After a pandemic hiatus, the Union County Opry will return to it’s monthly show schedule at the Union County High auditorium. The first show was held May 1 and featured the Union County Opry Band.
Next month’s show will see Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver return to the UCO stage.
Pride or Prejudice?
This very day I received the following statement in my email:
Every Southerner knows that tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; that scrambled eggs just ain’t right without Tabasco, and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.
There has been since the beginning of American history a distinct difference between the northern and southern parts of our country. Many of these differences are God ordained, such as the geographical features. Allow me to provide a very simplistic view.
It was in great part those very geographical differences that led to the north’s industrialization and the south’s agricultural base. And that agricultural base led to the use of slavery as basically free labor to support the great cotton crops whose harvests were sent to the northern textile mills for the manufacture of clothing.
There were other crops raised in the south, and there were many other industries in the north. But the issue of slavery became a major debate between the two sections during the mid-1800s, climaxing with the United States Civil War. Slavery was not the only issue resulting in the Civil War, but nevertheless it became a most critical point.
Sadly, the Civil War is still being fought 155 years after its end on many fronts. Have you as a southern native ever traveled to or worked in a northern destination and made to feel uncomfortable by your culture? Perhaps you are a northern native who has relocated to the south and have felt that your neighbors were hostile, particularly if you participated in civic activities and voiced an opinion that differed from the regional status quo.
This what I will term for the purpose of this article “cultural superiority” can become very specific. Sometimes a distinction is made even within different sections of the same county. I remember when I was the principal of Sharps Chapel Elementary School. An elder member of the community that I had known from my youth was talking about all of the school staff who were not native to Sharps Chapel. I said to this dear lady, “I’m not from Sharps Chapel.” She replied, “Well, at least you’re from the COUNTY!”
There is nothing wrong with a person being proud of his/her native home. The quote above that came from my email is a humorous attempt to voice pride of the southern United States. I was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Knoxville. Guess what? I’m Baptist, and St. Mary’s was affiliated with the Catholic religion. I have lived my entire life in Union County. Since I was born in Knoxville, does that make me not a native Union Countian? I attended Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee and lived in the dormitories of the fine educational institution for the better part of four years. That was in Claiborne County. Does that mean that I forfeited my rights as a native Union Countian? It wouldn’t appear so, at least in the eyes of the government. I still voted in Union County, always in the first district, though for seven years I lived in the third district.
Back to the quote above. Let me examine it, using myself as an example. “Every Southerner knows that tomatoes . . .” Stop right there! I despise tomatoes. I don’t mind very small pieces of tomato in my vegetable soup or chili, and I love ketchup with the correct foods, such as French (not American) fries, fried potatoes, and occasionally chicken nuggets. I don’t like ketchup on my hot dogs. Yet I don’t go to grocery stores and destroy and loot their displays and stock of tomatoes just because I don’t like them. And I don’t discriminate—I don’t like tomatoes in any form, regardless if they are grown in the north or south, or in another country, for that matter. I don’t like tomatoes in combination with any other food, either. I have nothing against those who dearly love tomatoes. My Aunt Duskie told me, “You’re not a Mincey if you don’t like ‘maters’.” I don’t like tomatoes, I am indeed a Mincey, and I love my Aunt Duskie still, though she has been in the grave for almost two decades.
More examination—“tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful. I love eggs. All during my growing years my mother and I (and later, Dad) went to church every Sunday morning. For lunch every Sunday, I had a fried egg sandwich on white (not wheat) light bread with mayonnaise and some flavor of red Kool-Aid. The flavor didn’t matter, as long as the Kool-Aid was red, what I used to call “poor man’s wine”. For breakfast (on the rare occasions that I ate breakfast) I wanted scrambled eggs with light Karo syrup (I don’t like dark syrup with eggs—that is for pancakes or waffles). And I didn’t give a dang whose picture was on the egg carton or the syrup bottle, either! (God bless Mrs. Buttersworth, as long as her syrup didn’t wind up on my eggs!) I was just glad to get to eat what I wanted. I have nothing against those who dearly love eggs and/or light Karo syrup. I don’t go to public places or people’s homes and vandalize their kitchens and dining rooms because they don’t agree with me concerning eggs and light Karo syrup. And I don’t discriminate—if you don’t like eggs and/or light Karo syrup, I can still respect your right to differ in your opinions because I know there is more to life than total agreement and tolerance for eggs and light Karo syrup. I personally agree wholeheartedly with the end of the quote: “. . . that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.” In my book, they are not a fit food for any meal or occasion.
