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- [Presenter] "Tennessee Crossroads" is made possible, in part, by. - [Phil] I'm Tennessee Tech President, Phil Oldham. Here in Cookeville, Tennessee's college town, we are bold, fearless, confident, and kind. Tech prepares students for careers by making everyone's experience personal. We call that, living wings up. Learn more at TNTech.edu. - This time, on "Tennessee Crossroads," we're heading to Memphis, at a one-of-a-kind car museum, full of high-revvin' memories. Then visit the middle-Tennessee home of a late, great queen of country music. And finally, savor the flavors of Chicago in Goodlettsville. Gonna be quite a show, this edition of "Tennessee Crossroads," and I'm sure glad you're joining us. In our first story, we visit a car museum in the town of Memphis. Well, not just any car museum. The Edge Motor Museum is dedicated to America's passion for cars that were fast and fun to drive. Well, you can find it just down the street from a legendary attraction. It's the undisputed birthplace of rock and roll. Nowadays, Sun Records Studio is a museum, devoted to the musical magic that defined an era. - We're 600 feet from Sun Records, all right? If you're gonna go there, I'm gonna assume that you're interested in '50s and '60s culture. Well, these are the cars from the era, that they're most famous for music. - [Joe] The Edge Motor Museum is a nonprofit, admission-free attraction that celebrates America's need for speed, from post-war, to the late '70s, featuring iconic cars that tell us a lot about the culture of their heyday. Immaculately preserved, all cars are either owned by the museum, or on loan from collectors. '59, right? - Mm-hm. - That's a good year. - That was a great year. - [Joe] Bob Watkins is a lifelong car guy who helps in obtaining and maintaining most of these prize rides. - You meet people over the years, and you share in a lot of the same interests, and I've worked on several of these cars for other people. And, for some reason, they actually trust me with 'em. - Now, in case you're wondering what a 1950 MG-TD is doing here in the midst of all these American cars, there's a good reason. You see, back during World War II, when American soldiers were exposed to European sports cars, well, that started a craze of American cars that were fast and fun to drive. - That MG, it serves as just an inspiration point for what you see over the next 30 years. - Among American sports cars, the 1949 Crosley Hotshot is considered the first. It was a race-ready little ride, with a meager 26-horsepower engine. They were raced around the country before production ceased in 1952. In 1951, Earl Madman Muntz, a self-taught engineer and off-the-wall salesman, began production of the Muntz Jet, an unmistakable beauty, with big power, and a big price. It was also a big flop, despite its popularity among movie stars. Well, such as Doris Day, who was the former owner of this one. One of the rarest cars on the floor is this Kaiser Darrin. Now, it was an expensive car for 1954, and only in production for a year. That, despite having a beautiful design and some innovative features. The most outstanding thing about this car, to me, is the way the doors open. - Yeah, there's nothing else, I don't think, ever has had doors like this. So, they just slide into the front fenders. - [Joe] And now it's locked. - [Bob] And they're very, very easy to work. Very trouble-free, and it looks great, but it's really kinda awkward to get into. - Wow, I don't think I can do it. I sure can't get out. Executive Director, Richard Vining's favorite car is the one named after a powerful mythical creature, the Thunderbird. - [Richard] You wouldn't have a Corvette today, if it wasn't for the Thunderbird. Corvette came out first. That car was terrible, and I think GM would've just given up on the Corvette experiment, except for right down the street, Ford's pushing out Thunderbirds that were faster, better built, had more options. - [Joe] Bob, on the other hand, is a dyed-in-the-wool Studebaker buff. This 1963 Avanti was supposed to save the company brand, although lack of money and production faux pas got in the way. - One of the designers told me once, "We built that car, designed it, and built it, for less money than General Motors spends on a door handle. - [Joe] During the 1960s, with the exception of Corvettes, like this split-window Sting Ray, and the AMX Javelin, well, two-seat sports cars kinda lost favor in America. However, a legion of performance, or muscle cars, came along just in time to feed that need for speed. The 1969 Ford Talladega was basically a