- [Narrator] Truist is committed to the communities and people it serves across Tennessee, offering in-person and online banking, investment, and other financial services for individuals and businesses. More at truist.com. Published by Tennessee State Parks. The Tennessee Conservationist Magazine, features articles on native species, culture, and history. Connecting readers with Tennessee's natural resources and recreational activities. More information at tnconservationist.org. This time on "Tennessee Crossroads", we'll discover some tasty treats at Sweet Charlotte in Dickson County. Then, go behind the scenes at a natural medical center for wild animals. We'll discover how a Lynchburg couple revived this antebellum mansion, and finally, find out why Broadway Pizza has become a Memphis landmark. Hi, everybody. I'm Joe Elmore. Yep. It's time again for "Tennessee Crossroads". Welcome. There's nothing like a good old fried bologna sandwich or an old fashioned cream soda to take you back in time. Sweet Charlotte in Dickson County will definitely take your taste buds on a trip down memory lane. Tammi Arender takes us there and our first story. - [Tammi] Not too far off the square in the charming little town of Charlotte, Tennessee, population around 1,200, you'll come to a crossroads. It's at the intersection of Highways 48 and 49. That you'll see something quite unexpected. - [Jeff] I think the community thought we were probably, I was a little crazy, to say the least, but I figured if we made the building cute enough because this building was an old hardware store, built in 1940. I felt like if we have 6,000 people stopping at a stop sign every day, and the building happens to look like kind of a cracker barrel, that, at that stop sign, they're going to look over here. Think the risk-reward, if you will. It wasn't really a hard decision 'cause I just felt like the locals would support it, which they have and then, just drive by traffic. So, it's pretty special. - [Tammi] Jeff Waddell and his wife, Maryann, ditched the big city life in Dallas, Texas, and moved to Dickson County and opened up Sweet Charlotte. - [Jeff] It's a candy shop, it's a soda shop, and it is also a popcorn shop. We make all our popcorn, it's a gourmet popcorn, so you'll get some flavors that you've never tasted before. You'll find some old fashioned sodas, roughly 130 different old glass bottle of sodas. - [Tammi] In full disclosure, the move was so they could be closer to their daughter and grandchildren, but it was also an opportunity to create a piece of the past where customers are carried away by their taste buds to a time that was simpler, slower and a whole lot sweeter. - [Jeff] We've had multiple occasions where I will go over to the candy section and I'll look up to our customer and they've got tears running down their face. And that's why I say it's a step back in memories because it's not only with kids are we creating the memories that they're gonna share probably 30, 40 years from now, but the older generation that experienced, grandma had a favorite candy bar or mom had a favorite sucker. I remember those days. - [Tammi] Waddell was in the office furniture business for most of his life, but when he made the move from Texas to Tennessee, he knew he wanted to do something different. And the idea of having a retro soda candy and popcorn shop popped in his head. - [Jeff] So, I do my own popcorn. We have anywhere from 15 to 20 different flavors, the savory or the cheeses, we use real cheese in our popcorn, it's not a big powdery kind of thing. We do our own caramel, buttery caramel. And I'll put my buttery caramel against anybody else's. - [Tammi] So it's buckets and buckets of buttery popcorn with flavors like lemon drizzle and cheesecake. And his creative staff doesn't stop at popcorn. They make homemade fudge and turtles. - [Jeff] The girls make all the fudge, and I think I'm gonna get with the girls and we're gonna rename turtles to like, sea tortoises or something 'cause our turtles are massive! - [Tammi] With more than 100 different kinds of sodas and hundreds of different flavors of candies. There's something from nearly every era. - [Jeff] Probably we have about 130 different candies. From my distributors, I try to get as many throwbacks as possible. I kind of lost can on the tab, the different taffies, we have candy cigarettes, everybody loves candy cigarettes. I mean, I can't tell you how many boxes we go through candy cigarettes. Wax lips, I remember when I was a kid, putting on a little wax lips and then, chewing the wax. - [Tammi] There's also a grill on site where you can get hamburgers and hot dogs and a fried bologna