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- [Joe] "Tennessee Crossroads" is made possible in part by... - [Announcer] 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. - [Announcer] Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways. Discover Tennessee's adventure, cuisine, history, and more Made in Tennessee experiences showcased among these 16 driving trails. More at TNTrailsAndByways.com. - This time on "Tennessee Crossroads," a celebration of statehood at, where else, the State Museum. Then, it's off to the border, Kentucky, that is, for some home-cooked vittles. Then, we'll get to know some crime-fighting dogs in Nashville, and finally, visit the Lawrenceburg home of Slider Lure Company. All those stories on this edition of "Tennessee Crossroads." I'm Joe Elmore. Sure glad to have you. This year, the Volunteer State celebrates 225 years of statehood. In recognition of this milestone, the Tennessee State Museum is offering a special display of handpicked items from its vast collection. Well, Cindy Carter visited the museum recently and is gonna give us a tour of the "Tennessee at 225" exhibit. - [Cindy] Inside the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville, there's plenty, I mean plenty, of cool things to look at, learn about, and discover. 225 years' worth, in fact. - 225 years ago, in 1796, Tennessee becomes the 16th state admitted to the United States. And so we really wanna talk about this legacy of what it means to be a Tennesseean, whether you moved here, whether you were born here. And we really wanted people to think about, what are these themes that unite us in our connection as Tennesseeans? - [Cindy] To celebrate this milestone birthday, museum curator of decorative arts Annabeth Hayes and her colleagues created the "Tennessee at 225: Highlights from the Collection" exhibition, which is 100 carefully chosen artifacts, pulled from the museum's extensive collection, which they feel give visitors the 4-1-1 on more than 2-2-5 years of Tennessee history. - We have listed the 100 objects, and we have color-coded them by the theme, and so you can either follow that guide and walk around and look for them for yourself, or you can just kind of look as you go. - [Cindy] The items fall under one of five overarching themes, community, transformation, service, innovation, and art, and cover early settlers to present day. And while certainly some of the selected items on display are a bit, shall we say, obvious, social history curator Brigette Jones says most of the artifacts in this special exhibit are more subtle. - To me, it means that all of the history that is usually overlooked is finally being represented. - Looking at this beautiful Conestoga wagon. You might miss surveyor Daniel Smith's compass, which he used to survey the land that is now Nashville. This exhibit reminds us that it's these smaller stories that tie our history together. Small stories, huge impact, like this chair, crafted by a man who was born into slavery and later moved with his master to Williamson County. - The Richard Poynor chair is interesting because it's also gonna take us back to the era of enslavement, and the Richard Poynor chair was amazing because Richard Poynor was well-known as an artisan for crafting those chairs. He was so well-known that crafting those chairs allowed him to purchase his own freedom in 1850. - [Cindy] Nashvillians will find this one familiar. It once lit the way to the famous downtown record shop owned by country music's Ernest Tubb, who also hosted the in-house long-running "Midnite Jamboree" radio show, featuring up-and-coming artists like Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline. - [Annabeth] This sign that we have on display is the original sign. It was installed in 1947 and removed in 1960, when it was eventually replaced. It's this beacon for country music that we have on display in the museum, that brought people to downtown Nashville in the early days of the honky-tonks. - [Cindy] Telling the story of Tennessee's rich history means telling all of it, even the difficult chapters. The exhibit's Cubbins brick, for example, is from the Cubbins Brickyard in Memphis, where three black men, a local grocery store owner and his two employees, were lynched in 1892. - And they owned a grocery store in Memphis called The People's Grocery Store. An altercation ensued, and they were lynched. Ida B. Wells is gonna write about that, and that's part of the reason that she fled Memphis a little bit after that. - [Cindy] This deep dive into Tennessee's past also includes items from the state's not-so-distant past. - So much happening in our world today, and objects like the Pat Summitt does not only honor the contributions of Tennesseeans who have definitely dominated in sports and other areas that you typically wouldn't think women would dominate in, but it also allows Tennesseeans to see that there is no ceiling for anybody and everything is achievable if you work for it. - [Cindy] While you're looking at that Lady Vol vest, you might want to drop your eyes a bit lower, to the small wire sculpture beneath. The artist, Vannoy Streeter, nicknamed "Wireman," was born in 1919 Wartrace. Streeter grew up on what would become a Tennessee walking horse farm, and learned at an early age how to groom and train horses, a clear inspiration in much of his artwork. - So we have this wire sculpture of a Tennessee walking horse with an African-American trainer in a top hat and coattails sitting on top, and that really was his trademark sculpture. - [Cindy] 100 artifacts, 100 stories, woven throughout an already impressive collection. It's a history lesson, sort of a Cliffs Notes version, of what it means to be a part of the Volunteer State. 