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 […]

Remembering a Special Man of God, Part 2: Rev. James McCulla

By Ralphine Major It looked like the talented, young pitcher from Knoxville had a future in professional baseball when the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Senators invited him to summer camp.  But James McCulla passed on those golden opportunities.  He had already surrendered to the ministry.  Summer Russell shared as much in a loving tribute to […]

Clayton Sharp of Gibbs

By Ralphine Major His list of accomplishments is absolutely amazing!  A 40-year career at Robertshaw Fultons in Knoxville, Tennessee.  In retirement, 12 years blacksmithing at the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, Tennessee, for his good friend, John Rice Irwin, founder of the museum.  A veteran of World War II.  Member of Clapp’s Chapel United Methodist […]

Honoring Fathers During the Pandemic

By Ralphine Major Father’s Day 2020 will be drastically different than most others we have celebrated before.  The third Sunday in June is designated as the day our nation sets aside to honor fathers.  The special day often fell on our father’s birthday.  This upcoming summertime holiday is right on track, but life is […]

Lisa Kitts, a dedicated nurse

By Ralphine Major I first met her over the phone.  Her sweet voice uttered those kind words.  “May I help you?” she asked.  That was the beginning of years-long admiration and friendship for Knoxville cardiologist Dr. Kyle McCoy’s nurse, Lisa Kitts.  Focus readers may remember Dr. McCoy in my first column for the Focus in […]