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 […]

On the mark with Hunter

By Ralphine Major At the July event held in Ohio, he became the 2020 Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) National American Skeet Champion, Men’s Senior Division!  Pandemic aside, Hunter Raley is “on target!”  He shot a perfect score of 200/200 in skeet!  The rising Gibbs High School junior won in a sudden death shoot off […]

The Magnificent Tennessee Theater

By Ralphine Major It is one of Knoxville’s gems.  Located on South Gay Street, the Tennessee Theater has become one of the city’s most recognized landmarks.  Walking through the doors into the lobby transports visitors to a grand, majestic place.  How fortunate we are to have in our midst such an awesome venue for […]

Look to the Cross for peace, hope, and joy in the Lord

  By Ralphine Major This year, they have been sharing “light” in this season of despair.  Already, they have connected with women in the church and the Knoxville community with hundreds of cards, blessing bags, and phone calls.  Chelsea Murphy is the director of an encouragement ministry called Phoebe’s Closet at Wallace Memorial Baptist Church […]

Showing Kindness in a COVID-19 World

By Ralphine Major The red, white, and blue seems to be more visible than ever this year!  Decorations that were put out for July’s summer holiday still hang proudly.  Perhaps, it is because many families are still observing the stay- at-home guideline.  Perhaps, it is to distract from the Coronavirus pandemic that has become such […]

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