Publix Grand Opening Today

I made it to the new Publix store grand opening in Pigeon Forge today. I like shopping at this store in Knoxville and know that I’ll go to this new one from time to time. (Probably will avoid Fridays and Saturdays when tourists pull into town.) It is nice to have another shopping choice in the county.


You have probably shopped at Publix before, but if not, scroll down to see some highlights of the grand opening today. I only went around the perimeter of the store because a trainer once told me that is where the healthy things are located.


Ample parking. Enter from the parkway. You can exit onto Wears Valley Road too.


My friend Sheley will be excited to see a Jersey Mike’s going in beside the grocery store. She is a fan of their chicken salad.


Making a good first impression!

Enter and go right to see the floral department and specials. I did not see a gelato station like the store in Knoxville at Northshore Drive. Nor did I see a  soup station nor a stir fry station.

The bakery has some spectacular desserts. If you have a special occasion then this may be the place to order something special.


This cake looks amazing!


This area allows customers to see a recipe (maybe sample it?) and to take a recipe card home. I think that they do one a week. This morning, it was praline french toast.


A nice selection of cheese.


I forgot that they have some of my favorite salads. Love these for lunch.


The hot bar had at least two entrees that were not fried. A plus!




My favorite department is always the produce section.


The meat department had a lot of tempting things. Time to grill out.



No lines in the pharmacy yet.


Restrooms located to the right of the entrance, but you have to look for the sign in the floral department. 




As I exited, I noticed a board with special events listed so check it out.

Happy shopping!



A Legend Retires, Part Two!

At 3:15, the biggest retirement celebration commenced as friends and family of Harriet Berrier and Judy Branton joined Sevierville Primary School colleagues in the playtorium. Politicians, local dignitaries, PTO, teachers, friends, former students, and a more, joined for laughter, memories, and words of praise.

Here is how it started…

Ready to present proclamations and honor the retirees.


Mayor Atchley and State Senator Doug Overbey. (And I just noticed that they are also wearing leis for the luau themed retirement party! )

13275112_10204443399324826_623041323_oSPS Assistant Principal,  Dr. Valentine, offers warm greetings and opens the event.

13275140_10204443399484830_1402262404_oCentral Office Supervisors attend, Dr. Jennifer Younger and Dr. Susan Howard. (The Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent’s pictures were blurred so I can’t share them here. The IPad camera was a little sensitive.)

Senator Overbey honors Harriet at her retirement.



First grade teachers applaud.



Mayor Atchley proclaims May 23rd to be Harriet Berrier Day!


13282341_10204443403684935_513906134_oSue Wilson recites an original poem about the joys of retirement and what our two friends will be missing—but maybe they can come and sub for us some time?


The Parent Teacher Organization leaders provided outstanding support in this event.

What out exemplary group of parent leaders this year. Pictured here are Jamie Woods, Misty Townsend, Christal Franklin, Mignonne Coykendall, Crystal VanRensburg, and Camille Allen. Many thanks to them!

13271415_10204443404924966_1866746438_oHarriet expresses thanks and memories. Judy Branton, a well loved teacher assistant will be retiring too. What a calm and happy presence Judy has about her. A sweet smile always ready. I have always enjoyed being around her. We will miss you, Judy!


When they said rocking chairs, I didn’t imagine chairs this beautiful. I’ll take one!

13288460_10204443404844964_1858507868_oPTO announces that they want to update the second grade playground. Even more, they are going to name it in honor of Harriet Berrier. What a legacy!

13275040_10204443407325026_2021801863_oEvent Co-Chairs: Amy Ribblet Julian, music and vocal arts teacher; Paula Poole, second grade teacher. Tireless work on hallway art, songs, invitees, student participation, etc. Exceptional results today. Thank you!

13282839_10204443406525006_2072227128_oHarriet’s parents are Cotton and Sarah Berrier.  This is the first time that I have seen Harriet’s father, but I would pick him out as a golf pro as soon as he walked through the door.13272004_10204443406845014_1201683963_oFriends and church friends.




13282850_10204443408085045_1281966163_o13262348_10204443407045019_1863612030_oHappy Retirement, ladies!

