The next Larry Keeton Live Music Series event is coming this Friday May 15 at 7:30pm featuring “New Faces in Country” with Carly Pearce and Mamadear. Just $8 or $10 at the door. Get your tickets at the website or visit FiftyForward Donelson Station to pick them up in person. Food trucks will be on site and you its BYOB.
Donelson welcomed two new great businesses both located in the central business district!
The Bowtie Barber Club offers a unique experience for customers and they had a great grand opening celebration with free food and haircuts. The Donelson-Hermitage Chamber did an official ribbon cutting and Hip Donelson was there with a booth as well with many neighbors to support Keith & Ayla Weiser as we welcomed them to our community. Be sure to visit their website and check out the products and services they offer.
The Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA) officially rolled out into all our MNPS Districts with our McGavock cluster included this past year and the initiative celebrated 5-years of service to our middle schools kids. Big thanks goes to our McGavock Zone Director Marielle Lovecchio who has put a lot of energy and passion into ensuring our kids have great after-school opportunities for continued enrichment. Here is a collage of kids in action over the past year.
This campaign has really kicked into high gear! It’s been a month of high energy and a lot of work, but it’s been very rewarding and the rest of the campaign will be more of the same all the way until August 6. I’m deeply thankful to each of you for your incredible support. I couldn’t do this without you.
Before I left for Memphis, I began to put up campaign signs and I was blown away with the response from neighbors who saw them going up and asked for one for their yard too. I am so thankful for this show of support and I actually ran out of my first batch of 125 signs, so I’ve placed another order and will get them to you just as soon as they are printed. If you’d like a sign, you can let me know by visiting my website’s Get Involved page here. Thank you!
Jack Kirby is a true unsung hero in Donelson and beyond. I had the pleasure of getting to Jack through Hip Donelson and our natural love of music and supporting artists bonded a great friendship. When I began to learn about Jack’s incredible history of being on the production staff of Hee Haw, filling in for musicians at the Grand Ole Opry and everything he did as part of a number of different teams making those shows big successes, my admiration and respect for Jack went even deeper.
March has been a busy month with petitions being released and campaigns across the county gear up for full steam ahead. We had four meet & greets this past month to discuss Donelson and sign my petition. Big thanks goes to my wonderful hosts – Al & Stephanie Pruitt Gaines in my neighborhood of Donelson Hills, Mike & Karen Cowell in Merry Oaks (with help from Naomi Regensburg), David & Maggie Sidlinger in Bluefields (with help from Lara Tucker) and Julie Buhler, Emily Nix and the team at Phat Bites for hosting a great after work birthday party and meet & greet! It was a great time at each getting to know new neighbors and listening to your thoughts and concerns for our community and in your neighborhoods. The Davidson County Election Commission gives you two petition forms with 67 blanks on them each. You only need 25 valid signatures to be placed on the ballot, but I successfully filled up every blank and my sincere thanks goes out to each of you who came to one of the meet & greets, took time to meet with me or invited me to your home to sign it.
The first-ever Larry Keeton Live Music Series launched on Friday, March 20 to a sold-out crowd at The Larry Keeton Theater for a night of blues and R&B. Markey Blue opened the show with the Andy T – Nick Nixon Band following. The dance floor was full the whole night. This was a very special project from a team with Leadership Donelson-Hermitage Class of 2015. They did a great job putting this together. See the flyer below for details on the next two shows!
At our quarterly Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce’s Aviation, Transportation and Infrastructure meeting at the Nashville Airport recently, we learned that the Music City Star ridership is up 20% from last year. MTA/RTA is also in the early stages of planning a couple of side rails for long-term planning of increased use of the line. That’s great news. More great news is for neighbors participating or will be spectators of the St. Jude Country Music Marathon on Saturday, April 25, the Music City Star will run then as well.
I enjoyed being with Lincoya Hills neighbors on Saturday, March 14 for their annual chili cook-off and I also gave a presentation on the NashvilleNext process.
