The Outskirts of Town

Rick Bell remembers life before west Lebanon boomed


By Rick Bell   

A few months ago, my family moved into the house where I grew up. For my wife Necole and my stepdaughter Isabella, it created more space while we build a new home. For me, it brought memories of my youth.

When I walk through the kitchen, I can visualize my mom Elaine cooking dinner while talking with my grandmother on the telephone. In the days before cordless phones, the cord could stretch across the room.

When I take the trash to the driveway, I remember my dad Charles beating me at H-O-R-S-E. He only shot free throws, and he never missed. I also remember my sixteenth birthday when my dad and I returned from a Tennessee football game to find my new car sitting under the carport. It was wrapped in a giant ribbon and bow.

Headed to senior prom

When I am allowed in Isabella’s room, memories from two time periods come rushing back. When that room belonged to my older brother, I wanted to hang out with him and his high school friends while they listened to music. When the room belonged to me, I listened to music and played video games.

When I walk through the backyard, I can still see the bell-shaped swimming pool that was there for decades. That is where my mom taught me how to swim and where Vacation Bible School always spent one day out of the week.

When I pull into the driveway, I remember a Halloween party from my elementary school days. My parents covered the yard with scary props. On a foggy night, my brother saw them in his headlights and was too scared to get out of the car. The props probably scared him more than they scared my elementary school friends. I also remember pulling into the driveway after a weekend night out with my friends. The T-Tops were out, and the radio was blasting.

The house creates a ton of memories of everyday events, but it also brings forth memories of the way things used to be. A few years before my birth, my parents bought some acreage along a two-lane highway on the outskirts of town, and my grandfather J.W. Vanhook built the house with his father Will Vanhook doing some of the carpentry work. Being outside the realm of city services, they also had to dig a well for water and put in a septic tank. We did not even have a street address. Instead, we lived on a rural route.

home-rick-bellDespite the mail listing, we did not live in the countryside. There was a country store with a couple of gas pumps across the road. Next to the store sat Bethlehem Methodist Church. When I was small, I always wondered why we drove to the other side of town to First Baptist Church instead of going to the one across the street, which seemed to be the easiest thing to do.

Several homes were scattered along the highway, and I believe that our neighbors thought the same thing that we did when we got into the car and headed east. We were “going to town.” Of course, that meant driving some miles. Along the way, we passed Snow White Drive-In, Maple Hill Church of Christ and a few businesses. However, we were not officially in town until we got to Dick’s Food Market, which was in the strip mall where CVS now stands.

As I grew, the area around our house also grew. My grandfather, my dad and others developed the farm across the

Playing basketball with Dad

road into the neighborhood of Shenandoah before creating Horn Springs Estates. As the years passed, there came Richmond Hills. Then, my aunt Nancy Eubank built Southfork, and my aunt Peggy Keel developed Geer’s Place.

With a scattering of houses along the highway turning into neighborhoods filled with hundreds of homes, businesses expanded our way. Kroger moved into a complex that also contained K-Mart and the Martin Triple, Lebanon’s first multi-screen theater where I spent many Friday and Saturday nights. Eventually, Kroger moved across the road and created space into which more businesses moved. It also made a great turning point for those of us who liked to “Cruise the Main” in high school.

Suddenly, our house was no longer on the outskirts of town. The City of Lebanon annexed the land and brought services into the area. With convenient commerce and sewer, the situation changed. We no longer had to “go to town.” We were in town, and a lot of other people, who lived in places like Five Oaks, were in town, as well.

When we moved back into the house, we moved into a different world than the one where I grew up. Although I still listen to the same music, I am no longer the kid playing video games. My wife and I are the adults with all of the responsibilities. However, the differences are also on a larger scale.

Decorating the tree with Mom

The two-lane highway is now a five-lane road. Bethlehem Methodist Church does not sit next to a country store. It sits next to an office building and the neighborhood of Waters Hill. One of the houses in which my grandparents lived is now Cumberland Animal Hospital. Maple Hill Church of Christ is still located across from Snow White Drive-In, but it is also between Sports Village and Publix. When we “go to town,” we pass a continuous line of businesses that include Beauty Boutique Salon and Spa, which is owned by my wife.

