no farmers here
As my tour of Knox County high schools took me through all kinds of rural East TN, I inevitably asked the principal guiding my tour about the “farms” that surrounded several of the schools. Some of them looked confused and flatly said that there were no farms. Others would snicker at my city-fied reaction to the country and tell me that I wasn’t seeing farms. Finally, at South-Doyle, the school surrounded by a patchwork of large tracts of land, I smacked myself on the forehead as I realized that where I saw farms, everyone else saw the ghosts of farms. Those large tracts of land that have been in families for generations USED to be farms. Now, they are constant reminders of a way of life that has vanished. Those principals that seemed matter-of-fact and those that seemed amused were really trying to say so much more. I just wasn’t listening closely enough.