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- [Narrator] "Tennessee Crossroads" is made possible in part by 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. - [Narrator] You can't predict the future but you can count on Tennessee Tech always putting students first. Our faculty, staff and students have shown strength, compassion, patience and kindness during these trying times. For us, it's personal. That's what you can count on at Tennessee Tech. - [Joe] This time on Tennessee Crossroads, we go to an historic country inn in Rutherford county. Then sample the down-home goodness of a barbecue joint in Brownsville. We'll explore our Nashville museum all about Patsy Cline and meet a Woodbury artist who makes art out of decorative fruit. Hi everybody, I'm Joe Elmore, welcome again to "Tennessee Crossroads." Have you ever been to a vacation destination that felt like you were visiting family? In our first story, Miranda Cohen takes us to an historic Rutherford County inn where the rooms are cozy, the grounds are beautiful, and the owners indeed make it seem like family. - [Miranda] For Victoria and Daryl Patrick, working together in the kitchen is something that comes very natural. They met years ago, both working for a major hotel chain. Now married for more than two decades, they blend together as perfectly as these potatoes and onions. - [Daryl] Who would've ever thought, huh? 20 years ago that we would be doing this together, in our own little place. - It was fun for both of us. I think I really enjoyed the bed and breakfast side and he really wanted the banquet space. - [Miranda] The couple wanted to combine their talents and love of hosting people. That's when they found and purchased the beautiful Carriage Lane Inn in Murfreesboro, back in 2013. When they first toured the property, the Patricks were living in Michigan. It was not only the picturesque home and grounds that captured their hearts, it was also the beautiful state of Tennessee itself. - When we came to look at it, we left Michigan, it was like -15 degrees and it was the middle of an ice storm. And we got here to Tennessee and it was 60 degrees and sunny and I was like, yep, we're moving. - [Miranda] Now, you will find chef Daryl in the kitchen creating a unique and homegrown event menu featuring locally-sourced ingredients. Victoria is the friendly face who greets the guests and makes sure every detail is perfect. The inn was built in 1899 and is located on the Old Carriage Lane leading to the Oakland Mansion. Now, it is a bed and breakfast and sought out event venue. - I like to tell people that we're a bed and breakfast and this is a good introduction to staying in bed and breakfast because we live next door, so we don't live in the house, but you do get the historic charm and the historic feel of the house. It's kind of like a little boutique hotel where you have your own room and we have all private bathrooms, so people like that. - [Miranda] It is important to the Patricks to keep the decor and furnishings turn of the century in every room except the bathrooms. And these well-adored privies are state-of-the-art. - Yeah, I think it's a fine line trying to keep it looking historic yet having all the modern amenities. - With three king rooms, and those are by far our most popular rooms, they all feature jacuzzi tubs and gas fireplaces and they are named after the sections of the state. So we have the Middle Tennessee and the East Tennessee and those are kind of like our bridal fancy rooms. And then we have the West Tennessee that's over there also and it's two full beds and it's a quaint room for families. - It's a pretty cool room because it's the only room in the entire property that has one of the original clawfoot tubs. And so kind of that's a uniqueness of that room. - [Miranda] The end boasts three tranquil gardens and plenty of outdoor seating that can accommodate up to 150 guests at an event or wedding. - It's very well shaded. It makes for beautiful weddings no matter what time of year because it's so beautifully shaded with Magnolia trees. - [Miranda] But perhaps one of the biggest attractions of the Carriage Lane Inn is the town of Murfreesboro itself. It's located just three blocks off the town square. - It's got that historic charm of Murfreesboro and it is definitely a gem of Murfreesboro. It's an easy walk to get downtown and just enjoy some of what downtown Murfreesboro has to offer. - [Miranda] In fact, the breakfast at this bed and breakfast is served up at Murfreesboro's famous City Cafe. - It allows folks to go down there and enjoy the town. And then also, they're open daily from I think, six to two, so it allows people to choose their own time that they wanna go have breakfast. And then they get a wide selection of what they can choose for breakfast. - [Miranda] So, whether it's a wedding, a corporate event, or just a chance to slow down and spend some time with your family and friends, the Carriage Lane Inn might just be the perfect place to get away while feeling right at home. - It's a family-run business and we welcome our guests as if they're part of our family. Well, it's a little bit more intimate and, you know, some folks don't like the hotel experience. When you come here, it's almost like you're