Sergeant York – and Old Homesteads

Sergeant York – and Old Homesteads

Gatlinburg Area

Recently, over the Memorial Holiday, Sergeant York, well, more like rewatched it.  I recall it from when I was a kid on the old movies channel.  Not when it first hit the big (or little) screen mind you.  However, I have since then had some experiences that give me a different perspective.   For more than a decade now, I have been going to Gatlinburg Tennessee, and the movie is set in mountainous Tennessee.  We go there to hike around the Great Smoky Mountains tour the town and sample the wares of the local wineries and distilleries.  It is a great vacation, no matter the weather.  I find it restorative, especially for those that work long hours and most every day.  In fact, over the years I have wondered if an event where people could share their product development or project management experiences along with the myriad of other opportunities afforded by visiting this wonderful place.


You would be amazed at what you might experience, on a walk to one of our favorite restaurants in the town, we met this little guy.  He was no more worried about us than we were worried about being attacked.  We have seen deer on our hikes outside of down, one of which had scars on their hindquarters that looked like they had tussled with a cougar, and were lucky to get out alive.  Similarly, we have hiked in areas with signs warning of bears,  my input was to turn around, I have no desire to tangle with a bear.  Some of us thought continued hiking was the correct thing to do, fortunately, we managed to make a good decision, and NOT head in the direction of bears.

My hikes through the forests around the hills overlooking Gatlinburg have led to visits to the remnants of the homesteads in the area.  Walking through these rocky, undulating areas gives one a new appreciation for the folks that settled in these areas, and watching this movie is in an entirely new light.  You see these utilitarian homes housing many family members.   You can envision the workload of farming on this land.  The perseverance and dogged persistence are ever present when you walk through these areas.

The Confluence – Life and Art

Watching the movie, after having walked through those homesteads, has influenced my perception of the movie. It is a movie, I thought it is a dramatization, albeit connected to true events.  I saw it as a movie, a show.  Watching it after walking around up there, seeing the characters living in a one-room abode, immediately drew me to those recollections of walking around the remains of these structures. The corn crib, carrying water, the stone wall fences around the corn fields.  The movie portrayed a hard life, and the movie being abstract, leads one to some conclusion, but seeing things in real life, gives one another perspective.

To close, I encourage you to visit Gatlinburg Tennessee and visit these old remains in the hills around the town.  Think about where you, personally, are in your life while walking through these homesteads.  What comes to your mind?


Post by Jon Quigley