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- This time on Tennessee Crossroads. We discover a Goodlettsville guy's mission of bringing back old manual typewriters. Then visit a Nashville bakery that's cooking up some tasty memories. We will travel back to the days of a one-room schoolhouse and finally cruise down to Lebanon's Snow White Drive In. All that on this edition of Tennessee Crossroads, I'm Joe Elmore, welcome again. Once in a while, old technology enjoys a comeback. Thanks to new younger audiences. We'll take the Vinyl LP record for example. Next well look out for the return of the manual typewriter. Hard to believe in this electric power digital world of ours. However, there's a guy in Goodlettsville who's playing a big part in the typewriter, comeback. - The visceral kind of experience that you have writing on a manual typewriter. It's just completely different from long hand from writing on the computer. There's this ritual that you get into if you're gonna write on a typewriter and you've got your paper. You've got your ribbon loaded, you kinda have to prepare. And it's just kind of a nice like personal moment where you have to sit and think before you just type. But it takes all the digital distraction way. - Kirk Jackson had never touched a manual typewriter. That is before the day he and his wife walked in to a local thrift store. He saw one on sale, bought it and soon his life would never be the same. - Got it home and start playing around with it. Once I figured out how to clean it up and got a ribbon loaded there. I was three sentences in and I was hooked. - Love at first type. Sorry, but yes. - Next thing I know three grew into 10. And my wife was kind of curiously tolerant, but asking, like what's the deal here? And I'm like, I don't know. I just like these things. - So much that his collection now totals about 250 with just about every brand made in America and Europe during the early and mid 1900's. - And they just all have different feels. Some of them are way more responsive than others and some like the ultra-portables you really have to kind of bang on them to get a good imprint. - Kirk taught himself everything about the mechanics of these human powered machines. So eventually he became a go-to guy for owners seeking repair work. - Usually they're just dirty. That's really what it is. I mean, every once in a while you'll run bent linkage or something from the tight bars. But I mean, these things were built to last. They're simple yet complex machines - Kirk uses tools you can't buy new anymore. We're like this one used for removing key rings. Kirk uses the internet to buy old typewriters which he in turn refurbishes and resells. In fact, his business name is Nashville Typewriter. And his customers call him around the country to strike a deal. - I get a lot of people that'll reach out to me and ask what I think that they would like. And that always excites me 'cause I like to talk about typewriters. So I kind of ask them what they're looking for? What they're wanting to use it for? And that kind of directs me towards what they're after but portables are really big right now. People are really interested in being able to carry other typewriter around, go to the park, that sort of thing. - Sometimes a jewel like this Olivetti Studio 45. comes along end, well it's just hard to let it go. - Man it showed up and I don't think it's been used. I mean, it's just pristine little return lever that's cast like brushed aluminum still has like the plastic coating to protect it from the factory. And I've kind of been wringing my hands or whether or not sell it. But I think that I'm gonna have to get better about that and let it go. - His little typing trivia: the long-standing layout of the keyboard is called QWERTY in all caps. And while most typists use all 10 fingers. Many a writer has turned out classic works using the old two finger technique. - There's some people that two finger hunt and peck that will absolutely rip them up. I mean, I've seen somebody do 120 words per minute, just, so I know it's, it's amazing. It's almost more impressive. - Oh, this brings back memories. Typing was my favorite class in high school. Why? No homework. Not pretty good, uh oh. Kirk, got any whiteout. Well, Kirk's in the business of re-purposing and selling manual typewriters. He often gifts one, if it's going to a youngster. - Kids are really intrigued by them. You can just tell that. They'll push it. They're kind of tentative. They're afraid to break it at first. They're used to typing on like a laptop, but once you kind of show them like hey, it's okay, go ahead and bang on those keys. They just light up. And it's like that for a lot of people. People will ask me why typewriters? And I'm like, well, have you ever written on one? And they're like, no. And I'm like okay, well come here and do it. And that's really all it takes. And I've always got one with me. I'm that guy. I try not to like take them to the coffee shop and type on. I try to be respectful 'cause it not everybody loves the sound of a manual typewriter. - Thanks to collectors and the new generation of fans. This crusty old workhorse might be making a comeback. Nobody would be happier about that than Kirk Jackson. A man now captivated by the mystique of this timeless machine. Are you a typewriter nerd now? - Yes 100%. Non apologetic, 100% of typewriter nerd. - Nothing brings back fond memories like the sweet smell of something baking in the oven. It can