Remember those cozy evenings as a child when your mother or grandma invited you up in the lap of her rocking chair and tucked you under a soft quilt that she had made with her own hands from old hand-me-downs. She would let you pick a favorite book or two and you would spend the evening reading, giggling, and creating memories, all the while you were inhaling undetected skills that you did not perceive to be a part of the experience. “It’s never too early to start reading to your kids,” shares UT Institute of Agriculture Assistant Dean and Professor, Dr. Matt Devereaux.
Get ready for a decorated Union County Christmas
The Union County Christmas scene at Wilson Park
This year, Union County is ringing in the holiday season with many family-friendly events offered to the community and visitors. While the leaves of a late autumn season are peaking, the county is beautiful, and now that the fall carnivals, hayrides, and visits to the pumpkin patch are wrapping up, it is time to mark your calendars for some spectacular Christmas events.
Cut your own tree
Kick off the season with a trip to Morgan Family Farm. The cut-your-own tree operation is located in Sharps Chapel and will have two weekends available to visit for the 2019 season. Make plans to take the family out to the gorgeous farm on Thanksgiving weekend: Friday, November 29; Saturday, November 30; or Sunday, December 1; or the second and final weekend, not only of the year but also for the tree farm itself, on Saturday, December 7 or Sunday, December 8. Hours are from 1 until 5 p.m. each day, and other times by appointment as necessary.
Light Up UC contest
Throughout the season of festivities, enjoy a cozy drive through the county after dark for a viewing of decadent Christmas lights as a part of UT Extension’s Third Annual Light Up Union County event. The purpose is to get everyone involved in decorating the town with categories for individuals, organizations, and commercial businesses. The picturesque Christmas feeling will warm your heart and set the mood for the upcoming holidays. There will be a winner and prize in each of the three categories.
Registration forms accompanied by photos of the completed scene are due via email to UCChristmas@utk.edu by December 2. Voting will take place on Facebook from December 6-16 with winners being announced on the UT Extension Union County Facebook page on December 17. Email or call 865-992-8038 for more info or entry form.
Christmas parade Dec. 7
What better way to soak up some cheer than to visit a local Christmas parade? Drag out the mittens and hats and attend the Annual Luttrell Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 7. For more information contact the City of Luttrell at 865-992-0870. The Yearly Maynardville Christmas Parade will be held the second Sunday in December, falling on the 8th for 2019. The parade will be in the afternoon but those wanting to enter their floats for judging will have an early arrival at Union County High School. The parade will begin at UCHS, trailing north on Maynardville Highway, turning at Union County EMS heading towards Main Street and back to the starting point.
Tree Lighting, Opry Christmas Show Dec. 7
Union County’s newest and quite possibly largest holiday event will be A Union County Christmas. This event will kick off at the courthouse on December 7 at 5:30 pm for the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting. Afterwards, the crowd will move to UCHS for a Union County Opry Christmas Show brought to you by Union County Government. The event will be free of charge to the public with a meal provided and held in conjunction with Union County Children’s Charities Under the Tree Program, where patrons are asked to bring a new, unopened toy as a donation to the program that benefits so many local children. This event is a unity of several organizations across the county and will provide citizens and visitors with an excellent family friendly holiday entertainment opportunity.
Under the Tree giving
Under the Tree Toy Distribution Day will be held Saturday, December 14 from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon at Union County High School front entrance. Children up to age twelve qualify to participate in the program. Contact 992-5943 if you wish to apply, donate, or volunteer. This is a strong local program that sponsors a Christmas morning experience to hundreds of Union County youths that would have nothing otherwise, a very heartwarming experience to see the tears of appreciation that these families shed when they are provided with things that are not possible without the community’s support.
Winter Craft Fair Dec. 7
There are several more opportunities to stay local and support the Union County community while getting into the Christmas spirit. The Winery at Seven Springs Farm will host a Winter Craft Fair with local crafters, vendors, food trucks, and much more on December 7. Contact them at 865-745-2902 to be a vendor or for more information. As a part of the craft fair, Union County Farmers Market will host a Winter Market providing honey, eggs, meat, produce, and crafts. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Santa will make his yearly appearance at Willow Ridge, which is a great time for the kids to share their wishes and get a picture made in Santa’s lap. The residents at Willow Ridge enjoy the children probably more than the kids enjoy Santa!
