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?


  1. What do I think? I think it's beautiful and wonderful! A small, picturesque town with no Walmart and no McDonalds sounds like Heaven to me. Since you reside there, you must be an angel. Funny, I always thought the opposite was true of redheads. ;)

  2. Awww Ethelmae, thanks for a fabulous post - I felt as if I was really there! :D And who else could tell it better than you. :O) The photographs and descriptions are excellent. I live in a small town as well and they sound similar..... except that we have TWO elevators, one in the community resource centre and one in the health centre. :O)

  3. hmmmm, once again, i'm not first. but you nailed it . another one i like -- course-- i love em all.
    each of your stories - leave me wanting more. keep em comin em :)) i'll keep hangin around to read :))

  4. Sounds heavenly to me! I love Tennessee, and you're right, the fall colors are stunning.

    You are most certainly not missing anything without a WalMart, except maybe some entertaining people-watching.

    Great tour of your little slice of heaven on earth!

  5. Isn't the Subway over by Sonic? ;-D

    Those birds at the Blue Spring are the funniest! One of them may just have to come live near the river.

  6. What a beautiful tribute to your town! I loved it! And the photos were gorgeous!

  7. I really enjoyed learning about your little corner of the world! Sometimes I wish I was in a place with only one stoplight.

  8. Now all I want to do is belt out in song to the tune of "The Last Train to Clarksville." You've been around long enough to know I have no self control when it comes to such things.

    I loved this post sweetie. The tour guide was great and the view of the town was simply magnificent! Our Tiny Towns are about the same size but we tote a Wally World, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, KFC/Taco bell and several other eateries. Yep, eatin' is a big deal 'round these parts. Guess I best stop complain' that we do have anything. Heeehehehehe!

    God bless ya and it's just great to have ya up and runnin' again!!!

  9. I want to live there. Thank you for this tour....its "Norman Rockwell's Americana, Ethel Mae's version. A place where you feel comfy and secure in the knowledge that everyone knows who you are and actually cares.

  10. What a great idea for a post. I always wondered if Pleasant View was real. The diner looks very cool. We have a Coach House too, but it's a dingy bar. The Sportsman's club looks a little like a crack house but the outdoors shots are beautiful.

    Thanks for the tour. If my town wasn't quite so big it might be a fun project.

  11. The countryside around Pleasant View is absolutely stunning! And wow, you do have a way with animals. I can never get the little buggers to hold still for me!

    Thanks for the tour, Ethel.

  12. Great tour of Pleasant View! Thanks for your humorous spin on your "neck of the woods." I'm from the country and grew up near a very small town in central Ohio. No McD's or Walmart there still to this day. I now live a small town with my family, no Walmart but we do have a McD's and boy does it come in handy when all the kids have soccer practice on the same night! Thanks again!

  13. I think this is a perfect and creative post!!!! And Pleasant View sounds like a piece of paradise!!! Ethel, you are beyond extraordinary!! I love everything you write!!! You are such a personality!!! Love you!! Janine XO

  14. ha. thanks for the wonderful tour..that sportsmans clud ooks a little questionable...smiles. actually it looks like a pretty cool place...

    and thank you....

  15. Every small town has to have a GREAT diner-- they are way better than McDonald's.

    I think it would be paradise to live in a place with so much wide open space-- at least for a little while.

    Thanks a million for the tour. This must have taken you a long to to put together and you did it all with your usual great sense of humor. Thanks, jj

  16. Love this post!! You have me longing for the small town life. Beautiful, bucolic, small town. I would totally hang out at the hardware store. And NO Wal-Mart? Heaven.

    Great tour! Thanks so much for being a part of BlogTrotting!!

  17. Where you live could not be more different from where I live, and I have to say, Pleasant View sounds pretty darn pleasant to me!

    Great tour -- one of my all time favorite BlogTrotting tours. Beautiful photos, and I like your witty Q and A approach!

    Hope you're having a lovely autumn weekend!

  18. Okay, I loved it! I imagine it's kinda quiet (except for the pesky birds) and I loved the fall leaves (the spring flowers were pretty too though) and the misty rainy day. But best of all was that donkey who beat you in the staring contest. He rocked! Nice tour; thanks for bringing us along :)

  19. Love it!! Seriously one of my all time favorite tours!

    i live in a town w/ no Mc Donalds, no Walmart and NO traffic lights.
    Oh and we have no roads in or out and a heck of a lot more snow in the winter!

