patty Billy Boy Burger, Sylvan Park Reuben, Philly Cheesesteak, BLT Turkey Melt and rotating specials, like chicken tacos and smoked sausage plates. And we’d be remiss to not mention the “world-famous” Billy Chili, which hits the spot during cooler temps. When the

weather’s nice, however, take a moment and hang out front in a rocker or at one of the picnic tables. Billy’s also offers full-service for your automobile, with a mechanic on-site and a full selection of tires. They’ve brought back the service tech who will fill your tank while you fill your tummy . . . or your growler, since they also 12 craft beers on tap,


along with over 120 other varieties, plus imports and domestics. The best part about Billy’s is the welcome vibe that invites you to slow down and catch your breath. Ah . . . STORE HOURS: Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.; Saturday, 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. SERVICE HOURS: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Saturday by appointment only CREDIT CARDS: All RESERVATIONS: No (but you can schedule auto services online)

Lunch THE RIDGE 333 54th Avenue, North 615.385.7800 theridgenashville.com

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ocated in northwest Nashville, Paradise Ridge is probably known better as Joelton to most. Charlie Babb’s great-grandparents lived there, and as part of the original Paradise Ridge Grill crew, they helped define good food and good times for their family and friends. “The Ridge an homage to the original location,” explains owner and native West Nashvillian Charlie Babb. “We wanted to let people know that the same place is back, doing the same thing . . . but maybe with a surprise or two.” In fact, Paradise Ridge never actually left; for many years, Charlie’s big red food truck was a staple among many outdoor events and festivals. “We’ve always been caterers,” he says. “So when this location became avail-

able—we literally live around the corner—we thought it would make a great neighborhood spot.” And then, there’s the menu. Two world championships. Four state championships for barbeque, another four for desserts, and countless other awards and recognitions. This is barbeque at its best . . . and its most creative. “When I first opened, I got a lot of ‘oh, another barbeque place,’” Charlie says. “We have several barbeque dishes, but we offer a lot more . . . who else is putting fried bologna, pimiento cheese and a fried green tomato together? We were pretty much the first place to offer tachos, where you replace the chips with tater tots.” (Editor’s note: They’re amazing!) To Charlie's point: You’re not just eating a barbeque sandwich—you’re eating four other items that complement it really well. Now for you purists out there, they can throw down some ribs, wings, brisket, whatever

you want. “But at the same time,” Charlie continues, “we’re creative with the things we’ve got. It’s not the same old barbeque place, in that respect.” (If you don’t know what a Ridginator is, remember to ask.) Two important notes: Catfish is all-you-can-eat after 5:00 p.m. on Fridays, and if you haven’t attended a party yet at The Ridge, you need to. Charlie’s parties are legendary. “The whole point,” Charlie concludes, “is to have fun with it.” HOURS: Sunday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; Friday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. CREDIT CARDS: All RESERVATIONS: No

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Dinner TIN ANGEL 3201 West End Avenue 615.298.3444 tinangel.net

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amed for the now-defunct Greenwich Village bar/restaurant that was upstairs from The Bitter End, Tin Angel celebrates 25 years in August—and in the new Nashville, that is more than a lifetime for a restaurant. Tin Angel has retained a charm that works for those who prefer a warm, intimate dining experience. By design, it’s not sleek—but for those who prefer relaxed dinner conversation that can be spoken and heard in conversational tones, Tin Angel’s got that and more. “We do it all ourselves—developing the dishes, selecting ingredients, cooking and baking from scratch,” explains Nashville restaurant veteran Rick Bolsom, who co-owns Tin Angel with his wife Vicki. “This yields consistency. Regardless of menu changes, Tin Angel is dedicated to consistent quality.” Tin Angel’s menu is seasonal, but in 25 years, they’ve never changed the entire menu. “We realized early-on that we can’t be all things to all people. When you try to do that, you’ll eventually stumble. So we review what’s popular, what could be re-worked, and what makes sense

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for a given season,” Rick explains. “We typically do four seasonal changes and tweak things slightly when it’s necessary, to maintain the quality our customers expect.” The shrimp and crabmeat risotto and Chicken da Vinci are menu stand-outs. “We really look to historically interesting food from all over the world, examine contributing cultures that we’ll then interpret through our own style,” says Rick. “At the same time, however, we have a killer hamburger, too. I like having some basic menu items and more stylized dishes, as long as they’re all consistently good.” And then there’s the pièce de résistance that pre-dates Tin Angel itself: The Med Salad. Introduced at Cakewalk back in 1987 and later Zola— both establishments owned by the Bolsoms—The Med Salad is the longest-running menu item in their history . . . and one bite tells you why. The wine list contains some options that aren’t your typical wine-list wines. “We don’t want to be weird for weird’s sake, whether it’s

our food or wine,” Rick says. “We taste wines that may be new to the market, new vintages, new producers, or that we’ve read about. We do our homework, but at the end of the day, it’s got to be in the bottle. It can have the best rating, the best PR . . . but if it doesn’t taste properly, I don’t want to serve it.” “We really care,” Rick says. “And it comes down to that. We really care about trying to do what we do well.” HOURS: Monday through Saturday, 4:30 p.m.–10:00 p.m.; Sunday, 4:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m. CREDIT CARDS: All RESERVATIONS: Available via the telephone, website, Open Table Complimentary valet parking is available on weekends and a parking lot is located behind the restaurant.


Cocktails THE LOCAL 110 28th Avenue North 615.320.4339 localnash.com

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arlier this year, the venue formerly known as The Country re-branded and expanded. “The shift was a change in ownership and the previous name was a bit too genre-specific,” explains General Manager Leland Huber. “We want to highlight all of Nashville’s music scene, and retain some of it over here on the West Side. A lot of it gravitated east, but we like highlighting local music and keeping some of that over here.” The Local serves as a reminder of what a music venue/neighborhood bar should be: Enough space between the tables to dance, enough seats at the bar to fly solo and a patio that welcomes "two- and four-footers who are just passing by. The cocktail menu standards are primarily bourbon-based—the Old Fashioned is their signature drink, and one they do quite well—but they’ve brought in a few seasonals, like a Spicy Paloma that will hit the spot on a warm spring day. “Fresh jalepenos and Casamigos Blanco, which is my personal favorite [tequila],” Lee says. Opening at 4:00 p.m. each day, The Local kicks off happy hour specials that last until 7:00 p.m. Enjoy $1 off drafts and well drinks on Mondays, $5 mules on Wednesdays and $8 cocktails on Thursdays. The menu offers pub favorites, all done exceptionally well—burgers, fried

green beans with wasabi and chicken fingers “that are some of the best around, I’d stake my life on it,” Lee grins. But their fries steal the show. “They’re actually thin-sliced steak fries that have the flavor of a potato chip,” Lee says. “I’d come check that out.” “A lot of people think we’re strictly a music venue,” he continues. “But The Local is a neighborhood bar. We have two shows a night, a great patio space that’s dog-friendly and it’s a great place to hang out.” HOURS: Sunday through Thursday, 4:00 p.m.–12:00 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4:00 p.m.–2:00 a.m. CREDIT CARS: All

Constant Eater is dedicated to discovering the West Side’s best breakfasts, lunches, dinners and cocktails . . . in the name of fair reporting and satisfied tummies, of course.

RESERVATIONS: No

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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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Heather Cramsie is the marketing coordinator for Outback Concerts.


372wn vol ii issue3  

April–May 2018

372wn vol ii issue3  

April–May 2018

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