Don't have the PBS App? Click Here
- [Announcer] "Tennessee Crossroads" is made possible in part by... - [Narrator] This season, there's something small that makes a big difference. Flu vaccines protect ourselves and others. Flu vaccines are available. Learn more at tn.gov/health/fightflu. Taylor Farms provides farm fresh vegetables and fruits to grocery stores, schools, and hospitals. Including vegetable kits, snack and veggie trays, and organic salads. More information at taylorfarms.com. - This time on "Tennessee Crossroads," we'll see what's shaking in Waverly, desert-wise that is. Then show you where to soar like an eagle at Lookout Mountain. We'll go dining above the clouds at Sulfur Ridge. And finally, explore the roots of country music over in Bristol. Hi everybody, I'm Joe Elmore. That's the lineup for this edition of "Tennessee Crossroads." It's the trendiest dessert out there and Tennessee is in the mix. Outrageous milkshakes are changing the dessert game, we hear. And for one family, shakes have changed their lives. Laura Faber takes us to the The Milkshakery over in Waverly. - [Laura] Just off the town square in Waverly sits a sweet little spot that is the source of a serious sugar rush just inside. This is the The Milkshakery, launched by a mom and her two daughters in the middle of the pandemic. They had no idea if anyone would come, it's been packed since day one. - At the The Milkshakery we make milkshakes. We have ultimate shakes, we do scoops also, cones. Lots of sodas, specialized little sodas that are fun sodas. We do some sandwiches, hot waffles. - [Laura] To say the The Milkshakery makes just milkshakes is an understatement. These colossal creations are magical. Glasses are covered with a sweet coating. The Blue Bell ice cream inside is covered and loaded up with anything scrumptious you can think of. They are works of art, made by Tammy Daniel with a background in insurance, and her daughters, Emma Daniel, a high school student, and Victoria Elliott, a teacher by trade. - We would walk our dogs around the square. We loved living close to everything. It was different from where we had lived in Dixon. And we would always look over here, and Emma would say, "I wanna have a soda shop there someday." And so we would make these big plans, but they were not real. And I was up on the square, and talking to someone that owned a business there. And I told them Emma's idea. "Emma wants to open a soda shop." And she's like, "We need something here. You guys should so do that." Five weeks after we had the idea and talked to the lady on the strip, we opened the The Milkshakery. - [Laura] Coming up with the homemade recipes was all trial and tastings. And they are constantly adding new combinations to the menu, offering gluten and dairy free options too. Loretta Lynn, who lives right down the road, even requested a specialty shake. - She wanted a lavender colored vanilla milkshake with York Peppermint Patties blended in it. Yeah, which is crazy. She loved it. They took one out to her and she loved it. - [Laura] It's a bustling place, with the sound of the blender constantly running, laughter and conversation. The Milkshakery has become more than a place to satisfy your sweet tooth. It's become a gathering place for locals and tourists too. - That's amazing. - It's amazing. I'm gonna start off with a graham cracker right here. You can start off with-- - [Laura] And to think that the Daniels family wasn't even sure if they would survive opening day. - It started out as a disaster because we got here early to open up, and they said, "Well, we have to work on your air still. It's not finished." So we got in here less than an hour before we actually opened. 20 minutes before it was 11:00 and there was a line all the way around. We had like 500 people the first day. And when, after I locked the door and we closed, I just laid on the floor. - [Tammy] We all did. - I'm about to experience the most popular ultimate milkshake that they serve here. This is called the outrageous brownie. Thank you, Emma. - You're welcome. - It's all chocolate, chocolate milkshake, chocolate brownie, whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry on top. - My favorite shake is probably the cinnamon toast crunch. Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, and then cinnamon sugar, and it's a vanilla based shake, and caramel. And it's a really beautiful shake. And I just, I like to eat all the cereal that's in it. - My favorite is the fruity explosion. I like all the toppings, the pop tart, the strawberry wafers, vanilla based shake, and we put blue raspberry and Fruity Pebbles in it. - Mine is the peanut butter crunch. It's chocolate peanut butter, that's the shake. And then it has a peanut butter cookie, pretzels, Vanilla Wafer cookies, Reese's Puffs. - It's good. - That's a big one. I'm excited. - [Laura] It is a good and happy place to be. - It's rewarding to see people happy, and to see people come in here, and have little conversations and fun with their kids, and surprise their kids by bringing them. And it's humbling for us that people come so far, and then they're so happy when they get their shakes. - [Laura] Who knew dairy would be the stuff of dreams for the Daniels family. It's become so much more than a successful business, it's been about relationships and growth. - We never thought of doing this. And so now we are dreaming bigger to what we can do together, and what does our future look like, and what can we share. I've watched them grow in that. Makes me get tears. But I'm proud of