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'!
At the July meeting, the Union County Heritage Festival Board and Committee voted to postpone the Heritage Festival to 2021. “We decided to take that country road right on into next year,” commented Director Marilyn Toppins. "With every East Tennessee county experiencing spread above the CDC containment threshold, the risk overcame the ability to keep our patrons and volunteers safe."
When Mayor Jason Bailey was elected in 2018, Historic Union County interviewed him, and he stated his aim to promote everything positive about Union County.
In a recent interview, Bailey was asked to revisit our previous article, which can be found at historicunioncounty.com/article/mayor-bailey-looks-ahead, for an update.
Parks and Recreation:
Bailey believes “Parks and recreation are a huge part of the county.”
City Judge Darrick Edmondson administered the oath of office to Mayor Gary Chandler, Alderman Gordon Bright, and Alderman Rebecca Lock at the July meeting of the Board of Aldermen.
Chandler and Bright are incumbents while Lock is a newcomer who takes the seat voluntarily vacated by Marilyn Toppins at the end of her appointed term.
You just never know where life is going to take you, but David McCollough is so thankful that life landed him here, serving and enjoying Union County communities. McCollough was raised in Alabama, and has come far to settle into his Tennessee home.
As a young man attending Troy University, he considered a career in either business or coaching but ultimately decided business was the path for him. Fresh out of college he initially secured a logistics position in the transportation industry. After some time, McCollough observed that sales appeared to be a better opportunity.
While it is well known that excessive text messaging can result in sore thumbs, less is known about its possible effects on the neck, arms and hands. Young adults with symptoms in these parts of the body use a different technique when texting, according to a new study.
Ergonomist Ewa Gustafsson studied mobile phone habits among 56 young adults who text- message on a daily basis. Half of the subjects reported problems with the neck, arms or hands, while the other half had no such symptoms.
We all know that farmers markets, or your own garden, are the best place to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, but did you know you can learn a lot while at the market? Check in at the Union County Farmers Market information booth when you arrive, as the “Farmers Market Fresh” program has returned to the market.
Continuing from "Of Hearth And Hoe" by Bonnie Heiskell Peters:
"Although the government began to clamp down on the illegal handling of sugar by requiring store operators to keep records of sugar purchases, there was still little problem in obtaining sugar. Store operators simply juggled their books and falsified their reports. Often merchants sold sugar to still operators and received payment for sugar plus a bonus for allowing the purchase to be made.
John 14:2 “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (KJV)
Jesus spoke the words recorded in John 14:2 during the final week of His earthly ministry before His crucifixion! Jesus had been dropping hints to his Disciples about his true intentions as the Lamb of God from the moment he first called his Twelve Apostles, nearly three-and-a-half years earlier.
If I could be a cartoon character, I would have to choose Speedy Gonzales.
Why? Not because I have mouse ears and whiskers. Which I don’t, by the way. It’s because I am always in a hurry. Needless to say, that has caused me a few problems.
One such problem is my handwriting. Ironically, I’m a writer who has horrible handwriting. I am so thankful for the modern convenience of computers. Unfortunately for me (and my teachers) we didn’t have one when I was in high school.
I learned how to preserve food from my mother, sister and mother-in-law. Sadly, just a few years back, canning and preserving had almost become a disappearing ritual due to the busyness of today’s life.
These days, home canning and preserving food is regaining popularity due to the empty grocery shelves that have accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic.
It used to be popular, and may still be, for a place to announce, “George Washington [or other historical figure] slept here.” Goodness knows that if could ever make such a claim, I would want to be able to say, “Abraham Lincoln slept in my house.” Interestingly enough, I have come close to being able to truthfully say this.
By: Steve Roark
Volunteer Interpreter, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Being outside is normally a lot of fun, but sometimes you pay a price when you run into a nest of chiggers. For their size, these little guys are a real pain in the belt line.
Chiggers are actually baby mites. They are almost too small to be seen with the naked eye, and are red with eight legs. The adults, which can be seen, feed only on plants and are not a problem for us, except for their laying eggs that make more baby chiggers.