staying with family. It's kind of a cool experience that it is a family that is taking care of you. You know, this is our lives, we've put everything into it, so we want you to be happy and we want you to enjoy your experience. - Thanks, Miranda. It's heartening to learn about the success of a business we've previously visited on "Tennessee Crossroads." Well, such as the case of Helen's Bar Bq in Brownsville. This unassuming little place in West Tennessee has earned an international reputation. The secret has to do with change, or as you'll see, a lack of it. - [Joe] A few miles North of Interstate 40, Brownsville is the county seat of Haywood County. In addition to its quaint, historic public square, there are other attractions here that make the town worthy of a stop, such as the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center with museum celebrating everything from cotton to regional music, not to mention the childhood schoolhouse of the queen of rock and roll, Tina Turner. Then there's this curious attraction. What is it? Well, it's called the mind field, a structure that began in 1989 by local artist, Billy Trap. It's a collection of steel parts and pieces all painted battleship gray. Strange, yes, but quite a unique and fascinating site for sure. - There's one Brownsville attraction that not only has fans all over the state, it's got a worldwide fan base. I'm talking about Helen's famous barbecue. - [Joe] You might remember seeing Helen Turner's place back in 2008 in a "Tennessee Crossroads" barbecue special called smoking. Well, on this recent trip that discovered not much has changed at Helen's Bar Bq. That is if you don't count her national attention and celebrity status in the world of barbecue. - Well, I wouldn't say a celebrity, but I've been on quite a few shows and quite a few magazines. The first magazine I made was Saveur Magazine out of New York. - [Joe] Her cooking methods haven't changed. For her it's all about time-tested simplicity. - I don't see any secret in it. You know, I don't put any season on the meat. I just make my fire, let the wood burn down, put them shoulders on the pit and just put the fire under the shoulders and just let 'em cook all day long. - [Joe] And her sauce gets kudos from food critics and fans alike. - You know, I make it myself and everybody loves it and I sell a lot of it. Matter of fact, I got somebody that will be here in a few minutes for a gallon of mile and a quarter hot. Everything in here is homemade. Peel those potatoes, cook 'em and make my own potato salad, grate up my cabbage, make my own slaw. And, you know, I buy those big gallon can pork and beans but I add all my season to that. - Tell you husband I said hi, he alright? - Yeah, he's doing better, he's doing good. - [Joe] Helen just may be the only female barbecue cook and proprietor in the state. Although she never stops to relish the distinction. - Well, they tell me I'm pretty much the only female that cook with wood, hickory and oak. - [Joe] Yeah, you use hickory and oak, right? - Well, I mix it because, you know, the hickory gets hot. Well, really hot. So I mix the wood to tone it down. - [Joe] Where there's wood and fire, there's smoke. Lots of smoke. You have to wonder how does she endure it? - Ooh, smoke got me crying. I've been crying ever since I've been cooking. See what it's doing to me? I don't care how long I've been doing this, it still make me cry, still. - I just walked through there and I'm crying. - [Joe] Helen thought about retiring after 25 plus years of hard work in the pit and kitchen. But fortunately she changed her mind when her husband Leonard came on board. - And my husband helped out a lot now since he retired. He's been retired now for a year but him helping me out is wonderful. - The hot sauce and chip, 25.26. - [Joe] Since the COVID pandemic, Helen's Bar Bq has been carry out only and business has been brisk. Now with so many regulars from the surrounding area, well, Helen knows what many will order as soon as they show up. - Thank you, sir. - Some of 'em do. And sometime I tell 'em look, I'm getting old, now y'all gotta help me out. - So anytime I'm in close to the area I always come to Helen's, so it's she does a great job. Her sauce is very unique and we really like her product. - [Joe] Over the years, Helen has filled several notebooks full of signatures and comments from happy customers literally from all over the world. I already love you Helen, guy from Dunbar, lady from Dunbar. - [Joe] This is what truly keeps Helen Turner going. Not so much the money or the notoriety. It's the joy of pleasing people with some of the best barbecue in the south and making new friends from places near and far. - Okay, all good to see you, thank you. - You know, it gimme the thrill 'cause I get to meet a lot of different people and I enjoy that. - Yeah, what you been up to? - [Customer] Always, now it's either red or. - It usually takes a great voice to become a singing star but it takes something more to become a singing legend. If you made the list of iconic singers, well, Patsy Cline would be right there on it. In our next story, Rob Wilds takes us to a Nashville museum that was built in her honor. - [Rob] Cheryl Desiree grew up in California and the winding