Tag Archives: Tennessee

Remembering the Schoolhouse(s) Known as “Bell Ridge” in the Morrison City area of North Kingsport, Tennessee

There are three main places where children form their identity (or at least they used to): 1. Their home, 2. Their church, and 3. Their school. Bell Ridge Elementary was a school built to serve people of the northwest corner … Continue reading

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A Song of Unity from Long Ago

A man was enjoying the freedom found in the wilderness of the young nation of America. He was living any way he wanted to, not having a moral compass, but doing what he wanted, when he wanted, regardless of any … Continue reading

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Three Kings in Memphis

Several years ago I traveled to the big city of Memphis to embark on an educational journey.  Wanting to obtain a doctor of ministry, I had looked at different schools in different places, and pondered a variety of programs.  I … Continue reading

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The State of Franklin: Freedom’s Frontier

I was born within the environs of what historians call the “Lost State of Franklin.”  This fleeting governmental boundary was composed of lands lying to the west of present day North Carolina, in the valleys of the great western waters … Continue reading

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What’s in a Name? Communities and the People Who Have Passed This Way, Part One

What folks will call these places in coming years and centuries, we know not. But one thing is certain, the naming of a place gives it identity and reminds us that others have been here before us. Continue reading

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When Full Service No Longer Referred to the Gas Station

I went off with my grandfather to the stock yard one Saturday and when we came back we noticed they had placed a trailer in the middle of the new lot, thrown some gravel in front of it and put up one of those little rented lit signs with movable letters. Welcome the “Magic Fingers Massage Parlor.” Continue reading

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Reflections on Appalachia, Part One: Mountaineers are Always Free!

I am taken with the stories of the settlement of my home region in the early history of the United States.  The mountains became a home of hope for many who were getting away from something worse somewhere else.  Their … Continue reading

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Faces from the Past: A Minister in the Family

Mammaw Scott always wanted a preacher in the family.  She wanted it so bad she dedicated her seventh child to the Lord, praying that he would become a preacher.  He grew up and worked for IBM. But there was a … Continue reading

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Of Limbs and Leaves, and the Design of Life

One of the advantages of fall is that you get to see the structure of trees.  In summer the branches are hidden by the luscious green foliage.  But as autumn brings the brilliant colors out of the leaves, one by … Continue reading

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Faces from the Past: Smith and Related Lines

My maternal grandfather was a Smith.  Smith is about as common as sedge grass, so it is important to be more descriptive.  I see this line as the humble side of our family, (although there are exceptions to that rule). … Continue reading

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