At Wilson Park, over 100 vendors competed for various booth awards at the 2019 Union County Heritage Festival last Saturday. A&B Bookkeeping & Tax Service claimed The Rocky Top award for the best portrayal of the festival theme. The Best Heritage Award for the best example of Union County history portrayed in a craft went to Martin Shafer for making maul handles on an Ole' Time Hit 'n Miss Engine & Lathe. Ralph Webster of Webster's Woodcrafts won Best Unique Craft Item for his handmade Black Walnut Bowl.
Animals of Cades Cove
Bear near John Oliver cabin
Some years ago, we made our first trip to Cades Cove. We have made many trips since, and have seen the valley in every season. Cades Cove is the most visited site in the Smoky Mountains National Park. You can tell by the number of cars on the one-way lane in the middle of the day. Even so, it’s well worth visiting.
Of course, everyone wants to see the bears. One time we saw a bear even before we got to the cove. Several cars were pulled off the two-lane road that leads to the valley. In the Smokies, that is a sure sign an animal has been sighted and being curious, my husband pulled off, too.
There was a man walking down into a ravine with his camera at ready. We soon saw why. At the bottom of the slope a fully-grown black bear was foraging for food. Several of the spectators were trying to warn the photographer back. Suddenly, the bear charged and the tourist made a mad dash for a nearby tree. It was probably the fastest he had ever climbed! Still, it wasn’t a big tree and Mister Bear knew how to give it a good shake. My husband, Dan, and the other bystanders started shouting and waving hats and anything else they had. The bear soon had enough and dashed up the other slope and into the woods.
The best encounter we ever had with a bear in the park was on a drizzly Thanksgiving Day after the kids had grown up. Dan and I did the driving tour and stopped to walk the trail to the John Oliver cabin. After starting up the path, we noticed a large bear meandering up ahead of us. We slowed and kept our distance. He had no fear of us puny people. The bear finally ducked into the woods somewhere near the Oliver cabin and we finished our hike.
Our daughter loved the deer and at times they would walk over to the fence and check her out as she offered them choice grasses she had pulled. The deer also have little fear in the cove. We learned quickly that you see more deer and other animals in the early part of the day and near sunset.
Lots of times we’d take the shortcut roads, Hyatt or Sparks Lane, which cut across the valley. There we would see deer grazing in the shade of the trees near the streams. Sometimes we’d see pretty good-sized concentrations of deer and other times we’d see only a few.
Other creatures we observed were woodchucks, raccoons (that’s another story!), and squirrels. We also heard coyotes, but didn’t see any. Plenty of birds pass through or reside in the cove: turkeys, hawks, buzzards, eagles, crows, and various songbirds.
Sadly, we never saw elk. They were entirely gone from the cove in 2001 due to over-hunting in the past, but they were introduced later by TWRS and have been sighted in recent years, especially in the Cataloochee Valley. We did hear their bugling once on a later trip. Another animal we never saw was the red wolf. This is an animal that used to roam in the area, but they were hunted and trapped to near extinction. Like most wolves, they are controversial. It is believed by some scientists that the red wolf is a cross between coyotes and wolves that happened in the distant past. When they were re-introduced in the cove in the late 90s that became one problem to their survival in the wild. Coyotes had returned to the area and were again cross-breeding. The few wild wolves couldn’t compete and finally the remaining individuals were re-captured and taken to special habitats. You have to go to the Knoxville Zoo to see red wolves. Despite that, Cades Cove is an excellent place to take your family for the day. During the warmer months of the year, the loop is open from sunrise for a couple of hours to bike or foot traffic only.
Susan Kite, a member of Author’s Guild of Tennessee, is the author of five books for young adults; historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. Check out her site at http://www.bookscape.net/author/main.htm where you can find general and ordering information.
There was “More Fiddlin' Around” as fiddle lovers of all ages welcomed competitors in Union County Heritage Festival's Second Annual Fiddle Contest on Saturday, October 5, 2019. Amateur fiddlers took the stage and performed their best renditions of some fiddle favorites. While the judges were wrestling with very difficult decisions, all of the fiddle participants and several of the guitar, string bass, and mandolin players leaped to the stage to entertain the crowd with an impromptu performance of several popular fiddle tunes.
The Union County Historical Society sponsored the Heritage Festival Quilt Show at the Union County Museum & Genealogical Library. More than thirty quilts lined the museum balcony. Ellen Perry and Patricia Campbell coordinated the event.
Connie Johnsey won Best of Show for her quilt entitled “Harvest Spice”. Best Heritage Quilt was Kim Beeler's “Diary Quilt” that reflected memories of loved ones that "walk beside us every day".
Other awards included the following:
My thoughts were of “Sleeping Beauty” and “Rumpelstiltskin” as Tim I walked down the line of vendors at the Union County Farmer’s Market. We were searching for the lady with a spinning wheel since I was to conduct an interview with her.