If nothing more, just be sure to get out, take a car ride with the family while singing some Christmas carols and enjoying the most beautiful views in East Tennessee, right here in Union County. Make your way over to Big Ridge State Park and take a cool hike, build some memories. Be sure to support our local businesses and the friendly folks that run them by shopping local for as many Christmas gifts as possible. Grab some local coffee before you head out to see the lights, drop by a boutique and get mom a cozy gift, or take the family out for a meal and a good chat without the planning and cleanup of a meal at home. Moral of the story, enjoy your family, embrace your community, and be a happy person that spreads holiday cheer wherever you go.
Scouts and leaders from one hundred forty-three countries gathered in West Virginia for the 24th World Scout Jamboree. It has been more than fifty years since this event has been held in the United States. Four years ago, it was held in Japan, will be in Korea in four more years, then Brazil.
More than 45,000 Scouts from around the world gathered at the Summit Bechtel Scout Reserve near Beckley to “Unlock a New World” the theme of this year’s Jamboree.
World War One had far-reaching impacts on American society and its citizens. Union County, Tennessee, was not excluded from these impacts. As we celebrate Veterans Day, we should all take time to remember those brave men who fought to "make the world safe for democracy," but also remember the citizens who suffered, worried and rationed to support the war effort.
There are many examples of such sacrifice. But, there are also examples of the joy these citizens felt when loved ones returned from the far-off battlefields of Europe.
Those of you who served in Vietnam remember the draft. I remember when the draft was activated at the start of World War II. It has been around a long time. My two brothers, Rodney and Russell were 12 and 10 when the '40s war began. Rodney joined the Navy when he turned 17. With the war over, most of his two year tour of duty was spent in a good-will tour of Europe and North Africa, ending at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
Recently I went to a local pizzeria to purchase the evening’s supper. My hair was in pretty bad need of cutting, so bad in fact that it looked slicked down because it didn’t have time to dry in the morning before I dressed for work. The young girl behind the counter said that I looked so professional except for my wild tie and slicked back hair. She asked, “Are you a car salesman?” I replied, “No, worse, I work for the school system!”
As old as I am, it is still difficult for me. No matter how much I struggle, I simply cannot stay within the lines when I color.
As a child, I often glanced over at the color pages of other children in my class. This included Sunday school as well. Their pages had pretty uses of colors and defined edges. My page looked as if I had colored while wearing a blindfold.
It really is no better now. When my daughter Sara was small, I would sit with her and color. I often heard, “Momma, you’re going out of the lines again.”
There are those who will say that dogs and cats are always natural enemies. That may have been true hundreds of years ago when canines and felines were competing for the same prey, but I contend the relationship today is much more complex. I give, as example, the friendship of Boots and Butch.
Boots was an orange Tabby kitten, with huge white polydactyl paws. He was a neighborhood stray, being cared for temporarily by friends who suddenly had to move. As the last box of dishes was being loaded in the rental truck, my friend asked, "What are we going to do with Mittens?"
Do you like pumpkin pie? Then you will like sweet potato pie. Sweet potatoes are a favorite of mine. Every October a farmer from the Carolinas brings a truck load of sweet potatoes to the parking lot in front of Janet's Hair Salon. I buy a big box of them, about 20 pounds. It takes me all year to eat them,. Thank goodness they store well at room temperature. Come August, there are a few green sprouts, but the sweet potatoes are still fine. This recipe is a good way to use up those from last year as you wait for the new crop.
Union County High School seniors were honored for their exceptional devotion and work for the Patriots at the UCHS football game on October 25. The Patriots faced the Sullivan South Cougars in a cold pouring rain. Luckily, UCHS pulled off the win in an 18-12 final score.
Football, cheer, band and color guard seniors marched onto the field at 7 p.m. accompanied by their parents and family members. God Bless America played as the Patriots and families filled the field. Football teammates were carrying American flags in the presentation, creating a beautiful patriotic scene.
“With less than two percent of our population actively involved in production agriculture, many students have no firsthand knowledge of how food is raised and produced,” stated Julie Giles, event co-chair. “Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week is a great opportunity to focus on agriculture and share valuable information in our local schools about how farmers grow and harvest the products that provide food, fiber and fuel for our country.”
