Wilma Dykeman left a legacy of environmental awareness

Wilma Dykeman on her porch in Newport during the 1960's (the height of her career), with Mt. Guyot in the background (to the far right).

“Shaconage—Place of the Blue Smoke—the Cherokees called it, the long range of forested pinnacles and plunging valleys crowning the boundary between North Carolina and Tennessee. Eden was the description bestowed by early botanists on this virgin wilderness. But thickets of intertwined laurel and tough rhododendron were known to hunters and settlers as hells.”
Very few writers have captured the essence of the Great Smoky Mountains as accurately as these words written by Wilma Dykeman in her book Explorations, published in 1984.
Wilma Dykeman Stokely’s writing career as a journalist, novelist and state historian, spanned more than 40 years and included such wonderful works as The Tall Woman, At Home in the Smokies, and Neither Black nor White.
Dykeman was a Berea College trustee for 30 years, the Tennessee State Historian for 20 years and a Knoxville News-Sentinel columnist for 40 years.
She helped establish the Tennessee Committee for the Humanities, taught writing to National Park Service staff, established the James R. Stokely Institute for the Liberal Arts at the University of Tennessee, taught Appalachian Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee and was an active member of the Southern Regional Council.
Dykeman’s career as a Tennessee historian was launched in 1955 with the release of The French Broad, part of the Rivers of America series. In 1981, Dykeman was appointed by Governor Lamar Alexander as the official Tennessee state historian.
But perhaps even more notable than her passionate descriptions of life, both fictional and non-fictional, was her love for nature, Appalachia and preservation of the world as we know it. That love led her to become one of the leading environmentalists of our time.
Appalachian-born, Dykeman was a working advocate for civil rights, human freedom and human dignity. Her beliefs included a deep reverence for, and affirmation of, life and the environment.
During the 1980s, Wilma worked closely with Asheville-based RiverLink, https://riverlink.org/, and its Executive Director, Karen Cragnolin. Today, the central greenway in Buncombe County, along the east bank of the French Broad River in Asheville’s River Arts District, is named the Wilma Dykeman Greenway. https://www.ashevillenc.gov/department/transportation/greenways/
During the 1990s, Wilma testified in a class action lawsuit brought by citizens of Cocke County, Tennessee, against Champion Paper and Fibre Company in Canton, North Carolina, for polluting a major tributary of the French Broad River called the Pigeon River. Due in large part to her dramatic testimony, Champion settled the lawsuit for millions of dollars.
Much of Dykeman’s writing, as written in a foreword by Robert Morgan for Family of Earth, has detail that is intimate, sensuous and sometimes cinematic. There is a special sense of thresholds connecting the past and the traditional with the modern present.
Family of Earth tells the reader that Dykeman’s path from a girl raised in nature to a groundbreaking environmentalist was not a straightforward one. Although Dykeman was such an eloquent, multi-published writer and advocate for securing our natural future, she once spoke of her life as unimportant. Little did she know at the time the important things she would be remembered for; especially as it concerned the French Broad River. A true lover of nature, Dykeman argued that environmental sensitivity can encourage broad-based economic development.
The French Broad has been called the classic example of an Appalachian Mountain River. https://riverlink.org/french-broad-river/. Dykeman chronicled the French Broad as a river, a watershed, and a way of life where yesterday and tomorrow meet in odd and fascinating harmony. She said that the French Broad is a region with all the richness and paradox of life. Water, forests, plants, animals, people: thronging here in rare and wonderful variety.
After reading The French Broad, Carl Sandburg wrote to Dykeman, “Your blood and brain absorbed that tributary completely in both fact and imagination.”
These are excerpts pertaining to the French Broad from a few of Dykeman’s books:
“A river is not only a highway in itself, but frequently it also provides, like the ancient buffalo trails and Indian traces, the route of least resistance, and marks the way for thoroughfares to follow.”
“Providing corn for the swarms of hogs, mules and turkeys that came up the river each year became more and more of an enterprise. So large a demand brought about the clearing of many mountain acres ill-suited to growing corn. With no system of crop rotation, little money to invest in fertilizers, and the dwindling of the corn yield after the first couple of harvests, much of this land so quickly and indiscriminately cleared was left to wash away in the quick-melting snows of winter and the sudden beating rains of summer.
The French Broad still runs red with its second and third topsoil. Only in recent years have people begun to understand that this water reddened from the butchered earth is draining away life-blood as precious as was once the blood of the livestock which tramped along this route on their great half-remembered drives.”
