Friday, July 25, 2014

Dinner on the 4th of July

We almost always buy too much food and overeat when we have company… With Laurie’s sister Bonnie and her husband Bill visiting, it was like a major excuse to pig out!  Since it was the 4th of July as well we had an even better excuse to over indulge!   

Bev…of Larry and Bev…fellow blogger Big Dude’s better half, (, had introduced us to Red Lobster’s cheesy biscuits so Laurie made up a batch of them for our Holiday dinner.

I’m not into mushrooms…but Laurie, Bonnie and Bill are!  Bill grilled these for our July 4th dinner…with butter and garlic. 

We’d been out for a drive and I decided to stop in at the guard shack at the Monterey Mushroom facility at 19748 TN Hwy. 72 in Loudon Tennessee.  Monterey Mushroom sells ‘seconds’ and imperfect mushrooms to the locals.  These mushrooms are just fine but they aren’t perfect enough for packaging and sale in grocery stores.  We bought a big box of these portabella mushroom caps from the guard for only $5.00!!  We cooked these for our dinner…but then we gave a bunch to Bonnie and Bill to take home…and another bunch to Larry and Bev…and we still had some left!

I’d made the drive over to Benton’s, (famous for Bacon, Hams and Prosciutto with chefs across the country), and I’d picked up 4 nice ribeye steaks for dinner. (FYI…Benton’s steaks are less costly than those in the supermarkets…and better than most!)

Many people in Loudon and Monroe counties don’t seem to realize that Benton’s offers items other than smoked pork products to walk-in retail customers.  They have ribs, strip and ribeye steaks, bologna, eggs, cheese, hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage and a number of other items…and we would recommend almost everything listed.  Benton’s is located at 2603 Highway 411 in Madisonville Tennessee.  Phone: 423-442-5003.  Website: The retail store is open from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM Monday through Saturday.

Here’s a yummy picture of Laurie’s dinner on her plate.  So…our light dinner included the ribeye steak, the cheesy biscuits, fresh green beans, the mushrooms and roasted varietal potatoes! Not a bad celebratory meal…

We love those little varietal potatoes… We used to eat them fairly often when we lived in the Chicago area so we were delighted to find them in our local Publix market!  I like to smash mine, apply butter and then add Tabasco…but I am just a little weird…

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Drive in the Country…

East Tennessee is a beautiful place and we love to just cruise around on the back roads looking at the scenery and whatever else catches our fancy… Laurie’s sister Bonnie and her husband Bill were with us recently and we decided that it was a beautiful day for a drive…

This is the high order Mennonite farmer’s market on a side road in Delano Tennessee.  It’s a bit far for us to drive just for produce, but we still make it down here a couple of times a year.  Considering that this market is really out of the way and it’s not close to any major cities, they really pack in the customers!

The produce was plentiful…beans, peppers, corn, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, cabbage, etc. etc.  In addition one can pick up soaps, baked goods, jams/jellies and jars of pickled products…including Laurie’s favorite…their ‘Starr Mountain’ pickled beets.

This is the valley adjacent to the farmer’s market… Horse drawn wagons were coming and going with produce.  There is no electricity in the store and the men who run the store use mechanical calculators to total up your purchases.  Female shoppers are asked to dress modestly…and photographs of the store’s operators are discouraged.

About 30 families live here farming about 470 acres.  The farm and market is of course their primary source of income.  The market is open from mid-April through October.  It is located at 146 Needle Eye Lane about a mile east of US Highway 411 in Delano Tennessee.  Obviously there is no phone or website!

I have a tendency to stretch out our drives in the country… I always want to check out another road or show off another sight to visitors.  After wandering all the way south to beautiful Ocoee Lake, I’d decided to drive to Dayton Tennessee for lunch.  That took a while…and then we didn’t see any place we wanted to eat.  So we kept driving, ending up here at Carter’s Restaurant in Ten Mile Tennessee. Watts Bar Lake is right across the road from the restaurant. 

The interior of Carter’s is very warm and welcoming…with lots of interesting items to look at in every nook and cranny.  You order at a counter and they bring your food out to your table.  Laurie and I had been here before and we had a good experience…

On our first visit, Danny Carter had mentioned that they make a great pizza.  He and his wife Patsy own and operate the restaurant…as well as an adjacent miniature golf course and a small RV park.
Well, we just ‘had’ to try the pizza…as good pizza is hard to find here in East Tennessee.  We ordered a small pizza with pepperoni and sausage as an appetizer. ($5.79) It was pretty darn good!  As an aside, the prices at Carter’s are remarkably reasonable… For example, a large 16” pizza with pepperoni and Italian sausage only costs $13.49!  

