Living True in the Name of Vintage


Most of us have a motto we live by. “Live each day to the fullest,” “Live fast, die young,” “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” For Tammy Pope, she not only lives by a motto, she named her vintage business after the words she lives by.

Tammy Pope is the lovely owner of Live True Vintage in East Nashville, Tenn. Tammy had her grand opening of her eclectic business just a little over a year ago on May 18, 2013. The road to getting the place business-ready was not easy. If you look up the definition of “blood, sweat and tears,” I’m pretty sure you’d see a picture of Tammy pouring herself into whipping the building into shape. While most people would have given up on a run-down building, Tammy did not and the fruits of her labors show when you walk into the store today. Tammy has the whole store displayed in such a charming and appealing way. She definitely gets a A++ in decorating.


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When asked to describe her shop, the first word she said was “fun.” She went on to explain that when girls come into groups to try stuff on together, even if they do not purchase anything, they say they have fun. This is the biggest compliment to her. She also says she gets to listen to The Cramps instead of local radio station Jack FM, which she was subjected to when she worked for the United States Postal Service. I have to admit, being a music lover myself, it is nice when you can listen to what you want while you work.

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She opened the business out of necessity. “First I started doing Ebay and Etsy. It was going good and I would set up a flea markets,” explained Tammy. She would also commission pieces and paint furniture. She kept accumulating items and first bought a little vintage bus and showcased at car shows. When it started to look like she might have to get a storage unit to store all the vintage treasures she was finding, she started looking for a residential business. After looking for a long time she found the building she currently occupies.

She described her experience with opening up her business as, “Super satisfying….any progress is your own.”  There was no electricity during the first three months and she started having other problems with the building. She stated it’s, “been like a fun roller-coaster.” And how she elaborated on that was the feeling you get when the roller-coaster is about to crest at the top of the hill and the feeling as you’re plummeting down (she also did an amazing demonstration of being on a roller-coaster). Even though it’s a wild ride, when the roller-coaster stops, you’re wanting to go again.

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Coming up with the business name didn’t prove to be a cake walk as one would think. When she started to create her online stores on Ebay and Etsy, she used the search tool to ensure there wasn’t another name out there. Every name kept coming up taken. Out of a fit of frustration, she threw her head and fists to the desk to at least take a moment to breath. That’s when she looked at her hands and decided to type in the words that are tattooed at the tops of her fingers. She entered the words, “Live True”, and BAM! the name wasn’t taken and the answer had truly been right at her fingertips the whole time. “Live True is my business motto. I’m not apologizing for anything,” stated Tammy. I’d say one can’t argue with that because these two words have a big meaning and is a phrase everyone can understand.

I asked her if she had any favorite items she enjoyed selling. “I like t-shirts because they’re always so funny.” She had a Dolly Parton t-shirt that sold in one day. She also likes country and western concert tour shirts, especially from the 70s and 80s. “It makes people so happy to find these t-shirts.” She likes to see people’s faces light up when they discover a t-shirt from their favorite band, musician or tour. As someone that still owns some of my band t-shirts from back in the day, I can see why people get so happy when they find their favorite. Her favorite part about owning Live True Vintage is seeing everybody and when her friends come to visit. She also enjoys the shows that are showcased at the shop. There is a space in the shop that bands and musicians can set up and play a show.

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To close out the interview, I asked Tammy for some closing remarks or what I like to call, “Famous Last Words.” She said this, “Support small businesses. If you can’t come in, you can share a status [on Facebook].” She also pointed out that other small businesses help each other out and support each other. Live True Vintage is a charming little shop that not only delivers a great message with it’s name, it also delivers the best vintage products in town.

Live True Vintage is located on 3123 Gallatin Pike Nashville, Tenn 37216. You can also go like her Facebook page at Live True Vintage or Instagram at livetruevintage.

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Behind the Scenes of the Southern Turf Building


Being a member of Historic Nashville, Inc. definitely has it’s perks. Once a month Historic Nashville, Inc. hosts members-only behind-the-scenes tours to various historic places in and around Nashville, Tenn. Pretty much they had me at “behind-the-scenes.” What a treat to see historic buildings and places that aren’t often or at all seen by the public! For the month of March, we had the opportunity to view the historic Southern Turf Building.