“Tired and eager, the people found their place, each his own cove or mountain slope or river field, and faced their first tremendous task; that of destroying the most precious resource on the continent. With all the vigor and recklessness of necessity which had been behind their forward push to this very place, they attacked the forests of primeval pine and poplar, walnut and oak, chestnut and maple. With ax and fire they laid the giants low. The bitterest irony of all the years of settlement is in this process by which a people so frugal they utilized every element of nature, animal, vegetable and mineral, to its least portion, made every scrap count, scraped and pinched and survived only by the closest economy, would waste with prodigal abandon, the vast harvest of centuries as if it were not only useless but actually an enemy. Their complete self-dependence lent an immediacy to pioneer lives that closed out all foresight into the long future and made unimaginable the possibility of a day when these vast stands of acres would have disappeared. It is at once a tribute and a heartbreak that so few, with such crude implements, could have wrought so large a destruction in such a shortness of time.”
“To the Cherokee who roamed this country and had the legendary village of Kanasta on the French Broad, who hunted these forests and fished these waters, a river was part of their religion and livelihood, their commerce, their myth, and their recreation.”
The French Broad has seen its share of marches and encounters that came to pass during wars. The history of the French Broad is rich with heroes and villains, settlers and tramplers.
Many came with intentions of giving back to the land that provided for them, while others came only to rob, use and move on. Those who stayed arrived on foot carrying all they owned on their backs. Most were poor by man’s standards, but were made rich by the land in ways that far exceeded monetary gain. Even so, they soon began to destroy that which they loved.
An ornithologist studying the forest litter of these Appalachians that encompass the French Broad made people aware of the multiplicity of miniscule hidden lives to which the forest owes its porousness, the water owes its storage powers and the river owes part of its existence.
As we began this writing with a Dykeman quote, so we shall end with one that depicts Dykeman’s intense feelings about this area.
“Which is the time to know the river? April along the French Broad is a swirl of sudden water beneath the bending buds of Spicewood bushes, a burst of spring and a breath of sweetness between the snows of winter and the summer’s sun. August is a film of dust on purple asters along the country roads of the lower river, and a green stillness of heavy shade splattered with sunlight beside the upper river. October is a flame, a Renaissance richness of red and amber, the ripeness of harvest in husk and bin. It is the golden span between the dry rattle of September’s end and November’s beginning. In this mountain country, November is the month for classic beauty. Lines are clear and simple. Colors are subdued earth shades. Only those who know well and deeply these hills and rivers and their valleys can find them beautiful in this starkness. November strips the trees and leaves their branches in etched design against the sky, strips the hills and reveals their contours ― every winding path and rocky ridge and scooped-out gully finally reveals the river. No longer laced overhead with green limbs or half hidden under banks of fern, the streams and springs and rivulets, as well as the river they feed, emerge in each sharp twist, each lazy pool, and become dark liquid lines threading the mountains and valleys. It is a fit time to trace its course. It is a fit time to meet the country and its people. Now there is nothing hidden by summer’s rich growth, which is past, or winter’s soft snow, which will come.”
Dykeman’s work to keep the French Broad environmentally sound for the future generations remains endless, long after she has passed. Her love of nature was imparted to her descendants.
“She showed us her love of all plants and animals, including insects, elephants, wild galax and garden-grown irises,” said son, Jim Stokely. “Her often-stated belief was that everything is connected, and that human beings are only a small part of nature.”
Stokely said that if you define the Smokies technically as the bounds of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, she personally interacted with many residents from the Cosby, Big Creek, Cataloochee and Gatlinburg sections of the park. If you define the Smokies as the broader mountain region, she was one of the natives and lived her entire life interacting with the people.
The Wilma Dykeman Legacy is currently launching an initiative to learn about what environmental justice means to the public. To participate and to find out more about the amazing legacy left by Dykeman, go to: https://www.wilmadykemanlegacy.org/.
Dykeman said that the earth is with us always and we are one family upon it. In her words, “Who is there among us who can say he has lived upon this earth, in his own time, and never once been blinded by the clear beauty in that splinter of immortal splendor which is man and plant and animal, and life in all its forms? Certainly not I.”
All quotes and photos used with permission from Jim Stokely.

