The Canvas of Southeastern Culture
Volume 1 Issue 2
Relive Greenevilleâ€™s manufacturing era pg.18 Wine lamps bring light to local crafts pg. 24
Ghosts 4 Animals 10 Magnavox 18 Old Oak 22 Lamps24 Speedway 26 Flood 32 Find out what goes bump in the night in East Tennessee.
Shelters across the region influence community life.
The legacy behind the company that put Greeneville on the map.
Greeevilleâ€™s festival returns after over a decade.
Students combine liquor and lights to start grassroots business.
Bristol attracts many fans for multiple events.
The recovery of the capitolâ€™s great devastation.
Heather Blanton, Senior Editor Jonathan Nash, Managing Editor
Front and back cover images by Angel West
Obtain your free digital copy of Frontier Magazine at www.magcloud.com. Print editions also available for purchase.
Frontier Contributors Alec Cunningham Cunningham is a Tusculum College freshman studying journalism from Knoxville, TN. She is also a staff writer for Blank Newspaper, Knoxville’s longest running independent publication, where she primarily writes album reviews and artist interview articles.
Melissa Mauceri Mauceri is a sophomore from Pigeon Forge, TN currently studying journalism at Tusculum College. In the future, she would like to find a job as a fashion journalist working for a fashion magazine.
Mariah Serrano Serrano is a junior studying journalism at Tusculum College. To think of an article she’s written as the topic of someone’s conversation for five minutes at the water cooler makes all the difference to her and gives her a sense of purpose.
Marcus Taylor Taylor is currently a senior and hails from the great state of Tennessee. He likes ginger ale and Sergio Leone movies. Apart from Frontier Magazine, he spends his time working for non-profit organizations.
Destini Wingerter Wingerter is a Tusculum College sophomore from Bristol, TN. Writing is her passion and she is excited to learn more about the world of journalism and professional writing.
Walking After Midnight What lurks in the dark around East Tennessee
By Melissa Mauceri Every institution of higher learning has its ghost stories passed down through generations. A ghost story can be defined as a story having supernatural or frightening elements, especially a story featuring ghosts or spirits of the dead. These stories are most of the time just told for fun or to scare unknowing freshman as a joke. However, there are ghost stories all over the world that are recorded to be true. At the oldest college in the state of Tennessee, these ghost stories are not an element of the past, but very much alive today. Tusculum College was founded in 1794 in Greeneville, two years before Tennessee actually became a state. With so much history, there is bound to be some stories of haunting and the spirits of the dead who used to be the life of the college. Students and staff of the college as well as people in the surrounding community have all heard a variety of stories about creepy circumstances that took place at different buildings at the college. But which of these stories are true and which are simply tall tales? Research was performed farther into the ghost stories told about the buildings of Tusculum College to find out the facts, the myths, and also to hear the untold stories.
Fire at Virginia Hall The fourth floor of Virginia Hall, also known as the attic, is completely off limits to anyone other than those who work in facilities. Today the elevator does not go to this floor, and the doors are blocked off. When visiting the building no one
would ever guess that the building had ever been damaged by a fire or that one woman lost her life. Virginia Hall was an all girls dormitory from 1901 until the 1970s. The story states that during the fire the head mother who lived in the attic could not get out in time. It is said that the girls could hear the head motherâ€™s screams as she remained entrapped in the fire. Today it is said that while walking past Virginia Hall, sometimes people hear the screams of the head mother. It is also rumored that people have seen the head motherâ€™s shadow in the window of the fourth floor at night. What is possibly the most frightening aspect of the whole story? The college has no records of the fire. However, an alumni member who lived in the building during the late 1940s until 1951 did state that the students often set fires in the building as pranks. Could this fire possibly have been the result of a prank gone very wrong? This we may never know. But it is true that on Nov. 22, 1994 Virginia Hall was reopened after being remodeled from a dormitory to what is today the central location on campus for student needs.
Virginia Hall Apparent Suicide There is another explanation for the screams heard outside of Virginia Hall. According to Justin H. Guess of Haunt Masters Club: Tri-Cities Parapsychological Research & Investigation, the screams are from a student who committed suicide in front of the building.
An alumni member who graduated in the late 1970s and who wished to remain unnamed claimed that when he was a student at Tusculum College he heard that the echoing screams came from a young lady who hung herself in a tree in front of Virginia Hall. According to a Kingsport News article from Nov. 6, 1972 entitled “‘Apparent Suicide’ in Tusculum Student’s Death,” the death did indeed occur. The article states that early Monday morning, a freshman was found hanging from an oak tree in the middle of the campus. Greene County coroner Buster Greenway said the death of Richard Hartle, who was 19, of Morristown, NJ, was “an apparent suicide.” Sheriff David Davis had said a loop from a homemade swing was around the victim’s neck, and his knees were touching the ground. The time of death was placed at around 8 p.m. on that Sunday. The victim was described in the article as a “loner” by fellow students. No motive for the suicide was found. Hartle would have been 20 years old on the very next day. But wait, didn’t the alum state that the screams were from a girl? Yes. And the explanation could be young Julie Stanley. Julie Stanley was the student who found Hartle’s body.
Haynes Hall Haunting
Haynes Hall is now an all male dormitory that was built in 1914. Many have heard rumors of
a suicide that occurred in the building. Indeed there are records of a former softball coach named Jesse Edmonds, who normally went by “Red,” who shot himself in Haynes Hall over a school break. This occurred in 1995. Edmonds’ career here at Tusculum as a softball coach was very successful. During his coaching career the team was in the National Fast Pitch Softball Tournament. The reason for Edmond’s suicide remains unknown.
Crying in Katherine Hall
Katherine Hall, now the dormitory containing mostly freshman, used to be an all girls dormitory. Students have reported hearing a sound similar to that of a baby crying. According to a list called Haunted Places In Tennessee located on http://theshadowlands.net, a girl in the dorm had a baby that the head mother took away from her. The story goes that the girl took the baby back and then killed the head mother. It is said the baby is buried somewhere behind the building. Although there is nothing on record of this event ever happening, it is a fact that before Katherine Hall was built in the spot where it sits today, there were trailers that housed married students. These trailers often housed returning soldiers and their families, and at one time that spot was the home of many children.
One student, Taira Peters, shares her uncomfortable experiences about living in Katherine Hall. “I lived in Katherine room 323 last year. I was on crutches because I was injured from dance practice. But one night, I got up from my bed to make something to eat. My crutches were leaning against a chair. When I was on the other side of my room my crutches moved to my bed. I’m not sure if they were just unstable on the chair or what, but at the time, I freaked out because it was 3 a.m. and my roommate at the time was asleep. Right after that though, the air conditioning unit lid where you adjust the high and low slammed shut. That’s what scared me because it was very loud. Also we were on the third floor, but we would hear banging, scraping, dragging, thumping, everything, you name it, from above us every single night from about 2 a.m. to 3 a.m.”
The Phantom of the Doak House Museum
According to the website http://Haunted Places Index – Tennessee, the Doak House Museum has had several people report hearing a piano or organ play upstairs in the house, but there is no one there. There is also no piano in the museum, however there used to be. Folklore maintains that the person playing is the wife of Reverend Samuel Witherspoon Doak, Sarah Houston McEwen. Doak is the son of Reverend Samuel Doak Sr., who founded what is now known as Tusculum College. Doak and his family built and moved into
the house in 1830. The very next year, McEwen passed away. Since then it is said that phantom piano music sometimes drifts downstairs. Many paranormal societies have wanted to go through the Doak House Museum. The college has declined all of these offers due to safety concerns. Since no one has been able to study the house, there are no proven recordings of paranormal activities or of the piano playing. However, according to those working in the Department of Museum Studies for the college, the Doak House is known for strange noises as well as having the motion sensors set off for unexplained reasons. The department also reports a myth about a so-called “Quiet Woman,” a woman who hung herself at the Doak House Academy. A letter was found on file addressed from Carla Sentelle Bewley, an archivist, talking about the origin of the name of the “Quiet Woman.” The letter states that a woman by the name of Mary Ramsey lived in the old Samuel Doak home. It says that Ramsey was a very singular person and she lived alone in the Doak house during the time when the academy building located behind the Doak house was being restored. Hence the name the “Quiet Woman” was given to the academy with Ramsey in mind. She states that she obtained the information from Charles Justice, former head of the Maintenance Department at Tusculum and connected with the college for over 30 years. This letter is dated from March 17, 1978.
