Good O' Boy Roundup Report - March, 1996

E. Location

The first four years, the Roundup was held at the Thunder Rock campground in the Cherokee National Forest. The event soon outgrew this campground. Moreover, the presence of the beer truck and the amount of drinking gave rise to tensions between the forest rangers and the attendees. Accordingly, in the 1984 invitation Rightmyer announced that the Roundup would be held at a private campground located along Highway 64 near Ocoee, Tennessee. [ / In his interviews with us, Rightmyer attempted to downplay the tensions between the forest rangers and the Roundup over the beer. The invitation to the 1984 Roundup, however, stated that the Roundup was moving to private property "to avoid any further problems with the forest rangers" and it noted that "everyone will be happier and we can have the beer truck on site." (A copy of this invitation appears in the appendix to this report, Section C, at 27) The 1984 official T-shirt also had a picture on its front of a forest ranger saying "Get out!!" to a Good O' Boy holding a case of beer. (A photograph of this shirt appears infra p. 41.) ]

Because all of the allegations of specific racial and/or criminal activities took place at this latter campground, it is helpful to understand the layout in detail. The entrance to the campground is a dirt driveway running northeast and perpendicular to Highway 64. Open fields are on either side of this dirt drive. Beginning 250 feet from Highway 64 is a large, generally circular grove of trees that stretches back approximately 178 yards to Route 314. From approximately 1987 onward, the registration area has been located to the right of the driveway leading into the campground just outside the grove of trees. The entrance road bisects the grove and then forks to form a circular drive within the treeline. At the top of the circular drive and slightly to the right sits a bathhouse and toilet facility. A wooden bunkhouse is slightly to the left of the top of the circular drive. The beer truck and the cooking area were typically located at the top of the central oval area. Camping spaces line both sides of the road as it curves through the trees. Some of the river rafting guides live year-round in a few of these campsites. When the Roundup attendees arrive, the campground becomes saturated with campers, tents, and vehicles of every type. Those who arrive late or who prefer a quieter setting camp outside the treeline in adjacent open fields. Some attendees who prefer less rustic accommodations stay in local motels or cabins.«INVALID_FIELD: Object» Approximately 450 yards east of the campground sits Ocoee Outdoors, the company that operates the campground and provides the official rafting trips for the Roundup. [ / The first year of the Roundup, Wildwater Rafting Company provided the rafting trips. The second year Ocoee Outdoors was used and has been used ever since. ] Until March 1995, there were business offices, a small delicatessen and a bar called Grumpy's in a little cluster at the intersection of Highway 64 and Route 314. Many of the Roundup attendees spent their evenings at Grumpy's, which served beer and offered live music. A fire destroyed these buildings in March 1995. For the 1995 Roundup, Grumpy's was housed in a tent. [ / It has since been replaced by a new structure a short distance to the west of the old site on the same piece of land. ]