Friday, September 20

The Glory of Greenback

Country music lyrics have often described "small town USA" in such vivid ways, that we often long for "simpler", "slower" living.  Ballads about small country towns where there is one main street, high school football games leave no soul at home, and if you're not at the corner diner for lunch, then you're as good as missing. 
I grew up on the outskirts of Greenback, we were more or less considered by the locals to be in a different city to be honest.  Though I did grow up on a farm, my siblings and I didn't attend Greenback high school, nor did we grace the halls of the Church downtown on Sunday.  We were regulars at the Co-op, but never warmed a stool in the diner.  We always joked that the Christmas parade that ran through downtown Greenback, "starts at 9:00am and ends at 9:02am".  Outsiders, really. 
Though I did travel the streets and was familiar with the layout, until I began working in Greenback daily, I hadn't really "discovered" what it had to offer. Since July this small town has become near and dear to my heart.  I have been rolling this post around in my head for quite some time, and I thought it was about time to bring it out.  Be forewarned, after reading you may find yourself staring out the window, looking for a change of pace.

Imagine, if you will, a town so small it doesn't even have a Wal-Mart.  Actually, no grocery either.  The closest you might get to a place like that would be the Co-op.  There you will find anything you need to build a bull-proof fence, feminine gardening gloves, a sturdy pair of overalls and enough house-cleaning supplies to keep the kids busy for a while.  If you're not sold yet, come on down the road into town, but beware the fastest a tractor will go will determine your arrival time.  
When you reach the flashing light, and stop sign, hang a left into the middle of town. The busiest time of day is 7:30-8:00 am.  School time.  You want to be sure to come at this time though, or else you will miss this...


At the old train depot, is where you will find this man.  He sits, holding the Bible and a microphone, and preaches aloud for the town and any passers-by to hear.   As the sun is stretching its golden fingers into the middle of town, so is The Word.  He stays until around 8:30, packs his things up and leaves, however in his place you will always find his black metal chair with scripture written on it.  If you really try you can make out the words, "God Has Blessed Greenback" on the sign behind him.  I can only imagine what it's like to wake up and hear The Word outside my window.

It is around this same time, once all of the kids are in school(it's k-12), that you get a whiff of the familiar smell of bacon frying up.  You're in luck, just across the street sits the Greenback Diner with crispy bacon ready and fresh coffee brewing.

On any day but Monday (when they are closed) that's exactly where you will find everyone, if not at breakfast then definitely at lunch. The diner sits beside the Greenback Museum, and across the street from the (always busy) Post Office.
If you are in need of some retail therapy look no further than...

Gently used, "nearly new" children's items as well as home goods can be found here.  On nice days the doors are left open and lovely furniture pieces as well as bicycles are outside for display. 
Proof of stores that have come and gone are hard to miss and sit empty, waiting for a resurgence.

Maybe one day.
For now, members of the community will gather at the Community Center for dances, craft shows, Girl Scouts and meetings.  They will attend the game on Friday nights, and caravan to those away.  The cows will still outnumber the people, and the weather, as it relates to the hay crop, will be the hot topic at the Co-op.  
Indeed, God has blessed Greenback.



  1. What a charming post! I would love to visit Greenback. My favorite part of this is the preacher. :)

  2. Was doing a search on milk cans looking for hints on redoing mine and your blog popped up. Just browsing through your gorgeous pictures and came across this post on greenback and realized you're not out west like I'd assumed, but local. I live in Madisonville and have family who lives in maryville. Love your blog!


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