225 years, and counting. - [Video Narrator] Tennessee is a distinct place that shaped the nation. - Seeing this stamp, I guess, that Tennesseeans have left on the long history of the state, and how it, what it means to kind of be a part of that social fabric and how we can contribute to that and continue to mold what it means to be a Tennesseean today. - Thanks, Cindy. Next, we stop at the little town of LaFayette, Kentucky, where we found the only business I've seen where you can buy a sack of nails and a home-cooked meal at the same place. The Brick Oven Grill and Deli is a popular road-trip destination near Clarksville. And it's all thanks to three family members who've found the right recipe for home-cooked hospitality. Welcome to Main Street in LaFayette, Kentucky, population 167, the quiet hometown of a bustling business, the Brick Oven Grill and Deli. - We get 'em from Hopkinsville, Clarksville, Dover, Bumpus Mills. We had a couple in, two different people, in this week from Nashville that came just to try our fried pies. How are y'all? - [Joe] So what's the secret to this little surprising success story? Well, first, a little history. The building goes back to 1937, when A.B. Lander opened it as the largest hardware store in Kentucky. Back then, LaFayette was a lively town with several businesses and even a movie theater. But in 1942, the U.S. Army came along and built nearby Fort Campbell. Soon, LaFayette was no longer a major thoroughfare. The hardware store survived, though, and eventually Becky Nichols, her mom, Carolyn, and aunt Kathy decided to make a bold move. - We bought it in 2011, we bought it as a general store, and it was John Henry's General Store. We named it after my grandfather. And we served a few hamburgers and cold sandwiches and deli meats and stuff. And then the end of last year, we decided to go full-fledged restaurant. Still kind of a general store. As far as we are, we are so far out, we try to keep nuts and bolts and a few hardware items for the farmers around here, so they don't have to go into town to get stuff like that. - Get in here! - [Becky] And we don't do any advertising. All of our business is through word of mouth. We have very loyal customers that tell everybody they know. And we've just, we've got a good little business going. - [Joe] Well, that kinda defies the old adage, "Location, location, location." - [Becky] Yes, it does, , 'cause we don't have the location. But people will drive for good food, good atmosphere. If anything, in here on Friday and Saturday nights, most restaurants you go into, everybody's on their phones, looking down, and there's no conversation. In here, it's a different story. We don't have cell phone service in here very good, so that works to our advantage. They just come in here and they have conversations. They talk, they tell stories. - [Joe] Of course, they also come to eat. And they can choose among everything from daily specials to old favorites. - [Becky] We have phenomenal burgers. Our burgers are really good if you just want a good old-fashioned cheeseburger. All of my desserts are homemade. I make every one of those. The fried pies are made as you order 'em. So they're not pre-made. We make those as you order 'em. And that's probably our biggest seller on dessert. - [Joe] We were lucky enough to drop in on a Friday, the day for a Brick Oven favorite, fried catfish. - [Becky] It is farm-raised catfish, yes, sir. We don't get the imitation stuff. We get the real farm-raised catfish. And our filets are five- to seven-ounce, so they're quite a bit bigger than your average. We don't do all that fancy stuff to it. We do it like my grandmother taught me. We roll it in cornmeal and put it in oil. And that's the only way to do it. - While her mom, Carolyn Hancock, primarily keeps the customers happy, Becky leads the charge in the kitchen, with a passion that's downright inspirational. - She's always trying to do something extra, or bringing in something new, or, you know, she just gets high on watching people eat her food, and that's kinda contagious. Kathy, she mainly cooks in the background. She cooks our fish on Fridays. She does our barbecue, we do our own barbecue. I don't know if you all have heard of burgoo, but Becky makes our own burgoo. And we have a smoked pork loin we've added to our menu that she does that's fantastic. So she's pretty much an expert on the meat cooking. - [Joe] This tight-knit family trio has found the secret to attracting loyal diners, customers willing to travel the back roads to this dining treasure in the tiny town of LaFayette. All thanks to good food, and a special ingredient that's not on the menu. - People tell me when they walk in this building, they can tell that we care. You know, you're not just another number, come in, eat, get out. We want you to sit back, relax, have a conversation, talk, and we try to talk to every one of our customers and make them feel special, and we just treat 'em like family. I love to cook, and I love to have people enjoy their meal. It just makes me happy. - Most often, in the stories we do on "Crossroads," we encourage you to go visit, make a road trip, and get to know the people and places we introduce you to. Well, in this next story, it's safe to say we hope you never have a personal encounter with the subject matter. Tammi Arender introduces us to the K-9 instructor at