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Linda Miller is the Broker of Rosemary Beach Realty, which topped Florida’s Scenic Highway 30-A market in 2016 with $250 million in sales for a single office. With 19 years of sales experience, she has been the number one agent since 2015 with $130,301,550 in sales, and since 2016 has sold $85,422,400 YTD on 30-A. Miller brokered the largest sale ever on 30-A at 24 South Briland in Rosemary Beach for $12.5 million and was the area’s number one agent in listings in 2016. Linda Miller has generated over $400 million in career sales with an average of $2,340,000 per sale. LindaMillerLuxury.com

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In this issue On the Cover

Luke Bryan, one of today’s biggest country music stars, is all set to headline the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam 2017 music festival in Panama City Beach, Florida. Bryan will be joined by Jason Aldean, Little Big Town,

82

A TASTE OF NASHVILLE

MORE THAN JUST COUNTRY MUSIC’S CAPITAL CITY, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, HAS BECOME A DESTINATION FOR GREAT FOOD, HISTORY, SHOPPING, ENTERTAINMENT, AND MORE. GET THE SCOOP IN THIS ISSUE’S TRAVEL SPOTLIGHT!

and many more for the September 1–3 events at Frank Brown Park. Get more information and read all about the festival’s brief but impressive history in “Doin’ Their Thing.” Photo by Carlos Ruiz

FEATURE

106 India’s Golden Secret

48 Doin’ Their Thing: Powerhouse Country Musicians Take the Stage

112 A Storybook: The Legacy of the Brothers Grimm

LE MONDE 27

SARTORIAL 119

28 The Therapy of Writing: Sharing Life Lessons

120 Graceful Rebel: Faith over Fear

36 The Cast of I Love Kellie Pickler:

126 Glimmer and Shimmer: The Heart of Rock ’n’ Roll

CMT Stars Do Their Part

42 A Renaissance Woman: A Creative Force

INSPIRATIONAL MUSINGS

BON APPÉTIT!

136 From Plot Twist to Punch Line: The Joy of a Good Story

58 Living the Sweet Life

VISUAL PERSPECTIVES 66 A Love Letter to Old Florida PUBLISHED BY

72 Storytellers in the City: New York’s Tribeca Film Festival 2017

VOYAGER 81 82 Music City: Nashville Is Where It’s at! TheIdeaBoutique.com info@theideaboutique.com

138 The Power of Your Words 140 Reading Out Loud: The Art of Storytelling

C’EST LA VIE CURATED COLLECTION: THE STORYTELLER 144 LA SCÈNE 148 AU REVOIR! 153

98 The Top Ten: Music City’s Food Scene

V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 13


CREATIVE TEAM FOUNDER / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF LISA MARIE BURWELL LISA@VIEMAGAZINE.COM

FOUNDER / PUBLISHER GERALD BURWELL GERALD@VIEMAGAZINE.COM

EDITORIAL MANAGING EDITOR JORDAN STAGGS JORDAN@VIEMAGAZINE.COM

CHIEF COPY EDITOR MARGARET STEVENSON CONTRIBUTING WRITERS SALLIE W. BOYLES, DARIN COLUCCI, HALEY CHOUINARD, L AURIE CROWLEY, PAMEL A DOWLING, LISA FERRICK, NICHOL AS GRUNDY, KYLE JACOBS, KEN JOHNSON, MARGARET LITTMAN, CAMERON MERRILL, MIKE ODOM, CAROLYN O’NEIL, NICHOL AS S. RACHEOTES, COLLEEN SACHS, RICK STANFIELD, CHAD THURMAN, ANDI ZACK-JOHNSON

ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY ART DIRECTOR TRACEY THOMAS TRACEY@VIEMAGAZINE.COM

ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR LUCY YOUNG SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER RINN GARL ANGER GRAPHIC DESIGNERS OLIVIA PIERCE, HANNAH VERMILLION

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS MIKE COPPOL A, DANIELLE DAVIL A, SIAN EGGINTON, NICHOL AS GRUNDY, EMILY HALL, ETHAN HELMS, OVIDIU HRUBARU, MA X HSU, TAYLOR JEWELL, BRENNA KNEISS, MICHAEL LOCCISANO, ROBERT LONGHURST, ANNE MENKE, MA X MUMBY, GERRY NAVARETTE, ANDREW NELLES, JON PACK, MARK PALLERMO, ROMONA ROBBINS, CARLOS RUIZ, BRIAN WILLETTE, DEBBY WONG, TARA ZIEMBA, BEYOND CONTENT, STAR MA X PHOTOGRAPHY

ADVERTISING, SALES, AND MARKETING DIGITAL MARKETING DIRECTOR MEGHN HILL BRANCH OFFICE MANAGER – IRELAND SHARON DUANE CREATIVE STYLIST SUVA ANG-MENDOZA ASSISTANT TO THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ABIGAIL RYAN BRAND AMBASSADORS LISA MARIE BURWELL LISA@VIEMAGAZINE.COM MARY JANE KIRBY MARYJANE@VIEMAGAZINE.COM

BRAND MANAGER RINN GARL ANGER CORINNE@VIEMAGAZINE.COM

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER TIM DUTROW DISTRIBUTION COORDINATOR SHANNON QUINL AN VIE is a registered trademark. All contents herein are Copyright © 2008–2016 Cornerstone Marketing and Advertising, Incorporated (Publisher). All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without written permission from the Publisher. VIE is a lifestyle magazine and is published six times annually on a bimonthly schedule. The opinions herein are not necessarily those of the Publisher. The Publisher and its advertisers will not be held responsible for any errors found in this publication. The Publisher is not liable for the accuracy of statements made by its advertisers. Ads that appear in this publication are not intended as offers where prohibited by state law. The Publisher is not responsible for photography or artwork submitted by freelance or outside contributors. The Publisher reserves the right to publish any letter addressed to the editor or the Publisher. VIE is a paid publication. Subscription rates: Printed magazine – One-year $29.95; Two-year $54.95. Subscriptions can be purchased online at www.VIEmagazine.com.

14 | SEPTEMBER 2017


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Editor’s Note

MAKE ME A CHANNEL The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. —P R O V E R B S 1 8 : 2 1

MAKE ME a CHANNEL of YOUR PEACE Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring your love. Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord, And where there’s doubt, true faith in you. Photo by Romona Robbins

I

t is a great honor to publish this magazine and have the opportunity to share stories with each new issue. When penning my note, I usually say a quick prayer that I choose the right words and message, and that they are full of hope and love. The first thing that came to my mind was a hymn we used to sing in church when I was a teenager: “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace.” I loved to sing this song as it always made my heart rejoice and an overwhelming humility would wash over me.

To Life!

Make me a channel of your peace Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope Where there is darkness, only light And where there’s sadness, ever joy. Make me a channel of your peace It is in pardoning that we are pardoned In giving to all men that we receive And in dying that we’re born to eternal life. Oh Master, grant that I may never seek So much to be consoled as to console To be understood as to understand, To be loved as to love with all my soul.

—Lisa Marie Founder/Editor-In-Chief

Written by Jon Cohen ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing, LLC V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 19


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30A Blue Mountain Beach | 30Avenue Inlet Beach | City Market Bayside Destin Information presented is subject to errors, omissions, changes, or withdrawals without notice. Sotheby’s International Realty and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered (or unregistered) service marks used with permission. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated.


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The Creatives We collaborate with talented photographers, writers, and other creatives on a regular basis, and we’re continually inspired by how they pour their hearts and souls into their crafts. Follow these creatives on social media and don’t forget to check out our account, @viemagazine.

SALLIE W. BOYLES Writer, “Doin’ Their Thing” WriteLady.com

FOR THIS ISSUE, WE ASKED THE CREATIVES TO WRITE US A SHORT STORY OR A SONG!

ANDI ZACK-JOHNSON

“My Dog” I have a confession: I didn’t enjoy creative writing until I was almost thirty. While I aced term papers and essays through graduate school, the mere idea of poetry and fiction assignments kept me from majoring in English. Even in elementary school, I dreaded hearing teachers say, “Write about anything, boys and girls!” Thankfully, Shaggy inspired a go-to story, “My Dog.” That beautiful Old English sheepdog appeared on our doorstop in the early summer before I entered first grade and subsequently delivered her seven puppies in the crawl space beneath our house. True-life tales, I still say, are the best!

I’m goin’ nowhere ’Cause nowhere’s where I wanna be Sittin’ in an old chair with a guitar on my knee Rain on a tin roof singin’ A six-string melody I’m goin’ nowhere and nowhere’s where I wanna be And when that black top finally turns to clay is when I’ll feel that smile back on my face Going back to the well that feeds my soul with a bucket of beer and a fishin’ pole ’Til I’m goin’ goin’ gone … without a trace

NICHOLAS S. RACHEOTES Writer, “Reading Out Loud”

Songwriter/performer, “CMT Stars Do Their Part” HuckandLilly.com

“What Heroes Are Made of” He had traded the Normandy beaches for an insurance territory. Making his regular collection, he found a boy seated on the floor amidst his model cars. “I have a new Buick. Would you like to drive it?” The blue ’59 with its angled tail fins looked like a spaceship ready for flight.

“What Are You Waiting On?” Are you wishing on a shooting star? Do you feel your dream is just too far? Do you know how beautiful you are? Go on, you know what you gotta do KEN JOHNSON & KYLE JACOBS Are you waiting for a four-leaf clover to grow? Hoping it’ll rain and you’ll find the gold under the rainbow? Deep down I think you know It all starts with you and only you So go on and get it Yeah, there’s nothing to it If you want it bad enough The Universe will get right to it You gotta see past where the light shines You’ll get there right in time All the dreams you dream will come true So what are you waiting on?

Songwriters/performers, “CMT Stars Do Their Part” CMT.com

“I’m Goin’ Nowhere” Sometimes this city burns a little too bright Can’t tell if it’s day or if it’s night Gettin’ off the grid in this GMC No GPS is gonna find me ’Cause the road I’m on is rollin’ outta sight

He sat the boy in his lap, placed his hands on the wheel, and guided the machine twice around the block. Back on earth, the boy ran to tell his friends. They deflated him. “You? Driving? Come on!” He had become the golfer who holes his drive while playing a solitary round. Where was the audience for so tall a tale? Only in the plaudits of memory. One autumn afternoon, a hero, a dream maker, gave a blind little boy his first and only driving lesson.

V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 23


La conversation

SHARING STORIES WE LOVE TO COMMUNICATE AND INTERACT WITH OUR READERS! AND WE LOVE IT EVEN MORE WHEN THEY PROUDLY SHARE THEIR STORIES AND POSE WITH VIE FOR A CLOSE-UP! THAT’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT: SHARING, LOVING, AND BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS. WE THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH AND WE APPRECIATE YOU! @alwaysmeghanxo It’s here! My first published words out in the world, printed for people to actually read. Y’all, I love stories, and more than that, I love getting to tell stories that matter. My desire is for everything I write to encourage people and give God glory. So here’s the spark notes: Jesus, the Living Water is alive and bringing hope to a world that is thirsty for it. Thank you to @viemagazine for asking me to write this, @brennakneiss.co for capturing the most beautiful photos, and @lucymyoung for making it all look amazing. Read the full article on viemagazine.com and check out @filterofhope for more adventures and fun!

@rockcreekranch Take a virtual trip to The Ranch at Rock Creek via @viemagazine and @carolynoneil and bring home a recipe for executive chef Drage’s meatloaf.

@beachclubcharleston Enjoying an afternoon read of @viemagazine’s “Staying Vibrant in Charleston: A Health and Wellness Agenda.” Grab your copy and check out their tips!

@dreamolesya July issue of @viemagazine with a huge sparkly kiss on the cover and quite an interview inside! Read full article at viemagazine. com or pick up a copy @barnesandnoble or @publix and most airport newsstands when you are traveling!

LET’S TALK!

@beyondzfit Just in time for the summer, @viemagazine presents five simple tips for staying fit this season. Brought to you by the man himself, Destin’s own Zoltan Nagy, these invaluable recommendations will help you develop and maintain your ideal beach body, even in the face of summertime and all its temptations.

Send VIE your comments and photos on our social media channels or by e-mailing us at info@viemagazine. We’d love to hear your thoughts. They could end up in the next La conversation! @morgankingmakeup Blast from the past! Still obsessed over this incredible shoot I was blessed to be a part of with @viemagazine.

VIEmagazine.com

V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 25


SWIMWEAR + LIFESTYLE

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Le monde

Le monde GOES ROUND AND ROUND

A lover of storytelling, art, and culture, Germany’s King Ludwig II dedicated his entire palace to the works of composer Richard Wagner. Neuschwanstein Castle, now Germany’s most popular tourist attraction, was constructed from 1869 to 1886, and its chambers include tributes to Wagner’s operas Tannhäuser and Lohengrin, among others. Although King Ludwig II died briefly after moving into the castle, his architectural embodiment of romanticism and opera has since been enjoyed by the public, now seeing nearly 1.3 million tourists visit per year. It also served as inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.

V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 27


Le monde

BY CHAD THURMAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK PALLERMO

28 | SEPTEMBER 2017


BLOGGER, WRITER, ILLUSTRATOR, AND PERIPATETIC SOUL GREG CAYEA IS A STORYTELLER. HE SEES THE IRIDESCENT, EVER-CHANGING WORLD THROUGH AN AUGMENTED LENS WITH A BLACK-ANDWHITE FILTER—AND THAT’S JUST FINE WITH HIM. At age thirty-two, Cayea looks back on a young life that began much the same as any other American suburban kid’s life does—full of listless confusion and vigorous ennui. However, at only fourteen and with spirits that he had stolen from his parent’s wine cellar, he began drinking alcohol to cope with the awkwardness of growing up.

This early relationship with alcohol eventually led him to a juvenile corrections facility that has since been shut down because of its abusive policies. Cayea eventually escaped from that facility and began the life of a vagabond who now holds a Guinness World Records title for the world’s longest road trip in a single country.

V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 29


Le monde espite his tumultuous beginnings, Cayea rose to success as an impresario, a small business entrepreneur, and a published author. He has also become one of the most popular Internet bloggers of today through sharing his story. “As a kid, I was desperate for friends, so I did whatever it took to get them,” he says. “And that led me down a really dark path that led to situations with some really dark people until I just kind of lost it and got buried under a sea of drug addiction and dangerous situations. I was eventually kicked out of school and sent to an institution in the mountains of North Georgia called Hidden Lake Academy.” Cayea’s first book, No Direction Home: The Drifter Chronicles; Volume 1, tells the story of how he ended up at Hidden Lake Academy, a “boot camp” type of facility that treated its young residents very poorly—and no one seemed to know or even care. Cayea says that since he has told his story, he has gotten a lot of feedback from others relating how he

“I FIND THE TRUTH TO BE FAR MORE INTERESTING THAN FICTION, WHICH IS WHY I NEVER WRITE FICTION.”

helped them cope with their pasts. “I find the truth to be far more interesting than fiction, which is why I never write fiction,” Cayea says. “The book is about how I ended up in the most infamous juvenile institution in America, what it was like being there, and how I escaped.” When he left that institution at sixteen years of age, Cayea lived on the road and on the run, and as he puts it, he “never went back.” He lived a nomadic life until very recently, when he moved back home to Long Island, New York, to make up for lost time with his family. According to Cayea, these types of juvenile institutions, often masquerading as “therapeutic boarding schools” or “behavior modification centers,” could once be found all over the country, though most have been shut down because their unsavory practices were exposed.


V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 31


Le monde

hese places were . . . weird,” he says, “and for me—and many others—being there was the start of a massive disconnect between me and everybody else that I had grown up with, and pretty much everybody in my life.” Google Hidden Lake Academy or search for any facility of the same type, and you’ll find what Cayea calls “survivor groups” all over the Internet. You’ll find rumors, horror stories, lawsuits, and discussion forums full of people bickering back and forth about what happened there. Cayea’s book walks you through what it was like and what actually happened at these facilities. “I’ve searched for and could not find one story ever written about any of these schools,” Cayea says. “I think my book is the first firsthand account of what happened at these facilities. Moreover, I think that a lot of people—at least tens of thousands of former ‘students’ that are now adults—are appreciative that someone finally got the word out there about what they went through as kids. It’s a hard kind of tale to tell. Most of my friends that are still alive and out of prison who went to these places feel the same way, or at least they did for a very long time.” Cayea doesn’t want the explanation of these difficult circumstances to be taken as an excuse for his behavior, but he says, “It certainly caused a disconnect,” and it kept him on the road. He found that after leaving Hidden Lake Academy, he could not relate well to people because no one he encountered knew of or had openly shared a similar experience. Then one day, his life took a turn toward clarity, and he began to write about what he had experienced and what he knew. He soon discovered that he was not alone. “I wrote this book because I got sober six years ago, and at the time, I didn’t know what in the hell to do with my life,” Cayea recalls. “I started writing it the day I got sober, and writing it was what kept me sober. About four years into sobriety, I met a girl in Los Angeles who had found my blog, and she asked me if I would be open to writing a book. I told her that I had been working on one, but it wasn’t complete.