The area where I grew up is now the City of Lebanon’s Ward 6, and I am proud to serve that ward on the city council. For years, it has been a prime location for development, and land values have steadily risen. To continue that trend, we need to insure that this area continues to develop responsibly, with neighborhoods like Iroquois, which was developed by Mark Brown and my brother Jack, and Hamilton Springs, a transit-oriented neighborhood being my developed by my brother and me.

When I was a kid, the outskirts on the west side of Lebanon was a great place to grow up. As more people moved into the area and it became part of the city, it continued to be a great place to live. With more growth on the horizon, I want the children of the future to be as happy living here as I was living on that rural route on the outskirts of town.

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Renaissance Girl

Faith New pursues multiple passions with humility

By Ken Beck

Photos by Tilly Dillehay


She’s the girl most likely to succeed in . . . well, just fill in the blank.

When 16-year-old Faith New sets her sights on a new skill set, you’d best not block her path.

IMG_2559champThe home-schooled Mt. Juliet teenager proves a crucial member on her equestrian and competitive air-rifle teams, and, when it comes to individual pursuits, she shows her hand as a pretty fair guitarist, artist and deer hunter.

Besides the mentoring of her parents, Kevin and Christine New, Faith says she’s learned key life lessons while riding horses or sitting motionless up a tree in a deer stand.

“I think I get a lot more from horses than anything else. They’re the quiet friend, but I love the give and take,” said Faith. “They’re very peaceful animals, and my horse is very calm, and I can feed off of that. They’re a very good sounding partner.

“Every day I ride my horse, I train my horse. I want good things, positive things to come out, and you can see that through my horse.”

She specifically credits her mounts, Teddy and Bo, for teaching her patience and humility.

“If I’m angry or get overworked or overheated, I’ve learned to control it, so my horse can’t tell that he has anything over me… Horses have a mind of their own, and you sometimes can’t control them, and they’ll embarrass you in front of your trainer or other people, and you learn humility from that.”

IMG_2680champAs for the long hours spent in a deer stand, she describes that experience, saying, “Out in the middle of the woods, it’s so quiet, and we’re listening for deer coming up on you. We’re out there four or five hours. It teaches lot of patience. A lot of good outcomes come from listening.”

Born in Hermitage, Faith has lived in Mt. Juliet since she was 7. She attended Mt. Juliet Christian Academy from kindergarten through the seventh grade, but her mother decided to teach her at home in the eighth grade.

“I love homeschooling. I think it’s amazing. The first year of home school was pretty hard, but the last couple have been pretty easy,” said the junior, who recently knocked out a year’s worth of math in two weeks.

Says her mom, “I’m barely the teacher. She does everything on her own. ‘Did you do your homework?’ She knows what she needs to get done and does it.

“I always said I’d never homeschool, but one day at the end of her seventh grade, it hit me that she would be able to spread her wings and do more of what she’s interested in. The same week she came to me and said she’d been thinking about homeschooling, so she could be free to practice her sports more.

“We knew being on her own to study would free up a lot of time if she was diligent in getting the required work completed. She is doing that and more. She is free after her regular studies to study astronomy, psychology, history and do more church activities and has time to learn business by working in her father’s company, which is what she wants to do for her career. She’s a very normal average kid who does what she loves,” said Christine.

IMG_2556champFaith’s affinity for horses had her begging for her own as a tot. At 7 she started taking riding lesson once a week, then twice a week, then three times. So her parents leased a horse. When she was 9, they bought her a 9-year-old quarter horse, Teddy.

With Teddy as her saddle partner, Faith began competing in dressage and then vaulting. She described the latter as “gymnastics on the back of a horse.” Nowadays, she participates in three-day eventing which encompasses cross-country jumping, dressage and stadium jumping. She competes in hunter-jumper events as a member of CF Topflight, an all-girl, high school team based in Murfreesboro that ranks first in the state and finished ninth at the Interscholastic Equestrian Association Nationals last April.

Faith placed in the Top 10 in the Southern regionals against riders from 11 states.

“The judges judge you on how well you look and how well you control the horse from the second you get on till you get off,” she said of the event. “We ride for about 10 minutes on equitation on the flat and about four minutes on jumping the horse.

