SmithDRay Blog
Sunday, 29 March 2009
Robert Hicks and Widow of the South - Literacy Luncheon

Widow of the South is a great book by Robert Hicks

Robert was the speaker at the Altrusa International and Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club's Literacy Luncheon of 400 plus held on March 19, 2009, at the Oak Ridge High School cafeteria lobby. I was honored to introduce him at the luncheon. 

He also was the feature at the One City One Book event on March 18, 2009, at the Oak Ridge Public Library, also a huge hit.

Robert held the audiences in both events spellbound for the entire length of his talks.  His story of how his family ate his uncle for dinner serves to capture the audience as they don't really know what to make of the frank and open way Robert tells how this story has affected others who have been told it before the audience he is currently addressing. He then goes into the passionate story of his love for the life of Carrie McGavock, the real widow of the South who dug up and reburied nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers killed on or near her homeplace of Carnton Plantation in Franklin, TN, creating one of the largest private military cemeteries in existence.

The story of Robert's visit to Oak Ridge is covered in my Historically Speaking article of Tuesday, March 31, 2009.



Posted by smithdray at 12:41 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 31 March 2009 9:54 PM EDT
Sunday, 8 February 2009
Cherokee Caverns
Mood:  special

This past Saturday, I visited Cherokee Caverns.  Here are some photos:


Click to play Cherokee Caverns - 2-7-0
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Posted by smithdray at 11:16 PM EST
Monday, 24 November 2008
Cover photo for Bones of Betrayal
Mood:  happy

I took Dr. William Bass, Jon Jefferson and photographer Rebecca Leigh to four locations to shoot photographs for the cover of the upcoming book, Bones of Betrayal.  The book is set in Oak Ridge.  The cover photo was selected and can be seen at:

Some photos I took at the shoot can be seen at:

Posted by smithdray at 9:00 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 24 November 2008 9:05 PM EST
Historically Speaking books - available in hardback
Mood:  happy
Topic: books

The following books have been published IN HARDBACK online and are available at  and at

2006 Historically Speaking - articles published in The Oak Ridger during 2006

2007 Historically Speaking 1944 Troop Train Wreck - articles publishe in The Oak Ridger telling the story of the 1944 troop train wreck in Jellico, Tennessee

Historical Sketches of Oak Ridge Schools - articles about the history of the Oak Ridge Schools (this book is published in FULL COLOR)

2007 Historically Speaking - articles published in The Oak Ridger during 2007

Delina - the history of a small crossroads community in Middle Tennessee written by Haskell Roden and edited by me

2008 Historically Speaking - COMING January, 2009


Posted by smithdray at 8:51 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 11 June 2009 11:14 PM EDT
Saturday, 23 August 2008
Historically Speaking Books

Historical Sketches of Oak Ridge Schools is the first book of the Historically Speaking weekly columns that has been published.  This book contains selected columns relating to the history of Oak Ridge Schools.

Here is the link to order:

2007 Historically Speaking: 1944 Troop Train Wreck  is the second book of the Historically Speaking weekly columns that has been published.  This book contains selected columns relating to the historic train wreck near Jellico, TN.

Here is the link to order:

Historically Speaking: 1944 Troop Train Wreck AUDIO BOOK is the first audio book of the Historically Speaking columns that has been published.  This audio book is an unabridged version of the troop train wreck book.

Here is the link to order:

Or all D. Ray Smith books and audio books are available at the online Secret City Store


Posted by smithdray at 6:15 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 23 August 2008 7:20 PM EDT
East Tennessee History Center
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: History

The East Tennessee History Center at 601 S. Gay Street in Knoxville, TN opened Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee on August 23, 2008.  Go here for photos:

Ribbon Cutting:

VIP Reception:


Posted by smithdray at 5:10 PM EDT
Friday, 29 February 2008
Photo of bat in cave
Mood:  a-ok

A recent trip to Cherokee Caverns provided the opportunity for the photographs found at this link: Cherokee Caverns Photos on Webshots

This bat is covered with moisture...a most unusual sight!


Posted by smithdray at 11:20 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 16 March 2008 11:33 PM EDT
Saturday, 17 November 2007
Sunrise and mist - photo
Here is a recent sunrise on the Clinch River in Oak Ridge, TN.  I like it and hope you will too.


Posted by smithdray at 11:34 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 17 November 2007 11:39 PM EST
University of Tennessee Colloquium

On October 31, 2007 Oak Ridge: Manhattan Project to Today was presented to the University of Tennessee Nuclear Engineering Department. 

To see the web cast:

Click Here


Posted by smithdray at 11:15 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 19 April 2008 1:26 PM EDT
Monday, 15 October 2007
Met a new friend

Over the past few evenings, I have been communicating with the team at  They are interested in helping get the Nancy Ward Statue returned to Tennessee. 

Posted by smithdray at 10:49 PM EDT

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