    Thank you for the amazing tour!

  20. Oh my! You are hilarious! Just such a fun trip through your little town. :)
    Those photos are gorgeous.

  21. I love this post! The pictures are gorgeous...and it kind of reminds me of where I grew up. We had a drug mart and a family restaurant, but there was no McD's or WalMart, or Grocery store there (although it was probably only a 10 minute drive to any of those things!)

    Love the pictures, as always, and thanks for sharing!!

  22. just swingin by to say howdy! i haven't forgot about ya . we should 'talk'. email- or otherwise.
    "pleasant" day to ya EM!
    ps-- tell me a story?

  23. Coming back to read this, Ethel.
    But for now I invite you to collect a little something from my place ~ Eddie

  24. I think it's AWESOME! COming from a little town myself (although we do have a Walmart and a couple motels), I relish small-town living. I've lived in those larger citified places... don't care for 'em.

    Ethel, thank you for sharing your lovely town with us for Blogtrotting... I truly enjoyed it! I will be back! ♥

  25. I think I am packing my duds, and moving on out.
    No Walmart. No MacDonalds's.
    Sounds like Paradise for sure.

  26. What do I think? Well I think you have a lovely town, I also think you're a great tour guide. I enjoyed my visit. Felt comfortable. My husband would love it there. me , well ....not to live,But yes to visit. Big Hugs!
    P.S. do you suppose they sell soft boiled eggs at that diner, giggle

  27. Just stopping by to check on you, dear friend!!! And enjoyed admiring your gorgeous photos once again!!!! Love you!!! Janine XO

  28. Sounds like a great place to live. No wonder you're such a proud host. I love your creativity with this post, Ethel. You sure know how to show your town off. Thanks for the invite.. and for the laughs.

  29. I think it's gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

    I'm coming to live with you. Never fear, I bathe frequently.

    Oh, okay, I'm not coming to live with you but I want to! It looks lovely there. I particularly liked the sporting club, by the way, and the PACKED diner but I simply must have one of those blue, plastic birds.

    It can be my friend. I will sit on the lawn, in full view of the HOA president's house, with my blue, plastic lawn friends, and we will converse, loudly, and at length.

    About what we think of HOAs. Oh yes we will. Then we'll talk about my husband's burgeoning weapons collection, that doesn't actually exist, but like the HOA President needs to know that?

    What a great post, Ethel. It's beautiful there, with and without blue birds.

    Also, I bet I'd get along with that burrow.

  30. One more thing Pleasant View doesn't have: HOA's.

  31. What a wonderful tour. I wouldn't even know where to start. I just loved all of it and your photos were divine! I miss Tennessee so much but MM and I are looking to relocate there again so if we find the perfect farm, we'll be coming back. Maybe we should start to look near you. Beautiful country. Thanks so much for the tour.

  32. this was fantastic!!
    the pictures are unbelievable..truly.

    I want to visit your Pleasant View.

  33. I'm just now getting around to reading some great blogs! (Better late than never!) Wow...your small town is about 1/2 the size of mine. But, it sounds heavenly! Really beautiful!

  34. This is a wonderful post!Thankyou for showing me all around your little town. :) Tennessee is such a beautiful state--my kids go to Lee University up in Cleveland, and I love getting to go up and visit. But Cleveland is a thriving metropolis compared to Pleasant View. Do you like it, or do you sometimes think you might snap? Just wondering...LOL!

  35. Love you, dear Ethel!!!! Have wonderful weekend!!! ~Janine XO

  36. What a great great post. Enjoyed your tour very much and just a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit Loretta Lynns ranch at Hurricane Mills. I don't know how far you are from there but I do know that I fell in love with your state.
    If it were not for my kids and grandkids I would move there in a minute.
    So happy I found you and love your writing and town

  37. Totally off topic but Ethel Mae sure was beautiful. Her beauty was often not emphasized with Lucy always being the main lady but your pictures show a beautiful person!

    Okay, now on to the Mcdonald's? So what do you do about someone that creates a crime or shoplifts? Where do they go to jail?

    Does everyone know everyone's business there?

    Are you a tobacco farmer and if so, do you smoke it to taste test it? If so, what does it taste like?

