Lesa K. Smith pens ‘Love Letters to America’

By Ralphine Major “Heart to heart with God, surrounded by His capable hands, is a place of peace, rest and comfort for the weary.”  This is one of many inspirational thoughts found in Knoxville native Lesa K. Smith’s “Love Letters to America.” The book is somewhat of a road map for life, covering a wide […]


It is a very important act of honor and respect.  I have seen it shown countless times in the news.  Usually, it is the United States President placing a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  I was amazed to learn that a young man from Tennessee was chosen to participate in this special […]

Happy 90th Birthday, Maxine!

By Ralphine Major “I was a coal miner’s daughter,” she told me, “like Loretta Lynn.”  But this coal miner’s daughter is from Tennessee.  Maxine Washington celebrated her 90th birthday on Sunday, October 26, 2014, at Wallace Memorial Baptist Church where she has been a member since 1960.  She joined one year after Dr. Jim McCluskey […]

Super Subs: Steve Wilson, Part III

By Ralphine Major “He definitely left a legacy of kindness in this world,” she told me. She is Carly—the daughter of the late Steve Wilson who played for Bob Dagley’s 1964-65 Eagles. Carly was only four and one-half months old when her father passed away. “I never had the chance to know my dad,” Carly said. […]

Super Subs: Steve Wilson (Part II)

By Ralphine Major He is the only player on Bob Dagley’s 1964-65 basketball team at Gibbs I did not get to meet.  Steve Wilson’s untimely death at age 36 in 1985 left a void on the squad that once numbered eleven. Wilson worked at Coastal Supply Company and attended Fairview Baptist Church in Corryton.  Steve […]

The Fleeting Fall

By Ralphine Major She arrived a few days ago, but Mother Nature has not yet presented her in full splendor.  Just before she came, East Tennesseans celebrated the start of another school year and the Tennessee Valley Fair with cotton candy, crafts, candied apples, rides, and animals.  September also brought the harvest moon and hot […]


By Ralphine Major I do not remember why we named her Bonnie, but the name seemed to fit.  Someone gave her to us.  I am not sure why they did not want to keep her.  She was a pretty little beagle, and she was always happy.  Our father liked beagles, and our family fell in […]

Super Subs: Steve Wilson

By Ralphine Major For a small, rural Knox County school, Bob Dagley’s roster for the 1964-65 Gibbs Eagles’ basketball team was loaded with talent.  While the starters may have led the way for the Eagles, Dagley is quick to praise the efforts of those super subs who could step in at crucial times when the […]

Super Subs: Charlie Ballard

By Ralphine Major Several of the players who helped Bob Dagley’s Gibbs Eagles achieve a 31-2 record in 1964-65 played a major role in several games when called upon, though their time to excel actually came the following year.  One of those players is Charlie Ballard. Charlie was one of the juniors on the team.  […]

Super Subs IV: Mike Graves

By Ralphine Major Mike Graves, who played on Robert Dagley’s ‘64-65 Gibbs basketball team, graduated from Lincoln Memorial University with a degree in Education.  He has worked at Performance Food Group for the last 20 years.  His wife, Karen, worked in retail at J. C. Penney as a Furniture Specialist, as a merchandiser for Playtex, […]

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