Kirshner, Jessica

It’s six o’clock on a Tuesday night and you’re taking an exam via the lockDown browser when you feel confident and hit the submit button. You get your results back immediately. Unfortunately, you failed the exam you studied the entire previous week for. We all know that pain of striving for a grade that you just cannot reach.


This is the exact scenario that happened to me last Tuesday. As soon as you get those results back, you cannot help but fixate on them. We immediately calculate how much it affects our final grades, we feel inadequate and sometimes we cry.

Disappointing moments like that are when you just need a late-night drive to think about how to regroup and that there is more to life than the cycle of studying and failing exams. As much as we all love Rocky Top, sometimes you just must get off campus. 

So where do you go? 

The brightest sign in Knoxville that happens to be right across the bridge, the JFG sign is where you should go. Get in your car, roll the windows down and drive until the red and blue lights welcome you.


The parking lot gives an amazing view that overlooks downtown Knoxville and the Tennessee River. You can see the skyline and Gay Street right from your car. The best part is once you turn around, you are face to face with the first huge billboard sign.


The red light of the sign gives the perfect aesthetic for your polaroid pictures. The spot is also a great place to go with friends, especially once it gets warmer. There is a lawn in front of the sign with logs to sit on that makes the perfect rustic look for your next Instagram post.


This place is a nice reminder to college students that there is more to life than failing exams and stressing through finals. Daydream about yourself working in downtown Knoxville or thousands of miles away, reflect on your latest decisions and take a deep breath.

What exactly does JFG mean? 

J. Floyd Goodson was the mayor of Morristown in the mid-90s but also was a local entrepreneur who sold his own coffee brand, JFG Coffee. The other JGF sign, located in Old City, sits one top of what used to be the old headquarters and roasting plant for the company.


Once they sold the building, they made an agreement with the new owner, Dewhirst Properties, to keep the sign on top of the building. To an extent the sign is a tribute to Knoxville’s industrial start and continually growing business scene.

There have been numerous nights where my friends and I have had deep conversations while sitting in the car or dancing in the parking lot and singing at the top of our lungs. Go grab some milkshakes, head to the JFG sign and park your car. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Jessica Kirshner is a junior majoring in Business Analytics. She can be reached at

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.



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