Truck Mating Calls

Brooke Cox

This zesty adventure started late one evening as I was walking in the dark by myself. I had just dug my cell phone out of the floorboard of my husband Tim’s truck. Being an old geek, I was gazing up at the stars. It dawned on me that I hadn’t locked Tim’s truck back after retrieving my phone. Without taking my eyes off of the night sky, I tossed my hand back and pressed the lock button on the clicker. Ka-Click. The truck beeped.

Ka-KAW Ka-KAW rang out.

I came to a dead stop and stood there alone in the darkness. Goose bumps ran up my arm.

Our house was built on my Papaw’s farm, where I was raised, so I am very familiar with animal calls; even the nocturnal ones-the night animals. So, I instinctively knew that call didn’t come from a local animal. The only thing I could tell was that it was from some kind of strange bird thingy. I wondered if the bird thingy had answered the truck’s beep, so I pressed the lock button again. Ka-Click. The truck beeped.

Ka-KAW Ka-KAW rang out again.

I ran into the house and straight into the living room where Tim and our daughter Sara were sitting and watching TV. “Hey guys! There’s a strange bird thingy outside that thinks the truck is giving it mating calls!” I don’t think I took a breath between the words.

A look of dread crossed Tim’s face. He was probably thinking, “What has she gotten into now?” Sara starred at me with raised eyebrows and her mouth open.

“I’m serious!” I pointed toward the garage. “When the truck beeps, a strange bird thingy answers. It must think the beep is the truck giving it some kind of love call. Step outside and see for yourself!” Crossing my arms, I made my stand.

Instead of accepting my challenge, he turned to Sara and said, “Go on out with your mother.” I don’t know what was more insulting; the tone of Tim’s voice or Sara rolling her eyes and huffing as she stood up. Sara and I walked out the back deck, which was across the driveway from Tim’s truck. She huffed again and crossed her arms.

I held the clicker in my left hand, but I didn’t immediately press the lock button. What if the strange bird thingy didn’t answer the truck beep this time? Tim and Sara would make fun of and laugh at me and then tell everybody else in the family. Then they would laugh at me too. Maybe I could save myself further embarrassment if I said, “Never mind,” and went inside and sit down.

No! I knew what I had heard and I wasn’t about to turn back now. Besides, I had already made too big of a deal out of it. Holding my breath, I pressed the clicker button. Ka-Click. The truck beeped.

Ka-KAW Ka-KAW rang out.

Sara’s eyes grew huge. “Do it again, Mom!” I hit the clicker: Ka-Click. The truck beeped.
Ka-KAW Ka-KAW rang out.

She spun around and ran straight back inside to Tim. “Daddy, Daddy! There really is a strange bird trying to mate with your truck!”

“Oh, all right.” He got up and stomped out to the back deck. He crossed his arms as he leaned against the railing. “Let’s get this over with.” I pressed the lock button. Ka-Click. The truck beeped.

Ka-KAW Ka-KAW rang out.

“What in tarnation?” He dropped his arms and jumped away from the railing. “Do it again.” This time I put in a little more hip action when I hit the clicker. Ka-Click. The truck beeped.


“That’s some kind of bird!” Tim exclaimed.

“Yeah, I know. That’s what I’ve been telling you.” Obviously he hadn’t taken me or Sara seriously at all. But he did then.

“It sounds like it’s in your Papaw’s barn!” It was on the hill behind our house.
“Hey, why don’t we get some flashlights and walk up to the barn and see what it is.” I wanted to see for myself what kind of bird thingy was making those exotic calls. Plus, I was enjoying the excitement of the unknown.

“Are you crazy?” Like that was the first time Tim had ever asked me that.

I ignored that comment like I usually do. “How about we drive your truck up to the barn and shine the headlights into it? That way we can see what kind of strange bird thingy it is. We should be safe since it obviously has a thing for your truck anyway.”

“You’ve got the keys. You can drive up there if you want to, but I am going back inside and finish watching my show.” He walked back inside to his place on the couch. I’m sure it was still warm.

