Mountain Life

Sep. 13, 2014 @ 11:41 AM

Upland Chronicles: Eckel was newspaper editor 40 years

Although blind the last 19 years as editor and publisher of the Sevier County Record-Republican, Herbert O. Eckel saturated himself so thoroughly with current events through personal contacts, telephone conversations, a hired reader and Knoxville radio, that he was more aware of world and local events than journalists with good eyesight.


Sep. 12, 2014 @ 05:59 PM

Three days of music at Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival

How does Sammy Shelor characterize the sound of his bluegrass group, Lonesome River Band? “I’ve always described it as traditional bluegrass music with a rock ’n’ roll downbeat,” said the Southwest Virginia-based banjo player.


Sep. 12, 2014 @ 05:52 PM

Jeff Farrell: Email spam is a nuisance, but it's funny.

It’s a good thing the people who send spam don’t profile us, and that what gets flooded into our email accounts doesn’t represent how we actually spend out money or our time.


Sep. 11, 2014 @ 05:30 PM

In a new book, a classics professor describes her 'Pilgrimage to Dollywood'

Perhaps not many theme park fans muse on their visits this way: “Often the formative journeys that we take require a sense of what the ancient Greeks called kairos, which means the right time, the opportune moment which must be taken advantage of for something special to happen.”


Sep. 11, 2014 @ 11:52 AM

Carl Mays: Truett Cathy was a man of significance

Most readers are probably aware that Truett Cathy, founder and chairman emeritus of the highly successful Chick-fil-A restaurant chain, died this past Monday at age 93. What began in 1946 as one tiny restaurant named Dwarf Grill (later renamed Dwarf House) in the Atlanta suburb of Hapeville, Ga., has grown to more than 1,800 restaurants in 40 states and Washington, D.C. Chick-fil-A has established an unparalleled record of 47 consecutive years of annual sales increases. The family-owned business reached $5 billion in sales in 2013.


Sep. 06, 2014 @ 04:25 PM

Upland Chronicles: Photographer Jim Thompson captured Smoky Mountains

In 1924, the Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Association tried and failed to get the Southern Appalachian Park Committee, a group studying the possibility of establishing a national park, to meet in Knoxville. The committee finally agreed to listen to the Knoxville contingent if they would meet with them in Asheville, N.C., their headquarters while exploring the Grandfather Mountain area.


Sep. 04, 2014 @ 04:43 PM

Adriana Zoder: All things beans at the Bush's museum

The other week, we finally made it to the Bush's Beans museum, also known as Duke's Museum. Well, at least that's what Duke, the company's famous golden retriever, would like us to call it. And yes, he is still busy trying to sell the secret family recipe.


Sep. 04, 2014 @ 01:27 PM

Carl Mays: The fight continues as cancer survival rates rise

The year Jean and I married and I graduated from Murray State University, we moved to an apartment on Poplar Avenue in Memphis near Crump Stadium and fairly close to Humes High School, where I had accepted a faculty position. We were also close to a recently built coral pink facility named St. Jude Children's Hospital, later renamed St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.


Aug. 30, 2014 @ 06:00 PM

New book tells story of Sevier County centenarian

Is Martha Whaley, 104, Sevier County’s most senior citizen?


Aug. 29, 2014 @ 05:53 PM

Upland Chronicles: Labor balladeer had Sevier County roots

On Sept. 14, 1929, Ella Mae Wiggins and other labor supporters drove to a union meeting in Gastonia, N.C. When they arrived, they were met by an armed mob and turned back. After driving about five miles they were stopped by a car, and armed men jumped out and began shooting. Wiggins, a single mother of five, was shot in the chest and killed.


Aug. 29, 2014 @ 01:12 PM

Jake Old: Bring on the fantasy football

It's getting to be that time of year again. Late August and early September mean the transition from summer to autumn; kids are getting back to school; summer tourism, and the traffic it brings, are winding down.


Aug. 28, 2014 @ 01:06 PM

Carl Mays: Fear can destroy communication and human relations

I haven't kept up in detail on the situation in Ferguson, Mo. However, just like anyone else in the world who is exposed to print or electronic media, by osmosis alone there is no way I couldn't have picked up facts and fiction regarding the actions and reactions that began Aug. 9. The media reporting has run the gamut from being good and fair to being sorry and biased. The communication, or lack thereof, from some leaders on the community, state and national levels has run a similar gamut.


