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- [Narrator] "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. - [Narrator] Averitt's Tennessee roots run deep. They've been delivering logistics solutions here for over 50 years. And though Averitt's reach now circles the globe, the volunteer state will always be home. More at Averitt.com. - This time on "Tennessee Crossroads," we'll see what's brewing in Eagleville at a place called Grindstone Cowboy. Then, meet a determined and talented homeless artist in Nashville. We'll explore a 50 acre B & B wonderland in Springfield. And finally, visit a Museum of Education History in Pleasant Hill. Hi everybody, I'm Joe Elmore. That's the lineup for this edition of "Tennessee Crossroads." Sure glad to have you. With a name like Joe, you'd think a person would know a thing or two about good coffee, right? Well, so does Tammi Arender. She found a java joint in Rutherford County that's off the beaten path, but has become popular thanks to its menu, its music, and of course, its catchy name. - The very beginning was the name. You know, I actually, I heard someone say Rhinestone Cowboy, but when I heard it, my third ear heard grindstone. I said, "Well, that'd be a great name for a coffee shop." And then, you know, as much as I travel, I never go to the main coffee shops, I'm not gonna name any names, but I always was just intrigued by them. - [Tammi] Grindstone Cowboy is the creation of country crooner Craig Campbell. Since he and his wife Mindy live in the tiny town of Eagleville, population 804, they knew they wanted it located in the middle of this little map dot. Well, at first, Mindy wasn't sure she wanted it at all. She laid out her criteria for Craig. - I did tell him, I said, "You find a location in Eagleville, "you find it half a mile away from my house, "it has to have a drive-through "and we have to own the building." And I said, "You give me those," and I said, "I'm in." - [Tammi] So this building in downtown Eagleville became available, and they went to work on renovating, and Mindy set her mind to designing the cowboy decor. - [Mindy] So I'm originally from Colorado and I grew up on a ranch, and I lived in a one-story log cabin, so I only know rustic ranch. So that was my style. So we just kind of went with what the building was like, like, our wall is the original wall, and we just kinda stripped it down to what it originally was. And yeah, and then I just pulled in my wagon wheels and my cow hide rugs and just made it feel more rustic. - Her upbringing was very ranch style, very rustic. Her family raised elk and buffalo and trained race horses growing up. So a lot of this is outta her brain. I had a couple of things she let me have, the cowboy sign was mine, the hallway to the bathroom was mine, the stage and the sound system is some of my touches. But for the main, like, all the colors and the leather and the barn wood and the tin, that's all her. - [Tammi] So it's vintage vibe of old coffee grinders on the wall and wagon wheels that welcome each visitor give it a friendly family vintage vibe while taking you back in time. - [Craig] The vibe, you bring up the vibe. That was the one thing we had control over. We couldn't control the how good the food was gonna be, we couldn't control how good the coffee was gonna be, except for putting our heart and soul in it, but the one thing we knew how to do was create a cool spot, a good space, a vibey space. We wanted you to feel like you had been here 1,000 times the first time you walk in, we wanted you to feel at home. We wanted it to just have that, and I feel like we nailed that. - I think sometimes coffee shops get a reputation of being very trendy and uppity, and we wanted it to be more of your like, good old boy coffee shop, just kind of feel like family. And so like, I have two girls and all their friends come in. We have a Bible study, we have two Bible studies, we have a bunch of just groups that come together. And that's basically what I wanted. I wanted people to work outta here, you know, get a break from the house and just come hang out. - So when you first walk in the door, you see this black floor, worn, with a lot of character. There is a reason for that. It came from the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Some of the biggest names in music and the Broadway stage have performed on these very planks and wowed the huge crowds. Now the crowds are much smaller, but the entertainment is still crowd pleasing. Often, Craig will perform, but he also invites his musical friends to stop by. ♪ Just outside of town ♪ - [Tammi] On this night, it's Ty Herndon. For the Campbells, the music is as important as the menu. - I always wanted just a place to play for myself, my wife. But as we've gotten older and we have kids that are also showing signs of wanting to be in the music business, or not necessarily the music business, they love singing, this was important, having the stage, so that they could call it theirs. And they didn't have to ask permission to play. They can just play and sing whenever they wanted to and always have an audience. - [Tammi] Craig has had nearly a dozen songs on the country charts, but his hits today are on the menu