Dec 10 2007
09:25 am

We will start posting Ray Collet's series on Rockwood Life with today's excerpt. They will be archived here at RoaneViews and will appear about a week behind publication in the Roane County News edition for Rockwood.

(Please remember that this is copywrited material, belongs to Ray, and is used here by permission for all of us to enjoy.)

Rockwood Memories #105

Hello Readers, Two years ago around Thanksgiving, I wrote a column that has been a favorite of most of the readers. For the benefit of the ones who didn't get the "Rockwood Memories" at that time, or don't have a copy of my book, I would like to print it again.

I received an Email from Sam Doughty (Class of 1962) a few days ago. Sam is a faithful reader and I can count on him to send some memories of Rockwood to me. Here is what Sam had to say." I have a list of things about Rockwood that I remember, or would like to see or do again, but I would have to go back in a time warp. Some short things I really miss are as follows : I would love to see B. Boles shoot one more game of pool. I would like everyone else of our generation to have one more "Bert Brown" hamburger. I would love to sit on the "Bridge" in Rockwood with my OLE buddies one more time, to sit at the Peggy Ann truck stop all night one more time, to stop at the "Green Store" one more time from school, to play one more baseball game in the old Mill Field on Gateway now where the Gateway Market is, to see the "hot pot" dumped from the old furnace and light up the whole town. These are a few things I remember about Rockwood in the years past.

Thanks a lot Sam. I sure enjoy hearing from everyone. it jogs my memory too about our days. As I write this column, it is a few days after Thanksgiving. I am still filled with leftover Thanksgiving turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, desserts and feeling good. This being Tennessee, we don't have a Currier and Ives snow scene outside the window, or no Jack Frost graffiti on the window pane. We will have to wait a while for that. But the nights are cold and crisp, and it is good to be inside and out of it. And since the dawn of time, in almost every culture, we've countered these dark short days of winter with some kind of celebration, whether it be Christmas or Hanukkah, almost all involving miraculous light. And so we defy the cold and the dark. We refuse to grant winter the victory, reminding her with our candles, glittering decorations and crackling fires, that light and life are not quenched and that her icy gloomy days are numbered.

We gather our family close to us and serve the hearty, rich foods that warm us body and soul. This is a time to listen closely as wishes are made, one by one, and to secretly write them down and to slip and satisfy them before the traffic and the weather gets too bad. This is a time to whisper a prayer of thanks for health, for love, for food and shelter, or if you lack these things, to remember that life itself is a blessing and spring will come again, spring always comes again. It is a miracle the way that our blue planet, just a ball of rock, just warm and wet enough to support our lives. The animals know to migrate or borrow down snug in the earth; we light fires and put on warm coats and survive somehow.

I thought of these things actually last year around Christmas time when I came back from Crossville and neared Rockwood from the top of the mountain. The stars sparkled above me and the city lights glittered beneath me. At the foot of this beautiful mountain with its Christmas Star shining so brightly, visible for miles around, a town was planted. Its' street lamps and decorated streetlights and houses were burning like campfire embers in the gloom, tiny against the darkness of the night but comforting nonetheless.

What I was seeing was life carrying on. Life warm and joyous and precious; life winning against the blowing of the winter wind and the bite of the frost.

It would be nice to see a white Christmas. I do remember a few in Rockwood. We had some great Christmas parades with Santa riding in the old Molyneaux Chevrolet a few times. I couldn't wait to see the new Columbia bicycles at the Western Auto Store and the Schwinn bikes at Mr. Hickey's place. And the "Dime" stores were loaded with toys. Remember the candy bins at the dime stores? You can't find candy like that anymore.

The "apple and orange" matinees are probably a thing of the past too. And those wonderful animated Christmas figurines and scenery must have taken days to put in window at Wright's Jewelers. We would usually walk to the Presbyterian Church across from the High School on Christmas Eve to see Santa and get our "treat". My dad and I, (after I got old enough) would lag behind and go back home for a while to make sure Santa had arrived for my younger brother and sisters. He never let us down either. My dad had a model train collection and was well known for it. Every year instead of a pony that I hoped for, I would get more model train accessories. I always wondered, when I was a child how come this always happens. Whatever your family's celebration-tradition this time of year, enjoy it, take pictures, tell stories, play music, get the necessary errands done early, gather close with the ones you love. This is the time for it.

Rockwood Memories

Rockwood Memories can be purchased at, "Shacks", "O'Those Were The Days Antiques", "Live and Let Live Drug Store", or "Yonder Hollow".

If you can't come to Rockwood you can call (865)354-7680. They are ten bucks plus two dollars postage.

Roane Memories

Pat Hughes Kerschieter
Class of 1966

Just wanted to let Ray know that I really enjoy his "Memories" every week. I haven't lived in Rockwood since I graduated from RHS in 1966. I used to visit at least once a month, but since my Mother died in 1995, I have only been back a few times. I do love to hear old stories about the place. Once place I wonder if anyone remembers is Fairview School? I know that my parents built a new house and moved so they would not have to send me to that school. If I remember correctly, it was probably only one room. Also, I took my husband (who is from Illinois) down by the "old jail" he couldn't believe they actually kept prisoners in that place. If I remember correctly, they still kept them there when I was walking to school. Boy, that place must have been hotter than haydes in summer and colder than a witches *** in winter. I wonder if anyone who reads the ever had the privelege of staying there? I also took him to the Post Office and he marveled at the art that was in the lobby. The marble and the brass that was used. Anyway, like I said I enjoy talking about and seeing memories of the "old days" of course I guess that means that we are getting old also! One other thing I wanted to ask you, does anyone remember when the Water Tower on Tabernacle Hill blew up? I seem to remember back then that we "kids" talked about body parts being found in fields and everything, of course I was too young to know the truth, or was it the truth? Again thanks for all the memories.

peggy ann truck stop

I have a question for anyone that may have some information
about the Peggy Ann Truck Stop.

Short story, When my father went into the Army back in
the '40's, they put him on a bus from Knoxville, Tenn.
They stopped on the way and he thought that Peggy Ann
would be his daughter's name if he ever got married and
had a daughter. So guess what I am Peggy Ann.

If anyone has any information about the truck stop,
and the reason or person named Peggy Ann I sure would
be interested in knowing.

Peggy Ann Carpenter

How the Peggy Ann got its

How the Peggy Ann got its name... That's a question Ray can answer or I bet he will find the answer!!!

Ray has put out the call to

Ray has put out the call to his readership. If he can't get the answer from them it can't be gotten.

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