Mountain Life

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.


Jan. 23, 2015 @ 05:44 PM

Jake Old: My television experiences did not go as planned

I was recently talking with a friend about some good times we had several years ago, and a topic came up that I had completely forgotten about: my work at the college television station.


Jan. 22, 2015 @ 06:14 PM

Letter: Reader calls for full adult privileges for military

I have a very difficult time trying to figure out why our national government has not granted the basic privileges of all adult citizens to all who are accepted and serve in our nation’s military. In particular, the right to consume alcohol and any other privilege enjoyed by current American adults who are qualified to serve in the military. It appears that age 21 is the current overall most realistic target for full privilege.


Jan. 17, 2015 @ 12:15 PM

Jeff Farrell: Police officers need the right gear for the hazards they face

Every time I go along with local law enforcement officers during one of their roundups or other operations, as I did on Tuesday, I'm reminded of their side of the ongoing debate over the "militarization" of police.


Jan. 17, 2015 @ 12:02 PM

Upland Chronicles: Sevier County's African-American churches and schools recalled

Although small in number, by the early 1900s the African-American population in Sevier County had established communities including Chandler's Gap, Payne's Temple, Cynthiana and Union Hill.


Jan. 17, 2015 @ 11:34 AM

The Smoky Mountain Gourmet weighs in on 'Super Food' Sunday

I'm sad. College football is done for the year, and the NFL only has three games left in the season. I suppose I'll have to figure out something to do with my weekend afternoons.


Jan. 15, 2015 @ 04:06 PM

Carl Mays: Experience major positive changes

As I was recently reading one of many annual articles about making plans and setting goals for a new year, I ran across one that began with the question, "What are you most proud of about yourself this past year?" I understand the question and have actually used this idea in articles, columns and speeches. The question asks people to reflect on such things as reached goals, accomplishments, strengthened relationships, situations and challenges handled well, lessons learned or better attitudes developed. And then, the big question here is, "Are the things of which I am most proud helping me to reach my main purpose in life?"


Jan. 10, 2015 @ 04:13 PM

Adriana Zoder: A 7-year-old's perseverance is inspiring

We all know how January spells blah. After all the holiday cheer and the glorious New Year's resolutions, the bills start coming in. Besides, we all must go back to the reality of work and school schedules. If your anchor does not go deep into the rock of some solid hope for tomorrow, however you get that hope, January equals dreary month.


Jan. 10, 2015 @ 01:10 PM

Upland Chronicles: Sevier County Electric System has served residents 75 years

In 1939, Sevier County Electric System was established as a city-owned public utility. The following year, the fledgling organization purchased from Tennessee Valley Authority the nearly county-wide distribution system, which included Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Catlettsburg and all points in between.


Jan. 09, 2015 @ 06:38 PM

Kenneth Burns: Relive the 1970s with quadraphonic sound

I’m fond of yesterday’s consumer technologies. I’ve written here before about my LP collection. I also am fascinated by old computers, old video games.