Other than just the stories of paranormal activity at the Doak House, there are some real facts that are slightly unusual and unnerving about the house. When Doak Sr. passed away during the month of February one year, the ground was frozen and they could not dig for his proper burial. He was kept in a storage shed until the ground thawed out. Also Doak and his wife McEwen were actually step siblings. With a member of the Doak family living in the house from 1830 until the 1970s, the history of the house remains rich and filled with stories unknown.
Death at McCormick Built in 1887, McCormick Hall was the work place of Dean Hurley. Dean Hurley was often referred to as “Mr. Tusculum,” having worked for the college in faculty and administrative positions for 38 years. Hurley was said to have touched the lives of many during his time at the college being with five decades of students. Hurley died working at his desk on the first floor of McCormick on Jan. 25, 1993. His secretary came to him and told him she was going to lunch and
asked him to join. He told her he would be down to lunch shortly, appearing to be perfectly fine. Not much later, someone came in for a meeting with Hurley and found him dead. A former Vice President as well as former campus safety security guards claimed that when standing in the front entrance of the building, they could sometimes smell cigar smoke when no one was smoking there. Hurley was known for smoking cigars. Past campus safety guards have encountered more than just the smell of cigar smoke. They also claimed that they frequently smelled oranges in the building. They claimed to feel like someone else was always there in the building at night when they went to turn the lights off. And they even heard the sounds of someone walking. They claimed that the feeling they got while in the building at night was a feeling of all around fear. The desk Hurley passed away at is still in use today on the first floor of the building. In 1973, Hurley’s service was recognized by an honorary degree, and in 1985 “The Hurley Room” was named in honor of him. Records for Hurley could not be found, so the cause of his death is not currently known.
Fight at Greeneville College During 1802 when Tusculum College was known as Greeneville College, a fight occurred between two male students. One of the men threw a rock which hit the other man in the head. The fight was broken up and the man who was hit with the rock was thoroughly examined and determined to be uninjured. He showed no signs of imbalance or slurring of speech. However, the man dropped dead within a week of the quarrel. The man who threw the rock was tried with murder. It was determined that the case was not a murder, however the man was said to have been publicly condemned through verbal denunciation. Not only does Tusculum have a spooky past but, many other areas in our region are said the be haunted. One story that lives on is the haunting in Kingsport, TN.
Sensabaugh Tunnel Mystery Surrounding Tusculum College are other places considered to be haunted. The Sensabaugh Tunnel in Kingsport located just off Big Elm Road is known as one of the most haunted and frightening places in Tennessee. Many students from the college as well as local residents have claimed to have experienced great evil, ghost encounters, and paranormal activities at the tunnel. Built in the 1920s, the tunnel today is in a state of disrepair having been covered in graffiti and weathered with cracks. Murder, death, and satanic rituals all take place in the stories about the tunnel. It is said that at the location, demonic apparitions appear, screams of babies and women echo, and car engines die without reason. Of all the stories about the tunnel, the most notorious is one of a murder that occurred many years ago. The story of the murder occurs in many versions, but most involve a baby. Probably the most famous story is one in which a homeless man wandered into the home of a then highly prominent family, the Sensabaughs. The family kindly welcomed the homeless man into their home. The man began to steal jewelry, so Mr. Sensabaugh
grabbed his pistol. The man grabbed the family’s newborn baby and ran into the tunnel. Beating the father there, he then drowned the baby in the stream that runs through the tunnel. Another version of the story is that Mr. Sensabaugh and his family lived in a house near the tunnel. One day, he went crazy and killed his family, including the newborn baby, and then threw their bodies into the stream. Other versions state that a pregnant woman was kidnapped and murdered in the tunnel. There is no doubt that it has sparked the interest of people in the region. It is said that if you turn off your car in the tunnel you can hear a baby cry, and that your car will not start back up. It is also said that you can hear Mr. Sensabaugh’s footsteps echoing and see him walking towards your car in the rearview mirror. Another lesser known story about the tunnel is about a zombie-like creature known as the Long Dog Phantom of the River Road (Big Elm Road), which was said to have murdered people by mutilating them and ripping them to shreds. People reported hearing sounds similar to the grunting of a hog and somewhat similar to a growl before an attack was said to occur. The crazy thing about this story is that this creature was legendary even before white settlers had taken over the land. The Cherokee Indians called this creature Oolonga-daglalla, which can be translated to “spirit with knife teeth.” It was known for roaming the area at night, sometimes killing natives at random. The creature was renamed Long Dog by the future settlers. This was because it was described to move similar to a wolverine, was quite long, had yellowish-red glowing eyes, and had breath smelling of sulfur. One feared to see the creature off to the side following your path. It is said the creature would not go near the homes but would stay in the wooded areas; however the families living on the road said they heard the howling and moaning of the creature at night. It is said that one of the creature’s most notorious attacks occurred at the arch of the Sensabaugh Tunnel. Though none of the prior stories about the Sensabaugh Tunnel have been proven true,
there are stories that have been researched about the tunnel at the Kingsport Public Library that true. Mr. Sensabaugh did live in a house just west of the tunnel during the 1920s; the house is actually still standing today. Sensabaugh and his family lived a simple life working on the farms. For the construction of the tunnel, migrant workers were hired. This was not uncommon during this time when the workers hired were usually Chinese and Italian laborers who were poorly paid and badly treated. According to migrant worker Francisco Anatolio, one morning during some blasting on the road bed an accident occurred in which an explosion killed seven men. These men died horribly during this violent dynamite eruption. The common practice during these times was for migrant workers killed on the job to be buried either alongside or inside the construction site. There is also another legend about the tunnel. In the 1950s during a violent storm, a woman pulled into the tunnel because she was having car troubles. Her car died, and the woman got her baby out of the car and intended to walk to the Sensabaugh house. She never made it there, having died a violent and mysterious death in the tunnel with her baby. It is thought that she and her baby were killed by a transitory homeless man who murdered the woman and then drowned the baby in the stream. Some even claim that Mr. Sensabaugh, who would have been an older man at the time, had something to do with the deaths. And there’s more to the haunting. Another tunnel near the Sensabaugh called River Tunnel has an equally evil reputation, possibly worse. The tunnel which is often mistaken to be the Sensabaugh, is the tunnel before it, which can only be passed through by foot. It is said to house evil, violent, supernatural manifestations. The tunnel is pitch black and like the Sensabaugh is graffiti covered in. It is said the spot is famous for drug trafficking. Investigators of the tunnel say that the haunting of the River Tunnel is due to slaves being butchered by a mean spirited slave master just up the road. It is also said that a Civil War conflict had been fought on the land where the tunnel would later be. The Cherokee also often fought on this land.
