Fond Memories of a Bad Time (#atozchallenge)

I was let go from the company where I had worked for twenty years, and wasn’t sure what to do. Mary and I agreed that it had been some time since we had been on vacation, so we decided to get into the van and drive up Interstate 75 into Tennessee, then take Interstate 24 toward Nashville. Along the way, we saw signs advertising the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg. We had talked for years about visiting, and we decided that maybe it was time to see how they make Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey.

(It was a fascinating tour, led by Randy, one of their employees.)

Sadly, very few of the pictures that we took of the tour are around anymore, but a virtual distillery tour is available on their website here. You’re given a choice as to which tour guide you want. I recommend Randy, also known as “Goose”. Randy was our tour guide when we were there; he’s a very entertaining character, and we learned a lot about where the water comes from, how they make the charcoal through which they filter the whiskey, how the grains, water, and yeast are mixed and fermented–basically, the whole process. You’ll see it on the tour. And, by all means, if you find yourself in middle Tennessee near Lynchburg, visit the distillery and take the tour. Just don’t expect any free samples along the way. Lynchburg is located in a dry county, and the distillery had to obtain special dispensation to be allowed to sell gift bottles of Old No. 7. They did, however, serve lemonade at the end of the tour.

It was a delightful beginning to a vacation that started the rest of my life. We went from Lynchburg to Murfreesboro, the location of Middle Tennessee State University, where I had gone to participate in the National Guitar Summer Workshop the year before. It was a time for browsing through antique shops, eating out, and mostly talking and being together.

We returned to Atlanta several days later. We were relaxed, happy, and confident that I could make it on my own.

11 thoughts on “Fond Memories of a Bad Time (#atozchallenge)

  1. Hello, John! I’m glad you had a relaxing time. Getting away helps bring a new perspective. I hope everything worked out for you then!!

    Have a lovely week and happy A to Z!!

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    1. It did. I must have had a case of Stockholm syndrome the last few years, because no matter how bad it got, the more tenacious I got at wanting to stay there. I’m glad it’s over. Thanks for stopping in!

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    1. Leaving that company was the best decision I’ve ever made. I had been there for almost twenty years, through several owners and countless managers, and when I quit I felt as though a weight had been lifted off of me.

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    1. That’s how it started. I handed in my resignation at 10 AM, by noon Mary and I went to lunch, and we discussed going on vacation while we were eating.

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  2. Glad you survived! Taking time/money to relax so you can later think is always a good thing! I drove through Tennessee years ago andissed the distillery. But did see Daniel Boone’s place and some great museums.

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    1. The South is quite nice, actually. I’ve liked living here and being close, not just to nature, but to the history. I don’t think there’s enough time to visit all of it.

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  3. did you become self employed John? getting laid off was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I knew it at the time and used the severance to fund my master’s degree. yay

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    1. I did; then, after a couple of years as a contractor, the company I was working with hired me. Two weeks shy of my being eligible for health insurance, I had my stroke. I worked for them for almost two years and was laid off in December 2008, like everyone else. I’m on retainer with my brother, who runs a marketing fulfillment company, which pays the bills while I make a writer out of myself.

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