Dykeman speaking to the “Together We Read” audience in 2002 on the banks of the French Broad River near the end of her career.



Time is running out!

Will you help the Union County Lions Club provide needed eye exams and glasses for residents and screening exams for all pre-school students? One way to contribute to the work that the Lions do in our community is to buy a Reverse Raffle ticket. Tickets are $10 each. The money raised goes directly to the Lion Charities. Tickets can be purchased from Union County Lions members Pastor Kathy Chesney (865) 566-3289; Ronnie Mincey (865) 278-6430; Debbie Sylvia-Gardner (865) 603-5081; or Shirlee Grabko (865) 310-6874.

Delicious Feast for Veterans

Delicious food aromas hit you as you walked in the door of the American Legion Hall on June 3. If you thought you weren’t hungry before, the wonderful smells of the Chicken Alfredo dinner immediately changed your mind. And there was so much food – all expertly prepared by the cooks of the Veterans Volunteers. In addition to the huge pan of the Alfredo (see photos), there were pans of Caesar Salad and individual loaves of garlic bread that were baked to perfection.

Be careful how you sit

Many of us spend a good portion of our workdays sitting at a desk. Too much sitting, of course, is not good for anyone. We are not meant to be sedentary creatures. And recent research has concluded that it’s important for anyone who needs to sit for extended periods of time to get up and walk around at least once every hour.

Turtle Trot

“Guess what I just did,” my husband Tim asked as he bounded into the kitchen. As my Mamaw Jo would say: “He’s smilin’ from ear to ear.” It was obvious that he was happy about something.
But I went with what would make me happy: “You bought a large box of chocolates?” Hey, a girl can dream.

Salmon Loaf

Art work of salmon with a fishing rod.

A can of salmon on your pantry shelf is always a good beginning for a tasty meal. Drain salmon. Remove skin and bones. Flake salmon with a fork. Add softened cream cheese, lemon juice, onion, salt and liquid smoke. Stir well. chill mixture, covered, several hours or overnight. Then shape salmon mixture into a log. Combine pecans and parsley. Stir well. Roll salmon log in pecan mixture. Place on serving plate and chill for several hours. Makes a 10 inch log. Serve with assorted crackers.

Summertime Blisters

Tis the season for blisters

By Steve Roark
Volunteer, Cumberland Gap Historical Park

Summer tends to up activity levels with most folks, such as hiking or working in a garden. Sometimes these activities lead to a blister, which is your body's way of telling you to ease off on what you're doing. They are of course the result of too much friction, possibly from poor-fitting shoes or not wearing work gloves. There are several opinions on how to treat them.

Sharps Chapel Foundation prepares for Fall Fest

Sharps Chapel Festival

Pick Weaver and family enjoy listening to live music at last year’s festival. Photo by Kelly Clarke

If you weren’t able to attend Sharps Chapel’s Fall Festival last September with the rest of the 3,000 visitors, rest assured that fun plans are already in the making for Saturday, September 28. We interviewed the festival’s co-presidents, Kelly Clarke and Miranda Sharp.

What can the community expect to see this year?

Joggin' for Jaelyn 5K for MADD is June 29

On June 29, the Joggin' for Jaelyn for MADD 5K will be held at Wilson Park in Maynardville. This annual event honors the memory of Jaelyn Collins and critically injured Ashton Bailey, two young women tragically struck by a drunk and distracted driver on June 27, 2021. The purpose of this 5K is to bring awareness to the devastating consequences of drunk and distracted driving. All proceeds from the event will go to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to support their efforts in awareness and prevention.

Veterans remembered on Memorial Day at Wilson Park

From the Union County Veterans Wall

It was a brilliant day. The sun was shining, the wind gently blowing the flags. Darrell White, Commander of the Union County American Legion New Liberty Post 212, opened this year’s somber Memorial Day Ceremony with a list of names of local veterans who passed on this year and last: William Acuff, US Army; Darrell Ailor, US Marine Corps; Jim Collins, US Army; Jack Myers, US Army; Lloyd Railey, US Army; Hershell Sharp, US Air Force; Junior Smith, US Army; Bob White, US Army; Ivon White, US Marine Corps; and my former neighbor Marshal Wolfenbarger, US Army.

BOE approves budget with no tax increase

Director Greg Clay listens as the Union County Board of Education discusses the FY 25 Budget.

Budget concerns plagued the Union County Board of Education during most of the spring meetings from March through May. But after many discussions in workshops and meetings the board approved a budget for FY 25 with no tax increase in a special called meeting on May 22.

Vice Mayor Sidney Jessee chaired May County Commission

Sidney Jessee Jr. presided over the May Union County Commission meeting because Mayor Bailey was on vacation. The meeting got a late start due to the lengthy budget committee meeting. The budget committee approved and recommended all budgets to the commission except the County FY25 General Fund 101. A vote to recommend Fund 101 failed 2 to 6 with Chairperson Cheryl Walker and Commissioner Gerald Simmons supplying the only affirmative votes.

UCBPA Scholarship Benefit Golf Classic is June 15

UCBPA President Tammie Hill congratulates Ryan Burkhart whose team won the 2023 tournament.

Union County Business & Professional Association will host the 2024 Scholarship Benefit Golf Classic on Saturday, June 15, at Three Ridges Golf Course, 6101 Wise Springs Road, Knoxville. Tee time is 1 p.m.

Golfers can enjoy a complimentary lunch by Lil Jo's BBQ. The entry fee is $100 per player and there are four golfers to a team. At least one Closest to the Pin and one Longest Drive will be awarded along with door prizes. Team awards are 1st place $500, 2nd place $300, and 3rd place $100.

Union County Candidate Forum Set for June 11 at Maynardville City Hall

Union County Business & Professional Association will host its candidate forum on Tuesday, June 11th, at noon at Maynardville City Hall, 125 Johnson Rd. All state and local candidates have been invited. R. E. Ellison, a Democrat, will face the August primary winner between incumbent Senator Frank Niceley and newcomer Jessie Seal. Both Ellison and Seal plan to attend. Patty Mills, who is running unopposed for Republican State Executive Committeewoman, has also been invited. Representative Dennis Powers is running unopposed for the Tennessee House of Representatives.