road of life led her to Nashville where she's a songwriter and singer of traditional country music. She wound up here in part because of a record her grandmother had. Desiree fell in love with Patsy Cline's voice. - No one sounds like Patsy Cline. - [Rob] But if you're gonna sing in Nashville, probably need a Patsy song in your set list. ♪ Sweet dreams of you ♪ ♪ Every night ♪ ♪ I go through ♪ ♪ Why can't I forget the past ♪ ♪ Start loving someone new ♪ ♪ Instead of having ♪ ♪ Sweet dreams about you ♪ - [Rob] Until thousands of singers and want to be singers like Cheryl are influenced by Patsy Cline and she's got millions of fans, even though her career tragically ended more than half a century ago. But fortunately there's a place for all those fans and singers to see Patsy Cline as she walks. - There's just something about her voice. It's just so much more different than everything that's out there, especially today, not to knock anybody that's out to today, but it's just there's something about her voice that's just classic and it's timeless. - [Rob] Mario Munos is the general manager of the Patsy Cline Museum where visitors can get a glimpse of the everyday life of someone who became an icon. - Patsy's stage costumes are here. Many of which were made by her mother. The actual sewing machine that was used on those costumes is here also in the museum. A lot of rhinestones and fringe on some of the early costumes people seem to like. There's some handwritten letters here that are worth checking out. Patsy answered her own fan mail. So there's several women throughout and men, I guess, throughout the country that she corresponded with. Aside from the letters, I think some of the handwritten lyrics that are here because Patsy could not read sheet music and she did not know what key she's sang in. So she would write down the lyrics to learn the songs to what she would be doing in the studio. And she has the little notations on some of 'em. - [Rob] Along with some of the things Patsy Cline loved, you may be lucky enough to run into people she really loved like these visitors from France did. They got a personal encounter with Patsy's daughter, Julie Fudge. When her mama's life was tragically cut short in a plane crash, Julie was four years old, but she has her memories. - Having been in that position and then having people talk to you about her for the next 50 something years is a blessing that a lot of people don't get, really keeps her alive. - [Rob] The things in the museum are part of Julie's life in a middle class family with a mom who would achieve super stardom after her death, things like a salt and pepper shaker collection. - She was traveling and these were little souvenirs and some of them have little price tags or little markings on the bottom. They usually cost less than a dollar for the set. And this was a way to collect something and have something from her tours and from her travels. - [Rob] Or a refrigerator, a Norge running constantly since it was bought back in 1957. - It had to be running to come into the museum because if it's run that long, I'm not gonna mess with it now. And these are just normal things that were in my house my entire life, the chairs, the things hanging on the wall, the TV, they were all just a part of the furniture in my house as I grew up. And eventually dad would get something different and we would put this away because now it's a part of, almost like a part of history now. - [Rob] History and a notion of what might have been. Like this exhibit of stage costumes, designs drawn by Patsy shortly before her death. The dresses weren't made until the owners of the museum had them made 50 years later. - It's really nice to know that it's come to life. That something she had in mind did come to life afterwards. - [Rob] So many personal things here, you know, it's almost like Patsy is here. For instance, take this jukebox,. Gotta have a jukebox since Patsy Cline had the most popular jukebox song of all time. ♪ I'm crazy for feeling ♪ ♪ So lonely here ♪ - [Rob] Yeah, that's the one. Something a little crazy happened with this jukebox. - Then when they put the jukebox in, they were thinking they had to make a place on it for "Crazy." So they took the little tab out and they went off to make the little tab. In the meantime, they put up the mural of her standing by a jukebox when they came back and put the tab back in, it's the exact point that she's pointing at. And it had nothing to do with each other, it wasn't planned. ♪ Deep within my heart ♪ - [Rob] not planned, but destined to happen, maybe. Like Patsy's short, but powerful career. Still entertaining, moving, inspiring medians, like Cheryl Desiree, who doesn't really fully understand it. - But now I don't think there was ever anyone before or since that was able to capture the hearts the way Patsy did. It's just a timeless thing. ♪ That only he would know ♪ ♪ Still hears my broken song of love ♪ - A few years ago, Gretchen Bates went to a distillery in Woodbury that held some surprises. One surprise was the discovery of an unusual artist with an unusual name who shares the property. And he shared his love of a particular plant with us. - I'm an attached to 'em, I like 'em. I mean, I think that's the whole point. You