By Steve Roark
Volunteer Interpreter, Cumberland Gap National Park
You can learn a lot from talking with elders. In a conversation about Christmas with my mother some years ago I learned that the Christmas of her childhood had an extra bit of celebration. Her father Sillus Day would always hold back some candy from Christmas in a big, locked chest and would give it out on January 6, a day he called “Old Christmas”. Mom remembers him saying that it took 12 days for the wise men to travel to Bethlehem to find Jesus, an event worth celebrating. I had never heard of Old Christmas, so I went on a research mission, and it turns out Old Christmas was celebrated across pockets of Appalachia for centuries but has about faded away.
January 6 is indeed accepted by many Western-Christian faiths as the day the wise men came to see the infant Jesus, and calendars call it the Day of Epiphany, a Greek word that means “appearance”. So the Epiphany is a celebration of the day that Jesus first appeared to Gentiles, and it’s celebrated in many cultures, especially Latin American. There it is observed as the Day of the Kings or Three Kings Day. Many give gifts on this day, and in some places, it is traditional to give a gift for each of the 12 days from Christmas to Epiphany, inspiring the song Twelve Days of Christmas, turtle doves and all.
But calling January 6 Old Christmas is a little more complicated than that. Around 45 BC Julius Caesar ordered the creation of a more accurate calendar that became known as the Julian calendar. It had 365 ¼ days divided into 12 months. But despite the inclusion of leap years, the Julian calendar overestimated the length of a year by eleven minutes fifteen seconds, which comes to one day every 128 years. By the 16th century the calendar was 10 days ahead of what it should have been, like a clock that runs a little fast. So in 1582, reforms were instituted by Pope Gregory the 13th that chopped off the eleven minute error in the length of the year and deleted the accumulated 10 days. This new Gregorian calendar was adopted throughout Catholic Europe.
Well, Protestant dominated England was not going be told what to do by some Pope, so it kept to the old Julian calendar, meaning that London was 10 days ahead of Paris. By the time England came around to adopting the Gregorian calendar in the 18th century, it was 11 days ahead of the rest of Europe. So the Calendar Act was passed in 1751, which stated that in order to bring England back in sync, the day following September 2nd of 1752 was to be called the 14th rather than the 3rd. This caused a great upheaval among people who didn’t understand it all and thought that the government was taking 11 days of their lives.
Anyway, before the calendar was reformed, England celebrated Christmas on the equivalent of the 6th of January by Gregorian calendar reckoning. And so it came to be called Old Christmas Day by many people of Great Britain. Some of the Scots Irish immigrants that eventually populated our mountains tenaciously held on to a very old European tradition that my grandfather still recognized, which I find amazing. Talk to older folk and take notes. You never know what you may learn.
Despite the high prevalence of musculoskeletal pain during pregnancy, few women in underserved populations receive treatment for their low back pain. Moreover, researchers found that pain in a previous pregnancy may predict a high risk for musculoskeletal complaints in future pregnancies. 85 percent of women who experienced pain in a previous pregnancy reported pain during their current pregnancy.
I don’t know if it was my pride that made me do it or my stubbornness.
Years ago, we visited Dollywood Splash Country with my cousin Lynda and her family. While our children and husbands were playing on the water attractions, we walked around the park. I noticed one that had three water tubes running down the hill into a large pool. Two were enclosed and twisted while and one was open and straight
“Hey, that looks like fun.” I pointed. “Do you want to try it?”
She smiled and answered, “No, but you can.”
I was checking Facebook the other day and came across this “hook”:
Meet the Waltons: The Bizarre Family Behind Walmart
There followed two comments:
“Hated Grandma on that show. She was so grouchy.
And why didn’t John Boy just come out of the closet?
Like we all didn’t know!”
“I remember the first Walmart open
in Rogers, Arkansas on July 2, 1969.”