I really did want to see the strange bird thingy for myself. Having a vivid imagination, I envisioned it to resemble something big like an ostrich with tall antenna projections coming out of the top of its head and a beak that was long and pointed. And it had huge feathers that were as colorful as a rainbow.

Tempting as it was, I gave Tim his truck keys back. I went back inside to the living room with him and sat down. I was rather proud of myself for not backing down. I had proven to them that I really did hear the call of a strange bird thingy. So from now on, they needed to believe what I tell them no matter how it sounded.
The next morning, Papaw found a few peacock feathers in his barn. I was close with my image of the strange bird thingy. He never saw the bird. It was gone by the time he reached the barn. There was a man who raised peacocks about a mile and a half from our house. Obviously, one of them had gotten out and made its way to Papaw’s barn.

I got to thinking about it. That peacock had to go past lots of sheds, carports, and other barns to get to Papaw’s. Why did it do that? I wondered if it saw Tim’s red truck going down the road and thought, “Ooh. That bird’s got some pretty red feathers. Think I’ll follow it.”

But, if that peacock could’ve read, it would’ve stayed at home for in the back window of Tim’s truck was his business sign, “Cox’s Taxidermy.”

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” Ephesians 6:14.



Out of the Attic Interiors

One of Union County’s newest businesses shows promise of opportunity for both, today and tomorrow. Out of the Attic Interiors is owned by Duayne and Toni Huddleston of Corryton. “Where there is a will, there’s a way; and God made a way.” says business owner, Toni Huddleston. This new venture opened on April 5, 2019 and is planning its Grand Opening Celebration for late April with items so unique that there is always something new to see.

Veterans: How to Receive Services Provided by a Doctor of Chiropractic

Many VA primary care providers are routinely discussing the services provided by DCs as an option with their patients.

VA provides chiropractic services on-site at one or more VA facilities in each VISN. VA facilities that do not have on-site chiropractic clinics provide these services via Community Care mechanisms. A list of VA facilities that have established on-site chiropractic clinics is available at ...

Ever Lasting Arms

Brooke Cox

Isn’t it funny how you can look back on things and see them differently after you are grown?

Back in the ancient times of the 1970s, there were no SUVs. When we went on family trips, we took one of Papaw’s station wagons. At least once a year, we all piled in one and headed south and east to Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains. We always packed a picnic. Sometimes Papaw would stop at the KFC in Maryville and pick up a bucket of chicken to have with it.

Which Came First, the Egg or the Basket?

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Fifteen

When I got to work this morning after the Easter weekend holiday, I was clearing my email when I came across this interesting subject line: Do you have all your eggs in one basket? It is a question perhaps best not contemplated first thing on Monday morning of a work week.

Trip to Missouri

The year was 1981. My nephew, Chris Bouldry, had been attending Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. He came home for the Christmas holidays and decided not to return to school. That left one problem. He needed to retrieve his possessions from his room there. The second problem was how to make the trip. He didn't have a car or any money.

Tick Season Never Ended

Since I’m in the woods a lot it’s reasonable to assume that I would have more ticks get on board and use me as a meal. But for the first time that I can remember I pulled ticks off every month of the year, including the winter months when they are normally dormant. That’s not right people! All of them have been the smaller deer tick, which are harder to see and feel crawling around. Now that your family is outside more with the warmer weather, best start body checking yourself and the kids. Since it’s good to know your enemy, here is a rundown on the tick lifestyle.


Tennessee Bats and Eagles

Little brown bat. Photo in the public domain, Wikipedia

My son’s Eagle Project, back when he was in Boy Scouts, was planning and overseeing the construction of bat houses and distributing them on a state tree farm located next to the Hiwassee River in Polk County. At first, he was reluctant. Who, after all, wanted to do anything for bats? They were scary, ugly, carried rabies, get in your hair, and they lived in caves and old houses spreading guano.

