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Columns

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET:We must defend our common tongue, English

    Gentle reader, let us turn our attention briefly to a topic about which we have written sporadically over the past few decades, viz. our common language, and the undermining thereof: This topic came to the fore in our mind as a result of the coverage of the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium.

  • OFF the CUFF: A promise is a promise, August and November

    Have you ever seen anything like this year’s presidential
    races?

    The frontrunner on one side tweets a photo of his wife juxtapositioned with that of his closest rival, as if they were comparing race horses.

    On the other side, the lead candidate is the center of an investigation that includes, according to one news agency’s accounts, almost 150 FBI agents.

    And that’s just in the past week, folks.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: The Roane County Bar as it was, Part Five

    As promised at the conclusion of last week’s article about the Rockwood contingent of the Roane County Bar, as it was when I first came to the Bar in March, 1959, this week I turn to Floyd Hutcherson, with another chapter to be devoted to McCluen and Cooley.

    Floyd Hutcherson was born and bred in Rockwood. His father owned and operated Hutch’s Garage at the corner of Front Street and Rockwood Street. It was doubtless there that Floyd began his life-long love affair with the automobile, about which more later.

  • OFF the CUFF: We live amongst girls basketball greatness

    How ’bout them Lady Devils and Lady Waves?!?

    I’ll be the first to admit that sports and me are like oil and water. But girls basketball tournament time is a cause to celebrate.

    What an outstanding season Midway has had. Abby Bertram has no clue who I am, but I’ve been one of her biggest fans from the get-go.

    She and her fellow Lady Waves have a lot to be proud of. They have accomplished so much this season.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: The Roane County Bar as it was. Part Four

    Gentle reader, after a two week hiatus in which I felt compelled to comment first on Dunderheadedness in Nashville and Washington, D.C., and then upon the loss of three friends in recent months, namely Doug Black, Barbara Hurst Roberts, and Jim Young, I am now ready to resume the story of the status of the Roane County Bar as it was when I joined in March, 1959.

    I have previously written a general introductory piece, followed by two chapters devoted to the Harriman Bar. I now propose to move on to what was at the time the second city in the county, Rockwood.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

    Gentle reader, if you are a long-time reader of this column, you know that I, the old curmudgeon, am a survivor, a carry-over, as it were, of a bygone age, from a bygone culture.

    One might in fact fairly characterize me as a relic with a high degree of accuracy.

    It occurred to me recently that one aspect that may more clearly demonstrate the truthfulness of this analysis than any other is my attitude towards death, and the cultural accompaniments society has from time to time affixed to, and shedded from, this inevitable human experience.

  • From the COUNTY: Private-sector investments in community

    We posed the question in the past few articles of “Where Do You Want to Go?”

    We also addressed various government projects at the federal, state and local levels which reflect what the governments are doing that impact our direction.

    This article deals with what we see as the direction the private sector is taking our community.

    Before going into the discussion where the private sector is taking us, let us restate the several available community options.

    • A bedroom community — A community where Roane Countians live but work in another county.

  • OFF the CUFF: Ten-Dollar Founding Father gift is a lot of Hams

    I want tickets to see “Hamilton” for my upcoming real birthday.

    For those of you not in the know, I’m that rarity whose birthday falls on Feb. 29. Which means this year’s age is divisible by four, but that’s all I’m disclosing.

    Unfortunately, it might take until Feb. 29, 2020, to realize this year’s birthday wish.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: The Roane County Bar as it was, Part Two

    Gentle reader, as promised last week, we continue with our recollections of the membership of the Bar as it was when I was admitted to it in March of 1959.

    My intention from the time I first resolved to pursue the law was to open an office and establish a general practice in Harriman as soon as I could, however it was not until some six months after I was admitted that I was able actually to open my first office on the second floor of Mrs. Edington’s building at 416 Roane Street, up the street from the bank, and down the street from the post office.

  • From the EDITOR’S Desk: Body cams tell us part of the story

    Video from a body camera of a Rockwood police officer recently made the news when a former Roane State basketball player filed a $1.2 million lawsuit against the city of Rockwood alleging violation of his rights and excessive use of force.

    The plaintiff in the case is using the video as evidence that he did not attack the officer before he was detained.

    I’ve watched the video. It does not show the officer being attacked. It does show the plaintiff did not fully cooperate with the officer.