World War II 75 Anniversary

Jim Heiskell 488th Quartermaster Depot Company
APO 517 United States Army

The second World War officially ended 75 years ago on Sept 2, 1945 — V Day. The documents were signed abord the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
More than 16 million men and women served our nation during World War II. Forty-five thousand gave their lives and 55,000 were wounded.
My uncle Jim Heiskell was one of those who served. Uncle Jim is now passed on but when reviewing some of his belongings I found his military papers along with an article from his unit of the history of the unit.
I thought it was a good time to share it. It tells of the life of a military man from one day to the next not knowing what to expect. After reading this we might all appreciate our military men and women and the service they give for us all.
488th Quartermaster Depot Company
APO 517
United States Army
December 5, 1944
Unit History
From all parts of Tennessee came a great influx of recruits into the Reception Center at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Some businessmen, some students, clerks, and farmers. Representatives from all walks of life were present. A few had never been away from home before — desperate plight for most of us. Everything strange, a new routine of life staring us in the face, but all took the situation as it was, and forfeited themselves to the army.
We spent a week at the Reception Center doing much jobs as firing furnaces, kitchen police, shoveling coal, policing the campgrounds, and any job that were asked to do. Fortunately for us that didn’t last too long.
On the morning of March 30, 1943, around 5:30 a.m., we were gathered into a formation. Names were called, and we were told to prepare to move out. Speculation was high. Rumors were floating high and wide. Some had us going to Florida, some Virginia, and most of us thought that there was a much greater possibility of going to Virginia than any place. That would have pleased us very much, for Virginia is so near to our state, Tennessee.
On the same morning of March 30, 1943, we were crammed and packed into open trucks and taken to the railway station in Chattanooga. Everyone was calm but excitement was flickering in every eye. We were told to file on the train, and it was done in the usual slow but sure Army style. We carried our equipment in and hung it from the ceiling of our coach, and space wasn’t too abundant. We were then told to change from our woolen dress clothes to our cotton work or fatigue clothes. Everyone was expecting lunch, but we willingly did as we were told, and we prepared to ride.
Finally our expectations came true. Lunch, or as they called it “Chow”, was served. Weiners and sauerkraut in paper plates. A peculiar introduction to Army meals, for all of us had heard so much about the excellent Army food; nevertheless, it satisfied our appetites. As we were finishing our meal, the train pulled out from the station. Destination: unknown: “ A military secret.”
We rolled through the cotton lands of Alabama and Mississippi, through the cotton belts of Texas, and continued on our journey until we reached the desert sands of Arizona and California. Before we reached our destination, we were told that we had been placed in the Quartermaster Corps, but were not told of our new station. At about 2 a.m. on April 3, 1943, we were taken in trucks to our new home — Camp Cooke, California.
We were instructed to grab a bed in the barracks, and each grasped at the opportunity. All went right to bed, for we were worn out and fatigued by the long trip across the States, but our rest didn’t continue for long. We got up and stood reveille at 5:30 a.m. that morning.
We were then given a talk by Lt. Arthur S. Hohmann, company commander, who explained the purpose of our being there, and just what we could expect for the coming months. We received just what he told us; marches, firing range. Infiltration courses, close order drill, chemical warfare drills, and lots of bivouacs. That lasted for around 13 weeks, and I suppose we came up to expectations in our training. During this period, Lt. Wilbur C. Murry from Pontiac, Michigan, assumed command. and Forrest W. Wattenbarger from Nashville, Tennessee, took over as First Sergeant.
After our basic training was completed, we said goodbye to Camp Cooke, and started for the warmer climates. We arrived at base General Depot, San Bernardino, California, on July 22, 1943. We were introduced to a new type of living. Pyramidal tents were to be our living quarters instead of the comfortable wooden barracks. We were not accustomed to the sand, heat, and wind that we had to contend with. Open living was completely different, but we managed to survive. Our main duty was to operate Base General Depot, which supplied many railhead and supply dumps which spotted the desert sands of Arizona and California. Our job was to be administrative headquarters doing all the paper work that was necessary for getting food, clothing and equipment to the men who were training for desert warfare; and at the same time, get necessary training for future operations. During this period, Lt. Claude R. Vaughn, a sentimental gentlemen from Atlanta, Georgia, joined our outfit. At the present time, Lt. Vaughn has rendered a longer period of service with the company than any other officer under this command.
We gained much experience at Base General Depot, but we needed more intense training. We moved from the habitable part of the desert near San Bernardino, to the isolated sand dunes of Southeastern California. We were now located in the heart of the California-Arizona Maneuver Area which was named Camp Young. Not one of us can forget the feeling of being placed in the desolated wastelands far from the comfort that we had enjoyed before. We had our local post exchanges and open-air movies, which were good accommodations considering what we could have had. Our company was put through intense training covering every phase which we would need overseas.
