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Bedford Life

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Contents Winter 2020


Bedford Life • Winter 2020

Bedford Life Life In Law Enforcement


David Williams, Sr, wore a badge for 54 years

Tools Of The Trade Old farm equipment reminds of us of days gone by



Time For Tea


Cindy Herring’s collection of teapots

Holiday Sweets


County Extension Agent, Whitney Danhof shares holiday cookie recipes

Service Is This Family’s Tradition The Crumps share the joy of a life of service

Training The Next Generation Bell Buckle trains Austin Haithcote to be a utility leader

Rural Beauty



24 21

Scenes from the year in Bedford County

12 Winter 2020 • Bedford Life 5

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Bedford Life • Winter 2020

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Publisher Adam Johnson

Gen. Mgr./Adv. Director Diandra Womble

Editor Terence Corrigan

Writers Dawn Hankins Terence Corrigan Jason Reynolds

Advertising Hannah Parkerson, Advertising Executive Yolanda Flick, Advertising Executive Bedford Life is published semi-annually by the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, a thrice weekly newspaper in Shelbyville, Tennessee. For questions or comments about Bedford Life contactthe Shelbyville TimesGazette at (931)-684-1200. © 2020 Shelbyville Times-Gazette All rights reserved. Executive, editorial and advertising offices are located at 323 E. Depot St., Shelbyville, TN 37160

In spite of a virus

A wonderful life persisted in Bedford County


s we stumble into the month of November and race headlong toward the new year, I suspect many of us are happy to see the year 2020 fade into a memory. The year was barely started when COVID-19 invaded the U.S. The first case of the nasty virus was reported in Bedford County on March 25. Throughout the year, we had to get used to wearing masks if we wanted to go to the grocery store. Many of our normal haunts were closed. Even access to hiking trails in State Parks was restricted. COVID interfered with many of the county’s beloved events. The Bedford County Fair: canceled. The Webb School Art and Craft Festival: canceled. But some events did take place. The Hall’s Mill Sorghum Squeeze went on as usual on the first Saturday of October. The Wartrace Music Festival went on, in a modified format, a series of monthly concerts held down on the square. As we started planning for this winter issue of Bedford Life, at first it was hard to imagine what good news there was to share during a pandemic and an acrimonious presidential election. If you read the news. — part of my job duties — it’s easy to overlook the good that’s all around us every day, despite pandemics and politics. I guarantee you won’t see a story about Cindy Herring’s teapot collection on the NBC Nightly News We’ve got it in this magazine. I am pretty sure you won’t see a story on Fox News honoring David Williams, Sr. for his 54 years of service in law enforcement in Bedford County. We think it’s a big deal so it’s in this issue of Bedford Life. CBS News wouldn’t have a lick of interest in David and Gale Crump just because David served in the Navy for 22 years, serving two tours of duty

in Vietnam, and Gale makes Quilts of Valor. Quilts of Valor is national program, which aims to wrap all military veterans in a quilt of love. I took the opportunity to engage in one of my favorite activities and count it as work time. I rode around the county photographing old farm equipment, much of it converted to yard art. I’m a fan of the old ways of doing things. I like to see a horse or a mule pulling a sickle bar mower to cut hay. I know it’s economically impractical today but I like the pace of farming the old ways in the old days. So as families and friends gather for the holidays we pray a coronavirus vaccine will soon be available so that we can return without worry to our wonderful Bedford Life. — Terence Corrigan, editor Photo by Amy Todd

Winter 2020 • Bedford Life 7


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Bedford Life • Winter 2020

David Williams Sr. Retires Law Enforcement Badge By DAWN HANKINS dhankins@t-g.com


avid Williams Sr.’s cousins claim when they were all growing up and playing together in Bedford County, he would always say he would be a policeman someday. That became a true statement on Oct. 1, 1966, and last month, he retired from law enforcement after 54 years of service. continued on p.10

David Williams Sr. has worn the Blue and the Green during his 54 years of law enforcement service.

