A to Z April Challenge

During the month of April I will be doing a different spin on my memoir posts. It starts with a song. Each song will be followed by a brief essay that is evoked or inspired by that song. You might want to click on the YouTube link to hear the song as you read the piece I've written. Or you can listen to the song lyrics first and then read. Whichever way you choose, I mostly hope you'll read and leave a comment with your thoughts about my post. Thank you for visiting and please follow the blog if you are not doing so already.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Maryville, Tennessee

Blount County Court HouseBlount County Court House (Photo credit: jimmywayne)

       
          When my parents took our family to East Tennessee in the summer of 1966 it seemed like a vacation, but I guess we knew it was going to be a relocation.  This would be my sixth move in fifteen years.  I guess I was ready to move again, but to the small town of Maryville?

          My parents and my two brothers and two sisters were living that summer in a 17 foot travel trailer parked in the Tarbett Road Mobile Home Park.  The trailer park was primarily for more permanent dwellers, but they had a few smaller slabs that were reserved for tourists or itinerants like ourselves.  Our small trailer made for cozy confinement.  We had often stayed in the trailer when we worked at fairs and circuses so we were accustomed to it.  Besides it all seemed like a summer adventure to us.

          Having most recently come from the Chicagoland area, Maryville seemed like a real hick town to us.  People talked differently than we had been accustomed to--a countrified twang that sometimes made us laugh.  Soon I discovered that there were some really fine people there.  I started making a number of friends in the trailer park neighborhood.  When the decision to move to this town was announced by my parents, I had no problem whatsoever.  I was looking forward to a new adventure in a new place.

          I ended up graduating from high school in Maryville and living at my parents' house while I attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, a  short distance away.  The East Tennessee area was a great place to live.  Only 15 miles from the entrance to the Great Smokey Mountains, my friends and I would be camping, hiking, or doing something in the mountains whenever we had the free time which seemed often.

         In 1975 I went off on my own working in touring shows.  Whenever I was able to I'd go back to stay with my parents and enjoy time with my friends.  Sometimes I'd bring some of the show people to stay in Maryville if we were touring in the area.  I always felt proud to bring them to my hometown.  Yes, that's the way I eventually came to think of Maryville--my hometown.  And even though I haven't lived there in over twenty years, I still think of Maryville as my hometown.




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12 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Sounds and looks a wonderful place.

I visited Nashville and Memphis both in Tennessee which was a delight.

Yvonne.

Lynn Proctor said...

oh i would love to stay in and travel in a travel trailer--i have always wanted to do this---sounds yes, very cozy

Sue H said...

If I ever had the money (might need to buy a lottery ticket!) I'd love to road trip across America - not necessarily to visit all the big 'must see' sights, but to take detours and see towns and cities that don't always make it onto the tourist lists.

Thanks for sharing this, Lee!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee .. can see why you now think of it as home .. and as Sue H says .. that's what I'd like to do .. a stroll (?) across the States .. cheers Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

Yvonne -- Maryville is in the East Tennessee region of many popular tourist sites. You may make it to that area yet.

Lynn -- I don't know if I'd want to travel in a trailer these days, but when I was younger I loved it.

Sue H -- Seeing the real everyday places is something I love to do. That's what I liked so much about being in a touring show.

Hilary -- I'd be up for a nice meandering stroll across the U.S. again if I had the money to do it up in leisure.

Lee

alisonamazed said...

6 moves in 15 years! I had the same! If I don't count all the moves we had in England when I was 6 (I think 3 of our own places, after visiting relatives, one was also a trailer - and like you I thought it was small, but fun!) But by the time I was 17, I'd had 2 more moves making a total of 8 before I graduated from high school and left home. You're lucky you got to stay in Maryland and got to call it a hometown. I never did label any one place my hometown.

Doreen said...

What a great story Arlee. It is ironic now that you have to be pretty well off to have or travel in a trailer these days.
I love the state of Tennessee. The back, mountain roads are breathtaking.

Glynis said...

We moved a few times over the years. Your hometown sounds pleasant.

Jinky said...

Sweet memories. --I like this blog ..I'll have to come back later when I have more time to check out the places you wrote about ..I don't travel much so it'd be like I did. :D

Pat Carroll Marcantel said...

You're my kind of writer/guy. I intended to do each post of mine in "memoir style." Somehow it got away from me and I'm all over the place. I like this post very much.

ediFanoB said...

I really like your entertaining post.

'm afraid I can't visit your blog until next weekend due to lack of time.
Please do not think that I do not like your posts any longer.

Patricia Stoltey said...

You're going to so many places I've never been on this A to Z tour. I'm having fun...where to next?