My Official Stance on Abortion

The first recorded evidence of induced abortion was in Egypt in 1550BC. Japanese records show abortions being done as early as 12th Century. The Maori, who lived in New Zealand starting around 1250 AD terminated pregnancies via miscarriage-inducing drugs, ceremonial methods and girding the abdomen with a restrictive belt. The Greeks had many methods, mostly using herbs and plants to induce abortion. Romans created tools to get the job done more efficiently. In De viribus herbarum, an 11th Century book on herbs, there is a list of plants that can cause abortion. France, England, German, etc. throughout history you can find herbs and suggestions and surgeries that have ended pregnancies.

Aristotle believed a fetus didn’t have a soul until 40 days for males and 90 days for females. The Stoics of Greece believed a fetus to be no more than a plant until it took it’s first breath. Although abortion was accepted in Rome, around 211 AD emperors Septimus Severus and Caracalla banned abortion as infringing on the father’s right to dispose of his own offspring. Because of the influence of Stoicism, which did not view the fetus as a person, the Romans did not punish abortion as homicide.

In contrast to their pagan brothers, the Christian community felt somewhat different. Tertullian, a 2nd and 3rd century theologian argued abortion should only be performed if the mother’s life was in danger. The Didache, which is a 1st century Christian treatise, says “do not murder a child by abortion, or kill a new-born infant”. Saint Augustine believed aborting a fetus that had limbs and a shape was murder. As far as earlier stage abortion, he believed the same as Aristotle.

Moving on to the 19th Century, where we had great advances in modern medicine and a change of views on abortion. Doctors pushed to have abortion made illegal, mainly because the people performing the abortions weren’t doctors but people untrained in the medical field. By 1880, abortions were illegal in most states except in certain circumstances.

In 1936, Soviet Russia was the first country to make abortion legal. Josef Stalin was concerned about population growth and saw it as a way to keep the population down. From that time until now, many countries have made it legal. The US Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, made it legal in this country in 1973.

Now, to the reason for this blog. People call for Constitutional Amendments and laws banning abortion. These will never happen. First, the Constitution is designed to give people freedom and limit government control, not take freedom away from people. Federal law clearly states abortion is legal. There’s no changing that, especially as this country leans more liberal with each generation.

Although, personally I’d never want an unborn child of mine to be aborted, if I was president I would NOT push to make abortion illegal. I believe once the Supreme Court has ruled on that issue then it is no longer an issue and it’s time to move on to the next issue. I do believe abortions should NOT be federally funded. This would mean taking money from Planned Parenthood, which is NOT the same as keeping women away from birth control. The county health department can do anything Planned Parenthood can do without using all those federal funds to pay for abortions. If a woman wants an abortion, then she should have to pay for it herself or through her insurance. While abortions have declined over the years, I do think we could do more to make other options more palatable.

The biggest thing we could do to make abortion less of an option is to deregulate the adoption market. Make it easier for nonprofit groups to arrange for adoptive parents and make it easier for them to compensate the mother for carrying the child to full term. There are many people who can’t have children. Let’s make it easier for them to have their own families. Also, paying the mother (especially a low income mother) for carrying the child full term will encourage more mothers to give birth rather than abort.

While abortion is legal throughout the country, I think each state should be allowed to regulate and restrict abortion procedures as they see fit without interference from the federal government. Whether the states use that power to make abortions easier to get or more difficult to get, that should be up to each state. If the states want to use state tax income to pay for abortions, that should also be left to them. As for me, I think those federal funds could be of better use in other areas.

And if you want to talk about the morals of having an abortion and whether it’s murder or not, well, it’s not the government’s job to legislate morality. It’s the government’s job to make decisions based on what they think is best for the citizens and this country.



Blountville, Tennessee and the Aliens (Extraterrestrial kind not Illegal Kind)

We took a drive through Blountville, Tennessee recently to see a UFO. Blountville is obviously named for William Blount but, strangely enough, is not in Blount County. It’s the county seat of Sullivan County and is the ONLY county seat not incorporated as a city or town. It was founded in 1795 and if it was a city it would be the 2nd oldest city in Tennessee behind Jonesborough (1779). I’m sure a post about Jonesborough will be in the near future. If you’re looking for historic buildings, they have many building registered as historic sites. Other than that there isn’t much happening in Blountville, except for the UFO and the aliens, which while unique isn’t really all that exciting. But we were in the area so we decided to make a stop.

