I want to tell you something about myself that you may not know. I’m a thrillseeker. I know it’s not exactly exciting news and some of you are scratching your heads remembering times you’ve asked me to do things such as singing karaoke or skydiving or other such silliness only to have me ardently refuse to get on stage or jump out of a plane. It’s a bit paradoxical, I know, bear with me. I’m a calculated risk-taker. I am also more persuaded by photographic opportunities. A lot more persuaded, actually. That and experiences that will neither make me hurl or wet my pants or both.
Before going to Tennessee I had to look up Roadside America and see what sorts of awesome photographic opportunities there might be tucked away outside the Nashville city limits. I stumbled upon The Minister’s Treehouse and felt like one of the settlers who traveled west and actually found that famed riverbed of gold.
When we arrived in Nashville, the first thing I demanded was that we get a car and drive out into the woods and find this place. I knew there would be a trespassing sign, I knew I would be jumping a fence and I calculated that this place was worth the risk. What I didn’t realize is that the minister actually built the treehouse on his personal property before we drove two and a half hours in the snow. Woops.
So we arrived at the picturesque property and before you could shout “the minister owns a hound dog and what the bloody hell, are those guard chickens?” I was over the fence, camera slung across my back making a beeline for the beautiful and massive structure.
When I say picturesque, I mean maybe for someone who brought along a better lens. I don’t know why my wide angle was actin’ a fool so hard that day. I just don’t know. My blasted iPhone got better pictures than the ones above, but whatever. The grounds were gorgeous. The minister lives in some sort of small shanty building across from the tree with the house in it. Separating the two is a beautiful pond, complete with ducks and in December, lightly falling snow.
Back to the guard chickens though. It was only a few moments of standing in front of the awesome treehouse before the chickens started squawking at me and out of nowhere a booming hound vocalist started bow-wowwing at me and a hidden minister growled (with a southern accent and all) “DAMMIT BOY, SHUT UUUUP”. The up sound more like “uhp”. As in, “DANNIT BER, SHERT UHP.” I’m not making fun of the southern accent. Okay yes I am. It was like a movie scene. My life flashed before my eyes and the combined fear of the dog named “dammit boy” and the penalty fees and court dates in a different state for trespassing made me haul my ass across the minister’s property and leap right over that fence. Adios, amigos.
It wasn’t until ten minutes later when I remembered this was a minister and he built the treehouse as a church, that I calmed down. Maybe I should have just stayed a moment and said hello. Southern people seem nice. Who knows. Then again, I have seen the movies and in the movies, even Tennessee ministers carry around semi-automatic machine guns with belts of ammo on at all times, just prepared for journalistically minded hooligans such as yours truly. Usually they shoot you and hang you up to dry and then sell your carcass as a rug or something. Or use you as guard chicken meal. I don’t know. I’m just glad I made it out okay.
That being said, I don’t necessarily want to promote you folks to trespass to see the place, but I will say it was grand and glorious and beautiful and I hate church but would maybe go to a sermon or two there, just because if God exists, I have a feeling that’s where I’d find him.
The Minister’s Treehouse
Crossville, TN 38571