Mincey's Musings


It was the summer of 1996. My friend Mark Martin and I each got the same enticing letter in the mail. The only difference was the name on the header. Mine proclaimed in bold letters, “RONNIE MINCEY! PACK YOUR BAGS!”


When I was a child, my dad worked for a while for the school system in maintenance. I remember he bought a cabinet model stereo and a wringer washing machine from Shoffner’s Furniture and Appliance. He had Irby Monroe make a stand for the small stereo to sit on so that I couldn’t reach inside and mess with the mechanics while those 33 1/3 RPM records were played. The joke was on Dad—I stood in a chair and watched the records spin on the turntable. I loved to listen to that stereo.


Sandra Kay (White) Nunley attended the University of Tennessee from 1966 to 1972. She graduated in June 1972 with a B. S. She received her professional certification in September 1972. She returned to UT in the summer of 1974 through 1975 for additional coursework, receiving credit for 45 hours.
From 1974 through 1981 Sandra worked for the Douglas-Cherokee and Mountain Valley EOA Headstart programs in Sevier, Claiborne, Campbell and Union counties.

Sunrise . . .Sunset

I came today in my archives across a pamphlet of great historical interest to me. Mr. Clifford Stiner, prominent Union County resident, was the author. The pamphlet reveals Mr. Stiner’s occupations/hobbies/interests as historian, pilot, politician, newspaper editor, and author.

WWTS (What Would Twain Say?)

My Aunt Fleetie Thomas introduced me to Mark Twain.
This is one of the flukes in my reading experience, as my aunt was neither highly educated or literary. I was staying with her for a few days during a summer when I was in the upper elementary grades. Either she bought me the volume that contained two of Twain’s most popular books (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), or I bought it myself. I do remember it came from a rummage sale. I loved that book.

Plainview Elementary reunion is November 25

Over the past several months I have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of a fine gentleman, Mr. Ted Green. He came to the Union County Board of Education offices to find information on Plainview School. He and I have examined the registers from teachers who taught at that school from 1932 until the school’s closing in 1970.
I am including below the body of an email Mr. Green sent to me regarding a planned gathering for anyone connected with Plainview School. This email is intact (with minor editing) as sent to me.

Patiently Impatient

On most Saturdays I am not obligated to do anything other than mow my yard or “piddle” around the house. One such Saturday I was hauling my trash to throw away. There was a lot of stuff that could only be placed in a “big” dumpster.
It just so happened on that particular day there were two men, each with a truck, also depositing into the “big” dumpsters. It seemed both had already thrown their trash away, but they were in the lot, talking at great length to each other, just exactly in position to block my access to get rid of my own junk.

We Call It ?????

I remember when I was a kid in the 1970s and 1980s there was a Mazola Corn Oil commercial. I searched Google to see if I could find that old commercial.
I was, of course, successful, and I learned some things that I had forgotten, and other things that I did not know.

Thinking outside the box

I usually don’t brag on my own work, but this article surely must be a good one. At least it was that good. How do I know? My computer “ate” it just as I was copying it to a jump drive. Let’s see if I can re-create it and make it even better.
I was going into the men’s bathroom at work a few weeks ago when a sign to the left caught my eye: Meals And Memories Are Made Here


A few days ago I was having lunch with a wonderful lady that I have known since she was a child. At one time in my youth and her childhood I served as her Vacation Bible School teacher.
There was nothing out of the ordinary about our lunch. The two of us have been friends practically all our lives. We had dined there before with other people, always without fanfare. On this particular day, all proceeded as would be expected. The waiter took our orders.

He Was Only Seven

There was an episode of the legendary television western Bonanza titled “He Was Only Seven”. The episode featured famous actor Roscoe Lee Browne, who portrayed a grandfather whose grandson (who was only seven) died from a gunshot he received during a bank robbery. The episode was written by Michael Landon (Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0529575/fullcredits?ref_=ttfc_ql_1 Retrieved August 7, 2023).

There is a Difference

Have you ever had to attend a boring meeting, where the speaker droned on and on and you could barely stay awake? Possibly this might have been a preacher’s sermon (hopefully not) or a work presentation.

Dad "Gun" It!

My paternal grandmother was by all accounts a saintly woman. During her life she raised or partially raised twenty children—six from her husband’s previous marriage, six from her own marriage, and eight from my father’s first marriage. I was told that she was at one time staying with a family member in Knoxville who lived in a shotgun house. For the less enlightened, a shotgun house was narrow and had a door in front and a door in back, arranged so that a bullet fired from a shotgun could go in the front door and out the back without hitting anything.

Beyond the Sunset

I have always appreciated sunsets. Each sunset is totally different from any that preceded or will follow it. No artist can replicate the majesty and wonder of a sunset.
Forty years ago today I became a legal adult. I spent several evenings as a teenager sitting on the front porch or looking through my childhood bedroom window at magnificent sunsets. None have ever equaled the mysteries of those youthful end-of-day ponderings.

The Best Marriage Counselors

I have a relative who married on April Fool’s Day. As a result of COVID, the wedding reception was held several months later on Friday the 13th. I thought, “What brave souls.”
I also thought, “From the way some people’s marriages have turned out, these dates would have been perfect omens of what was to come!”
A politician once said, “I believe love is the answer, but you should own a gun, just in case.”
The politician wasn’t talking about marriage, but you have, Dear Reader, heard of a “shotgun wedding.”
Did you ever hear of a “shotgun divorce”?

Accentuate, Eliminate, Tune In

Once again, the Fourth of July holiday hovers just over the horizon. Perhaps by the time you’ve read this, Dear Reader, it will already be past.
It was 247 years ago, after a tedious time of separation from the “Mother Country”, resulting in the Revolutionary War, that our great nation officially came into existence.
Time wreaks many changes. There was a time that the school day began with the reading of a selection from the Bible, prayer was said, and the pledge to the American flag was dutifully recited.


I attended a meeting in Murfreesboro for work today. Amid the very useful information presented, there was reference made to the state’s past practice of providing Exemplary Educators (EEs) to schools deemed as in danger of failing academically under the former federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.


I was, like a lot of children, a picky eater. This was fine with Mother at home, but when it came to the “old line” teachers at school, things were different.
I don’t remember much about lunch during my two weeks of Headstart attendance. The one thing I do remember about food in Ms. Edna Loy’s Headstart class was a cake provided for those of us who had a birthday in July. I remember it had green icing, like grass, and that it was delicious.