Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cocke County

Over the years, I've spent a lot of time in this East Tennessee county, particularly the Cosby area, where dear friends live.

So I was a bit surprised to see reference on the blog of UT journalism prof. Bob Stepno to a fairly prominent story in the Los Angeles Times: A county of bad ol' boys. USA Today's On Deadline blog linked to the story, too. The blog also links to a huge chronology of corruption in Cocke County that ran in the Knoxville News a year ago: Cocke County Confidential. Wow.

I certainly heard the stories about Cocke, mostly related to its history of moonshining (but what county around here doesn't have those?) and cockfighting; of course in the 70s and 80s there were stories of drug cartels operating there. But the news stories talk about much, much more: the LA Times story mentions "dirty cops, brothel owners and incorrigible outlaws" and the Knox Times story certainly corroborates that history. Fascinating stuff.

(The photo: overlooking Cosby towards the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, from Foothills Parkway, taken October 2003.)

1 comment:

susan said...

This is surprising, we have spent a lot of time there, also, camping and hiking when our kids were little. You expect the good ol' boys, but this seems to have turned into a whole nuther thang...

The picture is beautiful, of course, I think it is impossible to take a bad picture of the Smokies! It is easy to look at the scenery and not think about what lies underneath.