By Todd Henon
Welcome to Signal Mountain, Tennessee.
A place where your neighbors become family and you’re in the minority if you can find your house key. A place some aspire to raise a family and others don’t quite understand it. It’s the place I’ve gotten to call home for all of my life.
As our family welcomes our 4th generation on Signal, I am reminded why my parents chose this Mountain some 50 years ago. They knew this place was different when they came here from Kentucky. They bought a modest home in Old Towne and slowly made it their own. Later came a piece of land, another home, and a few businesses along the way.
My brother, sister, friends and I would explore every nook and cranny until we knew every single one that made up our Mountain. As a result, we have a few scars …and a thousand stories. Rainbow Lake, well-worn trails to friends’ houses, and more caves than you would believe became our playground…as long as we were home by sundown. Trust me, you didn’t want to be late. Not because of safety, but to poll everyone’s Mom on “what’s for dinner?” so we could decide whose house to eat at before we went back out to play.
Sure, times have changed and so have we. We started careers and families. We built houses and attended middle school open houses where my child and I shared a teacher some 25 years apart, Mrs. Whitley. I know that doesn’t happen everywhere.
I couldn’t have wanted anything more for my family.
I now have a granddaughter (wow!) whose parents have also chosen the Mountain as home. No doubt her Signal will be different in some ways, but in more ways—the important ways—it will be the same. That is one of the priceless gifts of our Mountain.
My 50-year grandfatherly (man, I don’t feel that old) wisdom for her? Explore your own backyard. Put your phone down. Talk to your elders. Let the neighbor borrow the tool (even if you know you’ll never get it back). Laugh when you want to cry. Get your hands dirty. Watch every Signal sunrise and sunset you can. And never forget where you came from.
Over the next year we are thrilled to share some of our favorite things that make Signal so special. We hope they greet you with a smile and remind you why you chose our Mountain, whether 6 months–or 60 years–ago.
Share your own Hometown Stories on social media by using #HometownStories or emailing us. We treasure each story as if it were our own, and would be honored to hear it.
I don’t have to tell you that time goes by quickly. Savor it all and pass along your Hometown memories.
God bless our Mountain,
4 Generations on Signal Mountain
“Hometown Stories” is a series of reflections by lifelong Signal Mountain resident Todd Henon, president of Todd Henon Properties, serving TN, GA, and AL for 20 years in Homes, Estates, Land and Farms, Chattanooga’s only Accredited Land Consultant. For more Hometown Stories, visit ToddHenon.com.