On Birch Street, there is a big UFO with 2 aliens standing in front of it in a yard. The UFO and the aliens were built by Bob Moore, who passed away in April 2011. Mr. Moore is no longer at that residence but his creation, the UFO and the aliens, are still there. If you’re ever driving anywhere near Blountville, just take a stop on Birch Street and see the aliens. It’s worth a detour.

Just pull into the driveway and take a picture. If the family says anything, just tell them Michael Bean sent you. They won’t know who I am but it might break the ice a little bit.






It’s Time to Legalize Marijuana

Let’s start with a disclaimer. I do not nor have I ever partaken in the use of marijuana. I’m not opposed to it nor do I judge people who have. I have really just never had any interest. With that being said I am a proponent of the legalization of marijuana.

Let’s start with a short history:

8000 BCE: The use of hemp cord in pottery identified at an ancient village site dating back over 10,000 years, located in the area of modern day Taiwan. Finding hemp use and cultivation in this date range puts it as one of the first and oldest known human agriculture crops. It’s possible marijuana may have been the world’s first agricultural crop.

2737 BCE: Emperor Shen Neng of China used cannabis as medicine (First recorded use)

For thousands of years, people all over the world used hemp for paper, rope, fabric. They used marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.

430 BCE: Herodotus reports on both ritual and recreation use of cannabis by the Scythians.

200 BCE: Hemp rope appears in Greece. Chinese Book of Rites mentions hemp fabric.

100 BCE: Hemp paper invented in China.

70AD: Dioscorides, a physician in Nero’s army, lists medical marijuana in his Pharmacopoeia

200: Chinese surgeon Hua T’o uses marijuana as an anesthetic.

300: A young woman in Jerusalem receives medical marijuana during childbirth.

1616: Jamestown settlers began growing the hemp plant for its unusually strong fiber and used it to make rope, sails, and clothing.

1850: Cannabis is added to The U.S. Pharmacopoeia. Marijuana was widely used throughout United States as a medicinal drug and could easily be purchased in pharmacies and general stores.

1910: The Mexican Revolution caused an influx of Mexican immigrants who introduced the habit of recreational use (instead of it’s generally medicinal use) into American society.

1914: The Harrison Act in the U.S. defined use of Marijuana (among other drugs) as a crime.

1916: USDA chief scientists Jason L. Merrill and Lyster H. Dewey created paper made from hemp pulp, which they concluded was “favorable in comparison with those used with pulp wood and that one acre of hemp, in annual rotation over a 20-year period, would produce as much pulp for paper as 4.1 acres of trees being cut down over the same 20-year period. This process would use only 1/7 to 1/4 as much polluting sulfur-based acid chemicals to break down the glue-like lignin that binds the fibers of the pulp, or even none at all using soda ash. The problem of dioxin contamination of rivers is avoided in the hemp paper making process, which does not need to use chlorine bleach (as the wood pulp paper making process requires) but instead safely substitutes hydrogen peroxide in the bleaching process. Technologically this country wasn’t prepared to make paper from hemp so the wood pulp process became the norm.

1915-1927: In the U.S. cannabis begins to be prohibited for nonmedical use. Prohibition first begins in California (1915), followed by Texas (1919), Louisiana (1924), and New York (1927).

1937: U.S. Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act which criminalized the drug. In response Dr. William C. Woodward, testifying on behalf of the AMA, told Congress that, The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marijuana is a dangerous drug” and warned that a prohibition loses sight of the fact that future investigation may show that there are substantial medical uses for Cannabis.” His comments were ignored by Congress. A part of the testimony for Congress to pass the 1937 act derived from articles in newspapers owned by William Randolph Hearst, who had significant financial interests in the timber industry, which manufactured his newsprint paper.

1971: First evidence suggesting marijuana may help glaucoma patients

1988: U.S. DEA administrative law Judge Francis Young finds, after thorough hearings, that marijuana has a clearly established medical use and should be reclassified as a prescriptive drug. His recommendation is ignored.

