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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee • Page 9
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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee • Page 9

The Tennesseani
Nashville, Tennessee
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I lit I nwtMMII XT, ITrl JJV June 1. 1996 Statehood Day Celebration ill oitest Hois to State's top bakers vie for bicentennial honor By GAIL KERR and JENNIFER COODE 0" t. f. I .1 thought of it Someone decided brown spots on the Capitol Hill lawn simply would not do. So they spray-painted them green.

The Spirit moves The bicentennial train rolled across the train trestle at 2:25 p.m. yesterday. The Spirit of the Tennessee, will travel across the state beginning July 4, when it will leave Union City and keep going until mid-November. "I dont think It's finished inside yet" said Pat Nolan, one of many public relations gurus working yesterday's celebration. "But it is going to be very neat" The eight-car train has a streamlined, elegant engine followed by a series of cars painted with bright abstracts and historic symbols.

It will have a traveling exhibit about Tennessee's agriculture, commerce and industry, and will be free when it comes through 40 rural and urban communities across the state. Get ready: The pre-publicity packets about the train vow that youll feel "button-popping pride" when the train rolls through. OuitA a hike II If --Jk 1 1 nmmiMi tr. IACKIE BELL STAFF State officials are aware of the "ratifying" rather than "ratifying." mistake, and it will be fixed. 'Nine-year-old Kathleen Ayers passes a segment of the Wall of History on the Bicentennial Capitol Mall that contains the misspelled word inrr A' -t A.

'X. i Staff Writers They stood next to their creations, patiently awaiting the judges. A tweak at the icing here, a poke at a layer there. More than 95 bakers at least one from each county competed yesterday with flour and sugar to determine who had created the best bicentennial birthday cake. If that isn't impressive, just think about driving to Nashville from Manchester with an Italian Cream Cake decorated like the state flag.

One bump, and Memphis might have been relocated to Middle Tennessee. "It rode real well," said Janice Hoke, who had never entered a cooking contest before. Crowds of cake lovers politely waited at the Tennessee Tower while the cakes were judged, and then they pounced for bites, washed down with free pink lemonade. There were flat cakes, Bundt cakes, flag cakes, upside down cakes, round cakes, square cakes, pink cakes, brown cakes and, of course, red, white and blue cakes. One was called the "Pig Lickin' Cake." What does the name mean? "I really don't know," said cook Elaine Brewer, of Columbia.

The winner, Glenda Tant of Williamson County, baked a cream cake that she called The Bicentennial Blossom Cake. It took nine days to make and was covered with dozens of gum-paste replicas of native Tennessee flowers. "It's kinda like playing with Play-Doh," Tant said. For communing with her inner child, she took home $1,000 in prize money. And many more Down the hill from the bakeoff, Tennessee citizens greeted their 19-acre birthday present the Bicentennial Capitol Mall with awe as they formed a steady stream of movement from 6 a.m.

until dusk. They came in couples and in clusters, on foot and in baby buggies, in ball caps and American Legion hats. "We just thought we'd see some history in the making," said Johnny Williams, who brought his wife, Wy-ceithia and his daughter, Chelsey, 5, to the mall. "We're making a day out of It" That sums up the tone of the day: taking it easy, soaking up a bit of history, enjoying the cool morning temperatures that drifted into a sunny afternoon. They wore red, white and blue shirts, flag hats and even flag dog collars.

One fellow dressed up like Abraham Lincoln. One woman brought a ferret named Bobo. Visitors stopped to play in the fountains, found their county's time capsule marker, read the Wall of History and rested their tired dogs in the empty amphitheater. So, what's a few glitches The mall is not perfect Nor is it finished. The Visitors Center, under the railroad trestle at the mall entrance, is not yet open.

And construction of the World War II Memorial will begin later this year, as will the Path of Volunteers, made up of engraved bricks purchased by people from all over the state. Some obvious problems stand out Like the dead trees. A bunch of the new magnolia trees didnt "take," and stand brown and crispy throughout the mall. Landscape contractors will replace those that fell victim to the lingering winter and odd spring weather. Not so easy to fix will be the boo-boo on the black granite Wall of History.

Historians might be stunned to know that "On July 24, 1866, Tennessee was the first state to be restored to the Union after retifying the 14th Amendment which extended citizenship to black freedmen." Oops. The 14th Amendment actually was ratified. "Do you think they know it?" pondered Lucille Crawford, of Nashville, who was posing for a photograph with a friend from Chicago in front of the notation. State officials are aware of the mistake, and it will be fixed with no additional cost to taxpayers. Covering imperfections And speaking of oddities It's a darn good thing it didnt rain yesterday, because a bunch of folks would have gone home with green backsides.

