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Owners Robert and Elizabeth Cross are the third generations to live on the family farm. Elizabeth takes questions from the media during the day.
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The painters begin around 8:30 a.m. on July 19, 2016. By this time, the temperature has reached 80 degrees.
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Long before the painting begins, the scrapping happens.
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The process includes spray painting in order to preserve the integrity of the wood.
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Not only did Rock City repaint the front, but they made several structural repairs.
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The original painter and idea man: Clark Byers, standing in front of his first paint job along Highway 41 near Lookout Valley. Photo courtesy R & R Marketing.
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The artistry of the painters is apparent as they paint (with brush) the original lettering.
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As the day continues, temperatures reach 98 degrees.
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Co-owner of H & M Painting Scott Hoskins remembers seeing the barns alongside the road as a child. He wondered who painted them. “Now, I do.”
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The finished product: Robert and Elizabeth Cross; Brian, Chandler, Scott and Miguel of H & M Painting.
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Roy Cross (right) of R & R Outdoor congratulations Scott and his crew for an excellent job in miserable heat.
Long ago, after the turn of the twentieth century, some ingenious people had an idea that the side of a barn is a perfect canvas for advertising. Not just any barn, but a barn that edged close to a main thoroughfare, watching cars whisk by day-after-day. These roadside barns would become the stuff by which road trips would be defined. Families setting out for their yearly vacation, cars stuffed with suitcases and children. Looking out the window, watching the landscape rush by became the major source of entertainment. And when you see something larger than life telling you a place you need to be, well, it might just change the course of a family's direction.
That's exactly what the advertisers hoped would happen.
For those of us in the south, it was the larger-than-life "See Rock City" barns that always caught our attention. Red or black barns with enormous white letters telling us we had to see Rock City. What was once 900 barns has now dwindled to 62 barns. Rock City continues to preserve as many as possible and today (July 19, 2016), the barn at the Cross the Creek Farm in Maryville, Tennessee, is getting a make-over. It has been standing for 90 years; it was almost 40 years old before it was painted by Clark Byers with the Rock City message. It's due for some tender loving care.
Judy and Len Garrison are at home in Farmington, Georgia, just on the outskirts of Dawg country - better known as Athens. Len, an IT manager and photographer, and Judy, an editor, author and travel writer, invite you to travel along with them as they explore the best of the South. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their website at Seeing Southern, and follow them on Twitter at @judyhgarrison, @seeing_southern, LIKE them on Facebook and on Instagram.