1996: California (the first U.S. state to ban marijuana use) became the first U.S. State to then re-legalize medical marijuana use for people suffering from AIDS, cancer, and other serious illnesses. A similar bill was passed in Arizona the same year. This was followed by the passage of similar initiatives in Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Washington D.C., Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Vermont

Nov 2012: The states of Colorado and Washington legalize marijuana for recreational use; promises are made to the people that these new initiatives will have no impact on medical marijuana in those states. Washington DC decriminalizes personal use and possession of marijuana.

Nov 2014: The states of Alaska and Oregon legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Short history? It’s as short as I could make it considering this crop has a 10,000 year history.

Now you know the history. Let’s talk about legalization. Let’s start with Colorado. Colorado legalized usage in 2012. In the first year violent crime decreased by 2.2%, burglaries dropped 9.5% and overall property crimes decreased by 8.9%. Tax revenue increased for the state. By October 2014 tax revenue amounted to approximately $41 million. Colorado is generating so much tax revenue from cannabis sales they are putting money back into the pockets of Colorado taxpayers. Marijuana arrests have dropped 84% since 2010. Each arrest costs the justice system $300 to enforce and adjudicate, saving law enforcement around $2 million in costs. The legalization of marijuana created 16,000 jobs in Colorado which obviously lowered unemployment.

Marijuana/cannabis/hemp has many benefits. Hemp can be widely used for many things. It can be utilized for paper, clothing, plastics, fuel and food. Hemp grows very quickly and would save on cutting down trees. It also needs no herbicides in most environments.

It has medical benefits, as stated by the AMA in 1937. There are many reports which state marijuana is effective in treating many ailments and can replace numerous types of medications. It has less side effects than most of these medications.

Weed is very popular and people some people smoke it daily.  This keeps law enforcement busy trying to enforce these silly prohibitions. Legalizing frees officer up to focus on more important cases. Many government agencies spend a lot of time and money trying to keep people from consuming cannabis. This money could be better spent on housing, healthcare, education and other programs.

I also believe it’s my right to put into my body whatever I choose especially when it doesn’t harm anyone else. Criminalizing it denies me that right especially when cannabis has never been linked to a decrease in productivity in society.

Legalization makes selling weed safer. It takes it off the dangerous streets and puts it out in front where it can be regulated and sold safely. Many large illegal cannabis operations are run by gangs and cartels. Legalization takes money away from these gangs, who usually commit other crimes, and puts it in the hands of law abiding citizens.

As shown by the Colorado numbers it also increases tax income which will boost the economy. Tennessee gives free community college to TN high school graduates using money from the Lottery. Increased tax revenue from weed sales could do the same across the country and possible even four year universities without increasing taxes on everyone else.

The US Government has been trying to stop the use of cannabis since 1937 and even increased efforts under Reagan, Bush and Clinton. This “War on Drugs” has failed and continues to do so. Usage isn’t decreasing. If anything, it’s increasing and will probably continue to do so.

You want more pros? How about these. Right now anyone, regardless of age, can buy it on the street. Legalization can control who buys and who doesn’t. There’s evidence that cannabis can reverse or slow the growth of cancer cells. It’s cheap and easy to produce and it’s highly profitable. It would reduce the amount of natural resources (like trees) needed to make the stuff we use on a daily basis. It is physically impossible to overdose on marijuana, while tens of thousands of people overdose on LEGAL prescriptions drugs yearly.

Keeping cannabis illegal has created an illegal black market to buy/sell the substance. A market the state has no control over. By legalizing this substance the state can get more control over it and actually make some tax revenue in the process. It’s obvious why this drug is illegal. Pharmaceutical companies, oil companies and the lumber industry would have competition but isn’t that what capitalism and free market is all about?

I’ve stated my opinions and I’ve even tossed in a few facts. This blog really did become a lot longer than I originally expected but as I typed it I realized I had a lot to say on this subject.






Antioch, Tennessee, “The Gift” and delicious Greek food

We took a trip to Antioch, Tennessee, recently. I know what you’re thinking. Why the hell would you go there? To be honest, we just happened to be in Nashville and decided to drive down to Antioch and see “The Gift”.

Many of you may not know much about Antioch and for good reason. It really doesn’t have much there to talk about. It’s a community governed by the Nashville metropolitan government and it’s the denominational headquarters of the National Association of Free Will Baptists. But we went anyway because we read about “The Gift” and we wanted to check it out.