Bacon is a food I like. I get along fine with people who like their bacon very crispy, though I prefer it to be less well done and chewier. I also get along with vegetarians. I don’t make fun of people who don’t eat meat, no more than I expect them to belittle me for eating as much as I can find.
Not to belabor the point, I don’t like grits at all. No form, no fashion. I don’t even know whose picture might be on a box of grits. If you like grits, God love your heart! The closest I ever came to possibly eating and liking grits was when I was very young, before I even went to school. I was at one of my brothers’ houses, and his wife served Cream of Wheat with lots of butter and white sugar. That I could eat and enjoy.
I have been a coffee drinker all my life. Before I can even remember I was drinking coffee (half a teaspoon of instant coffee to a lukewarm cup of water, just hot enough to dissolve the instant coffee powder). I never cared for JFG brand—I always found it bitter. My favorites were Nescafe and Folger’s, though the brand matters less to me when the coffee is brewed. Over the years I graduated from this “unleaded” version to full strength, from instant to brewed. I still prefer my coffee hotter than lukewarm, though not so hot that it burns my mouth. I feel no animosity toward those who don’t even like coffee. I don’t find it necessary to protest and riot over the fact that some people are thus deluded.
For those who might not know what red eye gravy is, Wikipedia defines it as,
“. . . a thin sauce often seen in the cuisine of the Southern United States and associated with the country ham of that region. Other names for this sauce include poor man's gravy, bird-eye gravy, bottom sop, cedar gravy, and red ham gravy. The gravy is made from the drippings of pan-fried country ham mixed with black coffee. Red-eye gravy is often served over ham, grits or biscuits. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-eye_gravy, Retrieved July 6, 2020)
I have never had actual red eye gravy, though this definition makes me want to have some right now. There are those, even southerners, who would not “fain fill their bellies” with this “swill”. I bear none of them ill will, nor would I bash their brains with the pan in which this southern delicacy is prepared. I know that there are people who don’t consider red eye gravy just a breakfast food, and there are many of us who at various times have eaten breakfast for either dinner (lunch in the north) or supper (dinner in the south).
I got my fill of Tabasco when I was in college. During a dare at lunch, I turned up a bottle and drunk Tabasco sauce straight. Immediately my eyes poured water, my mouth felt like a coal furnace, and every pore in my body exuded sweat. I thought I might die right at the table. I suppose that’s the reason I prefer Tiger Sauce today, though I would put neither Tabasco nor Tiger Sauce on my eggs, no matter how the eggs are prepared. I personally would never eat breakfast that contained Tabasco as a condiment; however, I have quite the collection of Tabasco ties, just as I have golf and fishing ties, though I participate in neither sport. If you choose to wear clothing that makes light of either Tabasco, fishing or golf, the mere fact that you wear such clothes will not harm me in the least, no more than my choice of clothing will harm you.
Notice I have not capitalized either “north” or “south” in this article unless it began a sentence (or unless I made an unintentional error). This reflects my belief that all Americans, regardless of our origins and culture, need to respect and have tolerance for differences in culture, unless such differences cause a threat to civil liberty. Tolerance is not acceptance, an important distinction that so often so many of us forget.
As I take my leave from you this week, I leave you with yet another tidbit from my world of email.
Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin'!
