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- [Announcer] "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. 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. - This time on "Tennessee Crossroads," we get a taste of Ireland and Scotland in Tullahoma. Then, what is curling? Well, it's not a hair treatment, it's an Olympic sport you can discover in Nashville. Then meet a remarkable lady known as Anne of All Trades. And finally, what it's like to climb and lodge at the highest peak in the Smokys. Hi everybody, I'm Joe Elmore. Those are the stories on this edition of "Tennessee Crossroads." Sure glad you showed up. Our first story is about a place we found that offers a taste of Celtic cuisine in the town of Tullahoma. It's owned by a couple whose trips to Ireland and Scotland inspired them to open up the gathering spot of their dreams. The Emerald Isle of Ireland is far away from the town of Tullahoma, Tennessee. Yet after you discover flags fronting this restored 1920s craftsman home, you might feel a whole lot closer. Inside the Celtic Cup, the decor is reminiscent of a 19th century pub. The food and drink are genuine and the mood is friendly. The proud owners Chris and Denise Smith opened the place when Chris retired from the military while stationed at Arnold Air Force Base. At the time, their sights were simply on a traditional coffee shop. - We've had a lot of different military assignments, and one of the things that we would do is try to find a local coffee house at our new assignment because that's kind of the hub. You get the feel of the community that way. And when we came here at in Tullahoma, we started looking around and was like, where's the coffee house? There wasn't one. And so in the back of our mind all this time, we had this idea that Tullahoma needs a coffee house. - [Joe] Not just any coffee shop. This place needed a special identity, a theme if you will. - [Chris] We tried different themes, we had one-- - [Denise] On paper just kind of brainstorming it all. - One that was a 50s diner with black and white tile and that kind of stuff. But I think this fits us much better. We tied the Celtic with the coffee house and people like, well, Celts don't drink coffee or didn't drink coffee, but you're missing the point. This is kind of modeled after the Irish Pub. - The Celtic Cup has enjoyed a dedicated local following and a growing number of out-of-town visitors. After you take in the warm pub-like feel of the place, well, you can enjoy a proper cup of tea or coffee just about any way you want it, even with a little bit of extra Irish spirit. Now some people just come for the scones and other pastries or a taste of Italy from the Gelato Bar. On the menu though, you'll find a selection of authentically made Celtic lunch favorites. - [Denise] We have scotch eggs, dragon eggs. - [Chris] A dragon egg is a spicy version of a scotch egg. If you don't know what the scotch egg is, they take a bowled egg, you wrap it in sausage, and then we bake ours off. - [Joe] Denise also makes a tasty Irish version of Welsh rabbit. - The cheese sauce that I make has four year old aged Irish cheddar in it and about five types of mustard. So that's the sauce. And then we put Irish Doubliner cheese on that. And then the rasher, if you're not familiar with the rasher, it's Irish back bacon, and then we put tomatoes on it, and then more cheese, and then you toast it. And so we built our Celtic menu over time, making sure that we did it right. When we went to Ireland and we went to Scotland, and we tasted the foods and we talked to the locals, and then you find people who have been there who know it, a local Scotsman or an Irishman who can authenticate it for you and say, "Yeah, that's just like grandmother made." We have some wonderful staff, and their heart is into the business, and they work hard and they love what they do. And I think we have a great relationship with them. - [Joe] Once a week, the upstairs dining room is occupied by the Highland Rim Tatters. Now tattering is a technique for handcrafting durable lace from a series of knots and loops. - Tatting is more of what's considered a new lace. It's only been around for a couple hundred years. - [Joe] For a truly decadent treat, there's always the old Irish tradition of afternoon tea, complete with finger sandwiches, scones, cakes, and fruit. And after all this, it seems like a traditional nap might be an order. The Smiths moved around a lot during Chris's military career. - Thanks for coming in. - Love your place. - [Joe] But they found a true home here in Tullahoma, a place where together, they can pursue a Celtic-American dream. - And it's taken us 14 years to get to this point. But yeah, we're really having a blast right now. We've had folks come in here and they see the place and they go, "Wow, could you open a place like