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 Perhaps the best way to describe a vinyl record is as “an antique CD” (though perhaps CDs are also becoming outdated).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.



Let Go and Let God

Photo by Sue Tharp

With the passing of time, it is essential to have the understanding of the importance of cherishing the little moments in life. Being able to enjoy these seconds to their fullest means the outburst of laughter, sharing of wisdom, and enhanced intuitiveness. Sandra Greene’s life is a depiction of this wisdom and peace.

Its Time for Chocolatefest


The Knoxville Chapter of the Kidney Foundation started Chocolatefest more than twenty-five years ago at Knoxville Center. Eventually, the chapter decided to forego the yearly event.When one of the former board members had an urge to bring the festival back, she asked past Chocolatefest judge and local radio personality Jennifer Johnsey if she would help. Luckily, Jennifer was happy to oblige.

What a Joke!

What a Joke!

Mincey’s Musings Year Two, Week Two

A frustrated conductor once asked a band player with issues, “Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?” The player replied, “I don’t know, and I don’t care.”

This is a slightly tweaked missive that came my way via email. It reminded me of a joke I once heard at a meeting which I shall attempt to embellish for your reading pleasure.

Grandma's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Grandma's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Grandma made the best cookies, didn't she? She didn't work outside the home. Those were the days when she washed, starched and ironed her ruffled curtains and had time to crochet frilly doilies for the end tables next to the sofa. Ruffled curtains are things of the past as are crocheted doilies. She didn't have to get the kids properly dressed for school and then get herself to her job on time. She did have time to polish up on her cookie recipes.

Abraham and Carl

Abraham and Carl

Scratching your head? Who in the world are Abraham and Carl?

When we see the word “and” between two names, we assume they are connected in some way. For instance, I love the comedy teams of Andy and Barney (Mayberry), Lucy and Ethel and (one of my favorites) Laurel and Hardy.

For the record, Abraham and Carl are not a comedy team. In fact, they never even met for they lived thousands of years apart.

Scratching your head again?

Lemon - Cheese Salad

Lemon - Cheese Salad

I saw an article online the other day. It listed recipes that are outdated and thankful to be gone. I don't agree. Everyone of them are on my “favorites” list. I think the reason they are outdated is that they were over-used back in the day. I remember when I first discovered canned tuna fish. We had a Tuna Noodle Casserole about every other week. I have a good recipe for that, too.

Agriculture Creates Opportunity

Agriculture Creates Opportunity

One of the most important ways to invest in the future of agriculture is to invest in the people who will become tomorrow’s agriculture industry leaders. Students pursuing the agriculture industry often look for careers in planning, implementation, production, management, processing, education, or marketing ag products and services. Tennessee Department of Education predicts that over 60,000 high-skilled agricultural jobs open annually in the United States with just around 35,400 graduates in the Ag, Food, and Natural Resources program studies to fill the openings.


Wine and Canvas with Betty Bullen

Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 18:00

Betty is teaching another wonderful Wine and Canvas Class! This class we will be painting Red Breasted Blue Birds!

Sip on some wine and learn to paint from one of Union Counties best! Supplies are included.

Tickets are only $35 and must be purchased in advance by calling (865) 745-2902 or by coming into The Winery.

Seating is limited and fills up very fast so make sure you reserve your ticket today!

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Thursday, January 31, 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.

Wine and Design

Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 18:00

Join us at The Winery for a fun Wine and Design event.
During this class, get ready for Valentine's Day by painting
and crafting a wine bottle and wooden love sign. The class is only
$25 and includes all the materials needed as well as a glass
of wine or juice. Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased
in advance by calling The Winery at (865)745-2902.

Class starts at 6 so please come early to taste our wines and choose your favorite.

February Pick Up Party at The Winery

Saturday, February 2, 2019 - 12:00

It's that time again and everyone is invited.
February is a Pick Up month for our Wine Club and we are having a party to celebrate.

Saturday, February 2nd from Noon till 8

Live Music From:
45RPM Noon - 3:30 pm
They will be playing music from the vinyl era, the tunes that you know and love!!

Overdrive 4-8 pm
Overdrive is a band dedicated to filling the dance floor at any venue they play at! Be sure to bring your dancing shoes!


Dale Wesche

Dale R. Wesche – age 39 of Heiskell, passed away Thursday, January 17, 2019 as a result of an automobile accident. He was a member of Fairview Free Will Baptist Church. He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing and 4-wheeling with his friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Wilma Wesche. Dale is survived by his canine companion, Gretchen; and a community of friends.

Nancy Byrum

Nancy Byrum, age 57, passed away Saturday, January 19, 2019. Proceeded in death by father George Byrum Sr., sister Debbie Patterson, brother Timmy Byrum, nephew Brent Byrum; and many aunts and uncles. Survived by mother Margret Byrum, daughter Fran Hancock, son Michael Scott Rolen; grandchildren Jared and Genny; brothers and sisters-in-law George and Maryann, Dennis and Teresa, Steve and Susan, and significant other Calvin Stafford; many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Gladys B. Ledford

Gladys B. Ledford, age 96, of Knoxville, passed away on January 20, 2019.
She attended Salem Baptist Church.
Preceded in death by husband David L. Ledford; daughter Patsy J. Price; grandson Brian Schwartz.
Survived by daughter M. Annette Rummell (Barry); son Charles “David” Ledford (Joy); 10 grandchildren; many great grandchildren and several great-great grandchildren.
Family will receive friends 4-6PM Wednesday at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel with funeral service to follow, Rev. David McGill officiating.

Rosemary Gail (Wilkerson) Johnson Obituary

Rosemary Gail (Wilkerson) Johnson, of Halls/Plainview, went to be with our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ on Friday January 18, 2019. Rosemary spent 4 years fighting a rare mantle cell lymphoma. Rosemary loved her family, was a believer in Christ, an animal lover, and an all-around genuine person. She was preceded in death by her loving parents, Roy & Mary Lynn Wilkerson; father in law, Raymond Johnson; and brother in law Ray Johnson.

Obituary of Lloyd Russell Lee Sr.

Lloyd Russell Lee Sr., age 68, of Knoxville, Tn was born July 6, 1950 and departed this earthly life on January 17, 2019 to gain his new body in heaven. His life was filled with the love of Nascar, Semi-Trucks, and Family. Lloyd was a self employed over the road truck driver for his entire life to provide for his ever-growing family. Married to Sandra “Sandy” Lee on January 4th 1969, they shared their love of 50 years with their 3 sons Rusty (spouse Mary Duso), Jimmy (wife April), and Billy (spouse Becky Litton).

Ted George Jones

Ted Jones, age 67, of Knoxville passed away on January 17, 2019. He was a bus operator for Knoxville Area Transit for over 43 years, and a member of Amalgamated Transit Union. He was a member of West Side Baptist church. Preceded in death by parents George & Neoma Jones, grandparents William Ellis & Flora Shuemaker, father-in-law Jack Jones.

Nathan Samuel Davis

Nathan Samuel Davis – age 23 of Maynardville, passed away Sunday, January 13, 2019.

He is survived by his parents, Luther and Julia Davis; and sister, Gabriela Eby.

A celebration of life service is being planned for a later date. Trinity Funeral Home, LLC, Maynardville, has the honor to serve the family of Nathan Davis. 865-992-5002

The opinions expressed by columnists and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of Russell Computer Systems, Inc or any employee thereof.