The American dream became the best kind of reality for one local man. He came here from India and brought his family and his business to East Tennessee.
Sam Basseen came here to the United States decades ago.
"He came here seeking the American dream," says Ginny Basseen, Sam's wife.
And that's exactly what he has achieved. He got married to Ginny, a woman who is his polar opposite.
"I grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota," says Ginny.
"She's a wonderful lady. We've been married for 38 years," says Sam.
They have two kids with successful careers and grandkids, too. But rewind to 1969, a young Sam was getting his Master's in Oklahoma and was fired from his job.
"I looked around in Norman, Oklahoma and there was a restaurant with a sign there, 'Dishwasher wanted'," says Sam. "The lady hired me and the next day she put me to work. Well, by noon she gave me the final check and she said, 'You don't know how to wash dishes'."
Dishes weren't his thing, but electrical engineering was, so after moving around and working several jobs, he started his own company, Pioneer Air Systems, with just a little bit of money.
"Our initial investment was only $5000 so no, we didn't have any money to talk about," says Sam.
And more than 20 years ago he moved his family and the business here. It is now based in Wartburg and it's a green company.
"We are eliminating gasses going into the atmosphere that hurt the atmosphere," says Sam.
And he employs more than 30 people. Sam also supports political causes and charitable causes, too.
His wife thinks the world of him. "Quiet, analytical, very kind-hearted," says Sam.
Their backgrounds are very different, but they make it work.
"He was born and raised Hindu and I'm Methodist so when babies have been born our children have asked them to have both their christening and the Indian ceremony, which we do out at the temple in Lenoir City," says Ginny.
Sam Basseen, living out his American dream here in East Tennessee.
"It's a wonderful country," says Sam.
One of Your Stories. There's no place like this one.