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Smokey Wants to Visit All 50 States

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Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, South America

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Tennessee »
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Where in the World is Smokey?

Celebrating a Birthday in Buenos Aires

James "Rick" Thigpen, of Murfreesboro, graduated from UT Knoxville in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He works as a system engineer in Transmission Operations and Maintenance with the Tennessee Valley Authority, where he's worked for 31 years. He works in the Murfreesboro Transmission Service Center.

"Essentially, my responsibility is to 'keep the lights on' in my area," he said. "I am responsible for the proper operation of the power system in my area as well as overseeing maintenance of the equipment from an engineering perspective."
Thigpen took Smokey to South America.

"I went to Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a 50th birthday present the first week of December 2007," he said.

He sent photos of himself in front of the La Casa Rosada, the pink Presidential Palace where Eva "Evita" Peron rallied the descamisados (the blue collar working class) and in front of Buenos Aires Rowing Club in Tegre, Argentina.

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