Good pal and inexplicable focus of my weekly “Ken Goldstein of the Week” feature Ken Goldstein did the only sensible thing a single man of 30 summers can do when presented with a four day weekend in the United States: he took a road trip.

He drove east to near Nashville, and then southwest into Georgia and South Carolina. Why, if I’d known, I could have had my parents feed him when he drove north through North Carolina!

Day One: Gatlinburg, Tennessee concludes a long, hard day of minor league baseball and Pigeon Forge, TN.

Day Two: The wonders of Pigeon Forge roll on and on, and so does Ken, down to Georgia, in search of a hotel room.

Day Three: What better way to spend the fourth in Appalachia than at the 7th Annual Redneck Games! This is one hilarious anecdote, yessuh.

Day Four: Mecca: Ken arrives at world-famous South of the Border, where instead of actual Mexican culture and Mexicans, you can see a peculiar, mid-century American imitation! Trivia question: which came first, Seattle’s Space Needle, or S.O.B’s Space Sombrero?

Why, I feel as though I’ve just spent four days peeling my skin off the broiling vinyl of my family’s 1973 Dodge Dart, reading, sweating, and bickering with my sister.

3 thoughts on “Ken et some croc

  1. Actually, my post from Gatlinburg combined my first two days (which is good, or else I woulda died). I finished up Day One around Roanoke, VA, then spent Day Two tooling down the Blue Ridge Parkway and doing that whole Pigeon Forge/Rocky Mountaisn thing. This is important in case I need an alibi.

  2. Roanoke? There’s a cool thing you can do at Roanoke. There’s a national park (apparently one of the first) at whoch they perform a summer stock rendition of a play about the “Lost Colony” which was located right where the park is – it was the first attempt to plant a permanent English colony on the New World, but it failed. The colony simply disappeared, leaving a cryptic inscription – “Croatan” – on a tree trunk.

    Roanoke is located on the northern interior mainland coast of the area sheltered by the Outer Banks. Kill Devil Hills, NC, the location of Kitty Hawk, where the Wright Brothers first flew in 1903, is located approximately halfway down the banks.

    From the stage upon which the Lost Colony play is performed, on a clear day, you can look to the southeast and see the 50-foot (or more) memorial pylon erected close to the location of the first powered flight.

    In essence, you can stand on the spot where the first chapter of our country’s history began, and actually see the spot where the chapter we now live in began. It’s pretty cool.

  3. Gatlinburg’s a cool little town; it’s where my parents honeymooned in 1961 (right around Labor Day weekend); my mom took me on a day tour there in the fall of 1998.

    Also, I saw that play, “The Lost Colony” way back in the summer of 1977, right after I finished 7th grade, I think, during one of several trips my family took to Nags Head at various times of the year. Undoubtedly the cast members are totally different now, but I fell in love with the old drunken Cockney dude; he was great for comic relief after some of the intense conflict and people-set-on-fire scenes…

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