sandwich. Something Waddell was a little skeptical about at first. - [Jeff] The employees suggested that we add fried bologna sandwiches. I was a little bit surprised and not quite sure what they were talking about, but it's one of the staples out of the grill. That's really popular and we hand cut our fries. - [Tammi] And once you're done eating, it's time to hit the Rusted Rags Old Time Photo Studio, located in a 200-year-old cabin, where I had a ball, pretending to be a saloon girl in the Wild West saloon from the 1800s. - Now give me one of them straight faces like, your crops didn't come in, girl. - [Tammi] Melissa and Vanessa literally have dozens of authentic vintage rags from the past and backdrops to make it look oh-so-real. There's something about playing dress up and getting to taste things from the past that put a smile on your face and Waddell knows this. So what does he want people to leave with after a visit to Sweet Charlotte? - That it was a fun experience, that it was worth the try. - Thanks, Tammi. The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is one of the Mid-South's favorite family destinations. We're taking a trip there to explore a couple of recently added attractions. Although our main mission is to visit a state of the art medical facility. Yeah, it's a place where all the patients are wild animals. Seven miles from downtown, the national zoo at Grassmere is a 200-acre nature preserve, home to nearly 2,800 animals and 365 species. It's a nationally-accredited progressive zoological park that's constantly evolving to enrich both public enjoyment and conservation. Newer exhibits like Tiger Crossroads offer visitors up close and cageless views of rare Sumatran tigers from Indonesia. This exhibit was a long time dream of Rick Schwartz, the zoo's president and CEO. - If we're gonna invest the time and the money and the effort into building these exhibits, we wanna do so with endangered species, species that need conservation work. - [Joe] Next door, you're suddenly transported to Peru, to follow the trek of Andean bears. - [Jim] From the moment you walk in, you feel like you were in Peruvian village with a lodge and lots of different things to see. - [Joe] Jim Bartoo, the zoo's marketing and PR guy, showed us around this wide open exhibit that's a big hit with guests. - [Jim] And then, you look through glass, up the hillside, into an area that's an acre large, and we have two Andean bears in there. Then, they have this huge yard that they can roam around in, trees that they can climb in, rocks that they can climb on, all of that stuff. - [Joe] Like humans, animals of all sizes and species need exceptional medical care. That brings us to the highlight of our visit. Now, here's where you can enjoy a window into the world of animal medicine. It's the HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center. And I think we're just in time to witness a physical exam of a clouded leopard. And it begins in the pharmacy, where Dr. Heather Robertson and her staff prepare anesthesia to ensure the animal has a nice nap during the procedure. - So, it's a one injection, a semi-reversible protocol and it goes pretty quick, it's very predictable. So actually, he'll go down really fast actually. Oh. Hi, big buddy? - [Joe] Next, a trip to the holding area where Ethan, the patient, waits with his keeper. - Thank you. - [Joe] Heather tries a pole of syringe first, so she can inject the animal while he's inside his crate. - This is hard when they're almost so sweet. Let's go this... - [Joe] Finally, the sleeping clouded leopard is moved to one of the modern treatment rooms. - So depending on the animal, first, we wanna make sure that the staff's safe. So if it's a dangerous animal, we always take that into account first. So how are we gonna get to the animals safely and keep the staff safe? And then, from that, it's just making sure that we're handling the animal the easiest and safest way. So I'm placing a microchip just so, we can always identify him. - [Joe] So, how does this compare to a human physical exam? - I'm doing the same thing that your doctor would do for you. So checking blood work, doing a physical exam, we do sometimes, add X-rays or dentals, 'cause we're kind of an all-in-one practice. So if we need to do a dental exam or a dental cleaning, a tooth extraction or something that we might find while they're out, we'll do that while they're under, here today. That's great though. Perfect teeth. - [Joe] By now, an audience has gathered outside on the observation deck. This is a feature that makes the vet center, a popular attraction for the public. - It took some getting used to, for