It was the summer of 1996. My friend Mark Martin and I each got the same enticing letter in the mail. The only difference was the name on the header. Mine proclaimed in bold letters, “RONNIE MINCEY! PACK YOUR BAGS!”
Mr. Martin and I must have taken this as a sign from God or something similar that we both received these letters at approximately the same time. We decided to take advantage of the golden opportunity. As a result of this offer, in exchange for our agreement to view a time-share opportunity, we were invited to take part in a two-part, low price vacation package.
Several years ago I related part one of this adventure, and I take the liberty of plagiarizing myself to repeat it in part here.
First was a cruise to the Bahamas. I decided as Mr. Martin was willing to be my traveling buddy that I would drive us to Orlando, our point of departure. All went well, until the last county in Georgia. That’s when I got the speeding ticket. The price of this low-budget adventure just increased for yours truly. The night of that same day, we stopped to spend the night in a motel somewhere in Florida. Seemingly, I had a lot of my brother J. C. in me, for our motel choice was not in luxury, but economy. I don’t remember the name of the establishment we graced with our overnight business, but I do remember it provided only the most basic necessities.
The next morning I took a shower. One of the basic amenities missing was some form of non-skid material on the shower floor. One second I’m happily taking my shower. The next split second, oops! There went my feet. On reflex I grabbed hold of the shower curtain and discovered another missing amenity—screws to attach the shower rod to the wall. On my way down, here came the shower curtain to embrace my fall and the rod to bang me on the head.
The Scripture says in James 3:10 KJV, “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethern, these things ought not so to be.” I’m afraid I did not heed to the wisdom of that verse in this situation. A range of emotions and accompanying language quickly went through my mind. From happily “rub-a-dub-dub” or “la-da-dee-dum” to “What the (who knows)?” to “How bad am I hurt?” to “Thank God, not at all, I think.” to a string of thoughts that come to mind upon discovery that there is no injury but insult at the ludicrous ridicule and indignity to which I’d been exposed.
Let’s not overestimate the “exposed” part here. I probably locked the bathroom door (if a door lock was an available amenity). Even if Mr. Martin could have entered to see my state, I had the wet shower curtain swwaddled around me like saran wrap. He gently tapped on the bathroom door and said, “Uh, are you hurt?”
A Christian should be grateful for not being hurt, but my carnal (human) nature was aroused by the incident. Even though Mr. Martin had no real idea of what had happened to me, my sarcastic nature prevailed as I thought, “No. I’m not hurt. I just risked being maimed for life just to take a shower so I wouldn’t smell like a skunk to go on down the road to who knows what next disaster awaits.” It’s amazing how many thoughts can go through a person’s mind in a few split seconds. I yelled out at Mr. Martin, “BLANK no, I’m not hurt.” (You’d really be surprised how mild was the word with which I filled the blank. Truly I say this.)
For the record, Martin and Mincey made the rest of the trip to and from the Bahamas, whether on land or sea, without increased potential to the loss of life or limb.
We hadn’t been on the ship very long before we were situated and on the deck. A very attractive girl approached us. She was possibly Filipino or of a similar nationality. She held a tray of drinks in her hand, and in a very high-pitched voice she asked us questioningly, “Bahama mama?” Mr. Martin started giggling just like a little boy, pointed to her and said to me, “Ain’t she cute?” That girl never offered either Mr. Martin or me any other refreshment the entire time we were on that ship.
The first night out the water was choppy. We were sitting at dinner, and everything appeared perfectly normal. Everything, that is, except for the feel of my body rotating on my hips in my chair, and the level of drinks in the clear glasses swaying from first one side, then the other, a perfect balance that let us know the ship was not “plumb”. This did not bother either Mr. Martin or me, but we watched as many of our fellow passengers turned green and excused themselves from the dining room. The water seemed to get choppier for a while, and as Mr. Martin and I were walking down the very narrow hallway to our very small cabin, we were banged against one wall, then the other. Mr. Martin looked over his shoulder and said to me, “Now you know what it feels like to be drunk, Ronnie Mincey!”
On a later part of the voyage, we stopped at an island that was supposedly the spot where Gilligan’s Island was taped. I’m not sure I believe that, but I did fancy myself as Gilligan as I swayed in a rather comfortable hammock for a few minutes. I found the Straw Market in the Bahamas very interesting. I bought my mother a doll there, and myself a straw hat that I’m still treasuring to wear in my retirement.
I’m not sure we looked at any time-share properties in Florida. We certainly weren’t offered any time-shares in the Bahamas. I remember while in the Bahamas we rode in a very dated limousine, interestingly without air conditioning, I think. We were chauffeured to a few destinations of interest. At each stop the guide let it be very obviously stated that tips were not only appreciated, but expected. This didn’t seem quite American to me, and certainly didn’t reek of southern hospitality. There was one very dramatic guide who would, in a remarkably impressive deep, booming voice that I can hear in my mind after all these years, repeat after every recitation for a point of interest, “It’s in the book!” That reminded me of my dad saying over and over when he made a statement that, at least in his mind, was worth remembering, “You can write that down in your little black book!” I don’t think either book ever got published.
There was a night on the ship that was designated as a formal dinner. Mr. Martin and I dressed in our coats and ties for this affair. The menu had some interesting choices, some that I could not pronounce and would not dare to risk eating. I chose a safe steak, but Mr. Martin was more adventurous. He chose the lobster.
Thankfully, steak is seemingly steak, whether in Tennessee or on the open seas. Mr. Martin’s lobster came in the full shell, looking, just as I had anticipated, like something that could possibly eat him rather than otherwise. Mr. Martin, just as I, had no idea how to penetrate the shell to get to the lobster meat. He looked at and studied the oversized crawfish for some time, and finally worked up his nerve. With a knife in one hand and a fork in the other, Mr. Martin stabbed the shell with the fork and tried to cut into the underside with the knife.
It is amazing how sometimes that your food can attack you, even at times before you get it in your mouth. As if in anger at being so mistreated in its death by boiling, the lobster skidded across the table, knocking over the water glass of the lady sitting next to Mr. Martin. Even now I laugh as I remember the outrage on the lady’s face, the amazed looks of the other diners at the table, and the innumerable shades of red that crossed Mr. Martin’s face as he pitifully stammered out an unaccepted apology.
Luckily, Mr. Martin didn’t starve. One of the great things about a cruise is that food is available at all times of the day or night. Mr. Martin was able to gorge himself a couple of hours later, and you can be sure he chose food that he knew how to attack.
Next week I’ll tell you, Dear Reader, about part two of the Mincey/Martin time-share vacation venture. I leave you with a few thoughts from the world of email I’ve received over the years.