the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and the special crime-fighting dogs that work for 'em. - Okay, we're doing wheel well, wheel well. Come here. Drop it! Good girl! If I could bottle that... The reward is what drives the behavior. - [Tammi] David Frost has been training dogs since 1966. - Come to the other side. Let him work. There you go. - [Tammi] He started in the Air Force in Germany. - Watch your dog, watch your dog. - [Tammi] He's been training for the Tennessee Department of Safety since 1996. - Oh, good boy! Make me smile. - [Tammi] Frost is starting a new class of K-9 handlers in their two-and-a-half-month training program. - The class that we're in now is a drug detector class. That's 10 weeks. The handler and the dog will go through five days a week, eight hours a day, will go through this class. When the dog is certified, once it's completed and met all the requirements, then it has to have in-service training of 16 hours per month. - [Officer] Good boy! - [David] That this dog has to go through in service with their handler. Two or more handlers'll get together in a "I'll hide drugs for you, you hide drugs for me" type of thing. And then once a year, minimum, they're gonna come to me. Good girl! - [Tammi] Frost says several breeds work well as drug- or bomb-sniffing animals. Occasionally, a shelter rescue dog will be up to the task, because all dogs have the ability to smell and analyze different odors somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000 times better than humans. But it comes down to the dog's disposition. - What I'm looking for is a specific set of behaviors, what we call drive. Officially, they call it prey drive, it's P-R-E-Y, where they're chasing after prey. And so we look for that innate behavior. We do that by chasing a ball, seeing how the dog will chase a ball. And we're looking at how intense the dog is when he's chasing the ball. - From outdoors to indoors, drugs are hidden in a variety of spaces, from wheel wells to warehouses. Like in real life, drugs can be hidden anywhere. - The dogs have learned to search complete vehicles, numerous complete vehicles. They've also learned what we call the Big Four. They now will hunt for, locate, and respond to marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. - [Tammi] After just a few short weeks, the K-9s remember what it takes... Good girl! - [Tammi] To get that reward. Good girl! - [Tammi] The animals have no clue they're helping to get drugs off the street. They just know they get their toy when they find the drugs and give the proper response. And sometimes, they don't want to let go. - Out! Out! - [Tammi] One of the most popular breeds used in Tennessee is the Belgian Malinois. - Good girl! - [Tammi] That's what Trooper Shawn Boyd of the Tennessee Highway Patrol has. This excitable girl is named Anya. She's considered a member of Boyd's family, and she loves her job. - She knows when I wake up in the morning. She can hear me moving in the house, she'll start barking, and she gets excited going to that. And then when I get ready to go to work, when I start the truck, she then knows it's time to go. She's figured out the difference in my work vehicle versus my personal vehicle and what the sound is, and she knows when my work vehicle starts up- That she's going to work with me. - [David] I want you to calm down just a little bit on your search. - [Tammi] Since day one, Anya's training is documented, how well she learned, how accurate at detecting drugs she is. That documentation will be important down the road. - What we're trying to do is one, we're trying to show that we took due care in making this the most precise animal that's possible. Understanding they're animals and there's no such thing as perfection, we still want them to maintain a proficiency rate of 90% or better. - We're not going to jail, uh-uh! - [Tammi] Besides drug detection, Frost also trains the attack dogs and bomb-sniffers. They may not be called upon to use those skills on a regular basis, but when they are needed, they'd better be ready. - [Man] Out! Heel! - You know, I was asked one time, "How many bomb dogs do we need?" And I said, "You know, I really don't have a good answer for that. I can tell you that today, we might have five of them sitting around doing nothing, but in five minutes, your telephone could ring and five times that many wouldn't be enough. So you just don't know." - [Tammi] Frost helps train the K-9 crime fighters for all different segments of law enforcement throughout the state. With each one, he knows he's making an investment, not only in the dog, but the officer, giving him and his tail-wagging graduates a feeling of pride, and giving us a better night's sleep, knowing these guys are on the streets. - [Officer] Good girl! Good girl! - If you're lucky, you love your job. If you don't, you're lucky enough to have a hobby you love. If you're really fortunate, that hobby is also the way you earn a living. Charlie Brewer of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, loved to fish, and he turned that love into a business known around the world. Rob Wilds met his son, Charlie Brewer Jr., at the Slider Lure Company in Lawrenceburg. - Okay, I'm gonna have to update this page here. - [Rob] You often find Linda and Charlie Brewer at the computer, because that's where you spend a lot of time when you're running an internationally known business. But if you asked Charlie, he'd answer just like the famous bumper sticker, "I'd rather be fishing." You might say it's in Charlie's blood, since his dad, Charlie