Several months after handsome, charismatic 38-year-old Hopper Bartlett moved to town, even those residents of Nashville, Tennessee, who'd been keen to find a chink in his super cool facade were forced to conclude that Hopper was, in fact, a really cool guy.
"Part of me was hoping to find a flaw," admitted Polly Mason, who lives down the road from Hopper and often sees him walking his dog (a greyhound rescue). "He's so hot but also seemed so smart that I just knew he had to be a douchebag. But he's actually totally cool. Where'd this guy come from?"
Brooklyn, New York, is the answer. There, Hopper had spent over a decade building up his own woodworking and carpentry business, which he sold for a hefty profit after home-furnishings company Restoration Hardware purchased a line of coffee tables that he'd designed. More than comfortable financially, Hopper took the opportunity to escape the big-city life and head to Nashville, where he could buy some acreage, set up a spacious workshop, and get back to doing the hands-on custom cabinetry that had always been his first love.
When confronted with the information that he'd already developed a solid reputation around Music City as a super cool guy, Hopper only laughed. "Jesus. Next you'll be telling me I have a sparkling personality."
(By all accounts, he does.)
There remains one Nashville holdout, however, on Hopper's full-on coolness: his next-door neighbor, housebound 96-year-old Ida Mae Harrelson, whom Hopper visits most afternoons, bringing fresh-baked bread and jam from the local farmers market, or his guitar, to accompany Ida Mae, a longtime church choir director, as she showcases some of her favorite hymns on the piano.
"He's all right," said Ida Mae, her reservations apparent. "He comes around here quite a bit, which makes me suspect he doesn't have a regular job. He's still young, though. We'll have to see how he turns out. But like I said, he's all right."