sure, when you come in and you have about, 50 or a hundred people staring at you through the windows, but after the first few times, we just kind of go about and do our thing and know they're out there and we have an interpreter out there, they always engage the guests and help let them know what's going on. - [Joe] A camera's mounted above the table, connected to monitors that offer viewers an even closer look at all the action. - So right now, the jugular vein, we do this in dogs too, in cats, in private practice, but that's one of the larger veins and a little more accessible than some of the other veins. So we'll try to get blood from that. These are vaccines. Just like your cat, domestic cats, they get very similar vaccines. - [Joe] The treatment room also features ultrasound for examining the cat's vital organs in real time. - And this gallbladder. And here we go. All right. So now, we're gonna take him and move him over to X-ray. - [Joe] Here, Heather again, move Ethan around to gather X-rays from every vital position. - [Heather] So, what I'm looking at here, as you can see, heart. This is the trachea. These are the lungs. So, after we're done, we'll give him a reversal, so he'll wake up pretty quickly. And then, we just monitor him to make sure that they get up and recover without any issue. We'll put him back in his holding area where he's comfortable. So he'll go to sleep there and wake up there. And usually, they recover pretty, pretty quickly. There she goes! Hi, sweetness. - [Joe] Heather's also in charge of the animal nursery rooms. Your guests can observe the care and feeding of newer arrivals, like this month-old clouded kitty. By the way, the Nashville Zoo has an unsurpassed record for its captive breeding of clouded leopards, a big part of its ongoing mission of conservation. - We're not just displaying these animals. We really try and make that connection and teach people what they, themselves can do, to help preserve endangered species around the world. - All too often, historic homes are bulldozed in the name of progress or just left to wither away. A young family in Lynchburg has repurposed an antebellum mansion as a wedding and event venue. Now, the old home help celebrate the joining of new lives at a place, happily named, Promise Manor. - [Cindy] For decades, people in Lynchburg, Tennessee drove by this old home on Motlow Barn Road every day, but paid little attention to it. Though they saw it often, they just didn't really see it anymore. Owner, Kayla White, admits she rarely gave the old place a second glance. - [Kayla] I grew up here, I've passed this house a million times, but I had no idea that it was still here or even the history. - [Cindy] Now, Kayla and her husband, Dennis, think about the house and grounds every single day. The couple bought the old Green Evans-Hudgens home in 2018, renovated it and turned it into a wedding and event space that celebrates promises. The ones made between couples, between friends, between families. - [Kayla] I wanted to create an experience for our guests. A lot of people are craving being able to be in a home that feels like grandmas. It creates a sense of peace and calm. So my whole thing was, I went to my husband and I said, "How can we create a place that actually gives people an experience?" - [Cindy] The place is now called, Promise Manor, a space that provides a home for events like baby showers, weddings, engagements, and other celebrations. And Kayla and Dennis say they had no idea how full of promise this place actually was when they decided to take a risk. - My husband and I had started kind of a spiritual journey into figuring out what God had planned for our lives. We knew that the... Whatever the plan was, it was gonna be great. And we knew that it was a promise from God. We always say that our first child is our first promise. And once we purchased this place, we knew it was our second promise. - [Cindy] Kayla says, she always had a passion for event planning and she and Dennis decided to follow that passion straight to a very crowded local auction. - I was like, "There's no way. There's too many people here." - [Cindy] But when the time came, Kayla excitedly raised her paddle and heard the word that changed her life, sold. - [Kayla] Auction started and we raised our paddle and we were the only one in the air. - I cannot believe this. No, it was actually a shock. I was like, "Oh my gosh, really?' - [Cindy] Kayla and Dennis had the right place to grow their event planning business, but the time wasn't quite right, there was a lot of work to be done. - [Dennis] But it's been really exciting. I've really enjoyed taking care of