After a pandemic hiatus, the Union County Opry will return to it’s monthly show schedule at the Union County High auditorium. The first show was held May 1 and featured the Union County Opry Band.
Director Jimmy Carter offered the Union County Board of Education a balanced budget with no tax increase at the regular April meeting.
The budget meets Governor Lee’s request of a $40,000 beginning salary for teachers and building the current salary bonus into the overall certified employee pay scale.
In announcements during the regular Union County Commission Meeting in April, Mayor Jason Bailey reminded commissioners that the order allowing for the holding of county meetings by electronic devices expires April 30.
You may have heard that due to the pandemic, the TN Health Department has canceled its annual rabies clinics this year.
Thunder Road Veterinary Services office manager Heather Patterson is happy to share that they are hosting low-cost rabies and other crucial vaccinations for your pets Wednesday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Rabies shots are only $5, and other vaccines are available at discounted rates.
The groomer, Mitzi, will do quick nail trims, or you may schedule grooming services by calling the office.
Create a DIY sit/stand station. The popularity of standing desks has increased significantly over the past several years. You can create your own standing desk at home by simply working at a raised kitchen counter, for example, but be sure that the height of the counter does not cause you to bend your elbows too much. You should be able to comfortably reach your keyboard with elbows bent at about a 90-degree angle.
Dan was always the sergeant, fully in command with the rest of us boys his privates. This summer day we were fighting the Japanese on some Pacific Island.
We crawled, jumped over oak tree stumps, eased through briars and bushes on the Perry farm overlooking Norris Lake in 1954. We knew that our Sergeant Dan was about to have us attack the Japs, win another victory and march home later that day being patriotic soldiers in this boys’ army.
Perhaps I should have entitled this article “What’s Wrong with Christianity?”
The answer to both questions are not synonymous, but they are related.
Plus questioning what is wrong with Christianity is too subjective, as evidenced by the various Christian denominations found throughout the world. Denominations, including religious sects, are greatly influenced by personal feelings or opinions.
While several hawk species spend time in East Tennessee, the red-tailed hawk stays around all year and is the most common one seen.
They prefer to hang out in open fields near woodland edges. Seeing a red tail gliding across the sky and hearing their high-pitched cry gives one a pleasing dose of wildness.
The red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) has a body around two feet long with wide wings that span around 4 four feet, making it the largest hawk we have. The female is a third larger than the male.
The bluegrass style of music was born out of rural Appalachia. Folks around the hills and hollers would gather and have fellowship bringing with them their stringed instruments.
These traditions are still carried on in these parts today. Many of these bluegrass pickers went on to influence country music like Roy Acuff from Maynardville. Roy was a fiddle player and singer that became one of the founders of the Grand Ole Opry.
When Alex Booth developed a passion for fishing at the ripe old age of seven, he didn’t have to twist his Dad’s arm very hard. Before Alex was born, Dad was fairly heavy into tournament bass fishing, but wanting to spend more time with Alex, he sold his Bassboat. Likewise when Alex turned ten and wanted to tournament fish it wasn’t hard to convince Dad to buy a new boat. Nearly every Saturday in any weather for the next year or so, you could find Alex and Dad learning more about bass fishing.
Southern Spirit performed selections from Old Stuff, their latest album and the name of the signature song, for the Union County Historical Society at the Union County Museum in April.
Shandy Glover and Chris Hooper of Sharps Chapel roots combined their talents in songwriting, arranging and guitar picking to bring authentic country music to the audience.
Glover, lead guitarist and lead singer, debuted the Martin, a 54-year-old guitar gifted to him by Hooper a few years back.
Who would ever have thought that “catgut” comes not from cats, but from the natural fiber found in the walls of sheep or goat intestines, and sometimes from the intestines of cattle, hogs, horses, mules, or donkeys! Additional research will inform that catgut is used to make strings for musical instruments.
A friend of mine posted on Facebook that her sign under the Chinese zodiac, according to the date of her birth, was the dragon. It listed her most negative quality as that of being “stubbornly independent”. She questioned whether this was a negative quality.
