A trip to ‘Estep Hollow’ on Frog Level Road made my day
Sunday I went with my wife, two daughters and grandchildren to the places in Tennessee and Virginia where my parents grew up.
It had been a while since we had been there and it was an enjoyable day.
On the trip one of my daughters started counting the number of Dollar General Stores we passed. There are many, possibly one in your neighborhood. Being funny she said if you throw out a yellow bag it would sprout into a Dollar General Store.
We got a good laugh, but the biggest laugh was when we saw a post on Facebook. It pictured a sign at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville that read, “Future home of a Dollar General Store.”
Ouch! If you are a Tennessee fan you didn’t think that was funny. But after suffering a humiliating loss to Georgia State in their home opening football game the Vol fans don’t think much is funny these days.
However, they can usually cheer up when they play Kentucky. They have had the Cat’s number for a number of years. But maybe this year it will be different.
But back to our trip. Where my dad was raised there is a green road sign that says,”Estep Holler.” My daughter Ashley took a picture of it a few years ago and it hangs in my home.
The location is off Frog Level Road, just out of Ewing, Va. It is a scenic drive up Highway 58 to Ewing that makes the trip worthwhile with some of the most beautiful country you’ll ever see.
The Estep name is very prominent in that area. We saw it on buildings and road signs. When I was young our family would go annually to Big Spring Union Church where families would gather for a reunion. There was plenty of preaching and singing and picnic lunches.
Daughter Ashley was doing the driving and when we left Estep Hollow she continued driving east not knowing where the road would lead us. It turned from blacktop to gravel. I started to get a little nervous after several minutes, but we came out at the Big Spring Union Church.
It was nostalgic in view of the fact that about 70 years ago at age ten and on a day like Sunday I would have been there enjoying a snow cone with my friend Glenn Parks.
The trip included a stop in Cumberland Gap where my uncle John ran a grocery store for many years.
Back then there wasn’t a tunnel to go through. The drive took you over the mountain and by Cujos Cave. At times I didn’t know if my dad’s big DeSoto car with its fluid drive would make it up the hill.
If you avoid the bumper to bumper traffic on the Interstate this is the time of the year when it is fun to make short trips. There are many interesting places within a day’s drive of us.
• This weekend my Corbin High School class of 1957 and the class of 56 will be having a reunion. I’m looking forward to seeing my old classmates. When I say old, that is what it is. Most all of us are now in our eighties.
Welcome back classmates. You will be seeing one of the finest schools in the state and a town that has come alive with restaurants and activities.
I think you will like what you see!