August 10, 2012
Two strangers finally come down from Rocky Top
A Great Smoky Mountains National Park ranger located two strangers Thursday who had climbed on Rocky Top looking for a moonshine still. The two men had been missing for 45 years.
Donald Henegar, 70, and Paul Morris, 68, had poison ivy and alcoholic liver disease, but were otherwise healthy after spending nearly half a century on good ole Rocky Top down in the Tennessee hills.
The two men disappeared somewhere in the Smoky Mountains in the summer of 1967. Henegar and Morris had received a tip from a friend that there was excellent whiskey to be had in a mysterious mountain paradise known only as Rocky Top.
The two explorers went looking for Rocky Top, but lost the trail. They then stumbled into a valley where they were taken prisoner by men who believed them to be federal agents.
"It was all a big misunderstanding," said Henegar. "The moonshiners thought we were revenue agents. We just wanted some of that Tennessee hooch. After we cleared things up, we decided to stay on good ole Rocky Top for a while. I think we've been drunk for about 40 years."
The two men lived on Rocky Top for decades, but finally decided to return home after learning that Knoxville had gotten a Trader Joe's.
"It was like Shangri-La there," said Morris. "No smoggy smoke. No telephone bills. No cramped up city life. No dried chili mango though. That's what finally brought us down."
Henegar and Morris said they will remember their time on Rocky Top fondly.
"I had me this girl who was wild as a mink but sweet as soda pop," said Morris. "Whatever pop is. Sounds like something you'd drink in Indiana. Come to think of it, I don't know what a mink is either. Who comes up with this stuff?"
The two said they are looking forward to returning home to their friends and families, who are probably long dead by now.
"We've had one heck of a lot of crazy adventures," said Morris. "They should write a country song about us."
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