Hearts of Color

What do you see?

I was born a Caucasian female. I am neither proud, nor ashamed of that fact. It has probably influenced the course of my life, but was beyond my control. Therefore, it is just a fact. What I have done with that fact during my formative years and to date was, and is, somewhat within my control. As with every human being.

We are all people of color; some light, some dark, others somewhere in between. We have so many mixed races of people in our world today that color should have become a non-issue and bias should have ceased to exist. And yet, there is no truth to be found in that thinking.

To say we don’t see those differences is a lie we tell ourselves. It is like saying we can look at a green tree and not see that it is green. Or, look at a blue sky and pretend it is otherwise. God created colors, and He created normal-sighted people to see all of them. It is how you choose to react to what you see that makes the difference.

I was raised in a diverse neighborhood and school system, which in the 1960s meant mostly African Americans and Caucasians. But none of us viewed each other with those labels. Our common denominator was the fact that we were all poor. Those who had financial advantages and better homes, often took advantage of the rest of us, regardless of our color, or lack thereof.

I am appalled and ashamed for all the punishment this world has meted out to many of its inhabitants. Jews, African Americans, Native Americans; all whose birth determined their status in society. The list grows as our population expands. But I am not in a position where I can force others to change their views. I can only hope to act as an example.
We are a world filled with people who have justice issues. Let’s call it what it is; selfishness. The thought that in order for one to prosper, others must suffer. Living in this way amongst other members of society has always been, and will always be, wrong. But that doesn't mean it will ever cease to exist.

Racism and prejudice have created problems in society since the beginning of time. Call it a lack of faith on my part if you will, but it has not changed in thousands of years, and I don’t see it changing if the world continues for thousands more. Protests, brutality, bullying, hate murders, name-calling, drive-by-shootings, none of those actions are likely to change that one simple fact.

Some who read this may agree. Others will say my viewpoint reflects the circumstances of my birth. I agree that I, like all people, am born broken and filled with selfishness. We must be taught to love others; it does not come naturally.

I also believe that suppression of others is not, and has never been, a color issue; it is a heart issue. And a heart is the most difficult thing to transform. Colors can change or be changed, but a heart, well that requires a lot more work. And it definitely requires Jesus.

In and of ourselves, loving others is an impossibility, especially when they don’t love us in return.

To truly change how people view people, we must all learn to see the color, but choose to react respectfully and with love regardless of what we see. Don’t turn a blind eye; turn a blind heart.


Susan Kite's picture

All I can say is AMEN! Thanks for the thoughtful article!

Cindy Taylor's picture

Thank you Susan!

<3. Love this!



Kevin Brown, Executive Director Willow Ridge Center

Kevin Brown, Executive Director
Willow Ridge Center

What are the makings of someone in a prominent position? The short answer is, there is no singular path. As a young man struggling to find his way, Kevin Brown admits he had poor study habits in high school, preferring to goof off; that was until he worked a few manual labor summer jobs, which was good incentive to “work smarter, not harder.” Brown realized that a good education was necessary to broaden his scope of career opportunities. He didn’t know what he wanted to be, but he did know that he wanted to help people.

Maynardville Elementary 4-H Poster Winners

Savannah Weaver, Emmie Hardin, McKinley Wyrick and Kenny Greene

Maynardville Elementary has announced their 4-H Poster Contest Winners.
For 4th grade the first place winner is Kenny Greene.
For 5th grade, Savannah Weaver took first place. In second place is Emmie Hardin and in third place, McKinley Wyrick.
In order for a poster to qualify the students must promote 4-H on the poster and include the 4-H emblem as specified by the national 4-H guidelines.

One More Demise

Fond memories from years past

I am thankful that this time it isn’t a person, and it can’t be entirely contributed to Covid. Along with many other beloved pastimes, family reunions and church socials seem to have taken the path to extinction.