The investigations of a paranormal team found activity in both of the tunnels. An ecto-plasmic mist inside the Sensabaugh Tunnel was caught on video during a visit. In 2008 also at the Sensabaugh Tunnel, an EVP was recorded of a woman’s voice saying “please don’t hurt me.” Another EVP recorded at The River Tunnel is a voice saying “we can/will find them.” An EVP is known as electronic voice phenomenon which is electronically generated noise that resembles speech, but is not the result of intentional voice recordings or renderings. Due to this, it is recorded that the tunnels are areas of proven low-level paranormal activity. Just one of many students from Tusculum, Corrine Moore, shares her frightening and emotionally scarring experience while visiting Sensabaugh Tunnel. “Two friends and I drove through the tunnel three times. The first time we stopped in the tunnel and it got very bright. I saw a silhouette of a man at the end of the tunnel. He seemed to smile and then disappear. The second time we did the same thing but turned my car off. I turned and saw the apparition of the man at the end of the tunnel, he walked towards us, and when I made eye contact with him he vanished. We drove back to the end of the tunnel, we left my car on and I put my foot on the brake. With the brake on, the car rolled as if someone was pushing it. After driving away from the tunnel, we got out of the car to find a large handprint on the back windshield. This handprint was located on a spot where no one could have easily reached, and it was too big to have been mine or any of my friends. I will never go back to Sensabaugh Tunnel.” All of these paranormal stories occurring at the college and in the region have made their way around for generations. We may never know which are true and which are false unless we actually encounter an unusual experience for ourselves. Whether it is over-active imaginations, harmless paranormal encounters, or truly evil spirits that people are coming across, we seem to find ourselves glued to the mysteries of these events.
Teaching Old Shelters new tricks Love of animals unites shelters
By Alec Cunningham Some animal shelters in East Tennessee specifically pride themselves on being no-kill facilities, while other shelters within the same region decide to take on the heartrending task of euthanizing. Roughly stated, euthanasia means that an animal is put down by means of an injection that does not hurt the animal in any way. Sometimes this is done to an injured animal or one that has contracted a chronic disease in order to put it out of its misery. Unfortunately, shelters also have to do this because they have no more room left in their facility to house animals and simply have no alternatives because they are unable to transport these animals to a less populated location. There are numerous animal shelters throughout the East Tennessee region. Some of these shelters are no-kill facilities, which house the animals they take in until they are adopted out. Most shelters in East Tennessee, though, are kill facilities, which euthanize animals that are deemed unadoptable for one reason
or another. The Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley and the Greeneville-Greene County Humane Society, which are both no-kill facilities, along with the Young-Williams Animal Center, which is a kill facility, are three animal shelters across the East Tennessee region that have been working hard for the cause of lowering euthanasia rates. The Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley, often called the HSTV, has been a no-kill shelter since 2000. “As long as our board of director votes on it we keep it that way,” says operations director Debi Clark. “And the money we collect from the general public goes to keeping this a no-kill shelter.” What it means to be a no-kill shelter is that a shelter will under no circumstances euthanize an animal because there is inadequate space to house them. This also means that any animal that they take in will stay on the adoption floor until it is adopted. But the HSTV has not always been a no-kill shelter; they have only operated this way for
the past decade. “On Dec. 31, 2000, the Society canceled animal housing contracts with the city and county to focus all resources on adoption, education, and spay/neuter,” states their official Web site. The HSTV and the Greeneville-Greene County Humane Society alike have many customers adopt solely from them because of the fact that they are a no-kill shelter. Likewise, some employees work for each shelter for the same reason. In Tennessee, no-kill shelters can barely compete with city/county run shelters. “It’s about 10 percent no-kill versus 90
that operates solely off of private donations and the occasional grant. Given that the shelter is located in Greene County, it is much smaller than both HSTV and Young-Williams. Because of that, they have far less space to house animals. Twelve years ago, GGCHS too euthanized animals. This was because the Greene County Animal Control had not yet been established. Now, Animal Control, which is located just beside the shelter, does any and all euthanasia for the region. And because the shelter has limited space available and keeps each animal until it is adopted out, they
percent government agencies,” says Clark. When it comes to operational standards, the Greeneville-Greene County Humane Society draws many parallels to HSTV. Like HSTV, the GreenevilleGreene County Humane Society is a no-kill shelter
are not able to take in every animal that is brought to them. If they feel that an animal is not likely to be adopted, they say that they are unable to take the animal in at that time and suggest that the owner instead take their animal to Animal Control. 11
The HSTV is located in Knoxville, TN on Bearden Hill, while one division of Young-Williams Animal Center is located merely half a mile down the road. Young-Williams, however, is a kill shelter. Any animal surrendered or picked up by them is subject to being euthanized. Although this is the case, employees do as much as they can in order to save animals from harm. One employee, Samantha Luttrell, said that she is currently fostering six kittens in order to protect them from being euthanized. Kennel manager Monica Brown explains, “Some employees take some animals home on a foster basis to get them over whatever their illness is or to work on the behavior issues they have so that they can come back and be adopted.” Brown’s story is unique in that she has worked for both the Humane Society and for Young-Williams. “I have always had the drive to work with animals,” said Brown. She went from working with animals in Ohio, to working with them in Florida. She is now the kennel manager at Young-Williams in Tennessee, an area she said she never intends to move away from. “The Humane Society was starting their spay/neuter program, so I applied there, took that position, and then when the kennel manager position came open
here I took that one. So I’ve always done animal welfare,” said Brown. There is much argument within the community as a whole about the truth behind what YoungWilliams has done and the ratio of animals taken in versus the number of animals euthanized. But from Brown’s perspective, things are looking up. “There’s been big changes going on in this shelter since I’ve moved over, and our stats are not nearly what they used to be,” she said. “About 75 percent of the animals that came in were euthanized in most situations, and we have changed that a bit. I don’t want anybody to believe that it’s a huge number, but to us it’s huge.” The exact number of animals that are euthanized each month may very well surprise you. This February, the number of euthanized animals added up to 515. Although that number may be shocking, in 2011, the number was even worse; the total animals euthanized in February of last year was 613. “We’re down to about 53 percent verses 76 percent a year ago,” said Brown. The total number of incoming animals for February of this year was 956.
Despite these rates remaining high, Brown is eager about the improvement, “The numbers are changing, and I think that’s what’s important.” Although this all sounds good and the number of animals euthanized each month may vary from year to year, things look a bit different on paper. A chart that can be found on their Web site covering their yearly statistics from 2001 to 2011 shows that although numbers of incoming animals and euthanized animals have fluctuated, the ratio between the two has remained eerily similar. For instance, the total percent of incoming animals that were euthanized in 2001 was roughly 65 percent, while in 2011 it was 62 percent. The adoption rates are moving in a positive direction, however. In 2001, only 1,500 of the total 11,864 incoming animals were adopted, and in 2011, 3,410 of the 14,996 incoming animals were adopted. But the number that is most alarming to Brown is the number of owner surrenders. In 2010, 411 animals were surrendered by their owners, and in 2011, 347 animals were surrendered. Though the number is still high, it is slowly decreasing. Brown believes that there are a few aspects that have helped to implement the apparent change in statistics. They have recently set in effect a new spay/neuter program, which does two things. First, they offer low cost spays and neuters to those whose income meets their qualifications for the program. Second, they are using a mobile Spay Shuttle to fix what they call “high-risk animals” around the Knox County area. Another thing they have done to lower the shelter’s euthanasia rates is to better educate people about animals. “Other than a pit bull, we have not euthanized any animal here for space since November,” said Brown. In animal welfare, euthanizing for space means that they do not have room in the shelter to house the animals appropriately. Having more space is ultimately more beneficial for the animals, and Young-William’s recent expansion will allow them to do just that. “This is gonna give us time to work on those behavior issues. That way we don’t have to euthanize for behavior. And this is gonna give us the ability to work on medical situations,” said Brown. In order to improve on medical treatment, Young-Williams has established what they call a SAVES (Shelter Animal Veterinary Emergency Services) Fund. The fund is generated by private donations only and goes towards the treatment of