“The Gift” is a mobile sculpture of a half-melted guitar and other musical instruments in front of an apartment complex on Bell Road. It moves with the wind and while it’s no Statue of Liberty, it was unique enough to make the trip to Antioch. While the sculpture is unique the highlight of the drive was a small Greek restaurant called Zeus Gyros located at 1114 Bell Road. Missy loves international food. I am more of a steak and potatoes kind of guy. But I decided to step out of my comfort zone and treat her to a meal I thought she’d really enjoy. Little did I know I’d enjoy it too. I ordered a chicken plate and it was loaded with chicken and rice and vegetables. It was so much food I couldn’t eat it all. The chicken was the tenderest chicken I’ve ever eaten and the rice was actually good (if you know me, you know I’m not a fan of rice). I would eat there again if we ever make it back to Antioch, although I really don’t see why we would unless they add another unique tourist attraction  to their community.



Transsexuality: A Lesson and some opinions (of course)

TRANSSEXUALITY: I’m very new to this topic but I feel the urge to voice my opinion on it anyway.  I hope I do it justice.

Let’s begin with some definitions.

SEX: The classification of people as male or female. At birth infants are assigned a sex, usually based on the appearance of their external anatomy. This is what is written on the birth certificate.

TRANSGENDER: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.

TRANSSEXUAL: An older term that originated in the medical and psychological communities. Still preferred by some people who have permanently changed, or seek to change, their bodies through medical interventions, including but not limited to hormones and/or surgeries. Unlike transgender, transsexual is not an umbrella term. Some transgender people don’t like to be referred to as transsexual. It’s always best to ask which they prefer. For this blog, I will use transsexual.

Transsexuals suffer because they are trapped in the body of the wrong sex. This hurts so much they are driven to fix it or die trying. Transsexuality begins in the womb and occurs in many animals besides man. Christians like to get on their soapbox and scream “God doesn’t make mistakes” No one is saying He does. Some people are just born into the wrong body. I have a son who was born with Down’s Syndrome. Did God make a mistake there? What about kids born deaf or blind or handicapped in some way? Did God make a mistake there? NO! Sometimes children are just born with birth defects or with deafness or blindness or just born into the wrong sex. Your body doesn’t determine your gender. Your mind does. I have no problem with people who feel they were born into the wrong sex making the changed they feel they need to make to make themselves feel whole. No one should. People should be able to do what makes them happy.

Throughout history transsexuality has been accepted and respected. In ancient Rome, the “Gallae”, Phrygian worshipers of the Goddess Cybele. Once they decided on THEIR choice of gender and religion, the physically male Gallae ran through the streets and threw their own severed genitalia into open doorways, as a ritualistic act. The household receiving these remains considered them a blessing and nursed the Gallae back to health. They would then receive female clothes and assume a female identity. In India, ritual practices for trans individuals continue to this day. Called Hijiras, this sect also worship a Goddess, and undergo a primitive sort of sex reassignment surgery. While they are both shunned and revered in Indian society, they are accorded the status of true females. The Navajo recognize three sexes instead of two. They are male, female and nadle, which is considered both and neither. While those born hermaphroditic are automatically nadle, physically normal individuals may define as nadle based on their own self-definition of gender identity. Before the Navajo were all but obliterated by Catholicism the nadle possessed great respect. There were also the Sererr of the Pokots of Kenya, the Xaniths of Islamic Oman, the Mahu of Tahiti and the Sekrata of Madagascar. Transsexuality was a fact of life and a place in society was made for the gender dysphoric to be themselves.

LET THE TRANS PEOPLE BE THEMSELVES. I’m not saying eliminate words like he or her from the English language. Create new pronouns. Learn what trans people prefer to be called. Treat them like people. Don’t gawk or stare. Don’t mock or belittle. These people have been living in the shadows long enough. Let them use the bathroom of their choice. For that matter, maybe it’s time we eliminate male/female bathrooms. Make ALL bathrooms unisex. If you make mingling of the sexes more common, maybe things like breastfeeding in public or bare breasts or nudity won’t be so offensive to people.  Okay, I’m getting carried away. The bottom line: Lighten up people. Let people be who they are.

Neglecting my Blog

Hello, it’s been since January 9 when I last blogged. I know I’ve neglected this blog that barely anyone reads but I’ve been very busy living life. I moved from Oliver Springs, TN to Sparta, TN. Sparta is a small town but it has many things to offer. It’s also only 20 minutes from Crossville which is one of my new favorite cities in Tennessee and only about 1.5 hours from Nashville.