Patients Don’t Realize That Their Improper Back Position Is Provoking Pain

Patients with improper back position have movement control impairment. They often have difficulties in controlling the position of their back when sitting down, standing or doing back bending. Impaired movement control is often caused by an earlier episode of back pain and may result in chronic lower back pain. The situation is problematic because patients don’t realize that their incorrect back position is provoking pain.

Countless Cousins

Here in the south, we love our cousins. My family is no exception. In fact, I have been surrounded by cousins for most of my life. They were my first playmates and best friends and I am still close to many of them. But there is a little oddity with these relatives. While I have no first cousins, it seems as if I have countless second and third cousins.
Scratching your head?


It’s Weird Being the Same Age as Old People

I recently received an email with the phrase, “It’s weird being the same age as old people.”

My father had three full sisters who lived to maturity—Duskie, Fleetie and Vallie. One of them was once talking about their names. One sister said, “They gave Frank [my dad], Fred and Faustine normal names.” Another sister replied, “Well, Mother sure whopped it to us!” My uncle replied, “Who ever heard of a man named Purse?”

Life Listing, a Natural Hobby

Life lists are written documentations of things seen and identified. If you’re a birder you keep a list of birds you’ve personally seen. If you’re a railroad enthusiast, you keep up with what trains companies you’ve seen going down the tracks. In England they even have clubs for airplane watchers. These folks gather up around airports and watch planes with binoculars, making security people very nervous.

Caring Medical Center - Caring Medical Doctor

Srinivasa R. Chintalapudi M.D

Srinivasa R. Chintalapudi M.D., known by his patients as “Dr. Chinta,” is a third-generation physician. As a boy in Vijayawada, India, a young Chinta was inspired by his uncle, a country doctor whose hospital served a rural community. Chinta was not interested in watching tv or movies and many other youthful activities; he preferred spending his summers with his uncle, the country doctor who inspired him. Chinta enjoyed carrying his uncle’s medical bag as he accompanied him on house calls.

Lady Patriots Wrestling Team Takes Titles

Pictured are: Assistant coach Bobby Hampshire, Jaden Blanton, Kenlei Johnson, Kayla Faulkner, Coach James Ramirez, Brianna Cook, Angel Dyer, Leslie White, assistant coach Glenn Helton. Center front: Emily Shultz.

The Union County High School Lady Patriots Wrestling Team competed and won both the East Region Duals and the Traditional Tournament.

Quiz Bowl Competitors

Quiz Bowl Competitors pictured left to right: Cade Ailor, Lakin Brock, Kayla Faulkner, and Caden Walker

Union County High School students Cade Ailor, Caden Walker, Lakin Brock, and Kayla Faulkner competed in the Tennessee FFA Quiz Bowl Contest. All students are members of the Horace Maynard FFA Chapter.

Orville Gets Credentials

Pictured left to right are: District Attorney General Jared Effler, MacKenzie Adkins, and Tracie Davis.

Pictured left to right are: District Attorney General Jared Effler, MacKenzie Adkins, and Tracie Davis.

On February 1, 2021, District Attorney General Jared Effler joined MacKenzie Adkins and Tracie Davis from the Campbell, Claiborne and Union County Children's Centers in presenting their facility dog, Orville, with his new badge. Orville joined the Children's Center this past October and has already proven himself to be an invaluable member of the team responsible for serving abused and neglected children. Orville reduces the stress and anxiety of child victims by accompanying them throughout the investigation and prosecution of their case.

Fleischmann Visits Chickamauga Lock

Photos courtesy of the Office of Rep. Chuck Fleischmann

Photos courtesy of the Office of Rep. Chuck Fleischmann

CHATTANOOGA, TN — U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03) issued the following statement after meeting with Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, 55th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and touring the Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project:

Is The Pain Coming From Your Hip, Spine Or Both?

Many patients live with low back pain that radiates to the buttock, groin, thigh, and even knees. The challenge for patients, and often their doctors, is determining the origin of the pain—the hip, the spine, or both. A new article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons outlines the identical symptoms associated with hip and spine pain and discusses the diagnostic steps and tests required to treat them appropriately.