street-legal race car, and champion of numerous NASCAR events. Or what about the Dodge Challenger R/T, or the Mustang Boss 302? - I don't think that car has ever lost a show. So, a lot of the cars in here are national first place winners. We're kinda picky. - [Joe] Visitors can take self-guided tours, while friendly, informed docents are always on hand to help. In this place, the story is the same, but the presentation will vary. - We rotate in and out within this theme, okay? And so, cars will be here for three months, six months. Others will be here for up to a year, and we'll do whatever it is to keep 'em happy. If someone can come in here, and maybe they're not super excited about going through the American Speed Exhibit, and we can make a car fan out of 'em, I feel really good about that. - We bring you this next story in honor of a recently-departed music icon. It all started when a coal miner's daughter bought a small country town, called it home, and then invited fans to come visit. Laura Faber takes us on a tour of Loretta Lynn's Ranch. Oh, by the way, we produced this story just before the star's passing. ♪ 'Cause you ain't woman enough to take my man ♪ - [Laura] She is one of the original queens of country music. 24 number one hits, 11 number one albums. Loretta Lynn is a music icon. She also owns a town, which has become one of the top tourist attractions in Tennessee. - It's a three-part business, kind of all mashed in together, to make one unique, giant business here in rural middle Tennessee. We're a campground, an event center, and a tourist attraction, all based around Loretta Lynn. - [Laura] Anthony Brutto is the general manager of the Loretta Lynn Ranch, which spans more than 3,000 acres in Humphreys County. - I've always viewed the Ranch as this event venue, this unique place, that we can do all sorts of different things. We are at the 40th year for the Amateur National Motocross Championship. We are at the 38th year of our horseback week-long trail rides. We're at the 20th year of the MTDR motorcycle off-road rides. The Jeep event that just happened, 1200 Jeeps and 3500 people. They come out, and they get to enjoy the property, like I did, like our family did, and exactly how Meemaw wants it to happen. - [Laura] Yep, Anthony called Loretta Lynn, Meemaw. He is her grandson. - For me, Loretta Lynn, there are two different versions of Loretta Lynn. They're the same, but they're also different. I have Loretta Lynn as a grandmother. She is just like everybody else's grandmother. When I got in trouble, I would get spanked with the wooden spoon, fly swat, or whatever was within arm's reach. But when it comes to Loretta Lynn as a stage performer, she is one of the most awarded ladies in country music. She is, I mean, she's won pretty much every award that you can, been nominated for every award that there is. She has everything from Grammys to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She still, to this day, is rocking out. She's got six decades of music under her belt. She's got 60 studio albums. - [Laura] The 18,000-square-foot museum is full of clues about Loretta's life, family photos, her many awards, her gorgeous dresses. Some weigh 30 pounds. You can even walk through her tour bus. - All right, so this was the original bus of my grandmother, of Loretta Lynn. They say that there's about 3 million miles on this bus. - Tayla Lynn is also one of Loretta Lynn's grandchildren. An entertainer and Ranch ambassador, she tours with Conway Twitty's grandson, performing many of the duo's songs. - I think that one of the most important things, for me in my life, is to preserve the legacy of Loretta Lynn, of my grandmother. We have the museum here, that, she was a hoarder for a really long time, and Tim Cobb, who is her right hand, has done such a beautiful job with putting this museum together, and preserving that. She talks about how the whole reason they have the Ranch is for the fans, is for the people, is so that her music can live on. And not just her music, but what she's done as a woman, as an entertainer, in women's rights, in just a movement as a truth teller. So, absolutely, it's one of my most important journeys. - [Laura] Loretta has since moved out of the grand plantation home, into a smaller house still on the property, but it's changed very little from when she did live there. - Now, with Mooney's outfit, you see the Wranglers, the work shirt, and the cowboy hat, that's what you'd have seen that man in, any given day. - [Laura] From the avocado-green bathroom, to the kitchen where her old Crisco commercials were filmed, to her extensive collections. - [Tour