I live with my girlfriend, Missy and her daughter Bella. Missy is the most amazing woman ever and I’m absolutely crazy about her. Since she’s a private woman that’s all I’ll say about her for now.

I changed jobs since I blogged last. My 20 years at Techmer PM ended on January 11, 2016. I’ll miss many of the guys I worked with but not the company so much. It was a great run but nothing lasts forever. It was time to do something different and different is what I did. I moved from plastic to metal. Now I work at L&W Engineering in Lebanon. They are an assembly plant assembling auto parts for the GM plant in Springhill, Tennessee.

Last but definitely not least, I’m going to be a grandpa again. My first grandson and second grandchild is due in July. I look forward to seeing little Trey.  Trey? Yes. Trey is for three, as in Michael Bean III. Now that’s badass.

Missy and I have done much traveling and seen many cool things in the last few months and soon I’ll be posting and telling about all the things we’ve seen and experienced since I moved into this house. As for now, have a nice night and spread love not hate.

Burkesville, Kentucky and the Real John McLain

Burkesville, Kentucky is literally a one stoplight town. Highway 90 and Highway 61 intersect at this one light. An old fashioned town square is on Main Street and the Main Street splits and forms a circle around the courthouse. It’s the county seat of Cumberland County, Kentucky. It was settled around 1768 and was incorporated as a city named after Isham Burk, a prominent citizen at the time. It is about 2.5 square miles and has a population of approximately 1500 people.

In this town at 700 Hill Street is a motel called Alpine Resort. It has been there since 1953 and after many renovations reopened in 2013. The parking lot of this motel was built around a grave, the grave of John T. “Captain Jack” McLain. John McLain was born in 1838 in Barren County, Kentucky.  He was mustered into the 1st Kentucky Cavalry of the Union Army on December 5, 1861, at Camp Boyle, Kentucky for three years and was promoted from 1st Sergeant to 2nd Lieutenant on August 10, 1962 and to 1st Lieutenant on July 4, 1863 and to Captain on June 30, 1864. One night he was drunk and accidentally killed a friend of his named Dick Watson thinking he was a Confederate guerrilla. In his grief on September 21, 1866, Captain Jack shot himself in the home of Dr. J. C. Herriford. His request was to be buried on the summit of what was known as “Big Hill” at the time. His grave is 400 feet above the town and 900 feet above sea level. He said this was as near Heaven as he could ever get. It’s a sad story but it’s an amazing sight to see. This lone grave on this hill with this parking lot built around it. The view of Burkesville from there is amazing also.


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Burkesville, KY from the gravesite




Liberty, Tennessee and the Allen Bluff Mule

Liberty, Tennessee, is in DeKalb County. It was settled in 1797 by Revolutionary War veteran Adam Dale, who built a mill on Smith Fork Creek. Liberty’s main street is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has an area of 1 square mile and population of approximately 300 people.

If you drive from Smithville to Liberty down Highway 70 you’ll come across a painting of a mule on the side of a limestone cliff next to the road. Dr. Wayne T. Robinson claimed to be the painter of this mule on the side of the cliff while he was a 21 year old college student in October, 1906. According to his claim, he climbed up the face of Allen Bluff to a ledge about 75-100 feet above the ground and painted the mule with some coal tar. It’s of a cartoon character named “Maud the Mule” from a popular comic strip first published in 1904 called And Her Name was Maud.

In 2003, the expansion of US 70 to a four lane threatened to destroy the painting. Residents started a letter writing campaign to TDOT and supporters placed signs along the roadway stating “Save the Mule”. The expansion ended up being far enough away from the mule that it’s still there to this day.

In 2003, Liberty residents became upset that an expansion of U.S. 70 to a four-lane road could threaten the mule painting. The residents started a letter writing campaign to the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Supporters of the mule also placed signs along the roadway stating “Save the Mule.” Ultimately the road expansion was far enough away from the mule, that it was never in any danger.

On the same bluff the name of Will T. Hale is also inscribed. This was put there many years before the mule was painted. William T. Hale was a merchant, lawyer and litterateur of Liberty, Tennessee, who was born in 1857. He’s best known as the author of “Vernon Wild”, a novelette.