injured and sick animals that are still able to potentially be adopted. For instance, it is used to treat things such as heart worm disease. “Five years ago, any animal that came in with heart worm was euthanized; we currently have five dogs undergoing heartworm treatment,” said Brown. Unlike the HSTV, the government funds a portion of the Young-Williams shelter, which is why they were able to expand into a new facility so easily. They state that the city and county pay in a third of the budget, while two-thirds of their finances come from private donation. Aside from the obvious impact euthanasia has on animals, there is another impact the process inflicts that is not considered nearly as often. That is the severe impression that euthanasia leaves on shelter employees. “It causes them to develop a condition called PTSD, which is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They love the animals to start with, but they’re forced to do the opposite of what they feel,” says Clark from the Humane Society. Brown said there is one particular statement that employees hear nearly every day. As owners and surrenderers are bringing animals in day after day, the staff generally always has a handful of these people tell them that they could never do their job because they love animals far too much. But according to Brown, she has never met such caring, loving employees that are so dedicated to what they are doing. No one is ever excited to get to work in order to euthanize animals, but it is an essential element of their daily job duties. Along with the toll that having to euthanize animals has on Brown’s employees it also has a huge impact on her specifically. Brown said, “From a management level, that decision is harder than the process itself. Having to walk through and make a decision, like, ‘this animal did poorly on its behavior and we can’t fix it; this animal’s got really bad skin issues and we don’t have the money or the time or the space in the building to fix it.’” The decision-making process of having to select specific animals for euthanasia is very difficult. The process of euthanasia in itself, though, is simple and does not hurt animals whatsoever. “It is an injection of sedation and then an injection of the euthanizing solution. The process is the easy part, but the emotions that go with that process is what takes the toll. Many people leave animal welfare for that very reason. 13
There’s a major emotional toll that that takes on everyone. I tell people all the time, it’s OK to cry,” said Brown. “I hate the thought of an animal being euthanized, but as long as people don’t spay and neuter and as long as there is over-breeding we will need it,” Amy Bowman, manager of GGCHS said. She explains that euthanizing an animal is much better than having animals living on the streets that are suffering, starving, and being hit by cars. Though none of the employees at the Greeneville-Greene County shelter have ever worked at a kill facility, Bowman agrees that having to euthanize animals certainly does affect employees mentally. “It always saddens us; it’s human nature. But sometimes if an animal is suffering too badly you can be thankful to do it quickly. It’s a two-edged sword,” said Bowman. If you talk to the staff at Young-Williams, the hard part is taking animals in through lost and found or the intake area. Brown said, “There, people have the option at that point and time to turn around. We’re very honest with everyone and say, ‘this animal will not make it to the adoption floor. It will be euthanized.’” People then have the option to turn around and take their pet somewhere else or to go home, and they generally do not. “And that’s where the emotion begins. Unfortunately, the majority of the time the persons working that intake department are the same people that are doing the euthanasia,” she said. To employees who work both sections, it is as if they serve double duty by taking in the animal when it is surrendered and later on when they are forced to euthanize the animal. With any kill facility, the factors for deciding whether an animal should be euthanized or not are divided up into sections. First, there is a category for space, which is called “healthy.” The category is not called space, because you can always grab a cage and tuck an animal in some section of the building; there has to be a healthy amount of space in order to house the animal. Second, there are two behavior categories. There is “untreatable,” which can be bite dogs, dogs that are food aggressive, and those that are aggressive towards other animals. Bite dogs cannot be rehabilitated because if a shelter were to adopt a dog out and it bites someone the liability is on the shelter. Likewise, dog aggression cannot be fixed. “I am not gonna let you take a dog home that I know is dog aggressive to tear up your dogs that are at home,” Brown said.
Then there are “treatable behavior” cases. Given the appropriate amount of time these are generally conditions that can be fixed. “That’s the little dog that’s over the top, jumping all over the place, knocks the little kid down. We tend not to euthanize those animals as much because they are fixable,” said Brown. Third, there is the “medical” category, which is also broken into untreatable and treatable. Untreatable cases consist of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, heart worm disease, heart murmurs, thyroid disease. Brown explains, “Those are the long term chronic illnesses that if you took the animal home you might be able to give it pills to maintain it, but you’re never going to solve the medical issue.” The treatable are cases such as upper respiratory in cats. The cats can be given antibiotics to help the condition clear it up and they will be OK. Skin issues are also a treatable condition. For instance, if a dog came in covered with fleas and has scratched out all its hair, they would first get rid of the fleas, put it on a little bit of antibiotics and the fur would begin growing back. City/county shelters like Young-Williams are required to hold a stray animal for a minimum of 72 hours before they are allowed to euthanize it. “We hold for four days here instead of three,” said Brown. “Unless the animal is overly aggressive or has some major medical illness, and then they’re euthanized on that third day.” For HSTV, however, there is no stipulation on how long they attempt to adopt out an animal. “They stay here until they’re adopted,” said Clark. “If they develop Parvo, we send them to the vet.” Parvo, which is otherwise known as Canine Parvovirus, is a contagious disease that is passed from animal to animal through direct contact with their feces. Though it is treatable, shelters such as Young-Williams generally euthanize animals that come down with this disease. There are always some inevitable cases, though, where the animal is too sick to recover and must be put down for its own sake. Although these cases are rare, both no-kill shelters also have to take that into account. Bowman says, “The only time we euthanize is if an animal is severely injured or severely ill and we can’t reasonably treat them. Or if they are aggressive.” She explains that it all depends on exactly how aggressive they act. “We never adopt out any animals that appear to be aggressive towards humans.”
Because the euthanasia program at Young-Williams is so highly debated, there has been much controversy in the news recently about one case in particular. A black lab named Cassidy was surrendered to the shelter as a stray. It was discovered soon after that the dog was pregnant. The initial plan was to spay Cassidy and send her to a rescue shelter. “That’s what rescues do. They don’t want unspayed animals. They want them to be spayed and neutered so that they can place them. And that was the agreement between the rescue group and Young-Williams,” said Brown. The woman who initially found the dog then began making up stories of we were going to do a C-section, remove all the puppies, and send the dog out, which then leaked out to the media causing “slanderous attacks and physical threats” to the shelter, according to Brown. The real story was that Cassidy went to an approved rescue group and had her puppies. Since then, she has been adopted out. Unfortunately, her puppies broke with Parvo and were all euthanized. Believe it or not, there is a vast difference in the way owners generally treat animals in the South from the way that animals are treated farther North. “I think there are more counties in the North that have spay/neuter and registration laws,” Bowman explains. “But there are so many people in Greene County that are so good to their animals, and you see the same up North.” She believes there are ways to improve animal treatment in the region, however. “If the state of Tennessee had more defined animal cruelty laws, for instance, I would love for there to be a no chain law, which would mean that an animal can’t be left chained for more than two hours a day,” said Bowman. Other laws that could help to decrease euthanasia rates are better enforcing pet registration laws and requiring all animals to be microchipped. Having animals microchipped would allow shelters to identify the owners of animals that have been surrendered as lost and found, essentially making them take responsibility for their animals. All of these things together would ultimately help to lower the percentage of animals being euthanized each month. Although their policies are different, the outlooks on euthanasia that are held by both no-kill shelters, the HSTV and the GGCHS, along with the kill facility Young-Williams Animal Center are very similar. It is something that no one wants to do, but they all
agree that it is also a necessity in order to preserve the humane treatment of animals. Although she works for a no-kill facility, Bowman said that she is glad that shelters such as Young-Williams do euthanize, and she sees nothing wrong with it. “I’m grateful they euthanize, because if they didn’t the animals would be out somewhere starving to death. If you have an animal shelter that takes all animals in they’re going to have to euthanize some of them,” said Bowman. Each shelter also agrees that education is ultimately the best and only way to truly cut down on euthanasia. The Greeneville-Greene County shelter specifically is going to great lengths in order to combat this problem. “Our shelter is special because we go into both city and county elementary schools. We talk to them about why you should spay or neuter your pet, about pet care, and about dog bite prevention,” said Bowman. They do this in hopes that the fundamentals these children are taught about pet care will carry over into their adulthood. Brown holds education in a similar light. “People will go and purchase a puppy on a whim,” said Brown. “Do some research before you purchase an animal. Make sure you’re ready to own an animal. Make sure you have the time for the animal, and make sure you know what medical needs that animal may have. All animals are gonna need to see the vet at least once a year,” said Brown. When they opened the spay/ neuter program earlier this year, 85% of the people that used the free program had never had their animals to a vet. And to Clark, the answer is simple, “The main thing that the general public can do to reduce the percentage of animals being euthanized is to get their animals spayed and neutered.” “Really, people need to understand what the word euthanasia is,” said Brown. She has even had people reply with, “Why are you gonna send him to Asia?” In order to cut down on the number of animals being put down, those surrendering a pet need to first fully understand what euthanasia is, and then understand that there is absolutely no turning back. “I think that our society has become very disposal-oriented. Everything is disposable. So, understand what euthanasia means, the severity of it, the finality of it, and understand that there still is a need. There are gonna be animals that need to be euthanized,” said Brown.
