Newly sworn in second-term Gov. Bill Haslam and his wife, Crissy, share a first dance to Rascal Flatts’ rendition of their hit, “My Wish.”
At Moxley Carmichael, we love Gov. Bill Haslam. We worked with him when he was at Pilot more than 20 years ago. We worked on his first mayoral campaign. And we supported him when he ran for governor — both times.
So, of course, when we got the invitation to his second inaugural weekend earlier this month, we were totally on board. After all, we had such a blast at his first one! (Click here and here for that two-part Blue Streak post.)
This year, Moxley Carmichael was represented not only by Alan and me, but by our CFO, Shaun Fulco Hyver, and by our newest account executive, Hannah Parker. Hannah joined our company last year after a four-year stint in the governor’s office — and, prior to that, three years in the office of Bill Haslam when he was Knoxville’s mayor. We knew she knew her way around Nashville, and she wowed us by making all the arrangements for our trip. (Thanks, Hannah!)
We had a blast and saw tons of fellow Knoxvillians there. Although I broke the last inauguration into two Blue Streak posts, I’ll just post all the pictures on one this year. You can stop reading when you get tired!
So, here goes!
Kitchen Notes is on the ground floor of the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville.
Our trip to Nashville was carefully planned around restaurants we wanted to visit — and the inauguration events, of course. First stop upon our arrival Friday night was an eatery in our hotel, the Omni, which was Inauguration Central. Hannah recommended the cool spot, Kitchen Notes, as one of her favorite downtown dining options and said it was a place the governor enjoys, as well. She got us a great corner window seat.
A biscuit bar! How great an idea is this?
A martini to knock off the trail dust!
We loved the spare but welcoming ambiance of Kitchen Notes.
Hannah’s friend, Linda Peek Schacht, joined us. A former top Coca-Cola marketing executive and White House press secretary to President Jimmy Carter, Linda was an awesome dinner companion.
Hannah ordered meatloaf with whipped potatoes and green beans. Talk about comfort food!
Shaun had creamy Carolina Gold rice with seasonal vegetables and Noble Springs goat cheese. She loved it.
Alan was a little obsessed with the biscuits and breads from the biscuit bar!
We had to skip dessert though, much to Alan’s dismay, because of our plan to stroll to the nearby Schermerhorn Center to hear Kenny Rogers perform with the Nashville Symphony Pops Orchestra.
We passed the so-called “Batman Building” — actually the AT&T Towers — which was lighted red, white and blue in honor of the weekend’s inauguration festivities.
The Schermerhorn is a beautiful performance venue.
Kenny Rogers was engaging and funny, although he did occasionally forget the lyrics to some of his classic songs.
Alan Carmichael with Shaun Fulco Hyver, left, and Hannah Parker at the conclusion of the show.
Then it was back to the bar in the charming steakhouse, Bob’s, in the Omni for a nightcap.
Shaun with her Baileys on the rocks. Cheers and goodnight!
Saturday morning dawned early! Shaun and Hannah hustled off to the prayer service associated with the inauguration at the storied Ryman Auditorium. Alan and I had a few errands we had to run. It looks like we missed a wonderful event. Boo.
Entertainer Ricky Skaggs, left, greeting the governor’s father, Jim Haslam, back stage at the legendary Ryman Auditorium. Behind Skaggs is the governor’s son, Will Haslam. In center is one of his daughters, Annie Colquitt. (Photo by state photographer Jed DeKalb)
The First Couple at the prayer service. (Photo by state photographer Jed DeKalb)
Praying at the prayer service. (Photo by state photographer Jed DeKalb)
The governor’s father, James A. Haslam II, making remarks. (Photo by state photographer Jed DeKalb)
Will Haslam (Photo by state photographer Jed DeKalb)
Ricky Skaggs performing. (Photo by state photographer Jed DeKalb)
Christian singer Amy Grant had folks kneeling down. (Photo by state photographer Jed DeKalb)
The governor waves to his grandson, Wyatt Haslam. (Photo by state photographer Jed DeKalb)
Meanwhile, back at the Legislative Plaza, Alan and I were first in line to get into the stands and hold seats for the rest of our gang. We snagged seats on the front row of our assigned section.
We spotted Morton Massey, husband of state Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, in the crowd. (It was hard NOT to spot him!)
Jim and Natalie Haslam waiting for the swearing in to begin.