State Fire Marshall reviewing new middle school plans

An architect's drawing of the new middle school

The Lewis Group Architects shared the final plans for the new middle school with the Union County Board of Education at the regular meeting on May 9. The main entrance will be on John Deere Drive. This entrance is planned with a canopy to accommodate the bus unloading and loading. The back entrance on Beeler Hollow Road is currently designated for car drop off and pick up.

4-H members provide community service

Maynardville Elementary School 5th grade 4-H officers with pop top tabs to deliver to the Ronald McDonald House.

Community service is such an integral part of 4-H. Both our Honor Club and All Stars group are designed to promote community service, and all of our clubs participate in service projects. They range from sending cards to those that are homebound or at Willow Ridge, to serving a meal for the veterans of Union County, to removing non-native invasive plants at Big Ridge State Park—a real variety!

UC 4-H students excel at regional Clover Bowl

Our 6th grade team in the heat of competition

Excitement filled the air at the plaza of the UT Alumni Memorial Hall on May 16 as 4-H Clover Bowl teams from all over East Tennessee gathered. Teams of four or five 4-H members and their parents chatted, snacked and quizzed each other while waiting for the competition to begin.

UCHS Tennis receives All District Awards

Girls All-District Tennis Doubles in Ava Tiller and Travyn Farmer

At the 2024 Division 1, Class A, District 2 Tennis Tournament, the Union County High School Tennis Team received All-District Awards in Doubles Play. Ava Tiller & Travyn Farmer in Girls Doubles, and Dalton Schreieck & Jace Walker in Boys Doubles, were recognized for their competitive spirit, good sportsmanship, and winning record.

UCBPA awards scholarships

The Union County Business & Professional Association awarded a total of 10 scholarships for 2024. UCBPA annually awards the Tracy Jeffreys Memorial Academic Scholarship to honor extensive commitment to educational achievement, mentoring of youth and professional ethics, as well as the tremendous amount of service that Marvin and Doris Jeffreys have given to Union County. The scholarship also memorializes Tracy, their deceased daughter.

It's a Boy!

It was a few months before the baby’s due date. We were all so anxious since we had to wait. Sara and Jordan already knew what was real, while everybody else had to wait on the reveal. For team girl or team boy, we all wore buttons. Some were adults and others were “youngins.” Out of a box of balloons, Sara and Jordan pulled out a fish. It wasn’t a real one, but a toy one that you could squish. As they yanked up the blue fish, poppers were set off by each papaw. The crowd cheered: “It’s a boy!” after the blue they all saw. In October, we should have sweet little Maverick Jace.

Plainview awards scholarships

Mayor Gary Chandler (left) and Vice Mayor Richard Phillips (right) congratulate Plainview Scholarship recipients, Anthony Baker and Annabelle Schwartz.

The City of Plainview awarded two scholarships at the regular meeting on May 14, 2024. Both recipients graduated as valedictorians with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Annabelle Schwartz intends to study first at Walter State Community College and then to complete her degree in Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Anthony Baker will attend Lincoln Memorial University to receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which is an undergraduate focus for becoming a Pharmacist.

Thank you from the Lions Club

The volunteers of the Union County Lions Club would like to thank the Alder Springs Baptist Church, Irwin Chapel UMC, Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Foxy Wraps, HMI Highway Markings and Union County Food City for their support of the Lion’s fundraising Freedom Concert with the Poet Voices
The concert banner designed and donated by Foxy Wraps was fantastic. We appreciate the donation of supplies from Food City.

Groundbreaking hip-focused therapy reduces low back pain

With support from the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institute of Health, Gregory Hicks recently led a clinical trial with researchers at UD, Duke University and the University of Pittsburgh to test new ways of treating chronic low back pain in adults 60 to 85 years old. The study, called the Manual Therapy and Strengthening the Hip (MASH) Trial, is believed by the research team to be the first clinical trial to assess the efficacy of an intervention matched to an at-risk subgroup of older adults with chronic low back pain and coexisting hip pain and muscle weakness.

What’s love got to do with correction?

In 2 Corinthians: 8-9, Paul is exhorting the Corinthians to fulfill their pledge to contribute towards a love offering being taken up among the gentile churches for the poor saints at Jerusalem. You can read the details about Paul’s instructions to the church at Corinth for this offering in 1 Corinthians 16: 1-9. You can also read in Acts 11:28 about how a prophet named Agabus by the Spirit foretold this famine before it happened.

Marinated Chicken Breasts

Flatten each chicken breast with a meat pounder. For the marinade, put the mustard, wine, and honey in large resealable plastic bag. Add the pounded chicken breasts and marinate in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
In medium bowl, thoroughly mix the bread crumbs and grated cheese. Dip the marinated chicken breasts in this mixture, coating all sides.

That news bee is trying to tell us something

News Bee

News Bees will often hover near you as if trying to tell you something, and may land and lick minerals on your skin. They cannot sting.

