An Appalachian Ulster Scot’s St. Patrick’s Day reflections

Thomas Fitzgerald was born at Kerry, Ireland His wife, Hannah Pyne Fitzgerald, was born at Cork, Ireland Burial: Calvary Catholic Cemetery Knoxville, Tennessee

Did you remember to wear something green on St. Patrick’s Day? If not, quite likely you were pinched. Among the mountain youth of the 1970s, St. Patrick’s Day was mostly an excuse for pinching those who forgot to wear green. Teachers would make scissors and green construction paper available so that pupils, who forgot to don the green, could cut out shamrocks and attach them to their clothing.

As a word of caution, I would warn against pinching transplants to the Mountain South, not attired in green, on St. Patrick’s Day. Several years ago, I learned that a female security guard at the East Tennessee History Center, unfamiliar with Appalachian customs, was unaware of the practice. I am glad that I didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to pinch her first. Obviously, pinching those who do not wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, is not as a widespread practice as I would have assumed.

That St. Patrick’s Day is not an important holiday in East Tennessee is not surprising. The Scotch Irish Protestants, who settled the Southern Highlands, were a distinct ethnic group apart from the Roman Catholic Irish. Descendants of Vikings who settled on the outcroppings of Scotland hundreds of years ago, they resettled in Northern Ireland, before making the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. Here in the mountains of Southern Appalachia we have remained a unique tribe forged in Ulster.

Mostly isolated from other Roman Catholics throughout much of their history, Coastal Georgia’s Irish have also remained a unique tribe. Living through, observing, and somewhat participating in their St. Patrick’s Day festivities at Savannah was both educational and exciting for me.

Spring itself, of course, comes earlier in Savannah. After a much shorter dormant season than we are accustomed to here in East Tennessee, spring is definitely in the air when St. Patrick’s Day arrives at the oldest city in Georgia.

The festivities, including a major parade, turn automobile traffic into gridlock. The only practical way to move about town for several days is on foot.

The trek from my Reconstruction Era apartment to the souvenir shop, where I worked along the old wharf on River Street in the year 2000, was adventurous in itself as I crisscrossed grass carpeted city squares that had seemingly become a healthy bright green overnight. Water that flowed through decorative public fountains was dyed green and the dome atop city hall was spotlighted in green.

An organization called the Jasper Greens holds an observance at Savannah’s Catholic Cemetery in Savannah around St. Patrick's Day each year. I didn’t attend the event but read about it in the Savannah Morning News.

After I left the East Tennessee History Center on what was a markedly lowkey St. Patrick’s Day, compared to Savannah’s celebratory occasion, I drove east in hope of recapturing the experience at Knoxville's Catholic Cemetery. I was expecting, or at least I had hoped, to find shamrocks and greenery. Instead, I found faded Christmas decorations.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Roman Catholic Irishmen came to East Tennessee to build the railroad. With so many Irish names inscribed in stone, one could easily imagine for a moment that he was in Ireland.

Adjacent to the Potter’s Field and the Confederate Cemetery, the Catholic Cemetery on Martin Luther King Avenue (formerly East Vine Avenue) was established in 1869 at what was then some distance from town. Most likely, the rear entrance, now closed to traffic on the old road to Rutledge (presently Bethel Avenue), was the original entrance.

Before the Catholic Cemetery was established, Irish Catholics buried their dead in the northwest section of Gray Cemetery (presently Old Gray Cemetery) in a section that continues to be known as Little Ireland. The residential area where the Irish lived east of Crozier Street (presently South Central Street) was once known as Irish Town.

Immaculate Conception Church, East Tennessee’s first Roman Catholic Church, was built in 1855 on the crown of nearby Reservoir Hill overlooking the railway below. The present building was completed in 1886. Confederate Army Chaplain, Father Abraham Ryan, author of The Conquered Banner that became the requiem for the Lost Cause, pastored Immaculate Conception Church in the early years of reconstruction. Father Ryan High School in Nashville is named for him.

Perhaps Ryan inadvertently gave inspiration to the post-war political slogan Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion affixing blame for the American Civil War on the Democratic Party.

