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OPINION PAGE - JULY 28, 1999 - HOMER, GEORGIA

Column
Amanda Roberts
The Banks County News- July 28, 1999

Where deer
and bear roam free
Being married to Daniel Boone aka Chris Roberts, my vacations often revolve around nature. He is not one for crowded tourist attractions. Friday we packed up bright and early and headed for Townsend, Tenn. This is known as the "peaceful side of the Smokies." It is a quaint town with few hotels, restaurants and shops. It is very quiet. However, Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is only 20 minutes away if you feel the need for action.
After we arrived at Townsend and unpacked, we headed for Tuckaulchee Caverns. These caverns are in Townsend and are quite fascinating. You can take a guided tour for a few dollars. It is well worth your time and money. The caverns stay 58 degrees year-round and have a stream running throughout with water that is 98.7 degrees. The guide told us many interesting facts and the history of the caverns as we toured them.
After the caverns, we headed for Roaring Fork which is located on Airport Road at stop light #8 in Gatlinburg. This is a one-way road that leads you through the backside of the mountains. While driving through, you can see some of the original homes and a mill of the Roaring Fork community. One cabin was a two-room structure where a couple raised nine children.
Cades Cove, an 11-mile one-way road was our destination for Saturday morning. It is only seven miles from Townsend. It is a fascinating place to visit filled with history, old home sites, churches, cemeteries and wildlife. It was settled in the 1820s. The land was rich and fertile and produced abundant crops. Deer and bear were plentiful, so people lived off of the land.
I often imagine myself in the places of those who worked a living from the land and created a community where jobs like apple peeling and corn shucking were social events.
When we visit the area, we usually spend a day at Cades Cove. Wildlife is still in abundance. We saw several does with fawns. I had the opportunity to visit with a doe and two babies for a while. They let me get really close and get some great pictures. I also got a chance to see a mama bear with three very playful cubs. I didn't get close to them.
Chris' big opportunity came when we spotted six buck grazing in a nearby field. He almost wrecked the Jeep trying to stop. In one minute, he had spotted the deer, parked the Jeep and run half-way to the herd. I watched them through the binoculars. They were the biggest deer I had ever seen. They made quite a crowd. Chris spent a lot of time observing them and I took photographs.
After several hours at Cades Cove, we headed out; I convinced Chris take me to the outlets for a quick shopping spree.
Townsend is a peaceful place to visit with nearby Cades Cove, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. I have to admit our natural vacation wasn't that bad. It was actually very relaxing.
Amanda Roberts is a fourth grade teacher at Maysville Elementary School. She and her husband, Chris, reside in Homer.

Editorial
The Banks County News
July 28, 1999

Check out SS celebration Sat.
For more than 100 years, people have gathered in downtown Homer to sing praises and fellowship together. The annual Sunday School celebration is a wonderful event. Church gospel groups perform throughout the day and everyone joins together for a covered dish lunch.
Many fine groups are scheduled to perform during the 122nd celebration planned for Saturday. Everyone is invited to bring their lawn chair and spend the day in the park. It will surely be a blessing to all who attend.
Those volunteers who work tirelessly each year to bring this celebration to life are to be thanked for their
dedication and service.



Letter to the Editor
The Banks County News
July 28, 1999

Looking for lost ancestors
Dear Editor:
I am searching for information about my great-grandmother Vinie Leachman Barnett. I believe that she is the daughter of John Leachman and Nancy Sailors, that she grew up in the Nicholson-Commerce area in the 1860s and 1870s, and that she was named for her grandmother (Nancy's mother), Vinie Sailors. Those are my beliefs. I know she married my great-grandfather Nathan Thomas Barnett in November 1878 and spent the next 66 years of her life in Oglethorpe County near Athens.
I never got to meet her, but she was much loved by my older brothers and sisters and had a wonderful reputation in this community. I still meet people when I am in the area who speak highly of her. My sister says they used to bring Grandmother Vinie to Commerce in the 1930s to visit a relative. All she remembers is that they had a large outcropping of rocks in the front yard.
Can anyone help me with information about this grand old lady? My postal address, phone number and email address are listed. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Glenda Thurmond
858 Augusta Drive
Hernando, MS 38632
(662) 429-0247
glendathur@aol.com


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