The Queen Anne-style building was built in 1895 by a wealthy bookmaker, Marcus Cartwright. It’s home was located in what was known as Nashville’s “Men’s Quarter.” If you need me to elaborate on what was Nashville’s Men’s Quarter, it was a male domain that hosted gambling, saloons and quiet prostitution. A place no “well-to-do” lady would ever venture in. Living up to it’s section of downtown Nashville, the Southern Turf building operated a saloon on the first floor, a gambling parlor on the second floor and a bordello on the third floor. The building had it’s hey-day during the late 19th and very early 20th century. A black cloud called prohibition was looming and when statewide prohibition passed in 1909, the operations at the Southern Turf came to an end. Following this was the campaign to shut down the red-light district surrounding the Capitol. By 1957, vice could no longer call this section of the city home.

Following the passing of statewide prohibition in 1909, the saloon closed in 1916. The building’s manager, Ice Johnson, shot himself to death on the third floor where he lived while operating the saloon. We did visit this area and it has a new resident today. Between 1916 and 1937, the Southern Turf was home to The Nashville Tennessean newspaper. Following the The Nashville Tennessean, others called this place home including, a billiard hall, a restaurant, a shooting gallery, a clothing store, a restaurant, and a paint store. In the basement of the building the infamous Skull’s Rainbow Room entertained tourists and Nashville’s own residents in historic Printer’s Alley. Unfortunately, the owner, David “Skull” Schullman, was murdered and what glitter was left faded.

Between the years 1916 and 1982 the beautiful building was robbed (in my opinion) of it’s grand furnishings and fell under many unjustified remodelings. Below is a picture of the saloon.



In 1982, the building did fall into the hands of kind owners who took up the responsibility of restoring the building to it’s former architecture and style. Today it is owned by the law firm Trauger & Tuke. Historic Nashville, Inc. members can rest easy with the Southern Turf’s current owners as one of the owners, Mr. Robert “Bob” Tuke, has fought to save many of Nashville’s historic building and sites. Mr. Tuke was also our tour guide for the Southern Turf building.

And to save the best for last, while on our tour, we passed through one of the coolest doors we’ve ever seen or walked through. It was a heavy and tall door that had a little sliding “peephole” window that was used during it’s speakeasy days. You hear so much about these types of doors it was so awesome to actually use it! One can only imagine what the passcode was to enter.

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Below are some exterior photos of the grand historic Southern Turf and interior photos of the infamous Skull’s Rainbow Lounge that is currently undergoing renovation in hopes to once again be a source of entertainment to Nashvillians.

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All Aboard for 1950



To celebrate Valentine’s Day, my husband and I set on an excursion to 1950. Before you start asking where the DeLorean is, I’ll explain that this wasn’t a scene from Back to the Future. The Tennessee Central Railway Museum hosts excursions to the DelMonaco Winery in Baxter, Tenn. My husband and I couldn’t resist jumping on board this retro voyage.


Of course we had to dress the part. I mean, we literally live in vintage clothing any chance we can get. The day before I went to my favorite antique warehouse to scout out a vintage hat. I found a hat…and a 1950s vintage ladies suit. It fit like a glove and I was thrilled to have brought it home. My husband wore a vintage suit as well and we arrived at the station bright and early Saturday morning.

Mr. & Mrs. before boarding.

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Our train car host greeted us dressed in his uniform and assisted us to our seat. He thoroughly gave us our instructions for the three-hour trip to the winery. Before you think you can’t handle a three-hour trip on a train, I have to point out that the winery had a staff member on board that conducted a wine tasting that lasted the entire trip there. We sipped on whites then reds, tasting the most driest to the most sweetest wines the DelMonaco Winery produces.

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Viewing the countryside from this angle was quite interesting. We traveled through a few towns but for the most part, we drank in the rolling hills of slumbering scenery while sipping on fine wine. A few times we passed by houses and caught a few people waving as we traveled by. We had the opportunity to see our state from a point of view we hardly ever get to see and it was a treat.

The passenger train we traveled on is a restored classic 1950s era American streamlined stainless steel passenger train. The museum has preserved this gem well and we felt so pleased they have. When we arrived at the winery, I snapped a few shots of the ladies restroom/lounge with my camera phone (sorry for the poor quality).

