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Old 02-10-2011, 12:09 PM
Location: South Louisiana
23 posts, read 28,893 times
Reputation: 15


A while back I posted a thread asking questions about moving to east TN. Although I don't claim to have much life experience as of yet, and perhaps might sound a bit off at times, forgive me, but researching and reading others' thoughts on moving here - seems to be a wonderful notion. Yet I see that others are unhappy and feel that they made a mistake? By "expecting" to have a certain "life" in TN? Is it a lack of understanding that people are people regardless of where they are from? ... Is it that new residents expect a down home southern country life, with a cabin and neighboors that invite you to bbq's, and wash your car when it's dirty while you're sleeping? Negative comments as referring to some parts as redneck country in a derogatory way? Corruption? Personally, I don't see the negative and don't expect anything except beautiful scenery with it's bad hair days, people who are more intouch with family and their culture, and a 'respect me and I'll respect you' attitude. Am I wrong?
Being from as far south as south gets in Louisiana, some come here and expect Mardi Gras to be sin central, when it's lost it's culture and become a bruise fest killing each other for plastic junk and exposing oneself to the public for more plastic junk. (More than half are the tourists when locals are at home bbq) or for example when traveling and I was lost, asking for directions a man told me he was suprised I knew how to drive a car since he thought all we had were boats. I've notice some expect this thick flat accent and everyone to be sitting on their porches off a swamp poking alligators - yet few fit that image. I've only seen alligators a handful of times ... is this the misconception that new comers have in TN? Is it culture shock in that they expect something inparticular or whatnot that forms this negative attitude?

Last edited by WantingHigherGround; 02-10-2011 at 12:12 PM.. Reason: spelling

Old 02-10-2011, 12:57 PM
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
9,531 posts, read 13,372,671 times
Reputation: 20050
Originally Posted by WantingHigherGround View Post
Yet I see that others are unhappy and feel that they made a mistake? By "expecting" to have a certain "life" in TN?
I think that sums it up pretty well.

Some of it I think is that TN has been noted as a low COL state and people make all sorts of wrong assumptions based off that. They think they'll be able to buy a house with 10 acres, mountain views and lake access for 50k. Or they don't realize that low COL also translates into lower wages and fewer amenities or government services.

TN also has a lot of people that believe in live and let live, which sounds great to a lot of people until they get here and find themselves offended by something and they want somebody to step in and take care of it because "it's just not right."

Then we have the whole southern hospitality thing which I guess to some people means southerners are not supposed to ever dislike anyone, be mean, talk about others behind their back, or any of the other petty things most people indulge in from time to time.
Old 02-10-2011, 04:55 PM
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,538 posts, read 46,113,418 times
Reputation: 13304
Originally Posted by WantingHigherGround View Post
Yet I see that others are unhappy and feel that they made a mistake?
I usually just read the main forum and the Knoxville one, so maybe I am missing something. And we have the occasional troll. Usually a kid or something. But I am not seeing unhappy people.

I can think of one person that appears to be real and doesn't like Tennessee. She's over in Middle Tennessea, though and I can't speak for that area. I thoroughly researched East Tennessee and it has turned out to be pretty much what I expected.

So I am not sure what you are getting at. Is it on another TN forum?

What negative comments about rednecks, other than from a troll?

And you are Southern so I can't imagine there being enormous culture shock. N'Awlins isn't that much different. In fact, a lot of Katrina evacuees ended up in the Knoxville area and never left, or left to sell their house and then came back.

So what are you driving at?
Old 02-10-2011, 05:45 PM
Location: South Louisiana
23 posts, read 28,893 times
Reputation: 15
Oh sorry, refering to some threads I read mostly about describing the unhappy ones, and other websites, or what people say to me in person more than someone being negative themselves on City-Data. It just irritates me that people expect certain things and get upset afterwards and all of a sudden it's everyone else's fault and not theirs. I was curious to see what exactly it is the trolls are expecting when they move here.
Old 02-10-2011, 05:55 PM
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,232 posts, read 13,571,099 times
Reputation: 6011
I'm 'southern' (born and raised in southern Florida) and moved to TN almost five years ago.

We did a ton of research. We came up for a week and looked around. We found our home and bought it, moved three weeks later.