Unfortunately, not everything was as good as the pizza.  Bonnie had the fried shrimp and she thought that they were just OK. ($8.29)  The coleslaw was very good but the fries and corn meal muffin were nothing special.

Sorry for the blurry photos.  This was the Country Fried Steak. ($7.99) It was pretty good.  All dinners come with 2 sides.  There are 12 sides you can choose from without incurring an additional charge.  I’d trade out the fries for another side the next time…

When Laurie and I visited Carter’s the first time, it was on a Sunday and we’d really enjoyed the special Two Piece Boneless Chicken Breast Dinner. ($7.99) Based on our experience, Bill ordered the Hand Breaded Chicken Strip Dinner. ($7.99) The beans and the fried squash were good…but the chicken strips were dry… Sorry Bill!

Laurie started out her meal with a nice fresh salad for one of her sides…

Laurie ordered the Hand Breaded Pork Tenderloin Dinner with that side salad and cooked apples. ($7.79) She thought that it was pretty good…no complaints.

OK… Well, we had mixed results on this visit to Carter’s Restaurant.  Still, based on the positives including the pizza, plus a couple of the entrees, the accompanying sides and the pricing, we will return!  Carter’s Restaurant is closed on Monday and Tuesday.  It is located at 2430 TN Hwy. 304 in Ten Mile Tennessee.  Phone: 423-334-3300.  Website:

Note: Danny and Patsy Carter have also produced several record albums/CDs of their gospel music.  You can find out more about their music on the website as shown above.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, July 21, 2014

Playing with Our Food!

Looking for a bit of variety in our diet, I keep experimenting with simple meals.  Sometimes I come up with a winner and other times not so much!

As anyone who reads my blog is aware, I keep playing with pizzas at home.  No, I don’t make the crusts… My motto is, keep it simple!  Of course a significant part of my approach is that I don’t want to work hard for my food!
I’ve been using Mama Mary’s Thin and Crispy individual pizza crusts and they work well.  But for the two pizzas shown above, I tried something new.  I picked up a couple pieces of garlic naan for the crusts.  I applied tomato based pizza sauce on the one to the left, then cheddar and pizza shredded cheese, garlic, Italian seasoning, cracked hot red peppers and pepperoni.  I used Alfredo sauce instead of the tomato base for the one on the right…and then I added a little Benton’s prosciutto to the mix as well.  Garlic Nan is now our favorite pizza crust!

For lunch one day I was on my own… What to make for myself?  I like broccoli and I had a little left over in the vegetable keeper.  So I sauteed these broccoli florets in some olive oil with roasted garlic, hot crushed red peppers and pepperoni.  I really liked the results of this experiment!

Another day, another individual pizza!  This time I used one of Mama Mary’s pizza crusts, brushed it with olive oil and pizza sauce, then added crushed red peppers, Italian seasoning, a mix of shredded cheese, roasted garlic and a boatload of pan fried Italian sausage.  This was a ‘meaty’ and satisfying pizza!

I bought these ‘boneless beef ribs’ at the local grocery store.  They looked good in the meat counter…with enough ribbons of fat for flavor.  We marinated them for 24 hours before grilling them.

We each had a nice little salad with heirloom tomatoes, broccoli and lettuce…and I added asiago cheese to mine.  Laurie used shredded Parmesan on hers.

There were a couple of leftover slabs of tomato remaining so I added some roasted garlic and asiago cheese along with a bit of Italian dressing.  Very tasty indeed!

The boneless beef ribs…a true contradiction in terms…looked good when I brought them to the table.  As you can see, I applied BBQ sauce…Famous Dave’s “Devil’s Spit”, to be specific. 

As I mentioned at the beginning, sometimes I come up with a winner and sometimes, not so much.  These beef ‘ribs’ were tough!  The flavor was OK but they were chewy… I guess that I should have beaten the heck out of them before I marinated them.  Lesson learned!  At least the salads were good…

That’s about it for now.  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Coffee and Much More!

