Tennessee Christmas Memories

December 8, 2009

Sometime after Thanksgiving every year, my paternal grandfather would go to a grocery store and purchase an entire crate each of apples, tangerines, and oranges. I remember going with him once, and the manager of the store escorted us through the swinging doors at the back into the inner sanctum, a place I had never been, where Granddaddy made his selections. At the time, I thought this a most extravagant set of purchases. He would also buy peppermint stick candy and another kind of stick candy with the curious name of horehound. Read the rest of this entry »

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Photo of Sgt. York found in estate papers

December 6, 2009

Alert reader Mike sends in the above photo, which he says came from the papers of a deceased World War I veteran.


Fundamentalist hair: Lady Godiva gets religion

November 30, 2009

All over Tennessee you can spot ultra-religious women who believe that they should not cut their hair. This stems, so to speak, from First Corinthians 11:15, which says: “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.”

This stately dame is the most extreme example of fundamentalist hair I have ever seen. Here’s one more photo.


Hidden Biblical Secrets in Gatlinburg

November 8, 2009

Hepburn as Mary

Dan Brown and his Da Vinci Code can’t hold a bayberry candle to the symbology now present in Gatlinburg.

Christus Gardens, the longtime Biblical wax museum in this tasteful town, closed down, but has risen from the grave in the form of Christ in the Smokies Museum & Gardens, which offers the public a look at the birth, life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus in 11 scenes containing over 100 wax figures and open daily. The Museum and Garden, however, has a delightful secret: many of the figures now appearing in scenes from the life of Christ were once waxen versions of movie and television stars in the Hollywood Wax Museum.

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Tennessee Trails lead to Pandora music and Facebook

November 8, 2009

petticoat_junction

Tennessee’s Department of Tourist Development is rolling out a new way of promoting the state: Discover Tennessee Trails and Byways. According to a news release, “The concept behind the program is to leverage Tennessee’s visitor brands including Chattanooga, Knoxville, Great Smoky Mountains, Memphis and Nashville. Self-guided driving trails extend visitor’s stays by showcasing nearby regional gems such as Jack Daniel Distillery, Trenton’s Teapot Museum, Gray Fossil Site and Museum, the homes of three American presidents, our award-winning state parks and agritourism sites.”

You can see more here, but not much. I’m kind of surprised they have released this concept when so much work remains to be done on it.

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Bedside Reading: Losing the News

September 7, 2009

Alex Jones, who was born and raised in Greeneville, Tennessee, has come out with a sobering look at the state of news in our country. He describes himself in the prologue of the book thusly: “I am in the fourth generation of a newspaper-owning family in Greeneville, Tennessee, and I knew the secret prides and anxieties that go with being in the clan that owns the local newspaper. My family still owns and operates the Greeneville Sun, circulation about 15,000, where my father is publisher and my two brothers and brother-in-law go to work every day.”

Losing the News

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Labor Day Spiritual Thoughts

September 7, 2009

One of the most attention-getting posts on this blog is this one about buying your own moonshine still. The lead article in today’s Salon.com is titled “Moonshine Returns,” and a trip to my local liquor store revealed a display from Leopold Bros, a craft distiller in Denver. I feel like the spirit world is compelling me to opine.

Leopold whiskey

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