If you’re outside much at all you will likely have a yellow and black bee-like critter fly up to you and just hover in midair, staring at you. Growing up I was told they were news bees and that they were trying to tell me something. Another name for them is hover fly, highlighting their amazing ability to hover perfectly still like a hummingbird or helicopter.
I’ve seen two different kinds of news bees, a small skinny one that flies silently, and a bigger one that resembles a yellowjacket. Both belong to a group of insects called “flower flies.”

Autism and me: Sensory Processing Disorder

We will start this article with the disclaimer that we are not medical experts on this month’s topic. In fact, we are not experts of any kind on this subject. We are only sharing information and/or knowledge that we have gained mostly by personal experience and some research.
This month we would like to inform you about Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD. WebMD defines sensory processing disorder as a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses.

Reconciliation, I Reckon So!


What brings people together?
Why start an article with a question (or two)?
Because it is a big one as we think of the current state of our country.
The root word for reconciliation is “conciliare,” a Latin word meaning to bring together. Add the “re” to it and you get “to bring back together.” To my thinking that means what was once a less contentious, more harmonious relationship among people has been severed and should be reconnected.
Or should it?

Definition, Please

I received an email from a friend last week with the subject line “Anosognosia.” Wouldn’t that be a wonderful word for the National Spelling Bee? The text began, “This is a big word which few can define and fewer use.” Define and use? Most of us would be happy just to be able to pronounce it!

The Hack that Survived

“Boys it is time to go home and eat dinner, get some rest, then come back and finish plowing and hoeing this tobacco patch.” This tobacco happened to be on a 30-acre farm in Kettle Hollow that Dad had bought for the tobacco allotment. We unhooked the mule, put her in the pasture, put up our hoes, climbed into Dad’s 1948 Dodge panel wagon and started home. It was early July of 1958. Arriving home about 11:45 a.m. Daddy said, “Boys it’s about mail time and I forgot before driving up the hill to our home. So, you need to go and meet Edd and bring the mail, while I get dinner ready.”

Paulette 5th graders research opioid addiction and its effects

Flyer designed and drawn by Peyton Turner,
5th grade student at Paulette Elementary.

Opioid abuse across the country is at epidemic proportions, and the abuse is at its worst in poor rural communities. Of all 50 states in the US, Tennessee ranks third in opioid abuse. Opioid use has ravaged the rural Appalachian region of East Tennessee, both with its prevalence and with its destruction of families.

Plainview supports AG Effler Walk for Victims

Mayor Richard Phillips and Police Chief Richard Phillips of Plainview
stand beside sponsor sign at Walk for Victims.

The City of Painview was represented by Vice Mayor Richard Phillips and Police Chief Brandon Ford at the recent Walk for Victims in Wilson Park. The Walk for Victims is an initiative by Attorney General Jared Effler to draw attention to victims rights and is part of a national one first proclaimed under President Ronald Reagan.

Chiropractic for college students

While your college student is home on break, you might want to have a discussion with her or him about the benefits of chiropractic treatment during the school year. After all, chiropractic treatment is not just for older adults with back problems. It’s beneficial for all people and college students are among those poised for benefit.

Don't Do It

Do you like it when somebody tells you not to do something? I don’t. Why? Like most people, I like to think I know better. Unfortunately, over the years I have found out the hard way that I’m usually wrong and I should have listened. There were times the outcomes were no big deal and at others times they were could’ve been dangerous.

Now and Then

Someone recently stated: “We’re churning out a generation of poorly educated people with no skill, no ambition, no guidance, and no realistic expectations of what it means to go to work.”
In the mid-1940s one Union County teacher in a rural two-room school estimated that he expected 20% of his students to go on to high school. This was higher than a colleague who expected that only about 8% of her elementary students would go on to high school. Interestingly, those teachers had “length[s] of term [of employment] expected” at eight months, one with a monthly salary of $83.

Bacon Hasg Brown Bake

In large bowl combine first 7 ingredients. Transfer mixture to greased 9 inch pie plate
Drizzle with butter. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 F. until lightly browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Seek the Stillness

We are blessed with many peaceful places where you can immerse yourself in and be in the moment, which is good for body and soul.

I may be writing this for myself because I am a bona fide Type A person. I’m always engaged in some activity, making lists to check off, with my mind constantly engaged in problem solving or accomplishing some goal. And worthy things do get done for church and family, but it can come with the cost of exhaustion, burn out, and self-imposed stress. One way to improve things is to take time to get away to a quiet place and be still for a little while.

Memorial Day 2024 Union County TN

The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed over 620,000 lives - more lives than any conflict in U.S. history. It required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. In 1868, May 30th was declared a day to remember those fallen in the Civil War. The date May 30th was chosen primarily because it was not a date of any particular battle over the years of the war. Initially called Decoration Day, in 1967 the name was changed to Memorial Day, and in 1971 the date was changed to the last Monday in May.