32 | SEPTEMBER 2017


It turns out, her brother was a literary agent and her mother an author, and she wanted to package all of us together to help me to finish the book.” So began the process of finishing No Direction Home: The Drifter Chronicles, but at that time, Cayea had grown tired of writing about himself. Simply put, he didn’t want to talk about his past anymore, as he found it to be “a waste of time.” He felt as though he didn’t have anything unique to say. He had no idea that his writing could be a catharsis for others who were suffering emotionally. “I had moved on,” he says, “and the process of writing wasn’t as therapeutic for me as it once was; however, I had gotten it to the point where I had completed a full draft, so I illustrated and published the entire book.” After publishing, Cayea started adding some of the stories to his blog as a “testing ground,” as he calls it. He wanted to see if people would even be interested in what he wrote. “It then became a passion project that I had to do,” he admits. “I put some of the chapters from the book up on my blog and on Facebook to see what the reaction would be, and I started getting these replies and very long e-mails from people. I realized that maybe this story was a little bigger than me.” People began writing to Cayea thanking him for what he had written. The author was confused at first by all of the new emotionally intimate conversations that complete strangers had begun. Cayea relates that at the time he was thinking, “What could I possibly be helping this person with?” After all, up until that point, he had only viewed his writing as a narcissistic yet therapeutic project to engage in while working through his own life’s turmoil. “As I kept sharing these blogs and posts, I started to realize that there was a whole group of people seeking the honesty of my story. It was as if I were telling their stories for them in a way that was very honest.” He continues, “The main goal with the book was not to write a masterpiece: it was to make sure that people that generally don’t read could easily share in the experience. I don’t consider myself a writer; I just know that I’ve got good stories to tell, and I know how to tell them. People have called me the

‘reality TV’ of bloggers—for a lot of people, it’s a guilty pleasure to read my blog.” Cayea is grateful that some of the more memorable e-mails he has received come from people that weren’t sent to one of the corrections facilities; some letters are from people close to those who were there. For the longest time, he says, these people were trying to get inside their loved one’s spirit and mind, trying to figure out what they went through, but just couldn’t understand. “The first time that I realized that maybe I wasn’t just a jackass writing about myself was when this girl wrote and told me that she had a friend that went through a very similar time with drug use and institutionalization,” Cayea says. “She related to me that when she shared my writing with him, she knew that he was going to be able to relate to me. She told me that he read my blog for a year and had begun to write about his experience. One of the only ways she had to communicate with him was through his writing, which had been inspired by mine.”

“I JUST KNOW THAT I’VE GOT GOOD STORIES TO TELL, AND I KNOW HOW TO TELL THEM. FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE, IT’S A GUILTY PLEASURE TO READ MY BLOG.”

Though Cayea relates that it is heartwarming for him to know that he was helping this person, the author goes on to say that, “It was not a happy ending; he eventually committed suicide. She said that he had been depressed for a very long time. She was thankful, though, that in the last year of his life he had found a voice and could express himself. He had at least attempted to address his problems or inner demons or whatever you might want to call them.”

Despite the tragic ending, Cayea says the young woman’s story of her loved one made him feel good, knowing he had helped the young man feel he could express himself and tell his own story. “Reading his writing is now the only way his friends and family will learn about his life,” Cayea explains. “He had never talked about it, but now there is this body of work that they will be able to read to gain an understanding of who he was.” As for the aforementioned world-record-breaking road trip, Cayea and his girlfriend at the time, Heather Thompson, surpassed the Guinness World Record for the longest road trip in one country on September 20, 2016. They hit 22,406 miles after 103 consecutive days of traveling the continental United States—and they kept going, finishing their journey with over 36,000 miles traveled in a car. Cayea points out that he initially conceived of the road trip to promote his book so that he could reach a wider audience and potentially help more people struggling with dark and painful pasts—particularly those laced with the disconnect caused by addiction. “I’m in life for the adventure,” Cayea says, “I thought to myself, ‘How can I get the world’s attention?’ So, I did this road trip to promote the book. I figured that I could position myself as an authoritative traveler, and then maybe people would want to know how this all got started, which is essentially what my book is about. “Before the road trip, I was having a hard time because I felt like I had done it all, and I wanted to do something big and grandiose. That is part of what led me to the record-breaking idea. Knowing that I was about to launch a journey that could help other people is what revved my engine.”

To learn more about Greg Cayea, his book, and his popular adult and PG-rated blogs, visit ScrambledGregs.com. To read Cayea’s firsthand account of his Guinness World Record–breaking road trip, check out the article “Spinnin’ Your Wheels” from the VIE August 2017 issue at VIEmagazine.com.

V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 33


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Le monde

Kyle Jacobs and Kellie Pickler

36 | SEPTEMBER 2017


T HE CAST O F

I LOVE

KELLIE PICKLER CMT STARS DO THEIR PART BY M IKE O D O M A N D L I SA FERRI CK P HOTO G RA P HY CO URT E SY O F C M T ’S I LOV E K E LLI E P IC KL E R

There are certain events that we will undergo when we reach that stage in life known as parenthood. These inevitable experiences are the common threads that help us relate to one another as we navigate our way through what is often a difficult transition.


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almost eighty years ago—at least four million times, and thanks to video sharing platforms like YouTube, it’s not going away anytime soon, no matter how desperately you plead. And, let’s not get started on “The Finger Family Song.”

e’re all mostly aware that there will be ups and downs, highs and lows, tears and laughter, and everything in between. What first-time parents may not realize, however, is that at some point in your child’s life, you will be forced to listen to “The Wheels on The Bus”—a song written by Verna Hills

But all hope is not lost. For parents of all ages, singing-songwriting duo Huck & Lilly are a welcome alternative to all that monotony. Husbandand-wife team Ken Johnson (Huck) and Andi Zack-Johnson (Lilly), who met as songwriters on Music Row in Nashville, have released a breath-offresh-air, full-length album entitled There’s a Tree Growing in My Room. Even more refreshing than a break from wheels on buses going around and around is the fact that Huck & Lilly is anything but the standard, formulaic children’s music you may have regretfully become accustomed to. The choruses are catchy, the melodies are infectious, and the lyrics are what you’d expect from songwriters who’ve been behind some of country music’s biggest hits. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself singing along—and not just to oblige your children, but because you enjoy the tunes. When not behind the scenes, you can find Ken and Andi on the small screen, as cast members on the hit reality show I Love Kellie Pickler, which airs on CMT. Debuting in November of 2015, the acclaimed Ryan Seacrest production attracted a surprising 2.5 million viewers with its first episode and is leading the way to more family-friendly content after the cancellation of CMT’s controversial franchise, Party Down South. The program offers a genuinely candid look into the distinctly wholesome life of country music icon Kellie Pickler and her husband, songwriter and producer Kyle Jacobs. In addition, viewers are also introduced to a colorful cast of characters, including the couple’s extended family and longtime friends Ken and Andi. The series was renewed for a third season, which will begin on August 3, proving that viewers do, in fact, love Kellie Pickler and the rest of the gang. Most significantly, Kellie and friends have created yet another bona fide hit by doing what they do best: being themselves and not taking themselves too seriously.

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For everyone who can’t get enough of Kellie, it was recently announced that she would soon be hosting her own nationally syndicated talk show. The program aims to cover a broad range of topics from cooking, gardening, and entertaining to home design, beauty, and fashion. Faith Hill is the executive producer, and the show is set to air in September on daytime television networks including ABC, NBC, and CBS, depending on the viewer’s region. Not to be outdone, Ken and Andi have some side projects of their own in the works. One project that they’re especially proud of is teaming up with Ryan Seacrest to perform, as Huck & Lilly, in children’s hospitals around the country. “All of our performances are important to us, but taking the stage at a children’s hospital is a particularly rewarding endeavor,” explains Andi. “It is a great feeling to be able to give these kids and their families a break from the stress they are under and just have a little fun. At least for a short time, the children and their families are truly uplifted and happy. That’s a testament to the power of music and shared experience.” Ken adds, “And we hope we do a lot more of it!” “We performed with Kellie and Kyle at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in an episode of Season Two,” says Andi. “We have been anxious to do it again.”

“AT LEAST FOR A SHORT TIME, THE CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE TRULY UPLIFTED AND HAPPY. THAT’S A TESTAMENT TO THE POWER OF MUSIC AND SHARED EXPERIENCE.”


This page: Pickler’s new nationally syndicated daytime talk show will debut in September 2017 and aims to share feelgood stories with the world. Opposite: Ken Johnson and Andi Zack-Johnson star on CMT’s I Love Kellie Pickler—when they’re not writing and performing children’s music as the duo Huck & Lilly.

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Opposite: Ken Johnson, Andi Zack-Johnson, Kellie Pickler, and Kyle Jacobs perform at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital during Season Two of I Love Kellie Pickler. Below: Ken and Andi have also cornered the market on cool events in Northwest Florida with their business, Hit Songwriter House Concerts, which allows residents to invite top singer-songwriters from Nashville to perform at their homes along the coast.

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ue in part to their extensive and impressive résumés, it wouldn’t be an understatement to proclaim Ken and Andi as two of the hardest working people in the industry. Though their previous accomplishments are too many to list in a short profile piece, it should, at the very least, be mentioned that Ken once penned three back-to-back number one songs on the Texas music charts, and Andi has produced and directed four music videos that have aired on Country Music Television (CMT). As I said, this is not your average music for kids—it’s also for the parents who love them! Huck & Lilly is the creation of folks who are behind the music of some of today’s most successful country music artists, and this is reflected in the quality of their innovative album, which was cowritten and produced by Grammy Award–winner Skidd Mills. In addition to creating music, appearing on television, and working on philanthropic endeavors, Ken has set about recruiting some of Nashville’s biggest hit songwriters for a venture that will offer clients a unique and intimate private home concert, complete with exceptional bartending and cuisine by Grayton Beach Catering. For more information, you can visit HitSongwriterHouseConcerts.com. As if all of this wouldn’t keep the average person busy enough, Ken and Andi also find time to maintain their own blogs. Ken uses his blog (HillbillySupperClub. com) to share recipes that he prepares as the resident cook on I Love Kellie Pickler.

TO SEE KIND-HEARTED, DILIGENT PEOPLE TAKING TIME OUT OF THEIR SCHEDULES TO CREATE ART THAT WILL IMPACT THE LIVES OF THIS GENERATION AND THE NEXT IS THE TYPE OF STUFF THAT WILL RESTORE YOUR FAITH IN HUMANITY. Ken is fond of declaring that he’s not a chef—but he can cook. After browsing through the delectable recipes on his blog, one can’t help but wonder if he isn’t understating things a bit. With everything else he’s so good at, why wouldn’t he be moonlighting as a chef in some out-of-the-way diner? Kind of like a culinary Batman, perhaps? We’re onto you, Ken. As for Andi, her blog (TheChampagneGarden.com) recounts the exploits of a green thumb extraordinaire, complete with advice and expert tips on gardening. She grew up on a fruit farm in British Columbia and, judging from the pictures compiled on her blog and the expansive garden seen in I Love Kellie Pickler, it seems as if she might have learned a thing or two. From writing hit songs to blogging; from cooking and gardening to raising the spirits of sick children; from filming hit television shows to performing for families in Seaside, Florida, Ken Johnson and Andi Zack-Johnson have created a legacy that will only continue to grow. From how they met to how far they’ve come; from the difference they are making in the lives of children facing adversity to the muchneeded respite they offer parents with their original music, their story is the epitome of inspiration. To see kind-hearted, diligent people taking time out of their schedules to create art that will impact the lives

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of this generation and the next is the type of stuff that will restore your faith in humanity. Kellie Pickler, who is as well known for her generosity and charity as she is for her music, says, “This show is about laughter and love. It’s all positive and all about our family and friends and our crazy adventures. We just want to be a bright light and make people laugh and feel good.” Well, Kellie, you can rest assured knowing that your friends Ken and Andi are most definitely doing their part.

For dates to upcoming Huck & Lilly shows, inquiries about private concerts, links to episodes of I Love Kellie Pickler, or to purchase the album, visit www.HuckAndLilly.com.


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A C R E AT I V E F O R C E

BY LAURIE CROWLEY

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hen limits are removed, endless energy, power, and influence are allowed to run free. Imagine a world in which labels and boundaries are nonexistent. You no longer have to be just a doctor, a writer, a business executive, or any other singular profession. Remove the blinders and take a cue from Nancy Veldman, businesswoman, author, pianist, watercolor artist, and promoter of all things creative. Nancy has listened to her heart and followed her passions; and along the way, she has uncovered talents and abilities even she never knew she had. Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all. ( James 1:17)

Veldman’s first lifestyle shop, Magnolia House, was a charming old cottage in Grayton Beach, Florida, that was a delight to visit. Meandering through the rooms filled with soap, art, and linens—with a white baby grand piano as the store’s centerpiece—was simply perfection. An emerging and vibrant artist community, Grayton Beach and the other towns along Scenic Highway 30-A had a need for someone to tout the skills of the local artists, and Veldman began showcasing many of their pieces at Magnolia House along with her original works. Maybe it was

LOCALS WI L L SE A RC H FOR AN D D E L I G H T IN THE N O D TO T H E BOOK’ S S E T T I NG O F DES TIN , FLO R I DA , A ND EVERYON E E L SE W I L L S OAK U P T H E B E AU T Y OF THE E M E RA L D COAS T T H RO U G H VELDMAN’ S WO R DS. the investment in not only herself but also in so many talented artists that led Veldman’s quaint cottage to evolve into the successful luxury lifestyle store it is today. Now located on Highway 98 at Sandestin’s Grand Boulevard Town Center in Miramar Beach, Magnolia House Lifestyle Store brings even more incredible pieces of art to the forefront for its clients. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16)

Author, entrepreneur, musician, and creative influencer Nancy Veldman

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ne artistic talent that Veldman discovered in herself later in life was her ability to write. She knew her inner storyteller was there; she just needed to sit down and write the first few words for it to truly emerge. “Many plots, characters, and settings have come from my own experiences,” Veldman says, reflecting on the nine novels and spiritual books she has written. “Weaving what I have lived and learned into a fictional story somehow feels so authentic.” Veldman’s recent novel Saints and Vagabonds exposes the frailty of man and the ability of the human spirit to overcome loss, pain, and hardship. Her ability to weave the relatable, tragic, heartbreaking story of Matt Collins, a man at the top of his game who falls to the depths of despair, is a testament to her understanding and compassion. Locals will search for and delight in the nod to the book’s setting of Destin, Florida, and everyone else will soak up the beauty of the Emerald Coast through Veldman’s words. Saints and Vagabonds is a summer must-read— but be sure to have a box of tissues handy! Magnolia House Lifestyle Store offers a diverse collection of handmade and one-of-a-kind items. From California to Massachusetts and beyond, Veldman seeks out artists whose work speaks to her. “There is a force in fine craftsmanship,” she says. “It can be empowering to us when we surround ourselves with accomplished work.” Veldman’s life’s journey has led her to become a curator and purveyor of art in various forms. She has exposed many of her friends and customers to original works of art and says, “When people purchase our items, I want them to add beauty and joy to their lives.”

In addition to writing books and painting original watercolors, which adorn the walls of her shop with character and emotion, Veldman found yet another outlet to express her creativity: composing music. One day after her father passed away, she sat down at her piano and started writing music, and she’s never looked back. “When my father passed away, I started hearing music. I have written over a hundred songs and produced ten albums,” she says.

“W HEN P EO PL E P U RCHAS E OU R I T E M S, I WAN T THEM TO A D D BEAU TY AN D J OY TO THEIR LIV E S.” “This event was life changing and began a ministry undercover inside the walls of Magnolia House.” Her music has found its way into hospitals, cancer centers, cardiac centers, schools, and offices, not to mention many cars going down the road—it seems a lot of people have bought her CDs. She has participated in Sacred Heart Hospital’s Arts in Medicine program, playing music for patients and staff at their Pensacola, Florida, facility. “When music spontaneously emanates from within, there has to be a greater purpose. I feel it restores and gives hope.”

Left: Saints and Vagabonds by Nancy Veldman is the moving fictional tale of Dr. Matt Collins and his journey to enlightenment after losing everything. It is set along the beautiful beaches of Northwest Florida. Opposite: Magnolia House Lifestyle Store, located in the Grand Boulevard Town Centre in Miramar Beach, Florida, offers home decor, books, original artwork, and much more.

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Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. (Psalm 98:1) Pushing past limits and removing the proverbial stumbling blocks that can impede a person has become a natural way of life for Veldman, and it has led to a form of enlightenment that she generously shares with all who cross her path. It is a very freeing concept to think that no matter where we are in life, it is never too late to re-create ourselves. So write, paint, explore, create, and share your beauty with others.

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Gulf Coast Jam 2017 headliner Luke Bryan Photo by Ethan Helms

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iming, they say, is everything, and the story of Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, Panama City Beach’s premier country music festival, presents one fine example. As more than twenty-five thousand fans from fifty states and fourteen different countries gather on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Labor Day weekend to enjoy their favorite country music and Southern rock groups, few realize that it all began with a chance encounter between some guys in a peanut field. It was June of 2012 when Dave Trepanier—a former Los Angeles–based rock band manager and now the owner of the acclaimed Firefly restaurant in Panama City Beach—was at the BamaJam music festival in Enterprise, Alabama. There were a hundred thousand festivalgoers camped out in the middle of a farm vying to see performances by Kid Rock, Tim McGraw, and other stars. Casually meeting the producers, Rendy Lovelady and Mark Sheldon, Dave said, “Man, y’all need to come do something like this at Panama City Beach.” Rendy responded, “Yeah, we’ll have to talk about it.” In the back of his mind, Rendy thought what a huge job it would be to launch a new festival in Panama City Beach. Still, he vacationed there after the event and couldn’t believe the number of people wearing BamaJam T-shirts. Reviewing ticket sales proved more enlightening: most of the purchases originated from that region. Meanwhile, legal issues involving the owner of BamaJam Farms jeopardized the land lease for the music festival. Over several years, BamaJam was a fantastic production. Even so, as Dave emphasizes, “It was out in the middle of a peanut field with not much to do during the day. Here, you have daytime activities with the beach, restaurants, and Pier Park [a premier retail complex by the Gulf with food and entertainment].” Importantly, as a successful restaurateur and son-in-law of Wes Burnham, an iconic property developer in Panama City Beach, Dave could facilitate personal introductions and help garner the local trust and support necessary for such an undertaking. “I’m not sure we could have pulled it off without Dave’s influence in the community,” says Rendy. “Small towns are used to people promising them the world and delivering nothing.” Also, even though he and Mark were known for executing 50 | SEPTEMBER 2017

a first-rate festival, BamaJam had a reputation for rowdy fans. “We’d have forty to fifty arrests per day,” Rendy admits, explaining why a skeptical city leader declared, “We don’t need that kind of drama down here!” Such concerns diminished after the first Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam exceeded expectations in September 2013—just fifteen months after Dave and Rendy first met. With fifteen thousand tickets sold, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Brantley Gilbert, Eli Young Band, Kip Moore, and the Charlie Daniels Band, to name a few, performed for a well-behaved, family-friendly audience. Rendy remembers Mike Thomas, now the mayor of Panama City Beach, telling him, “You’re a man of your word, and you’ve got my vote from now on.”


