A Day Away: Those Drive-In Theaters

By Mike Steely I don’t know about you, but when I was a teen and had the use of the family car I often went to a drive-in theater, either with a bunch of other teens or with a date. Taking a date was my preference but it was seldom that a date would opt […]

A Day Away: Warm Springs, Georgia

By Mike Steely It’s not what you would expect. The complex is large, the museum extensive, and the grounds well kept, but the house is much smaller than even I imagined it would be. I’m talking about the Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia, the retreat of our longest serving president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. […]

A Day Away: The Great Locomotive Chase

By Mike Steely Civilian James Andrews was born in what is now West Virginia. He became a merchant in Kentucky and was recruited by the Union Army. He operated along the Tennessee-Kentucky border as an agent, trader, and intelligence spy. It was 1862 and the Union and Confederate forces were battling it out in Chattanooga, […]

Soldier names at Cumberland Gap

By Mike Steely If Knoxville was the goal to capturing East Tennessee during the Civil War, then the Cumberland Gap was the doorway. The historic pass was occupied four times, twice by each side. While no major battle took place, there were many skirmishes around the area with the aim to take or protect the […]

A ‘Staycation’ at Blount Mansion

By Mike Steely We’ve had a weird winter and it seems it is ice and snow every other week with very little sun and warmth in between. It’s a good time to take a day away from the house and get downtown to visit some of the city’s by-gone days. There are lots of things […]

A Day Away: Arlington Mansion

By Mike Steely If you’ve ever been to the Arlington National Cemetery, located just across the river from our nation’s capital, I’ll bet you didn’t know the history of the large white mansion on top of the hill. It overlooks downtown Washington and is almost surrounded by graves of our nation’s military veterans. If you […]

A Day Away: Visiting Kefauver

By Mike Steely At first you might think that Madisonville, Tn. is just your typical little county seat. With it’s historic courthouse in the center of town, surrounded by shops and attorney offices, it might be any other small southern town. But it isn’t.   People have lived in Madisonville for hundreds of years. Some […]

A Day Away: Old theatre reveals keep-sakes

By Mike Steely Last week’s huge Ninth Annual Advertising Auction at Fountain City Auction inspired me to go dig out some old promotional buttons or pins I found years ago in an abandoned theater. The place is long gone now, but back 30 years or so the building was still there and was used as […]

Niota, where one vote counts

By Mike Steely Niota, Tennessee, is one of those places that isn’t on an interstate, although it’s just a few miles east of I-75 between Sweetwater and Athens. It’s one of those places with one stop light and the old downtown is actually almost empty and a couple blocks off the main road. Niota is […]

Being Lincolns

By Mike Steely steelym@knoxfocus.com A suggestion from his grandson prompted Thomas Wright to become Abraham Lincoln. Or at least take on the Lincoln character. And now the Oak Ridge man, who is a facility supervisor for an engineering and construction company, portrays Mr. Lincoln at special events, in schools, and just about anywhere he’s asked. […]