Winter 2020 • Bedford Life 9

David William Sr. continued from p. 9

A 1959 graduate of Community High the toughest part of the job. “It’s like losing School in Unionville, Williams attended a brother, a friend — someone you can Donaldson Police Academy in May of always count on — rolled into one. You 1967, then went to work for Shelbyville have to go on and do the expected but the Police Department. He was actually one loss is always there.” of the first officers here, along with Sgt. Christmases can be tough too. “The James Hastings, to attend the Donaldson family always worked around my schedule.” Academy, when it first opened. When his children were young, he would From 1966 to 1974, he was a patrolman, sometimes have to work Christmas Eve. moving up in rank to captain. In 1974, Still, he made time for Santa Claus time on Williams took a leave from SPD and ran for Christmas Day. Bedford County Sheriff. “Some of the officers who didn’t have “I won the election . . . sheriff for two small children would work in your place. terms. At that time, they were two-year Sometimes you just couldn’t be there.” terms, not four.” This pace in life sets a policeman’s Following his time as head of county family life apart from most, he says. Yes, law enforcement, he returned to SPD as a it was always possible his place at the patrolman, working his way back up to the Thanksgiving Day dinner table would be rank of captain. He would later take early empty. retirement from the City and went straight to work for the Brown’s Body Shop County, until his retirement in 300 Stanley Blvd. • Shelbyville, Tn. October. “It’s for real this time,” Williams assures. A family man as well, he says he’s blessed to still be Brown Free Estimates David able to share moments with 931-684-3170 Insurance Work Welcome dbrownsbodyshop@united.net his loved ones. He has four children, Donna Harris, David Williams Jr., Julia Elliott and Brock Williams. He has 4 grandchildren, one on the way and 2 great-grandchildren. from He’s lost several law enforcement partners over the years, which he says is likely M - F 6:30 am - 6:30 pm Sat. 8:00 am - 2:00 pm Keith & Suzy Johnson, owners 10

Bedford Life • Winter 2020

“My daddy always told me ‘son, work a job that you enjoy, not one that you hate.’ I’ve never forgotten that.”

I’ve always treated people the way I would want to be treated, even if I’m having to take them to jail at times.” Everywhere he goes, people always stop the veteran police officer to chat. “I will miss it.” His last day, he pretty much just kept working as usual. “I did’t think about it being my last workday. I never dreamed that I would be doing something that I truly enjoyed for 54 years. I’m going to keep farming and enjoy one day at a time. That’s my plan for now.” Copy that, David Williams Sr.Shelbyville and Bedford County thank you for your service.

He took his dad’s advice. Williams advises he could have likely made more money in another profession, but he certainly wouldn’t have liked it as much as putting on that uniform. His advice to younger men and women with a strong desire to walk the beat, “If being a police officer makes you happy, by all means do it.” At one time, there were three generations of his family working in law enforcement. His son, David Jr., was in law enforcement for many years and now his grandson, Shane Harris, is a detective in Murfreesboro and son-in-law, Nikia Elliott, works with Bedford County There’s no place like home and Sheriff ’s Department. Shelbyville-Bedford County “So, yes, I would say it’s not a has a lot to offer... bad field of work.” Williams, who has been right at your front door! honored by the county and his Shop with our merchants family since his retirement, says and we all will have a he appreciates how everyone in Bedford County has respected Merry Christmas! his badge over the years. “I’m honored to call many my friend.


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Winter 2020 • Bedford Life 11

Antique Farm Machines Find A Second Life As Yard Art

By TERENCE CORRIGAN tgnews@t-g.com


s you drive west out Shelbyville toward Lewisburg on Highway 64, on the right hand side is one of my favorite old farm implement conversions — the metal, skeletal remains of a manure spreader, painted bright red, converted to a mailbox stand. I like it because it makes a pointed comment while paying homage to the old days of farming. A friend who lives in Nova Scotia, when he saw my photo, wrote: “Yes, most of the mail that I receive is bull•••• and it belongs in a manure spreader.” As you drive around Bedford County you’ll find many old farm machines repurposed to serve as yard art. These finely crafted tools of the trade were retired in favor of the highly efficient machines farmers use today. No longer do horses or mules provide the power to pull a hay rake or a sickle bar mower. Now diesel-powered tractors pull hay rakes that look like a giant electric toothbrush and combines capable of harvesting many acres of corn every hour.