“There she is!” Tim pointed, but I still couldn’t see a spinning wheel anywhere; in fact, I didn’t notice it until we reached her tent. You see, I had assumed all spinning wheels were made like the ones mentioned in old fairy tales. I had assumed wrong.
Since it is my birthday, I decided to write about my birthplace and the historic sign at its site: the old Ailor Mill on Route 144, Ailor Gap Road. Of course, this is not really my birthplace, but as a four-year-old I did believe my father when he said that it was. My real birthplace was in a 1958 Chevrolet in Claiborne County, but that's another story. It may not have been that mill on that site, but simply a barn constructed there after the old mill was torn down. Regardless, I believed it to be true and now a historic marker commemorates the site.
More than 14,000 children are treated for backpack-related injuries each year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Can these childhood injuries result in long-term back problems or chronic pain?
By the age of 14, seven percent of children report that back pain affects their everyday life. The lumbar (lower) spine is vulnerable to injury when children carry heavy loads. Such injuries may also lead to early degenerative changes in the lower spine.
And it’s not just the weight you carry in your backpack, but how you carry it.
On Sunday morning, I get up and get ready for church. I have gathered all the materials I will need for the day on the Saturday night prior—clothes, Sunday school booklet, Bible and commentaries. This way, I don’t have to rush to get things done and can sleep a little later than would otherwise be possible. All I have to do is get up, shower, shave, put on my clothes, and grab my Sunday school bag before heading out the door.
Back in the early and mid-1800s the industrial age and a growing population created a demand for raw materials to make products, especially from wood and metals such as iron and lead. Our area had metal ore deposits to produce pig iron in locally owned furnaces fueled by charcoal and coke. Pig iron needed to be shipped to big cities like Chattanooga where it was refined and made into metal products such as tools and farm implements.
The year 2005 was momentous for me. I had been looking for work in an ever widening circle from Athens. I had interviewed in Monroe, Loudon, Bradley, McMinn, and sent applications to every school district that I could drive to in 45 minutes.
Finally in August, I sent applications to Knox and Hamilton counties, even as I cringed at the commute time it would be to any school in those counties. Two weeks after I had sent those applications, I received a phone call from the principal of an elementary school at the northern tip of Hamilton County.
When I was a kid, the fall of the year was butchering time. Dad usually had a castrated boar that he had fattened up for the kill. I never understood why a farmer would fatten up a pig. You can only use so much lard. Anyway, I have a question for you. Have you ever made scrapple? I remember when the pig's head would be cooked and all the meat carefully cut or pulled away from the bone. Sounds gross, doesn't it? Head cheese is good but it is a bit different from my recipe for scrapple. Do you have some pork sausage languishing in your freezer? Here's a use for it.
Kenneth “Dink” Brown Benefit Saturday, November 2nd 4pm - 8pm
Kenneth “Dink” Brown of Luttrell received a kidney transplant on September 17, 2019. This benefit is to help them with medical expenses and household bills. He will not be able to work for around 3 months. 100% of the proceeds go directly to The Brown Family.
The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education will be held at Union County High School on Thursday, September 12, 2019. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.
Extension of Dr. James E. Carter's contract as Director of the Union County Public Schools will be discussed and considered for approval at this meeting.
Inez Evon Shelton-age 93 of Washburn passed away Monday afternoon, October 21, 2019 at her home. She was a member of Mt. Eager Baptist Church since she was 9 years old. She received her Masters Degree of Science from the University of Tennessee and taught school in the Grainger County School System for 41 years. She was preceded in death by grandparents, Paris and Lucinda (Williams) Hamilton, Samuel and Nora (Nicely) Shelton; parents, Rev.
Charles Kerekes-age 62 of Knoxville passed away Saturday afternoon October 19, 2019 at the home of his daughter. He was a loving father and grandfather. He worked at Dalton Foundry in Kendallville, Indiana for 30 years. Preceded in death by his wife, Marlene Kerekes; parents, John Kerekes and Mary Toth; brother, Andrew Kerekes, sister, Wanda Kay Kerekes Potter.
Survivors are daughter, Sarah Campos, grandchildren, Aryana and Jaydon Campos, brother, James Kerekes and several nephews.
Brenda Oleda “Williams” Hutson-age 72 of Luttrell joined the Heavenly Choir Wednesday evening, October 16, 2019 at her home surrounded by her loving family. She was a lifelong member of Mountain View Church of God of the Union Assembly. Retired employee of Atlantic Research Corporation, Knoxville. Preceded in death by great-granddaughter, Isabella Grace Nicely; parents, James A. and Pearlie Williams; brother, Doffise Williams; sister, Lela Williams.
Melba Jennilee Brewer Kitts-age 86 of Knoxville went home to join her family circle unbroken. The angels set her spirit free peacefully Tuesday evening, October 15, 2019 at her home with her family by her side. She was a member of Dante Church of God. She loved to sing and spread the word of God. Devoted caretaker to many family and friends. Her legacy will continue through her children and those she influenced by interaction of her faith in Jesus Christ. At last she is Home where there is: “Peace in The Valley”.