Give a Kid the World

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week Forty-Eight

It was forty years ago this very month that I received a Christmas gift that I would even now not trade for thousands of dollars.

I’m not even sure how it came about, but somehow my mother began saving S & H green stamps. At some point Hensley’s IGA must have issued them, for I don’t remember my mother ever shopping anywhere else. Perhaps she had my sister Anna Mae, my brother Jerry, or Cousin Lizzie Norton get them for her, as they lived and shopped in Knoxville.

I went through at least one normal phase of childhood, fancying myself to be anything that I either saw on television or in the real lives of people I truly admired. During my terrific childhood fantasy world, I was a preacher, teacher, EMT, firefighter, detective, doctor, cowboy, and the list could go on and on.

When my Uncle Amos died, no one could find the deed to the property my grandfather had left him. My dad and his three sisters had to work with Attorney Charles Roy Moore to have a deed “drawn up” so the property could be sold. At that point, I came to really admire Roy Moore until the day he died. Both he and my historical idol Abraham Lincoln were lawyers, and I went through a time thinking I might like to practice law. I once told my Aunt Lidia this and she said, “No! The Bible says woe unto the lawyers.” (Most assuredly it does, in Luke 11). Perhaps this is why I never went to the bar (no pun intended to any alcoholic lawyers).

I was also influenced by William (Bill) Shell to want to be an insurance man. Mr. Shell came to our house monthly to collect payments for Home Beneficial Life, and I enjoyed his visits so much when I was at home during the summer when he would come to collect. Mr. Shell always told me I had the voice to be a fine radio announcer, and I toyed with that idea in my childhood as well.

As those of you who know me would not find surprising, teacher won out. I played school zealously from an early school age until the day I graduated from high school. Those who knew about it, even many members of my own family, found this strange and thought perhaps I was somewhat mentally ill. Very few of my friends knew it, and practically no one at school, for I was mortified at the torture I would endure if this became common knowledge. One of my elder acquaintances told me before I graduated high school that I would never be able to stop playing school.

However, he was wrong, and the last day of school in 1983 (the year I graduated high school) was the last day I played school. I then set my sights on preparing to teach for real. Interestingly enough, I only actually taught for eight years, all of them at Luttrell Elementary. I have been in administration or supervision the twenty-four years since, though I have taught adjunct courses at Walters State Community College since 2012.

How in those days when I played school did I dream of having things that teachers used daily. My earliest blackboard was a cardboard box, and my first chalk consisted of the little pieces that Wanza Sharp threw out when they became too small to write with. I now have (in storage) the actual blackboard that was being discarded from one of the classrooms at Maynardville Elementary. Though it came from a classroom in which I never attended classes, I treasure it for its historical value.

I also craved a filing cabinet, and the story of how I finally acquired my first file cabinet I’ll share with you next week.

I would also have loved to have one of those pull-down maps that teachers used to revere when they taught social studies. I used to tape maps from the Weekly Reader to the window shades in my bedroom to get the effect. Thanks to another discarding, I now have a few of those old pull-down maps, some of which were used in an actual classroom where I had class. They now hang in my home library.

And what I wouldn’t have given for a globe. My first globe was actually a metal bank with a slit in the top for money to be inserted into. I think perhaps I bought that one myself at either Hensley’s Big M Variety Store or at the Western Auto that was operated by Gerald McPhetridge in Maynardville for a few years.

Mother could never keep a Christmas secret, not even her own. She allowed me to pick what I wanted for Christmas from the S & H Green Stamp catalog. And there it was! An absolutely gorgeous George F. Cram Company world globe with raised relief for mountains and different colors to represent the political divisions of the world. I just Googled and found one like mine on eBay for $42.99 (plus $14.85 shipping). Here is its description on eBay: “Vintage Cram’s Scope-O-Sphere 12 Inch World Globe Full Rotation Metal Base.
I don’t remember how many books of S & H Green Stamps Mother had to pay for the globe, but I do remember she had her first cousin Lizzie Norton get the globe and deliver it to me. I was so proud of it then, and it sure gave my play teaching a new boost! I wrote “1978” in permanent magic marker on the bottom of the base so I could always remember when the treasure entered my life. Forty years later, the globe still holds a place of honor in my home library. Though I now have other globes I treasure, none of them will ever mean more than the one that helped me teach scores of imaginary pupils all about this earth on which we live.

Until next time, here’s a thought from the annals of e-mail:

I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 40 years later.
I have my own pad.
I don’t have a curfew.
I have a driver’s license and my own car.
And I don’t have acne.
Life is great.

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Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 18:00

Betty is teaching another wonderful Wine and Canvas Class! This class we will be painting Red Breasted Blue Birds!

Sip on some wine and learn to paint from one of Union Counties best! Supplies are included.

Tickets are only $35 and must be purchased in advance by calling (865) 745-2902 or by coming into The Winery.

Seating is limited and fills up very fast so make sure you reserve your ticket today!

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

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"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.

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Obituary

Dale Wesche

Dale R. Wesche – age 39 of Heiskell, passed away Thursday, January 17, 2019 as a result of an automobile accident. He was a member of Fairview Free Will Baptist Church. He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing and 4-wheeling with his friends.

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Preceded in death by husband David L. Ledford; daughter Patsy J. Price; grandson Brian Schwartz.
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Nathan Samuel Davis

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He is survived by his parents, Luther and Julia Davis; and sister, Gabriela Eby.

A celebration of life service is being planned for a later date. Trinity Funeral Home, LLC, Maynardville, has the honor to serve the family of Nathan Davis. 865-992-5002 www.trinityfuneralhome.net

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