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Columns

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Amidst election shambles — signs of hope?

    Well, kind hearts, another election has come and gone, but as they say, the aroma lingers on.

    In much of the state the principal thrust of the election was in the Republican side of the general election ticket as well as in the state and federal Republican Primary elections.

  • GLIMPSES: Of rights, responsibilities & 21st century challenges

    By MARK BANKER

    Author’s note: The following three premises are essential to this column.

    1) None of us see the past or present with absolute clarity.

    2) Each of us has the capacity for glimpses of informed insight that draw from and reflect our personal values.

    3) Cordial, forthright exchange of those insights enhances our mutual well being.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Should Mrs. Rice be punished & the way we talk

    Gentle reader, as we write this column, the election looms, but has not yet occurred, so that virtually anything we might say in regard to that topic would, by the time of publication, be outdated. So, instead we will address a small collection of random thoughts and ideas that have occurred to us, or been brought to mind, over the past few days.
    ******

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Summer reads take Laureate on regional journey

    After a lively visit with some relatives on their way home from the Smokies Sunday, I grabbed a book and sat down out on my covered porch for some much-needed quiet time.

    Storm alerts were being launched everywhere – severe thunderstorm warnings, flood warnings, tornado watches and warnings. The breeze felt nice while I read, and so I remained outdoors.

    Bruised skies to the north made it clear the threats were real. The thunder was faint, but visceral, like the rumbling of a hungry stomach.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: A report from McGlothin-Largen Park

    NOTE: In a note to last week’s column, we reviewed the list of candidates in the upcoming election and pointed out that at least five of the candidates are cousins of the late senator Howard Henry Baker, Jr., namely Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen; County Executive candidate Mike Farmer; County Commissioner Bobby Collier; County Commissioner Carolyn Collier Granger; and County Trustee Wilma Eblen. We then stated that “there may be one other,” but we are sure of these five.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Joe H. Walker – A profile in courage

    (NOTE: Last week’s column concerning Sen. Howard H. Baker, Jr. ‘s, Roane County roots and kinsmen was reinforced as we reviewed the list of candidates in the upcoming election. At least five of the candidates are cousins of the late senator. First is Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen; then County Executive candidate Mike Farmer; County Commissioner Bobby Collier; County Commissioner Carolyn Collier Granger; and County Trustee Wilma Eblen. There may be one other, but we are sure of these five. As we said in the caption, his Roane roots ran very deep.)

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Sen. Howard Baker’s Roane roots ran very deep

    As the unofficial keeper of the family genealogy, since the death of Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr., we have been contacted by more than one mutual cousin seeking information clarifying the exact nature of Howard’s relationship to the caller, which we have been glad to provide.

    On reflection, it struck us that since there are literally hundreds of relatives of the late senator in the readership of this paper,
    it might be a good thing to give a brief history of this relationship to them and so many other Roane Countians.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Thoughts on modern practitioners of chivalry

    We have recently been reading some books in a relatively new series by authoress Rita Mae Brown, who has several novels to her credit, including another series featuring “Sneaky Pie” Brown.  

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: True conservatives don’t change constitutions

    Knowledgeable reader, we are sure that you are familiar with the old expression about wolves masquerading in sheep’s clothing — well, that is a very apt description of many of the so-called conservatives who think that the majority of present day voters are conservatives, and in some areas and in some aspects they are doubtless right.

  • Looseleaf laureate: Proposed new superhero may surprise you

    I’m happy to report I got all of my tomatoes — 14 plants’ worth — in the ground before Memorial Day this year. 

    I can’t remember all of their names, but I made acquaintance with Mr. Stripey, Yellow Pear and Cherokee Purple among the heirloom varieties, and Yellow, Big and Better Boys among the hybrids. 

    With all of these plants, I hope to show something for my effort come harvest time.