My mother and her sister were two of the children taken by Georgia Tann. They were taken from Lenoir City Tennessee in 1945. My mom Audrey Ann Hatley was sent to NYC. Her sister Linda was sent to Ca. My mother was passed off as German Hebrew to Mr and Mrs William Jacobs of NYC. They were provided with a fictitious birth certificate and false documents. My mother was one of the lucky ones. She returned to Nashville Tn after she became 21 and was able to find some of her family who had by that time moved to Cincinnatti Ohio. The family was told that the children had died. I am looking for any surviving relatives for Geneology purposes. You have 12 blood relatives that you are not aware of. Please contact me at the email provided. Thank you Jo Olsen.
Despite the certainty that I will only wear one pair, I packed five pairs of shoes in my rarely used suitcase and took to the road in a rental car. I started out cautiously fidgeting with the many, many buttons and knobs in the temporary vehicle. In no time at all, I was singing loudly and keeping pace with the speediest car near me. Just as I was about to call Doug and tell him that I decided we are never returning the car that doesn’t require keys, Interstate traffic came to a halt. We sat and I sang. We sat and I sipped the last of my tea. We sat and I noticed the fuel light in the car was glowing. We sat and I started surveying the trees on the side of the road as my bladder complained about the quantity of tea it was holding. I texted while driving.
Technically, the car wasn’t moving, but it still felt wrong to sit behind the wheel of the car on an Interstate while tapping furiously on an iPad. Very kind and wise people informed me that the traffic would remain at that standstill for an additional three hours. I estimated that both the car and my bladder had less than thirty minutes of patience remaining. So, I did something worse than texting while driving. I pulled off the pavement, drove in the not-a-lane, did a u-turn on the Interstate and drove the wrong direction up an Interstate entrance ramp. It was not my finest moment.
I have mentioned a few hundred times that I have zero sense of direction. When I don’t know where I am, my terrible instinct is to keep driving in search of familiarity. When I found myself with a full bladder and an empty gas tank on a road I couldn’t identify, I zipped down that mystery road. Eventually, I found a teeny-tiny gas station with two old fashioned, non-electronic gas pumps and an outhouse instead of a bathroom. Big fun if you are a small child, but zero fun if you are adult who just sat in traffic for an hour.
I spent the next hour and a half in the middle of nowhere, on a road that shouldn’t be allowed to call itself two lanes. I drove by two beavers, a fox, a wild turkey and a dead deer. I did not drive past a street sign. I would get a phone signal for no more than five minutes at a time and zero, I mean ZERO of my navigation apps worked in the one place that I needed them the most. As a result, every time the phone actually worked, I would blurt everything I could see around me so that Doug would have something to tell the search and rescue helicopters.
I was traveling the modern version of a ghost town. Mailboxes sat silent at the end of short gravel driveways that began at empty lots where trailers once housed families. Trash and lost toys were evidence that some semblance of a community once existed on this road that is now lined with farms gone to seed and a few barbed wire fences with ‘trespassers will be shot’ signs guarding the meth, marijuana or moonshine that made asking for directions completely impossible.
When the phone was finally able to hold a signal, Doug virtually held my hand until I returned to the Interstate. I claimed that I could handle the rest of the journey without a helper. Twenty minutes later, Doug was on the phone with the hotel, giving them account information for the credit card that would pay for my hotel room. The credit card that I left at home where it could not be used for my weekend expenses.
On the plus side, if anyone is looking for extremely rural land, I now know where acres and acres of it is available for purchase. Well, I have a vague idea of where it is. I couldn’t find it again if I tried and I will NOT be trying.
I am posting this information any and everywhere I can. My brother was a Georgia Tann baby. The documents from the state of TN say that he was born Raymond Lewis Bradley on Sept. 14, 1947 at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, TN to a Vera Bradley of Chattanooga, TN or Sprata, TN and Cecil Cruse of Jamestown, TN or Detroit, MI. He supposedly was surrendered for adoption at the Florence Crittenden Home. Another document says that he was surrendered at the Vine Street Orphanage. Supposedly there are other relatives: Grandparents Everett and Callie Bradley, Uncles Bethel Bradley and James Bradley, and an unnamed male sibling that is 6 years older, all from the Chattanooga area. If this matches any information for anyone searching for a stolen baby boy, please feel free to email me at the email address listed. Thank you, Ayn Maddox
Do you pronounce coupon as koo-pon or que-pon?
It sounds like que-pon when I say it.
Do pin and pen have different pronunciations?
They sound the same when I say them.
How do you pronounce Jenny?
I don’t understand why, but apparently I say it wrong.
I still maintain that I don’t have an accent… unless I want to have one. Even then, I don’t say y’all. That is not a word.
In the past year, we’ve observed a steady stream of people moving from TN to Texas. Why Texas? Is TN too liberal for them?
“Dad has a real problem with being sold as an infant and now he has to keep paying the state to get information. He says they should pay him and all the other people involved in the scam.”
I am less than amused that some Tennesseans can find loopholes to get around paying the state’s ‘pay us fees to get the services you are already paying for with your taxes’ fees while the rest of us have to send in check after check for information that SHOULD have been provided YEARS ago.
