By Friday afternoon, I will have visited thirty of the thirty-one National Register-listed hotels and inns across Tennessee. This is a major and hard-won milestone. Mileage for the first three weeks of March alone will be around 1,500 miles. I am pleased, proud, and exhausted in equal parts.
Again, I give thanks for a fuel efficient diesel car and the reliable directions provided by my iphone. I also give thanks for my family — Lolly for joining me on two days of fieldwork and my sweet husband Mark who holds down the fort while I am away –, the countless people who have given me tours of properties, the librarians who maintain local archives and have put together “vertical files” on many of the hotels, Lee Curtis my mentor at the TN Department of Tourist Development who is truly a heritage guru, and the members of my dissertation committee — Dr. Van West, Dr. Mary Evins, Dr. Bren Martin, and Dr. Katie Sikes — who support and help to shape my intellectual development. There is no doubt in my mind that it takes a village.