Thursday, July 01, 2010


Ron and I were out again today for lunch and adventure.

The adventure part began at the new Frontier Arms store on Gallaher Road, between Kingston and Oak Ridge. It’s a huge place, and not yet jumping because the firing range isn’t quite ready. However, I expect the place to a hang out for many local residents once the firing begins!

yeah, we also visited my 8-pointer that I donated to Brant Williams to help decorate the store. He looks pretty good hanging up there!

We then stopped off near K-25 and I again took photos of the beautiful green swamp that has emerged there between the Clinch River and the back roads of the old diffusion plant. All it really needs is a couple of gators and we’d be in the tourist business with swamp boats!We decided to go to Oak Ridge instead of Knoxville for lunch and check out the newly opened Lincoln’s Sports Grille. The Lincoln's Sports Grille is owned by three local businessmen and a professional baseball player -- Mike Lincoln -- for whom the establishment is named. The group also includes Marcus Caldwell, Scott Green (whom we met today), V.J. Murray, and Len Hart.

It was Hart's relationship with Lincoln in Minor League baseball that brought the current Cincinnati Reds' hurler into the group.

Lincoln also pitched for the University of Tennessee before going pro.

As I stepped from my truck, my eyes were drawn to an AC Cobra parked in front of Lincoln’s. It’s always been my desire to own one of those, even if it was a “kit car” like this one. However, it looked pretty hot to me.
Just then someone hollered at me, “Paul, is that you!?”

It was about eight folks from K-25 on their lunch break. My last boss, Don Scheve, along with Brad White, Leslie Palmer, Debra Freeney, and Jim Edwards, to mention a few. It was terrific to see them again, and even Ron (my brother-in-law) seemed to enjoy the group. He had met several of them at concerts we’ve attended at the Tennessee Theatre in years past.

Lincoln’s Sports Grille turned out to be a great place. It’s much larger inside that it appears, complete with private party rooms, a large pool room, a stage that is occupied with live music Thursday – Saturday evenings, a huge bar with multiple pulls (they had Fat Tirethat’s all I needed), a two levels of tables and booths to chose from! If you smoke, Lincoln’s is smoke free, so take it outside to their large patio area with tables and umbrellas! It’s huge folks!

Now, lets talk food! I tried the K-25 (medium heat) chicken wings...and they were tender and juicy! Jim elected to try the “Cesar chicken wrap”, and I think I’ll try that next time.

Don and a couple of other tried the “tuna melt”, but Leslie liked her food presentation best (use your imagination)!

Then there was my old buddy (he’s really like a son) Brad and his “home wrecker” hot dog! Man, that thing is huge and, yes, he ate it all!


I even got to see old David has been almost 5 years since he and I shared an office. He hasn’t changed, though he’s had some health issues like me.

Ron and left the bar and headed over to the old Alexander Inn. The Alexander Inn, called the “Guest House” in the early “secret city” war days, is closed and starting to deteriorate. It was built in 1943 to serve the top-secret Manhattan Project (WWII), and serve as a place for visitor’s like J. Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, and Secretary of War Henry Stimson to stay while visiting “the project”!

Way back in the 50’s my Grandfather Williams, who worked at the ORNL (X-10) site as a carpenter. He had
a little room and I remember visiting one time and he showed me a secret he kept hidden from the Inn’s management – a hotplate he had attached to a table, and somehow the device folded down out of sight – hidden inside the table. The guest were not supposed to cook in their rooms, but he was not one to follow rules! So, the place has special importance to me because he lived there.

The good news is some money is coming in and the Alexander Inn may once again shine and welcome visitors. Many of us used to go to the bar there after work, so maybe that will happen again.

Anyway, the organizers are also making some income by recently allowing investigators with the Office of Paranormal Studies put all the ghost stories to the test.

"We're ghost hunters. We go around to places where paranormal activity is claimed. We'll check it out for ourselves and see what we can find," said Office of Paranormal Studies Co-Founder Clint Ferguson.

"There's a lot of rumors that it's haunted. We'd like to find out if it's haunted or it's not. If there's activity here, we'll find it," Investigator Pete Fransen said.

Requests to track paranormal activity at the old hotel aren't rare.

"I get a call probably every week to either take a tour to see the ghosts or somebody wants to come look for ghosts," Oak Ridge Revitalization Effort Executive Director Kate Groover said.

Heck, maybe they’ll start some ghost tours and make even more money for restoration. They may even find my granddad’s old hidden hotplate – if nothing else!

It was a great day, I even stopped on the way home and visited my buddy Gary Baker for a few minutes. He’s getting excited about restoration work on the Princess Complex that will begin soon, and the television station in downtown Harriman is coming right a long. I can hardly wait!

I stuffed a lot into one day and it felt good...just like old times!


Suldog said...

Before you even said anything about the food presentation, I was saying to myself, "That looks sorta like a... oh, man, they had to know that when they served it!"

FHB said...

I take it as a sure sign of your improving health that you're out an about with Ron again. Good! Mine's improving too. Had my first regular dump in a week this morning. Wooohoooo.

And, in homage to the suggestive little gerkin, my word verification was TRILEG.

BRUNO said...

I'll still "stick" with MY fave: Good ol' "Fried-On-The-Hoof" chicken!

And not that KFC-crap, either. Even I can't take THAT oily-concoction of "eleven secret herbs & spices" anymore---and I've been known to eat most ANYTHING, in the past....!

Shrinky said...

Ah, that looks to have turned out to be quite a reunion, what a great start to a lovely day! Loved the tale about your Uncle's secret hotplate (grin). I'm guessing you will be revisiting this eatery again - great photo's!

Debbie said...

Oh the food you have always looks so GOOOOOOOOD. Making me so hungry.

You have such great trips.

Right Truth

Lin said...

I hope they can restore the Alexander Inn. Too cool and historical to let go to ruin - even if it doesn't have any real ghosts around. We can go haunt the bar ourselves.