What Scares You?

Two weeks ago I left three fictitious youngsters in the hayloft of Uncle Ex Newman’s barn as they laid out of school— Clark Mosely, his older brother Hen, and their still older cousin Jay Harvey Tatum. Three youngsters alone in a barn can be a scary situation for those not in the barn, I’m sure. I promise to join them in their misadventures once again soon, but inspiration has taken me on another path for this week.

At 2:00 a.m. this morning I finished the latest Stephen King book. It is a collection of four short stories entitled If It Bleeds. The last story in the collection was titled “Rat”. Not to give too much of the plot away to those of you who might also be King fans and not want the book spoiled for you, I’ll just say the main character went to a very secluded family cabin and spent a few nights in the deep, dark wilderness, totally alone.

I am not totally a loner. There are times I wish to be undisturbed, such as to write, read, sleep, study or watch television. Even during those times, however, I find it comforting to know that other people are close by, just in case . . .

My half-brother on my mother’s side, Jerry Sampson, introduced me to the first Stephen King book I ever read—Christine. I thought the plot was a little silly—antique cars really can’t become demon possessed and kill people, causing their owners to go insane. Later I saw the movie and found it entertaining, but no more believable. Great special effects.

Later I was to read other Stephen King books and see the movies produced from them. I like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. No actor can portray an insane person better. I always think of Sharon MacDonald when I see this movie—I watched it with her at her mother’s house not long after Sharon returned to Maynardville to teach. I found it a little more disturbing than Christine, but still not realistic—everyone knows there really are no haunted hotels, right?

‘Salem’s Lot was my next venture into the world of King. Although I know there really are no vampires, the scenes in which Danny Glick scratched on that window and showed his fangs in that casket caught my attention. I really don’t like it when tree branches scratch against the siding or windows of the house.

And then there was Pet Sematary (not even spelled right, for Heaven’s sake, and the man used to be an English teacher)! I remember reading that book at my sister Marie’s house. I was alone on the sofa in her den, where I was to spend the night, and she and her husband were in the other end of the house. There was only one lamp burning, on the end table at my head. I was just getting to a really good (such a subjective term) part when the clock on her mantle struck midnight! I have always said after that nothing has scared me, but sudden movements in the house when I know I am alone are exceptions to the rule.

But even Pet Sematary couldn’t truly be real, could it? I mean, who ever heard of a graveyard in which whatever (whoever?) is buried there comes back to life, though with an altered personality, knowing things it (s/he) shouldn’t know?

My friendly reader, I am going to share with you what I considered to truly be Stephen King’s scariest book, The Stand. In my opinion, now is not the time for you to read this book, but it instantly came to my mind when COVID-19 made the news.

Interestingly, the book first appeared in print in 1977. In The Stand, a deadly virus leaks out into the general population, wiping out, if I remember correctly, 97% of the world’s population in just a few weeks. Since its debut, the book has been reprinted (I have a “newer” version said to be original and uncut) and has been made into a miniseries. I don’t remember when I first read The Stand, though I’d safely say it was at least 25 years ago. Even then, I knew that this could actually happen. The latter supernatural events in the book were not nearly as disturbing to me as was the possibility that a man-made virus could go rogue and destroy most of the world’s population.

And hasn’t there been enough historical evidence to give credence to such a possibility? I shared an email with some friends this very day that brought to remembrance the 1720 plague, the 1820 cholera, the 1920 Spanish flu (though the same email referenced the Spanish influenza of 1918—frightening—it must have spanned at least two or three years), and the 2020 coronavirus. Even Nostradamus was resurrected in the email, with the reminder that he predicted the present threat in 1551! Perhaps almost as frightening for survivors of the latest menace, Nostradamus was supposed to have said that it would “destroy and ruin the world” and be “the end of the world economy as you know it.” Nost is not around to defend himself, so hopefully someone is putting words in his mouth concerning that last part.

But let us take courage in the fact that there was once a curse on elected presidents elected in years that ended in “0”. From Abraham Lincoln, elected in 1860, who was the first US President assassinated, to Ronald Reagan, elected in 1980, who was shot, something seemed to happen to every president elected in a year ending in “0” (a good Google search for these days of social isolation). But that curse seemed to be broken with George W. Bush, elected in 2000, still alive and well today.
So perhaps the now centuries-old curse for years ending in “20” will end with the corona virus. Unfortunately, none of us writing and reading this article will be around in 2120 to witness it.

So, what’s the answer for peace of mind during these times of turmoil? Proverbs 3: 5-6 comes to mind: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Even in times of peace, when the end comes, that’s the only thing we can claim, anyway.