Time-sharing meant time the family spent together
in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.

Never sing in the shower! Singing leads to dancing, dancing leads to slipping,
and slipping leads to paramedics seeing you naked. So remember…Don’t sing!



Arevalo School in Big Ridge

Arevelo School, built around 1940

Big Ridge Elementary School opened in 1960-1961 as the consolidated school assigned to receive Pine Grove students. Central View, Hickory Valley, Arevalo, and part of Burkhart were also included in the consolidation.
Arevalo Elementary School opened to students in 1st through 8th grade circa1924. Bonnie Heiskell Peters relates the origins of the name of the Arevalo School in Union County Schoolday Memories.

Congratulations to Van Richardson

Union County Extension is thrilled to announce that Van Richardson has won multiple awards at the 2024 Tennessee State Junior Beef Show this June!
These are spectacular accomplishments that are literally years in the making. Winning a Grand Champion award requires commitment, dedication, and perseverance. Winning a Grand Champion award 4-H member bred and raised the animal is amazing. Van’s hard work, dedication, and passion for the beef industry have truly paid off. At this prestigious event, he showcased exceptional talent and skill, earning accolades that reflect his commitment to excellence.

Chiropractic and Your Hips

Your hips, which bear considerable weight, can become painful as a result of injury or disease. They can also suffer from stress brought on by the improper alignment of other parts of the body. The hip joint, like the body’s other joints, is a point at which tendons, muscles and bones come together to allow particular movement. As with the other joints, the hips are susceptible to pain and discomfort.

