After the fire
There was a big fire here last November. 14 people died, two young men are now doing 60 years in stony lonesome for being the jerks who started it.
We were very afraid that the cabin we stay in would be destroyed but were relieved to find that we had been spared. We are in the main fire area, though, as two houses right next to us were reduced to rubble.
The fire was capricious, rushing up the hills and burning houses randomly. I was struck by this site, where you can see an untouched cabin just a few feet behind a place with nothing left but the chimney.
The homes here are large, and get larger as you go up the hill. Being made mostly of stone is no protection against the firestorm, apparently.Buildings on this hill were, for the most part, either spared or destroyed. I only saw one home with repairable damage.
Being behind stone walls and iron gates gives you a false sense of security. The fire will not be denied.
Downtown Gatlinburg seems to be untouched; all the damage is up the hills from the commercial center. The motels and inns are all open for business, and they all seem to have vacancies. I think people got scared by the new stories and are staying away, as the town seems half empty and the tournament (although it is only the first day) seems smaller.
Today we were in the top bracket, which rarely happens here. And we got killed in the first round, which is why we don’t like the top bracket. Tomorrow is another day, and if more people show up we’ll be in bracket 2 and have a much better chance. Cross your fingers.
UPDATE: Micky is cranky that I said we got killed in the KO when we lost by exactly 5 IMPs. Apparently that isn’t sufficient to be deemed ‘killed’. So consider us wounded. Winger. Edged. Nosed. Squeaked.
But he other guys are playing round 2 while Mike and I are playing the side game. That’s killed enough for me.