this in LA or San Francisco or Chicago or even New York?" We've had some folks in New York and we go, "No, no, this is the one of a kind." - Well next, it's the sport on ice that's grown in popularity in recent years, and it can be found in Nashville. Oh, we're not talking about hockey, rather the sport of curling. As Laura Faber tells us, you don't have to wait for the Olympics to see it. You can watch it, learn it, and even play it right here in Nashville. - [Carl] Hard as you can boys, hard as you can. - [Laura] It's a sport that involves ice, granite stones, special shoes, a broom for sweeping. - [Carl] All the way, guys, all the way, bring it in. - [Laura] And a lot of yelling. - 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 Blitz is known as the Ice Guy and a member of Nashville's Curling Club. - 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 DDD 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. - 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 the game and the winners sweep the ice. So it's completely opposite to the way in the NFL we learned. But 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 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, 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's stone. The last push is called the hammer. - Oh my God! - The only uniform really for a curler is probably the shoes? - Pretty much. 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 you're trying to work with what your team can do, with what you know of the other team's 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're doing to the stone, right? Or it's a movement of the stone? - 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. - [Player] 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 skiing. - [Laura] This Olympic sport started in Scotland in the early 16th century, but today, players compete on ice that is perfect. Tee Line' 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. - When you're looking at a hockey arena's ice sheet, you can have a degree or two of play and 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's 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 rocks 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. - 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 comradery on the ice is one of the things that sells people on it. - Thanks, Laura. These days, you don't have to be a TV or movie star to reach celebrity status. A Tennessee woman has done that through social media. Tammi Arender introduces us to Anne Briggs, who's also known as Anne of All Trades. And you might agree after you see this. - [Tammi] If idle hands are the devil's workshop, then the devil is nowhere near Anne Briggs. This social media sensation is known as Anne of All Trades. - I want to be able to have a place like my grandpa had where I can think of something and go out and make it. And so it started with woodworking, and then it expanded to blacksmithing because I liked hand tools and I could make my own hand tools within in my blacksmith shop. - [Tammi] Briggs lives in Nashville, but she was raised mostly overseas by missionary parents, living in places like the Ukraine and Austria. Then she moved to Asia. She's fluent in Chinese and has a business and marketing degree, but that degree isn't being used behind a desk somewhere. - I always said when I was growing up that I wanted to someday live on a farm. Because of my parents' career, we weren't able to have pets or animals of any kind, but I'd always had a special affinity for animals. So I said, "You know, one day if I ever live in America, I'm gonna have a farm." Guys. - [Tammi] So she does have a farm complete with cows, chickens, goats, and miniature donkeys. - Hi, can I have a hug? - [Tammi] Each animal on the farm has a purpose. The dogs, which are named Johnny and June, by the way, and donkeys are guard animals. The goats are dairy goats. She named them after country music stars. There's Brenda Lee and Waylon Jennings. She uses their milk to make cheese, yogurt, and soap. - [Anne] Here you go, buddy. - [Tammi] Oh, and let's not forget Lucy. Now Lucy is the exception to the rule. She doesn't have a purpose. She was inherited from a neighbor who said Lucy had gotten too big to be a pet. - I love animals. I always have. I've always had a special relationship with them. And so being able to incorporate them into my daily life and my daily routine and also have them all do something useful for everyone is so fun. - [Tammi] While farm is very much a part of the Anne of All Trades repertoire, it's the disappearing life skills as she calls them that keeps her hands busy. - It really just kind of happened. I was a tomboy my whole childhood, and I don't know if that led me to wanting to do stuff like this, but really I just, I operate so much better when I'm working with