Being a mega-photo opportunity, i i I r.i '5 Count 'em, 142 steps stretch from James Robertson Parkway up the side of Capitol Hill to the new scenic overlook, called a belvedere. No wonder your legs art? tired this morning. From the ground up Charlie Leeper, a Nashvillian and backhoe operator for mall builders Hardaway Construction, has literally watched the Bicentennial Capitol Mall rise from the dirt "I did a lot of the digging out and the trenching for the River Wall area, for all the trees," Leeper said yesterday, observing the results pf some of his labor from the chairs set up along James Robertson Parkway. "It's really a nice park. You have to take your time and go through; it to realize it all the historical significance.

"The state map, that's about tte most amazing thing IVe seen." Leeper was accompanied fey friend Joyce Coffey of Nashville, who also was impressed with tie mall. They had spent the afternoon at Summer Lights, and parked themselves in the mall celebration chairs by 3 p.m. "I think people are going to use; it more than I thought at first" Coffey said. "Most big cities have a park downtown New York, St Louis. A lot of Nashvillians are going Jo enjoy this." Bringing people together Joyce Hughey of Nashville has been watching the mall take shape from her office window at the state Division of Consumer Affairs.

"I couldnt wait to get out here Hughey said. "IVe enjoyed readihg about the history of Tennessee ar)d, talking to people from all over the state, I'm beginning to get an interest in it This will bring us all together." Hughey snagged extra ceremony programs to send to her sons, who no longer live in Nashville, but who "like to keep up," she said. Something for everyone Mall-area resident Ruby Simmons also was clad to finallv 1 '1 si 1 -J' li ill- i BILL STEBER STAFF Savannah Schiess, 6, of Oak Ridge, wrestles with cousin Morgan Smith, 3, of Spring Hill, on the mall's Court of Three Stars. 9 I V. I JACKIE BELL STAFF GAIL KERR STAFF Barbara and Charles Beasley of Nashville stroll past the long Wall of History on the Bicentennial Capitol Mall.

Malise Moore, 20 months, finds a place to rest at a merchandise tent while his mother, Lynn Moore, shops for souvenirs. what all the fuss has been about; "I never thought this place could look like this," Simmons said. "When they said it was going to be a mall, I thought of stores. But. I think this is fantastic.

I think 111 get lost down here. I will definitely come back." Pack a lunch It was a special day, but $2.50 for Celebrating 200 years of statehood LI.IIIW.llJIIP I IT" i.i.iu. a small bottle of water? Come on. That was the going rate for sbft drinks in a can and bottles of spring water. That explains why the line at the Capitol Towers Market Grocery was 30-deep and growing as the dedication ceremony neared.

There, cold bottled sodas cents. Questions, questions Visitors kept the park rangers and state troopers busy, busy all Aaw urr havA a TttQn9" "What will never change are the values contained in that cornerstone hard work, love of family, respect for individual freedom, commitment to community VICE PRESIDENT AL CORE goal, as well, opening up a panoramic vista of the Capitol, Tennessee's most important historic structure. In his effort to define Tennessee's character, Gore noted that the 1849 cornerstone of the Capitol contains the items people of the day cherished copies of the state and federal constitutions. "What will never change are the values contained in that cornerstone hard work, love of family, respect for individual freedom, commitment to community House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, the son of Lebanese immigrants, also took a turn at describing Tennessee's essence. "It is a belief in doing what is right and what is just and volunteering when there is need." Naifeh also described another (mostly) unifying theme: "Go Big Orange!" While the politicians tried to maintain a serious tone, Gore could not resist some playful notes, offering a reasonable imitation of Elvis Presley's speech, if not his songs.

Recalling the storied 1886 race for governor between Democrat Bob Taylor and Republican Alf Taylor, two brothers who fought Tennessee's War of the Roses, Gore offered a red Republican rose to Sundquist, "my Tennessee brother." Gore tucked the white Democratic rose into his own lapel. A year ago, Sundquist and Gore were in a nasty public spat over who would lead the bicentennial celebration, a dispute both say they now regret "Neither partisanship nor politics was Invited to this mall tonight" the vice president said. phors. A bubbling fountain suggests the original mineral springs that drew now vanished animals and hunters, and then the restless Europeans with their long rifles. Modern children quickly began creating their own traditions, tossing coins for luck Into the new fountain.

"More than any other individual, the mall Is the project of former Gov. Ned MCWherter, a man usually more interested in building roads than monuments. McWherter noted the finished mall seems to produce a quiet surge of emotion in people, including himself. Tm damned proud of it" The mall seemed to have accomplished one purpose: Not in a half century has the area north of the Capitol produced such a crowd of "Where's Summer Lights?" and "Can we cut through here?" "They want to know why tjiis area was developed," said Vicki Loveday, a Tennessee park ranger. "We give them a little bit of history.

Hey, folks! Like a Fashion tip of the day. Those not pink neck straps for event credentials clash with trooper beige 4nd military fatigues. happy revelers on a Saturday night The area was a nest of bawdy houses and saloons until urban-renewal bulldozers churned them into parking lots after World War IL and being the type of event that only occurs once every 100 years, you can't blame the person who id it achieved an architectural.

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