Lakin Booker, Vice President of Horace Maynard FFA Chapter at UCHS, holds the check for $2700 from Shooting Hunger. Awarding the donation are Kristen Walker of Tennessee Farm Bureau, Manager Cody Brown and Eddie Thompson from Union County Farm Bureau, Lakin Booker, Joy Nease of UCFB, David Bunch of Union County Farmers Coop, and Ben Bradley from Farm Credit Mid-America/Rural 1st.
The Horace Maynard Future Farmers of America Chapter Backpack for Kids Program got a big financial boost on Thursday, June 9, 2022, from Shooting Hunger. As the Back Packs for Kids Program Administrator. Lakin Booker received the $2700 check On hand for the presentation was Kristen Walker of the Tennessee Farm Bureau. Manager Cody Brown and Board President Eddie Thompso, and Joy Nease represented the Union County Farm Bureau. David Bunch from the Union County Farmers Coop and Ben Bradley of Farm Credit Mid-America/Rural 1st also helped award the donation.
The old cliché says that a picture is worth a thousand words. Actually, an email from a friend revealed to me that thanks to current inflation, a picture is now worth only two hundred words, and as the price of everything else rises, the word value of a picture drops daily. Soon, words will be worth pictures!
As of May 28, the Pavilion at Heritage Park, better known as the Farmers Market, is completely ready for use. From the lights in the rafters to the natural concrete floor, the place exudes practicality with a festive twist.
The stage, back dropped with a gigantic American flag, was framed by the cedar siding on the back wall. Commissioner Danny Cooke from the Union County Opry welcomed hundreds to the pavilion to eat Buddy’s Bar-B-Q and enjoy music by Flashback and Authentic Unlimited.
There is a new place to take a walk in Luttrell, but it isn’t your typical trail.
The Luttrell Storybook Trail made its debut last week and is generating a ton of excitement. The usual walking path helps build the muscles and the heart. This trek can do that as well, but it can also expand a child’s brain. The trail is located behind Luttrell Elementary School/Luttrell Library and can take readers on a magical walking journey using books.
For many children, Vacation Bible School is a summer staple. The Bible stories and learning activities, crafts and songs allow youth to better understand biblical truths as well as continue some type of schedule outside of the school year.
While some families may have a busy summer schedule, there are numerous churches within the community that are opening their doors for all ages to come and learn about a variety of different topics surrounding biblical history and truths.
The Union County Lions Club awarded Riley Cole, Gavin Graves and Joy Turner $300 each from the Mark Martin Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded annually in memory of Union County elementary music teacher Mark Martin, who passed away on May 16, 2015. Mark taught general music at Big Ridge, Sharps Chapel and Luttrell Elementary schools and assisted with band at the middle and high school.
Some 40 years ago, a small group of caring citizens started the Luttrell Volunteer Fire Department. On May 9, board members, firefighters and friends gathered at the Luttrell Firehall to celebrate LVFD and honor its longest serving member, Wayne Toppins.
As school was wrapping up this year, the Union County Extension office offered a unique program, called On My Own to teach financial literacy to youth in our county.
On My Own is a hands-on, real-life simulation that gives young people ages 13 to 18 the opportunity to experience adulthood in a fun and exciting way. During the simulation, participants assume they are 26 years old, are the primary or sole support of the household, and are encouraged to make healthy and wise lifestyle choices similar to those adults face on a daily basis.
Patrons lined up to purchase sweet treats at the grand opening of the Buttercup Bakehouse at 3933 Maynardville Highway on June 3. Emily Cooke, formerly of Sweet Treats by Emily is the proprietor. The bakery offers a variety of breakfast items, drinks and desserts. Baked goods include breakfast jam bars, cinnamon rolls, banana bread and cupcakes galore.
Rethinking what causes pain and how great a threat it is can provide chronic pain patients with lasting relief and alter brain networks associated with pain processing, according to new University of Colorado Boulder led research.
The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found that two-thirds of chronic back pain patients who underwent a four-week psychological treatment called Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT) were pain-free or nearly pain-free post-treatment. And most maintained relief for one year.