Chicken Alfredo for the Veterans

The dish is named for Alfredo Di Lelio, a Roman restauranteur who is credited with its invention and popularization. Di Lelio's elaborate tableside service was an integral part of the dish. (Elaborate tableside service will be missing at this dinner. It is all self-serve!) Traditionally speaking, in Italy you would never ever mix chicken with pasta! Did you know that the term “Alfredo” is not used often in Italy? There are many different combinations of butter and parmesan similar to what we define using the name we recognize, but Italians call all of these combinations “al burro”.

Goin' Somewhere: A picture is worth a thousand words

Union County, a small yet mighty portion of our state, consists of small businesses rooted in entrepreneurship and thinking outside of the box to larger businesses that boost economic growth and large job opportunities for new community members and graduates. This diverse array of opportunities allow for creative thinking, entrepreneurial drive, and “doing what you love.” Goin’ Somewhere Photography and Gifts is just one example of a small business that encompasses all three of those fundamental steps to success.

Tips for preventing low back pain

It’s not a comfort, of course, to know that millions of Americans are afflicted with lower back pain. Just know that if you are one of them, you’re not alone. As common as the problem is, there are steps you can take to minimize your exposure to the problem. Here are a few that are recommended by the American Chiropractic Association:

Fan Gril

Are you a fan of something? Most people that I know are fans of a sport or of an entertainer. If you know me, then you may think I am a fan of chocolate and baseball. While you would be correct, I’m also a fan of fans.

In An Ostrich's Eye

I was a young child. I know this because we lived in one of Jessie Buckner’s rental houses on Academy Street in the “Chinatown” section of downtown Maynardville. We lived there from approximately 1968/1969 to 1971, so I was between three and five years old, most likely four.
My mother made some homemade fried onion rings. I remember still how good they tasted. I just couldn’t seem to get enough.

French Toast Deluxe

Artwork by Shirley McMurtrie

In shallow dish, whisk together the first 7 ingredients. Then preheat a well greased griddle over medium heat. Dip bread in egg batter mixture, letting it soak in for a few seconds on each side. Cook on griddle until golden brown on both sides. Serve with butter and maple syrup plus any desired toppings. Makes 4 servings. Recipe can be doubled.

Boy and Girl Trees

Spring has moved on from blooming wildflowers to trees in bloom, and so I’ve been trying to catch native trees and shrubs in flower. While observing American Holly flowers I was reminded that some trees do thing different. Several species like the holly produce flowers of one sex only, and so there are literally boy and girl trees, which is not common in the plant world.

Mark Martin Scholarship Recipients

Union County Schools former music teacher Mark Allen Martin, doing what he loved best.

Mark Allen Martin of Maynardville. graduated from the University of Tennessee and taught music in the Union County school system for 27 years. He was known as a terrific teacher, highly skilled and talented musician, friendly, and loved to joke around. The Union County Lions Club honors his memory by awarding scholarships to UCHS High School seniors in his name.

The Freedom Concert Gospel and Patriotic Music

The Poet Voices will start this special concert with a sing-along of famous hymns and will then introduce the Union County High School Band, under the direction of Hunter Collins. The band will open with the National Anthem, accompanied by the Poet Voices bass singer KC Armstrong, a former member of the US Air Force Singing Sergeants and, later, the US Army Chorus.

Calling all Volunteers !

Poet Voices bass singer KC Armstrong in uniform

Tennessee is called the Volunteer State because people in this state, the people in this county, step up to help one another. The Union County Lions Club is looking for some cheerful volunteers to assist with various functions of their fundraiser, the Freedom Concert with the Poet Voices and the Union County High School Band, on May 18th. The monies raised will provide eye exams, glasses and sometimes hearing aids to Union County residents. Doors open at 6:00 and we are looking for folks to take tickets, hand out free CDs, sell tickets at the door and various other tasks as needed.


Spring Tour With Museum Mike!

"Come by the Lenoir Museum at 1:00pm on Saturday's throughout the spring for a tour with Museum Mike! These tours will occur on a weekly basis. These tours are completely free, but please consider registering and donating to the Museum! 100% of your donation stays in our Lenoir Museum and is used for programs, interpretive displays, and other improvements. Thank you for your ongoing support!

Lions Club Reverse Raffle

Tickets are $10 each. All the money raised goes directly to the Lion Charities. Tickets can be purchased from Union County Lions members Kathy Chesney (865) 566-3289, Ronnie Mincey (865) 278-6430, Debbie Sylvia-Gardner (865) 603-5081 or Shirlee Grabko (865) 310-6874.

