Bells Bend: An Introduction
Story: A Forgotten Corner

“It was this little jewel that was kind of undiscovered and I stumbled into it.” That is how Barry Sulkin describes the state of Bells Bend when he purchased his home on Pecan Valley Road in 1978. For Brenda Butka, The Bend is a daily reminder of her love for her husband, Tom John. It is the place where they fell in love and have lived for over 30 years. Through Brenda and Barry, both longtime residents and neighborhood activists, the story of Bells Bend’s past, present and future is told through a series of cinematic vignettes. This is part one of that series.

The Story: Maytown

 

The threat of development isn’t new to Bells Bend. In the past 35 years, The Bend has been the proposed site for a Kodak chemical plant, a city dump and a residential subdivision. In 2009, the community was presented with its biggest threat yet: a four-billion dollar condominium and corporate park complex called May Town Center. Proposed by some of the most prominent developers in Nashville, May Town Center was slated to be larger and more populous than downtown Nashville. Despite the overwhelming odds, the Bells Bend community of 350 households organized and fought back. 

Through Brenda and Barry, both longtime residents and neighborhood activists, the story of Bells Bend’s past, present and future is told through a series of cinematic vignettes. This is part two of that series. 
 

Story: The Farm

 

After the community’s momentous win over May Town Center, there was one question on everybody’s minds: We know what we don’t want in our neighborhood. What can we do to prevent it? 

So began the Bells Bend Community Farm project. Members of the community, especially Brenda and Tom John, donated land and capital to start an organic farm in the neighborhood. More than six years later, Bells Bend Farm is still in business, and has inspired other young farmers to settle in The Bend. 

Through Brenda and Barry, both longtime residents and neighborhood activists, the story of Bells Bend’s past, present and future is told through a series of cinematic vignettes. This is part three of that series.

Story: It's Not Over

 

Since the May Town battle six years ago, Bells Bend has slowly become synonymous with pastoral beauty and organic agriculture in the Nashville area. Despite this success, many of the neighbors feel that constant vigilance is vital for The Bend’s continued rural existence. 

Through Brenda and Barry, both longtime residents and neighborhood activists, the story of Bells Bend’s past, present and future is told through a series of cinematic vignettes. This is part four of that series.

Squaredance

 

Squaredance is in. And The Bend is one of the hottest places in Nashville to swing your partner, do-si-do. Old School Farm hosts a monthly square dance and Bells Bend hosts three outdoor dances in the spring, summer and fall. Under the string lights of the farm shed, hipsters from East Nashville, professionals from West End and farmers from the neighborhood join hands in a great big circle and cut a rug to the old time music played by Bells Bend Farm’s Eric Wooldridge and friends.

Tomato Poem

 

The tomato is perhaps the most anticipated vegetable of the summer. Especially in Nashville where the East Nashville neighborhood dedicates a yearly street festival to the nightshade. The three organic vegetable farms in The Bend devote a large amount of farm real estate to growing organic tomatoes. Sweet, tiny baby tomatoes reign supreme at Old School Farm while large heirloom varieties grow heavy on the vine at Six Boots and Bells Bend Farm. 

The narration is an excerpt from Brenda Butka’s poem, Tomato Poem.

Bells Bend: An Introduction
Story: A Forgotten Corner
The Story: Maytown
Story: The Farm
Story: It's Not Over
Squaredance
Tomato Poem
Bells Bend: An Introduction
Story: A Forgotten Corner

“It was this little jewel that was kind of undiscovered and I stumbled into it.” That is how Barry Sulkin describes the state of Bells Bend when he purchased his home on Pecan Valley Road in 1978. For Brenda Butka, The Bend is a daily reminder of her love for her husband, Tom John. It is the place where they fell in love and have lived for over 30 years. Through Brenda and Barry, both longtime residents and neighborhood activists, the story of Bells Bend’s past, present and future is told through a series of cinematic vignettes. This is part one of that series.

The Story: Maytown

 

The threat of development isn’t new to Bells Bend. In the past 35 years, The Bend has been the proposed site for a Kodak chemical plant, a city dump and a residential subdivision. In 2009, the community was presented with its biggest threat yet: a four-billion dollar condominium and corporate park complex called May Town Center. Proposed by some of the most prominent developers in Nashville, May Town Center was slated to be larger and more populous than downtown Nashville. Despite the overwhelming odds, the Bells Bend community of 350 households organized and fought back. 

Through Brenda and Barry, both longtime residents and neighborhood activists, the story of Bells Bend’s past, present and future is told through a series of cinematic vignettes. This is part two of that series. 
 

Story: The Farm

 

After the community’s momentous win over May Town Center, there was one question on everybody’s minds: We know what we don’t want in our neighborhood. What can we do to prevent it? 

So began the Bells Bend Community Farm project. Members of the community, especially Brenda and Tom John, donated land and capital to start an organic farm in the neighborhood. More than six years later, Bells Bend Farm is still in business, and has inspired other young farmers to settle in The Bend. 

Through Brenda and Barry, both longtime residents and neighborhood activists, the story of Bells Bend’s past, present and future is told through a series of cinematic vignettes. This is part three of that series.

Story: It's Not Over

 

Since the May Town battle six years ago, Bells Bend has slowly become synonymous with pastoral beauty and organic agriculture in the Nashville area. Despite this success, many of the neighbors feel that constant vigilance is vital for The Bend’s continued rural existence. 

Through Brenda and Barry, both longtime residents and neighborhood activists, the story of Bells Bend’s past, present and future is told through a series of cinematic vignettes. This is part four of that series.

Squaredance

 

Squaredance is in. And The Bend is one of the hottest places in Nashville to swing your partner, do-si-do. Old School Farm hosts a monthly square dance and Bells Bend hosts three outdoor dances in the spring, summer and fall. Under the string lights of the farm shed, hipsters from East Nashville, professionals from West End and farmers from the neighborhood join hands in a great big circle and cut a rug to the old time music played by Bells Bend Farm’s Eric Wooldridge and friends.

Tomato Poem

 

The tomato is perhaps the most anticipated vegetable of the summer. Especially in Nashville where the East Nashville neighborhood dedicates a yearly street festival to the nightshade. The three organic vegetable farms in The Bend devote a large amount of farm real estate to growing organic tomatoes. Sweet, tiny baby tomatoes reign supreme at Old School Farm while large heirloom varieties grow heavy on the vine at Six Boots and Bells Bend Farm. 

The narration is an excerpt from Brenda Butka’s poem, Tomato Poem.

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