Nashville, TN– Ben Woods has been named the 2022 National Dairy Month Chairman for Union County.
Woods was honored May 26 at the Tennessee June Dairy Month Kickoff Event at Battle Mountain Farm in College Grove. The event included recognition from Brian Flowers, president of the American Dairy Association of Tennessee, and Jeff Aiken, Deputy Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. The official kickoff celebration recognized Tennessee 4-H member’s efforts to promote National Dairy Month in Tennessee.
The City of Plainview introduced its new utility truck at the May meeting of the Plainview Board of Aldermen. The new three-quarter ton truck is a 2022 Ford 250 with 4-wheel drive and the latest in electronic and safety enhancements. According to Vice Mayor Richard Phillips, the new one replaces a truck that is 22 years old and will be a welcome addition to the maintenance vehicles. The old truck was declared surplus and will be sold.
A few days ago my wonderful niece in Cincinnati sent me the following text message at 6:29 p.m.: “Sitting on the back porch, enjoying the cool of the evening, the birds and squirrels, the fish and frogs, the breeze bringing in the scent of the freshly moon grass. How’s your day going?”
“Moon grass, huh?” thought I. “Is that like bluegrass, crabgrass, fescue? Is there ‘Martian’ grass on Mars? Did she have two cases of ‘Blue Moon’ iced down for the Super Bowl?” At 6:32 p.m. I received another message: “Mown grass . . . not moon.”
I felt so sorry for my mom. Not only because strange things seem to happen to the both of us, but because she was in pain.
Back in the early ’80’s, we had a wood stove in the basement. I have previously talked about how my mom was the only one who tended to it. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to help. I asked her several times to show me how, but each time, she answered, “No!”
Why? Because I was a typical teenage girl. She knew my mind would be on boys, school drama and homework. Then I asked if I could at least help by carrying in some wood. Again, she answered, “No!”
Country Connections By James and Ellen Perry
It’s early morning and I’m sitting on my front porch pondering the emigration from Union County, Tennessee, that had been going on since the end of WWII in 1945.
Most immigrated to the northern states for a supposed better life provided by higher paying jobs in factories which had been suppressed in the South since the Civil War.
This spring UT Extension challenged our elementary school 4-H clubs to “Walk Across TN.” Each class received a state map, logbook, and pedometers to track their progress. By wearing pedometers to track steps during the day, students got to see how active they are compared to their peers. They encouraged each other to participate in healthy movement throughout the day in a shared goal of making it across the state. By logging steps taken, students learned about record keeping and used important math skills.
Different stretches have different functions. Some focus on a particular muscle or muscle group or limb and improve movement. Others, sometimes referred to as ‘active’ stretches, are intended to increase strength. These three exercises are designed to do both with your back:
The bridge: Lie on your back with your knees pointing up and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your buttocks and stomach muscles and slowly raise your hips. Hold for a count of ten, and lower your hips. Do 10 repetitions at least once, up to 3 times per day.
This recipe is so easy. There is no time wasted preparing meatballs. Start this recipe early in the day before your company comes. You have enough to do. By the way, if you have grape jelly and canned apple juice, you can turn to around and use 1 cup grape jelly and 1 cup apple juice. Who says we can't be adaptable.
As Cadie Chapell approached the front of the room, she was unsure of how her speech would go. Little did she know it would be her first of many.
Chapell, at the time a small, petite, 4th grader talked to her class about a family ski trip never imagining that those small steps would one day lead to her speaking in front of her graduating class and guests at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Join us this Saturday, May 28, as the Union County Farmers Market kicks off our Nourish Kids program. This will be the third season that the market has partnered with Nourish Knoxville to present this program. Through a grant, Nourish Knoxville has been able to assist markets like ours throughout East Tennessee, providing materials and Produce Bucks making this program possible.
