Mountain Life

Feb. 27, 2015 @ 01:14 PM

Jeff Farrell: Yahoo, is that really the top news story?

Maybe I'm just not the target audience for some digital news outlets.


Feb. 26, 2015 @ 04:23 PM

Carl Mays: Engage the ‘thinking’ region of your brain

A book I have enjoyed reading and referring to over the years is “The Hidden Persuaders” by Vance Packard. In the book, first published in 1957, Packard wrote of psychological techniques used by merchandisers and advertisers to lead consumers to purchase products and services. He also revealed various techniques used by savvy politicians and organizations to get votes. With his explanations, Packard also questioned the morality of such tools. As a motivational speaker and writer, I, of course, realize the validity of the right motivational tools or techniques used correctly in positive ways.


Feb. 26, 2015 @ 04:20 PM

Rose Glen Literary Festival guest to discuss bookstore success

How did Wendy Welch and her husband establish, against difficult odds, a successful used bookstore in Big Stone Gap, Va., population 5,643?


Feb. 22, 2015 @ 12:23 AM

Kenneth Burns: I never got used to Wisconsin winters

As I watched the snow fall over East Tennessee last week, I thought to myself: I didn't leave Wisconsin for this.


Feb. 21, 2015 @ 06:22 PM

Adriana Zoder: Rossetti survived the winter, and so will we

This weather reminds me of my three years in Sweden. Dark days, snow showers, icy roads, freezing cold, all of which force us to stay inside and turn on many lights and candles, to create that much needed coziness.


Feb. 21, 2015 @ 09:45 AM

Stay warm with Smoky Mountain Gourmet's pork loin

I cannot express how much I look forward to writing about how to best use the fresh vegetables we've just picked from our gardens, and what our best options for the grill might be. Spring is officially just over a month away, but as I write this, with another winter storm forecast to hit the day before this column runs, a month seems like a century.


Feb. 19, 2015 @ 06:58 PM

Carl Mays: Musings on Murphy's Law

How many times have you quoted or heard someone quote Murphy's Law? I'm talking about the law that says, "If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong." Have you ever wondered exactly who Murphy was? Did he or she actually come up with such a law? When? Why? What were the circumstances?


Feb. 19, 2015 @ 06:42 PM

Upland Chronicles: James Chandler was a trailblazing black educator

Fifty years ago, the nation was mesmerized by the Selma to Montgomery marches taking place in Alabama, part of the voting rights movement that led to the passage that year of the Voting Rights Act. The previous year, on July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, prohibiting segregation in public facilities. The entire country, particularly the South, was going through a period of cultural transformation.


Feb. 14, 2015 @ 06:27 PM

Sevier County's community reading program kicks off with Amy Greene’s ‘Long Man’

Last summer, the public library in Golden, Colo., organized a community read of “Long Man,” the 2014 novel by Amy Greene, who lives in Russellville, Tenn., near Morristown.


Feb. 14, 2015 @ 12:04 PM

Jake Old: I wish I'd had musical guidance

Earlier this week, I wrote a story about an improvisational music workshop that will take place in Gatlinburg next month, free of charge.


Feb. 14, 2015 @ 11:49 AM

Upland Chronicles: Wonderland Hotel served Smoky Mountains visitors

On Nov. 15, 1992, the Wonderland Hotel at Elkmont closed its doors for the last time. Although the storied old hostelry had seen better days, the closing of the white clapboard building with a sagging wraparound porch marked the end of era, a time when men in summer suits smoked cigars on the veranda, ladies in long cotton dresses fanned themselves in rocking chairs, and children raced to the nearby swimming holes.


Feb. 13, 2015 @ 06:28 PM

Chinese New Year with the Smoky Mountain Gourmet

Happy Year of the Goat! Or is it the Year of the Ram? Possibly sheep…


Feb. 12, 2015 @ 01:44 PM

Carl Mays: Remember this when dealing with a dissatisfied human being

I was standing near an exchange/return line at a big-box store and overheard a conversation between a customer and an employee. It was a good example of how to handle a hard-to-satisfy customer.


Feb. 07, 2015 @ 12:40 PM

Upland Chronicles: Ketner Grocery Co. was a neighborhood hangout

Ketner Grocery Store was located in an area of Sevierville known as Thomas Addition. It was situated at a unique intersection, with Belle Avenue on the right side of the store, which faced the split where Newport Highway (now East Gate Road) branched off New Road (now Park Road).