I have been watching the Turner Classic Movie channel quite a bit lately. I found a mystery series based in the 1920s that piqued my interest in that era. The Great War was over. Veterans were trying to adapt to civilian life. Gone were the hobble skirts and ostrich- feathered ladies hats. It sort of reminds me of the aftermath of World War ll. We were in a time of transition then, too.
Bulk pork sausage is one my favorite "go-to" meats for supper. It's cheap to buy and stores well in the freezer. No worries about getting freezer burnt. It comes well wrapped from the store.
I remember when I was a housewife with small children at home. It seemed that my husband's paycheck had a hard time covering enough groceries to last until the next paycheck, but I always had potatoes and onions. Bulk pork sausage from the freezer was the basis for a number of meals.
Do you remember seeing School House Rock between Saturday morning cartoons as a kid? Those animated short films offered tidbits in three- to five-minute helpings, introducing otherwise sophisticated concepts of civics, economics, grammar, history, and mathematics to young minds in a way kids could easily digest them. One of my favorite episodes was The Preamble (Season 4, Episode 4 - Nov.
I still say it was the ants’ fault.
A few years ago, we were visiting some relatives in Ormond Beach, Fla. On every trip, we have a tradition of driving south to Pirate’s Cove Miniature Golf in Daytona. It’s a lot of fun and they have pirate trivia signs everywhere. Who knew pirates could be so interesting?
I was born a Caucasian female. I am neither proud, nor ashamed of that fact. It has probably influenced the course of my life, but was beyond my control. Therefore, it is just a fact. What I have done with that fact during my formative years and to date was, and is, somewhat within my control. As with every human being.
Picture it—I’m sitting in my living room in my usual spot on the loveseat. It’s the evening of the day of my latest medical procedure. I was not able to eat solid food for one full day before the procedure, so I am indulging in a delicious supper of fried egg and bacon sandwiches that my wife prepared especially for me.
I can remember a time when all my meals were eaten at the kitchen table with my mother and father. At that time it would have been unthinkable to eat a meal in the living room in front of the television. A snack, maybe, but never a meal.
The Union County Farmer’s Market is still up and going on Saturday’s (10am-1pm) lasting through October in the parking lot of Wilson Park, next to the high school. This farmer’s market is essential for the farmers around the county. Here they have the chance to promote their products as well as make a profit. Isn’t that what we all want? Fresh produce from the farm to the table is a nice exchange for processed foods or even some that are “fresh” in your local grocery store may not be as fresh and tasty as what you will more than likely find at your local farmer’s market.
The blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis) is a plant known for its delicious fruit this time of year and nasty thorns any time of year that make walking through a colony of them difficult and painful. It is normally found on disturbed areas such as timber harvests and neglected farmland.
The canes grow up to 6 feet tall, are green to red in color depending on age, and have leaves that form in clusters of 3 to 5. The flowers are white with five petals, and bloom late spring, identifying one of the many cold snaps (blackberry winter) common during that time of year.
I simply can’t help it. Whenever we drive by a country church, I look for a homecoming shed and wonder if they still use it. Then my mind goes back to my childhood.
Like most kids, I looked forward to certain dates with anticipation: Christmas, birthdays, Field Day at school, and last, but not least, Homecoming at church.
The excitement for me started as soon as I woke up the Sunday morning of Homecoming. We quickly got ready for church and went down to my grandparents’ house. The smell that greeted us at the door was simply heavenly.
I signed the many papers required to buy my house on May 1, 1991 and moved that weekend. My colleague Deanie Carver used her pickup truck to help me move several boxes of books (of course, these important items were first to be moved). The late Adrian Shoffner and Rev. Joe McCoy helped me move the household furnishings. Preacher Joe has never forgotten the ordeal moving that upright freezer into the basement turned out to be. I felt so guilty that I didn’t go to church that Sunday, but I couldn’t find my dress shoes in time to get ready!
After finishing the patio area in our backyard there was an open area inside the arc of crepe myrtles that my wife said would be the perfect place for a picnic table. After much discussion we decided on a modification of a design we found on the net, shortening the length from eight feet to seven and making it eight 2x4’s wide instead of seven. The only place I could buy cedar lumber was at the other end of Knox County, a mildly inconvenient trip made more so by the pandemic. I bought two extra of both 2x4’s and 2x6’s, which turned out to be a good thing.
