Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio who talked about his town hall style meeting with 100 conservatives in Leipers Fork Monday evening.
Leahy: We are joined in studio by our good friend, the mayor of Maury County Andy Ogles. Every time you come in, Andy, I learn something new. Here’s what you told me during the break. And I suppose you could say I am slack-jawed to hear this.
Ogles: Amen. (Chuckles)
Leahy: It turns out there are conservatives in Leipers Fork, in Middle Tennessee, in Williamson County. That is surprising to me.
Ogles: Last night we had our County Commission meeting, so I was there for that.
Leahy: Last night Maury County has a commission meeting and as the Mayor, you’re there. I’ve only been to one County Commission meeting ever. Williamson County. Let me just say it dragged on. It dragged on. And on.
Ogles: We’ve got a good group of folks on our county commission, and it was a committee meeting, and it was, well, run and lasted about an hour.
Leahy: Really? Just an hour?
Ogles: Just an hour.
Leahy: I think other county commissions need to go down to Maury County and learn how to run a meeting in one hour.
Ogles: Well, there wasn’t a lot on the agenda. It’s budget season in the state of Tennessee for all your counties. And so that’s really the focus, I think, for a lot of county seats.
Leahy: So this was last night.
Ogles: And last minute I was invited to this conservative meeting in Leipers Fork.
Leahy: Hold on just a minute. (Laughter) I’m still a little bit astonished here. A conservative meeting in Leipers Fork? I love Leipers Fork. It’s a great community. We go up there and go to the galleries and go to the restaurants and just hang out.
It’s a wonderful community. But conservative, it’s not a word and it’s not an adjective that would come to mind when you say Leipers Fork.
Ogles: It’s known for its kind of arts, a lot of musicians up there. But I think in most cycles, and of course, I’m just speaking generically I think most people in Leipers Fork would consider themselves independents, conservative, maybe fiscally conservative, and probably a little more moderate on some of the social issues.
But there’s something happening. So I’m invited to speak across the state because I’ve been so outspoken, not just on COVID, but CRT.
Leahy: Because under your leadership, Maury County is a bastion of freedom.
Ogles: Bastion of freedom. Welcome to America.
Leahy: Welcome to America and freedom. (Laughs) What time do you get an impromptu call? What time does the call come in?
Ogles: It was literally 2:30 p.m. to get involved and say, hey, we’re going to have an event.
Leahy: If I get a call like that, by the way, I go out of curiosity just to say there are conservatives in Leipers Fork. What time do you finish your committee meeting?
Ogles: We finished right at 5:30 p.m. in Columbia. Hopped in the car to go to Leipers Fork.
Leahy: That’s a pretty drive, isn’t it?
Ogles: It’s beautiful back roads.
Leahy: I went out to dinner last night and I came back driving through Williamson County, and I’m looking at it, and I’m saying it’s gonna be one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s just gorgeous.
Ogles: Tennessee in general is a special place. I’m biased of course. I grew up here. My family has been here forever.
Leahy: But I actively made the choice to move here, right? Because I must confess, I am a Yankee by birth. But I chose to be a Tennesseean 30 plus years ago.
Ogles: You were talking about moving here. I was in the middle of a rant, and I made some kind of derogatory comment about California. And then I paused for a moment. It’s like, okay, I’m sorry.
Leahy: How many people were there?
Ogles: About 100.
Leahy: 100 conservatives in Leiper Fork?
Leahy: Wow! Now, where was it?
Leahy: I love that place. What a great place.
Ogles: It was standing room only. Some great folks were there.
Leahy: Who organized this and what do they call themselves and when did they get organized?
Ogles: You know, I don’t know the name of the group. (Leahy laughs) They asked do you want to come and say a few words? And I did. It was more than a few words. I had that last spot. So I was the quasi-keynote.
But we talked about a lot of things, Critical Race Theory, and election integrity, and everything that’s going on in this country. And so whether I’m speaking in Pulaski or Knoxville or like last night, Leipers Fork.
Texas to Pennsylvania to Tennessee, there’s a red wave I think about to hit this country. And I think you see that manifest itself last night in Leipers Fork that otherwise folks who are fairly well off, they’re not overtly politically engaged came out on a Monday evening to hear a Conservative speak, and they are ticked off. Let me tell you. And I’ve got a funny story if you want to hear it.
Leahy: Andy, you always have a funny story. Now, I’ve heard this story a little bit. But it’s really very funny. Tell us the story.
Ogles: I love the town hall-style. Sorry about that. So do the intro hit some hot button issues, kind of talk about the winds of the legislative session and the half measures. And by the way, Tennessee compared to Florida, we were a state of half measures, and we can talk about that or talk about it another time.
So I did Q and A and I’m taking questions. And it’s the 15th or 20th question. It’s time to kind of close this thing.
Leahy: It’s the end of the evening.
Ogles: This thing has gone on.
Leahy: There were 100 people there.
Ogles: Two hours at Puckett’s. We’re hitting the two-hour mark and it’s time to close it out.
Leahy: And you have to get up very early in the morning to come and be on our program.
Ogles: Yeah, I’m tired today, man. I’m energetic. And there’s a Lady with long blonde hair in the back. And I’d seen her a couple of times raising her hand. And I was like, yes, ma’am, in the back. And she says, well, I may be from California, but I’m not a she. I’m a man. Long blonde hair.
Leahy: Long blonde hair!
Ogles: Lights are in my eyes. But the funny thing was, if you remember the rock band, the Nelsons, the Nelson twins. Well, it was Gunner Nelson. He was there and had a question, but I totally just called him a woman.
It was hilarious. The crowd erupted, and I just so happened to be wearing my glasses. And so I took them off and I just said, apparently, I need an eye doctor. But he was very gracious. And afterwards I went up to him and spoke.
And we’re going to be doing this kind of this freedom tour coming up across the state talking about these important issues. And this group was fired up to hear more about it and to be a part of it.
Leahy: So Gunner Nelson, his dad, of course, was the great Ricky Nelson. His grandparents Ozzie and Harriet. A great television program. And he and his twin brother had quite a success in the early 1990s with the band Nelson.
They had the long blonde hair that was sort of their trademark. They’re pretty good musically. They’ve moved from California to Tennessee, apparently.
Ogles: Super nice. Both brothers were there. One of their wives were there and just great family. I felt so bad because again, I couldn’t see because they were at the back of the room. The lights were in my eyes, and I just saw long blond hair.
And I’m just thinking, okay, yes, ma’am. And he says, I’m not a ma’am. But what are you going to do? You just roll with it and self deprecating and just be honest about it. I’m sorry. But a great guy and a Conservative.
Leahy: He’s a conservative.
Ogles: And they may not want me to say that.
Leahy: It’s out! It’s out! But there are so many people that are moving here.
Ogles: But I tell you, there’s this surge in Tennessee. People want to get involved.
Leahy: I think you’re exactly right. There is a surge in Tennessee and other parts of the country.
Listen to the full second hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Leipers Fork” by Michael Gaylard CC 2.0.