Cool, Man!

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week Thirty-Six

Many people follow the “five second rule”. It goes something like this—if something is dropped on the floor and remains less than five seconds, it is fine to retrieve for consumption by the human body. This holds especially true when referring to the last chip in the bag.

I can remember instances of those who followed the “no second rule”. The people who presently come to mind are those who worried about cleanliness to the point of obsession. These people were mysophobes, germophobes, or bacterophobes, or perhaps all three rolled into one. In simple English, these people feared germs.

When I was in elementary school, there was the annual onslaught of the mumps. I contracted mine in the second grade when I was seven years old. My glands swelled and I couldn’t stand the smell of food, but other than that it was a two week vacation from school. My father was in the hospital at the time, and my mother left during the day to stay with him. Until she returned at nightfall, I was left in the care of my Aunt Lidia. Oh, what rapture to have those days all to myself with that wonderful saint!

Aunt Lidia was no germophobe. Someone recently related to me that Aunt Lidia occasionally used to visit their home. The lady of the house would get quite upset because Aunt Lidia would take a spoon and taste whatever was cooking on the stove, perhaps using the same spoon more than once in different vessels. The lady never said anything to Aunt Lidia, but she never ate what Aunt Lidia tasted. She did serve it to the rest of her family, however.

Aunt Lidia was an avid scholar of the Scriptures. She would sometimes become so absorbed that she forgot household chores like keeping the fire in the Warm Morning™ stove. The fire would go out, the house would get cool, and Aunt Lidia would rouse herself from her studies and try to rebuild the fire. In the process, she would get ashes all over the floor.

On one such occasion, the Rev. Ben H. Knisley, then pastor of Maynardville Baptist Church, came to visit. Preacher Knisley was the first regularly visiting preacher I ever knew, and even then he was seemingly the last of a dying breed. The fire was out, the ashes were on the floor, but Preacher Knisley and his wife Fern took no notice. They began a discussion of the Bible which was continuing when my mother came home. She said she was never so ashamed in her life, but she never mentioned her embarrassment to Aunt Lidia or let on to the preacher and his Mrs. that anything was wrong.

Neither Aunt Lidia nor my mother had contracted mumps. We all three slept in the bed in the living room, me in the middle. Mother worried that Aunt Lidia would catch them from me and that it might kill her in her advanced age.

So, what did Preacher Knisley find on his next visit? Dad was out of the hospital, Aunt Lidia had moved on to her next temporary destination, and Mother was in bed with the mumps. I couldn’t understand why Preacher Knisley didn’t want to go into the bedroom and visit her! Mother later said she had never been so sick in her life.
Remarkably, I endured the rest of my childhood, never suffering from two other common diseases that kept lots of kids from school, chicken pox and measles. I did have chicken pox when I was twenty-seven years old and teaching fifth grade at Luttrell Elementary. A mother of one of my students called me at home to tell me that her son wouldn’t be in school because he had chicken pox. I told her not to worry, that I had them, too! As a matter of fact, I secretly gave full credit for my dilemma to that very student.

And there were other childhood traumas to endure. There continues to this day the occasional outbreak of head lice. When I was in elementary school, my dad insisted that I wear a “burr” haircut. This had its advantage—when our class was checked for lice, my hair was so short that no decent louse would have bothered to attach itself to the scant hair that remained on my head.

But it also had its disadvantages. I was thinking earlier today of the beautiful girl who transferred into our sixth grade class. She sat behind me—we were assigned the last two seats in the row closest to the bulletin board and water fountain. She would rub my head and ask me, tauntingly, “Do you have to use shampoo or can you just rub a washcloth over your head?”

Remember Barbara Mandrell’s song, “I Was Country, When Country Wasn’t Cool”? I wore a burr when they weren’t cool. Burrs later came back into style (somewhat), and those funny eyeglass frames I wore did as well. Too bad that beautiful girl didn’t realize I was just ahead of the times!

Along with head lice came another scourge, the dreaded scabies, otherwise known as “the itch”. I remember a classmate, also in our sixth grade class, who was an unfortunate victim of this ailment. She was unceremoniously removed from our class. The teacher (a true germophobe) held by the pinkie and forefinger everything this girl owned, schoolbooks included, and sprayed them with Lysol®. I tried this at home while playing school, but I didn’t use Lysol®--I was innovative and used Arid Extra Dry® deodorant. That old fourth grade math book sure did smell good for a while.

While I was in college, I took a summer history course. A fellow student, also a teacher in one of our local systems, always wore his suit coat so he could put his hand in his pocket to turn the doorknob so he wouldn’t have to touch it with his bare hand. Before sitting at his desk, he would spread a handkerchief across the surface as a barrier between himself and the germs other students might have left.