Some time ago, we came across a coffee shop on a side street near downtown Maryville Tennessee.  We thought that the coffee was very good, the place was cute and quirky…and we vowed to return again when we were back in town and when the time for coffee and a snack fit in just right.

So…back in June, we were in Maryville, we’d had a late breakfast, no lunch and it was early afternoon…the perfect time for coffee and a snack!

This is the Vienna Coffee House in Maryville Tennessee.  It’s located on a side street between downtown Maryville and Maryville College.

John Clark is the owner and ‘roastmaster’ of the Vienna Coffee Company.  The Coffee House is a tasty ‘side business’ for the Vienna Coffee Company.  The company’s primary business is coffee roasting.  Vienna roasts tons of coffee each month for area coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and grocery stores.  Customers include the Aubrey’s restaurant chain, over 20 Kroger stores, Sullivan’s Restaurant, Foothills Milling Company, Barley’s, Horn of Plenty Marketplace, Amburn’s Produce, and in Townsend, the Village Market IGA and Firefly Cafe.

Vienna Coffee Company’s facility is quite large… There is even this patio for patrons on the lower level.  The new Coffee House is on the main level of this 3-story building where there is plenty of space for individuals and groups to enjoy a full array of coffee-based drinks, teas, pastries, quiches and other treats.

That patio sits down in this little valley overlooking this creek in Maryville.  As you might be able to tell by the swollen creek and the muddy water, we visited the Vienna Coffee House on a rainy day.

In addition to coffee, sandwiches and snacks, the Vienna Coffee House is a live music venue and it has free Wi-Fi.  There is seating for 100 on the main level as well as a 500-square-foot conference room for small groups.

John Clark, whose parents operated a Photography Studio, didn’t plan on being a roastmaster.  The Maryville native, whose grandmother, Emma Clark, was the big sister of D.W. Proffitt, founder of Proffitt’s Department Store, graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in chemical engineering and did hazardous waste management for chemical companies.

One job took him to San Francisco before the specialty coffee craze that started in Berkeley had expanded beyond California.  He grew to love dark-roasted high quality coffee back in the 80s before Starbucks was invented…

The new Vienna Coffee House location also has a full-service drive-thru window.  Most importantly, the roastery and Coffee House are now consolidated into one 18,000 sq. foot building! 

Previously, this 11-year old locally owned company had been operating from two locations in town…one for the roastery and another for the Coffee House.
When his job brought him back to Maryville, he admits that he’d turned into a ‘coffee snob’.  He just couldn’t drink what was available in the grocery stores and there wasn’t a Starbucks in town.  Using his California connections, he bought specialty beans that he roasted in a popcorn popper on the stove top in his kitchen. But he wanted more.  He found a used Ambex coffee roaster on eBay in Canada.  The owner thought the roaster didn’t work but Clark bought it, pulled it apart and fixed it.  He had a $10,000 coffee roaster for $1,700!

Although the Vienna Coffee House is truly ‘coffee centric’, they do offer a limited sandwich and soup menu at lunch.  If you check their website, you won’t find a menu for food, pastries, etc.  They are just accompaniments to the coffee!

Upon checking the Vienna Coffee Company's website, I learned that their coffee beans come from many different parts of the world.  This included places like Bali, Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica, Kenya and Tanzania.

Let’s see… Will it be sandwiches and/or soup or something sweet and relatively unhealthy?!  Not a bad selection, that’s for sure.  It wasn’t a tough decision for us…so much for a healthy light lunch!

How about a nice piece of blueberry crumb cake!

 Or, if you’d prefer, there was this decadent chocolate and sugar laden dessert bar!

FYI… The Vienna Coffee House offers one other service or experience for its patrons…”Coffee Cupping”!  What is a coffee cupping?  It’s like a wine tasting for coffee.  You smell, swish and slurp different coffees one at a time.  It involves the art of aroma perception in coffee. You learn about the intricate details and differences of coffee flavors.  The Coffee House hosts free cuppings on Thursdays for coffee lovers.

Laurie loves her latte…but I always stick to a nice non-photogenic cup of fresh black coffee.

To finish John Clark’s story… He had his roaster and he was roasting in his garage, but he was making too much coffee for just himself and he started giving it away.  That was like giving money away, so he started selling his coffee “just to support my hobby.”  Then came a moment of decision…The chemical company he worked for wanted Clark to transfer to Philadelphia.  He decided to stick with coffee and stay in East Tennessee!  Clark picked up his last corporate paycheck July 31, 2002.  On his way home from work that day, he made three sales calls.  One of them to Aubrey’s Restaurants, and the rest is history.”

