Throwback Thursday – 1988 Jimmy Buffett at Starwood Amphitheater

1988 Jimmy Buffett Ticket Stub from Starwood Amphitheater, photo by Caryn

1988 Jimmy Buffett Ticket Stub from Starwood Amphitheater, photo by Caryn

In the course of my day other people’s ephemera crosses my path. This ticket stub from Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefers Band’s appearance at Starwood Amphitheater in Nashville, TN gave me pause. 26 years ago a lawn seat at an amphitheater show cost $14.50 + $1.25 in fee fees. I looked up one of his 2014 amphitheater shows (6/28/14 in Tinley Park, IL at the First Midwest bank Amphitheater) to see what a lawn seat cost now: $36.00 + $13.50 in fee fees.


Wacky Wednesday – TPAC Art-O-Mat

ARTOMAT at TPAC, Photo by Caryn

ARTOMAT at TPAC, Photo by Caryn

Our first visit to TPAC, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, brought many delights: the show, the architecture, the artwork and statues in expected and unexpected places, and the Art-O-Mat. After explaining to our daughter what a cigarette machine was, we both agreed it was a fantastic and productive up cycle. Placing $5.00 in this Art-O-Mat machine gave the patron a choice from a selection of palm-sized hand-made artwork from around the country. I say ‘patron’ because the proceeds go to support the TPAC Education Fund.

ARTOMAT at TPAC, Photo by Caryn

ARTOMAT at TPAC, Photo by Caryn

On further investigation we learned that the Art-O-Mat is not unique to TPAC. There are Art-O-Mats all over the country, with one of the newest being unveiled at Alfred University in New York State this week. Clark Whittington of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the founder and creator of Art-O-Mat, will be speaking about his work at Alfred University on March 19th.

Art-O-Mat continues to search for more artists to represent in their machines. There are very specific perimeters and uniform packaging – about the size of  pack of cigarettes. Here are the detailed guidelines. Once a prototype is accepted the artist needs to have at least 50 items together and ready to ship to one of the cities housing an Art-O-Matic machine. Usual price is $5.00 and once sold the artist will receive $2.50.

ARTOMAT at TPAC, Photo by Caryn

ARTOMAT at TPAC, Photo by Caryn

Happy 5th Anniversary to Fanny’s House of Music!

Fanny's House of Music, Nashville

Fanny’s House of Music, Nashville, Photo by Caryn

After the ice and cold of last week (month) yesterday was a breath of fresh, almost-Spring air and brought many folks out into the sunshine. We took a very late lunch and visited a few of our favorite places in East Nashville. We were making a bee-line to I Dream of Weenie for some hots and brats when we stopped in at Fanny’s House of Music yesterday for their 5th Anniversary celebration.  Fanny’s has multiple personalities and they all get along.

Fanny’s sells, new, used, and refurbished instruments. Fanny’s gives music lessons and has a very strong program for children: Kids Rock Band. Fanny’s has a delightful selection of vintage clothing as well as spotlighting new artwork. It is chock full of ‘hip’ without being pretentious. They are happy to see you whether you are just learning an instrument or just had a paying gig the night before. Fanny’s House of Music is located in an older house at 1101 Holly Street at the corner of 11th in East Nashville, right across the street from the Pied Piper Creamery.

Fanny's House of Music, Nashville

Fanny’s House of Music, Nashville, Photo by Caryn

Fanny's House of Music, Nashville

Fanny’s House of Music, Nashville, Photo by Caryn

Barbershop Harmony Society – Nashville, TN

Barbershop Harmony Society, Nashville

Barbershop Harmony Society, Nashville, Photo by Caryn

I was minding my own business yesterday afternoon trying to get from A to B in downtown Nashville to drop off tickets for that evening’s hockey game when I looked up and saw this building. Fairly nondescript in shape, but the details! There’s a billboard size Norman Rockwell’s “Barbershop Quartet“, originally on the cover of the ‘Saturday Evening Post‘, on the side of the building as you head towards Broadway. Moving closer I can see the Art Deco detailed windows with their 75th Anniversary decals and find the home of the Barbershop Harmony Society.

The building at 110 Seventh Avenue North has an ornate iron gate across their double door with detailing of a music stand. It was a lovely surprise for this Junk Lady to find while running an errand. The Barbershop Harmony Society was founded in Oklahoma in 1938 and for years had its headquarters in Wisconsin before relocating to Nashville in 2006.

