It’s the most defining feature in the Knoxville skyline- the Sunsphere. Constructed for the 1982 World’s Fair, the structure overlooks the fair grounds and the surrounding areas which include UT campus and downtown Knoxville.
When I was a kid, my fun-loving aunt took me and all my cousins up there and I was terrified. I remember clinging to the wall and refusing to look out. I’ve only been back once, and it was just as disastrous as the first time.
Molly, my youngest niece, was kind of obsessed with the Sunsphere. Nearly every outing would result in her asking about it, pointing it out to her siblings, or wondering about what it was like up there. So my mother and I decided that on Molly’s last day of freedom before she began kindergarten, we’d take her there. Bad idea…
We may never know what the kid expected to be at the top of the Sunsphere, but she lost her mind when she found out there wasn’t much up there. Not even a trip to the nearby Knoxville Chocolate Company or Fort Kid could get her to calm down.
Eventually, she did dry her eyes, but she made sure to tell me it was the worst day ever. So much for me trying to be the fun aunt. She doesn’t ever mention the Sunsphere anymore, and she doesn’t point it out when we drive past it. I guess sometimes it’s better not to take the mystery out of things.