As I was walking around gathering photgraphs ad footage for this project I cound not help but attract some attention. Everywhere I went people asked me what I was doing and why I was walking around taking pictures of their stores and whatnot. So I thought maybe I could get some interesing stories if I tried to go around and ask for some interveiws. Some of the people I tried were genuinely interested and wanted to talk to me right away. I often found that with those people, if I didnâ€™t have my camera ready imediately I might miss the story because they would start to tell me without much prodding at all. Other people were not into it at all, and I even got forcibly taken out of the laundrymat for having my camera on in there. It was difficult sometimes being turned down, especially when I knew that there were people with great stories who were just camera shy. But overall I found that people were interested in talking to me and wanted to help me out with my project in any way they could. Even the most questionable places and kinds of people were kind and helpful and full of the same love and energy for East Nashville as I am.
spicy chicken and fish
Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish is located on the south end of Gallatin Road, where it is still called Main Street. My uncle Jon likes thier fish sandwiches. I went in curious about the place because my mother had received an article clipped from Gourmet Magazine from her friend in New York City, so I knew it was going to be something special. And I wasn’t disappointed. Mr. Bolton Matthews was eager to talk to me about his resturant, which is a quintessential Nashville chicken shack, complete with plastic tables and a lack air condioning that becomes ever more apparant as you chow down on your chicken. I could tell that Bolton was passionate about his chicken and making his business a place where people feel comfortable and can have a great meal.
Left: Outside Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish
So you are Mr...? Bolton. Of Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish, right here on Main Street. I am. So how long have you guys been in business? About 14 years. Have you seen the area change a lot? Um, yes...yes. It has. Its grown. Other than that, its almost the same. Every now and then we get new people coming in and out. So the neighborhood, its got to be growing. From South 7th, all the way back up this way, we havn’t had nothing but all new people coming in. And they talk about it all the time, just moving into the neighborhood. How’s business down here? Hm..I like it You guys have won a lot of awards here. Yes. I know you’ve been in several magazines. Yes. Previous Pages: 1 Beautiful handpainted signage 2 The simple and quaint interior Left: Mr. Bolton himself.
So people must love it! I do my best! Im trying to stay with them awards. So, which magazines have you guys been in? I guess um, Southern Living, Tennessean, and...um, Gun Craft or something like that? We was in their magazine not too long ago, Its about 4 or 5 magazines weâ€™ve been in. I dont even know em all. (Laughs) Its a popular place to have chicken I guess, around here.
Yes, um here, and um....whats the name of that other chicken place? Its off of Dickerson Road, um.. Princeâ€™s. You would like it. I think weâ€™re the only two, that I know of that sells the chicken the way we do it. And both of us are in a family together. Oh wow! Ok, cool. It was an older bunch, that had it before we did, and now, its a younger bunch over there and my uncle gave this to me when he passed. So has anything crazy ever happened here? Got any crazy stories? Um, no. no. So far its been pretty smooth. I try to keep a good house. So no, we have a
good time down here. Well thats good. Any famous people ever come down here? Um...that girl over there. (pointing to an autographed paper bag on the wall signed by Emily West.) She just made it big. And took a bunch of pictures. i guess maybe 500 pictures. Its been people coming down...its a magazine thatsS at the airport sayin “The 50 different places where you have to eat before you die.” So you guys are on the list? Yes. So that was pretty cool the way they did the setup on that. Well that is awesome! This has been great and I thank you so much for taking a minute to talk to me. And I think we’re going to get some chicken. Do you have a chicken tenders or something? With fries? We do. That would be perfect. Well how you want em? How do you recommend? Well if you havnt had the hot its best to just say, just LIGHTLY hot. So you can enjoy it. Puttin it too hot, your’e not gonna enjoy it because you be sucking your lips and stuff tryin to get some of
Right: This chicken was SO SPICY. But it was also absolutely delicious.
