Cherokee Mountain is home to Cherokee Mountain Gallery as well as Cherokee Mountain Lodging; Joe and Pat are the owners. Both are from Louisiana and both attended Louisiana State University where they met. After graduation, Joe attended officers' candidate school and as a new Ensen, was assigned as the Public Relations Officer for Rota, Spain's Polaris Submarine Squadron. Pat soon followed with their one-year-old son Christopher. They spent the next 41/2 years in Spain, loving every minute of it. Pat taught art in the DOD school system and Joe did his Navy thing, i.e. teaching water skiing behind the commodores barge and conducting tours for the visiting dignitaries of the numerous Sherry Bodegas, (tough, but somebody had to do it).
1970 sees the family back in the States with Joe's tour complete. However, both Joe and Pat loved Europe and were looking for a way back. Luckily, Joe's language attributes attracted the attention of an intelligence organization (U.S. we think). While training with this "company" their daughter, Erin was born in Virginia. Shortly there after with 8 month old Erin and 5 year old Chris in tow, Pat and Joe were back on their way to Europe.
Arriving in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1971 and living there through 1974 was a wonderful and unique experience. Lifelong memories were made. Pat again taught art in high school and Joe did his thing (whatever that was). Chris started first grade and Erin was growing up thinking that the sun was a rare and wondrous thing.
In 1975, Joe was transferred to Italy. Sunny Napali was quite a contrast to the North Sea, and we all enjoyed it. Living in a villa that overlooked the ancient (800 BC) city of Cuma and the Bay of Possouli wasn't bad. Chris, now in the third grade, was learning his third language. He was also playing little league soccer and football. Erin was in Kindergarten and Pat was enjoying their beautiful home and shopping in and around Naples. Joe wasn't home much as he was studying Italian at the University of Perusia (which, by the way, is a very picturesque little village).
Unfortunately, the time was short in Italy as Joe's job took a sharp turn and they were off again. This time across the world, to the Philippines. Arriving in Manilla in the winter of 1975; who could ever forget the heat blast as we disembarked from the plane! This was truly unfamiliar land. After making the cultural adjustment of living under Marshall Law with Marcos and Emmelda, the family settled in. This was one language none of us tried to learn Talgulic. Fortunately, the Native people spoke a form of "pigeon" Spanish and most spoke some English, so we got by.
Michael Ryan, the youngest and last child, was born at Makita Medical Center in Manila in 1976. Pat and Joe brought their new son home to Paraquki II (the subdivision). Tier home was on the corner of Camayon and Appitons, (strange).
Both Chris and Erin attended the International Scholl of Rohos Bulevede. There were definitely some advantages to living in the Philippines in 1976; Joe's and Pat's staff at home included a driver, a children's nurse, a cook with a Home Economics Degree from the University of the Philippines and a Gardner/handyman. All these people lived in the home.
In 1977, Joe's "company" was disbanned and this saw the family "on the move" again. This time to Houston, TX. Houston was as much a cultural adjustment as Manila had been; who would empty the trash?
Pat began teaching private art lessons to adults and Joe bought a company called Pool Guard Inc.
The Houston years (1977-1984) saw Pat emerging as a professional artist as she sold her paintings first in Texas, and soon !!. All over. These were hard years as Joe and Pat learn to live in the "real" world. Pat taught from 10:30 - 12"30, from 1:00 - 4:00, and from 6:30 to 9:30 five days a week. With three children, this was tough. Where is that staff now? Many nights saw Pat in her studio at 3:00 in the morning.
Joe took a position with an underwater specialist, which required traveling around the world. But, Pat and the kids were not happy. So, in 1984, they again pulled up roots and moved to not so "real" Eureka Springs, Ar, where they still are today. Pat and Joe travel all over the United States doing Native American Art Shows, (Pat is Cherokee). They are often gone, but if you are lucky you may catch this interesting and talented pair at the Gallery. If not, you will be pleasantly welcomed my their daughter Erin or son Chris.