I like pork sausage as you can tell by the number of recipes I have that include it. Just making patties and frying them can make a rock-like nugget if you get them too brown.
This recipe is nice and tender. The extra time it takes to mix it up is worth it. I like to get my hands in there to do that. I understand that not everyone is inclined. Mix them any way you want. They will be delicious.
I would like to share a few experiences of the full and rich life of one of our most highly accomplished local residents, Jim Clayton. He is returning to his first love, music, and will join the Union County Opry Band for a live performance this Saturday. Clayton’s uncle gave him his first guitar on his sixth birthday, and he was in love! As he grew older, he idolized Eddie Arnold and wished to be like him; but God had better plans.
By: Steve Roark
Volunteer Interpreter, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Our forefathers paid a lot more attention to natural events than we do now. They had no radio, TV, or newspaper to provide weather trends, so they looked to nature to tell them when to plant beans or when to strip hickory bark for chair bottoms. They didn’t know it but they were practicing phenology: the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate, plant, and animal life.
Chiropractors are accustomed to making recommendations for their patient’s traditional workspaces, but they also understand that in times of unexpected change you must find ways to adapt quickly. Many of the workers forced to go remote are still working on laptops, according to the experts. Here are their top three suggestions for making a home workstation work with your laptop:
Pick a spot. If you do not have a regular desk at home, working at a kitchen table is generally much better than sitting on a couch with your laptop on your lap.
Most people in the room gasped. Some even laughed. As for me, I felt sorry for the guy.
I was around ten years old as I sit in the crowded doctor’s office with my mom. In walks this young man with a red gash on the end of his nose. Of course, those sitting around him asked what happened. With a red face, he told about jerking back on his fishing rod, which caused the now bait-less hook to hurtle toward him. Before he realized what was happening, it had dug into the end of his nose. Since the hook was a little rusty and had dried worm guts on it, he needed to get a Tetanus shot.
Young Life is a Christian ministry that reaches out to middle school, high school, and college students in the United States and in countries around the world. Locally, Young Life ministers to students at Union County High School, Claiborne High School, and on campus at LMU.
Katies Collins is the Area Director serving Union and Claiborne County.
More work-at-home suggestions to reduce stress on the body:
Use a keyboard tray and pull it out over your lap. If you use a laptop, use it as a screen only, placing it at eye level with a stand or a stack of books. Get a remote keyboard to use with your laptop computer. To avoid neck pain, keep your screen at eye level whether you use a laptop or monitor. Put books underneath your monitor to raise it or use a stand, if necessary.
As a little girl, I didn’t think much about how I ate. That is, until Papaw Janeway had supper with us one day.
Papaw Janeway was Mamaw Jo’s father. So, when he came over, she and Mamaw Girdle/Myrtle cooked their usual southern feast: pinto beans, fried okra, rolls, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, peas, rolls, cornbread, and, of course, fried chicken.
Ask a stupid question and you get a stupid answer, or so the old saying goes. It would seem logical that the Hundred Years’ War lasted 100 years, but actually it lasted 116 years. All of us are not Vulcans, and logic doesn’t always work, Mr. Spock.
A question with a less obvious answer might be: What kind of horse did Joe Cartwright ride on Bonanza? The correct answer: a pinto!
It’s a given that in our mountainous terrain you’re going to see trees while driving down the road. Most of them are growing in natural forests with good soil that supports a wide variety of species. But some trees you see especially close to the roadside are not growing in natural conditions, but on road cuts. These are places where soil and rock were removed to make way for the highway and are plentiful in hilly terrain. Conditions at these sites are harsh for growing things, and yet certain tree species and plants are able to make a go of it.
This recipe is simple. It's mostly just sweet potatoes and bananas. You do have to cook the sweet potatoes first. That's okay. That gives you time to find your deep 2 quart casserole dish and assemble the remaining ingredients. Canned orange juice is okay, too. There's not much to the recipe, just takes a few minutes to prepare.
