State Parks near Knoxville

By Mike Steely I think I’ve written that my wife and I have visited almost all the state parks in Tennessee, from Reelfoot Lake in the northwest corner to Roan Mountain State Park in the northwest corner. Just as soon as we think we’ve visited them all along comes a new park. In recent years […]

Cumberland Gap: Gateway to the War

By Mike Steely With the upcoming remembrance of 150 years since the end of the American Civil War being held in Knoxville a little known fact is the importance of Cumberland Gap in that struggle. The historic pass played two important roles in the history of the United States, the first as a passage for […]

Looking for James Agee and Alex Haley

By Mike Steely steelym@knoxfocus.com Ever been surprised by something you didn’t expect but it made you happy to find it? So, I’m watching one of my favorite movies, “The African Queen,” and at the end I watched the credits and saw that Knoxville’s James Agee wrote the screenplay. I thought, “Wow, I didn’t know that.” […]

Something for everyone at Neighborhood Conference

  By Mike Steely steelym@knoxfocus.com More than 80 information booths, 32 workshops, door prizes, and all for free — sounds like a large event, doesn’t it? It certainly is and it’s promoted as “The neighborhood event of the year.” The annual Neighborhood Conference is Saturday, March 7 at the Knoxville Convention Center and will have […]

More Knox County Curiosities

By Mike Steely Steelym@knoxfocus.com Here and there around our county are places where you’ll find curious things, places and some things that simply are interesting and odd. You can travel from one end to the other, north, south, east and west and run across places that bring a smile or a question. Some things are […]

Chicken City: More than ‘Hillbilly Pride’

By Mike Steely Steelym@knoxfocus.com “We cut fresh meat daily,” said John Maxwell, General Manager of Chicken City on North Central in Knoxville. You’ve seen Chicken City, located at 2518 North Central, but if you haven’t been inside you’re missing something special. While the neighborhood grocery store is known for its fresh, not frozen, chicken, the […]

Beaufort is nice in fall and winter

By Mike Steely It’s only 8 hours away, more or less, and it’s a place you’ve seen even if you’ve never been there. Beaufort, S.C., is north of Hilton Head Island and south of Charleston. The little town is a more affordable vacation spot than some of the other east coast beach resorts. My wife […]

A Day Away: Visiting the sad cemetery at Lakeshore

By Mike Steely I was over at Lakeshore Park recently taking photos for a feature story and decided to go across Lyons View Pike and visit the East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery. It was all decorated with Christmas wreaths and it looked beautiful. I’ve been impressed with that Veterans Cemetery and the other cemetery on Governor […]

Taking the Trolley

By Mike Steely Sometimes you don’t have to go far to discover something new and interesting. One cool summer morning, I parked at the Knoxville Coliseum garage and walked down to the trolley stop. Like most folks who don’t live downtown I had ridden the trolley line a couple of times for a few blocks […]

Gatlinburg ~ off the main road

By Mike Steely Just above the busy streets of Gatlinburg is a peaceful and memorable drive that takes you back in time and away from the tourist shops and crowds. If you go to Traffic Light #8 and follow the Historic Nature Trail Road to the Cherokee Orchard entrance, you’ll find the Roaring Fork Motor […]