Ecclesiastes 1:9

Picture of Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Twenty-Five

I had the privilege of seeing several of my elementary school classmates during the past month. One of them, my friend Kevin White, reminded me of a circumstance that happened in third grade.

That was the year we received new reading books. I was not impressed—whereas I found the stories in our older series interesting, the first story in our new book Panorama was titled “The Snake in the Carpool”. I did not like snakes, and had little interest in anything to do with them. But take a not (at least to me) very interesting reading book, and give it to a legendary teacher like the great Florence Chesney to teach, and it became motivational.

Kevin remembered that Ms. Chesney had me memorize an entire story from that reading book about an aardvark named Arthur. She taught me how to read it dramatically, to use the proper inflection and hand and body motions to dramatize it. She encouraged me to enter the school talent show, directed by none other than our great music teacher Aleene Griffith. I won third place, if to no one else’s amazement, at least to my own. The details are a little foggy with age, but I do remember that this somehow earned me the privilege to travel to Big Ridge Elementary and Horace Maynard High to do my presentation.

In later years, as Ms. Chesney and I reminisced about this, she told me that she never asked my father’s permission for me to take that trip. She was afraid that if she asked he would have said no, and she wanted me to have the opportunity to expand my horizons even this little bit. She decided to take the risk, let me go and pray that nothing happened to me. She said she was greatly relieved when I returned safely to school.

I also went to church with Ms. Chesney. I never actually participated in the Christmas plays as a performer, but I always read an introductory Christmas poem at the beginning of the service. It was really not a big deal, but it was to Florence Chesney! She would praise me to the highest Heaven in front of my parents, encouraging them to encourage me. Florence Chesney could honestly convince me that it was possible for me to do anything if I put my mind to it.

Sometimes the stars just align—at a later age not even the great Florence Chesney could have convinced me to perform in front of hundreds of Union County students, but who knows? I remember once in her retirement Ms. Chesney substituted for Martha Warwick in our seventh grade homeroom. We were practicing our 4-H club meeting. Ms. Chesney didn’t seem to think we were doing very well with our singing. In the space of the few minutes we had before traveling to our afternoon classes, Ms. Chesney had us energized, excited, and belting out whatever it was we were trying to sing.

I wish I could say that I was a great motivational teacher like Ms. Chesney, but I know I fell far short of that lofty goal. In my travels throughout Union County as a supervisor for the school system, I look for teachers who have the same ability to motivate their students to excel. I have seen many great teachers both in this and other districts, but I can only at present think of one who comes close in my estimation.

And I find it amazing that what the “experts” are now trying to put forth as the latest, most effective teaching methods pale in comparison to what we had in Florence Chesney. It has been forty-five years since I left her class, but I think of her daily and know that mine and many other lives were changed forever for the better because of her love and dedication to her students and the teaching profession.

Even today I marvel at my former ability to memorize. I believe that memorization is definitely a learned skill. Though my ability seems to have deteriorated with age, we memorized everything in elementary school—multiplication tables, states and capitals, poetry. I memorized the poem “If” in seventh grade in Kate Ray’s spelling and writing class. In seventh grade Ms. Martha Warwick taught us the names of the major bones of the body. In high school Mr. James K. Palazzola had us memorize the rules for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of positive and negative numbers. Ms. Eileen Monroe had us memorize several poems, and the saintly Mr. Harrell Edmondson had us memorize the Preamble to the Constitution in civics class. I had already memorized that one, thanks to “Schoolhouse Rock” on early morning Saturday television of my childhood. I still recite it today with the tune in my head.

Now, times are different. There seems not enough time to memorize entire stories. Poetry and “dead white men and women’s” literature is no longer in vogue. Cursive writing and civics had for years pretty much ceased to be taught in Tennessee’s public schools. No need to memorize facts, just ask Google or some of her more modern sister technologies to feed information with little or no human mental effort. I wonder if there will be a tremendous upsurge in Alzheimer’s and dementia rates for future generations who do not have to exercise their brains through memorization, calculation and other thinking tasks?

I wonder if some of the teachers of my childhood and youth could return to this earth for a day if they would feel all the effort they put into educating future generations was in vain? There is hope—I hear rumblings of cursive writing possibly making a return to our public schools, and Tennessee lawmakers have passed legislation requiring students to pass a civics examination as a prerequisite for high school graduation. As Ecclesiastes 1:9 (King James Version) says:

“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be;
and that which is done is that which shall be done:
and there is no new thing under the sun.”