Great job to our Maplecrest neighbors who are hard at work clearing out a very visible in their neighborhood at Maplecrest Drive and Fairway Drive. The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office did a great job of cutting the brush down that had been growing for years, now neighbors are working to clean it up even more and will begin a beautification project. (pictured above)
One of the biggest news stories of the month was the announcement of SmartSpace bringing 370 jobs to Donelson! Automated Health Systems is a new company coming to Nashville and Covance brings 120 jobs from downtown relocated to Donelson.
A great new business started by neighbor Christopher Hodges is Heirloom Archaeology, LLC. Christopher helps return lost artifacts that reconnects generations in families. It’s as fascinating business and the recent stories of his success are found on his website and Facebook page.
You may have noticed construction occurring over at The Crossings next door to CareSpot. That will be Yats, a Cajun Creole restaurant chain from Indianapolis that looks delicious. They’ll have an open deck area as well on the side of the building. They should be open this summer. I spoke with the owner and they’re excited to be part of the community.
At my campaign kick-off last September, I mentioned that Ryman Hospitality Properties was working towards the Grand Ole Opry House being added to the National Register of Historic Places. Normally this designation is reserved for properties that are 50-years or older, but the Grand Ole Opry House at 41-years is being added early because of its significant contributions to culture and arts. The Grand Ole Opry celebrates 90-years this year and has a Birthday Bash Weekend scheduled for October 2-3.
Metro Nashville Public Schools was granted a waiver from the Tennessee Department of Education for snow days that we took during the rough snow and ice storms last month. View this article for details.
You may recall the McGavock High School Baseball concession stand burned down last year in an arson attack and then the clubhouse was ransacked last month. A strong community came through in helping the baseball boosters replace the concession stand. They can use our continued support. If you’d like to help the team and booster club, checks can be made to McGavock Baseball Bullpen and sent to the school at 3150 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN 37214. You can also follow the efforts of the booster club via Facebook here.
One of the thrills of doing this blog is the time I get to spend researching artists and listening to their music. I revisit some music I hadn’t heard in a long time and I always discover new music too. Donelson is full of wonderful neighbors who are immensely talented, have incredible stories about where their music has taken them and are musical heroes of mine. Leon Rhodes is in a class of his own. His musical talent is truly a gift from God. He never had a lesson and doesn’t read music, but his playing showcases him as one of the true masters of the guitar. His older brother had a guitar while growing up and he would pick it up and play it every chance he got. At ten years old, his dad sold his bed to buy him his first guitar. Although the guitar has always been his main instrument, he can play anything with strings. Leon has also played drums and sang at various clubs in the early days of his career while in Dallas, Texas. He would later also sing on albums with The Texas Troubadours and while part of the staff band at the Grand Ole Opry.
The Metro Nashville Police Department’s Citizen Policy Academy has sign-ups through February 17. It may already be full as it fills up quickly, but visit this link to get more info.
Metro Public Works Brush and Leaf Collection begins soon for our area. They begin in the Pennington Bend area. Note: The Brush Crews sometimes go into the next zone when finished with the prior zone to stay ahead of demand in case of storms or equipment issues. They will run the entire zone again starting on the scheduled date. Visit the link above for the brush do’s and don’ts.
We have a new non-profit organization in Donelson! GROW Enrichment is an educational program offering garden-based learning using skills in natural sciences and teaching a wide variety of subjects through hands-on activity. Started by Maplecrest neighbors Jonathan & Ginger-Rose Krueck, they are beginning classes soon and have a GoFund Me campaign to help them get started.
As you’ve noticed at the intersection of Lebanon Pike and Donelson Pike, our new CedarStone Bank Donelson Branch is coming along nicely. It will be a beautiful building and should be open by August! Check out the rendering below.
Great big thanks to McGavock Elementary Principal Lance Forman for his dedication to all the students, teachers, and staff. He has been a wonderful Principal at the school and has now accepted a new opportunity as Principal of the brand new Smith Springs Elementary School Congratulations to Lance and we wish him well! I’m excited that Jason Taylor has been named the new Principal at McGavock Elementary I had the pleasure of getting to know Jason when Joey attended Dodson. He will be a great leader for the school. Congratulations and welcome, Jason!
