Mountain Life

May. 17, 2015 @ 08:23 AM

With his musical sons, Del McCoury will play Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival

Del McCoury is a master of the G run. Or, more formally, the Lester Flatt G run.

May. 16, 2015 @ 01:06 PM

Classic dishes are classic for a reason

In many ways, I'm a traditionalist. Classics are classics for a reason, and if they are to be changed or altered in any way whatsoever, there had better be a very good reason.


May. 16, 2015 @ 12:53 PM

Adriana Zoder: A royal English butler visits Gatlinburg

The first week of May, I attended an afternoon tea at the Buckhorn Inn. It featured a speech by a royal English butler, who retired as high host at Harris Manchester College, Oxford University. I would have gone just because it was afternoon tea at the Buckhorn Inn, you know what I mean? But when the invitation mentioned this modern-day Carson – if you watch "Downton Abbey," you know of whom I write – I canceled our son's piano lesson that afternoon to make room in our schedule.

May. 15, 2015 @ 11:35 AM

Upland Chronicles: Blanche Moffett was known as the Lady of the Wishing Well

In the winter of 1933, Blanche Moffett stepped off the bus into an icy roadway in Gatlinburg. Refusing the idea of retirement, she had left behind both shelter and security. At the age of 62, surrounded by friends and family and comparative ease, Moffett had decided to move and embark on a new venture. Relying on her own initiative and courage, the feisty widow wanted to build a career that was of her own volition.

May. 14, 2015 @ 06:06 PM

Oom-papa-mow-mow with the Oak Ridge Boys

In March, storied singer Brenda Lee announced that the Oak Ridge Boys will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. At a ceremony in the fall, the quartet will join Hank Williams, the Carter Family, Dolly Parton and other Hall of Fame luminaries.

May. 14, 2015 @ 04:43 PM

Carl Mays: For what are you most thankful?

Whenever I pick up my grandson Trey from school, I usually ask him questions regarding the most interesting thing that happened that day, or the most unusual, or the most challenging, or the best, or what he liked most – or something along these lines. I also like to ask, "For what are you most thankful today?" When our family is gathered around the dinner table, sometimes for the pre-meal blessing, I like to ask each member to mention what he or she is most thankful for that day. I don't believe we can ever cover all the things for which we are thankful – things from God, family, friends and others. No doubt, even when it seems things are going wrong for us in various ways, there are always many things – and people – for which to be thankful.

May. 09, 2015 @ 01:56 PM

Lamb burgers with the Smoky Mountain Gourmet

Things are slowly getting back to what I suppose is the new normal for my house. Only about half of my floor space is covered in boxes these days, and I'm beginning to get used to the presence of peanut butter (can't stand the stuff) and juice boxes (liquid poison) in my refrigerator. The reality of life with kids, I suppose.

May. 09, 2015 @ 01:26 PM

Upland Chronicles: Decoration Day is an honored Sevier County custom

Decoration Day has been an important ritual in Sevier County for generations. Today, Southerners live in less rural areas, and Decoration Day customs are being conflated into the nationwide observance of Memorial Day. The long Memorial Day weekend provides the best opportunity to remember deceased family members and veterans, since a Decoration Day observed apart from this weekend is disappearing except perhaps in parts of our southern Appalachian Mountains.

May. 08, 2015 @ 01:38 PM

Public Pulpit: Pondering God's plan as a new chapter begins

Ah, the refreshing smell of raindrops. You can almost see the trees, grass and plants gulping down the nourishment like a giant dose of elixir. The burgeoning growth in every leaf and bud is second by second. The warmth of the spring air is like a soothing balm, and sleep is so peaceful with the windows wide open, letting in the fragrant aroma and the tiny sounds of the night.

May. 10, 2015 @ 09:36 AM

Jake Old: I'm proud of my big brother

Around this time last year, my little brother graduated high school, and I wrote about how it was weird seeing him all grown up. This year there is another graduation in my family.

May. 07, 2015 @ 06:20 PM

Gatlinburg's Pea Pickin' Hearts are a busy musical — and married — duo

Where do songwriters find inspiration? Rachel Gibson and Jon Ives, the married couple otherwise known as the Pea Pickin' Hearts, found theirs in Townsend.

May. 07, 2015 @ 01:18 PM

Carl Mays: Ask yourself - are you a true friend?

I read a recent report about responses from over 5,000 teens who were asked, "What does it mean to be a friend?" Many said evidence of true friends is what they do and/or say to show loyalty, honesty, trustworthiness or willingness to make a sacrifice when you need help.

