Matthew 7:1

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week Eleven

Last week I shared an instance in which I let the preconceived notions of others affect the way I felt about my work study supervisor. That was the first of four instances I want to share, that in which the opinions of others caused me to make an erroneous first impression of another, but which resulted in positive experiences.

I have one additional example. I remember when I taught at Luttrell Elementary there was a teacher who made a point to read the permanent record of each of her students at the beginning of the year. I tried never to do that, for I didn’t want any preconceived notions to cloud my experience with any student.

For some students, no permanent record needs review—reputation precedes such pupils as they go “through the grades”. I remember a student that was the dread of every teacher. When that child entered the grade I taught, my teaching partner and I were dividing the students. After the parent requests were honored, most for the other teacher (was I the victim of preconceived notions?), the question arose as to who would have this particular student in their room.

“You will!” I was blatantly told. “I can’t handle that one with all these requests!” As I had the smaller number of students, it would have been difficult to argue the point. After all these years, I remember that mischievous student as being one of my favorites.

Strangely enough, though I began that year with the smaller number of students, every new student who enrolled in the grade I taught was assigned to the other teacher. I neither gained nor lost a student that entire year. It turned out to be one of the best classes I was privileged to teach. Sometimes being calm and taking life as it comes has its hidden rewards.

The second of four instances where first impressions have come into play for me are those instances in which I have incorrectly judged a person to be kind. Such instances always result in negative experiences.

I remember one of my high school classes, taught by the only teacher I ever had that I did not like. There was a student in that class that I attempted to strike up a conversation with. His surname was shared by relatives and neighbors of my half-brothers and –sisters. Surely someone with that surname would be a friendly person.

After a few short answers to a few leading questions, he looked at me and said, “Why don’t you just shut up?” I replied, “I was only trying to be friendly.” He let me know that he was not interested in any friendship from me. I certainly never spoke another word to him the rest of the year (not that he cared or noticed). I would not know him if he were to stand in front of me now, but I remember his name, which actually came up in conversation recently. A mutual friend of ours (the only thing we could possibly have in common) mentioned what a “good feller” he was. I replied, “You can’t prove it by me!”

To this day, I can proudly say I am not his relative. If I were to ever again be in this “gentleman’s” presence and know who he was, I should thank him for the valuable lesson he taught me—be more careful to gauge a person’s demeanor before wasting unnecessary conversation. Trying to talk to someone who could care less is like, a comedian once said, trying to catch a greased pig. All it does is make the pig mad and get you dirty.

My Aunt Lidia also once erroneously judged a person. After her husband died, Aunt Lidia wandered about, staying for a while with this friend or that relative. Aunt Lidia was very penurious (that’s a city word, in the country it means “stingy”), though she would often loan small amounts of money to the friends and relatives with whom she visited.

My father occasionally borrowed money from Aunt Lidia, and he once went searching for her to repay a loan. At one place, someone asked Dad why he was looking for Aunt Lidia, and my father was told, “That old woman don’t need that money.” Dad replied, “Maybe not, but she was good enough to loan it to me, and I’m going to pay her back.”
Unfortunately, there was one man to whom Aunt Lidia loaned money who not only did not repay the loan, but noted where she kept her money and stole from her. I was at Shoffner’s Laundromat when I was a teenager when Aunt Lidia, her sister (my Aunt Carrie) and niece (my cousin Bernice Larmer) came to do their laundry on a cold winter afternoon.

A man entered the laundromat and kissed Aunt Lidia on her forehead. He hugged Aunt Carrie, then shook Bernice’s hand. He proceeded to talk to Aunt Carrie and Bernice at great length while Aunt Lidia rummaged through her purse. Aunt Lidia finally found a tissue and proceeded to wipe her forehead vigorously where the man had kissed her.

