Posts Tagged ‘tennessee’
The Hermitage Hotel has afternoon tea in the grand lobby. Down-filled duvets (that’s a fancy word for comforters). A presidential suite with 2,000 square feet. And a really nice toilet.
So nice, in fact, that it’s been voted (drum roll please) America’s best restroom.
Flush in the middle of downtown Nashville, the luxury hotel and its ground-floor men’s bathroom are definitely the head (so to speak) of the class.
The redoubtable restroom is art-deco style with gleaming lime-green-and-black leaded glass tiles, lime-green fixtures, terrazzo floor and a two-seat shoeshine station.
“You just can’t find anything like it anywhere else,” says Janet Kurtz, director of sales and marketing at the hotel.
The restroom won the honor in online voting sponsored by Cincinnati-based Cintas Corp., which supplies restroom hygiene products and services. The company says “tens of thousands” of people voted over two months last summer. Precise numbers are kept, well, private.
Criteria were hygiene, style and access to the public. The highfalutin honor has earned the restroom entry to “America’s Best Restroom Hall of Fame.”
“People see it and fall in love with it,” Kurtz said.
It has four stools, three urinals, four sinks, spotless mirrors and a Sultan telephone that connects to the front desk.
And, (how do you put this delicately?) women seem attracted to it.
Lita Esquinance of Bradley County, Tenn., guides friends to the restroom for a discreet peek just about every time she visits Nashville. One of them, Sonja Luckie, jokingly summed up her visit with this discerning observation:
“For men, it’s very stimulating.”
The hotel, built in 1910 and renovated in 2003, has 122 guest rooms and suites. The restroom, down the hall from the hotel bar and restaurant, dates back to 1939.
Do they leave the light on for you? Not necessarily, but the famous restroom is cleaned hourly.
In her six years at the hotel Kurtz has never used the men’s restroom. But just wait.
“I hope they have a ladies’ night sometime.”
Here is a follow-up to a story we brought you last month! It’s from my buddy Phillip Murrell.
From singing in their Dad’s church in Bluff City, to singing in front of America, the kid’s lives of the local pop band J4 were changed forever the moment opportunity knocked
The four siblings never thought much would become of a tape they sent to the CBS Early Show Singing Family Faceoff competition.
“We never thought we’d ever get this far since we put all this together the day of the deadline,“ said Jessi Smith of J4.
J4 was chosen from an estimated 700 entries from all over the U.S. to compete against five other bands in New York City.
As they competed, they wowed both the judges and America. With every performance, votes poured in for J4 and they soon made it to the semifinals, then the finals, and early Wednesday morning, they won a recording contract with CBS Records.
“We didn’t think we’d end up winning it. It’s crazy!“ said Jessi.
Needless to say, folks back home in Bluff City are proud.
“It tells me again about the profound amount of talent that’s in our area,” said Jim Hunter, a Tri-Cities resident.
J4 is thankful for all the support they got back home from their fans.
“Thank you guys so much for voting and the support and the prayers and everything you’ve given to all of us. We just really appreciate all of it.“
Jessi reflected on the group’s journey.
“Overall we’ve just really enjoyed this whole experience.“
Watch this story: J4’s Road To Fame
As adorable as they are, the little cows at the Memphis Zoo shouldn’t be mistaken for calves. At more than a year old, miniature cows Cloudy and Darwinia are the newest residents at the zoo’s Once Upon a Farm.
Both hail from a farm in Columbia, Tenn., and after a month in quarantine are out on display.
Cloudy is only about 25 inches tall at the shoulders and was bred from Hereford and American Lowline stock. Her companion, Darwinia, is 36 inches at the shoulders and was bred from American Lowline and Belted Galloway, a heritage breed with a recorded history some experts say dates back to the 16th century, when farms were smaller.
“What we’re showing here is the evolution of farms, because people can keep (miniature cows) on smaller homesteads,” said Gail Karr, assistant curator of mammals at the zoo.
This is a great story. It reminds us that sometimes when days are their darkest, a little sunshine will sneak in out of nowhere!