During this training, we were also preparing for movement overseas. Boxing, crating, packing, requisitioning and securing needed clothing and equipment, were just a few of the problems we had to solve. We finally got the needed supplies and were continuing with our training just marking time.
On one cold morning in November, 1943, we finally received our movement orders. Everyone was busy securing and packing personal necessities. Speculation was again high. We were bound for the Southwest Pacific, for we were so close to a port of embarkation in California, how could it be otherwise. This rumor was soon quelled when we were told to turn in all of our suntan clothing. Well, it couldn’t be anywhere but England or North Africa. That was one consolation.
We boarded the train at Indio, California, and started on our way to the P.O.E. We traveled East, crossed the desert of New Mexico, the wheat belts of Kansas, quickly crossed the Northwest, and in four long days, we discovered that we had finally reached Camp Shanks, New York. There we again took care of all supply, administrative and medical matters, and we were given passes to visit New York City.
Each morning there was a rush for the buses, for we were going to have the time of our lives. Many of us saw the landmarks that we had always dreamed of. The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and many other sights which were new and fascinating. The Great White Way was no longer a story, but an actuality to all.
Our fun soon came to an end, and we were preparing for our departure. We arrived at the docks, took the ferry to meet the boat, filed off the ferry, and went aboard ship. We set up our bunks, and got our equipment ready, for we were ready to sail. We didn’t go so soon. We stayed on the boat in the harbor for 24 hours just waiting to move out.
We sailed from New York Harbor early in December 1943. Unfortunately, we discovered that the ship was English, but at that time, it made no particular difference, but we soon found out that it did. The meals, bunks, and accommodations were very different from what we had expected. The time that we spent on the ship was the most trying period that we had spent in the army up to that time. Everybody was sick, worried, or worn out. We can stand worse experiences than that when we start across the Atlantic next time, for the thoughts of returning home will be the cure for every ailment.
We arrived in England before Christmas. A very dreary rainy day. A small band was on the docks waiting arrival of the troop ship. The band was playing the ‘Beer Barrel Polka” in all its glory. Some of the men seemed excited, others doubtful. We were gathered into formation, marched from the boat, and were on our way to the heart of merry old England.
On the night of December 16th, we arrived in London. British women were at the station to meet us. They were driving the trucks and they drove to our billets. You could not see your hand before you. The night was pitch dark. Flashlights were frequently used, but precaution was exercised. We were very proud to think that we were located in the largest city in the world. It was exciting and different. We were getting “orientated” to the United Kingdom.
After we had received our “guides” and information, all were anxious to get out and see for themselves. Everybody wanted passes, and we got them. St Paul’s Cathedral, The House of Parliament, London Bridge, Windsor Castle, and all the other historical and interesting places were soon visited, for we did not know when our “visit” would terminate. Several received furloughs to visit Shakespeare’s home at Stratford-on-Avon, others visited Edinburgh, Glasgow and Loch Lomond. Really an interesting experience for all of us. Truly the most pleasant and satisfying seven months that we had spent in the army. Of course, we had our work to perform which was depot supply operations, but it was more like a civilian job than the regular army routine.
We can never forget the first sound of the air raid siren. All were excited. We ran for our gas masks, helmets, and started for the shelters. After we reached the shelters, everybody wanted to go outside and see the action, but of course, that was against regulations and again, regulations were broken. We soon got used to the sights of the searchlights, the explosions of the anti-aircraft shells and the constant droning of aircraft. In fact, most of the time we didn’t pay too much attention, but it did recall to us that the Britishers had told us before, and we could easily see how much blocks of buildings and homes had been gutted by the enemy. It made you feel as if you were also fighting part of the war, for you were standing up against the attacks in the same manner the civilian population did. We were in London when the “baby’ blitz came. It was the heaviest that we had seen, and heavy enough. We again saw what we had heard so much about, but we also went along having our good times, visiting the pubs, and going to the movies. We saw plenty of movies for they were the same ones we would have seen at home. We also felt the cost of them, for it was always “six and six” or more — to you, one dollar and thirty-two cents.
During this time, Captain Frank B. Stewart from Chattanooga, Tennessee, assumed command of the unit.
The most unusual experience that we shared in London was a rainy June night when we heard a very low plane. The sirens had sounded but we paid no particular attention. Very shortly, we heard the plane come closer, and then suddenly, the motor went off. A loud explosion was heard, and we took for granted that the anti-aircraft batteries had downed another plane. The next morning the newspaper said that a plane had crashed, but there was no pilot to be found and very little of the plane left. A few so-called planes were heard for three successive nights. On the fourth morning, the papers carried a story of the pilotless plane and gave few details. Everyone was very anxious to get a look at one. Well, for quite a while we saw plenty of them, and hated the sound they brought with them. It was extremely hard to go to bed not knowing whether or not you were going to wake up the next morning. A few of us would run to the windows and doors to see if what directions the flying bombs were directed. A dreadful sight to see. A missile flying through the air with a long tail of fire trailing and a noise that sounded like an outboard motor had suddenly changed the complete atmosphere of thinking in London. The invasion of the continent had begun and successes were achieved. Many wondered if our speculation was soon the truth.