Bedford Life • Winter 2020

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Writers have lamented that rural communities have suffered cultural decline from the efficiency of modern farm machines. “As machines replace skill, the disconnect themselves from life; they come between us and life.They begin to enact our ignorance of value — essential sources, dependencies, and relationships. “The work of [agriculture] production is immediately profitable, whereas the work of responsibility is not. Once the machine is in the field it creates an economic pressure that enforces haste; the machine concentrates all the energy of the farm and hurries it toward the marketplace. The demands of immediate use eclipse the demands of community.” Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America (1977) “Those who can remember the area even a decade ago find many things totally different and feel tinges of nostalgia, in spite of the obvious advantages of the present situation in production efficiency. Farming as a way of life is about gone in the United State.” James R. Shortridge, Kaw Valley Landscapes (1988).

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A good one-stop place to see old farm equipment that’s suitable for yard art is Jr’s Antiques in Bell Buckle. At Jr’s there’s a walk-behind cultivator suitably sized to be pulled by a pony. This one is set up as a mailbox stand and even has a child’s toy tractor backing up the box. He’s got several hay rakes, some painted white, an unusual color choice for a machine designed to work fields.

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… Or a a nicely kept sickle bar mower in Wartrace painted John Deere green and yellow.

Antique Farm Machines continued from p. 13

Tony Hutson still works the ground with mules. Tony loves the old ways of doing things. (He’s also the founding pastor of the Middle Tennessee Baptist Church. His ministry is “Rooted and grounded in the fundamentals of faith and following the ‘old paths….’” Tony’s driveway is marked with an old planter. Riding the back roads of Middle Tennessee you’ll find scenes of joy and celebration featuring agricultural traditions. Like a goat foraging next to a manure spreader ( I had to stop and photograph that) …

The detail and craftsmanship of these old machines is a thing of beauty for folks who see fine art in welldesigned and well made equipment. The details and beauty of old tech — cast iron, steel and wood — is evident in an old planter. A good place to see antique farm equipment is the Halls Mill Sorghum Squeeze in October. In 2019,

Quinton Howard provided the mule power. Howard’s mule, Woog, was the power behind the sorghum press, the implement that squeezes the juice from the cane. In case, Woog got tired Otis waited in the wings.


Bedford Life • Winter 2020

“I’m not sure! But it ain’t a dominos player!!!!!!!!!!” It seems that far and away the most common implement gracing yards are hay rakes. Some are brightly painted, some are just the natural rust patina with lichen green highlights.

After a thorough inspection, and still baffled, I contacted county extension agent John Teague, who can usually identify just about anything farm related. After looking over the photo and consulting with an expert, Teague was still not sure, but he decided to hazard a guess. “We think it is an old frame and parts for a drilling rig. Not sure, so don’t hold us to it. But googling up images there were some resemblances.” Not satisfied with merely saying he wasn’t sure, Teague, offered a story, a parable of sorts, to explain the hazards of a guess. “Kinda of like a story about a circus train that pulled through a little Texas town. The gorilla had died during the night so they pushed him off the train just down the railroad tracks from a country store where the resident expert on all things operated the store. A couple of old timers found it and loaded him up into the back of the truck and headed straight to the store for the keeper to tell them what is was. After he walked around the truck and pondered it for a while, he said ‘Judging by his hairy body, the size of his hands, the crouch of his shoulders, and the slope of his head, y’all have found an old retired dominos player!’

It’s one of my favorite things to do with a day off, take a slow roll on the back roads, through the hills and hollers and gaps of Bedford County. I spend a lot of time photographing old barns, decaying farmhouses and antique farm equipment. There is much to admire in these things, the beauty that results when a craftsman artistically guides form to follow function.

