It doesn’t happen everywhere, but there is a palpable presence in this tiny whistle stop . It captures me with each visit. Apparently, lots of folks are affected the same way. They flock here from far and wide.

Why ? What is the proverbial common denominator about the place ?Well, it’s not complicated. People are here to enjoy themselves in country comfort . That is the pass time in Bell Buckle. It’s what people do when they’re here.

There’s a whole string of shops to delight the ladies, even with the occasional hubby in tow. Not all of them, however. Some gents opt to select one of the rockers on the sidewalk in front of the cafe . A seriously tasty lunch is in the offing and they know it. The Bell Buckle Cafe is legendary in middle Tennessee.

Yesterday I plunked myself down on one of those rockers, of a mind to just absorb the scene for a bit. The fellow next to me was equally comported. Our conversation was immediately a vigorous one, laced with snippets of good humor. We both surmised that if we kept at it, we’d solve the problems of the world right there on the sidewalk planks of Bell Buckle.

Of course, we’d never met, but the chap in the third rocker would never know that. He was overhearing a conversation between two unacquainted, but kindred spirits who sought nothing else but to drink in the soft influences of this dreamy day. Our chat was the stuff of Bell Buckle.

In short order the train rumbled through town. It evoked a Johnny Cash lyric when “its whistle broke into a scream.” We gents on the rockers had no choice but to quell our banter for a bit. The caboose indicated the time to re-join.

One could drive further out of town, over even less trodden trails. They might land you in Wartrace, which renders scant clues as to what has happened here over the years. Not a lot of anything happens there now, but it’s a pretty drive to get there. Wide open country !

Then there’s Bugscuffle . That’s right. Bugscuffle. This place defies identity even though it’s on the map. There is one vague certainty about the place: you’ll certainly be unsure where it is even though you’ve scrupulously followed the map !

From what did Bugscuffle derive its curious name ? I’ve never ventured the research. I can only guess that it was somewhere in a Fairy Tale. It is naught but open country when you’ve arrived, leaving inquisitive minds open to erratic speculation.


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