Climbing Up

I thought once I became an adult, I wouldn’t have to climb any more. Boy, was I wrong.

As a child, I didn’t like to have to ask for things I wanted on the kitchen counter or in my closet, so my parents bought me a little stepping stool. I absolutely loved it. It was red with a poem written on top in large white letters. I can’t remember the exact words, but the poem went something like this: I use this stool to reach things I couldn’t and lots of things I shouldn’t.


Why Work?

Why Work?

The Union County Public School System lost one of its very best teachers to retirement this year. Not only was Ms. Kerrie Scruggs a wonderful educator, she was a caring person and good friend. Ms. Kerrie’s husband Steve wrote a book, and my fellow Gideon brother gave me a copy. The book explained why Steve’s father always ate a good lunch at work. I’ll return to that thought shortly.

The Local Underworld

The geology of our area is unique in that it creates two worlds: a surface world and an underworld of caves, water, and stone. The type of terrain we live on is called "karst" and is characterized by rocky ground, caves, and sinkholes, underground streams, and areas where surface streams disappear into the ground. This type of terrain is the result of the eroding effects of underground water on limestone.

Cheesy Beef Dip

We all know and love the cheese dip made with Velveeta cheese. There are only three ingredients in that dip. This recipe is longer, but you are more apt to have all the ingredients in your pantry and fridge. Be sure to add the cinnamon. That spice goes especially well with chili powder, Three cups is a lot of dip, but it will go fast.

County Commission voting virtually transparent

Mayor Jason Bailey unveiled the new voting technology for Union County Commission at the regular meeting on January 25, 2021. The mayor, his staff and Maynardville Librarian Chantay Collins assisted the commissioners in a practice session to learn the process of clicks to make motions and vote on business items.

UCBOE applies for schools to be vaccine site for employees

January 2021 School Board meeting

At the regular January meeting of the Union County Board of Education, Dr. Jimmy Carter announced that the school system is applying to be a distribution site for COVID-19 vaccine in order to vaccinate school employees according to the established age groups.

Community Advisory Board renews development efforts

Last year I wrote my first article for Historic Union News on “Union County Health Council Working Hard to Improve Lives in Our Community.” Of course, the Coronavirus derailed so many things including Health Council meetings — although the Health Department continued its important work of keeping services available to our community while also striving to educate and address the pandemic.
With the new year, the Health Council is looking for ways to be more effective in making life better in our community.

Signups for 4-H Chick Chain now in progress

Attached photo is of a young Trent Jones on chick pickup day. Photo by Shannon DeWitt.

It’s Chick Chain time in Union County!
The 4-H Chick Chain is one of the best 4-H projects to get started with.
This year, we will again be ordering from Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon, Missouri. These chickens will be layers, meaning they will lay a lot of eggs. The other main type of bird in the chicken industry is a broiler, which is used for meat production.

Factors Maximize Impact Of Yoga, Physical Therapy On Back Pain

New research shows that people with chronic low back pain have better results from yoga and physical therapy compared to reading evidence-based self-help materials. While this finding was consistent across many patient characteristics, a much larger effect was observed among those already taking pain medication to treat their condition and those who did not fear that exercise would make their back pain worse.

A thank you to good neighbors

Zola Hurst
After my father returned from Europe at the end of World War II, he along with my mother and me moved to his home county that was Union County, Tennessee.
For two-and-a-half years they rented a home in the Central Peninsula that is now called the Chuck Swan Management Area. Then they moved to the Hacker place between Hickory Valley and Kettle Hollow.

Dr. Osborn: Like father, like son

Dr. John C Osborn

Dr. John C. Osborn was only 18 months old when his father started dental school, so in a sense, he’s been through it twice.
He grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, but his mother’s family was from Knoxville, so there were plenty of visits to this part of the country.
At 15, Osborn started working in his father’s lab, pouring moldings and such, so it was always front and center as a career path choice. After graduating from high school he moved to Chattanooga for college, then on to Nashville for dental school.

