A little more blues than just Highway 40’s

My wife periodically recounts to me the first time she ever saw Dolly Parton in person.  A young gal from rural Mississippi, she stood in front of Shoney’s on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge for a Dollywood opening day parade.  Her 3-year-old daughter twirled at her feet in her new “’Lil Dolly” lacy dress and … Continue reading A little more blues than just Highway 40’s


A father and a son*

A couple years ago, my wife and children and I visited a large Knoxville church for a beloved nephew’s solo.  He sang wonderfully, and we all met him up front afterwards and congratulated him on his accomplishment. I slowly became aware of an unfamiliar woman hovering behind us and repeatedly making eye contact with me.  … Continue reading A father and a son*

We are the song of the mountains

The fire. Is there really anything else to write or even think about? Like many of you, I watched and listened with horror as the events unfolded. I felt relief when the rain came, sorrow as the reports poured in reflecting loss of life and property, and gratitude for our firefighters, emergency personnel, and so … Continue reading We are the song of the mountains

My first snowfall*

Well, this past Saturday, Halloween, I was traipsing through the Kodak Food City in search of candy for all the little ghouls and goblins that would soon be parading across my front porch.  As I searched in earnest for the discounted candy, which I never found by the way, I couldn’t help but be a … Continue reading My first snowfall*

Rocky Economy = Rocky Top

As I was growing up, my parents chased the economy. In the city of my birth, Tampa, Florida, my Pop was one of the best crane operators in the business. He was a legacy, following in his father's footsteps. If you have ridden the monorail at Disney World, you have experienced some of his handi-work. … Continue reading Rocky Economy = Rocky Top

SuperDave, wise master of the Four Horsemen

One of my dearest friends on earth is a man named David Montgomery or, more affectionately, SuperDave. He received this title at UT when a group of five friends on our dormitory hallway decided we should all have nicknames.  Given that our group had two David's, one might have expected controversy over who would get … Continue reading SuperDave, wise master of the Four Horsemen

The Four Amigas

Changing schools is hard on a shy kid. Out of necessity, my parents moved several times when I was a kid, and it always meant I had to go through the agonizing process of making new friends. Though I survived and even managed to fulfill the parental prophesy that I would make new friends, one … Continue reading The Four Amigas