In the early years of our stay here, near Hickory Star Marina, money was in short supply. We were restoring the buildings on the property with only my husband's Social Security check and his two small pensions. I would later find work baby-sitting Melissa Carter's daughter, Ashley, then doing restaurant cooking, being a security guard at commercial locations and finally as a home health care worker. But it was tough going at first.
Last year on March 1st I was so happy to share the exciting news of the Union County Opry with our readers! I concluded the article with the news that I had a copy of their schedule on my refrigerator and was looking forward to catching some of their shows, inviting you to join me. Then the Coronavirus hit. Our world seemed to stop spinning as the pandemic raged on. I confess that it was an unreasonably long time before I could bear to remove that show lineup, well into the Fall, long after any hope was gone.
The last year has been challenging, to say the least, as we have collectively coped with COVID-19 and the fear, dread and the significant losses associated with it—loss of family members and friends, loss of visitation and time with loved ones, loss of the routine of attending school or reporting to a workplace, loss of the ability to gather for worship or play or leisure, and for some the loss of livelihoods. Imagine if on top of these grievous losses you also suffered as the victim of a crime!
The following Luttrell Elementary School students achieved the honor roll.
A Honor Roll
1st Grade: Blake Hall, Jaxon Hall, Colton Surrett, Liam Bussell, McKynna Huling, Adrianna Leonard, and Keaton Mathis
2nd Grade: Ava Chamberlain, Ava Hoskins, Meyah Meza, Kinsley Ownes, Davey Reed, Marlee Weaver, Bree Williams, Presley Wyrick, Landon Whiteaker, Briley Cantrell, Jake Beeler, Olivia Harris, Cheyenne Heath, Jace Naglitch, and Emmie Jo Nirmaier
The Red Devils hosted Clinton and blasted four home runs against them. Ty Edds found his swing and led the way with two home runs. Tucker Flannigan and Brandon Reed also joined the festivities, both going deep. Flannigan, Harlen Hunley, Edds and Reed all had multiple hits. Reed and Flannigan led the Devils with 3 hits out of 3 at bats each. Ty Edds started on the rubber for the Red Devils throwing four innings and gave up zero hits and zero earned runs. The Red Devils' win over Clinton secured 1st place in the conference with a record of 8-0 in the conference and 9-2 overall. The Red Devils play Rutledge Friday, 16th at 5:00 for their 8th grade night.
With so many people still working from home these days to maintain social distancing from their colleagues, many are developing musculoskeletal pain. Improving posture and ergonomics is a proactive way to take care of your body while working remotely.
To reduce stress on the body, follow these work-at-home suggestions:
I grew up as a valley girl. An East Tennessee valley girl, which is the best kind.
By now, most of you probably know I was raised on my maternal Papaw’s farm. It’s located in a valley with ridgelines that run along the southern and western sides with Bull Run Creek flowing through it. On the other sides, the ridgelines are a little further away. It makes for quite the view. And it made for quite the excitement at times, especially with the weather.
Let me begin this article with a bit of trivia—This man was the original host of Jeopardy before Alex Trebek. (Answer: Who was Art Fleming?) Correct.
One of my earliest memories of watching television was watching Art Fleming host the original Jeopardy. If you search Google, you can find more information on Art Fleming, and you can watch clips of the original Jeopardy game show on YouTube. I just finished watching one. It is interesting to see how the show functioned so well in the 1960s and 1970s without a lot of the modern effects that the show presently has.
The impact of COVID-19 on learning, especially in elementary reading and math, continues to be a concern for Union County as well as our state and nation. To mitigate some of the pandemic's impact on learning, Dr. Jimmy Carter announced at the March Union County Board of Education meeting that summer school will be from June 1 through June 25 with a maximum class size of eighth students per teacher.
Beginning Thursday, April 8, the Union County Health Department is moving its vaccine clinic to Alder Springs Church at 708 Hickory Star Road across from the Union County Humane Society.
