We celebrated Father’s Day a day late with our son John $ by driving to Tennessee. He found the most delightful restaurant in Maryville, Sullivan’s Downtown on W Broadway. It was a locally owned restaurant with an interesting menu and good service. As we drove through the town, I craned my neck and tried to recognize anything from the last time I was there. It was the summer of 1960, and my parents and I were on our way to pick up my brother from his summer job as a camp counselor. I requested that we go through the town because my BFF Becky would be going to college there in a few weeks. These many years later I saw absolutely nothing I recognized. I read later that the restaurant was in the old J C Penny building, erected in 1925. Just down the street was a coffee/ice cream shop with an amusing bench in front.
Fortified with shrimp and grits, scrod, and a deluxe hamburger, we drove to Fort Loudoun (pronounced Loud-un with a swallowed “d”). This recreated fort was in use from 1756 – 1760 during the French and Indian War. The video was excellent, featuring re-enactors dressed for their parts. Husband and son are the history buffs, so I left the details to them. I was thrilled to find the young ranger grew up not more than 30 miles from my hometown. Of course, I thought he was riveting, with his amusing intro to the movie and lively tales of growing up in West Tennessee.
We walked through the fort, and there were two things that I found most interesting. Outside the wooden walls was a hedge of ???? with thorns up to four inches long. You wouldn’t cross that lightly! Inside the barracks were bunk beds with tin candle holders. The soldiers might not have done it, but I imagined them reading in bed. I was pleased that the normally camera shy $ agreed to pose with the candle holders.
We drove over Fontana dam after a wild ride through the mountains. It seems the twisty road was fairly quiet until someone posted it on the internet. There are 318 curves in the 11-mile stretch and is now considered America’s number one motorcycle and sports car road. Its name? Tail of the Dragon. Signs warn you that it is illegal to stop on the grass to take photographs. $ was surprised at the lack of traffic on a Monday afternoon. I was surprised by three sets of photographers on three different turns. Wish I’d taken a picture of one of those setups. Each had a vehicle or so, a large sign with the name of the company, and two people sitting in camp chairs aiming cameras up the road in both directions. I presume some bikers might stop to buy a souvenir shot of themselves on the famous road. Somewhere there must be three deleted shots of Snot, our Sonata, with $ and me visible through the windshield.