My family is wonderful. I would do anything in my power for my parents, in-laws and myriad cousins, aunts, uncles and extended others. I grew up in Benton, TN down on the TN/GA border. My maternal grandfather actually preached at a church called TennGa Baptist.
As I was getting out of high school and feeling the call of college I was drawn here to Knoxville. The school was bigger than anything I had ever experienced and I felt destined to be there. One of my apartments when I was in school was on Forest Avenue, Grandforest, they are called, and I noticed my first hints of roots in Knoxville that I had known, but not KNOWN. My dad told me that as a kid he had lived on Grand, the next street up, in a tenement – an ancient house with holes in the roof “big enough for chickens and cats to go through.”
Later on, I bought a house on Glenwood avenue and again my dad had recollections of going to school at the little school on that street as well as going to the boys and girls club on Silver Place.
My father was a street urchin as a small child and was taken into the state orphanage program in the 1950s. He was adopted as a young teen by my grandparents and spent the rest of his formative years in a wonderful little farm, a place where I enjoy some of my earliest memories (see my previous post on Cicadas, that was in my grandparents’ backyard).
My experience in Knoxville has, for the most part, been as a person with some means and control of my environment. I can go to the East Tennessee historical society and see portraits of family members who made a mark on history (namely John Ross on my mother’s side) and my perception of Knoxville is completely different from my father’s. Though these days he has warmed up to the thoughts of Farragut. He didn’t go there very much as a kid.
He did have one story from Dixie Lee Junction. One Christmas a family took him from the boy’s home on Washington Pike and had him in their home for the day. He loved playing Cowboys and Indians with their son Paul.
(to be continued?)
If you’re ready to set down some roots in Knoxville, come to http://www.robsellsknoxville.com and see all the homes on our local mls.