Country Connections

Meanderings of the mind

Just sitting on my front porch enjoying the late September afternoon with the high temps cooling down a bit, letting my mind meander and bring up pleasant visions of the present and past.
I’m seeing butterflies and birds coming through our yard getting nectar from our flowers, building surplus energy for their journey to Central America for the upcoming winter.
Saturday morning, I was standing on the patio when a beautiful tiny green hummingbird flew up within a foot of my face and hovered looking at me for at least 30 seconds, then flew away.

The Pets We Keep

Country Connections By James and Ellen Perry
While sitting on my front porch this late August afternoon listening to Tony Williams and the Platters’ version of “Sleepy Lagoon,” my mind wanders back to the early 1980s.
My family and I lived in Dothan, Alabama. The house next door sold and a new family moved in. They were from New Jersey and had bought the local Greyhound Bus Station. The people who owned the Greyhound franchise for Dothan had built a new bus station in a more accessible part of Dothan.

The lost crows revisited

By James and Ellen Perry
While sitting on my porch this late July afternoon I’ve noticed that the daylight hours have shortened by 23 minutes since late June.
The days getting shorter means we are slowly moving toward fall and then winter. Although the daylight hours are changing, our hottest and driest month is usually August.

The fourth of freedom

Country Connections By James and Ellen Perry
I am sitting on my porch this morning of June 20, 2022, enjoying a cup of coffee, and also enjoying an unusually cool beautiful late June morning.
We had a great spring with plenty of rain and cool weather which has blessed East Tennessee with some of the lushest green foliage and beautiful flowers spread over our beautiful state with gorgeous sunrises for all to enjoy at no cost.

Hot Rods: A family tradition

Country Connections By James and Ellen Perry
It’s early morning and I’m sitting on my front porch pondering the emigration from Union County, Tennessee, that had been going on since the end of WWII in 1945.
Most immigrated to the northern states for a supposed better life provided by higher paying jobs in factories which had been suppressed in the South since the Civil War.

Longmire family teamwork creates grocery legacy

Sitting on my front porch on this beautiful late April day with the shadows growing long, the temperature is at 80 degrees with a bluebird sky and white azaleas and dogwoods in bloom—life’s treasures given by the Creator.
My thoughts wander over to two very nice and gentle brothers that have deep roots from Union County to Knox County’s Corryton and Gibbs areas.

From Small Acorns ...

Sitting here and thinking about how some people start from humble beginnings and achieve great success in their path through life. I have found that most successful people come from rural parts of the country, grew up poor, but rich in family and friends.
The people that I have met who were successful were honest, straightforward in their dealings and had perseverance. They didn’t just give up at their first disappointment.

The Greatest Valentine

Tullis Brown sat in his rocking chair in his and Sarah Brown’s bedroom watching the flames in his fireplace on this February 13, Valentine’s Eve.
It was a cold, windy night with heavy snow coming down. Tullis was a proud man nearing 80 years of age who married the prettiest girl from Redbud Hollow almost sixty years ago. Her maiden name was Sarah Loudon who came from a good family: Her father owned a good farm and a blacksmith shop in Redbud Hollow.

You Can Make it if You Try

Dalton Dintleman, Halls McDonald's manager, and his family.

Thomas Andrew Dorsey was born July 1, 1899, to a religious and gospel music family in Vila Rica, Georgia. At the age of 17 he moved to Chicago and attended the College of Composition and Arranging. This set him on his life’s course as a gospel singer and songwriter.
During his life, Thomas wrote 3,000 songs with 1,000 being gospel songs. Two songs you may remember are his 1932 song, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” and in 1937 he wrote “Peace in the Valley.”

Happy times, sad time

Country Connections by James and Ellen Perry
It being a couple of weeks ’til Christmas in 1952, Daddy said on Saturday morning, “Boys (to the four of us boys) it’s time to go up on the hill and look for a Christmas tree.”

The wish book provided

Country Connections by James and Ellen Perry
Sitting on the porch this mid-October afternoon the leaves turning to their glorious fall colors, the afternoon sun throwing dark shadows from the hickories, oaks, black gums and dogwoods in my yard brings back memories of this time of the year in the early 1950s.