Quantum Computing - A Leap Ahead

A Quantum Processor

Photograph of the D-Wave TwoX 1000 Qubit quantum annealing processor chip introduced in 2015

You’ve been told since the first time you heard the term “computer” that they are all about bits and bytes, right? Computer geeks (like me) are sometimes referred to as “bit twiddlers”. I even wrote a novel called The Bit Dance that has a bunch of ones and zeros on the cover. Computers are all about binary choices, right?

Fettuccine Alfredo

The Olive Garden is our favorite restaurant. A few years ago we celebrated my eighty-ninth and half birthday in July. (When you approach ninety, every day is a luxury.) We had an Alfredo dish. My daughter Anne had chicken and I had shrimp. We decided we could make a recipe at home that tasted just as good.

Truan Targets Cumberland

Pictured, seated L-R: Dalton Truan, Cathy Norris, aunt; standing L-R: Cumberlands head wrestling coach Travis Barroquillo, UCHS head wrestling coach James Ramirez, UCHS head football coach Larry Kerr and UCHS assistant football coach Josh Kerr.

Pictured, seated L-R: Dalton Truan, Cathy Norris, aunt; standing L-R: Cumberlands head wrestling coach Travis Barroquillo, UCHS head wrestling coach James Ramirez, UCHS head football coach Larry Kerr and UCHS assistant football coach Josh Kerr.

Union County High School senior Dalton Truan signed to wrestle with University of the Cumberlands Patriots April 10.

“Dalton is the hardest working guy, day in, day out,” said UCHS head wrestling coach James Ramirez.


Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 07:30
Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

"We invite all area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders to come together on the last Thursday of each month at Hardee's at 7:30 am. This is to be a time of fellowship, prayer, and discussion about how we as a community of Faith can work together to have a positive impact on our county. All are welcome!" For more information please contact Kathy Chesney at 865-566-3289.

Project Planning Workshop

Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 19:00
Project Planning Workshop

There will be a “Project Planning Workshop” Thursday, April 25 at 7:00pm at the Union County Courthouse. This meeting is the second planning session to include the public, along with elected officials, to discuss and determine future projects. The meeting will begin with ...

Union County 10k/5k and Fun Run

Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 08:00

Come out and run on some beautiful East Tennessee country roads, right here in Maynardville!
Registration starts at 7am and the run starts at 8am.
Entry fees start at only $25.

2 courses to choose from.
5k = 3.1 miles
10k = 6.2 miles

The fun run will be held in Wilson Park and open to all ages.
Free admission to the fun run with 2 canned goods to benefit the Union County Food Pantry,

A portion of all funds raised will donated to the American Cancer Society.

May Pick Up Party

Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 12:00

It's that time again!
May is a Pick Up month for our Wine Club and we are having a party to celebrate!

Saturday, May 4th from Noon till 8 PM

Live Music From:
A Pair of Jokers Noon-3:30 pm
KUDZU, the band 4-8 pm
Rocking the soul of country and all its relatives! They grab pieces of all the best music and stitch them together to make something new but familiar.


Jeanette Mahan

Jeanette C. Mahan, age 75, of Anderson County, passed away peacefully at home on April 23, 2019. She is survived by children Lynn Hewitt, Jeffery Weaver, and Clyde Mahan; grandsons Dustin Ray Hewitt and Travis Shawn Hewitt; granddaughters Cassandra Frye and Whitney Mahan; great-granddaughter Grace Cox; and brother Roy Childress; special son-in-law Frank Courrier. Family will receive friends Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel. Funeral service to follow with Louise McKinney and Gordon McKinney officiating.