Another similarity between the three shelters is the reason behind why the employees love working for an animal shelter. If you ask any employee of any animal shelter, they will all tell you that what they do is more than just a job. “I can teach anybody to clean a cage. You have to want to do this job. You’re not going to make money, you’re not going to be rich, it’s not going to get you anywhere other than you’re doing it because it’s in your heart,” said Brown.
Manufacturing a History Magnavox shapes Greeneville’s early years By Heather Blanton As the asphalt cracks with weeds, the paint chips from the entry door and the dusty windows look out on Greeneville, TN, the buildings could be confused with any other textile failure. The truth behind three of the plants left to ruin in downtown Greeneville is at one time they employed over 4,900 citizens of Greene County. Many people who owned or still own a Magnavox TV might not know that from the late 1940s until 2005 those were made in Greeneville. The small town got its big break shortly after World War II when Magnavox was beginning to consider moving the business from Indiana. The unknown hero is Katharine Crozier, a French professor at Tusculum College, who happened to work for Richard O’Conner, the president of Magnavox, during the war in Washington, D.C. During dinner with O’Conner and his wife, Crozier persuaded the company to move to Greeneville instead of 30 miles away in Hot Springs, NC. The first plant in the South was a tobacco warehouse. From tobacco leaves to radio cabinets, the building named Greeneville Cabinet Company, opened on May 28, 1947, and the first cabinet came off the line on June 2, 1947. As production continued and Magnavox saw what the Greeneville plant had to offer, two other plants were added to the Greeneville area. Plants were also added in Johnson City, Morristown and Jefferson City, TN and Arden, NC. Because of the increase in employment from 500 workers in 1950 to 2,075 in 1960 Greeneville itself was beginning to grow as a community and town. Between 1971 to 1972 the population alone in Greeneville went from 39,000 to 46,395. During this time of so
much production, Frank Freimann Magnavox president wanted to help build the community and get more people to move to the area. Two projects that brought people to Greeneville was Notre Dame Catholic church and Link Hills Country Club. These were two locations where new businessmen from the North could talk business as well as worship in the South. This brought in many more citizens and helped to grow a more diverse community in Greeneville. Magnavox was going strong in Greeneville with a payroll on the upward slope toward $300,000, when the president of Magnavox since 1950, Freimann died in 1968. The sudden death rocked the company but production continued and the company began to compete with the leading Japanese companies like RCA and Philco. Brumley Greene, the Human Resource Director for Magnavox, worked for the company during the power change after Freimann’s death. He believed that once Freimann died the life and family died within the company as well. Greene remembers Freimann’s standards on products; he wasn’t interested in being the biggest company, but he wanted the best quality product. “I can remember seeing Frank come in and notice a defect on the line. It wasn’t anything for him to kick it off and say he wasn’t going to sell that junk,” said Greene. These high standards for the company weren’t just about the products but the way employees were treated. Greene remembers workers being very hard working and always willing to help one another out. He believed that the people who worked there were members of the greatest generation. Seventy percent of the employees had served in World War II
and others had lived through the Great Depression so the meaning of work wasn’t wasted on any employee. The family atmosphere is something that not only Greene felt while working there but also a young Scott Niswonger. At the age of 21, Niswonger was one of a few pilots who was transfered from Fort Wayne, IN to fly planes for Magnavox. He thought he would be in Greeneville for less than a year and ended up staying with the company for five years. While working for Magnavox Niswonger learned the value of hard work; the average pilot was flying 400 hours a year and he was flying 1,000 hours. Once Niswonger left Magnavox and opened Landair and Forward Air in Greeneville, he began thinking about his effect on the community. Following in Freimann’s footsteps, Niswonger has given back to his alma mater Tusculum College as well as Greeneville itself when he built the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. With two businesses of his own he now remembers what the connectedness and family atmosphere did for him as he tries to create the same at Landair and Forward Air. Magnavox went on from the 1970s into the
2000s to create some of the most innovative products in America. From pin ball machines to organs, to the first video game, Odyssey, Magnavox contributed significantly to technology over the years. They sold to Phillips in 1974 and in the 1990s they had 4,988 employees in Greeneville alone. In 1997, the business took a turn and Five Rivers was the new face of the TV manufacturing in Greeneville. Five Rivers stayed afloat until 2005 when they had a financial crisis. In 2005 the last TV to be made in America by an American company was made at Five Rivers. The plant closed for good in 2006. Now that those three buildings sit vacant with windows busted out and long lost memories, Greeneville’s industry has gone downhill. Since the closing of Magnavox and Five Rivers the unemployment rate has since climbed to a height of 13 percent. What was once the largest employer in Tennessee with 10,000 workers is now only a memory for the community of Greeneville and those formerly employed by Magnavox. 21
By Mariah Serrano
The Old Oak Festival was once a treasured tradition at Tusculum College. Starting in 1974, the college decided that the community should get together to celebrate its unique culture of music and art. After receiving a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission for $1,250 to help jumpstart the event, it flourished for the next 17 years. Students, faculty, and community members came every year, rain or shine, to admire the talents of some of their own. Tusculum College held car shows where men and women could show off their antiques and collectables. Tractor pulling was also a popular event at the Old Oak Festival in which people would drive a tractor with heavy sledges attached to it. The tractor who could pull it the farthest would win. Horse shows and cooking contests were also popular. An Old Oak Beauty Pageant was also held each year where girls up to the age of 18 could compete for multiple titles. Only a student attending Tusculum College could be crowned Miss Old Oak. 10K races were also available with a course encircling the entire campus grounds. There were also booths set up selling crafts from local vendors. The booths included NativeAmerican crafts, oak basketry, photography, chair weaving, ceramics, and calligraphy just to name a few.
Handcrafted quilts were also set up to be admired and sold, showcasing intricate designs and beautiful patterns. Some booths even offered free demonstrations, especially with wood working and weaving. Not only was this a chance for the vendors to bring in new business, it was also a learning experience. Hot air balloon rides were available to enjoy as well as a fireworks show. Storytelling was also a big favorite among the small children who attended. It wouldnâ€™t be an Old Oak Festival without music and dancing. Local Greene County bands would perform to hundreds of people on the school grounds. Bands such as the East Tennessee Bluegrass Band and the Trailblazer Cloggers entertained the audience while the event-goers danced the night away. In 1991, the Old Oak Festival took a turn for the worst. After its 17th annual festival the school could no longer afford to financially support the event because of a substantial amount of debt. Spring Fling was then formed to give students a chance to have an end of year event like the festival did but it never reached the same success.
