Uncle Bob's Travels

Places I've hung out in or just neat postcards

Archive for the month “June, 2016”

Aero Barber Shop


Here it is at 6829 Clinton Highway, just out of Knoxville TN.
According to Tim Cable, who did a story on the building when he was working for WJHL-TV, the airplane-shaped building dates from the 30s and began as a Texaco gas station.  The “wing” toward the highway sheltered the pumps.  Neat place.

Wiley Oakley Postcard

oakleyfront oakleyback

This is one of those deals in which the back of the card is more important than the front.  It’s from Wiley Oakley, the “Roamin’ Man of the Mountains”, a master tracker and woodsman.  His knowledge of the area around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was legendary.
I can’t really make out the date on the postmark.  At first, I thought it was “1931”.  Now, the Curt Teich published card carries the alphanumeric code: 4A-H696.  This, I think, puts the card issuance as 1934 or so, which is when the Park officially came into existence.  I think the postmark wasn’t fully imprinted and the line I thought was a “1” is really just the left part of an incomplete number.  I can’t find any “Wilmott” associated with the Staten Island Museum (still in business).

So, anyway, Wiley writes: “arived (sic) safe and sound last night.  this was some trip up east.  I enjoyed my stay with you very much.  Will write you later again. having to do a lot of talking. yours wiley oakley”

Mailed to” Mr. Wilmott c/o Staten Island Museum, Staten Island, New York”

Caryville Dragon



The Caryville TN dragon, the last reminder of the Monster Fireworks operation that once was located here (on Hwy 116).  The dragon overlooks I-75 and once had red lights for eyes.
Then, there was a tragedy.  The story is here.

A Dollar General store now sits where Monster Fireworks used to be.  According to anecdotal sources, the dragon dates from the early 80s.

Whispering Pines

Here is how this went:  A week or so ago, I was taking an afternoon nap when my phone rang.  A Chattanooga number. A woman’s voice, somewhat raspy, asked, “Is this Whispering Pines?”

The usual reply, “Nope, wrong number.  Sorry, ‘bye.”

Ten minutes later: Ring.

“Is this Whispering Pines?”

Again, no, sorry, no.

A few minutes later. Ring.

I recognized the number and ignored it.

The next day.  At work.  Ring.

“Is this Whispering Pines?”

I said, “Look, lady, you woke me up from a nap yesterday and wouldn’t believe me when I told you (I was actually pointing my finger…) that this is not Whispering Pines.”

She denied having called me.

“No more.  This is not Whispering Pines. Good bye.”

Then, I blocked the number.

My buddy and I were over in the Asheville area the next Saturday and, lo, I see this:


I thought I could hear faint laughter coming from somewhere.


Johnson City TN


First, this is an Asheville Post Card Company issue, probably from the 50s.
Don’t ever buy a card in this condition unless you need a placeholder until one in better condition comes along.
I actually have ones in better condition, but this one was nearby when I needed something to post.
I’d guess the original photo (it was in black-and-white…the color was added during the printing process) was taken somewhere around Top o’ the Town (I welcome other opinions).   The white building on the left appears to be the General Mills pile that currently haunts the downtown.

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