Mountain Life

Jul. 25, 2015 @ 03:22 PM

Public Pulpit: Do we live for Jesus Christ?

I was deeply moved by two paintings I saw in the Hermitage museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. One was by my favorite painter, Rembrandt, and is called "The Return of the Prodigal." It shows the biblical scene of the father embracing the wayward son who had returned home.


Jul. 25, 2015 @ 02:29 PM

Upland Chronicles: Sevier County Korean War soldier remains missing in action

On Feb. 1, 1950, Norman Edgar "Eddie" Flynn, eight months away from his 18th birthday, lied about his age and signed up for the Army. For basic training, he was stationed at Fort Knox, Ky.


Jul. 25, 2015 @ 12:46 PM

Doll Parts, Brooklyn-based Dolly Parton tribute band, to play Wears Valley

The idea originated in a dream. It came to the husband of Julia Sirna-Frest, who sings and plays ukelele with Doll Parts, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Dolly Parton tribute band.


Jul. 25, 2015 @ 12:35 PM

Jeff Farrell: Nature excursions are better with good company

Sometimes, just getting out into nature can be enough to refresh your perspective. And sometimes it takes the right person to share it with to remind you.


Jul. 25, 2015 @ 11:49 AM

Adriana Zoder: Tales from a traffic jam

We happened to be on I-40 East just past Strawberry Plains on a recent Saturday around noon, when six people got injured in a four-car accident around Exit 407. All three eastbound lanes came to a stop. If we moved, we moved for three feet at a time, but mostly we did not move. Google Now let us know there was a wreck near our location, and then the cell signal went out.


Jul. 24, 2015 @ 11:43 AM

Charles Mackem: Nothing satisfies like soup

No matter the season, few things are as comforting or satisfying as a bowl of good soup. My father and a teacher of mine at culinary school have both remarked that one of the ways to tell a good restaurant is by the quality of their soups, the thinking being that if they take the time and care to make a good soup, they will take equal care with the rest of their menu. How telling, then, that it's almost impossible to find a really good soup in most restaurants.


Jul. 23, 2015 @ 01:20 PM

Carl Mays: Everyone must eat a frog or two

Mark Twain is credited with saying, "Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day." This was followed with, "If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." Time management gurus down through the years have emphasized this frog-eating concept in various ways. Like Twain, they have recommended to check our tasks or to-do lists and tackle the hardest or most challenging first. Just get into it, get it handled and get it out of the way. Speaker/author Brian Tracy even has a top-selling book titled "Eat That Frog," which expands on the concept.


Jul. 19, 2015 @ 02:48 AM

Public Pulpit: I praise God for the good things in my life

Another Sunday morning! What a blessing to have another day devoted to the One who gives us everything we have, yet allows us to make choices in life. He lets us be who we are and what we want to be. He gives us the air we breathe, the health to do our work and make a living, and more than enough time to play.


Jul. 18, 2015 @ 01:23 PM

Charles Mackem: Italian cooking is great for a crowd

I'd be hard pressed to pick a single favorite cuisine, but if I could pick two, there would be no doubt: Thai and Italian. Though separated by thousands of miles, the two actually have more in common than most would think. Both put an emphasis on fresh vegetables, and tend to use meat sparingly. Both also use fairly simple cooking techniques and recipes, allowing the ingredients to shine.


Jul. 18, 2015 @ 01:12 PM

Upland Chronicles: Davis Hotel offered modern conveniences

The building on the northeast corner of Court Avenue and Joy Street in Sevierville has been Rawlings Funeral Home since 1937. Built about 1922, the two-story brick building was originally the Davis Hotel. When Margaret Bowers Davis, a widow, purchased the lot and built the red-brick hotel, she already had several years of firsthand hostelry experience under her belt.


Jul. 18, 2015 @ 11:33 AM

Kenneth Burns: Garrison Keillor is stepping down – maybe

He has said he will before, but maybe he means it this time. Garrison Keillor could be stepping down from "A Prairie Home Companion."


Jul. 18, 2015 @ 06:36 AM

Country’s Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan bring their Grits & Glamour Tour to Pigeon Forge

In the 1990s, when Pam Tillis was in her hit-making heyday, country was not like it is now. For one thing, she said, today’s country is “pop-ified.”