This place to me is heaven. It's *almost* exactly what I wanted. Within the first week of being here every neighbor had stopped in to welcome us to the neighborhood. We were invited to BBQs and churches but no one was pushy. We had several people come over with names of doctors, veterinarians, suggestions on where to shop for various items, locals that did different kinds of handiwork at a discount for the community, etc. It was exactly what we wanted.

We look at the mountains from out front door, over a stunning cattle pasture. Our back door opens to our pasture and a small fenced back yard. We've got enough land to have horses, cows, etc. The school is small and the area is so rural there are kids from several counties just to make up enough students to have it. The teachers and administration are so incredible. They honestly care about those kids deeply, and it's a very mutual respectful relationship. The children are friendly and very helpful; they've been known to stop in late in the evening after dinner to help move furniture.

Neighbors stop and say hi when they drive past if you're in the yard. Items of every kind imaginable are loaned with no question. This is about as close to Mayberry as I've ever seen.


After being here a year we realized there was a huge problem with the way animals are treated. They're not kept in their yard, let alone allowed in homes. They're not spayed / neutered and seldom do you see any vaccinated. Because of this, you find puppies and kittens smashed pancake flat in the road almost daily. I've seen horrendous cases of animals horribly abused and neglected. Tied to trees in the woods to slowly die. Frozen to death in yards. Left on the side of the road to die slowly after being hit by cars. Beaten to death because they barked outside while tied to a tree.

Now, I realize for some in the south it's not that disturbing. But I've spent the last 16 years doing pet rescue and adore animals. For me, it's horrifying. So we started a rescue here. It cost us over 12k a year to keep it running. I had no problem spending the money until I lost my job. New management company at work. It happens. The loss of the rescue is what hurt. No longer being able to financially care for the animals that need it is hard for me.

I started working about a year before I lost my job with the neighboring county's Humane Society. I found out they'd spent a year or two trying to work with the local animal control, to no avail. The attitude of the local politicians and the director of the shelter is their job is to kill any animals that don't have homes. To me, that's not acceptable. Don't get me wrong. In a place like this, there's no option but to euth some of them. But when a shelter refuses to allow anyone to enter the building, won't allow rescues to help with the animals by pulling them out and placing them for adoption through their programs, etc it's just wrong.

I got a call last summer from the couple that were trying to help animal control. They were the only people allowed to take pictures or pull dogs or enter the building. They'd had a girl that helps them stop in to get the name of a crematorium to cremate her dog. While there she wandered to the back and found newborn puppies - about an hour old - laying in a ditch in the kennel of raw sewage. She reported it and was quickly ushered out of the building. She called the guy that had been helping there and he called me. I told him to get pictures and pull them and my rescue would take them.

After they were safe he sent the photos to the local county commissioner who said he didn't understand what the problem was. They spent a couple days trying to get him to do something and met brick walls at every turn. With the local politicians - commissioner, DA, law enforcement, etc - all refusing to do anything, he contacted the local news paper. They called me and I kept telling them to call the other couple. The couple things I did tell them they twisted and used out of context. After the reporter sent the rough draft of the report to the other couple and they told me, I called her to correct the inaccuracies, which was every single quote from me. She laughed and basically told me to sod off. That's when I realized they don't report anything. They cover up and BS in the county that will make anyone in a position of authority look bad.

We've been fighting this for more than half a year. The state vet is now investigating the entire situation, including reports of over 250 animals illegally killed at the shelter during 2010. This information was also give to the county commissioner and the local paper and both refused to do anything about it.

Are they corrupt? You tell me. They flat refuse to uphold the laws they don't like. When they're called on it, they cover it up and threaten to sue you for libel. The couple that have been working so hard on this were told by their veterinarian to drop it because they're afraid something will happen to them or their pets or their home will burn down. Everyone around here is afraid to fight city hall. So you decide if they're corrupt.