I HAVE SPENT A LOT OF TIME WITH MY FAMILY IN THE PCB AREA SINCE I WAS A KID. IT’S A GREAT FEELING BEING ABLE TO ALSO CIRCLE BACK AND SHARE MY MUSIC WITH THIS COMMUNITY AS WELL. IT’S A SPECIAL PLACE.

Luke Bryan will close GCJ 2017 on Sunday, September 3, at Frank Brown Park in Panama City Beach, Florida. Photo by Carlos Ruiz Left: Headliners Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, and Lady Antebellum brought record crowds to Frank Brown Park for Gulf Coast Jam 2015.

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WHAT’S MOST GRATIFYING FOR ME IS TO SIT AND WATCH PEOPLE ENJOYING THEMSELVES, AND SEEING THE SPONSORS REALIZE THEY GOT THEIR MONEY’S WORTH.

The dynamic foursome Little Big Town (left) will headline Saturday night’s performances along with Kip Moore (opposite), Dan + Shay, Colt Ford, Diamond Rio, William Michael Morgan, and Muscadine Bloodline. 52 | SEPTEMBER 2017


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ecognizing the potential for two annual festivals, the city later asked Rendy and his team to produce Pepsi Spring Jam. The event debuted in 2016 as a threeday event and returned in 2017 for two days with Sheryl Crow and Darius Rucker headlining.

The quality of 2017’s lineup reflects the depth of prior years with Jason Aldean, Lee Brice, the Oak Ridge Boys, Darryl Worley, the Railers, and Gal Friday performing on Friday; Little Big Town, Kip Moore, Dan + Shay, Colt Ford, Diamond Rio, William Michael Morgan, and Muscadine Bloodline on Saturday; Luke Bryan, Brett Eldredge, Granger Smith, Kane Brown, Them Dirty Roses, and the Pepsi Southern Original winner on Sunday.

With over three decades in the music industry, Rendy began his career as a musician before managing talent. Now, president of Rendy Lovelady Management and executive producer of Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam and Pepsi Spring Jam, he has built his career as a straight shooter who knows his role, whether adeptly handling an artist’s fragile ego or working closely with the chief of police for an event’s safety. That’s why top artists and corporations like Pepsi, Jim Beam, Budweiser, CMT, and SiriusXM Radio, in addition to Panama City Beach and numerous local sponsors, sign on.

Headliner Luke Bryan’s ties to the Gulf Coast run deep, and his performance is a big draw for the 2017 festival. “I have spent a lot of time with my family in the PCB area since I was a kid,” Bryan says. “It’s a great feeling being able to also circle back and share my music with this community as well. It’s a special place.” The crowd will celebrate that special place with Bryan as he closes out Gulf Coast Jam’s finale night performing hits from his five chart-topping albums.

Thanks to social media and outlets like Fox News, which announces each year’s launch and headliners, Rendy, the spokesperson, is the festival’s public face. One fan spotted him in Alabama and exclaimed, “You’re Gulf Coast Jam!” Without question, the pressure to perform, so to speak, rests heavily on Rendy’s shoulders, but he’s hardly a one-man show. In addition to Dave, his cocreator, and Mark, the festival’s chief operating officer, Rendy relies on the advisement and investment of many, including the Bay County Tourist Development Council. From the latter, he quickly adopted a different perspective about ticket sales. “All my life, this business has been about putting butts in seats,” Rendy says. “I moved the festival to Panama City Beach, and it’s about putting heads in condos.”

The Pepsi Southern Original, who opens for the third day’s lineup, is chosen in a contest of unsigned artists. Entrants submit up to two songs (audio or video) for judging. “One year,” Rendy says, “we had almost five thousand applicants.” Thirty semifinalists are selected to compete live in one of three regional venues towards the end of July. Ten finalists, including five from the prior year, perform once more on August 31 in Panama City Beach. Joining Rendy on the 2017 judges panel were Patrick McCarty from Hwy 20 Entertainment and others in the industry.

People buy tickets and book rooms for Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam because it promises a stellar experience at a fantastic value. In many cities, a single concert costs what one pays to attend eighteen different performances over three days in Panama City Beach. In 2017, advance ticket prices ranged from $129 for general admission with a shuttle service to $439 for VIP access. (VIP tickets always sell out early.) Also, since 2012, tickets to active and retired military personnel and their immediate family members have remained fixed at $109 with entry to a military appreciation tent. All children six and under are admitted to the festival at no charge. Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam takes place at Frank Brown Park, a two-hundred-acre recreation facility. Gates to the venue open daily at two in the afternoon. The music starts at two thirty. Longtime favorites and hot new talent lead up to the day’s top-of-the-charts country music artist, who goes on stage at around ten and plays until eleven thirty. Instead of camping out, festivalgoers leave and return the next afternoon. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 53


Le monde oting that an agent from William Morris is also in the audience on the final night of the contest, Rendy says, “I love original music and performance, and the ability to give new artists an opportunity.” Exposure from competing and winning the Pepsi Southern Original has enabled several to build a touring career and open for big names.

“What’s most gratifying for me is to sit and watch people enjoying themselves, and seeing the sponsors realize they got their money’s worth,” says Dave. He and his wife, Stacy, love having their young daughters join them, especially since “drunken buffoonery,” as Dave puts it, isn’t tolerated. Besides, there’s so much more to do. “From the moment you walk inside, it’s a fan experience with giveaways, contests, and food and drink vendors,” Dave states. “We encourage the sponsors to do something to interact with fans, get them involved.” Cornhole is a popular game, as are prizes like beach cruisers and trips. The congenial atmosphere also entices artists to engage with fans. Rendy recalls seeing Brantley Gilbert, who performed in 2013, take off on his motorcycle and return with thirty others on their bikes. Blake Shelton, featured in 2014, called over a group of kids to join him in basketball. Rendy says, “Blake was so blown away by the energy and size of the crowd that he told me, ‘This is the best damn little festival that I’ve been to in my life!’” With nearly twenty hit singles, including “Awful, Beautiful Life,” “Have You Forgotten?,” and “I Miss My Friend,” Darryl Worley agrees. “I love the area,” he declares, “and it’s the coolest festival I play in this part of the country. It’s just a joy.” Having appeared in Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam’s lineup every year except 2014, Darryl adds, “It’s kind of like a reunion. Rendy and I have worked together for years, and I helped get the festival started. I usually set the weekend aside to help entertain the investors and judge the Pepsi Southern Original.” In 2013, Darryl released “Southern Original,” an original song to promote the contest and kick off the battle of the bands. No matter his involvement, Darryl does not take his spot on the main stage for granted. “We usually go on sometime in late afternoon,” he says. “There’s already a huge crowd by the time I come out.” During his set, which lasts about forty-five minutes, he’ll introduce new songs, but happily pleases fans with their familiar favorites. “Florida has been a

Jason Aldean (left) performs on opening night, September 1, after concerts by Gal Friday Band, the Railers, Darryl Worley, the Oak Ridge Boys, Tyler Farr, and Lee Brice.

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mainstay for me to travel and do shows for fifteen to twenty years now. It’s a good bunch of folks,” he muses. “I have the most loyal fans in the world. I’d like to give them special thanks and a hug around the neck for keeping my electric bill paid!” Such sentiments convey why so many now count on Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, as highlighted by 2016’s cancellation with Tropical Storm Hermine’s approach. “We learned how big and important the event was,” says Dave. The total economic impact from the 2013 Gulf Coast Jam through the 2017 Spring Jam exceeds $45 million with over three thousand jobs created and more than $250,000 donated to nonprofits. “I felt kind of like a groom standing at the altar waiting for a bride who never showed up,” says Rendy of the cancellation. “It was going to be a great year.” Commiserating rather than complaining, fans overwhelmingly offered words of encouragement and waited patiently for their ticket refunds. “When we


Le monde Thus, the show goes on. Well before the summer of 2017, the headliners for 2018’s Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam were booked, and Rendy had already entered negotiations for 2019. “It’s so much work, and it’s expensive,” says Dave. “In essence, we build a city out at Frank Brown Park that’s open for thirty hours over three days. But we’re just three guys who love doing this.” Well, to cultivate such a legacy for Panama City Beach, the three—Rendy, Mark, and Dave—couldn’t have been just any guys who happened to run into one another and shoot the breeze on some random Alabama peanut farm. No, but what a great premise for a country music song!

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS, READERS SHOULD VISIT GULFCOASTJAM.COM. Gulf Coast Jam veteran performer Darryl Worley has been in the lineup since the festival’s inception and will hit the stage at Frank Brown Park once more on Friday, September 1, 2017.

posted the announcement,” Rendy shares, “we had over three million people respond to it.” He further recalls a poignant moment upon entering Capt. Anderson’s, a longstanding local restaurant, on the day after calling it off. “People were clapping and crying; it was a moving time.”

Sallie W. Boyles works as a freelance journalist, ghostwriter, copywriter, and editor through Write Lady Inc., her Atlanta-based company. With an MBA in marketing, she marvels at the power of words, particularly in business and politics, but loves nothing more than relaying extraordinary personal stories that are believable only because they are true.


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LIVING THE

by R i c k S t a n f i e l d

The story of how Sweet Henrietta’s Treats was born is one that most people don’t know, not even most of our family. The idea of a food truck in which we baked cupcakes and birthday cakes sprouted while Tina and I slept in a borrowed car because the bank foreclosed on our home. How could this happen to us when we had just made over three hundred thousand dollars the year before and several other years before that one?

Let’s start from the beginning.

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Bon appétit!

I

fell in love with Tina when I saw her in our fifth-grade class and somehow knew that she was the person I wanted to marry. By some miracle of God, she liked me too. We have been together nearly every day since. We married when we were eighteen years old and had our only child, Ricky Jr., when we were nineteen. Tina and I both worked full-time, and I also attended college full-time. We loved each other and Little Ricky more than anyone could imagine. I was accepted into the Missouri State Highway Patrol Academy in 1993, and after finishing the Academy, I served as a state trooper for several years. I also worked with the Division of Drug and Crime Control as a covert drug agent for the State of Missouri. Tina and I had always been aggressive with small business ventures since we first met at around twelve years old. We would order cheap novelties from catalogs and sell them for profit at our weekly yard sales. We stepped it up a little when we were in our twenties and decided to build a convenience store. It’s still hard to believe that a bank would loan a penniless state trooper and his wife five hundred thousand dollars to build a new store in an undeveloped area. We had never worked at a convenience store nor did we have any knowledge about them, and the first three years after the store opened were the toughest of our lives. We worked about twenty hours every day while raising our son. Many nights, Little Ricky slept in one of the booths at the store. Then, miraculously it seemed, the store began to make money. We invested our profits by purchasing several other stores over the next few years. We had five stores at one point, and they became one of the most successful small chains of convenience stores in southern Missouri before we sold them all. We invested heavily in real estate after several consistent years of progress. Tina and I owned four homes that were worth millions of dollars, and we had hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity. Our stores were also worth hundreds of thousands

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of dollars more than we owed on them, so we were financially sound—or so we thought. Tina, Ricky, and I vacationed in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, every year and fell in love with a small section of the beach on the Gulf of Mexico. We impulsively decided to sell our homes and businesses to move. We also had a family member who had just completed a franchise model for his business. How could the stars align any better? We had buyers for most of our residential properties and all of our businesses. Perfect!

As the recession took hold, people stopped vacationing, and our new business—located in an area dependent upon tourism—struggled to get off the ground. Our investments became our debts, and we couldn’t resurface. We found our dream home, paid a large down payment, and moved. We also found a location for our new business on Scenic Highway 30-A and had a couple of business partners from back home to help get everything started at the first franchise location. Now, here’s where the story begins a free fall into homelessness. My entire life, I had been taught that real estate investments were secure and their value would steadily increase over time. I believed this, and it always held true for me until around 2008. It seemed as if the real estate market values dropped by 50 percent overnight. As the recession took

hold, people stopped vacationing, and our new business—located in an area dependent upon tourism—struggled to get off the ground. Our homes that were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars more than we owed on them were suddenly worth less than we owed. Our investments became our debts, and we couldn’t resurface. Cash flow from the sale of our stores came to a halt, and we were not paid for all of the inventory left behind. We were also waiting for money from the sale of one house in Missouri which never came. It was like a financial perfect storm. We gave my vehicle back to the bank because we could not afford it, and one morning we looked outside to see that the bank had repossessed my wife’s car. My son’s followed. I had purchased my mother a car that was collateral on a loan, and the bank took it too. We were left with an old convertible that we could not drive for more than twenty miles without it overheating, and the top leaked horribly. To make things worse, it had been loaned to me by a business partner, and the license plate was expired. We bought two bicycles with money we made from cleaning vacation rental houses. The franchisors repossessed our restaurant equipment, and our new business failed. Tina and I began cleaning houses full-time to pay the bills, but we couldn’t keep up. My son called one day to tell me he was in front of our home with his new high school friends when the police served him with an eviction notice. They posted an orange poster on our front door while Ricky watched. They gave us twenty-four hours to get out. I called the people who owed us money, but they wouldn’t answer. We had no choice but to send Ricky to a friend’s home while Tina and I slept in that old car. We had $19.70 to our name. Our family back in Missouri was barely paying their bills, and we were too proud to ask anyone else for help or even tell anyone what was going on. It never crossed our minds to ask for any public assistance, and I’m proud that we didn’t. We had to move our vehicle frequently to keep it from being noticed because the plate was expired.


We talked about starting a baking business and spoke about traveling the country in a food truck to help people in bad situations. We discussed making our living by attending festivals and events.

We hid it by hanging our bicycles on the trunk so the police wouldn’t see. One night, while we parked at a public beach access at 2:00 a.m., it began to rain very hard. Tina and I were getting drenched, and while most people would have cried, we started to laugh and talk about the future, not the past. The smell of rain replaced the usual moldy, exhaust-fume smell of the car. The Gulf of Mexico’s waves were louder than ever but not in a frightening way; they were calming during this unsettled time in our lives. We talked about starting a baking business and spoke about traveling the country in a food truck to help people in bad situations. We discussed making our living by attending festivals and events. The laughter turned into tears, but they were mostly tears of joy. It was like God had given us the answer we needed. Where else would this idea have come from? Two people with no bakery experience were going to make a living by selling cupcakes and cakes? Little did we know that on that rainy night, we planted the seed for Sweet Henrietta’s Treats. Fast-forward seven years, to present day, and things are getting better. We have a food truck that we named after our border collie, Henrietta. We attend local farmer’s markets and events. The business is growing at a fast pace, and Sweet

Henrietta’s Treats was named one of the best places on 30-A to buy baked goods. We are planning a Cupcake Tour across the country during which we’ll attend events and festivals and donate birthday cakes to homeless shelters, assisted living homes, and children’s homes. We also want to give a cake to people we meet who are doing good. This is a cake given for a random act of kindness; what a reward for a person’s good deed for the day! It’s a simple cake with a smiley face design on it and we call it the “Nicest Person Ever Cake.” My family and I have been through difficult times, and it hurts me to write about it, but they made Tina, Ricky, and me stronger, better people. Although we tried to help others before all this happened, we didn’t care as much as we should have. We donated thousands of dollars and hundreds of cases of water to Hurricane Katrina victims, but I was also the guy who thought, “Why didn’t you just leave before the storm?” Now, I’m the guy who thinks, “Maybe you don’t have the money to evacuate. How can I help?” It’s simple: Do Good! You’ll never go wrong with this decision.

SweetHenriettas.com

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Bon appétit!

S W E E T H E N R I E T T A’ S

R e d Ve lv e t Ca k e

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners into pans.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cocoa 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 1 cup buttermilk 2 large eggs (room temperature) 2 tablespoons red food coloring 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, sift the sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa together. After that, add the flour to this mix.

Wh i p p e d C r e a m Fi l l i n g

Place a metal mixing bowl in the freezer and leave it for about 15 minutes.

4 tablespoons sugar 1 cup heavy whipping cream 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, add the oil, buttermilk, eggs, red food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla extract together and blend. Now, add the wet and dry ingredients together and blend. Pour your batter into the cupcake liners, filling them approximately 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. After the cupcakes cool, fill them with vanilla whipped cream.

With a metal whisk attachment, blend the sugar and heavy whipping cream together until you see stiff peaks. Add your vanilla and blend for about another 30 seconds. Try to use all your filling when made because it’s best when fresh! It can be used the next day if stored in an airtight container and refrigerated.

Cream Cheese Fro st i n g

Now, just whip up your cream cheese and butter until the mixture is creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip until it’s smooth.

16 ounces cream cheese 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened 4 cups powdered sugar 6 teaspoons clear vanilla extract

You can always add more powdered sugar to make the frosting thicker, or more vanilla extract to make it thinner.

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C a s u a l F a m i l y

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Visual Perspectives

a Love

Letter to O L D F L O R I D A

By Carolyn O’Neil Photography courtesy of SaintS of old florida

Welcome to Old Florida, where the pines meet the palms. —FROM THE INTRODUCTION TO SAINTS OF OLD FLORIDA

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here are no photographs of sunsets or seashells on the book’s cover, just the title embossed in gold over a simple canvas-like material. Saints of Old Florida allows the reader to travel within and find images that trigger their own memories of moments along the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico. For those who’ve never visited this quiet strip of the Florida coastline, the book is a romantic travelogue of beach walking, bird-watching, and picnicking on back porches, with bygone-era snapshots of fishing-guide brochures and old oyster shacks. 66 | SEPTEMBER 2017

The Forgotten Coast region of Northwest Florida has a rich history in fishing and oyster harvesting, with many family businesses carrying on the traditions today.


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“ ”

We knew we wanted to focus on the five ‘Saint’ towns, but then we realized there were many more saintly aspects that we revered and loved about this coast.

Opposite: There’s nothing quite like palm trees overlooking the water to convey the spirit of Old Florida. Inset: Saints of Old Florida authors Melissa Farrell, Emily Raffield, and Christina McDermott Below: The book is chock-full of recipes such as Florida stone crab claws and mustard dipping sauce, gumbo, tomato pie, cocktails, and much more.