Next week I’ll share with you the tale of a germophobe who couldn’t get along with my father. Until then, remember this bit of wisdom gleaned from email:

A whale swims all day, only eats fish, and drinks water, but is still obese!




Action on SR-33 and SR-61 Pending – You Can Make a Difference

The Tennessee North Rural Planning Organization (RPO) meets on Thursday the 13th of December to prioritize TDOT funded road projects in the RPOs seven county region. Union County does not have any TDOT projects under construction, although the SR-33 project from the Knox County Line to South of SR-144 was recently moved to the Construction Phase.

2018 Year End Tax Planning

What a wonderful time of the year! Celebrating Christmas and the New Year with family and friends, good food, memories of Christmas’ past and creating new memories. The New Year is a time for making resolutions and planning for changes we would like to experience in our lives in the coming year. With only four weeks remaining in 2018, we are running out of opportunities to take advantage of tax planning.

Andrew Ernest Morgan: Controller of Water, Mover of Men

Andrew Ernest Morgan

Most of us probably do not even recognize the name of Arthur Ernest Morgan; yet for those of us living in the the rural communities of the Tennessee Valley, Morgan should be remembered every time we switch on our lights or plug in our computers. Arthur Morgan was the first Director of the Tennessee Valley Authority, but he was much more than just a political appointee or bureaucratic figurehead. Morgan, a civil engineer, was an expert in water flow and water control. He was a hands on director who busied himself with the most intimate parts of the TVA: the inner workings of the dams and the communities they served. As an engineer, he designed the dams, made the earth move, mined the rock, and poured the concrete. As a visionary, he designed communities with energy efficient housing and environmental consideration. As an educator, Morgan saw the need to teach the people to use better farming practices and to train people to use electricity to make their daily chores easier.

Masters of Light

"God Shed His Grace On Thee" by G. Harvey

Almost everyone recognizes the late Thomas Kinkade (1958 - 2012) as the "Painter of Light". His paintings feature glowing highlights in pastel colors of gardens, streams, stone cottages, light houses, and mainstreets most likely inspired by his hometown of Placerville, CA. It is said that 1 of every 20 Americans own a copy of one of his beautiful light filled paintings. Kinkade protected the phrase "Painter of Light" through Trademark. Though the phrase was originally used to describe English painter J. M. W. Turner (1775 - 1851), a child prodigy described as an artistic genius.

Tripping into Christmas, Part 1

Brooke Cox

Timmy throws his legs over the back of the couch as he gazes at the Christmas tree upside down. Sigh. He just isn’t into Christmas this year.

It all started a couple of weeks ago during lunch at school. All of his friends talked about not believing in Santa Claus anymore. That was for little kids. Timmy agreed with them. Third graders were too big for silly stuff like that.

The Last Christmas Gift

Ronnie Mincey

It seems the greatest and happiest moments of our lives are tinged with a bit of sadness at the realization that they can’t last forever.
Every year on Christmas Eve, all of my sister Anna Mae’s family would gather at her house to eat, but mainly to exchange gifts. Mother and I were always invited, and Anna Mae always gave me most enjoyable gifts. I remember so many of them.
One was a candle lamp with a hurricane globe. I still have that lamp, though I broke the hurricane globe long ago and had to find a slightly differently shaped globe for replacement. Anna Mae also once gave me a wind-up carousel with many mirrors to reflect light. I still have it on a library shelf, though one of the three horses has broken off and been lost.

Santa's Light

Brooke Cox

“There he is Momma!” My hearted pounded. Could it be? I pressed my nose against the back car window and pointed toward the night sky. “I see Rudolph’s red blinking nose!”

My mother gazed out of her side window. “Sorry honey. That’s a blinking light from an airplane.”

“You sure momma?”

She paused for a second. “Yes, I am.”

Anticonvulsant Drugs Ineffective for Low Back Pain and Can Cause Harm, Despite Increased Prescribing

Anticonvulsant Drugs Ineffective for Low Back Pain and Can Cause Harm, Despite Increased Prescribing

Anticonvulsant drugs are increasingly being used to treat low back pain, but a new study in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) finds they are ineffective and can have adverse effects.

Clinically, the prescription of anticonvulsants for back and neck pain, including radicular
pain in primary care, has increased by 535% in the last 10 years.


UCBPA Meeting

Thursday, January 10, 2019 - 12:00

UCBPA meets the second Tuesday of each month for approximately one hour. Membership is $25 annually. The meeting begins at noon at Hardee's in Maynardville. Anyone interested in making Union County a better place to live, work, worship, or play may attend.


