Arrowmont still looks backward instead of facing the music

September 25, 2008

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts has released a statement with the quaint, long and winding title of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Potential Sale of Property Currently Being Leased to Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts by Pi Beta Phi Fraternity.

They could have saved space by calling it Clueless in Gatlinburg.

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Kingsport Press

September 19, 2008

This educational film, which I first saw on Boing Boing, depicts book printing in 1947, and reminded me of the Kingsport Press, where four of my uncles worked. “The Press,” as we called it, printed all manner of books, from novels to Bibles. One of the bigger contracts was for the World Book encyclopedia, a complex printing job with color photos and see-through clear plastic pages depicting the human body.

The Press became infamous for having one of the longer labor strikes in American history. It lasted from March of 1963 until April of 1967. I had uncles in management and in the union, but to their great credit, they never let the dispute break up the family. The Press was aquired by a larger firm and eventually closed.

Arrowmont: auctions or actions?

September 18, 2008

Arrowmont’s director, David Willard, is quoted in a Metro Pulse article about the situation facing the school. In any sort of ongoing negotiations, someone in his position always has to be circumspect in what he says in public, but I don’t see a great deal of vision displayed in his remarks. Here are a series of quotes from the article and my thoughts on them.

Arrowmont’s lease extends through 2011, and the school has engaged legal counsel to pursue possible options. But Willard says that process is not far enough along to offer encouragement.

The facts are simple. Pi Beta Phi owns the land and is going to sell the land, while Arrowmont has a lease through 2011. Arrowmont needs to leverage that lease to get Pi Beta Phi to offer more than the $9 million on the table right now. While legal advice is useful, Arrowmont needs to rally its friends, aggressively seek a new home, and push pressure on Pi Beta Phi to share its impending windfall and pay for the move.

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Arrowmont: life after Gatlinburg

September 15, 2008

As mentioned earlier in this blog, the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts should get out of Gatlinburg. Although the settlement school that grew into Arrowmont remains an important part of the town’s heritage, the people who run Gatlinburg have no place for history–they see the town as one big cash register. Arrowmont no longer fits this gauntlet of hucksterism, and the sooner the school leaves, the sooner developers can throw up more waterparks and T-shirt shops and tattoo parlors on what used to be the Arrowmont campus.

The question, then, is where should Arrowmont go?

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Jack Daniel’s information retrieval system

September 14, 2008

Roger Brashears, head of Jack Daniel’s public relations at the distillery, has dispensed wisdom from Lynchburg since 1963, and anyone lucky enough to be invited into his inner sanctum got to see a truly stupendous desk. This photo was taken in 1989 by Don Faber, who was kind enough to send it along.  The desk doesn’t look like this any more, but in its day it was a stunner.

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

Tennessee hops?

September 13, 2008

Old joke: How do you make a million dollars farming?

Answer: Start with two million. (BA dum!)

“Niche farming” is the idea of focusing on one crop, doing it very well, and making a living at the same time. The beer brewing world is currently suffering from a shortage of hops, an essential ingredient in brew. Most American hops come from the Pacific Northwest, but I don’t see any reason why they can’t be grown in Tennessee. Here’s a link to the Hop Growers of America.

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

DayJet comes to Tennessee

September 13, 2008

Earlier this year, James Fallows wrote an interesting piece in the Atlantic Monthly about DayJet, a remarkable new jet taxi service that began in Florida and was expanding throughout the Southeast. Now they’ve finally come to Tennessee.

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R.I.P. Gregory McDonald: Tennessean by choice

September 13, 2008

A remarkable person who chose to live in Tennessee died this week. Gregory McDonald was a the creator of “Fletch,” a crime-solving reporter whose exploits appeared in novels and in the movies. The video below is the trailer for a 1985 Fletch movie starring Chevy Chase.

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Arrowmont: Escape from Gatlinburg

September 10, 2008

The days of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg are numbered. The School appears to have a lease through 2011 on land owned by Pi Beta Phi, but the sorority/fraternity seems hellbent on selling the last remaining large chunk of land in the Tennessee equivalent of Myrtle Beach.

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Pi Beta Phi pulls hand-crafted rug out from under Arrowmont

September 9, 2008

The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, which has brought artisans and their students to Gatlinburg for decades, is in turmoil on learning that its 70-acre downtown campus will soon be sold. Pi Beta Phi, the sorority that owns the property, is close to inking a deal with developers to sell the land for an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars.

Arrowmont, according to an article in the Knoxville News Sentinel will get a pittance of the price of the land. “Pi Phi has pledged to give $1 million to the school, donate $2 million to Arrowmont for new facilities and invest up to $7 million in Arrowmont’s future.”

Photo from Arrowmont website

Photo from Arrowmont website

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