Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Travelogue: Pleasant View, Tennessee

(Dear Teacher Bloggers,
    Please excuse Ethelmae's absence the past two weeks.  Her laptop has been very ill; so ill, in fact, we had already made burial arrangements.  However, it has pulled through the crisis, and she is back in school Blogland today.  She looks forward to visiting with all her friends this week.
                           Thank you very much,
                                       Ethelmae's Mother)

Carabee, at BlogTrotting, has invited me to do a virtual tour of my home today, so y'all just sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights of Pleasant View, Tennessee.

Welcome Visitors!  My name is Ethel, and I'll be your tour guide for the day.  Please feel free to ask questions at any time.

Pleasant View is located in middle Tennessee, just twenty four miles from the Kentucky border.

Formerly known as Bradley's Stand and Turnbull Horse Stamp, its ideal location at the halfway point between Nashville and Clarksville made it a natural choice as a stagecoach stop during the 1800's.  The town was renamed Pleasant View in 1870 and by 1886 had a population of 300.

After the advent of interstate travel, Pleasant View was left largely unnoticed and became basically a farming community.  As more and more people fled the cities, though, the population of Pleasant View has boomed and we now have over 4,000 people living in our little town!

So let's begin our tour, shall we?

We are now in the heart of downtown Pleasant View.  This is our traffic light.

Q: LIGHT? You make it sound like there's only one in the whole town.

Well, there is.  We just got it a couple of years ago.

To your right, you'll find the water company and daycare center; straight ahead are the grocery store, banks, a few other stores, a sprinkling of restaurants, and the post office; catty-cornered to the right are the  churches, Bobby's Produce, the milling company, and elementary school; and if you turn left, you'll see the drugstore, the hardware store, medical facilities, the funeral parlor, and city hall.

Q:  Where?  I don't see City Hall.

That's it, right over there, in that big field.

Q:  You mean that warehouse-looking building?  THAT'S City Hall?  Is that where you all hold court and house prisoners and such?

Well, we don't actually have prisoners;  there's no jail in Pleasant View.  But they do have a courtroom.  Sorta.  Municipal Court is held on the first Thursday of every month at 3:00 p.m.

Ahem.  Pleasant View boasts two medical centers: Northcrest and Regents.  Regents is the home of my doctor, Lori. A. Ray, who is...the best, just the best.  She doesn't shake hands - she HUGS.  She spends TIME with her patients; she laughs with you, and chats about your family life - and hers.  Her son, Robbie Ray, has just been picked up by the Washington Nationals baseball team - straight out of high school.  Watch for him.

Oh, and she's a great doctor, too!

Regents also has the first non-residential elevator in Pleasant View.

Q:  Wait a minute...did you just say the FIRST elevator?  Isn't that a new building?

Yes, it's only a few years old.  But we didn't have any two story buildings in Pleasant View before this one.

Moving on, past the businesses, we have The Village.  It's a planned-community-within-an-unplanned-community sorta thing. 

We eat at the Village Diner a lot.  The Friday night catfish is DELISH.

The Diner is always PACKED.

Blue Springs Gift Shop sells lots of these big blue birds.

And right across the street is The Livery Stables.  It's an antique mall now, but back in the 1800's was used to board and groom horses. It also served as the first fire station, the post office, and the home of Mr. Henry Chambliss, the postmaster, making a whopping salary of $12 a year!  One story about Mr. Henry is that a fire broke out in Pleasant View, and when the volunteer firefighters ran to get the fire engine, Mr. Henry had locked the place up tight and was out delivering the mail!

Q:  What is that building there?

Ah, that's the Coach House, our event center. They host all kinds of functions - weddings, receptions, showers, musical acts, etc.  Just this past Saturday, the Coach House hosted Jack Moore Day, an Alzheimer's benefit and celebration of the life of an icon of Pleasant View.  He was the very heart and soul of our town.

Q: What did Jack Moore do that was so special?

Well...nothing, actually.  He sat on his porch and waved.  That's all.  But he did it every day the weather permitted.  He just sat and waved at everybody who walked or drove by.  Jack Moore made you feel welcome, made you feel like you belonged, even if you were just passing through or were a new resident.  He WAS Pleasant View.  He was also officially named the Friendliest Person in Pleasant View by the Cheatham County Chamber of Commerce.  And this benefit proved just how much he was loved by all of us - in such a small town, in only five hours, and with simple activities like a cake walk and silent auction, there was a  tremendous turnout, and the benefit raised over $5000!  Read his story here.   He was a simple, yet unforgettable man.

This is the sign for our new city park.

This is our new city park.

They're a little bit behind schedule.  (Actually, they've made tremendous progress since I took that picture a few weeks ago, but here it is the first day of fall, and it's still far from opening.)

This is the Pleasant View Sportsman Club.

Q: What...?

I have no idea.

As we move out of town,

Q:  But we haven't seen all of it yet.

Oh yes, we have.

