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A favorite memory

November 18, 2020

Waaaaaay back in 1978/1979, my parents and I lived on a farm in the Appalachians of East Tennessee. If you’re familiar with the area where we lived (and you probably aren’t), you might recognize the location if I tell you the farm straddled the Hancock/Hawkins county line on TN 66 and that the house was on the outside of the curve. It was a great place to be a teenager who would rather be outside, walking the hills and “hollers,” than around people. My memories of living there are some of the happiest I have.

The seat of government for Hancock County was (and remains) in Sneedville, TN. It was about a 15 minute drive from our house via that same TN 66. We would occasionally eat at the cafe attached to an inn in town. A few things come to mind about that place. First, the food was really good. Second, it wasn’t fancy, but there was plenty of it. That sort of thing was important for an active teenage boy. Third, it was also inexpensive, which was important for the parents of said active teenager. The final thing I remember, and which struck me every time we’d go there, was the building itself. As I remember, it was build primarily of logs. The pier and beam construction consisted of large, rough-hewn beams that sat upon hand laid piers made of local stone. There probably hadn’t been a square corner in the place since before I was born. I had wanted to use the inn (and cafe) in a story, but could not for the life of me, remember its name. I didn’t want to make up a name and simply calling it “this restaurant I really liked” was woefully unsatisfying. Enter the folks from Hancock County government. Thanks to them I now know it was “The Green Top Inn.”

Anyway, thanks to someone taking the time to research and answer a simple question, I can now share with the Green Top Inn. First, there is this drawing. It wasn’t quite this new looking when I last saw it.

How it looked around the time I knew the place. This is the first picture I opened when I got a reply to my email question. It took my breath away. Strong, emotionally-laden memories are like that.

Sadly, the Green Top Inn has been torn down due to its poor state of repair, and has been replaced by a no doubt far more modern “convenience center.” I’m not sure that’s an improvement, other than the loss of risk to anyone in or near the old building, which is a good thing. It certainly stands as a testament to the truisms that time marches on and that the only constant in this life is change.

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  1. Old NFO permalink

    Many of the places we ‘knew’ are gone now. Sadly… But we DO have those memories, and will until the day we die. Remember the good, always!

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