Squirrels practice art of forestry

An ecologist named Joseph Grinnell way back in 1936 once asked how it was that oak trees could colonize the tops of hills and ridges. Acorns are too heavy for wind to disperse them, and gravity tends to make them travel downhill rather than up. He concluded that animals must be responsible for getting acorns to high places.
Many animals use acorns as a valuable winter food source. Deer, turkey, wild pigs, and bears are heavy users, but an eaten acorn cannot germinate and make a tree.

Old Plantation Rolls

Want a yeast roll that doesn't require kneading? This recipe stirs up fast. Of course, it does take an hour or so to proof. Then they are shaped and set to rise again. It is great for the holidays. You can set it out of the way to rise. When your oven is freed up will be time enough to bake them. If you prefer another shape of rolls, do whatever you like.

Keys to the Kingdom

Matthew 16:19 - And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Please be aware it is not my intent to be divisive, to exclude anyone or any church denomination. The Gospel itself will take care of that in due time. However, I don’t think I could pick a better chapter than Matthew Chapter 16 to jump flat-footed right in the middle of the fray regarding divisions within the Christian church over doctrinal differences.


Painting Fanatic

I absolutely love colors. That’s why I paint so often.
Let me clarify that: I only paint walls.
If you have read any of my previous articles, you know I don’t have any artistic abilities — at all. I even struggle to do a paint by number correctly.

Wood Dale V

This is the fifth and last of a series of articles on the history of Wood Dale School in Union County, Tennessee.
In the first article I shared information about Wood Dale School from 1900 through the depression years to 1940 as related in 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); Ms. Bonnie Heiskell Peter’s book Union County Schoolday Memories: A Pictorial History of Union County Elementary Schools From the mid-1800’s to the 1960s (© 1999); and from available school registers on file at the Union County Board of Education.

The Groundhog Day Conspiracy

Image courtesy of Mona El Falaky on Pixabay

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Having tired of trying to answer that question, woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, decided to go in a different direction. Meteorology. Specifically, predicting the beginning of spring.
Do not fall for this. And if you missed Groundhog Day this year, not to worry. According to a nearby source, it’s all a hoax.

Election Security – Can We Know That Our Votes Truly Count?

Absentee ballot box

With so much national attention on voting procedures and outcomes, I felt it timely to have a conversation with Deborah Viles, Administrator of Elections for the Union County Election Commission. She shares that the turnout of this election was the biggest turnout ever recorded in Union County, Tennessee. But before we get into the nitty-gritty of election regulations and procedures, let me introduce you to the woman responsible for seeing that our electoral process is carried out appropriately, because knowing and trusting her is key to trusting the process.

Chiropractors Stress Injury Prevention By Warming Up Prior To Winter Activities

Winter recreational activities can pose painful problems for the outdoor enthusiast who is not in the best condition. Preparing your body before participating in winter sports such as snowboarding, skiing or ice-skating decreases the potential for spasms, strains and sprains, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

Life Is Good

I had intended this week to share with you more of my dental adventures. Fortunately, perhaps, that particular inspiration has now left me. Usually, I end my articles with a bit of email “wisdom”, but for this particular article I will use one to begin:

There’s nothing scarier than that split second
when you lost your balance in the shower and you think,
“They are going to find me naked.”

"Crazy Woman!"

Word to the wise: “You just never know who is listening.”
Some of you already know this about me, but for those of you who don’t, my mother is an absolute hoot. When I was in high school, some of my friends would call and ask, “Is your mom there? I’d like to talk to her.” You know, I kinda got used to it.