And in the meantime, don’t read Stephen King when you’re totally alone, in the dark, isolated . . .

In closing, I leave you another, brighter thought from my world of email. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, “I’ve lost my electron.” The other says, “Are you sure!” The first replies, “Yes, I’m positive.”

What have you lost during Covid-19? I trust not your hope. Are you still positive? Sometimes positivity is the best reaction to a negative world.
I wish for you, dear reader, peace, comfort and safety. Take care of yourselves and each other.



Frequently asked questions about chiropractic

Q: How is a chiropractic adjustment performed?

A: Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a manual procedure that utilizes the highly refined skills developed during the doctor of chiropractic’s intensive years of chiropractic education. The chiropractic physician typically uses his or her hands—or an instrument— to manipulate the joints of the body, particularly the spine, in order to restore or enhance joint function.

Sourwood Blooms, a Beekeeper’s Delight

Sourwood does not stand out in the forest except this time of year when it is in bloom, and perhaps in the fall when it displays brilliant red colors.

Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) is locally called "sorrel” and is common in our area. It tends to be a small understory tree growing under larger tree canopies.


Isn’t it funny how we change as we go through life?

When I was a kid, lightning didn’t bother me at all. What I really hated about a storm was the thunder. You see, I can’t stand sudden loud sounds. Seriously, they hurt me from the inside out. I won’t even pop a balloon. Worse than that are fireworks. I love watching them, but not hearing them.


A Salute to Campers

There are designations used to denote time to help keep historical events in perspective. There is B.C., B.C.E., and A.D. In the beginning of attempting to label events in historical time perspectives, people counted years by such things as Greek festivals or Roman emperors. Old Testament scripture alludes to this practice (e.g., “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD . . .: Isaiah 6:1 KJV). As people converted to Christianity in the New Testament era, they wanted to count their years by Christian events.

Election Day is Approaching!

Election time is coming! And June 23rd is that special day for two cities in Union County. The city of Maynardville will be electing three officers to the city council, and the city of Plainview will be casting ballots for the Mayor’s office and two Alderman seats. On Election day, opening time is 9:00am, and all polls will close at 8:00pm. (For those unable to vote or over the age of 60, please remember the availability of absentee voting, now more accessible for those affected by Covid-19.)

Fishing for Bluegill

Bluegill are a fun fish to catch and eat. They will bite at almost anything, are fierce fighters when hooked, and offer meat with a slightly sweet taste. Most folks started their love for fishing as kids fishing for bluegill with a can of worms. They are easy to catch, but here are a few tips for getting a good stringer of bluegill for supper.

Momma Battle

It was a warm summer day in 1993 and Tim was working in the yard. By the way, he’s one of these people who takes his yard work very seriously. As soon as the grass begins to grow, he’s ready to mow it.

When he uses the weed-eater, he wears long pants. This day he had been in and out of the house quite a bit for cold drinks. Unfortunately, there was a stow-away clinging onto his yard pants.



I would venture that most people at present agree that the world’s condition is troublesome. There is a lot with which to be concerned, though not everyone’s concerns are in agreement. It seems to become harder and harder with each passing day to agreeably disagree with our friends and acquaintances.

But there is comfort in those things that do not change. I am by nature a traditionalist, and I have little (in some cases, no) patience for change. Unfortunately for those like me, it seems everything changes. Yet there is comfort in those things that stay the same.

Grandparetns Grow Happy Hearts

Mamaw and Papaw. Granny and Pops. Mams and Paps. Grandma and Grandpa. Nan and Pop. They are all something very special, something that cannot be compared. They are memory makers of the best times, and the hardest. They know which heart strings to pull and when someone they love needs a little extra care.

The Effects Of Covid-19: Small Businesses

Covid-19. Coronavirus. The Rona. All are names of the virus that has swept the United States these last few months, the same virus that has drastically changed life for almost every person in the world. Anyone who watches the news, reads a news-feed, or listens to news-talk radio has an idea of what’s going on in our government (at least what they’re telling us). But what is really going on? How are things on the home front? How has this virus, and the resulting quarantine and social distance regulations, affected those here in Union County?

Farmers, Apply Now for Financial Assistance with USDA

Farmers and Ranchers Can Now Apply for Financial Assistance through USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Online Tools and Toll-Free Number Available to Assist Producers

Are you a livestock producer whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19.

Another Favorite Gone for 2020

We’re all saddened these days when we hear that many of the events we love are having to cancel for 2020 due to Covid-19. One more beloved Knoxville tradition will not make an appearance this year.

The Tennessee Valley Fair will not be held again until 2021.