The Vienna Coffee House and Roastery is located at 212 College Street in Maryville, Tennessee.  The Coffee House is open 7 days a week.  Phone: 865-681-0517.  The Coffee House website is located The Vienna Coffee Company’s website and on-line store can be found at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a cup of coffee and a sweet treat!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dining Out times Two…

I keep a list of Knoxville area restaurants that we want to try out… Some of them are new to the area and others have been recommended to us or have received a positive review in the local press… We are always looking for something new...and good!

Laurie and I were in Knoxville shopping at Costco… In order to have enough energy to shop, we decided to try out Knoxville’s new Egg and I Restaurant. It had opened in a small strip center on the property adjacent to Costco.

The interior of the Egg and I was ‘homey’, pleasant and clean. 

The Egg and I restaurant chain is a franchised operation that was founded in Fort Collins Colorado back in 1987.  They currently have roughly 100 locations in 21 states… Ten new Egg and I restaurants are scheduled to open before the end of this year.

This view was from our table looking out at the patio/curbside dining and across the parking lot toward Costco.

The Egg and I has its largest presence in Colorado, (25 locations with another one later this year), and in Texas. (30 locations with 2 more coming this year) If you’d like to learn more about this company…perhaps buy a franchise…just go to the company’s website at

Laurie ordered a variation of one of her favorites…Eggs Benedict.  In this case, it was named “Parisian Benedict”. ($9.29) This version has a buttery croissant half layered with smoked ham, sautéed portabella mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese…which is then topped with 2 poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and green onions.  She chose ranch potatoes as her side.

Laurie gave her breakfast two thumbs up…although we both prefer crispy shredded hash browns vs. ranch potatoes.

I was trying to eat a relatively healthy breakfast.  Also, I’m not that fond of ranch potatoes and I’m not crazy about grits.  I created my own omelette. ($8.99) I added bacon, sausage and pepper jack cheese to my 3-egg creation.  I opted for a fruit cup instead of the ‘bad’ carbs.  I have to say that the best part of my breakfast was the fruit cup… The edges of my English muffin were burnt and my omelette was just OK.  I would have preferred the pepper jack cheese on the inside just to keep the eggs more moist.

One win out of two… To be fair, Laurie and I will have to return to The Egg and I for lunch in order to provide a better appraisal of this restaurant’s offerings.  Reviews on Urban Spoon, Yelp and Trip Advisor have been mixed as well.  Time will tell.  This Egg and I restaurant is located at 111 Lovell Road in Farragut Tennessee.  Phone: 865-671-3447.  This location’s website and the menu is found at:

When Laurie’s sister Bonnie and her husband Bill visited us recently, one of our casual dining choices was Wild Wings Café. (Not to be confused with that ‘other’ chain…’Buffalo Wild Wings’.) I ‘grabbed’ this photo of the exterior of Wild Wings Café from the Internet…

This is the only Wild Wings Café we’ve ever been in and it is a big place!  There are 35 Wild Wings Café location scattered across 7 southeastern states.  This is a combination sport bar, family dining experience and entertainment venue…

The décor is sports bar plus…with a lot going on!  There always seem to be specials for drinks and food…plus in the evenings these restaurants feature live music several times each week.

We stopped by for lunch… Bill and I ate so much food that dinner was not necessary!  The special for the day was All the Wings You Can Eat plus a Grilled Cheese Sandwich, a Cup of Soup and French Fries.  Cost?  How about $10.00 each!

We both skipped the grilled cheese sandwich but we did have a cup of chicken rice soup… It was nothing special but just OK.

Bonnie and Laurie were more controlled than their husbands… They shared an order of Mile High Ultimate Nachos…with spicy taco beef, queso, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, black beans, corn and poblano peppers. ($10.49) They were very happy and content with their choice…and their accompanying beers.

Bill and I each started out with a 10-wing order accompanied with French fries, celery and blue cheese dipping sauce.  The wings at Wild Wings Café are very good indeed!  A total of 34 sauces are available.  The sauces range from gentle, (1 ‘pepper’), to killer hot… The hottest sauces are named Fireball, China Syndrome, (both with 4 ‘peppers’), Habanero Hots, (5 ‘peppers’) and Braveheart. (6 ‘peppers’) Braveheart is described as being “So hot you can lose your head over it!”