The Crow’s Nest

Country Connections by James and Ellen Perry
It’s early autumn now, nights getting cooler, days getting shorter with cool mornings and warm afternoons. Some trees are showing color and goldenrods are bright yellow with flowers.
Goldenrods are the last honey flow for the bees before winter sets in. The reptiles are searching for underground places to overwinter in. Black bears and groundhogs are hunting food to build fat reserves for their upcoming hibernation.

LBR - Liars Bench Report

It’s a balmy afternoon with the temperatures hitting the 90s, but I’m comfortable on my porch as the afternoon shadows get long. The birds and squirrels are searching for their supper in my yard and trees.
While watching this late afternoon daily happenings I am hit with an old memory that almost ruins my afternoon reverie.
My thoughts go back to my earlier and more naïve life. As a younger man, I wanted to live my life on the ocean in a southern region.

From Forest Gump: Stupid is as stupid does

Country Connections By James and Ellen Perry
As I sit here on my porch in the late evening shadows, I am thinking of men’s necessities in life.
They are: at least one good dog, one good old pick-up truck during your life, an understanding wife who never complains and only thinks of you when you are away, bluebird sky days after a soft rain, a fish on the line every cast, grandchildren who sit on your lap and don’t squirm and are very quiet, a good baseball game on TV, a Sunday afternoon nap and sardines for a snack.
Also, a good barber who tells you jokes.

Boys will be boys

Dan was always the sergeant, fully in command with the rest of us boys his privates. This summer day we were fighting the Japanese on some Pacific Island.
We crawled, jumped over oak tree stumps, eased through briars and bushes on the Perry farm overlooking Norris Lake in 1954. We knew that our Sergeant Dan was about to have us attack the Japs, win another victory and march home later that day being patriotic soldiers in this boys’ army.

Time Changes Everything

Country Connections by James and Ellen Perry
“Time Changes Everything” was recorded in 1940 by Bob Wills and Tommy Duncan: “Heavenly shades of night are falling, It’s twilight time, Out of the mist your voice is calling, ’Tis twilight time.”
These beautiful lyrics were sung by Tony Williams and The Platters in the late spring of 1958. It was an international hit with lyrics written by Buck Ram in the ’40s. He later became the manager of The Platters.

Frank Carter, the legend

Country Connections by James and Ellen Perry
Circa 1954: Rose Hill School, five miles north of Maynardville, Tennessee, on Highway 33
Jerald, Johnny Milton, Howard, Dan, Jerry, and Larry, let me tell you what I heard the teachers talking about. I just heard the big room teacher tell the little room teacher that Frank Carter will be here Monday in the big room ’til he gets all the big boys straightened out. I heard that he has three or four boys beginning with Ken to get a lesson in humility by his paddle Monday morning.

A thank you to good neighbors

Zola Hurst
After my father returned from Europe at the end of World War II, he along with my mother and me moved to his home county that was Union County, Tennessee.
For two-and-a-half years they rented a home in the Central Peninsula that is now called the Chuck Swan Management Area. Then they moved to the Hacker place between Hickory Valley and Kettle Hollow.

Changes: Good or bad?

James Perry

Country Connections by James & Ellen Perry
Time marches on. Memories, like old pictures, fade. Family members and old friends die.
The homesteads and farms remembered from youth are torn down or divided and sold by their heirs. Subdivisions are encroaching on our beloved mountains and valleys and now encompass the beautiful lakes we once enjoyed. “Keep off” signs are popping up as developers buy up property and build houses on top of our scenic hills ruining our vistas and changing the mountain silhouettes forever.

Christmas Gift

Country Connections By James and Ellen Perry
The sun had made its daily trip through Southeast Alabama and had set in the west. Everyone that night in the Elmer Hunter home near Columbia, Alabama, was enjoying supper, and after eating, cleaned the table, washed the dishes and retired to the center room to sit around the fireplace while listening to the radio, talking small talk and getting ready to retire to bed.