We live and work in an area that is unique for sure. Some of the nation’s top music producers, artists, and writers call this place home…whether in Franklin, Leiper’s Fork or Nashville. Celebrities are special in their own way, but just as famous in some of these parts are our local heroes, Goose, Gatlin, Bruce, Larry, and more.
Bruce, Goose, and Gatlin are the heart of Leiper’s Fork, and the kings of our “Table of Wisdom.” You can see pictures of them on the back of all of our Puckett’s t-shirts. Many people ask me if these guys are real or just contrived façade, modeling for the shirts. They are certainly real, and I’m honored to call them friends.
Goose (also known as Mike) is Leiper’s Fork’s unofficial mayor. He knows every corner around southwest Williamson County, and just about everyone. Goose got his name because as a child, he bought a goose in downtown Franklin. He wanted it so badly that he carried it up Main Street, and hid it in the back of his dad’s car. It honked all the way home! Goose attends some of Nashville’s best parties with the most influential celebrities. He is the emcee of the Leiper’s Fork Christmas Parade, which brings in onlookers by the thousands. However, most days you can find Goose at Puckett’s in Leiper’s Fork helping out anyone at any given time. If you need directions, home improvement or fending off the paparazzi, Goose is always ready to serve.
Gatlin is the town organizer and electrician extraordinaire. I’ve seen him put cable wire where no man should go. Whether it’s running electricity up a field for the village Christmas tree, or making sure the corn hole competition is well lit, he’s the man. He’s there to be sure the party, parade or chili cook off is running on all cylinders; and Leiper’s Fork gatherings are no ordinary shindigs. When the press shows up for interviews of these events, you’ll not see Gatlin in the limelight, but…knowing him, he likes it that way. Tough on the outside, Gatlin is all soft when it comes to people in need. He’s right there to organize a fundraiser, or repair a home damaged by weather or tragedy. Without second thought, he’s the go to guy.
Bruce is the real King around here. A retired advertising executive, he and his lovely wife, Marty, have been the official greeters and organizers of the village of Leiper’s Fork for years. They owned and operated Leiper’s Fork Antiques when Andy and I bought Puckett’s over a decade ago, Bruce was the guy that Andy went to for any questions that a new business in town would want to ask. He is always kind, always clever, and ever so creative. Quite the sleuth that he is, Bruce helped us with the great fern caper at Puckett’s years ago. We had someone stealing our ferns outside of Pucketts, and Bruce put hidden cameras in and around the whole area. The lady was caught and turned into authorities. It reminded me of “Mayberry.” On a different note, I’ll always thank Bruce for his creative design of my home. One day just before we moved there, Andy told Bruce what kind of home I wanted. Bruce drew it up on a napkin. We took it to our builder, and voila!, my home.
This area is full of people that want to help. We can’t have Christmas lights, clean buildings or movies in the park without Larry and his brother Mike. And of course, whether its weddings, funerals or parties, my own husband, Andy, is always there at the ready to make the moments complete with his amazing southern food. It’s Southern charm for sure around here, and I’m all the more blessed for it.