Have you noticed the canned luncheon meat on the grocery shelf, next to the Spam? It resides there because it really is the same as Spam, just in a plain wrapper and cheaper. Use whichever one you like. I personally think the Spam tastes better. This simple recipe is delicious. It doesn't look like much as you stir it together, but you are in for a surprise. It tastes great.
It’s that time of year when children are out of school and need something productive to do that will keep themselves, and their parents, sane. Flying to the rescue comes a summer reading program which will motivate children to not only fill time productively, but expand their knowledge by reading. Entering a different world where imagination is key, time is no longer, and nothing else exists is often the highlight of a summer break for many children.
About 80 percent of adults experience lower back pain in their lifetime; it is the most common cause of job-related disability. Many argue that prescribing opioids for lower back pain contributed to the opioid crisis; thus, determining the quality of lower back pain in clinical practice could provide an effective tool not only to improve the management of lower back pain but also to curb unnecessary opioid prescriptions. Several studies have documented increases in medication prescriptions and visits to physicians, physical therapists, and chiropractors for lower back pain episodes.
In the spirit of “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” a hit game show that challenges adults to answer grade-school questions, I find myself wondering if the average adult remembers important lessons learned about the historical figures who helped shape our great nation. Recently, I was pondering Abraham Lincoln. Hopefully, we all remember that Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president, delivered the Gettysburg Address, and signed, by Executive Order, the Emancipation Proclamation. Today, however, my thoughts flow beyond historical events and more toward who he was as a person.
Most people wouldn’t consider this to be a fond childhood memory, but I do.
As a child, I was such a tomboy. Actually, I still am, or so I like to think. Anyway, if it was a warm and sunny day, I was running and playing outside. As my Mamaw Jo used to say about me, “I swannie, she goes wide open.” I think that meant I was running with everything I had. If so, she was right, I was.
With social distancing a very real thing these days, I have been extremely impressed with how my husband, Brent, and I have handled the forced togetherness. For many months now, it has been just the two of us. We were already isolated on our 30 acres where we can’t see any neighbors and no neighbors can see us; but C-19 has taken self-isolation to a whole other level.
Now I'm wondering if maybe I’ve been a bit too smug in thinking we had this covered.
Tennessee Valley Fair canceled
“It is with great sadness that we announce the Tennessee Valley Fair Executive Committee has decided that the 2020 fair, scheduled to be held September 11-20, will not be taking place.
The City of Plainview made several donations at its June 2020 Board of Aldermen meeting. Mayor Gary Chandler awarded the Plainview Scholarship in the amount of $500 for outstanding academic achievement to Skylar Bates for having the highest grade point average as a graduating senior who resides in Plainview.
I met with the Reverend Gary Beeler in early May when I had the pleasure of learning about his inspiring spiritual journey and career. Although he retired as pastor of Fairview Baptist Church some 15 years ago, his work for the Lord did not end there.
But let’s go back to the beginning.
Rev. Beeler grew up the son of a proprietor of a general store and service station, his family business dating back to 1905 in the area where Union County Boat Dock is today.
While many found quarantine boring, endless, and unprofitable, some people made excellent use of their extra time.
Among these are the Union County 4-H members. In spite of having some events postponed or canceled, many 4-H students stepped up to the plate with enthusiasm. No small thanks to the leadership skills and abilities possessed, the students adapted very well to the online platforms they switched to during quarantine and COVID-19 regulations.
The Union County Business & Professional Association hosted the 26th Annual UCBPA Charities Scholarship Benefit Classic at Three Ridges Golf Course in Knoxville on January 27.
In 1933, the northeast corner of Union County, Tennessee, saw a new business open in Luttrell. A short fifteen years later, after surviving the Great Depression, and World War II with most of the young men serving in the armed forces, the property that consisted of a general merchandise store and a small brick home was sold to Bethel Reed Stowers and he moved his family there.
Until the Union County Senior Center opens, line dance class are still being held outside at the pavilion in Wilson Park rain or shine. We have a great group who won’t give this fun activity up. New people joining all the time. Don’t let Covid stop you from getting out. We have lots of room to social distance.