the heat off! So what I’ll do is I’ll just make it like, a good mild so you enjoy the taste and then if youre ever in this area again and you want it a little hotter, you can say you want it a little hotter. Ok! Well I live right around here, I live on Fatherland So that would be good to start out if you havn’t had it. You havnt had it? No! And my uncle eats here all the time and he loves it. Yeah, I havnt had nobody ever tell me they didnt like it. And if they would you know, I would
want to try to fix whatever was wrong that they didnt like. I dont want nobody leaving out of here or going out of here unhappy. I try to keep it to the best standard I can keep it at. Well, thats why you guys are so good. I guess. I just thank the Lord for it. I mean when my uncle give it to me, I really wasn’t into cooking you know? I just wanted to just enjoy the money and have people work for me. But two weeks before he passed he said “Now, if you want this recipe, and youre not going to get into cooking I’m just going to take it on with me. And he didn’t have any kids. And I was his nephew and I was the closest thing to it. And he said “Its up to you. But I’m not going to give it to you if you’re not going to cook.” And I just thank the Lord that he demanded it like that. ‘Cause right now, I stay in here every day, when I’m not even working. I’m in here just fixing different types of food, and I’m hoping that in the next two months, if God’s willing, to open up another one on Charlotte. Cool! We will be looking for that then! Well still, if its the Lord’s will. Well I wish you the best of luck!
Left: I actually cried while I was eating this chicken. But it was still really good!
mr.weiss weiss liquor store
Weiss Liquor Store has been on the corner of Main Street and 9th Avenue South for as long as I can remember. It consists of 2 builings, one for liquor and wine and the other for beer and snacks. Both builings have signs that are incredibly old and beautiful. My family has been coming to this liquor store for eggnog every christmas since I moved into this area. And I have been going to the Weiss Drive-In Market for grocieries and whatnot for years. They have an enormous collection of wine, chanpange and liquor of all types. They definatly have the best selection on the east side of the river. Mr. Weiss was kind enough to tell me a little about the history of his store and how he has seen the area change.
Left: Outside Weiss Drive-In Market
So you are Mr. Weiss, right? I am guilty. I been hanging around a long time Honey. So you guys have been in operation here since...? We’ve been here since 1961. That is crazy, and I bet you’ve seen a bunch of crazy stuff. Ehh....sort of. Yeah. (laughs) Have you seen the area change a lot? Yeah its gone better. From what it originally was. Its come back up some. Its still very mixed. Parts of it are still real good, or better, and parts of it are still not. Its not going to continue to change over night. I think its come up about as far as its gonna go right now, you know. Until everything else in general gets better its not gonna get better. We’ll see. You’re not gonna see any more investment over here for a while. ‘Course your’e not gonna see much investment anyplace right now. Unless an area is real good people are not gonna wanna put money into it. Things get built up in the less desirable areas those begin to get a little attraction to them. And thats whats going to happen over here. You live over here? Yeah I’ve lived here since I was 8 years old. I live over on Fatherland. Have you enjoyed living and working in this area? Previous Pages: 1 Vintage sign from the Drive-In Market 2 Vintage 40s sign from the liqour store Left: Mr. Weiss at the counter filling out paperwork while he talks to me
Yeah, its been fine. I sold my house in 1992. My kids were going to school accross the river and I was the constant taxi cab service so we packed up and left. I live off 440 now. So how is business? Still pretty good. Parts of it are not as good as they were. Thats just part of the general malaise thats going on around the country. You got so many people not working so ultimately that effects the dollars that trickle through here. So do you have a good story about this place you could tell me?
Just the same stuff that goes on week in and week out Hon. Whats it like here on the weekends? Sometimes its pretty fast paced. Depends on how much moneyâ€™s flowing, how many people are coming through. So how many kids do you get trying to come in here and buy alcohol underage? Not much anymore. I mean, you still get them occasionally. You dont get many that are foolish enough that hand you their ID that plainly shows theyâ€™re underage. But you still get some.
Kids with fake IDs and stuff? As long as I’ve been doing this and people talk about fake IDs. If I’ve ever seen one I didn’t know it. Not to say that I havn’t seen one. Its probably easier for them to make certain kinds. But most of the drivers liscenses now take pretty good peices of equipment to duplicate. Its not something you can make on your home computer I don’t think. But there are people out there that sell them, that can duplicate them. You can buy them online I believe. Unless they’ve shut down all those sites. You used to be able to go online and get the real looking deal. So have you ever had to call the cops down here? (chuckles) Thats pretty frequent. Most of it is, you get the bums that don’t want to leave, the panhandlers and that sort of thing. Thats the majority of it. Its not the violent crime. Its just... Its the bums. And since they’ve got this free food place accross the street that kinda attracts them like flies. We’ve probably had more problems since that thing opened up 7-8 years ago, whenever it was than we ever did before. Its been like so many problems around this country, social problems, no body wants to admit the real premise behind it. All they wanna do is put a band-aid on it. make themselves feel better and look better. Yeah its sad. Well I mean, its just fact. But I can’t condemn people, if thats what they want to do then so be it. Theres more of them than there is me.
