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 […]

Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Bristol Home

By Mike Steely Aside from Dolly Parton, there may be no better known Tennessean than a Bristol native. Even people who are not country music fans know of “Tennessee Ernie Ford.” If you’re up that way you should take a side trip into Bristol and visit one of our unique two-state cities. Both Virginia and […]

A Day Away: Looking for Chattanooga graves

By Mike Steely Last weekend my wife and I took a day trip to Chattanooga in search of two cemetery sites: one of Civil War soldiers who acted as spies in 1861 and the other of an almost forgotten national entertainment star. It took a while finding both as the city has grown so much […]