Goneau Gentry Heath

Goneau Gentry Heath was born August 20, 1921 and went to her heavenly home on December 13, 2018 at the age of 97. Goneau was a longtime member of North Knoxville Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her father, Cleve Gentry and her mother, Bonnie Stooksbury Gentry; Aunt who raised her, Cora Stooksbury; husband of 51 years, K.C. Heath; Brothers, Ray and Carson Gentry; Sister, Jessie Beeler; Granddaughter, Julie Hourigan; Son-in-law, James "Jim" Bean.

Wanda Faye Henry

Wanda Faye Henry, age 81, of Corryton joined her husband in heaven on December 12, 2018 at Tennova Powell. Member of Clear Springs Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband Harvey Henry; parents Luke and Elizabeth Everett; sisters Juanita Boling, Iola Chandler, Lelia Davis; and brother David Everett.

Rev. Gains Harrell Lewis, Sr.

Rev. Gains Harrell Lewis, Sr.-age 86 of Maynardville went to his Heavenly Home Friday morning, December 14, 2018. Harrell, above everything else, loved the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour and preached and witnessed so others would do the same. He was saved and was a member of Hubbs Grove Baptist Church and attended Fellowship Christian Church. He had pastored Leatherwood Baptist Church and Head of Barren Baptist Church. He was proud to be a lifetime citizen of Maynardville, Tennessee and was well-known and had many friends and family.

Betty Sue Baumgardner

Betty Sue Baumgardner – age 77 of Washburn, passed away on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. She was a member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Knoxville. Betty was a loving wife and enjoyed crocheting and quilting.

She is preceded in death by parents, Edgar and Dorothy Glover; sisters, Mary Ann Glover and Nell Harper. Betty is survived by loving husband of 60 years, Reverend Albert “Dick” Baumgardner; sister, Jenntte; brother, Edward Glover; and several nieces and nephews.

Jesse D. Coffman

Jesse D. “J.D.” Coffman-age 89 of Washburn passed away peacefully Thursday morning, December 13, 2018 at his home. He was a U. S. Army Veteran of the Korean War. J. D. was a member of Central View American Christian Church, Washburn.

Nicole "Nicky" Tyson

Nicole “Nicky” Tyson, age 42, passed away on December 11, 2018. She was an outgoing woman who never met a stranger. She was the happiest when surrounded by family, friends, and her fur babies, whom she was very passionate about. Nicky could light up any room she walked in and will be missed by many. She is survived by fiancé Kenny Thomas, daughter April Tyson (Boo), sons Nicholas Gene Beaver and Hunter Dylan Leon Foster, parents Janice and Jim Shipley, granddaughter Payton McKenzie Abshire, close cousin/sister Kelly Williams, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Charles "Charlie" Winton Campbell

Campbell, Charles "Charlie" Winton, age 68 of Corryton, adored daddy and the most treasured grandpa, was welcomed into the arms of his Lord and Savior on, Wednesday, December 12, 2018. Awaiting this great reunion day was Charlie's sweetheart and the love of his life, Glenda Kay Campbell, his beloved wife. Also preceding his death are; parents Henderson & Ruth Campbell and sister Katherine Ann Campbell.

Sonja Denise Brown

Sonja Denise Brown-age 53 of Luttrell passed away Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at her home. She was a member of Mynatt Road Baptist Church in Halls. Preceded in death by father, Leonard Allen Ridenour.

Survivors: husband, David Lee Brown; mother, Reba Evelyn Ridenour; brother, Ronnie Lynn Ridenour and wife, Donna; sister, Donna Michelle Gordon and husband, Gerald. Several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

Graveside service and interment 12 Noon Saturday, December 15, 2018, Dyer Cemetery, Powder Springs. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.

Tommy Ray Bray

Tommy Ray Bray, age 59, passed away on December 11, 2018. He was a member of the Elks Lodge 160, and was an avid fisherman.

Preceded in death by mother AnnaLou Bray, father John Bray, sisters; Kathy West and Robin Burress, brothers; Harold Bray, Larry Bray, and Randall Bray.

Survived by loving wife of 35 years Pamela Bray, brothers; Danny (Judy) Bray of Briceville, Patrick Bray of Rocky Top, Kirk (Tina) Bray of Rocky Top, Clifford (Marika) Bray of Briceville, and special brother-in-law Jerry and Dennis Parton and many nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.

Regena Kaye Keller

Regena Kaye Keller – age 65 of Knoxville, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. She was a member of River of Hope Church.

She is preceded in death by father, Richard Lee Miller; sister, Beverly Faye Murphy; and brother-in-law, Charles E. Keller. Regena is survived by her husband of 33 years, Larry “Joe” Keller; mother, Barbara Jean Pellegrino; sister, Sharon Hess; sister-in-law, Renee´ (Chris) Branum; nieces, Kristina Hess, Kirsten Keller Pruitt and Zoe Branum; nephews, Nate and Christian Branum.

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