Barbershop Harmony Society, Nashville

Barbershop Harmony Society, Nashville, Photo by Caryn

Barbershop Harmony Society, Nashville

Barbershop Harmony Society, Nashville, Photo By Caryn

FREE Event – Shakespeare ALLOWED! ‘Othello’ Nashville Public Library

The Nashville Shakespeare Festival (@nashvilleshakes on Twitter) is in the middle of an impressive program to read the complete plays of William Shakespeare in order and aloud. They started the program back at the beginning of 2012 meeting at the Nashville Public Library the first Saturday of every month. They are presently at ‘Othello’, which is a nice coincidence since ‘Othello’ is the next show the company is producing. It runs from January 9, 2014 to February 2, 2014 at Belmont’s Troutt Theater and stars Eddie George as Othello.

Shakespeare ALLOWED! is free, fun, and for all ages and takes place the first Saturday of each month at the Nashville Public Library (unless it is the second Saturday – please check schedule). Meet at 11:50AM and take one of the 16 chairs in a circle if you’d like to be a reader. Reading starts at Noon and halfway through there is a break and folks can switch chairs to give folks outside the circle a chance to take part. It is encouraged to bring a copy of the day’s play if possible.

Othello Promo - Courtesy of Nashville Shakespeare Festival - Photo by Jeff Frazier and Design by AIM Studios.

Othello Promo – Courtesy of Nashville Shakespeare Festival – Photo by Jeff Frazier and Design by AIM Studios.

2013 Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue Recap

We have been Certified BBQ Judges through the KCBS for the last 5 years. During this time we’ve met other judges and BBQ teams and these folks have truly become part of a ‘BBQ family’. Some members of this family had a chance to compete at the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue. I am honored they let me tag along.

Who may participate?  To qualify for a chance to be chosen a team needs to win a contest with 50+ competitors or a contest with 25+ competitors that has been designated a ‘State Championship’. Teams winning 7 such competitions in the year get an automatic invitation – quite an accomplishment. Each state has a draw for its representative team from among those winners.  Add to that list about two dozen international teams and you’ve got ‘The Jack‘.

photo by caryn of cook sites at the jack

Photo by Caryn of a fraction of the cook sites at The Jack on Friday

Billy, Richard, and Jeff are DoRagQ and are all from Middle Tennessee. Their dear friends Jan and Bill of Gooby’s BBQ, also of Middle TN, signed up to assist with Jan preparing the entry for the Dessert Category.  They kindly asked me to round out the team as gofer, dish washer, turn-in blocker, and be 1 of 6 taste testers.

photo by rita baker, doragq team for the jack

Photo by Rita Baker, DoRagQ Team for The Jack
(Jan, Richard, Jeff, Billy, Bill, Caryn)

DoRagQ arrived Wednesday with the rig to set up and to soak in being in Lynchburg. They did the Jack Daniels Distillery tour and lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s.  Jan and Bill arrived early Thursday and I followed later that afternoon to set up my tent.

photo of caryn's tent at the cook site

Photo of Caryn’s tent, backed up to the port-a-potty and bookended by Tuffy Stone’s camper and our smokers

We were kindly invited to Byron Chism’s annual party where Buck and Lou Buchanan of KCBS Team ‘High on the Hawg’ put out a fabulous spread of Brunswick Stew, corn bread, and apple cobbler to accompany Roger & Marsha Wise of Pickin’ Porkers’s smoked whole hog.  Bacon is good. Pieces from the bacon section of a smoked whole hog are sublime. Sadly there are no photos as camera and phone batteries were dead, but a good time was had by all. Byron always invites the international teams. This was where I got to meet the South African and Estonian teams. Their enthusiasm for being at the Jack was contagious. I drove for an hour to get to Lynchburg. The South African team took about a 24 of those hours to fly and drive there.

team braai-b-que south africa

Photo by Caryn of Team Braai-B-Que South Africa

photo by caryn of contestants enjoying dinner up on bbq hill

Photo by Caryn of dinner up on BBQ Hill

Friday night had teams marching in a parade up to the distillery to board buses to take us to a fine meal on BBQ Hill. There the scent of mash was heavy in the air and the Primo Grill line had some fine vittles for us to enjoy – almost as lovely as the view.

Going to sleep Friday night one knew that the morning, however early, meant: GAME ON! As one who was sleeping in a tent, it was a cold night. I believe it got down to 27 degrees F./-3 degrees C.. We awoke to our outdoor sink by the creek having an icicle coming out of the spigot (and frost on my tent).

photo by caryn of a spigot icicle

Photo by Caryn of a spigot icicle

Saturday morning had us cooking and presenting our four meats, our Anything But/Home Cookin’ From the Homeland, Sauce, and Dessert. Here is a photo of the grounds on Saturday with the crowds the teams had to weave through to deliver their turn-in boxes. Having sharp elbows was finally a plus.

photo of caryn of the crowds on saturday at the jack

Photo by Caryn of the crowds on Saturday at The Jack

After turn in there was nothing to do but decompress, clean up, and visit with other teams and get our barrel heads signed.  Competing teams, judges, and friends alike all signed the barrel heads. It is a keepsake like no other from a most unique experience.

photo by caryn of dave compton signing billys barrel head

Photo by Caryn of Dave Compton Signing Billy’s Barrel Head

We made our way to the awards ceremony. There we waited. The suspense was terrible and awesome at the same time. We walked! We got a call in Desserts with Jan’s Banana Pudding placing 7th Place at The Jack – a special thing indeed.

photo by caryn of jans award winning banana pudding

Photo by Caryn of Jan’s Award Winning Banana Pudding

Sadly it was our only walk. The BBQ I tasted would have won the GC in most any other competition. Billy’s brisket was some of the best I’ve ever had.

