Growth of Knox County Under First County Executive

(Part 10 in series on Dwight Kessel) By Ralphine Major He was first elected as Knoxville City Councilman in 1963, served as Knox County Clerk from 1966-1980, and became the first Knox County Executive (County Mayor) in 1980. Dwight Kessel’s 14 years as Knox County Executive brought significant results to the citizens of Knox […]

Boots, Baton, and The Pageant!

(Part 9 in Dwight Kessel series) By Ralphine Major “Why did you twirl fire?” my mother asked looking at the picture. “My teacher’s idea,” I replied. My unlikely bond with the baton had started nearly a year earlier when my brother decided the trumpet was not a good fit for him; he claimed my […]

The Madness of March!

By Ralphine Major It’s back! For the first time in two years, fans are able to see basketball teams compete in the NCAA Tournaments. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, tournaments were canceled in 2020. Tennessee is my team! Unfortunately, the VOLS and Lady VOLS are out of the tournaments. I may not remember the teams […]

‘We first met at the pageant’

By Ralphine Major Those words spoken by Dwight Kessel sparked a search through my years of keepsakes. I found the pageant booklet, Knoxville’s Jr. Miss Pageant 1971; a photo of me in the evening gown my mother had made; and the talent picture of me onstage at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium twirling a fire baton. […]

Easter Always Offers Hope

By Ralphine Major “You see lots of Easter bunnies and candies in stores but not much pertaining to Christ,” a lady told my brother recently.  On my next trip to the store, I remembered what she had said and paid particular attention to the merchandise.  Upon entering, there was a table with lots of religious […]

Here comes Spring!

  By Ralphine Major Click!  The cluster of yellow flowers were safely stored in my camera.  It seemed like only yesterday I was tramping through the beautiful Christmas Eve snowfall to capture images of the winter wonderland before it disappeared.  The colorful daffodils shown here against some leftover leaves of fall are among the first […]

Attorney Creed Allen Daniel: ‘One of a Kind’

By Ralphine Major He was inducted into the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame in 2015 and one of only six male lawyers in the State of Tennessee to receive this prestigious honor.  A well-known lawyer in Grainger County, he is Attorney Creed Allen Daniel. When Creed Daniel’s younger brother, Zane, opened a law office […]

Time Spent at Chapman Drug

(Part 7 in series on Dwight Kessel) By Ralphine Major Dwight Kessel’s father-in-law, Dr. Edgar L. Grubb, bought Chapman Drug Company from the estate of Col. David Chapman in 1946.  (Col. Chapman was in the forefront of establishing the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and Chapman Highway was named in his honor.) “In 1956, my […]

The Basketball World is Still Backing Pat

By Ralphine Major It is always heartening to see.  An entire week in women’s basketball is designated for teams to wear tee shirts with their team colors.  Every shirt bears the same message: “We Back Pat.”  The carefully chosen words reference the overwhelming support of legendary Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt who lost her […]

The real McCoy

By Ralphine Major February, the “heart” month that emphasizes the importance of heart health. My first story printed in this weekly column was about this very subject. On February 7, 2011, “The Real McCoy” was published in The Focus sharing about our mother’s cardiologist, Dr. Kyle McCoy. That was ten years and 500 columns […]

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