CHRIS BATTAGLIA

Thoughts

Don't Hold Your Broth

01 June

Flight delays plagued New York airports yesterday.

Frankfurt to Detroit afforded me three film screenings: Interstellar, Selma, and The Gambler. Overcast, rainy skies colored Detroit skies. Colder than expected, I hurried into the warm company of dear friend Nicole for seven short hours. I had to escape the bowels of the international airport buzz.

We traipsed the streets by foot and by car, saw Canada, and had dinner at a transformed pawn shop - named Gold Cash Gold for the illuminated sign standing proudly out front from the former business. I like Detroit and look forward to the next time I can spend at least a week there. The architecture of most downtown buildings retain the charm of its 19th century integrity.

Home to New York by 2:15am, in bed by 4:00am, and up at 7:00am to prep for Homebrew film. Luckily my sweet lady made breakfast tacos to recalibrate and debrief before heading back to LaGuardia that afternoon.

But now I am in Nashville.

02 June

Eddy and I engaged the morning with a jog. I can’t remember the last time this month that I slept for 8+ hours in a night. The 7am alarm was unwelcome, cacophonous and appalling to Natalie, deep in sleep. We laced and suited up for a warm-up into the world of running (again), this time barely pushing 30 minutes. Natalie stayed at the trailer and made eggs. No salt in sight, “I’ll use mustard, that has salt in it [the $1.00 kind from unknown grocery chain]" she proclaims. The eggs were soft like when you cook them “slow and low” as she executed perfectly in the tiny travel wok. 

Yesterday was a long day. We arrived at the Akers home in Forest Hills, TN. The rocky, overgrown driveway leading up to the home suggested wealth and a great view from above. An enormous home, a sweet Nashville family, we find out that Cissy (first name actually Walton) Akers is a 5th generation Nashvillian, William is a writer (Ernest goes to Jail), and their eldest son a resident of Park Slope, Brooklyn, having eloped with his wife (daughter of the lead detective from The Wire).

Winston Caldwell Akers had a floor tom drum as his “desk” in the bathroom. A Bulleit Rye carafe full with Listerine and a wine stopper at the top. An empty pint glass with a naked man’s rear, outward facing. His bathroom abutted what looked like a defunct jacuzzi/spa room. The white tiles and two walls of windows begged the question “was this inspired by the Greek or Roman baths?” but then I hesitated asking, when I noticed the wooden silkscreening desk in the corner.

Rows of VHS tapes covered an entire shelved wall. He pulled out Martha, Inc. to show us an inspirational scene, one that informed his ginger-slicing for his home-brew beer caught on tape just hours before.

His mom has an entire room just for painting, displaying her still life canvases on walls and easel.

Driving through West Nashville after shooting, on the way to dinner, Caldwell spoke of the city's blatant segregation, the mixed bag of residents, its Printing and Christian histories; how Healthcare dominates the economic market. And then we pull into an entire parking lot-cum-strip-mall-grocery-store that are all clearly Asian owned or operated. And we feast on Vietnamese: Pho and spring rolls.

Today was a lot. I thought I could hold my broth in this city, but I guess I won't hold my breath until another day comes and goes for me to see.

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From life on the road, filming and help make happen the Homebrew film, documenting home brewing and craft beer culture from the South, to Midwest, to New England from the inside of a 1978 Airstream Argosy. Bits and pieces from the journey, in words and photographs here, on instagram @homebrewfilm and @cabcommunity. Find us with #homebrewfilm as we #LiveRiveted for a bit.