One day in June we boarded the train in London, and headed for a new destination. We reached Southampton and stayed there a very short while. We boarded ship there, and were ready for come what may.
The next day we could see French soil. We could see the concrete pillboxes and the ruins of some that had been destroyed on D-Day. We could hear the roar of guns, and the explosion of mines. As we came closer to the shore, we could see an improvised airfield with several Thunderbolts scattered here and there. We knew that we were in friendly territory, but just how much territory we didn’t know.
We were loaded into LCT’s and started for shore. The water was rough, but we finally got ashore, formed into single file, and started up the long steep bank.
Before we reached the top of the hill, the rain began to fall. As we looked across the hill, we saw something white. Yes, it was white. Many white crosses in perfect lines crowned the summit of the next hill. A very discouraging sight, but true. We reached the top of the hill, and we took off our equipment and rested. We were told that we had landed at Omaha Beach. Of Course, that was the codeword given to it for security reasons. Our rest period was soon over, and we went into the woods for about a mile, and pitched our tents awaiting transportation. We were moved the next day to a small town by the name of St. Clement. There we saw many types of German fortifications. They were lined all along the beach and they proved very interesting to us, for this was the first time we had had to observe such. A German helmet here and there, some scattered ammunition, German overcoats, and other evidence which told us that this place had seen action.
The military situation didn’t seem to have affected the French population, for the regular routines of the French farmers were being carried out. To our surprise, we saw cattle and horses grazing in the grassy meadows of Normandy. A very impressive sight, since we thought that most of the cattle had been taken by the Germans.
While we were here only a few miles behind the lines, we saw one of the most impressive sights of the war. Around ten o’clock one morning we heard the distant drone of aircraft. Everyone started gazing into the sky. From several different directions, we saw hundreds of planes. The sun was shining very brightly, and the sky was simply covered with aircraft. First came wave after wave of Fortresses, then Liberators, Mitchells, and Marauders. Some of us tried to count them but there were too many. They began to come into formation for the attack. A very few minutes later, we heard the bursting of bombs, the ground trembled, the sides of our tents danced in the air. This continued for some time, and we were thankful that the planes were ours, for we wouldn’t have wanted to have been on the receiving end of the attack.
After the bombing was over, we decided to have a game of soft ball to pass the time away. We hadn’t been playing long when squadron after squadron of Thunderbolts began shuttling back and forth overhead. Some returned with holes in their wings, and some with parts of the body of the plane shot away. This gave us a very sensitive feeling for we were playing softball while very near us one of the most important battles of France was being fought.
The next morning we gathered around the radio to listen to the news from London. The news was that with a very heavy bomber escort the previous day, the Americans had broken through the lines and had taken St. Lo. It made us feel that we had seen the actual battle since the formation of bombers that had passed overhead the previous day had turned the tide.
We also had some experience with enemy aircraft at night, for the German air-force was concentrating on the supply lines and beaches. No member of this organization will ever forget the night that an enemy fighter came hedgehopping over us. Tracer bullets were flying everywhere. The planes came so quickly that very few got to cover, and it came as a surprise to all of us. Nightly raids were constant, and we soon got used to the visiting of the enemy.
We then moved to St. Jacques de Nehou for operations of a supply dump. We were supplying food for the front lines, and the work was somewhat fatiguing. We soon overcame this, for each Sunday we went swimming in the ocean at Barneville beach. The trip was taken in order to remove some of the dirt from our bodies, but the salt water was stronger than the soap. We found it an interesting experience just the same.
Our lines were moving so fast that our need for staying at St. Jacques was nihil. We were on alert for a forward movement.
We heard that the Americans has cut the Brest Peninsula and had taken Rennes. We were very optimistic about these successes, and waiting for order to move. We got our orders and continued to follow up behind the lines. We were going to a new destination to operate a large depot, and that is what we had longed to do. We arrived a L’Hermitage, just outside of Rennes for this operation.
We had worked at this same depot supplying the men at the front with food, equipment and clothing. The boys worked as long as 24 hours a day getting the “Red Balls” rolling on their way to the front.
Our company has finally achieved its mission. We have enjoyed the pleasures and successes that can be obtained in the army. Cooperation and teamwork have always been present within our unit, and we believe that this mutual attitude has been exercised to the highest degree due to the fact that a great majority of our boys are from the State of Tennessee.




