The Vinyl Kid

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week Forty-Three

Just a few days ago, I took a trip back in time. Of course, that is nothing unusual for me. I became the first person to open a package wrapped fifty years ago. Next week, I’ll share with you what that was.

A person under the influence of a foreign substance once told me she had taken a trip and never left the couch. I have the uncanny ability to do the same thing without the use of anything other than my imagination. All I have to do is pick up a book, and I can travel to places that don’t even exist, both in the past, present, future, and to a time that never was or will be.

But one thing has always taken me back in time—vinyl records.

I could have been called “the vinyl kid”, for it seemed a lot of things in my life were made from vinyl—the upholstery on our living room furniture and car interiors. Many of my very favorite memories come from countless hours spent listening to vinyl records. Lots of kids today have no experience with 33 1/3 RPM (revolutions per minute) vinyl records, though they and retro turntables are making a comeback. Perhaps the best way to describe a vinyl record is as “an antique CD” (though perhaps CDs are also becoming outdated).

I can barely remember my half-brother Jerry having a portable turntable. I must have been fascinated by it, for my dad went to Shoffner’s Furniture and Appliance and bought a new living room suite, a wringer washing machine, and a small cabinet model stereo with red fabric covering the speaker vents on either side. The floor model stereo was so small that I could stand and watch the records turn as they spun on the turntable. Dad was obviously afraid that I would tear up the stereo, for he had Irby Monroe make a pedestal for it.

I remember missing being able to watch the labels spin, but I could still hear the music. My dad borrowed some records of Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys from my sister Icy Madeline (Pat) McMurray. He borrowed others from her that I didn’t particularly care for, and I was no fan of Bill Monroe, either (though, praise God, I later came to see the light on that one).

Mother did order a mail order recording of which I was particularly fond. It was a Columbia® Special Products record with a red, white and black label simply entitled “18 All Time Country Hits”. The cover still bears traces from when I colored all around the pictures with a red crayon. I am looking at it as I write this article, though I still to this day have it memorized. I had Mother play that record so many times for me that it almost sickened her to hear it until her dying day.

I memorized every word of every song and would sing for anyone who would listen. I once performed for our landlord, Kenneth “Buck” Buckner. I told him when I finished, “Most people pay me to sing.” He laughed and paid me the only money I really remember receiving for my vocal abilities, one quarter. I’d probably get more money now from people paying me not to pollute the sound waves with my noise.

The record had one selection considered by the compiler to be the greatest recording for each of the eighteen country music stars popular in the 1960s. Side 1 led off with Marty Robbins’ “A White Sport Coat”. Not to be left out were two of Union County’s greatest singers, Roy Acuff’s “Wabash Cannonball” and Carl Smith’s “Foggy River”. Another personal favorite of mine was Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight”.

All was well until Dad had a stroke episode and had to quit working with Irby Monroe in maintenance for the Union County Schools. Mother never forgot the day that Rina Shoffner came to the door inquiring for payment for his merchandise. She said that he said he hated to take the washing machine “away from you and the boy”. It was arranged with my sister Ruby Foulks and her husband Buddy that they would take over the payments, but in the process they also acquired the stereo. Life was lonely without music for a few years, until December, 1971. That’s when Dad came home with an olive green, portable RCA™ turntable. Until 1983, when my mother bought me a Quasar™ stereo from Hobert Brown, that turntable became my best inanimate friend. Now, I could once more sing along with Marty, Patsy, Carl, Roy and the rest!

Dad also brought home something more valuable than the turntable—five used Chuck Wagon Gang records. He once again bought the turntable from Rina Shoffner, but I never knew where those wonderful Chuck Wagon Gang records came from. For many years, those records along with the hymns at church composed my musical repertoire. We acquired a few other records along the way, but everything always came back to those five records.

A classmate once asked me who my favorite singers were. When I told him “The Chuch Wagon Gang,” he began to, as the scriptures say, “Laugh me to scorn” (Psalms 22:7 KJV).

When I began dating my wife, I had a stack of perhaps fifty record albums. She introduced me to the wonderful worlds of Goodwill and KARM, and I now have over twenty feet of shelves loaded with records. It is now a hobby to try to find a Chuck Wagon or George Beverly Shea record that I don’t have.

Time has passed, friends have come and gone, the cabinet model stereo and olive turntable are long gone. The Quasar™ stereo remains, though the turntable only produces sound from one speaker. Other turntables from vintage sales and stores now elicit the wonderful sounds heard all throughout my life, though a great many of the voices they project have been stilled by death. Yet the vinyl records remain, stalwart in life as the God of which so many of them sing.

A good record is like a friendship, the better it is cared for the longer it will remain and the sweeter music it will produce, even if there is the occasional scratch or skip along the way. You can keep reading if you wish, but I hear one of my friends calling me just now.




Patriots Celebrate First Playoffs in 14 Years

Larry Kerr

The Union County High School football Patriots may have lost against Anderson County in state playoffs on Nov. 2, but the season was stacked with wins for the team. And while the loss to Anderson County may have stung, it also marked the first time the Patriots made it to state playoffs in 14 years.

