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Mary gripped the arms of the chair so hard her knuckles were white. Joseph had insisted that she take the rocking chair that he had finished just last week. The blanket he had tucked around her was suffocating her, but she didn’t say a word. Finally, she relaxed her hands and caressed the sm…

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I have had several people ask me how long I had been doing these “Sharing the Past” articles. I go back to April in 1989, when I first ran the old photo of the large gathering at the Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church. That was the beginning and then more people began asking me to run pictur…

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Anyone who has ever been injured in a way that required even a short period of immobility in a limb of a joint knows the value of stretching. Once part of our body stops moving, it gets painful to move after a while. Physical therapy is painful and exhausting but necessary for recovery. Stre…

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Groundhog Day is really another celebration of the birth of Christ, but few realize it because it has undergone a lot of change over the centuries. February 2 used to be called Candlemas Day. A feast day commemorating when the Virgin Mary, in obedience to Jewish law, went to the Temple in Je…

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On occasions when I’ve told wife Jean something like, “I’m going to the post office, drop by the pharmacy, then on to the bank and might swing by the hardware store,” she’s often replied, “ Well, maybe I’ll see you again today.” She knew when I went out there’s no telling how many people I’d…

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This past week was about as crazy as they get. When I think it can’t get any crazier, somebody hears me and makes it crazier just for me.

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This week I am sharing what was news in the Wartburg area of Morgan County 118 years ago! Yes, the weekly newspaper back then was “The Wartburg Clarion. The editor was Vane V. Morris and the cost for a one year subscription was $1.00! I do not know how many pages there was in this particular…

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Mary held the little wooden lamb tightly, close to her heart.

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I remember the first time I shook hands with our neighbor in Italy. While we were moving in, she greeted us with some cooked food and fresh produce. She wasn’t very old, but her hands let me know right away that she had worked the ground herself to provide what she gave us. Her husband was t…

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Traditional brick-and-mortar bookstores continue to decline. I was in a stand-alone Barnes and Noble this week, which, even though somewhat different from the stores of yesteryear, brought back memories that were garnered before Amazon and other online sellers entered the picture. Of course,…

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Before World War II there was a lot more cleared farmland than there is now. Before chemical fertilizer and lime was readily available, per acre yields for farm crops were much lower and so more land was needed to farm. This was not a problem, as most farms had large families with a built-in…

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“Mary!” Joseph’s deep, rich voice carried throughout the market square. “I’ve been looking all over for you.”

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I want to begin my article this week with a big “thank you” to those who have recently contacted me about the articles on the Adams, Aytes, Branstetters and Davis families. From what I have been told I believe I could do articles for six months on these families if I had the material! This r…

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I was recently at a guest services counter on a cruise ship. I was helping my in-laws sort out an activity for the next day. They were gracious enough to pay partial fare for 20 of us to be together for a few days. The line was not long, but the complaining was in full voice before my line-m…

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As I write this column I’m in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area where it’s 83 degrees. The low tomorrow morning is predicted to be 43 degrees. A 40 degree drop! Reminds me of vocalist Dinah Washington’s “What a Difference a Day Makes,” even though her happiness went from low to high. It also reminds…

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The hemlock is one of my favorite trees because of its large size and the fact that it usually grows along mountain streams that provide some very picturesque mountain scenery.

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The next time you go fishing or boating, contemplate this fact: Use of a lake was once the cause of a violent chapter in Tennessee history.

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A Happy 95th Birthday tribute to a friend, Jan. 3, 2023. All those who know and love our Mary Butler Jackson, know that we are celebrating the life and times of an exceptional Christian lady. Her talents have amazed everyone who knows her since she can do just about anything she sets her min…

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Happy New Year! Remember when the year 2000 sounded strange? Here we are in 2023. I wish everyone a safe and healthy year.

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A nationwide audience witnessed the horrifying collapse of Buffalo Bills football player Damar Hamlin on “Monday Night Football” this past week.

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When the forest is laid bare each winter there is a tendency to think of it as a bleak and dreary place. But the basic structural skeleton of each tree can be seen at this time, with every branch, twig, and bud visible, thus revealing how it has grown in the past, and how it has prepared for…

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Our family’s Christmas this year was the best one yet. But, of course, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage says that every year. I completely agree with her this year.