May you always have good tee times and sunny beaches!

A Legend Retires, Part 1

What happens when you are a legend retiring after 39 years of service?

First, you may have two mayors and a state senator in attendance.

You have a huge event with local dignitaries, friends,  relatives, former students, and colleagues. You may have 800 children singing you a song and your childhood pictures projected on a 30 foot screen. Your faculty will dress as if for a luau, with festive flair.

Even more!

Continue here to see the wonderful retirement ‘send off’ for Sevierville Primary School’s Principal, Harriet Berrier.

This first part, Part 1, shows some highlights from the 1:15 celebration today.

First, a proclamation from Perrin Anderson, representing County Mayor, Larry Waters.


Next, Dee Dee Trentham tells some nice things about Harriet and her career as an educator. Plus, that she likes Vols basketball.


Next, she received a nice shirt that expresses what all of us are wishing for ourselves! (Maybe in a few more years for me.) 13288123_10204443398244799_48375062_oWe enjoyed the photos! Here are some more from the 2015-2016 yearbook. (Thank you, Glenda Parrish! Well done.) 13262491_10204443398404803_1118188714_o


Harriet ‘facts to know’:

She was born in Clarksville, Tennessee. Later, she went to Kindergarten in Sevierville at Mrs. Rambo’s Pre-School. Harriet attended grades 1-8 at Pigeon Forge Primary School and high school at Sevier County High School. She attended U.T. for one year and graduated from Emory and Henry in Emory, Virginia with a B.A. in Education. Later, she earned a Masters and an Ed.S at Lincoln Memorial University.

Jerry Wear was her first principal. She taught 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, plus a grade 3/4 split class. Harriet was a classroom teacher for 16 years, mostly with third grade classes. She spent six years as the assistant principal with Andy Roe. Harriet has served as a principal for 17 years. She retires with    39 + years of service.

With this new free time, we will probably see her more on the golf course. (I wonder what is her favorite course?) She will have more time for family, the Vols basketball games, sleeping, Captain Jack, and the BEACH!

Stay tuned for Part 2, the afternoon celebration. I will start on that part after I walk my dog.

She needs to get out and about…


Pioneers, scoundrels, and angels at WWW.

The Saturday schedule of Wilderness Wildlife Week offered several things  that I wanted to see. First, Don Williams is finishing a manuscript on his topic of the White Caps and Blue Bills,  two groups in this area around the 1890s. He will probably publish a book about the topic in the near future. So much history and research. Fascinating!

13262407_10204434177974298_488549500_oLater, I listened to a presentation by Mark Davidson on “Faith, Family, and Freedom on the Frontier: The Scots-Irish in the Southern Appalachians. He talked about their movement from Pennsylvania, through Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee in the late 1700s.

13271437_10204434178094301_1427181945_oBut what I really wanted to hear was what is regarded as the best gospel choir in Sevier County. Boyds Creek Church of God Choir sang gospel music of the Smokies “in the way that the church’s early African American members sang it,” stated the program. Led by Nichole Donohoo Stinnett, the choir moved everyone with their voices and testimonies. I think that my friend Sheley and I will be visiting their church one Sunday this summer to hear them sing more. Here are some highlights from their program. (Going to try to insert video too. Can be tricky—I’m still learning.)

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13271945_10204434756308756_1041315714_oAnd our colleague, Chrissy Hopkins!

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Trouble don’t last always.

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No man can hinder me. Fare ye’ well, fare ye’ well.

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Last song was “I’ll Fly Away.”  We were blessed to hear this talented group. Love them!

History Tour Amid BBQ Festival

I made it out to the 10:00 a.m. walking history tour in downtown Sevierville. We met in front of the Sevier County Heritage Museum although I remember it as a post office when I first moved here.

Local historian, Carroll McMahan, and Laura Martin led our tour.

13275280_10204432502052401_1118635400_oWe saw so many things that I was glad that they gave us a brochure of the tour so I could just concentrate on taking pictures. Of course, there are many interesting things and so many stories. I couldn’t even begin to cover the floods, the fires, the fights, etc. But here are some interesting photos…


Cracks in the road because that is where the old railroad tracks went down Bruce Street.