Oak NOW After 21 years, Tusculum College was proud to announce that the Old Oak Festival has returned. The four day festival started April 19 at 9 a.m. with a â€œScholars then Soldiersâ€? exhibit opened in the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library. At 4 p.m. the Clem Allison Gallery at The Rankin house opened for the reception for the Tusculum College Student Visual Arts Exhibition. April 20 and 21 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. began the artisan exhibits behind McCormick Hall which was filled with every craftsmanship table imaginable. There were booths selling glass beaded jewelry, woven chairs, sculpted clay jewelry, images painted on feathers, llama wool items, handmade soaps, handmade frames and photography, crocheted rugs, birdhouses, and an abundance of other crafts. The Big Box, which is an interactive media experience, was open to the public for viewing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There were also a variety of food vendors that supplied hot dogs, strawberry shortcake, Philly cheesesteaks, veggie wraps, kettle corn, barbecue, and much more. A quilt show was located inside Niswonger Commons which displayed beautiful handcrafted artwork both for show and for sale. The Theatre-at-Tusculum also presented The
Diary of Anne Frank at 7 p.m. on April 20 and 21 and at 2 p.m. on April 22 which received positive reviews from both students and faculty. Live music was also offered in the Library Bowl. Performers such as Shiloh Road, Mike Joy, Scat Cats, Mudbugs, Jimmie D, and Kevin Wilder Group entertained the festival goers till 9:30 on April 20. Other bands who performed in the bowl April 21 were the Greeneville Middle School Choruses, the Tusculum College Jazz Band, The Madisons, the Threetles, and the Bootleg Turn. A few people also performed on the Rankin Porch such as Michael Cable and his Hot Mt. Caravan, Stephen Winslow and Ben Kirk, The Foundations, Lonesome Pine, Wayne and Jean Bean, and the Great Smokey Mt. Bluegrass Band. Students experiencing the Old Oak Festival for the first time are now appreciating the connection between the the current and past years of the Festival. Tusculum College not only brought back a coveted tradition, but also a lifetime of new memories to be passed on to future generations.
Preston Halstead admits he isn’t the first person to come up with the idea of recycling used glass bottles for other purposes. “I’ve seen people doing some really interesting stuff before, like drinking glasses and vases. There are a few places that use our same method, but you aren’t going to get the same durability or personal touch we can give members of the Tusculum community.” Halstead recycles used wine and liquor bottles to refurbish into lamps. The idea may seem kitsch to some, but Halstead is more concerned with appealing to those who express interest in the product. “We got some push back when trying to get a booth [at the Old Oak Festival],” says Halstead. “Some festival organizers were cautious of bringing in what seemed a bit cheesy, but I think once we set up our table the interest in the lamps was obvious.” It’s true that at this year’s Old Oak Festival, a traditional arts and crafts fair at Tusculum College that has been revived for the first time since 1992, one cannot ignore that Halstead’s table was one of the more popular craft booths for community members and students alike. “I think students like to see that other students are involved in the festival as much as the faculty,” says Pamela Williams, a junior art major who designed Old Oak and nature themed stencils to incorporated into the lamp decorations. “We’ve had really good responses from everyone at the Old Oak Festival.” And respond they did. On the first day alone, Halstead covered all his expenses invested in the manufacturing of the lamps through sales. “It’s a great thing when you can break even on a new business, it doesn’t matter how big or small,” says Halstead, “and we’ve done that in one day.” This accomplishment isn’t to be taken lightly, even though the enterprise may be small. Halstead reiterates, “All credit is due to our friends and family. My grandfather helped in the actual manufacturing of the lamps, and friends helped us scour local restaurants for bottles to recycle and prepare them for our booth.” Williams and Halstead want to make sure that the business inspires other Tusculum College students to rethink how even a simple idea can blossom into a successful business. “We’re doing better and better with sales every day. When I came up with the idea, I only envisioned it as a short term project for the [Old Oak] festival, but with all the interest
Sit Lux: Liquor and Lights By Marcus Taylor
we’ve seen I think we’ll have an online component to the business soon,” says Halstead. With that in mind, keep a lookout for Halstead’s lamps on the Web soon. “We’ll make them as long as people want them,” says Williams. “We’ve already had some custom requests made during Old Oak, and it’s not even over yet.” Halstead is also in negotiations to sell Tusculum College-themed lamps in the campus bookstore. If any reader has an interest in these student-made crafts, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bristol sparks community engines The world’s fastest half mile and more By Destini Wingerter
In May 1960, Th Bristol Motor Speedway opened as one of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s greatest racing tracks in the world. “The World’s Fastest Half Mile,” and NASCAR’s most popular track is the heart of Bristol, TN. It holds the hearts of millions of race fans, provides entertainment, business, and affects the Bristol, TN region in a positive way. Bristol Motor Speedway could have very easily been opened under a different name. The first proposed site for the track was in Piney Flats, TN. The idea soon met local opposition and it was built five miles down the road on Highway 11-E in Bristol. A man by the name of Carl Moore traveled to Charlotte Motor Speedway to watch a stock car race. It was then that he realized he wanted to build a speedway
in northeast Tennessee. After much layout and reconstruction, the track itself was eventually considered to be a perfect half mile, measuring 60 feet (18meters) wide on the straightaways, 75 feet (23meters) wide in the turns and the turns were banked at 22 degrees. After much reshaping and remeasuring, the track was eventually named Bristol International Raceway and sold to Bruton Smith Speedway Motor Sports Inc. at a purchase price of $26 million. Bristol International Raceway held its first NASCAR race on July 30, 1961. The history of the track is just one of the reasons why it is considered to be an asset to Bristol, TN. Bristol Motor Speedway is considered to be one of the most popular and most exciting speedways on the 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit.
Having a ticket to this event will mean having an invitation to some of the greatest automobile racing in the world. In addition to the drag strip, Christmas enchantments and two of the most exciting Sprint Cup races, the Bristol Motor Speedway has many reasons for capturing the hearts of millions of fans around the world. Not only does it affect the communities centered around Tennessee, it affects the area of Bristol, TN to a great extent. Kevin Triplet, Vice President of Public Relations at the Bristol Motor Speedway, stated
cially beneficial to the extended area of Bristol. In all, the direct impact reaches to $450 million per year. Triplet also stated the Speedway offers a publicity standpoint like no other. For instance, the overhead shots of the track offer free advertising and show the beauty of the Bristol, TN area. A New York couple Triplet met while at the races stated, “We moved down to Bristol because of the noticeable beauty and the togetherness of the community.” Triplet stated, “I want the races to be an entertainment business that is
that the race in a variety of ways impacts the region. Triplet stated the direct impact would be the money spent in the Bristol area in relation to the NASCAR event. The hotels, campgrounds, restaurants and local stores all benefit from the races. The races are finan-
worth coming back too. Our mission statement is two simple words, ‘Exceed Expectations.’ With our mission statement, I believe we accomplished this goal. I feel as though the Bristol Motor Speedway exceeds fan’s expectations and more.” 27
