Libraries Rock with Summer Reading

A young Summer Reader feeds a tortoise at the Healthy Kids Day kickoff at Maynardville Public Library.

It's that time of year again.

Time for Union County's libraries to welcome that onslaught of kids, fun, laughs, and excitement known as Summer Reading. Both Luttrell and Maynardville libraries will host Summer Reading this year, with opportunities for prizes, food and great programs at each.

The Multi-talented Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan performs on stage

Union County holds bragging rights for a long list of famous artists. Multi-talented musician/singer/songwriter Sarah Morgan has more than earned her place on that renowned register. The Union County native has just returned from a three-week-stint in the UK that included teaching, performing and sightseeing.

“I was hired to teach mountain dulcimer courses at a weeklong traditional music festival in southern England, and I also played at a couple of folk clubs,” said Morgan. “In between, I had time to relax so I did some hiking and explored a couple of castles.”

Paving the Way for Economic Prosperity in Union County

SR 61 and Walkers Ford

Improvements to State Route 33 and State Route 61 in Union County were a popular topic at the Republican Rally on 2 June in Wilson Park. Several candidates for Commission and Mayor cited the need for these improvements. Representative Dennis Powers confirmed that construction for the SR 33 and SR 61 improvements were included in the 2017 IMPROVE Act, Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads, and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy, introduced by Governor Bill Haslam to the 109th Tennessee General Assembly.

Nicholas Gibbs Historical Society Annual Meeting

Nicholas Gibbs Historical Society Annual Meeting

The Nicholas Gibbs Historical Society will convene its 2018 annual meeting at 11 am June 9, 2018 at the homestead, 7633 East Emory Road, Corryton, Tennessee. Attendees are asked to bring a covered dish for the meal that follows the meeting. Local musicians will provide traditional Appalachian music and there will be an interesting speaker.

A covered pavilion has been constructed at the homestead, and donations are still being accepted toward its cost.

Childhood Games

Childhood Games

Nowadays, it is almost impossible to tear our kids away from the TV and video games. It wasn't always that way. Back in the day, before TV, when all we had was the radio and our imagination, we played games with each other. No expensive equipment was needed. Let me tell you about some of them. If your children haven't heard of them, why not introduce these age old games to a new generation?

Beneath the Waters of Norris Reservoir

Beneath the Waters of Norris Reservoir

On the waters of the Norris Reservoir, during the summer months, a nearly constant parade of various sorts of watercraft passes over the ruins of the Baker Iron Works and beside a long-neglected cemetery.

The old Baker's Forge Cemetery, TVA Disinterment Cemetery #240, took its name from the Baker Iron Works. Dating to at the least the early 1800s, the Baker Iron Works was Campbell County's first industry.

What Do You See Over There?

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week 22

I have always looked at decades as milestones in life. I was too young to appreciate this when I turned ten years old, but every decade beginning with age twenty presented opportunity for a significant pause to look back to what God allowed me to accomplish and forward to what He held in store.

Flowers and a Grape Nehi

Flowers and a Grape Nehi

I love good surprises. I received one years ago that I will never forget.

My husband Tim came in from work one day and asked me to close my eyes and hold out my hand. I knew it was going to be good because he was grinning from ear to ear and his eyes sparkled with excitement. So I closed my eyes and stuck out my hand.

The Sounds of Nature

The Sounds of Nature

When it comes to appreciating the natural world, getting out and seeing it is how it’s most often done. We go on vacations or road trips to see beautiful things like forests, mountains, rivers, oceans, and canyons. This makes sense, as we are wired to perceive the world mostly through the sense of sight. 30% of the neurons in our brain’s cortex is devoted to vision. For comparison, 8% is used for smell, and only 2% is used for hearing. One could conclude that sounds in our surroundings are not important, but I beg to differ.

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Ham Salad Sandwiches

Ham Salad Sandwiches

I'm in trouble right out of the gate. There is no ham in my Ham Salad Sandwich Spread. Nope. Just good old bologna. It sounds better than saying, "Bologney Sandwich. That means something else to me. I remember taking sliced bologney sandwiches to work. They would be warm by lunch time. Yuck! Those weren't happy memories.

