A couple of weeks ago, Keith and I made a day trip to Pigeon Forge, TN for a car show. What kind of car show? I dunno! Cars aren’t my thing. Ironically, I work at a super-high-end auto restoration shop. A shop where men spend as much as 10 times more on restoring one vehicle than I earn in an entire year. Yeah, that kind of “super-high-end”. Keith, being the car buff that he is, drools every time he steps foot in the shop. I joke that he first decided he loved me when he discovered where I work…lol! Don’t think that’s necessarily true, but it sure didn’t hurt. Back to my story. Pigeon Forge is only a reasonable 1-1/2 hours from my house, making it a perfect Saturday adventure. We loaded the car with snacks and two 10-year-old little girls and took off. After meandering through the mountains of Tennessee, battling major traffic and fighting for a parking space we did what we came to do…look at cars! Cars like this…
And trucks like this…
It’s pretty easy to see why this was a guy’s real-life fantasy…cars, cars and more cars.
However, I burned out after the first, oh say, 30 minutes. After that it all became a blur. Each car looked the same, well, except some were different colors. So I did what any good wanna-be photographer would do and I turned the camera on the people.
What I saw through my lens that day was entertaining as well as enlightening. To fully appreciate this statement, you must first understand the term “red-neck”. You see, Tennessee is a mecca for the stereotypical red-neck. And the car show only serves as a beacon for red-necks far and wide to gather and drool…literally…over these beautimus hunks of metal.
If only I could capture the sounds of that day. Statements like, “D’ya git a load a that thar truck bed? Itz a nice un.” (Spelled phonetically for your benefit!) “She-it, tha’ uns a good ‘un! Purty now ain’t it!” “Ooo-eee! Ain’t tha’ a nice ‘un!” “I’d shor’ like t’uh git my hands on that ‘un!” “How much d’ya think that ‘un cost?” “Shor’ nuf it’d be a pruty penny!” These phrases reverberated through the air over and over, mingled with the sound of tobacco juice being splattered on the pavement.
Of course, being the country girl that I am, this was nothing new to me. These are my people, people! And a lovely lot they are. While many a joke has been cracked at their expense, nowhere else on earth will you find more genuine, loving folks. They will welcome you with open arms and give you the shirt off their back. That is, if they happen to be wearing one. lol!
When I first began snapping photos, I was doing so with a bit of unintentional maliciousness. Honestly, I was snapping photos for a blog post entitled “Crimes of Fashion…What Not To Wear!”…a funny recounting of a multitude of fashion mishaps. But the sensitive, loyal-to-my-people side of me couldn’t quite bring myself to poke fun. Laughter is just not medicine-for-the-soul when it comes at the expense of others. It’s way too bitter going down.
The more I clicked away, the more guilty I felt. And then a thought entered my mind. I have a “friend” (quotations used for emphasis that this person wasn’t really a friend) that always made a single snide comment about the people living in this area. She constantly asked this question, thinking someone would really answer. Her question was this:”Where are all the pretty people?” She would always ask this with an annoying air of arrogance. Those 6 words were vile to me. My blood would boil and my temper would flare each time she uttered them. But I always bit my tongue. I never said a word. I knew nothing I could say would get through to her. She was literally unable to see inner beauty.
As I mulled this over, I began to visualize a different blog post. The images I wanted to share were those that showed the enormous amount of beauty I witness on a daily basis. The beauty of people who are happy with the simple things. People who are joyous over being with those they love. Simple people, living simple lives, knowing the secret to having it all.
I present to you the pretty people.
P.S. I had many a laugh that day. Everyone was so open to having their photo taken. But one couple tipped my giggle box. After posing for my photo, the husband turned to his wife and said, “Now I wunder which paper we’re gonna be in! We jus’ might be famous, huh?”
I thanked them for the photo, smiled a heart-felt smile, then walked away before I chuckled out loud! 🙂