The November 2023 Edition …

Grand Opening of Tanger Outlet Center Boosts Rebirth of Southeast Nashville

By TOM WOOD / OCTOBER 27, 2023

This date marks the grand opening of the Nashville Tanger retail outlet center in Antioch, which will officially end the two-decade-old “shopping and dining desert” in southeast Nashville as Councilwoman Joy Styles calls it.

I write about the rebirth and revitalization of the Antioch area in the Oct. 27-Nov. 3 edition of the Nashville Ledger. The Tanger Center has 60-some retail and food shops and there are more to come as the 300-acre Century Farms mixed-use development off I-24 continues to add tenants.

Four hotels are planned and Tiger Woods will open PopStrokes, a golf entertainment center, in Century Farms in early 2025. I also write about all that’s coming to the former location of Hickory Hollow Mall. It’s an exciting time for the area.

Here are some of my other recent stories for the Ledger and other things.

Predators Reset Franchise for Brighter Future

Twenty-five years ago, the Nashville Predators made their debut with rookie head coach Barry Trotz and promising left winger Andrew Brunette. They lost their first game but won the second on a goal by Brunette, a historic moment in what would be his only season on the team. Today, both are back with the team — Trotz as only the second general manager in franchise history and Brunette as only the fourth coach in team history.

I wrote about the Trotz-Brunette Silver Anniversary reunion and their plans for the future in the Oct. 13-19 Nashville Ledger. Just like that first season, the Preds lost their season-opener but bounced back to defeat the Kraken 3-0 in Thursday night’s second game and give Brunette his first victory as coach.

“It was really cool,” Brunette said after the game. “The introductions and the start of the game reminded me of a different time when I was way younger and less gray. I got more gray as the game went on. Once you’re a player and you’ve put on a Predators uniform, even though you’re not a player, you always feel like you’re still a player. You still have all of the jitters and the excitement. It was fun to be part of tonight for sure, and to get a win makes it extra special.”

Southern Festival of Books On the Move

A huge success! That’s my take the prestigious Southern Festival of Books’ move from its downtown traditional Nashville location to Bicentennial Mall. The green space was much more welcoming as the Festival spread out across the park and author lectures were held inside the Tennessee State Museum and Tennessee State Library and Archives.

I was there in both the Authors Circle – Mid Tenn and Sisters in Crime Middle Tennessee booths with more than a dozen local authors, and met folks visiting Nashville from the East Coast to the Pacific. I sold books to women from North Carolina to Los Angeles and Seattle and spoke with a couple from Hawaii, in town to attend a wedding.

The Authors Circle – Mid Tenn had a great time at the Southern Festival of Books.

Antioch Transit Center Is a Dream Come True

District 32 Councilwoman Joy Styles has for the better part of a decade been seeking a new mass transit hub to help ease Nashville’s traffic woes — especially along the I-24 corridor that runs through her district. Thanks to a $5 million contribution from the Federal Transit Administration in mid-September, Styles’ dreams are about to be realized. The Antioch Transit Center is expected to open as early as 2025 at the site of the old Hickory Hollow / Global Mall that Metro bought for $44 million.

“I love that Nashville is making the investment in us. To have this funding, for this regional transit center to be the first thing that’s going to be moving on the site, for us changes the game,” Styles told me for my Sept. 29 story in the Nashville Ledger. “It will be a very collaborative process (between state, local and federal entities). And the goal is we’ll be looking at moving dirt starting next year and that this (hub) could be completed by 2025 (or) 2026 without any hiccups.”

Groundbreaking for the Antioch Transit Center will take place in early 2024 and the hub could open as early as 2025.

Vanderbilt Struggles Continue

“Out of the frying pan and into the fire” is an English idiom that dates all the way back to 1532 — and perfectly describes the state of Vanderbilt’s football team today.

After starting the 2023 season at 2-0 with wins over Hawaii and Alabama A&M, the Commodores have lost four in a row, including back-to-back SEC losses to Kentucky and Missouri, both ranked in the Top 25.

And things don’t get easier in October. Vandy is at No. 22 Florida on Oct. 7 before hosting No. 1 Georgia on Oct. 14. After that, the Commodores have an open date before visiting No. 20 Ole Miss. The November schedule includes Auburn, South Carolina and No. 21 Tennessee.

That rigorous schedule will likely keep the Commodores from a postseason bowl unless things rapidly turn around for coach Clark Lea‘s Team 3.

The ongoing construction at the stadium as well as the rebuilding project by Lea looked shaky at times. Those construction efforts and the prospects for a postseason bowl game are the subject of one of my latest story for the Nashville Ledger.

On and off the football field, Vanderbilt is a work in progress regarding both facilities and the SEC team led by coach Clark Lea.

Ledger Cover by Michael Hopey

Killer Nashville Award to Robert Mangeot

Congratulations to author Robert Mangeot on winning several awards at the Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference earlier this month in Franklin, Tennessee. Bob earned a Claymore Award finalist in the Best Short Story Collection / Anthology category with “Parts of the Problem.” The Claymore Award is for unpublished works while the Silver Falchion Award goes for already published books. My current project “Doomstone and Other Thrilling Tales” was a Claymore Award finalist.

The Claymore honor — and it’s a very big deal to make it to the finals — comes on the heels of July’s Tennessee Press Association Awards, where several of my 2022 articles helped the Ledger weekly newspapers in Nashville and Knoxville win numerous awards.

The General Excellence Award went to Knoxville and I was among the writers who helped Knoxville win first place for Business reporting. In Nashville, I was among the writers who won Best Sports Writing honors. I also had three second-place finishes for the Ledger.

The Ledger papers in Knoxville and Nashville won numerous Tennessee Press Association awards that were announced in July.

As always, thanks for reading.

Tom Wood

66 Replies to “The November 2023 Edition …”

  1. Tom, I have been reading Vendetta Stone with delight and can hardly put it down. Thank you for an exciting thriller.

    I don’t normally write authors about mistakes or typos I come across but I did catch James Michener in one in Centennial where he mentions The Old Rugged Cross being one of the hymns sung at an early camp meeting years before George Bennard (1873-1958) wrote it. That all goes to say, I’ve found only one typo so far in Vendetta. (p. 257, 4th paragraph – “…what I in mind…” needs to be “what I had in mind.” A very minor omission which you’ve probably caught already.

    Keep up the good work and thanks.


    • Sharp eye, John. I’ll have to double-check if I caught that one. Glad you’re enjoying Vendetta Stone. The sequel is targeted for a spring launch.

  2. It was great to meet you Tom at the Southern Festival of Books!
    Alan Lewis said for me to contact you. He says you do a lot of presentations at various book festivals. Is it possible to participate as an author. I am a published author in 4 genres 14x.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

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