The Tennessee North Rural Planning Organization (RPO) meets on Thursday the 13th of December to prioritize TDOT funded road projects in the RPOs seven county region. Union County does not have any TDOT projects under construction, although the SR-33 project from the Knox County Line to South of SR-144 was recently moved to the Construction Phase.
Opportunities to Share Musical Talent Democratized by Technological Advancements
By no accident, Southern Appalachia is known for its rich musical heritage. When the Scotch-Irish left Ulster for America there was little room for worldly possessions aboard wooden sailing vessels. When they crossed the mountains into what is now East Tennessee they were limited as to what they could carry in their hands, on their backs, or on the backs of a beast of burden as there were no wagon roads. However, they were able to carry within their hearts and minds songs that told of life in the old country and out at sea as they were a seafaring people.
When Ralph Peer of the Victor Talking Machine Company left New York City in 1927, for the Mountain South looking for musical talent, he came to the right place when he set up shop at Bristol. Originally marketed as Hillbilly Music, the U.S. Congress rightfully designated Bristol as the Birthplace of Country Music in 1998.
Predating the migration of our forbearers to the New World the moniker Hillbilly was earned by the Ulster Scots who supported William Prince of Orange in 1690, at the Battle of the Boyne, in which he defeated the English Monarch King James II. Reflected on the jerseys of University of Tennessee athletes years later, orange became the favorite color of the Ulster Scots. To this day, the Orangemen continue to parade in Ulster.
The Original Carter Family was among the talent discovered by Peer at the event known to history as the Bristol Recordings. All three members of the trio made important individual contributions to country music. Alvin wrote many of the songs they performed as well as assembled what has been lauded as the most important catalog of music in the history of the world. Incredibly talented with string instruments, Maybelle was the first prominent female instrumentalist in country music. Sara's voice, arguably the best every recorded in the history of country music, can still be heard, occasionally on country radio. Her unmistakable vocals continue to sound as fresh and strong today, as if she were performing them live over the airways. Their place in history is secured as the First Family of Country Music.
The 1920s also saw the dawning of live radio shows such as the WSM Grand Ole Opry broadcast from Nashville that somewhat similar to the Bristol Recordings presented opportunities for the discovery of musical talent most of which would have likely remained in obscurity a few years earlier. In more recent times, the Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour, broadcast live on local television offered a window of opportunity for previously undiscovered talent such as Dolly Parton and the Everly Brothers, but eventually it became increasingly difficult to launch a career in country music without securing the attention of recording company executives somewhere along Nashville’s Music Row. Nationally televised talent shows such as American Idol and America’s Got Talent were somewhat of a throwback to a time when relatively unknown figures such as Roy Acuff and Chet Atkins could launch a music career on live radio, but the internet has democratized the process beyond what Lowell Blanchard, who hosted the WNOX Mid-Day Merry-Go-Round on Knoxville’s South Gay Street, could have ever imagined.
Just last week two McMinn County teenagers, the Shaw twins Hunter and Heath, showed up in the newsfeed of my Facebook account. The caption beneath the post read “Since our amazing Grandmother passed away this week we decided we would sing this one for her! We love and miss you memaw”. Over the past week, Hunter’s post was viewed over two million times. I expect that by the time the LaFollette Press hits the streets this week, they will have had over ten million views. Only he who is omniscient know what the future holds for the Shaw twins or any of our youth. Ours is the responsibility to support and encourage Appalachian youth as they endeavor to follow in whatever positive direction that their own unique talents and interest may take them. Thus far, with a video that has likely swept the globe, the Shaw twins have already made a contribution to Southern Appalachia’s rich musical heritage.
What a wonderful time of the year! Celebrating Christmas and the New Year with family and friends, good food, memories of Christmas’ past and creating new memories. The New Year is a time for making resolutions and planning for changes we would like to experience in our lives in the coming year. With only four weeks remaining in 2018, we are running out of opportunities to take advantage of tax planning.
Most of us probably do not even recognize the name of Arthur Ernest Morgan; yet for those of us living in the the rural communities of the Tennessee Valley, Morgan should be remembered every time we switch on our lights or plug in our computers. Arthur Morgan was the first Director of the Tennessee Valley Authority, but he was much more than just a political appointee or bureaucratic figurehead. Morgan, a civil engineer, was an expert in water flow and water control. He was a hands on director who busied himself with the most intimate parts of the TVA: the inner workings of the dams and the communities they served. As an engineer, he designed the dams, made the earth move, mined the rock, and poured the concrete. As a visionary, he designed communities with energy efficient housing and environmental consideration. As an educator, Morgan saw the need to teach the people to use better farming practices and to train people to use electricity to make their daily chores easier.
Almost everyone recognizes the late Thomas Kinkade (1958 - 2012) as the "Painter of Light". His paintings feature glowing highlights in pastel colors of gardens, streams, stone cottages, light houses, and mainstreets most likely inspired by his hometown of Placerville, CA. It is said that 1 of every 20 Americans own a copy of one of his beautiful light filled paintings. Kinkade protected the phrase "Painter of Light" through Trademark. Though the phrase was originally used to describe English painter J. M. W. Turner (1775 - 1851), a child prodigy described as an artistic genius.
My aunt, Bonnie Heiskell Peters, is the family genealogist. In fact, she has published three books celebrating the history and people of Union County, Tennessee. When I first became interested in exploring family history, she warned me that misspellings could be roadblocks to research.
Here’s one story:
Timmy throws his legs over the back of the couch as he gazes at the Christmas tree upside down. Sigh. He just isn’t into Christmas this year.
