Dick Peavy, 1969-72
I had a bear story too. My first year at UT was full of firsts. Not on the track but in the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. I loved to get to Gatlinburg or Cade's Cove at every opportunity. My knowledge of the Park even so many years later attests to that. Also my GPA from those days adds supporting documentation. Jim Cutler and his date Phyllis, and I with my date Susan were double dating in Jim's Chevy Nova. We were firefly watching while parked in one of the overlooks in the Park. It was late at night and we were startled to see some fool walking along the rock wall edging the overlook and the valley below. Cutler realized (in a strangely high voice pitch) that it was a bear. The bear seemed interested in saying howdy and was only a few yards from where we were parked. Aided by Cutler's unusual voice pitch (and joined by three other yell/screams) this huge walking rug began to retreat. The idiot from Florida, tallest and stupidest of the car load...decided to exit the car and call down the beast...to impress my still screaming date. The bear was not impressed and turned to come check me out. Even my screams didn't sway Cutler to unlock the car door he deftly locked, when I exited. He finally unlocked the door, only because I was now standing on the roof of his Nova. Turns out, I didn't impress the bear or my date. At that moment, I wasn't impressed with Cutler’s sense of humor either.