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Columns

  • IMPRESSIONS: A little literacy and a big ol' Hokie gobble

    My colleagues are having way too much fun with me these days.

    One even spun and shared an exaggerated tale turned urban legend based on some sketchy information he received following a recent project I worked on in Annapolis, Md.

    For some strange reason, his version of the story suggested I single-handedly wrecked a major system at our big newspaper up there.

    Shoot, all I was trying to do was scope out some equipment we want to give a new home here.

  • LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Good things, indeed, can come from bad

    I’m a firm believer in acknowledging our problems. I believe ignoring things only allows them to fester or blow up.

    The good news is, serious concerns, when addressed, can turn into something really positive.

    Case in point: the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    Did you know that those soaring mountains we all hold dear were on the verge of ruin through logging and poor farm management?

    In the 1920s, people started reacting to the threat, and against the odds, the national park was born.

  • Employment figure impact depends on perspective

    Perceptive reader, you know that perspective is vitally important in matters of art.

    It was the discovery of perspective and the means of rendering it in two-dimensional art that made early Renaissance painting in Italy so outstanding.

    Well, perspective is also important in many other things than painting and photography; to demonstrate, consider how large our planet earth is to us who live upon it, but consider how relatively small it appears from the space station, and how smaller yet it appears from the surface of the moon.

  • 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.