Now, with all this said, I still love this area. And it's a single issue I have a problem with. An issue that a lot of people could care less about. I am very aware of the fact that my definition of being a responsible pet owner is very different than most people here. If it was another issue, I could probably roll my eyes and deal with it and I'd stay here. But this is the one issue that's so big to me that I can't just ignore it. So for me, staying isn't an option. I'm in the middle of moving a lot of the community toward looking for new county officials, trying to get the Director of the shelter prosecuted for the crimes he's committed, and getting an educational program started in the schools. I'm hoping that something I do now will make some positive changes in the future. But I don't plan on staying. I can't handle another season of seeing dead puppies and kittens and see animals abused and neglected on a daily basis. So I'm one of the ones I guess that you're talking about. I love it, but I hate it. And I'm leaving. The corruption will have to be dealt with by other people. And I hope the people here start to educate themselves on proper pet care and that our next generation will see a great change.
Old 02-10-2011, 06:18 PM
Location: Niota, TN
851 posts, read 2,082,093 times
Reputation: 471
I guess it all goes back to the old saying. You can make some of the people happy some of the time but you can't make all the people happy all of the time. Or something like that.
Some people aren't happy where they are so they move, then they are upset because it isn't like what they are used to or like where they came from. Well HELLOooOoo.... who fault is that??
And if Tennessee was for everyone, then it would be over crowded and not the beautiful place it is. Then I would have left FL for only 5 other reasons instead of 6.
All I can say is thank goodness it isn't for everyone.

LFHG - I hope that you find what you are looking for but only you can make that decision. Just do your research and come visit as much as you can.
IMO - the people are friendly and wave as we pass. But most kind of stay to themselves but where I live in the country most people have a lot of acreage. So it's good to get involved with something (groups, church, something). Might be different if you live in a subdivision.

Good luck to you.
Old 02-10-2011, 06:24 PM
Location: South Louisiana
23 posts, read 28,893 times
Reputation: 15
Oh my gosh no, I am not talking about people like you! It's so great to hear about what you and I'm assuming your husband have tried yet do believe you have accomplished! You know, and what you've said is what I want to know, I want to know everyone's take on things in TN. Of course no where is the same as the other, yet everywhere is almost the same in some instances. I wish more than anything you would stay, but I can see how that has been weary on you. Ironically that is my life goal, to have a domesticated animal sanctuary. I'm already in the medical field and want to continue into veterinary medicine to do things at my own expense, whether that is dream or reality, I still have a lot to learn. The shelters here work hand in hand with rescues, it's amazing, but only has began withint the past couple years and still growing ... but I don't think that cruelty will ever come to an end due to uneducated pet "owners". When I worked in a nearby parish I came across a building off in a lot of land that housed wall lined with chainlink kennels, some dogs were dead and some where almost there. I've called the parish animal control several times to be ignored, and contacted higher agencies that took care of the problem. Turns out the mayor found it cheaper to starve dogs than euth. Needless to say charges were placed and the building demolished. To my suprise the agency said that a lot of the locals complained but nothing went further than that. Sometimes I wonder if cruelty is a lack of having a heart or education. Well, bless you and your family, and hope the best for you!
Old 02-10-2011, 06:36 PM
Location: California
4,445 posts, read 5,178,671 times
Reputation: 9180
Ms1885, That is totally disgusting! Are you dealling with too much in-breeding or what? Thank you for helping those you could but please, be careful, as you might also end up smashed pancake flat. I trust you also have AASPCA involved as this is more of a problem than one person can handle with limited resources.
Old 02-10-2011, 06:55 PM
Location: Niota, TN
851 posts, read 2,082,093 times
Reputation: 471
I can see why Mrs1885 is so upset but luckily I haven't seen the things she has seen. I do see animals running loose. My neighbor's dogs are loose all the time but she says they are fixed and up to date on shots.
Old 02-10-2011, 10:26 PM
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,538 posts, read 46,113,418 times
Reputation: 13304
I love Mrs1885. She is such a wonderful person! And we use to live near where she was born and raised in Florida. In fact, our daughter was born there, too. We hope to get together soon! My daughter can't wait to meet her, not can I!

Here's the thing. I'm originally from Mass and when I first moved to Florida I could not believe how some people treat their dogs. Mind you, I am sure not every dog owner in New England is stellar. Surely, there are cruel people there, too. In fact, last I heard there are jerks that live across this country and around the world.

But I was quite surprised by how a large amount of people thought it very normal to get a dog, tie it to a tree in the backyard and never let it inside the house. Ever. In Florida.

Now, she moved to TN, just like me, but she lives in a much more rural area and I live in Knoxville so there is a big difference. But I am saying that I find that there are a heck of a lot of folks in Florida that abuse dogs and animals, too. I think both states have issues in that area, and the more rural areas seem to be the biggest problem.

The inbreeding comment from Heidi (my name, as well) is beyond ridiculous and in very poor taste. Stereotype much?
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