Nine years ago, Dennis Geary and his family adopted a German Shepherd named Astro. Three weeks later he ran away. After awhile the Gearys did something most of us would do: they stopped looking.
But they never stopped hoping.
For the longest time, the only thing Dennis Geary had to remind him of Astro was a microchip ID card that he never took out of his wallet. It was also the only reason that his youngest son, Mark, even knew Astro existed.
“I don’t remember him one bit,” said 12-year-old Mark Geary. “I was just like three years old.”
The Gearys only had Astro for three weeks while living in Port St. Lucie, Florida. “I took him out one night and he got away from me. He got out of his collar,” Dennis said. “I just never got him.”
Nine years, four moves, and five cities later, Astro’s microchip was scanned by a shelter in Tennessee.
Two days later, Astro was in his new Louisville home, with his old family. “Who knows where he’s been going,” said Mark.
Linda Geary, Dennis’s wife, says it’s something a little more. “Well I had a very, very rough year last year. I lost three very close family members. I was really torn up for the year. This has brought the light out of everything that happened.”
And it’s something a little more rare. ”After all these years, how often do you get to do something twice?” asked Dennis.
“No matter what’s going on out in the world there is hope,” Linda said. ”There is a lot of hope.”
Read more and watch this touching and amazing, but true story: Family reunited with dog after nine years
Here is a really interesting story from a reader.
Joe White rarely buys his own lottery ticket. Instead, he relies on other people to do it for him. “People throw money away all the time,“ said White. Day after day he spends hours sifting through discarded lottery tickets. “Might as well just go get some tickets and enter them online,“ said White. White knows what many don’t know. Every instant lottery ticket is eligible to be re-entered on http://www.tnlottery.com for another cash prize.
On any given day there could be up to 80 discarded lottery tickets in the lottery ticket trash bin at Ravi Patel’s 7 Star Stop in Johnson City. White goes around to about 7 convenience stores every day, which means he has the potential of getting over 500 tickets a day. “I’ve got four shoe boxes full on one day,“ said White.
Read more and watch this story: Discarded Lottery Ticket Wins Man $1,000
Meet a young fiddling phenom that hasn’t even started kindergarten yet. This is a story from the series “Cable Country” from Tim Cable. Tim has a way of telling great stories about characters he meets in East Tennessee.
Watch that story: 5-Year-Old Fiddler
I am a Louisiana native and I would have given almost anything to be in the Bayou State for Mardi Gras. My buddy and fellow Louisiana native, Phillip Murrell, found a few Mardi Gras moments in his backyard — in Tennessee of all places.
You don’t have to be in New Orleans to enjoy the fun.
Cajun-style restaurants Russo’s in Johnson City and Cafe’ N’Orleans in Kingsport introduce the Tri-Cities to a little taste of Mardi Gras. Of course, it’s not all about the beads and the kingcake. The business owners, who both relocated from New Orleans [after Hurricane Katrina], know they offer something unique.
Laissez les bon temps rouler and watch that story: Mardi Gras In the Tri-Cities
Thanks to a reader for bringing this story to my attention. It may be something you can do in your community.
Before this week, Wilma Jenkins never heard of a free garage sale.
“Well that’s an oxymoron, you’ve got free and sale in the same sentence,“ Jenkins said.
Saturday, Jenkins will be part of one. The Bethel Christian Church member has spent the last couple of days collecting furniture, clothes, and even appliances for Saturday’s event.
“We have a dishwasher, a stove, a washing machine,“ Jenkins said.
“So many people are out of work and they’re needing things and a lot of us, we can’t give money, but we can give our time and help in other ways,“ Jenkins said.
The church may not be asking for money, but members are asking vendors and people looking for good deals to skip their garage sale. They say it is only for people in need.
My buddy, Phillip Murrell, and his reporter, Tim Cable, tagged along with CBS Early Show Weatherman Dave Price as he surprised the band “J-4” with an early morning knock on their door.
The band found out early that morning that they may become stars thanks to a CBS contest. Viewers will decide who wins a CBS recording contract in this competition.
Watch that story: Surprise 4 J4
Photo: Flickr user Joan Marie