Bearly Walking

It was one of those times when I had to do a double take. We were within a few miles from our house when Tim pointed and said: “Look, there’s a bear standing at the edge of the woods!” I have to admit that I was a little frightened at seeing one so close to my home. I don’t know about you, but back in the day, I don’t remember them being seen so far from The Smokey Mountains

Do All (Any) Dogs (Cats) Go to Heaven?

There is a wonderful episode of The Twilight Zone that features a hunter portrayed by the late Arthur Hunicutt. The hunter takes his dog and goes hunting, but both drown. The story relates how the hunter and his faithful dog make their journey to the hereafter. The farmer is almost lured by trickery into entering hell (which the gatekeeper tries to disguise as Heaven). The gatekeeper tells the farmer that dogs are not allowed in Heaven, so the hunter says he’ll just keep going down the road. A little further the farmer indeed finds Heaven, to which his dog is also welcome.

Shrimp Mushroom Alfredo

Artwork by Shirley McMurtrie

Chicken Alfredo is great, but so is this dish with the shrimp. Don't buy raw shrimp you have to fuss with. Instead use a bag of frozen cooked salad shrimp. the only prep needed is cutting off their tails. Over medium heat, heat olive oil and garlic in skillet until starting to be bubbly. Add thawed shrimp (tails removed), cooked until heated through. Add mushrooms, tossing to combine. add chicken broth and the softened cream cheese. Simmer and stir until a smooth sauce emerges. Add grated Parmesan cheese and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Plants That Announce Supper Time

This wild black cherry is showing a red color stage, announcing that ripe fruit is on the way.

In mid to late summer if you’re out and about you will likely see plants bearing fruit going through color stages, especially blackberries right now. Blackberry and several other wild fruits go from green to red and finally black or blue when they fully ripen. As is almost everything in creation, there is a purpose to the color change.

Pine Grove reunion recalls fond memories

Wanda Woods Cox Byerley

In the fall of 1986, Wanda Woods Cox (later Byerley), a former teacher at Pine Grove Elementary, a school with grades first through eighth, organized a reunion of former students and teachers.
Since the school was located close to the county line, students attended from Anderson and Union County. Most walked to school. Many of the early students went home for lunch.

Earlier Retirement for People with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

Frequent musculoskeletal pain is linked with an increased risk of exiting work and retiring earlier, according to a new study from the University of Portsmouth. The paper found the association between musculoskeletal pain and retiring earlier persisted even after accounting for working conditions, job satisfaction and gender. The researchers found that people with musculoskeletal pain complaints tended to retire earlier compared to pain-free participants.

Daddy Drawing

“It’s here!” Carefully I opened the cardboard envelope that my step mother had mailed to me and pulled out the yellowing piece of paper. When I first looked at it, I couldn’t breathe for a few seconds. On it was a drawing I had made for my daddy when I was a child. I was simply amazed that it hadn’t been lost or torn after everything it had been through.

Curried Corn Chowder

When fresh corn is in season this is a good soup for a rainy day. In large pot, stir together the celery sou. 4 cups corn, curry powder and 2 cups water. Over medium heat , bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook until flavors blend, 10 minutes. Serve topped with remaining corn. Sprinkle with chopped green onions, tomato and parsley. Makes 6 servings.

The Liberty Tree

It interests me how trees are so often intertwined with our culture and history. The July celebration of our independence is a good time to review the history of the Liberty Tree, a symbol for individual liberty and resistance to tyranny.

Asher is scooping up cones for a cause

Asher makes an OMAVOL Orange snow cone for a waiting customer.

Last summer Asher Effler, a 10-year-old with an amazing work ethic, was trying to find something to keep him busy. He wanted something that he could organize, raise some money, and help somebody all at the same time. So he discussed his options with his parents and together they decided to set up a table in the front yard and give away snow cones for a donation. Then he would use the money to purchase stuffed animals for the children at East Tennessee Children's Hospital.

Commission: no tax increase; 6% raise for most employees

Unanimous vote on budget resolution with no tax increase.