Grand Champion of the 25th Annual Jack Daniels World Championship Barbecue went to ‘The Professor’ Tuffy Stone of Cool Smoke out of Virginia. Many may have seen him on the television show BBQ Pitmasters. He was our next door neighbor at The Jack and could not have been nicer. His three helpers were his sweet uncles who mainly played cribbage as they kept the looki-loos away while Tuffy worked his magic.  Congrats on a title well won!

billy of doragq and tuffy of cool smoke at the jack

Billy of DoRagQ and Tuffy of Cool Smoke at The Jack

Giant Redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument

muir woods national monument

Photo by Caryn, Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, CA

Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley, California near San Francisco in the National Park Service is a must visit in any trip to the Bay area.  I was not able to make it this trip, but here are some photos from my last trip three years back. Please note the two people walking on the path between the two trees on the right.  It helps give an idea of the true size of these majestic trees.

muir woods national monument

Photo taken by an unknown tourist of Caryn dwarfed by a Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

This park is named for John Muir (1838-1914), a Scottish-born naturalist.  He was a prolific writer and an early advocate for the preservation of wilderness and natural spaces.

Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia

I placed the subtitle ‘Junk King of Nashville‘s Wandering Recycler’ on this blog and I’d be remiss to not mention I have wandered 2 time zones away from home.  I am presently outside of San Francisco in Burlingame, CA attending the annual Junk King convention.  Here with representatives from 38 of the 50 current franchises across the country  North America (Welcome Junk Works of Waterloo, Ontario!) we’re learning how to continue to do the best job we can hauling for our customers and recycling as much as possible.

When thinking of San Francisco, many think of this:

golden gate bridge san francisco

Photo by Caryn, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA

Or, this:

npr graphic rice a roni

NPR’s graphic for ‘The Birth of Rice-A-Roni’

The Bay area has so many beautiful and interesting places, but right here in Burlingame is a gem of a museum – the Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia. It could not take up more than 150 square feet, but it is jam packed with PEZ dispensers from across the decades and from around the world and curator Gary Doss is happy to talk about any and all of them.  By all of them I mean over 900 and they have an example of every PEZ dispenser ever sold.

burlingame museum of pez memorabilia

Photo by Caryn, interior of the Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia, Burlingame, CA

1001 Uses for a Jack Daniels Whiskey Barrel


Spending a few days in Lynchburg, TN helping friends as they compete at the Jack Daniels Invitational BBQ I was able to visit the Lynchburg General Store. I am amazed at all the different items they make out of used Jack Daniels whiskey barrels.

From stools and chairs to tables and bars, they reuse both the side slats and barrel heads. I purchased a half barrel lid to commemorate my visit here this weekend on which our team and other friends may sign and write messages.


Sleep In A Wigwam!

Photo by Caryn, Wigwam Village, No.2, Cave City, KY

Photo by Caryn, Wigwam Village, No.2, Cave City, KY

This time last year found us planning a trip up to Kentucky to meet friends down from Ohio for a quick visit.  Where to stay?  We had just watched both Pixar ‘Cars’ movies and remembered that the Cozy Cone Motel was based on a real chain of motels from the Another Roadside Attraction era.  A quick search found that Wigwam Village No. 2  in Cave City, KY was still going strong and celebrating its 75 year anniversary.  It is one of the three remaining teepee villages of the original seven.  The other two are in Arizona and California.

Photo by Caryn, Close up of the scary and wonderful metal slide in the children's playground within the wigwam semicircle

Photo by Caryn, Close up of the scary and wonderful metal slide in the children’s playground within the wigwam semicircle

It was perfect: reasonably priced, centrally located, and fun.  We visited Dinosaur World and Lost River Cave along with what I’ll call ‘Adventures in Dining’ and leave it at that.  The kids got to enjoy something rarely seen – an old fashioned metal playground, the kind that helicopter parents have all but eradicated.  They had a blast and no one got tetanus.  The room was of cement and plaster and cozy.  The lapsed potter in me lingered over the beautiful and quite original bathroom tile from the mid-1930’s.  It was like stepping into a time capsule.  I do enjoy finding vintage items, but it is also a lot of fun to visit the vintage still in use.

Hit Counter provided by iphone 5