Bill and I both like a bit of heat but we weren’t in a suicidal mood.  My favorite sauce was “The Slayer - This hot garlic wing helps Buffy kick some demon butt!”  All the wings were very good…and we managed to eat another 6 wings each before we gave up!

The Knoxville Wild Wings Café is located at the west end of the Turkey Creek Shopping area at I-40 and Campbell Station Road.  Prices are very reasonable.  The restaurant is actually in Farragut Tennessee at 11335 Campbell Lakes Drive.  Phone: 865-777-9464.  The specific website for the Farragut location is: The corporate website is at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fishing and “The” Blogger Party

Back in early June, Laurie and I were happy to attend Larry (Big Dude) and Bev’s Blogger Dock Party.  They have a great party dock in a cove on Tellico Lake and it’s been a great source of entertainment…parties and socializing for us and fishing for me and an occasional visitor.

I do like to go fishing!

Fishing on Big Dude and Bev’s dock earlier this spring, I caught this nice catfish.  I was using a minnow with a bobber.  It was a heck of a fight on light fishing gear!

Recently, Laurie’s sister Bonnie and her husband Bill came over from St. Louis Missouri and they spent a week with us.  Bill and I went fishing on Larry and Bev’s party dock on 3 occasions… While we didn’t catch any big fish, we had a good time!  Bill is an aggressive fisherman, working constantly to find a lure or bait that will attract the big one.  He caught this bass on a spinning lure.  He must have cast lures over 500 times in our 3 outings.  I prefer to use a minnow as bait with a bobber…and just relax.  Of course, his methods yield more and bigger fish!

In any case, note the scene behind and around Bill… Not a bad setting!
On to the Blogger Party…

Each year for the past few years, Big Dude and his patient and supportive wife Bev, host a Blogger Party at their home here in East Tennessee.  Guests have come from as far away as Florida and Kansas City.  Big Dude…AKA Larry…has already posted a blog with the food photos, describing what we had to eat at this year’s event.  In the collage above, you can revisit the sumptuous buffet that we gorged on over a 4-hour period, one course at a time. 

For more details and close up photos of each of the dishes shown, just go to Big Dude’s blog at  

Like I said, this is a party dock!  That’s Big Dude in the green shirt with his co-host Chris G. in the white shirt to his left.  

Chris is a pro-blogger and ‘grillmaster’!  He’s based in Knoxville Tennessee and he’s published a cookbook, available at Amazon, entitled ‘The Kamado Smoker and Grill Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for the World's Best Barbecue’.  To learn more about Chris and to check out his blog, you can go to: He and his wife Alexis contributed a Puttanesca Sauce for our pasta ‘bar’.

This photo was taken after several bouts of eating and drinking… It was a pretty relaxed gathering.  We started with a few liquid refreshments, then grilled pizzas and an antipasto salad…followed by several pasta offerings plus meatballs and a couple of decadent desserts.  It’s a good thing that we spread this feast out because there was so much food.  Now I know why Roman banquets took so long! 

A couple of the guests took Larry’s Sea-Doo out for a spin on the lake!

Another ‘pro’ blogger that was in attendance was Penny who publishes “Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen”.  Her blog features great recipes and food photos.  Check out Penny’s blog at She and her husband David furnished the Linguini with Spicy Tuscan Sausage Ragu for our feast.

Here’s another view of the group and the party dock… Seating in the background to the left is another blogger that I follow.  Sam is in the yellow blouse with the red necklace.  Her attractive and well-designed blog is called “My Carolina Kitchen”.  Sam writes a food column, “From My Carolina Kitchen”, for her local newspaper.  Her recipes are terrific and her food photos are spectacular…

You can check out Sam’s blog at  She and her husband Meakin served Chicken Marbella at Big Dude and Bev’s blogger party.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Friday, July 11, 2014

Flying in an Antique Airplane!

For several years now, I’ve been trying to find a way to give Laurie the experience of flying on a DC-3.  We’ve flown on helicopters, gliders, single engine float planes, DC-9’s, 737’s, 767’s, DC-10’s and 747’s… We’ve been inside passenger equipped DC-3’s, Martin 404’s and Lockheed Constellations.  Frustratingly, the only airline I’ve been able to find in North America that still has DC-3 flights is Buffalo Airlines up in northern Canada.  I personally had flown DC-3’s back in the late 1950’s on  a Lake Central Airlines route from Detroit Michigan over to Erie Pennsylvania and then on to Buffalo New York.