The Union County Commission approved all documents relating to the FY25 Budget unanimously, except for one negative vote by 3rd District Commissioner Kenny Moore on the Non-Profit Budget. The tax rate will remain the same.
The sheriff’s department will get a step increase of two percent. as will EMS. Other county employees will receive a six percent raise which moved them three steps on the pay scale.

BOE extends Director Clay's contract

Chairman Marty Gibbs explains the results of Director Greg Clay's evaluation while Andrew Reed reviews the proposed contract extension in his chrome book.

In the June meeting the Union County Board of Education extended Director Greg Clay’s contract to June 30, 2028.
Clay received high marks from teachers, administrators and school board members during the evaluation process.

Plainview elects Beeler mayor

Election Administrator Candy Booker continues a time honored tradition as she announces the Plainview and Maynardville election results from the courthouse steps in Union County.

The Plainview election has buzzed with anticipation as a record 171 votes were cast in the early voting. For the first time in recent memory, two candidates, current Mayor Gary D. Chandler and Commissioner Lynn Beeler, ran for Mayor of Plainview. Three candidates, Keith Brantley, Gordon Bright and Rebecca Lock challenged for two seats. On election day, 206 voted.

Lane closures halted for 4th of July traffic


NASHVILLE – Road construction won’t slow motorists across Tennessee over the July 4 holiday. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will suspend all construction-related lane closures on interstates and state routes beginning at noon on Wednesday, July 3, through 6 a.m. on Monday, July 8, to provide maximum roadway capacity for holiday travelers.
AAA predicts record travel in Tennessee this year, with 1.4 million Tennesseans taking a road trip.

Corum Bookkeeping wins BPA golf tourney

UCBPA President Tammie Hill awards Corum Bookkeeping Service First Place in the UCBPA Scholarship Benefit Golf Classic of 2024.

Union County Business & Professional Association hosted the 2024 Scholarship Benefit Golf Classic on June 15 at Three Ridges Golf Course.
Golfers enjoyed a complimentary lunch by Lil Jo's BBQ. Eight teams competed for the top prizes. Corum Bookkeeping Services was the tournament champion. The City of Plainview team was second and Union County Education Association took third.

Taste of the Market

Market shoppers looking over the beautiful greens available at the Thompson Farm booth. Photo by Holly Rainey

Do you remember those Saturday mornings when you attended the market and were able to taste some of that farm fresh produce? That’s the Farmers’ Market Fresh program and … we’re back! The market is in full swing at the Heritage Park pavilion with lots of farm fresh produce; spring produce, like all those healthy greens are still available, and tasty summer produce like heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and blueberries have already turned up at the market. Of course, meat, eggs, crafts and more (there are even dog treats!) can also be found at the Union County Farmers Market.

Good and Bad News for People with Low Back Pain

Low back pain is a major cause of disability around the globe, with more than 570 million people affected.

A systematic review and meta-analysis, conducted by an international team of researchers, included 95 studies with the goal of understanding the clinical course of low back pain.

For people with new back pain, pain and mobility problems lessened significantly in the first 6 weeks, but then recovery slowed. Many people with persistent low back pain (more than 12 weeks) continue to have moderate-to-high levels of pain and disability.

Food for Thought

“Grandma, I’m hungry,” the little five-year-old girl said to her grandma. “Honey,” her grandma said back to her. “We are about out of food, but we will make it some way ’til Monday and get help with food from the Union County Food Pantry. You see, grandma and her husband, called Grandpa, were raising three grandchildren, the children of their daughter who left her kids with Grandma and Grandpa three years ago due to her being a heavy drug user. Her whereabouts are unknown and they don’t know if she is still alive.

A Mirrored Dinner Table

A Mirrored Dinner Table created by HUC

A test: It’s been a long day at work. You meet your deadlines or finish your current project with no acknowledgement from your boss. Arriving at home, in your vehicle that is paid for but has very high mileage, you walk in the door and speak the words “hey I’m home”. Your family replies with “hey’s”and “I’m glad”. You’re hungry but supper isn’t on yet. You look at your garden growing out the window as you pass your refrigerator and freezer that are full of higher priced groceries. This gives you pause and you ask yourself, how are things going in my life right now?

