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Columns

  • IMPRESSIONS: A country boy can survive – even in D.C.

    “George and Gwen Kellerman live in the small, quiet town of Twin Oaks, Ohio, with their two young children and pet dog. George has a strong sense of what is right and wrong, especially as it applies to himself and Gwen, but he still looks to her for validation.”

    Sound like something out of our lives right here in Roane County?

    Good people grounded in what really matters … family.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Gold rush: Heading into the hills to find it

    If any wildflower deserves a fan club, it is solidago. And I would fight like a dog to be the president of it.
    I thought as much as I took the winding roads up Roan Mountain over the long weekend.
    My mother and I had abandoned our plans to swim at Indian Boundary Lake (too chilly that day), and instead made the drive to upper East Tennessee.
    We stopped at the Gray Fossil Site near Johnson City, took the tour and marveled over the many magnificent prehistoric animals that once walked the earth there.

  • A View From Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    Gentle reader, our nation is troubled, it is divided, it seems to have lost its way, but there are solutions that should alleviate some of this national distress, however we must recognize with some degree of accuracy what the problems are, before we can hope to resolve them.
    Unfortunately, in the present atmosphere, when we are beset by a tribe of screamers, and scammers, disciples of the faith of political correctness, and supposed wise men besotted with ignorance, arrogance, and self delusion, it is indeed difficult to spy the trees for the surrounding forest.

  • IMPRESSIONS: Have an idea for our website? Please share

    We’ve been kicking the tires on our new Internet platform over the past couple of weeks.

    And thanks to loyal readers like you, we’re already finding ways to improve it.

    If you haven’t had a chance to knock around the site, go to www.roanecounty.com at your earliest convenience.

    We believe you will like what you see.

    Previously we loaded only select news and sports stories along with our obituaries every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

    We would occasionally also scoop our print edition with breaking news and photos.

  • A View From Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen

    By one of those curious coincidences that sometimes somewhat eerily occur, last Friday’s News had our column titled “Are we confronting a new age of ignorance,” while on the same page, in the “Our Readers Write” section, appeared a letter which just dovetailed with our thesis concerning the current plethora of ignorance in the populace at large, and in some elements who claim to know better.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Imagine being a child with no solid footing

    I once worked at a Midwest newspaper with a young woman named Betsy. She was gentle and exceptionally shy for a reporter.
    After I had gotten to know her better, she told me she had grown up in the foster system. Suddenly I understood her unsureness and mannerisms — the way she protectively held her hand in front of her mouth when she spoke.
    We never talked in detail about her life in foster care, but I feel sure some of her experiences were not good ones.

  • IMPRESSIONS: Rebel Johnny's biker days have long roared past

    Harold Ray Lester, 74, died Friday at his home in Seymour.
    It’s been something in the neighborhood of five or six years since I last visited with him while we were standing in a grocery store checkout line.
    I’m going to miss him.
    Apparently, so are many of our friends here in Roane County.
    You see, across his three score and 14, in one way or another he touched several of our lives.
    If you caught one of my recent blogs on roanecounty.com, you’re well aware of the “six degrees of separation” concept.

  • IMPRESSIONS: Technology – but with a beautiful smile

    Time was I was the son setting the time on my dad’s VCR.

    The worm, as they say, has turned.

    Let’s just say I’ve been humbled more times than I ought to admit in recent months by my techno-savvy kid.

    First, it was the VCR/DVD burner combo Santa brought us.

    At least I could set the clock. But that was about it.

    After re-reading the instructions for something like the millionth time, I gave up and asked my son for help.

    In about 10 seconds, he had everything talking to the TV.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Civilogues unite! We can make a difference

    A lot of colorful linguistic hybrids — portanteaus, if we must get technical about these accordion phrases — have emerged in recent times. Some that have been difficult to escape are:

    • Staycation: Vacationing close to home because travel is expensive in tough economic times.

    • Frenemy: A friend, partner or ally who is also a competitor or rival.

    • Brangelina: I don’t even want to go there on this one.

    I came across a new hybrid recently that I have readily embraced: civilogue.