Stanley "Shorty" Max Joyce

Stanley "Shorty" Max Joyce, age 82, passed away on April 20, 2019. He was of Baptist Faith. He served his country valiantly in the U.S. Army. Stanley retired from the Knox County School Janitorial Department.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Newt and Edna Joyce; brothers, Robert, Kayo and James; and sisters, Mildred, Zelma, Mayme, Jenny and Lockey. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Linda Joyce; daughter, Rhonda Womack (Guy); grandchildren, Joshua Womack (Miranda) and Ashley Duffey (Luke); great-grandchild, Baby Duffey; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Alice A. (Lody) Guinn

Alice Annalou Lody Guinn-age 81 of Maynardville, born September 9, 1937 passed away Tuesday morning, April 23, 2019 at Willow Ridge Center. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Maynardville. Preceded in death by mother, Trula Lody; father, Cecil Lody; sister, Lena Mae Tharp; brother-in-law, Fred (Red Eye) Tharp; grandparents, John E. and Lennie Monroe.

Survivors: daughter, Dyane Lody; grandson, Blake Hopson along with five great-grandchildren. Nephews: Denny, Conley, Randy, Fred Allen and Charlie Tharp and their families. Special aunt, Bobbie Johnson and several cousins.

Jason Mathew Dobbins

Jason Mathew Dobbins, born April 15, 1977, passed away April 19, 2019, losing his battle to cancer. He was a member of Sutherland Baptist Church. He is preceded in death by mother Jackie Juanita Maples Dobbins, and grandmothers Dorothy Maples and Lorene Doane. Survived by father Sammy Dobbins, son Cody Cummings, daughters Jayla and Jaylan Dobbins, step son Isaac Mashburn, brother Sammy Dobbins Jr., sister Dottie Maples, and girlfriend Sara Cunningham.

Helen Maples Foust

Helen Maples Foust, age 86 of Knoxville, passed away on April 22, 2019. She was preceded in death by her parents Charlie C. and Dorothy E. Maples. Helen is survived and will be greatly missed by her sons, Steven R. Tallent and Charles A. Monroe; 4 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; as well several nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends on Thursday, April 25th from 5:00-7:00pm at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel. Friends and family will gather at Joppa Cemetery on Friday, April 26th at 9:45am for a 10:00am interment, Rev. Donald Daniels officiating.

Dorothea Elizabeth Cox

Dorothea Elizabeth Cox – age 90 of Maynardville, went home to be with the Lord on April 21, 2019. She was a longtime member of Milan Baptist Church. Dorothea enjoyed reading her Bible and enjoyed her friends at the Union County Senior Citizen Center. She was a retired nurse from San Joaquin Hospital in Bakersfield, California.

Ralph Robert Lane

Ralph Robert Lane, age 85, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on April 19, 2019, after a brief struggle with cancer. He was of Baptist faith. A wise saint once said, “The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be.” If that is true, then Ralph Robert Lane was one of the strongest men in the world. Ralph was a kind and gentle soul, with a generous and giving spirit. He was a man who brought out the best in all who were around him.

Joyce Louise Ridener

Joyce Louise Ridener, age 80, of Knoxville passed away peacefully at home on April 20, 2019. She was a member of Valley View Baptist Church. She was a Devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her and her husband loved traveling together. Preceded in death by husband Bob Ridener; parents Ennis and Glenna Robertson; and sister Bobbie Henderson. Survived by sons Mike Ridener and Ronnie (Brenda) Ridener; 9 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; sister Donna (Ronnie) McConkey; as well as a niece and nephews; and cousin Jeanne Rose.

David Allen Berry, Sr.

David Allen Berry, Sr., age 67, of Corryton passed away on April 19, 2019. He was a member of Rockydale Primitive Baptist Church. He owned Berry’s Wrecker Service and Auto Shop for over thirty years. He enjoyed farming in his spare time. He is preceded in death by parents Elmer and Lorene Berry; and brother Donald Berry. He is survived by daughters Connie Berry and Abigail Berry; son David Berry, Jr.; grandchildren Brent Allen Berry and Jessie Lynn Berry; and siblings Mike Berry and Janice George.

Denise Hurst Caudill

Denise Jean Hurst Caudill, age 45, of Tazewell, Tennessee, was born on September 23, 1973, and passed away at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville, TN on April 16, 2019, with family by her side. She professed faith in God at an earlier age and had a personal relationship with God.

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