2021 Smoky Mountain After Action Report (20211026)

Posted: 10/26/2021

The long awaited and much anticipated return to come arounds for 2021 was held at the David Crockett Birthplace State Park in Limestone, TN. After a COVID hiatus of 6 months, initial greetings on 11 October were exceptionally warm and accompanied by delighted smiles for old friendships renewed after too long.

Firsties Andy Wehrle ’72 and Eva welcomed everyone to flyover country and provided an overview of the week’s activities to attendees who included: Jim Robert’s ’59 and Marie, John Schultz ’59 and Gail, Jack Parry ’67 and Nita, Jay Williams ’67 and Patti, Tom Wolfe ’70 and Rose, Dale Gange ’70 and Su, Royal Connell ’70 and Melinda, and Tim Hallihan ’72 and Vanessa.

The Park Ranger, Keifer Helle, spent three hours with us on Wednesday and provided a superb history of the park location as well as a deep insight into the man, the myth, and the legend of David Crockett. Turns out he really was born there in the immediate vicinity of the park. In addition, his staff went out of their way to make our visit a success. From taking a group picture to teaching us the basics of tomahawk throwing to giving us lessons on black powder rifle terminology, loading and firing.

Other activities during the week included a visit to the ETSU Fossil Dig in Gray, a bee-keeping lecture by local beekeeper Joel Hausser, an evening of storytelling by the Jonesboro storytelling guild, tasting the wares at the Tennessee Distillery, and a farm style meal at the Farmer’s Daughter restaurant. Nightly Happy Hours and a potluck dinner rounded out the week’s activities.