Laugh Like There’s No Tomorrow

On top of old Smoky is Newfound Gap.  From this lookout point, on US  Route 441,  you can see North Carolina and Tennessee.  Rte. 441 is the main highway through the Smokies.  From Dolly Parton’s hometown of Sevierville, TN to Cherokee, NC it is the only highway, and it is a long and winding one. Millions of people travel this road every year, as they enjoy the scenic beauty of The Great Smoky Mountains.

Newfound Gap in The Smokies Elevation 5,068 ft.

Newfound Gap in The Smokies Elevation 5,068 ft.

It was on this road that we were driving on the 4th of July weekend.  Sonny and Reva have bought a home in the foothills of the Smokies, and Chuck and I  had been down there helping them clean up and fix up. Since Nene lives in Knoxville, it is only about a 20 minute drive for her.  She came over to go out to dinner with us.  It took us about thirty seconds to decide on where we wanted to go for dinner, so we hopped into Nene’s Lincoln and headed over the mountain.

You need to understand that my brother, Sonny, doesn’t have a lick of sense when we get together.  Reva says he changes into a different creature when he is with his sisters.  Reva was sitting shot gun and Nene was driving.  Sonny and Chuck flanked each side of me in the back seat.  Why do I have to always be the one to sit on the hump?  Because, my brother and I must sit together, otherwise it is a boring trip, and he pouts.

Reva and Nene had water or Pepsi, or some drink they were sipping on .  I was thirsty.  We had been on the road about five minutes:

Pam: “I’m thristy.”

Sonny: “Me, too.  At least SOME of us have something to drink.”

Pam: “Yeah. Maybe they will give our poor, parched lips a sip.”

I needed water!

I needed water!

Sonny: “Or at least let us smell of it.”

Pam: “Do they think because I’m sitting on this hump that I’m some sort of camel?”

Sonny:  “They think you can store water in that hump.”

Pam:  “Well I’m not walking a mile for a camel.”   “Look!  Is that an oasis up ahead, or just a mirage?”

Nene pulled in a market and Chuck bought us some water.

Five minutes down the road.

Pam: “I have to go to the bathroom.”

We laughed all the way over to Cherokee and all the way back. We ate dinner at Cherokee, loaded up Chief Fulla Bulla (Sonny), and headed back over the mountain.  The conversation went something like this:

Nene: “I’ve been on a Hershey’s with Almonds kick lately.”

Pam: “Well, sometimes you feel like a nut; sometimes you don’t. You know, those Almonds can be a Joy.”

Sonny: “Hey Nene! When you get to Newfound Gap, pull over so we can get out and look at the Stars. pause  “Maybe we can get a Mars bar, and sit back and Snicker.”

Pam: “And, look at the Milky Way.”

Sonny: “Nene, you didn’t stop and let us look at the stars!”

Pam: “No, you didn’t.  The 3 Musketeers back here wanted to stop and look at the stars.”

pause

Pam: “Would somebody hand me some of those M&M’s?  And, don’t let Nene have any.  She has Butterfingers.”

pause

Pam: “I’m thirsty.  I need a drink from my Reese’s Cup.”

Sonny: “Someone’s had too much Laffy Taffy.”

Chuck: “We ought to Cluster up and go to the parade in Gatlinburg.”

Long pause

Sonny: “Dr. Who will probably be there.”

Pam: “Yeah, and Dr. Enuf.”                          

Dr. Enuf

Dr. Enuf

Chuck: “And, Dr. Pepper.”

Pam: “I haven’t seen him since he was Nehi.”  pause  “Didn’t he use to date Grapette?”

Reva: “I know he had a Crush on her.”

Pam: “He was a little Sprite of a thing, best I remember.”

Chuck: ” Didn’t he have a cousin named RC?”

Nene: “Maybe we can get seats in the Upper 10.”

Pam: “Or 7 Up from there.”

Sonny: “Little Baby Ruth will probably be there.”

Reva: “And Peppermint Patty.”           

Little Baby Ruth

Little Baby Ruth

Pam: “Along with her Sugar Babies, and their Sugar Daddy’s.”

pause

Pam: “Sonny, would you and Chuck stop playing “lean” around these curves?  I’m getting in a Crunch back here, sitting in the middle.”

Sonny: “You all have Zero sense!”

Pam: “Yeah, we all sound like we’re on Coke.”  pause  “I hear it’s Dry in Canada this time of year.”

Nene: “Would you all hush!  I’m trying to drive through this Sierra Mist.”

This week I get an e-mail from Nene:

“I found out that Suz was at the parade in Gatlinburg over the weekend.  Guess Baby Ruth was there after all.  Isn’t that hilarious?” I replied, “Was she with Mr. Pibb?  He was always Mother’s favorite!”

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One Comment on “Laugh Like There’s No Tomorrow”


  1. Talk about being a fly on the wall– I’d give anything to have been a Rock on your Road through the mountains. I’d have loved to see a Starburst along the Milky Way and enjoy listening to the Fruit Loops riding in the back seat!


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