“My teammates and I like to compete against each other, but we compete as a team. We are very supportive of each other,” said Faith.

She cares for Teddy at their Youngblood Stables outside of Lebanon, while Bo, the horse she mainly rides in competition, is boarded in Murfreesboro. Faith feeds and waters Teddy twice a day.

Faith said she can read horses like humans and that Teddy “has a stoic personality. He’ll do anything, but he won’t fuss.”

Noted her mother, “She’s learned how to take care of other living beings and give them love. She’s learned how to wake up early and stay late until the job is finished… She’s learned how to be responsible for herself, a 1,300-pound animal, a trailer and truck rig. She drives herself to all of her lessons and makes sure she stays safe.

“She happens to have been blessed with owning two horses that have taken her to success over the last seven years. She’s put in blood, sweat and real tears.”

Faith also has put in long hours on the shooting range as a member of Mt. Juliet Christian Academy’s (MJCA) Shooting Saints, a competitive air-rifle team.

IMG_2699champ“I’ve put air rifle on hold going on my second month,” said Faith in early August. “Horse shows and air-rifle competition are held on weekends, so I had to choose. It’s hard to choose sometimes.”

Once the air-rifle season commences, the shooters practice pellet shooting twice a week at MJCA. During a match, each competitor will take 20 shots per position (standing, kneeling and prone) at a target 10 meters distance. A perfect score is 600. Faith’s best effort is 572.

“When we started three years ago, we were nothing. We practiced shooting in the attic of a bus barn in Mt. Juliet. We had to climb the ladder. We’re a very humble team,” she says of the squad that finished fourth in the state in last year’s Junior Olympics.

“I love being a member and seeing kids make the team. This is good for kids who may not fit in with other sports, and it makes them so happy. I enjoy seeing that,” said Faith, who sets the pace as team captain.

Shooting Saints coach Gibby Gibson said he selected her for that role “strictly because of the fact she exemplifies the attitude of a leader. If not from what she says, it’s from her actions.

“She’s a very gifted shooter, and she personifies the qualities it takes to excel in this sport. It’s just a matter of how far she wants to carry it. There are 416 colleges that offer scholarships in three-position, precision 10-meter Olympic air rifle shooting. Hopefully, that can come into play when she’s ready to go to college.”

IMG_2563Shooting an air rifle comes second nature for Faith as her father began taking her into the woods when she was 5, and she began deer hunting at the age of 7. Nine years later, she has a dozen to her credit; she shot half of them with a rifle and half with a bow.

Faith’s father finds their time in the forest provides an ideal opportunity to share his values with his daughter. Their conversations have become more mature in nature since she left childhood.

“We’ve talked about hard work, picking your friends, being a good judge of character—life lessons in general. When they’re young you have a chance to bond with them together in the same tent and have all that time together with no outside influences,” he said.

IMG_2765champHe also mentors her in the workplace as he runs his own business, Painter Ready, a national, commercial and industrial painting company, where he stresses the traits of honesty and hard work.

“I’m a big believer in that nothing comes from nothing. You’ve got to get out there and make it happen,” said Kevin, who had his daughter mopping floors at the time of the phone interview.

Asked to offer a few tips that might assist other dads in building stronger relationships with their youngsters, he shared, “It’s not always quality time but quantity time, but you need to be getting out and doing something with your children away from the TV and phone, building memories. And you need to give your child chores or jobs around the house, making them responsible.”
Faith is preparing herself to take the plunge one day and take the reins to her father’s company.

“I love business,” she said. “I think it would be amazing to carry on. Entrepreneurial is in my blood.”

Her mother added, “Honestly, she has such a big dream for herself to be an entrepreneur and a businesswoman. I cannot imagine anyone being able to tell her she can’t do it. She believes if you know how to run your life and run a business, then you have no limitations to your future unless you quit.”

As for Faith’s creative spirit, she proves to be a gifted artist and a fair guitar player. She began taking art lesson from Mt. Juliet’s Kathy Chester when she was 10.

