The Nostalgia of KARM

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week Forty-Four

My wife has taken on a new interest—she is taking art classes from Betty Bullen, a fellow graduate in the Horace Maynard High School Class of 1968, I believe.

Of course, the interests of a spouse often have effects on the other marriage partner. On more than one Sunday after church and between Baptist meals, I have driven my wife to Jerry’s Art-O-Rama just off Kingston Pike to purchase supplies. On the first visit, I went inside the art store with her, but found practically nothing to interest me.

On the next visit, however, I parked a little farther down from the front of Jerry’s and found a very neat place, an antique store called Nostalgia. I went inside and found much to my liking.

One of the things I discovered was a most friendly resident cat. I was roaming throughout the store when I looked down to see him napping on a chair. Honestly, I could have sat on him if I had been looking for a place to read a book.

Nostalgia had several books, though none of them were economically priced. It must be remembered, however, that my idea of economically priced books comes from KARM.

The most expensive book at KARM, my usual place of acquisition of new volumes, is $1.99, five for a dollar each. Even so, the KARM pricing reflects a recent price increase from fifty cents per paperback and $0.99 cents per hardback, and I was outraged at that! So, you can imagine that I did not purchase any books at Nostalgia, since some I had bought at KARM for $0.99 were priced in the teens of dollars at Nostalgia.

Records at KARM are still $0.99 per record, a price that I fear will also soon increase. It seems I visit the KARM in Halls at least once monthly with the wife, who needs to buy new (to her, at least) items from KARM just about as bad as I need to buy a new (to me) book or record. The Halls KARM is our favorite. We occasionally visit the East Towne Centre store, though not as often. I have found neither the record nor book selection to be as good as Halls, though I have seen much worse. I also like the Powell location, though we do not often visit there.

It seems to me that the 33 1/3 record collection at KARM reflects the taste of the latest elderly person who passed away as the remains of the estate passed to KARM. There are times the selections are heavy in organ instrumentals, Lawrence Welk, movie soundtracks, country, big band, or love songs. There always seems to be Christmas albums on hand, whatever the season (just like the Hallmark channel with movies, seemingly). But the one constant that remains is gospel.

And therein lies my fascination with the KARM record selections. I grew up listening to 33 1/3 recordings of The Chuck Wagon Gang, The Inspirations, The McKameys, Tennessee Ernie Ford (The Ol’ Pea Picker himself), and so many great gospel quartets and hymnists from the previous two to three generations.

Tennessee Ernie Ford and George Beverly Shea are in particular two of the best baritone hymn singers who recorded in the twentieth century. I remember listening to the Tennessee Ernie Ford show in the 1970s which almost weekly featured The Chuck Wagon Gang. I used to listen to the Billy Graham Crusades until George “Bev” Shea finished singing. My mother bought me my first recording of George Beverly Shea on a church trip to King’s Island. After that she ordered me some cassettes of his from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

And now it is a mission of mine to acquire as many Chuck Wagon Gang, Inspirations, McKameys, Tennessee Ernie Ford and George Beverly Shea recordings as I can find. I have been known to pay up to $40.00 on to retrieve a recording from the lost years of my childhood, only to find them later, in the same or better condition, at KARM for $0.99!

And here Nostalgia did not fail me, either. I noticed on my first trip that the entire back left section is devoted to 33 1/3 recordings, many of them jazz. On my third trip, I discovered the cat I met on my first visit has a much larger brother that likes to conceal himself more from customers. The cats are named Felix and Oscar, and both are very friendly, though one can tell they do not like their Sunday afternoon naps to be interrupted; however, they take it very good naturedly, for cats.

But not only did I meet the second cat on my third visit, I found two crates of gospel records. I could not help myself from purchasing one Tennessee Ernie Ford and some George Beverly Shea albums. One of them was manufactured in 1968—when I got it home, I found that it was in the original shrink wrap plastic! It touched me to know that I was the first person to open that record, just like it had been in safe keeping for me for fifty years. For such a treasure, it was very reasonably priced, and when I got to the register, I discovered it was on sale for fifty percent off!!! O, Joy! Rapture! This wonderful relic cost me less than five dollars!!!