The Purpose of Beauty

Photo by Steve Roark: White Branch Lower Falls

With all the worrisome events that have happened recently, I would ask that you pause and think about something. When you think of beauty, I assume that like me you envision things like a colorful sunrise, waterfalls, snow draped trees, and such. But I am sitting here having a tough time verbally defining it. It's an odd thing really. It does not produce any tangible product. It can't be bought or sold, and yet all humans value it and are drawn to natural beauty. Why?

Pork Chops with Cream Style Corn

I like pork chops. I like cream style corn. Put my two "likes" together and you have this recipe. It's something different. I suppose you wouldn't think of combining those two, but this is a great dish. If you have thinner pork chops, adjust the first baking time accordingly. You know, we can get in a rut planning our weekly menu. Try something different this week. Try this recipe.

Cinnamon Pear Butter

Apple butter is delicious. So is pear butter. You will agree after you taste this recipe. Pick up 3 pounds of pears at Food City and stir up a batch. Don't try to hurry it along by cooking it at a higher temperature. Grab a favorite read and sit next to the stove for the 1 3/4 hours necessary for its slow cooking. Read a bit and stir, read a bit and stir. Don't let it stick and burn. Who says you can only make preserves in the Fall. Whenever you see the necessary fruit in the produce section just pick up some and sir up a batch.

Honorable Jared R Effler - District Attorney General

Effler family: Mary, Mia, Jared, and Katy Beth

The Honorable Jared R. Effler, District Attorney General is proud of his Union County, TN roots. He is happy to say that he is a product of Union County Schools and that he’s living proof that with the building blocks of a solid education, a person can accomplish anything they set their mind to. Effler graduated from Horace Maynard High School in 1991 and went on to Lincoln Memorial University to obtain a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Management in 1995. Although his earliest ambition was to become a veterinarian based on his love for animals, during college his career goals changed.

Communion Challenge

Leave it to me to make anything into a challenge; even something as sacred as Communion.

It started when I very, very young. My momma told me Communion was a commandment of Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:17-34) and I needed to be still and not to make any noise during it. In other words, I had to sit perfectly still. Boy, was that a struggle. I still remember resisting the temptation of moving because I didn’t want to disappoint Jesus.


Dental Dilemma

One of the best favors parents can do for their children is to take them to the dentist very early in life. This prevents so many problems in the adult years.

We are told that teeth are meant to last for a lifetime. That doesn’t mean that periodic maintenance is not necessary. Just like houses, teeth have to occasionally be cleaned and taken care of to prolong usage.

Winter, A Time for Reflection

By: Steve Roark
Volunteer Interpreter, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

There are two mind-sets when it comes to winter: those who love it and those who do not, and I’m one of the former. When it is cold you can always dress up and be comfortable, but in summer you can go buck naked and still be uncomfortably hot. Really cold weather gives you a survival feeling, you against the elements, something lacking in these soft modern times. “If you can see your breath, you know you’re alive” is a quote that reflects that feeling about cold weather.

Making Do

We had a heavy snow storm this last end of December 2020. The power would go out for a few seconds, then suddenly return with a “Bang!” I feared for our TV's and computer, but they survived the ordeal. Our electric coffee pot? Not so much. That was the end of Mr. Coffee.


Strengthening Families

Monday, March 8, 2021 - 12:00

The Strengthening Families Program has NEW virtual parenting classes starting in March! This is a FREE parenting education course for parents and caregivers, with additional "coached" home assignments for parents to work on strengthening relationships with their children. Classes in March will begin March 8th and 9th. Please see the links belong to register.

Monday's Afternoon Class: https://tnvoices.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUoc-mpqjwpGNAmv138rKJjzgSLQi...


Karen Hensley Brown

Karen Hensley Brown-age 52 of Maynardville passed away Sunday morning, February 21, 2021 at Parkwest Medical Center. She was a member of Jim Town Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Larry E., Sr. and Carolyn Kitts Hensley; brother, Larry E. Hensley, Jr.
Survivors: husband, Tony Brown; daughters, Kasey (Doug) Crawford, Ashley (Ryan) Brown; step-daughter, Amanda (Jay) Thomas; son, Shane (Megan) Brown; grandchildren, Trina Crawford, Jase Crawford, Vincin Kingrey, Jacob Thomas, Mason Thomas, Josh Thomas, Bella Thomas and one on the way.