Reconnect with other business owners and professionals who want Union County to prosper. Plan to attend the UCBPA meeting at a NEW Date & Place: Wednesday, August 12, Noon at Pete’s Place. Mailing address PO Box 696 Maynardville, TN 37807
Speaker: Mayor Jason Bailey
Topic: Growing Union County in a Pandemic
BPA Scholarship recipients recognized
New Calendar of Events shared
Adjourn by 1:00
The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education was scheduled for Thursday, August 13, 2020 at Union County High School. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.
REGULAR WORKSHOP UNION COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION Union County High School Auditorium THURSDAY, AUGUST 13, 2020 6:00 p.m.
Delores (Dee) Norris Koontz, age 89 of North Knoxville, passed away Friday, August 7, 2020. Preceded in death by parents, Mode and Lottie Riffey Mink; husbands, Clarence Norris and Dewey Koontz; son, Moe Norris; grandson, Michael Norris and all of Dee’s siblings. She is survived by her children, Saundra, Allen (Hazel), Darrell (Becky), Edna (Ricky), and David (Karen); many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, and several step children. The family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 PM on Tuesday, August 11th at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City.
“The Legend” Larry Woodrow Cox age 75 of Knoxville passed away at home on Thursday, August 6, 2020. Larry served in the United States Army from 1963-1966. Afterwards he joined the Knoxville Police Department and served from 1967-1996 when he was severely injured in an on the job car accident which resulted in him being disabled and unable to return to the job he loved.
Johnny E. Jones, age 81, of Halls formerly of the Gibbs community, passed away peacefully at his home 3:00pm Wednesday, August 5, 2020, surrounded by his family. He attended Graveston Baptist Church and faithfully read his bible daily. He was a 1957 graduate of Gibbs High School. He was the owner of Jones Refrigeration for many years. He was an avid Kentucky Wild Cat Basketball fan. Preceded in death by parents, Luella and Edmond Jones and brother Dr. Edward Branson.
Connie (Smith) Macklin – age 64 of Maynardville, passed away suddenly on August 6, 2020. She was a member of Valley Grove Baptist Church.
She is preceded in death by parents, Glen and Ina Mae Smith; and mother-in-law, Donna Macklin. Connie is survived by husband, Rick Macklin; siblings and spouses; and many nieces and nephews.
Daniel Lee Baker, born October 24, 1946 in Knoxville, TN, passed away August 1, 2020 in Pigeon Forge, TN. Preceded in death by parents John Baker and Eula Effinore “Effie” Wilson Baker, brothers John Wayne and George Caswell Baker.
Julian Osborne, 18 yrs old, passed away July 30, 2020. She was a 2019 High School Graduate, currently enrolled at Walters State and was ready to take on the world. Julian loved adventure, outdoor activities and being with her friends. She leaves behind the love of her life Derek Norris and furbaby Molly. Her smile was contagious and will be missed beyond measure by family and friends. Celebration of life will be held Friday, August 7, 2020, at 6:30 pm at Faithway Baptist Church, 4402 Crippen Road, Knoxville, TN 37918. Pastor Rick Passmore & Ricky Graves will be officiating.
Georgia (Winona) Lester, age 93 of Knoxville, passed away at 8:07am on Thursday, August 6, 2020 at her home. Member of Walridge Baptist Church. She retired from Home Federal Bank after 40 years as Vice President and Assistant Branch Manager.
Preceded in death by parents Rose and Horace Lester; brothers Philip Lester and Paul Lester; sisters Evelyn (Sis) Lester, Alice Lester, Auba Lee Beeler Curington, Bernice Johnson; sister-in-law Emmerdelle Lester; nieces Barbara Lester Ingram, Patricia Beeler Lewis; and nephew David Johnson.
Aubie Tindell Nelson -age 91, of Knoxville passed away August 4, 2020. She was a member of Unity Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents Walter and Lurena Tindell and husband William Lee Nelson, Jr. Survivors include: sons and daughters-in-law Dean and Elizabeth Nelson, Tony and Jackie Nelson, Joel and Tammy Nelson; daughter and son-in-law, Sherry and Wayne Bolinger; grandchildren: Meredith, Christopher, Laura, Carolyn, Leigh, Ty, Kaley, Sarah, and Will; twelve great-grandchildren and special friend Glenda McCloud.