Mountain Life

Mar. 28, 2015 @ 04:03 PM

With a regional win, eighth grader heads to the National Spelling Bee

Caitlyn Marentette recalls her introduction to the world of competitive spelling. “It goes back to third grade,” she said.


Mar. 28, 2015 @ 12:31 PM

The Smoky Mountain Gourmet sets the table for six

Those of you who read my Valentine’s Day column about a month ago know I am engaged. Space constraints kept me from mentioning a very important part of the situation: my fiancée has four children who will be moving in as well and, I suppose, will expect to be fed.


Mar. 28, 2015 @ 12:12 PM

Jake Old: I'm surprised I like 'Better Call Saul'

Recently I've been enjoying the new AMC television show "Better Call Saul." It's a spinoff of AMC's successful show "Breaking Bad," which centered on a high school teacher turned drug dealer.


Mar. 28, 2015 @ 11:45 AM

Upland Chronicles: Paul Adams established first camp at Mount LeConte

In 1926, Jack Huff was appointed camp caretaker and built a 20-by-24-foot cabin out of balsam logs that was the forerunner of LeConte Lodge. Huff and his wife Pauline operated the lodge until 1959. A year earlier, Paul Adams established a primitive camp atop the majestic mountain, setting the stage for the iconic hostelry.


Mar. 26, 2015 @ 03:23 PM

With 'Putnam County,' Walters State Sevier County presents its stage debut

Can you spell milestone? Walters State Community College passes one this weekend as the Sevier County campus stages its first full-length theatrical production, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."


Mar. 26, 2015 @ 11:40 AM

Carl Mays: Curiosity can lead to satisfaction, knowledge, discovery, success

"Curiosity killed the cat." Most of us have probably heard this saying from childhood. However, tacked onto that statement is the adage, "Satisfaction (or knowledge or discovery or success) brought it back (to life)." The killing of the cat aspect has usually been used to warn us away from getting involved in unwise or unnecessary investigations or experimentations. Or, as another old saying admonishes us, "Don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong." But the satisfaction, gained knowledge, discovery or success aspect can be rewarding – if we don't experience disappointment or negative results.


Mar. 21, 2015 @ 04:31 PM

Upland Chronicles: Fred Rawlings launched Sevier County Public Library

On June 21, 1889, a reporter for the Sevier County Republican wrote an article titled "Things Sevierville Needs." The third thing on the list read as follows: "Sevierville needs a public reading room or library, if the young men are to be kept out of idleness and mischief, and if they are to be prepared for useful, honorable lives in the future." However, it wasn't until 1920 that a Sevierville library became a reality.


Mar. 21, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

Adriana Zoder: Romanian embassy visit is trip back in time

In the battle between big cities and small towns, there are no right answers. Every family is different. Some parents have jobs that require them to live in Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York or Pigeon Forge. As for me, I recently realized that given the choice between a small town and a big city, I would choose a small town.


Mar. 20, 2015 @ 01:10 PM

Beyond standard sports fare with the Smoky Mountain Gourmet

For the last 35 years, ever since I had my first apartment, I take the first four days of March Madness off work and institute an ‘open house’ policy in my home. From noon to midnight, for four days, all my friends are welcome to come by. We enjoy some food, partake in a few beverages, and park ourselves on the couch. No interruptions or distractions are tolerated. For pure sports drama, there’s nothing like the NCAA tournament.


Mar. 20, 2015 @ 01:01 PM

Jeff Farrell: Terry Pratchett reminded us to see the good in people

Seeing the news last week of author Terry Pratchett's death was, for me, like finding that a friend had died.


Mar. 19, 2015 @ 06:23 PM

Carl Mays: 80 percent of divorce cases can be salvaged

The Ides of March, March 15, is notoriously known as the date Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. – an occurrence popularized by Shakespeare. However, I have now been informed that March may also be an extremely deadly month for marriages. Read on.


Mar. 16, 2015 @ 11:57 AM

The Smoky Mountain Gourmet keeps it simple

In cooking, as with many aspects of life, simple is often best. I have a rule of thumb that I go by at least 90 percent of the time: The more expensive an ingredient is, the less I do with it.


Mar. 14, 2015 @ 04:39 PM

Upland Chronicles: Early history of Forks-of-the-River Cemetery sketchy

Near the end of 1785, Rev. Richard Wood moved to the forks of the Little Pigeon River, where he established the Forks-of-the-Little-Pigeon Baptist Church in 1789. It was the first church in community that was later named Sevierville. Wood was born in Virginia, served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and first settled in the Providence community.


Mar. 14, 2015 @ 04:19 PM

Kenneth Burns: After all these years, I forgive Steve Martin

I forgive Steve Martin. I was surprised to realize this the other day. I didn't know I'd been holding a grudge.


Mar. 12, 2015 @ 02:50 PM

Carl Mays: Are you – gasp – 'nomophobic'?

I knew it existed long before I ever heard of “nomophobia.” And then I was finally introduced to the psychological term. Now I am seeing more and more articles about it. There’s no wonder these reports are multiplying. Like you, I’ve seen evidence all around that it is a growing condition exponentially permeating our society.


Mar. 07, 2015 @ 05:24 PM

New book tells history of Great Smoky Mountains' Elkmont area

Daniel L. Paulin researched his new book, "Images of America: Lost Elkmont," for years. In fact, he researched it before he knew it was going to be a book.


Mar. 07, 2015 @ 04:36 PM

Adriana Zoder: Rose Glen festival is a must for book lovers

Rose Glen Literary Festival happens once a year in Sevier County, at the end of February. If you love books and the writing process, you should attend Rose Glen. What's in it for you? Free workshops about the writing and publishing process, book sales in the foyer, meeting authors, writers, and book and magazine publishers. The luncheon, which is ticketed, features a special literary guest and a complimentary pottery soup bowl.


Mar. 07, 2015 @ 01:07 PM

Upland Chronicles: Peregrine falcons returned home to Duck Hawk Peaks

Near the Alum Cave Bluff on the south side of majestic Mount LeConte is the thin leaning ridge with jagged points known as Duck Hawk Peaks. There's Little Duck Hawk Ridge paralleled by Big Duck Hawk Ridge. Peregrine Peak is the old name for the large mountain where the Alum Cave and Duck Hawk areas are located. Early settlers began calling the area by these names after observing the fast-flying birds nesting there.


Mar. 07, 2015 @ 12:45 PM

Smoky Mountain Gourmet turns up the heat

Last week I wrote that I'd had enough of winter, and I meant it.


Mar. 06, 2015 @ 11:58 AM

Jake Old: I'm not ready to shave my beard

This weekend I'll be back in my hometown of Murfreesboro for the first time since Christmas. I've normally gone back home every four to six weeks since moving to Sevierville in 2013, so this is the longest I've gone between trips.


Mar. 05, 2015 @ 01:42 PM

Carl Mays: Let your gratitude flow

Fast Company recently ran an article titled "Seven Habits of Optimistic People" by Stephanie Vozza, in which she gleaned information from Jacob Wachob, cofounder and CEO of the healthy living site MindBodyGreen.com; and David Mezzapelle, author of Contagious Optimism. According to Vozza's findings, optimists express gratitude, donate time and energy, show interest in others, surround themselves with upbeat people, don't listen to naysayers, forgive others, and smile.


Mar. 03, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

Upland Chronicles: Gov. John Sevier was a controversial figure

Gov. John Sevier, the man for whom Sevier County and Sevierville were named, died 200 years ago this year. His demise came suddenly on Sept. 24, 1815, in the Alabama territory, where he was on a congressional mission conducting a survey of lands in the Creek Indian country. He was 70.


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?