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A Musical Surprise; Gourmet Feasting; Franklin, Tennessee

We stopped in Franklin, Tennessee, on Monday afternoon for a special treat: dinner at Stowe and Peter Shockey’s beautiful farm with Karen Taylor-Good and her husband Dennis Good. But before we sat down to eat, Karen and Stowe gave us a tremendous surprise gift – a Messages of Hopetheme song! 

For those new to the blog, Stowe and Karen are professional singers and songwriters in nearby Nashville, and they had created the music and lyrics for the theme song from their personal knowledge of Suzanne’s work and her book, Messages of Hope. Suzanne was so touched that she had to wipe away tears. It was one of the most amazing experiences… we’re planning on this song being part of a proposal for a Messages of Hopetelevision program proposal that Chris Lavelle, the producer of the documentary of the same name, is preparing. Wish us luck!  

Their dinner was exceptional as well; Dennis made his signature Caesar salad, Peter made an incredible chicken adobo, and Karen provided a wonderful fresh fruit salad. (The garlic in the first two dishes will certainly keep the werewolves away for weeks!) We also enjoyed the company of Stowe and Peter’s two daughters, Christina and Grace.

Stowe and Karen have performed in The Villages on several occasions, but this was our first opportunity to hear Peter and Dennis’s stories. Peter is a film producer (Life after Life, among others) while Dennis is Karen’s manager and a former trombonist in the US Army Band. He is also about to publish his first book. The four of them are in the final preparation stage for a big concert on May 16th here in Franklin which we will regrettably not be able to stay for.  

On Tuesday Suzanne gave Stowe a reading, and then Karen joined them for a shopping expedition to their favorite boutique. After lunch, we explored historic downtown Franklin; it is a lovely town with a vibrant, thriving town square and walkable business district in historic buildings dating from the early 19th Century. “Built in 1815” marked the sign in front of this antique shop. 

This beautiful antebellum mansion was just down the street from the town square. It makes you think of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, doesn’t it? There is even a statue of a Confederate soldier on the town square that harkens back to that era. 

This sign for a business in Franklin caught my attention… even with a master’s degree in management, I was stumped… and I couldn’t find them on the Internet… if anyone has any clues, please post a comment!

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