my hands. - [Tammi] Like a chef would shave shards of chocolate to decorate a cake, Anne shaves away chunks of wood from a wooden block, leaving behind her vision of a spoon, spatula, or a spindle for a chair. - I can make a whole chair that only weighs eight pounds because I'm following the grain of the tree and doing all this stuff by hand. So the disappearing life skills side of things is that in so many tasks that have been replaced by machines, you lose kind of the artistry and the craftsmanship and the pieces of furniture that do last for three or four or 500 years. And so I'm really passionate about, I mean, A, it's a lot more fun to build things that way. It takes a lot longer, surely. So it's a little harder to make a profit, but doing things by hand and kind of carrying it through from the tree to the finished piece, especially if it's a tree that I cut down with an axe that I forged in my blacksmithing shop and then used a draw knife that I forged in my blacksmithing shop and turned it into a chair, that's a pretty amazing process to kind of just watch happen. - [Tammi] Her grandfather instilled in her the love of woodworking, and her fascination with fire and the need for woodworking tools led to blacksmithing. - I'll make bottle openers as gifts or like little hooks to hang your hat on or whatever else. But what I really like making in the blacksmith shop is tools. So I've made a whole set of spoon carving knives and the axe that I use to chop out the spoon blanks, a fro and like all kind, splitting wedges. And then of course, the cool thing about blacksmithing is that you make all of the tools that you need to make tools. - [Tammi] Briggs doesn't know the word fear. Farming, woodworking, or blacksmithing was nowhere in her wheelhouse, but it is now. And she's so passionate about her skills that she's learned, she's constructing a workshop where she'll teach these disappearing life skills to others. - Maybe I'll have the opportunity for me to then expose some people to that younger in life and then bring in some of the world class teachers that I've been able to now study under, thanks to some other privileges that I've received, like working for the magazine and running that woodworking school. So now I can bring some of those amazing teachers in and then provide other people that same opportunity to have someone champion and invest in them and change their lives the way that mine has been changed. - [Tammi] She's now an expert in several areas, creating her own tools or even musical instruments, but what she really wants to create is community and connectivity. - I love inviting other people into the journey because again, there just is so much reward to be found in it. Whether it's cooking up a meal that you grew in the garden, or sitting down to your table that you built and a chair that you built using tools that you made, it's all fun. But the most fun for me is when I'm sharing that experience with someone else. Is like the sweetest boy. - Hey, are you looking for a cozy little out of the way place for your next vacation? Well, you can't get much more out of the way than our next destination. As a matter of fact, a five mile hike is the only way to get there. Our young strong friend Will Pedigo made the climb several years ago and survived to tell the story. - Over 9 million people visited the Smoky Mountain National Park last year. Most of those visitors chose to take in the beauty of the park from the comfort of their cars driving the Roaring Fork Motor Trail or the Cades Cove Loop Road. But for some park visitors, the only way to experience the world-renowned biodiversity and incredible wildlife is to hike. - Okay, 10:30 in the morning. 10:30 in the morning. Nice. More or less, more or less 60 degrees. Let's head up the mountain. - [Will] Experienced hikers like Dr. John Burkhart and Dr. Laura Powers of Knoxville, Tennessee would argue that the best trails in the Smokys lead to one location, the top of Mount Le Conte. Today's hike begins at the foot of the Trillium Gap Trail, one the five trails to the top. - We have groups of people who come up with us time after time, and that's always great. And then we have some fresh meat come with us to hear the stories all over again. And in the fall, we have two nights up here in the fall, it's a family trip and that's always a lot of fun. - Usually end up listening to a UT football game and get really excited whenever Bob Kesling says, "From the top of Mount Le Conte to the Mississippi River." And we're there at the top of Mount Le Conte. And on a clear night in the fall, you can see the fireworks from Neyland Stadium when UT scores. Got Oxalis, Louise. Oxalis. You notice the little thin reddish veins in it, about five leaves rounded, very delicate little flower. Very nice. - [Will] As our group continues upward, the observant