Happy Presidents’ Day!

By Ralphine Major The writing on the name tags does not show, but the silhouettes on the tags bear resemblance to the former presidents whose birthdays we celebrate in February.  Years ago, our mother usually baked a cherry pie on February 22 for Washington’s birthday and rolled up a Lincoln Log Cake on February 12 […]

Cardiac Friends

By Ralphine Major It started with “The Real McCoy.”  My first column was about Dr. Kyle McCoy, our mother’s cardiologist.  The time we spent in cardiac rehab after her heart attack in 2007 gave us valuable insight on heart disease, but a side benefit was even greater—treasured friendships. Rolland and Marjorie Trask, best known as […]

Miss Brunetta

By Ralphine Major ralphine3@yahoo.com She may have been best known as a fourth grade teacher at Gibbs Elementary School. I knew who she was because our father had her as a teacher. Brunetta Sharp graduated from Gibbs High School and The University of Tennessee and enjoyed a long career at Gibbs Elementary. Teaching was her […]

Joe Drafts, World Geography Teacher and Weather Predictor

By Ralphine Major In 1972, I am not sure I had even heard of a meteorologist, though we did have weather forecasters on the evening news.  For snow predictions, Gibbs High School students could count on someone else.  We had Mr. Drafts!  Joe Drafts was the World Geography teacher at our small, rural school.  I […]

25 Years Ago: The Blizzard of ‘93

By Ralphine Major I am not sure if anyone saw it coming.  As I recall, there was nothing unusual about the forecast for snow during the winter of ‘93.  It will be 25 years ago this coming March since the Blizzard of ‘93 struck our nation, causing death and destruction and paralyzing everyone in its […]

Remembering the East Tennessee Chest Disease Hospital

By Ralphine Major Shaped like a crescent moon, the big tan building set atop a hill at the end of a long driveway on Tazewell Pike in northeast Knox County. Originally known as the Beverly Hills TB Sanitorium and later the East Tennessee Tuberculosis Hospital, the facility’s main purpose was to treat tuberculosis patients. The […]

Brrrrrr!!!

By Ralphine Major It is definitely winter!  Much of the nation—including the South—has seen frigid temperatures the last few days.  Even some parts of the Southeast which seldom see snow, such as Georgia and Florida, are experiencing record snowfalls.  Many schools are closed, as children can be seen sledding, throwing snowballs, and building snowmen.  Some […]

Hello, 2018!

By Ralphine Major The gifts are unwrapped, Christmas trees are coming down, and decorations are being put away for another year.  Family celebrations of Christ’s birthday have ended as the new year begins.  2018 brings a new year full of promise, New Year’s resolutions, opportunity, challenge, and adventure.  Hopefully, 2018 will not be filled with […]

A Favorite Christmas Memory

By Ralphine Major Do you have a favorite Christmas memory? Perhaps, it is your loved ones sitting around the dining room table on Christmas Day or family members gathered around the Christmas tree opening gifts. By the time Focus readers see this column, Christmas Day will have come to a close. But, our favorite memories […]

Merry Christmas!

By Ralphine Major It is a favorite among the Christmas songs—”The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”  It’s true.  The words that Andy Williams made so popular at Christmas time carry so much meaning.  Folks seem friendlier, days seem brighter, and moods seem lighter.  Joy abounds all around us. 2017 brought to us an eventful […]

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