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Kitchen shelves are lined with all her special teapots-those ranging from older to more modern. T-G Photos by Dawn Hankins

By DAWN HANKINS dhankins@t-g.com


he holidays are always special at Cindy Herring’s Carlisle Avenue home, but especially when someone has a hankering for a spot of tea from one of her china or porcelain teapots. Last count, she has a collection of 300. From African ones to those just simple and charming, her collection encompasses her lifetime. “I’ve collected for the last 30 years,” she says, while standing in her kitchen, which happens to be one of many rooms filled with a neatly shelved assortment. She holds up a very old style, which she’s been told is an antique. She laughs when attempting to describe the origins of her teapots. One thing she does know is that she’s blessed with a friend, or better yet, partner in crime, Wanda Desplinter, whose similar collection, tea kettles, warms up the visitor’s tea. As well, they maintain similar professions, with Cindy working for Bedford County Probation Office and Wanda at Shelbyville Police Department.


Bedford Life • Winter 2020

Cindy Herring Shares Her Teapot Coectiо

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Collecting teapots and looking at them from time to time is a great pastime.

“We’ve probably walked thousands of miles together,” Cindy says of their adventures to sales and flea markets. Cindy says her husband, Bill, an employee of Moore County Sheriff ’s Department, is as supportive of her teapot passion. Her even dusts them for her. Then, there’s that, the cleaning, as with any large collection, she says smiling. Still, the delicate floral ones on her kitchen counter shine before guests. The Shelbyville woman’s 300 designs are no doubt, eclectic. Friends and family over the years have contributed by bringing her a souvenir teapot from vacations and giving her large ones and tiny teapots for Christmases and birthdays. As well, she and husband, Bill have found unique ones over the years. Cindy says he kids that he enjoys the collection as well. Those delicate china and ceramic pieces, used often for decorating, have provided her cheer during some really difficult times. Her late husband, Wayne Dunn, was for many years the love of her life; he died following heart problems. Cindy found her home of memories a comfort, following Wayne’s passing. She says at times, she sat on her large front porch and thought life, as she knew it, was over. Then, her heart was blessed, she says. “God sent me Bill; he has been a blessing and supported my kids.” They’ve made their home the last 20 years on Carlisle Street. Being a collector of teapots, she’s always pictured herself in an antebellum home — one like in southern magazines. continued on p.18

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Winter 2020 • Bedford Life 17

Yes, there’s even a turkey teapot in Cindy Herring’s collection. Cindy Herring continued from p. 17

“It always seemed to make sense . . . was part of my daydreaming.” While her home might be a bit more modest than a southern mansion, she’s made her place a showcase, especially during the holidays. The dining room currently glistens with greenery, gold decor and candlesticks. The dining table, which will be soon be set for family, is highlighted with some of her collectibles. A small Christmas tree on her buffet is uniquely decorated with, what else, but tiny teapot ornaments. Through her collection, Cindy lives a bit of the old south. If nothing else, it’s certainly good conversation for first-time guests. Cindy’s lived here most of her life, moving to the county from Jasper, Alabama, as a teen. She is the daughter of Jean Harrison, who passed away in June, and stepdaughter of the late Fred Harrison. Cindy says she looks forward to being with her family during the holidays, especially since it has been a stressful year with COVID-19. She’s especially proud of her granddaughter; 4 grandsons and 1 greatgrandchild. It’s those girls, she says, who will likely deal with her memory-laden teapots when she enters her eternal home in the future. Perhaps they will like those of their decade, or perhaps, their generations will enjoy sipping camomile or coffee from a few from days gone. However, they choose to enjoy them, or sell them, Cindy says a little part of her will remain with them. “This is me . . . what I love.”


Bedford Life • Winter 2020

Cindy enjoys her life with her husband, Bill, in Shelbyville.

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What better dessert to go with hot tea than some of Bedford County’s favorite desserts like the favorite Sundrop Cake. Cindy Herring opened up her home to us recently to share some of her favorite holiday treats, and her collection of over 300 teapots. (See adjacent story.)