eye and ear discovers many inhabitants unique to the elevation. Bob Collier, an avid bird watcher who has hiked Le Conte with the Burkharts for several years, loves spotting birds that frequent the Smokys. - Let's see if we can hear it again. There he is. There's the black throated blue right there. Do you see? - [Hiker] Oh, I see him. - Singing. You have to go to Pennsylvania or Vermont to see him other than here in the Smokys. They're birds of the hemlock forest, neat. - [Will] While it's important to watch out for wildlife, especially the occasional bear, you might be surprised to find some of the animals on the trail are employees. Alan Householder, the crew member in charge of weekly supplies for Le Conte Lodge, has the privilege of working alongside these hired hands, or should we say hired hooves. - [Alan] Le Conte Lodge use these llamas because the horses they used previously were tearing up the trails with their hooves. These guys have no impact on the trail whatsoever. They leave very little impact with their little hooves. I'm hauling up food today, groceries for the crew, and a little bit of laundry too. Stuff for the guests is taken up an air lift by helicopter at the beginning of the season, so the bulk of the stuff is flown up. But what I take up is the fresh stuff that needs to be done weekly. - Just in time to hear the dinner bell ring. And now it is time for beef dips. - [Will] After five and a half miles of hiking, John and his crew are ready to eat and relax. Since our group has a reservation at the Le Conte Lodge, a reservation that has to be made almost a year in advance, the cozy mountaintop hospitality and rustic appeal will be a welcome site. - [John] The only thing that is ever constant, the weather changes, the flowers change, the birds change. The only thing that's constant is the food. The food is always the same and has been probably for 30 years, never changes. - [Waiter] Okay, you folks enjoy. - [Diners] Thank you. - Thank you. - [Will] Chris and Allyson Virden, managers of Le Conte Lodge, enjoy seeing visitors react to the wilderness experience. - Once you get up here, it's pretty rewarding, you have a real sense of satisfaction having done the hike. That's probably one of the more fulfilling things is seeing people who've never done something like this and kind of made the reservation on a whim or something without knowing too much about it. And for some, it's the most strenuous thing they've ever done. And then they get up here and get a cup of hot chocolate. And it's just very satisfying to see someone who's just probably thought that they bit off more than they can chew. And then you see them the next morning and they're just thrilled. - The way that we seat people in the dining room as far as the family style seating and family style dining is that some of those people who never, ever have been up here before might be sitting at a table with someone who's been up here 40 times. So it's really cool for them to be able to sit at a table together and share their experiences. - The vast majority of people, the vast majority who climb Mount Le Conte are typically friendly people who have something in common. We've been as far away as the Grand Canyon or California and seen people wearing the I hiked Mount Le Conte T-shirts. And to some degree it identifies a fraternity. - A lot of the people that we get up here have never done anything like this, and for them, it's probably the biggest thing that they do all year. The whole experience is incredible for everybody. - [Will] While a trip up Mount Le Conte is an up close experience with Smoky Mountain wildlife, the lodge itself offers a historical insight of the human relationship to the mountain. Whether it's seeing a picture of founder Jack Huff who carried his mother to the top, or an image of Margaret Stevenson who hiked the trails over 700 times, anyone who has hiked Le Conte is a part of a common thread. - Well that's about it for this edition of "Tennessee Crossroads." Time to say goodbye, but after a reminder to visit our website, tennesseecrossroads.org, and while you're there, download that PBS app so you can watch all your favorite shows anytime, anywhere. And we'll be looking for you next week. And I'll see you then. - [Announcer] "Tennessee Crossroads" is made possible in part by. - [Phil] 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. - [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. 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.
October 12, 2023
Season 37 | Episode 13
Joe Elmore discovers a way to get a taste of Ireland and Scotland in Tullahoma. Laura Faber finds a winter olympic sport you can play in Nashville. Tammi Arender meets a remarkable lady known as Anne of all Trades. And Will Pedigo shows what it’s like to climb and lodge at the highest peak in the Smokies.