13241601_10204432502332408_2075681409_oSims Barber Shop was open for business despite the crowds.

13275022_10204432503052426_1962701700_oIn 1856, there was a catastrophic fire downtown. Courthouse records were lost. These are salvaged bars from the jail which was also destroyed.


Remember when there was a bus station downtown? Two doors down from this alley. Well, buses used to drive down this narrow alley! Someone commented that they were especially good drivers back then?

Inside D Garden. You can see where it used to be a post office at one time. Beautiful store! I loved the stepping stones in the back aisleway floor.


I think that Andrew Temple was going to lead the 2:00 history tour.

Things that I didn’t realize were downtown until I walked by them.

Back to the museum.

Bill Yett’s baby crib with an interesting history.

13282566_10204432501972399_1125139894_oI loved this Jim Gray painting of the old court house.


There is a lot of history downtown and artifacts to see in the museum. I hope to take another look sometime soon.

Then it was time to walk around the Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass Festival. It turned out to be a good time to beat the crowds and rain showers.


Lots of food to choose from. Rib King from Spartanburg, South Carolina had the longest line when I was there.



These vendors come from Grainger County and only do festivals. Cobblers baked the old fashioned way. Divine!

13271822_10204432509412585_1300175317_o13241541_10204432509652591_1270631792_oI settled on a to-go box from this bbq vendor and took a brisket home for lunch before heading back to the Wilderness Wildlife Week.


Here is the best sauce dispenser.

13275489_10204432509932598_698110726_o.jpgMust do this next year for lunch while we are out and about!


A Wild Wildlife Week

This is my first Wilderness Wildlife Week. Very nice event! I have been two days in a row and may make it again tomorrow. In addition, it is my first time at the Leconte Event Center, a beautiful facility with a rustic style.

Last night, I was able to attend the presentation by Dr. Bill Bass, internationally known creator of the ‘Body Farm’ research facility at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. To a full house, he explained how it began in 1980 at UTK.


When Jack Reese was President of UT, Bass asked him for land to conduct research on anatomy and forensic science. He got 3 acres of land behind U.T. Hospital where they used to burn trash. They poured a 16 X 16 concrete slab and put a chain link fence around the area. It became known in the field for research on dead bodies and criminal investigation. Later, Patricia Cornwell visited Bass, took a tour, then  wrote “The Body Farm,” based on the facility.


Dr. Bass’ presentation last night was full of stories, information, and was supported by slides of past cases. It takes a strong stomach to look at the visuals, but you learn many things about real CSI work. Dr. Bass is proud that they have the largest modern skeletal collection in the world (over 2,000) at the University of Tennessee, with people coming from all over the world to study there. In addition, FBI Evidence Response Teams come for a week every summer to update skills in criminal investigation.

(On a side note— Dr. Bass is such a gentleman that he asked if I could see OK when I sat on the floor to get the photo above.)

Today, I went to a presentation at 7:15 p.m. by Dwight McCarter, who shared stories about search and rescue in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

13271467_10204428710997627_1080603387_oI think this topic is kind of frightening and wanted to hear more about his experiences for three decades tracking lost children and adults . An hour wasn’t long enough. He should write a book about this topic.

Looking at the schedule Saturday, there are two sessions that look especially good. Here is a copy and paste from the program online:

Click to access www%20schedule%202016%20.pdf

2 – 3 PM: NEW! HERITAGE! The Politics of White Capping: Don Williams – Greenbrier Hall B

Join Don as he encapsulates the story of the war between the White Caps and blue Bills, two vigilante group with very different agendas in the 1890s, resulting in cliff–hanging elections marked by bribery, boozing, romance and murder, including a bloody rock fight inside a Gatlinburg church, as well as the only Democrat to ever serve as sheriff of Sevier County since the Civil War.

Heavens! Which church could this be?

Also, I have always wanted to hear this choir in the description below. Make note of the time!

4 – 5 PM: NEW! Gospel Music of the Smokies: Boyd’s Creek Church of God Choir – LeConte Hall Stage

This group is from a rural area of Sevier County that is rich in history. The choir, led by Nichole Donohoo Stinnett, sings out the gospel the way the church’s early African-American members sang it.