Then I saw a brief news item on one of the local TV stations in Knoxville… An organization based in Wisconsin was offering flights at a local Tennessee airport on a true antique airplane…

What if I could buy us tickets for a flight on a plane that pre-dates the DC-3 airplanes…or even the DC-2’s!?  The plane in the sky above is not your typical passenger plane!  It is a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor…

These planes were nicknamed “The Tin Goose”.  To overcome concerns about engine reliability, they added a third engine.  Another major step forward for passenger comfort at that time was the fully enclosed cabin!  The first 3 Tri-Motors produced actually had open cockpits…as many doubted that a plane could be flown without direct “feel of the wind”!

In this photo, the Ford Tri-Motor passenger plane is landing at Knoxville’s Downtown Island Airport…

Back in the 1920’s, Henry Ford decided to get into the fast growing aviation business.  He purchased the Stout Aviation Company in 1925.  William Stout had studied the successful German Junkers airliner and he designed a commercial aircraft along the same lines. 

Above, the Ford Tri-Motor is rolling along the tarmac to the spot where it would stop to let passengers off and then pick up another load…

Unlike many of the aircraft of its time, the Ford Tri-Motor was all metal, rather than fabric and metal.  As was Henry Ford’s practice, the Tri-Motor was inexpensive to produce and operate as an airliner.  This one, Model 4-AT-E, (NC8407), cost $55,000 new.  She was the 146th off the assembly line and her first flight was on August 21, 1929. 

The pilot of the Tri-Motor, Colin Soucy, is a retired airline captain and an Experimental Aircraft Association Volunteer.  The EAA is based in Oshkosh Wisconsin, which is the home of the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh air show…one of the largest and most extensive air shows in the world.  This year it will run from July 28th through August 3rd.  To learn more about AirVenture Oshkosh, you can check it out at

Despite minimal coverage by the local media, EAA volunteers weren’t having any trouble filling up the plane with airplane enthusiasts. Between flights, folks walked around the plane and took lots of photos…both inside and out…

The Tri-Motor’s corrugated skin gives the metal added stiffness while reducing weight.  The plane was and is reliable and rugged, at least partially due to their simple design and construction.  A total of 199 of these aircraft were built between 1926 and1933.  At this point, 18 of them are still intact and based on 2012 information, 8 are still flying.  However, this is the only one that flies on a regular basis during most of the year.

We needed fuel before our flight could take us on our little journey.  That’s the pilot pumping the fuel…

Henry Ford never made a profit from aircraft production and the last Ford Tri-Motor rolled off the assembly line in 1933.  Aircraft competition heated up that year with the introduction of the Boeing 247. ( The Douglas DC-2 entered the marketplace in 1934. ( The DC-3, which was one of the world’s most successful airliners, was introduced in 1935; only a year after the DC-2 debuted. (

This little girl found refuge from the sun in the shade provided by the horizontal stabilizer or tailplane.  She was one of the passengers on our flight and this was her first flight ever! She did great!

Children under 2 can be carried on an adult’s lap.  Weather permitting, flight times were from 9 AM until 5 PM daily while at the airport.  The cost per adult for a flight on the Tri-Motor was $75.00.  The airplane holds up to 9 passengers…

Here’s the view inside the Ford Tri-Motor’s passenger cabin.  Note the wood work and the big windows… Laurie sat right in front of me on the left and here she’s taking her own photo of the cabin and the cockpit.

This particular Ford Tri-Motor was originally sold to Pitcairn Aviation’s passenger division, Eastern Air Transport.  Eastern Air Transport later became Eastern Airlines which operated from 1926 to 1991.  To learn more about Pitcairn Aviation go to, and to learn more about Eastern Airlines, you can go to

This was Laurie’s view as we took off on our flight… She was sitting right behind 1 of the 3 Pratt and Whitney 9 cylinder 450 horsepower engines…2 mounted under the wings and 1 on the nose of the aircraft.  The Tri-Motor has a cruising speed of 90 mph, holds 230 gallons of aviation fuel and it has a range of 500 miles.