When the man left, I asked Aunt Lidia, “Who was that man?” She replied, “That was W--- M-----, the sorriest man to ever stand on two feet. He stole my check.” I’m sure Aunt Lidia never read a word of Shakespeare, but I know after her unfortunate experience she would have understood Polonius’ advice to Laertes in Hamlet (I.iii.75-77): “Neither a borrower or a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.”

Perhaps it is best to heed the words of Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (KJV). Having not always done so in my life, next week I will share the third of four instances where first impressions have come into play for (or against) me.




A Union County Perspective on the Civil War

Civil War Map of East Tennessee

East Tennessee geographically is situated almost in the center of the late rebellious states; Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and the Middle and Western Divisions of the state on the west. The question arises why it should stand out almost alone in its devotion to the Union. When the state cast its fortunes with the Confederacy through the dominating influence of the civil and military authorities, a large majority of the people of East Tennessee adhered to the Union cause.


James Heiskell Celebrates 51 Years in Business

Keith, James and Jason Heiskell

A lot of traffic has gone past the intersection of Highway 33 and Ailor Gap Road since 1968, a lot of cars and a lot of people with stories to tell, but one business has been there through it all. Heiskell's Service Center has used a lot of names over the years. It's been a Boron, an Exxon, a Gulf and a BP. But one thing has remained constant, and that's the dedication of owner James Heiskell to making this Union County landmark a success.

Fifty-eight Years of Giving

Patricia McKelvey

Union County native Patricia McKelvey has spent most of her life sharing her knowledge and aiding the students of Union County. A college graduate at the young age of nineteen, McKelvey viewed her future as a chance to give back. Raised in Union County by a widowed mother of three who was also a teacher, McKelvey is no stranger to hard work.

“I started working right out of high school at American Clothing Company making $20 a week,” said McKelvey. “Once all of us kids were out of the house, my mother went back to school and got her degree in Education.”

Paint the Town

Cadie Chappel Painting Li'l Jo's for Paint the Town

The Union County Art Council has sponsored a project called “Paint the Town” and several local businesses have jumped on board to participate. Union County Property Assessor Randy Turner was the first to have UCHS Senior Cadie Chappel to paint the windows of his office at the UC Court House. After telling the Art Council what he hired Cadie to do with the windows in his office, the Art Council came up with the “Paint the Town” Project. He said “he gets compliments all day” on his windows.

What Do You Really Think?

Ronnie Mincey

Two weeks ago I shared an instance in which I let the preconceived notions of others affect the way I felt about my work study supervisor. Last week I shared instances in which I have incorrectly judged a person to be kind. This week I will relate instances where impressions have come into play for (and against) me.
Sometimes I am around those who give their honest opinions about various things and people. I have myself said of some, “If s/he was standing on a stack of Bibles shaking hands with Jesus himself I wouldn’t believe a word s/he said.” I always find it amusing if someone then asks me, “What’s your real opinion?”

Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips

Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips

Has there ever been an Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips place around here? I consider their fish the best ever. I read on Facebook that there is one located somewhere in Ohio. That won't help my yearning for their fish triangles. But I do have the recipe that I will share with you.

You know, copy-cat recipes are published for popular restaurant dishes from time to time. Usually, they only taste somewhat like the desired item. There are even cookbooks published that claim to have prized recipes. This is the only recipe I have ever found to be as good as the original.

Lunch at Kresge's

Kresge's Menu

When you lived in the country, shopping in town was an all day affair. You would plan to eat lunch there. For me, it was the highlight of the trip. I planned my route and time to take me to my favorite spot for lunch. Isn't that a deliciously sounding word - “lunch”? I made a list of my shopping needs. I knew which store sold what at the price I could afford. I always planned to afford lunch.

The Spring Green Light

Sun Face

For all you warm weather people out there, your time has come. The vernal (spring) equinox is upon us, which is the official beginning of Spring, arriving this year on March 20.

The event is not only a promise of warmer weather, it also plays a key role in determining what date Easter occurs, which can move around quite a bit year to year.