Bedford County Sundrop Cake

Photo by Sadie Fowler

1 lemon cake mix 3 eggs 3/4 C. oil 10 oz. Sundrop Glaze 3 oz. of Sundrop 1 tsp. vanilla 1 C. powdered sugar. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bundt pan. Mix ingredients and pour evenly into pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes.

Teapot Time Teacakes

1 C. butter 1 1/2 C. sugar 3 eggs (fresh organic best, if you can find) 1 Tbsp. vanilla 3 C. all purpose flour 1 Tbsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, flour, baking power and salt, gradually add to the cream mixture. Dough will be soft. Drop by teaspoon full onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Sundrop is a local favorite. So much so, someone made it into a cake years ago. Success!

Herring Family Scones

2 C. all purpose flour 1/3 C. sugar 1 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 8 Tbsp. butter, frozen 1/2 C. raisins 1/2 C. sour cream 1 large egg Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients, grate butter into flour mixture, working into flour until resembles coarse meal. Stir in raisins. In small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth. Using fork, stir in sour cream mixture until forms large clumps. Press dough against the side of bowl, making into a ball. Place on lightly floured surface and pat into 7 to 8-inch circle, about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into triangles. Place on a cookie sheet and bake about 15 to 17 minutes.

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Winter 2020 • Bedford Life 19

Bedford Countians Love Holiday Cookies Serve picture-perfect cutouts By Whitney Danhof, UT Extension Agent

Cutout sugar cookies have been a holiday tradition for a long time here in this county. Many a child has covered a cookie in frosting and sprinkles and then devoured the creation in a sugar rush of delight. Here are six tips to making perfect rolled cutout cookies. 1. A stiffer dough is used for rolled and cut cookies to make it easier to roll out and to help the cookies retain their shape. You don’t want a dough that will spread a lot (like one with a large proportion of butter) so you can’t just use any cookie dough to create cutout cookies. Look for a recipe designed to roll and cut. 2. Refrigerate your dough to keep it cold and firm. Soft dough is harder to roll out without sticking and it is harder to transfer to the baking sheet without distorting the shape. Refrigerate the dough for an hour or more and then roll half of the dough at a time and keep the other half in the refrigerator. You can also chill the cookies once they are on the baking sheet to keep them from spreading and losing their shape. 3. When rolling the dough, try not to add too much flour or it will make the cookies tougher. You don’t want them to stick to the surface but you want them to be tender and good. You can also roll dough between sheets of parchment or plastic wrap to keep from adding too much flour. Roll the dough out, release from the sheets onto the counter or more parchment and then cut out. If you have a chocolate dough, use cocoa powder to roll out the dough so you don’t get white streaks on the cookies. 4. When using a cookie cutter, press straight down without twisting so that you don’t distort the shape. You want the cookies all


the same. When lifting the cookies, use a thin metal spatula that will get under the cookie and not push it. Also make sure that you roll the dough to a consistent thickness so they bake evenly. You can use specially designed rubber bands for the ends of your rolling pin or use two dowels and roll the dough between them with the pin on the dowels for an even thickness. 5. Making cutout cookies can be a long day. Break up the process by making the dough and baking one day and then decorating the next. Not only does it give the cookies time to completely cool and firm up, but it also keeps you from getting worn out! 6. When decorating, you can use a royal icing (be sure to use pasteurized eggs or meringue powder instead of raw egg whites) or a mixture of powdered sugar with a little vanilla and water. Both of these will dry with a hard surface so you can stack them. Buttercream icing doesn’t get as firm. With either one, make a stiffer batch to use with a piping bag to outline the cookie and then use a thinner batch to fill in or flood the inside of the outline. Be sure to put any sprinkles or decorations on while wet so they stick and then let the cookies completely dry before storing. So whether you make sugar cookie cutouts or gingerbread men or chocolate cutouts this holiday season, plan a fun day with little ones, friends or family to create these delightful treats that are picture perfect.