So. As we move out of town, you'll see there are plenty of farms.  Lots of wide, open spaces.

Farmers here plant mostly corn, soybeans, hay, and tobacco.  This time of year, the hay is being baled for winter feed,

and tobacco barns are smoking as the leaves cure inside.

There are miles and miles of whitewashed fences.

And where you find farms, you find farm animals, like cows and horses.

This is the burro who beat me in a staring contest.

Q: What is that?  Snow?

Yes, it's snow.  This is a VIRTUAL TOUR, remember?  You'll be seeing sights from all the seasons.  Get with the program.

Okay.  Speaking of snow, this was my back yard this past winter.

And the graveyard looked so peaceful, all blanketed in white.

Q:  But this is the Southern US; I thought you all didn't get much snow?

Well, normally we don't, but this past winter was a doozy.

No, normally, our summers are long and turn into long falls,

then we might have a couple of months or a couple of weeks of cold before spring sets in.

Q:  So what's the weather like in the other seasons?

Spring is gorgeous, with many varieties of flowering trees

and bees collecting sweet nectar.

Summer is HOT.  We had almost two months of 100 and near 100 degree heat this summer.  These cows knew how to stay cool.

Sometimes we have a summer afternoon thunderstorm and a cool misty morning afterwards.

Summer can drift well into October, but when it comes, it brings dazzling color.

Since our population density is very low, (332 people per square mile,) we have plenty of wildlife year 'round.  There are eight deer that live in the half-acre wood beside my house, and a rafter of turkeys that drift from one house to another.

Q:  What's a rafter of turkeys?

A group, a flock.  Turkeys en masse can also be called a 'gang,' but 'rafter' is the more correct term.

I Googled it.

We have squirrels and bunnies and huge snapping turtles and snakes and frogs and red foxes and coyotes and all kinds of birds.  Raccoons and skunks have come right up onto our deck to eat cat food.  And we've even heard tale of bobcats in the area.

Bluebirds, cardinals, and robins stay year 'round.

The dadgum mockingbird is our state bird.

They couldn't have picked a peskier bird if they'd tried.  Unless it's the starling.  This one built a HUUUUGE nest in our gas grill this spring.

Q:  Okay, I'm hooked.  This all looks and sounds a little like Mayberry to me.  Where can I find a good hotel?

There isn't one.

Q:  No hotel?  You're kidding.

Nope.  Sorry.

Q:  Well then, where can I catch a cab?

You can't.

Q:  Bus? 


Q:  I don't suppose you have a subway?

In Pleasant View? Are you on drugs?

Q:  So how do you folks get anywhere?

You drive your car or you walk.  Duh.

Q:  I don't remember seeing the mall; did we miss it?


Q:  There's no mall?

Right.  There's not even a Walmart.

Q:  You have got to be joking; EVERYWHERE has a Walmart!

Not Pleasant View.  We have a Dollar General Market, though.

Q:  Dollar General...oh dear.  So where can I go for a fine dining experience?

You can't.

Q:  Well, can I just get a Big Mac, then?

If you wanta go down Clarksville Highway into Joelton; we don't have a McDonalds.

Q:  No McDonalds, no Walmart, no mall; just what do you people DO around here?

Well, you can go down to Van's Hardware Store and hang out with the locals. Van'll have you cracking up at his corny jokes. (Customer: I don't know what to git my wife for her birthday; she never wore the dress I gave 'er last year. Van: My wife never used what I gave her, either. Customer: What'd you give 'er? Van: Her own grave site.) You can go square dancing at BJs on Saturday nights, and sometimes the Coach House has live bluegrass music.

You can watch the kids playing baseball at Balthrop Park, and there'll be free outdoor G rated movies after sunset once a month, spring and summer. If you're awake early enough, you might catch groups of deer here and there, and, come sunset, you can watch the lightning bugs emerge from the grasses, illuminating the darkness with their nightly courtship dances. And after the luminous little bugs have found their mates and retired for the night, spread a blanket in the grass and watch for falling stars. With all the clear air and lack of city lights, you'll see a'plenty. Summer and fall afternoons and nights, you can listen to the high school band practicing, and Friday nights in the fall, you can go up to the school and watch the football games. Join some locals and walk the neighborhoods at twilight.

Drop in at the I24 Exchange office and say 'hey' to editor Kerry McCarver...who is also our mayor. Start out early for the big city-wide yard sale in April. In July, join practically the entire community at the Annual Volunteer Fire Department's Parade and Picnic, and on the Fourth, take a folding chair downtown and watch the fireworks. Come Halloween, grab a costume and pumpkin-shaped bucket and head on over to West Ridge, where most of the county converges for Trick or Treats.  And  if there's a decent snow in the winter, you can pick up a sled at Van's and join kids of all ages sledding down our many hills.

Q:  So that's it? 

Yep, that's about the size of it.  Whaddya think?

Fred and Ethel Go to Disneyworld


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