Harmony and Hymns by the TOTS

Harmony and Hymns by the TOTS

By Ralphine Major You may be one of the Focus readers who has been privileged to hear them sing in one of the more than 175 churches or assisted living facilities over the years.  I have always known them as “The TOTS,” an acronym for “The Old Time Singers,”— though they have playfully said it […]

Easter Blessings

Easter Blessings

By Ralphine Major Mother Nature is putting on a show!  She is covering winter’s drab canvas by weaving a tapestry of beauty.  Only days from the official start of spring, the earth is bursting forth with new life and new growth.  Driving down the highway, we seemed to be surrounded by vibrant green fields, yellow […]

Presidential Character

Presidential Character

By Ralphine Major The professor’s timing is perfect!  In the midst of a presidential election, the release of his book entitled “Presidential Character” is sure to spark enthusiasm for our nation’s highest office.  Timothy D. Holder, Knoxville resident and Professor of History at Walters State, talks about the first six presidents of the United States […]

Connecting With Words

By Ralphine Major ralphine3@yahoo.com The package arrived shortly before Christmas.  Certainly, the sender had made it look special in a “Peanuts” mailer.  When I tore into it, it was special!  Three framed photos.  Instantly, my mind drifted back to the day they were made.  Several years ago I had the opportunity to audio tape a […]

Hannah Delk, Talented Young Artist

By Ralphine Major She is nineteen years old, but already talented beyond her years.  She is a native of North Knoxville and attended Inskip Elementary, Gresham Middle, and Central High Schools.  She specializes in drawing portraits of people.  It could be said that Hannah Delk gets her artistic ability from her mother, Denise, who has […]

I See… Love

By Ralphine Major When I look at them, I see compassion. Dedication. Respect.  I  see comfort. Contentment. Devotion.  I see smiles. Laughter. And love. Larry Bohanan snapped this picture of Jim and Lib McCluskey at Wallace Memorial Baptist Church last December.   As Pastor Emeritus, Jim had given the opening remarks for The Living Christmas Tree.  […]

Prof Loy

By Ralphine Major It hangs in a special place as an inspiration to others.  The diploma is from Tennessee State Normal School, which today is known as East Tennessee State University in Johnson City.  It is a reminder of someone whose life influenced so many during their school days.  He was long-time educator Harvey Gibson […]

Enjoying the Snow

By Ralphine Major It can often provide a time of quiet reflection—the first snowfall of winter.  The sight of snowflakes drifting aimlessly to the ground creates a sense of wonder for all ages.  Its presence slows the pace of ordinary days and brings a beauty to the barren land.  A single snowflake is barely noticed; […]

Ashley’s Gift II

It was awesome to see a teenager holding a hymnbook in today’s high-tech world!  Last week’s column featured young Ashley Boruff in a photo taken by her mother, Candy, during recording.  I knew there must be some hymns on her new CD.  There are!  “The CD has a little bit of gospel, bluegrass, and contemporary,” […]

Ashley’s Gift

By Ralphine Major It seemed like a coincidence.  I heard in the news the resignation of Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre just as I had sent another e-mail message to Ashley’s father. Focus readers met 9-year-old Ashley Boruff in “Young Leader Emerges in Corryton Controversy,” 11-7-11.  Ashley worked to raise money to help save […]

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