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Locals, visitors rhapsodize on autumn color


Staff Writer

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Fall in East Tennessee showcases mountains that look as though they are on fire, covered in vibrant colors of red, orange and yellow. For some, it also brings a feeling of nostalgia.

“The changing leaves remind me of home,” East Tennessee State University student Kaylie Palmeri said. “I am from Ohio, so my area is quite like this.”

All over the region, the skyline has changed, boasting a picturesque 360 view.

“It is so beautiful. God sure paints pretty,” local Candi Kamperin said. “I love it. Fall is my favorite. I love the colors.”

According to Jonesborough resident Anna Johnston, every year around mid-October, the feeling of days gone by fills her heart and mind.

“It makes me think of home and my family. I am from the Ozarks in Missouri, and we always have a family reunion around this time,” Johnston said.

While some find the comfort in the memories of the season, others look at it from a different perspective.

“The changing leaves remind me of newness and just change in general,” ETSU student Emma Brewer said. “It just makes me sad because I’m not a fan of winter. But I definitely love the colors of fall.”

From Jonesborough to Johnson City to Limestone, you can drive through roadways of fallen leaves, but not all states are so lucky.

“I am new to Tennessee; I spent 50 years in Florida,” visitor Suzy Stoner said. “It is so pretty here. We definitely didn’t have anything like this in Florida. These colors delight me more than anything else. I love the changing of the leaves and the nostalgic feeling it gives me.”

Stoner and her sister, Vicki Law, are on a sisters’ vacation and visiting Jonesborough for the first time.

“This time of year just makes me want to eat,” Law said. “It’s when you make apple butter and chili and pots of beans. See? I want to eat now.”

In addition to the weather and color, many traditions are a part of this season.

“It reminds me of getting things ready for harvest, lots of cooking and canning, hunting and deer season. Just preparing for winter. It’s my favorite season,” Johnston said.

Palmeri adds that the crispness of the air is also part of her love for this time of the year.

“I am from Ohio, so my area is quite like this. The weather is similar. I love how chilly it is,” she said.

Whether you are from this area originally, recently made it your home or are visiting for a while, the sights and feelings of the fall swirl around in the mind like leaves being picked up by the wind.

“I grew up in Jonesborough, but did move to Charlotte, Atlanta, Tampa and Birmingham years ago. Whenever I returned home, I’d say there is no better place to live than Jonesborough Tennessee,” Mayor Chuck Vest said. “I learned to appreciate the changing seasons, friendly people and great quality of life.”