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Livingston, Tennessee: Home of the 1st American Soldier Killed in Vietnam

When I found out the first American soldier killed in Vietnam was a Tennessee native I did some reading. My father is a Vietnam veteran so this appealed to me on a personal level. Come to find out, he was born and raised in Livingston, Tennessee and is buried there so Melissa and I took a trip to Livingston.

Livingston is the county seat of Overton County, Tennessee (seems like we visit a lot of county seats during our trips). It’s named for Edward Livingston (1764-1836), who served as Secretary of State under Andrew Jackson. It has a population of 4000 and an area of 5 square miles. That’s really all there is to say about this small yet beautiful town.

Specialist Four James T. Davis was the 1st official American casualty of Vietnam. There is a monument to him in the courthouse square. Once I saw the monument I had to find the cemetery to see the burial site. He’s buried in Good Hope Cemetery. James Davis was born on June 1, 1936 in Livingston, TN. His parents were James Clarence Davis and Mary Blanche Lansden Davis. He had a wife, Geraldine Martin Davis, and a daughter, Cindy Davis. His father was a WWII vet. His father was also a pharmacist just like his father before him. After three years as an engineering student at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, he joined the Army. In the Army he was trained as a radio direction finding intercept operator.

Then it was off to Vietnam. He was a member of the Army Security Agency’s 3rd Radio Research Unit. He arrived in Vietnam in May 1961. James’s job was to get out and monitor enemy communications. He rode in a truck and operated a directional finder. Once he discovered the enemy’s location, the information was given to the South Vietnamese Army. It was just a matter of time before the Viet Cong discovered that these men were disrupting their communications and they went searching to take them out.

On the day of December 22, 1961, James was riding in the passenger seat of the truck doing his regular job when a remote control landmine went off underneath the truck. The Viet Cong attacked killing the Vietnamese soldiers in the back of the truck. James pulled the injured driver to safety inside a water-filled culvert beneath the truck then took off running and drawing fire away from the injured driver. He died a hero, sacrificing his life in an attempt to save others.

I felt a bit of reverence and awe as I stood in front of his grave. I know it’s been over 50 years since his death and I don’t personally know his family but he was a hero in a war in which my father also participated. Any soldier deserves reverence and respect, especially those that paid the ultimate price.

R.I.P. Specialist Four James Thomas Davis. May your sacrifice never be forgotten.




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Crossville, the Minister’s Tree House and the Rock City Barn

It was a short trip to Crossville from Sparta. Well, it would have been had we not driven up to Burkesville, KY and down to Crossville through Pall Mall, Tennessee, but that’s a blog for later.

Crossville is the county seat of Cumberland County. Crossville got it’s name because it is where a guy named Scott Lambeth in 1800 opened a store at the crossroads of the Great Stage Road (US-70) and the Kentucky Stock Road (US-127). He named it Lambeth’s Crossroads. A community built up around the store and they eventually started referring to it as Crossville and the city was officialy established in 1856. It currently has an approximate population of 11,000 and about 20 square miles.

Now to the important stuff. The Minister’s Tree House is or was an amazing place to visit. Unfortunately it is no longer open to the public and hasn’t been since 2012. According to Horace Burgess, God told him to build a treehouse. So he did. It is unofficially the largest treehouse in the world. He started building in 1993 and as of 2013 the 97 foot tall treehouse and church is supported by a still-living white oak tree with a 12-foot diameter base and uses six other trees for support. You can still see the treehouse but only from a distance. The gates are locked and there is a fence around it. You could hop the fence, I guess but if you do, don’t tell them I mentioned it.

The Rock City Barn is simple. It’s a barn that has “See 7 States From Rock City” on the top of the barn. Rock City opened as a public attraction on May 21, 1932. Sometime around 1935, a young sign painter named Clark Byers was hired to travel the nation’s highways and offer to paint famers’ barns and give them free passes to Rock City and a bunch of promotional items in exchange for letting him paint three simple words: See Rock City. He painted barns as far north as Michigan and as far west as Texas. When he retired in 1969 after almost being electrocuted during a thunderstorm, he had painted about 900 barns in 19 states. These barns are a part of Americana and I’m not sure how many are left. I do know there’s one in Crossville, Tennessee and I got a chance to see it before it’s gone.