By MIKE WEST
What's that old saying about a squeaky wheel?
Let's see ...
The saying is usually traced to American humorist Josh Billings and his little poem called "The Kicker."
I hate to be a kicker,
I always long for peace,
But the wheel that does the squeaking,
Is the one that gets the grease.
It is usually true the most noticeable problems are the ones most likely to get attention.
Back in July, Tennessee's new Commissioner of Tourism Development came to Woodbury for a meeting with local tourism-oriented busineses. At the informal meeting, Commissioner Kevin Triplett heard from Billy Kaufman of Short Mountain Distillery.
"We would like to see more support for our events," Kaufman said, "getting the word out is expensive. We're going everything we can to bring people here. We're telling them 'To Escape to the Country.'"
Apparently, Commissioner Triplett listened because Short Mountain Distillery has earned a spot in the 2016 Tennessee Tourism Guide.
"We have five pillars that we focus on in sharing with the world what our great state has to offer to its guests: scenic beauty, history, family, outdoors, and of course, music. Every city, every county, every destination in Tennessee falls under one or all of these pillars. As one of our top marketing tools, the 2016 Official Tennessee Vacation Guide celebrates each of these and what Woodbury has to offer," Triplett said.
To emphasize that Cannon County connection, Tennessee Tourism issued a news release about the Distillery and Cannon County being included in the publication. More than 550,000 of the free publication are being released in Tennessee and across the country.
That's good news that represents a step forward in local tourism efforts.
The thing is that we need to keep pushing. Key events like the annual White Oak Craft Festival need to be listed among Tennessee's important events. Let us not forget the many plays, exhibits and concerts held annually at the Arts Center of Cannon County. The Arts Center has few rivals across Tennessee.
Pushing tourism is never easy, particularly in a state as competitive as Tennessee. We don't need more events in Cannon County, we need to refine and constantly improve our offerings so visitors will return and bring friends and relatives along.
Suggestions? We have a few: Civil War history, the rustic beauty of Cannon County like Short Mountain and Parchcorn, folktales a plenty and don't let us forget Uncle Dave Macon.
Possibilities abound in Cannon County.