Right: Inside of Weiss Liquor.
Thats very true. So you guys plan on keeping business open for some time here on this corner? I don’t have any intentions of quitting yet. I’m not old enough to quit. I’m just 62 so I got a few more years before I can hang it up. As long as my health holds up I’m not gonna quit. Do you have anything to say about the sign? How old is that sign out there? Older than me. Parts of it yeah. Its been added onto a couple of times. Its been moved. Thats the 3rd location. The basic part of the sign goes back to the mid to late 40s. So it must’ve come from the original location, and has been moved and changed some since then?
Yeah. The original location was at the Meridian Street viaduct. Which no longer exists either. You probably don’t know where Meridian Street is either. Basically the location would be, you know where interstate drive is today? you go down Main Street and take a right on Interstate Drive, that essentially would have been Meridian Street. But the interstate came thruough and Urban Renewal came through in the late 50s. Because my grandmother lived at Putnam and Oldham. And she was the last one to leave that area. They came through and bought all the houses, and tore all that down back there. And she had lived in that house since she came to this country. She was not going to leave and they moved everybody else out of the neighborhood and we finally had to go in and physically carry her out. She wasn’t leaving. (chuckles.) Then they bulldozed all that down there. What was originally Heartbreak Hotel, I think now its a Best Western. They’ve renamed it 3 or 4 times. That 7 story hotel down there right of North First behind Truck Stop of America? Thats about where grandma lived. They tore several square blocks down over there. Did she have a big beautiful old house? Nah, it was just a 4 room house. Big porch accross the front and a sleeping porch on the back. It was, I guess, a fun house, what I remember of it. Its been gone since 58’ or 9 now. Well that is a wonderful story Mr. Weiss. And I am so glad you could share with me some stuff about this place.
Left: Closeups of Mr. Weiss’s face and hand– awesome ring.
wayneâ€™s unisex hair salon
Wayne’s Unisex Hair Salon and Wayne’s Hair Systems are located right next to East High school at 400 Gallatin Road. They have a dinky little building but have been a staple in the area since the 70’s which is aparant from thier awesome bright pink sign. I had passed by many times but never been inside, although a friend of mine who grew up in the area told me he used to get his haircut there all the time as a kid. I knew this was a totally East Nashville place that I had to check out. Wayne himself is chipper and funny, and the ladies he works with are a hoot. This was one of my favorite interveiws because Ms. Elaine Cercy had a great story to tell me. She and her client were gabbing away and I was lucky enough to catch some of their conversation on film. Elaine’s voice is in orange and her client’s is in red, Wayne’s in blue, and myself, of course, in black.
Left: Outside Wayne’s Unisex Hair Salon
So this is Wayne’s Unisex Salon. And Wayne’s Hair Systems. Course your’e not filming Wayne’s Hair Systems, its in the back. What’s Wayne’s Hair Systems? Thats where we do hair replacements. And its more private back there. Because they like their privacies. The guys that wear em? Yeah they like that. So yall have been here a long time? Since March of 1973. Thats 36 years right? Have you seen the area change a lot? Oh yeah. The 6th of March was my double aniversary. Right down there on Main Street I started working at a barber shop on the 6th day of March in 1961, and then I moved up here on the next corner...you want me to just tell you all this stuff? Yeah! I want to hear about it! Right here was the Frozen Castle that this lady over here is talking about. And right where Firestone is was Forrest’s Drive In Resturant. And there was a barber shop there called Coppeys and I started working for him in ‘61. April 29th of ‘61. I worked for him 4 years, we moved accross the street, and a month or 2 later I moved up the street where Suntrust bank is. And I was there 7 years and 8 months. And then I moved down here. And I’ve been here ever since March the 6th of 1973. Previous Pages: 1 Interior of the Salon 2 Wayne barbering a client’s hair Left: Wayne himself
Do you have lots of loyal customers that have been coming to you for haircuts for 10 years? Oh yeah, I’ve had some customers since ‘61. I had a guy in here this morning who I’ve been cutting his hair since ‘61. Wow, does he have any left? (laughs) Yeah, its still growin’ for him. So do you have any great stories about East Nashville? Just working in this area for such a long time?