    Do you have a library? How many elementary schools? How many churches?

    I would love the small town living but I'm not sure if the small town would love me! :)

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  40. This was a lot of fun to compose, and I thank CaraBee for inviting me. Kden, you should take a look at Blogtrotting - they offer tours of ALL places, big and small.

    To answer a few questions:

    Yes, Teri, the Subway sandwich Shop is over by the Sonic Drive-in. And I think one of those birds would look divine on your riverbank! And Nezzy, even though we have no McD's, we do also have a combo TacoBell/KFC. And there's a Wendy's in the corner of the as station.

    Katie, I checked - yes, they do sell soft-boiled eggs. I'll be passing on those, thank you very much.

    Grandma Yellow Hair, Hurricane Mills is about 75 miles from Pleasant View. We've passed by often, but never been. I keep telling Fred that his older sister would love it and we need to take her one day.

    Simone, actually, everybody does NOT know everybody's business. Well, at least not in the new subdivisions, where both parents work and commute. But on second thought, yeah, we kinda do. And everybody trusts each other. Van's is closed on Sundays, but if you need a bale of hay or something else that he keeps stored outside, he just trusts you to take it and pay him on Monday.

    I am NOT a tobacco farmer, but the barn on the farm right behind our house is smoking right now and I love it. I am not a smoker, but the smoke from curing smells more like hickory than anything else. It's comforting, somehow.

    We don't have a library, but there is a bookcase in the bank that acts as a small library.

    By the way, our county is Cheatham, (pronounced Cheat-um,) and we moved here, the bank guessed it, The Cheatham Bank.

    As far as schools go, we have one of each - elementary, middle, and high, plus a small private Christian school. And churches? I think we have six!

    If someone commits a crime, his or her name will be be published in the newspaper under the police report, and if anyone needs to be jailed, they just take them over to the county jail in Ashland City. I have heard police sirens exactly four times in the almost 15 years we've lived here.

    Chubby, I ADORE living here! The commute to work is long, about 45 minutes each way, but soooo worth it. There's such solitude in the country. And it's not really like we're out in the middle of NOWHERE - we're 20 to 30 minutes from Nashville, Springfield, Ashland City, and Clarksville.

    And thanks Nezzy, I had last Train to Clarksville stuck in my head for two days!

    I would welcome any of you who want to move here or visit!

    Finally, Jenny, I defend myself as a redheaded angel - you and your sisters and dad should know that redheads and hot tempers do not always go together. Although Fred may disagree!

  41. Whoops, y'all that was supposed to read "gas station." Guess I should edit my comments as well as my posts!

  42. It does sound kinda Mayberry, but so peaceful (and beautiful).
    The one traffic light got me laughing. I live in a small town but we're surrounded by a large one, which makes our quiet piece of heaven not so quiet. I could walk to the Holiday Inn, Walmart, and soon to be built Cosco. All of which are actually in the next town over, but just a few feet away.

  43. What a great (and hilarious) tour!

  44. its always nice to say hello...
    and then bittersweet to bid adieu :)
    as wonderful as ever, the photography is a lesson in art through film :)

  45. Gosh, those are great pictures, Ethel Mae.

    My "Jack" doesn't reside in Pleasant View. I will say that my "Jack" (my friend Val says he's a mule, not a donkey, but we call him a donkey all the same,because we're ignorant that way) lives with a friend, who also appears to be a mule, but who is lighter in color, and since he's whiter, and neither horse nor donkey, we call him "Honkey".

    Pleasant View is a bit of a drive for me - around 45 minutes or so, but I consider you my Boonie Sister in Spirit, nonetheless.

    Sorry my blog put you to sleep: that made me laugh out loud!

    I am wondering why I chose to name my blog with a W name. I start out with good intentions in my google reader, but always find myself speeding through the alphabetical list once I get past the "D"s. I think I follow too many blogs.

    Anyway, I'll be in Pleasant View this very evening, so if you see a Hummer Limo driving through town (I am not making this up) wave at me, because tonight, I'm going for a ride in a limo to the country!!! And, no...I'm not explaining why.

    Not yet, anyway.

  46. Ethel - This blog is Fantastic! Wanted to check with you and see if we may have permission to link from to your blog and also if we could have permission to use some of your fabulous photos on Pleasant View's website. E-mail at

    I love your blog!


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