“It is with great sadness that we announce that the 2020 fair, scheduled to be held September 11-20, will not be taking place,” the Tennessee Valley Fair Executive Committee stated in a press release June 8.

Food Preservation: Canning

Hopefully we are past the final frost and all the rain and warmth will lead to an abundance in the garden this year. So how can we maximize our gardens? Food Preservation in the form of freezing, canning, and drying. This is article 2 of 4, where we will discuss canning. Freezing is a cheap, easy way to preserve foods where bacteria growth is stopped and items last longer. However, preserving foods by freezing is limited by freezer space. So how else can we stop bacteria growth without a freezer? Canning!

Chiropractic care for back pain

Among people seeking back pain relief alternatives, most choose chiropractic treatment. About 22 million Americans visit chiropractors annually. Of these, 7.7 million, or 35%, are seeking relief from back pain from various causes, including accidents, sports injuries, and muscle strains. Other complaints include pain in the neck, arms, and legs, and headaches.

What Is Chiropractic Care?

Dear OIe Dad

Dad has it figured out
How the country should be run
He tells us every day
The right way to be done.

That's okay in politics
He has his own opinion
But please call someone else if
That's gas you hear a-fizzing.

Fixing things around the house
Is not his cup of tea.
He made the lights go out again
TIme to call KUB.


The Answer in Poetry

When my only half-brother on my mother’s side passed away, he told his wife he wanted me to have his books. I received quite a few, but there was one in particular that his last spouse favored and made sure to keep for herself. I hope that book has brought her much peace and joy throughout the almost ensuing decade following his departure. It is not I who will go to the grave knowing I failed to fill one of my dying spouse’s last wishes, and I certainly don’t miss what I never had.

Walking in the Snow

Who hasn’t heard the difficult or traumatic stories of family members as they were growing up? Usually I received them when I complained about something:

“The power’s off. I can’t watch TV.”

“It’s raining outside and I can’t ride my bike.”

You get the idea.

That’s when my Mamaw Jo felt the need to tell me about her childhood difficulties. The one I heard the most was: “I had to walk to school for miles in the blinding snow.”

The Wilderness of Night

When was the last time you left the comforting lights of your home or campfire and stepped into the darkness? Familiar places take on a mysterious look. Colors vanish and the world closes in as your view becomes limited. You begin to depend more on your ears as your eyes fail. It can be a little spooky, and yet adventurous. Ever since that first campfire man has become addicted to light. We don't feel comfortable outside of the illumination of electric lights, flashlights, or fire. The darkness has become a foreign, forbidding place.

Sometimes Newer is not Always Better

A picture of the old FrontPage 2003 which Microsoft quit supporting in 2006.

Earlier this year, I did something I had said I was going to do for a long time—see if anyone—absolutely anyone—among web hosts supported FrontPage.

I can hear the tech folks out there right now, laughing their heads off. Still, I was serious. When my, then, current web host quit the FrontPage extensions some years back, they suggested I use FTP. I used one for a few years, even while the web host was pushing me to switch to Word Press. Finally, even the FTP (file transfer protocol) quit moving my update successfully.

Pinto Beans Ole

A few days ago I heard on TV that beans could become the new meat if meat prices continue to climb because of the virus. I hope not. But if you would like to prepare for that sad day here is a meatless recipe for you. You can eat it as an entree or make a wrap out of it with a flour tortilla, some shredded lettuce and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Try it and see what you think.

Retirement of Coach Kerr

Union County High School’s Coach Larry Kerr is planning to step down from the head coach position of the Patriot Football team. While many would think this may shock the players or rock their world, the players would disagree. They have been expecting this and know what’s in store for them in the future.

Postmenopause vitamin d deficiency associated with disc Degeneration and lower back pain

Lumbar disc degeneration and resulting lower back pain become greater concerns with age and disproportionately affect women over men, likely as a result of decreasing estrogen levels during menopause. A new study demonstrates that vitamin D deficiency, smoking, high body mass index (BMI), and osteoporosis are risk factors for greater back pain.

The Pole Cat Incident

“Get her back inside! Get her back inside!” Tim and Sara screamed at the same time.
As usual, I had just let Pobby out the basement door and into the back yard one last time before we went to bed. By the way, Pobby was our dog that chewed on my Bible in my story/article “Eating the Word.”

“If It Was Raining Pitchforks . . .”

A few days ago Becky Ogle, who works for the Union County Schools Technology Department, gave me a gift of appreciation. It was a yellow mug bearing the school system’s logo, and it contained a few goodies in it (ink pen, note pad, a 3-in-1 “phone buddy”). Becky said the cup would turn orange if I filled it with a cool drink and ice cubes. She gave me two, one for me and one for my Administrative Assistant, Angela Henderlight. Each cup had a raffle ticket, and a drawing was to be held I read a post on Facebook a few days later.


