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- [Announcer] Tennessee Crossroads is made possible in part by... - I'm Tennessee Tech President Phil Oldham. Here in Cookville, 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 Averitts' reach now circles the globe, the volunteer state will always be home. More at averitt.com. - [Announcer] Discover Tennessee trails and byways. Discover Tennessee's adventure, cuisine, history, and more made in Tennessee experiences showcased among these 16 driving trails. More at TNtrailsandbyways.com. - [Joe Elmore] This time on Tennessee Crossroads, we'll discover why Papa Boudreaux's is drawing hungry crowds to Santa Fe. Then attend a birdwatching party near Knoxville. We'll discover a manual typewriter revival in Goodlettsville. and meet a Jackson man who turns fruit into eye-catching art. That's a lineup for this edition of Tennessee Crossroads, everyone. I'm Joe Elmore, sure glad to have you. For true lovers of Cajun and Creole cuisine, it can be hard to find restaurants that offer truly authentic dishes, that is when you're not in the bayou. Laura Faber found a little place in Santa Fe, Tennessee that truly lets the good times roll. - [Laura] In any tiny Tennessee town, there is a good chance Papa probably knows best. For this Papa in Santa Fe, he definitely knows best when it comes to Cajun cooking. - I would not put anything on that menu that I would not personally eat. - [Laura] Papa Boudreaux has cooked his own recipes of authentic Cajun and Creole dishes straight from New Orleans since 2004. - I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, not far from the French Quarter. Right there in the French Cajun District of the marketplace. - [Laura] Papa bought this tiny, cinder block building near his home, promptly painted it LSU gold, and hasn't changed much since the beginning. A bit of Fat City on Fly Road in Murray County. - I used to have a sign on the wall that says "On 1894 on this site, nothing's happened." - And I have a new sign going up underneath it. It's gonna say, "It is now the 21st century and still nothing's happened." - Found myself having a knack for it and I always wanted a restaurant. And lo and behold, here we are. - [Laura] In fact, it was a failed experience at a Nashville restaurant that claimed to serve gumbo that inspired Papa. - We used to have a map of Louisiana and I drew a big red line across, right above New Orleans. And I said, "Anything below that line is authentic type of Cajun and Creole cooking." Anything above that, well, you're taking a chance. - [Laura] According to Papa, gumbo is the true test of a Cajun restaurant. He knew he could do better. The place shouts LSU and Louisiana. They can squeeze in 48 guests and every seat is usually full. - [Caller] A table for two, 7:45. - Your name? - [Laura] Papa's Catering business has grown so much, the restaurant is only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for dinner, and you must have a reservation. - [Caller] I see that you're opening at four. Do I need reservations? - You can't get in without one. - [Laura] It used to be first come first serve until there were too many fights in the parking lot. Bring your own wine or beer, no hard liquor. Cash or check only, no plastic. - [Papa] Try that. - Oh my goodness. - That's lagniappe, that means something extra. - Thank you. - [Papa] It doesn't cost you anything. Everybody needs to try it. - Oh, I'm gonna try it. - [Papa] Everybody get a piece. - Oh god! That's very good. - Oh my goodness. - [Woman] Does it have a hint of tarragon? - [Papa] A hint of tarragon, basil, all kind of spices. - Wow. - Fantastic. - Is that Blackberry? - Delicious So what did you call this? - , Fish - [Laura] Chef Kira says she was hired because she can fit in the tiny kitchen and never changes Papa's recipes. - Now Papa did give me his recipe and I follow his orders. I've worked with him for years and know the family and feel like I'm part of the family. - [Laura] Papa's daughter will sometimes play for the crowd, and his son Drew works alongside dad too. - This is my son. He's the one that, he's Papa Junior. And he's probably gonna take over the place. But he knows the whole operation. Yeah, that's it, except this one. - Yeah. I can't wait until Trey and Boy come.. - Yeah. Trey and Boy, y'all gonna love Trey Trey, Boy! Vanderbilt. What? What the, what is that about? - Virginia man. Virginia. You're supposed to eat L S U huh? - Good to see you, bro. - [Laura] As for the food, the Boo Dan balls an authentic Cajun dish are amazing. Made with Cajun pork sausage rice dressing rolled into balls, coated in fine breadcrumbs and deep fried. Top sellers also include the red beans and rice made with three kinds of meat, the shrimp and crawfish etoufee is also popular. And something called Gospel creole. So hot. That's how it got its name. - The trouble is it was so hot, it was the hottest thing on the menu. I told my servers, anybody says they want it really hot. We'll go ahead and give them a little prototype. Let 'em, try it. All we heard was, 'Lord have mercy, God help us.' It was so hot. And I said, that's it. I'll name it after Jesus, Gospel Creole. The deal is though I had to tone it down. I took it off the special board and had to redo my menus and it became the number one seller. It's got shrimp, it's got on andouille sausage, French sausage, and smoked sausage. It's got crawfish tail. It's got everything in it, really good with a tomato sauce that's in there, which is quite spicy but it's not overly hot. - [Laura] Papa always recommends a side