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Columns

  • A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    Regular reader, you will recall that in the column entitled “Social Security not to blame for deficit or debt”, published 19 November, we wrote at length on the fact that the Social Security programme does not contribute to the deficit nor to the debt, and explained how the so-called “Unified Budget” caused many to be confused about this fact.

  • IMPRESSIONS: Your gift buying can be present to community

    We’re slipping, sliding and rolling headlong into the holiday season.
    Let’s make sure as many of our friends as possible grab onto a piece of the Yuletide spirit!
    Mother Nature is cooperating.
    Our recent dustings of snow certainly got me in the mood.
    Shoot, one morning I stood quietly in the parking lot well before sunrise and savored the tiny flakes falling from the heavens.

  • A View from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    Gentle reader, there comes a time when repeating oneself is no longer repetition but instead 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: Who has rocks in their head? Probably me

    When my youngest brother, Rick, was in the first grade, and I was in the sixth, his teacher tapped on my classroom door and called me into the hall.

    Rick hovered behind her.

    She opened her palm, revealing an impressive pebble. I say impressive, because she said it came from Rick’s nose.

    “He says he didn’t put it in there,” the teacher said.

    I stared at her a minute, wondering if she had rocks in her head, then pulled Rick aside.

  • IMPRESSIONS: The Shadow knows ... what gift to get his wife

    Ages ago, Santa brought me one of the most wonderful Christmas presents.
    Actually, I’m pretty certain he had some help from the cutest elf ever to work in his toy shop at the North Pole.
    Most times my darling wife, who happens to be height-challenged because she stands several snowflakes shy of 4 feet, 11 inches, would take offense to being referred to as an elf.
    But when we tear off the November calendar and start marking up December, well, she turns into one of Santa’s most energetic helpers.

  • A View From Lick Skillet: On friends and neighbors past and present

    By Gerald Largen

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Facing winter with a warm glow -- for now

    Last Sunday evening, in the warm company of friends, I realized what I like best about winter.

    Friends Steve and Helen, who live on the edge of Catoosa Ridge, had cooked up a big pot of Mexican hominy stew and issued an all-call to their friends.

    Later, on their deck, the group of us admired the bare and twisted chestnut oak that dominates their viewshed and then turned a telescope up to the heavens to marvel at the moons of Jupiter.

  • IMPRESSIONS: Having 30 years of marriage to be thankful for

    I read recently that a national poll revealed a disturbing trend — at least to me. Apparently, nearly 40 percent of Americans say marriage is “obsolete.”
    Say what?
    For decades nearly half of all marriages have ended in divorce.
    But for an almost equal number of respondents to say the state of holy matri-mony is dead on arrival.
    I can’t imagine ever not being married.
    I met the love of my life when I was 19. I’m 51 now.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Funny what you see on a long, dark highway

    I’ve been on the road a bit lately — trips that involve night driving on miles of two-lane highways. I couldn’t help but notice the light glowing from the windows of houses scattered along the way.

    And in noticing, landscape features faded and years slipped away.

    I was a kid again, riding in a car down U.S. 41 to see my father’s people.

  • Here’s your opportunity to REACH out and help

    In one of his many post-game interviews Saturday afternoon Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley summed things up: “We made some special plays.”
    Indeed, something special happened at Neyland Stadium on homecoming week-end.
    The Vols literally came out of nowhere, put together their best effort of the year and waxed the University of Mississippi, 52-14.
    The 6,000 or so no-shows missed a huge opportunity to be present and hear “Rocky Top” played more than it has all season.