Growing Up in Logan County, WV

(Part 3 in series on Dwight Kessel) By Ralphine Major Like many in his generation, Wallace Dwight Kessel faced hard times during his growing up years. “During the depression, a lot of people came up with ideas on how to make money.  I remember wash board bands performing on the store porch from time to […]

Growing Up in Logan County, WV

By Ralphine Major (Part 2 in series on Dwight Kessel) He was born on a cold, rainy and snowy Saturday night in a four-room coal company house in Dehue, Logan County, West Virginia.  On November 27, 1926, Wallace Dwight Kessel was the first child born to Wayne McCormick Kessel and Edith Shumate Kessel.  “Being born […]

The Daniel Boys

By Ralphine Major Part 3 in series on Creed Daniel It is not surprising that Creed Daniel is well known in rural Grainger County where he first began practicing law with his late father, W. I. Daniel, over 60 years ago!  Creed’s skill as an attorney has been recognized beyond his hometown of Rutledge.  In […]

‘She Works HIS Way’

  By Ralphine Major “How can I glorify God, honor my family, and serve others at work?” Michelle Myers tackles those powerful questions as founder of “She Works HIS Way” (swHw) Ministry. The idea for such a ministry was born from a 5 a.m. “Google hangout” with three friends. Now, six years later, thousands of […]

The Gift of Lifetime

By Ralphine Major When life’s conditions are at their worst, the best in mankind often rises above and beyond the challenges.  With the COVID-19 crisis, many schools are facing struggles in the area of social distancing.  Such was the case at Gibbs High School. “Our cafeteria is very small, especially for a school our size,” […]

It All Started in West Virginia

By Ralphine Major “I am a product of the coalfields of West Virginia, where I was born in Dehue, Logan County.  The combination of time and place could, in itself, explain why I grew to be a political and fiscal conservative.  Growing up through the Great Depression in a depressed part of the country, I […]

Life is a Gift: A Tribute to Zane Daniel

By Ralphine Major Following is my tribute to legendary criminal defense attorney, the late William Zane Daniel, which was first published in The Knoxville Focus on 9-5-2006 shortly after his death.  It was my first feature ever published in the Focus.  It was a pink bag with black and white polka dot trim, but it […]

Caution: Children Crossing

By Ralphine Major She wasn’t really a school cop, but from a distance, she looked like one. Dressed in uniform, she wore a white starched shirt, pressed trousers, bill cap, and white gloves. Her look was finished off with makeup and earrings. For years, I saw her every morning standing on the corner of […]


Never having to live through a pandemic By Ralphine Major It is one of the simple guidelines in our new, normal world—stay home.  Doing so has provided plenty of time for families to reflect.  Even amid the pandemic that has affected thousands of lives, a glance back often brings back some degree of our “old” […]

Staley is taking her game to the next level

By Ralphine Major If the name sounds familiar—it should.  For years, the late Bill and Dora Staley were well known in the Gibbs Community.  Dora was cafeteria manager at Gibbs High School.  Thanks to the Staleys’ great-granddaughter, there is at least one “Staley” in Upper East Tennessee! Staley Humphries is the daughter of Leslie […]

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