Children's Center Looking for Community Support

In many cases, children who have been sexually or physically abused must visit several agencies at multiple locations in order to get the support they need. Children’s Centers were created to assist in providing a safe haven for then youths. They provide a place where the children can, instead of visiting multiple agencies, come to one location where specially trained professionals collaborate to facilitate a child friendly environment where the child knows he or she will be safe.

Explore Fresh at the Farmers Market

Farmers Market Fresh Program Assistant, Allison Campbell, sharing a weekly recipe sample with Emmagayle and Jennagrace Maloe at Union County Farmers Market

The pantry is empty and the refrigerator is bare, time to shop for groceries. As you drive to your favorite grocery store, you know the routine. Enter the store, grab a buggy, and browse aisles upon aisles of products. After your cart is full and all items are checked off your list, you will head for the front to pay, hoping of course, to find the shortest and fastest checkout.

Big Ridge State Park 35th Annual Music Festival

Stone Creek Band

Stone Creek Band at Big Ridge 35th Annual Music Festival

Big Ridge State Park’s 35th Annual Music Festival was held on August 16, 2019 from 4pm-9:30 pm.

If you ask me, Big Ridge State Park is an excellent place to host a Bluegrass Music Festival. It lies somewhere between Rocky Top and the Great Smoky Mountains inside of Union County, Tennessee.

Wood Dale, Wood-Dale, Wood-dale, or Wooddale?

Our Union County Heritage: A Historical and Biographical Album of Union County—People, Places, Events by Kathleen George Graves and Winnie Palmer McDonald (© 1978 Josten’s) relates the following information pertaining to the establishment for Wood Dale School:

WOOD DALE—June 16, 1898, (P-350). Jackson Boruff and wife to the School Directors of District 3, for love and affection, a lot for a public school, so long as it is used for a school—if abandoned, it falls back to the Boruff heirs. (p. 180)

The Whistler

My father was a whistler. You seldom hear a man whistle these days. Maybe to call a dog or to get someone's attention, but not to whistle a melody. There was a time when cell phones, CDs and DVDs were not available. Whistling was a way to amuse or comfort yourself with a familiar song or hymn.

How do you whistle? It takes some practice and can be either harsh or harmonious. Just put your lips together and say “two.” Now blow. It will take some practice but eventually you will get it right. It will take a while to make enough variety of sounds to whistle a tune.

More on Kids With Back Pain

A major contributor to kids’ back pain is the backpacks they use to tote their stuff, researchers in a new study said. Those who used one strap to carry their packs reported significantly more back pain than did those who used both straps. Those who used rolling backpacks reported back pain the most often. It wasn’t clear whether pain prompted their use of the rolling packs or whether the rolling packs contributed to their pain.

Who Sees the Best Rainbow

Humans are apparently hard-wired to love seeing rainbows, as proven by all the Facebook photo postings that pop up whenever one appears in our area. But have you ever wondered if, say your dog sitting beside you, sees the same rainbow you do? Or how about other animals? Let us delve into color vision by various residents of our planet.

Wrong Trip

Maybe I should have been a stunt woman. Since I have tripped and fallen most of my life, I have become an expert at it. Especially on stairs.

When I was 12 years old, I sang in the seventh grade choir. Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I can’t sing. At all. I basically was in it for my mom’s sake. She loves music and studied it in school, so she was always excited when I joined a choir. Also, it was a good excuse to drag my dad to a concert.

Raspberries, Dewberries, and Blackberries

Dewberries, free clipart

When my father retired and moved to Paradise, Utah, he wanted to grow anything and everything. And he was pretty much successful in most of what he planted. The man had a green thumb! I especially remember the delicious fruit: cherries, apples, sand cherries, strawberries, peaches….


Luttrell neighborhood watch

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 19:00
Luttrell neighbourhood watch

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

Got Questions about Homeschooling?

Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 18:00

The local chapter of the TN Home Education Association (known as will be having a parent's informational meeting on "Homeschooling in TN” at Hardees in Maynardville on Thursday, August 22, 6:00 to 7:30 pm. . The meeting will be held in Maynardville and is titled "Homeschooling 101". If you are interesting in obtaining more information about educating your child at home, Contact Connie Dickey regarding the place, date and time for the informational meeting. (865-888-4383).

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 07:30
Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

"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.