Improper planting depth is one of the most common challenges impacting the growth and health of urban trees. Trees planted incorrectly are not only subjected to the physical stresses of improper placement, they’re also more susceptible to insect pests and fungal pathogens. These issues, combined with the already stressful urban environment, may lead to the untimely decline of trees that would otherwise prosper if planted correctly.
Interim Director Gets Nod to Continue Role Permanently
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture has appointed Gary Bates, professor and interim head of the Department of Plant Sciences, as the department’s permanent leader.
Bates has served in the interim position since 2020.
Occasionally in life the stars align themselves, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I can see the alignment, sometimes I cannot.
I remember several years meteor showers were predicted. I got out of bed around 2:00 a.m., the reported best time to see them at my location, to witness this wonder of nature. For whatever reason, I did not see the expected phenomenon.
As i have said before, bar cookies are the easiest and quickest cookie to make. Who doesn't like peanut butter and jelly? These bar cookies are great
PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY BARS
3 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup grape jelly
Biodiversity remains a big deal in ecology circles these days. The dictionary defines it simply as the variety of living things in a particular area or region. Opinions on the importance of biodiversity vary, but to me the loss of any plant or animal species means something’s wrong, and rightfully raises some concerns.
Union County, a small part of Tennessee and an even smaller part of the United States. With a population of approximately 20,000 in 2019, we often wonder what is produced by the endeavors of our families, teachers, and leaders.
One story that I would like to begin to tell over the next few months, is the story of successes that have come from our small part of the world.
UT Extension Union County and the Union County Farmers Market are at it once again; partnering to create healthier, more active lifestyles. When you join us at the market each Saturday, just sign-in and pick-up your pedometer for the day, then walk the market and surrounding areas. When finished, exchange the pedometer for the market bucks you have earned! Thank Reliant Family Health for sponsoring this program and providing the market bucks and incentives.
One of my favorite songs as a child was, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” I don’t know many times I have peered into the night sky and thought of that song. At times, I even sang it. So to me, the word “Twinkling,” meant something shiny and sparkly. That changed for me a few years ago in a dramatic way.
Once upon a time a weary Ronnie Mincey prepared himself for bed. His lovely bride had retired some time earlier. He turned on the television to assist his delve into the realms of rest. As he crawled under the covers beside his oblivious wife and wrapped himself “just so” in the sheets, he heard something fall to the floor.
Primitive Quartet, Journey Home, County Line, Saturday, July 23, 2022, 6 pm, Union County High School, 135 Main Street, Maynardville, TN. $10.
This concert is rescheduled from March 23, 2022 which was cancelled due to snow. All tickets purchased for the March date will be honored for July 23, 2022. Sponsored by Union County Lions Club. Additional information--865-278-6430, email@example.com.
Darrell G. Ray-age 55 of Sharps Chapel passed away Monday morning, June 27, 2022 at his home. He was a member of Oak Grove Primitive Baptist Church in Sharps Chapel. Preceded in death by mother, Locia Marie Ray; grandparents, Lowe and Lassie (Pratt) Ray; Ethel and Omie Wilder.
Survivors: father and step-mother, Glen and Fosteen (Wright) Ray; brother, Harold Ray and wife, Jeannie; sisters, Elizabeth Ray; Anita Ray Edmondson and husband, Johnny; Sandy Ray. Several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Robert Lee (Bobby) Munsey-age 68 of Washburn, born February 27, 1954 passed away suddenly Monday morning, June 27, 2022 at Claiborne Medical Center. He was preceded in death by parents, Luther and Lois Munsey; sisters, Sandra McGinnis, Linda Hefner, Shirley Singleton; brother, Donnie Munsey; nephew, Matt Munsey.
Survivors: sisters, Judy Bailey, Debbie (Ellis) Carpenter, Brenda (Ron) Singleton, Gail Beason, Sharon (Buster) Bailey; brother, Jackie (Pam) Munsey. Several nieces and nephews.