The Saints in the book are the tiny Panhandle towns of Saint Joseph, Saint Vincent, Saint George, Saint Teresa, and Saint Marks, each with its own unique history and personality. Anointed “Saints” by the Spanish explorers who named settlements and waterways in this region, these towns are still small but rich with generations of tall tales and quirky yarns. Tourism may top the “Why live here?” list today, but over the centuries the livelihoods along the Panhandle of the Sunshine State included timber, turpentine, cotton, cattle, and seafood. As recounted in the book, life in North Florida was not for folks who lacked the grit to cut a path with a machete.

Three Authors, Even More Stories The idea for the book began when artist Christina McDermott, who had been living in Atlanta but vacationed in the busy Destin area, met Melissa Farrell, who introduced Christina to the simpler pace of her coastal life in Port Saint Joe. “Before I knew it, the stars aligned and I bought my own cottage at the beach,” writes McDermott in her chapter entitled “Coming to the Coast.” Five years later, McDermott moved permanently to Port Saint Joe, and talk of the book continued. Things started to gel when Emily Raffield came home.

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Raffield grew up near Port Saint Joe, graduated from Florida State University, interned in New York, and worked in corporate marketing in Atlanta. But, she missed the settling pace of the coastal South, and she relates, “Its splendor has captured me in a new way this time.” Ironically for Raffield, the coastal South became her true north. That’s when she joined the mission to write the book about Old Florida. “We would get together and brainstorm. We knew we wanted to focus on the five ‘Saint’ towns, but then we realized there were many more saintly aspects that we revered and loved about this coast,” remembers Farrell. Old journals, maps, and fishing logs were scoured. Locals were interviewed, photographs were taken, art was gathered, and stories were recorded. Farrell says, “For me, the subtle layers and depth are way beyond what the book at first seems to portray.” Florida history lessons come alive. Read about Indian Pass, which was settled during the turpentine boom of the early 1900s, and what happened when turpentine demand tapered in the early fifties. Learn from Ms. Betty McNeill about her family’s Indian Pass Seafood Company and its roots as the commissary for a turpentine camp. Today the Indian Pass Raw Bar is noted as one of the best places in the area to enjoy the Apalachicola oyster. Here’s a quote from Betty McNeill in the book: “The raw bar has allowed our family to keep this coastal, simple life that we love. Everything kind of evolves and has a way of working out—you just have to have patience and use your imagination sometimes.” Saints of Old Florida was created with patience and imagination, too.

Carolyn O’Neil grew up on the Gulf coast and graduated from Florida State University. She remembers driving with college pals to the St. Marks Café for “all you can eat mullet” nights and day trips from Tallahassee to St. George’s Island where she once found a scorpion in her shoe. A friend’s family beach cottage in St. Teresa will always be a special place where hammocks swing in the offshore breeze, screen doors squeak, and an outdoor shower washes away the salt and sand just in time for sunset dinner on the porch.


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A Ta s t e o f

Old Florida From family recipes for smoked mullet dip and deviled crab to fascinating facts about tupelo honey made by bees who gather nectar from tupelo gum trees along the Apalachicola River, Saints of Old Florida is rich with culinary inspiration to create coastal menus wherever you live.

STEAMED PEEL-AND-EAT SHRIMP ARE A GREAT WAY TO START THE PARTY.

Serve with all three of these sauces to salute each author of Saints of Old Florida.

Cocktail Sauce Three Ways SMOKED JALAPEÑO COCKTAIL SAUCE

By Christina McDermott 1 cup ketchup 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish 1/2 fresh squeezed lime 1–2 chipotle peppers, finely diced WASABI HOUSE COCKTAIL SAUCE

By Emily Raffield 1 cup ketchup 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar 1 tablespoon wasabi paste CLASSIC COCKTAIL SAUCE

By Melissa Farrell 1 cup ketchup 2 fresh squeezed lemons 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish 3 dashes of Ed’s Red Hot Sauce

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STORYTELLERS IN THE CITY New York’s Tribeca Film Festival 2017 BY HALE Y CHOUINARD PHO T O G R APHY C OU R T E S Y O F T R I BEC A FI L M FE ST I VAL


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he Tribeca Film Festival began in 2002 as an attempt to bring culture and vitality back to an area of New York City that was still reeling from the September 11 attacks. In the past fifteen years, the festival has grown exponentially. Tribeca Film has also become its own entity and even launched an online streaming service, Tribeca Shortlist, earlier this year. In addition to films, the 2017 festival, which took place April 19–30, showcased television, virtual reality content, video games, and a series of talks with titans of the entertainment industry. Here’s a roundup of our favorites from this year’s festival. GILBERT That a documentary about comedian Gilbert Gottfried would be one of Tribeca’s best offerings this year was something of a surprise. Gottfried is known for his singular voice and raunchy (to put it mildly) stand-up performances but has always kept mum about his personal life, which is perhaps why this intimate documentary is such a joy to watch. There’s no rehashing of public details, as often happens when chronicling someone famous. Gottfried’s story has never been told before this. Director Neil Berkeley does a beautiful job zeroing in on the mundane details that truly make the man, such as Gottfried making his kids’ lunches each morning and washing his socks in a hotel sink while on tour. It’s a delight to see the sweet, shy man that emerges from behind the boisterous, often vulgar stage persona. Even the most casual fans of comedy will get a kick out of this lovely film.

Opposite: Tribeca Film Festival held its sixteenth annual event in New York City from April 19 to 30, 2017. Photo by Brian Willette Left: Actors Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro (a founder of the festival) attend Tribeca Talks: Directors Series with Noah Baumbach on April 24, 2017. Photo by Ovidiu Hrubaru V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 73


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ROCK’N ROLL This French comedy follows Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard and her partner, actor Guillaume Canet, as fictionalized versions of themselves coping with aging in the film industry. When a reporter tells Canet that he is no longer “rock ’n’ roll,” he tries desperately to change his image. Canet’s pursuit of youth—going on raging benders, bulking up, and experimenting with Botox— gets more and more ridiculous as the story goes on. Canet, who wrote and directed the film, is effortlessly charming, but it should come as no shock that Cotillard steals the show. She’s always good, but it’s a hoot to see her this way, spoofing her status as an acclaimed serious actor and going deeply method for a role. The scenes with the two of them are the best the film has to offer. It’s a treat to see Canet and Cotillard having so much fun at their own expense. Canet may not be “rock ’n’ roll,” but he still knows how to show audiences a riotously good time. Right: Tribeca Film Festival founders Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal Below: The 2017 festival included screenings at NYC’s Beacon Theatre, Radio City Music Hall, School of Visual Arts, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Spring Studios, and more.

BLAME Written, directed by, and starring twenty-two-year-old Quinn Shephard, Blame is a modern spin on The Crucible set in a suburban high school. It might not be Salem, but Shephard’s film shows that teenage girls are no less ruthless in 2017 than they were in the 1600s. The story follows Abigail (played by Shephard), an outcast who’s recovering from a psychotic episode, and Melissa (Nadia Alexander, who won the festival’s award for Best Actress in a Narrative Feature for her performance), a tough-as-nails cheerleader intent on torturing Abigail. Abigail finds an ally in her drama teacher Jeremy (Chris Messina), but as the student and teacher grow closer, lines get blurred. Melissa takes note, and her bullying heads in a

darker direction. High school dramas can so often be clunky or self-righteous, but Shephard’s age and gender bring a raw authenticity to this remarkable debut feature. HOUSE OF Z Zac Posen’s career has been a manic ride. He shot to fame in the early 2000s as the fashion industry’s wunderkind, dressing supermodels like Naomi Campbell and Karen Elson before he even had a label. But after a few years as fashion’s golden boy, the industry turned on him. The new documentary House of Z chronicles Posen’s early life and career, as well as his attempt to regain the industry’s affections. It’s an intimate look at Posen’s rise, fall, and redemption on both a personal and a professional level. T H E BOY D OWNSTAI R S When Diana (Zosia Mamet) moves back to New York after a few years abroad and finds the perfect apartment, she’s shocked to discover that her ex-boyfriend, Ben (Matthew Shear), lives downstairs. Through flashbacks, we see Diana and Ben’s relationship unfold and the heartbreak that ensued when Diana moved to London, leaving him behind. Mamet shines as Diana, who’s sweet, poised, and charismatic—a departure from her often scattered, high-strung character on HBO’s Girls. Written and directed by Sophie Brooks, The Boy Downstairs charms and delights audiences.

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Q&A WI T H T H E BOY D OWNSTAI R S WRITER/DIRECTOR SOPHIE BRO OKS This year’s Tribeca Film Festival featured a robust roster of first-time filmmakers including Sophie Brooks, who wrote and directed The Boy Downstairs. VIE sat down with Brooks to discuss TFF, what makes romantic comedies great, and her debut feature. H A L E Y C H O U I N A R D : Where did the inspiration for The Boy Downstairs come from? S O P H I E B R O O K S : The inspiration for this film is a bit of a funny story. A few years ago, I was hit by a car, and then ten days later I had appendicitis. So, I was on crutches with a broken knee and then had to have my appendix removed. My parents were out of town, so my brother moved in and took care of me. While I was recovering and bedridden I was bouncing ideas around, and I thought “What if you got in an accident and the only person that could take care of you was an ex?” And that expanded into, “What if they were neighbors and he saw her get in an accident?” It ended up being only one scene in the final movie, but the whole idea was built around that. H C : How did this great cast come together? S B : When I finished the script, my brother, who’s a producer on the film, and I started talking about actresses, and Zosia Mamet came up really early on. She was the first person that we sent the script to. In that situation, you send your script to an assistant and just hope they like it enough to pass it to the agent, who then passes it on to the actress. So, I’m very grateful to that assistant! But it made its way to Zosia, and she liked it. Once she came on, it became very easy to get other people behind the project. H C : You hear so many stories of sexism in the film industry. Did you encounter any pushback as a female writer/director? S B : I’ve definitely encountered some sexism, but for the most part it’s been subliminal. I don’t think anyone realized they were doing it. And if I did get

that vibe from someone, it would be as simple as me saying “I don’t think this is a good fit.” When I was assembling my team, I made sure to hire people who were excited about the film and me. On set, I didn’t have any problem with sexism because we’d made sure to hire people who that wasn’t going to be an issue with. I avoided getting people on board who I felt that sort of resistance from.

“When I was assembling my team I made sure to hire people who were excited about the film and about me.” H C : I’m a romantic comedy fan, but I feel like they go wrong very easily. What do you think is the trick to getting rom-com right? S B : I love rom-com. It’s my favorite genre. Those are the types of movies that I want to see and make. Over the last ten years, they’ve kind of fallen by the wayside. Audiences are smart, and they don’t want a by-the-book romantic comedy anymore.

The Boy Downstairs writer and director Sophie Brooks on the set of the film, which made its world debut on April 24, 2017, at Tribeca Film Festival. Photo by Jon Pack

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and even La La Land, where there isn’t a traditional ending of the couple riding off into the sunset together. Your movie also doesn’t follow the traditional structure either. Why do you think we see more films where that’s the case? Why do you think millennials are telling stories where love and relationships take a backseat? S B : Women are pursuing careers with full force and ambition, which is great. I’m sure that we’re seeing that reflected in film. Both career and love are incredibly important to me, and I don’t think you have to choose one or the other. You can have both. I think that’s something that women today have the freedom to do. I’m a feminist and a very career-driven person who is also a total romantic. Pursuing a relationship doesn’t make a woman any less of a feminist. You can value your ambition and still value love, which I hope we showed in the movie. At the start of The Boy Downstairs, Diana has already chosen her career over her boyfriend, because she thought that was the right thing to do. By the end of the film, she’s realized that it doesn’t have to be so black and white and you don’t have to choose.

“Both career and love are incredibly important to me and I don’t think you have to choose one or the other. You can have both. I think that’s something that women today have the freedom to do.”

Above: Audience members fill New York’s famous Radio City Music Hall for a screening at Tribeca Film Festival 2017. Right: The Beacon Theatre in Manhattan’s Upper West Side has been a venue for Tribeca Film Festival events for the past several years.

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There have been too many movies like that, and it’s no longer interesting. As an audience member, I loved what they did with Obvious Child. That was one of my favorite romantic comedies of the last few years. It’s so lovely and honest. I think people get too hung up on originality. It’s OK if it’s not the most original story. My film isn’t some sort of breakthrough, you know? To me, it’s more important to be honest. The story needs to feel true to me. I try and make sure I’m not just following some sort of rom-com structure. I was definitely aware when making The Boy Downstairs of romantic comedies that had worked for me as a viewer and which ones hadn’t. I tried to avoid some of those things that, as moviegoers, we’re kind of tired of—things that are a little too convenient. Like when the girl in a movie says, “I love you,” and the guy says, “I love you too,” and that’s the end of it. That’s sort of too on the nose, and it hasn’t been my experience. I didn’t want to tell a story that didn’t feel real to me. H C : There have been a string of recent romantic comedies, like Obvious Child, Don’t Think Twice,

H C : The movie unfolds interestingly. The first scene is Ben and Diana breaking up, and then we see what happens after she made the decision to leave. What was the thought process behind that? S B : That’s the way the story always was in my mind. The setup was always that they were exes. I’ve had


on-again, off-again relationships, and every time you see that person, you immediately have memories rushing back of the time you spent together. And when you’re not completely over that person, it’s even more of a flood of emotions. So, we used flashbacks to reveal information about Diana and Ben’s relationship, which felt very natural, because when they run into each other, they’d be thinking back on things. Diana broke up with Ben before she was really ready to and now she’s bumping into him all the time. It’s forcing her to relive all these memories, so it felt interesting to have the audience see the flashbacks of their romance while Diana is coming to terms with her feelings. H C : What does it mean to you to have The Boy Downstairs playing at Tribeca? S B : It’s so exciting! I went to New York University, and the movie was filmed in New York. It’s truly special to be debuting my first feature a few blocks from where I went to film school. And it’s so nice to have a New York audience be the first to see the film.

WITH BLAME WRITER/DIRECTOR/ACTOR QUINN SHEPHARD Most twenty-year-olds are grappling with adulthood and struggling to decide what they want to do with their lives. At twenty, Quinn Shephard was in the process of directing her first film, one that she also wrote and starred in. Two years later, Shephard’s film Blame made its world premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. Here’s what the triple threat had to say about it. H A L E Y C H O U I N A R D : When did you start working on Blame? Where did this idea come from? Q U I N N S H E P H A R D : I wrote the first draft when I was fifteen. I did a regional theater production of The Crucible and played Abigail and was enamored with playing such an adult role at a very young age. I also found the story fascinating. I’ve always been interested in stories about groupthink and mass hysteria; it’s such an interesting aspect of our culture. Doing the play was a monumental experience

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED A BOHEME DESIGN 2017

H C : What’s next for you? Will you make more romantic comedies? S B : Yes, I’m working on my next script and hoping to make another movie in the next year or so. Right now, I’m so excited to be at Tribeca and to see what happens with The Boy Downstairs.

Q&A

Private Residence, Alys Beach

A

BOHEME

DESIGN www.aboheme.com


Visual Perspectives

Right: The 2017 festival featured Tribeca Immersive’s Storyscapes and Virtual Arcade, with twenty-nine virtual reality and innovative exhibitions at the Tribeca Festival Hub inside Spring Studios. Opposite: Justin Timberlake attends Tribeca Film Festival 2016 as the composer of the score for The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Actress Jessica Biel, Timberlake’s wife, stars in the 2017 Tribeca TV drama The Sinner, which premieres on USA Network August 2.

for me at that point in my life, and I didn’t want to leave it behind. Moreover, I didn’t want to leave the character of Abigail behind. Similar to what happens in the movie, I felt like the character of Abigail Williams had bled into my real life. Obviously, I didn’t start accusing people of witchcraft, but I did start dressing a bit like her. I used it as a way to infuse some excitement into going to public high school in suburbia every day. So, when the play was over, I was reluctant to let go of that, and I started writing and thinking about a way to tell Abigail’s story in a setting that I knew a lot more about, which was being a teenage girl in the New Jersey suburbs. That’s where the idea started. H C : You’ve been acting since you were a child, but when did you start writing? Q S : I’ve been writing for most of my life. I actually had a hard time physically writing when I was young. My thoughts came so quickly that it was difficult sitting down and writing them out. I used to make my dad type things out for me as a kid. He would type, and I would dictate to him. I managed to write a novel when I was twelve. It was three hundred pages, I think. I’m sure it would be quite funny if I tried to read it now. But I think it’s just in my nature to be a writer. And it’s not like I have any writers in my family; there’s no one in my family who sits down and writes stories. So, it wasn’t an outside influence. It came from inside of me. H C : What was the process like of getting this movie made? Q S : There’s no real moment where I felt like, “Oh, this is happening now!” It


slowly came together, and then, before I knew it, it’s been five years of working on this film. But the process was really crazy. My mom and I produced it together and did most of it out of our living room. It was definitely a blood, sweat, and tears kind of production. We did everything ourselves. But, very slowly, it came together. We started to find people who were passionate about the project and were able to assemble a crew. After we finished filming, the postproduction took two years. It was a great two years, though! I edited the film, and then I found these underground musicians who did most of the music. H C : Given your age and gender, did you encounter any resistance from anyone during this process? Q S : To be honest, everyone treated me really well. There was a lot less pushback than I was expecting. I was emotionally prepared for no one to take me seriously, not only because I’m a woman but also because I was a teenager at the time. I was expecting everyone to mock me or not to take me seriously. So, I obsessively studied up on aspects of filmmaking that I didn’t know as much about, like cameras and lenses, just anything that would make it seem like I didn’t know what I was I talking about. That was my biggest fear. But by the time we got on set, I think everyone could tell that I knew my stuff. I’m sure there were people in the crew who weren’t thrilled about being directed by a twenty-year-old girl, but for the most part, with the people who were important to the process, like my director of photography or my composer, it wasn’t an issue. If you know what you’re talking about, I don’t think people pay as much attention to your age or gender. That’s my hope. H C : Was there any intimidation as a first-time director working with Tate Donovan (who plays Melissa’s guardian) and Chris Messina, who are both such seasoned actors? Q S : I knew Tate really well. We had worked together on a TV show for a year, so I wasn’t nervous about directing him at all. He’s great. I love him. But I was totally nervous about directing Chris. I’m a huge fan of his, and he is such an amazingly talented actor. I had dreamed of having him play the drama teacher in the film for so long. When he said yes, I felt like I was going to faint.

