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- This time on Tennessee Crossroads, we discover how a curious sport called curling came to Nashville. Then a woodworking success story in Orlinda. We'll make a stop for comfort food in Nolensville. And discover why the Knoxville Visitor Center, is known for more than visitor information. For your information, this is Tennessee Crossroads. I'm Joe Elmore and glad to have you. Our first story is about a sport that's grown in popularity in recent years and has played on ice. No, we're not talking about hockey, we're talking about the sport of curling. As Laura Faber tells us, you don't have to wait for another Olympics to see it, learn it and even play it right here. Right now. - [Carl] Far as you can boys. Far as you can. - [Laura] It's a sport that involves ice, granite stones, special shoes. - [Carl] Sweep. - [Laura] A broom for sweeping. - [Carl] All the way guys, all the way. Bring it in. - [Laura] And a lot of yelling. - [Carl] That'll work. Great sweep guys. Good shot. - [Laura] It's called curling. And here in Nashville, there is a club dedicated to the sport. Carl Beltz is known as the ice guy, and a member of Nashville's curling club. - [Carl] We've reestablished the curling club in October of last year. They had about 20 members when I first got here, and we have already almost doubled their tripled the membership to 54 people already. - [Laura] Curling is on the rise locally. Thanks in part to this place called Tee line Nashville. It's the only place in the state built specifically for the sport. - [Mark] What we have here is dedicated ice. So we don't have ice skating. It's a whole different level. And we say, good curling. You give a handshake. And it's funny, the winners buy the beer, at the end of a game and the winners sweep the ice. So it's completely opposite to the way in the NFL, we learned, but it it's great camaraderie. And again, the people are so welcoming and that's why I think the sport's catching on so well. - [Laura] Mark Bulger is the co-owner of Tee line. He's also a former NFL quarterback and curling enthusiast. Tee line also offers bowling food and drink, but the three sheets of perfect ice is what draws the crowd. You can take lessons here, and this is also the curling club's home. - [Mark] A lot of people think it's like shuffleboard, but it's more like closest to the pin or bocce, but the tough part is you're on ice. So just staying upright again and closest to the pin in golf. I'm a big golfer, so the strategy is a big part. It's co-ed the age doesn't matter. I've been got my butt kicked, by 60, 70, 80 year old guys. But a female can come in at 15 years old and kick my butt too. So I think it's 98% of the population can curl. And I think that's what makes it unique. - [Laura] There is much to learn, four players to a team with each throwing twice. The granite stones all also called rocks, weigh about 44 pounds. The ice sheet is 45 yards long. The goal is to get the stone to the house and as close to the bullseye or the button, as possible inside your opponent stone. The last push is called the hammer. The only uniform really for a curler is probably the shoes. - Pretty much. And the shoes are the shoes are the key, because one shoe has a textured bottom. So you have better grip on it. And then you have another shoe that has a slider attached to it. So you can slide down the ice, when you're delivering the stone. - [Laura] And then there is the game itself, harder than it looks. Good balance required, and so much strategy. - [Carl] I equate the strategy a lot to almost a chess game on ice. Because it's, you're trying to work with what your team can do with what you know of the other teams, a faults and their strengths. - [Laura] The goal to have as many rocks as close to the center of the rings as possible. - [Carl] The way it scores, you with being closest to the pin and everything, it's more like a Bocce ball because you spin it and it will rotate and curl into the area where you want it to go. - [Laura] The curling is actually part of what you you're doing to the stone, right? Or it's a movement to the stone? - [Carl] It's the spinning of the stone. When you spin the stone, you'll control, which way it's gonna curl. If you spin it clockwise, it's gonna curl to the right. If you spin it counterclockwise, it's gonna curl to the left. - [Woman] Come on. - [Carl] The sweeping is to make the rock go further down the ice, or you can make it hold the line a little bit, or maybe curl an extra four to six inches, depending on which side of the stone you're sweeping. The sweeping is the hardest part. And most of us at our level or at club level, you have about a seven second lifespan on it, when you're sweeping a stone, because it's the second most aerobic activity that you can do short of cross country ski. - [Laura] This Olympic sports started in Scotland in the early 16th century. But today players compete on ice that is perfect. Tee line's official ice guys, scrape the ice sheet with five foot long razor blades. Then they create pebbles using water at 120 degrees. So ice freezes nice and tall. Finally, a nipper is used to even out the pebbles, cutting them all off at the same height. - [Carl] When you're looking at a hockey arena's ice sheet, you can have a degree or two of plane, you'll