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In the summer, all the chairs would be moved outside to the porch and it was absolutely great to sit and hear all the stories these railroad men could tell. There were other story-tellers too besides the railroad men.

In the winter, games of Rook and Flinch, Jigsaw puzzles, and many other games were played in the lobby. If people wanted a game of "set-back" that had to be played in their rooms.

Music? Yes, occasionally Mr. Robison, a railroad man, played the guitar and believe me- he could put some of the locals to shame! His crew tied up there after coming in from Appalachia. We had another man, whose name I can't remember, who played the "saw". You wouldn't believe what music he could pull out of a saw. Ruby Fitzgerald, the school music teacher who boarded at the hotel. often played the piano for some old time singing fests. Not to be outdone, the Burkheimers would often open their door into the hall and Mrs. Burkheimer would pump the "good old player piano" and her husband would accompany her on the cornet.

And of course, there was the good old Atwater--Kent radio with Amos and Andy and all the other goodies of that day.

The basement of the new addition was built for a movie theatre. My Daddy was a little ahead of the times to try this in a small town. To make a long story short, he was the subject of many of the preacher's Sunday sermons until, finally in self-defense he closed the theatre. Robert L. Gault was the projectionist. That particular area was converted into two apartments. Much later, Dr. Guy w. Justis had his offices in one of them.

With the new kitchen and dining facilities, a wall phone was installed in the kitchen, connected only to the "depot", for the convenience of placing orders for lunches. The conductors and flagmen would go through the passenger coaches out of Greeneville and Morristown and take orders for the lunches (plate or box lunches). Call them in to the telegrapher at Bulls Gap, who in turn called the hotel kitchen. These were made up ( and often there were 25 to 50) and taken over and delivered to the trains when they stopped. I have no idea of their price. Frank Hyatt was a telegrapher at Bulls Gap for a long time. He family moved to the hotel with him.

Grandmother Gilley could be seen sitting in the lobby or on the porch. She lived there for a number of years. She always loved "fish" and Daddy loved to fish. When he got a little fed up with everyone and everything, you'd see him in the kitchen getting a little lunch packed, heading toward his pickup truck and the river. He was a great fisherman- he could "feel" even the slightest strike and pull the fish in. This was before the TVA dams and the fish were tasty. Lots of his fish would be served in the dining room. I remember being so small may family would be afraid I'd get a bone, so the dinning room girl would help me with mine. He also put out trout-lines and fish baskets. I'd beg to go with him, like all children and their dada, and often he'd take me along. Thinking back over this, I'm sure it didn't make his day!

 

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