I think it was 1956, as my father was working on his doctorate from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth TX, that we spent some time in Ft. Worth. That was my introduction to the Texas lifestyle, which I would experience again some 20 years later. I also experienced my first train ride from New Orleans to Ft. Worth. Daddy got his doctorate.
It was either that summer or the next that we spent the summer in Knoxville TN at the First Baptist Church, where Daddy was the interim Education minister. I remember that church being dark, so I wanted to say something about the Great Smoky Mountains. In New Orleans, it is very flat. The city built a hill at Audubon Park to show children what hills looked like. Folks could slide down the hill and ride bikes up and down the hill. It was a well-worn hill. But, it was nothing like the mountains in TN. On Saturdays, my parents would take my brother and me on picnics in the Smokies. We saw rivers, streams, and bears. I remember it being a very happy time, and it started my great love for the mountains. I liked the beaches too, but the mountains were very peaceful. I liked getting smooth rocks from the streams. We didn't feed the bears, but they got enough food too. Life was good.