Steve Edwards grew up in Lyerly and Summerville and was kind enough to share the following photographs, along with his recollections:

My Chattooga childhood was not much different from most of my friends.  Our parents went to work, the children went to school, we all went to church, and then we went home.  Vacations were short or nonexistent, and usually involved relatives or kin.

In the summer of 1961, I traveled with my mom and dad on a weekend vacation to Cherokee, North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains.

indian photo

After a steady diet of Cowboys and Indians movies at the Tooga Theater, is it any wonder that the first picture taken would be an Indian on the main drag in Cherokee?  I never understood how genuine Indian moccasins were only made in Japan.

cherokee, nc

Even in the 1960s, vacations created traffic jams in Cherokee, and motel rooms were hard to find, but we did find one.  Have you ever seen so many classic 1950s cars in a small town?

new found gap

We left Cherokee and drove off to see a bear, all the way to New Found Gap on the Tennessee - North Carolina border.  The climb to nearly six thousand feet was an adventure for flatlanders in those days.  As you can see from the Ford with the raised hood, overheating was very common.

mr and mrs edwards

My mom (wearing glasses) and my dad (wearing a cap) viewing two states.  I can still smell the overheating brakes from the trip down.  We never did spot that bear.

Thanks to Steve Edwards for sharing these great color images and his memories of a weekend trip to the Smokies, fondly remembered from a distance of five decades.

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Copyright 2011 Greg W. McCollum.  All rights reserved.