May. 02, 2015 @ 05:23 PM

Upland Chronicles: Andrew Jackson magnolia tree has legendary past

In September 2013, during a ribbon cutting ceremony for the gazebo and green space surrounding the public parking area on Bruce Street, an announcement was made that a tree grown from a cutting off of the majestic White House magnolia tree planted by President Andrew Jackson would be transplanted to the green space.

May. 02, 2015 @ 05:21 PM

Smoky Mountain Gourmet: Mountaintop culinary dispatches

Saturday, April 25: Grilled chicken on the fire pit. This was the first time the pit came into play this season. Had to shovel out copious amounts of acorns and other debris. On the positive side of things, the snow that fell last Halloween brought down loads of quality oak that should last well into the summer. Showed the boys how to operate the electric chainsaw. The chicken was excellent.

May. 01, 2015 @ 05:25 PM

Adriana Zoder: Food Ministry Fiesta a great success

Last Monday evening, Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg was closed for a private function. Ripley’s apologized for it on a big billboard at the entrance. I do not know if anybody was inconvenienced. I would think a few people turned around, disappointed. Those of us who came to the aquarium to attend this private function certainly felt grateful to attend.

May. 01, 2015 @ 05:24 PM

Public Pulpit: We all need guidance from God

As I waited for my wife to finish work, the wee girl on the bench beside me began to talk about her boyfriend Charley.

Apr. 25, 2015 @ 04:01 PM

Kenneth Burns: Walking in the national park is one of my favorite things

Two hundred seventy-three. That’s how many miles I have walked on trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At least since I started keeping track.

Apr. 25, 2015 @ 12:37 PM

Public Pulpit: He makes all things new – even us

Many of us have shared the spiritual journey once again that encompassed the week that changed the world. We gather to celebrate an event, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. Because He lives, we too shall share in life everlasting. I repeat, this is an event text. We don't have to ponder nuances of the Greek or puzzle what knowledge of the culture will further illuminate. We celebrate this event by allowing it to live on in and through us.

Apr. 24, 2015 @ 06:24 PM

Northview freshman takes top honor at Sevier County’s Got Talent

The first of a planned series of annual competitions for local high school students — Sevier County’s Got Talent — went off Thursday night without a hitch.

Apr. 24, 2015 @ 06:08 PM

Upland Chronicles: Sevierville native Pack ran for governor in 1974

In 1974, Ray Blanton won a 12-person Democratic primary for governor. With just 23 percent of the vote, he defeated several well-financed opponents, including flamboyant banker Jake Butcher, former Sen. Ross Bass and Nashville news anchor Hudley Crockett. In the general election, Blanton defeated Lamar Alexander, 576,833 to 455,467.

Apr. 23, 2015 @ 01:15 PM

Carl Mays: Exercise your ability to concentrate

"The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming An Individual In An Age Of Distraction," by Matthew B. Crawford, published March 2015, is a very interesting read. It's his second book, following "Shop Class As Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into The Value Of Work." I can relate to both – and so can you.

Apr. 18, 2015 @ 02:54 PM

Photos: Outside the Rod Run

The Pigeon Forge Spring Rod Run concluded Saturday in the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, but uninitiated observers may have thought it was a citywide event. Some of the liveliest ancillary activity took place along the Parkway, where droves of car enthusiasts parked their souped-up vehicles. Here are some scenes from outside Spring Rod Run 2015.

Apr. 17, 2015 @ 02:11 PM

Jake Old: I can't wait to watch 'Game of Thrones' unfold

HBO's popular fantasy television show "Game of Thrones," based on a series of books by George R.R. Martin, is back. And for the first time in a few years, I'm anxious about what is going to happen.

Apr. 17, 2015 @ 01:58 PM

Upland Chronicles: Smoky Mountain Queen sailed to New Orleans

Carrying the message "Happy Birthday America," a flatboat, the Smoky Mountain Queen, docked at Poydras Street Wharf in New Orleans on Saturday May 29, 1976, after a 1,600-mile trip along the rivers of mid-America.

Apr. 17, 2015 @ 01:23 PM

Off to the races with the Smoky Mountain Gourmet

I split my time growing up between Washington, D.C., and Louisville, Ky., with most summers spent here. I like to think my persona combines the best of all three places, and that the resulting combination – part big city, part medium-sized city, part
mountains – gives me a perspective that adapts to almost any conceivable environment.