UT Extension Union County Brings Afterschool Program to Big Ridge Community

Kelly Irick, Site Director of BRIGHT afterschool program

Kelly Irick, Site Director of BRIGHT afterschool program

Union County is quite a special place when it comes to community recognizing opportunity and making it happen. This year of changes due to Covid-19 has been proof that all the effort Union County, and its organizations, put forth is “one step ahead.” UT Extension Union County has been staying “one step ahead” in a variety of ways during 2020. One example is by bringing an afterschool program to Big Ridge Elementary School for the next 5 years.

An Honorable Profession

Judge Darryl Edmondson

A Butcher, a Baker, a Candlestick Maker…Mother Goose nursery rhymes of yore had youngsters thinking of various professions in a fun and lyrical manner. Then, in the mid-twentieth century, as television entered America’s family rooms, the possibilities were more easily imagined. Wide-eyed kids began to imagine being an Astronaut, a Police Detective, a Rock-n-roll Musician, a Soldier, a Wilderness Explorer, or even President. Honorable Darryl Edmondson, General Sessions Court Judge, was one of those kids.

Wright wins Writing Award

Award-winning author Tilmer Wright

Award-winning author Tilmer Wright

Historic Union County readers know the name Tilmer Wright Jr. from his many interesting and informative articles written for HUC. Wright was recently honored by Reader’s Favorite for his book "The Bit Dance" in its annual international book award contest, winning the Bronze Medal in the Fiction - Science Fiction category.
Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries, ranging from new independent authors to NYT best-sellers and celebrities.

Chiropractic in the military

The very nature of the job puts soldiers at an increased risk for developing chronic pain. The regular demands and stress are often multiplied when a tough-it-out mentality does not seek medical attention until serious, chronic pain results ... and it often does. Cumulative stress, single-event trauma, and surgery are all contributing factors. Although these will likely remain a constant of military service, chiropractic care may be a helpful solution.

The Need for Alternative Treatments

In Suspense

I just shared a Facebook past with a very special classmate of mine from my undergraduate days at Lincoln Memorial University. We were recalling how simple times were then. I was thinking about how smart I thought I was then, and how misguided I was in reality.
I remember a visit I made during my freshman year to the girls’ dormitory lounge. It was the one place in the female dormitory that males were legitimately allowed to visit every day, but only at prescribed hours.

On the Line

It was the one time where you didn’t hide your unmentionables.
As a child, I don’t know how many times we visited somebody else’s home and they had their clothes hanging out on the line. I mainly remember seeing bedsheets and underwear flapping in the wind.


Folks who would like a taste of some wild food ought to get out and hunt persimmons here soon when they get ripe. They are abundant in our area and easy to find in fencerows and woodland edges.

There are many varieties of persimmon trees in tropical areas of the world, but only two in the United States. The one growing here is called "common persimmon" (Diospyros Virginiana), or "possum tree" by some.

Waldorf Salad Plus

Apple picking time will soon be here. There are so many things you can do with apples, from cider to apple pie. Waldorf Salad is an old timey fruit salad. The traditional one had apples, walnuts and celery. This is not a traditional recipe. Back in the day, we didn't buy seedless table grapes or canned pineapple on our limited grocery budget. What a difference seventy years make. Back then it was hard to come up with variety in our diet. Now, Food City carries just about everything and we can afford to make this salad.

Grants fix up Union County, says Mayor Bailey

At one of Mayor Bailey's early commission meetings, he promised to seek as much funding from grants as possible.
True to his word, he requested acceptance of another state grant, the Tourism Enhancement Grant, for $75,000 with a 5% county match of $3,750, at the August Union County Commission meeting. Commissioners eagerly approved the motion and second by Commissioners Bill Cox and Keck along with multiple seconds.