A Faithful Witness Will Not Lie

Wash Smith Monument

"Tonight perhaps a happy mother sits on the threshold of her humble cabin and sings a lullaby to her babe or perchance has the children at her side and tells them stories about father’s return. Anxiously she listens for the clashing of the horse’s hoofs upon the road, she awaits the ring of the chains upon the front gate heralding her husband's approach-she listens in vain. The shadows of night veils that home in darkness, a flickering candle is placed in the window to guide his footsteps when he returns: the mountains cast their gloom over the place.

Runt And The Luttrell Fox Hunters

Runt Kits 1984

My Papaw Kitts, known as “Runt,” was a fox hunter. He was my mom’s dad and the oldest of ten kids. His real name was Samuel Ernest Kitts, otherwise known as “S.E.” or just “Runt” Kitts. He had a brother, William Cloyd Kitts, known as “Poss” Kitts, who also shared this love of fox hunting – east Tennessee style.



Small Business Expo At Maynardville Public Library

Maynardville Public Library along with the Union County Business and Professional Association and The Canton of Hochwald will be hosting a Small Business Expo on Saturday March 24th from 9am until 1pm at Maynardville Public Library 296 Main Street, Maynardville. The Expo is for all small businesses in the county and everyone is welcome to attend this event! This is a FREE event where patrons will be able to visit businesses and purchase from them if they desire. The Farmers Mkt. will have a popup here come check them out.

Music In March

Music in March

Hello March, I have Big Plans For You...
Music in March at The Winery!!

2 Amazing Bands and Delicious Food Truck

Live Music From:
The Lick Skillet Band Noon-3:30pm
KUDZU: The Band 4- 8pm

Delicious Food From:
Cubish Food Truck

Please consider carpooling if at all possible. Parking is limited. The parking crew THANKS you in advance.

Need A Ride To Church

Need A Ride To Church

Fellowship Christian Church located at 746 Tazewell Pike Luttrell TN 37779 will pickup anyone in the local area needing a ride to church. Call Sam at 865-607-3741 to schedule a ride.

Worship Services

Sunday School 10:00 AM
Sunday Worship Service 11:00 A.M
Sunday Evening Service 6:30 P.M
Wednesday Service 7:00 P.M

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

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!" Margaret Chesney

U.C.B.P.A. Prayer Breakfast " 2018 Second Chances"

U.C.B.P.A. Prayer Breakfast " 2018 Second Chances"

Prayer Breakfast Good Friday March 30 @ 8:00 am, Aaron Russell will be the speaker. Breakfast is by Teresa's Bakery with all the fixins . Tickets are $10.00 each .
Prayer Breakfast--Besides the obvious benefits of prayer and words of inspiration, proceeds from the Prayer Breakfast fund donations to Lion's Club, Friends of Maynardville Public Library, UCPS Music Department, 4H, and Union County Children's Charities (Under the Tree). Come and be a part of this celebration on Good Friday at 8:00 at the Senior Center in Maynardville. [$10] March 30

Bake Sale

Bake Sale

Let the WMU ladies of Alder Springs Baptist Church do your Easter baking for you! We will be having a bake sale on Saturday, March 31st from 9:00 A.M. - Noon. Three locations: Oakies Pharmacy, Guided by Grace Boutique, and Union Farmers Co-op. All proceeds goes to WMU projects.


Charlotte Alana Ridenour

Charlotte Alana Ridenour-age 69 of Knoxville passed away Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at Ft. Sander’s Regional Medical Center. Preceded in death by son, Randy Ridenour; parents, mother, Eula Vee Ridenour; fathers, Lillard Ray and Wade Ridenour; sisters, Pat (Spooks) Ricker; Bobbie Ray; brother, Jack Painter. Charlotte was a loving mother and grandmother.

Anna Mae Mason

Anna Mae Mason – age 91 of Maynardville, was called home at 1:18 p.m., Tuesday, March 20, 2018. She was a longtime member of Hubbs Grove Baptist Church.

