Saturday, July 14, 2007

eighth wonder of the world

Rather than sit in weekend traffic through Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, I opted to take a more scenic route from Morristown to Gatlinburg today. I drove south on I-81 to I-40 and headed east, where I picked up U.S. Route 321 in Cocke County. I was only passing through and did not see anything unusual. It was probably a greater distance than if I had taken exit 407 but I got to keep moving and see a less developed side of the Smokies. Along the way, I enjoyed some hyper-local radio. One AM station had some great cheesy jingles and frequent weather reports between their moldy oldies. A local FM station was in the middle of a four-hour remote from a client. Both reminded me a little of my favorite station, WLNG in Sag Harbor, New York.

My wife and I had been invited to a wedding and reception in Gatlinburg. The wedding was at St. Mary Catholic Church and the reception was at Lineberger's Seafood Company. The bride is a fourth grade teacher. During the reception, she read aloud from some essays her students had written on the topic "How to Be a Good Husband." One young girl wrote, "if your wife ever wants anything, buy it for her."

As I looked out from the restaurant balcony at the crowded sidewalks and shops below, I was reminded of a recent Metro Pulse article by an intern making her first trip to Pigeon Forge. A new tourist attraction is being built next door to the restaurant. It's the third location of the Hollywood Wax Museum. They also have one in Branson and one in Hollywood. I went into the museum in Hollywood when my friend Pam Baker and I were scouting possible locations for Mark & Brian's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As it turned out, their star was placed right by the museum. The new Gatlinburg wax museum has a gigantic likeness of King Kong to grab the attention of visitors. During the wedding reception, I tried to surreptitiously take a photo of the bride and groom with King Kong in the background. Ultimately it was just easier to ask them to pose for the blog.

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