Coach Larry Kerr counts this as a cause to celebrate.

"It's like I told the kids, once you get past the pain of that loss, you'll be able to look at what you all have accomplished this year that's never been done before," he said.

Union County Childrens Charity Under The Tree

Chief Elf Brooke Simpson and Gina Buckner putting a tree up at Food City.  Brooke is the brains amongst the paper work to keep things organized.

The Union County Children’s Charity (Under The Tree) has been working since August for the 2018 Toy Drive Campaign. Applications went out and ornaments have been made with the children’s wishes. Trees went up at local businesses: Janet’s Hair and Tan, Food City, Tolliver's Market, Commercial Bank, Pete’s Place, Rhonda’s in Sharps Chapel, First Century Bank, New South Credit Union, Union County Trustees Office, Union County High School Beta and Okies Pharmacy. Also, American Business & Equipment along with CSI are collecting new unwrapped toys.

Union County FCE Flannel Blanket Workshop

Left to right: Carrie Cook, Janet Wolfenbarger, Judi Gerew, Annie Grau, Mary Johnson, Sue Ross, Carolyn Shields, Terry Reinitz

On November 5, 2018, eight Union County Family & Community Education (FCE) members and 1 guest (Joyce DeRoy, not pictured) met at the UT Extension Office in Maynardville, TN to make flannel baby blankets to donate to the NICU in Knoxville. The group made 15 baby blankets before running out of material.

Club Sandwiches

Club Sandwiches

We have gotten away from the club sandwich. McDonald's and Burger King have spoiled us with their tasty hamburgers and fries. I remember seeing my first Mickey D's. There was no going back to just plain sandwiches, or even club sandwiches. Back in the day, every lunch counter had their specialty club sandwich. They were made fresh as you watched the counter girl pile on the goodies. Most homes didn't have fresh tomatoes or lettuce out of season. What a treat!

The Nostalgia of KARM

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week Forty-Four

My wife has taken on a new interest—she is taking art classes from Betty Bullen, a fellow graduate in the Horace Maynard High School Class of 1968, I believe.

Of course, the interests of a spouse often have effects on the other marriage partner. On more than one Sunday after church and between Baptist meals, I have driven my wife to Jerry’s Art-O-Rama just off Kingston Pike to purchase supplies. On the first visit, I went inside the art store with her, but found practically nothing to interest me.

Your Hair Didn't Get Wet

Clark family early 1981

Not all my accidents were entirely my fault. I had help with some of them.

I came of age in the 80s; also known as the Big Hair decade. If you were a teenage girl at that time, you had at least 3 things in your hair arsenal: hot rollers, curling iron, and hair spray that could also be used as liquid cement. And if you had straight hair like me, you also kept a curly perm. It’s a wonder I have any hair left on my head.

In the World, Not of the World? Part 6 and Conclusion

Archie Wilson

Do you remember the events surrounding the three Hebrew children in Daniel Chapter 3? Being in the world, not of the world is exactly like that! Let’s look at some obvious parallels between what is going on with Jesus Disciples and the Hebrew Children.



This is a good dish to make at Easter time when you have an abundance of decorated hard boiled eggs. Don't use any that have been out of the fridge over a few hours. This is a good dish to serve on toast or hot biscuits for lunch. Sometimes we forget how versatile eggs can be. Don't let hard boiled eggs go uneaten. Fancy them up either as Deviled Eggs or Creamed Eggs.

Indian Summer

Indian Summer

Indian summer is a name that brings thoughts of balmy, hazy fall days and cool nights. It is a description of weather conditions rather than an actual season, for no dates exist for it. The closest time frame I could find was from Henry David Thoreau, who noted in his diary that Indian summer occurs from September 27 to December 13.


Falling for Fall in Tennessee

Falling for Fall in Tennessee

October may be gone but with the colors of fall hanging around a bit longer this year why not head out for a day trip to one of Tennessee’s well-loved local areas or a beautiful state or national park. While the Great Smoky Mountains are a forever favorite, locals can bypass many of the crowds for other beauty within a day’s drive.


UCBPA Meeting

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 12:00

UCBPA meets the second Tuesday of each month for approximately one hour. Membership is $25 annually. The meeting begins at noon at Hardee's in Maynardville. Anyone interested in making Union County a better place to live, work, worship, or play may attend.

Lego Club

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 16:00

Kids school age and up can enjoy a movie and the fun of playing with Lego's and making friends! We usually have a theme or specific thing to build as well as a movie to watch while building!

Facebook 101 for Direct Farmers

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 08:00

Taught by UT Extension Marketing Specialist, Megan Bruch Leffew, and Area Information Technology Specialist, David Yates, the workshops will be held:

• November 14 in Kingsport
• November 15 in Knoxville
• November 28 in Jackson
• November 29 in Nashville
• December 5 in McMinnville

Exact location information will be emailed to registered participants the week prior to workshops. Participants can bring their own laptop or tablet or use a tablet provided by the instructors. Because of the hands-on nature of the workshop, space is limited.