Vaccines will still be administered by appointment only, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Extended appointments are available only on Tuesday. To make an appointment, call 866-442-5301 or 865-549-5343 or to book an appointment online, go to vaccinate.tn.gov.
Local agriculture partners collaborated and hosted the annual National Ag Day Farmer Appreciation Breakfast on March 23. Farmers and producers from across Union County were invited to celebrate their hard work and dedication in honor of the nationally recognized day.
The farmers received a complimentary breakfast and a bag full of promotional items in recognition of their efforts throughout the year to preserve our county's farmlands and rich agricultural history.
The Master Beef Producer program is an extensive educational program developed to provide information to assist you and other Tennessee cow-calf producers in improving the profitability of your cow-calf operations. The classes provide opportunities to gain knowledge in current beef cattle management practices that are important to the profitability and sustainability of the industry.
The 2021 Union County Business and Professional Association Golf Classic will be played at the beautiful Three Ridges Golf Course, 6101 Wise Springs Road, in Knoxville on June 19. Tee time is 1 p.m. with a barbeque lunch by Li'l Jo's included in the entry fee. Golfers will receive goody bags, door prizes, as well as compete for Closest to the Pin and Longest Drive.
Mary Jane (Munsey) Brogan-age 78 of Maynardville went to be with the Lord Thursday, May 6, 2021 at Parkwest Medical Center. She was of the Baptist faith and attended Pennington Chapel Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Oscar Munsey and Jennie Crawford Buckner; daughters, Debra Norton and Peggy Sue Dennison; brother, Verlin Munsey; sister, Fay Davis.
Molly Estelee Bailey-age 61 of Luttrell went to be with Lord Thursday, May 6, 2021 at her home. She was a member of Nehemiah Church. She was a loving wife and mother who always took good care of her family and she was also one proud Grandma. Preceded in death by parents, Carl and Louise (McDaniel) Fuss, two brothers, Donald and Stanley Fuss; grandson, Matthew Parker.
Chris Alvin Monday – 50 of Luttrell, left this life to rest with Jesus on May 6, 2021. He was a member of New Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
Edmund Nichols - age 81 of Maynardville passed away peacefully Thursday, May 6, 2021 at home. Services are planned at a later date. Trinity Funeral Home, LLC, Maynardville, has the honor to serve the family of Edmund Nichols. 865-992-5002 www.trinityfuneralhome.net
Rev. Paris E. Woods-age 76 of Maynardville passed away Thursday, May 6, 2021 at his home. He was a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church and had served as pastor of Raccoon Valley Baptist Church and New Start Baptist Church. Paris was a carpenter, gardener and was owner/operator of his carpet installation business. Preceded in death by mother, Lucy Woods; brothers, Ed, Ondus and Glen Woods; sisters, Ina Sweet, Trula McCoy and Myrtle Sweet.
Linda L. Williams-age 63 of Powder Springs went to her Heavenly home Tuesday evening, May 4, 2021 after her long battle with cancer. She was a member of Mountain View Church of God of the Union Assembly. Preceded in death by parents, Charles Jr and Jessie (Railey) Adams; brothers, Larry and Gary Adams.
Helen Mona Boles-age 86 of Maynardville went to be with the Lord Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at Willow Ridge Center. She was a member of Hubbs Grove Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Milford and Sallie (Beeler) Boles; brothers, Walt, William “Bus”, Troy, Edgar and Ora Lee Boles; sisters, Evelyn Boles, Elsie Whitson, Bonita Hensley and Emma Lee Boles.
Sharon (Dozler) Collins – 75 of Maynardville, passed away Saturday, May 1, 2021 peacefully at her home with her beloved dogs, Little Bit and Foxy by her side. She was a schoolteacher retired from Union County Public School Systems. Sharon was a Vietnam War veteran, member of the Tri County Honor Guard and American Legion. She was a member of Alder Springs Baptist Church.