of Louisiana redfish served light and crispy. You can't help but ask what everyone else ordered too. Sometimes people even share. After 20 years of serving up recipes his family has been making for generations, this is a photo of great-grandmother Cora Boudreaux. Papa still has a knack for Cajun cooking and taking care of his customers. - [Papa] I have people who have been eating here almost since the first week we opened, and they're like family. Some 'em are very dear to me really. All walks of life. You know, all ages - [Laura] Papa's portion sizes are humongous. In fact, he says one of his biggest expenses are the to-go boxes. So even though we're leaving with food for tomorrow it won't stop us from coming back very soon to Papa Boudreauxs in Santa Fe. - Mighty fine. Thanks Laura. If you've ever taken a walk in the woods, you've probably noticed some of Tennessee's most beautiful residents. Birdwatching is more popular than ever, and with more than 400 different species native to Tennessee well it's a great place to enjoy them. A photographer in east Tennessee regularly hosts parties for our fine feathered friends. As Miranda Cohen explains. - Those birds way up on the wire are Purple Martins. - [Miranda] As the sun rises on this beautiful day in east Tennessee Rebecca Boyd is already hard at work. All 416 acres of the seven island state birding park which is nestled along the French Broad River are busy and bustling. It's the ideal place to capture the perfect photograph. - I was born and raised here. I've never lived anywhere else. This is home. I'm proud of my home. I think this is one of the most beautiful places to live in the entire country. - [Miranda] A love for the great outdoors and a budding photographer. And one day, her two great passions seemed to merge - When I got my first really good smartphone with a really good camera on it, around the same time that a friend of ours said, Hey, you want a bluebird house? I've got one. I'll put it up in your yard." So those two things kind of came together at the same time of, "Oh and I can take pictures of the blue birds." - [Laura] And that's how Rebecca Boyd became a wildlife photographer and created her studio, 'Ridge Rock Arts.' The park and her own backyard provide a bounty of beautiful native species. - My yard has kind of become a bird, just a bird sanctuary. 'cause over the years, I feed every day. I keep out sunflower, safflower, suet, mealworms you name it, every for every kind of bird. And they've just accumulated. So at any given time, there's probably 30 or 40 species of birds flying right in my yard. - [Miranda] And when Boyd began to market her work a fellow artist suggested that she needed to do more than just take a picture. She needed her photographs to tell a story. And that's when she landed on a unique and lavish idea. - Bluebirds are probably my number one passion. Got a picture of a female bluebird. I didn't think too much of it. I thought, well, that's cute. Posted it on Facebook. A fairly accomplished artist out of Kansas saw it. And she sent me a private message and she goes, 'Oh my, you are onto something here.' - [Miranda] The photograph was one of her two resident Tennessee Bluebirds. She named Bogey and Bacall And instead of photographing them mid-flight or in their natural habitat, she set a beautiful table and invited them to an elaborate tea party. - [Rebecca] All righty, I'll do tea parties. I'll just start doing some more tea parties. So I thought, if I can do it once, I can do it twice. So I posted a couple and I was getting a lot of good responses. - Miranda] Boyd's tea parties became an instant hit. And it seemed everyone was trying to get on the invitation list and who could blame them? Thanks to her family heirlooms and a local China dealer, she has an enviable collection of rare and vintage porcelain cups and saucers. And those exquisite dainty cups are filled with delicious treats. That is, if you're a bird. - Now like any perfect hostess Rebecca Boyd will set a beautiful table and prepare the kind of food she knows her friends love to eat. But like any dinner party or tea party the hardest part is waiting for the guests to arrive. And for these very special guests Rebecca will wait and wait and wait. - [Rebecca] I've probably waited as long as two hours. And then it's the waiting and the cussing and the no, turn around this direction. A lot of it has to do with timing and waiting until they turn the right direction and pose in the right direction. They're all real. I guarantee you. I do no photo shopping at all. The birds are there. The birds are real. - [Miranda] Boyd produces prints and note cards available through her social media and her website, 'Ridge Rock Arts.' And she always creates a wildlife calendar. But this year, her upcoming calendar is entirely made up of tea party images. - This is all, yeah, the first all tea Party. My other calendars have all been all bluebirds but this is the first one that's been just tea parties. I try to kind of match the pictures to the season the best I can. - [Miranda] I think that's the first one I saw. And it just absolutely is gorgeous. The look and the expression on that bird's face - [Rebecca] That one was really fun. That was actually taken, it looks December but that was actually taken in March when we had a snowstorm. - [Miranda] With every click of her camera. Boyd is capturing more than the vivid images in front of her lens. She is capturing a moment in time when some very special guests dressed in their very finest are attending a real Tennessee tea party. - [Rebecca] To