Country star Trace Adkins singing the national anthem. (Photo by state photographer Jed DeKalb)
Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee, of East Tennessee, administered the oath of office to Gov. Haslam as his wife, Crissy, held a Bible. Behind them, from left, are their daughter Leigh Avery and her husband, Matt Avery; their daughter Annie Colquitt and her husband, David Colquitt; and their son, Will Haslam, with his wife, Hannah Haslam and son, Wyatt. (Photo by state photographer Jed DeKalb)
Gov. Haslam delivering the inaugural address. (Photo by state photographer Jed DeKalb)
The First Couple after the speech. (Photo by state photographer Jed DeKalb)
Awww. (Photo by state photographer Jed DeKalb)
Our gang after the big event.
But then, it was time for — guess what! Brunch! We grabbed an Uber car and headed to Husk, located in the Rutledge Hill section of downtown.
The Bloody Mary at Husk was garnished with country ham and a house-made pickle. Yum.
You would not believe these! Sweet potato doughnuts with bourbon caramel. Alan was in heaven. And this was the appetizer!
Alan and I both ordered the “plate of Southern vegetables.”
After that, we walked back to the hotel for much needed naps prior to getting ready for the First Couple’s dinner and dance.
We still have paper cups Moxley Carmichael designed for Bill Haslam’s first race for Knoxville mayor. As we did at his last gubernatorial inauguration, we brought a sleeve of them with us and had a champagne toast prior to the evening’s festivities.
We still have half a sleeve of them left. Maybe we’ll get to use them at an inauguration in Washington one day!
We saw scores of Knoxvillians as we waited for doors to open to the ballroom where the dinner was to be held. Here are former Knoxvillians Carolyn and Courtney Pearre.
State Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Randy Boyd and Jig & Reel Proprietor Jenny Boyd.
State Sen. Richard Briggs with former Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen IV and his wife, Jolene.
Tracy and downtown Knoxville developer David Dewhirst.
Mary Bogert, left, and Rebecca Williams of the Knoxville Convention Center.
Alan with former Knoxvillian Tre Hargett, who now is Tennessee’s Secretary of State.
Inside the ballroom, the governor posed with Hannah.
And our friend Laurens Tullock.
We were at a table full of Knoxvillians. Bob and Amy Cross were among them.
Our downtown neighbors Cliff and Jacque Hawks were seated with us, as well.
As were Bill and Barbara Arant.
The governor worked the room. Here he is visiting our table.
His chief of staff, Mark Cate, dropped by, too.
All night long: Here’s what we saw him doing most.
Hannah got a chance to catch up with some of her friends. From left, Miles Hite, Morgan Hite, Tim McGaha, Janet McGaha and Hannah.
Larry and Jane Martin, left, with state Rep. Ryan Haynes of Knoxville and his date, Greer Kelly.
Rodney and Dell Lawler were seated at the governor’s table.
It was great seeing John and Carol Sheridan.
Tom Ford, left, chats with Earl Taylor.
Here’s Alan with Russell Humphrey, the son of News Sentinel Nashville guy Tom Humphrey.
Jennifer Holder and Doug Tabor
And then Rascal Flatts took the stage.
And the First Couple took the dance floor. (Photo by Shaun Fulco Hyver)
And so did everyone else!
Sandy and David Martin were among them.
Tom and Mindy Coulter
Chad Tindell and Melissa Ogden
Tom Boyd and Sandi Burdick
More Knoxvillians: Ross and Debbie Kerns
Shaun and Alan
All in all, a fun, fun night.
The next morning, we were at Hannah’s favorite brunch spot, Margot Cafe, at 11 a.m. — right when it opened. The Bloody Marys there are made with cucumber infused vodka. Delicious.
And they have great quiche, which gave us the sustenance to make it back to Knoxville!
What a great trip for a great occasion!! Hannah, you can plan a trip with me any time!
Cynthia, another fantastic Blue Streak. But where, in all those pics, was Ms Cynthia??? Obviously this was a great and fun inauguration. Knoxvillians do know how to celebrate! And look good, too!
What an amazing weekend! Once in a lifetime opportunity. It was a great time with awesome company. Thank you both for including me. It ranks in the top three experiences of my life.
Natalie: You should definitely enlist her!
Bette: The only thing that would have made it more fun is you all would have been there.
Shaun: So much fun being with you!
The gentleman who sang Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” at the inauguration was terrific.
You owe me no thanks for making the plans – It’s actually I who should be thanking you all for indulging me and visiting all of my favorite old Nashville haunts! This was a good weekend, and I hope we have a reason to celebrate like this again soon.
Hannah: Let’s look for another opportunity!
It’s clear you can’t survive a weekend out of town without exciting food.
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