IMG_2773“Painting was my first way of expressing myself, creating something with purpose,” said Faith, who won first place in her category that first time she entered the Wilson County Fair. “I paint pastels mostly. I like to paint landscapes, anything outside, buildings, flowers. For the past several years, I’ve kept pen and ink in my console. If I see something, I’ll jot it down.”

Purchasing her first electric guitar five years ago, she enjoys performing with a band at Heritage Christian Academy’s annual home school talent shows and also plays occasionally in the church band at First Baptist Mt. Juliet. “I enjoy playing rhythm and lead. I don’t sing but write,” she said.

Her mother, whose favorite time with her offspring is trail riding, describes her personality, saying, “She avoids drama, never gossips and is friendly, loyal and outgoing. She enjoys winning people over that may feel like they’re lost in the crowd and bringing them out of their shell. She is respectful and hardworking, and when asked to help a friend, she is loyal. No matter where she goes, she treats everybody the same way.”

Of her various pursuits, Faith shared, “Friendship is the most important. I love to see people happy. Everybody has a purpose. I really enjoy seeing other people create and find their purpose. It definitely has changed how I look at things.”

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familyfor web

Our Christmas Tradition

familyfor webOne family shares their own special way of celebrating the holiday season

By Sue Siens

Christmas traditions and holiday celebrations are as diverse as our American culture.  For singles and single parents, enjoying the holidays may mean creating new ways to celebrate. 

Mount Juliet resident Shari Arnold leads a busy life as Lifestyles Director for Del Webb Lake Providence, but her most important job is being a single mom to two beautiful children, Maggie and Jack Ryman.

Shari learned her joy and appreciation for the holidays from “the most loving and selfless parents,” Bill and Susan Arnold of Lebanon, TN.  But Shari and family have also learned in the past few years that Christmas gifts can come in all shapes and sizes, and new traditions can be embraced.

About five years ago, at a time when Shari and her children were adjusting to their new lives in a single parent home, they welcomed a foreign exchange student to live with them just before the holidays.  A delightful and lovely young woman, Dila Uenal from Germany introduced their family to her language and her culture.

“Dila entered our world at the most perfect time, and was the best distraction for the kids and I, especially with the holidays quickly approaching,” says Shari.  “Isn’t it funny that when one door closes, another opens?”

At the time, Dila spoke no English.  Shari, Maggie, and Jack Ryman gave Dila the true American experience. They shared their Christmas traditions of Christmas Eve candlelight church service followed by hot cocoa, caroling, holiday meals, naps, Santa, gifts and more.  Shari says, “I was given the gift of another daughter.”  Shari noted that the experience was “extremely positive for us.”

Dila became a part of the Arnold family, and has repeatedly returned from Germany to visit during Christmastime. It’s a tradition that Shari says her family eagerly anticipates.  

Dila says what she loves about her Christmas visits with her adopted American family are, “…family time with the heartwarming conversations, the kids’ joy when they unwrap their presents, Christmas dinner with the food that her American grandma cooks (Shari’s mom, “Mimi” Susan Arnold), the pastor’s way of telling the values of life and the peace you can feel during the service, and all the love that is spread all around Christmas.”

This year, Christmastime will be especially joyful.  Shari, Maggie, Jack Ryman, and Shari’s parents, will be celebrating with Shari’s brother, William Scott Arnold and family, who recently relocated to Mount Juliet from Los Angeles, CA.

Shari acknowledges there are challenges and bonuses of single parenthood (twice the work, but twice the love).  She says the holiday season is about being real, letting go of some past-life traditions, opening your heart to others, and being grateful. She said she tries to focus on the good in life, learn from heartbreak and challenges, and, “What better time to count blessings?”

Shari says she thanks God for her two greatest blessings of all, her son and daughter, Maggie and Jack.