me, it's, it's the innocence, it's the beauty it's the, just watching their behaviors and seeing how different birds behave different ways. And to think that it had that kind of impact even if it was on one person, it's worth all the waiting and all the sweating and all the bird feed and everything just to know that, you know, it really made somebody's day. If anything, I'd like to say that I brought a little joy into some people's lives by sharing my photography. - Hey, thanks a lot, Miranda. Once in a while, old technology enjoys a comeback, thanks to a new younger audience. Take the vinyl record, for example. Well next look out for the return of the manual typewriter. Hard to believe in this electric powered digital world of ours. However, there's a young man in Goodlettsville who's playing a big part in this typewriter revival. - The visceral kind of experience that you have writing on a manual typewriter. It's just completely different from long hand, from writing on a computer. There's this ritual that you get into if you're gonna write on a typewriter, and then you've got got your paper you've got your ribbon loaded, you kinda have to prepare. And it's just kind of a nice like personal moment where you have to sit and think before you just type, you know? But it takes all the digital distraction away. - [Joe] Kirk Jackson had ever touched a manual typewriter. That is before the day he and his wife walked into a local thrift store. He saw one on sale, bought it and soon his life would never be the same. - Got it home and started playing around with it. And once I figured out how to clean it up and got a ribbon in it, I was three sentences in and I was hooked. - [Joe] Love at first type? Well, sorry, but yes. - Next thing I know, three grew into 10 and my wife was kind of curiously tolerant, but asking, you know, like, what's the deal here? And I'm like, I don't know. I just like these things - [Joe] So much that its collection now totals about 250 with just about every brand made in America and Europe during the early and mid 1900s. - [Kirk] And they just all have different feels. You know, some of them are way more responsive than others and some like the Alter portables, you really have to kind of bang on 'em to get a good imprint. - [Joe] Kirk taught himself everything about the mechanics of these human powered machines. So eventually he became a go-to guy for owners seeking repair work. - Usually they're just dirty. That's really what it is. I mean, every once in a while you'll run into bent linkage or something from the type bars, but I mean these things were built to last. They're simple, yet complex machines. - [Joe] Kirk uses tools you can't buy new anymore. Well, like this one used for removing key rings Kirk uses the internet to buy old type writers which he in turn refurbishes and resells. In fact, his business name is Nashville Typewriter and his customers call from around the country to strike a deal. - I get a lot of people that'll reach out to me and and ask what I think that they would like, you know and that always excites me. 'cause I like to talk about typewriters so I kind of ask 'em what they're looking for what they're wanting to use it for. And that kind of directs me towards what they're after. But portables are really big right now. People are really interested in being able to carry a typewriter around go to the park, you know, that sort of thing. - [Joe] Sometimes a jewel like this Olivetti Studio 45 comes along and well, it's just hard to let it go - Man, it showed up and I don't think it's been used. I mean, it's just pristine. A little return lever that's cast like brushed aluminum still has like the plastic coating to protect it from the factory. And I've kind of been wringing my hands or whether or not sell it. But I think that I'm gonna have to get better about that and let it go. - [Joe] Here's a little typing trivia. The longstanding layout of the keyboard is called QUERTY in all caps And while most typists use all 10 fingers many a writer has turned out classic works using the old two finger technique. - There's some people that two finger hunt and peck that will absolutely rip 'em up. I mean, I've seen somebody do 120 words per minute, just, you know, so I know it's amazing. It's almost more impressive. - Oh, this brings back memories. You know, typing was my favorite class in high school. Why? No homework. Got pretty good at it. Oh oh, Kirk. Got any white out? - [Joe] While Kirk's in the business of repurposing and selling manual typewriters, he often gifts one if it's going to a youngster - Kids are really intrigued by 'em. You know, you can just tell that, you know, they'll push it and they're kind of tentative, they're afraid to break it at first. They're used to typing on like a laptop but once you kind of show 'em like, 'Hey, it's okay, go ahead and bang on those keys.' They just light up, you know? And, and it's like that for a lot of people. You know, people will ask me, why typewriters? And I'm like, well, have you ever written on one? And they're like, no. And I'm like, okay, well come here and do it. You know? And that's really all it takes, you know? And I've always got one with me. I'm that guy. I try not to like, not take 'em to the coffee shop and type on, I try to be respectful. 'cause not everybody loves the sound of a manual typewriter. - [Joe] Thanks to collectors and a new generation of fans, this trusty old workhorse might be making a comeback. Nobody would be happier about that than Kirk Jackson. A man now captivated by the mystique of this timeless machine. - [Joe] Are you a typewriter nerd now? - Yes. 100%. Non apologetic. 