She is preceded in death by husband, William Berl Mason. Anna is survived by sons and daughters-in-law, Gerald and Debbie Mason and Kenneth and Shelia Mason; five grandchildren; eight great grandchildren; sister, Margaret Ellen Williams; brothers, Tommy Perry and Fred Perry; and several nieces and nephews.

Brenda Kiser

Brenda Gail Kiser – 68 of Maynardville, went to her Heavenly home on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 after a courageous battle with cancer. She passed away at home surrounded by loved ones. Brenda was of the Baptist faith.

Michael Shane Guinn

Michael “Shane” Guinn age 40 of Knoxville passed away March 18, 2018. He was a loving son, brother and uncle. He was preceded in death by his father William “Randy” Guinn survived by mother Kathy Quinn, sister Jessica Guinn, niece Brittany Thomas, nephew Michael Woody and great niece Breelyn Gordon. The family will receive friends 5:00p.m. until 7:00p.m. Wednesday at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City Chapel. Please leave online condolences at

Paul Douglas Corum, Sr.

Paul “Doug” Corum, Sr.-age 68 of Luttrell passed away Sunday evening, March 18, 2018 at Willow Ridge. Preceded in death by son, Dudley Corum, Jr.; father, Luther Corum; mother, Edith Corum; brothers, Leslie and Jerry Corum; sister, Naomi Corum.

Allan Buck Smith Obituary

Allan “Buck” Smith, age 77, went to be with the Lord on March 15, 2018. He was a member of The Church at Sterchi Hills and was retired from KUB. He was preceded in death by wife, Judy Smith; parents, Paul and Carrie Smith; sisters, Joanne and Lois; brother Ed. He is survived by son, Neil Smith (Tina); brother Tommy; sister, Sylvia; granddaughter Kaitlin and numerous extended family and friends. The family will receive friends at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel on Sunday, March 18th from 6-8pm with a service to follow.

Ruby King Obituary

Ruby King, age 95, of Knoxville, Tennessee, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, March 15th, 2018. She was a wonderful mother who will be greatly missed. Ruby was preceded in death by her husband of 45 years Pinkton “Pink” Tolbert, son Donald King and daughter Peggy Seavers. She is survived by daughter Pat Bradley, 8 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great-grandchild, and numerous extended family and friends. The family will receive friends on Monday, March 19th, 2018 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Mynatt Funeral Home, Fountain City Chapel.

Steven Powers

Steven Powers, age 68, of Knoxville, TN, passed away on Thursday, March 15th, 2018. He was preceded in death by parents Lewis and Mary Powers, grandmother Anna Arnold, aunt Laura Henderson, uncle Joe Church, brother-in-law Kenneth Trent, niece Michelle Durbrow, great-niece Holland Durbrow. He is survived by sisters Debra Trent and Diane Vineyard, brother-in-law Donnie Roach. The family will receive friends on Sunday, March 18th, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Mynatt Funeral Home, Fountain City Chapel. Family and friends will meet at 12:45 p.m.

Frank Hayes

Franklin Danny Hayes – age 75 of Maynardville, Tennessee passed away at home surrounded by family on Thursday, March 15, 2018. He was born March 31, 1942 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was saved in 1956 at the age of 14 during a revival at Hines Creek Baptist Church and is a member of Community Baptist Church. Frank retired from Coca-Cola after 25 years of service and enjoyed working outside, sports, and his grandchildren.

Jonathan Michael Whitson

Jonathan Michael Whitson – age 45 of Maynardville, passed away on Thursday, March 15, 2018. He was of the Baptist faith.

Michael is preceded in death by his father, Johnny Whitson; and grandparents, Virgie and James Whitson. He is survived by his sons, Jonathan Nicholas and Jaylan Shane Whitson; mother, Rita Grahl; sisters, Chaunta (Chuck) Boggs and Angela (Billy) Wilkerson; brother, Darren (Kim) Whitson; nieces, Hannah Whitson and Kaylee Wilkerson; and nephew, Hunter Collins.

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