take you back to those family gatherings as a kid. When you stuffed yourself with your favorite food. Ed Jones found an East Nashville bakery that will put you right back in grandma's kitchen. Especially if you hail for the lone star state. - There's the strawberry kolache. - I don't know what kolache is. - When we first opened. I bet you, at least 50% of the people that came in had no idea what they were. - I had no idea what a kolache was coming in. - At least 30% of the customers that come in everyday. Still no idea. - We live in Toronto, which has got a pretty eclectic food culture but I have never had or heard of a kolache before. - I didn't know when we opened that I would be teaching so many people what they were. It just didn't even hit me. - Well it finally did hit her. And now Sarah Way's Yeast Nashville bakery gets hit every morning by hungry customers in search of the mysterious kolache. Which was a mystery to Sarah when she moved to Texas. - So I live in Houston for about 17 years. I had no idea what they were before I moved there. I grew up in Northern Michigan. It's an everyday stakeholder. They have 'em in gas stations. They have their own shops. You can get them wherever. And are very easy to eat on the go. So in Houston, everybody's on the road. So they're always eating kolaches I guess. - So what is a kolache? - They're similar to a Danish. Where they have a sweet filling and they're round. It's a sweeter dough than that. So it's a different texture. People still call them danishes. They'll still say cream cheese danish so we just go with it. - As it turns out, that's just half of the story. The kolache originated in Czechoslovakia. But when the checks migrated to Texas meat filled versions were born. Which Sarah calls the savory kolache. - All right, if I get one more turn. And then we'll be good to go. Every day we do a sausage and cheddar and a jalapeno sausage and cheddar kolache. And then we do four different sweets. We do a blueberry cherry, cinnamon apple and cream cheese. And then we'll have a special of the day for our kolache. Sometimes it's sweet. Sometimes it's savory. And it can be something like blackberry goat cheese or it may be one that we call cheeseburger. And people are like what, who wants a cheeseburger? One for breakfast. But once they try it, they're like, oh yeah. So it's nice because we can be more creative with the special ones. But then we have the nice, just normal ones that people wanna just grab something they're familiar with, they can. - Well, we've solved the mystery of the kolache. But how did Sarah, the Michigander, turned Texan, turned Tennesseean turn up in a bakery. - I just missed him so much that I started trying to make him at home. So I would, you can't make them just in a small batch. So I would share them with friends and they're like you should sell these. And I was like, ha ha whatever. And when they wanted to move my position back to Houston. I was like no way, am I going back there. I'm staying here. This is awesome. So I was like well, I guess I'm gonna try it. - Much to the delight of her customers. - I come to Yeast Nashville almost every single day. - So delicious, the best kolaches I've ever had. - We have some that come every Monday through Friday. We have some that come Saturdays and Sundays to spend a work schedule. And it's great, because now, I'll run into them all over the city. I'll run into different people all the time. And it's I love it, I love it. So yeah, there's it's more friends than customers - And Yeast Nashville has more to satisfy those friends than just kolaches. Hey Thomas, would you like to talk to us sir? Like shy, but hungry Thomas' favorite. - Cinnamon rolls. - Cinnamon rolls, absolutely. - We do giant cinnamon rolls and then Wednesday through Sunday we do breakfast tacos. We also have what we call crustless quiche. Which is always vegetarian and it's always gluten-free. So we have that one option every day for those that want that. - This neighborhood is very good about mom-and-pop shops. They want everything local, if they can get it. And they've been very good about making us what we are. Lucky you, those look great. Did you make those? - Yeah, I know a lot about them. - The people in my staff are what has made this a success. I have a feeling that you're never gonna get yelled at. We don't really do that here. - No, there's no yelling at Yeast Nashville. - Taco. - Well, not in anger anyway. Sweet and savory not only describes the kolaches, but the atmosphere as well. - I just love the people here. They're so sweet. Everybody's so friendly. Lots of love here. I want people to come in and feel like they're in grandma's kitchen. - Actually grew up with my grandmother making them. So this was nostalgic, just a great fun. - And we've had a lot of people that say, oh my gosh it smells like my grandma's kitchen in here. And I was like yes, that's what I was hoping for. And we want everybody to feel welcome and very comfortable. We have people who have family coming into town or best friends coming into town. They're like oh, we have to take them to Yeast. - Yes take it from shy Thomas' mother. - Get one of everything, if you can. They're also different. Some mornings, I feel sweet. Some mornings, I feel savory and they have everything I need. - There you have it from Ed lone star Jones. School kids and the 21st century learners, Broadway high-tech campuses. But back in the early 20th century. Most reading, writing and arithmetic happened