H C : Did you just send him a copy of the script? Q S : I got his wife’s e-mail through a friend of a friend. I sent a short film I had directed, the script for Blame, and a note that explained that he was really the only actor that I was interested in for the part. He called me a couple of days later and asked to meet with me. I happened to be in LA at the time, so we met for coffee, and he said, “I want to make this work.” I couldn’t believe it. He took such a huge risk doing a film with someone who was so young and inexperienced, but I think he could tell, hopefully, from what I sent him that I had a very clear vision and that I was going to make a strong film. H C : The dialogue in the film is natural and genuinely feels like you’re overhearing real teenagers. Were you drawing on your own high school experiences? Q S : Oh yeah! I used to go home from school and write this script as therapy. The boys in the classroom are totally just guys that were in my high school science class. It also really helped that all of the actors were phenomenal with improvisation. We did a lot of that. In a lot of ways, I see screenwriting as a guidebook. When I was directing the actors, I would say, “This is a framework.” As long as we got to the root of the scene, I didn’t care how we got there. It loosened it up a lot. We would set up the camera and try and run the classroom scenes as if it were a real class. Because I was so young and was around the same age as the actors, it was a very comfortable situation.

“I need a really long nap before I do anything else, but I do want to focus on directing.” H C : Did you always know you wanted to play Abigail, or did you consider playing other characters, like Melissa? Q S : I could not play Melissa! I made myself tape auditions for Abigail and then for Melissa, and my Melissa was so bad. Melissa is my favorite character in the movie, but I couldn’t have played her. Nadia Alexander, who did end up playing her, did such an amazing job. She has this intensity and a rawness that I love. I’m a very heart-on-my-sleeve type of person. Abigail is so distinctive and really a niche character. I don’t really love acting and directing at the same time. It’s so hard. So, I considered not acting in the film at all. But I realized that Abigail is so personal to me, and I had to play her. I’m glad that I did. I’m very happy with my final performance, and I think Chris and I had a bond that came through on screen. H C : What are you working on now? Are you pursuing acting, writing, and directing equally, or is there one aspect you’re focusing on more? Q S : I’m still working as an actor. I do love acting, but I am trying to push myself to write and direct full force. I just finished a pilot for a miniseries, and I have some scripts in the works. I need a really long nap before I do anything else, but I do want to focus on directing.

Haley Chouinard is an arts and culture writer. Originally from Destin, Florida, she now lives in New York City. TRIBECAFILM.COM V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 79


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SEE THE WORLD

TRAVEL SPOTLIGHT Travelers might already know Nashville, Tennessee, for its country music history, but don’t be surprised to find so much more when you visit Music City inside this issue’s Voyager department.

Oxford University has been home to some of the world’s monarchs and royals, religious officials, and other public figures—but some of its most famous students were storytellers. Irish author and playwright Oscar Wilde, who studied at the university’s Magdalen College, once wrote, “The two great turning points in my life were when my father sent me to Oxford, and when society sent me to prison.” Today, the university and city of Oxford are destinations for travelers, history lovers, and those who just want to be inspired by the iconic spires, beautifully manicured grounds, and surrounding English countryside.

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UC NASHVILLE IS WHERE IT'S AT!

ity


N By Margaret Littman

ashville— Nowville, It City. Nashville’s popularity has been on the rise in recent years. The population is booming (it recently surpassed Memphis as the state’s largest city) and tourism is increasing, thanks to new hotels, restaurants, and shops. With all of that comes a host of new monikers highlighting how hip the Tennessee capital is. But its older and better-known name is the one that still rings the right tune: Music City. Settled on the banks of the Cumberland River in 1779, Nashville is a city that has always been built on a dream and a song. Even some of its earliest leaders, such as Congressman Davy Crockett, were known for their fiddle-playing and storytelling as much as their governing. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 83


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his reputation crossed the ocean in the 1870s, when the Fisk Jubilee Singers, students from Fisk University, embarked on a world tour to raise money for their little school. Queen Victoria was so impressed with their harmonies she proclaimed they must hail from Music City. The Fisk Jubilee Singers, who still perform today, brought the name back with them, and since then Nashville has cemented itself as a place to hear music, write music, and live music. If you think today’s Music City means twangs, cowboy hats, and rhinestones, well, you’re not exactly wrong, so much as limited. Yes, Nashville is home to the Grand Ole Opry (since 1925), and it can be hard to resist the siren song of a well-designed cowboy boot bedecked with a little bling. But Music City, both its roots and its future, is more about the songs and the stories they tell. Nashville is less focused on the stars who perform than on the songwriters behind the stars, the people who pen the lyrics and craft the stories themselves. (And the stars who live here love Nashville for that, for the way they get to live here and be part of the community, rather than just a stop on a celebrity home tour.) That is what the songwriters might call Nashville’s “hook,” the part of the song that you just can’t get out of your head. Download some favorites and listen as you explore the melodies, choruses, harmonies, and arrangements of one of the country’s best cities.

Melodies: WHERE TO LISTEN

The bulk of an itinerary in Nashville needs to be devoted to hearing live music. No matter where you go, you’ll find it. Locals sometimes lament that it’s hard to find a place to eat and talk without live 84 | SEPTEMBER 2017

music. That’s okay, because not only is it omnipresent, it’s also almost always good. The joke (funny because it is true) in Nashville is that your waiter is a better guitar player than you will ever be. Don’t be surprised if he has a Grammy. Just south of downtown is 3rd and Lindsley, the kind of place you’d miss if you were driving by and not looking for it. From the exterior, it looks like it might be an office supply warehouse. But inside is a venue that books some of the best acts visiting Music City, from acoustic songwriters to country to pop to blues. On Monday nights, 3rd and Lindsley welcomes the Time Jumpers to the stage. This Western swing band is a fun, high-energy jam

NASHVILLE IS LESS FOCUSED ON THE STARS WHO PERFORM THAN ON THE SONGWRITERS BEHIND THE STARS. session of musicians. The lineup changes based on who is on tour that week, but you can almost always count on hearing Vince Gill (wearing a T-shirt and jeans) on vocals and guitar. And at twenty dollars, the ticket price won’t break you, so you can see plenty of those shows. The Bluebird Cafe in Green Hills is a legendary venue where the songwriters, not the stars, test their

lyrics and share their work. This is a place you’ll be shushed for talking during the show, but you’ll be so mesmerized, you won’t want to anyway. Because the space is small—and the Bluebird’s reputation is big—tickets are hard to come by. Check the website for the advance reservation directions. There are plenty of other authentic music venues. The Station Inn in the Gulch, another blink-and-you’llmiss-it spot, is a cinder block holdout in a sea of highrises. The Listening Room in SoBro offers an intimate experience for hearing songwriters and their lyrics. Nab a ticket in advance and you’ll get to experience songwriters “in the round,” where each takes a turn playing their lyrics for audiences. The Listening Room has the added advantage of being within walking distance of the downtown fun, so you get the contemplative acoustic sounds before heading out to Lower Broadway. For more than ninety years, the Grand Ole Opry has been broadcasting its live radio show on WSM. Catch one of these variety-style shows; each thirty-minute act has different performers, from gospel to bluegrass to mainstream country. Yes, the jokes can be a little corny, but the Opry is a time-honored tradition that helped make country music the megagenre that it is. This is an experience that shouldn’t be missed. In recent years, stars from the Nashville TV show (formerly on ABC and now airing on CMT) have made regular appearances on the hallowed Opry stage, ushering in a new generation of fans. Down the street from the Opry House at the Texas Troubadour Theatre is the Midnite Jamboree, the second-oldest radio show in the country. Tapings of live shows take place at ten on Saturday nights (they air at midnight, hence the name), are free, and usually include a signing session with the guest host. If you like your music louder and your dance floors more crowded, you’ll want to check out the honkytonks along Lower Broadway. In the early days of the Opry, honky-tonks on the north side of Broadway had doors in the back so musicians could drink at the bar until their set time and then run across the alley into the Ryman’s side door. Today the second


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Above: Visitors can brush up on their gold-record history at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Fifth Avenue.

entrances are convenient for crowd control. Honkytonk highlights include Robert’s Western World and Nudie’s Honky Tonk (named for a famous Nashville tailor, not for a state of undress). Nudie’s has many signature rhinestone suits framed on the walls (as well as his old Cadillac hanging from the wall. Yes—a car on a wall. Welcome to Nashville).

Harmonies: WHERE TO PLAY

To get some context for all those live performances, head to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Even if you think you don’t like country, you’ll appreciate learning about the genre’s roots

from lots of interactive displays, and you’re sure to hear songs and stories that pluck your nostalgia strings. The Hall of Fame and Museum is downtown, but ticket packages include a bus ride and a tour to nearby Music Row and historic RCA Studio B. In the late 1950s and early ’60s, Studio B was the place to be. More than thirty-five thousand songs were recorded here, including many by Elvis Presley. The studio’s acoustics led to the creation of the “Nashville Sound,” a song styling with rich background vocals. This period helped the city transition away from what some felt were the hillbilly roots of the Opry-style country music and built the foundation of Nashville as a recording town. Today the local economy is strong, thanks to its breadth of music industry businesses—not just live music performances, but all the behind-the-scenes work that makes music happen. The tour bus drivers for the bands are trained here, videos are made here, and sets are designed here.

Photo courtesy of Nashville CVC Inset: The Listening Room Cafe features live music nightly and has hosted some of country music’s greatest songwriters. Photo by Danielle Davila Opposite: The Station Inn is regarded as the go-to spot to hear some good oldfashioned Nashville bluegrass. Photo courtesy of Nashville CVC V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 85


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A country music– themed branch of the famous Madame Tussauds is a fun and family-friendly stop at Opry Mills shopping and entertainment center. The attraction includes celebrity wax figures, interactive exhibits, and more. 86 | SEPTEMBER 2017


MADAME TUSSAUDS OFFERS INTERACTIVE OPTIONS FOR DESIGNING CONCERT T-SHIRTS AND SINGING ON STAGE WITH THE REPLICAS OF MUSIC’S BIGGEST NAMES.


W hile at the Hall of Fame, spend time in the Hatch Show Print shop on the first floor of the museum building. Since 1879, this letterpress print shop has made concert posters and other signage that has become as iconic to Nashville as the city itself. Hatch is still a working print shop; depending on the day you visit, you can learn how letterpress works, buy both past and current posters, and visit the Haley Gallery (also in the lobby) where historical reprints and new works are sold. Just down the street from the Hall of Fame is the Johnny Cash Museum, a small private museum with an impressive collection of memorabilia from and about the Man in Black. While the Hall of Fame and Museum provides a breadth of information about country music as a whole and its evolution, this institution allows you in-depth learning about one of its most prominent figures. When it is time to venture away from downtown, there are plenty of options for a good time. The Opry Mills mall is now home to Madame Tussauds Nashville, an outpost of the famous London attraction, themed around music. The attraction is more than a gallery of lifelike wax figures (although their realness is uncanny), as it offers interactive options for designing concert T-shirts and singing on stage with the replicas of music’s biggest names. There’s even a replica of Studio B, complete with Elvis. Aside from Music City, one of Nashville’s other nicknames is the Athens of the South, initially earned because of its commitment to education. Today there are more than twenty-five colleges, universities, and community colleges in town. These include Vanderbilt University; Belmont University, which has become a leader in the music industry; and Fisk University, a private historically black college (home to the aforementioned Fisk Jubilee Singers). Nashville was the first 88 | SEPTEMBER 2017

Visit the Johnny Cash Museum for an inside look at the musician’s legendary career and wayward life. Inset: Tànsuõ means “to explore” in Cantonese, and guests at this contemporary Chinese eatery will explore a range of delicious fare by Chef Chris Cheung and his team. Photo by Emily Hall

Southern city to create a public school system. Fisk is also home to the Carl Van Vechten Gallery, an art institution established in 1949 when painter Georgia O’Keeffe donated a collection of works from her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, to the school. This collection, which now rotates between Fisk and Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas, gives the school one of the leading modern art collections in the country. While on campus, stop to see murals by Aaron Douglas, a leader in the Harlem Renaissance who taught at Fisk and established its art history program. But there’s one landmark that helps keep the Athens of the South name in use, and that’s the full-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon, which anchors Centennial

Park, one of the city’s great parks. Originally built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, the Parthenon is a gathering place, an art gallery, and, after dark, a beacon of light against the night sky. Inside, a gilded forty-two-foot statue of Athena makes a commanding presence. For fun, locals like to head to The Band Box, located in the right field of First Tennessee Park, where the city’s minor league baseball team, the Nashville Sounds, play. This outdoor bar/restaurant/playground has food and drink the likes of which you don’t typically find in a stadium, plus board games, ping pong, shuffleboard, and access to a mini golf course—all inside the baseball stadium where, yes,


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TÀNSUŎ IS ONE OF THE NEW STANDOUTS, WITH UPDATED TWISTS ON TRADITIONAL CHINESE STREET FOOD DISHES AND INVENTIVE COCKTAILS.

you can actually watch the game if you so desire. Third Coast Comedy Club in historic Marathon Village has affordable stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy shows.

Choruses: WHERE TO EAT

For years, even those who touted Nashville as an innovative place for music and creativity and dreams would complain that its food scene was strictly one note. The city had lots of delicious Southern food, particularly at meat-and-three eateries, cafeteria-style restaurants where diners choose one meat and three vegetables (although “vegetable” is loosely used, as macaroni and cheese

is often counted as such). Nashville was also known for hot chicken, an über-spicy delicacy of pan-fried chicken brined in eye-watering spice. Culinary sophistication didn’t seem to be one of the notes Nashville could hit. But Nashville’s next verse is that of a foodie town. World-class chefs moved to Tennessee to open their own restaurants; local chefs were nurtured and given the same creative inspiration and freedom as their musical counterparts. Tànsuŏ, (which means “to explore” in Cantonese and is roughly pronounced without the u) is one of the new standouts, with updated twists on traditional Chinese street food dishes and inventive cocktails. Tànsuŏ was

developed by Morph Hospitality Group, the team behind Chauhan Ale & Masala House, which is celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan’s restaurant in the same building. When James Beard Award–winning chef Sean Brock opened Husk Nashville (an outpost of his Charleston restaurant) in Rutledge Hill in 2013, it helped to usher in a new level of food reverence in Nashville. Pinewood Social and Bastion are two local favorites from Strategic Hospitality, the team that also owns The Band Box and some other restaurants, from the high end to the Lower Broad beer-drinking variety.

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The flagship store of Reese Witherspoon’s lifestyle brand, Draper James, is a can’t-miss stop for shoppers looking for Southern style—and sweet tea! Inset: Peter Nappi offers premium leather goods, handcrafted Italian shoes, boots, hats, and much more in a rustic industrial setting in Nashville’s Germantown.


A t the end of the night, if you need something sweet before you head to bed, call Jake’s Bakes. The local baker will deliver warm cookies and cold milk to your hotel or Airbnb.

Chords: WHERE TO SHOP

It may not have the reputation of New York or LA when it comes to shopping, but Nashville’s retail scene has matured along with everything else in Music City. In addition to Hatch Show Print (mentioned above) for one-of-a-kind letterpress, there are great boutiques for clothes, souvenirs, and, of course, boots. In the 12South neighborhood, there are two celebrityhelmed shops (plus many others). A modern general store with a twist, White’s Mercantile is owned and stocked by singer/songwriter (and Hank Williams’s granddaughter) Holly Williams. Many of the products are her finds from time spent out on tour. Just north on the same side of the street is Draper James, the flagship store for Reese Witherspoon’s clothing line. The shop is as Southern as Witherspoon—you’ll be greeted with a glass of sweet tea when you walk in. Further north on the same street is the newest location for Peter Nappi, the Nashvillebased premium leather footwear company that works with Italian artisans to create exquisite boots, shoes, and leather goods. Local purse maker Ceri Hoover has delicate leather goods in her 12South shop as well.

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THE BLUEBIRD IS A PLACE YOU'LL BE SHUSHED FOR TALKING DURING THE SHOW, BUT YOU'LL BE SO MESMERIZED, YOU WON'T WANT TO ANYWAY.

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Famous even before its appearances on the hit television series Nashville, the Bluebird Cafe is perhaps the most renowned of the city’s songwriters-inthe-round listening venues. Photo courtesy of Nashville CVC Inset: Jack White’s Third Man Records opened its Nashville location in 2009 with a record store, novelties lounge, label offices, photo studio, and the world’s only live music venue with directto-acetate recording capabilities. Photo courtesy of Third Man Records


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D on’t skip Third Man Records, the independent record store (and record label) owned by megamusician Jack White. It’s one of the best places in town to find noncountry recordings, and the atmosphere and recording booth are beyond description.

Arrangements: WHERE TO SLEEP

After all that exploration, you’ll need somewhere to crash. The “problem” is that many of Nashville’s hotels are worthy of tours of their own. You’re not going to want to sleep, particularly at the new 21c Museum Hotel. The building includes 10,500 square feet of contemporary art on display, much of it challenging and groundbreaking and different from anything else in Nashville. The Thompson Nashville offers sleek, minimalist design coupled with maximum service and a location 94 | SEPTEMBER 2017

YOU’RE NOT GOING TO WANT TO SLEEP, PARTICULARLY AT THE NEW 21C MUSEUM HOTEL. THE BUILDING INCLUDES 10,500 SQUARE FEET OF CONTEMPORARY ART ON DISPLAY.

in the heart of all the action of the Gulch. Tall windows afford views of the energy and opportunities Nashville offers. For a home-away-from-home experience, SoBro Guest House is merely blocks from downtown. The hotel is in a renovated apartment building, so you get creature comforts such as a full kitchen (ask ahead of time and the staff can stock it for you), a record player with vinyl to get you in the mood to hear Music City, free parking, and board games to play with the family when you are in the mood to chill out. Together those elements, no matter the tempo, come together for a song worth putting on repeat in your playlist. Welcome to Music City.

For more suggestions on making the most of your time in Nashville, check out VisitMusicCity.com.