The Ones That Got Away

Ray Lewis, Gail Bradley (my mom), Doug Clark, Mike Overton, and sitting next to him is his brother Carl Overton. Standing in the background is my uncle, Estell Clark. Sitting behind Carl is my daughter Sara Bunch.

If you know me, then you know that I’m not a fisherman. I struggle with being quiet, sitting still, and not falling into the creek. As for my husband and daughter, they not only love to fish, but they are also very good at it.
That being said, I have occasionally heard them fuss and get frustrated when they were trying to reel in a rather large fish. Unfortunately, some of the fish would fight and manage to get off the hook. That’s when they usually say: “You ought to have seen the one that got away.”

Banana oatmeal cookies

Do you have bananas hanging out on your kitchen counter? Are they a lovely shade of yellow flecked with brown? Those bananas are ready for these cookies. Bake 'em! Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix shortening, sugar, egg, and mashed bananas well. Add flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir in quick oats and chocolate chips or chopped nuts.

Some Fourth of July History: An Appeal to Heaven

Trees and American history collide. Art Work by Bella Roark.

Trees and American history collide.

The first American Navy consisted of six schooners paid for and pressed into service by none other than General George Washington in 1775. He pleaded with the Continental Congress that he needed a Navy immediately, but true to form, the Congress endlessly debated on the need for a Navy, how to organize and fund ships, and so on until Washington’s patience was at an end, so he funded the ships himself.

What Am I? What Are You?

I love the following poem written by Emily Dickinson.
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! They’d advertise – you know!
How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!
I don’t know about you, Dear Reader, but I think I might be neurotic.
I first thought this because I repeatedly wake myself up at night pulling my hair, then rubbing my hand against my lips to see if I have pulled out any loose hair.

The Indian Battle of Sharp’s Station

December 1794
Nicholas Gibbs stood on the banquette (baNGˈket) of the fort overlooking the wooded forest and mountain ridges. He had risen early from a light sleep before dawn to stay on watch for any uninvited guests. He had been there all day trying to get a glimpse of the Indian war party known to be in the area.

Anatomy of the back

Your back and spine are made up of a complex latticework of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves that are critical to the functioning of your entire body. The spinal cord, after all, the highway on which signals travel back and forth between the brain and the other parts of the body, runs down the middle of the back.

Zoo girl

Did you have lots of pets when you were a kid? Not me and there’s a reason for that. The first one I ever had was Heidi. She was a German Shepherd puppy we got from a family friend. I was so excited when my daddy brought her home. At that time, I hadn’t developed my fear of dogs yet. Let me tell you, I loved that little dog. I played with her and she followed me around everywhere. Heidi was my little buddy. Then she became very sick. Apparently, the vet had given her liter too much worm medication. Unfortunately, Heidi didn’t make it. Needless to say, I was heartbroken.

Most Missed

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a new replacement for it. I traveled to Murfreesboro for a meeting last Wednesday evening. I attended the meeting and returned home the following evening. On Friday morning I arose and proceeded to dress in old clothes to assist with the food distribution at Union County High School. As I was emptying pockets from the pants I wore on Thursday, I could not locate my checkbook.

Picking up stones

Don't ask any of my three children, Tom, Anne and Elizabeth, if they want to go pick up stones. Why? Because they have already done more thantrheir share. I have never purchased stone to lay up a wall, etc.,not with so many stones out there just waiting for me to grab. Fieldstone makes a good wall. there are so many different shapes, colors and sizes. If the stone doesn't fit, it can be hammered down to size.

Pimiento cheese deviled eggs

There are many ways to flavor deviled eggs. Some have pimiento cheese as an ingredient. Yes, this one does, too. Place eggs in large saucepan. Cover with 2 inch of water. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Heat over medium low heat until lightly bubbling, Cover, turn off heat and let stand until cool. Drain and cover with cold water. Carefully peel eggs and rinse in cold water. Cut eggs in half lengthwise.

Dandelion, a Yard Wildflower

Dandelion is one of the few plants most people can name.