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Homemaking soaps is a centuries old skill that many have the desire to learn. Recently, Big Ridge State Park has offered a class teaching these skills to pupils from the community. Ranger Hannah Paschall, who has been with the park for ten years, has led three sessions, only generating more interest. Classes were held in January, February, and are scheduled for March at the Big Ridge State Park Rec Hall. Ranger Hannah says that she expected the first class to fill up quickly, but she did not realize a second class would fill up in a day.

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Genesis 1:1 KJV
[1] In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Mankind has a penchant, propensity or knack, call it what you will for asking the wrong question. Wrong headed thinking is the cause of much confusion in regards to understanding what the Bible is communicating on many subjects and in particular the creation story. In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul instructs Timothy to study, so that he may "rightly divide the word of truth". We cannot study without asking questions and it stands to reason one cannot learn the "right" or correct answer apart from the truth.

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At that time, I taught 2nd grade Sunday school. On this particular Sunday, the other teacher and I had talked to the children about not using bad words. We used examples of when we are upset or get into an argument.

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It was in the fall of 1942 when my brother, Rod, approached me with an offer to take me hunting. “I will teach you how to hunt squirrel,” he said. Wait a minute! Where did he get off using such a big word? Rod could take school or leave it. He wasn't an educator. Not at all. I did figure I was teachable, however.

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Union County Visit

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I had the pleasure of visiting your beautiful county in November of last year. Many of my ancestors have their final resting place in old cemeteries in Chuck Swan State Forest. I was able to find several of them. I'm sharing a photo I took from Highway 33 a few miles east of Maynardville, shortly after dawn of November 18, 2018 as the fog was lifting. My mother, Retha Shelby Elrod, told stories of her visits there and how proud she was of the place where her mother and father were born. I was happy to find that her pride was well founded.

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4-H County Baking Contest

Monday, March 18, 2019 - 17:00

After youth have participated in school during February, they will be awarded a blue ribbon to move forward to the county contest. The entries at the county will be due for judging on March 18 then displayed with awards at the Extension Month Open House on March 19 for sampling.

Luttrell neighborhood watch

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 19:00
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Luttrell neighbourhood watch meeting every 3rd Tuesday at 7:00pm It takes place in the community building behind the library with speakers each month this can be a great tool for our community to assist one another in brotherly love by watching out for each other. If you need more information contact Jim Bailey at 865-809-4472

Thank you so much
Union County Sheriff's Office
130 veteran’s street suite B Maynardville Tennessee 37807
Phone 865-992-5212
Fax 865-992-2349

MPL Small Business Expo

Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 09:00

Small Business Expo
Hosted by Maynardville Public Library
296 Main St, Maynardville, Tennessee 37807
Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 9 AM – 1 PM
Our 3rd Annual Expo to showcase the many small businesses in Union County. Drop by to see what our county has to offer and support these local businesses.
If you are a business owner looking to attend fill out the following google form by March 15th

https://goo.gl/forms/pVrShemJAPtgzaiB2

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

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"We invite all area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders to come together on the last Thursday of each month at Hardee's at 7:30 am. This is to be a time of fellowship, prayer, and discussion about how we as a community of Faith can work together to have a positive impact on our county. All are welcome!" For more information please contact Kathy Chesney at 865-566-3289.

Obituary

John W. Dukes

John W Dukes of Maryville passed away Friday, March 15 2019. He is preceded in death by wife Jo Dukes; parents Robert & Vina Mae; brother Larry “Bud” (Sue); and sister Nancy. He is survived by daughters Anita Craig of Ooltewah; Lori Nelson (Bryan) of Sweetwater and son Spencer of Nashville; grandchildren Jason (Jessica) Cooper of Maryville and Hillary Cooper of Indianapolis; 6 great-grandchildren; several nieces & nephews; and Dr. Bob Dukes, Rock Dukes and Susan Pilkay with whom he had a special bond.

