Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Body Farm and Other Notorieties of Knoxville

For a scruffy little city in East Tennessee, there are a few unusual things in the Knoxville area that deserve mention.

1. The Body Farm.

Actually, it's called the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility. It's a place where the decomposition of human bodies in the outdoors is studied. There are several hundred specimens in this area near the University of Tennessee campus. This is not a place to go in for picnics or necking!

2. Alimony's

A basketball coach divorced his wife, and she used the alimony money to start a beauty salon and spa. Her establishment is located on Kingston Pike. It has a rather edgy name, doesn't it?

3. The Fellini Kroger
This is a store on North Broadway that is famed for its bizarreness and odd characters. Be entertained by the other customers while you shop.

4. Thunder Road

The romance of moonshine running was once big in the mountain South, and still is to some extent in the boondocks. One of the legendary moonshine runners is told about in the "Ballad of Thunder Road", sun as the movie title song by Robert Mitchum.

This song describes the action that took place on Kingston Pike in 1954:

Roarin’ out of Harlan, revvin’ up his mill

He shot the gap at Cumberland, and screamed by Maynardsville

With T-men on his taillights, roadblocks up ahead

The mountain boy took roads that even Angels feared to tread.

Blazing right through Knoxville, out on Kingston Pike,

Then right outside of Bearden, they made the fatal strike.

He left the road at 90; that’s all there is to say.

The devil got the moonshine and the mountain boy that day.

Even better: go to that web site and hear Robert Mitchum singing the song!!!!


  1. I've seen stories on the body farm before. I would LOVE to go there.

  2. I've never been to the Fellini Kroger. The site of the chase in Thunder Road is now built-up and urban.

  3. The Body Farm sounds like a creepy place Knoxville.

  4. The Body Farm is covered in a capter in Mary Roach's book "Stiffed."

  5. The Body Farm has also appeared in one of Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta novels, as well as in at least one episode of TV's "Bones." It would be a fascinating place to visit, but somehow I think I'll give it a pass and do the Fellini Kroger instead.

  6. Alimony's as a name for a beauty salon? The talk in there must be something else. The Fellini Kroger sounds like a place to visit, but I'll pass on the Body Farm. Surely it has an odor.

  7. Good info on stuff around Knoxville, Heidi.

    As a relatively new follower, I still continue to scroll to the very bottom of the page to check out the scenic "Alps"--thought you'd like to know.