it. Always painting, doing something, fixing something. So that's what I like to do. - [Cindy] Once they started renovations, only then did Dennis and Kayla, fully understand the history they had in their hands. - So this house was built in 1858 and it was the home to Miss Mary Bobo. And if you know anything about Lynchburg, you know Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House, she was the sole proprietor of the boarding house. It is now become a nationally-renowned restaurant. - [Cindy] Original owner, Townsend Port Green, moved to the area from West Virginia and started a local lumber company. After the Civil War, he lost his fortune and sold it to the aforementioned, Miss Mary Bobo's father, Daniel Evans, who commissioned a young artist to make the home look and feel a bit more stylish. His solution, these unique landscapes. - [Kayla] Mr. Evans commissioned Fred Swanton. Fred was about 20 to 25 years old when he moved to Lynchburg and Fred was from Buffalo, New York. He was a circus cart painter and Mr. Evans hired him. And then, wherever he would paint, it's where he would board. And so, they repainted in 1888. And if you noticed, there are seven murals painted in the wainscoting. - [Cindy] These landscapes aren't just beautiful, they're unique. This house, the Hinkle-Price house also in Lynchburg and a Bedford County Home are the only three spots in Tennessee that can claim this type of mural. - [Kayla] People just enjoy being in a place where they don't have to worry about decorating and coming in and creating this huge thing because when they walk in here, it's kind of already set. - [Cindy] These days, the old house that once blended into the Moore County landscape is much harder to ignore. The Whites invite a new generation to take a second look and notice just how full of promise, Promise Manor really is. - [Kayla] That's what we want, everyone to know when they walk through these doors, that there is a purpose and there is a plan and that's why you're here. And so, we're thankful for this journey and we're thankful for everyone that we're getting to meet. - Thanks, Cindy. It's always a pleasant surprise to find historic places being brought back to life in communities all over the state. And it's usually the result of some dedicated folks who are committed to the cause. Well, Ken Wilshire found such a place in the Bluff City several years ago, the place called, Broadway Pizza. - [Co-host] It's called the Broad Avenue arts district now, but this street used to be the center of a driving Memphis suburb around 1900. The town was called, Binghamton. It was almost abandoned at one point. But now, it's being brought back to life. And one of the main reasons why the Broad Avenue project has been so successful is because of the Broadway Pizza. It's been open since the mid-1970s and these mouthwatering pizzas and award-winning burgers, have been vital ingredients in renewing this historic part of town. It's been these comfort foods and three generations of family that have given the new arts district a firm foundation from which to rebuild. - Would you like the Alison peppers that come with it? Dewana Ishee is this legendary eatery's owner now. She and her husband, Denny, took over the family restaurant operations after her parents, Doug and Lana Cox, passed away. And despite all the closings in this part of the city, Broadway Pizza has remained steadfast and kept the oven fires going. - [Dewana] It died down to where if our building hadn't been paid for, I don't think we would've made it, but these last two years, they've turned Broad around into an art district and the business has been wonderful. - [Co-host] And you gotta feel like you've been a part of that incentive for bringing people back in here. - [Dewana] We were one of the only ones that stayed. I watched Sears, The Plumbing Place, The Laundry Place, everything go out of business, but we made it. - [Co-host] Lana Cox opened the business almost 40 years ago with nothing more than a dream. She came from a large family with strong work ethics and was determined to make Broadway Pizza a success. - [Dewana] She started on faith, no education, the oldest of 18. And a lot of people told her she wasn't gonna make it. She has more than made it. It made a wonderful living for her and it has been good to us. And I see the same thing carrying on to our kids and hopefully one day, our grandkids. - New York is where there's pizza, but we really enjoyed this. - Well, good. - [Co-host] Dewana has literally lived here at Broadway Pizza and grew up in the Bingamton area. She says her family never had a home that you would call a home because they spent