Dandelion is one of the few plants most people can name.

Everyone knows the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), which is usually found somewhere in your lawn unless herbicides are heavily used. This European import is probably enemy number one on the lawn weed list, but it is still an interesting study, being both an edible and a medicinal.

Union County Extension 1972 Records

Old yearbook ads around 1972 that had photos of some local businesses. Submitted by Carol Pratt

Old yearbook ads that have photos of some local businesses. Photo submitted by Carol Pratt

The Extension Office from 1972 records recorded the following written by the Agent. The Problems faced, what Extension did. Within five to ten years the Union County Extensions Office gathered information to help the county with establishing a council to assist with Planning Commission and other government on Resource Development. They gathered information to resolve problems in our rural community.

Union County 4H Camp

2024 Jr. 4-H Camp

Union County 4-Her’s had a blast at 4-H camps this summer. Junior 4-H Camp was held June 10-14 with 31 Union County 4th-6th graders, 5 adult leaders, and 2 teen leaders attending. Junior High 4-H Camp will be held July 8-12th. Both camps are held in Greeneville at Clyde Austin 4-H Center, Monday through Friday annually.

Family Community Education Club

FCE Cultural Arts 2024

The FCE club of Union County has been busy the last couple of months. In April, we attended the Spring Fling luncheon at Temple Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN. The Spring -Fling consisted on crafts, lunch, hat parade, awards ceremony, garden shop, and guest speakers Neal Denton and Heather Kyle from Knox County. On May 16th, we gathered at the Union County Extension Office for the annual Spring Luncheon!

Berry Spinach Salad

Berry Spinach Salad

In a large bowl, toss together baby spinach, blackberries, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, green onion, and walnuts
-Place berries in the refrigerator, unwashed, because excessive moisture can make them mold quickly.
-Spinach should be loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel and stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
-Store cherry tomatoes on the counter at room temperature for the best flavor and texture. Wash just before eating.

The value of massage

Chiropractors may be best known for the procedure of spinal adjustment, but they have a variety of techniques at their disposal. one of them is massage therapy, an effective way to ease pain and loosen stiff muscles. Getting a massage is not just a way to pamper oneself at the spa. And there are different types of massage.

The Path

Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see,
and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein,
and ye shall find rest for your souls.
But they said, We will not walk therein. (Jeremiah 6:16 KJV)

The lines are fallen to me in pleasant places;
yea, I have a goodly heritage. (Psalm 16:6 KJV)

If Thermometers Could Talk

How forgetful are you? While my age is a part of it, I have always struggled with my memory. For instance, back in high school I was desperately searching for my glasses one day before class. I worried about my mom having to buy me another pair. My teacher simply stated: “They’re on top of your head.” I reached up and pulled them down. Yep, that really happened.

Fresh Tomato Salad

Fresh tomatoes in the summertime are a treat. The winter hothouse ones are pretty but lack flavor. This is a summertime salad, place prepared vegetables in large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients and mix well. Pour over vegetables and lightly toss. Refrigerate at least 4 hours to allow flavors to blend. Serve on lettuce leaves.

The Fun of Doodlebugs

Doodlebugs dig these funnel shaped holes and lie in wait at the bottom for ants to fall into.

Doodlebugs dig these funnel shaped holes and lie in wait at the bottom for ants to fall into.

My Uncle (Cas Newton Day) remained a kid at heart to his last days. I loved him for it, for I think (and hope) a little of it rubbed off on me. To illustrate, he and I, both grown adults, were helping hang tobacco in a barn that had very dusty soil in front of the doors. We noticed funnel shaped indentions in the soil and asked what it was.

Time is running out!

Will you help the Union County Lions Club provide needed eye exams and glasses for residents and screening exams for all pre-school students? One way to contribute to the work that the Lions do in our community is to buy a Reverse Raffle ticket. Tickets are $10 each. The money raised goes directly to the Lion Charities. Tickets can be purchased from Union County Lions members Pastor Kathy Chesney (865) 566-3289; Ronnie Mincey (865) 278-6430; Debbie Sylvia-Gardner (865) 603-5081; or Shirlee Grabko (865) 310-6874.