Cecil D. Helton

Cecil D. “Dob” Helton-age 88 of Washburn took his Heavenly flight to be with the Lord 11:19 P.M. Friday, February 19, 2021 at his home surrounded by his family. He was a lifelong member of Elm Springs Missionary Baptist Church where he served as a deacon since 1988 and spent his life helping others as well as his dedication to serving the Lord. He was preceded in death by parents, Anderson and Mary Jane Helton along with eight brothers and three sisters.

Ella Mae Roberts

Ella Mae Roberts-age 88 of Knoxville (formerly of Corryton) passed away Thursday, February 18, 2021 at her home. She was a member of Nehemiah Church. She was a devoted Christian who served the Lord, alongside of her husband, in Christian ministry over several decades. She leaves an incredible legacy of service and love for others for all of us to follow. She was a dedicated employee of the Halls Wal-Mart, Jewelry Department, retiring after 15 years of service.

Tommy Wolfenbarger

Tommy Edward Wolfenbarger-age 63 of Luttrell went to be with the Lord Wednesday morning, February 17, 2021 at his home. He was of the Baptist faith and was an avid animal lover. Preceded in death by daughter, Dana Wolfenbarger; father, Troy Edward Wolfenbarger; brother, Richard Wolfenbarger; step-father, George Lee; brother-in-law, Bo Slagle

Betty Lou Chesney

Betty Lou “Ludy” Chesney-age 88 of Luttrell passed away peacefully Friday morning, February 19, 2021 at her home. She was a lifelong member of Black Fox Primitive Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Horace and Bertha Chesney; siblings, Roy, Frank, Dick and Mary Chesney, Gladys and Rob Farmer, Kate and Rub Larmer and brother-in-law, Gene Dyer.

Surviving siblings, special sister, Daisy Dyer; brother, Bill and Dolly Chesney. Several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews.

Deadrick "Rick" Croxdale

Deadrick “Rick” Croxdale, Jr. – age 60 of Maynardville, passed away February 17, 2021. He was a member of American Christian Church. Rick was an assistant golf pro at Oak Ridge Country Club.

He is preceded in death by parents, Deck and Inez Croxdale. Rick is survived by his wife of 33 years, Vicky (Langley) Croxdale; stepdaughter, Mandy (Craig) Chaffins; grandchildren, Nick and Elijah Chaffins; sister, Norma (Ken) Brown; nephew, Paul (Cindy) Newman; and grand nieces, Nicole, Ashley and Haley.

Monroe Alex Brown

Monroe Alex Brown-age 74 of Maynardville passed away Saturday, February 6, 2021 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. He was a retired patent Attorney. Born in New Jersey, he was the son of the late Grant and Florence Jacobson Brown.

Private interment 9:30 a.m. Saturday, February 20, 2021, Lakeview Cemetery, Lenoir City. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.

James E. Kessinger

James Edward Kessinger-age 88 of Washburn passed away suddenly Tuesday morning, February 16, 2021 at North Knoxville Medical Center. U. S. Army Veteran. He was a retired truck driver and loved to fish on Norris Lake and he enjoyed playing guitar with his friend, Billy Joe Nicely. Jim was a dual member of Powell Lodge #582 F & AM in Powell and Robinson-Plumb Lodge #266 in Kentucky. He was also a member of the Scottish Rite in Louisville, Kentucky and a Shriner. He was preceded in death by parents, Slaughter Francis and Bertha Ann Kessinger; son, Wesley Kessinger.

Margaret Bowles

Margaret Lynn Bowles – age 83 of Maynardville, born November 26, 1937, went to her Heavenly home, February 16, 2021 at home with her family. She was saved at a young age and is a member of Macedonia Baptist Church.

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