Friday, May 26, 2006

Remember the Anchovies

When Knucklehead opens Mothership BBQ next week, the complexion of the Nashville restaurant market will be forever changed. You see, Mothership is but one part of his grand plan for world domination. Chances are that my kids will grow up eating Mothership BBQ and they’ll remember it forever. It got me thinking about the places I used to go as a kid.

Shoney’s in Belle Meade: The Italian Feast was the crown jewel. One delicately fried chicken breast and a plate full of spaghetti with meat sauce. The best part of the Italian Feast was the little American flag toothpick that was always stuck in the chicken. That Shoney’s is now a Walgreen’s.

The Belle Meade Motel: I still can’t believe that place ever passed a single health department inspection. Chicken livers were the big draw. I wonder why my cholesterol is above 300?

The Sailmaker: The only salad bar I’ve ever seen that was made out of a pirate ship. Plus, unlimited anchovies. Oh, yeah, it’s a Walgreen’s now.

The Jolly Ox: Maid Marianne’s Chicken and very sharp plaster walls that would cut you if you got too close. Today, the Jolly Ox is muy jovial – it’s the La Paz in Green Hills.

The Flaming Steer: The FS had the best sign in town – a steer’s head peeking through a ring of fire. I’m not sure if I ever ate there but I do remember that sign. Apparently Mrs. Winner’s loved it too since the Steer’s now serving chicken.

Vizcaya: A very fancy Italian restaurant my parents used to love. Same walls as the Jolly Ox if I remember correctly. Valentino’s took the space, I think.

Hugo’s: When my Grandfather came to town, it was always Hugo’s in the downtown Hyatt Regency. Lobster tails with drawn butter, a blue blazer and my dad constantly reminding my Mom that it would all be over soon.

The Shack: It was a day trip out to Rivergate but throwing peanut shells on the floor made it all worthwhile.

The Nashville Dog: Chili Dogs set beside a toxic creek that ran underneath Charlotte Avenue by White Bridge Road. No wonder those dogs tasted so good.

The Peddler: I played a gig in the space that used to be the Peddler. It still smelled like steak.

Posted by Can I B Frank @ 8:11 AM :: (2) comments

Monday, May 22, 2006

If I had a hammer

It’s funny how things that seem so mundane can trigger the most vivid memories. Just today, I picked up a hammer – a Stanley Nailmaster - that has been sitting in my office closet for about 10 years and had this amazing flood of thoughts that I did not even know were still in my head.

I brought the hammer to my office when we first opened our doors. It was not an ordinary tool, though. It belonged to my father. Along with a gold cross pen and a gold initial ring, the hammer is one of a very few things I have that I can hold and feel a connection to him. My Dad died suddenly when I was 16 years old. An arrhythmia shut his heart down so quickly, I was told, that not only was the cigarette he was about to light still in his mouth but the lighter was clutched in his hand ready to strike. That was nearly 23 years ago.

My Dad liked to build things. Well, it would be more accurate to say that he liked the idea of building things. He had all kinds of tools and gadgets neatly arranged in our musty old basement. I have a lot of them in my garage now but the funny thing is that I never saw him actually touch them. As a result, they are empty to me and now sit collecting dust in much the same way as they did 23 years ago in our basement when dad didn’t touch them either.

The hammer, though, was different. When I picked it up this morning, I looked down and saw my father’s hand holding it. I literally got chills when I realized that my right hand looks exactly like his. I remember that hand and that hammer helping me build soapbox derby cars, bird houses, clubhouses and a darkroom for my once consuming interest in photography. I remember his left hand helping me steady the nails. And I remember that working with him on these projects made me feel like I was part of his world. This morning, at least for a few seconds, I got to go back.

I’m taking the hammer home today and it’s going into my toolbox where it belongs. I’ll use it instead of my brand new forged carbon steel head to heel model with the “shock blok” vibration dampening system and octagonal neck and face that I bought at Home Depot with Membership Rewards points. That hammer is damn cool, but it’s empty. I’ll put it in the garage with the other stuff.

Posted by Can I B Frank @ 3:12 PM :: (2) comments

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I thought it was finally time to get into the Blogosphere. I've been a quiet observer for a long time and I think I'm finally ready to make the leap. Stay tuned.

Posted by Can I B Frank @ 1:50 PM :: (6) comments


David Gales

Bobby Frank