Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||See Rock City...
See Rock City
need to do something different for a change,” I yawned one
lazy Saturday morning.
“Let’s go to Chattanooga,” said my honey. I knew
he was referring to the Aquarium.
“Let’s go to Rock City instead,” I suggested. “We haven’t been there in
“I’ve never been,” he replied. That settled it!
And so began my latest adventure.
It was several weeks after this conversation before we could
get our act together enough to actually do the deed. Every weekend,
we had other plans, had something else that had to be done –
or it rained.
Finally, last weekend we decided this was it. School was
starting soon and it would be our last chance to do something
with my grandson before school. The day was beautiful,
unseasonably cool and clear, almost like a warm day in the
fall. It was a wonderful day for an outside adventure.
Is there a person in the entire United States that has never
heard of Rock City? I doubt it, especially in the South. It is
the grand daddy of roadside tourist attractions built way back in the 30’s by
the same guy who invented miniature golf, if you can believe
It became famous not so much for the location itself as for an
aggressive advertising campaign. “See Rock City” was painted on
the roof of barns along highways all over the South in an ingenious scheme to
draw tourists off the beaten track. It worked beyond anyone’s wildest
Rock City is on top of a mountain and the only way to find it
is to follow the signs up a winding, curvy mountain road. Once there,
a flagstone walking path winds its way through rock formations, up and
down steps, and across a suspension bridge. Stone
benches provide ample opportunities for picture taking.
At the top of Lookout Mountain is the fabulous view that was
immortalized in the commercial advertising slogan, “See
seven states from Rock City.” Well, it’s hard to
know what state you are seeing, but it is a fantastic view
overlooking the city and miles beyond, so why argue.
On the winding trail down the mountain, there are overlooks
offering a view of the waterfall that cascades from a high
cliff. By then, we had become adept at pointing out
interesting rock formations that looked like frogs, faces, or
Near the end is an area obviously added for the benefit of
drawing families with children to the tourist Mecca.
Concrete dwarfs and gnomes guard the trail and a dark cave
that eventually ends in Mother Goose land with fairytale
figures for the amusement of the kiddies.
Okay, this is all pretty lame in these days of high tech theme
parks, but everyone needs to go there at least once in a lifetime, if
only to satisfy curiosity. Continuing on the stone trail, we eventually wound up back where we had started and inside another strategically placed
Due to the success of the barns – over 900 painted
nationwide – a smaller version was created and became
popular as a souvenir. The red birdhouse with black roof
and white lettering is the current classic advertising scheme.
Naturally, I couldn’t pass by an opportunity to pick up a
bit of Americana folk art for the backyard. Yes, I was taken for the
price of a birdhouse, like thousands of others before me. You can check it out
in my back yard, which now is yet another back and red
billboard for commercial tourism.
Thank goodness, I don’t own a barn.
Copyright 2004 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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