The Community That Cares

Phil Ruth presents a check for the Luttrell Music Festival to organizer Mayme Taylor

Luttrell Mayor Johnny Merritt made short work of the Luttrell City Council meeting May 21st in order to move on to what most residents consider to be the most important thing. Community.

“This is not the Johnny show,” said Merritt. “I work with wonderful people on the council and we have amazing people in our city who care about each other and the community."

Extension Interns a Local

Mary Morgan

UT Extension Union County shares history with many folks across Union County through memories of childhood involvement in 4-H, farming, seeding, canning, sewing, and more. Over the years our county has seen some admirable Extension Agents. The agents are true leaders that invest time and love into their careers and communities. Currently there are two agents on staff locally, Shannon DeWitt, agriculture, 4-H, and County Director, and Rebecca Hughes, family and consumer science and 4-H.

Pain Now, Gain Later

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week 21

My mind sometimes wanders back forty-five years ago to my third grade class. Florence Chesney used practically every minute of every day teaching us moral values, especially in reading class.

Remember the pictures in those old readers? They practically begged us to read the stories we were assigned. Ms. Chesney read every story aloud to us, enunciating each word and phrase exactly the way she wished us to express it when we read aloud later in the week. In other words, she taught by example.

Grand Army of the Republic

Grand Army of the Republic

As the nation came apart in 1861, East Tennesseans stood strong for the Union. After the American Civil War, many of the former Union Veterans joined the Grand Army of the Republic. The Captain Daniel Meador Post, at Fincastle, Tenn. was named for my cousin Daniel Meador.

Years after the war, GAR members, would march, as best they could, from the Old Sugar Hollow Church, which also served as a GAR meeting hall, on Decoration Day to the Old Baker’s Forge Cemetery where they would decorate the graves of deceased Union veterans.

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The Past and Present of Elms

The Past and Present of Elms

Elm trees have been appreciated by humans for many generations, primarily as a stoic large urban tree lining streets and shading landscapes. During the 18th and 19th centuries it was one of the most popular landscape trees in Europe and America. Native Americans also revered the tree for its medicinal qualities. We have several native species.

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Learning to Drive

Learning to Drive

How old were you when you learned to drive? Twelve or so if you grew up on a farm and learned to drive on the tractor. A man in our Memoir Class had a driving experience at the age of fourteen. That one took off the door of the family car. Not a good thing to do. My experience wasn't any better. I remember it well.

Cow-abunga!

Cow-abunga!

It wasn’t uncommon for strangers to pull into our driveway while I was growing up. If we were outside, the strangers rolled down their windows and stuck their heads out.

“Hey! Did you all know you got a cow out?”

I grew up on my Papaw’s farm where he had lots and lots of cows. To me, the cows were big, scary and stinky. When I got older, they were just stinky.

Bull Run Creek ran through his farm and Pedigo Road bisected it. Our church used to baptize there next to the bridge. Now, the bridge is known as the “Mary Lou Horner Memorial Bridge.”

Treatment for Back Pain Has Come a Long Way

Treatment for Back Pain Has Come a Long Way

It was once believed that taking pain medication and getting some rest and relaxation were the best course of treatment for a bout of low-back pain, but nowadays research supports first trying drug-free, conservative options for pain management while remaining as active as possible during recuperation.

Preserving a Union County Heart

Frank Sharp

Life savers are important people–be it a doctor, nurse or someone who pulled you out of harms way. Frank “Tommy” Sharp is one of us even though he left Union County for the Atlanta area many years ago. A few years ago Frank had some serious heart problems, and he credits his cardiologist with saving his life. Dr. Michael Lesitt first did a bypass when Frank had a heart attack and then a quadruple bypass to bring him back to good health. Dr. Lesitt, who Frank says is a man of many talents, plays the mountain dulcimer and has been president of the Georgia Dulcimer Society.

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