Rolled Sugar Cookies

Bedford Life • Winter 2020

2/3 C. vegetable shortening 3/4 C. sugar 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 egg 4 tsp. milk 2 C. flour 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt

Thoroughly cream shortening, sugar, orange zest and vanilla with an electric mixer. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the milk. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and stir into creamed mixture just until mixed. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour. On lightly floured surface, roll to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with cutters. Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Cool slightly and then remove from pan and cool on rack. Decorate as desired.

Rolled Chocolate Cookies

3 C. sifted flour 1 1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 1/2 C. butter 2 1/2 C. sifted powdered sugar 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 tsp. vanilla extract In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, salt and cinnamon. Set mixture aside. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness and cut out cookies with a knife or cutters. Place on ungreased baking sheets and chill until firm, about 15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees until edges are crisp, but not darkened, 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire racks and then decorate as desired.

Rolled Molasses Cookies 4 C. flour 1 tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. ground ginger 3/4 tsp. salt 1/2 C. butter, softened 1 C. sugar 2/3 C. light molasses 2 tsp. grated lemon zest 1 egg Combine flour, soda, ginger and salt. Set aside. With electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Blend in molasses and lemon peel. Add egg and beat well. Gradually add flour mixture. Divide into four parts, wrap and chill overnight. Roll out and cut with cookie cutters. Place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes. Cool on wire racks and then decorate as desired.

Royal Icing

Made using only three ingredients, this easy royal icing recipe is great for outlining and flooding sugar cookies, decorating gingerbread houses, adding icing flowers to treats, and other icing designs. Because this royal icing hardens as it dries, it’s not recommended for icing cakes and cupcakes, but it’s the perfect hard icing for cookies with its smearproof finish that will keep your fingers icing-free. Royal icing decorations can even be made weeks in advance and frozen for up to 2 months. Though traditionally made with raw egg whites, this royal icing is made without eggs and uses meringue powder like Wilton’s.

MilitaryFamily Living A ‘Wonderful Life’ Picked County Years Ago By DAWN HANKINS dhankins@t-g.com


he divorce rate for military families generally hovers around 3 percent. For retired military couple, David and Gale Crump, they believe that faith and prayer has helped them stick together through health issues and just things life throws at one in general. The Bedford County couple say as well, they’ve honored their wedding vows, part of which stated . . . ‘til death do us part.’ They continue to pay their life blessings forward in caring ministry with Southside Church of Christ.

Early life in Bedford County David Crump was recently wrapped with a Quilt of Valor for 22 years of military service with the U.S. Navy. Present for the event were sons, Blane, Derrick and Errick Crump, and wife, Gale. T-G Photos by Dawn Hankins

This once orphaned calico cat has found a special home with the Crumps T-G Photos by Dawn Hankins

Gale Crump.

David always knew death was highly probable for him; he’s a U.S. Navy veteran. Gale always knew that aircraft carrier might not return with her husband on board; she still kept the home fires literally burning in his absence. The Crumps made it through military life and eventually moved here from Virginia, which was the location of their last duty station. Hailing from Mississippi, the couple wanted to be closer to family, but did not chose to live in the “Magnolia State.” So, they moved a little over 180 miles north from home to Bedford County. That was about 40 years ago. They first lived off Gant Road on rental property; she refers to the place as the old Roy White farm — one featuring big silos and lots of acreage. They rented the home and loved it, except the sulphur well water, she says with a laugh. “We felt comfortable there, especially after living in Virginia Beach.” While the Crumps had considered purchasing the farm, they eventually bought their current house on Sims Road, with less land. David worked as an insurance agent and she took care of their three children-two who were twins, just like their mom. Gale mentions they have one son who is a minister, another a Tennessee State trooper and the youngest, a Shelbyville firefighter. “One thing we like . . . kids are close. One lives in Lewisburg, one lives less than five miles this way, one lives less than five miles that way.” Now in her 70s, sitting recently in her rocker on the big front porch with her calico cat, Gale says she loves life at her long-time home in the country. “I like the country. I really like the peace and quiet. The distance from here to town doesn’t bother me, because I’m used to it.” These days, traffic has now picked up on Sims Road, especially since it’s an easy route to Lewisburg, she says. A loud truck zooms down the road as Gale talks about her family. continued on p.22

T-G Photos by Dawn Hankins

Winter 2020 • Bedford Life 21

This Quilt of Valor was made from fabric that Gale Crump has collected over the years.