board, from the jalapeno pimento cheese to the cowgirl salad, or the Lucky Charms cake. This kitchen stays busy, and occasionally, even Craig is put to work in the kitchen. And don't forget about the coffee, from just drip to Outlaw Lattes, they can craft a cup of caffeine to your liking. They partner with the Frothy Monkey, just down the road in Franklin, to get their java. And Mindy didn't have a restaurant background, so she had to do her research to get this business off the ground. - [Mindy] I mean, I drink my coffee black, so I don't even go to any coffee shops, drink fancy lattes, nothing like that. So I just kind of Googled and then I met a lady at our church and she owned a coffee shop in Shelbyville and she let me shadow her for a couple weeks. So that really kind of eased my mind so I could figure out a little bit of how to do it. And then I just researched a lot and asked a lot of questions. - [Tammi] So it's not likely you'll see a rhinestone cowboy in this little java joint in rural Rutherford County, but you will hear some good music and get a great cup of coffee. Or is it a fabulous meal and a cup of joe? - We thought we were opening a coffee shop that offered food, which we actually ended up opening a restaurant that serves really good coffee. - Thanks, Tammi. Making a living doing what you love is a serious challenge for a lot of Tennessee artists. Well, some face more obstacles than you might imagine. Edwin Lockridge knows this firsthand. This is a story of a mixed media artist who's encountered more than a share of roadblocks on his journey to success. - I am a multi media artist, mixed media artist. Anything that I can find, I put in art. Found objects I find along highways and streets, alleys, wherever I can find stuff interesting, I'll pick it up and make art out of it. - [Narrator] Edwin Lockridge is a natural-born artist who spent more than 50 years honing and perfecting his creative talent. A talent he says was blossoming even as a baby. - My father went to Tennessee State and studied art, and my parents have actual folk shows of me as a baby in a crib with pen and pencil, painting and drawing. - [Narrator] In the many years that followed, Edwin experienced the usual ups and downs of struggling artists. However, since the onset of COVID, he's endured an especially painful burden, homelessness. - [Interviewer] So how do you get by then? - Faith. It hit me especially hard because not a whole lot of family members left and mother and father, Alzheimer's, yeah. It was pretty rough on me. - [Narrator] Fortunately, Edwin discovered a place called Daybreak Arts. It's a local nonprofit that creates artistic and economic opportunities for those experiencing homelessness. Nicole Minyard is Executive Director. - We have people who have gone to art school and we have people who are just self-taught artists and they all come together with this common experience of homelessness and create really beautiful art together. - [Narrator] With his eye-catching art and infectious personality, Edwin quickly became one of Daybreak's favorite members. - [Nicole] And I just remember being so excited by his creativity and talent. He was so resourceful and would take so many unique materials to create so many inspiring things. - [Narrator] Speaking of resourceful, one day when he was out of canvas and money, he discovered a rather creative and cost-free substitute. - Actually, when I ran out of canvases and I could not afford them, and I saw the first bumper, and that actually inspired me. And whenever I went out of money, out of canvases, I go looking for bumpers. - [Narrator] Later on, his work was part of an exhibit of Daybreak artists at Belle Meade United Methodist Church. Pastor Steve Stone was delighted when Edwin came back for more. - He came back later and did another showing prior to COVID, and then he came back again. He's a regular artist for us, he's a friend of mine, and we've just gotten to know one another and love each other and it's a good thing. - [Narrator] Since then, Edwin's displayed his works at numerous other churches and private galleries. Also, his talent is gradually catching the eyes of art lovers and potential buyers. To his legion of friends and admirers, it couldn't happen to a nicer, talented guy. - [Steve] He works really hard to do art and to partner with Daybreak Art and do a lot of good things. And so he's working really hard doing his thing. He's an amazing artist. - Everyone in our collective loves Edwin. They definitely, he has a spirit that is just so kind and makes you feel so special and welcomed. And I think that, you know, our staff feels that, our board feels that, customers feel that, but most importantly, our artists feel that. - While Edwin is still technically homeless, he's far from hopeless. The attention for his art is growing, well, just like the passion he has for creating it. - Well, you have start off with a empty canvas, a blank canvas, and make something beautiful out of it. Get somebody to admire it, which could possibly change the world. That for me, is a blessing. - Bed and breakfasts are all the rage these days, but you'd be hard pressed to find one that compares to our next story. Brandon Cohen met a