never notice it on skates with a puck. Now, with a curling rock, if there's half a degree of play in it, it always gonna go that direction. So, we do our best to keep the ice as flat as possible. We keep the pebble as evenly spread across the sheet as we can. And the reason we do that is so the rock slide consistently and curl consistently throughout the game. - [Laura] Anyone can play, young and old, men and women. Elizabeth Rose is hooked. - I love the comradery, the community's great. And I hope that's part of what you all may have heard tonight is just lots of encouragement and moving people forward. - [Laura] Elizabeth is talking about the spirit of the sport. - [Carl] It's one of the few sports where we start off every game with a handshake and say, "Good curling" to every person on the sheet. And we finish the game the same way, because there's a lot of sportsmanship out here. We want to see these people having a good time. We want to keep them coming out. And like I said, the camaraderie on the ice is one of the things that sells people on it. - [Carl] Nice shot too. - Thanks Laura, how does a hobby become a profession? Well, usually with a whole lot of passion. That's the way it was for a young man in Robertson county, who always loved making furniture with new and old wood. Now partnered with an old school chum, Kurt Chapin is living the dream, so to speak, one board at a time. - [Kurt] They're wanting something that is made outta solid wood. They're not wanting to buy something that's cheap particle board shipped from overseas. They want something that has a story with it. It's almost like, they're creating their own piece of what they want, we are just the hands that do it. - [Man] It all started in 2011, when Chris Chapen and her friend began crafting adirondack chairs for family and friends, using local reclaimed Barnwood. Before long that hobby evolved, into the Orlinda Furniture Company. Now located in a 2,500 square foot freestanding facility. After his co-founder Harris Green left the business, Well, Curtis was in need of a partner who shared his passion and philosophy. That person turned out to be his old high school chum, Chris Newberry. - [Chris] Well, I've always been good with my hands, taking stuff apart, putting it back together. I've always loved creating. I've always loved seeing the finished product. The feeling of satisfaction. There's no other comparison. - [Kurt] I was looking for a business partner and I asked him and he jumped all over it. He was ready to go. - [Man] Every day is different here in the shop, often with several pieces in the work simultaneously. For years, Curtis and company would tear down old barns themselves to salvage the wood. But times and trends have changed to make things more efficient. - [Kurt] Our time is better spent in shop. So as far as that goes, people bring us the lumber, we'll buy the lumber and stuff. But when we first started, the reclaim part was big. And now we're starting to see the pieces of furniture that we do are kind of more your new wood, your walnuts, and new popular, and things like that. It's still there. The repurpose reclaim kind of look is still there, but you can kind of see it slowly fading out. - [Man] The first step in most projects, is cutting the wood to length. That is unless it's reclaimed wood. - [Kurt] First it's denailing, which is very aggravating. So you gotta get all the nails out. You do the best you can, but sometimes you do miss some and you'll find them when you run it through the plane or at the table saw. So Just depending on what the client is looking for, we can run it through the planer. We can take all that rough off of it. Because with the Barnwood, there's an inner beauty to it. Everybody says something that looks like, it ought be thrown in fire and discarded. But when you run it through the planer, that material is so pretty. It's got so much character to it, different coloration to it. - [Man] After trimming the edges straight on a table saw, they often use a good old fashioned hand planer to finish the job. The job in this case, will result in a new table. - [Kurt] This is going to be like a corner table, so this is the top to the table. And what we've done is we've run all the, it was reclaimed material. So we've run it all through the planer, straight edged it, and now we've got it in the glue up process. You know, here in a couple more days, we'll have some legs on it and the drawer and sending it out the door. - [Man] Despite having state-of-the-art equipment, this is the only way to create a fireplace mantle with that, now popular rough hum Look. - [Kurt] We're buying just sawn out, pine lumber six by eight. And what we do with it is, we'll chop it out and give it the appearance of a hand hum log. So it looks old, but it's new wood made to look old, it's kind of what it is. But we chop them out, I got a hand hum look to them and kind of a free floating mantle. - [Man] Curtis and Chris can create just about anything made with wood, including custom cabinets, counters, sliding doors, and what you name it. Oh, and the Adirondack chairs that started it all, they're still a mainstay now in two styles. - [Kurt] There's the traditional style, and then we do a set that's done out of tobacco sticks. And that's really unique to the Adirondack kind look, it's just those