MilitaryFamily continued from p.

Quilt of Valor

The retirees took a 17-day trip out West not long ago. Gale says though they had never made such a bus trip before, she said it was quite memorable. They made new friends with several other Shelbyville residents also taking the bus tour. One of those travelers was Amy Martin of Unionville, who is the local Quilt of Valor representative. She and Gale quickly found they had love for quilting in common. “I had bought fabric as far back . . . patriotic fabric,” recalls Gale. “My quilt was going to be one of those after retirement projects. I had material even from the old Kmart. She began showing me pictures of Quilt of Valor . . . what it involved. I told her I would really like to have a quilt like that made for David. I would donate the fabric.” Gale knew there was a QOV waiting list; she added her husband’s name. Amy told her no one had ever donated to the local QOV such patriotic fabric. “It ended up that there was more fabric than we needed for this quilt. I don’t know how many others got a quilt from that fabric.” Gale realized Amy was on a QOV mission for Bedford County. These honorary quilts are part of the national program, which aims to wrap all military veterans; they’re up over 200,000 nationally to date. So she asked Amy to take the leftover fabric from David’s quilt and share with another veteran. “That’s when the quilt started . . . out West. Amy even took some of the fabric and made masks for people; she gave all three of my boys masks.” Gale says the quilt was “different” and “beautiful.” The official presentation was held recently at their house.


Bedford Life • Winter 2020

“I was very pleased, but surprised. You know when you have 35 or 40 different pieces of fabric, and they’re all patriotic, you wonder how it’s going to turn out.” Amy Martin says the Crump quilt design might just be one of her favorites. She mentioned Debbie Farris Bryant did the custom quilting, known as long-arming. Gale reveals that she has a couple of unfinished quilt projects at home. “I’m not a big quilter, but Amy and I had that in common. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I like to see the pieces go together . . . a big project complete. I still have quilt projects that I need to finish. I dabble in it . . . quilt with other people.” The Bedford Countian also enjoys decorating her home; she has created a patriotic bedroom, where on a twin bed rests David’s QOV in all its red, white and blue glory. On the opposite side of the room is her father-in-law’s framed and folded American flag, which was presented to family at his funeral for his military service.

Life as a military wife

Gale talks about what it was like to be a young, military wife. Perhaps not the ideal life for newlyweds, but she witnessed first-hand what David actually sacrificed for his country. “I am so proud of him.” David enlisted in the service in 1969; he was on active duty until 1979. He completed two tours to Vietnam, sailing the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. He had seven years of broken service and then returned to the U.S., Navy, retiring eventually from the Reserves. He completed his duty with 22 years of military service as a chief yeoman. “He stayed in because we had three boys pretty much close to the same age. And with twins, I think he was looking at the fact that he might have three in college at same time.” As birds chirped and their once orphaned calico cat slept at her feet, Gale talked about the accomplishments of her three sons. She added how they’re all hard workers in their chosen professions. Their work ethic is much like their parents, who previously worked at the Walmart Distribution Center on different hours and shifts. In their “spare time,” before COVID-19, the Crumps had quite the ministry of helping others get to doctor appointments and cancer treatments. Over the years, David has had several surgeries and was informed by doctors not too long ago that he had a 100 percent blockage in an artery. Then, their miracle happened, when they found out that this Vietnam Veteran’s heart had “created its own natural bypass.” “I had never heard of it. We had prayed fervently.”

