Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

By Ralphine Major ralphine3@yahoo.com Signs are all around us.  The fall season is gradually disappearing.  Football games and fall festivals are winding down.  Colder temperatures are showing up.  The leaves are reaching their peak, finally turning from summer green to red, orange, and yellow.  By the time this column is printed, daylight savings time will […]

Change at the Crossroads

By Ralphine Major At times, it is hard to remember what the landscape was like before the much needed red lights. For years, it seemed nothing changed at the four-way stop at Harbison’s Crossroads. Our school bus ride always passed by the late Neva Cardwell’s home on the right before reaching the crossroads. Mrs. Cardwell […]

Congressman Duncan, Public Servant

By Ralphine Major “May I help you?” I asked. “Hello.  I’m Jim Duncan, Mr. Duncan’s son,” he said while extending his hand. I was working that summer as an intern in the late Congressman John J. Duncan’s Knoxville office.  After classes ended for this college freshman, I walked from the University of Tennessee (UT) campus […]

Merle The ‘Okie from Muskogee’

By Ralphine Major I got as close to the stage as I could and snapped a photo with my instamatic camera.  In those days, I do not think I had even heard of a camera with a telephoto lens or zoom feature.  Satisfied that I had captured the image on film, I returned to my […]

The Front Porch

By Ralphine Major A mere mention of the place can bring to mind childhood memories and special times, though there was a time when its popularity seemed to fade.  The architecture of ranch-style homes and others nearly eliminated the front porch as many of us remember it.  Today, the front porch seems to be making […]

Don Williams

By Ralphine Major There were no flashing lights, little fanfare, and barely any movement on stage.  The simple setting seemed to match the artist and his music. It was during the seventies and eighties.  Usually, I preferred another record album over concert tickets.  But, I had a change of heart when Don Williams came to […]

Family

By Ralphine Major They are considered among our most prized possessions.  Whether in formal settings or candid snapshots, family photos are treasures that are to be enjoyed again and again.  They are reminders of special times in our lives and places we have been along life’s journey. The McGinnis family photo in this column shows […]

From rural high school graduate to retired university dean

By Ralphine Major The power of a printed paper!  Distributed weekly, the far-reaching impact of The Knoxville Focus is remarkable.  Through it, I have been connected to people I never knew and reconnected to others with whom I had lost touch.  Perry and Carol McGinnis fall into the first category. It was after I started […]

Americans helping one another

By Ralphine Major The heart-wrenching images are humbling.  Just days after the historic eclipse, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and later Louisiana.  Though it had been predicted, the scenes are staggering.  Record rainfall has turned roadways into rivers, covered cars completely, and ruined thousands of homes.  The magnitude of destruction has been overwhelming to watch. First […]

A Sweet Spot in Madisonville

By Ralphine Major ralphine3@yahoo.com A trip to the Knoxville Zoo sounded like fun—especially on the day of the much publicized eclipse!  Driving to the sweet spot of Sweetwater, Tennessee, would involve too much traffic.  Besides, Charlie and Barbara wanted to observe the animals’ behavior under unusual circumstances. But, the Lovells’ close-knit family turned the historic […]