Just the other day I was mentioning to my mom that Rogersville is a difficult town for me to live in as outsider. “Outsider” meaning I’ve lived here on and off for 20 years now, but still haven’t quite found that “at home” feeling you would hope to have in whichever town you dwell. One would be hard pressed to find a more lovely town than Rogersville. It’s very historical and beautiful, but much like that town in the Chevy Chase movie “Funny Farm” where Chevy and his wife pay the community to emulate the characters and landscape of a Norman Rockwell painting so they can sell their house and move away from the insanity, the beautiful outside of Rogersville thinly masks the significant level of crazy which takes place here.
I know I’ve written on these before but I can hardly do a thorough story on Rogersville without mentioning the most predominant stories- news making stories actually- which have given me and my friends quite a good laugh. Some of you may have seen on Jay Leno several years ago that a couple of convicts escaped from the Hawkins county jail, propped the jail door open with a Bible, and went on a beer run. I think the best part of the story (other than using the Holy Bible as a means of escape) is that these guys, after partaking in their beverages, RETURNED to jail. They didn’t want to escape really, they just needed to head to the Rockies I guess. Here’s to good friends- tonight is kinda special…. for a jail break/beer run. So flippin’ funny. 🙂
My second favorite story is fairly recent. Police discovered and infiltrated a local meth lab (these are pretty popular in this county apparently) and upon entering the residence were promptly greeted by monkeys. Yes, I did say monkeys. One monkey in particular was so large and aggressive that it actually attacked an officer. This immediately became necessary fodder for my friends and myself to incorporate into our everyday dialogue- i.e. “I’m as mad as a monkey in a meth lab” or “I’m as riled up as a monkey in a meth lab”… you get the picture.
I truly could go on about 10 pages with more stories, but I’m just going to give you one more. I’m writing this primarily for my friends Jeff and Todd, both of whom I have no doubt will laugh themselves silly from the corners of Colorado and California. They’ll be as happy as two monkeys in a meth lab after reading this. 🙂
Carolynn and I were at dinner last night at the Mexican restaurant when she told me the following story. I almost blew guacamole out my nose. I’ve thought all day how to write this properly for full effect. Here goes… Carolynn lives on Broadway. For those of you unfamiliar, Carolynn is my mom. Yes I call her by her first name. We’ve been over this in earlier blogs. Catch up. (lol) Broadway is a street within the historic district in beautiful, scenic Rogersville. The Broadway Avenue area is a picturesque neighborhood with many other lovely, old homes in a variety of colors. Several doors down from her some rather interesting characters have recently moved in. I won’t give names. This place is small enough, but let’s just say these people are outsiders too. As neighbors, and former real estate clients, she has some issue to discuss with these people, so here goes Carolynn walking down one of Rogersville’s original, limestone sidewalks (one which I’m sure Andrew Jackson himself must have walked or roller-bladed on) <insert eye roll> from her two-story, pink Victorian house to this client’s home. She was instantly greeted by her client’s much younger uh…… boyfriend. Boyfriend is standing on the front porch of this home in the historic district, hollering out at the top of his lungs to one of the two horse-sized German shepherds chained to trees in the yard, “I love you, Sabrina!” Interesting character to say the least. Carolynn at this time has been greeted by a few other female neighbors who just happened to be passing at the time and they all convened in the client’s yard. Imagine the movie “Steel Magnolias”. These women all three are true Southern Belles with accents as sweet and as thick as molasses. The very picture of Southern charm. As they were standing around talking the group of women are approached by the dog-hollering boyfriend. According to my mom, and she SWEARS this is true, he is wearing a t-shirt which has a picture of a huge rooster on it and the rooster has a saddle strapped to its back. Written below in big, black letters it says, “Free Rooster Rides”…only they didn’t use the word “rooster”. You following me? My mom said she and the other two women were so mortified that it took all the strength they could muster to stare this man directly in the eyes and pretend they couldn’t read his shirt. Perhaps you’re thinking to yourself- “Okay, that’s not so bad really”. Please let me continue…
This same man who likes to wear shirts which reference his parts was seen driving a truck into his driveway just a few nights previous and he and his older girlfriend together hauled out an entire DEAD hog and hung it from a rope thrown over the branches of a tree in the yard. I’m talking hog was hung crucifixion style and the two of them went at him with electric knives cutting him into bits. Mind you, lest you forget, this is taking place on Broadway Avenue- not on someone’s farm. If historical zoning frowns upon vinyl siding and has regulations about how far from the road a fence must be placed, I have a sneaking suspicion that going “Deliverance” in your front yard on wildlife and livestock would be a major no-no.
I swear to you, as much as I complain about this place I laugh about it too. Where else does this stuff happen? I tell my out-of-town friends and I think they think I’m making the stuff up. I consider myself creative, but I don’t think even I could come up with these little jewels.
So, the next time you want to vacation to somewhere lovely come to Rogersville. Bring a camera. You just may get to take some pictures of monkeys in meth labs, obscene t-shirts, and animal slaughterings. Who can put a price tag on those memories?! Priceless.