in a simple one-room schoolhouse. Rob Wilds, hearkens back to those simpler times on a visit to Nolensville. - A field like this meant for baseball, of course, but a field like this can mean a lot more than a game. I mean, take this very field on this cite. Back in the 30's the field was here. And it meant an awful lot to the people of the Nolensville community. Meant a place to come together as a group to have fun and relax. And eventually it meant the building of a school. - Huge cry out just came out to the old ball game to watch ballgame. And this was always on Sunday afternoon because they didn't have the lights then. So we had display on a Sunday. - Peggy Stevenson remembers those crowds. And she also remembers when those fans decided that Nolensville needed a new school. So in 1937 deep in the depression. They asked Williamson County commissioners to build the school. And they were told you buy the land, we'll get the school. Those commissioners probably thought they'd heard the last of that school idea ah, but they did not figure on the people of the Nolensville community. - The PT, old ladies got together and asked the County for a more substantial school building. So the County said if you will come up with the funds to purchase the land then we will build the building. So they did. They held horse shows and bake sales, et cetera. And the raise the funds to purchase the land. - Michelle Wade Jenkins is director of the Nolensville Museum which is what that community built school eventually became. - It's a Rosenwald school design. That is a full room schoolhouse. The Rosenwald school design is for the rural South area with the high windows to allow the lighting to come in and the high ceilings for ventilation. When you first walk in to the museum to your left will be your historic classroom the 1937 classroom. What it felt like to go to school. There are four rows of desks. First, second, third, and fourth grade. So the teacher taught all four grades. - That's the way Betty Elsa Maura remembers the place. She started first grade here. About the time the school opened in 1938. - We didn't have any electricity. The windows that you see here in this room, that was our light. And we had outdoor, outside toilets. And during the winter. When we would go and that there was snow on the ground. The boys would throw snowballs at us and we couldn't get back to the classroom. - No electricity, no heat, no indoor plumbing, no computer. Oh no, but a great teacher, Pauline MacArthur who Betty remembers all these years later. - Well, she was my first teacher. And I had her for four years. And I loved her to death. And I was afraid of her too sometimes because she was strict. And she had some rules that were hard for me to folloW sometimes, I was a wiggly kid. - Wiggly kids, and everybody else in Nolensville community started coming to the school. Pete Mosley was there. His mother, Evelyn ran the cafeteria. - She was excellent in cooking, enjoyed doing her trait. - The school became the heart of the community. - Except for church on Sunday morning, everything we had took place took place in the school building and on the school grounds. 4H club events, horse shows, baseball games, basketball games. - Before basketball games, you need a gym. And before lunches, you need a cafeteria. The school didn't have either in the beginning, but that was only a small problem to the folks in Nolensville, right after world war II there were lots of surplus buildings. So they went to Nolensville and got one. - The men of the area went with their trucks and tore down the war, surplus building. And then they brought it all back to this area and they built the cafeteria, the gym and the restrooms. - The museum reflects that community attitude and its rural roots. Yeah believe it or not. Nolensville was once the home to dozens of dairy farms. Pete Moseley says the exhibits donated by members of the community, reflect that. - Great Bob Shotwell. A man that moved into community late. Low to collect tools. He was a craftsman. As far as he rebuilt all the light fixtures and in Minnesota, governor Mark Dayton plays He was excellent craftsman and he collected old tools. And a lot of the tools came off farms. This spinning wheel, the pret, the prattle, all in the farm came off it. We've got clouds. We've got this other tools and collectible things that came out of part of the community. - Tools, remembrances of local athletes and leaders works of girl and boy scouts, which continues today by the way. Whitson Buck knows this building. He lives about two minutes away. And he saw the place could use a little hill. - When I was a cub scout I actually used to go here for cub scout meetings. And I heard that the railing had been really dilapidated outside. And so I took a look over here and I saw that. I mean, you can see the rails are pretty bad. So for the project I decided we were going to sain on the rails power wash. And put a couple coats of paint on them. And then there's some missing vents also. - You may not know the people remembered in the museum. But you know what kind of people they were and why a museum like this is important. - For flicker into the past. It left it was like 50, 75 years ago. And where they're calling home or where their passion through. - Worth spending a little time in that flickering past at the Nolensville museum. - Thanks Rob. Remember the movie "American Graffiti" It's a sentimental look back at a bygone era when muscle cars cruised