Guide] I'm gonna tell you real quick, y'all, she loved her Avon lady, but not near as much as her Avon lady loved her. - [Laura] The boots on the floor in her bedroom were actually worn by Mooney when they visited the White House. Loretta Lynn's Ranch is a special destination created for all of us, combining the outdoor beauty and history of small town Tennessee, and a snapshot of a superstar's well-lived life. - My job is to preserve the legacy of Loretta Lynn Ranch. It's really a blessing and an honor. - I feel so blessed to be able to be the face of sort of, of Meemaw's, to be able to step onto her social media, to step on the Ranch's social media, to say, "Hi, I'm the host, welcome to our Ranch." That is not something that I take for granted, or that I don't thank God for every day, that I get to be out here, and stand up and say, "God, this is my family's Ranch, and we welcome you, and we love you, and isn't Meemaw awesome?" - Yeah, Meemaw was an awesome person, indeed. We wanted to pay tribute to the legendary Loretta Lynn with that segment we produced, I guess, back in 2021. We take great pride in the stories we share with you, and we hope you enjoy them enough to keep them coming with your support. Well, I'm joined now by NPT President and CEO, and my friend, Becky Magura, and we're here to explain how important that support is. - Thanks so much, Joe. Folks, he's absolutely right. We simply can't do it without you. This is the final week of our campaign, and we're still a long way from our goal of the 500 contributions needed to keep "Crossroads" on the air, during NPT's March membership drive. So please show Joe, and the entire crew, that you value this great program. If you haven't pledged yet, please help us reach our goal. And if you have, well, we thank you. - Yes, thank you to everyone who's pitched in, and thank you in advance to the loyal viewers who will help us reach our goal. A contribution at any amount will help us keep us on the air next month, and ensure that we can keep bringing great stories to you from across the state. How long have you been a "Crossroads" viewer? One year, 10 years? How 'bout 36 years? Think of all the memories that we've made together. We wanna keep making memories too, don't you? Well, the clock is ticking, but I know we can count on you. Please call the number on your screen, or you can pledge online at TennesseeCrossroads.org/donate. And when you do, we got several ways to say thank you. - [Fundraiser] You can help keep "Crossroads" traveling with a financial gift that's just right for you. Donate at any amount, and you'll receive a "Tennessee Crossroads" official travel sticker. At $60 a year, or $5 a month, we'll thank you with this "Tennessee Crossroads" baseball cap. At the $72 level, or $6 a month, you can show your support with this polyester blend, short-sleeve t-shirt. Finally, we'd love to see you at our inaugural whiskey tasting on Saturday, February 25th at NPT. Visit the studios of "Tennessee Crossroads," meet the crew, and sample the best spirits from across the state. Tickets are $100, or 125 for the VIP package, which includes a "Crossroads" hat and t-shirt. Visit WNPT.org/events for details. And thank you for helping to keep "Crossroads" traveling. - We are so proud that you have made "Tennessee Crossroads" one of the most watched locally-produced programs in the entire PBS system. We appreciate your loyalty, and we love being able to count on you as members of the "Crossroads" family. You keep Joe and the crew on the road with your generous financial support. And later this month, Joe and the crew will be able to tell you, in person, just how much we appreciate you, at an exciting event, right here at NPT. - [Fundraiser] You're invited to "Tennessee Crossroads" inaugural whiskey tasting, February 25th, 2023, showcasing some of the best whiskey producers from Tennessee. Each distillery will feature two to three products, with many of them hard to find. For tickets, use your phone to scan the QR code on your screen, or go to WNPT.org/events, for more information. - We would love to have you attend the tasting, and meet the "Crossroads" crew, on Saturday, February 25th. For ticket information, and other details, please visit our website at WNPT.org/events. Now, Joe, that's gonna be a lot of fun. - Oh, absolutely, Becky. I'm looking forward to it. - Me too. - Regardless of how you choose to support "Crossroads," you can take pride in the fact that you're helping provide quality family-friendly entertainment for the whole volunteer state. Show that volunteer spirit now by calling the number on your screen, or going online at