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.
So it's April again, and that means only one thing: pollen. Oh, and Earth Day. For our annual trash collecting expedition around the neighborhood, we were getting ready mentally. Alas, one of our neighbors got ahead of us with her children. During spring break, they spent a few hours collecting trash from the ditches of our subdivision and trash they did collect.
Ah, April. Spring is here. What a wonderful feeling of freshness in the air! Everywhere you look there is something new, vibrant, alive, colorful, and it makes my heart sing.
Many visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park don't wander far from their cars.
I've written previously about Dr. J. Winston Pearce, fellow speaker at some of the senior adult conferences I hosted in Gatlinburg. At the time, he was retired as a professor at Golden Gate Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif., and was serving as a writer-in-residence at Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C. Today I've been thinking again about what this biblical scholar, researcher and outstanding instructor told me in one of our conversations. Dr. Pearce said there is evidence that the energy of every sound, voice and spoken word is retained in the atmosphere. He said it may be possible in the future for some instrument to search out and tune into voices and words of the past. How exciting this could be – and how scary.
In 1917, Dixie Canning Company built two factories in Sevier County. One was on Prince Street in Sevierville, and one was in Pigeon Forge. Farmers who signed contracts with the company were given seeds for beans, berries, pumpkins, apples and tomatoes.
“You can be a drama kid in high school,” Dani Bryant said, “but actually making a career of it is hard to do.”
Ah, my friends, I have to admit I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I mentioned last week that my fiancée and her kids moving in; they are to be officially moved in on or before the 15th of this month. That's easy – I'm really looking forward to that part of this. They're awesome.
I stand by what I wrote in my "A Strategy For Winning" book and have said many times at my speaking engagements: Everyone can increase his or her creativity. No doubt about it. Some people think creativity means bringing something into existence that never existed before. Well, God did that, but for humans, true creativity involves taking an idea, an object, a method, a group of people – something that's been around for a while – and standing back, looking at it with a different perspective and giving it a different twist.
I write this from a hotel by Disney World, which is similar to Dollywood with an extra billion or so dollars thrown in. I went into a Norwegian stave church such as the old wooden churches I saw in Norway.
Pictures don’t quite do it justice. To truly grasp its size, you’ll have to have a look for yourself at “Smaller Than Some, Larger Than Most, Maybe Not the World’s Largest Rag Rug.”
Dr. Robert F. Thomas came to Pittman Center in 1926 to serve in the dual role of minister and physician. Although he was an outsider, Dr. Thomas quickly earned the respect of the people whose bodies and souls he cared for. He labored long to build churches and improve the health facilities in the rugged mountains.
Last year, I wrote about our experience at our first UT Violin Festival. Before I give you the scoop on this year's festival, let's talk money. A professional violin lesson, which lasts 30 minutes, costs $35 to $50. The festival offers 12 hours of seminars and workshops, over two days, as well as two concerts with world-class instrumentalists. It's all for the bargain price of $40.
On my Facebook feed, the excitement began building days in advance.
Caitlyn Marentette recalls her introduction to the world of competitive spelling. “It goes back to third grade,” she said.
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.
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.
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.
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."
"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.
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.
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.
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.
Seeing the news last week of author Terry Pratchett's death was, for me, like finding that a friend had died.
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.