So, I've been sitting on the idea of writing about Scott County and my family for a couple of weeks now. A couple of people have mentioned that they are eagerly awaiting the edition to my blog. Here is the thing. I have to be careful. Like many families, we are very complicated. There is a lot of stuff that is not pretty and although it may make for a very interesting story (and intense psychological study....trust me) I think it may really make some people angry. Also, I have found that while writing, even if I just state the facts, people add their own spin on it and make it into what they want me to say - which is usually not pretty. After my many pleas I still have people who read my blog just to make sure I don't talk about them or anyone else. If they interpret something I say as "bashing someone" they call the people and let them know. Gossip and troublemaking - I feel like I am always complaining about this but I can't believe there are people (the same handful of people, by the way) that keep doing it. But, I digress....back to the matter at hand. So, I don't know....I am torn. For today I will give you some background history about my family and stats on Scott County.
Where do I begin???? Scott County is located in northeast Tennessee. It borders Kentucky. It is 65 miles northwest of Knoxville, although it takes about an hour and a half to drive there. I did not grow up in TN but my parents and their parents all did. As a child, I did spend a lot of time there and it is quite beautiful. The way of life is so different down there. There isn't much diversity and it is in the heart of the Bible Belt. Most of the God fearing people down there are Baptist. The entire county only has 22,000 people. That number has been growing over the last few years. To give anyone who lives around here a comparison....Summit County is 413 square miles and has 547,000 people living in it. Scott County is 533 square miles and as I said earlier, has 22,000 people. Pretty much everyone knows everyone and their business. 99% of the people are white. The area is economically depressed. The unemployment rate is 7%, the national unemployment rate is 4.5%. The median household income is $24,000 the national average is $42,000. The poverty rate is almost 20% not surprising since on 60% of all people over the age of 25 has a high school diploma. Because of the economic problems there is quite a bit of crime. I tried to find the crime rates but gave up. I know a while back I saw the crime rate for Scott County was higher than Summit County but don't be fooled by that....there is far less crime just less people. Make sense? The largest percentage of arrests involve Drugs & Alcohol, followed by theft and domestic violence. Scott county has a HUGE drug problem. You'd think with all the farm land and wilderness that marijuana would be the big problem but just like everywhere else, I don't think people even count that as a drug anymore. The area has been plagued by Meth labs and believe it or not...prescription drugs. Xanax, Vicodin, Oxicodone and Oxycontin. I don't know why and I am not sure if it is the same here as well...but down there it seems like anyone can get a prescription for narcotics. Headaches, backaches, toe hurts??? Get a prescription with unlimited refills and sign up to get a social security check. My Papaw called it being on the draw.
Scott County is beautiful. There are mountains and lots of wildlife. It borders the Big South Fork National Park. The air quality is better than 90% of the United States. My parents grew up there but moved to Ohio because that is where the good jobs were. I grew up in Vermilion but knew many people who lived there that were from the same area as my parents. Once, I was at the store, in Oneida, and I ran into a girl from my 6th grade class. We ended up being best friends. Currently, there is a man I went to HS with who lives in Scott County. Crazy,eh? Anyhoo....while I was growing up, my parents never planned to move back to Tennessee. In fact they always said they wouldn't. But....life happens and they changed their minds. After my dad retired they built a very nice house on top of a mountain in the middle of the wilderness. Where the paved road ends, my parents driveway begins. They seem to be very happy there. They have a great church family and are close to their family. My dad claims to be the Mayor of Wolfcreek, although that position doesn't really exist. He is, however, really the Vice-President of the Community Club. He also drives the cancer van (you have to drive to Knoxville for chemo and many people can't get there on their own). They have a big garden, a dog and 118 acres of land. I think my mom would prefer to be closer to shopping areas but she is content. My parents like to go four-wheeling. I think it is cool.
When I was a kid my parents had decided to move to Tennessee and build a house. We lived in a mobile home while the house was being built. I can't recall how long we were there but I did start kindergarten in Tennessee. I don't think I went there very long before my dad decided to go back to work for Ford. He went to Ohio and bought a house. My mom didn't even see it until the moving van pulled up. Crazy? I sometimes think how different my life would be if I had grown up in Scott County. I am a country girl at heart but I do love the city being close. I guess I like a balance. That is pretty much it for today. I have MUCH more to tell you and to talk about but like I said...I am still contemplating. In the mean time if you want to read more about Scott County and some of the locals (or way of life) there is a web-site that is very interesting. I've talked to the guy who it belongs to and I've even contributed some pics. There is a cool story about my Grandma Wright. Check it out.
Here is a picture of my Dad when he was a kid.
Here is Aunt D.