Troy (Todd) Muncey-age 87 of Maynardville passed away Thursday evening, June 23, 2022 at the Willow Ridge Center. He was a retired auto/body repairman. He was preceded in death by his wife, Gladys Muncey; parents, Barton and Amie (Polly) Muncey; sons, Jeffery Muncey and Gary (Bones) Muncey; brothers, Leroy Sexton and Ed Muncey; great-grandson, Dalton Lewis.
Daniel Edward Vantuyl-age 50 of Luttrell passed away Wednesday evening, June 22, 2022 at his home. He was born February 13, 1972 in Livonia, Michigan and was a retired over the road truck driver. Preceded in death by parents, Stephen Glenn and Deborah Diane (Daniels) Vantuyl.
Survivors: wife of seven years, Megan Marie Vantuyl; six children, Shane Vantuyl, Christian Vantuyl, Troy Vantuyl, Austin Locklear, Madison Wade and Katie Graves. Brother, Dean Vantuyl; sister, Melinda Atkins. Several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
Bridget Machele Edwards-age 33 of Sharps Chapel passed away Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at her home. She was preceded in death by husband, Adam Edwards; father, Dewayne Pressley; mother, Kelly Day Weaver; beloved brother, Sean Rogers; cousin, Chris Heath; grandmother, Wanda Day; grandfather, Hiram Day, Jr.; great-grandparents, Opal Bowling; Marie and Jerry Childers.
Enna Faye (Sherritze - Sexton) Howe, age 75, of Douglasville, Georgia, formally of Maynardville, Tennessee gained her heavenly wings Tuesday, June 20, 2022. Faye was a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church and Past Worthy Matron of the Blazing Star Chapter of the Eastern Star. Coming from a singing family, she used her talent to bless so many people throughout her life. From her years as an Avon District Mgr. in Tennessee and Georgia.
Luddie Blevins-age 77 of Maynardville was born March 26, 1945 in Harlan, Kentucky passed away suddenly Friday morning, June 17, 2022 at her home. She was the daughter of the late Baxter and Betty (Napier) Blevins. Also preceded in death by brother, Woodrow, William, Green, George and Carter Blevins; sisters, Nancy Burkhart, Georgia Blevins, Rellab Blevins; nephew, Jason Blevins; niece, Carla Blevins.
Christopher Jody Davidson – age 50 passed away peacefully at his home in Washburn on Monday, June 13, 2022. He accepted Christ at an early age at Johnson’s Chapel Church. Jody never met a stranger, and he left an impression on all who met him. He loved reading, traveling, fishing, camping, river life, and the beach.
Bill W. Ailor 77 of Maynardville passed away Friday evening June 10th, 2022 at North Knoxville Medical Center. Member of Mascot Baptist Church of Mascot.
Proceded in death by mother and father Gruder and Arlena (Oxendine) Ailor, former wife and lifelong friend Shirley Ailor, Brother, Bert Caldwell.
Survived by daughters, Sherrie (Huck) Ervin, Brittany Needham, Whitney (Kenton) George. Grandchildren, Chelsea Ervin, Kinsley, Callie, and Maverick (JJ)
Wanda Lay Williams-age 83 of Maynardville went home to be with her Lord and Savior Sunday morning, June 12, 2022 surrounded by her loving family. She spent most of her life singing about The Lord and was a proud member of Alder Springs Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 64 years, Bruce Williams; son, Tommy Williams; grandson, Alex Williams; parents, Floyd and Sarah Lay; brothers, Raymer, Harold and H. C. Lay; sister, Edith Beason.
Leisha Collette (Holloway) Skipper – age 59 of Sharps Chapel, born December 21, 1962, the daughter of the late Fred and Rose Holloway, passed away Thursday morning, June 9, 2022. She loved riding motorcycles and bird watching. Her son, Timothy was her entire heart and soul. Leisha’s witty and straight forward attitude and loving heart will be sadly missed by all.
Carol Anne Rayhill-age 83 of Maynardville went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, June 8, 2022. She was preceded in death by parents, Clarence and Gertrude Briggs; great-grandson, Logan Hunter Simmons.
