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.




Making Notes

Making Notes

So you think you don't have enough memories to write your life story? You are wrong. They just need to be brought out to the here and now. There is an excellent way to do it, take notes. It will take time, but you will see results.

There is nothing to stop you from writing your memories down on a note pad or in an exercise book. But memories rarely arrive in chronological order and when you start writing your book of life stories, you will be forever flicking backwards and forwards through the pages trying to find the note that you want.

Who Were the Longhunters?

Who Were the Longhunters?

Robert Kato, a Longhunter reenactor, speaks at the June 9, 2018 meeting of the Nicholas Gibbs Historical Society.

Groups called Longhunters [18th century explorers and hunters] were the first to blaze the trails into the American wilderness across the United States. Elisha Wolfe led a group of Longhunters as early as 1761-1765.

Augustus and the Norris Reservior

Augustus and the Norris Reservior

Years before Harry Potter inspired older children to keep reading, Augustus inspired me, late in the primary grades, to keep reading. We were about the same age when we met at the school library. Eventually I grew up, but I never forgot him. In my imagination, he will always be out there somewhere on the Mississippi River with his kind, well meaning, but somewhat dysfunctional family.

Augustus' family not only lived in a houseboat on the river, but also lived off the river. What could be more exciting to an eight-year-old boy?

The Miracle of Plants

The Miracle of Plants

As an amateur naturalist I have a curiosity to know how things work. In college I once saw the chemical reactions involved in photosynthesis laid out on a large poster. This all-important method plants use to make food for themselves (and ultimately us) was incredibly long and complex. It is so complex that it’s tempting to simply say that plants bring in carbon dioxide and water, add sun energy, then a miracle happens and out comes oxygen and food. While there is truth there, let me elaborate on the miracle part.


Spine Osteoarthritis Patients and Those Under 65 More Likely to Use Opioids to Manage Pain

Spine Osteoarthritis Patients and Those Under 65 More Likely to Use Opioids to Manage Pain

A large percentage of patients with knee, hip and spine osteoarthritis use opioids to manage their chronic pain, especially those who are younger or have symptoms of depression, according to new research findings. Osteoarthritis, or OA, is the most common joint disease affecting middle-aged and older people. It is characterized by progressive damage to the joint cartilage—the cushioning material at the end of long bones—and causes changes in the structures around the joint.

Milk and Cornbread

Milk and Cornbread

We all have that one special treat that we look forward to having. For me, it’s a tossup between something chocolate and somebody doing the laundry. My Mamaw Jo had a treat that I could never understand: milk and cornbread. In all fairness, I did try it, but I didn’t like it. For one thing, milk and I don’t get along.

Blackberries and Dumplings

Blackberries and Dumplings

I spent my early years in Michigan. The last thirty years I have been here. If I had known how wonderful Tennessee was, I would have been here long ago. Don't fault me for being from Michigan. We all have to be from somewhere. I will try to keep the secret of how wonderful East Tennessee is. After all, there is only so much room for former Yankees down here.

Commission Approves 2019 Budget, No New Taxes

Union County Commission

Passing a budget and setting a tax rate in June has now become best practice in Union County. For two consecutive years, Ann Dyer, County Finance Director, and County Mayor Mike Williams have diligently worked with County Commission led by Chairman Gary England and the Budget and Finance Committee to complete the budget process before the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1. Their combined efforts have solidified the budget process into a transparent, accountable, and responsible fiscal practice that has set Union County on a course toward improvement and maybe even prosperity.

Cyn Taylor joins Authors Guild of Tennessee

Cyn Taylor

Local author Cyn Taylor was recently vetted by the Authors Guild of Tennessee and welcomed as a new member of the group in May.

A Knoxville native, Taylor writes Southern Contemporary Romantic Suspense staged in the Smoky Mountains and surrounding area. Smoky Mountain Mist is Taylor's first series. Blue Mountain Sky, Red Morning Glory and Dawn's Gray Light are the three books completing that series.



Prayer for Community Worship & Revival

This is an update of the information for the Luttrell Community Worship and Revival...
Several pastors from different churches are going to the worship site once a week to pray. We invite anyone who feels led to pray at the site to go anytime the Lord impresses on them to go there to pray. Please join us in prayer for the revival.
Dates to remember....

*Thursday, May 10th at 7 PM - Pastors and deacons pray at Luttrell Ball Field, the worship site.

*June 21 at 7 PM -Pastors and deacons pray at worship site

*Revival July 30, 31, and August 1 @ 7 PM

Meet-the-Candidates Tuesday, June 26 6PM-8PM

Dear Candidate:

Thank you for being a candidate for public office!

You are invited to participate in a Union County Meet-the-Candidates evening gathering on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at 6 PM - 8PM at the Union County Senior Citizens Center.
This event is intended both to help our citizens cast an informed vote on August 2 (or earlier) and to help introduce you to your voters. Palm cards, written materials are welcome. (A surrogate for the candidate who cannot attend is welcome.)

