Not From Middle Tennessee

The Truth about the “Trail of Tears”
by James E. Bradford
When Kathy and I moved to Knox County, Tennessee, in the Community of Concord, we very quickly found out that being from Middle Tennessee was not a thing that one talked about. It was hard for us to understand why there was so much hate and resentment for Middle Tennessee. They referred Middle Tennessee as the “Land of the Devil Worshipers” and to Andrew Jackson as “The Devil himself walking on earth”.
This was a group of English that was not part of the export migration into the United States. They came from England on their own. They built Fort Loudon, and set up a trading post with the Cherokee Indians. They build a Masonic Lodge and a Presbyterian Church, side by side. The first school in East Tennessee was in this old Lodge Building. (Note: This was before Tennessee became a state, but the area was called Tennessee). The Minister of the Church and his wife was the teachers. They had a daughter that never married and she was a teacher there after their death. They excepted Cherokee children in the school and it was in this old Lodge Building that Sequoia, the son of an English father and a Cherokee girl, learned to read and write English.
It was because of the love for the Cherokee people that brought all this hate and resentment for Middle Tennessee who supported the removal of the Cherokee people.
Most of the old people are now gone, and each generation that passes this hate and resentment becomes a little less.
Our history books tell us very little about the real truth of the Cherokee. The University of Tennessee, who has more information and history about the Cherokee than any place in the world. They are now offering a course in “The True History of The Cherokee”. It is not required, but many of the students are taking the courses and the true facts about the worst treatment of humans the world has ever known.

Jimmy? Who Are You Talking to?

told by James Heath
(as told to April Heath Pastis)
After your mom and me got married we lived with mom’s mom for a short 
time in a house on Avenue A. We stayed up in the second floor and we 
didn’t have much furniture at all. In fact, I think we were using 
some lawn furniture for chairs. Anyway, Jimmy couldn’t have been more 
than two or three, he probably was two because I remember we borrowed 
your grandma’s rocking chair so Donna could rock the baby (Curtis). 
Jimmy was the best kid you could imagine, he’d make up his own games 
and keep himself occupied so that you barely knew he was there. He 
was always talking to himself, so I thought he had an imaginary 
friend like most kids do. One afternoon, I heard Jimmy talking to 
himself again. It wasn’t kid talk but sounded pretty adult, but he 
was always an old man, even at the age of two. I was feeling a little 
guilty that I didn’t spend more time with him and worried that 
imaginary friends were probably not healthy, so I walked into the 
bedroom. When I did, Jimmy fell silent.
“Jimmy? Who are you talking to?”
”That man,” Jimmy said and pointed at the rocking chair.
”Now, Jimmy. You are only pretending,” and I walked over to the 
chair. “There’s no one in this chair.” I said and reached my hand out 
to touch the back of the chair, but before I touched it, the rocking 
chair tilted back. It began rocking back and forth and I found myself 
backing away from the chair as I watched it rock back and forth. It 
started out slowly and then it began to rock furiously.
I stood next to Jimmy and I felt that something was sitting in that 
chair. It also did not like me. I felt as if it was going to say 
something, but it didn’t.
Instead, I felt it say “Get Out of My House.”
Well, I nearly shxx my pants. I grabbed Jimmy and got out of that 
room. The thing is, it didn’t seem to have anything against Jimmy. I 
felt it didn’t like me.

The Dinner Guest

told by Donna Heath
(as told to April Heath Pastis)
I had the most beautiful dog when I was a kid. It was part Pekinese and part Terrier. It was golden with long, soft beautiful hair. I called her Pug, even though I didn’t know anything about Pugs then, but because she had a flat nose that was more like a Pug than even
some of the Pugs I’ve had since. One night, we were all at the dinner table. Which wasn’t usual cause my brother Tevis was usually working or one of my sisters were out. During dinner, Pug used to sit as close to the table as she could hoping someone would drop a bit of
food and she’d nab it. We hadn’t been sitting down too long when Pug started barking. She ran over to the front door and barked and barked. She didn’t stop. Then she started backing up, barking the whole way. She backed up, right under the table and kept barking. I
watched her head and eyes move as if they were following the path of a person walking through the kitchen and start toward the hall. She followed the “person” who wasn’t there, barking all the way and chased “the person” we couldn’t see to the bottom of the stairs. She didn’t go up. She just stopped and kept barking.