How many times have you quoted or heard someone quote Murphy's Law? I'm talking about the law that says, "If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong." Have you ever wondered exactly who Murphy was? Did he or she actually come up with such a law? When? Why? What were the circumstances?
Fifty years ago, the nation was mesmerized by the Selma to Montgomery marches taking place in Alabama, part of the voting rights movement that led to the passage that year of the Voting Rights Act. The previous year, on July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, prohibiting segregation in public facilities. The entire country, particularly the South, was going through a period of cultural transformation.
Last summer, the public library in Golden, Colo., organized a community read of “Long Man,” the 2014 novel by Amy Greene, who lives in Russellville, Tenn., near Morristown.
Earlier this week, I wrote a story about an improvisational music workshop that will take place in Gatlinburg next month, free of charge.
On Nov. 15, 1992, the Wonderland Hotel at Elkmont closed its doors for the last time. Although the storied old hostelry had seen better days, the closing of the white clapboard building with a sagging wraparound porch marked the end of era, a time when men in summer suits smoked cigars on the veranda, ladies in long cotton dresses fanned themselves in rocking chairs, and children raced to the nearby swimming holes.
Happy Year of the Goat! Or is it the Year of the Ram? Possibly sheep…
I was standing near an exchange/return line at a big-box store and overheard a conversation between a customer and an employee. It was a good example of how to handle a hard-to-satisfy customer.
Ketner Grocery Store was located in an area of Sevierville known as Thomas Addition. It was situated at a unique intersection, with Belle Avenue on the right side of the store, which faced the split where Newport Highway (now East Gate Road) branched off New Road (now Park Road).
In the middle of a hectic week, I spent a good portion of my day Wednesday keeping up with the college decisions of some high school kids I've never met.
For a good month or so, there hasn't been any real doubt about the topic of this week's column. It's my last one before Valentine's Day, and though it's not official as I'm writing this, by the time you read this, I will be engaged.
This month, Knoxville theater companies the WordPlayers and the Carpetbag Theatre will stage their production of “Walk, Don’t Ride” more than 20 times, at various East Tennessee venues.
February rolls around, finally, and it's time to celebrate: the groundhog, the Valentine thingy and my birthday. The groundhog is easy because, regardless of his prediction, he is adorable. And when those handlers handle him, he just sits there looking all furry and fat, and you just want to reach into your TV screen or whatever device screen you happen to be watching on, and pet him.
Like many football fans, I wasn't familiar with Malcolm Butler prior to the recent Super Bowl. Actually, I still wasn't familiar with him until he made that pass interception at the Patriots' goal line with approximately 20 seconds in the game to keep the Seahawks from scoring, securing New England's 28-24 victory over Seattle. Not even until announcers mentioned it did I remember Butler was the victimized defender only moments earlier when the Seahawks' Jermaine Kearse made an incredible juggling catch, which gained 33 yards and got Seattle to the five-yard line.
A hosiery mill located on Bruce Street in Sevierville provided employment for many Sevier County residents for almost 40 years. The building has changed ownership numerous times. The renovated 95-year-old structure that housed the mill is now Mill Corner Place, a posh office building, one of the finest examples of historic preservation in Sevier County.
A few days ago, my dentist had her hands in my mouth.
It was a remote mountain community. A thriving railroad settlement. A resort destination.
Not long ago I was talking to a class of young people with writing aspirations. During the Q&A session regarding columns and articles, a student asked which of my recent subjects solicited the most responses, i.e., emails, comments, etc. Well, of course, I have always appreciated responses and acknowledgements – even the ones that may not agree with my point of view on something. I do thank God, however, that most of the reactions I have received have been positive ones from people who are encouraged or uplifted by my words.
On Sunday, Oct. 26, 2009, seasoned hiking buddies Stanley Creswell and Frank Maples began a two-day hike. They started their trek on the Appalachian Trail at Newfound Gap and headed for Snakes Den Ridge, above Cosby Campground. After spending the night at Peck's Corner Shelter, they stopped at Tricorner Knob Shelter to eat lunch. As they came around the corner of the shelter, a guinea fowl came strutting around the opposite corner of the structure.
It's Monday morning, and about 30 young children, from toddlers to younger elementary students, are exploring science at the Muse Knoxville, formerly the East Tennessee Discovery Center. Inside the space shuttle, an intense game of pretend spaceflight keeps about seven of them engrossed in dialogue worthy of sci-fi movies.
I was recently talking with a friend about some good times we had several years ago, and a topic came up that I had completely forgotten about: my work at the college television station.
I have a very difficult time trying to figure out why our national government has not granted the basic privileges of all adult citizens to all who are accepted and serve in our nation’s military. In particular, the right to consume alcohol and any other privilege enjoyed by current American adults who are qualified to serve in the military. It appears that age 21 is the current overall most realistic target for full privilege.
Every time I go along with local law enforcement officers during one of their roundups or other operations, as I did on Tuesday, I'm reminded of their side of the ongoing debate over the "militarization" of police.
Although small in number, by the early 1900s the African-American population in Sevier County had established communities including Chandler's Gap, Payne's Temple, Cynthiana and Union Hill.
I'm sad. College football is done for the year, and the NFL only has three games left in the season. I suppose I'll have to figure out something to do with my weekend afternoons.
As I was recently reading one of many annual articles about making plans and setting goals for a new year, I ran across one that began with the question, "What are you most proud of about yourself this past year?" I understand the question and have actually used this idea in articles, columns and speeches. The question asks people to reflect on such things as reached goals, accomplishments, strengthened relationships, situations and challenges handled well, lessons learned or better attitudes developed. And then, the big question here is, "Are the things of which I am most proud helping me to reach my main purpose in life?"