I dunno...Just being hereâ€™s a great story isnâ€™t it? You think that you will be around here for a while then? I hope to! Gonna be here till the Lord returns! Well you know Ms. Elaine owned Boutique Coiffures up on 16th and Woodland and shes got a story to tell about a man who ran the car through the front of her shop. Tell her about that. Yeah, its Studio East now. I sold it two years ago in August. And its a photography shop and
art gallery now. High class, high class. How many years was you there? In that spot? 46 years. No you wasnt in that spot for 46 years because you were accross the street before. Well whatever. And someone drove their car through it? He did it on purpose. And I was supposed to be sitting there! On a saturday afternoon. He was mad at his wife. Was you there that day? She was supposed to be. I didn’t get there! My son came in and said wasn’t you supposed to be at the beauty shop today? I said I’m writing out the check, and he said the check?? Its already 20 after 1 and I was supposed to be there at 1. So I went down there and there were all kinds of people back there on that grassy place and in the streets and all... He just got mad and ran the car straight in. He told the police he needed to get something out of his car and then ran the car through the building! That was in november of 1980.
I’ll tell you, I thought everybody was dead. Nobody got hurt. The whole front of that shop was gone and I thought oh my word, everybody’s dead. Was it a jealous boyfriend or jealous husband? It was her husband. He would come in every Saturday. He didn’t work or anything. Back then drugs were not known like they are now. I think he just drank you know. He’d come to get money from his wife, and she had decided she wanted to get a divorce. Well I guess he just got mad, and wanted to let her have it? Well he came down there, and they called the police. and When the police came he told them that there was something in the car he needed, but he needed the car to run through the front of the store. Remind me again of your name ma’am? Elaine Cercy. And it was Boutique Coiffures. Oh I remember that place. It wasn’t long ago that you sold it.
Previous Page: Ms. Elaine Cercy and her client Left: Ms. Cercy’s client who’s name I never got, but she surely did have a lot to say..
Well I sold it in August of 2007 and came down here and rented a booth from Wayne. Because I have a lot of older clients you know? And they didn’t know where they was going or what they was going to do. Still dont! So I came down here and rented a booth from Wayne and I work 3 days a week. You brought all your clients with you? Well most of them. Most of them when we can get here! She came and got me today because I got macular degeneration and can’t see and can’t drive. Well thats so sweet of you! Well there’s a lot of shops in this area but most of them are like cut and blow and highlights and lowlights. The older women like perms and roller sets and of course my background is that. I was goin’ to her shop before she ever came here. Your sister in law Ann was working there, and you came right out of beauty school. In fact I worked for her a lot while I was in beauty school but people didn’t know it. You mean you did my hair while you were in beauty school and I thought you were certified?
(laughs) You thought I was certified. And I rented from H.G. Hill until Wayne Vogel ran through the front of the shop. And then Mr. Hill just collected the insurance and sold me the shop as was. With the hole in the front and everything? Yep! But we had been talking for a couple of weeks, every Saturday he would come in to get money from his wife. And we would say somethings gonna happen, this has got to stop. And
he usually parked on the other side of the street where we could look out the window and see him on the other side of the street. But boy, that day he parked right headed in. And the police, it was so funny cause they said he had told them he had to get something out of his car and and the police let him go to his car. Well he got himself and he just rammed through the front of that building. With the police there? Yeah the police were right there. Why’d yall call them? Because he was actin’ up? Yeah, the wife was getting a divorce, she was wanting to move to Chattanooga wasn’t she? She had just put up with him and put up with him. But you know, didn’t he turn around and turn out to be a right decent person? I heard he did.
Left: Ms. Cercy, fluffing out curls and applying huge ammounts of hairspray..