And it was worth every cent. Surely a man must be doing something right to meet two fine cats and get a piece of history seemingly preserved just for him for half a century!
Perhaps by next week life will have sprung another small surprise my way that I can share with you. Until then, I leave with you my favorite saying from email from the past week:

Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat.
Fearlessness is taking the tartar sauce with you!



Get Your Morning Mojo at Liquid Lightning

Liquid Lightning

It is a great time to be a coffee drinker in Maynardville. Whether you are waking up early headed to work, finishing up the morning school drop offs, or just plain love to guzzle coffee all day, with one sip you will be sure to add a new stop to your daily route. Liquid Lightning, a local veteran owned and operated coffee shop, has opened their doors and put the go-juice on to brew with a goal of bringing delicious coffee, lots of laughs, and a sense of joy and comfort to the community.

Win for Author Kaye George

Kaye George

Knoxville TN: Local author Kaye George took home a second place win from BOULD (Bizarre, Outrageous, Unfettered, Limitless, Daring) for her short story Dream Girl. The story is published in BOULD Awards Short Story Anthology and is now available on Amazon.

Shirleys Bread

Shirley's Bread

I got a call from Aaron Russell the other day. He was checking to see how I was doing. He hadn't talked with me in a while. During the conversation, he mentions that he likes to bake bread. Not just any bread, but salt-rising bread. He described the process as well as how good the bread tastes. That got me thinking.

Ambulance Selfie

Ambulance Selfie

“Well, you always want an adventure!” Lynda locked the car doors.

It’s an interesting story how we had gotten to that point. Lynda is my best friend and cousin. We played ball together, ran around together, and went to the same middle and high school.

George Washington Cherry Treat

George Washington Cherry Treat

Fresh pie cherries aren't available in February. That's okay. Food City does my canning for me these days. They have one pound cans of red tart cherries on the shelf every day. I call them sour cherries.

Do you really think George cut down a cherry tree? Do you really think he fested up to the deed? Naw. George was known as a ladies man. I wouldn't be surprised if he did tell a lie now and then.

Science versus Faith

Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal once said, “The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing… We know truth, not only by reason, but also by the heart.”

Pascal was a genius and a genuine polymath who lived in the 17th century. To cover his accomplishments and body of work would require volumes, which have already been written. I want to focus on the concept he so poetically illustrated above – the ever-present battle between the head and the heart. Specifically,

Cherry Creme Fudge

Cherry Creme Fudge

Here is a fudge recipe I made a long time ago, that is, if you call 1981 a long time ago. Fudge recipes have evolved over the years. They are easier to make now. Just cook up some sugar and evaporated milk. Add chocolate and marshmallow cream and you have fudge. But it is not the same as the old fashioned variety. Oldsters will agree with me. (I will share one of those recipes at a later date.).

Failed Back Surgery Is Relatively Common

Failed Back Surgery Is Relatively Common

Failed back surgery (continued low back and leg pain after surgery) is relatively common according to a new report from the Boston University School of Medicine. With each reoperation, success, as defined by pain reduction, becomes less likely and most patients do not improve. However, preliminary studies using a simple procedure to remove scar tissue or adhesions suggests a new treatment could help those with post-surgical, chronic low back pain.

The German Beer Stein

German Beer Stein

I have had a beautiful beer stein since World War II. My brother, Rodney, sent it back from Germany. He was part of a Navy goodwill tour that started at England then went on to Germany. He sent back two beer steins and a Black Forest coo coo clock from there.

When he returned home, Rod took back the coo coo clock and one beer stein. That left me with one beer stein. I have placed that beautiful beer stein in a prominent place in my home as I moved around the country. It is time to give it a permanent home while I am still here to do so.


Interested in Homeschooling?

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 18:00

Join us for our annual Mom's night out. Monday, February 25, at six pm when April Shepherd, from the Smoky Mountain Home Education Association will be speaking at Hardees. April, a proponent of country living and a successful homeschooling Mother, will be speaking on using everyday living to teach fundamentals and life skills. She has titled her talk, "Little House on the Prairie Schooling". Sponsored by the local support group of homeschooling families, more information can be obtained by contacting Connie Dickey @ 865-992-3629

Mens Conference

Friday, March 1, 2019 - 19:00
Alder Springs Missionary Baptist Church

Alder Springs Missionary Baptist Church will be hosting a Men’s Conference on Friday, March 1st at 7:00 P.M. and Saturday, March 2nd at 9:30 A.M.
Evangelists will be Rev. Jerry Vittatoe and Rev. Mike Viles. Pastor, Rev. Jimmy Davidson extends a hearty welcome to all men.