This was our view looking back at Knoxville’s Downtown Island Airport on Dickinson Island and the Tennessee River.  The airport, (designated DKX), handles more than 83,000 flight operations a year.  Over 140 aircraft are based here, including the Knox County Sheriff’s helicopters.  This airport began operations in 1930 and in the 1940’s, it served as a training facility for Army Air Cadets.  For more about Knoxville’s Downtown Island Airport, you can go to or

Here we’re flying over downtown Knoxville with its bridges over the Tennessee River.  Our altitude during this 15 minute flight was at roughly 1,000 feet, perfect for sightseeing and taking photos!

Here’s another view of the center of Knoxville, looking back the other way… Knoxville is the principal city of the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 848,350 in 2012.

Settled in 1786, Knoxville served as the first capital of Tennessee. During the Civil War, the city was bitterly divided over the secession issue, and was occupied alternately by both Confederate and Union armies.  The 1982 World's Fair was held in Knoxville and it became one of the most popular world's fairs in U.S. history with 11 million visitors. To learn more about Knoxville Tennessee, just go to,_Tennessee.

In this photo, you’re looking down at the campus of the University of Tennessee, home of the “Vols” and the university’s famous Neyland Stadium.  The university is attended by over 27,000 students… For more on the University, just go to

Knoxville and nearby areas are also home to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee Valley Authority, the Smoky Mountain National Park, Fort Loudoun Lake, Tellico Lake and several major boat builders.  These include Master Craft, Sea Ray, Skier’s Choice, Colbalt, Bryant, Malibu, Bullet and Stroker boats.  To learn more about Knoxville, go to or,_Tennessee.

We got another nice view of the Knoxville Island Airport as we circled back and prepared to land…

Here are some Ford Tri-Motor facts:
  • ·        First all-metal, multi-engine commercial airliner.
  • ·        Led to the construction of the first airline terminal for passengers.
  • ·        Was the first regularly scheduled passenger airliner to operate.
  • ·        Led to the first hotel designed for air travelers, the Dearborn MI Inn.
  • ·        Led to the creation of the first paved runway.
  • ·        First airline that led to required crew training.
t    I took this photo of Laurie as we circled back to land… Between us, I think that we took over 150 photos!  We sure love digital photography…just snap away and delete or print the photos that you really want…

In 1930, this Tri-Motor was leased to Cubana Airlines where it inaugurated air service between Havana and Santiago de Cuba, another important Cuban city.  It was later flown by the government of the Dominican Republic.  It returned to the USA in 1949 for use in airshows. For a while it was used as a crop duster and then it was used as a chemical fire ‘bomber’ and later for use by smoke jumpers.  Then it was back to air shows and it was also used in the Jerry Lewis movie “Family Jewels”.  The plane was at the 1973 Oshkosh EAA Fly-In event when it was severely damaged in a thunderstorm.  EAA purchased the wreckage and after 12 years of restoration, it once again took to the air.  What a history!!

Laurie took this picture as we came down low over the Tennessee River on final approach to the Knoxville Downtown Island Airport.  Note that the landing gear on the Ford Tri-Motor is not retractable…

Here are some interesting factoids about America in 1929, (85 years ago), when this actual plane was first flown:
  • ·        A Ford Model A cost $500.00.
  • ·        The average house cost $8,000.00.
  • ·        The gas price hit 20 cents a gallon!
  • ·        In September of that year, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began.
  • ·        Babe Ruth hit his 500th home run.
  • ·        Cleveland Ohio became the first airport with a control tower.
  • ·        JC Penney opened its first store in Delaware, reaching all 48 states.
  • ·        Herbert Hoover is President.
  • ·        My father was only 18 and my mother was only 13… It would be several years before they even met.
  • ·        Admiral Richard Byrd flew over the South Pole…in a Ford Tri-Motor!

Laurie took this photo of the air service/passenger terminal at Knoxville’s Downtown Island Airport as we taxied to the conclusion of our terrific flying adventure!  We had a great time flying in this historic airplane and the weather was perfect too… Now if we could only find a DC-3 to experience too!

To learn more about the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), just go to  To learn more about flying on the Ford Tri-Motor and to view its schedule of stops across the country, check it out at  This week it’s flying in Pontiac Michigan at the Oakland County International Airport…

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by to join us on our flight in an antique airplane!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave