Great Smoky Mountains Association Members Weekend


This year, the Great Smoky Mountains Association had its members weekend in Bryson City. The classic place to stay in Bryson City in the Calhoun House, on Everett St. I have been there for events but have never stayed there.

So I searched for Calhoun House and made a reservations months ago. I thought I had the right place but got another Calhoun House a few streets away. It was a fine place to stay but not the right place.

Lenny met me in Bryson City after the GSMA board meeting and we went to a barbecue, the first event of the weekend. Above is a picture of the “high table”, Starting the right are Suzanne Ditmanson and Superintendent Dale Ditmanson, Dan Pierce, history professor at UNCA and author of Real Nascar and Terry Maddox, Executive Director of GSMA. Continuing country-clockwise, I don’t know who the boy is but then, we have Cin Slater and her husband, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Fitzgerald. I don’t know the next couple.

GSMAweekend2010hikersOn Saturday, I led a hike from the Tunnel to Nowhere. Sixteen hardy and eager hikers came. It started raining as we drove out there. I got one photo in the one moment the rain stopped. Then the rain really bucketed as we went down to Fontana Lake and back up again.

As I looked up from my feet, in a really dark section of the trail, I saw a feral hog. I had never seen a hog in the Smokies before. Wow! It didn’t stick around  for long. I pointed to it to the couple just behind me but by then, it was gone. But I saw it!

GSMAweekend2010LibbyKHIn the afternoon, I went to the indoor programs. The highlight was one given by Libby Kephart Hargrove about her great-grandfather, Horace Kephart. She told the story of Horace Kephart’s life, sang and played the piano.

I had the privilege of interviewing her, not about Horace Kephart but about her – her life and her passion to tell the story of her famous ancestor.

Good meeting. You should come next year.



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