Harmony and Hymns III

Jeannette Thomas and Joyce Clark preparing for a mission trip to Appalachia, courtesy of David and Melba Hill

Harmony and Hymns III

By Ralphine Major Margie and Walter Maples shared one experience that stands out in TOTS’ memory when they participated in one of the Appalachian Enterprise mission trips to needy areas led by Mrs. Jeannette Thomas. This particular two-day mission was to a small church in the coal mining area of West Virginia. Somehow, communications with […]

Harmony and Hymns

Harmony and Hymns

By Ralphine Major The new gospel singing group that Walter Maples helped to start in 2004 needed a name. They were all choir members, but no longer all members of the late Charlie Hatchett’s department. Thus, the inspirational group “The Old Time Singers” or TOTS was formed. TOTS originally began with Dorothy Johnson, soprano; Mary […]

Harmony and Hymns by the TOTS

Harmony and Hymns by the TOTS

By Ralphine Major You may be one of the Focus readers who has been privileged to hear them sing in one of the more than 175 churches or assisted living facilities over the years.  I have always known them as “The TOTS,” an acronym for “The Old Time Singers,”— though they have playfully said it […]

Easter Blessings

Easter Blessings

By Ralphine Major Mother Nature is putting on a show!  She is covering winter’s drab canvas by weaving a tapestry of beauty.  Only days from the official start of spring, the earth is bursting forth with new life and new growth.  Driving down the highway, we seemed to be surrounded by vibrant green fields, yellow […]

Presidential Character

Presidential Character

By Ralphine Major The professor’s timing is perfect!  In the midst of a presidential election, the release of his book entitled “Presidential Character” is sure to spark enthusiasm for our nation’s highest office.  Timothy D. Holder, Knoxville resident and Professor of History at Walters State, talks about the first six presidents of the United States […]

Connecting With Words

By Ralphine Major ralphine3@yahoo.com The package arrived shortly before Christmas.  Certainly, the sender had made it look special in a “Peanuts” mailer.  When I tore into it, it was special!  Three framed photos.  Instantly, my mind drifted back to the day they were made.  Several years ago I had the opportunity to audio tape a […]

Hannah Delk, Talented Young Artist

By Ralphine Major She is nineteen years old, but already talented beyond her years.  She is a native of North Knoxville and attended Inskip Elementary, Gresham Middle, and Central High Schools.  She specializes in drawing portraits of people.  It could be said that Hannah Delk gets her artistic ability from her mother, Denise, who has […]

I See… Love

By Ralphine Major When I look at them, I see compassion. Dedication. Respect.  I  see comfort. Contentment. Devotion.  I see smiles. Laughter. And love. Larry Bohanan snapped this picture of Jim and Lib McCluskey at Wallace Memorial Baptist Church last December.   As Pastor Emeritus, Jim had given the opening remarks for The Living Christmas Tree.  […]

Prof Loy

By Ralphine Major It hangs in a special place as an inspiration to others.  The diploma is from Tennessee State Normal School, which today is known as East Tennessee State University in Johnson City.  It is a reminder of someone whose life influenced so many during their school days.  He was long-time educator Harvey Gibson […]

Enjoying the Snow

By Ralphine Major It can often provide a time of quiet reflection—the first snowfall of winter.  The sight of snowflakes drifting aimlessly to the ground creates a sense of wonder for all ages.  Its presence slows the pace of ordinary days and brings a beauty to the barren land.  A single snowflake is barely noticed; […]