PAST & PRESENT

 

Jackson Brown was born and still lives in Middle Tennessee. His numerous books are in 35 languages and read throughout the world claiming 158 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. It is sometimes noted that he graduated from a prestigious university and is the recipient of one of their most distinguished awards but, who knows? If you were to phone the administration office, they would probably deny that he ever attended. It seems hard feelings still linger regarding Mr. Brown’s insistence that the campus clock tower he pledged to help fund be in the shape of a 300-foot ukulele.

Currently, Mr. Brown writes in a remote log cabin high on Hatchet’s Ridge in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. There he retreats to observe, ponder, resharpen No. 2 pencils and train his parrot to squawk, “One more step and I’ll shoot.” Should you want to visit, get an early start. Take the gravel road east out of Crowell Corners to the end. There it becomes a dirt road switch-backing up the ridges. A hand-lettered sign nailed to a hickory tree teasingly identifies these last fifteen miles as Broken Axle Trail. The cabin is not the first or second on this dusty corkscrew but the third. You’ll think you’re almost there, but you’re not. And count the creeks. You’ll cross two. The first on a tricky two-plank bridge. The second, unfortunately, offers no bridge at all. Now look for the weathered tin roof and the trellised front gate crowned with honeysuckle.  Pay no attention to the dogs Dan, Hoover and Hot Ticket asleep on the front porch couch; Hoover hasn’t bitten anyone in years. But be careful where you step. The copperheads, rattlesnakes, and wild hogs love this bit of heaven as much as Mr. Brown does.

P . S .   As Mr. Brown instructs in one of his books, "Don't believe everything you read."

 

Copyright 2007 by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.