4-12th grade students gather and build their sewing skills at the Extension office on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Students must RSVP in advance to ensure there are enough supplies. Contact email@example.com
6-12th grade students interested in learning about companion animals and conducting service learning and volunteer hours are invited to attend the monthly 4-H project group each 3rd Thursday monthly. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Maynardville Public Library would like to invite everyone to a very special celebration on Saturday Nov. 16th from 10am to 12pm @ Maynardville Public Library located @ 296 Main Street in Maynardville to help us celebrate our ONE MILLIONTH Imagination Library book being sent out!!! That’s Right ONE MILLIONTH BOOK!!!! Everyone is welcome to attend this very special event! We are so excited to share this with everyone and hope that you can come! Also if your child is not a part of the Imagination Library this will be a great time to sign up your child age 0 to 5yrs!!
4-12th graders are welcomed to participate
Weekly meetings will be held on Mondays from 3:30-4:45pm at the 4-H office
October 21, 28, Nov 4, 11, 18, 25, Dec 2, 9
Oct 19 - Weigh-in, Eartagging, and Deworming at Jones Farm 9am
Oct 20- Ownership Deadline
Nov 1 - Eartag Deadline
Dec 13 - County Show in Knoxville
Dec 14 - Region SHow in Knoxville
Jan 6-9 - State Show in Murfreesboro
Ted Todd, Sr.-age 79 of Maynardville passed away peacefully at his home while surrounded by family and loved ones Sunday, November 10, 2019. He was born May 30, 1940 to the late Marshall Todd and Geneva Todd Swindle. He was a member of Grace Full Gospel Baptist Church, Corryton where he served as a Deacon. Ted was also a member of Waverly Lodge No. 615, Martinsville, Indiana where he joined in 1962 and always remained a member in good standing with Indiana Freemasonry.
Randy Leo Relford-age 61 of Sharps Chapel passed away Saturday, November 9, 2019 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. He was born February 3, 1958, one of fifteen children of the late Clifton and Ima (Wright) Relford. He was also preceded in death by half-brother, Clarence Evans; brothers, Bill Wright, Terry, Gary and Darrell Relford; sisters, Phyllis Thompson, Mary Ann and Darlene Relford.
Margaret “Maggie” Vera Parker, age 12 weeks, passed away on Wednesday, November 6, 2019. She was the 1,274th ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) patient and she fought for weeks to stay on earth with her family while waiting for a heart transplant. She will be deeply missed by her family who treasures what time they had with Maggie. Preceded in death by grandfather Dan Parker.
Jerry Lynn Simmons Sr., age 83, was called home by his Lord and Savior on November 5, 2019. He worked over 40 years in construction and land surveying. He was a man of integrity and deeply loved his wife of 61 years. They were inseparable and an inspiration to all who knew them. He traveled all over the country and shared life’s adventures on the farm and lake house. Jerry was a wonderful man with a sweet spirit, and he was an amazing daddy, pops, and papaw.
Roy Vaughn Graves, Jr. – 68 of Maynardville, went to his eternal home, November 4, 2019, surrounded by family and friends. He was a member of Hansard Chapel Methodist Church. His new life has begun, a life that will never know sickness, disease, sorrow or loss again. He is finally healed and made whole. Vaughn was so grateful for all his family and friends that were so supportive of him through the good and the hard times. He was owner and manager of Union Parts and Equipment in Maynardville for over 30 years, but his true legacy is his family, who he loved deeply.
Susie L. Haynes- age 84 of Luttrell gained her wings Monday morning, November 4, 2019 at her home. She was a devoted Christian. Preceded in death by husband, Bobby R. Haynes.
She leaves behind daughter and son-in-law, Cathy and James Hensley of Maynardville; grandsons, Stephen Hensley of Luttrell; Dustin Hensley of Maynardville; three great-grandchildren, six great-great grandchildren. Brother, Clyde and June Mallicoat; special friends, Stephanie and Polly. Several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
Wanda Browning Lett, age 87, passed away Sunday November 3, 2019. She was a member of Sharon Baptist Church. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and sister. Preceded in death by husband of 42 years James Edsel Lett, parents Vaughn and Gladys Browning, sisters Helen Wright Reasor and Jewell Flenniken. Survivors include sons Greg Lett and Jeff (Robin) Lett, daughter Jennifer Lett, brothers Ronald V.