October 16, 2011

Harris Channing's Love Affair with Tennessee

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." 
I quickly learned not to believe everything you see on T.V.
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…

Thanks for stopping by and reading about my love affair with Tennessee. One lucky commenter will win a download of their choice of Harris Channing books. And don't forget your e-mail address so I can contact you!
Visit Harris Channing's website for info on all work available http://www.harrischanning.com  
or check out the informative blog http://harrischanningauthor.blogspot.com


  1. What a great post. Living in Connecticut. My exposure to Tennessee involves only Pat Summit. We are looking now at Tennessee to visit. Thanks so much'debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. I had to laugh at the first comment. TV certainly did skew Tennessee, but as your neighbor here in North Carolina, we get our share of unflattering comments about being slow and dumb because we speak Southern.

    I enjoyed the romp through your state, and visit at least once a year. It's about time for me to pack a bag and go. While Nashville is wonderful, I often stop in the Pigeon Forge/Sevierville area and get a cabin. Thank you for a great post and continued success with your writing. ssn.whitfield@gmail.com

  3. As a next door neighbor I can attest to the beauty, and I never thought of Tennessee as a hick state. You didn't mention the
    fabulous shopping in Tennessee, starting with Jack Daniels... or the discount stores. (grinning)
    Love your state.

  4. Being a Yankee transplant and having lived in Memphis, I truly appreciate your post. Tennessee is a beautiful state and the people are great. There's so much culture and history to enjoy. Thanks for posting.


  5. Wonderful post! We loved our visit to Tennessee (Memphis) so much that I used it as the setting for one of my books. Hubby and I often talk about visiting there again, and I'm sure we will.

  6. Hi, We lived in TN once. We loved it. We were near Franklin in Thomsposn Station. I still exchange Christmas cards with my neighbors from there. It was good to hear and see it again. We loved it there.

  7. Beautiful mountains, and there's much more than country music in those hills.

  8. Thanks for the lovely blog about your adopted state. I hope to visit Nashville next spring to take in the music and ambiance. Lots of luck with your books.

  9. Terrific article. Love your photos too. Thanks!

  10. Thanks to everyone who commented! I've chosen my winner...Congrats Susan Whitfield! Check you e-mail for details!

    And a special thank you to Annette for having me!



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