Union County Board Of Education


The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education will be held on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at Union County High School. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.



1. Discuss School Trips

· None at Time of Publication

2. Budget Amendments and Transfers/Director’s Monthly Report—Ann Dyer

County Commission will meet in Special Called Session

County Commission will meet in Special Called Session

The County Commission will meet in Special Called Session on Thursday, June 28, at 7:00 to finalize the budget amendments and transfers of the current budget to facilitate the filing of the Annual Financial Report. The public is encouraged to attend.


Thursday, June 28 2018 – TIME 7:00 P.M.



Teresa Ann Greer

Teresa Ann Greer, age 44, of Maryville, TN passed away peacefully on June 16, 2018. Preceded in death by mother Judith Ann Greer. Survived by children, Courtney Ann Thomas and fiancé Brandon Yeaman, Justin Joe Bradburn, and Madison Ann Bradburn; father Bobby Joe and wife Deborah; grandchildren John Mason and Eli Blane.

James Paul Myers, Jr.

James Paul Myers, Jr. age 70 of Knoxville, passed away June 15, 2018. James was a Vietnam veteran. He was of the Baptist faith and pastored many churches in his life. Preceded in death by wife Janet Myers; parents James P. Myers, Sr. and Juanita Myers; sister Helen Wrinkle. Survived by sons Jay Lloyd Myers and Stephen Myers; very special brother David Myers; several nieces and nephews. Family will receive friends 6:00p.m.-8:00p.m. Wednesday June 20, 2018 at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City Chapel with service to follow, Rev. Clyde Lakin and Eddie Myers officiating.

Anna Mae Shelby Davis

Anna Mae Shelby Davis-age 78 of New Tazewell passed away Friday morning, June 15, 2018 at U. T. Medical Center following a long illness. She was a member of Raccoon Valley Baptist Church. Preceded in death by daughter, Kathy Ann Davis; parents, Jim and Louella Shelby; brothers, Willis Shelby, Troy Milton Shelby; sisters, Grace Shoffner and Viola Shelby.

Gary Lynn Anderson, Sr.

Gary Lynn Anderson, Sr.-age 72 of Luttrell passed away Thursday morning, June 14, 2018 at U. T. Medical Center. He was preceded in death by parents, Rev. Frank J. and Mildred (Hundley) Anderson; brothers, Robert (Bob) Anderson, Paul Anderson; sister, Cheryl Tyson; grandson, James Thompson; great-grandson, Skyler McClure.

Betty Jane Patterson

Betty Jane Patterson-age 91 of Maynardville passed away Sunday morning, June 10, 2018 at Beverly Park Place, Knoxville. She was a member of First United Methodist Church of Sevierville. She also enjoyed square dancing and was a member of Good Times Square Dance Club. Preceded in death by her husband, Clinton Patterson, Sr. in 1998; three sisters, Dorothy, Jean and Alla.

Beulah E. "Gose" Walters

Beulah Elizabeth Gose Walters-age 99 of Luttrell passed away Tuesday morning, June 12, 2018 at U. T. Medical Center. She was a member of Little Flat Creek Baptist Church. Beulah was a retired Post Master of the Luttrell Post Office with 30 years of service. She was preceded in death by husband, Tom Walters; parents, John and Lora Gose; sisters, Hazel Chandler, Bonnie Lawson; infant brother, Leon Gose; grandchildren, Karen Seymour and Tony Walters.

Earnest Ray Norris

Earnest Ray Norris – age 80 of Knoxville, went to his Heavenly home on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. He was a member of Grace Baptist Church in Halls. Ray was saved on May 17, 1975 at Milan Baptist Church in Maynardville and served as a radio minister for several years.

Maria Elaine McMurray

Maria Elaine McMurray – age 71 of Maynardville, went home to be with the Lord on Friday, June 8, 2018. She was a member of the Northwest Baptist Church.

Elaine is survived by her husband of 45 years, Jim McMurray; daughters, Tara (Duane) Brown and Julie DeMarcus; son, Scott (Maria) Blatemore; grandsons, Tyler Allen and Jared Blatemore; sister, Teresa Helton; and several nieces and nephews.

Joyce Dorothy Cox Smith

Joyce Dorothy Smith-age 76 of Andersonville passed away peacefully Friday, June 8, 2018 at Norris Health and Rehabilitation. She is preceded in death by husband, K. L. Smith; son, Johnny; parents and brothers.

Survivors: son, Mike Smith and wife, Becky; granddaughters, Jackie, Jennifer and Michelle; three great-grandchildren, sister, Shirley Phibbs and special friend, Barbara Hooks. A host of other family and many friends.

L. D. Nicley

L. D. Nicley-age 68 of Maynardville went to his eternal home Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at his home. He was a member of Elm Springs Baptist Church. He enjoyed many years driving eighteen wheelers, fishing on the lake and spending time with family and friends. Preceded in death by parents, Taylor and Della B. Nicley; sister, Dian Williams; daughter, Kim Nicely.

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