Delicious Feast for Veterans

Delicious food aromas hit you as you walked in the door of the American Legion Hall on June 3. If you thought you weren’t hungry before, the wonderful smells of the Chicken Alfredo dinner immediately changed your mind. And there was so much food – all expertly prepared by the cooks of the Veterans Volunteers. In addition to the huge pan of the Alfredo (see photos), there were pans of Caesar Salad and individual loaves of garlic bread that were baked to perfection.

Be careful how you sit

Many of us spend a good portion of our workdays sitting at a desk. Too much sitting, of course, is not good for anyone. We are not meant to be sedentary creatures. And recent research has concluded that it’s important for anyone who needs to sit for extended periods of time to get up and walk around at least once every hour.

Wilma Dykeman left a legacy of environmental awareness

Wilma Dykeman on her porch in Newport during the 1960's (the height of her career), with Mt. Guyot in the background (to the far right).

“Shaconage—Place of the Blue Smoke—the Cherokees called it, the long range of forested pinnacles and plunging valleys crowning the boundary between North Carolina and Tennessee. Eden was the description bestowed by early botanists on this virgin wilderness. But thickets of intertwined laurel and tough rhododendron were known to hunters and settlers as hells.”
Very few writers have captured the essence of the Great Smoky Mountains as accurately as these words written by Wilma Dykeman in her book Explorations, published in 1984.

Turtle Trot

“Guess what I just did,” my husband Tim asked as he bounded into the kitchen. As my Mamaw Jo would say: “He’s smilin’ from ear to ear.” It was obvious that he was happy about something.
But I went with what would make me happy: “You bought a large box of chocolates?” Hey, a girl can dream.


Spring Tour With Museum Mike!

"Come by the Lenoir Museum at 1:00pm on Saturday's throughout the spring for a tour with Museum Mike! These tours will occur on a weekly basis. These tours are completely free, but please consider registering and donating to the Museum! 100% of your donation stays in our Lenoir Museum and is used for programs, interpretive displays, and other improvements. Thank you for your ongoing support!

Free Wacky Wednesday Summer Camp at Irwin’s Chapel

Join us for faith based, fun filled afternoons of music, games, crafts a prizes!
Lunch & snacks will be provided!
Every wednesday beginning May 29th thru July 31st 12 Noon til 5:00 PM
ALL ages Welcome! (must be Potty trained)
Free Admission!!
Irwin's Chapel UMC - 358 Old Valley Rd - Sharps Chapel
Reserve your spot by clicking on the QR code below OR
RSVP by calling or texting: Pastor Kathy at 865-566-3289 or Mrs. Crystal at 305-495-7714


Eloise B. Dyer

Eloise Bates Dyer-age 79 of Powder Springs passed away Wednesday, July 10, 2024, at North Knoxville Medical Center. She was of the Baptist faith. Preceded in death by husband, Glen E. Dyer; granddaughter, Kelley Dyer Mink; father, Virgil (Blackie) Bates; mother, Annie Wolfenbarger Bates; brother, Billy Joe Bates; sister, Helen Atkins.

Survivors: sons and daughters-in-law, Darrell (Christie) Dyer; Dwight (Jeannie) Dyer; sister, Brenda Atkins; special friend, Blanche Thomas. Several other relatives and a host of friends.

Luna Sharp

Luna Sharp-age 78 of Maynardville, formerly of Sharps Chapel passed away Monday, July 8, 2024, at his home after a lengthy illness. He was of the Baptist faith. Preceded in death by his parents, Pascal (Big Eye) Sharp and Alma (Sowder) Sharp; brothers, Ralph Sharp, James Claudie Sharp, Monteray Sharp; sisters, Bessie Jane Johnson, Dottie Williams, Hilda Braden, Lorene Collins; nephew, Mike Sharp.