Over the weekend, we took the youngest children to a place in middle TN that was an integral part of my childhood. A place that I haven’t visited in over a decade and an area that I told goodbye during my grandmother’s funeral. A place where time stands still. Oh, wait. The trees are taller now. Also, the basement game room was sacrificed to install a much needed elevator. Other than that . . . same guy in charge, same humidity, same last names and same, same, same. Did I mention the humidity?
There’s a reason I never successfully had a frizz-free day until I moved to East TN. West and middle TN have fungus seasons when the muggy heat saps away the energy and desire to do anything except sit, nap or read. The recent TN monsoons have transformed the normally humid weather into the mosquito coast. The lush green illusion that was the park’s septic field is now a foul-smelling, toxic wasteland. The bugs are growing and multiplying into rain forest monsters. The hotel room was physically soggy. The carpet squished with every step and the clothes in our suitcase absorbed water so rapidly that I expected them to smell like the nasty kitchen sponge I threw away last week.
When the room temperature was higher than the outside temperature and the pages of books started to curl, Doug walked to the hotel desk to see if all the rooms were a swamp or just the ones that overlooked the lake. A few minutes later, we were switched to a room with dry carpeting and a temperature below 80 degrees. It was like moving from the cave to the hatch. With no phone signal, I settled in to use the Internet to call the teenagers we left at home. Doug went to report the room change to the rest of the family.
An hour later, Doug returned from telling my brother our new location. It took some work to find my brother, since he had also switched rooms. His preschooler flushed a wrapped bar of soap, overflowed the toilet and flooded their room. My mother’s careful placement of the entire family in a nice row of rooms turned into a middle of the night Chinese fire drill. Everyone settled in and slept without the distractions of absolutely anything resembling civilization nearby.
Unbeknown to us, at some time in the night, Amy came down with stomach plague. We didn’t know, because Amy switched rooms to be with her cousins. While she did her imitation of Eyjafjallajokull, her Aunt pounded on our hotel room door. The empty hotel room with soggy carpet. The room that Doug told my OTHER brother we were no longer using. The Aunt gave up and sent the uninformed brother to pound on our door. When this failed, they tried calling the empty hotel room. Maybe they called our signal-less cell phones. I’m certain they called us some choice names. If I had known we were playing the world’s meanest practical joke, I would have moved our car to the employee parking lot.
The mood in the flood zone is shifting from survival to exhaustion. Everyone started with white flags waving for the media to notice that there was more happening than celebrities cheating on spouses. Victims gave status updates while their cyber friends acted as clearing houses for emergency resources. Resources trickled in and the media noticed that an entire city was underwater. Insurance rejections began. “We don’t cover that.” Anger and sadness is trying to take hold of the weary victims. The frustration is palpable in posts and tweets. One odd topic keeps reappearing. Car washes. Water is a valuable commodity that is needed for survival, but, in the midst of rationing, people are washing their cars. I know it’s wasteful, but I feel like the people washing their cars are the walking wounded. They are in shock and operating on auto pilot. They are trying with all their might to get back to some semblance of the life they had before the rains. I know they need to stop using water for things like cars. Getting angry won’t stop it. They just can’t help themselves. No. They are TRYING to help themselves the only way they know. Someone’s going to have to gently take their hand and redirect them to something else that makes them feel normal. Everyone needs a bridge from the old normal to the new normal.
Even though I am still bugged by one *aspect of the process, I am going to solve half the TN legislative activity in one sentence. Ready? Here it is:
If you have a carry permit, you can carry your gun.
See how simple that was? Now quit arguing and get back to work on things that matter.
*I know there is a difference between near sighted and far sighted. I maintain that if you can’t see to read the paper in front of you and you can’t see to drive, you need an eye doctor’s clearance to go with that gun permit.
When I expressed my disappointment at the behavior of Smart Girl Media, my DC brother quipped that I live in the “heart of the heart of it.” That makes me sad.
My Tennessee is mountains, valleys, rivers and forests. It is beautiful and filled with good people. The Tennessee that I know and I love doesn’t sort everyone by red shirts and blue shirts. My Tennessee realizes that everyone is connected and usually by family. My TN is composed of people who care about their neighbors, near and far. My TN is embarrassed by the undercurrent of racism and doesn’t tolerate it being out in the open. My TN has always looked upon college education as fancy, but expects children to graduate from high school and do their best. My TN doesn’t glorify ignorance and discourage small children from learning from anyone in the wrong color shirt. My TN church ladies are pure souls who quietly and without fanfare, lift the downtrodden. They are not the self-righteous wannabe church celebrities who pat themselves on the back as they kick the hungry or homeless. My TN is composed of politicians whose goal to remain in office is sought by helping keep economies alive and the poorest employed. It is not represented by elected officials who will sacrifice the needs of the people in order to block any accomplishments by the people in the wrong color shirt.
I love Tennessee and the people who live here. If the heart of TN has turned angry, I want to heal it. We are better than this. So much better that I don’t want to accept this ugliness as the heart of TN. I prefer to think of it as the gluteus maximus of our state. You know, the part that needs to shape up.