Dinoâ€™s has been an East Nshville staple for some time. They have the oldest bar around and have acheived some noteriety in the area for being the ultimate Dive. This aparantly makes them a hot spot for on location filming of comercials and music videos. When I went inside I got to meet a few locals (their voices in grey) as well as the new owner Rick who runs the place with his wife. The beer is served in a mason jar and they offer breakfast all day as well as inside smoking which is hard to find at any bars nowadays. Dinoâ€™s Resturant may not look like the fanciest place in the world, but the people inside are just as friendly and welcoming as anyone you would ever meet.
Left: Outside of Dinoâ€™s Resturant on 411 Gallatin Rd.
What can I do for ya? Just first tell me your name and how long you guys have been here. Well my name’s Rick, and I bought this place a year and half ago. I moved to Nashville about 17 years ago, and have been coming in here ever since. The previous owner passed away so I bought it. I didn’t want to see it disappear. So you rescued it? Yeah! We are the oldest bar left in East Nashville under the same name. And as far as we know, where you can come in, have breakfast, drink a beer, and smoke a cigarette all at the same time. Which is pretty rare, anymore with new smoking laws. Yeah it definately is. But Dino’s has been here, its been Dino’s for over 40 years. Our customers range from old school guys to young 21 year olds and everwhere in between. Youv’e got a lot of regulars? Oh yeah, a lot of people have been coming in since longer than I’ve lived here. Are you from around here in the area? Oh yeah, i just live a block and a half away from where we’re sitting now.
Previous Pages: 1 Inside Dino’s Resturant 2 Beer delivered to a patron in a mason jar Left: Rick, the latest owner of Dino’s Resturant
So have you seen alot of things change since you have been living here? Oh yeah. In the 17 years we’ve been here this neighborhood’s come a long way. I was pretty awful. You’re from this area so you probably have some idea how bad it was at one time. Most all of these neighborhoods are now historic zones. Houses were bought and renovated, younger people moving in. Do you think Dino’s should be considered historic? Oh I think it is. When you’ve been around longer than anybody in the bar business you are
historic. Definately. So what’s a crazy story that’s happened here since you’ve known the place? A crazy story thats happened since I’ve known the place... probably nothing any crazier than that man right there. Thats Bill Cash. He gave us all a good laugh on TV one night. He showed up on the evening news and another customer who comes in here on the regular had left another bar in the middle of the night and was going up 14th and forgot to stop at the stop sign and ran right into Bill Cash’s house. And the news media got there and Bill got to laugh
ing and said “The only thing that pissed me off was that he knocked my girlfriend’s picture off the wall.” Awww! Thats so sweet! Well he made the local news so that was a good laugh for us. What are you having? Grilled cheese sandwich. You want some chips? Nope I’m good I had some on the way over. I see you get your beer in a mason jar? Yep! That’s the way it has to come. Nice. Weren’t you guys filming a video or something in here a few weeks ago? Well since I’ve owned it, we’ve had a couple of photo shoots in here, Kenny Chesney shot a video here. And just a couple of weeks ago we had a commercial shot in here. A commercial for what? An insurance company of all things. The old school old timey beer joint seems to attract these guys for different types of media shoots. The biggest one would have to be the Kenny Chesney video. Was that exciting? Did you get to meet him?
Right: The bar at Dino’s with a grilled cheese eating patron reading the newspaper
No, he was never here. The video was shot all over town but this was one of the locations. Yeah I saw them setting up, I was like what the heck is going on here? Yeah, a couple weeks ago? That was the commercial. The video’s already out, its called “Shift Work.” And if you ever see it, you’ll see me in it. I got 2 short little spots in it that lasts a total of 5 seconds. Did they pay you? Um...yeah. A little bit. I mean they paid for the site and location.
Do you all have live music here? Once in a while. occasionally we do. We dont have a lot of room so its not a big thing here but we do every once in a while. Well thats great. I’ll have to come down for a beer sometime when I’m not working on this project. You do that! We’ll see you down here!
Left: Bill Cash (right) and another customer have a cigarette and beer inside the resturant.
catâ€™s music employee
Cat’s Music is a family owned and operated music and records shop with locations in Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis and the Tri-Cities area. They have a huge selection of music by popular and local artists, as well as lots of music and albums from the past. It is a well known spot for DJ’s and producers looking for something different to add to their collection. I love the outside of this building. It has the characteristic Cat’s Music Cat painted on the side of the building, and a great big yellow sign out front. I also love the glass cubes on the outside of the building and the bright yellow awning. I interveiwed Jarred, who was working behind the counter. When I asked if he would be willing to do a 10 minute interview he was receptive and honest, and even had a pretty awesome story to tell me.
