Sometimes we just never know what is around the bend! Recently, while driving a Union County road re-surveying historic properties, my friend, Fern Shumate Smyre, pointed out a little late 1800s dentist’s office on Nave Hill Church Road. It was listed in the 1978 survey of the Tennessee Historical Commission, and we were glad to see that it is still there. The dentist was Doctor Ewin Shumate, the eldest of nine children of Daniel and Louisa Shumate of Claiborne County. Dr. Shumate was born February 11, 1867 and died June 14, 1910. He is buried at Andersonville.
Yesterday, looking through my scrapbooks for something else, I came across one on the death of our 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, popularly known as “FDR.” I shouldn't have used the word, “popularly.” Some liked him, but many did not. I liked him. He was the president during my childhood years. “Hoover” had been a dirty word around my Dad. A stanch Democrat, he, among others, blamed Herbert Hoover for the Great Depression. Naturally, I followed in Dad's footsteps. I looked up to him. Isn't it the way it usually works?
It is very hard to get people’s attention and even harder to keep it, especially with the written word. Our attention spans are very short, even more so in this information age, with multiple social media platforms clamoring for our participation constantly. Old time preachers used to harp against the evils of TV and how it was leading people away from the straight and narrow path.
When I was growing up during the Great Depression years, there was no cake mix, no Bisquick and no pancake mix. It was like my dad with his cigarettes; he rolled his own. We made our own. I don't have Mother's pancake recipe. Like I said before, she seldom used a recipe. Anyway, I was too young to watch and write down the measurements.
The Union County 4-H Hog Club headed to the state competition last weekend, a truckload of middle schoolers, high schoolers, and the hogs they spent the fall and winter raising. The Hog Club has been going strong since 2014, teaching students valuable skills from animal care to public speaking.
Folks like to complain about “kids these days” with their heads in their phones all the time, but would you believe that the impetus for starting the Hog Club was a teenager? Union County’s UT Extension Agent Shannon DeWitt said it started as a little bit of a love story.
The fiddler has played his last tune for the night, but Bitt Rouse will not soon be forgotten. Most people would not know of whom you were speaking when you mentioned Palmer Stiner Rouse, because nearly all his life he was known by his nickname. My sister, Dorothy Kitts, had him as a 5th grade student at the old Rush Strong School in Lead Mine Bend. Then he was called “Bitty” Rouse because he was so small for his age, but he grew to quite a tall man. The nickname was shortened to “Bitt.”
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to this Week’s Article.
Now I don’t mean funny ha, ha, I’m talking funny in terms of things which make you go HMMM!
God’s Emergency Alert System! Yep! I am trying to get your attention and so is God! In a fortuitous stroke of the keyboard last week we compared the Old Testament Prophets to today’s EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM. How timely this was considering the False EMERGENCY ALERT in Hawaii this weekend.
Last week I put out a call for those interested in writing their memoirs. Beginning with “It was a dark and stormy night” as Snoopy did in the Peanuts cartoon series is NOT the way to go. It is too easy to get bogged down and lose interest in the project. Plus it might be repetitious and boring. Writing in episodes is the way. Each story of about five hundred words would be about one situation. In writing the story of your life, you are painting scenes, one story at a time. This is a proven method, tested with everyday adults writing about their lives.
Tennessee Williams once penned a play entitled “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. There was a 1958 movie based on this play starring Elizabeth Taylor (as Maggie Politt), Paul Newman (as Brick), Burl Ives (as Big Daddy), Larry Gates (as Dr. Baugh), and several others. Liz Taylor, who died of congestive heart failure at age 79 in 2011,
Do you smoke? I did. I quit on my thirtieth birthday sixty years ago. That is longer ago than most people are old. I started during the war, World War ll, that is. Most everything seemed to be rationed, but cigarettes weren't.
My dad smoked. During the Great Depression, he smoked a pipe. Cigarettes were around then, but pipe tobacco was cheaper than cigarettes. As a child I enjoyed the aroma when Dad lit up his pipe. His tobacco came in a small bag with a drawstring.
This recipe is from Lita, Jamie Porter's Filipino wife. They came to Tennessee to visit us a year ago. Lita made these for us. I wanted to chop the veggies in my food processor. She was horrified. They must be chopped by hand, she told me. Sorry, Lita. It's the food processor for me.
You can find the egg roll wrappers in the frozen food section of the grocery store. Or you can go to West Knoxville to an Asian store and buy the fresh ones. They are in a package, too, so I don't see any difference except taking more gas for the car to buy them from an exotic Asian store.
It’s not uncommon for a teacher to see two generations of students in his or her time in the classroom, but have you met a teacher who is on their third generation?
Union County Schools has one such teacher, Carolyn Murr, at Maynardville Elementary School. She’s seeing kids in her fourth grade class who are the grandkids of some of her previous students, and she’s not planning on retiring anytime soon.
Before everyone congratulates Alabama Crimson Tide, which team is really the 2017 college football national champion? The answer may not be as simple as many might think. There has been some animosity this season toward the College Football Playoff Selection Committee (CFPSC); Wisconsin, Central Florida, Ohio State and their advocates have a case for why they should have been selected as one of the four teams to go to the playoffs. Perhaps, if chosen, one of those teams would have won their playoff game and then the national championship.
Wild Blue Yonder Band will return to Union County with two dates to perform their Appalachian traditional music. The public is invited to hear their free performance at Lil' Jo's in Maynardville on this Friday night, January 12, from 7:00 to 9:00. Members and guests of the Union County Historical society will benefit from Wild Blue Yonder's entertainment on Sunday, January 21, at 2:30 at the Union County Museum.
My friend Pauline Sharp sent me a picture of Gladys Stooksbury Snoderly riding a jenny. The picture was made near the Dr. F. C. Bradfute home at old Loyston. Pauline fondly recalls opening a gate for Gladys so that she could go visit some of her relatives without having to get off and back on the jenny. Gladys was born July 28, 1908 at old Loyston, the daughter of John Franklin and Mary M. Stooksbury. Pauline thinks she was about nine or ten years old–1917 or 1918–when the picture was taken. Gladys grew up in Union County.
Several years ago a memoir writing class was offered at the Senior Citizen Center at Halls Crossroads. I had been trying to write about my past and needed someone to critique my efforts. I figured this would be a good place to start. I had no idea how much it would help. The classes met the first and third Tuesday of the month. Bob Farmer was the moderator. They ended when the class reduced in size because of deaths, relocations and other interests.
Today is January 8, 2018. The first week of the New Year has ended, and the second has begun with a small icing that has closed schools throughout East Tennessee and caused several wrecks. The New Year began with a week of bone chilling cold felt throughout most of the United States, particularly in the East and South.
I began my New Year with some reading. One thing I found was a reference to the location of beds in homes. This caused me to do some pondering and reminiscing.
Have you ever heard of Scorched Gravy? It doesn't sound like much, but it's tasty. I fix it now, even when there are meat drippings for flavor. Scorched Gravy is another recipe from my childhood. Mother made it often during the Great Depression. We always had potatoes to build a meal around. Meat was another thing. With no refrigeration, fresh meat was a delicacy, not often on our table. Potatoes and gravy were.
This is the third article in a series, about rightly dividing the word of truth. We are following Jesus’ own example, in which He begins at Moses…, to expound all the scriptures concerning himself. Last time, we began looking into one of the reasons why Moses is the important place to start if we want to “rightly divide the word of truth.” Bible scriptures show that Moses is synonymous with the Law, (i.e. the Ten Commandments). Further examination of God’s Law illustrates that the Ten Commandments are more than just rules, but, in fact, are the basis for God’s Covenant with mankind.