Ruth Jean Campbell

Ruth Jean Campbell-age 79 of Sharps Chapel passed away Monday morning, November 12, 2018 at North Knoxville Medical Center. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Wayne T. (Kayo) Campbell; parents, Toby and Edith (Wright) Sharp; sisters, Viola and Mona Grace Sharp; brothers, Clio and Sam Sharp.

Survivors: daughter, Donna Campbell of Sharps Chapel; sister, Dot and J. C. Cox of Maynardville; brothers, Larry and Helen Sharp; Jack and Brenda Sharp, all of Sharp Chapel. Several nieces and nephews.

Richard Lewis 'Bud' Richardson

Richard Lewis “Bud” Richardson-age 57 of Maynardville, born October 16, 1961 passed away suddenly Saturday morning, November 10, 2018 at North Knoxville Medical Center. Preceded in death by parents, E. R. and Mary (Anderson) Richardson; brother, Eddie Richardson.

Survivors: children, Jason, David and April; four grandchildren. Sisters, Patsy (Billy) Humphrey, Vickie Shope; brothers, Jeff and Jessie (Jessica) Richardson. Several other family members and a host of friends.

Wanda Lee Eldridge

Wanda Lee Eldridge-age 77 of Luttrell passed away Friday evening, November 9, 2018 at her home. She along with her late husband were the owners of the former Mark’s Market in Luttrell. Preceded in death by husband, Alvin A. “Mountain Man” Eldridge; daughter, Robbin Fortenberry; granddaughter, Misty Leann Childress, parents, Samuel and Nana Lane Seivers; brothers, Robert and Bobby Seivers

Curtis Nathan Case

It is with great sadness that the family of Curtis Nathan Case announces he was received into the arms of the Lord after a brief illness Friday, November 9, 2018 at the age of 53 years. Curtis was preceded in death by his father, James Edward Case, mother, Dorothy Ann Case, brother, Michael Case, father-in-law, Ross Miller Sr., brother-in-law, Ross Miller Jr.

Lucy M. Grigsby

Lucy M. Grigsby – age 93 of Luttrell, went home to be with Jesus on Monday, November 12, 2018. She was a lifelong member of Cedar Ford Baptist Church. Lucy made an impact on the community through her service to Luttrell Elementary School and her church.

Rev. William Darrell Brewer

Rev. William Darrell Brewer-age 77 of Maynardville went to be with the Lord Friday, November 9, 2018 at his home. Preceded in death by parents, William O. Brewer and Imogene Sherritze Brewer; sister, Janice Robins.

Survivors: wife, Jean M. Brewer; daughters, Charlotte (Robert) Jones, Elaine (Tim) Smith, Sandra (Rich) Griffith; step-children, Boyd (Mindy) Peters, Eric (Connie) Peters, Kelly (Donnie) Wiggins, 15 Grandchildren, 20 Great-Grandchildren. Brother, Mike; sisters, Kay, Sue and Kathy. Special friend and caregiver, Rebecca Collins.

Linda Sue Wilkerson

Linda Sue Wilkerson-age 71 of Corryton passed away Thursday morning, November 8, 2018. She was a member of Hoitt Avenue Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband, Harold G. Wilkerson; daughter, Deborah Atkins.

Survivors: children, Mark, Denise, Lonnie and Gabriel; ten grandchildren, Josh Atkins; Suzanne, Amber, Dexter and Steven Bolden; Jake, Riley, Maddy, Jackson and Delilah Wilkerson; six great-grandchildren, Hayden, Hayley, Haylynn, Hadley, Jasper and Emilee. Special aunt, Hettie Paul; special cousin, Ricky Vance.

Evelyn Grace Helton

Evelyn Grace Helton of Knoxville went to be with Jesus on November 6, 2018. She was the newborn daughter of Cynthia Helton and granddaughter of Jo Ellen Helton and Fred Anderson Helton; niece of Kristen Boisbert. Service will be private. Mynatt Funeral Home of Fountain City is honored to serve the Helton Family. Online condolences may be left at

DeAnna Alexi

DeAnna Alexi, age 47, of Knoxville TN, daughter of Tony and Margo Alexi, of Knoxville, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, under the care of the amazing staff at UT Medical Center, with her family holding her hands at her bedside. DeAnna had been under the care of UT Hospice at home prior to hospitalization. She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Gertrude and Herman Cruze of Knoxville TN and her paternal grandparents Anthony and Betty Oleksy of New York. She was born in Silver Springs, MD on January 30, 1971. Survivors are her husband Christopher L.

Betty Jean Cross Rutherford

Betty Jean Cross Rutherford-age 76 of Luttrell passed away peacefully 5 a.m. Thursday, November 8, 2018 at her home with her husband, Jim by her side. She was a member of Hudson Grove Church of God. Preceded in death by her parents, Harvey and Edith McBee; brother, Sonny McBee and wife, Edna; sister, Carolyn Gibson.

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