Free Wacky Wednesday Summer Camp at Irwin’s Chapel

Join us for faith based, fun filled afternoons of music, games, crafts a prizes!
Lunch & snacks will be provided!
Every wednesday beginning May 29th thru July 31st 12 Noon til 5:00 PM
ALL ages Welcome! (must be Potty trained)
Free Admission!!
Irwin's Chapel UMC - 358 Old Valley Rd - Sharps Chapel
Reserve your spot by clicking on the QR code below OR
RSVP by calling or texting: Pastor Kathy at 865-566-3289 or Mrs. Crystal at 305-495-7714


Lorene Sharp Collins

Lorene Sharp Collins – age 87 of Sharps Chapel, went to be with the Lord Friday, June 14, 2024 at Tri-State Health and Rehab. She was saved at a young age and a member of Oak Grove Primitive Baptist Church. Retired cook of Sharps Chapel School. Lorene was a special mom and mamaw to so many. She always took care of everyone in her life, making sure we were always fed and welcome in her home. She loved her family more than anything and spent her life caring for and raising her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She taught us all kindness, hard work, strength, and endless love.

Betty Joean Daffron

Betty Joean (Cooke) Daffron-age 95 of Knoxville passed away Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at Beverly Park Place Health & Rehab. She was of the Catholic faith. Preceded in death by her husband, Robert Daffron; parents, Clarence and Sarrah (Sharpe) Cooke; brothers, J.I. Cooke, Casper Cooke; son-in-law, John Fawcett, O.D.

Reverend Teddy "Ted" Seal

Reverend Teddy R. “Ted” Seal – age 83 of Maynardville, passed away Tuesday, June 11, 2024 at his home. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Ted loved his family and his church, and they loved him. He was a member of Chestnut Grove Missionary Baptist Church.

Christopher Lee Henderson

Christopher Lee Henderson – age 54 of Maynardville, passed away Tuesday morning, June 11, 2024, at his home. He attended New Fellowship Full Gospel Church, Maynardville. He was a 15-year U.S. Navy Veteran and served during the Iraqi War. He was a graduate of Horace Maynard High School, class of 1989. Preceded in death by his daughter in April 2021, Brooke Henderson; father, Jack Lee Henderson.

Nellie Kay (Savage) Chesney

Nellie Kay (Savage) Chesney-age 68 of Luttrell passed away Tuesday, June 11, 2024, at Willow Ridge Center, Maynardville. She was of the Baptist faith. She was a former employee of Panasonic and Levi’s. Preceded in death by her parents, Paris and Ina (Yadon) Savage; brothers, Riley Savage, Jackie Savage, Andy Savage; special friend, David Chesney.

Billy Joe Dunn

Billy Joe Dunn-age 61 of Maynardville passed away unexpectedly Friday, June 7, 2024. Billy loved bass fishing and was passionate about his work. He will be dearly missed. Preceded in death by his wife, Sherry Dunn; father, Oris Dunn; sisters, Judy Young, Delores Key, Sharon Norton.

He is survived by his mother, Emma Lou Dunn; special nephew, Robert Lynn Dunn; brother, Mike Dunn; great nephew, Austin Dunn and family; beloved grandsons, Craig and Derrick Lay; special friend, Brian Harvey and a host of nieces and nephews, other loving family members and many other friends.

Samuel David Goin

Samuel David Goin-age 74 of Luttrell passed away June 5, 2024, at North Knoxville Medical Center. He was a member at New Friendship Baptist Church. Sam loved gardening, fishing and watching football, especially the Vols. He is preceded in death by his parents, Rev. John and Bertha (Hickle) Goin.

Clayrissa Marilyn Hill

Clayrissa Marilyn Evans Hill-age 83 of Maynardville passed away peacefully at her home on Wednesday, June 5th, 2024, surrounded by her children.
Clayrissa was born August 3,1940 in Detroit Michigan and moved to Tennessee at the age of 7.
Preceded in death by her father, Henry Clay Evans, mother, Margaret Kelly Carey, brothers, David Evans and Lyle “Laddie” Carey and grandson, Daniel Joseph Kitts.

Loretta Dale Holloway

Loretta Dale (Perry) Holloway, known to everyone as “Nanny”-age 90 of Maynardville passed away Saturday, June 1, 2024, at Claiborne Medical Center. She was a devoted Jehovah’s Witness for over 65 years. Nanny loved her God Jehovah, family, red birds, playing the guitar at picnics, flatfoot dancing, butterfingers, roses and black coffee.

Norma Jean Lucas

Norma Jean Lucas – age 84 of Luttrell, went to be with her Lord and Savior Saturday, June 1, 2024. She was born on May 23, 1940, the daughter of Robert and Elsie Paul in Union County. Norma was a member of Mountain View Church of God where she enjoyed going until her sickness prevented her from attending.

She is preceded in death by parents; and several sisters. Norma is survived by her sisters, Glenna (Charles) Mowery, Janet (Mike) Keener and Pat (Brad) Lambert; brother, Ken; and several nieces and nephews.

Paris C. McBee

Paris C. McBee-age 89 of Corryton joined his heavenly father on the morning of Sunday, May 26, 2024. As a pillar of both his family and his community, he will be greatly missed and remembered. He was a loving husband to Helen J. McBee, a devoted father to Mike and Margaret McBee and his late son Jeff McBee along with his wife Diane. He was a member of Mountain View Church of God.