UCEA president says teachers frustrated, worn out, exhausted

When Chairman David Coppock realized that the Union County Board of Education lacked a quorum and would need to postpone the meeting, he called on UCEA President Carolyn Murr to speak during the workshop.
Murr quickly described the current school situation, “Teachers are frustrated, worn out, and exhausted,” she admonished. “ Some are working until 2 a.m. to record lessons and do distance learning after they teach during the day.”

Election Commissioner Debra Viles assures ballots secure

By Laura White and staff
In a recent interview with the Election Commissioner in Union County, Debra Viles explained the process of voting, absentee voting and mail-in voting.
With the upcoming presidential election, many are hearing the arguments that votes are changed or that they weren’t right. As far as Union County goes, something like this happening is nearly impossible, if not actually impossible.

US Census last count day is September 30

By now you may have received the census worker's “knock at your door.” You may also have received a second census form in the mail if you have not already responded. Please respond by mail, by phone or by internet ( If you receive a visit, please cooperate with the census worker.

Entrepreneurial spirit alive and well

Amanda and Jeff Smith in front of their new bright green totes!

There is a new garbage collection service in Maynardville. No matter how much we reduce, reuse and recycle, every household generates waste.
What to do with it is the question.
Introducing Jeffrey and Amanda Smith, the owners of Garbage Buddy, a new trash pickup service that opened on July 6 of this year. The business, officially Smith Sanitation, LLC, is off to a great start, staying busy, and adding customers daily. They already have plans to expand to Grainger, Anderson, and Knox counties, as they are receiving service requests from those areas.

New groomer at Thunder Road Vet

Groomer Mitzi Eiler recently began grooming at the Thunder Road Veterinary Services in Maynardville. Grooming was not something she planned on doing as a career, but a turn of events changed her vocational goals.
The new groomer has been in this profession for nearly 15 years. She began her work here in Union County in April, after working at PetsMart. While working in Oak Ridge (where she’d worked for almost 17 years), Mitzi was taking her pet to be groomed when the opportunity to be trained as a groomer was presented. She took the chance to do something she says she now loves.

Chiropractic treatments for kyphosis

Kyphosis is an excessive forward curvature or “hunch” of the upper spine in older adults.

Your chiropractor may use a type of spinal manipulation—also called a spinal adjustment—to improve joint motion. Spinal manipulation is an active, hands-on treatment, and there are multiple variations of this technique.

Flexion-distraction technique is a gentle, non-thrusting spinal manipulation that is used for people with kyphosis that is associated with degenerative disc disease and/or motion restrictions in the thoracic spine (mid-back).

The decline and fall of the Roman Empire

Trevi Fountain in Rome (1762) made famous by Frank Sinatra’s song, “Three Coins in the Fountain,” (1953). The water was supplied by aqueduct built in first century. photo by F. Sharp

Figure 1
The dramatic phase “the fall of the Roman Empire” is a misnomer and is in fact a shorthand for the long, slow process for the exchange of one lifestyle for another. The Roman Empire had 100 years of peace called the Pax Romana — then the lull before the storm.
(Harrison, 1965) The most pressing problem of the third century was that of imperial succession. During the period of the “good emperors” (A.D. 90-180) each ruler had chosen an able, experienced man to succeed him.

Qualified to be a devil

The Apostle James in his letter says, “faith without works is dead.”
The Apostle Paul tells the Ephesians that salvation is: “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Do we have a contradiction in the pages of the Bible? Is James disagreeing with Paul regarding salvation?
At first glance it seems Paul and James do disagree and we have a contradiction, which is often the problem with first glances without knowledge.


Church and my PJS

Just so you’ll know, I didn’t go to church in my PJs. Well not in the sanctuary anyway.
Over the last few years, I have noticed more and more people wearing their PJs out in public. But, I was the most shocked by that during a Christmas concert a few years ago.
When our daughter was attending the University of the Cumberlands, she was in The Cumberland Singers. One Christmas, we went up to hear them sing during the traditional “Hanging of the Greens.” So there we sat in the chapel. I was wearing my “Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes” as was Tim.

Tree mathematics

By Steve Roark
Volunteer Interpreter, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
Confession time: I am not good at math. I use it, it’s great, we went to the moon with it, yada yada.
I don’t think well mathematically and must strive to understand it. But I was amazed to discover that trees use mathematics to arrange their leaves on a twig to optimize their collection of sunlight for the photosynthesis thing.


