Ronnie Clardy grew up near the barbershop he owns in Nashville, but the path that led him to his current life is anything but short and straight. He started dealing drugs at 13 and relapsed into a life of crime and prison several times, before he finally redirected his entrepreneurial spirit.
On a rainy night 1949, a young woman arrived by train in Franklin, Tennessee and walked off into the night. The next morning, her body was found near an incinerator by the high school. Her throat had been cut. The murder has become a fixture of town lore, yet its victim lies in an unmarked grave. An effort to give her a headstone raises the questions: Who do we choose to remember? And why?
We want to do right by the people we care about. But sometimes, honoring someone's wishes can put us at odds with social norms, our own values, or even the law. In this episode of Neighbors, three stories where the desire to honor wishes pushes us into uncomfortable territory.
Most people might think it’s not worth the trouble to intervene in someone else's life. But in this episode of Neighbors, we get to know a woman who sees that obstacle—and will do everything she can to jump right over it.
Michael Kearney is a genius — he holds the Guinness World Record for being the youngest person to graduate from college, at age 10. Now he's 32, and he's not curing cancer or solving world hunger. He's running an improv comedy company in Nashville. Why did this child prodigy decide to use his genius in such an unconventional way?
We meet Gin Thawng. The 66-year old is a refugee from Burma living in a Nashville apartment with his ailing wife, a baby grandson, his daughter-in-law and son. A graduate of an innovative ESL program-on-wheels, Thawng shows us something about the power that language has and how human connection is bigger than just words.
What keeps you up at night? For some, it's the sound of a mocking bird outside the bedroom window. It turns out, not everyone is amazed by this bird's shape-shifting musical feats. What is a wonder of nature to some, to others is the sound of torture. This time on Neighbors, a guest episode from our friends at Nocturne.
It's an odd scene: A man, playing a sousaphone, stands inside a tunnel on a busy Nashville road during rush hour. Is he crazy, divinely inspired or something else entirely? In this episode of Neighbors, we go inside the world of "tuba man" Joe Hunter and discover what brings him and his instrument to the tunnel.
Sam Tucker is a gifted baker, but the one thing that is his greatest passion just might put his family in danger. Along with the premiere of season 3, I am thrilled to announce Neighbors' partnership with Nashville Public Radio.
Today we explore that idea of home by going into the houses of two very different Nashville musicians. The first is Roger Weismeyer. a classically trained English horn and piano player who plays for the Nashville Symphony. The second, the introverted indie rocker, Ben Elkins of the band El El.
Our newest addition to our Sans Houses series has the theme of music. Producer Tasha A F Lemley takes us along to glimpse into the lives of three men living on the street. You'll hear beautiful, funny, and tragic moments from our homeless neighbors in Nashville.
Find out the meaning behind the words highbrow and lowbrow through the construct of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You'll visit a man who is currently homeless and learn how he brews his coffee by the interstate. Enter into the home kitchen of a barista at the high end Nashville coffee shop CREMA. Let Neighbors' food reviewer Chance Perdue take you from Italy to Nolensville, TN to try the holy grail of all bologna sandwiches at Martin's BBQ Joint. You'll get to go inside the mind of Josh Habiger, the chef who set up one of the classiest restaurants in Nashville, The Catbird Seat. You'll end up in Rwanda being exposed to a form of high art that most westerners don't want to even touch.
Since 2006, Neighbors producer Tasha A F Lemley has interviewed men and women who are homeless on the streets of Nashville. We've grouped these interviews by theme in a series called Sans Houses. This episode's theme is "purpose." Listen to Cowboy and Debbie talk about the purpose they find in living on the street.
It's been almost a year since I reported the story "Bringing Wes Home." It was a story about a family losing their son, Wes Vose, in a car crash two and half years ago. Instead of leaving it to the funeral home to take care of arrangements, they took the role upon themselves. The women cleaned his body. The men built his casket. A community dug the hole.
In Honor of Mother's Day, I am rebroadcasting this story with an addendum. I see where Jane, the mother who lost her child, is one year later.
This story is the first in a new series called "Sans Houses." After more than 40 years on the street David has a place to call home. Neighbors photographer and producer Tasha A F Lemley captures David beautifully in both picture and sound.
Todd Michael Rogers got married young, and it was bad. It was the kind of bad that Todd describes as "Lifetime movie bad." He became unhappy and isolated. It was in that space where he started pouring his energy into creating a one player card game called Spell Saga. When your life is in shambles, what happens when you follow your creativity honestly?
This is a story about a ritual. A Chinese tea ceremony. It's used as a means to connect. Connect with the past, with people, with another land. Joshua Drake Wu invited me into his home to experience the joy of Chinese tea. I learned a lot of surprising things about tea, hospitality, and my neighbor. Make yourself a cup of your favorite leaf and listen.
Also in this episode are the rituals of two of my podcasting colleagues Jonathan Hirsch of ARRVLSand Vannessa Lowe of Nocturne. They are two great shows you should check out.
Special thanks to Jason Goforth and Dan Burns for some of the music in this episode.
What happens when you try to help someone out, It goes well, but then they end up right back where they started? Jakob channels his inner Sisyphus and goes to the Parthenon to interview strangers about when helping seems futile. Neighbors contributor Tasha A F Lemley brings us a story of a street chaplain who helps one man recover from addiction and injury only to find that he's back to his old ways.
This episode is more of a meditation than a story. When Barclay was 25 he traveled the country in a van. Out under the open sky he bought an astronomy book, looked up, and had his sky stolen from him. He wasn't ready for what he saw. Close your eyes and soak up this very meditative edition of Neighbors.
Bobby Hopkins wakes up one day and decides to change his life. Within two years he's entering his first 100 mile Ultra Marathon. I go along as part of his crew to help him along the way. Will Bobby finish? Will I do a good job crewing?
Also a special release of Service Unicorn's "Water Color War Paint."
Teddy and Cynthia Iselin had almost finished remodeling the house they bought when two angry squatters, who got kicked out of a property behind them, lit their old residence on fire. It spread to Teddy and Cynthia's. What Teddy did next was inspired by his father, who produced the movie The Santa Clause.
After a five week road trip across beautiful America, I'm back. I'm bringing you a story I did from before I was gone. It's called "Bringing Wes Home". The tale of a family who took their son's body and prepared it themselves. If you've never heard of a home funeral this will enlighten you and bring tears to your eyes at the beauty that this process can provide.