Feb. 07, 2015 @ 11:27 AM

Jeff Farrell: The drama of national signing day is irresistible

In the middle of a hectic week, I spent a good portion of my day Wednesday keeping up with the college decisions of some high school kids I've never met.


Feb. 07, 2015 @ 11:17 AM

The Smoky Mountain Gourmet gets engaged

For a good month or so, there hasn't been any real doubt about the topic of this week's column. It's my last one before Valentine's Day, and though it's not official as I'm writing this, by the time you read this, I will be engaged.


Feb. 09, 2015 @ 11:11 AM

‘Walk, Don’t Ride’ depicts crucial events of the civil rights era

This month, Knoxville theater companies the WordPlayers and the Carpetbag Theatre will stage their production of “Walk, Don’t Ride” more than 20 times, at various East Tennessee venues.


Feb. 07, 2015 @ 11:08 AM

Adriana Zoder: Spread some love on Valentine's Day

February rolls around, finally, and it's time to celebrate: the groundhog, the Valentine thingy and my birthday. The groundhog is easy because, regardless of his prediction, he is adorable. And when those handlers handle him, he just sits there looking all furry and fat, and you just want to reach into your TV screen or whatever device screen you happen to be watching on, and pet him.


Feb. 05, 2015 @ 01:53 PM

Carl Mays: Take it from Malcolm Butler: Work, prepare and believe

Like many football fans, I wasn't familiar with Malcolm Butler prior to the recent Super Bowl. Actually, I still wasn't familiar with him until he made that pass interception at the Patriots' goal line with approximately 20 seconds in the game to keep the Seahawks from scoring, securing New England's 28-24 victory over Seattle. Not even until announcers mentioned it did I remember Butler was the victimized defender only moments earlier when the Seahawks' Jermaine Kearse made an incredible juggling catch, which gained 33 yards and got Seattle to the five-yard line.


Jan. 30, 2015 @ 06:14 PM

Upland Chronicles: Hosiery mill building has rich history

A hosiery mill located on Bruce Street in Sevierville provided employment for many Sevier County residents for almost 40 years. The building has changed ownership numerous times. The renovated 95-year-old structure that housed the mill is now Mill Corner Place, a posh office building, one of the finest examples of historic preservation in Sevier County.


Jan. 30, 2015 @ 06:12 PM

Kenneth Burns: I like my Fitbit, but do I need it?

A few days ago, my dentist had her hands in my mouth.


Jan. 29, 2015 @ 06:19 PM

Wildlife Week session focuses on Elkmont

It was a remote mountain community. A thriving railroad settlement. A resort destination.


Jan. 29, 2015 @ 01:37 PM

Carl Mays: Amid unrest, never tire of giving

Not long ago I was talking to a class of young people with writing aspirations. During the Q&A session regarding columns and articles, a student asked which of my recent subjects solicited the most responses, i.e., emails, comments, etc. Well, of course, I have always appreciated responses and acknowledgements – even the ones that may not agree with my point of view on something. I do thank God, however, that most of the reactions I have received have been positive ones from people who are encouraged or uplifted by my words.


Jan. 24, 2015 @ 05:19 PM

Upland Chronicles: Creswell, Maples and Cotter hiked every trail in National Park

On Sunday, Oct. 26, 2009, seasoned hiking buddies Stanley Creswell and Frank Maples began a two-day hike. They started their trek on the Appalachian Trail at Newfound Gap and headed for Snakes Den Ridge, above Cosby Campground. After spending the night at Peck's Corner Shelter, they stopped at Tricorner Knob Shelter to eat lunch. As they came around the corner of the shelter, a guinea fowl came strutting around the opposite corner of the structure.


Jan. 24, 2015 @ 04:34 PM

Adriana Zoder: Kids learn – and have fun – at the Muse Knoxville

It's Monday morning, and about 30 young children, from toddlers to younger elementary students, are exploring science at the Muse Knoxville, formerly the East Tennessee Discovery Center. Inside the space shuttle, an intense game of pretend spaceflight keeps about seven of them engrossed in dialogue worthy of sci-fi movies.