Unforgettable Moments in a Young Family’s Life

By Ralphine Major ralphine3@yahoo.com This column is a milestone—No. 300! In writing each week for the Focus, I have been so blessed to reconnect with “old” friends and meet new ones. A review of pending topics for my true, human-interest stories turned up another segment on the first dentist from Gibbs High School and his […]

Old-Timers’ Day at Clear Springs

By Ralphine Major There is a message before you even enter:  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.  The words of Galations 5:22-23, known as the fruit of the Spirit, are engraved in the building at the church’s entrance. Several members of Clear Springs Baptist Church invited us to join their celebration on […]

Gibbs High School Foundation holding fundraiser

By Ralphine Major I recognize many of the names on the list.  They have long been a part of the Gibbs, Corryton, and Ritta Communities:  Gary Acuff (vice president), Mary Brooks, Teresa Beason, Smiley Clapp, Dana Dalton (secretary), Mark Field, Jimmy Hipshire, Rebecca Longmire, Roy Mullins (president), Richard Schulz (treasurer), James Spears, and Jason Webster […]

65 Years for The Mynatts!

By Ralphine Major Sixty-five years is a major milestone for any occasion!  Emerson and Cecil (Welch) Mynatt of Halls were married in 1951.  On Labor Day Weekend, their family surprised them with an anniversary celebration at the Chop House in Fountain City. These days, it is quite an ordeal to get the family all together. […]

Corryton’s Tony Karnes

By Ralphine Major A magnolia tree was planted in his memory at the high school, and there is a marker near it to honor him. Tony Karnes was a Gibbs High School graduate who tragically lost his life on one of our nation’s saddest days. As millions of Americans went about their daily lives on […]

‘The Standard’

By Ralphine Major It was 1947 when an 18-year-old student graduated from Halls High School in Halls Crossroads, Tennessee.  He found his first job in downtown Knoxville at the Standard Knitting Mills.  Eugene (Gene) Harrington would spend the next 42 years at “The Standard.”  It was the only place he ever worked. “He loved the […]


By Ralphine Major As we each worked to make the most of our “wait” time, the gentleman sitting beside me commented on our different backgrounds. He was a psychologist, the lady across from us was a teacher, and I was a writer. The psychologist went on to tell about the various livelihoods of people he […]

The Knisley Family (Part 2)

By Ralphine Major Jeff and Orlena Knisley were parents to sixteen children, fourteen of whom survived into adulthood.  I knew several of the Knisley siblings from my earliest memories at Fairview Baptist Church.  They held leadership roles in many areas of the church. Clifford Knisley worked in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  He started the Royal Ambassador  […]

It’s No. 76 for The Knisleys!

By Ralphine Major They moved from Union County to Knox County in 1912 and joined Fairview Baptist Church in Corryton, Tennessee.  The Knisley family began a long association with the church and community.  Since that time, there have been children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren who have continuously attended Fairview Baptist.  Today, the Knisley family numbers into […]

The Grainger County Tomato Festival in Rutledge, Tennessee

By Ralphine Major It is a bright-red fruit that has drawn thousands to Grainger County, Tennessee, for the past 24 years!  The Grainger County tomato has a very unique and wonderful taste.  Absolutely delicious!!  A pleasant drive up Emory Road showcased the beautiful East Tennessee mountains in the distance, often draped in an early morning […]

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