Rest your head at SoBro Guest House, an all-suite boutique hotel that has all the comforts of home in downtown Nashville. Photo by Beyond Content Inset: The new 21c Museum Hotel offers a unique hotel experience. The property features a contemporary art museum, a gourmet restaurant, and more. Photo courtesy of Nashville CVC

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DAY TRIP: Tracing the Region’s Stories

One of the country’s most epic road trips, intertwined with music and American history and food, is the Natchez Trace Parkway. The northern terminus of this 444-mile National Park Service roadway is in Nashville, just steps from the legendary Loveless Cafe (and its selfieworthy neon sign). The parkway is a paved, scenic tour of the route buffalo, Native Americans, Civil War soldiers, and others took from the Mississippi River inland to Nashville. Today it provides commercial-free access (there are no billboards or gas stations or other distractions on the road) to explore the route of the Americana Music Triangle and visit Civil Rights and Civil War monuments, plus places to hike and bike. To do the route properly

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S T E A K S

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takes more than a day, but some of the highlights are an easy detour from Nashville, having you back in town in time for dinner: • Franklin, a suburb with a charming downtown strip of restaurants and shops and many Civil War sites • Leiper’s Fork, country living meets country music, in a tiny outpost of antique stores and pickin’ corners • Meriwether Lewis Death and Burial Site, a monument to the explorer along the Trace

Learn more and start planning your trip at VisitMusicCity.com.

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MU S I C CIT Y ’ S FOOD SCENE Coming up with a list of the top ten restaurants in Nashville is a daunting but enjoyable task. The Nashville food scene boasts an incredible variety of delicious food.

98 | SEPTEMBER 2017

BY COLLEEN SACHS

Options range from the meat-and-three offerings at stalwart Arnold’s Country Kitchen and the addictively spicy chicken found at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack and Hattie B’s Hot Chicken to ethnic gems Taqueria San Luis and Hai Woon Dai Korean restaurant. You can dine on classic whole hog barbecue at Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint and indulge your taste for ramen and Japanese whiskey at Two Ten Jack and Otaku Ramen. Nashville is a food lover’s dream, and, along with the aforementioned, here is a list of ten places you really need to go.


JOSEPHINE 2316 12th Avenue S., Nashville, TN 37204 (615) 292-7766

A short but thoughtful wine list pairs beautifully with James Beard finalist chef Andrew Little’s farmhouse cuisine. In keeping with traditional farmhouse cooking, ingredients are sourced daily and everything is put to use. Crispy chicken skins, beef tongue, and beef cheeks are just part of the mix. Creative appetizers (Nashville hot scrapple), comforting mains (a whole chicken for two with crispy potatoes, kale, and grilled onion vinaigrette), and delectable desserts (coconut cake with blackberry, lime, and sorrel) make for a most enticing menu. This stylish and comfortable neighborhood spot is perfect for both special occasions and casual dinners with friends.

The bar at Josephine is the perfect spot to park for the evening and enjoy specially crafted cocktails such as the Pocket Change, the Bird Dog, and the Getaway. Photo by Robert Longhurst V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 99


A LONGTIME FIXTURE IN THE NASHVILLE RESTAURANT S CENE, CHEF DEB PAQUETTE IS AT THE HELM OF THIS UPS CALE RESTAURANT THAT FEATURES FUN AND BIG FLAVOR.

ETCH

303 Demonbreun Street, Nashville, TN 37201 (615) 522-0685

A longtime fixture in the Nashville restaurant scene, chef Deb Paquette is at the helm of this upscale restaurant that features fun and big flavor. Paquette’s love of food is evident in the menu that has something for everyone. The plates are beautiful, and while the short ribs garner much-deserved attention, vegetarian options are beautifully conceived. Coupled with a comfortable dining room and excellent service, it is no wonder that Etch is a downtown favorite.

Above: The roasted cauliflower at Etch is adorned with pea pesto and feta crema—yum! Opposite left: The local produce and fresh salads at the Treehouse are just part of the tantalizing menu. Photo by Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean Opposite right: The trendy bar at Bastion reflects the eatery’s namesake as a “place or system in which something—such as an old-fashioned idea— continues to survive.”

100 | SEPTEMBER 2017

THE CATBIRD SEAT CITY HOUSE

1711 Division Street, Nashville, TN 37203 (615) 810-8200

1222 4th Avenue N., Nashville, TN 37208 (615) 736-5838

James Beard Award–winner Tandy Wilson’s City House is credited with starting the growth of Nashville restaurants that mix global cuisines with Southern fare. The menu at City House makes Italian and Southern foods seem like long-lost cousins. Lemon panna cotta shares the plate with sweet tea jelly. Pizza is topped with turnip greens, and sour grits are teamed with cipollini, olives, lemon, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. There is also a great bourbon and whiskey menu. Don’t miss the Sunday Supper menu, where City House brings wonderfully earthy fare to the table each week. Ask for a seat with a view of the open kitchen.

At the Catbird Seat, a U-shaped bar surrounds the kitchen and twenty-two lucky diners have a front-row seat to watch their meals being prepared. The meal is a constantly changing multicourse tasting menu of innovative food. Fine attention to detail is paid to everything from the food to the decor to the service, with the experience often being likened to foodbased performance art. If you are an adventurous foodie, chef Ryan Poli and his staff have something special in store.


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BASTION 434 Houston Street, Nashville, TN 37203 (615) 490-8434

This intimate restaurant in the WedgewoodHouston neighborhood is tucked into space behind an energetic bar. Order from the five-course à la carte menu, or if you have a party of four to six, go for the prix fixe “feast.” Sit at the countertop for a view of the kitchen, where chef Josh Habiger and his team do their work. The menu is constantly changing but always filled with innovative bites.

THE TREEHOUSE 1011 Clearview Avenue, Nashville, TN 37206 (615) 454-4201

With chef Jason Zygmont recently taking over the kitchen at the Treehouse, regulars have been happy to see that the retooled menu is filled with creative and delicious dishes. The menu is composed primarily of small plates such as kingfish crudo, mushroom pierogi, ricotta dumplings, and dry-aged beef tartare. But there are also large format options, including a whole roasted chicken and a massive dry-aged rib eye. Be sure to save room for dessert.

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Voyager LOCKELAND TABLE 1520 Woodland Street, Nashville, TN 37206 (615) 228-4864

Lockeland Table is the epitome of a neighborhood restaurant that serves wholesome food in a welcoming atmosphere. While there are influences on the menu from afar (particularly Italy), the heart of the menu is the South. A sour cream donut with sorghum ice cream and popped caramel sorghum, anyone? The dry-aged New York strip with chimichurri is a favorite at this restaurant that makes you feel like you are at your local club.

Opposite: Chauhan Ale & Masala House features Indian cuisine and an impressive beverage menu. Right: Asparagus with egg dish from The 404 Kitchen Below: Rustic decor at Lockeland Table includes old-fashioned canned goods in mason jars lining the shelves.

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THE 404 KITCHEN 404 12th Avenue S., Nashville, TN 37203 (615) 251-1404

Shipping containers can hold great things. In this case, it is a cozy restaurant in Nashville’s Gulch neighborhood. Chef Matt Bolus is known for his creative Southern fare with a nod to Italy. Delicate scallop crudo shares the menu with skillet cornbread with sorghum butter. If you want to make things really convenient, book a room at the five-room 404 Hotel.


IF Y OU A R E LO O KIN G F O R SP I C E BE Y O N D N A SH V I LLE’S FA MOU S HOT C H I C KE N, T HI S IS TH E P LAC E T O G O.

CHAUHAN ALE & MASALA HOUSE 123 12th Avenue N., Nashville, 37203 (615) 242-8426

Chef Maneet Chauhan, known for her appearances on Iron Chef, The Next Iron Chef, and Chopped, has opened up shop in Nashville. If you are looking for spice beyond Nashville’s famous hot chicken, this is the place to go. And there are plenty of beverage options to tame that heat, from specialty cocktails to beer and bourbon. Chauhan’s most recent offering, contemporary Chinese restaurant Tànsuŏ, opened in the spring.

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Voyager

Rolf and Daughters’ charming patio in North Nashville is an ideal spot for dining al fresco, enjoying craft cocktails, or indulging in gourmet ice cream.

THE MENU AT RO LF AND DAUG HT ER S LISTS DISHES FRO M SMALL T O LA RG E P LATES BUT K EEPS A SPECI A L S ECT I ON O F THE MENU FO R K R AJEC K’ S RUSTIC PASTA DISHES.

ROLF AND DAUGHTERS

700 Taylor Street, Nashville, TN 37208 (615) 866-9897

Simply said, James Beard Award–nominee Philip Krajeck is a genius with pasta. In fact, Bon Appétit magazine pronounced that he was “put on earth to make pasta.” The menu at Rolf and Daughters lists dishes from small to large plates but keeps a special section of the menu for Krajeck’s rustic pasta dishes. The industrial-chic decor of this restaurant is highlighted by an exterior mural by artist Shantell Martin (see “Life in Black and White” – VIE January/February 2015) in her distinctive black-and-white line drawing style. Inside this Germantown neighborhood restaurant is a mix of high-energy atmosphere with communal tables and earthy foods, such as sourdough bread with seaweed-laced butter, beef short ribs with grains, spring onion, and green strawberry, and garganelli verde with heritage pork ragout.


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STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICHOLAS GRUNDY

V

enturing further eastward, through the state of Uttar Pradesh, leads to the equally famous city of Varanasi. Wandering the banks of the mighty Ganges River bombards the senses—a rainbow of colors dazzles the eyes, chants and prayers fill the ears, and clouds of incense waft up from below. To escape the sensory overload for a moment, I jumped aboard a local water taxi. Gliding along, I witnessed the kaleidoscope that is Varanasi, as buildings and worshippers all jostle for space along the crowded riverbank.

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Leaving the sacred watercourse, my travels saw me wheel around westward. The state of Madhya Pradesh is rarely a major stopover on any traveler’s visit to India. Fortunately for me, however, I’d recently heard of a little-known place called Khajuraho. The tiny village is home to a handful of exquisitely ornate temples that dot the surrounding landscape. The intricate stone carvings tell tales of times long past. I hit the road again, departing central India, and crossed into Rajasthan, India’s desert frontier with Pakistan—one step closer to my destination.


irst stop in this large region was Udaipur and its beautiful lakeside palaces. Craving some time with nature and away from the hustle and bustle, I hopped on a bus heading into the mountains. Loaded with everything under the sun, the creaking vehicle chugged ever higher as the temperature decreased mercilessly. Atop Mount Abu, I tacked onto a small tour group for the day and hiked high above the flatlands below. Village women silently emerged from the bushes carrying wood and straw on their heads before vanishing just as soundlessly as they had appeared, their bright saris fluttering in the breeze. Descending the slopes, it was time to continue my adventure. The wonders of Rajasthan are certainly worth the trek. Jaipur is home to the great Hawa Mahal, also known as the Pink Palace, thanks to its vibrant crimson hues. The city also contains several forts and other palaces. In fact, it is precisely these two types of structures which typify Rajasthan. For centuries, the region was subjected to countless conflicts as great empires rampaged back and forth. It’s no surprise then that the prominent feature of my next stop— Jodhpur—is a sprawling hilltop fortress overlooking the entire city. Before scaling the mighty peak, I took a break and gathered energy in the form of strong

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chai, or tea, at the local market. From the palatial complex, I gazed out across a sea of blue houses. Nearly every single building in central Jodhpur is painted with azure dye derived from native indigo plants. Apart from making the town aesthetically pleasing, the substance also serves the practical purpose of acting as a strong, natural mosquito repellant.

Previous page: Jaipur’s

Hawa Mahal, the Pink Palace, is located in the desert state of Rajasthan,

Above: Amritsar’s Golden

Temple is the most sacred gurdwara in the Sikh religion.

Right: The banks of the Ganges River in Varanasi are an explosion of color.

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After my adventure atop Mehrangarh Fort, I bid Jodhpur and Rajasthan farewell. It was time to enter the historical region of the Punjab and approach the city of Amritsar. The Punjab region is the traditional homeland of the Sikh people. It is here that both the land and followers of Sikhism have been wedged for hundreds of years between Muslim Pakistan and majority-Hindu India. After British colonial rule ended in 1947, most Sikhs ended up in the Indian section of the Punjab. However, a sizable chunk of their heartland was left behind in what was then the exclave of West Pakistan. Yet it wasn’t merely the region’s interesting

background which enticed me here. What drew me to Amritsar were the glistening walls of the Golden Temple—the holiest place of worship in the Sikh religion. This temple, or gurdwara, is to Sikhs what Mecca is to Muslims. To describe Amritsar’s Golden Temple as stunning would be an understatement. The shining structure is surrounded by a calm reflecting pool and is connected back to land by a long causeway. From this path emanates a four-sided walkway encircling the temple, around which devoted worshippers


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pace. My inviting hosts ushered me in and led me to a shared dorm set up especially for foreigners. I was received as if I were a Sikh pilgrim, and I was encouraged to stay for multiple nights free of charge. (I discovered a donation box near the door before departing.) A fellow Australian invited me to join him for dinner. We ambled over to the langar, an immense kitchen and dining facility which fed all guests— devoted worshippers and curious visitors alike. Once again, those who are able offer up a small donation. Others donate their time to the temple grounds and the langar. Each morning after completing the meditative circuit of the gurdwara, I would help hand out bread, stir food in huge pots, clean dishes, or sweep the pathways. This experience is what truly brought me to Amritsar. It was a chance to escape from the frenetic speed at which normal Western society runs these days. Here I found no greed, no materialism, no envy, and no vanity. Instead, I discovered a place where I could remove the cluttered thoughts of my mind and rethink life in general. Even the requirement of going barefoot for the entire time enabled the muscles in my feet to breathe. As with footwear, it seems that in the West we often wear too much, adding unnecessary weight and stress to our shoulders.

Above: This temple guard in Amritsar is of the famous Sikh Nihang warrior class. Left: Each year, scores

of tourists flock to Agra’s well-known Taj Mahal.

Next page: A woman at

a market stall in Jodhpur seems camouflaged against her brightly colored textiles.

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To this day, in times of turmoil, I pause momentarily and can still hear the ancient chants of the Golden Temple’s gurus in my head. As they chant hypnotically, it reminds me of my walks around the reflective pool, banishing negative thoughts and absurd worries. My mind returns to the Sikh pilgrims studiously sweeping the gurdwara, only grateful for what we all have—this one life here on Earth to enjoy.

Nicholas Grundy is a travel photographer and writer working for international publications such as the Aer Lingus in-flight magazine, Connemara Life, and VIE. His diverse professional experience and background were discussed during his recent TEDx talk in his current hometown of Galway, Ireland. You can find more of his work at NicholasGrundy.com.

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Voyager

Löwenburg (“Lion’s Castle”) is a fairy tale–worthy stop within the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel, Germany, where the Brothers Grimm lived and studied while writing their famous Children’s and Household Tales.

A

Storybook The Legacy of the BROTHERS GRIMM B y

J o r d a n

S t a g g s


A long time ago in a thick forest, a young woman was imprisoned in a tower by an evil witch. In a medieval town, a band of animals entertained crowds with their musical abilities. A hundred miles south, seven dwarfs mined caverns for copper and gemstones. Fairies, sprites, goblins, and nymphs roamed the misty woods and rolling countryside. If these stories sound like something from a book of fairy tales, that’s because they are— but in Germany, the tales of brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are alive and delighting visitors from the world over. The Deutsche Märchenstrasse, or German Fairy Tale Road, was established in 1975 and is a 370-mile tour through the country from Frankfurt to Hamburg, with many detours and over two hundred official stops in between. Many of the stops are connected to various fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, either because the tale originated in the area, such as the case of “The Bremen Town Musicians,” or because the area closely resembles one of the tales, such as the tallest tower of Castle Trendelburg being likened to the one in “Rapunzel.” Over a million people travel the route each year, most of them Germans. Fairy Tale Road organizers suggest this is because the route and the stories told along it connect Germans with their heritage, as well as their childhoods, and is a beautiful tour of their homeland that can be seen by car, train, river cruise, or bicycle.

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o make the most of a fairy tale tour, fly into Frankfurt airport and drive thirteen miles east to start your tour in Hanau, the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm. Jacob and Wilhelm published their first book, Children’s and Household Tales, in 1812; the collection contained eightysix stories documented by the brothers. Most of these were adapted from folk tales they learned from locals as well as from French Huguenots who took refuge in Germany after their Protestant practices were outlawed in France in the late 1600s. Wilhelm Grimm spoke seventeen languages, which allowed him to gather stories from many origins and translate them for the original book. Later, the Grimms’ tales were adapted into other languages and versions, and eventually many of them became the well-known Disney classics that people enjoy today. In truth, many of the original tales were much darker and grimmer than the adaptations children know today. The intended purpose of these fables was to teach children good manners, as those who misbehaved in the tales often met violent or extremely unpleasant fates. Heading north from Hanau, the Fairy Tale Road takes visitors to the medieval town of Steinau, which was a childhood home of the Grimms and boasts an attractive castle, one of many found along the tour. Marionette plays are favorite events in Steinau, some of them recounting classic fairy tales. Many performers and activities can be found along the route, with actors playing favorite fairy tale characters, knights in armor, or even just townsfolk in period dress to welcome their guests. A real tour of the Brothers Grimm history wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Marburg, northwest of Steinau, where Jacob and Wilhelm studied at university from 1802 to 1806. The walls, homes, and steps of the medieval city center are adorned with fairy tale figures. Head northwest from Marburg into the foothills of the Kellerwald range for a stop in Bad Wildungen, 114 | SEPTEMBER 2017


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KASSEL IS ALSO HOME TO A NATURE PARK WITH A STUNNING MONUMENT OF HERCULES, A NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, AND A FASCINATING ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE DUE TO MUCH OF THE CITY BEING DAMAGED BY BOMBINGS IN WORLD WAR II. whose picturesque half-timbered houses, Baroque castle, and location straddling the river Wilde have long made it a popular vacation spot. The area’s streams, reservoirs, and mineral deposits are praised by health seekers, making the region a renowned spa destination. But it’s just south of Bad Wildungen in the tiny village of Bergfreiheit that makes the area popular with fairy tale seekers. In the village, guests are greeted by a statue of the famous Seven Dwarfs themselves, along with Schneewittchen (Snow White), waving them off to their work in the mines. Visitors can enjoy a tour of Schneewittchenhaus, meet Snow White and the dwarfs, and even go on a guided descent into Bertsch, a local copper mine. Kassel, the centerpiece of the route, is a good home base for visitors who might only have a few days to discover Germany’s fairy tale history. The city was home to the brothers for years while they put together their Children’s and Household Tales. Today, its charming streets include important stops in Brothers Grimm history, such as the Brothers Grimm Museum, where their original books are on display. Kassel is also home to a nature park with a stunning monument of Hercules, a natural history museum, and a fascinating architectural heritage due to much of the city being damaged by bombings in World War II. Today, midcentury structures built after the war stand in stark contrast to the few remaining ancient and medieval buildings. From Kassel, a ride by train, car, or bike to Hofgeismar will bring visitors near one of the most treasured

stops along the Fairy Tale Road. East of the town lies the mystical Reinhardswald, whose ancient oaks and misty paths evoke feelings of enchantment. One might even imagine a cunning wolf running by just out of sight, or fairies placing a spell over some of the most ancient trees. The region of hills and forest includes Tierpark Sababurg, a vast wildlife sanctuary caring for bison, wild horses, birds of prey, lynxes, kangaroos, wolves, and even penguins.

