Knoxville’s Tom Black and ‘Tom’s Potato Chips’

By Mike Steely Cherokee Mills sits at the corner of Sutherland Avenue and South Concord next to the city’s Safety City. The old Mills building, now the home of many companies, was built in 1917 and operated as a textile mill until 1956. Recently Magnolia Cherokee Mills LP bought the 184,000 square foot building for […]

Cas Walker subject of new book, presentation

By Mike Steely Those of you too young or too new to our area may probably wonder what’s all the hubbub about that old man, Cas Walker? For those of us from this area old enough to remember black and white television and 45 rpm records, the old man  was an icon on local television […]

Visiting the forts in our area is historic fun

By Mike Steely We are so privileged in East Tennessee and Knox County to have so many historic sites surrounding us, especially the number of early forts. Within an easy day’s drive are fortifications built long before statehood and fort sites built during the Civil War. In Knoxville there’s Fort Dickerson, overlooking the city just […]

Surprising ‘Survivor’ contestant brings back memories

By Mike Steely If you are a fan, like I am, of the TV reality show “Survivor” you may want to tune in on Wednesday, September 25 at 8 p.m. to catch the new season of the popular series begin. I’m been a fan for many years. Often my sister, a long time California resident, […]

Those I-81 attractions, Part Two

By Mike Steely Interstate 81 begins where I-40 turns right and heads toward Asheville. The left lane becomes I-81 and runs all the way to the Canadian border. Our section of the highway shoots northeast through the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Along the southern part of the beautiful highway are several attractions worth taking the […]

Walk with a Ranger this Sunday

By Mike Steely If you would like to stroll on the same ground that early soldiers and Overhill Cherokee walked then you may want to be at Tellico Blockhouse near Vonore this Sunday morning at 10 a.m. A park ranger will be guiding a mile-long walk around the grounds there. It’s an easy walk and […]

Highway Oddities in Pennsylvania

Highway Oddities in Pennsylvania

By Mike Steely The website “Roadside America” does a pretty good job of listing unusual attractions, sites, and oddities in our nation and Canada. You can pick a state and take a look at everything from Knoxville’s Airplane Filling Station to Alaska’s Igloo City. Making a side trip on any journey sometimes makes the travel […]

Finding surprises in Quebec

Finding surprises in Quebec

By Mike Steely My wife and I camped on our way to Canada recently to see the whales that come into the St. Lawrence River in the province of Quebec. While we found Quebec to be much more “French” than we expected, it was a surprise to find what we discovered. Passing into and out […]

Exploring Virginia’s I-81 attractions

By Mike Steely Many of us know that Interstate 81 begins just east of Dandridge as I-40 turns south but many people probably don’t know that I-81 continues all the way to Alexandria Bay, New York, and from there enters Canada. It’s an interesting but busy route for trucks and the intestate flows up through […]

9/11 Flight 93 Memorial an emotional experience

By Mike Steely Recently on our vacation my wife and I had a chance to visit the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 and remember those brave souls who crashed the plane instead of letting terrorists use it for a fourth attack on our nation’s capital on September 11. The National Park Service has […]

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