Pyle last column from Smokies 3

Pyle last column from Smokies 3 - GROWING PAINS by phillips ' ' ' ' J-"- J-"-...
GROWING PAINS by phillips ' ' ' ' J-"- J-"- J-"- J-"- Exiulr r,tu. In. . it 'Wait a minute! I forgot what I'm supposed to christen him.1 Roving Reporter By Ernie Pyle GATLINBURG, Tenn., NOV. 7 This, I'm sure you will be relieved to know, is the last of the columns on the Great , Smoky Mountains National Park. This is the biggest and best known National Park east of the Mississippi. Its mountain mass is the highest in the East; its people are as picturesque as any left in America. And yet friends here say that on their trips out West, and even down below in their own deep South, they frequently talk with people who have never heard of the Smokies. Smokies. But that can never happen again. After the current mass of words which this column has fired into the air, anybody who never heard of the Smokies will have to be jailed as a fifth-columnist. fifth-columnist. fifth-columnist. This is the final warning. The head man of the Great Smokies Park is Ross Eakin. His men say he has one of the smoothiest-working smoothiest-working smoothiest-working organizations in the Park Service. He has been in charge here from the start. Be fore that he was superintendent at Glacier and at Grand Canyon. The Smokies have been fortunate fortunate in having the CCC and the WPA. ' Without them to do the work and do it cheaply, the Park Service would have been decades reaching its present advanced stage of improvements. Thev have built hundreds of miles of trail, and fire roads for trucks, and camoiner grounds and bridges and, even the beautiful stone buildings for Park Headquarters. Headquarters. At one time there were 17 CCC camps in the park, and even now there are seven. The park does' have, it seems to me, one definite lack. And that is enough Rangers for direct con tact with the public. The park charges no admission, so you are not stopped or given information when you drive in. And in Gatlin- Gatlin- burg you are apt to get considerable considerable misinformation about dis tances and trails and places to stay. The public's hunger for authentic authentic information is expressed in the experience of one of the Ran gers. When he first came here, he took a rustic cottage in a tourist court, right in town. But every evening the tourists would see him come home from work in his uni form, and from then till bed time there was a line at his door. He finally had to move. Both Assistant Chief Ranger Harold Edwards, on the Tennessee side, and Assistant Chief Ranger James Light, on the Carolina side, have driven us all around through the interior of the park on fire roadsgravel truck trails not open to the public. We enjoyed these trips, vet as far as I can see, the most spec tacular views m the Park are available right from the cross- cross- park highway, or from the trails out of Gatlinburg. A horse trail follows the backbone backbone of the high mountain ridge from one end of the park to the other. This is a part of the Ap palachian Trail which runs from Maine to Georgia. Each summer large groups come and ride the 71 miles of this trail, camping out at night, taking a week or more for the journey. There is one place on this trail, called Charlie'.- Charlie'.- Bunion, which I have not yet seen. It is a place where you ride or walk (or crawl if you're like me) across a narrow, narrow, wind-swept wind-swept wind-swept ledge where it drops straight off for 1500 feet. There aren't many such places in the smokies, but this one is a lulu. Charlie's Bunion is only a four-mile four-mile four-mile hike from the main paved highway that crosses the Park. Some day, if my game knee ever gets fully recovered, I'll have to hike up there and peek over the edge. I hope my knee never gets better. When the Smokies became eov- eov- ernment land, a great many people people were moved out. But also a great many were left in. Today there are around 400 native mountain mountain people still living in the Tennessee Tennessee half of the park, and prob ably an equal number on the Carolina Carolina side. But it is hard fnr t.hfm ThAV nr no longer masters of their own souls. His independence is a mountain mountain man's staff of life, and the reason he was here in the first place. Today a mountain man in the park dares not go hunting. He can't even nave a gun, unless he's a trusted old-timer old-timer old-timer allowed to keep it for sentimental reasons. He cannot trap. He cannot cut down a tree. He dares not cut balsam balsam boughs for an outdoor bed. When a mountain schoolteacher wants to give some of the boys a whuppin', he has to get a Park Warden to cut the switches for him. The mountain people live within the shell of their traditional exist ence, but it is an empty shell. The spirit has gone out of the old log house; an unseen guard stands watch at the door over tneir liberties. liberties. They are gradually leav ing. It is impossible both to retain. and to exhibit publicly, a natural way of living. Two more generations, generations, and the old mountain cul ture of the Smokies will live only in the museums and the empty log cabins with government signs on them, and in the schools that teach the newly educated young sters how to weave and spin ana hew as their forefathers did. That's all that will be left. IRISH - - - (Continued From Page Eight) handling over or releasing her ports under any conditions whatever as long as Eire remains neutral, he said. (Editor's Note: In his last speech to the house of commons. Prime Minister Winston Churchill ex pressed regret that British ships THE OLD HOME TOWN NOW LISTEN, ANXIOUS TO UNCLE SAM PHONE RIMS PARTY LINE NEWS

Clipped from
  1. Clarion-Ledger,
  2. 08 Nov 1940, Fri,
  3. Page 17

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