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Current Edition’s Table Of Contents

         Sept/Oct 2014 Features

      A Note From the Founders  

10     Sabrina – Out On the Town

11     Upcoming Events
         Meet Your Neighbor
12     “Empty Bowls” benefit serves up compassion 

         City Between the Lakes
16     14 year-old “races” to his dream

         About Town
22    Clint’s Crusaders WILL NOT give up hope   

         Looking Ahead
26    What’s in Store for the 2014 Holiday Expo and GALA


         Sept/Oct 2014 Features

         Coming Home 
   “Fall” in love with this season’s home decorating tips   

         Spotlight On
33     Notes for Nurses

         About Town
37     Lebanon’s St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church

         Living in the Past
40     Meet the LHS Football team’s most loyal fans

         Finding Your Piece Of The Good Life
45     Read about the new face at Wilson Living



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Current Edition’s Table Of Contents

         July/August 2014 Features

      A Note From the Founders  

10     Sabrina – Out On the Town

11     Upcoming Events
         Meet Your Neighbor
Brandon & Linlee Allen share their love of home 

         City Between the Lakes
22     Sonny’s Cafe in Mt. Juliet

         About Town
26     Del Webb – Five Star Living AND Five Star Giving   

         Spotlight On
Re-writing the Rules After Retirement

         Wilson County Fair Favorite
34     Love of Trains Lives On        

         July/August 2014 Features

         Styles & Trends
Tina Brady showcases sparkle with Music City Bling

         Coming Home
41     Twelve Ideas for Back to School

43     America an Exceptional Nation

         Q & A Amber
45     Never Lose Sight of your Shore 

         Around the Bend
47     Cordell Hull Bridge in Smith County reopens 

         Living in the Past
56     The Food and Tradition of Snow White Drive-In

         Piece of the Good Life
 MJ Lucas bestows blessings of the “Good Life”



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Table Of Contents – May June 2014


         May/June 2014 Features

4       A Note From the Founders  

8       Sabrina – Out On the Town

9       Upcoming Events
         Meet Your Neighbor
The Austermillers

         Spotlight On
21     Joy Church International

         Hometown Living
26     Feast on Friendliness at Al’s Foodland   

About the Cover

Models: Nick Mitchell & Alexandria Eva

The White Room – Lebanon, TN
Silpada Designs – Ramona Welch

The Beauty Boutique – Laura Beth Ray, Kaitlyn Graves 

         May/June 2014 Features

        Styles and Trends 
32    Wedding Resource Guide
34    The Fashion
40    The Jewels
41    The Big Day
42    The Bridal Boot Camp
44    The Perfect Gift 
46    The Planning
48    The Venue  

         Living in the Past
52     A Love for the Ages

         Piece of the Good Life
 Will you Marry Me?


About the Cover (cont.) 

The Beauty Boutique – Necole Bell

Amy Rich Photography
Kindred Moments Photography 

Creative Concept: 
Becky Andrews, Erin Brown, Scott Harris 


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The Austermillers



Wilson County residents and owners of Austermiller Roofing, Roger and Penny Austermiller, weren’t planning to purchase and devote nearly a year completely renovating a French, country style home located on the west end of Lebanon.

In fact, they were searching for a piece of land in which they could build their dream home……

Continue reading “The Austermillers”

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Table Of Contents – Mar Apr 2014


         Mar/Apr 2014 Features

6       Notes From Founders  

10     Sabrina Out On the Town

11     Calendar of Events
         Meet Your Neighbor
Joseph’s Storehouse Feeds the Hungry

         About Town
18     Donelson Christian Academy

         Hometown Heroes
21     A Comforting Constant in an Ever Changing World                                                             
         Styles and Trends
28     Local to You

         Spotlight On
32     Women in Politics 

         Mar/Apr 2014 Features

         Celebrate Home
38     Cash in your Closet

         Q & Amber
40     Your Emotional Closet

 Grieving with Hope

         City Between The Lakes
 Cure For the Common Cookie

         Around the Bend
 Dessert Queen of Pleasant Shade 

         Living in the Moment
51     Made In the Glade

         Finding Your Piece Of the Good Life
In Memory Of Jere McCulloch

         Susan Bowman Story
         Out of the Ashes Rise the Angels

ON THE COVER: Celebrating Women

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Jere McCulloch

Jere McCulloch

Jere McCulloch


“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others”  – Pericles

For some men, we erect monuments to mark the achievements of their lives and to remember their passing.  These monuments can take many forms — 

Continue reading “Jere McCulloch”

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One Red Stiletto – The Susan Bowman Story


The premier of the documentary “One Red Stiletto,” Susan Bowman’s story of tragedy and triumph. To learn more read

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