Podcast Stories

The Tuckaleechee Caverns

 Written by Ashley Perham and Zoe Haggard
Narrated by Zoe Haggard

80 years ago in the small city of Townsend, a young boy - with nothing but a rope and an old flashlight - descended into the depths of what is today known as Tuckaleechee Caverns. But what he did not realize then was the global significance the caverns would have, especially in the field of seismology. Now, the grandson of the cavern’s finder, Ben Vananda, manages Tuckaleechee and its seismic station--the most sensitive one in the world. 

 

Vananda, who holds a degree in karst topology from Carson-Newman University, works with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) to detect everything from earthquakes to nuclear testing in North Korea, an ability he says is “pretty high-tech for hillbillies.” Additionally, the extensive beauty and mystery of Tuckaleechee captivates Vananda, and the caverns’ thousands of visitors, to explore its every secret. And with only ten percent of the caverns having been explored, discovering Tuckaleechee’s every unknown will continue on into the next generations.  

Time Webb: a Father's Grief 

 Written by Tayla Courage
Narrated by Tara Flores

Tim Webb, who lost his daughter in 2018 to an opioid overdose, talks about what helped him learn to heal after a tragic loss.

Peggy Rogers: 56 Years of Teaching Piano

 Written and Edited by Tayla Courage
Narrated by Ashley Perham

Peggy Rogers, of Alcoa, has been teaching piano and organ for over 50 years. She has been the organist at New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville for over 40 years. Rogers continues to spread her love of music to the congregants and to the next generation of musicians.