Nashville’s meat-and-three tradition at Wendell Smith’s

by Samantha Clark

Jakie Cook was a clerk at the eponymous Wendell Smith’s liquor store in 1958, when Sylvan Park was a rural community just outside Nashville, Tenn. He married the boss’ daughter, Beverly, and then took over the Wendell Smith Restaurant. These days, son Benji Cook runs the eatery.
“Nothing has changed,” Benji Cook said. “Well, [...]

Chipsters take on new challenges and win awards

New Jobs:
Harold Goodridge (Summer 1997) is manager of digital content at 13WMAZ in Macon, Ga., a Gannett-owned TV station. He writes, “I can’t say enough about how much I love my job.” Previously he was a business editor for The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph.
Simone Weichselbaum (Summer 2001) is a reporter for The Marshall Project, an Internet [...]

Historic instruments awaiting repairs at a violin shop

by Alex Corey

When the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn., reopened last fall, it was without two of its most prized stand-up basses and an old acoustic gourd. Four years ago, a flood struck Nashville and Middle Tennessee, taking 26 lives and causing $2.4 billion in property damage.
The three instruments are still [...]

Saving bass: A historical instrument’s redemption tale

by Elizabeth Hernandez

Randy Hunt heals broken necks, ribs, backs and shoulders, yet he boasts no medical degree.
Hunt is a luthier—one who crafts and repairs stringed instruments—at Williams Fine Violins on Music Row in Nashville, Tenn. During his six years at the store, he says he’s seen his fair share of string instrument tragedies, but the [...]

Happy Birthday, Chips

Chips Quinn would have celebrated his 59th birthday on July 20, 2014.
John C. Quinn thought his son’s birthday would be an appropriate occasion to reprint a copy of the final memo Chips wrote to his staff while editor of the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal — and to remind Chips Quinn Scholars everywhere that his spirit [...]

Stepping in a new direction: Vanderbilt’s energy conversion expected to leave a smaller footprint

by Nolan D. McCaskill

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Roger Bess is considering retirement after working for nearly 45 years at Vanderbilt University. But before he says goodbye, he has one burning desire to finish what he started.
Bess wants to oversee the completion of the university’s conversion from burning coal to natural gas.
“I’m pushing 68; I should have retired at [...]

Appreciation by James C. Duff

We are deeply saddened to inform you that John Seigenthaler, our dear colleague and founder of our First Amendment Center, passed away today, resting peacefully at home with his family by his side.
John Seigenthaler was a gift to our country. His pledge of allegiance to the Republic was not routine recitation nor passive expression of [...]

In Memoriam: John L. Seigenthaler

by Colleen Fitzpatrick

The Chips Quinn Scholars program lost an abiding friend when John Seigenthaler died on July 11 at age 86.
Seigenthaler, a former newspaper editor, special assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy during the freedom rides of 1961 and the founder of the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center in Nashville, Tenn., was a familiar [...]

An entrepreneur helps Nashville hikers connect online

by Andrea Beasley

Kelly Stewart joined, a social app and website that allows people to “self-organize” into groups based on interests and hobbies, as a way to get over his divorce in 2007.
The Tennessee native, who joined and now leads the Nashville hiking “meet-up” group, has since learned how to turn the largest network of [...]

Gone hiking: Music City residents use the Internet for outdoor activity

by Valerie Smith

More than 6,000 people in Nashville, Tenn., are connecting with each other in the outdoors through a non-nature facilitator – a website focused on bringing people together who have similar interests. is a social media app and website aimed at individuals who are seeking to meet others with the hope of building camaraderie, [...]

Archives by Year