Friday, September 6, 2013

THE PARKWAY TALKING

Hey folks, look down. Yeah down under your wheels cause this is your Parkway talking. You know, that six-lane ribbon of concrete that begins in Sevierville, Tennessee and runs to the "Spur" that will take you into Gatlinburg or to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I know you don't usually hear from guys like me but I thought you might like to hear a different perspective on the tourism traffic that comes into east Tennessee. Well like it or not, here it comes.

You would think that a hard-case guy like me would have an attitude. After all people use me, abuse me sometimes, and really don't give me much consideration at all, but that's okay as it's part of my job.
Parkway in Pigeon Forge, TN
You see my job is to get you and your family safely to your destination and back on the road again, and I am pretty good at my job and I enjoy it. That's me under all those cars!

I get to meet tires from all over the United States. I believe I have met multi-plies from every state in the Union. They bring people into the Smoky Mountains for one reason - fun, and I'm part of it. Not only do I get to feel the warm hum of my round, rubber friends, but I can hear the laughter, excitement and eager conversation of the families in the cars as they look forward and enjoy their visit to my towns. They are talking about my neighbors, the attractions, restaurants, hotels, gift shops, candy stores, shopping malls and other businesses that are lined-up on both sides of me. And they are admiring the beauty of my pal, the Great Smoky Mountains. Man, they are awesome, and they are natural. Me, I'm man-made and proud of it, but talk about the original green, that's may pal the Smokies!

I also get to enjoy visiting with some real classics - the restored cars that come into town with the "Rod Runs" throughout the year, like Shades of the Past, the Pigeon Forge Fall Rod Run, Pontiacs in Pigeon Forge, All Chevy Supernationals and the Corvette Expo.
Pigeon Forge Fall Rod Run
These babies are beauts and talk about solid, man that's real steel in those dudes, and they have a smooth, cruisin’ ride because of me!
And every so often I get to feel some very different feelings: horses hooves, funny little tires on clown cars or Shriner's vehicles, and the tickle of hundreds of toes in a marching band when they close part of me for a parade. Cloggers are my favorite because when they start dancing it is the best massage this old hard-shell can get. I have seen Dolly, Elwood Smooch, The Smith Brothers, The Hatfield's & McCoy's and even real Lumberjacks! And what a thrill it is to have all of you visitors lined-up along my edges clapping, laughing, whistling and having a good time. I can really get a good look at you then and I think I've even recognized some of you from your voices or your laughs.

So you can understand the pride that I have in my work - getting couples, friends and families in, out and around Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville and Kodak. I'm a solid piece of work that provides a smooth, cruisin' ride; real concrete that doesn't crack under the weight of thousands of autos that travel me day in and day out, year after year. I'm here to serve you in the hot sun of summer, the cool dampness during the rain, or the snowy days of winter. And my buddies from the highway and transportation departments of the cities take good care of me, keeping me clean, well-groomed, and snow-free when we have those occasional snowstorms.

Next time you come to visit take a moment when you are stopped at a light or pulled into your destination. Give me a nod or a wave just to let me know that you know I'm doing my job. I would appreciate it. Oh, and by the way, if you could keep from throwing out your cigarette butt, trash or gum on me, there are a lot of us who would appreciate that too. Enjoy your visit and drive safely!

Your friend, The Parkway
(For more information on things to see and do in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee go to
http://www.bestreadguidesmokymountains.com/ .