"Loving Earl Terrell" Exhibit & Free Museum Admission with Donation of Personal Care Item
Knoxville, TN 37902
A special exhibit at the Museum of East Tennessee History through January 2 will remember the legendary life and legacy of Waymon Earl Terrell (1950-2015). Earl was well known to the Powell community, where he was regularly seen riding his bicycle and pulling a cart along the busy thoroughfares of Clinton Highway and Emory Road, his dogs often accompanying him. At his passing in December 2015, he left the legacy of a simple life, kindness, and decency.
The display features Earl’s amazingly inventive bicycle and cart, whirligig, and a memorial sculpture, and will be on view in the lobby of the East Tennessee History Center through January 2. The public is invited to bring personal care items, such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, paper towels, dish soaps, disinfectant sprays, to be donated to Knoxville Pays It Forward in Earl’s honor, and in return will receive one free museum admission per item. Knoxville Pays It Forward is a local non-profit that helps low income families, the homeless, the disadvantaged, and senior citizens in times of need.
Earl Terrell could fix anything. Although he chose to live a solitary life, he was a well-recognized and accepted member of the community. Most days he could be seen along the highways looking for trash and other items from which he could earn money to buy food and supplies. His home was crafted of tarps, sticks, and scraps of metal that he had fashioned with homemade tools and scavenged parts. He was originally from Kentucky, served in the United States Marine Corps, and by his own word, had a master’s degree in economics before coming to Knoxville.
Kristen Gasnow Brown was a long-time friend of Earl and tended to him as his health began to fail. Realizing the community’s interest in Terrell, Brown launched a Facebook page to accommodate people’s well wishes, and soon there were 3,300 followers. After his death, the page helped raise money for his burial. His bicycle was on display when he was laid to rest. The bike has been donated to the permanent collection of the East Tennessee Historical Society.
The Museum of East Tennessee History is open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday; and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday. Museum admission is $5.00 for adults, $4.00 for seniors, and FREE for children 16 and under. Sunday is Community Day at the museum and admission is FREE to all. ETHS members always receive FREE admission. The Museum is located in the East Tennessee History Center, 601 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37901. For more information about the exhibition, scheduling a school tour, or visiting the museum, visit www.easttnhistory.org, call (865) 215-8824, or email eths@eastTNhistory.org.
About East Tennessee Historical Society
Established in 1834, the East Tennessee Historical Society is widely acknowledged as one of the most active history organizations in the state and enjoys a national reputation for excellence in programming and education. For 182 years the East Tennessee Historical Society has been helping East Tennesseans hold on to our unique heritage—recording the events, collecting the artifacts, and saving the stories that comprise the history we all share.
- November 16, 2016 - January 2, 2017
- Recurring weekly on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
- Location: 601 S. Gay Street, East Tennessee History Center, TN
- Phone: (865) 215-8824
- Time: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
- Price: Free with Donation of Personal Care Item to Knoxville Pays It Forward