Generous Donor Gives the Gift of Reading

  By Ralphine Major “The staff and I feel that Corryton Elementary School is quite possibly the best kept secret in Knox County,” Principal Aaron Maddox said about the rural school that sits at the base of House Mountain in the northeast part of the county. As I stepped through the doorway of the […]

Merry Christmas!

By Ralphine Major “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear […]

The Farmer

Beloved Country Doctor, part 6   By Ralphine Major He grew up on a farm in Grainger County, Tennessee.  He worked on the farm at Lincoln Memorial University while getting his college degree.  It is not surprising to learn that Dr. Alvis David Simmons never lost his love of the land and farming even after […]

Beloved Country Doctor, part 5 Healing Hands

By Ralphine Major Most people knew him as “the doctor.” But outside of work, Dr. A.D. Simmons was a husband and father. Sylvia Simmons Babelay is the oldest of the four Simmons children and shares fascinating memories about A. D. Simmons, the father. “I always remember Dad working hard to be a good father, so […]

Home for Thanksgiving

  By Ralphine Major We named them Caesar and Cleo. The playful pups would often take a running leap and jump into the pond. While they had the markings of a black Doberman pinscher, they were not registered. Caesar was given to a friend who lost his Doberman. Cleo stayed with us. It mattered not […]

Being Thankful Every Day

  By Ralphine Major We live in America. We have so much to be thankful for as the long-awaited Thanksgiving holiday approaches once again. Too often, it is easy to take for granted the privileges we enjoy and even those we hold most dear. It is so important for our nation and her people […]

Beloved Country Doctor, Part 4

By Ralphine Major A journey that began in rural East Tennessee led the aspiring doctor far from his Grainger County home. It was during the early 1930s when Alvis David Simmons enrolled at The University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis. While there, Simmons often rode in an ambulance up and down the famous Beale […]

Beloved Country Doctor, Part 3

By Ralphine Major “When he was at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU), he was able to run track.  He ran so fast, he was nicknamed Phantom,” Rada said.  She was referring to her father, the late Dr. A. D. Simmons, who would eventually become the only medical doctor in the Corryton Community. “He worked every day […]

Beloved Country Doctor, Part 2

By Ralphine Major He was the only doctor in our rural community; he was kind; and he was Rada’s dad. Rada was my childhood friend from first grade through high school. The country doctor’s qualifications were sufficient for me. Now, it is truly fascinating to learn from Rada and her siblings about the challenges and […]

Beloved Country Doctor

By Ralphine Major It was on a Sunday morning at church when she became sick.  It had been a difficult pregnancy.  The young couple left church and headed up the highway to the doctor’s home. The year was 1954, and Dr. A. D. Simmons was a young, country doctor.  The Grainger County native had a […]

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