TennesseeCrossroads.org/donate. You've helped "Crossroads" become what it is today. And together, we can continue to provide the stories you love. - We're so thankful for loyal viewers like you. We constantly receive comments telling us how much you love this show. And your encouragement inspires us to keep searching for the best of Tennessee. And right now, well, we need your support to keep bringing you stories, from the Mississippi to the Smokies. Please pledge now, and thank you. - How long have you been a "Crossroads" viewer? Do you have any special favorite memories? Well, here are a few of mine. We came here today for the annual Possum Derby. The store is located right on Main Street in Milton. Of course, it's the only street in Milton. - Tennessee has some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, and there's one place in particular that's exceptionally breathtaking, the 65-mile-long Center Hill Lake. - Well, I was kinda like, "What? Fireballs? What are you talking about?" It took me about an hour to pick 'em up and throw 'em. - [Rob] What'd you like about it? - [Child] Well, the thrill of throwing it. - [Rob] What's fun about that? - It's on fire. - Tennessee can be described in many ways, but I like to think of her as rolling streams, beautiful flowers, peaceful meadows, majestic peaks, laughter, music, the aroma of country ham, sizzling in a skillet, and of people who are generous, warm, friendly, caring, and just plain good neighbors. We've been bringing you stories from across the state for 36 years. Hey, let's make it another 36. I know we can count on you to help us reach our goal. Please call the number on your screen, or go online, at TennesseeCrossroads.org/donate, thanks. - One of the things I love about "Crossroads" is how involved the viewers are, from sharing story ideas, to going out to visit the places featured on the show. "Tennessee Crossroads" has become a trusted guide for new places to explore, and people to meet. - That's true, time and time again, after we air a story, we'll get emails from folks featured that say they saw a huge jump in visitors after the story ran. I love that we get to help local businesses and artists tell their story. But you know what? We can't do it without you. You make this show what it is. - That's right, Joe, and I hope you'll take this opportunity to support the show that you've helped make possible, with a contribution that is comfortable for you. We have lots of fun ways to say thanks. So call the number on your screen, or go online, to TennesseeCrossroads.org/donate, and thank you so much. All right, Joe, for the last time in this Keep "Crossroads" Traveling campaign, where are we headed next? - Well, how 'bout Chicago? - Chicago? - Yeah, well, as close as you can get, in Tennessee, that is. Miranda Cohen found this Goodlettsville restaurant that serves up culinary favorites from the Windy City. And you know what? Folks are literally eating it up. - [Tom] Welcome to Campione's. - I need to get my Chicago fix. I need an Italian beef, - All right. - hot and wet, please. - [Tom] You've done this before. - [Restaurant Patron] Oh yeah. - Hi, I'm Tom Shukas. You're at Campione's Taste of Chicago in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. - [Miranda] That's right, he said Taste of Chicago. The Bulls, the Bears, the Sox, you name it. If it hails from the Windy City, they've got it at Campione's. - It started in 2008. A bunch of Chicago transplants moved down here, and really started missing a taste of home. And the more they looked, they just couldn't find what we grew up eating, and what we wanted to eat. - [Miranda] In fact, that is how Tom Shookus and his family got here. He grew up on the corner of Van Buren and Halstead, just steps away from where famous Chicago-style Italian beef originated. - [Tom] What it ultimately is, is paper-thin cuttings of roast beef, that is seasoned, and we call it gravy, but it's, you cook it together at 165 degrees for a few hours, really let that beef absorb that juice, you take a nice fresh piece of Italian bread, you pile the beef on, and you top with giardiniera, or green sweet peppers, to your liking. Gives it that little spicy pop. The bread, though, is what really makes it, 'cause that sandwich is wet, and it's supposed to be. It's all that flavor is locked in that juice, and the bread just absorbs it. - [Miranda] And Chicago food even has its own lingo. - Gravy-wise, we can do it regular, which means the corners of the sandwich are dipped, wet is a full baptism in and out, or we can put the juice on the side. - We're doing wet. - Wet? You've done this