Don’t let hate win

By John J Duncan Jr. As almost all readers of The Focus know, I grew up in a political family. I went to the Knoxville airport for a rally for the Nixon-Lodge ticket a week before the 1960 Presidential election and followed that campaign closely. In 1963, when I was 16, I worked in my […]

Living in the USA

By John Duncan Jr. Several years ago, I attended a meeting in a small but ornate room on the first floor of the Capitol just below the House floor. This room was called the “Board of Education” by Sam Rayburn, the longest serving speaker of the House. He used the room to have drinks with […]

Memories of Earl Weaver

By John J. Duncan Jr. Even some of the best sports fans in this area do not know that Earl Weaver started his Hall of Fame career as a baseball manager for the Knoxville Smokies. And the agreement that started it took place on the patio of Holston Hills Club in a meeting between my […]

Libraries and theaters

By John J. Duncan Jr. My wife has told me more than once “No more books,” because my offices and our homes have always been filled with books.  But I love to read. She has told me more than once that I am the “most boring person” with whom to take a vacation.  She is […]

Regas Restaurant

By John J. Duncan Jr. A little over 43 years ago, I met a young and beautiful woman at Regas Restaurant who a few months later became my wife, Lynn. Several of the most important events in my life took place at that great restaurant. Lynn was one of the best waitresses Regas ever had, […]

September 11, 2001

  By John J. Duncan Jr. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I was in my office in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington when Bert Robinson, a member of my staff from Athens, opened the door and told me to turn on the television because a plane had just crashed into the […]

Coronavirus Is Bad, But Have We Over-Reacted?

By John J. Duncan Jr. During the 1957-58 flu season, I was in the fifth grade at Chillhowee School in East Knoxville, there was a worldwide pandemic then that originated in China called the Asian flu. Both the US and world populations were only a little over 60% of today’s figures, but the CDC estimated […]

Everything looks easy from a distance

Everything looks easy from a distance

By John J. Duncan Jr. Everything looks easy from a distance My friend, Ray Hill, who writes a great political history column for this newspaper, told me several years ago that I won the lottery with my parents. I had never thought of it in that way, but I really liked what he said, […]

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