Gary Chandler

Gary D. Chandler, 63 of Plainview, formerly of Luttrell, passed away suddenly early Friday morning. He was a member of Cedar Ford Baptist Church in Luttrell. Growing up with a single mother, him and his sister, Marsha, grew up “poor” by today’s standards. His mom and his other family members made sure he had a great childhood. Gary was proud to be from the “old” Luttrell, and often referred it being similar to Mayberry from his favorite TV show, “The Andy Griffith Show”. He was a teacher in the Union County School System for 41 years.

Wilbert Paul Finley

Wilbert Paul Finley – age 78 of Andersonville, passed away Thursday, June 27th 2024 at his home. Wilbert was a U.S. Air Force Veteran. He was of the Baptist Faith. He was born in Sevierville, Tennessee and was the son of the late Grady Willie and Josie Stella Mae (McGill) Finley. Preceded in death by his daughter, Judy Finley; sons, DeWayne Finley, Michael Finley; sisters, Mildred Finley, Shirley Finley, Oma Finley, Jean Finley; brother, J.T. Finley.

Cathy M. Williams

Cathy M. Williams-age 66 of Maynardville, formerly of Knoxville, passed away Thursday, June 27, 2024 at Willow Ridge Center, where she had been a resident for 10 years. She is preceded in death by her parents, Harry Elmer Schuiten and Ina Ruth (Robinson) Schuiten.

She is survived by her niece, Tabitha Tapp and the many friends she made at Willow Ridge.

No services are planned at this time. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.

Ritchie Maxwell Rose

Ritchie M. Rose-age 68 of Corryton went to be with the Lord Wednesday, June 26, 2024, at his home. He was a member of Dutch Valley Baptist Church. He loved singing and playing music. He was a part of The Washam Family gospel music group for many years. He loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing. Preceded in death by his wife, Margaret Rose; parents, Jack and Arlene (Washam) Rose; sister, Tesha Rose.

Kenneth Wayne Mayes

Kenneth Wayne Mayes-age 63 of New Tazewell passed away suddenly Monday, June 24, 2024. He was of the Holliness faith and a member of The Church of the First Born, Middlesboro, Kentucky. Preceded in death by his wife, Linda Mayes; daughter, Samantha Mayes; parents, Ralph and Josephine (Brooks) Mayes; sister, Kathy Williams; brother, Curtis Mayes and other family members.

Casandra D. Fritts (Jones)

Casandra D. Fritts (Jones) – age 28 and unborn son Jonathon Chad of Luttrell, went to be with the Lord Friday, June 21, 2024. She was a member of Circle Assembly of God. Casandra was a beautiful girl loved by everyone and will be dearly missed. Preceded in death by her great-grandparents, Rev. Louis Fritts, Madge Wallace, Amos and Lucille Massengile, Ruth Tracy, Mike Evans.

Dorothy Jean (Shoffner) Wyrick

Dorothy Jean (Shoffner) Wyrick – age 93 of Luttrell, went to be with the Lord Friday evening, June 21, 2024 at her home. She was a lifetime member of New Friendship Baptist Church. Preceded in death by her husband, Theodore C. Wyrick; parents, David L. and Linda Shoffner; sister, Betty Turner Wright; brothers, L.D. Shoffner, Gerald Shoffner.

Loretta Faye (Oaks) Sherrod

Loretta Faye (Oaks) Sherrod – age 76 of Maynardville, passed away Friday, June 21, 2024 in the presence of loved ones. She was a longtime professing believer and follower of The Lord Jesus Christ. Born July 7, 1947 to Claude “Chili” Oaks and Nancy Effler Oaks, Loretta was a beloved daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend to many.

Timothy DeWayne Beeler

Timothy DeWayne Beeler-age 40 of Minot, North Dakota passed away Saturday, June 15, 2024, at his home. T Bo enjoyed fishing and also loved the outdoors. He was a fun and loving person. Preceded in death by his parents, Timonthy and Kathy Beeler; grandparents, Joann and Burt Beeler.

Survived by his children, Cameron Beeler, Kristin Beeler, Landon Lineham; siblings, Dennie Beeler, Jason Beeler, Burt Beeler, Doris Tharp, Scotty McPherson, Derick Beeler; many other family and friends.

The opinions expressed by columnists and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of Russell Computer Systems, Inc or any employee thereof.