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.



Let Go and Let God

Photo by Sue Tharp

With the passing of time, it is essential to have the understanding of the importance of cherishing the little moments in life. Being able to enjoy these seconds to their fullest means the outburst of laughter, sharing of wisdom, and enhanced intuitiveness. Sandra Greene’s life is a depiction of this wisdom and peace.

Its Time for Chocolatefest


The Knoxville Chapter of the Kidney Foundation started Chocolatefest more than twenty-five years ago at Knoxville Center. Eventually, the chapter decided to forego the yearly event.When one of the former board members had an urge to bring the festival back, she asked past Chocolatefest judge and local radio personality Jennifer Johnsey if she would help. Luckily, Jennifer was happy to oblige.

What a Joke!

What a Joke!

Mincey’s Musings Year Two, Week Two

A frustrated conductor once asked a band player with issues, “Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?” The player replied, “I don’t know, and I don’t care.”

This is a slightly tweaked missive that came my way via email. It reminded me of a joke I once heard at a meeting which I shall attempt to embellish for your reading pleasure.

Grandma's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Grandma's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Grandma made the best cookies, didn't she? She didn't work outside the home. Those were the days when she washed, starched and ironed her ruffled curtains and had time to crochet frilly doilies for the end tables next to the sofa. Ruffled curtains are things of the past as are crocheted doilies. She didn't have to get the kids properly dressed for school and then get herself to her job on time. She did have time to polish up on her cookie recipes.

Abraham and Carl

Abraham and Carl

Scratching your head? Who in the world are Abraham and Carl?

When we see the word “and” between two names, we assume they are connected in some way. For instance, I love the comedy teams of Andy and Barney (Mayberry), Lucy and Ethel and (one of my favorites) Laurel and Hardy.

For the record, Abraham and Carl are not a comedy team. In fact, they never even met for they lived thousands of years apart.

Scratching your head again?

Lemon - Cheese Salad

Lemon - Cheese Salad

I saw an article online the other day. It listed recipes that are outdated and thankful to be gone. I don't agree. Everyone of them are on my “favorites” list. I think the reason they are outdated is that they were over-used back in the day. I remember when I first discovered canned tuna fish. We had a Tuna Noodle Casserole about every other week. I have a good recipe for that, too.

Agriculture Creates Opportunity

Agriculture Creates Opportunity

One of the most important ways to invest in the future of agriculture is to invest in the people who will become tomorrow’s agriculture industry leaders. Students pursuing the agriculture industry often look for careers in planning, implementation, production, management, processing, education, or marketing ag products and services. Tennessee Department of Education predicts that over 60,000 high-skilled agricultural jobs open annually in the United States with just around 35,400 graduates in the Ag, Food, and Natural Resources program studies to fill the openings.


Wine and Canvas with Betty Bullen

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

Thursday, January 31, 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.

Wine and Design

Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 18:00

Join us at The Winery for a fun Wine and Design event.
During this class, get ready for Valentine's Day by painting
and crafting a wine bottle and wooden love sign. The class is only
$25 and includes all the materials needed as well as a glass
of wine or juice. Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased
in advance by calling The Winery at (865)745-2902.

Class starts at 6 so please come early to taste our wines and choose your favorite.

February Pick Up Party at The Winery

Saturday, February 2, 2019 - 12:00

It's that time again and everyone is invited.
February is a Pick Up month for our Wine Club and we are having a party to celebrate.

Saturday, February 2nd from Noon till 8

Live Music From:
45RPM Noon - 3:30 pm
They will be playing music from the vinyl era, the tunes that you know and love!!

Overdrive 4-8 pm
Overdrive is a band dedicated to filling the dance floor at any venue they play at! Be sure to bring your dancing shoes!


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.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Wilma Wesche. Dale is survived by his canine companion, Gretchen; and a community of friends.

Nancy Byrum

Nancy Byrum, age 57, passed away Saturday, January 19, 2019. Proceeded in death by father George Byrum Sr., sister Debbie Patterson, brother Timmy Byrum, nephew Brent Byrum; and many aunts and uncles. Survived by mother Margret Byrum, daughter Fran Hancock, son Michael Scott Rolen; grandchildren Jared and Genny; brothers and sisters-in-law George and Maryann, Dennis and Teresa, Steve and Susan, and significant other Calvin Stafford; many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Gladys B. Ledford

Gladys B. Ledford, age 96, of Knoxville, passed away on January 20, 2019.
She attended Salem Baptist Church.
Preceded in death by husband David L. Ledford; daughter Patsy J. Price; grandson Brian Schwartz.
Survived by daughter M. Annette Rummell (Barry); son Charles “David” Ledford (Joy); 10 grandchildren; many great grandchildren and several great-great grandchildren.
Family will receive friends 4-6PM Wednesday at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel with funeral service to follow, Rev. David McGill officiating.

Rosemary Gail (Wilkerson) Johnson Obituary

Rosemary Gail (Wilkerson) Johnson, of Halls/Plainview, went to be with our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ on Friday January 18, 2019. Rosemary spent 4 years fighting a rare mantle cell lymphoma. Rosemary loved her family, was a believer in Christ, an animal lover, and an all-around genuine person. She was preceded in death by her loving parents, Roy & Mary Lynn Wilkerson; father in law, Raymond Johnson; and brother in law Ray Johnson.

Obituary of Lloyd Russell Lee Sr.

Lloyd Russell Lee Sr., age 68, of Knoxville, Tn was born July 6, 1950 and departed this earthly life on January 17, 2019 to gain his new body in heaven. His life was filled with the love of Nascar, Semi-Trucks, and Family. Lloyd was a self employed over the road truck driver for his entire life to provide for his ever-growing family. Married to Sandra “Sandy” Lee on January 4th 1969, they shared their love of 50 years with their 3 sons Rusty (spouse Mary Duso), Jimmy (wife April), and Billy (spouse Becky Litton).

Ted George Jones

Ted Jones, age 67, of Knoxville passed away on January 17, 2019. He was a bus operator for Knoxville Area Transit for over 43 years, and a member of Amalgamated Transit Union. He was a member of West Side Baptist church. Preceded in death by parents George & Neoma Jones, grandparents William Ellis & Flora Shuemaker, father-in-law Jack Jones.

Nathan Samuel Davis

Nathan Samuel Davis – age 23 of Maynardville, passed away Sunday, January 13, 2019.

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

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.