Joyce Marie Keck

Joyce Marie Keck – age 78 of Corryton passed away on Friday, May 24, 2024 surrounded by her family. She was a member of Clear Branch Baptist Church. She is preceded in death by her husband, Dewey (Merl) Keck; parents, U.L. and Dorothy Tharp; sister, Shirley Seymore.

She is survived by her daughters, Robin Carringer, Doris (Greg) Selvidge; granddaughters, Ashley (Andrew) White, Tiffany (Ben) Grooms; great-grandson, Brayden Chaney; great-granddaughter, Noah Jean Grooms; bonus granddaughters, Ava White, Alaina White; sister, Martha (David) Evans.

Betty Sue (Murr) Ottinger

Betty Sue (Murr) Ottinger – age 81 of Lexington NC, passed away Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center. She was a member of Cotton Grove United Methodist Church.

She is preceded in death by husband, Gerald Kyle Ottinger; parents, Elmer Earl Murr and Magelene Jane (Anderson) Murr; and sister, Geneva Bessie “Ginger” (Murr) Ailor. Betty is survived by children, Dennis Ottinger of Knoxville, TN and Janet (Herman) Staats of Cedar Grove, NC; sisters, Connie Frazer of Knoxville, TN and Carolyn Murr of Powell, TN; and grandson, Nathan (Hannah) Ottinger.

Lavonda Lillyann Hundley

Lavonda Lillyann Hundley – age 86 of Powder Springs Tennessee, passed away at home to join her Heavenly Father on Thursday, May 23rd, 2024. She is a member of Luttrell Baptist Church. She was a blessing to many and her greatest love was being surrounded by family. She is preceded in death by her loving husband, Earl E. Hundley; step-daughter, Linda Branum; mother, Gladys Russell; step-father, Noah Russell; brothers, Charles Hurst, Robert Hurst; sister, Mary Sampson; son-in-law, Bill Wolfe.

Robert Allen Fletcher, Sr.

Robert Fletcher, Sr.-age 68, born May 24, 1955, of Luttrell went to be with our Heavenly Father, Thursday, May 16, 2024. He is preceded in death by his father and mother, William Fletcher, Sr. and Frieda Fletcher; brothers, William Fletcher, Jr., Floyd Fletcher, James Fletcher.

He is survived by his sons, Robert Fletcher, Michael Sweat; daughter, Stella Jenkins; sisters, Phyllis Ford, Susie Bozeman; brothers, Josh Fletcher, Teddy Fletcher and several grandchildren and great grandchildren. Robert will be sadly missed.

Robert Jerry Atkins

Robert Jerry Atkins - age 74 of Washburn, passed away on Saturday May 18th, 2024 at his home. He was born on November 17, 1949. He was a member of Johnson’s Chapel Freewill Baptist Church. He retired from the University of Tennessee as a Heavy Equipment Operator. He farmed most of his life and enjoyed raising cattle. He was great with horses and enjoyed showing and racing horses in many events. He also enjoyed camping, hunting and fishing.

Jackie D. Murray, Jr.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved family member, Jackie D. Murray Jr. (Jay) – age 50 of Sharps Chapel, passed away peacefully on Thursday May 16, 2024 at North Knoxville Medical Center. He was born in Germany on January 31, 1974 to Jackie and Beverly Murray. He worked in the entertainment business for 33 years displaying a wonderful life of fun for everyone around him. Jay truly lived life to the fullest through simple pleasure chatting with friends and family, playing guitar and singing with his dad to chatting with anyone around him.

Hassie Marie Weaver

Hassie Marie Weaver – age 69 of Knoxville, passed away suddenly Wednesday, May 15th 2024. She attended Union Baptist Church, Halls, and was a graduate of Halls High School Class of 1972. She is preceded in death by her parents, Sarah Jessie Mae (Walker) Weaver and Henry Archie Weaver.

She is survived by Jackie Kiser; son, Justin Henry Weaver; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Weaver; granddaughters, Haley and Kaley Chesney; sisters, Marylou Wilkerson, Mildred Shipley; brother, Claude Weaver; brother-in-law, Larry Shipley; sister-in-law, Gail Weaver; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

McGhlome Loyd

McGhlome Loyd – age 90 of Andersonville, passed away Thursday, May 16, 2024 at his home. He was a member of Hines Creek Baptist Church, a U. S. Army Veteran and a member of Andersonville Masonic Lodge #383.

Roger Lee Sheets

Roger Lee Sheets, age 83 of Westland, Michigan passed away on Monday, May 13, 2024. He had been in declining health for several months. Born July 16, 1940 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Roger was the son of True and Genevieve (Mathias) Sheets.

He married Jo Ellen (Hunter) on February 14, 1965 and they had three children together. They divorced in June of 1983.

Roger married Louise C. (Chapman) in January of 1984. Through this marriage, he gained three stepsons.

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.