Thunder in the park cruise in

Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 17:00

August 31, 2019 5pm to ? at Wilson Park, Hwy 33, Maynardville TN (next to Union County High School)

Lots of door prizes for cruise in participants Food vendors in the park Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy an evening of fun and fellowship with family and friends.
This is a free event open to all makes/models vehicles Tractors and motorcycles are welcome
For more info call Gary England 865-705-9147 or Diane England 865-705-5501


Walter Michael Darden

Walter Michael Darden, age 76, passed away August 18, 2019. Mike was a plumber by trade for over 50 years. He loved fishing and his time on the lake. Preceded in death by parents; father Walter James Darden and mother Florida Mae Darden, sister Judy Darden. He is survived by daughter Sherri Darden, sons; Mike Darden (Peggy), Jody Darden and Tommy Darden (Cindy) brother; Jim Darden (Evelyn), several grandchildren and great grandchildren, honorary daughter Missy Beeler, special friends; Gene McMillian, Hubert Weaver, Johnny Stafford, Larry Greenlee, Dennis Drinnon and Mary Mease.

Goldie Langley

Goldie Langley – age 79 of Maynardville, went to meet her Heavenly Father on Saturday, August 17, 2019. She was a member of Oaks Chapel American Christian Church. Goldie enjoyed the outdoors doing her yard work and cherished her time with her family.

Jake Lee Nicely

Jake Lee Nicely-age 63 of Luttrell, born February 27, 1956 passed away Friday, August 16, 2019 at Willow Ridge. He was a member of Emory Road Baptist Church. Preceded in death by wife, Betty Nicley; mothers, Maude Nicely and Hazel Strevel; father, Neil Brown; brothers, Jim Nicely, Reo Strevel, Tom Strevel; niece, Samantha Chamberlain; nephews, Chucky Roach and Johnny Strevel.

Guy William Merritt

Guy William Merritt, age 67 of Knoxville, passed away Thursday, August 15, 2019. He was an accomplished athlete throughout his entire life. He attended West High School and graduated from Farragut High School in 1970. He later attended Roane State Community College. He served his country with distinction in the United States Army for 28 years, starting with a tour in Vietnam in 1970. He proudly served as a member of the 11th Armored Calvary, 101st Airborne, and Pukin’ Dragons.

Georgia J. Moore Cole

Georgia J. Moore Cole-age 89 of Sharps Chapel passed away Thursday morning, August 15, 2019 at Beverly Park Place. She was born February 23, 1930 in Union County, Tennessee the daughter of the late Ebb and Belle Shoffner Moore. On May 3, 1950, she married the love of her life, Beecher Cole. She retired from Delco in Kokomo, Indiana in 1985. She was a lifelong member of Oak Grove Primitive Baptist Church and attended Amana Baptist Church in Kokomo, Indiana where she had lived until moving back to Sharps Chapel, Tennessee three years ago.

L. D. Monroe

L. D. Monroe – age 87 of Maynardville, passed away August 12, 2019 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. He was a longtime member and former deacon of First Baptist Church of Maynardville. L. D. was retired from South Central Bell and from Union County Schools as a school bus driver.

Opal A. Cooper

Opal A. Cooper-age 79 of Maynardville passed away Saturday, August 10, 2019. She was a member of Alder Springs Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Johnny and Ruth Raley; brother, John Harvey Raley; Sons, Mark and Tony Cooper.

Survived by daughter and son-in-law, Thelma (Clyde) Beeler, Velma Nease, Cynthia (Bill) Hensley; sons and daughters-in-law, Jack (Kathy) Cooper, Richard Cooper. Five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren. Brother and sister-in-law, James (Diane) Raley; sister and brother-in-law, Linda (Joe) McCoy.

Pauline "Polly" Dyer

E. Pauline “Polly” Dyer-age 93 of Maynardville passed away Saturday, August 10, 2019 at her home. She was the oldest living member of Hubbs Grove Baptist Church and a retired Union County School Teacher having taught at Paulette, Burkhart and Maynardville Elementary Schools. She spent her many years of retirement caring for her flower gardens. She was preceded in death by parents, H. I., Sr. and Dena (Koch) Raley; sisters, Dorothy Raley, Evelyn Raley, Edith Kitts and Geneva Lay; brother, Raymond Lewis Raley.

Lovite Louise Dalton

Lovite “Louise” Dalton – age 40 of Blaine, passed away on August 4, 2019. She is preceded in death by her father, John Bernard and son, Dustin Dalton. Louise is survived by her daughters, Katie Bernard and Emily Dalton; mother, Brenda Bernard; brothers, William Bernard, Jimmy Bernard, Robert Bernard and John Bernard, Jr.

Vontella Louise (Lay) Cole

Vontella Louise (Lay) Cole-age 75 of Maynardville went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at her home. She was a member of Community Baptist Church. She was the daughter of the late Patrick and Virgie Lay; also preceded in death by daughter, Barbara Baker; son, Keith Baker; brothers, A. J. Lay, Elvin “Preach” Lay, Junior Lay, Ralph Lay and sister, Amy Lynch.

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