Sr., loved to fish, and loved to take his boy with him when he went. - When I was growing up, we fished all the lakes and ponds and whatever, and I grew up fishing with him. He had an old wooden boat with oars in it. You didn't have trolling motors back then. So we'd go to the lakes, and Pickwick Lake, and Kentucky Lake, and we'd fish. - Slider fishing is not a rock 'em sock 'em method at all. It's a slow, easy way of doing things. - [Rob] Charlie Sr. was such a good fisherman that he made how-to tapes for wannabe fishermen and -women, and developed his own fishing gear, and a system to use it. Next thing you know, the Slider Fishing Company was born. - He was always looking for a better and better way to catch fish, and as more people started coming on the lakes, it's getting a little tougher and tougher. I can remember him and his buddies sitting in the backyard, just whittling out lures, taking the wood and actually whittling out lures. And they put hair on 'em, whatever, they'd take it a the dog or whatever, and make all kinds of homemade lures, you know, trying to find a better way to fish. And sometime in the 1960s, he read somewhere about people who were using rubber worms or plastic worms. It was kind of a new thing. So I remember him buying some kit through the mail to make these rubber worms and do it on the kitchen stove. So he put this thing in a pot, and it melted, and it poorly formed, you know. And fishing these out on a lake, he started catching more and more fish. So through the 1960s, he started going more and more to that, and he gradually worked the size down smaller and smaller and smaller, to basically a four-inch plastic worm, with just a single head, flat head, and putting it out as a Slider worm, a Slider head, and he developed a technique, way of fishing. He went from heavy tackle fishing to light line fishing. The whole company was built off not just a lure, but a system and a technique to go with it. - [Video Announcer] Charlie Brewer's Crappie Slider has been a proven winner for over 20 years. - [Rob] As techniques caught on, the company grew. And it wasn't so long before Slider lures were talked about by fishermen from Nashville to Nagasaki. Charlie Sr. loved running his business, but let's face it, he loved fishing even more. So eventually he turned the running of Slider Lure over to Charlie Jr. and his wife, Linda, who, not surprisingly, shares the family's love of fishing. - I love to look at nature and the animals and just the water is so relaxing, and being away from the telephones. And it's just very pleasant, peaceful to me. - [Rob] Charlie Sr. passed away years ago, but the company is still about finesse fishing. - [Charlie Jr.] He was always out to catch fish first, and not catch fishermen. Of course, you need to catch a few fishermen to stay in business, but... But his main goal was to catch fish. That's still our goal today. - [Rob] You might think being around fishing, and fishermen, and fisherwomen, and fishing stuff every day would make Charlie Jr. a bit less anxious to get out onto the lake himself, but not so! Maybe because of those long-ago days with his dad. - We'd go out there, I mean, all day long, we'd go, this is wintertime, we'd get out there almost daylight, and stay to dark. It didn't matter if we caught a fish or not. We were there for the whole day. And sometimes we caught a lot, and sometimes we didn't. But it is enjoyable being out there with him, and sometimes even my granddad would go with us. We had three generations out on the water. Just getting out on the lake, even by yourself, is enjoyable. You know, we're getting out to nature and it's relaxing. And then out there with your fishing buddy, get out there and talk. You don't catch fish all the times. I mean, there are times when I've been out there, when I don't catch anything, not even had a bite! And then there's other days that have been fairly good, and then there's some days, occasionally, where you get a fantastic day, and you'll remember that day for the rest of your life. And you keep going back hoping to get one of those super-good days, you know. - [Rob] Those super-good days may not even include catching any fish yourself. Charlie has some pointers on what to do when taking a grandson or granddaughter along. - Always make sure they catch more than you, if you're fishing along. And make sure when the count's done, they got a few more than you, and they'll brag about how they beat their granddad or their dad or whatever, and they'll love it. - [Rob] Just like people of all ages who love fishing have a soft spot in their hearts for Charlie's place in Lawrenceburg, the Slider Fishing Company. - Well, that's gonna have to do it for this week's "Tennessee Crossroads." Thanks for joining us. I wanna encourage you to check out our website from time to time, TennesseeCrossroads.org. Of course, follow us on Facebook. And join me next week. I'll see you then. - "Tennessee Crossroads" is made possible in part by... - [Announcer] 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. - [Announcer] Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways. Discover Tennessee's adventure, cuisine, history, and more Made in Tennessee experiences showcased among these 16 driving trails. More at TNTrailsAndByways.com.
September 23, 2021
Season 35 | Episode 10
Cindy Carter tours a new Tennessee State Museum exhibit. Joe Elmore checks out the menu at The Brick Oven Grill & Deli. Tammi Arender learns how police dogs are trained. And Rob Wilds reels in the story of a popular fishing lure company.