Hitmen, bootleggers, prostitutes and ambushes - one Middle Tennessee sheriff has had a career that rivals that of Buford Pusser and Walking Tall.
Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe's 40-year career is now condensed into an emotional and action-packed book, Ashes of Bluebird.
Born on Bluebird Road, Ashe ran for sheriff when he came back home a decorated Vietnam War hero with a simple promise he would clean up what was then the roughest, nastiest most dangerous street in Wilson County.
"It was a little more personal to me, because I was born on that road," Ashe said.
And it was personal to the moonshiners, gamblers and prostitutes who lived on Bluebird Road and at one time even brought hitmen in from Memphis to kill Ashe.
But the sheriff wouldn't back down - not after the young sergeant lost so many men in an ambush in Vietnam. How could anything scare you after that?
"It's the carnage of a man's body that saved my life. Had it not been for his body spread all over mine, they would have executed me right there, because they thought I was dead," Ashe said. "When you are so close to the enemy that they take the weapon right out of your hand, that was a horrifying experience."
One of the other men who died in that ambush was Michael Biya, a nationally ranked bull rider and a hero of the Navaho nation. In the book, Ashe details how decades later he became an adopted member of the Navaho nation.
Ashe also writes about famous cases, colorful criminals, encounters of life and death and even his own infidelities.
"Personal indiscretions are hard to admit, but in this book I feel like if I expected you to believe everything else that I've written I would tell you some bad stuff about me," Ashe said.
And, of course, he discusses Bluebird Road - the scourge of Wilson County for 50 years - which is now a modest, safe neighborhood with churches and families.
All Ashe ever wanted to do was be sheriff of Wilson County, and he recognizes so few ever get to fulfill their childhood dreams.
"They've checked the ballot box 103,690 times by my name. It's a great feeling to know the public says, 'if I'm in trouble, it's Terry I want to come and help me out,'" Ashe said.
Ashe co-wrote the book with Terri Merryman, a former Channel 4 News anchor.
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