In honor of the Smoky Mountains, I am posting a few pictures from a weekend stay earlier this year. For those of us who grew up in this area, the Smokies will always hold a special place in our hearts, and here's why: it was a place of wonderful childhood memories. It was a place where dads drove families on Sunday afternoons after church. It was a place where the kids all waded in creeks and hoped they'd see a bear. It was a place where Dollywood used to be Rebel Railroad. It was a great escape for all of us Knoxvillians, and we didn't even have to leave the state. The Smoky Mountains were as much a part of our lives as Regas Restaurant or Emory's Five and Dime. And it grew over the years to accommodate others who discovered the glorious Mountain magic. It became famous.
We Tennessee folk are resilient individuals. We don't give up. We don't give in. We stand strong. And so does our Mountain. The Smokies will be great again, more beautiful, more lovely, more clear, than ever before. Here's to you, Great Smoky Mountains! We love you! You are in our hearts and in our souls!