Alvin Doyle Atkins

Alvin Doyle Atkins, age 78, passed away March 15, 2019. Preceded in death by mother, Ruth Keeney and father, Dana Atkins. Survived by wife Dorothy Williams Atkins, sons Alvin and Tonya Atkins and Brian and Leslie Atkins, grandchildren Charles, Elizabeth, Bridget, Brandon, and Brayden, step-grandson Austin (Charity), great-grandchildren Mercedes, Aiden, and Thea, several nieces and nephews. Family will receive friends 5:00-7:00pm Monday, March 18, 2019, at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel with service to follow.

John Thomas Keck

John Thomas Keck-age 27 of Corryton passed away Tuesday evening, March 12, 2019 at his home. Preceded in death by mother, Regina Ann Keck.

Survivors: father, Carl Johnny Keck, Corryton; sisters, Emily Keck of Maynardville; Hannah Gillespie of Lebanon, TN; brothers, Justin Keck of Nashville; Aaron Anderson of Huntland, TN; grandmother, Linda and Rodney O’Brien of Blaine; uncle, David Kitts of Halls. Several nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.

James "J.D." Killion

James Douglas "J.D." Killion passed away, March 15, 2019, at Norris Health and Rehab Center, following a lengthy illness. He was born November 2, 1933 in New Tazewell, TN. He was a member of Emory Pike American Christian Church. J.D. was a member of the U.S. Air Force. He is preceded in death by his parents, James M. and Mossie V. Killion; his first wife, D. Blanche Cox Killion and by his second wife M. Jane Cole Killion. J.D. is survived by his daughter Sheila K.

Fred Parrott Jr.

Fred Parrott, Jr., age 85, passed away March 13, 2019. He was a member of Alice Bell Baptist Church. Fred was a proud veteran of the US Army, serving during the Korean War. He was a devoted father and grandfather who loved his family deeply. Left to cherish his memory are wife of 66 years, Marykate "Katie" Parrott; sons Phil (Connie) and Todd (Chris); grandchildren Christopher (Melissa), Krystle (Daniel) and Abbey (Sean). In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to the Alice Bell Baptist Church Building Fund, 3305 Alice Bell Road, Knoxville, TN., 37917.

Volley H. Cunningham

Volley H. Cunningham age 60 of Knoxville went to be with Jesus on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. He was such a kind and loving person, and was always concerned for his family. He loved his family, friends and the family pets. Always willing to lend a hand to help anyone in need. He loved woodworking and making things, one of his hobbies was building things including houses for the family pets and other various projects. He loved gardening and created many family garden projects. He grew prize winning tomatoes which he lovingly gave away to others. He enjoyed singing country and gospel songs.

Tammy Denise Jordan

Tammy “Bright” Jordan age 54 of South Knoxville, TN went to be with her Lord on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. She was a graduate of West High School, class of ’82. Preceded in death by grandmother, Susie Bright, grandfather, James White, grandmother Lillie Mae White and father, Fred Bright.

Geneva "Ginger" (Murr) Ailor

Geneva “Ginger” Bessie (Murr) Ailor, of Maynardville, passed from her earthly home to her new heavenly home on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at the age of 69 years. Ginger was a dedicated member of Alder Springs Baptist Church. She taught grades 8-12 at Horace Maynard High School for 35 years. Ginger always put family and everyone else before herself and could cook the best pumpkin pie in the country. She was loved and will be missed by many. Praise the Lord we will see her again!

DeeAnna Tharp Cooper

DeeAnna Tharp Cooper-age 52 of Luttrell departed this life Monday, March 11, 2019 at Ft. Sanders Regional Medical Center. She was preceded in death by parents, Coy and Velma Tharp; brother, Michael L. Tharp, Sr.; sister, Linda Washam.

Berta Jean Knight

Berta Jean Knight of Luttrell, TN went to be with the Lord while surrounded by family on March 11, 2019. Known as Jean, she loved her Lord and Savior and was loved by her husband, Louie, of 65 years and seven children. She led a prayer ministry for many years, loved to cook, fish, and garden. She was a talented seamstress and baker, creating wedding cakes and gowns for her own daughter’s weddings. She sponsored the first Brownie Troup in Titusville, FL and served as Girl Scout Leader for many years.

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