Misconceptions of incompetence

Ruth Suckow was an early- to mid-twentieth century American writer. She is worth a Google search and a Wikipedia read. One of Ms. Suckow’s short stories, “A Start in Life,” was published in school literature texts during the latter half of the twentieth century.
“A Start in Life” recalls an episode of a poor country girl named Daisy who was “hired out” to work for a well-to-do family that lived a respectable distance from her home. This is both her first time away from home and her introduction to the world of work.

Easy Skillet Tacos

Who doesn't like Tacos or Taco Salad? Try this recipe. If salt is a problem for you, you can limit the salt. These tacos get their flavor from the chili powder and the cumin. If you don't have any taco shells on hand, make your own. Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you. It goes together easily.

Melba Greene - a child of God

Country Connections By James and Ellen Perry
1936 was a good year and a bad year. The depression was still raging. The Nazis were being emboldened by the pacifist actions of both Britain and the United States, although the United States had ramped up air and army support against the Japanese military and their savagery in China and Burma. There was peace in the United States and Roosevelt’s programs were improving poverty in most of the U.S. But war clouds swirled.

Union County Farmers Market

If you’re ever looking for produce and fresh vegetable plants, meats, honey, flowers, and yummy baked goods, the Union County Farmers Market is the place to go. Not only will you get a good price for local, wholesome goods, but you get the unique chance to meet the producers too! You can speak with them and learn firsthand how best to prepare or store the goods you are purchasing. And no worries about second-hand items or repackaged things, everything you find at the Union County Farmers Market is first-rate and has been picked or prepared that day, or the day before.

Meet the Union County, Tennessee, County Attorney

David Myers, County Attorney

Whether an elected official or appointed official, there are hundreds of people serving Maynardville and its neighboring communities within Union County in local, county, and state government offices every day. Some carry familiar titles (thanks to fictional TV characters and highly publicized local elections), such as City Commissioner, Mayor, or County Sheriff. There are dozens of other titles, not as commonly known but no less vital, that are given to people who are as dedicated to our communities as high-profile positions.

State Rep. Dennis Powers announces grant to expand broadband in Campbell County

State Rep. Dennis Powers, R- Jacksboro, today announced a $221,516 emergency broadband grant would be awarded to Campbell County through the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund allotment from the federal government.

The grant is part of $61 million in emergency broadband package for 62 projects announced by Gov. Bill Lee last week and distributed by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) to improve access to broadband internet across the state.

Boomers: how to exercise safely

Baby boomers have become increasingly active as they age. One thing to keep in mind is that
when you are 50, you may injure your body more easily than when you were 20. Joints,
tissues and muscles may not be as flexible as they used to be. So as boomers age, they should
take extra steps to protect themselves from injuries when exercising. A little extra stretching
before and after exercise, for example, goes a long way.

Here are some tips to help boomers prevent exercise-related injuries:

Air and Water, the Building Blocks of Trees

When I ask kids why trees are important their number one answer is that they produce oxygen. Plant leaves are solar collectors that take sun energy to produce food through the miracle of photosynthesis, a complex chemical process where carbon dioxide and water are converted to a glucose sugar. This sugar is used for food energy or converted to a starch called cellulose for building the plant’s body (stem, limbs, etc.). In trees we call this wood, something we use a lot of.


How many of us old-timers remember the television theme song to Cheers—“sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name”? Sometimes we are the exact opposite—we want to go where no one knows anything about us.

I received an email today that gave me pause for thought. Some people worry about being in the “in” crowd. That is usually a place I do not crave, as the admission price is sometimes greater than I wish to pay. According to the thoughts expressed in the email, I may have tried, possibly even succeeded, more often that I thought.

Tractor Treat

You would think my papaw’s barn was some kind of tourist attraction.

Whenever any of my cousins or friends came over to play, they usually asked if we could go to the barn. To be honest, I didn’t want to go there. To me it was a stinky place that I tried to avoid.

I even heard stories from my cousins who were my mom’s childhood playmates. And guess what? They all wanted to play in the barn too. Their favorite thing was to jump out of the loft and onto the hay. I have to admit, that does sound like fun, but it’s something my mom would have never let me do.


Making Biscuits

We have had no company since the pandemic begin last spring, that is until Jackie came to spend a week with us. Jackie is married to Anne's brother Brian. They live in Albion, Michigan. She quarantined in place before coming to Tennessee to visit us.