Above: Actors portray fairy-tale characters, such as princesses, knights, and villagers, for reenactments at many of the Fairy Tale Road’s destinations. Photo courtesy of Deutsche Märchenstrasse Opposite: Thanks to its tall guard tower, Trendelburg has earned the moniker Rapunzel’s Castle. The medieval walls house a hotel, spa, and restaurant. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 115


Sababurg’s rose garden and majestic towers make it the perfect re-creation of the home of Briar Rose, also known as Sleeping Beauty. The fourteenth-century castle is now a luxury hotel.

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verlooking Tierpark Sababurg is Sababurg Castle, whose vinecovered walls, enchanting towers, and rose gardens have made it the perfect setting to celebrate the classic fairy tale Dornröschen (Sleeping Beauty or Briar Rose). Entertaining guests as a safe haven and lodge off and on since 1334, the castle was extensively renovated in 2012 and now boasts a luxury hotel with all the modern amenities guests could imagine. Meals are prepared by gourmet chefs and served in the dining room with a view of the wildlife park. The canopy beds have built-in fairy lights, and each night a bedtime fairy tale is placed in guest rooms. Rose wine is a specialty at the castle, and the festive medieval dining room on the lower level is perfect for group events—you might even meet Sleeping Beauty and the prince, who will tell you their story. Moving on from Sababurg, it’s a short journey to another charming castle hotel, Trendelburg, where

ENTERTAINING GUESTS AS A SAFE HAVEN AND LODGE OFF AND ON SINCE 1334, THE CASTLE WAS EXTENSIVELY RENOVATED IN 2012 AND NOW BOASTS A LUXURY HOTEL WITH ALL THE MODERN AMENITIES GUESTS COULD IMAGINE. amenities are less modern but more authentic. Thanks to its elevated keep, Trendelburg has assumed the fairy tale identity of Rapunzel’s castle, and one might even see a plait of long blonde hair descending from the tower window. Known for its spa services and romantic getaways, this is an ideal option for that fairy-tale honeymoon or even a girls’ trip. There are a multitude of stops from Trendelburg to the northern end of the Fairy Tale Road. Travelers can meet even more fairy tale characters such as the Pied Piper, see (and stay in) more castles and medieval towns, and enjoy countless hikes, cycling trails, and authentic German culture along the way. The trip wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Bremen, home of the famous Bremen Town Musicians. The tale says that a group of farm animals, all elderly and expecting to be mistreated or abandoned by their masters, set off for Bremen, where they plan to play music. A donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster make an unusual band and go on quite an adventure (although in the story, they never


Voyager

reach Bremen at all). The town features a statue of this ragtag group. Visitors can enjoy historical demonstrations and fairy tale reenactments, stroll the beautiful Bremer Marktplatz, see a soccer match in the Weserstadion, explore the culture and natural history in the Übersee-Museum Bremen, and much more. Whether you’re a fairy tale fanatic or you just want to explore Germany’s beautiful towns, countryside, rivers, and forests, a trip along the German Fairy Tale Road will connect you with the country, its people, and their past. No doubt you’ll end your voyage with a few stories of your own to tell.

DEUTSCHE-MAERCHENSTRASSE.COM

“The Bremen Town Musicians,” one of the many famous tales recorded by the Brothers Grimm, is celebrated with a sculpture in Bremen’s city center. Touching the donkey’s front hooves is said to bring good luck!

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Sartorial See the Resort 2018 collection at LelaRose.com. Photo by Taylor Jewell

Sartorial STRIKE A POSE

Known for her use of light, feminine fabrics and often whimsical floral appliqués, designer Lela Rose took inspiration from her own designs and held a stylish garden party to celebrate her Resort 2018 collection. The party and fashion presentation took place at New York’s Jefferson Market Garden in the West Village on June 7, 2017. The rosé flowed— and so did the sweets, as L’Arte del Gelato set up a pink-and-white cart among elegant chaise longues and patio sets. Comme c’est adorable!

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graceful REBEL

Sartorial

FA I T H

over F E A R

B Y C A M E R O N M E R R I L L // P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y B R E N N A K N E I S S

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GRACEFUL REBEL IS A LIFESTYLE BRAND THAT INFUSES FASHION WITH SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES TO CREATE APPAREL WITH A

purpose.

Through conscious creativity, every tank top is thoughtfully designed for the woman who lives a conscious, courageous, and curious life. The clothing is symbolic of the journey of personal transformation and embodies universal truths that infuse the ordinary and everyday with hopeful presence, graceful daring, and bold curiosity. Since the age of seven, I’ve lived in Santa Rosa Beach along Scenic Highway 30-A in Northwest Florida, where my parents own and operate the Summer Kitchen Café in downtown Rosemary Beach. If you’ve been there in the last fifteen years, you’ve probably seen me—I started as a dishwasher at age eleven. And I believe I learned more there about business, people, and life—and how they all intersect—than any college could ever teach me. Following graduation from the University of Central Florida, I tried moving away from this “small town” to pursue my career in social media marketing. After landing my dream job at a start-up digital marketing agency in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, I realized that I still wanted more from life. During my two years in Charleston, I found myself returning to the white-sand beaches of home more and more, until I finally recognized that home was where I was meant to be. I saw that it was a special place, and living here has played a huge role in making me who I am today. After realizing how much I attributed my self-worth to having a successful career title, and how meaningless

my job was to me, I lost all sense of who I was. I was stuck in a career that gave me zero fulfillment. One day, I finally realized that I was miserable. I quit, moved home to Florida, and never looked back. The next couple of years taught me firsthand that our work is our worth. If we feel like our work is meaningless and without purpose in the world, the chances are that we feel the same way about ourselves. I’ve always been insatiably curious, asking far too many questions. So, instead of asking myself what job I wanted, I wondered why I wanted it: Why do I want this job? Why do I want to spend my life doing this? Why do I want to be known for doing this? And then, I began to ask what: What do I want to become? What legacy do I want to leave behind? Those questions opened up a can of worms when I realized I had no idea who I was or what I wanted from life. I’ve spent the last five years seeking my truth. It’s been an untangling of all the beliefs, opinions, and attitudes that I’ve acquired from other people and mistakenly accepted as my own. I’ve been unbecoming— letting go of who I thought I was and the things I thought I wanted. The feelings of loss and emptiness from those years forced me to dive deep into myself and unlock the doors to the parts of me I had forgotten.

Above: Graceful Rebel tank tops feature phrases that inspire living life to the fullest and digging deep into the soul to find beauty every day.

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They’re bold, beautiful, brilliant, and brave—the perfect mix of bohemian and bizarre. They are the ones who have grown up under pressure to define themselves by what they do, not who they are. We live in a world that puts creativity and selfexpression second to career and responsibility. But when you’re a creative spirit living in a world that dismisses your need for self-expression, a piece of you slowly dies inside. A Graceful Rebel has the courage to question the impossible and then opens her heart to the delight of possibility. She inspires everyone around her to seek their wholeness, using her life as proof that they can grow beyond their circumstances. She makes people feel safe so they can remove their masks and be seen for who they are. Her sacred presence and deep awareness of her own suffering make everyone around her feel unafraid to face themselves. She creates a space for others to find the strength to witness the truth behind their pain. Suffering is meant to refine us, not define us.

Above: Perfect for workouts, beach days, or a day out on the town, Graceful Rebel clothing is versatile to fit any woman’s style.

rebel

THE MISSION BEHIND GRACEFUL IS TO USE CLOTHES TO CREATE COMMUNITY—TO EMPOWER AND CONNECT LIKE-MINDED WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN THROUGH SIMILAR EXPERIENCES.

My “quarter-life crisis” was what inspired Graceful Rebel. Graceful Rebel helps me tell those stories—ones from my real, personal, normal life. I believe that our words create our worlds and that stories give meaning to our lives. Words connect us to ourselves and each other. They give us hope and understanding. They have the power to bring us together or to push us apart. Stories are the heartbeat of humanity. They make us feel safe. They make us feel understood—which I believe is the most transformative power of all. The stories we share in moments of vulnerability remind us that we aren’t in this great big world alone. I wanted to create a brand for the rebels. The lost girls. The women who choose paths that are uncharted, knowing that getting lost is the only way to be found. Graceful Rebel is an archetype of women—warriors—going against the norm.

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The mission behind Graceful Rebel is to use clothes to create community—to empower and connect like-minded women who have been through similar experiences, to be a source of hope during difficult times, and to spread awareness that pain has a purpose. We forget that the struggles we face are only temporary—that they’re a crucial part of finding the light within. I believe we’re at a pivotal point in history, where everything we do, or don’t do, makes a difference. Wonderful opportunities are hiding beneath the chaos of the digital age that have never existed before. Rapid advances in technology, access to resources and information, and the social freedom to express ourselves to the fullest capacity have all been the “perfect storm” for women to transform the world—but first, we must change ourselves. Disconnect from the world and connect with your heart. Find something that makes you feel grounded and do it every day. Use your hands to create something from nothing. Play for the sake of playing. Don’t force it. Shift your focus from the possible outcome to being engaged in the process. That’s where the magic is.


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My advice to anyone who wants to make a positive contribution to the world—whether it’s to build an empire, to be an amazing wife and mother, or to write a book—is to start from the inside. The world needs more conscious creation. Just because you can create a business and make millions or write a book to share your opinion, that doesn’t mean you should. The freedom to express ourselves and create whatever we want means we have to hold ourselves accountable for our actions. When we use creativity to express our thoughts and feelings, we are also reliving, learning from, and sharing our life experiences. Creating something beautiful from unpleasant experiences is a catalyst for personal transformation. That’s when life becomes art. Motivational speaker and author Tony Robbins says, “You find your passion when you find something you want to serve that is greater than yourself.” Once I saw the true purpose of a brand like Graceful Rebel, not to build it was no longer an option. I had to do

Graceful Rebel founder Cameron Merrill

A GRACEFUL REBEL HAS THE COURAGE TO QUESTION THE IMPOSSIBLE AND THEN OPENS HER HEART TO THE DELIGHT OF

possibility.


Sartorial

“YOU FIND YOUR PASSION WHEN YOU FIND SOMETHING YOU WANT TO THAT IS GREATER THAN YOURSELF.”

The 11:11 tank top reminds the wearer to believe in magic— make a wish!

it. And, I have to continue because it’s no longer just about me—it’s about other women. Graceful Rebel inspires women to get lost and enjoy the journey. It emboldens them to create and make mistakes—to focus on the experience of life instead of watching from the sidelines. But life isn’t a spectator sport. At

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any moment you can step on the field, but first you must believe that you deserve to be there. Now is the moment you decide—trust in faith or fail in fear. Now is the time you create your future. Graceful Rebel sums up this season of my life—rebelling against antiquated social norms and beliefs, gracefully embarking on my path using a faith-driven compass instead of a borrowed map. Graceful Rebel inspires me to live beyond fear. It’s given my life purpose. The women I meet through Graceful Rebel are the most supportive, courageous women I’ve ever known—and they need the messages behind this brand just as much as I do. I think that on some level, we’re all looking for more: more depth in our relationships, more joy from our experiences. We all desperately want to be free from anxiety, stress, and insecurity—to just be happy and live in the moment. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. For the majority of my life, I’ve felt like an outsider. It looked like everyone around me was so happy, so content. Something that I was unable to achieve. Somehow, I’ve made peace with my past. I now understand that it’s the painful experiences that make me who I am today. Letting go of my brokenness has allowed me to be here now—to be unashamed of who I am. One word that describes this experience is metanoia, which means “a transformative change of heart.” I believe


we’re all capable of freeing ourselves from the past. But first, we must choose to dive deep to find the chapters that keep us stuck in the past—so we can rewrite our future. There is nothing more empowering than choosing to let go of the stories and beliefs that keep you from seeing the beauty of who you are. When you truly believe in your gifts and abilities, your life becomes a joyful creation of your values and truths. Deep down in your core, you understand that you are free to become whoever you want to be and free to stand for the things you believe in most. The trajectory of your life will change the moment you realize this. Right now, every woman has a social responsibility to show up for those who are too afraid to. We must face the difficult multigenerational and cross-cultural conversations because those are the conversations that will make a difference. We have to take responsibility for playing our part in the bigger picture. We must choose to live boldly by speaking up and accepting who we are.

THE TWO WORDS THAT ARE THE HEART AND SOUL OF GRACEFUL REBEL ARE SIMPLE: DO So many of us are too afraid to speak up and to be ourselves because some people might not like it. But when you hide the broken pieces because you’re afraid the world won’t accept you—you’re only hurting yourself. When we live to hear the world’s applause over our own, we feed the fears that keep us stuck in the dark. I created Graceful Rebel by finding beauty in rock bottom and discovering the gift of total self-acceptance. I wholeheartedly believe that one of the most important responsibilities in life is to define who we are to the world—to rediscover the person we were before everyone else had their say, and then to have the courage to allow that woman to be seen. Graceful Rebel will grow as my experience and understanding of the world continues to evolve, but the two words that are the heart and soul of Graceful Rebel are simple: Do good.

Do good by creating clothes that dare women to dream. Do good by using words and design to ignite social change. Do good by inspiring women to live out loud. Graceful Rebel is here to champion female empowerment, creative expression, and social consciousness. We’re here to do good by being a voice in the fashion industry that puts creativity, social responsibility, and people over profit. To invest in the future by investing in female entrepreneurs and doing whatever it takes to bring their dreams to life. There are so many brilliant, vivacious women in this world who just need someone to believe in them and have faith that they will aspire to believe in themselves, too.

GR ACEFU L REB EL . COM

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r e m m i l G immer h S & [ Sartorial

LL

’ RO N ’ K C F RO

RT O A E H E TH

BY SUVA ANG-MENDOZA

f there is one thing we know about rock and roll, it’s that it never goes out of style. The genre’s different musical styles and personalities make it relatable to many. From the legendary Jimi Hendrix and the incomparable Stevie Nicks to Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx and beyond, the immortal rock and roll has influenced many performers not just musically but sartorially as well. Who could forget Steven Tyler’s iconic scarves, Debbie Harry’s neon ensembles, and David Bowie’s stellar makeup? Some of the greatest rock and roll is born in Nashville, Tennessee—Music City—and designer Andrew Clancey is taking inspiration from it to create his fashion label and clothing boutique, Any Old Iron. Just ask performers like Beyoncé, Miranda Lambert, Cheap Trick, Maren Morris, Ke$ha, Courtney Paige Nelson, Casey James, and more who have commissioned Clancey to create glimmering sequined pieces for the stage. With talent in the design department and his natural ability to stylize

separates that can be mixed and matched for many looks, it’s no surprise that the stylist turned designer is a rising name in the fashion industry. Judging by his perfectly tailored clothes, you would think he had an extensive background in patternmaking; but, remarkably, his journey as a designer began just one and a half years ago. “It’s all about the eye!” Clancey claims. Embodying all the classic elements of rock and roll—passion, soul, spirit, culture, and edge— Clancey’s line has the added flair of, well, there’s no other way to describe it than “Andrew Clancey.” The native Englishman’s larger-than-life personality is just as unconventional as his style. A self-proclaimed “sixties child,” Clancey’s personal sense of style has transformed over the years from eccentric English gentleman to full-on rock star, and Nashville has certainly welcomed the razzle-dazzle that Any Old Iron brings to the neighborhood. “I look at rock and roll as a lifestyle,” he says. “It’s always one big, great party. I lived in Ibiza for a few years on and off, and that hedonism was certain.”


Andrew Clancey of the fashion label and boutique Any Old Iron is bringing rock and roll back with his glittering sequined designs. Model: Mari Clark, Amax Talent Photo by Max Hsu V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 127


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lancey’s styles have many Nashville performers—and shoppers of all sorts— ready to trade in their rhinestone boots for sequined blazers. “I like anything that when you walk into a room in it, the whole room turns round and looks at you,” Clancey admits. “If it shines, it’s mine!” Any Old Iron’s quick rise as a must-have fashion label may be due in part to Clancey’s role as a prolific stylist in both the United Kingdom and the United States, where he gained perspective on how to tailor the culture of the music industry into clothing that fits many different personalities. He knows how to pair fabrics and patterns and understands how to emphasize a look—he’s storytelling with fashion, turning the wearer into a work of art that will make others wonder who he or she is, and whose look he or she is wearing.

“FAMOUS ADVICE IS TO BE NICE TO PEOPLE ON THE WAY UP, AND DON’T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY.” Right: Clancey’s designs are created to be versatile so wearers can mix and match styles and even pair them with their favorite jeans or T-shirt. Photo by Max Hsu Opposite: The Any Old Iron collection has seen success on the runway at events such as Nashville Fashion Week, South Walton Fashion Week, Charleston Fashion Week, and more. Models: Amax Talent Photo by Gerry Navarrete

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In October of 2016, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Clancey during South Walton Fashion Week in Northwest Florida. He was just like his collection: wonderful, exciting, passionate, full of personality and life, witty, and true to himself. “Famous advice is to be nice to people on the way up, and don’t take yourself too seriously,” he explains. Clancey seems to have an aura about him that is cool in the sincerest form, and it shows in his designs, from sequined suits and jumpsuits to a new kimonoinspired mini dress—designs so fabulous that you just can’t help but want to try something on. Clancey’s road into the fashion industry wasn’t the typical design school-then-internship path that so many others seem to take; it seems conventionality just isn’t in his blood.


