Personal Side of Dwight Kessel

Personal Side of Dwight Kessel

Part 12, Final in series on Wallace Dwight Kessel By Ralphine Major He has led a full and varied life.  Knox County’s first County Executive was very active in his church.    A member of First Baptist Church Knoxville, Dwight Kessel was elected deacon in 1978, served as trustee for 15 years, was a member of […]

Hope All Mothers Had a Blessed Day!

Hope All Mothers Had a Blessed Day!

By Ralphine Major I never knew her except through pictures and stories from our mother. Mandy Smith Torbett was our maternal grandmother. Originally from Anderson County, Tennessee, she moved to Knoxville when she and our grandfather, Tecil C. Torbett from Chattanooga, married. In 1941, at the age of 41, Mandy died as a result of […]

Kessel: Awards, Recognitions, and Good Times!

Kessel: Awards, Recognitions, and Good Times!

Part 11 in Dwight Kessel series By Ralphine Major With Dwight Kessel’s years in public service, many well-deserved awards and recognitions have come his way. Some of the awards include Distinguished Service Award for Fifty Years of Leadership and Commitment to Kiwanis Ideals, Kiwanis Club of West Knoxville, 2003; Great Smoky Mountain Council, Boy […]

Dogwood winter

By Ralphine Major Just as green grass starts coming up from the ground and temperatures start climbing, a cold snap strikes!  This past week, I heard someone remind us why.  It’s April and dogwoods are blooming—it’s Dogwood Winter!  Delicate pink and white petals are adorning the dogwood limbs that were just a few months ago […]

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 […]