Aug. 23, 2014 @ 11:16 PM

Adriana Zoder: This Tennessee humidity feels like home

Summertime in the South unleashes a full-throttle sensory experience. The sounds of crickets and cicadas. The smells of magnolia trees and hundreds (thousands?) of other plants. The green of vegetation at its apex. The taste of blueberry pie. The water of one's own body seeping to the surface of one's skin. This humidity...


Aug. 23, 2014 @ 11:54 AM

Jeff Farrell: Real-life shootings aren't like on TV

How many times have you seen this play out in a movie or on TV: The bad guy goes to fire his weapon, and the hero shoots it out of his or hand. The day is saved, and the villain is wounded but alive to learn a lesson, go to jail or possibly just to plot again.


Aug. 22, 2014 @ 09:12 PM

Upland Chronicles: Dr. Cope led Pigeon Forge flock for 28 years

Dr. William Wayne "W.W." Cope served as pastor of Pigeon Forge First Baptist Church for 28 years. He is the longest serving pastor in its 100-year history. Dr. Cope began his long tenure at the church June 4, 1964.


Aug. 22, 2014 @ 03:55 PM

Smoky Mountain banjo pioneer Carroll Best featured on new CD

Some banjo innovators are world-famous. Carroll Best just liked to play. The music of the Haywood County, N.C., farmer and factory worker is featured on “Carroll Best and the White Oak String Band,” a new CD released by Gatlinburg’s Great Smoky Mountains Association.


Aug. 21, 2014 @ 12:47 PM

Carl Mays: Experience is a pretty good learning tool

Will Rogers said, "A person only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people." Since I'm probably not any smarter than most of the people reading this column, I need to make sure I supply my readers with information that in one way or another is either uplifting, insightful to some degree, encouraging, entertaining, helpful in some way or emotionally stirring, bringing either a little lump to your throat or a little laugh or snicker (or at least a smile).


Aug. 16, 2014 @ 10:29 PM

Upland Chronicles: W.L. Mills was a driving force in Gatlinburg’s growth

Peppered throughout Gatlinburg are reminders of Mayor William L. Mills. Known as a selfless and honest man of unquestionable integrity, he was a well respected Gatlinburg leader for three decades. The W.L. Mills Conference Center and Mills Park are among the testaments to the appreciation the citizens of Gatlinburg had for him.


Aug. 15, 2014 @ 03:46 PM

Kenneth Burns: Smartphones distract us from the here and now

It was a concert by a Grammy-winning pop star, not a middle school play. But you might not have guessed that based on the way people were acting.


Aug. 14, 2014 @ 11:51 PM

Carl Mays: Some marketing ploys work, some don’t

I accompanied wife Jean to a supermarket we frequently visit. While she shopped in the produce and dairy sections I went to get a few things, including my favorite breakfast cereal. I looked for it in its usual place, but it wasn’t there. So, in a style made famous by Dr. Seuss, “Let me say – I searched high, and I searched low, that very day – I searched here, and I searched there – When I was through, I had searched, everywhere.”


Aug. 14, 2014 @ 04:27 PM

Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival celebrates the tunesmith’s art

Now in its third year, the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is introducing something new: a major headlining act. Legendary country star Bill Anderson will perform Saturday, Aug. 23, in the Quality Inn Creekside’s conference center.


Aug. 08, 2014 @ 11:47 PM

Country star Barbara Fairchild visits ‘The Smoky Mountain Gospel Jubilee’

Barbara Fairchild’s smash 1973 hit “The Teddy Bear Song” is a gem of a country tune – gentle, funny, sad and, when you think about, kind of unsettling.


Aug. 07, 2014 @ 07:47 PM

Upland Chronicles: Rev. Melvin Lonas has touched many lives

The first time Melvin Lonas lived in Sevierville, he was a student at the Church of God Bible Training School. Before he graduated, the school swapped campuses with the Church of God Home for Children, which was then located in Cleveland, Tenn. He continued his studies at the Bible institute in Cleveland on the campus of what is now Lee University.


Aug. 07, 2014 @ 06:11 PM

Men learn backwoods survival techniques on 'Fat Guys in the Woods'

As the premiere episode of “Fat Guys in the Woods” begins, a camera swoops over a rugged, wooded landscape.


Aug. 07, 2014 @ 03:40 PM

Adriana Zoder: Kat Kingdom, cattails and even some llamas

First I read in the paper about Kat Kingdom, the cat attraction one can visit to play with cats, in one of the shops at the Covered Bridge development on Glades Road in Gatlinburg. Later I read that Kat Kingdom would have a grand opening featuring cupcakes, cookies and live music. They had me at cupcakes.