As we reflect back on our community and what we loved about it, we’re taken back to growing up in a community that knew its neighbor and the value of having a neighbor. Back then our neighbor wasn’t just someone who lived next door but was anyone who lived in Sevier County.
Of course, there were problems, but as children, we were shielded and protected from those problems.
Sevier County was a productive and fruitful place. We had factories, and our downtown was alive with businesses. There were places and things to keep the young people entertained, such as the movie theater, skating rink, drive-in theater, and of course Herman Dierks Park.
One of the greatest memories of our community was the respect we had as neighbors and how we helped one another.
“I can remember when all our families, moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even friends would head down 41 South where there was so much farmland. I especially remember the peach and apple orchards and the peas and strawberry patches. We would go and work in them which helped the owners and the families because we would pick on the halves. So they would get their fields harvested, and we would get our freezer and food pantries stocked.”
“I remember working on my FFA/4H projects every year. I spent so much time getting ready for the fair. I loved the time I would get to spend with my family and friends. It didn’t matter that we were competing against each other, everyone helped each other. It taught me responsibility along with building lifetime friendships.”
“I used to love going over to my grandma and grandpa’s every weekend for a family lunch, because everyone would be there. I enjoyed playing with all my cousins, taking walks, going to grandpa’s garden, shelling peas, and so much more.”
We all have stories like these to show how beautiful our community once was.
We know love and respect still exist here in our community and that is a goal we are working to restore. Not as we know it now, but what it can be again.
The way to restore a community is to first restore the people in our community and that is the goal of Breaking The Ties That Bind.