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Columns

  • Looseleaf laureate: Be grateful that the truth is more interesting

    I cringe every year at depictions of the first Thanksgiving, with Pilgrims and “the Indians” harmoniously sitting down to break bread together.

    It’s a nice thought, it really is, but it has little to do with truth.

    In 1621, a small group of Pilgrims were celebrating a successful harvest, but the fact that 90 warriors were on hand was not a result of invitation.

    The Wampanoag tribe that is often generically referred to as “the Indians” in the Thanksgiving story has much more interesting — and believable — version.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Bill Landry to sign new book at Rocky Top Gen. Store

    There are times when a person, or group, or nation has the strength, or the authority to do something, but which they shouldn’t do, despite that strength or authority.

    As a result of proceeding when they shouldn’t, the person, group, or nation loses that strength or authority.

    Last week saw this very thing happen in one case, and the wheels begin to turn that may well result in its happening again in another case.

  • Harriman Happenings: Feb. 17

    We wish Ivory Dowdell a speedy recovery from having knee surgery.

    She has been in lots of pain, but at the time of this writing she is feeling much better, and we want you to know you are missed.

    Get-well wishes to the Rev. Clyde Jones, who recently had surgery. Also, to his wife Jessie Bell, who hasn’t felt the best but is doing better.

    To my niece, Courtney Harris, who observed her birthday last Monday, Feb. 10. Hope you had a great day and many more to come. Happy birthday Courtney.

  • ANOTHER VIEWPOINT: Nothing simple in abortion protest debate

    By GENE POLICINSKI

    First Amendment Center

    Few topics in modern life have produced as much rancorous and visible public debate as abortion.

    One hot point of contention today is simply how close that debate may take place to the clinics that perform them.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Dr. Rywell’s Tenn. apple stack cake re-visited

    Gentle reader, there comes a time when repeating oneself is no longer repetition but a tradition.

    Thus it is with our annual holiday column about our beloved Tennessee Apple Stack Cake, also known in this area as “Fruit Cake.” As we have said many times before, what is being offered in some grocery stores as apple stack cake is not our Tennessee Apple Stack Cake.

  • Looseleaf laureate: On idealism, cynicism and conspiracy theories

    It has taken decades to realize how much a series of bullets — fired half a century ago by a lone gunman, or maybe not — has impacted the life of one preschooler.

    I was a 5-year-old in hand-me-down dungarees. The knees, judging by most of the pictures from the era, were worn bare.

    I don’t remember ever seeing my mother cry before that day; perhaps that’s why my memory of  President John F. Kennedy’s murder is so vivid.

  • Harriman Happenings

    Marvin and Anna Anderson of Knoxville observed their 49th wedding anniversary on Nov. 16.

    They were married in Harriman at St. Mary’s Baptist Church among family and friends.

    The couple have three sons, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandson.

    Both retired from X-10 Plant in Oak Ridge. They are faithful members of New Covenant Baptist Church in Knoxville.

    They are former residents of Harriman.

    May they continue to be blessed by the Lord.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Why hasn’t sheriff answered jail questions?

    Gentle Reader, as you will recall, in last month’s column for Friday, the 25th, we raised the issue of the supposed over-population problem in the new jail.

    In that column we posed certain questions, the answers to which we think it is critical that everyone, (especially the people who are going to have to foot the bill for any “corrective measures” that might be proposed, i.e. the Roane County taxpayers,) should have answered.

    These are the general questions we posed:

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: GOP doesn’t grasp economics, and never will

    Many of the Republicans who are so overwrought on the issue of the national deficit and resulting national debt claim that this is a moral issue.

    In other words, to function on deficit spending and accumulating debt is an immoral activity.

    To some of them it is a sin, bordering on being a crime.

  • Looseleaf Laureate: Road to Hooters is paved with gravel

    Last Sunday, I was at Hooters.
    Yes, THAT Hooters.
    Trust me, it’s not a place I ever aspired to be.
    How I got there is a circuitous story, one involving three friends, a cascading creek and a winding dirt road through Cherokee National Forest.
    It began innocently enough.

    Stan (not his real name because he’s a bit embarrassed about what comes next), Russ (his real moniker; he’s unflappable) and I had planned to ride bicycles from the base of Little Citigo Creek most of the way up to Indian Boundary Lake.