She remembers how the doctor commented how David was “a lucky man.” Doctors told them how a heart’s ability to “create its own bypass,” happens, but not often. David witnessed to his doctor, Gale recalls, by telling him that God was way ahead of him as the “Great Physician.” The doctor agreed. As Gale discussed their life together, David was helping his son tend to 100 head of cattle. She talked more about his military service. The Crumps weren’t married in 1969, when David first enlisted in the service and headed to Vietnam. After their marriage, this military wife would watch over and over his ship leave Virginia Beach, Virginia. That can be a lonely time for a wife, she says. In addition, she had never lived that far from home. “The furthest I had ever been was Memphis and I’m from north Mississippi. You go to a strange place; you don’t know people. You don’t have friends and you’ve left your family. The greatest thing was the church there was predominately military.” During that first six months, David was aboard the USS John F. Kennedy. Gale continued to make their home and life on base, staying there and getting a job, unlike many of the wives who went home to their families. For months on end, she’d watch an entire fleet leave the base, then another return. Sometimes the men had to jump from ship-to-ship. During this time in history, Gale remembers how the families bonded together, because they were all in the same boat. “You create a friendship . . . bond. We all took care of each other, which was good. We made friends the first six months.” A couple they befriended in Virginia came for a visit recently-a enjoyable time for the Crumps. Gale notes how there’s about eight couples from their military life that still keep in contact with them. “That’s your family; you go upon some high mountains with those people and you go into some low valleys. But, you’re there for each other.” David was sometimes aboard ship for most of a year, she remembers. “You had to learn to do things for yourself . . . keep the household up. You had to make friends to survive.” When talking about the closeness of her children, Derrick, Errick and Blane Crump, she becomes emotional; they now have blessed them with 7 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild and another one on the way. Gale explains she and David truly have a beautiful family and life, as they’ve come to know it on Sims Road, just slightly eight miles west of Shelbyville. “We thank God everyday. We really have had a wonderful life.”

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Winter 2020 • Bedford Life 23

Bell Buckle Utility Director, Eddie Lamb, and TAUD Apprentice Austin Haithcote stand by Bell Buckle’s new town sign.

Trade Association Helps Train Future Bell Buckle Water Employee JASON M. REYNOLDS For the T-G

Haithcote, 22, said this is a good job opportunity that could turn into a career. “There’s a lot of history here” in Bell Buckle, the Unionville native ell Buckle has made a first in the state — a water department said. “It would be great to learn it since I do work here.” worker is the inaugural member of a new apprenticeship The Board of Mayor & Aldermen agreed to enroll Haithcote, said program to train the next generation of utility leaders. Eddy Lamb, supervisor of the Water & Sewer Department. The two-year From African ones to those just simple and charming, her collection program will accelerate Haithcote’s learning and knowledge and certify encompasses her lifetime. him to operate a water and wastewater plant. He will be certified. The Tennessee Association of Utility Districts (TAUD) said Austin The department hired Haithcote earlier this year because the city saw Haithcote will learn about all aspects of daily water and wastewater a lot of promise in him, Lamb said. The city wanted to plan for the next facility operations. He will receive on-the-job-training with related generation of water/wastewater worker since people in the department technical instruction and coursework. are aging. Lamb said he will continue to supervise the department. While the mayor has the city’s water and wastewater certifications, this is planning for the future. That’s exactly what the apprenticeship program is about, said Kevin Byrd, workforce development coordinator for TAUD, a trade association for water, wastewater and gas utilities. Certified operators are aging out of the workforce around the nation. With the Bell Buckle agreement being signed this fall, Tennessee is now the 29th state to have such an apprenticeship program for rural utilities. The program provides national certification. Lamb and Byrd said the partnership provides a win-win for everyone. 220 S. Jefferson St. • Shelbyville, TN 37160 Haithcote said, “I’m proud and thankful for this (931) 684-7323 • http://www.sbcplibrary.org opportunity.”



Bedford Life • Winter 2020

Rural Beauty

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Bedford Life • Winter 2020





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Bedford Life • Winter 2020

Winter 2020 • Bedford Life 29

With COVID-19, it’s certainly been a difficult year for hosting local events. Though the Celebration Christmas will not be held this year at Calsonic Arena, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite moments from 2019. T-G Photos by Dawn Hankins


Bedford Life • Winter 2020

Winter 2020 • Bedford Life 31

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