I wasn’t going to highlight any particular pet, but I have already done it before, so see no reason to stop now. When I was working at Niota Elementary School in the northern part of McMinn County, I would sometimes go and work in the summer, trying to get the library up and ready for the new school year.


We have a new dog in the family now. Frankie joined us two days ago; she’s part shepherd and part something (or several somethings), eight weeks old and doing the standard cycle of full speed ahead, crash for a few hours, repeat. Razor teeth, no bladder control to speak of, and still a little scared of all the new sights, smells, and sounds, not to mention the two adult cats who are not thrilled at sharing what they thought was their space by divine right. No fights so far, just wary circles and uncertain boundaries. We’re all still getting used to each other.

Creamy Carrot Salad

Boy, oh boy! Here is a recipe straight out of the 50's. I suppose some women during the Great Depression had enough money to fancy up their menus. My mother didn't. It seemed that women's magazines only came into their own around the late 40s time. They were only 10 or 15 cents each. I could afford that. I would pick up a woman's magazine when I did my grocery shopping on the weekend. This recipe reminds me of these days. It has survived the test of time, just brought up to date with the Cool Whip.

Kickin' Collards

Is it finally spring? Well...if you can count how much water has been "springing" from the sky, then yes. And with spring comes recipes for greens from the garden. Here's one for collards that my daughter Christa came up with and shared with me. It takes some time, but is soooo worth it!.


More on research into yoga, tai chi or qigong for Low back pain relief

In a recent study of movement-based interventions, researchers discovered that longer duration and high-dose yoga intervention showed reductions in back pain while tai chi reduced acute lower back pain in males in their 20s. Tai chi also was more effective than stretching for lower back pain in young males. In the general community, tai chi showed greater reductions in pain intensity, bothersomeness of pain symptoms, and pain-related disability than the control intervention.

Kennedy Hill excels

Union County native Kennedy Hill is not your average high school graduate.
She is one of the valedictorians for the Union County High School Class of 2020, she served as the Beta Club vice president and Horace Maynard FFA Chapter president, and has acquired approximately 400 service hours with 4-H over the past four years.
Hill ran for homecoming queen for FFA this past fall raising over $14,000 for her FFA chapter and is currently a state finalist for the Swine Production Proficiency award through FFA (to be announced on June 2).

The Normandy Invasion

This graphic tells the story of how the French beachhead was supplied on D-Day June 6, 1944-- Army photo 190631

The Atlantic Wall was originally imagined by Adolph Hitler. In December 1941, Hitler conceived a broad band of steel, guns and troops on a defensive line running 2,400 miles from Holland to Spain along the coast with 15,000 strong points manned by 300,000 troops.

Carl Smith - From Union County to Mr. Country - Part 3

Country Connections By James and Ellen Perry
Carl Smith’s talent and good looks took his career in country music into a four-year, 190-episode TV show called “Carl Smith’s Country Music Hall” for Canadian Television, and was also syndicated in the USA. The show ran from 1964 until 1969.
Carl’s television show was appreciated by men and women of all ages. Ladies especially liked Carl because he was tall and handsome with wavy black hair and blue eyes. Carl was very courteous and had easy going mannerisms and a smooth voice. Carl had it all, as Mrs. Ruth White said.

June Dairy Month - It's More than Milk

Union County 4-H Dairy Month Ambassador Joannah Kadron

It’s June, folks!
Which means it is Dairy Month, a time where we celebrate dairy and the nutritious value of its products. Did you know: June dairy month started out as a way to distribute extra milk during the hot summer months, but in 1939 June became the official “dairy month.”

The Mark of the Beast

Revelation 13:16-18
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (KJV)


Bug Bash

I squealed. It’s not something that I’m proud of, but I did it.
What in the world happened?
The night before, I washed a load of towels. Since it was late and I was tired, I decided to put them up the next day. The next morning, I politely skipped into the laundry room. When I bent down and picked up the clothes basket, I saw movement inside of it. Lots of movement.


Summer Jam at Luttrell Community Park July 25, at 115 Park Road Luttrell.

Saturday, July 25, 2020 - 12:00
Summer Jam

Summer Jam at Luttrell Community Park July 25, at 115 Park Road Luttrell.
Time: 12.00-6:00pm with an auction at 5:00 pm
Several Groups will be there such as; Spirit Filled, Faithful Promise, Janda Bozeman, Higher Calling, Wade Brantley,
New Friendship Youth Choir, Roy Poole, Wayne Carpenter, Teresa & Lecole Cooke, (8 yr. old) Parker Williams,
and Michael Bailey.
A concession will be there, come out and enjoy the day. Proceeds from Auction will go to Morristown Church of God.