100% a typewriter nerd. - Well, finally, there's nothing like biting into an ice cold watermelon on a hot day. As a matter of fact, fruit of any kind can be a real taste treat. A while back, Ed Jones found an artist from Jackson who turns fruit into a treat for the eyes. - Fruit is so beautiful by itself but especially if you can take advantage of the layers. And the story goes that Michelangelo, they ask him 'How'd you do that angel in that piece of marble ?' Course they didn't say it with a southern accent, you know? So it's Michelangelo's. 'Oh no, the angel is already inside. All I did was liberate it.' - [Ed Jones] Carl Jones has been liberating beautiful works of art hidden in fruit for more than a decade. But when he started this journey, Carl was the one in need of liberation from a lifestyle that was slowly killing him. - I was in the restaurant business for 30 years. Back about 12 years ago, I was having trouble with my blood pressure and with my heart actually. And it went to a cardiologist. He said, you're pretty stressed out. I said, yeah, tell me about it. He said, well, you need to slow down. I'm like, you know, how do I slow down? He said, well, get a hobby. I went back to my office that night and in a packet was a knife, little carving knife that I had bought maybe two years earlier at a catering conference I was at and saw someone carving. So I thought that, well, that's kinda like an answer. So I went and got a little small melon and brought it to my desk, pulled out the knife out of the packet and started trying to carve a flower into it. Well, it fell in. So I learned my first technique and that's to put my finger right here to gauge the depth. So my first mistake led to my first technique. - [Ed] There would be many more mistakes. But as Carl's skill began to improve, so did his health - My blood pressure is greatly improved and the stress has virtually gone. That's the mindfulness of this art. And mindfulness is what leads to stress reduction and relaxation. - You do beautiful work. - Thank you. - That is just gorgeous. - Thank you. I think part of it is, is why you're carving, you have all these people walking up to you telling you how great you are. - Well, these are lovely and your reputation preceded you. And I can see why. - Thank you. You know, I can do birds, I can do pretty much anything. And I do freehand. So it just means that I just start carving and see what comes out. I do a lot of flowers. That's how you get good at doing flowers. It's doing a lot of them. And that's the most requested is for roses. Or somebody will look at a picture and say, oh, make me that. - Why did you choose watermelon carving? - There's also something about this that has led me to be a kinder person. Not that I was mean or anything in the past but I tended to be a lot more impatient with people. This gives patience, if you do this, you become patient. I've found also over the years, having a lot of time to think I became a lot more philosophical. 'cause the idea is, while I'm carving I'm thinking about my healing. I have in my head that I'm relaxed. My blood pressure is down. I'm healthy, I'm happy. You don't know all the benefits that you're getting when you're doing multidimensional art. There are a lot of benefits that that come out of it. - [Ed] This modern day Maharishi of melons has woven the benefits of fruit carving into every aspect of his life. - You get a lot of these scraps and some of them I eat, but can't eat 'em all. But that little worm farm, the worms eat the scraps. Scraps turn into compost, take the compost put those around my herbs and my vegetables. Then I consume the vegetables and the herbs. The whole circle of life, the sustainability, the cycle that everybody's looking for. If I'd heard somebody say this a few years ago, I'd say, 'That guy's weird. What's he smoking?' You know? But after a while you find that, oh, there's truth to that. - [Ed] Through Carl's search for that truth he has discovered a new lease on life and a skill for finding hidden treasure. Whether it's artwork in a piece of fruit or peace within himself. - Well, that's gonna have to do it for this week's Tennessee Crossroads. Thanks for joining us. I encourage you to check out our website, tennesseecrossroads.org. And while there, please download the PBS app so you can watch your favorite shows anytime, anywhere. And please watch this show next week. We'll see you then. - [Announcer] Tennessee Crossroads is made possible in part by - I'm Tennessee Tech President Phil Oldham here in Cookville, Tennessee's college town. We are bold, fearless, confident, and kind. Tech prepare students for careers by making everyone's experience personal. We call that living 'Wings up.' Learn more @TNTECH.EDU - [Announcer] Averitts Tennessee roots run deep. They've been delivering logistics solutions here for over 50 years. And though Averitts reach now circles the globe the volunteer state will always be home. More @ averitt.com. - [Announcer] Discover Tennessee Trails and byways. Discover Tennessee's adventure, cuisine, history and more made in Tennessee experiences showcased among these 16 driving trails. More at TNTrailsAndByways.com.
September 28, 2023
Season 37 | Episode 11
Laura Faber finds out why Papa Boudreaux’s is drawing hungry crowds to Santa Fe. Miranda Cohen attends a bird watching party near Knoxville. Joe Elmore discovers a manual typewriter revival in Goodlettsville. And Ed Jones meets a Jackson man who turns fruit into eye catching art.