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Who wouldn’t want to gab with their girlfriends while powdering your nose or ensuring the curls in your hair are behaving? 🙂

Upon arrival at the winery we had approximately two hours to have lunch and check out the winery. Unfortunately it was a chilly February day so we stayed inside instead of exploring the grape vines. The winery had live music and guests sat around round tables enjoying their favorite wines they purchased as a result of the wine tasting.

When it was time to board we had a few folks snap our picture with their camera. One gentlemen pointed out that people no longer get “dressed up” to go on trips. That they just throw on a pair of jeans just to be comfortable. For my husband and me, this is part of the fun. We love to dress from days gone by and it definitely adds to the event.

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Dining car

Before we boarded to go back to the city.

Before we boarded to go back to the city.

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On the way back we sipped on one of our recently purchased wines and I put on some Bessie Smith while we enjoyed the wine. We plan to take another excursion once the weather is warm and take a picnic when we go. This was by far the best Valentine’s Day celebration I’ve had so far. I highly recommend booking a trip on one of the Tennessee Central Railway Museum‘s excursions. And if you don’t live close by, check out what is in your state. After this trip, I declare we bring back railway travel.


Art Deco Weekend in Virginia: Day One, Part 2



So here we are, at the Jazz Age Preservation Ball hosted by the Art Deco Society of Virginia. The event was at the historic Bolling Haxall House. Talk about a grand place to put on such an elegant event. The historic building is an 1858 Italianate Mansion. If you read my recent post about Second Empire style, you can figure I was about to have a heart attack when I entered the place.

The event was to benefit the historic Byrd Theatre in Richmond, Virginia. The Art Deco Society of Virginia aims to raise funds through the Jazz Age Preservation Ball for one of Virginia’s  selected Art Deco preservation projects. The Byrd Theatre definitely had the classiest-looking benefactors to raise awareness about it’s preservation. The night kicked off with some dance lessons by two of the Art Deco Society of Virginia’s board members. Guests grabbed their partners and learned the Charleston to get them ready for dancing the night away.



Everyone danced to the sounds of the Blue Crescent Syncopators, a jazz and swing band that brings back the music from the 1920s to 1930s. There was a silent auction that had a bevy of jazz age items for guests to bid on. Guests could sign up to get their photo taken by photographer Lynn Redmile so they could capture their twenties look. There was plenty of food and drinks for everyone to enjoy while mingling among each other.

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Towards the end of the evening there was a burlesque performance by The Garter Snaps. The Garter Snaps are burlesque-duo that treated the Jazz Age Preservation Ball guests to a hot little number to the music of  1933’s “We’re in the Money.”

We were so glad we got to experience such an extravagant event. It was such a sight to see everyone dressed up to celebrate their love for this era and help raise money for Art Deco preservation. It truly was the cherry on top to our weekend and we look forward to next year!

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Art Deco Weekend in Virginia: Day One, Part 1


Recently my husband and I took a little jaunt to the lovely city, Richmond, Virginia. It was a long weekend for me (having the Monday holiday off from work) so we had planned our little Richmond trip in advance. We arrived late Friday night due to several flight delays but made it a little past midnight. We stayed at the historic Linden Row Inn. Neither of us have visited Richmond, Virginia so we were excited to see the city.

The next morning we had time to explore the city a little before we got ready for the main reason of our trip, to attend the Art Deco Society of Virginia’s Jazz Age Preservation Ball. I had done a little research online prior to our trip regarding things to do while we  were in the city. And one of the Art Deco Society of Virginia’s board members gave me a great list of places to eat and shop. We found out Richmond has an Edgar Allan Poe Museum and they happen to be hosting a birthday bash all day for the sullen poet. The museum opened in 1922 and is housed in the oldest home in Richmond. It is just a few blocks from Poe’s first Richmond home and first place of employment.


There was a tour, music, entertainers and the grande finale was at midnight when the cake would be cut in honor of Poe. We primarily walked between the different buildings that kept all the items and pieces of history from Poe’s life. I definitely recommend checking out the museum because the museum gives so much history about his life. There is even one room only dedicated to his hauntingly beautiful poem Annabel Lee. In this room, onlookers are presented with bits and pieces of information about which specific lady in Poe’s life inspired this poem, although this has always remained a mystery.

We had a lovely afternoon and it was time well spent to soak up our day before we got ready for our big event. After our little adventure at the museum, we went back to the hotel to start our transformation into the Jazz Age.

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