Last two days of the Wilderness Wildlife Week.
It is a good thing with which to get out and about!

Walking History Tours Tomorrow

There are two  walking history tours scheduled tomorrow in downtown Sevierville. One for 10:00 a.m. and the other for 2:00 p.m. Meet in front of the Sevier County Heritage Museum downtown to start the tour. It is free!


Click here for the website.

This may be the tour that I saw last year in the paper that used actors dressed as the historical characters, waiting at several stops along the way. That would be fun to see history come to life.



The weather forecast is calling for a lot of rain tomorrow so I am not sure if they will conduct the tours if the weather is really bad. Planning on bringing an umbrella and weather rain boots just in case.

See you out and about!


Big Events This Week

When I was a sophomore at UT Knoxville, I took Anthropology 101 and got to hear a lecture or two by Dr. Bill Bass. Even back then, he was already legendary in the field. Since that time, Dr. Bass has helped to create the Body Farm and has co-authored several books. If you get out to the Wilderness Wildlife Week at the Leconte Event Center this Thursday at 8:00 p.m. then you can hear him speak about the Body Farm.

Here is the description in the schedule:

8 PM: NEW! HERITAGE! The History of (and What the Future Holds for) the University of Tennessee’s Internationally-Recognized “Body Farm”: Dr. Bill Bass – Greenbrier Hall C
Join Dr. Bass as he discusses the history of the original “Body Farm” founded at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as well as what the future holds.

Link to his website, with co-author.



Someone told me about the Wildlife Week being this week rather than winter months. I have never attended this event, for various reasons, but looked it up online and was impressed with the schedule. There is much to see and do! Click the link below to see the Wilderness Wildlife Week schedule of events.

Click to access www%20schedule%202016%20.pdf

It is free and open to the public. This link shows all activities.

Another seminar on Friday looks fascinating:

7:15 – 8:15 PM: Tales from Lost: Dwight McCarter – Greenbrier Hall B

Join Dwight as he shares tales of search and rescue in GSMNP, as well as tracking and finding lost children and adults over 30 years.

I love mysteries so it is sure to be memorable. There will be many other speakers on Thursday and Friday, such as John Elder and Harriet Berrier. And best of all, you will be able to hear heritage music from this area.


Be ready for the Sevierville Bloomin’BBQ and Bluegrass Festival on Friday evening and Saturday. Will there be brisket? I hope so.

Any recommendations on parking from those who have been before? Here is the link to the Sevierville festival this weekend.

See you out and about!

Derby Day!

After having such a good time at the Sevierville Derby party benefitting the United Way, it looked like a good idea to attend a similar party on the day of the Kentucky Derby in downtown Knoxvegas. The party last Saturday was at the historic Southern  Railway Station in Knoxville hosted by Knoxville Rotary Club. My date was a local Rotarian who knew several people in that district, but neither of us had ever attended an event at that locale. It turned out to be a very nice event. Here is what happened.

We arrived a little after the 3:00 start time and walked in on a red carpet. However, the Sevierville event was a little nicer in that a photographer took pictures of arrivals on the red carpet. The photographer for this event took pictures inside the door, with attendees standing in front of a nice backdrop. This may be an oversight that they can take more advantage of next year. From the moment you enter the Sevierville event, you feel like it is rather grand because the red carpet greeting by a photographer sets the tone.



The historic railway station has several areas/levels. We enjoyed open windows and doors, taking advantage of the nice weather that day. A light breeze and sunshine fit the bill.


Attendees received two drink tickets and unlimited food. I had forgotten how wonderful Derby pie can be! There were many tables inside and several outside. There were no assigned seats so we sat by a table in the doorway in order to enjoy the inside and the outdoors.


The name of the band, Hillbilly Jedi, never ceases to amuse me. However, they play so many good songs that people really enjoy them. I have seen them play at Calhouns on the River. You can’t just sit in a chair when they play. Try and catch them somewhere sometime!

