Scipio S by Nick Scipio Extras

Feeding the Addiction

A Scipioverse Tour

by Strickland83

As a fan of the stories of Nick Scipio, I have read them and savored them. As I read, I formed mental images of the places. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit many of the places and see them for myself. It was a wonderful experience to see the sites that inspired the author, to stand where he stood. Now, when I read the stories again, I see them in my mind as he does. The places were not all like I imagined. Some were nicer, some were a disappointment. That’s reality. The point is that this is what Nick sees when he writes the story. I am very grateful that Nick shared the locations of these places with me, and I’d like to share them with you. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend visiting the places for yourself. It is a fascinating experience to stand where your favorite characters stood and see the world as they saw it. Come with me now and step inside two stories.

The Jazz Club stories and Summer Camp Book 3 both take place in Knoxville, Tennessee. The places are mostly located along or near Kingston Pike, a highway that is one of three or four major routes through the city. I recommend beginning your tour at the intersection of Kingston Pike and North Peters Road. You can find this location by exiting Interstate 40 at North Cedar Bluff Road. From there, proceed to Kingston Pike and turn left, to the east. The next major intersection with a traffic light is South Peters Road. At this intersection, you will find a Phillips 66 gas station. Immediately behind this gas station is an antebellum home (in need of paint in the summer of 2004), which is the home of the Baker Peters Jazz Club. This is the Jazz Club.

Jazz Club

The Jazz Club

Nick’s office is no longer around the corner, but he still drops in here some afternoons after work. There is a restaurant in the house. The upstairs of the white wooden structure attached to the left side of the building is the bar in the story. The ground floor is a dentist’s office. If you ever have a drink at the bar with the after work crowd, you just might be sitting next to Nick himself.

From here, you can drive to where Kate lives. Here are her directions:

“Take Ebenezer until it dead-ends at Northshore. Turn right at the light and drive about six miles. I live in Northshore Terrace.”

To recreate the drive they took, leave from the side parking lot (opposite the bar) and turn right on South Peters Road. (To be totally accurate to the story, you should receive a blowjob while you are driving. I don’t recommend it. The road is narrow and curvy in places.) Drive about two miles until the intersection with Ebenezer. Continue straight (South Peters merges into Ebenzer Road at this point) and drive until the road dead ends into Northshore Road, maybe about 4 miles. Northshore Road follows the Tennessee River, at this point more of a long lake. Turn right on Northshore and drive. You will see many very nice residential developments on both sides of the road. Northshore Terrace is a fictional place, but it is like most of what you will see. I never saw one that had a guard and an actual gate, but these are the kinds of places where Kate would live. After about ten miles, the area turns from residential to farmland. When you reach the horse farm, you’ve gone beyond the end of the residential area. Trace your route back to the Jazz Club to continue the tour.

Marie Claire’s


When you return to Kingston Pike, turn right and head towards downtown Knoxville. After about four miles, you will come to three places of interest. On your right is a restaurant called The Orangery. It is an excellent French restaurant that I have dined at some years past. This is Marie Claire’s, where Ethan took Kate for dinner in Priceless, currently the last Jazz Club story.

Italian Restaurant

The out-of-the-way Italian bistro with excellent food

Also in this area is the restaurant where they had lunch that same day. It’s a little harder to find, and isn’t exactly as described. The actual place is a Cuban restaurant on a back street. Near The Orangery, you will see a sign at one of the shopping centers that lists a Cuban restaurant. Turn at the corner and go to the street that runs behind the shopping center. Here you will see the place Nick had in mind. If you want to eat here, come early. They run out of food shortly after lunch.

This completes the tour of the Jazz Club stories. Now step into the world of Summer Camp Book 3.

West Knox News

The sex shop

In Chapter 7, Gina’s new friend Regan convinces Paul to drive them to a sex shop. You will pass the shop on your left just after The Orangery. It is called West Knox News and is open 24 hours a day. Reading the sign on the side of the building will confirm that this is no ordinary newsstand, contrary to the description in the story.

Next, continue down Kingston Pike towards downtown. When you reach the Alcoa Highway (Highway 129), go right onto this highway. This will take you past McGhee-Tyson Airport – where Paul flew in and out of to visit Kendall at school in Book 2, and where Susan will arrive in a later chapter of Book 3. I’ve flown through there a few years ago. It is a nice airport, but small. After seeing the airport, continue in the same direction. There is one more stop here. It’s not the location of a scene in the book, but you might want to see it unless you live in this part of the country. The highway will bear to the left as it splits in a Y. Between the Y is a collection of restaurants and hotels. Behind a catfish restaurant and an O’Charley’s is a small square building – The Atlanta Bread Company. This particular one opened in 2000, so it could have been designed by Paul in the timeframe of the books. The food is good and the design is quite nice. It’s a good spot to stop for lunch, if the time is right.


