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A hodgepodge of hits and misses from recent wanderings at home and from afar ….
A HIT! How about the great retail success stories coming out of Rockwood?
Kudos to Mayor James Watts and City Recorder Jim Hines, who used plenty of shoe leather to bring in two more retailers/employers.
Goody’s return and the new Tractor Supply Co. store will most keep the economic engine primed in West Roane County.
We all will benefit through sales tax and employment opportunity growth.
We now understand Roane Alliance Director of Business Development Darrell Williams played a role in the recruitment process, but we couldn’t give him or the Alliance credit when our story broke last Thursday afternoon.
We’ll give Williams and his colleagues an unsung hero award here and include them in the collective public pat on the back to all involved in this space because the newspaper was already rolling off the presses when we received the back-channel scuttlebutt.
A HIT! When news started making the rounds that cutbacks were coming to the area extensive service offices, many of us held our breath.
Ended up we didn’t need to. According to Roane County Extension Agent Grant Palmer, our office will actually gain positions and services through the realignment of resources.
A HIT! How about those gorgeous quilts displayed at the John Knox Center? You can see the slideshow at roanecounty.com.
Those folks are talented.
Judy Speer of Rockwood was modest when she said, “As busy as it looks, there is a pattern to it,” when she described her 150-anniversary Civil War quilt at the sixth annual Sewing on the River.
Believe it or not, we keep track of area quilters because some of the most creative and talented of them work here at our office.
A HIT! Did you catch Katie Hogan’s photo essay and story on The Riverfront Band? All I can say is neat. The group has been performing at Harriman’s Riverfront Park during the summers.
Ahhh … summer. We can almost taste and feel it after the sunshine and moderate weekend weather. Alas, it’s still many months away according to the calendar.
What caught my attention in the story was a comment from one of the group’s founders, Bobby Wright. When the lights dimmed during a recent jam session at the American Legion, people gravitated to the dance floor. “That’s what music is all about,” Wright said. “Just enjoying yourselves.”
To make sure we have balance in this space, we also have to note a couple of misses.
A MISS! The same afternoon we were breaking the good news out of Rockwood, we also reported about the impending closure of ArcelorMittal in Harriman. As we understand it, 72 of our fine friends will find themselves victims of the depressed global steel economy at the end of March. Don’t blame us as the messenger, please. It’s our hope those unexpectedly displaced with quickly find new and better jobs.
I’m a firm believer that when one door closes, another opens.
A MISS! On the global economy. Dang it! The stock market was rising and oil futures were falling until folks in Egypt went haywire. As news rolled out of the Middle East the Dow went south and oil prices went north.
Let’s all pray that things will settle down and work out. Each of us is impacted by what goes on there. Given our country’s fragile economic recovery, methinks we all might need to spend an extra minute or two on our knees in the morning before standing up and heading off to put in a hard and honest day’s work.
A MISS! I was surprised that it had been 25 years since the horrible NASA Challenger space shuttle disaster. I vividly and sadly recall the day I sat beside my publisher in his office and watched on his black-and-white television as the orbiter blew up moments after liftoff.
Tears flowed down both of our cheeks.
Seven brave souls lost their lives that fateful January morning. My heart hurt even more so because I knew Christa McAuliffe’s students in New Hampshire were excitedly watching their teacher rocket into space. I thought about my own darling wife who teaches and whose children were probably also watching the historic space flight from their own classroom.
A HIT! (Squeezed in between the misses.) I still get chill bumps when I think back to President Ronald Reagan’s eloquent words later that Tuesday: “The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.’”
A HIT OR MISS … you decide. Folks know this space is intended for lighter fare. So, we will end it that way.
Did you catch wind of the recent study about shopping habits?
In a nutshell, the numbers say that our spending tendencies can be tracked back to our elementary school days when roll was called or we lined up in alphabetical order for recess.
According to the learned folks at the Journal of Consumer Research, if you were called on last, you are more likely to be one of the first to spend.
“When you have been forced to wait at the end of the line throughout your childhood, you tend to jump at the opportunity to be first when you grow up,” said lead author Kurt A. Carlson, assistant professor of marketing at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.
Their study suggests that people with names closer to the beginning of the alphabet tend to have more patience and may even pass up good deals as they weigh their options.
Let’s just say the hypothesis doesn’t hold water when it comes to yours truly. The “T” at the beginning of my last name put me at the end of the line.
Following the researchers’ logic, you’d think I’d be a big spender.
My hard-scrabble upbringing taught me to be frugal — even to the point that my son says I’m cheap.
Said son regularly comments that I’m SO cheap I continually refuse to have my expected mid-life crisis. I laugh him off. To his chagrin, do I NOT covet a red convertible sports car.
The last time I bought a new vehicle, I waited until I was pretty much walking.
I’ll never forget sitting in Jerry Duncan’s private office negotiating the deal. Jerry had leverage on me and knew it. He could have gone for the jugular, but he didn’t.
A deer had committed suicide on my ancient Jeep. To be honest, I wasn’t walking. I was temporarily driving one of my dad’s vehicles, so I had a wee bit of wiggle room.
Jerry put together an excellent bargain.
But that particular day it wasn’t good enough for me. I was holding out because I was counting on a yet-to-be announced factory rebate.
A week later the rebate came through. Jerry called.
I visited and we both shook hands. Then we filled out the paperwork. Later in the afternoon, he delivered my fine ride to me here at the office and put its keys in my hand.
I got to drive the vehicle for its first 1,000 miles or so. Then, somehow, someway, it ended up being my son’s chariot.
Nowadays, I get to see it every now and again when we visit him at the Big University.
So much for impulsive spending for those of us who grew up at the end of the line.
What do you think about the study now?