before. - [Miranda] Luckily, Tom and the friendly staff at Campione's Taste of Chicago are eager and willing to help you catch on. - Can't go wrong with the fries. - [Miranda] There is even an authentic correct stance, they'll help you learn, to enjoy your savory Chicago treat. - You gotta eat it with the Chicago Lean, though, because it's an affair. You gotta have your elbows on the table, lean forward. You gotta make sure the juice stays off you. And that's why a lot of the places in Chicago, there's counters and foot rails, so you can really get that lean going, and eat your sandwich. - This is my favorite sandwich, by far. I get it with the mild and the hot peppers, so I kinda get a sweet and a spicy. It's just something different. - [Miranda] And if you're talking Chicago, and they are, you have to try an authentic Chicago dog. And what you get on the dog is just as important as what you leave off. - I grew up thinking there was only one type of hotdog, which was the Chicago dog. It's just a hotdog run through the garden. It's got relish on it, tomatoes on it, chopped onions, our famous neon green relish, top it off with sports peppers. The most important thing about a Chicago dog is never ketchup. Never ever put ketchup on a hotdog. A little Chicago attitude. We like talking about sports, we like giving the customers a little bit of a hard time. When that customer comes in and wants ketchup on their hotdog, and we're like, "No," we catch them off guard sometimes. I mean, we've got bottles down there. If they wanna ruin the hotdog themselves, they can. We just can't participate in it. We get a lot of Chicagoans that come in here, and it's great. I mean, this almost feels like home, or a second home to them. - It's one of the only places around here that you can get a Chicago dog. So, and this is a true Chicago dog. So, I'm from the north, and there is nothing better. It has the poppy seeds on it, it has the correct relish, the sweet peppers, and the pickles. It doesn't get any better. - [Tom] Food has such emotion, and they're so happy to find it. And they come in here, and just watching 'em take that first bite of food, and seeing the expression on their face, I've had more than one big guy come up to me and just bear hug me at the end of the meal. A lot of what you see here is inspired by the family recipes, the idea of sitting around the dinner table together, and just that wholesome craving that we all have for good food and good company. It's funny, you take a bite of a hotdog, you remember that little league game you went to with Dad. You have a pasta dish that reminds you of what grandma used to make, and there's such a connection that's made that way. - Talk about having a connection to the community. One of the regulars is actually a retired Chicago police officer. He walked the beat on the south side for more than 30 years. When he decided to retire his beloved uniform jacket, he knew the perfect place for it. - The fact that he wanted us to have it, and he wanted us to hang it on a wall, and knowing how much it meant to him, the fact that he was willing to bestow us with it, it just meant a lot. I mean, it really helps you understand the impact that you can have on the customers, and likewise, the impact the customers can have on you. - [Miranda] From the hearty pastas, brats, dogs, and savory sandwiches, to the northern gravy, it is Midwestern hospitality at its finest, all served with a smile, and a sense of community, that Tom Shookus and his family have fully embraced. - [Tom] To be able to be part of this community, to have my kids working in the restaurant, my wife helping me in the kitchen, it just, we feel incredibly lucky. We try to provide a good meal, that is at a right price point, to keep them coming back, but we're here because of the community. - Well, before we say goodbye, here's the little checklist for you. First, check out that PBS video app. Check out our website, TennesseeCrossroads.org, and follow us on Facebook. Oh, and I'll see ya next week. - [Presenter] "Tennessee Crossroads" is made possible, in part, by. - [Phil] I'm Tennessee Tech President, Phil Oldham. Here in Cookeville, Tennessee's college town, we are bold, fearless, confident, and kind. Tech prepares students for careers by making everyone's experience personal. We call that, living wings up. Learn more at TNTech.edu.
February 09, 2023
Season 36 | Episode 25
Joe Elmore heads to Memphis and a one-of-kind car museum full of high-revin’ retro memories. Laura Faber visits the Middle Tennessee home of the late, great queen of country music. And Miranda Cohen savors the flavors of Chicago in Goodlettsville.