Articles by: Kevin Bouldin

Otis James in his workshop in the old Marathon Motor Works building. Photo by Sean Hagwell

The Haberdasher: Branding a Backstory

by / on October 20, 2012

One day a lizard scampered into Otis James’s workshop and got stuck on a spider trap. Feeling sympathy for the reptile, James peeled the lizard off the trap and released it outside. That experience, the tie maker says, is another reminder that life is born of struggle.

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John Kellerondrick – Sustaining Enthusiasm

John Kellerondrick – Sustaining Enthusiasm

by / on June 3, 2011

Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill. A young puppeteer from East Nashville, who has remained faithful to what many would consider a lost cause, lives out the adage in WPLN’s latest installment of “Upon First Meeting.”

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FaSoLa Singing

FaSoLa Singing

by / on January 21, 2011

Four notes and what can sound like gibberish make up one of America’s oldest music traditions. In WPLN’s occasional series Upon First Meeting, Kevin Bouldin interprets the curious sound of fasola.

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The Strong Brothers

The Strong Brothers

by / on September 20, 2010

Macon County, Tennessee is marble country. It’s home to some of the greatest marble players on the continent. WPLN’s Kevin Bouldin has the story of two world class players from the town of Moss—two brothers who carve and shoot their own homemade marbles.

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Mrs. King of Nashville

by / on August 30, 2010

In 1917, H. L. Mencken, the writer, infamously declared that the South was about as artistically, intellectually, and culturally sterile as the Sahara Desert. Two years later, in 1919, Hazel King was born. And for the past ninety-one years, she has been a living rebuttal to Mencken’s claim. WPLN’s Kevin Bouldin introduces us to King as part of our occasional storytelling series Upon First Meeting.

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Surviving The Flood: The Selfridge Family

by / on May 17, 2010

Hyperbole often follows tragedy, but no exaggeration is needed to describe the impact of our recent flood. WPLN’s Kevin Bouldin brings us a story about one family who lost out completely, when their trailer home took on water and began floating away.

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Surviving The Flood: Tent City

by / on May 4, 2010

James Skamra lives in a camp on the banks of the Cumberland about a mile north of the Jefferson Street Bridge. When the rains began falling last Saturday, the river rose, flooding his site and washing away everything he owned. Skamra swam to safety but then returned to help rescue a litter of newborn puppies belonging to one of his camp neighbors. On Monday night he told the story of how he ended up being rescued from his rescue attempt.

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Close the Bible, Open the Bar

by / on April 13, 2010

This morning we continue our occasional series “Upon First Meeting,” storytelling focused on the people and places of Middle Tennessee. Today, WPLN’s Kevin Bouldin invites us into the Gospel Hour at Robert’s Western World. It’s a Sunday morning church service in the unlikely venue of a downtown Nashville honky-tonk.

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Arborist to Artist

by / on February 5, 2010

This morning we begin a new series of storytelling focused on the people and places of Middle Tennessee. Upon First Meeting: A Series of Introductions begins with today’s subject: a man who was crushed by a nine hundred pound falling branch. WPLN’s Kevin Bouldin introduces us to Ethan Swiggart, a tree surgeon who possesses the skills of an ax man and the eyes of an artist.

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