Survived by brother, James Briggs and wife, Carol; loving sons, James Lineham, Sr. and wife, Susie; Thomas Lineham and wife, Loraine. Grandchildren, James Lineham, Jr. and wife, Sandy; Jessica Lineham. Great-grandchildren, James, Audrey, Landon, Elysha. Great-great-grandchild, Lakin Lineham.
Services will be private. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.
Rebecca Ann (Becky) Buckner-age 54 of Maynardville passed away suddenly Sunday, June 5, 2022 as the result of an automobile accident. She was a member of Chestnut Grove Baptist Church. Becky was a special person and you knew it without seeing her. She was present by the sound of her infectious laugh. She loved her girls and her dog – Littlebit. She was always outside, loved bonfires, flowers food and being with friends and family. She shared her testimony with us often and without a doubt, know she is home with the Lord. Preceded in death by mother, Jessie Damewood; father, J. D.
Mossie Maria Masingo – 59 of Sharps Chapel, passed away Friday, June 3, 2022 at her home. She enjoyed yard work, flowers, fishing, bingo and spending time with her special grandchildren.
Shawn Lynn Bull-age 43 of Maynardville went home to be with the Lord, Sunday, May 29, 2022 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville surrounded by his loving family. He was a member of Milan Baptist Church and a graduate of Horace Maynard High School, Class of 1997. He loved the Lord, his family and friends; coaching football and logging. Preceded in death by grandparents, Silas and Murlie Bull; Rev. Fate and Etta Oaks; parents, Rev. Clarence and Eva Bull; grandson, Brayden William Frye; brother, Wayne Bull.
Edna Elizabeth (Nicley) Davis-age 76 of Luttrell, born July 31, 1945 passed away Wednesday, June 1, 2022.She was a member of Nave Hill Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband, Don Davis; daughters, Janice Cooke, Bobbie Harrell; son, Donnie Davis; parents, Taylor and Della (Yadon) Nicley; brother, L. D. Nicley; sister, Diane Williams.
John Wesley “John Boy” Lay-age 39 of Sharps Chapel passed away suddenly Saturday, May 28, 2022 at his home. He was an employee of S.R.K. in New Tazewell. Preceded in death by parents, William (Preach) and Ruby Ellen (Tharp) Lay.
Survivors: fiancée, Kristy Dykes; three children, Austin William Lay, age 13; Shawna Alexis Lay, age 8 and Sydney Ann Lay, Age 7; brother, Mitchell Lynn Lay and fiancée, Maryann Lowe, long-time friend, Ronnie Dykes. all of Sharps Chapel. Several aunts, uncles and cousins along with a host of friends.
Bradley Tolliver – 71 of Maynardville, passed away peacefully at home on May 31, 2022. He was a member of New Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
Jamie Lynn Ramsey-age 47 of Blaine passed away Monday, May 30, 2022 at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was a member of Indian Ridge Baptist Church and a graduate of Rutledge High School, Class of 1997. Jamie was a very special person who was loved by all. Preceded in death by brother, Travis Scotty Ramsey; grandparents, Vate and Evelyn Ramsey; Harold and Vada Patterson along with several aunts, uncles and cousins.
Lee Carroll “Buddy” Brantley-age 75 of Maynardville passed away Saturday, May 28, 2022 at North Knoxville Medical Center. He was born to Cliff and Mary (Shropshire) Brantley in August of 1946 in Morristown, TN. Buddy was a 1964 graduate of Horace Maynard High School, and retired from Southern Railway in 2006 after 38 years of employment.
Michael Randall “Randy” Harrell-age 63 of Washburn passed away Saturday, May 28, 2022 at Claiborne Medical Center. Randy was a member of Dutch Valley Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Everett and Mossie Harrell; sisters, Sue England, Jennie Suffridge, Diane Williams, Betty Davis and Kay Nicley; son, John Coffman.