Springfield lady who has not one, but 10 unique rentals, covering 50 acres. It's a B & B wonderland called Kelly's Jubilee. - [Miranda] Kelly Marie is living her dream, all while helping others have their sweetest dreams at her bed and breakfast called Kelly's Jubilee in Springfield, Tennessee. - Well, I bought my first house when I was 18, and I think I've just always really loved beautiful things, or you know, just having an eye for beautiful things, nature, trees, plants, fabrics, and I just started fixing up houses and selling them. - [Miranda] Now this California girl is turning more than 50 acres, tucked away in Robertson County, into a traveler's paradise. - I always wanted to have a bed and breakfast, but when I was young, I didn't think it would happen, I didn't know how that could happen. - [Miranda] But before she could start her own business, she felt she needed some real-life experiences and adventures, including exotic travels, exposure to other cultures, and a prestigious education from a world-renowned culinary school in Paris. - When I was 20, I went to the Cordon Bleu Cooking School and I studied in 28 countries, food and leisure and travel, and I mean, I loved traveling and seeing like, beautiful beds and beautiful architecture. - [Miranda] Kelly's adventurous spirit eventually took her to more than 60 countries. But in the back of her mind, she always wanted to put down roots in The Volunteer State. - And we would come to Tennessee and look at farms and just never found really the right fit. - [Miranda] Kelly and her daughter were actually living in Spain when an eclectic property, made up of a one-time beverage container museum, an old general store, and a few other unique structures on Old New Cut Road in Springfield came on the market. - I was just kind of in a rut. My friend had sent me a video of this property, and so it was like a 28 hour flight. I flew in and came and looked at it and said, "Yeah, this is it, this is the place." That must have been a God thing, because it was like I had seen, you know, I've been to 60 countries, I've traveled all over the world, I've seen a lot of beautiful things, that is so unique, and it could be wonderful, you know, it could just be fabulous. - [Miranda] But before it could get to fabulous, Kelly and her small team of friends and family had to get to work. - When we got here, it was in very bad disrepair. So it's taken us two years just to get at this point. - [Miranda] Just 45 minutes from Nashville, Kelly's Jubilee is made up of 10 very unique rental units, each with its own story, and each offers guests a very different experience. - [Kelly] And we have a tree house, which is built in a tree. This is the entrance to the tree house. - This is the tree house? - Yeah. It was my favorite space that overlooks the creek and the jacuzzi, and it's just a really warm space. It's pretty much booked every night. It's got plywood floors, I mean, it's very rustic, and people just love it. - [Miranda] And if you need a little more space, there's the luxurious Treehouse Mansion. - So we have a huge area that's next to the Treehouse, and we call it the Treehouse Mansion. And so there's three stories. We have a lot of bachelorette parties, we have bachelor parties, we have family reunions, we have large groups that will rent that whole space. - [Miranda] And for the hardcore history buff, an authentic Civil War cabin is sure to give you a true taste of the late 1800s without any modern amenities. - We have a Civil War era cabin. There's very minimal electricity, no running, there is a water faucet, but there's no toilet. We put a Port-A-Potty out there. And there's a fireplace, we actually just put a heater in. It's very rustic, just minimal. A lot of people really like to just get off grid. It's a beautiful spot. It's right on the creek and it's amazingly beautiful. - [Miranda] From a spacious modern suite that was once an old general store- - We have the picture of when it was a general store, and so now, it's a rental. They took it apart and they put it all back together. And then we went in and we just refurbished it and made it a living space. - [Miranda] To a sturdy structure that was actually ordered and assembled from a catalog. - And then we also have the original homestead, the log cabin that we rent, the first one that was built. I think it was a Sears kit, the log cabin. And so it's probably the best built building here. It's the oldest one. It's all logs put together and it's really beautiful. It's got three bedrooms. - [Miranda] When was that built? How old is that? - I think it was built in the 50s. - [Miranda] But perhaps the most original structure on the property, and one of the most sought after is the nautical wonder known as the Arc. - It's originally built to store animals, stuffed animals. It's a really unique space, and we put in a private jacuzzi so that people can just sit out there and look at the stars and it has beautiful hickory floors. - It's beautiful, you don't wanna go home. It's peaceful. Everybody is great. The beds are so comfortable. It's got beautiful views, too. - [Miranda] No matter which accommodation her guests choose, Kelly Marie guarantees they will all have a highly