It all started a couple of weeks ago during lunch at school. All of his friends talked about not believing in Santa Claus anymore. That was for little kids. Timmy agreed with them. Third graders were too big for silly stuff like that.
It seems the greatest and happiest moments of our lives are tinged with a bit of sadness at the realization that they can’t last forever.
Every year on Christmas Eve, all of my sister Anna Mae’s family would gather at her house to eat, but mainly to exchange gifts. Mother and I were always invited, and Anna Mae always gave me most enjoyable gifts. I remember so many of them.
One was a candle lamp with a hurricane globe. I still have that lamp, though I broke the hurricane globe long ago and had to find a slightly differently shaped globe for replacement. Anna Mae also once gave me a wind-up carousel with many mirrors to reflect light. I still have it on a library shelf, though one of the three horses has broken off and been lost.
“There he is Momma!” My hearted pounded. Could it be? I pressed my nose against the back car window and pointed toward the night sky. “I see Rudolph’s red blinking nose!”
My mother gazed out of her side window. “Sorry honey. That’s a blinking light from an airplane.”
“You sure momma?”
She paused for a second. “Yes, I am.”
Anticonvulsant drugs are increasingly being used to treat low back pain, but a new study in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) finds they are ineffective and can have adverse effects.
Clinically, the prescription of anticonvulsants for back and neck pain, including radicular
pain in primary care, has increased by 535% in the last 10 years.
Goneau Gentry Heath was born August 20, 1921 and went to her heavenly home on December 13, 2018 at the age of 97. Goneau was a longtime member of North Knoxville Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her father, Cleve Gentry and her mother, Bonnie Stooksbury Gentry; Aunt who raised her, Cora Stooksbury; husband of 51 years, K.C. Heath; Brothers, Ray and Carson Gentry; Sister, Jessie Beeler; Granddaughter, Julie Hourigan; Son-in-law, James "Jim" Bean.
Wanda Faye Henry, age 81, of Corryton joined her husband in heaven on December 12, 2018 at Tennova Powell. Member of Clear Springs Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband Harvey Henry; parents Luke and Elizabeth Everett; sisters Juanita Boling, Iola Chandler, Lelia Davis; and brother David Everett.
Rev. Gains Harrell Lewis, Sr.-age 86 of Maynardville went to his Heavenly Home Friday morning, December 14, 2018. Harrell, above everything else, loved the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour and preached and witnessed so others would do the same. He was saved and was a member of Hubbs Grove Baptist Church and attended Fellowship Christian Church. He had pastored Leatherwood Baptist Church and Head of Barren Baptist Church. He was proud to be a lifetime citizen of Maynardville, Tennessee and was well-known and had many friends and family.
Betty Sue Baumgardner – age 77 of Washburn, passed away on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. She was a member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Knoxville. Betty was a loving wife and enjoyed crocheting and quilting.
She is preceded in death by parents, Edgar and Dorothy Glover; sisters, Mary Ann Glover and Nell Harper. Betty is survived by loving husband of 60 years, Reverend Albert “Dick” Baumgardner; sister, Jenntte; brother, Edward Glover; and several nieces and nephews.
Nicole “Nicky” Tyson, age 42, passed away on December 11, 2018. She was an outgoing woman who never met a stranger. She was the happiest when surrounded by family, friends, and her fur babies, whom she was very passionate about. Nicky could light up any room she walked in and will be missed by many. She is survived by fiancé Kenny Thomas, daughter April Tyson (Boo), sons Nicholas Gene Beaver and Hunter Dylan Leon Foster, parents Janice and Jim Shipley, granddaughter Payton McKenzie Abshire, close cousin/sister Kelly Williams, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Campbell, Charles "Charlie" Winton, age 68 of Corryton, adored daddy and the most treasured grandpa, was welcomed into the arms of his Lord and Savior on, Wednesday, December 12, 2018. Awaiting this great reunion day was Charlie's sweetheart and the love of his life, Glenda Kay Campbell, his beloved wife. Also preceding his death are; parents Henderson & Ruth Campbell and sister Katherine Ann Campbell.
Sonja Denise Brown-age 53 of Luttrell passed away Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at her home. She was a member of Mynatt Road Baptist Church in Halls. Preceded in death by father, Leonard Allen Ridenour.
Survivors: husband, David Lee Brown; mother, Reba Evelyn Ridenour; brother, Ronnie Lynn Ridenour and wife, Donna; sister, Donna Michelle Gordon and husband, Gerald. Several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
Graveside service and interment 12 Noon Saturday, December 15, 2018, Dyer Cemetery, Powder Springs. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.
Tommy Ray Bray, age 59, passed away on December 11, 2018. He was a member of the Elks Lodge 160, and was an avid fisherman.
Preceded in death by mother AnnaLou Bray, father John Bray, sisters; Kathy West and Robin Burress, brothers; Harold Bray, Larry Bray, and Randall Bray.
Survived by loving wife of 35 years Pamela Bray, brothers; Danny (Judy) Bray of Briceville, Patrick Bray of Rocky Top, Kirk (Tina) Bray of Rocky Top, Clifford (Marika) Bray of Briceville, and special brother-in-law Jerry and Dennis Parton and many nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.
Regena Kaye Keller – age 65 of Knoxville, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. She was a member of River of Hope Church.
She is preceded in death by father, Richard Lee Miller; sister, Beverly Faye Murphy; and brother-in-law, Charles E. Keller. Regena is survived by her husband of 33 years, Larry “Joe” Keller; mother, Barbara Jean Pellegrino; sister, Sharon Hess; sister-in-law, Renee´ (Chris) Branum; nieces, Kristina Hess, Kirsten Keller Pruitt and Zoe Branum; nephews, Nate and Christian Branum.