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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I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist

Honestly, I'd rather be caught dead than caught calling myself a modern-day feminist.
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"A man told me to have a good day... I'm triggered." How ludicrous does that sound? Tune in because that is the extent of modern day feminism.

Sure, I think boys are stupid and that I'm probably better than 90% of the male population, but that doesn't make me a modern-day feminist. Now I believe that woman should stand up for themselves, and Golding's quote: "I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been," is by far one of my favorite quotes... but modern day feminism is not something I want to be associated with.

I'm all for "anything you can do I can do better," and "We can do it!" but realistically speaking in some situations, that isn't feasible. As an 18-year-old woman who works out regularly, and is stronger than the average female, I couldn't carry a 190-pound man back to a safe zone after he was shot on the front line of a war even if I tried. It is not anatomically possible for a grown woman to be as strong as a fully developed male.

Reality check: Men and women are not equal.

They are not physically equal, they are not mentally equal. Modern-day feminism is equality between the two genders, but corrupt and on steroids. I support what feminism used to be. I support women who work hard and have goals and ambition... not girls who hate men and stomp around with no shirts on to piss off the public. Feminism has developed into a polluted teaching that young men and women are plunging into.

We are built dissimilarly.

The human brain is literally an organ that is sex oriented. There is a cognitive difference, that singlehandedly destroys gender equality.

I will not spend my time running a revolution against anyone who likes Donald Trump. I am not going to binge watch Trump's twitter in an effort to start some leftist gob of drama. I refuse to be part of this head hunt to attack all Republicans on the newest Instagram post made about how feminism is stupid. I do not hate men, and society would crash and burn without the successful men and women who work together to create what we call the United States of America.

Why, you ask? Why are the 15-25 year olds of our society clinging to feminism? They are hopping on the rapidly growing bandwagon where all the hipsters, feminists and Trump haters reside. It's "cool" to hate Donald Trump. Twitter is a world of liberalism, hatred and fake love towards all. Social media is where this generation is living — and modern-day feminism brews there.

We need to keep separation in the household within roles.

We must raise our children to do what they are best at rather than trying to do something they are incapable of just to prove an irrelevant point.

Women must stand up for what they believe in and be strong in their shoes, while not getting so caught up in what your modern day feminist says she thinks is right.

We cannot let this briskly changing society sway us away from what is going to keep the world working precisely.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Joe Mullins

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23 Common Misconceptions About Living In Georgia, Debunked By A Georgia Girl Herself

Georgians have a lot more to offer than just sweat tea and peaches.

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I moved to Georgia when I was only 5 years old.

I relocated from New England and it was a big culture shock for me and my parents. New England was all my parents knew, so they brought me up as a "northern." I mean, could you blame them? Gaining the difference of what my parents used to know as what Georgia was and what I was seeing growing up, I did not think Georgia was a great state to live in. Till my junior year of high school, a newer light of Georgia came to my mind and grew to tolerate the peach state.

I did not realize how much history Georgia has. The more I learned, the more I explored.

1. Sweet Tea

Not everyone likes sweet tea. It's so sugary. I prefer my sweet tea, UNSWEET, and that's a sin apparently.

2. Hillbillies

Not all of us are hillbillies, but that does not mean they don't exist in Georgia. I'm a proud city girl, not a hick.

3. Thick Southern Drawls

The only thick southern drawls come from the people that live in the mountains of Georgia and live in South Georgia.

4. Living In The Sticks

Georgia has so much to offer when it comes to living. There are apartments, town homes and houses in the city, cabins in the mountains, suburbs in North Metro Atlanta area, beach resorts near the coast, and so much more than just "living in the sticks."

5. Guns

Everyone does not have guns laying around in their houses nor have any at all.

6. Driving Pickup Trucks

You be surprised how many people don't drive pick up trucks.

7. Country Music

Not everyone likes country music here. I don't. Atlanta is known for their hip-hop and rap music!

Learning Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

Apparently, that's the only subject we learn in school. Please...

9. Confederate Fags

Wait, am I suppose to have one at my house and on my car? Did I miss a meeting about this one? Everyone does not own a confederate flag.

10. Republicans

Not all of us are republications. We have democrats, liberals, and nonpolitical.

11. The Word "Y'all"

This word does not mean you're stupid and can't say "you all." It's just time saving to say "y'all." Personally I don't say that word, I say "you guys" still.

12. Looking Down Upon People

Apparently southern people are stuck up if you don't have what we have. Which I have never heard of. But, with the "southern hospitality (#25)" we offer, we are very helpful when someone is in need.

13. Religious

Not all of us are southern Baptist, okay!

14. The Phrase "Bless Your Heart"

None says this unless you are from south Georgia and over the age of 60.

15. Racist

Not all of us are racist. Yes, we do still have a race problem here, BUT majority of us love all races and want all to be treated equally.

16. Georgia Peaches

No one calls females "Georgia peaches" unless you are not from Georgia.

17. Peanuts

We are the peanut population, but that does not mean everyone enjoys peanuts.

18. Wearing Camo And Hunting

Yes, there are some camo-wearing people, but not head-to-toe like you're thinking. There's a good portion that wear camo as a fashion statement. Example: camo-joggers

19. Atlanta

For the love of the city of Atlanta. It is not called "Hotlanta", unless you're an out-of-towner. It is not called the "Dirty South" and we pronounce Atlanta, Atlanna.

20. Savannah and Athens

Athens is home of the Georgia Dawgs and Savannah has quite the history, but these aren't the only places Georgia has to offer. From the Blue Ridge mountains, across the suburbs of North Metro Atlanta, into the different parts of the city of Atlanta, down in the plains of south Georgia, to the Atlantic coast, Georgia has different landscapes you can choose from.

21. The Summers

Not everyone loves it sunny & 75... 85... 95... The summers here can be brutal!

22. The Weather In General

One day it is sunny and in the high 60s, then the following day it's raining in the low 40s. Ms. Mother Nature is bipolar when it comes to Georgia weather.

23. Southern Hospitality

Southern hospitality does exist here, unless you're driving on our 7-lane highway... we're enemies.

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