individualized experience, and it will be unforgettable. - But Kelly gives it a real personalized touch. You can really feel her warmth, and I mean, she gets involved. A lot of places I go, you never meet the owner. So I mean, it's those personal touches. - I always ask people to tell me the names, like, if they're coming with their spouse or their friend, or their mother, their names, and then I write a card to them. I ask if it's any special occasion, birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, whatever, and we decorate for each occasion. If it's a birthday, we put up streamers and cards and cake, I make cakes, and flowers and we put things on the bed. I think initially, it's staying in a peculiar place. Staying in a tree house, initially, that's what the draw is. People are always commenting that they never expected it to be like this. And to come someplace beautiful and to be nurtured and loved and just pampered, this property is a gift from God. So I think that there's a bigger plan, and I don't necessarily know all that it is, I just know that I want to be a blessing to people and I wanna be able to let people come and experience it. - Thank you much, Miranda. You know, we take public education for granted nowadays, but that wasn't the case back in the 1880s. Thanks to the efforts of Northern Missionaries, Pleasant Hill Academy became one of the few educational bright spots in Tennessee. Ed Jones toured one of the school's original buildings which is now a museum, one that pays tribute to life and learning in the plateau about 140 years ago. - [Ed] In the sleepy hamlet of Pleasant Hill, just across Main Street from the elementary school, stands Pioneer Hall, the last remnant of Pleasant Hill Academy, the first real school this area ever had. - The American Missionary Association, after the Civil War, turned their attention to education of mountain children and American Indians. They established over 500 institutions. - Now I'm taking you over here, it's a boy's dorm. This is made for two and one desk, and there's no closet, because they didn't have that much clothes. There were some hangers on the back wall, and that's basically all they had was their clothes that they hung up there. - [Ed] The only time students walk the creaky hardwood floors these days is on field trips, to learn about simpler times and a once grand educational institution built by a man on a mission. Sharon Weible is curator at Pioneer Hall Museum. - The AMA sent the Reverend Benjamin Dodge, a congregational minister from New Hampshire, to come to Pleasant Hill to establish a school and a church. He was known affectionately as Father Dodge. He came with his wife, Phoebe, and his daughter, Emma, and they lived here for the rest of their lives. The first building that Father Dodge constructed was the academy building across the street from Pioneer Hall Museum. The second building was this building, Pioneer Hall, which opened as a dormitory in 1889. The school accepted boys and girls, and any age, and many of the students who came were older than what we might think of as grade school and high school students, but it was their chance to get an education. - [Ed] And what an education it was. The AMA employed teachers from the finest schools across the country to share their knowledge with the children of the Cumberlands. - The Academy had an excellent reputation academically. Students could go from the academy to college at the University of Tennessee or to Berea College. They were very well-educated in a classical, traditional education, but because of the work program, they also learned life skills. We move into an area upstairs that we call Life on the Cumberland Plateau, and that includes a kitchen and a general store, and artifacts from the farm and the home. - [Ed] Artifacts that bring back memories for many visitors. - I'm loving it, I'm loving it. All the antiques, the things that I see that I've used during my lifetime with my parents and grandparents, I don't want this history to be lost to our children. You need to know your history, you need to know your roots. - I hope that visitors take away a sense of the creativity and the courage and the hard work that was needed for people to flourish here. - Thanks, Ed, and thank you, folks, for joining us. Hey, before we go, I wanna remind you again about that PBS video app, where you can watch your favorite shows anywhere, anytime. Oh, and check out our website, of course, tennesseecrossroads.org. Follow us on Facebook. Oh, and join us next week. See you then. - [Announcer] "Tennessee Crossroads" is made possible in part by- - 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. - [Announcer] Averitt's Tennessee roots run deep. They've been delivering logistics solutions here for over 50 years. And though Averitt's reach now circles the globe, the volunteer state will always be home. More at Averitt.com.
June 22, 2023
Season 36 | Episode 39
Tammi Arender finds out what’s brewing in Eagleville at a place called Grindstone Cowboy. Joe Elmore meets a talented and determined homeless artist in Nashville. Miranda Cohen explores a 50-acre B&B wonderland in Springfield. And Ed Jones visits a museum of education history in Pleasant Hill.