Odyssey Impact: A Tennessee Town Starts To Rebuild

Odyssey Impact: A Tennessee Town Starts To Rebuild

Gatlinburg resident Jasmine Marie Marple relays a harrowing account of the fire that devastated her town, but she has a hopeful message.
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The first report of fire was on November 23 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Within a few days, a town was destroyed, 14 people were dead, and more than 175 others were injured.

Jasmine Marple, an Odyssey creator for the Knoxville, Tennessee community and resident of Gatlinburg, watched flames engulf her town as she and other town citizens begged for rain.

“The thing that we wish would go away is the images, what we’ve seen and what happened,” Marple said. “You can’t erase the images. They’ll always be there.”

Marple was at work when she first noticed that the entire sky was a blanket of smoke. She didn’t believe it was serious at first until she saw the fire spreading from the top of the mountain at her friend’s house. That’s when her out-of-town family and friends started calling her, and more importantly, she remembered her dad’s house was in the way of the firestorm.

“I didn’t think it was going to reach the extremes that it did,” Marple said. “That’s the scariest part, you don’t know what’s in store when it comes to fires.”

She and her brother raced to their dad’s house to ensure his safety. Trees were snapping and falling onto houses nearby, including her dad’s. “The tree had fallen at the beginning of his driveway on the mountain and they couldn't get out,” Marple said. “The tree was too big for him to move on his own, so there was no way of removing it quickly.” They all evacuated to safety, and the fire did not reach her dad’s home.

The only other thing Marple had the power to do was to write about her experience and reveal its devastation to her beloved hometown.

“I initially wanted to write a poem about the smoke and the fires, and when it ended up escalating, I just put my thoughts together and submitted it,” Marple said.

Her post quickly gained traction within just a few days, and gained over 6,800 shares after she submitted her unsettling article:

I want to be superwoman, I want to save and help them all. For many days The Book of Revelations has crossed my mind. All of these destructive disasters are incredibly close, leaving behind hurt and mourning. My anxiety is high, I feel like I can't breathe. Everything is happening so fast--damn it, where is the rain?

Marple received dozens of comments from people even outside the town thanking her for sharing the story. The positive feedback was overwhelming.

“I became very emotional because I was grateful that I could reach out to others,” Marple said. “For them to know what was going on was even more empowering.”

Her town is now rebuilding, and Marple plans to write another post detailing the aftermath. Mostly, she says, the town needs money and other resources to help them heal.

“A lot of that money is going toward essentials; there are still people in shelters. Our goal now is to get people into homes so they are back to normalcy. That’s the thing that people overlook,” Marple said.

In a recent Facebook update, Marple thanked all the EMTs, firefighters, police officers and volunteers that have helped keep the people of Gatlinburg safe, and called upon other Gatlinburg citizens to do the same:

Lastly, I want each and every person to know that they are not alone. My sorrow for each and every person that lost everything is unexplainable. My heart aches for you. We, as a community, will come together and help you back to your feet. The images, terror, and uncertainty has been felt as whole. Your families are in our thoughts and prayers. I pray that the nightmares go away and the constant images in your mind dissipates. I pray that you find peace and comfort, and that you never lose hope. We will stand again, together.

“This journey has been extremely hard and emotional,” Marple said, “but my mission now is to fight to help people get back to normal. We can get through this, and we will.”
Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

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2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

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If You Voted to Take My Rights Away This Election, Block Me

I am an American just as you but I do not have time to be friends with Republicans.

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You might find this harsh but…

I don't want to be friends with anyone who voted Republican this election.

What about friendship despite the odds? What about coexistence and tolerance? Why does it matter?

If you cannot support my rights as a woman, or my rights as a person of color, or my rights as a human being, I do not want to be your friend. If you do not support trans rights, reproductive rights, and #BlackLivesMatter, I do not want to be your friend. If you do not want to support Native Americans and indigenous peoples, if you do not want to support asylum seekers, if you do not want to support immigration, I do not want to be your friend.

I owe you nothing.

I know that this seems harsh, but if you sided with Donald Trump in the previous election, voted for Brian Kemp -a literal criminal- I do not owe you a single ounce of my energy.

Brian Kemp? A criminal, you say?

Voter suppression is an illegal act. Destroying ballots is an illegal act. Not sending power cords and broken machines to polling locations? Probably should be illegal.

This is not just because of a party difference, but I genuinely believe that we were cut from different cloths, raised differently, and have a different worldview.

I do not want to spend my time arguing with you. I do not want to spend my time telling you why I deserve rights. I do not want to spend time telling you why my brown brothers and sisters deserve rights. I do not want to tell you why my sisters of all shapes and sizes and colors should have bodily autonomy and the right to live freely. These things should be inherent.

I have spent so much time in my short life telling people that I deserve to be treated as any other human person that I am burned out. It is not my responsibility for me to make you "woke". Read some literature. Get woke.

I could care less if you voted Libertarian or Green Party or Democratic. I do not have it in me to argue with you on that, because you are entitled to vote however you choose -but the moment your party and your vote steps on my rights, I am not here to play nice.

My civil rights are not yours to take.

This midterm election is so important for many reasons. I did not wake up at 5:30 today with an alarm, rather, my body woke me up and let me know that today is a day of history.

So I extend my congratulations to all the new-elects. Many women of color today made history. I cannot wait to hear the results in Georgia, my home, and hopefully soon, the home of the first African American female governor of Georgia.

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