A Swarm of Santas

Throughout the years, Santa and Mrs. Claus’ gather with different conventions around the country to talk about how to be a better mall Santa, magic tricks, and more. Like all groups, Santas often have a difference of opinion on who is naughty and nice. While I’m not sure exactly what …

Greenback Castle / Fortress of Faith

Unlike most shrines, this one was not built after a grand vision. Floyd “Junior” Banks started building his castle around 1993 to impress the ladies. In the maze-like structure, you’ll find collections of small stuffed animals dug into the dirt, a chapel room, a pet cemetery, 10,000 marbles, and a …

Twin City Drive-In

In July 2013, drive-in’s celebrated their 80th birthday. At the Twin City Drive-In in Bristol, TN, a half full lot watched Fast & Furious 6 while hugged by the rolling hills all around them. Typically, a family will pack in a single car, since admission is per car, pull into …

Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel

In 1979, Chuck and Lou Ann Best jokingly said they were going to teach a squirrel to waterski. The joke became reality and Twiggy became a star going on Good Morning America and Real People. In 1997, Chuck died in an accident on the water. Lou Ann retired for awhile, …

Barbara Mandrell’s Fontanel Mansion

Barbara Mandrell is a country singer who had popular country-pop songs in the 70’s and 80s. With her sisters, she had a popular variety show on NBC that had comedy skits, puppets, and performances by Dolly Parton, Alabama, and the Statler Brothers. In 1988, she built a 20 room log-cabin …

E. T. Wickham Sculptures

E.T. Wickham (1883-1970) lived in Palmyra, Tennessee. In the 50’s he began making religious sculptures to put around his farm. His sculptures were made out of concrete and a collection of materials from around his home. He then began to put his sculptures closer to the road to show his …

Drive-Thru Jesus

In more rural areas of America, you become more dependent of your cars. Public transportation is scarce or non-existent, so your car is a lifeline. Many churches want to meet people where they are at and hold drive-thru celebrations throughout the year. Many churches are set up so the church …

Minister’s Treehouse

Horace Burgess inspired by his love of God and a rather large tree, set out to build the world’s largest treehouse in Crossville, TN, and he did. Spiraling about 100 feet up there were twisty windy hallways and passages everywhere. About 2/3 up lived a chapel with a high ceiling …

Charles the Pig & the Gatlinburg Fires

Rob called into the electric company to see the status of his power being out. A woman picked up during the recorded message and told him, “if you are at home, get out now!” He loaded the car with his family and neighbors and floored it while a fireball chased …

Pet Blessings

“Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of …