what I've watched them accomplish with a milkshake. - Thanks, Laura. Since the dawn of time, people have dreamed of flying. Sure, you can hop on an airliner anytime you like, but that doesn't give you the sensation you'll get at our next destination. Cindy Carter took to the wild blue yonder near Chattanooga by jumping off a perfectly good mountain. - [Cindy] The view from atop Lookout Mountain is breathtaking. But for those who want to up the ante, the view is even more thrilling when you're just hanging out among the clouds. - [Rebecca] It's pretty, pretty magical. - [Cindy] And hang gliding magic is something Rebecca Taylor experiences every chance she gets. - I love that first couple moments of the flight when you have your hang glider on your back, and when your feet are lifting up off the ground. That's what kind of got me hooked, was just the first couple inches of flight. It's absolutely magical having a pair of your very own wings. - Morning. - Morning, how are you? - How's it going? - Good, how are you? - [Cindy] Rebecca helps hundreds of people earn their wings at the Lookout Mountain Flight Park, just outside of Chattanooga. - Both you guys are going up today? - [Cindy] This hang gliding and paragliding school teaches students of all ages how to soar through the sky, high above the Tennessee Valley. - [Rebecca] On average, it takes about seven to 10 days to learn how to fly a hang glider by yourself. - [Cindy] Instead of training wheels, beginners have training hills, where they put their new skills into practice, over and over. - Eventually go from our small hill to our big hill. And pretty soon, right off the ramp. - [Man] Clear. - [Cindy] And Rebecca says, once pilots start stepping off ledges like this, they are also stepping into a community of like-minded, free-flying, fearless folks. - You can call people up, stay in people's houses. Or say, "Hey, I'm going to France, do you know anybody?" "Yeah, sure. Here's my friend, Peter." So it's a worldwide community because of this one sport linking us all together. - All right, let me get down next to you here. - [Cindy] For those not quite ready to go it alone, tandem flights are a more mainstream and popular option. The flight park does a few thousand of these every year. - I'm joining the Peace Corps tomorrow, so this is like my adventure before my adventure. - [Cindy] For tandem flight adventures, students like Addison Bird are strapped to the pilot instructor. - And then your other hand is gonna hold on right there. - [Cindy] They're both then secured to the glider, which is tethered to a small plane. - All right Addison, you feeling ready? - I'm ready. - All righty. - [Cindy] The plane takes the glider up, up and away, about 3,000 feet, before cutting it loose. - A lot of people think that we're going up there and doing something that's gonna be really terrifying, or really shocking, something like that. But we can make it exciting, we can make it pretty scary if we want to. But most people are pretty surprised with how calm it is. - [Addison] They're pulling you and you like feel it, like the tension, and then he let go, and it was awesome, awesome. - [Cindy] Notice we referred to Addison as a student, that's because these aren't just thrill rides. - Everything good? - Yes. Little tight on my neck. - [Cindy] Before anyone goes up, students receive a roughly 10 minute tutorial on how to fly the glider. - As long as you're moving through the air at enough speed to keep the wing flying at the right nose angle, it'll fly. - You don't really feel like you're doing it, but you're up there flying. - [Cindy] Yeah, maybe. But I just had to find out for myself. - Face back forward. Woo hoo. - Woo! Once locked in, instructor Ted reinforces that hang gliding flight 101. - To make this go faster, bring yourself forward. That's faster. As you let go, it slows us down. If you wanna turn one way or the other, if you wanna go this way, you just wanna bring your whole body over this way. Yeah, now bring your shoulders over too. - Oh. - Just like, feel that? - Oh yeah. - Feel that moving your weight over? - Yeah. Sky still looks good. Wind is right. Time for takeoff. - Here we go. - Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. - We're rolling. - Ooh, it's like a runway. - And we're flying. - Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! As cool as takeoff is, and it's pretty cool, nothing beats the view from above. Where Ted is quick to point out landmarks, and the beautiful birds who've decided to fly with us. - That one right there, oh man. That's pretty awesome. Usually they don't like to get that close. That's really cool. - Once we cut loose from the plane, Ted and I are on our own. And the teacher lets the student take the wheel, or in this case, the control bar. The experience is everything our friends have described. Thrilling, cool, peaceful, present, humbling. And yeah, awesome. Like a lot of outdoor sports, this tends to be male dominated. But when you're up in the air, we are all equal. And Ted has made me feel great! - [Rebecca] The joke is to fly like a girl is actually to your benefit because women can be really nimble. We're not muscling things around. So usually women in flight, we can definitely give the boys a run for their money. - [Cindy] Since the Wright brothers, folks have long to soar above the earth, using rising air currents and thermals to stay aloft. This is amazing. Just like the birds, or kites, or even Superman. - Well done. - Thank you. - [Cindy] And when a hang gliding flight finally does come to an