I have often thought of Jennifer as someone who flows with change, but after talking with her I realize she is so much more than that. Jennifer Crunk is a gladiator at heart. She really isn’t one to fight, but she does what she has to do to defend what’s right and whatever is necessary to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
The Hopkinsville, Kentucky native graduated from Austin Peay State University with a major in computer science and a minor in math. Jennifer always 1000 percent expected to go to college – it wasn’t a matter of if, it was when. Jennifer’s college experiences helped define who she is today and ultimately propelled her into LaVergne. Her favorite professor gave her a good recommendation to one of his former students who hired her for a programming job at Quality Manufacturing Systems. She remained at the job for six years but left because of the extensive travel that was required. The company did not do remote installations, but required staff to install software at the customers’ place of business – often and everywhere.
While Jennifer loves to travel, she wants to do it on her own terms and not to have someone tell her where to be and what to do 24 hours a day. She did get to go on one business trip to Livermore, California that was adventurous for her. She got a Sunday off and decided to try to reach Yosemite National Park by herself. The four-hour (one-way!) took her through Stanislaus National Forest passing signs that said it was illegal to not have snow chains on your tires if you needed them. She decided to push as far as she could safely go and made it all the way.
One trip that was not work related turned out to be unexpectedly great – Toledo, Ohio in the winter. She said it amazed her how quickly snow was cleaned from roadways in the northern town. While in Toledo, she visited Detroit but found the industrial area to be rundown and depressing. However she stayed in a room that overlooked Lake Erie and seeing Canada across a narrow part of the lake was memorable.
One memory that is far less pleasant than adventures in traveling was on her moving day to transition from Antioch to Brentwood. She lived in the Bell Road area and after being broken into and having all her jewelry stolen, she had decided it was not a good place to be anymore.
On the last day at her apartment, a 15-year old boy ran up to her car and began yelling. Because he was agitated, he had to say “Give me your keys!” several times before she understood what he said. She told him, “NO! I will not!” and he began punching her. Shocked that someone was striking her, Jennifer still refused to give him her keys. He tried to grab them out of her hand, but the quick release keychain worked so she had the keys and he was left with the keychain. Jennifer began yelling for help, but the neighbors who saw the incident closed their curtains and doors. They didn’t want to be involved so turned away. Failing in his carjacking attempt, the teen finally ran off and Jennifer got help at the apartment office.
Jennifer said the response from Metro Police was incredible. A large number of law enforcement officers canvassed the area and the police helicopter also searched for the suspect. Finally a maintenance worker spotted the attempted carjacker on Bell Road and the teen was apprehended.
It was not the first time the minor had been in trouble. At court, he pled guilty and asked the judge for permission to speak to Jennifer. He said he was sorry for what he did. His grandmother, who was raising him, also apologized. She patted Jennifer’s hand and said she was doing her best to raise him right. Jennifer wonders how the teen turned out and hopes as a 23-year old today he has become a decent person.
After the assault and attempting carjacking, Jennifer continued to live her life in a positive way. She adopted a greyhound because her allergies did not bother her as much with that breed as other dogs. Jennifer first saw greyhounds at a store and was in awe that all those big, leggy dogs were so quiet. She got to know the people in the greyhound community and eventually adopted P.J.
Greyhounds have special issues that do not generally affect other dogs. Their digestive system is very sensitive and the dogs cannot be outside a fenced area without a leash. Jennifer said greyhounds are sight motivated, so if they see something moving they will chase it. The dogs can hit 45 mph in three strides and have no homing instincts.
P.J. was a racing dog and was on a list of available greyhounds. She fell in love with one picture of him where he was trying to sniff the camera. P.J.’s glamour shot photo made him look like he had a huge nose and a little tiny head. During the home visit (greyhound organizations are very selective about who dogs go to), P.J. picked her and she picked him.
Jennifer bought a house in La Vergne during the last year the federal government offered the $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers. The city had nice, affordable, and move-in ready houses. Jennifer’s favorite thing about La Vergne is that friends here are like family. She said everyone is supportive of one another – they care about each other and their community. Jennifer said the people of La Vergne are far nicer in general than people she has dealt with elsewhere.
Jennifer believes that citizens could really benefit if they become more are aware of community events and become involved with them. She said Old Timers is a perfect example. When it was a bigger festival with the carnival rides and all day concerts, there was a good feeling there of everybody working and playing together.
If you want to get involved in a city event or attend something fun, the next ones are:
The Magic of Santa
Saturday, December 12
La Vergne Public Library
2:00 p.m. Magic Show
2:30 p.m. Santa Claus
Parade of Lights
“A Storybook Christmas”
Saturday, December 5
Veterans Memorial Park to City Hall
6:00 p.m. Parade starts followed by tree lighting
My thanks to Jennifer for agreeing to chat!
Five years ago, I began a series called “We Are LaVergne” to feature residents and and others who either live here or make a strong impact on our city. I am proud to reintroduce “We Are La Vergne (2.0)” to our readers! If you would like to be interviewed, send a message through our This is LaVergne Facebook page."We Are LaVergne: Jennifer Crunk",