The Panhellenic Building

Now return to Knoxville. When you get to Kingston Pike, go right. At this point, Kingston Pike becomes West Cumberland Avenue and you will see a brick sign on your right as you enter the campus of the University of Tennessee. You are driving down “The Strip”, with its off campus bookstores and restaurants. The campus is technically dry and the drinking age in Tennessee is 21, so you won’t find many bars here (if any). The campus is to your right.

My visit was during the freshman orientation, like Paul and Gina attended in Book 2 after Chapter 35. Just before you turn to go to the parking garage, notice the Panhellenic Building on your left. There are no sorority houses on the UT campus. A woman donated the money for this building with the understanding that there would never be sorority houses on the campus. Turn right on Philip Fullmer Way. Just past the University Center is a parking garage. Its front is the Money Wall, covered with ATM machines. Enter the garage and park. The campus is best experienced on foot, just as Paul saw it.

Ayres Hall

Ayres Hall

Upon leaving the front of the garage, proceed straight ahead across Fullmer and on up The Hill to Ayres Hall. This is one of the oldest buildings on campus and the location of Paul’s Calculus class. You will appreciate his comments about climbing the hill as you approach. After seeing Ayres, return in the direction of the garage and visit the University Center. Here you will find several restaurants (including Smoky’s), some of the on campus bookstores, meeting rooms, and a bowling alley in the basement. You have, by now, noticed the university’s fascination with the color orange. The bowling alley even features orange bowling balls.

Bull Fountain

Europa and the Bull

Proceed now behind the University Center and to the left, away from Cumberland. You will see the Humanities and Social Sciences building, with its “bull fountain” in front. Yes, the bull’s balls are quite prominent.

Art & Architecture

The Art & Architecture Building

Proceeding down Volunteer Blvd., you next come to a rather plain looking concrete building. The outside is not that impressive, but the inside is what this stop is all about. Enter the Art & Architecture bulding from the narrow end. I was immediately taken by the design of the building. The middle section is open, and large student projects are sometimes constructed here. When I visited, a small building was being constructed there, with cutaway sections showing how the walls, floor, ceiling and walkway were built.

The outer walls contain classrooms, while faculty office buildings are suspended over the open section. I even peeked into some of the classrooms, seeing where Paul would have learned drafting.

Proceed out the back of this building and diagonally across the parking lot, where you will pass the Student Health Center (where Kendall got her birth control pills, once she was old enough).

Across Andy Holt Avenue is the Presidential Court Complex. The Presidental Court (cafeteria) is first. Directly across the courtyard is Carrick Hall, with Paul’s dorm on the left and Gina’s on the right. The two wings connect, with an open passageway through the middle at ground level, between the two lobbies.

Carrick Hall

Carrick Hall

Carrick Lobby

Carrick Hall Lobby

The lobbies (and the entire wings) are mirror images of each other. Walk between the two buildings.

Carrick Back Door

North Carrick’s Back Door

On the other side, at either side, is the famous back door, where Paul, Gina or Kendall snuck through to enter outside of visitation hours. It was also used during move-in day. The card access mechanism is a new addition.

Sports Bubble

The Sports Bubble

Across the street is the Sports Bubble. It makes me think of the end of the movie Ghostbusters. I imagine this is what it must have looked like at the impact site where the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man landed. No one could tell me why the building is inflatable. It’s not for insulation because there are many heaters inside for use in winter. It’s not for structural strength, because a recent heavy snowstorm collapsed the building and it had to be reinflated.

Andy Holt Apartments

The Apartment Residence Hall (“Andy Holt Apartments”)

Just a little further down Andy Holt Avenue is Kendall’s place, The Apartment Residence Hall or Andy Holt Apartments.

There is a pedestrian mall, paved with granite slabs engraved with the history of the university on them. Chi Omega, Gina’s sorority, was the first on campus, chartered in 1900. Closer to the river and back near the parking garage is Neyland Stadium. At the other end of campus facing Volunteer Blvd. is Fraternity Park, where all the fraternity houses are located. The Pike house is on the corner.

I was told that the campus is officially dry and the rules against drinking are enforced rather stringently, contrary to what Paul describes happening during Rush. Perhaps things were different in the early 1980’s.

Pike House

The ΠΚΑ (“Pike”) House

Neyland Stadium

Neyland Stadium

This completes the tour. Here are some useful links:

Some of the cameras may not be working between semesters.

Again, I want to stress that the experience of being there in person is the best. Thanks, Nick, for your help finding the locations.

Summer 2004

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