Eric, Shannon, and Caitlin Harper have been true race fans for many years. Living on Essex Drive, which sits nearly five minutes from Bristol Motor Speedway, they have attended many of the races. According to Mrs. Harper, they have attended the spring and fall Nationwide Series and the Sprint Cup Series Races. Also in the holiday season they attend Speedway in Lights. Since the Harper family has attended many of the events at the racetrack, they know the true effect that the race track has on Bristol, TN. “Bristol Motor Speedway has a huge effect on our community. It brings in revenue for many businesses, especially those that have something they can sell to the race fans while they are here,” says Mrs. Harper. She also stated that the traffic could be a little aggravating living within a five to ten mile radius of the track during race week but the extra revenue that it brings into the community is worth its weight in gold. Mrs. Harper believes that the revenue helps not only local businesses but also our local governments for the taxes that are collected. Since the Harper family is very involved in the races each year, they have also rented their house out for the past two years. “We decided to rent our house because we wanted to take advantage
of the extra income it could bring to our household,” says Mr.s Harper. The Harpers chose to use a rental agency and since they already had all of their legalities established, it made the process very easy. Mrs. Harper stated that renting their house was a great advantage because not only do they rent their rooms in their home but they do not have to leave. Since they do not leave while they rent their home out, it makes the process very easy on the Harper family. In all, the Bristol Motor Speedway has allowed a gain in revenue, a beautiful attraction site, and a family oriented scene for them. “Overall, I greatly enjoy the mood change that the race fans bring to town. They always seem to be very courteous when they are here,” stated Mrs. Harper. “The attractions and the racing series offers an experience that could not be compared to anything else. Bristol Motor Speedway definitely exceeds expectations.” Among the many people who greatly enjoy the races, there are some people who believe there are some disadvantages as well as advantages to the race track. Gerald Cassell of Apple Ridge Subdivision in Bluff City, TN stated that the races bring both
a disadvantage and an advantage. Cassell said, “Living within walking distance of the race track creates both pros and cons.” He believed that the overall advantage of the race track varies. Cassell said that if you choose to go to the races, it eliminates a car and the nightmare of trying to find a parking place. Guests can also walk to the many souvenir stores and attractions set up. The races allow locals to interact with the race fans and it gives them the opportunity to rent their house for financial gain or accommodate lodging for family or friends. An added attraction would be that it allows you to enjoy watching the fireworks display from your own back yard. Cassell then said that the overall disadvantages vary as well. “Since I live on a road that is used as a short cut to the track, congestion is created by the large amount of traffic and the large mass of pedestrians,” said Cassell. The loud noises are heard day and night created by the large crowds, and large amounts of trash left behind can also present a problem. Like the Harper family, Cassell also rents his house out during race week. The first step to renting a house out is deciding how long the renters will be staying and how much they will be charged. When an agreement is reached, Cassell requires a deposit in advance. When they arrive, the balance is paid before the contract is finalized. Cassell rents the whole house to one family and once the contract is signed he gives them one key to open the front door only. Before they move in he takes all of the small personal things out of his house. This includes any valuables, documents, jewelry, and collectables. He also leaves a spare key with his neighbor and asks them to keep watch on his house. Upon returning, Cassell cleans the house throughout and changes the lock on their front door. During the time it is rented, Cassell spends time with his family out of town. “Overall, the race experience is by far rewarding. There are many advantages and disadvantages to living close to the speedway but the good outweighs the bad,” said Cassell. “In my opinion, The Bristol Motor Speedway is a beautiful attraction site and I encourage anyone who hasn’t been, to purchase a ticket to NASCAR’s most popular track.” According to Courtney Conley, the racetrack is an overall grand experience. Conley has attended many races and has volunteered for Hospitality during the races. She has also attended the Speedway in Lights and the Chill Hill offered every year at the Bristol Motor
Speedway. The raceway Hospitality and the Chill Hill are very popular for race fans. The Hospitality village entertains guests before the start of the race, provides self-guided track tours, provides catering services available through Levy restaurants, and offers closed circuit television coverage of on-track activities. Unlike the Hospitality village, the Chill Hill is offered during Christmas time. The Chill Hill is located adjacent to the Johnson City Controls Ice Rink and it is a 300-foot long snowless slide that features side-by-side lanes and inflated tubes on which riders sit as they rocket to the bottom of the slope. Even though Conley did not work at the Chill Hill she said that she loved the event and attends mostly every year. Conley said, “I attend the Chill Hill almost every year as well as work for Hospitality. Working for Hospitality at the races was an overall great experience which allowed me to gain work experience and I also loved the atmosphere that the races bring to the community.” Since Conley worked with Hospitality for over three years, her fourth year she was offered free race tickets. Since she was given this opportunity she attended the spring race with some of her friends. “The overall race experience was nothing I had ever dreamed of,” said Conley. The energy of the fans was incredible and I enjoyed the shrill noise from the race cars.” Overall, her favorite experience about the Bristol Motor Speedway was the Speedway in Lights. She and her family would attend the Speedway in Lights around Christmas time every year. “The show of thousands of lights at the track is gorgeous. There seems to be new additions each year and the attractions along with the show are amazing,” said Conley. The Bristol Motor Speedway has many attractions to offer. The Bristol Motor Speedway not only offers the Ford Fan Friday Drag Strip Race, 2012 March Nationwide Series, Nationwide Series Spring Cup race, the Food City 500 race, 2012 August Weekend Series race, the Food City 250 Nationwide Series, and Irwin Tools Night Race, it also offers Speedway in Lights, the Chill Hill, and the Ice Skating Rink. Among the many fans of the Bristol Motor Speedway’s many shows and races, the Dyer family believes the Speedway in Lights is the heart of Bristol, TN. Tim Dyer and his family have been attending the Speedway in Lights as well as the races for many years. 29
Dyer stated that the Speedway in Lights offers many things for families coming to visit the state of Tennessee or for families who live in the area. Speedway in Lights is an annual favorite event that provides The Symphony in Lights, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Sea of Illumination, The Animated Snowman Attraction, The Dinosaur Village, and Santa’s Speedway Sleigh. All proceeds from the Speedway in Lights show benefit the Bristol Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bettering the lives of children. Over the past 13 years, Speedway Children’s Charities have raised in excess of $6 million for area children’s agencies. Aside from the Speedway in Lights, the Dyer family also attends the Christmas Village, which is featured in the middle of the race track. This is an attraction connected to the Speedway in Lights that is in the middle of the actual racetrack and it allows family members to get photos with Santa, roast marshmallows, drink hot chocolate, ride carnival rides, and attend many craft vendors. “The Speedway in Lights and The Christmas Village is a way for family and friends to interact with one another,” said Dyer. “It allows many outsiders to enjoy the true beauty of Tennessee and it shows many people the major attraction of Bristol.” Judy Martin of Chilhowie, VA believes that the Bristol Motor Speedway is a great attraction site as well as a great family experience. Martin has attended many of the spring and fall races as well as the Speedway in Lights. When she attends the races, she stays with her sister Hazel Louthen who lives within walking distance of Bristol Motor Speedway. This greatly helps Mrs. Martin because she misses all of the traffic congestion. Martin stated, “The traffic in Bristol, TN is a nightmare. The overall preparations for the Bristol Motor Speedway must be very hectic and time consuming.” Martin was right when she stated that the Speedway must have a chaotic time during race week. The Bristol Herald Courier stated that getting a city ready for about 160,000 extra people in one weekend is no small feat. The influx of extra cars requires planning and coordination between city officials and local law enforcement agencies. The Bristol Tennessee Police Department helps direct traffic outside and around Bristol Motor Speedway. Other than the traffic, one of the biggest problems during race week is theft.
