All these fresh Nashville memories seem to pose questions that
need to be answered. If you can help with answers
or have additional questions to add, please e-mail me


Question: What happened to the Harvey's Nativity Scene?

Answer: It was sold to a mall in Cincinnati in 1968 where it lasted for only two years because of it's fragile condition.

Question: What happened to the animals featured at Harvey's Downtown?

Answer: Fred & Harvey the Mynah birds were adopted by store employees. The monkeys were later housed in a large habitat at Collins Lake in West Nashville. Collins Lake was a private fishing lake off River Road.

Question: What happened to the stuffed polar bear at the old State Museum?

Answer: He is on loan to the Children's Museum in Oak Ridge where he continues to frighten small children.

Question: What happened to the model train layout at the old Children's Museum that featured replicas of Nashville buildings?

Answer: According to Mike Curtis of Nashville Ntrak the majority of the buildings are in storage at the Cumberland Science Museum and have been seen there. Ken Herrell writes, some of the pieces that are left are at the Tennessee Central RR  museum. Most of the rest is in the vault at the Science Museum. The model of Union station is with the G scalers at their set at 100 Oaks. Their train exhibit runs every weekend and is a must see.

Question: What happened to the miniature train at Fair Park?

Miniature TrainsAnswer:
The 1950's vintage G-16 Streamliner Miniature Train was built by the Miniature Train Co., Renselaer, Indianna. and was powered by an aircooled 4 cylinder Wisconsin gas engine - it would cruise at 10 - 12 MPH on the straight-a-ways and carry 70 passengers in it four coaches.  The 16" gauge G-16 is essentially a scale model of EMD's F2 diesel locomotive, with a few liberties taken to make the thing function as a park train -- in particular the large hole for the operator. I am still hopeful of finding pictures and its current location since many are still in service.

Scott Hadfield reports that Norton Auctioneers auctioned off much of the equipment from Fair Park. Several pieces are still in Nashville as souvenirs. Scott himself owns one of the original 1963 Turnpike Cars and he knows someone with one of the kids handcars.

an Byler bought the train at auction,  Ron Parrish bought the engine shell and rebuilt it with G-16 components and sold the engine to Larry Davis of Lombard,Ill. who then sold it to Panella Pacific RR. The cars where traded or sold to various people.

Scott Hadfield came through again with this picture that
Ron Parrish, Middletown, Ohio. took at the Fair Park auction.

Question: What happened to the live alligators at the old Children's Museum?

Answer: According to Herschell Parker, former curator of live animals there is no record of the alligators making the move in the mid 70's to the new Science Museum at Fort Negley. In its early history the new museum had an animal exhibit and there was one alligator remaining which was later transferred to a Florida zoological park for a better life.

Question: What happened to the Carousel from Opryland USA.

Answer: A group of Opryland's major rides were purchased in 1998 by Premier Parks and moved to the shuttered Old Indiana park for storage. Gaylord Entertainment Co., which owned Opryland USA, kept its carousel, which remains in storage. The company also loaned Rachel, a steam locomotive from the park, to the Tennessee Central Railway Museum, 220 Willow St..

Question: What happened to the "Wall of Fame" from Belle Meade Theatre?

Answer: BookStar Bookstore bought the building from Crescent Amusement Company and despite pleas from Mr. Jordan's family the "Wall of Fame" was deemed part of the building. It is currently M.I.A. In a side note Crescent Amusement Company has quite the colorful history itself. The company ran theatres throughout the south and used its bargaining power  to monopolize exhibition in those market areas. In 1939, the Crescent case went all the way to the Supreme Court and was cited in recent cases against Microsoft.

Question: Whatever happened to Printer's Alley Heaven Lee?

Answer: A native of Cuba and a daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, she fled that country in 1962 for Spain. She was a public proponent of Christianity and prayer. She spoke to Nashville civic groups, once even leading a panel discussion on women's rights for a Vanderbilt University fraternity.

During a 1979 gasoline shortage and price spike, she began to ride her bicycle to work in the Alley - in high heels - as a symbolic gesture. Her limousine followed on her maiden ride along Nolensville Road, even though it took more than $25 to fill its tank.

Her first attention-grabbing public ride in Nashville was in 1970 on horseback down James Robertson Parkway to protest environmental pollution. Many thought she was nude. In fact, she told a Tennessean reporter later, she had worn a body stocking.

Her career here included an off-and-on 10-year run at the Black Poodle in Printers Alley. By 1980, she reported earning $57,000 annually performing here.

She overcame hardships: a nipple-covering Metro law in 1978 (her pasties were lace, in keeping with her view that "nudity is art"), at least two failed marriages and public rumors - angrily denied in a 1973 newspaper interview - that she was actually a transvestite.

Not unlike several of today's Nashville music entertainers, there was a March 1980 drunken-driving arrest (.13 on a breath-alcohol test) and an October 1980 crash on Battery Lane of her Cadillac limousine that proved to be near fatal.

No evidence pointed to alcohol in the crash, a newspaper report said at the time. Still, she spent more than a month in Vanderbilt Hospital with a fractured pelvis and couldn't resume work until Dec. 15.

In 1981, she declared bankruptcy, citing debts of more than $100,000. Part of the financial problem was attributed to $22,000 in medical bills from the recuperation following her wreck. Another factor was $55,000 in back taxes.

Heaven Lee appears to have severed ties with Nashville about 1990, public records under her real name of Vianka de la Prida indicate.

She is living in south Florida with her mother.
Credit: Tennessean

Why would the YMCA require nude swimming?

Answer: This was a practice across the country at YMCAs and the reason given most often was that the pool filters of the day would become clogged from fibers of the cloth bathing suits. YMCA pools now require "nylon" bathing suits.

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