know, you're an artist when you like what you make. - [Gretchen] Jai Sheronda has been an artist for most of his life. The walls of his cozy studio on Short Mountain are lined with a lifetime of drawings, paintings, and sculptures of all shapes and sizes. But the media that has Jai the most enthusiastic these days is... - I love you gourd. - You guessed it, - Gourds. - Gourds, gourding, gourds, gourds, gorgeous. Gourdism, it's an ism that I sort of embrace. I don't know what it is about gourds that have connected me to some kind of an ism but I've never stopped gourding since I started really, I just was drawn to it. You know, when I was 40 years old and someone said, you're gonna be making gourd lamps when you're 60, I'd be like, what? See, when I first started doing gourds, a friend had grown all these gourds and they looked horrible 'cause when gourd's dry they get covered in mold and they don't look like anything. And so I washed it, then there's this beautiful thing underneath the skin and I was like so impressed with how pretty the grain looked and I sort of cut off the top and I was like, oh my gosh, I made a vessel. And I sort of set it on the counter, and like somebody came in and said, how much is that? Like, I don't know. And I sold it like that day and I was like, you know, this is how I can make my fortune on weird gourds. - [Gretchen] While Jai was content making gourd vessels and sculptures for a while, his art took an unexpected turn during a trip to New Orleans. You might say it was a trip that set him on his path to enlightenment. - I just love going into junk shops and finding old lamps. And I started building lamps 'cause I think each lamp is a sculpture really. And then like eight years ago, somebody gave me some glass, stain glass and they said, thought maybe you could use it in. But putting the glass in the gourd was very strange for me 'cause it was a flat surface. Glass is flat and there's nothing flat about a gourd. And then somebody gave me a grinder, a glass grinder, and suddenly like my world changed because I could take a piece of glass with sharp edges and, you know, just grind it down and work away at the imperfections. You'll think that the glass grew in the gourd. - [Gretchen] It's not hard to imagine these beautiful pieces of glass grew in his gourds, each piece is so perfectly fitted. But even this seasoned gourdist hasn't managed to cultivate that crop yet. - It's been said that gourds thrive on neglect. Many growers plant them and forget them. That's not the case with Jai, he visits his gourds daily. - Plants are a big interest to me, I love to garden. I grow gourds but they're usually in a field and this was just fun, I was able to really study it. Ready? - Yep. Wow, it's heavy. - What's the bottom look like? It's all right? - oh, it's beautiful. Looks like an apple almost, you know. - The Cannon County Arts Center in Woodbury is where I first started showing my lamp. I've done shows there every like couple years. I've had like three big shows there in the last six years and they always have some of my lamps in the gift shop there. And at the Short Mountain distillery which is just around the corner, there's a new restaurant there that's a couple years old, it's called the Stillhouse Restaurant. And there's a place that shows off my lamps very nicely. There's nine of them up over the bar and it's kind of very hard to miss them. Every gourd has a story. This one I did when I had a close friend pass away a couple years ago, I call that In Memorium. This is Eye of the Spiral. Somebody wrote to me on Facebook, said my titles were like poetry. And I thought that was such a nice thing to say 'cause I spent a lot of time thinking about the titles and to me it, you know, I sort of sum ups what I thought about during the process. 'Cause, you know, these lamps with the top and bottom, they'll take, you know, three weeks. And I ive used the word magic a lot. I don't really know what that means, but I feel like there's magic in my gourds. - [Gretchen] Magic that shines a light on everyone that sees his gourd-geous lamps. - And every time I make a lamp, I'm thinking, is this what I wanna do? Is this what I wanna put out and, you know, the answer is pretty much yes. - Well that winds up this edition of "Tennessee Crossroads." Thanks for joining us. Say, did you know you can watch us anywhere anytime with the new PBS video app? Also, you can check out our website, tennesseecrossroads.org, follow us on Facebook and of course, join us here next week, see you then. - [Narrator] "Tennessee Crossroads" is made possible in part by 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. - [Narrator] You can't predict the future but you can count on Tennessee Tech always putting students first. Our faculty, staff, and students have shown strength, compassion, patience and kindness during these trying times. For us, it's personal. That's what you can count on at Tennessee Tech.
October 06, 2022
Season 36 | Episode 11
Miranda Cohen visits an historic country inn in Rutherford County. Joe Elmore samples the downhome goodness of a Brownsville bbq joint. Rob Wilds explores a Nashville museum that’s all about Patsy Cline. And Gretchen Bates meets a Woodbury man who makes art out of decorative fruit.