During race weekend, people break into souvenir tents and cause many ordeals for the police department. Sheriff ’s Office major Joe Miller of Bristol, TN stated, “Every available piece of equipment at the Sheriff ’s Office is used during race weekend to patrol the inside of the raceway compound.” This in turn states the true planning that is required during race weekend. As stated by the Bristol Herald Courier and Judy Martin, The Bristol Motor Speedway has a very hectic week preparing for the races. Along with Martin, Steve and Teresa Wingerter also know the true hectic ways of race weekend. The Wingerter’s have been race fans since they were young as well as living in the Bristol area. They have attended the spring and fall races and the Speedway in Lights. They also have standing tickets for the races in March and August. Living in Apple Valley Estates, which sits nearly five minutes from the track, they deal with a lot of traffic congestion during race weekend. Mrs. Wingerter stated, “The nonstop traffic can be a little aggravating from time to time but I wouldn’t trade the atmospheric change for anything. I love the Bristol Motor Speedway and I believe it is the heart of Bristol, TN.” During race weekend, Mr. Wingerter stated that their neighborhood is usually filled with race fans and relatives. “Most of our neighbors rent their house out or they use their house to have relatives and friends come and visit for the races,” said Mr. Wingerter. “The overall congestion of people and traffic can be a little overwhelming but overall I love being in the middle of Bristol’s finest attraction.” The Wingerter family stated that most of the traffic occurs after the race has ended but there can be some traffic throughout the race as well as some over the weekend. Mrs. Wingerter stated, “The Bristol Motor Speedway is a rewarding event and even though it can get hectic at times the experience is worth it.” The races can cause some people to be uptight over the weekend. Since the races at the Bristol Motor Speedway can be very frantic, it is important to have a few rules in mind when traveling to the races. According to David Metzger, traffic engineer for Bristol, TN, it is important to plan your time wisely, especially if you are traveling near Bristol Motor Speedway. It also is important to check the weather in case of severe threats or warnings. If the weather is
not looking good for the races, it might be better to plan your race trip for the following year. It would also be good as a traveler to know new tidbits related to race weekend, racing news, NASCAR news and opinions, and news about the Food City 500. As long as race fans follow these few rules, the experience should be one that’s very rewarding. The Bristol Motor Speedway, “The World’s Fastest Half Mile,” or NASCAR’s most popular track is the heart of Bristol, TN. Home to two of the most popular Sprint Cup races on the NASCAR schedule; true fans make the pilgrimage to Bristol every March and August. And just across the creek, there’s the famous Thunder Valley, home of the Bristol Dragway, which hosts one of the most successful events on the NHRA schedule each year. Bristol Motor Speedway has been named number one by fans on numerous occasions and has most recently been named one of the top 30 sporting venues in the world by SportPro Magazine. As most people stated, there’s absolutely nothing like the sights and sounds of the concrete coliseum when the legends of NASCAR take to the track. From
the Nationwide Sprint Cup Series, Truck Series and truly an amazing experience. The Bristol Motor Speedway allows race fans from around the globe to make their way to the one-of-a-kind half mile oval in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. The Bristol Motor Speedway definitely “Exceeds Expectations.” 31
Flood Devastates Music Capital Nashville recuperates after disaster
By Mariah Serrano The thud of heeled cowboy boots hitting the pavement is a sound familiar to all its residents. You can easily spot a restless, yet eager man strumming on his beaten up guitar every few feet while striding down Broadway Street. Look to your left and you will spot a couple dancing wildly to a song being played in the famous Hard Rock Café. Look to your right and you will become mesmerized by the beautiful nightlife being reflected off of the Cumberland River. A sense of pride cannot be mistaken when watching a group of girlfriends walk arm-in-arm down Second Avenue adorning cowboy hats entering Coyote Ugly. That pride was suddenly shaken in May 2010 when one of the biggest floods in history ran down these same streets in which memories were made. It has been almost two years since the disastrous flood of May 2010 which struck both Middle and West Tennessee, along with parts of Kentucky and Mississippi. An average of 13 inches of rain fell, some areas getting as high as 19 inches surpassing the old record of 6.68 from Hurricane Fredrick in 1979, resulting in a total of 31 deaths. Nashville got hit hardest from the increased levels of the Cumberland River, which runs through the city. The Nashville Metropolitan area consists of 13 counties, including Cannon, Cheatham, Davidson (which Nashville residents reside in), Dickson, Hickman, Macon, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson County. The population of this Nashville area is estimated at 1,582,264. While some people were able to avoid getting hit by the flood, a lot of major buildings suffered tenfold. Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators hockey team, took a hit with a foot of water, which damaged locker rooms and expensive production rooms, carpets, flooring, and walls in the event level which includes where the ice would be during hockey games. Luckily, no games had been scheduled until May 22. It took $3.1 million to finally get it back to playing condition, which took less than a month to fix up.
LP Field, home field for the Tennessee Titans and the Tennessee State University Tigers, as well as a stadium used for concerts and festivals, was hit with water reaching the first row of seating which is approximately six feet high. The Nashville Electric Service station had to be shut down because of the threatening flood, which cut the power off of the stadium’s pumps which initially caused the flood in the first place. Damage to the electrical equipment, loading dock, and hand woven carpet inside the locker rooms cost around $2 million covered by insurance and was fully repaired in time for the Country Music Association Festival. Held June 22, 2010, this was able to raise money for flood victims during a Nashville Rising concert which was held there as well. Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center first opened up in 1977 and within the next 35 years of expansion has become a household name to Nashville. Holding 2,881 guest rooms, this chain of hotels has become a must stay for tourists. Two atriums were added into the hotel, the Garden Conservatory and the Cascades, which hold thousands of plant species, fountains, and a large artificial waterfall as well as the Delta River which is a 0.25 mile artificial waterway that guides tourists and guests on a Delta Flatboat through the atrium, which has water samples from over 1,700 rivers throughout the world. The hotel grounds also have an 18-hole golf course. There are over 15 different eateries throughout the Opryland resort including Ravello, an Italian restaurant, Solario, if Mexican cuisine is what you are craving, or for a down South feel, Opry Backstage Grill, which offers barbecue and burgers. Opry Mills Mall, which was opened in 2000, is also affiliated with the Opryland Resort which holds more than 200 stores, an IMAX Movie theater, Dave & Busters, and many well-known restaurants which include Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Rainforest Café and Tony Roma’s. Unfortunately, the flood damaged these buildings 33
as well despite Federal Emergency Management Agency approved levees that were put in place to protect this specific area from any flood. Around 1,500 guests were evacuated successfully at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and transferred to a nearby high school. The hotel filled up to around 8 to 10 feet of water damaging 117 guest rooms, the exhibit halls, both of the garden atriums, the Cascades lobby and the hotel’s power, electrical, and mechanical systems. This led to more than 1,700 people having to be laid off. Opry Mills Mall, which sits on the bank of the Cumberland River, was destroyed as 10 feet of water damaged the 1-floor building causing it to close temporarily. The mall reopened March 29, 2012. The flood caused around $200 million worth of damages. Some of the stores that will be reopening are the Aquarium Restaurant, Bass Pro Shop, Bed Bath & Beyond, XXI Forever, just to name a few. Stores and eateries that will not be returning to Opry Mills Mall will be the Apple Barn Cider Bar & General Store, Barnes & Noble, Blacklion, Stingray Reef, and Sbarro’s. New dining
options are Panda Express, Which Wich, the Cookie Store, and many more. Grand Ole Opry House, which is a well-known country stage in Nashville that has had more than its fair share of stars such as Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, and Brad Paisley just to name a few, was ruined by the flood as well with 4 to 6 feet of rain water. Before the water could reach any higher, a lot of the building’s most treasured possessions were moved to higher grounds, such as its audio archives and the fiddle that Roy Acuff played during his first performance at the Grand Ole Opry. The Cumberland River, which is in part, the cause for the massive flood, left $2 billion in damages. The last time that the Cumberland River reached its flood stage was in May 1984 with a flood crest reaching 45.26 feet. In May 2010 the water reached a high of 52 feet before it started to recede. As many Americans tend to do during a crisis, help was graciously given to those in need. Though both the Red Cross’s Clarksville Montgomery Chapter building along with its alternate building was
completely underwater, they still managed to help over 340 people to shelter and food. Multiple benefits were put on to help these flood victims, one which included the “Music City Keep on Playin’- A Benefit for Flood Relief ” which took place in the famous Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Over $1.8 million was raised. “After the flood happened nothing really seemed the same,” said Tierra Matos, a part time college student at Middle Tennessee State University. “My family wasn’t hit directly by the flood because we live more south of where it happened but I have friends whose houses were completely destroyed. We took one of my friends and her mom in until their house was finished. Yeah the flood was a bad thing but, it seems like with any disaster, whether it’s a flood or tornado or anything, it always brings people closer together.” Matos also excitedly talked about the reopening of Opry Mills Mall stating, “I cannot wait for Opry Mills Mall to be open again! I used to go there with my friends all the time and when the flood came
through, that all changed, obviously. As soon as it’s up and running again, the first thing I’m going to do is call my friends and plan a shopping/ lunch date.” Nashville has always been driven by its residents. The 2010 flood destroyed centuries of memorabilia but the memories still reside. The memories are what drove this city to pick the pieces back up and rebuild. A city such as Nashville cannot be left to shambles. In 2012, after most of the flood damaged buildings had been restored, almost no trace of a flood can be detected. The Cumberland River shows no sign of once being a feared wave of water. It sits there calmly as if nothing ever happened. The stands of the LP Field are packed to capacity with thousands showing off their Tennessee Titan Pride. Hard Rock Café is still a hot spot. Walk down Second Avenue two years later and that same group of girlfriends are there: arm-in-arm, smiles on their faces, pride still in their heart, and a cowboy hat on the tops of their heads.
“One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.” - Henry David Thoreau
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Published on May 4, 2012
Frontier Magazine: The Canvas of Southeastern Culture is produced by journalism students at Tusculum College. Offered twice a year, in the w...