so much time at the restaurant. - [Dewana] This was our home. So, all my memories of growing up were at Broadway Pizza. So, it has just a lot of sentimental value to me. And the same thing with my kids. I was pregnant and worked here with them and brought them to work with me every day. So, they've really not had much of any other jobs besides making pizzas. - [Co-host] And when they make pizza, you won't find the kids or the cooks adding a little dollop of sausage here, or a sprinkle of cheese there. They smother, and I mean smother their pizzas with freshly ground meats and homegrown ingredients. - [Dewana] We have a large variety on our menu, not only pizza, but our burgers and our spaghetti. And we do everything ourselves. We don't buy anything frozen and bring it in. We have our meat and cheese grounding brought in fresh every day. And when you order something, it takes a few minutes longer, but we make it then, nothing's pre-done. - [Co-host] And all the fresh ingredients for their pizzas and burgers today are from the same neighborhood suppliers who serve them when they first opened their doors. They are as committed as this family is to making a Broadway Pizza dining experience, the best it can be. - From the very beginning, my mom treated everybody that come through the door, just like they were part of her family. And we've continued that legacy on. I ran it up until my mom passed away and had taken over. My husband retired and he's come aboard, helping run everything. And I have my youngest son and his wife that run my day shift. And my oldest son runs the night shift. And then, we come in and oversee everything and we make sure we're here on the busy nights. - [Co-host] While pizza may be the headliner, their burgers continue to win awards for the best in town, like this monster of a burger. It's dressed to the nines with the freshest ingredients and guaranteed to satisfy the hungriest of customers. Dewana's mother put her heart and soul into Broadway Pizza. It was a family venture from the beginning and nothing has changed, not even the prized artwork of her idol, Elvis Presley, nor the story of how she met the king of rock and roll. - [Dewana] One of the band members come in and told him, "Yeah, I'm gonna bring some pictures back." And she was just thinking they were pulling her leg. She had a small picture of Elvis up. A few weeks later, he called and said, "Well, how about delivering some pizzas to Graceland?" And after that, she was delivering them out there and got to meet him. And she just super enjoyed it. Well, it started out with one picture and the person from the band brought a few more. Some of them were from the Memphis College of Art. Art students would draw pictures and bring them over and she hung 'em up. - [Co-host] And what would Lana Cox have to say about it all? - [Dewana] She was known for sitting at the end of the table with a cup of coffee, asking, "What do you think you're doing?" I think she'd be asking my husband now, "What do y'all think you're doing?" And then, she'd have to sit back and say, "It's working." - Order! - [Co-host] Yes, it is working. I mean, in a city where there are literally hundreds and hundreds of pizza places, Broadway Pizza is busier than ever. It's kept the lights burning in this old neighborhood, but even more, it's a classic example of what a family can do, when it has pride and has heritage and the determination to keep a mother's dream alive. - Got you ready. - Okay. - It's more than just a restaurant in Binghamton on Broad. This is a legacy of our family. This is something to be carried down. Thank you and you have a good evening. - Well, that's it for this edition of "Tennessee Crossroads". Thanks for joining us. Don't forget about our website, TennesseeCrossroads.org. Follow us on Facebook. And of course, join us next week. See you then. - [Narrator] Truist is committed to the communities and people it serves across Tennessee, offering in-person and online banking, investment, and other financial services for individuals and businesses. More at truist.com. Published by Tennessee State Parks. The Tennessee Conservationist Magazine, features articles on native species, culture, and history. Connecting readers with Tennessee's natural resources and recreational activities. More information at tnconservationist.org.
July 29, 2021
Season 35 | Episode 05
Tammi Arender takes us to 'Sweet Charlotte', a popcorn/candy/soda shop in Charlotte Tennessee. Joe Elmore ventures behind the scenes at the Nashville Zoo. Cindy Carter tours Promise Manor in Lynchburg. And Ken Wilshire digs in at Broadway Pizza in Memphis. Presented by Nashville Public Television.