Check out these great new push cards that I’ll be handing out at events. Thanks to Jerry Dunaway for the design and Andrew Hensley with Purple Chair Studio for the photo of Bo and me in front of the Two Rivers Mansion.
Russ King grew up in Donelson and graduated from McGavock High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Arts in Religion from Lipscomb University. He’s currently working towards a Masters Degree in Conflict Management. Russ has good memories of going to kindergarten at Donelson Church of Christ, playing football at the YMCA, hanging out at Opryland in middle school, and cruising Shoney’s near Donelson Plaza in his high school years. Russ recalls getting his first pair of glasses, first speeding ticket, first kiss, and getting married all in Donelson. “It’s where I learned the blessing of good friends, the value of good neighbors, hard work, respect and faith,” Russ recalls about growing up in the community. “Many things have changed through the years, but these values are still taught and lived right here in 37214. I am thankful to have grown up here and excited about our future.”
Near the 2620 Building is an island that has served as a Veteran’s Memorial for many years. The American Legion Post 88 Ladies Auxiliary has maintained the site and thanks to efforts of Brian & Mary McClanahan and Girl Scout Troop 1421, you may have noticed some changes and landscaping improvements happening to the site. They look forward to continuing their work this year. Also, the community Christmas Tree is always a welcome sight for travelers on Lebanon Pike through Donelson. Thanks to JVI Secret Gardens for donating the tree, Larry Keeton with Dicks Petals & Flowers for donating the decorations, members of the board of Hip Donelson for decorating it, and Councilman Phil Claiborne for coordinating it all.
The Buchanan Station Cemetery just off of Massman Drive is a foundational historic site for Nashville. All that remains of what was once one of the first settlements in Nashville’s history is a cemetery that reminds us of the amazing story of how these pioneers came to what is now Nashville in the late 1700’s. For a great account of this story, read the story here from historian Mike Slate’s website. A Friends group was formed to preserve and restore this cemetery and could even one day be a trail stop on a future part of the Metro Greenway. The group is working with the property owner to transfer it to Metro Parks and has raised $11,000 of the $17,000 needed to install a fence around the cemetery. If you’d like to help the group meet their goal, contact Joe Cathey at email@example.com.
Bridgestone’s announcement to consolidate offices and expand their headquarters in a new tower downtown that will create over 600 jobs was one of the biggest announcements for 2014. The 15th District is home to Bridgestone’s current headquarters and will be through 2017 while the new tower is constructed. This also presents a great opportunity to find the next company to move into their current building and create even more jobs.
By now everyone has noticed that Johnson’s Furniture isn’t at 2620 Lebanon Pike anymore. They’ve moved to Elm Hill Pike. I’m excited that the new owner of the building is SmartSpace, who have done great things in Donelson by restoring buildings and giving them new life and beauty as well as filling them with great companies that provide solid career opportunities as well. Thanks to SmartSpace President Floyd Schechter for sharing these renderings of what we have to look forward to seeing after the rehab is complete! To inquire about leasing, contact Anthony Caduff at 615-251-8900. The building will now be called the 2620 Building.
I hope all the kids enjoyed their break and are back to working hard. Congrats to all the many students at McGavock Elementary for meeting their academic goals. Here’s a great picture from Twitter of the goal wall overflowing.
Check out these two great blog entries from McGavock High School students that highlight what great opportunities our kids have there. Click here and here to read them.
Metro Nashville Public Schools is starting an annual parent survey. I took it in less than 10 minutes. It’d be great to give a lot of input from Donelson parents and grandparents who have kids in our schools.
Save those box tops! Even if you don’t have kids in our schools, it’s an easy way for the whole community to support them. To search which schools collect them, visit this link and you’ll also note the goal set for each school and what they have earned so far. Let’s help them all meet their goals!