end, you can't help but wonder, when will I get another chance to defy gravity and just hang out for a while among the clouds? - Remember climbing trees as a kid? It was really exciting to see just how high you could go. Maybe you were lucky enough to have a treehouse. Well, a Putnam County couple never grew up, I guess, because they've taken the treehouse to another level. Ed Jones climbed up to see 'em at Sulfur Ridge. - We wanted people to experience and to see things they don't normally see. So we wanted things that were different, things that were unique, something special. - [Ed] Something special, that perfectly sums up the whimsical dream house, which Susan and Trent Dyer made a reality. Nestled in the forest, just outside Cookeville, Sulfur Ridge Treehouse bears the name of the Cumberland mountainside it gracefully rises above. - Trent and I do a lot of mission work and we travel a lot all over the world. So in 2015, with Trent's job, we got to live in Australia for a year. And we stayed in this really cool Airbnb property. So we thought, why don't we have that in Tennessee? Why don't we offer that here? - [Trent] So I took pencil and paper. Drew it all up. - We drew it up. We had to become best friends with the codes department. But we did, we achieved that goal. - But they would kind of fight over who's gonna get to come out and see what progress had been made. So they were as excited as we were. - [Ed] Once you're settled in, you quickly realize that the most exciting thing about Sulfur Ridge is the lack of excitement, also known as stress. And that's all part of the plan. - I said, "We're not gonna have wifi." We don't want to have wifi. Let's let people get away, couples. It's kind of like a retreat center to come and be together, and just enjoy each other, and enjoy being away from all the busyness. - [Trent] To unplug. - We have a lot of birthday surprises. We have a lot of anniversaries and a lot of honeymooners. It's the perfect escape for a couple. We had one couple that said they sat in the chairs by the window, and they sat there for four hours. And they'd play the jukebox. - [Ed] The jukebox is just one of the many unusual items that add to the allure of Sulfur Ridge. - It started with just the treehouse. And then we went to the side shack. And then she comes up with the bottle wall idea. - We created a bottle wall, it's the entrance of the treehouse that we did with some antique doors that are eight feet tall. - [Trent] It morphed into what it is. And it's still morphing, it's still changing every day. - [Ed] The ever-changing landscape is an eclectic mixture of new and old. Take the front door, for instance. - We found it in a local shop. And it's dated 1848. Come off an old mansion near Shelbyville that was used as a hospital during the Civil War. But our favorite story is the floor. - The floor, yes. - The floor is our favorite story. - Very unique. - Because the floor is from a local factory, Wilson Sporting Goods, that has been closed for many years. They're getting ready to tear it down. - [Trent] Oh, it was filthy. - [Susan] It had 73 years of dirt on it. So we scraped. - All the tongues and all the grooves. To get this amount of floor, this is about 30% of what we sorted through. - We did the windows, we installed all the glass and all the trim. So, and Trent's been a custom cabinet maker most of his life. So the buffet we brought out of our home. But here again, we wanted people to see things they'd never seen. - [Ed] The rustic charm of the bedroom is quite a contrast to the opulent bath. - [Susan] The quartz on the countertop has a lot of purple color in it. So the tub is new, but it's a cast iron tub. And we had it custom painted purple to match that quartz. Our faucets are brass plated swans, so they're very unique. And then-- - Everybody has a swan, right? - Yeah, everybody has swan faucets. And then the window in there is from a 100 year old church. - [Both] Out of Henderson, Kentucky. - [Ed] Take a walk up the hill from the treehouse and you'll enter another time and place known simply as... - Shasta Camp. An area with three vintage inspired Shasta campers that are actually 2015, but they were recreated to look like the 1961 Shasta. So we have three of them. The red one, we call Hot Tamale. The yellow one is a 19 foot, the red one is 16 foot. The 19 foot is Mellow Yellow. And the mint green one is Peppermint Patty. So we, and I had that vision in my mind of how to create that campsite. We didn't, here again, we didn't want it to look like a regular campground. We wanted it to look different and be a community. So they sit in a semi-circle and they all have a shared fire pit. They all have a sidewalk that comes to a shared fire pit. And we have a game area. We have a bocce ball court, we have a life-size Scrabble game. It's a cute place up there too. It's kind of like stepping back in time a little bit. - [Ed] Stepping back in time, before the internet, before email, before our phones were a constant irritating companion, before things got so complicated. The only stressful task that visitors to Sulfur Ridge face is deciding what part of their stay they like the most. - Sometimes it's the view, sometimes it's the jukebox, sometimes it's the swing. They love the hot tub at nighttime, and underneath the stars and the fire pit. They love being outside. They love being surrounded by the trees. And even in the winter, when the trees are bare, it's still absolutely stunning. - Gorgeous, it really is. - Because it's still very private, you're very secluded. - [Ed] Whether