Mincey's Musings

A Silver Lining Behind Every Cloud

At the beginning of June, 1987, I was a soon-to-be twenty-two-year-old. I still had challenges with acne and weighed 120 pounds “soaking wet”. I was degreed, certified, and looking for a job.
Actually, I started that process during Christmas break of 1986. I called David F. Coppock, then Superintendent of the Union County Public School System. Mr. Coppock listened to me “pitch” myself for a job, then responded, “I guess you want to come in and fill out an application.” I replied that I wasn’t yet graduated, and he said that was fine, just to put my anticipated date of graduation and certifications.

Were Times Hard? Were Things Bad?

The traditional course of college study for undergraduates in the teacher education program for many years, including the 1980s, consisted of a four-year undergraduate program ending with a bachelor’s degree and teaching certification in a specialized area of education. Back in those days, the college academic year was divided into four quarters (including summer, each about ten weeks long), not three semesters (each about sixteen weeks long). Traditionally, the last quarter of an education major’s college career was spent student teaching.

I Remember When I Was a Lad

I remember one day at the Union County Board of Education’s Central Office Ms. Pat Baker came in. She announced she was there to fill out her retirement papers. I was most surprised. Ms. Pat said that she knew that one day she would wake up and know it was time for her to retire, and she said that was the very day.

Change and contentment

One day while scrolling Facebook an item caught my eye. It promised to reveal the two words that would be key in my life in the new year, based on my birth month.
“Why not check it out?” I thought. Though I am not a believer in astrology, curiosity caused me to discover what my two crucial words were for the future.
The first word was “change.” What a no-brainer! Every zodiac sign could legitimately have that word as a guiding star. Every life changes, not just from year to year, but from day to day. The mystery is in the nature of the change.

When Brazil Became Bizarre

There are times I am better at writing my thoughts than speaking them. I enjoy the opportunity to verbally relate a story as it gives more freedom of expression. I enjoy the organization of being able to write a story, though when writing one has to go to greater effort to paint a verbal picture for the reader. I do not claim to be adept at creating either written or verbal stories. Practically every story I tell is an event that happened in my past. As an illustration, I will relate what to me is one of the most bizarre events I ever witnessed.

Close Call

Have you ever heard a noise you couldn’t explain? This happened to me many years at one of my previous jobs. I didn’t think anything about it until one of my coworkers yelled at me.
The office I worked in at this time was always cold. It was that way even in the summer time. Often, the customers who came into the office would complain: “You all hanging meat in here somewhere?”

I'm HIP!

I have received emails for some time generated by several writers stating they were members of the greatest generation and were, therefore, “HIP!”
What, in the writer’s opinion, did this mean?

Food for Thought

Sometimes what a person says points to a contradiction in other areas of life or reasoning. I’m definitely not pointing fingers—I know I have and undoubtedly continue to have contradictions in my life.

So Different, Yet the Same

I’m going to make a confession to you, Dear Reader. I am writing this paragraph after I have at least halfway finished this article. I just looked at my email, and the topic of one item was this: “Does the sex of your dog make allergies worse?”

Marital vs. Martial

Before I married, I thought myself an expert on the subject. It did not matter that I was not a trained marriage counselor, I shared advice with anyone who would listen. I charged them what it cost me—absolutely nothing.
Now that I’m married, I realize how little I knew about marriage. I know less now than the day I said “I do”. I am thankful that all that marital advice I’ve given for years was free. It was worth what it cost.

Without and Within

The church of which I am currently a member put out a magnet a few years ago with the church’s logo and this catchphrase: Loveland—Where Everybody is Somebody.
I thought this a comforting sentiment. Church should be the one place that everyone feels like someone, no “big ‘I’s or little ‘you’s’”. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Sin Not, Waste Not

The first time I remember becoming aware of church dinners was when I was a young child. Maynardville Baptist (now the First Baptist Church of Maynardville) was going to have a homecoming. I didn’t understand at the time that homecoming was a special service to welcome former members and pastors to renew “auld acquaintance.

Don't forget the old paths

Many years ago Porter Wagoner did a recitation on his television show entitled “Trouble in the Amen Corner.” You can access it on YouTube.
The recitation tells the story of an old gentleman named Ira who sang in his church choir. His cracked voice did not harmonize well with the rest of the choir and he sometimes missed words.


I am “fed UP”. What does that exactly mean? For me, it does not mean that I have eaten so much food that I am no longer hungry.
Just to clarify, I’m really not “fed UP” about anything in particular, possibly other than the ever-increasing price of gasoline. I received an email from a friend titled “An Amazing English Two Letter Word”. The message reflected that the word “up” in the English language has more meanings than any other two letter word, and can function as five of the eight parts of speech we spent so much time learning in school.

It’s Weird Being the Same Age as Old People

I recently received an email with the phrase, “It’s weird being the same age as old people.”

My father had three full sisters who lived to maturity—Duskie, Fleetie and Vallie. One of them was once talking about their names. One sister said, “They gave Frank [my dad], Fred and Faustine normal names.” Another sister replied, “Well, Mother sure whopped it to us!” My uncle replied, “Who ever heard of a man named Purse?”