Sayings come and go. I remember when it was pretty common upon departing company someone would say, "I'll see you in the funny pages." The other person would respond, "Not if I see you first." Today, most people under 50 would probably have no idea what you're talking about if you should use such a way of saying goodbye. Many under-50s probably wouldn't realize "funny pages" (or "funny papers") is another term for newspaper comic sections.
I don’t need much of an excuse to drink Champagne. Gas prices dropped three cents today? Break out the Bollinger! My cat almost caught a mouse? Time for some Taittinger! There’s no moderately pleasant occasion that isn’t made more pleasant by a glass or two of bubbly.
A few more days, and it’s 2015. For some strange reason, I was writing 2015 throughout 2014 whenever I needed to date something. So I feel like I will not have any problems writing the proper date as we go into the new year.
After lingering and suffering several days, Aaron McMahan died Aug. 22, 1896, as a result of gunshot wounds sustained in an ambush as he and his son and son-in-law were returning from a visit to the Pigeon Forge Mill to his home in Wear’s Valley. However, McMahan lived long enough to identify his assailants as Newt Green and Wes Hendricks.
I've written previously about various types of greeting cards, including Christmas, birthday, Valentine, sympathy, etc. I guess I have an above-average interest in cards because I'm a writer myself. Even though my work has focused on books, dramas, musicals, columns and articles, I have written a few cards. Several years ago, artist Vern Hippensteal and I teamed together on some cards, and I later penned some verses for Blue Mountain Arts. Among my columns is one about greeting card guru Helen Steiner Rice (1900-1981), a truly amazing lady.
I enjoy my colleague Jake Old's columns about his music career. They have inspired me to share musical memories of my own.
Of all the Christmas traditions in the Western world, watching the "Nutcracker" ballet is the most ethereal. As one watches ballerinas glide gracefully, perpetual smile on their faces, weaving a story of dreams, toys, gifts, and the Sugar Plum Fairy, reality fades. Minds travel to beautiful lands. For some of us, we travel to our childhood, when our parents used to take us to this ballet.
A good many years ago, my mom and a friend of hers engaged in a friendly competition to see who could come up with the tastiest and prettiest holiday dessert. I don't recall what her friend made, but it doesn't matter. Mom won; it wasn't even close.
During the past few weeks, I've found an incredibly daunting task in front of me:
On Dec. 16, 1780, two months after the Battle of Kings Mountain, the Battle of Boyd’s Creek took place. The battle was fought, not against the British, but their sometime-ally, the Cherokee. A number of East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia’s leaders had been calling for an expedition against the Cherokee for some time. British agents led by John McDonald had allegedly been encouraging the Indians to attack white settlements.
Someone asked me the other day, "What exactly does 'Advent' mean?" Good question. Like many other words, it does have a general meaning, and then it has a more specific meaning to specific people. According to various dictionaries, the general meaning of "advent," without capitalization, is "the coming into being, use or arrival of an event, a thing or a person." Examples include: "the advent of winter is upon us; the advent of the polio vaccine halted the spread of the dreaded disease; the advent of Elvis changed American music."
It gets more and more difficult lately to be a cops and courts reporter observing the growing conflict over police behavior.
In 1916, Andy Huff built the Mountain View Hotel, a 10 unit, two-story building with one bathroom on each floor. He built the hostelry to provide lodging for the lumbermen coming to Gatlinburg to purchase timber. Returning home, these lumbermen told others of the beauty of the surrounding mountains. Soon residents of Knoxville began coming to the hotel for vacations.
Autumn color bursts from the hillsides. A mountain stream gently flows. Animals roam. Visitors explore.
I’ve written about New Orleans previously. I only lived there three years, but memories are many. It was a busy and exciting time as I attended graduate school at New Orleans Baptist Seminary, taught and coached at John Curtis High School and served as youth director for the New Orleans Baptist Association while on the staff of Kenner First Baptist Church. My work and studies involved activities with churches of various denominations, schools, hospitals and such institutions as a home for unwed mothers and a French Quarter coffee house. As you might imagine, the memories are firmly branded.
When I was a kid, Silicon Valley fascinated me.
You may have leftover dishes in your refrigerator from this year’s Thanksgiving meal. Is there anything on that menu more delicious than cranberry sauce? I think not. I love everything on the Thanksgiving menu, though – except for the turkey, bless its heart, to use a Southern phrase.
Summertime in Tennessee has always been hot. Before the days of air conditioning and the development of ways to combat mosquitoes, hot weather could pose a danger to health. Epidemics of cholera, malaria and yellow fever were sometimes serious public-health threats to urban dwellers in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Simply known to millions of churchgoers through the years as the Doxology, the lyrics are, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow: Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." I've always appreciated the strong, rhythmic beat that accompanies these words of worship. And I've appreciated the hymn's closing "Amen" that echoes a strong, affirmative "so be it!" Attributed to Thomas Ken in 1674, the hymn serves well as a great anthem for the year-round meaning of Thanksgiving.
At least 350 graveyards are located in Sevier County. In addition to numerous cemeteries maintained by churches and those operated by perpetual care associations, there are literally hundreds of small cemeteries scattered throughout the county. Early settlers claimed land on which to live and raise their families, and when they died, they were often buried on the same property. Some cemeteries never had more than a few graves, while others grew to contain a large number of interments over several generations.
I was driving to Pigeon Forge the other day and listening to a classic rock radio station. A peculiar song began to play.
There are more and more choices available to us when it comes to purchasing things, obtaining services, eating, or seeking intellectual, physical, mental, financial and spiritual help – or acquiring anything else we may need or want.
Storytelling has been around “for as long as there have been people,” Janice Brooks-Headrick said.
Located at the end of a long drive on the south bank of the French Broad River, the Buckingham House is reputedly the oldest brick structure in Sevier County and the third oldest in Tennessee. Framed by two large oak trees, the picturesque brick building was completed by Thomas Buckingham and his brother Ephraim in 1795. A brick on the front façade reads, "T. & E. B.," verifying the builders and the construction date.
Before last year, I'd never heard the term "polar vortex." Before yesterday, I'd never heard the term "omega block." Oh boy! A new term for incredibly brutal, cold weather! OK, fine. Let the meteorologists quibble over what this phenomenon should or should not be called. All I know is that it's warmer in much of Alaska than it is here right now, and my sense of justice is deeply offended.