13150044_10204371218000338_1528785504_nThere was a silent auction with very nicely framed pictures of sports and music icons. Several nice Invicta watches and jewelry items were also up for bid. There was a contest for best bowtie and best ladies hat. Although I was not involved in that, several people commented on my hat which I bought at the Derby Ladies Social here in Sevierville. I proudly told them that I got it at the Sassafras store near the Pottery House Cafe in Pigeon Forge.

Here a jacket that you must see!


I overheard him tell someone that he had to go to Memphis to get this jacket. Later, I had a chance to ask him more about the jacket. This Rotary Vice President said that he had recently traveled to Memphis and went to a store where Elvis bought most of his jackets. And he bought this one there!

Here is the name of the store on the jacket label.

13115346_10204371228720606_2080915808_nIf I go back to Memphis some day then this store is a ‘must see’ on the list. Wonder if they make ladies’ suits too?

When it was time to watch the actual race, there was a super large screen TV to watch the ‘run for the roses.’ We got a little nervous when the cable cut out a few times, putting a ‘no signal’ message on the screen, but the cable had no problem during the race itself and everyone was quite excited to see Nyquist win. The room was full of spectators and everyone roared with excitement at the end of the race.

Earlier in the day, we got to take our picture with an absolutely beautiful horse. It must have been almost 18 hands tall. So graceful and handsome it was. A special picture with all the regalia too!


The Jockeys and Juleps II Derby Party by the Knoxville Rotary Club was a nice fundraiser and I was so glad to have attended it. I hope that they earned a lot of funds that day to boost their projects this year. In addition, the historic Southern Railway Station is a grand place to host an event so if you get an opportunity to go there then you will really enjoy it.

Add it on the list for getting out and about…

Dolly parade from my couch

Sometimes you can get ‘out and about’ from the comfort of your sofa!

The last time that I went to a Dolly parade must have been over 20 years ago. It was the day of the terrible storm. We were standing on the street with an umbrella waiting for the parade to start as the clouds got darker and darker. I was actually getting very nervous. And then the thunder began. Laura Lindsey Long was holding the umbrella and made the call to move back to the car. “I think that we need to go now because the metal umbrella just shocked me.” Well, that was I needed to hear so we made haste to the car. Later, I heard that the bands and other parade units had to run for cover in the gift shops until the storm passed. Was anyone else there for that parade? Did anyone take cover in a store, hotel, or restaurant?

In the meantime, the traffic makes me less want to go to the parade. Where to park? Where best to stand?

On Friday afternoon, I came home late from work and was able to watch much of the parade on my couch as it was ‘live streamed’ by the Dollywood Lumberjack Adventure. From the comfort of home! And it was kind of fun.

You can go to Dolly’s Facebook page and see some video of the parade, including the beginning when she first boards the float for the Dollywood Lumberjack Adventure. Click the link to go for a look.

This is what I first saw when looking for the live streaming event.


The camera could swivel 360 degrees, mostly focussed on Dolly, but often moving around to capture surroundings. Here are some screen shots I got from my IPad if you missed the parade.


She is loved by young and old!

13199422_10204361032825715_1315875878_oWhen I tapped the screen, the sound came on and then I noticed something interesting—flying emoticons! They were everywhere. You will notice them on the bottom of some of the next screen shots. Hyper technology!

Great to see her old band from Sevier County High School band leading the way. Directed by Betty Anne Smelcer, they are outstanding!

Go band!

13148002_10204361033265726_533375535_o13161083_10204361034185749_739178262_oGreat band! 

Big crowds! 


Then I started noticing the comments under the live video. People were posting from all over the world. Australia, Great Britain, and all over the continental U.S.


The person above who works at the Nike Clearance Store should get a raise! Wonder if Dolly dropped by later?

13184723_10204361033505732_469159295_oShe had very good security.


Loved her Lumber ‘Jill’ outfit. It looked like it was designed by John Paul Gaultier! This screen shot of her is lovely!

Beautiful mountains in the background. A nice weather day.

13148048_10204361034265751_2137808680_oIf you want to keep up with Dolly, it looks like her Facebook page is the place to go as evidenced by all the international comments and well wishes.  I am just now catching on to that.

I have never watched a parade via live streaming video, but it was rather  fun.

And a way to get out and about from the comfort of your own sofa…