4-H County Baking Contest

Monday, March 18, 2019 - 17:00

After youth have participated in school during February, they will be awarded a blue ribbon to move forward to the county contest. The entries at the county will be due for judging on March 18 then displayed with awards at the Extension Month Open House on March 19 for sampling.


Janice Ann Beeler Fields

Janice Ann Beeler Fields-age 66 of Corbin, Kentucky passed away suddenly Monday morning, February 18, 2019 at her home. She was a loving mother, nana, sister and friend. She will be sadly missed by all. Janice was a member of Nave Hill Baptist Church and was a former co-owner of Fields Apparel in Monticello, Kentucky. She was recently employed at SEKRI, Corbin, Kentucky for 22 years. Preceded in death by parents, James Aubrey and Lillie Beeler, two brothers, Gary and Terry Beeler; nephew, Adam Beeler.

Robert Bradley Douglas

Robert Bradley Douglas, known as Brad Douglas, was born October 12th, 1978. Brad spent his life in the Knoxville area embracing the Tennessee Volunteers, fishing and hiking. Brad's favorite thing to do was to take him and his family exploring. It is with great sadness that the family of Brad Douglas announces his passing at the age of 40. His spirit, enthusiasm and willingness to put other's needs above his own will be missed but not forgotten.

Robert Bruce Kezer

R. Bruce Kezer-age 84 of Knoxville departed this world for heaven on February 15 from his home. His family was at his side. Born in Jersey City, NJ, on September 30, 1934 to Edwin and Ruth (Adams) Kezer, Bruce graduated from the University of Vermont in 1957. He then entered the US Army and served, in peacetime, for three years until being honorably discharged at the rank of Lieutenant. Bruce loved Jesus with all his heart, and worked to live instead of the other way around.

Thomas Michael McLaughlin

Thomas M. McLaughlin age 57 currently of Maynardville TN, formerly of Edison NJ, passed away on February 8th 2019 at UT Hospital following an exhausting battle with cancer. Preceded in death by father, Thomas W, and brother Michael W McLaughlin.

Survived by wife Kathie, daughter and son-in-law Jennifer McLaughlin and Josh Lamb, son TJ, mother Elaine, sister and brother-in-law Lori and Gary Yurchak, grandchildren Chris and Michael, as well as a host of other relatives and friends.

Judson "Juddy" Bailey

Judson “Juddy“ Bailey - age 79 of Washburn, was born on February 27, 1939 and passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 10, 2019. We all called him Pap. He was a member of Nave Hill Baptist Church. He loved his family, hunting, playing cards, dogs and driving around. He spent his last few months putting on his shoes and saying “I believe I will go home”. He is finally “home“, peacefully in the arms of Jesus.

Frances Jane Nichols

Frances Jane Nichols “Janey”, age 61, of Rockford, went to be with the Lord on February 8, 2019, surrounded by her loved ones. She was a beloved mom, sister, and granny. Preceded in death by parents Jack Huggins and Bernice Van Dyke, brother Jackie Huggins, sisters Sarah Munsey, Sandy Huggins, and Darlene Dunaway.

Raymond Scott Brock

Raymond Scott Brock-age 84 of Washburn passed away Friday evening, February 8, 2019 at his home. He was a member of Salem Primitive Baptist Church. Preceded in death by wife, Barbara Brock; parents, Walter and Lois (Atkins) Brock; sister, Ruby Idol; son-in-law, Henry Paul McGinnis.

Peggy Sue Dennison

Peggy Sue (Bailey) Dennison-age 60 of Maynardville passed away Friday morning, February 8, 2019 at her home following a long illness. She was a member of The Church of God at Maynardville.

Survivors: husband, Bobby Ray Dennison; daughters, Mitzi Petty and husband, Chesney;
Trish Houston and Dora Davis; step-children, Jacob Shultz, Jessica Shultz, Jonathon Dennison and Beth De Leon Several grandchildren along with one great-grandchild. Sisters, Vickie Coram and Debbie Bailey. Several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

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.