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This week I want to let my readers know how much I appreciate and value your telling me that you enjoy these articles on the families who have lived in Morgan County since the 1800s. I recently had the pleasure of have three ladies recognize me at a local store and express their gratitude fo…

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Words come and go in their popularity. There will always be a new (old) word recycled to make consumers feel special. It is not always bad. Sometimes it is worth paying a premium for someone else to sift through the dust and fleas so that all we need do is show up or buy a subscription. As w…

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In the King James Version of the Bible, the ninth fruit listed among the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22 is temperance. In most modern versions, including the New King James, it’s termed self-control. At times in all of our lives, it’s not what one would call “low-hanging fruit.”

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I’ve heard it said that families were happier “in the old days.” However, newspapers prove that not every household was blissful. They also remind us that, when it comes to legal status, women have come a long way.

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Throughout the years, many of us watched Barbara Walters from NBC to ABC. I always tried to watch her special interviews. Often, the people she interviewed on primetime television specials were “the” high profile people at that given time. She became the highest paid journalist of her day be…

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The 2022 NASCAR season was perhaps one of the most exciting ones on and off the track the sport has seen in quite some time. Roughly half of the full-time competitors in the series managed to win races, showing the parity in the sport is greater than ever. New stars were born in Tyler Reddic…

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I’ve learned.... That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

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As we begin this new year, I want to make a promise to everyone who has called or in any way contacted me and asked me to help hunt information on different people or events for them. This promise I hope to keep, if possible! So, this week’s article is available due to a phone call from Jon …

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The recent bitter cold spell we just lived through may have converted a lot of people to become thermophiles (those who likes heat), and don’t want to read about cold right now. But stay with me on this one and perhaps you won’t be so down on our own winter weather.

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Christmas is the best time of the year, especially when it involves family. It’s the one time of the year that families get together to celebrate together.

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I don’t know if everyone has seen the Netflix series “The Crown,” about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, but there’s an episode with a distant connection to Tennessee history.

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Maybe you’ve finished your Christmas shopping. Maybe you haven’t. Whatever the case, consider these special gift ideas today and throughout the coming year. They’ll add joy to the lives of family members, friends and everyone else with whom you interact. The good news is, anyone can always a…

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As is the case in any other sport, NASCAR teams are always looking for the next big thing to hitch their wagon behind. In this week’s column, I will identify some drivers coming up through the ranks that could very well be future Cup series stand-outs.

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Hello to everyone who has “survived” Christmas and all the activities. As I prepare my article for this week (it is now Dec. 22) I am just waiting to see if the weather forecast for Christmas is going to be as bad as predicted! So, having said that, I want to let you know that this article i…

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Around this time of the year, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I revel in our family memories.

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What does the Bible say about the hope and reality of the new earth? What are the characteristics of the new earth? Maybe we get so excited about “going to heaven” that we don’t think too much about what it will be like. Well, our Bibles tell us it will be new. We know that’s where Jesus is …

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When I was a child at Tomahawk Elementary School in Martin County, Kentucky there were many kids who got little to nothing for Christmas. I had classmates who I would never ask if they got anything for Christmas because I already knew the answer. Some of these kids were just glad to be in sc…

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Modern living tends to make us too busy to relax, and I’m not the first to tell you that’s not healthy. Humans of any age need to play and let those stress generated hormones that make the heart race and adrenaline flow get out of our system. To many this may involve some form of exercise th…

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Quite frankly, I do not believe in luck in any degree. Once in a while I will say it, but I don’t believe it.

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I have had many questions lately from folks asking about out next book about the churches and schools of Morgan County. So, this week I want to tell my readers that the section of the book which will be about the schools is just about ready to begin the proofing. We are still working on some…

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Did you ever consider that nothing is too small to talk to God about or even ask Him for? He listens, maybe scratches his head for a minute then decides if this “small” thing is for our own good. I don’t think there is anything too small to thank Him for. I wrote an article a few years ago, …

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Every now and then I receive royalty payments for works I created in the 1960s. They’re usually tiny, but show that some group or some radio or TV program is still using my stuff from way back then. Recently, I got royalties from my teenage rock ‘n’ roll days when I recorded “Daddy Rabbit” u…

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By now you have no doubt heard the obligatory Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer song ten times on the radio or department store sound systems.

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