Left: Outside of Cat’s Music on 3623 Gallatin Rd.
So whats up? Not much, whats goin on? What is your name sir? My name is Jarred. And you work here, at Cat’s Music on Gallatin Road. That’s correct. How long has this store been open? Do you know? No honestly I don’t know. But I’ve been here a year and a half. Its been here a pretty decent amount of time though, I can tell you that. At least 20 years you think? Give or take. Me: So, what’s it like to work here? Its actually real cool! Its pretty chill, real laid back, a lot of locals come in here all the time. I can’t complain. You make good money? No but you know, you get paid for what you work for. Previous Pages: 1 The grafitti-esque sign on the side of the building. 2 Famous cigar smoking Cat. Left: Jarred at his post inside the store.
And you get to work with music all day! Thats nice. I do, I do. Music and real cool people. So you know, its all good. So, what kind of crazy stuff has gone down here since youâ€™ve worked here? Oh, um, robberies, shootings, Oh yeah. It happens. Especially in this neck of the town. Thats just the way it is. People come in here with guns and try to rob the place? Not me. The storeâ€™s been robbed twice before. But I have seen customers with guns in here.
Drug deals go on here. Thats just how it is. So you have alot of regulars that come in? Oh yeah definately. Actually about 90% of our customers are regulars. Just people that live around the city. DJâ€™s trying to find music... DJâ€™s, or just, you know typical people who want whats new, whats hot. And you got all the hot music here.
Um, we try. We try to keep it in stock. We also have a lot of older stuff, jazz and a lot of indie stuff that people don’t really know about. We try to be...not discriminating, definately on the music front. And you just work here. You dont live in East Nashville.. No, I live nowhere near here actually, I live in Goodletsville, which is the country side of the city. I live way out. So why did you come down here to work? I filled out an application not thinking they were gonna hire me and they did. And a year and half later I’m still here. The drive’s not really all that hot, but its worth it working here. Awesome. So have you met a lot of cool people? I have. A lot of artist come through here, a lot of local artists, local rappers, people from out of town...there’s a lot of real cool people. Its real nice actually. Have you met any famous people? Famous per-say. I’ve met Haystack, he’s a local rapper. Mike Jones has been here, MJG, from 8Ball and MJG came here once, LeChat, Lord Infamous from 36Mafia has been here... Wow, thats pretty hot. Yeah, its aight. Its cool peoples man... its a cool place.
Right: Inside of Cat’s Music
So have you got any other crazy stories you can tell me? Um, actually once when I first started here a guy wanted to use the restroom and I told him it wasnâ€™t public so, what he did is he went to go take a...a movement in a bag and he actually brought it in the store and kinda walked around with it. Oh my god. Yeah, just to kinda get on my nerves a little bit. And it was everywhere, it was on his shirt and on his hands and everything so, it was not real cool.
That is nasty! Did yall call the cops? Nope, he just kinda bounced. It was just a funny story to tell after that. Well, thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I think I’m going to look around a little bit. Do you have anything you reccomend? What kind of stuff are you into? You know what the hot albums are–Whats flyin’ off your shelves? Well the new India Arie is pretty good, you should check that out. We’re getting the new MIMS in soon too, and people are excited about that. But just look around we’ve got all kinds of stuff for everyone. You can count on that.
Left: The rap and rock/pop sections have every album you could ever dream of.
a homeless man
Jerry is a homeless man who I encountered while I was photographing a very rundown structure on the East end of Gallaitn Road. I didn’t know what they actually did there, I just knew it was a strange run down buiding and I wanted a picture of it. (I later found out it’s a machine shop.) Jerry was just hanging out outside the little structure with a friend of his and he started a conversation with me because I was taking a bunch of pictures. People get curious about cameras and things. He ended up showing me his living quarters, which are found in a hollow concrete opening of the bridge that runs beside the building. He had some candles and a few blankets and a pillow and told me he was living pretty well. He also had a lot to say about east Nashville. His friend wanted to remain anonymous, so I didn’t get any footage of his face. Jerry’s voice is in blue, his friend’s in grey, and mine in black as usual.