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worked at my dad’s scrapyard in the UK for ten years before I realized I needed something more creative,” Clancey recalls. Not surprisingly, it was a love of music that brought him to the fashion industry. “In the UK, the music industry is intertwined with fashion, so I was always switching music genres and dressing to suit the trend that went alongside that. I started assisting my sister, who was a fashion stylist in London, which gave me the chance to work with lots of UK bands and explore designing, making a few pieces here and there—nothing like a full collection.”

Opposite: The Any Old Iron boutique is located in the former S. W. Simpkins Groceries store in Nashville’s East End neighborhood.

These small projects for musicians fueled Clancey’s passion for design and birthed the rock-and-roll persona that Any Old Iron embodies. “Punk, mod, ska, disco, and new romantic all influenced my style and still do today,” he says. “Eventually, I was ready to branch out on my own.”

“IN THE UK, THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS INTERTWINED WITH FASHION, SO I WAS ALWAYS SWITCHING MUSIC GENRES AND DRESSING TO SUIT THE TREND THAT WENT ALONGSIDE THAT.” For most creatives, “branching out” might translate to just starting a business or maybe traveling to get more ideas from the experiences. Clancey, in his true fashion, was determined to go after his dream in a larger-than-life way. With a one-way ticket, he set flight from the United Kingdom to New York, the city of dreams and the fashion capital of the United States. “I moved with hopes of further advancing my styling career but ended up meeting a New York investor named Christopher Melton, and we hatched a plan to open the States’ first-ever UK-only multibrand fashion store,” Clancey explains. Any Old Iron was born.


Regarding the name, Clancey expounds, “‘Any old iron!’ is what they used to shout off the back of rag-and-bone men’s carts in the UK when they wanted scrap metal, old clothing, or bone china. It’s also a music hall song from the early 1900s about looking dapper—‘old iron’ referencing a watch chain, which some of my suits feature. The song, originally by Harry Champion, has been recorded by Peter Sellers and also the Muppets for the pure randomness of it.” For Clancey, the significance of the title extends deeper than its musical roots. “It’s come full circle, as it’s also a nod to my family’s business, founded on rabbit skins and recycling cloth. It’s still going, since 1872—L. Clancey and Sons, started by my greatgreat-grandma, Lillian. Strong women have run the business, from her to my late grandma, Edith.”

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Musicians such as country star Miranda Lambert (left), pop diva BeyoncÊ, Casey James, Courtney Paige Nelson, and more have rocked Andrew Clancey’s looks onstage and off. Photo by Mike Coppola/ Getty Images for CMT Right: Sequined blazer and miniskirt ensemble on the runway at Nashville Fashion Week Model: Amax Talent Photo by Gerry Navarrete Far Right: Designer Andrew Clancey 132 | SEPTEMBER 2017


to be the S. W. Simpkins Groceries store in Nashville’s East End. Clancey’s future in the fashion industry is shining bright—literally and figuratively—leaving us to question, has his journey been as easygoing and free flowing as it sounds? As he recounts his past and looks to the future, he asserts that although it’s tough to start something of your own in a new country, there was never any room for fear. “It’s just good fun, isn’t it?” Clancey asks. “I try not to take it seriously, so my experience so far has been a proper laugh. I’m ticked off I didn’t start designing full collections earlier, as now I think I have to design six collections a year. Made one sequined jacket, sold it, and with the proceeds made three more. Sold them, and now it’s mushroomed! Half my store in Nashville is my brand; in a year it will solely be Any Old Iron. That is the aim.” our years after Any Old Iron was founded in New York, Clancey found himself packing and expanding his horizon once again. “We were open for four years before we decided to move our operation to Nashville, Tennessee, with the aim of dressing the city’s musicians,” he says. “It also gave me time to develop my first collection just a little over a year ago. I would have never found the time in New York.” What better place for the rock and roll–inspired brand than Music City? Any Old Iron may have come full circle regarding its inception and branding, but this is just the beginning for the fashion label, now located in what used

CLANCEY’S FUTURE IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY IS SHINING BRIGHT— LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY. With an attitude that continues to shine as brightly as his sequins, it’s clear that Clancey and Any Old Iron have nowhere to go but up. His journey—from dressing celebrities to helping any shopper bring his or her rock-and-roll soul to the surface—will be extremely fun to watch.

FIND CLANCEY ON INSTAGRAM AT @ANYOLDIRON AND SHOP HIS LOOKS ONLINE AT SHOPAOI.COM. V I E MAGAZ INE . COM | 133


DO YOU DREAM OF SUCCESS & HAPPINESS? THIS IS A MUST-READ FOR ANYONE AT ANY AGE!

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Inspirational Musings

FROM

THE JOY OF A GOOD STORY By Darin Colucci If you could invite any three people over for dinner—from any time throughout history—who would it be? Someone recently asked me this question, and it took me several minutes to come up with my guest list. Then, when I announced my three names, the inquirer asked me the next obvious question: “Why?” My answer: “Because I bet each person would tell some great stories.”

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can’t answer for anyone else, but I would never invite someone over just to look at them. If you had this magical, made-up opportunity, how could you squander it by asking a person who was known to be boring, quiet, contemplative, introspective, or any other adjective which in effect means “uninteresting” to those around them? You wouldn’t. The most enigmatic, engaging, funny, and all-around interesting people seem to share one common trait—they’re great storytellers. They keep you on the edge of your seat, somehow enthralled by whatever tale they spin. And the best of them can transport you to a different time or place, making it seem as though you were somehow a part of the story or a fly on the wall, taking it all in. My father passed away nearly eight years ago, and of all the things about him that I miss, his storytelling is first and foremost. My dad, who was a rather reserved, sometimes (often) cranky guy, told great, vibrant, hilarious stories. He came alive when he had the floor and commanded attention. It always felt like you were on the verge of laughter or a “Get the hell outta here . . . No way!” moment. And because he was such an expert at it, there was always a payoff. My dad had one friend, Mr. Carafello, who only came over to our house on Thanksgiving. Once a year—that’s it. His first name was Bill, but my father only called him Willy, in a tone meant to convey both familiarity and good-natured chop busting. Neither seemed to mind. Mr. Carafello had the biggest, toothiest smile you ever saw, and I looked forward to seeing it on full display every year. The two of them would go shot for shot on stories about where and how they grew up, and more importantly, with whom they grew up. As the years passed, I felt like I got to know these guys, too. There was Spike, Wahoo, Frankie Emma, Joe Burns, Freddie the Bug, and Stanley La Bruno. After a while, I felt like I grew

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up right down the street from all of them. I loved it. The house was full of laughter from the appetizer to the coffee and whatever dessert my mother would serve. And even if cell phones had been around, there is no way I would ever have looked away from all that was going on. It was too entertaining, and in some ways, a living history of my father’s life. I worry that storytelling is becoming a lost art because of technology and about how the current generation stays disengaged from dinner-table discussions. Will they even have a fond memory of being with their family at Thanksgiving? I wonder. Maybe it’s our fault as parents. Maybe our stories just aren’t as good as our parents’ were and consequently don’t command attention. I just know that if I could travel back to any point in my life and relive one day, Thanksgiving circa 1979 would be right up there. I could see my dad and his friend laugh until they cried as they reached each punch line, kicker, and

unexpected plot twist—their shenanigans almost always ending in unmitigated disaster. True or not, it always seemed funnier when it blew up in their faces, I guess. But such is the nature of excellent storytelling. It leaves you laughing or in amazement, always wanting just one more. I miss my dad and his stories. So, here’s to the Riverside Gang, as he called it. Next Thanksgiving, I think I’ll tell my son about when they sank the boat. No, I’ll tell him the one about when they tried to beat the bookie. Yeah, that one’s great.

Darin Colucci is an author, motivational speaker, and attorney from Duxbury, Massachusetts. His book Everything I Never Learned in School: A Guide to Success is available on Amazon.

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THE POWER OF YOUR WORDS “I sit here at 4:52 a.m. still trying to turn my brain off to go to sleep like I do on a routine basis. I sit here and think: what can I do to better myself, what can I do to see my son soon and show him how much I love him. And the truth is, I feel helpless, like a low-life piece of s*** and the type of person I never thought I would become. I wish I could get out of my own head and do something for myself. God, I really am stuck at this point in my life, and I’ve been stuck here far too long. I can’t keep doing this. I want to live a positive and productive life. I want my son one day to say he is proud of me. I need your guidance, Lord; please help me. Please show me the way. I haven’t been able to do this on my own; I need your help, God. In your name, Amen.” Dear Friend, The opening is a text message written by a young man that I knew since he was a young boy. He was handsome, good, and kind. His mother, one of my closest friends, asked if the message could be shared with VIE readers in the hope that it might save at least one life. He wrote the text on January 31, 2017, and then ended his life by suicide sixteen days later. He was thirty-three years old. This young man’s family and friends are devastated and had no clue as to his state of mind at the time. To say or to think you would never do such a thing is a dangerous thought. All of us are capable if in the right—or wrong—circumstance. How many times have you had the thought, “I would never do this or that,” only to find yourself at some point doing the very thing you said you would not do? I certainly have. What I am about to share with you is of such great importance that I pray you will take a moment and not just skim through and think you already know what I am saying. This is a story worth remembering,

and hopefully, in the years to come, it will serve you and those around you well. The Bible says in Genesis 1 that before there was anything upon the face of the earth, the spirit of God hovered. Meaning, He was thinking about what he was going to say before He said it. After the hovering, God spoke and said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. The point I want to make here is this: God thought before He spoke because He knew that His words held creative ability. What God spoke, God saw; and, so it is with you and me.

We must protect ourselves from words, spoken or thought, that are not in agreement with what and who God says that we are. Before I began writing this, I too “hovered,” waiting until I knew it was time to write something that would bring life. I do not sit down and just start to write; I give it thought—sometimes for days. I will prepare bits and pieces in my mind, and then I will begin. I believe I have a purpose. My heart’s desire was birthed in me long ago, but it has taken years to come forth: I want you to know in your heart God’s great love for you. We can say we know God loves us, but at the same time, in our heart, we might not believe it. The Bible says that we are to guard our hearts because the issues of life flow out of our hearts. “Guard against what?” you may ask. We must protect ourselves from words, spoken or thought,

that are not in agreement with what and who God says that we are. These words can be spoken to us by others or even by ourselves, and if taken into our heart they can become our reality. For example, when I was a young girl, I was standing in the kitchen where my mother was making a sauce. She suddenly spilled the sauce and said, “Look what you made me do.” Now, that may seem to be a small thing, not to be taken seriously. But because my mother had value to me, I took that comment to heart, and for years I always felt that if something bad happened, somehow it was my fault. You see, words are containers of great power. Proverbs 18:21 says that the tongue holds the power of life or death. Words can build up or destroy. I have been a victim of emotional abuse and can tell you that it is a destroyer of self-image. We have all heard that “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That is one big lie. Words, even more than physical abuse, can destroy your life. Many people spend a lifetime convincing their hearts of their true identities. Who we are does not just fall on us; we have to speak out of our own mouths over and over what God says about us: You are loved, you are adored, and you are the apple of His eye. You are not loved because of your performance, be it good or bad. You are loved because God says so. Selah! Be mindful of your words. Let them be full of love and grace, not only to others but also to yourself. It could be the difference between life and death. Blessings, Pamela Dowling

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LO UD

Inspirational Musings

Reading Out

The Art of Storytelling

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BY NICHOLAS S. RACHEOTES

They come in all cultures, colors, creeds, shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities. They preserve our past, predict our futures, buoy us, and bore us. They are the storytellers. Whether accompanied by Homer’s lyre, the kora and balafon of the African griot, or the harp of the blind bards of Ireland, their tales define us, and when their traditions are lost, we are the losers.

W

ithout the Iliad and the Odyssey, would we have the literature that we have cherished for thousands of years? Whether hearing it from grandma on the porch, the preacher expounding a Psalm from the pulpit, a comic doing stand-up, or a rapper and Bruce Springsteen on a download, the story is the thing. We lean forward to catch every word. We pass it on if it’s a good one or brush it off as unrepeatable. How sad is the disappearance of the rich Native American oral heritage. We have a few narrations concerning Coyote, that mischief maker, but where are those heroic epics from the Sioux, the Cheyenne, and so much else? What a threat has come to the

Balkan and other traditions in the form of the dominant electronic media. Yet, storytelling never fades. If you are, like I am, a pathological eavesdropper, every bar, restaurant, means of public transportation, and day on the beach is a veritable treasure chest of oral and aural fixations. There are tales of romance with toe-curling descriptions of lust and hole-by-hole narrations of golf games that are of far greater importance to the narrator than they could possibly be to any listener. Good gossip can put every family secret out in the marketplace. Have I forgotten to mention the lies of such magnitude that they would shame even Pinocchio at his prevaricating best?

the house with a breathless description of the dragons that inhabit the backyard, think before you crush them under the burden of reality. After all, they are in a sacred tradition. Besides, the tale-teller of childhood may be the National Book Award winner of tomorrow.

Nick Racheotes is a product of Boston public schools, Brandeis University, and Boston College, from which he holds a PhD in history. Since he retired from teaching at Framingham State University, Nick and his wife, Pat, divide their time between Boston, Cape Cod, and the Western world.

But, I need to close with a warning. When your son or daughter, niece or nephew comes running into

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THE STORYTELLER

Everyone has a unique story to tell. Most of us seem to think our stories are not significant enough to be written down, but at VIE, we believe that’s just not true. As a publication celebrating its tenth year of storytelling in 2017, we’d like to encourage you to dig deep into the past or move forward into the future to discover your story. Let this Storyteller edition of C’est la VIE be your guide and inspiration. What tales can you imagine telling about these products?

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FASHIONABLY GREAT Each June, the international fashion community honors the best and brightest in American design at the CFDA Fashion Awards. The Council of Fashion Designers of America board of directors awards winners for Womenswear, Menswear, Accessory Designer of the Year, and the unified Swarovski Awards for Emerging Talent. This year’s event was held on June 5 at the Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom and was hosted by comedian and late-night talk show host Seth Meyers. Photography courtesy of CFDA

Elizabeth Chambers and Armie Hammer

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The Board of Directors’ Tribute was presented by CFDA Chairwoman Diane von Furstenberg to Janelle Monáe, Gloria Steinem, and Cecile Richards

Kerry Washington presented the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent to Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia

Stuart Vevers took home the Accessory Designer of the Year Award for Coach, presented by Mandy Moore

Nicole Kidman

Gloria Steinem, Cecile Richards, and Janelle Monáe

Demna Gvasalia of Vetements and Balenciaga was recognized with the International Award, presented by Alek Wek

Coach designer Stuart Vevers with actor, writer, and producer James Franco

Amber Valletta and Karen Elson


Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild, and Jimi Westbrook of Little Big Town

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban

Fashion wasn’t the only industry celebrating its best this summer. The CMT Music Awards, held on June 7, 2017, at Nashville’s Music City Center, honored artists Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and many more for their accomplishments in country music. Other winners were Little Big Town, Florida Georgia Line, Lauren Alaina, Jason Derulo, and Luke Bryan.

Carrie Underwood

Photography by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for CMT

Andi Zack-Johnson and Ken Johnson

Luke Bryan

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Brittany Marie Cole, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line, and Hayley Stommel

Charles Esten (who hosted the event) and Patty Hanson

Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum

Kellie Pickler and Kyle Jacobs


The wedding service was attended by close friends and family, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Prince George was a page boy and Princess Charlotte was a bridesmaid. Photo by KGC-22/ Star Max/IPx

Prince William and Prince Harry arrive for the wedding at Saint Mark’s. Photo by KGC-22/ Star Max/IPx

Aubrey Plaza and Dave Franco attend The Little Hours premiere. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Mena Suvari attends the premiere of Becks. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

The Pippa Middleton–James Matthews wedding on May 20 made news across the world—it seems fans can’t get enough of the Middleton family ever since elder sister Kate married Prince William. Pippa was a vision in a custom Giles Deacon gown as she walked down the aisle of Saint Mark’s Church in Englefield, Berkshire. A reception followed at the home of Carole and Michael Middleton in Bucklebury. The Los Angeles Film Festival was held June 14 to June 22 at the ArcLight Cinemas Culver City, with additional screenings at ArcLight Hollywood, ArcLight Santa Monica, and other locations around the city. The festival’s signature programs include the Filmmaker Retreat, Women Who Lead Luncheon, Spirit of Independence Award, Coffee Talks, and more.

James and Pippa Matthews leave Saint Mark’s along with their bridesmaids and page boys after the ceremony. Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/ Getty Images

Sofia Vergara, Whitney Cummings, Toby Kebbell, Louann Brizendine, and Erika Olde attend The Female Brain premiere. Photo by Tara Ziemba/ Getty Images

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Au revoir!

Au revoir! THE L AST WORD

Known for its stunning coffee-table books, publisher Assouline is back with another beauty, Ibiza Bohemia. Travel writer Maya Boyd teamed up with stylist and editor Renu Kashyap to create this three-hundred-page homage to the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, which has long been a haven for artists, intellectuals, and creatives of all genres. Its bohemian culture is expressed in the stories, photos, and artwork Boyd and Kashyap have expertly curated. Pictured here, yoga instructor Mascha Kuchejda floats in clear water surrounded by flowers. Learn more or purchase Ibiza Bohemia at Assouline.com. Photo by Anne Menke

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VIE Magazine September 2017  

A luxury lifestyle magazine, VIE, French for "life," celebrates just that— stories with heart and soul. Fusing fashion, travel, philanthropy...

VIE Magazine September 2017  

A luxury lifestyle magazine, VIE, French for "life," celebrates just that— stories with heart and soul. Fusing fashion, travel, philanthropy...