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.
Do You Believe You Have a Destiny or a Calling?
Do you believe that you have a destiny or a calling? One of the greatest reformers in U.S. History, left a legacy in word and action that continues to inspire me today. Of her motivation, she explained “In a world where there is so much to be done, I felt strongly impressed that there must be something for me to do.”
Dorothea Dix was born on April 2, 1802 in Hampden, Maine. As a young woman, she established and operated a school for girls and wrote several books. As significant as those accomplishments were she did not find her destiny until she was thirty-nine years old. Having volunteered to teach a Sunday School class for female inmates at the East Cambridge, Massachusetts Jail, she was horrified to discover the mentally ill huddled together with criminals and drunks on the straw covered floor of an unheated, unfurnished, room. Appalled, she began to ask questions. She was told that the insane do not feel heat or cold. Propelled by outrage and compassion, she pursued action through the courts. After a series of battles, she won. She began to visit jails and almshouses in other parts of Boston and throughout Massachusetts. She took careful notes, compiled her data, and prepared a report for the state legislature. Impressed by her powerful conviction, the legislature voted to expand Worcester State Hospital.
Next, she traveled to other states on fact finding trips, reporting her findings, and advocating for the humane treatment of the mentally ill. In October of 1847, her travels brought her to Tennessee to lobby for improvements at the Lunatic Asylum of Tennessee. By the end of February 1848, the state legislature had not only agreed to build a new facility, but had passed a resolution in her honor. Opening in 1852, the new asylum burned during the Civil War, on March 13, 1863. The cause of the blaze was never established, but eight “inmates” burned to death. More buildings were constructed over the years. Known today as Middle Tennessee State Mental Health Institute, the facility relocated to much smaller quarters in 1995.
East Tennessee Asylum for the Insane opened, west of Knoxville, on Lyon’s View Pike, in 1886. Known for many years as Eastern State Psychiatric Hospital, and more recently as Lakeshore Mental Health Institute, this facility closed in July of 2012. With an executive fiat from Nashville, we have come full circle since the days of Dorothea Dix, with the insane back in correctional facilities.
Over 500 patients were admitted and discharged the last six months that that Lakeshore was open. The need has not gone away. We are not saving any money by housing the mentally ill in penitentiaries and local jails, as claimed by proponents of the closure, but have simply, in the case of local jails, transferred the role of tax collector, from state to local government, and in doing so have exposed local government to liability. Law enforcement officers generally are not qualified to care for the mentally ill. A psychotic young man was allegedly beaten to death, by those of who had been entrusted with his care, at the Washington County Jail last year. His family has filed a $20 million dollar plus lawsuit against the Washington County Sherriff's Department. The human cost is incalculable.
I was witness to the beginning of deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill in the early 1970s. My father’s oldest brothers, Olaf and Hubert, had spinal meningitis. Hubert died. Olaf suffered damage to his central nervous system. My grandparents could not take care of him at home. By the time my father was born in 1925; Olaf was already a patient at Eastern State. I don’t think my father ever questioned the wisdom of taking his children with him to visit Olaf. I am very grateful. It was a family experience and an educational experience for me.
The main building at Eastern State, resembling a medieval castle, had two wings extending on each side of the administration. One was for men. One was for women. Both wings were demolished, almost as quickly, as they were emptied during the first mass discharges. I recall that the walls, built of solid brick, fell in one piece. Obviously, the purpose of destroying such majestic edifices was to eliminate the option of reusing them once more to house patients.
Like Dorothea Dix I believe that “In a world where there is so much to be done.... there must be something for me to do”. It is my hope that I, like Dorothea Dix, might inspire others to join me in addressing the social ills of our time. As Catherine Booth, Mother of the Salvation Army, said “If we are to better the future, we must disturb the present.”
It is unacceptable that in an affluent society, such as ours, that many who are unable to fend for themselves, wander the streets and sleep outdoors in subfreezing temperatures while others are incarcerated with and victimized by hardened criminals.
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.
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.
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.
My aunt, Bonnie Heiskell Peters, is the family genealogist. In fact, she has published three books celebrating the history and people of Union County, Tennessee. When I first became interested in exploring family history, she warned me that misspellings could be roadblocks to research.
Here’s one story:
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.
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.
“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 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.
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, 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.-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 – 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.
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.
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-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, 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 – 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.