tobacco sticks, but they can be made outta anything. Most of it of our Adirondack sets are done out of the reclaimed wood. But these over here they're, those are new popular. - [Man] A philosopher once said, ambition is enthusiasm with a purpose. Curtis Chapin had a growing enthusiasm for creating with wood. Now working with his childhood friend, Chris Newberry, a shared purpose unfolds each day at the Orlinda Furniture Company. - The best part about it for me, is when I get to see the finished product and I get to see the customer enjoy that product for the lifetime and to see the look on their faces when they receive it, nothing like it. - And we're, we're having a good time. We got big plans for later down the road and we just gonna keep riding this train. - You know, a health conscious dining, seems to be all the rage these days. And for good reason, most of us could stand to lose a few pounds or more. But in these stressful times, folks are often searching for some comfort, even in their food. Well for Ed Jones, that search led to a cozy little place in Nolensville. - Yummy. Yummy. - Is it yummy, good food? - Good food. - Yeah. Good food. Give me something. Give me something. Oh, it's that good food. - [Ed] If you are looking to get some good comfort food, you'd have a hard time finding anything to beat good old Southern hospitality. Now the Southern hospitality we're talking about, is a diner, you understand. Not just a state of mind. But the friendly owners, Scotty and Tamyra brown, don't mind serving side of hospitality, with every delicious meal. - [Tamyra] We have a great family environment here. It's very family oriented. You can feel comfortable bringing your kids hear, bringing your entire family. - [Scotty] The feel that we have for our customers. We just want them to leave ecstatic. And we just provide the best comfort food around. - [Ed] You know what they say, it's not boasting, if you can back it up. - People who work here for one thing, they're wonderful. And then there are certain food items, that we're obsessed with, so we just have to come back and have them. A lot of locals are here. This is, mostly really Southern cooking and it's just quite delicious and it's friendly and fun as you can see. - Oh, you want to give me a hug. Oh, you're are so cute. - [Ed] We can't guarantee you a hug from any of the Browns five beautiful daughters, but Tamyra and Scotty can promise you. - A full tummy. The feeling of you need to go take a nap. - Right, go take a nap. And just having the great feel, a great Southern feel when they leave. - [Ed] Scotty's cooking skills, which inspire that great feeling, come from the ultimate source of comfort for most of his, dear old mom. - I actually learned to cook over the phone when I was at MTSU at college. Me and my roommates, we could gather up $2 a piece maybe. And so we can put that together and buy a pack of chicken. So I would just call my moms and walk me through it and it clicked. And ever since then, I just been cooking. - [Ed] Cooking indeed, but no man is an island or a food dispenser. So Scotty relies on his dedicated staff, some of the best in the business, the creme de la creme of comfort. - I got some good guys back there. I got one of the best Marine guys in Nashville. My guys back there, they're awesome. So they take a lot of heat off of me. - [Ed] And Chris Wells needs a lot of heat taken off of him. Because he's Scotty's right hand man, the kitchen manager. Chris not only stands the heat, he brings the heat as comfort food king. - I actually learned how to cook from my mother. - [Ed] Do you see a pattern here? - And a lot of the stuff that we do here, are just stuff that I grew up with and we've been doing it and I've been doing it a long time. We've kind of got a down pack. We had to tweak it a little bit, but it's kind of brings back memories for a lot of people and what they grew up with. It's kind of hard to find that, we're getting more health conscious and things like that. So the old style of cooking is sometimes it's hard to find and that's what we do, we gold style cooking. - And Jo Garnet, sometimes old style is the best style. But don't get us wrong, We love beans sprouts, kale and tofu, as much as the next guy. But sometimes you need to do more than fill your tummy. You need to soothe your soul. And just listening to the menu will be enough for some. - We pretty much offer anything you would like to eat. From our famous catfish. - Chicken salad, chili. - I'm personally obsessed with the BLT salad. - Hamburger steak. - Hot rose, meatloaf, lot of veggies. - I'm always about okra. - Everything is made from scratch. And then we have our famous desserts, Marine pies. - So if it's Southern, it's here most of the time. - Fish looks good. - [Ed] I think I need a nap already. - [Wells] We cover a lot on the menu. So it's a lot of choices. And all of them pretty good. They really try to do everything well. And we try to present things that you like. And it looks good and it tastes good. - It's a friendly place. It's Southern cooking. It's local to Nolensville. Obviously it's not a chain. It gives you an opportunity to have the kind of food you might have at home. - [Ed] Maybe even better than the food you have at home, with a few benefits, no cooking, no cleaning and plenty of Southern hospitality. - Right. - Whenever