Jul. 16, 2015 @ 11:50 AM

Carl Mays: You can't – and can – go home again

I mentioned in an earlier column how writer Thomas Wolfe's classic words, "You can't go home again," proved to be true literally when wife Jean, Carl II and I made a trip back to Jean's old homestead in Oakton, Ky. There was neither a home nor a stead. Even the railroad tracks that once ran through the little community were gone, as was the hill on which her childhood home once stood. And the little town itself – well, there was no little town anymore.


Jul. 12, 2015 @ 12:02 AM

Public Pulpit: God gladly receives the adoration of the people

Good Sunday morning, dear friends. I woke up this morning being very thankful for the several splashes of rain that God has sent to this hot and dry city of Alcoa. I was beginning to think that I truly had moved from the beautiful mountains to the concrete jungle that I joked about. Talk about hot and dry; the past several days have been miserable. Then the blessed rain came, and we will all feel so much better.


Jul. 11, 2015 @ 04:40 PM

Seymour’s Jacqueline Donahue gives her horse an Extreme Mustang Makeover

It won’t be easy for Jacqueline Donahue to say goodbye to Remington.


Jul. 11, 2015 @ 04:08 PM

Adriana Zoder: So just what is the taste of summer?

Lately I have seen the phrase "the taste of summer" everywhere: Martha Stewart Living magazine, the Relish insert in The Mountain Press, Wimbledon.


Jul. 11, 2015 @ 03:32 PM

Charles Mackem: It's always a good time for gumbo

From a purely professional point of view, my favorite dish to make may very well be gumbo – it's certainly in the top three. Various meats and fish, as well different roux, give gumbos amazing variety. If I'm sick of chicken and sausage, then maybe it's time for some type of seafood. If I'm not in the mood for seafood, then maybe some duck goes in the pot.


Jul. 11, 2015 @ 12:08 PM

Jake Old: I love the NBA's weird off-season

I am a complete National Basketball Association junkie. I love watching basketball games, but almost as much, I love the weird off-season.


Jul. 11, 2015 @ 11:47 AM

Upland Chronicles: Sevierville: Summer of 1915

Much has been said and written lately about James Agee and the 100th anniversary of the year that inspired his famous prose piece "Knoxville: Summer of 1915." The essay, set months before the death of Agee's father, was attached as a prologue to his book, "A Death in the Family," for which Agee was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1958.


Jul. 09, 2015 @ 01:37 PM

Carl Mays: There's some bad grammar going around – don't catch it

The grammarian in me was really riled last week when I was writing my "Celebrate freedom for one nation under God" column. There have been books, articles and discussions regarding how history continues to be rewritten, but more and more it appears many individuals and groups have also engaged in an ongoing process of changing the rules of grammar. I've previously written about how numerous media members, politicians, ministers, entertainers, businesspeople, educators and other speakers and writers are infecting our society with some bad grammar. At times, Microsoft Word 2013's spelling and grammar check feature appears to be among the grammatical violators.


Jul. 04, 2015 @ 06:55 PM

Kenneth Burns: Newspaper comics are why I'm here today

Charles Schulz is the reason you're reading this.


Jul. 05, 2015 @ 08:13 AM

Charles Mackem: A fair share isn't always fair

One of the downsides of being a chef is being expected to cook whenever friends or family come to visit me. I do actually love to cook, and I thoroughly enjoy making people happy with a good meal, but the assumption that I will always cook dinner for my guests can get on my nerves at times.


Jul. 04, 2015 @ 02:49 PM

Public Pulpit: What lurks in the darkness of your heart?

My grandmother, having suffered a stroke, was cared for 24/7 by my mom. Since Grandma could not walk, she was confined to either her bed or chair. During my quiet times, she was my companion as she read the comics to me and we listened to the radio together.


Jul. 02, 2015 @ 06:17 PM

Carl Mays: Celebrate freedom for one nation under God

Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, brings to mind many things, but should always have its major focus on the important basic fact that it is a national holiday in America commemorating the July 4, 1776, adoption of the Declaration of Independence  from Great Britain. John Adams, one of the five drafters of the document, wrote to his wife Abigail that this action would:


Jul. 02, 2015 @ 05:56 PM

Upland Chronicles: Fox remembered for his sacrifice in the Civil War

While observing the annual Decoration Day at Fox Cemetery last year, Tommy McGaha noticed there was not an American flag on the grave of Christopher Fox.