For years, the Pemberton Oak stood, a tree so old it had sheltered the colonial Overmountain Men who marched off and defeated the British at the battle of King’s Mountain in 1780.
The tree blew down in August of 2002, yet people still come by just to see the stump, and various souls have taken parts of the tree and made bowls or pieces of furniture from it.
The Music City Star, the first commuter train in Tennessee, begins service tomorrow. This $40 million transit experiment will run from Lebanon to Riverfront Park in Nashville, stopping in Martha, Mt. Juliet, Hermitage, and Donelson along the way.
The Lebanon leg is the first of a proposed seven rail lines that will radiate out from Music City, and mass transit officials, not to mention train buffs, hope it succeeds.
For visitors to Nashville who would like to get out to places like Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage or other attractions without using a car, the train does not offer much. Right now its schedule accomodates only commuters, with the last outbound train in the morning at 8:30 AM and the first inbound one at 3:20 PM.
The train is a start, however, so let’s hope it is a big success and that the number and frequency of trains increases.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press (link below but subscription required) contains two chapters from a forthcoming book on Moon Pies by David Magee, who writes a column for the newspaper. Weirdly enough, the book and the official Moon Pie website, which you can see at Moonpie: Homepage spells the name of the venerable baked good as “MoonPie.” Would one say “Hersheybar” or “Fignewton?” I don’t think so; I will stick with the way it ought to be.
Growing up in East Tennessee, Moon Pies were, for some reason, always associated with Royal Crown Cola, which we always called “RC.” Having a Moon Pie and an RC, which some people actually did, became more of a joke than a reality. The band NRBQ even recorded a song called “RC Cola and and Moon Pie.”
In the summer of 2006, I accompanied my parents to the wedding of a relative in Kentucky. We were invited to the rehearsal dinner, an affair in which the decoration and food and everything is designed, as such things should be, to give a good impression of the groom’s family. I had the (I thought) hilarious notion of running out and buying up a bunch of Moon Pies and placing one on every plate.
Wiser heads prevailed.
“MoonPie: Biography of an Out-of-This-World Snack” (Jefferson Press; hardcover; $19.95) by David Magee.
Today’s Memphis Commercial Appeal brings a story about Mud Island, the 52-acre buffer between downtown Memphis and the Mississippi River. Long an attraction for tourists, the island hasn’t quite caught on with locals.While homefolks are always the toughest critics of any local park or attraction, the very best parks, such as Chattanooga’s Coolidge Park or Chicago’s new Millenium Park, are those where travelers can see a great place AND the people who live around it.
In the article, general manager Trey Giuntini makes an important point: “When I was here as a city employee, you wouldn’t allow a person to
rollerblade, skateboard or bring a bicycle into the park,” Giuntini
said. “Now, under RDC, we open this up for bicycles, skateboards. …
We want people to come down and use this park.”
That’s the spirit!