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Tennessee Valley Echos: Tales and Memories that Refuse to Die

In seeking the roots of my family tree I found as the people from my past emerged the stories they had lived surfaced with them I am convinced we are all a continuation of stories in our past. We ARE their next chapter. On one side of my family there was a man who became known far and near as Tom Sexton, the Blacksmith Preacher . You will read his tales and sermons as he told them in his uneducated, humorous way. On the other side of my family tree one of my ancestors was killed by river pirates. America s first known serial killers got their start in Knoxville, Tennessee and their indirect link to my family history.

Then travel with me back to my childhood and see how life was in Tennessee during the 1940 s when we lived with ice boxes and outdoor toilets, even at school. Wedged between my life in the city and life in the country are my memories of living in a secret city , Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a town so highly classified it was not on any map! We lived in that secret city while my father worked with the Manhattan Project during World War II. Finally, my family only heard about the strange people called melungeons a few years ago. They are said to be a strange race of people who were neither white nor black nor red nor yellow and I was astonished to find my family has a direct connection to them but never knew it.

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