- [S104] Cocke County, Tennessee, and its People, Cocke County Heritage Book Committee, (Walsworth Publishing, 1992), 12.
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 20 Jul 2012.
Just Plain Talk: Thunderstorms shake the skies but fail to stop days of heat
Thunderstorms shake the skies but fail to stop days of heat
(c)2012 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL
You might find Yvonne Keys at the rustic office at Triple Creek Campground, which she and husband, Arvis Keys, of Newport, operate. Yvonne decorated the office with older items to give it a warm, homey feeling. The campground has been upgraded over the past two years under the new ownership.
Author: David Popiel
July with its 31 days seems to be stretching out like a blackcat through the desert taking us back to hotter days in our hometown, with some upsetting events that change things forever.
Of the more welcome things, rain continued over the mountains and this may save the last hay cutting for those beef cattle growers who depend on grazing land. Getting rained on is not so bad in comparison to more unsettling inner weather. The deaths of several relatively young men may have caught your attention. One of whom was a former student of mine at Cosby High School. Wilbur Bryant, 57, was a big fan of racer Jimmy Owens, and Wilbur's son, Chad, is now on the racing team. Both Wilbur's death and that of Billy Eric Ford, 39, were from unusual health problems. Eric suffered with a brain tumor and apparently died after a recent chemotherapy treatment. I know his wife, Shelly, and from what we read in the Plain Talk, Eric was a wonderful man and father. He was an Eagle Scout and on Tuesday at Kiwanis, Boy Scouts of America Cherokee District Executive Director Christian Nelms said only four percent of Scouts reach this rank and only do so because of significant involvement by their parents. Eric died on Friday the 13th. The next day, July 14, Wilbur died at a Knoxville hospital after his failing heart could no longer sustain him. He had struggled for some years with a damaged heart, but I recall him more as a spunky teenager, when he hitched rides with me to Cosby school. While not the most book-learned of my pupils, he had talent building things and liked Bill Hartsell's ag classes more than my English studies. On Monday morning an accident on Asheville Highway claimed Michael Hudson, 36, who had just moved to the county. Unlike the other deaths I mentioned, Hudson was not expected to face death or dying so quickly that morning. This Illinois fellow did have a passenger with local family ties. Courtney Godsell, 22, reportedly was struck and injured by a utility pole that snapped and went into the truck at the crash scene. You may know his parents who advertise with us for R&M Trees of Del Rio, Rob and Michelle Johnson. Incidentally, I got a call on Tuesday from the mother, Michelle, who gave me some additional information. She said that Courtney was wearing a seat belt. "He would never get into a vehicle without putting his seatbelt on." He remains in UT Medical Center recovering from his serious injuries. Twenty some years separated the three men, and so far as I know they never met each other but did share one thing, they were loved by many people who now miss them.
Closing of Parrotts Place
If you've been around Parrottsville much, surely you have stopped into Parrotts Place, and if not since 2004 perhaps earlier when Denver Trentham operated the business. It was my pleasure to visit with store owners Svein and Melissa Hunt, who told me of their plans to shut down the store, perhaps by month's end. It is not too late for me to have a Jeannie Holt cooked breakfast before then. Maybe it was the changing landscape that caused the owners to end the operation, citing her health and the weak economy. The new highway 321 has routed traffic away from downtown, and there is a new Dollar General not far from town hall at the new highway. Maybe customers can convince someone else to acquire the property and reopen this year. I'll let you know what's happening. There also has been some changes at the popular By-Lo grocery of Cosby Highway after Mo Swanson retired. I hear that Tim Layman may close it and hope this is not so because it is another store where we sell "a ton" of Plain Talks each week. I will try to talk with Tim about the store's future.
My most interesting visit was to Furniture Palace a week ago where I found David and Karen Nelson. The store is always so clean and orderly with lots of merchandise and plenty of memories for me of the late Hoyt E. Staton, who ran the Cow Palace. Karen Nelson showed me a large old wooden wagon, which was bought by the Newport Museum. Museum co-president with Karen, Jackie Garbarino, said the wagon is originally from Virginia and was acquired from a local woman whose late husband owned it. The museum plans to replace the dilapidated wagon outside in front of the Newport Community Center with this larger one soon. Some work needs to be done such as restoring the original blue paint and orange wheel paint and restenciling signage. By early fall it will be pulled to the center by horses or mules.
Still time for camping
Last week, we visited with Arvis and Yvonne Keys who own Triple Creek Campground off Highway 321, with an entrance off Lower Bogard Road just off what is now called Cosby Bridge Road. I found the 15.7 acre shady campground to be a hidden jewel that the Keyes are trying to introduce to tourists and locals. It is worth a visit and easy to find because you will see two giant stone frogs marking the entrance pillars. These were built by 84-year-old mason Robert Woods. You may recall that I mentioned bumping into him this summer at the new business, H&W Locksmith just east of the Plain Talk off East Broadway.
Because Triple Creek Campground is not on a major highway yet within 25 miles of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, many visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains have not heard about or seen Triple Creek Campground. "It's a best kept secret. Even local people don't know much about it." The Keys invite local folks to use the facility right in their backyard for weekend or holiday retreats and mini-vacations.
Arvis and Yvonne also bought five cabins during the auction and these may be rented and all have a back door to Cosby Creek. There is one upgraded cabin sheltered by pine trees inside the campground, too.