Let's face the sad truth, "Hee Haw" did more damage to Tennessee than any other show in television history. (And allow me to dispel this awful rumor--the truth is, most all of us do indeed wear shoes!) With that said, from a strictly personal POV I remember when learning we were moving to Tennessee my heart sank and I asked, "Really? There are so many hicks there."
Tennessee is a wonderful place to live, work, raise a family and learn. The people are some of the warmest people you'll ever happen upon. I believe the phrase, "I'll give you the shirt off my back," is proved out daily in these parts.
Growing up a military brat made me an orphan when it came to having a home state. My family tree has roots all over the country. While I was born in North Carolina, when someone asks me where I'm from I tell them, "the great state of Tennessee."
What's so great about it you ask?
Well, let's start of with the obvious--music. Nashville is known as "Music City" and for good reason. Many artists flock to downtown Nashville to pick and sing their way to stardom…and for some it works and for others it doesn't. But there are always new people to hear and enjoy and new songs to touch your heart or make you laugh.
But let's don't forget Memphis. The Blues love Memphis. If you don't believe me head to Beale Street. And you can't forget one of, if not the best singer to ever grace the air waves--Elvis Presley. Big E first swiveled his hips at Sun Records in Memphis.
And as much as I love music, it's not the only thing that makes Tennessee a wonderful place to visit or settle. The land itself offers loads of diversity. Bordered by the Great Smokey Mountains on the east and the Mighty Mississippi on the west, the land in between offers much to see and do. Hiking to waterskiing, you won't be bored. And remember the old song about Davy Crockett? Well, it really is "the greenest state in the land of the free".
Music and nature's beauty not your thing? We've got sports--Tennessee Titans, Nashville Sounds, Memphis Grizzlies and the Nashville Predators. Not to mention some of the best college teams out there.
Colleges and Universities? Well, Vanderbilt, UT, MTSU, Austin Peay…and those are just off the top of my head. Education may not have always been a major focus here in Tennessee, but with two kids in the public school system, I do see that times are changing. Some of the things my girls bring home have me heading to Google for answers!
As you can see, I'm pretty smitten with my state. In fact, I've incorporated Tennessee in four of my books and short stories--Speed Trap, The Groupie and The Body Double all take place in the fictional town of White Springs, Tennessee and Yesterday's Indiscretion takes place in Hamilton City, Tennessee. In my current work in progress my hero is from Tennessee and I like to think that he would get on just fine with some of the great historical figures that come from here---wonder how he'd like Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Davy Crockett, Alvin York or Andrew Johnson?
And in honor of Halloween, I will tell you…there are no shortage of haunted antebellum homes to visit--Rippavilla Plantation, Elm Springs Plantation, Carnton Plantation and Lotz House just to name a few…
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