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You’ve probably heard a lot about the Sunny Side Trail recently. And you’ve no doubt heard the song that made the Carter Family famous.

And if you live in Northeast Tennessee (or have spent any time here at all), you know that a good, wholesome, positive outlook is what we’re all about.

But “The Sunny Side” mentality has been around for more than a hundred years, and once you hear this story, you’ll be truly inspired by where it came from.

It all started in 1899, with a young lady named Ada Blenkhorn. Back then, the “Sunny Side” theme was pretty common. In fact, just a few years before, George C. Stebbins had penned a song called “Keep on the Sunny Side.”

Keep on the sunny side, Keep on the sunny side. With Jesus near, Why should we fear? Let us keep on the sunny side.

But for Ada, the idea went well beyond the Sunday-school classroom. That’s because, at that point in her life, Ada was given the task of caring for an invalid nephew who was confined to a wheelchair. Naturally, there’s a certain amount of pity she took for his predicament.

But the boy, himself, was different.

He never felt sorry for himself. He never complained about his crippling disability.

His only request was that his wheelchair be pushed down the “Sunny Side” of the street.

It was his sanctuary, his release. It was his one moment to forget about the pain and discomfort, and simply soak up the glory of nature’s blessing.

Ada was inspired.

There’s a dark and a troubled side of life. There’s a bright and a sunny side, too. Though we meet with the darkness and strife, the sunny side we also may view.

Keep on the Sunny Side, always on the Sunny Side. Keep on the Sunny Side of Life. It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way, if we keep on the Sunny Side of Life.

Funny how a century-old song can still help us maintain a little perspective…

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