Summertime and Seersucker

June 25, 2007

Reader Roby Cogswell suggested I take a look at a new online publication called The Daily Yonder, which begins with this very good premise: “55 million people live in the rural U.S. ­ Maybe you’re one of them, or used to be, or want to be. As mainstream TV and newspapers retreat from small towns, the Daily Yonder is coming on strong.”

While most of their piece are political, one article on seersucker caught my eye. I once owned a three-piece seersucker–old joke: Sears sold it, and you’re the sucker who bought it–suit that I wore with a straw hat at a Harvard commencement. The only things missing were a cane and a mint julep. Below is a photo of Gregory Peck wearing his seersucker suit in To Kill a Mockingbird.

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This blog is part of a much larger website, also entitled Tennessee Guy, that contains travel and cultural information about Tennessee. Visit it here.

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American Bandstand comes to Pigeon Forge

June 25, 2007

Dick Clark’s American Bandstand is the latest attraction attempting to draw a crowd to the ever-changing Pigeon Forge theatrical scene. Based on a similar effort in Branson, Missouri–Pigeon Forge’s twin city–the plan here is to bring in oldie groups such as Herman’s Hermits, Eric Burdon and the Animals, the Doobie Brothers, and Chubby Checker into a 3,900-seat outdoor venue. Ticket prices range from $50 down to $20 plus the considerable Pigeon Forge sales tax.

OK, rock and roll trivia fans, who is this star? Answer after the jump.

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The idle mind wonders what riders these long-faded groups have in their contracts of today. No more “no brown M&Ms” a la Van Halen. From the ages of some of these characters, and the fact that they have been ridden hard and put up wet many times , I’d recommend that the theater have a defibrillator onstage and an ambulance idling out back.

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Bike trails from Tennessee to Georgia?

June 25, 2007

Today’s Knoxville News Sentinel has an article about linking Tennessee bike trails with those in Georgia.

This is an excellent idea. Communities in both states have found that bike trails serve a wide range of ages, provide commuting routes as well as recreational opportunities, and linking these pathways for two-wheelers will be good for tourism. Bike tourists tend to be good visitors: upscale folks who like to end the day with a good meal and who are interested in local culture. As baby boomers age, biking provides a knee-friendly way to get out and have a wonderful trip.

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This blog is part of a much larger website, also entitled Tennessee Guy, that contains travel and cultural information about Tennessee. Visit it here.


Cas Walker film in Knoxville

June 13, 2007

Due to popular demand, Knoxville’s East Tennessee Historical Society will show This is Cas Walker, a film about East Tennessee’s most famous–and most notorious–grocer and public figure. The film will be shown on June 22 as a part of Treasures From the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound: A Film Series.

As described in the publicity, “Scenes and outtakes from his popular television show, The Cas Walker Farm and Home Show, as well as vintage commercials and rare early performances by local performers such as Dolly Parton will be included, along with newly discovered footage that was not part of the original screening.”

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Photo courtesy of WBIR
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Travel website Gridskipper features Nashville

June 7, 2007

Gridskipper, a travel website that claims to be “the decadent guide to the best in worldwide urban travel,” devotes a page to Nashville. The site combines short reviews of restaurants, a few attractions, and shops with a Google map so that visitors can see where these places are.

They do a great job. You can click on one of the short reviews, which takes you to the map, where the review appears again with a link to the selected place. Using Google’s wonderful combination of mapping and satellite photos, you can zoom right in and see the building where you want to go.

There is one slight mistake–Hatch Show Print is listed twice–but anyone who tries to deliver travel info online–ask me about it–can understand how this happens.

This blog is part of a much larger website, also entitled Tennessee Guy, that contains travel and cultural information about Tennessee. Visit it here.


Fabled Andrew Johnson Hotel for sale

June 6, 2007

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the mayor of Knoxville wants to sell the Andrew Johnson Hotel. Built in 1930, its 18 stories made it the tallest hotel in East Tennessee, and it hosted all manner of luminaries.

Local historian and author Jack Neely claims that it is the only building in the world that housed–not at the same time–Jean-Paul Sartre, Amelia Earhart, Duke Ellington, Tony Perkins, Liberace, and Sergey Rachmaninoff, who gave the last performance of his life in Knoxville. The top floor was once the home of radio station WNOX’s Midday Merry-Go-Round, a live show famous for launching the careers of country music stars.

The hotel is also famous for being one of the last places that Hank Williams saw the light.

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Cigarette Pack Art

June 2, 2007

One of the more amazing pieces of folk art in Tennessee is a tribute to Jesus made out of 5,872 packs of cigarettes folded into a sheet that is about four feet tall and six feet wide.

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