For more information contact Michael Bailey at 865-455-2069


Dovie C. Smith

Dovie C. Smith-age 74 of Maynardville passed away Sunday morning, June 28, 2020 at her home surrounded by her family. She was a member of Pennington Chapel Baptist Church. She was a retired manager of IHOP Restaurant with 27 years of service. Preceded in death by husband, Sam Smith; mother, Roberta Bailey Cox; father, Porter Cox; infant son, James Jessie Smith; son-in-law, Ralph Grissom; brothers, Charlie Cox, Joe Cox.

Edward H. "Strawberry" Archer

Edward H. “Strawberry” Archer, age 91, life-long resident of Union County. He passed away Wednesday, June 24, 2020 (born May 24,1929). He was a member of Milan Baptist Church. He retired from Sanford Day Iron Works/Marmon Transportive and spent his retired years farming and serving the community as a dedicated Union county resident. He was the Union and Campbell counties Republican Party Chairman and, along with his wife Barbara (Bobbie) Archer, managed the Paulette community building for many years. He also served as a member of various Union County boards.

Rev. Dr. William Richard Vick

Rev. Dr. Richard Vick-age 86 of Ruskin, Florida, formerly of Maynardville passed away 4:15 P.M. Monday, June 22, 2020 at Life Path Hospice in Florida. He was born February 13, 1934 the son of the late Homer and Lena (Hall) Vick. Preceded in death by wife of 47 years, Dr. Joyce Gaye (Pickens) Vick; grandchildren, Amy, Kathryn and Levi. He was a U. S. Navy Veteran of the Korean War serving October, 1951-January, 1955.

Jennifer A. Jones

Jennifer A. Jones, age 44, of South Knoxville, passed away suddenly June 23, 2020 at UT Medical Center. She loved to camp, read, and all types of music. Jennifer was preceded in death by father, Michael Harmon, and sister, Melissa Harmon. Survivors include husband, David Jones, daughters, Caitlyn Summers and Kristen Watson, mother, Rebecca Harmon, and sister, Angie Lampkin. The family will receive friends 5-7 pm Friday, July 3, 2020 at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City Chapel. A Celebration of Life service will follow at 7 pm with Rev. Mike Segars officiating.

Karen L. Wyrick

Karen Louise (Jerome) Wyrick-age 63 of Andersonville left this life peacefully on Tuesday afternoon, June 23, 2020 at home and in the presence of her family. Born to Elizabeth “Betty” (White) Jerome on October 19, 1956, Karen grew up in many places, but made her final home in East Tennessee. Shortly after moving here at the age of 16, she found the love of her life, marrying the luckiest man in the world, Steven John Wyrick on February 24, 1979.

Deanna C. Farley

Deanna C. Farley age 44 of Maynardville passed away on June 17, 2020.

She was preceded in death by spouse Randy Sparks and her grandparents.

She is survived by parents Elmer and Tina Shoemaker, and Jerry Downey; children Dylan (Ammie) Sparks, Eddie (Chasity) Burton, Tina Humphrey and Brandon Sparks; grandchildren Abel, Cora and Jace; brother Timmy (Cecilia) Shoemaker; sister Sherry (Brian) Potter.

Helen Lingerfelt

Helen Willane Powers Lingerfelt – age 77 of Corryton, went to meet the Lord on June 23, 2020. She was a member of Willow Springs Baptist Church. She loved the Lord and witnessed to everyone.

David N. Nicholson

David N. Nicholson, age 73, went home to be with his Lord and Savior peacefully at his home the morning of June 21, 2020. He was a member of New Beverly Baptist Church. He was a very loving husband to his wife of 31 years, and survived by his wife, Barbara Nicholson. Other survivors include: brothers John Nicholson, Bob Nicholson, and stepson Timothy Harr. Family will receive friends 6:00-8:00pm Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel, with service to follow, Rev. Eddie Sawyer and Rev. Mike Vincent officiating.

Curtis "Curley" Bates

Curtis Lloyd Bates “Curley & Pop” – age 87 of Corryton, passed away peacefully Sunday, June 21, 2020 in his sleep and stepped into the arms of Jesus. He was a member of Cedar Ford Baptist Church. Curley was the former owner of Bates Auto Parts in Maynardville and a U S Army Veteran serving as a SSgt. in the Korean War.

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