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Columns

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: To create jobs, cut retirement age temporarily

    You know, gentle reader, the longer we live the more we become convinced that the Founding Fathers should have made it one of the prerequisites of being President of these United States that all candidates there for must be foundlings.

    In our own time we have seen how John F. Kennedy’s presidency was shaped and moulded by the influence of his father, Ambassador Joe Kennedy.

  • Nuts & Bolts Terri Likens Editor: Photojournalist’s job is the cat’s meow

    Photojournalist Katie Hogin finally has succumbed to one of the hazards of her job — having a tender heart.

    After months of going to the county animal shelter to take pictures of adoptable dogs and cats, she finally gave in and took one home herself.

    Katie fell for an unusally marked kitten she has given the name of Oliver.

    The moniker suits the scrawny little fellow, although we’re sure Ollie will soon fill out and be the strong, happy feline that cats with good forever homes generally grow up to be.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Joe goes – to shores of mighty Mississippi

    My friend Joe was on the road for Thanksgiving.

    His mother died this spring, and his father died some years back, so he wasn’t spending the holiday with family.

    Instead, he headed to Memphis. Next month, he will be starting a new life as a fundraiser for a downtown hospital that sorely needs his skills.

    I have mixed feelings about this.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Let’s pass one for the Gipper – tax plan that is

    It has been our observation over the years that the readership of this column contains a rare combination of brain power covering numerous fields of intellectual endeavour.

    Thus, we have no hesitancy in posing a problem which has occurred to us in recent years and to which we have not heretofore found the answer.

  • Looseleaf laureate by Terri Likens: It’s time to list the things I’m thankful for

    With several gloomy days behind us and the calendar’s darkest month looming ahead, it’s easy to feel a little bummed about winter.

    I work to avoid the winter blues, usually with activity and sometimes with mind games.

    For instance, I remind myself that by the time Christmas gets here, the days will already be growing longer again.
    This December has a slightly gloomier edge to it.

  • Nuts & Bolts by Terri Likens: Momma makes a point – and we get it

    A photo of Randall McCain was featured in the Monday, Nov. 7, edition of Roane County News.

    However, if you didn’t know Randall, you wouldn’t have known it was him.

    The photo was used at the bottom of Page 1 to tease to a group of photos on an inside page, and it did not include caption information that would have identified him.

    While we commonly use this technique to refer to other pictures or articles on inside pages, at least one person was bothered in this instance.

  • Off the Cuff: Allen’s life was short, but he continues to make a big impact

    I don't remember Allen. At all.

    My memories of this stellar young man are those my parents shared with me. Their rollercoaster relationship, abruptly halted with my mother's death in April 2005, was fraught with disagreements. There were two things, however, on which they steadfastly agreed:

    They loved my sister and me, and they loved Allen.

  • Trip to Va. Creeper Trail worth the effort

    Whitetop Mountain. 
    A bicycle.
    Those in the know will realize these are references to the Virginia Creeper Trail — 34 miles of bike path between Damascus and Abingdon in the Old Dominion state.
     I’m hurtling downhill toward a slick, frost-covered, wooden trestle. One application of the brakes or a single moment of imbalance while crossing it and the consequences could be dire.
    Sounds like it could be a metaphor for my life, but let’s not go there.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET by Gerald Largen: Two E. Tenn. productions: Landry book and stack cake

    While the efflorescence of spring in East Tennessee is beyond compare, the glories of autumn are not far behind in colourful beauty.

    To our eye, the leaves this year have been outstanding. This natural beauty is just one factor, however, that makes us among earth’s luckiest creatures.

    Other factors include the culture of our people — our customs, our traditions, our character. One of these traditions is our food and drink.

  • A very, very carbon-neutral Christmas

    By RICH LOWRY
    Special to Roane County News
    The great Christmas-tree debate should be settled for now.

    No more agonizing over artificial versus natural, not after the sustainable-development firm ellipsos released a bombshell study.