One of the highlights of her visit was our biscuit making project. Jackie can make a decent biscuit. I made biscuits the day after she arrived. She loved them and wanted to know how I made them.


Fried corn cut fresh from the cob is great, but this recipe is prettier and just as tasty. Try it.

4 cups very fresh corn, cut from the cobs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped red peppers
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup, butter, melted
Salt and pepper to taste

Union County Plans to Proceed With Sports

With all the new changes going on in the school system due to Covid-19, sports is something I know many are concerned/curious about. It is something some schools have chosen not to do, and some inter-collegiate sports are not being held this semester. Following TMSAA guidelines, Union County Schools are continue their sports, but there will be some things students and fans will find different.

Postmaster Griffey of the USPS Delivers for You

Brad Griffey pictured with wife Laura, son Weston, and daughter Kailyn

You have likely heard a lot of talk in the news lately about the United States Postal Service (USPS), which is an independent establishment of the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government. Despite the varying opinions and impressions of the USPS, it has always been, and continues to be, a revered and well-regarded institution in the minds of its fellow Americans.

A Very Present Help

I once attended a service at Loveland Baptist Church when Rev. Oliver Wolfenbarger was pastor. He rose to preach and announced his text. It was the same text he had used the previous Sunday.

Preacher Wolfenbarger said, “I know what you’re thinking—poor ol’ Wolfenbarger’s losing it. He don’t remember that he preached on these same verses last week. I just want you to know, that I know I preached this last week, but I didn’t get finished. What’s more, I’m just as crazy as you think I am.”

Who You Gonna Call

I didn’t expect to see Tim at all, but God had other plans.

My good friend Gwen and I stood on the sidewalk in front of the high school. We were waiting on our school bus that was running late due to mechanical problems. All of our friends who had vehicles had already left. Or so we thought.


Backpack safety

Picking out the latest and greatest backpack is an end-of-summer tradition for many young
students, but this essential back-to-school item has the potential to cause a lifetime of back
and neck ailments. Here are some tips to correctly choose and use a backpack:

Much Ado about Dew Point

When you watch the weather forecast you invariably see a listing of current conditions: temperature, wind speed, relatively humidity, and dew point. Like you or I use those readings to predict how the weather is going to impact my comfort if out in it. But why is dew point important enough to be listed, and how does it impact your day?

Floating Island

Now this is really an old timey dessert. I remember first making it when I was a 15 year old cook and housekeeper during World War II. (I was too young to get a job in a factory.) The lady of the house taught me to make it. It takes a while to make but is worth it. You should have everything in your pantry.

Fried Red Cabbage

I don't usually cook with red cabbage, but every once in a while a head of red cabbage looks so good. This is the only recipe that I have found that meets my taste test. Oh yes, I like a few strands of red cabbage in coleslaw sometimes, but this is my favorite way with the red.

Backpacks can mean backaches

Millions of children struggle under the weight of an overstuffed backpack, putting themselves at risk of injury.

Parents should inspect their child’s backpack from time to time. They often carry much more than they should with extra shoes, toys and other unnecessary items.

A backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 15 percent of the child’s weight, or about seven pounds for a child who weighs 50 pounds. If it is textbooks that are making the bag too heavy, parents should speak with the teacher—sometimes these books can be left at school.

Old, Older, Oldest

I have a nephew who is four months older than I am, yet he constantly harasses me about my age. I always remind him that as long as we are both living, he will always be older.

But could it be he is right, and I am old?

Let’s review a recent day in the life of me.

Old Paths

I love paths. I just don’t see a trail. I see an adventure waiting at the other end.

Some of my childhood friends and relatives had paths around where they lived. I loved it when we scampered down those dirt trails. Being the imaginative child I was, I envisioned all kinds of wondrous places and creatures along those paths.

Of course reality was different. One time I followed my friend and her little brother up a path on the side of a ridge and behind their house. I fell and tangled with a fence. I lost, so I came back bleeding.


Souped Up Eggs

Here is an easy omelet recipe. Soup and eggs couldn't be easier. If you want to fancy it up a bit, tuck some crispy bacon or chopped ham I the center before you flip it. Good eating.


Bride's Punch

Most everything at a wedding is white, even the punch. There is no alcohol in this one. It doesn't need it. The ginger ale gives it the tang. Make more as needed. It's not expensive to do. For the ice ring, remember to boil the water first, then cool it. The process works better if you do.