you choose to camp in '60s style, or spoil yourself in the luxurious treehouse, you're sure to make lasting memories with that special someone at Sulfur Ridge. Memories that the Dyers love to read from their guest book. - This has been a wonderful getaway for us, as our kids are now older, we reclaim our youth. Just the two of us alone and together. But the best time was spent dancing to the songs of days gone by. So much more could be written, but you'll have to excuse us, we have four more quarters. - And we want to dance. - Thanks, Ed. Nashville may lay claim to the moniker Music City, but Bristol, Tennessee, claims it was the actual birthplace of country music. To back that claim, they have a museum that celebrates the year when some legendary artists were recorded for the very first time. A few years back, we journeyed up there to take a look and a listen. Bristol's Birthplace of Country Music tells a story of a monumental year in American music history. 1927, that's the year RCA producer, Ralph Peer, came to town to capture rural mountain music for the first time ever. Music that was already part of Southern Appalachian culture. - The people who were listening to the music, and the people who were playing the music, they had a similar life experience. So what they were hearing in those songs, what they were singing about, they could all understand, they could relate to it. - [Joe] Renee Rogers moved back home to Bristol from the UK to take the job as curator. - I think the concept behind the museum is celebrating and exploring those 1927 Bristol sessions, and why they were so significant. Why they had impact and how that impact has continued. But also acknowledging their place within the history of early location recording sessions. It's almost like there was a perfect storm of events that came together, the recent change in the technology from the acoustic horn to the Western Electric microphone, so you get much better quality recordings. - [Joe] The 1927 Bristol sessions introduced the world to legendary artists, such as the Carter family. ♪ He's in the jailhouse now ♪ And Jimmy Rogers. ♪ He's in the jailhouse now ♪ ♪ I told him once or twice ♪ ♪ To quit playing cards and shooting dice ♪ - The Carters and Jimmy Rogers, who are known as the first family of country music and the father of country music, they hadn't recorded before. I mean, they'd performed, but they hadn't recorded. So all of that, and then Ralph Peer's expertise, all of it sort of came together to create this significant moment. - [Joe] Over the course of two weeks, Peer recorded 76 songs by 19 different acts. Including artist V. Stoneman and his band. Special recognition goes to a later music star and Bristol native, Tennessee Ernie Ford. - He started his career here on WOPI as a radio station announcer back when he was in high school, actually. - Really, before 16 Tons? - Before 16 Tons, quite a while before 16 Tons. - The traditional instruments used to make the music play a prominent role, along with the ever-changing ways used to hear the music. Visitors can explore the history and heritage through a variety of interactive exhibits. You can be the singer on an old time recording session. Or, well I got my phones on now, what do we do next? Here you can be the recording engineer and mix the various music tracks. You can take a pew in this chapel and discover ways that faith played a role in shaping country music. - This one is one of my favorites, actually. - [Joe] There are multiple film experiences to take in, including the panoramic immersion theater, where you've got room to buck dance, if you so desire. Of course, part of the task is to share the heritage of traditional music with younger generations. And according to Renee, it's working. - We had a kid who came through here, who was obsessed with Mother Maybelle Carter, and really wanted to learn how to play like her. And he was like seven years old. - [Joe] In addition to the ongoing country music collection, there are rotating exhibitions featured throughout the year. On our visit, there was this one all about Tennessee manufacturing. Actually, the Birthplace of Country Music is more than a brick and mortar museum. There's also a radio station that streams both traditional and contemporary country music, as well as Americana. Plus, an annual festival full of music performed by artists from several generations. Executive director, Lea Ross, sums it up this way. - We're trying to not only celebrate that past, but tell everyone the effect it has, and how it's still strong today. - Well, I'm afraid that takes us to the end of another edition of "Tennessee Crossroads." Hope you enjoyed it. Please check in on our website from time to time, TennesseeCrossroads.org. Of course you can follow us on Facebook. And by all means, join us here next week. See you then. - [Announcer] "Tennessee Crossroads" is made possible in part by... - [Narrator] This season, there's something small that makes a big difference. Flu vaccines protect ourselves and others. Flu vaccines are available. Learn more at tn.gov/health/fightflu. Taylor Farms provides farm fresh vegetables and fruits to grocery stores, schools, and hospitals. Including vegetable kits, snack and veggie trays, and organic salads. More information at taylorfarms.com.
January 13, 2022
Season 35 | Episode 23
Laura Faber enjoys drinkable delights at The Milkshakery. Cindy Carter takes to the skies at Lookout Mountain Flight Park. Ed Jones relaxes at Sulfur Ridge Treehouse. And Joe Elmore tours the Birthplace of Country Music.