up and down the main drag. And when the local malt shop was the center of the universe. Well, if you wanna trip down memory lane, so to speak. You don't need a DVD just follow Gretchen Bates to a popular drive in over in Lebanon. - I've been here since 6, 5 years this year. - As a kid, Billy Wyatt never suspected he grew up to own a drive in. Much less his favorite childhood ice cream store. - Yes, we used to live in East Nashville. And my grandparents lived up here. And we'd stop here every Sunday, get an ice cream cones going home. And I was six years old or seven years old. I'm 59 now never dreamed one day I would own it. It's pretty good. - After a long career with the Wilson County Road Commission. Billy retired from his day job to concentrate full time on feeding a lifetime of memories to the families that frequent visit Snow White Drive In. - We get to see many people here. They had their first dates here. They bring their families here. Their family brings your kids here. We have people coming here for a feature of a wedding anniversaries. Is it's just a neat place? - A neat place with a home-style cooking menu to match. But what this place is really famous for is. - The barbecue and the burgers. We've been voted best burger in Wilson County last four years. And we go through a lot of barbecue, just grilled pork it's all we got, it's pretty good. Summertime, I'll go through six, seven pounds a week. It goes for 12, 14 hours. No gas, no pavement just all wood and all agree with it. And there's a lot of work let's do it. - After the barbecue, my sister does the cooking. - She a pretty good cook. - Yeah she's good. Like today is a chicken and dressing day. And then we'll get people coming from Nashville, Hendersonville, Portland just for chicken and dressing. Drive all that way just for chicken and dressing and you know that's a taste and that's how good it is. - Jeremy Ledford would agree. He worked at Snow White as a line cook through high school but he just couldn't get enough of the place. - Friday's chicken and dressing. So that's probably one of the best things to get on Friday night. Of course, the milkshakes and barbecue are all good too. It's kind of a Lebanon institution that will distress drink Lebanon. So a lot of history with it always has a good following you can always come in and the there's always a crowd in here. - Seasoned carhop Polly Barnes has been working at Snow White for over a decade now and loves the good crowd. - Well, first of all it's an icon. And I mean everybody knows where Snow White is. It's been here for so long. I mean, it's like dirt. It's just one of those icons that people can't forget. My parents came here, my aunts and uncles came here. I mean, what else can I say? It's a big family place. This is just one of those places people just love to come to. I've seen people in and out here since I started here and there, they still come back. And that's what exciting. I mean, and then you see the kids that came in here. Now they have kids. That's what's exciting. Is just Snow White and everybody knows it. And I want everybody to come. ♪ You say that you leave me home ♪ ♪ But there's no snow white ♪ - Just about everyone agrees. Why people love to come to Snow White Drive In. The only thing they can't seem to agree on is the best dessert on the menu. - My favorite dessert would be a large strawberry milkshake. To send my sugar sky high but that's what I like to have. - And a hot fudge cake, - Hot fudge cake man its good - Banana split. But the hot fudge cakes are fantastic too. - Our desserts are homemade peach cobbler, blackberry cobbler strawberry cake, orange cakes are homemade. Everything here is homemade. There's nothing pre-packaged frozen thawed out it's all homemade. - Friday night at the drive in is something special. That's when the Snow White Drive In. Becomes a snow white cruise in. These classic cars are guaranteed to get your motor running. ♪ Get your motor running ♪ ♪ Head on the highway ♪ - Cruise in would do it every Friday night. From around 8:30, 9 o'clock. And we've, you gonna have worth 50 60 cars Friday night during the summer. - This is 67 Shelby GT350. It has the 289 high performance engine. As far as we know, it's the only one owner unrestored 67 in the world. Come on anytime and eat, but come out, especially on a Friday night and you can get walk around and see all these cars. And then the car hops come out and they feed everybody out here, go inside if it's hot and sit inside and eat supper there. - Like this hotspots name say. The Snow White Drive In evokes memories of a simpler sweeter time. And those are hard to come by these days. - There's not a whole lot of places like this left in Lebanon. We had them back in the 60s and 50s. You don't see them anymore they're all gone. And we're doing our best holding on to it. This is to me, it's pure Americana around here. This is America. - Well with that, we have to say goodbye for now, but not without that usual reminder. Check it on our website, follow us on Facebook. And of course, join us here next week. We'll be looking for you.
November 12, 2020
Season 34 | Episode 18
On this week's Tennessee Crossroads, Joe Elmore meets Kirk Jackson, who collects, restores and resells vintage typewriters. Ed Jones enjoys the delicious kolaches at Yeast Nashville. Rob Wilds tours the Historic Nolensville School Museum. And Gretchen Bates cruises back in time to the Snow White Drive In. Brought to you by Nashville Public Television.