you visit downtown Knoxville, you'll have to be sure to stop by the visitor center. A place where you'll find more than just travel brochures. As Ken Wilshire discovered, you might go for the information, but you'll stay for the music. - [Ken] When it's lunchtime in downtown Knoxville, most people hate head to their favorite spots, to grab a bite to eat and enjoy their noon hour break. And most likely it wouldn't be the visitor center, but we found this 100 year old building, is home to an incredibly inviting venue for a unique menu. And once you're inside, you'll find the Coupe Cafe as the home of Ms. Cock-a-doodle-doo chicken salad sandwich. There's not a blue plate special here, but there is a blue plate special over on the stage. - Hey, y'all welcome to the blue plate special. - Thank you very much. - [Ken] Yes, it's called the blue plate special. And it satisfies appetites for comfort foods, as well as an eclectic mixture of music and entertainment. It's the daily fair from WDVX radio with studios located inside the Knoxville visitor center. - People can leave work just before noon or at noon, and come down see live radio, see a great band or two. Maybe have lunch if they'd like and then go back to work. - [Ken] WDVX general manager, Linda Billman, says the blue plate special is an integral part of the station's mission to serve the community. - East Tennessee, I think is proud of the fact that we you've picked up on the tradition of live radio. I think that the community likes having WDVX right here in downtown, because it's something that, if an out of town visitor comes, if your family comes, you can bring somebody downtown every day, Monday through Saturday and say, let's go listen to some free live music and you never know what you're gonna get, but, for an out town guest, that's kind of a treat because there aren't too many visitor centers that I know of that have a cafe and a radio station in there. So the blue special is, I think special for our community. And we're all pretty proud of it. - [Ken] The station began its modest operation back in 1997 in a camping trailer at a local campground. It's a nonprofit publicly funded radio station and takes it's broadcasting responsibilities with a sense of pride and honor to serve its continuously expanding audience. - WDVX of blue plate special and a lot of the programs here, are listeners supported and volunteer powered. And many of them are on the air volunteers, gives a community and opportunity to participate. And so we have volunteer programmers. We have volunteers who help us run our programming behind the scenes. And we have a great staff, a small staff, but a really good group of volunteers make it happen. - She's visiting with us from Nashville today. Y'all give a great big welcome to Natasha Borzilova on the blue plate special. - [Ken] One of today's entertainers is Natasha Borzilova. She was brushing born and now a recording artist who feels the blue plate special is nourishing to her career. - People listen to your music and they're not talking, they're engaged, they love it. It's for musicians, especially for singer-songwriter type musicians, it's much more valuable, if a small crowd is engaged in actually listening to the lyrics than to have a big crowd, but they may not be as into it. - [Ken] You gonna come back? - [Natasha] Absolutely. Yes. I enjoyed myself. - [Woman] I think for artists, the first thing for them, it gives them an opportunity to perform live on the radio. So not only are they performing in front of our studio audience, but they're getting out there on the airwaves to an audience, they might not otherwise reach. Especially if they're an independent artist. And for some artists, the established ones, they like playing here because they like Knoxville. They like the convenience of where we are and they, you know, it's a stop on their way. - Thank you. - [Ken] And even if you can't be here, to experience the live show in person, people all over the world click online and still tune in on the radio. - It's hard to tell who the audience for WDVX is. We don't subscribe to Arbitron or other rating services. We get a lot of letters and emails and phone calls from listeners around the world. The British aisles, California, Washington, Florida, a lot of people from around the world listen to us. It's a niche audience. They like Americana, bluegrass and all the mix that we play. And it's not just a blue plate, although we can tell our online listening peaks, just about 11:30. - [Ken] And the studio audience increases as well. Even though they may not serve the traditional meat at three at the WDVX blue play special, still you'll certainly be treated to live music and entertainment, steeped in east Tennessee tradition for all visitors, the Knoxville visitor center. - Well, that's gonna do it for this time. I hope you had a good time. Don't forget our website, Tennesseecrossroads.org. You can follow us on Facebook, of course. And by all means, come back here next week. See you then.
May 19, 2022
Season 35 | Episode 38
Laura Faber learns how a curious sport called curling came to Nashville. Joe Elmore finds a woodworking success story near the town of Orlinda. Ed Jones stops for some comfort food in Nolensville. And Ken Wilshire tries the blue plate special at the Knoxville Visitors Center.