Look Back: A Little Something From Our Files From the Week of Sept. 25

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By Cheryl Duncan, Assistant Editor

25 Years Ago
“I feel sort of important,” 13-year-old Peter Keko of Kingston said about receiving his first national recognition, the International Isshinryu Association’s Young Male Karate-Ka of the Year award. The honor was presented to Keko during the association’s national meeting at Maryville College. Keko began taking karate three years earlier and had worked his way up to brown belt, one level below black belt. “I’d like to open a karate school when I get a little older,” he said. “I would also like to get my third-degree black belt. It’ll take another six years. Usually, nobody makes it past the second, so I want the third.”

10 Years Ago
Kingston’s Gary Grametbauer took on an ambitious project after retiring: he signed on with the Cumberland Trail Conference to help scout, design and, at times, build the 300-mile Cumberland Trail, a hiking trail to bisect the state and allow hikers to explore one of the few relatively undeveloped corridors of wilderness in the eastern United States. “I like to see beautiful areas preserved and protected,” said Grametbauer, who worked on four sections of what became Tennessee’s only linear state park.

Five Years Ago
Jess and Linda Rittenhouse saw their labor of love come to fruition with the dedication of the Roane County Law Enforcement Memorial in Harriman’s David Webb Riverfront Park. The Rittenhouses’ son, Matthew Rittenhouse, was a Harriman police officer killed in an auto crash on the job in 2004. Jess Rittenhouse not only was spurred to rally for the memorial from that tragedy, he joined the Harriman police force himself. “We are really here to say thank you to our fallen heroes,” Rittenhouse said at the ceremony. “Fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, grandsons, sons, mentors — they are all heroes.”

One Year Ago

Bob Alford celebrated a quarter of a century of flipping “Best of Roane” hamburgers at his Midtown eatery, Bob’s Burgers. Alford started the operation on a small scale, taking carry-out orders in a 16-by-20-foot former produce stand while working second shift at a Harriman hosiery mill. His wife, Debbie, joined him in the kitchen after they were married in 1990, and operations moved next door to offer customer seating in 2003. “It was just an opportunity that came up,” Alford said. “God has blessed us way more than we could ever deserve.”