Left: Jerry outside his regular haunt gives me a wave.
So you like living down here? Well, my daughter was born, she was born right down here on Kirkwood accross from Arby's. I guess I'm kindaâ€“ thats the reason I keep hanging around here. She lives in North Carolina now. I aint seen her in about 5 years. (Pause) Christmas, we had a christmas tree, an artificial tree that I found. We put it up. You put lights on it and every thing? No, we didn't. We didn't have no electricity. We're homeless. But I gave my friend, Teddy, hes got 2 dogs, he lives around back here. You didn't put lights on it? I mean, I had lights but we didn't have no electricity. Where'd you put it at? Round back. But, I gave him a gift and he gave me a gift. (laughs) So what kinds of crazy stuff have you seen living around here? I've seen people with their heads blown off. I've seen people stabbed. For real? Previous Pages: 1 Looking up at Jerryâ€™s cave and the bridge from the road. 2 Where Jerry lays his head at night Left: Close up of Jerry smiling at me
He's been where I've been, he knows what I'm talkin about. (pointing to Joe.) Yeah I've been shot myself. Yeah I have too. 357 in my chest. And somebody got shot in the ass up there at Litton. So, you think this is a dangerous area? Its safer right here than it is further down that way. You go, what, 3 lights? 3 lights down, thats a red zone. Red zone? Whats that mean?
Dangerous. Thats where I seen all this shit goin on. Crack city. With all the people that hang out down there? Yeah, crack city. And I aint gonna lie, I smoke crack too. I'm dumb too. But, your'e not going to kill nobody over it. No, no. But I do smoke it. Anything to ease the pain huh? You got some lortabs or whatever? Valiums? I'll take anything. I aint gonna fuckin lie to ya. I understand you. I lived down on Douglas... No, no. (refering to the camera on him.)
Hes wanted, I believe. Are you wanted? Me? Wanted? No. I just don't like that. I worry too much. I don't want my grown baby seein this. And I work here damnit. I do work here. I just stop in here and holler at my brother because hes my friend. Jerry takes care of me and everything. I've been there and done that and I know how it is. I used to live in Oak Ridge. Did you? Petros, Tennessee. Brushy Mountain Prison. I was there when James Earl Raye escaped. When I made parole from Brushy Mountain I went to Oak Ridge. And I met some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met in my life. At a biker bar. I was stayin’ at Saint Mary's catholic church, but there was a bar about 3 blocks down. And thats where I'd stay til about 3 oclock in the morning. Then I'd go home to the church. And them damn bells would wake me up. So that wasn't good. That didn't last long. You know, I'm really surprised. You really shocked me about one thing. I mean, I'm just sittin here talkin. Because I mean, we're who we are. We're not freaks– Well he’s gotta be one. If he wasn't he wouldn't be sitting here. –but this girl is sittin here talkin' to us. She's all by herself. And she gave us a chance, and I respect that.
Right: Easing his pain with a 32oz.
Well see, I've lived in this neighborhood for so long, and people always tell me "aren't you scared to live there and walk down Gallatin Road?" And I'm like, no! I don’t worry about it. I really think that people are basically good. You want to get one without the hat? Its kinda ragged. There ya are, lookin’ good. Yeah, I'll be damned. You are, but I ain’t. My hair's kinda ragged. So yall just hang out down here?
I don't hang out here all the time. Is there a store here? Are they selling anything here? Or next door? Its a machine shop. He does well and his child's happy. But he had a wreck on his motorcycle. He races. He went to Florida and raced last weekend and he had a wreck. He just had his staples removed and all. I'm here every day. You seen where I live. So I'm here every day. I help him outâ€“ he don't pay me nothing but I still help him out. He helps me out with a couple dollars to get me a bottle every now and then. And he... he's got a pistol. He's got a pistol he keeps in his pocket. Its got a 14 inch shotgun shell and a 45... Heâ€™s not gonna come out here and get us is he? Naw, he aint here. But I'm just lettin you know. Hes got a 14 inch shotgun shell and... A pistol? A pistol. He keeps it in his pocket all damn day.
Left: Jerry and his friend have a cigarette while I interview them.