Essential Self Care

Take Care of Yourself

The world seems all messed up right now, doesn’t it? A dear friend uses the phrase “upside down and backwards” and I think we all can relate. In these troubled times, we can get overwhelmed with all that is going on that is out of our control. But you can control you! After all, nobody does you better than you! So I want to encourage you to be intentional with how you are living your life and actively pursue a healthier and happier you.



Union County Board of Education

Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 18:00

There will be a Special Called Meeting of the Union County Board of Education on Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at Union County High School to discuss Capital Projects.

The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education was scheduled for Thursday, October 8, 2020 at Union County High School. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.

UCBPA Meeting

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 12:00
Meeting of UCBPA on October 14 in Maynardville

Connect with other business owners and professionals who want Union County to prosper.
Plan to attend the UCBPA meeting on Wednesday,October 14, at Noon at Pete’s Place. RSVP at

Speaker:Senator Frank Niceley, Representative Dennis Powers, Representative Jerry Sexton
Topic:Legislative Issues in the 2021 Tennessee General Assembly
Election of Officers
Lunch: $10.00
Adjourn by 1:00


William Mitchell Weaver

William “Mitchell” Weaver – Age 77 of Luttrell, TN made heaven his home September 9, 2020. He was a huge fan of both Nascar and the Atlanta Braves. He began his career in outdoor advertising and continued in the sign business until retirement.

Hazel Morris

Hazel Louellen Morris, 72, of Maynardville, Tennessee went to be with her Lord and Savior on (Tuesday), 15 September 2020. She passed from this mortal coil at her family home in Maynardville, Tennessee.

Shelma Jean Dunn

Shelma Jean Dunn, age 83 of Knoxville, passed away at her home on September 15, 2020. She was a member of Clapps Chapel United Methodist Church.
Preceded in death by parents, Clayton and Nellie Loope; sister, Mary Ruth Loope; brothers, Junior, Earl, Winfred, and Don Loope.

Deborah Elaine Wolfenbarger

Debbie Wolfenbarger, age 62 of Powell, passed away September 16, 2020. Preceded in death by parents Nellie Rose and Willie Clark Arnold, sister Judith Johnson, brother Gary Arnold. Survived by husband Kenneth Lloyd Wolfenbarger Jr., brothers Greg (Joann) Arnold and Spencer Arnold, brother-in-law David Johnson, sister-in-law Kathy (Kirt) Senft; nephews Tyler Arnold, Brandon Seeber, Tim Johnson, Aaron Johnson, Robby Arnold, Scott Arnold, nieces Brittany Arnold Lett, Lexie Arnold, Ceati Seeber, and several great-nephews and nieces and other family members and acquaintances.

Edward Clayton Shipley "Ed"

Edward Clayton Shipley “Ed” age 78 of Mascot passed away Sunday, September 13, 2020. Ed was a prominent business man and friend to many. He operated Ed Shipley Guttering for over 40 years. A member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Preceded in death by his parents Eston and Mildred Shipley; siblings Myra Ann Shipley, Jackie Ray Shipley, Barbara Ruth Cartwright, Melba Jean Ferguson.

Rodney Collins

Rodney Lynn (Rod) Collins-age 46 of Washburn passed away unexpectedly Thursday morning, September 17, 2020 at his home. He was preceded in death by mother, Kathy Bell; father, Earl Collins; sister, Laura Wilkerson; brother, Christopher “Outlaw” Dyer.

Ola Mae Wilkerson

Ola Mae Wilkerson, age 88 of Halls Crossroads, passed away Thursday, September 17, 2020 at Tennova North Medical Center. She was a member of Bethany Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents Oliff and Maggie Wilkerson, siblings Elizabeth, Sophie, Mildred, Teresa, Cecil, Holbert, Carl, and Bob Wilkerson, Geraldine Hansard, and Annabelle Lyons. Survived by son Terry (Angie) Wilkerson, siblings Helen Monroe, Ruth Martin, Pearl Wilkerson, Clifford (Charlotte) Wilkerson, and several nieces and nephews.

Charles E. "Buster" Nicley

Charles Edward (Buster) Nicley-age 68 of Washburn was born May 14, 1952 passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at U. T. Medical Center. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Hazel Nicley; brother, Jim Nicley and an Infant brother and sister.

John E. Fagg, Jr.

John E. Fagg-age 54 of Washburn passed away peacefully Sunday afternoon, September 13, 2020 at U. T. Medical Center. John was saved at an early age. He was an employee of MasTec, Inc., Knoxville. He was preceded in death by parents, John E. Fagg, Sr. and Martha Thomerson Bennett.

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