David Rhoden

Trey and I went to Riceville, Tennessee, and stopped a couple places on the way.

by David Rhoden. Day .

Trey and I got the news that our friends Noy and Tom had also evacuated to Tennessee, so we decided to go up to Riceville and see them. Riceville is in McMinn County, about fifty miles northeast of Chattanooga. I'd never heard of Riceville but I assume it's smaller than McMinnville, the county seat.

Our first stop, though, was Ankar's Hoagies. Ankar's holds a hallowed place in my heart and mind. (It also became a huge favorite of my dad's.) It was good. It also had barely changed since the summer of 1986, when I worked at Cat's Records next door. The main difference was that it had expanded part way into the old Cat's space, so, it was bigger. Also I think it's busier now. I know going to a not-famous Southern sandwich shop is nothing to write about, except that for me it is.

Inside Ankar's Hoagies. It really hasn't changed much since I worked next door at Cat's Records in 1986.

Trey outside Ankar's.

I guess this sign can never be changed now.

This used to be Cat's Records, where I worked in the summer of 1986.

Next we needed to stop for some booze. As we were pulling in to Highway 58 Liquors, Trey, in a pretty typical way, started a story. "Remind me, when we come out of here, to tell you about the time we went camping in the saltpeter caves." So, we go in. Above the front counter is a big TV for the shopkeeper to watch. And there was a nature show on.

"And here we see the majesty of the famous saltpeter caves," the announcer said.

It was such a coincidence Trey told the shopkeeper about it. She also had a caving experience so they swapped stories for about ten minutes, like you do. I learned a lot about caving.

Once we got near the destination the GPS got a little confusing and we realized we needed to change direction. Trey turned the car around in the parking lot of a car mechanic shop. As soon as we pulled out, and old Ford truck from the shop started following us.

The roads are winding two-lanes and this truck stayed on our tail for quite awhile, despite Trey speeding up to give him some space. We were baffled. Was he really upset that we had used his drive to turn around in? Finally Trey said "I'm just gonna pull ove and let this asshole go by." We pulled into a church parking lot but so did the truck. I thought we were going to have a confrontation.

Trey rolled the window down. "Everything OK?"

The truck driver rolled his window down.

"You got a right tail light out," he said, and waved.

We thanked him and went on our way.

I don't have any great tales from the cabin itself except that Trey and I nearly tipped the picnic table over by sitting on the same bench. Also Noy eviscerated a Bota Box.

New Orleans people evacuating in Riceville, Tennessee (McMinn County), August 30, 2021.

New Orleans people evacuating in Riceville, Tennessee (McMinn County), take two, August 30, 2021.

Noy holds up the carcass of a Bota Bag.

We got some rain.

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