Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Mrs. Roy's brother, sister, sister-in-law and various nephews and niece spent a delightful day at Norris Lake in Tennessee recently.  Speeding through the water was fun, the food was great and the sun was warm on our wet skin.  The mountains and shoreline were beautiful and the water was clean and deep.  And Mrs. Roy just had to remind those of the younger generation that we owe it all to Grandpa Doc and a couple of other guys.

See, back nearly 100 years ago, there wasn't any such thing as Norris Lake.  Then a group of engineers and government types got together and decided to build a series of dams that would cause lakes to fill mountain valleys, covering thousands of acres of farmland in Tennessee and Alabama.  Their dream was called the Tennessee Valley Authority and they were going to bring progress and electricity to rural Appalachia.  The work was done by young men through the WPA, part of the New Deal.

One of the folks who went to work for the WPA during this period of time was our Grandpa Doc.  He was just a young fellow and left a wife back home on the farm with his parents while he went out to work and send home his paycheck.  Grandpa and the others worked and built Norris Dam which still holds back the waters we enjoy today.  It also creates a lot of electricity for the region. 

It was an amazing feeling to splash around in that water and know that our ancestor had a direct part in making it possible.  I'm sure we enjoy lots of things that our forefathers struggled to build but this was such a direct link to something folks now take for granted.  Mrs. Roy hopes the nephews and niece will remember. 

And Mrs. Roy is certain that Grandpa was smiling down from heaven as we skimmed across that beautiful lake.  Being on the water in a boat was one of his favorite things.  The love of being on the water and indeed the water itself are both wonderful gifts he gave us.  Thanks, Grandpa.  What a great day.

1 comment: