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JUNE 2019

WestKnoxvilleLifestyle.com

River Sports' Owner Ed McAlister Says, “Go Out and Play!” LIFE LESSONS FROM THREE LOCALS

KNOXVILLE BREWFEST 2019

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LIFESTYLE LETTER

West Knoxville L

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JUNE 2019 PUBLISHER

Scott Hamstead | scott.hamstead@lifestylepubs.com EDITORIAL COORDINATOR

Jennie Treadway-Miller | jennie.miller@lifestylepubs.com CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Stephanie Hower, Mary Beth Unthank

Attention, Gentlemen!

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Elena Ganusova, Colby McLemore, Aaron L. Russell, Nathan Satran

YOU’VE WAITED PATIENTLY FOR YOUR TURN. Last month, we brought you our Ladies issue—it is ladies first, after all—and this month, we present our “Gents” issue. Yes, we celebrate the dads in our lives with Father’s Day on June 16, but there are so many more reasons why it’s great to be a guy this month. With the summer season underway, the long, sunny days can be filled with backyard cookouts, baseball games, camping trips, fishing excursions and so much more. Since we got advice last month from our local women, this month we are asking for life lessons from three local guys who you may know or see out and about. For those looking to go out and play, we profile a longtime local outdoor retail establishment that does more than just sell gear. If you happen to be going to the beach or mountains for some R&R, check out the Page Turners for some summer reads and pick one up to take along. In Financial Buzz, see how “Money is the Fuel, Not the Destination," and if you are still looking for a Father’s Day gift for Dad, why not give him tickets to the

CORPORATE TEAM

9th Annual Knoxville Brewfest, a benefit for CureDuchenne featured in Giving Back?

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Steven Schowengerdt

So, gents, take some time for yourself—crack open a cold one or perhaps a new

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER DeLand Shore

CHIEF SALES OFFICER Matthew Perry

book, or maybe you just want to find a spot to take a nap. Whatever you feel like doing, go ahead and be you—because this month is all about you! Finally, while enjoying this current issue of West Knoxville Lifestyle, I encourage you to patronize our marketing partners, as they are the ones who help make it possible.

ART DIRECTOR Sara Minor OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Janeane Thompson EDITORIAL MANAGER Nicolette Martin AD MANAGER Chad Jensen REGIONAL SALES DIRECTOR Eric Williams WEB APPLICATIONS Michael O’Connell

As always, please reach out with ideas, suggestions or questions. Happy Father’s Day and happy reading,

ARIZONA | CALIFORNIA | COLORADO | CONNECTICUT | FLORIDA | GEORGIA

Scott Hamstead, Publisher Scott.Hamstead@LifestylePubs.com

IDAHO | ILLINOIS | KANSAS | MARYLAND | MINNESOTA | MISSOURI | MONTANA NEVADA | NEW JERSEY | NORTH CAROLINA | OHIO | OKLAHOMA | OREGON SOUTH CAROLINA | TENNESSEE | TEXAS | VIRGINIA | WASHINGTON

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West Knoxville Lifestyle | June 2019

West Knoxville Lifestyle™ is published monthly by Lifestyle Publications LLC. It is distributed via the US Postal Service to some of the West Knoxville areas’ most affluent neighborhoods. Articles and advertisements do not necessarily reflect Lifestyle Publications’ opinions. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Lifestyle Publications does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. Information in West Knoxville Lifestyle™ is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed.


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INSIDE THE ISSUE JUNE 2019

FEATURES 12 Money Is the Fuel, Not the Destination Happiness Linked to Quality, Not Quantity

14 Drink to Donate Annual Beer Festival Raises Money for CureDuchenne

18 Wise Words from Lessons Learned Three Local Guys Share Their Life Lessons

24 12

24 Go Out and Play River Sports Owner Equips Adventure-Seekers to Seize the Day

18

14

DEPARTMENTS 4

Lifestyle Letter

8

Around Town

12

Financial Buzz

14

Giving Back

24 Locally Owned 26 Trend Setter 28 Water & Woods 32 Lifestyle Calendar 34 Local’s Choice


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AROUND TOWN

KNOXVILLE BREWFEST 2019 The Ninth Annual Knoxville Brewfest will be held Saturday, June 22 in downtown Knoxville from

THE CHRISTMAN COMPANY AWARDED NEW UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE PROJECT

4–8 p.m. Breweries, beer  and enthusiasts from

The Christman Company has been awarded

all over will gather for a summer afternoon sam-

a two-phase construction project for the

pling fresh beers of all colors, styles and flavors.

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Knoxville Brewfest is held around the fountains and

(UTIA) to demolish and rebuild its Ellington

lake at the base of the Sunsphere and Tennessee

Plant Sciences building. The project will begin

Amphitheater. With more space, seating and natural

this fall, starting with the construction of a

shade, you’ll enjoy strolling along the water while

20,000-square-foot permanent building that

sampling more than 300 beers from Tennessee

will house the facility and staff members from

and beyond. Check-in begins at 3 p.m., with gates

the current Ellington facility. In the second

opening at 4 p.m. Please bring a printed copy of your

phase, the current Ellington Plant Sciences

ticket or have the digital copy ready at the gate. You

building will be demolished and replaced by an

must have a ticket and be 21 or older and present a

additional 160,000-square-foot facility.

government-issued ID to be admitted.

“This project for the UT Institute of Agriculture

Water will be provided, but food is not included

and the University of Tennessee will provide flex-

in the ticket price. There are several food vendors

ible and modern research and education spaces,”

on-site, or you are welcome to bring in small

says Marty Gibbs, vice president  and general

snacks. Read more about the Knoxville Brewfest

manager for Christman’s Knoxville operations. “We

and its commitment to CureDuchenne in this

appreciate the opportunity to bring another major

month's Giving Back article.

addition to the UT campus.” The $67 million project, officially called the Energy and Environmental Science Research Building, will include teaching and research labs, offices, classrooms and a 500-seat teaching and learning center.

2019 USA CYCLING PROFESSIONAL ROAD NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS The 2019 USA Pro Para-Cycling  Road National Championships will be held in Knoxville June 27–30.  This is the third year for Knoxville to host the U.S. Pro Road and Individual Time Trial Championships, its second year to host the U.S. Pro Criterium Championships (staged in conjunction with the U.S. Amateur Road

8

FIRST DOCUMENTED PROFESSIONAL “ALL-TENNESSEE” GRAIN BEER ANNOUNCED

National Championships in previous years) and its

Tennessee Brew Works, Tennessee Department

first year to host Para-Cycling National Championships. 

of Agriculture, Tennessee State Parks and Batey

USA Cycling is the national governing body for

Farms announced a multi-year brewing initiative

the sport of cycling in the United States and over-

to bring “barley back to Tennessee,” producing

sees the disciplines of road, track, mountain bike,

the first all-Tennessee grain Tennessee State

cyclocross and BMX. 

Park Blond Ale.

West Knoxville Lifestyle | June 2019

CONTINUED >


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2019-2020 BROADWAY AT THE TENNESSEE THEATRE SEASON LINEUP ANNOUNCED Presenting beloved favorites and today’s hits, the Tennessee Theatre is pleased to present the 2019-2020 Broadway season which features six titles and a total of 34 performances which begin in December 2019 and go through June 2020. The complete lineup is as follows: + Fiddler on the Roof – Dec. 27–29, 2019 + Miss Saigon – Jan. 28 – Feb. 2, 2020 + Waitress – Feb. 28 – March 1, 2020 + A Bronx Tale – April 3–5, 2020 + Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – May 5–10, 2020 + CATS – June 19–21, 2020

YOUNG-WILLIAMS ANIMAL CENTER ACHIEVES FIRST-EVER "NO-KILL" STATUS Young-Williams Animal Center has achieved “no-kill” status for the first time in the shelter’s history, marking a milestone toward fulfilling its vision to find a home for every pet. In 2018, YoungWilliams Animal Center saved 8,311 pets. “We’ve worked diligently through innovative programs and community involvement to make it to this day, and it is such a remarkable achievement for our staff and the volunteers who care for our animals and put these programs into practice,” says Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. “We celebrate for the animals, we celebrate for the families, we celebrate for the community and we celebrate for the staff and volunteers. “We’re not stopping now; we will continue to move forward in our laser focus on finding a home

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West Knoxville Lifestyle | June 2019

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FINANCIAL BUZZ

MONEY IS THE FUEL, NOT THE DESTINATION HAPPINESS LINKED TO QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY ARTICLE J. WILLIAM WALTMAN JR., CFP, CPA

12

West Knoxville Lifestyle | June 2019


IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR GUYS TO FRAME FINANCIAL AND RETIREMENT PLANNING IN QUANTITATIVE TERMS ONLY. How much money do I need to have saved? How many years do I plan on being retired? What will my monthly expenses be in retirement? While all of these are necessary and important considerations, they are only part of the overall equation. A well-respected CEO in the financial services industry likes to say, “Money is the fuel, not the destination.” Rather, money is the fuel that will be used to take care of those we love and empower us to live the life we’ve imagined. Money is necessary, but it’s not the ultimate goal. So, what is? For most, it is happiness, peace and fulfillment, which are typically associated with more qualitative factors. Proper financial planning is more than numbers. It is life planning. I would, therefore, encourage men to strongly consider the following qualitative factors as they can greatly enhance or hinder one’s fulfillment in pre-and post-retirement years.

HEALTH It is commonly said that there are few things as important as your health. And for good reason. When you suffer from a chronic health con-

Jr., an ltm

and limit your daily activity. Making a lifestyle commitment to eat healthy while maintaining a regular workout regimen can have a far greater impact on your pre- and post-retirement years than almost anything else you can do. This coupled with annual physicals can increase the proba-

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dition, it can affect your ability to enjoy the company of family and friends , CPA CFP

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bility you will maintain your health to enjoy the additional time you have to spend with family and friends and to experience new adventures. An added bonus is you will likely save in health care expenditures to boot.

INTELLECTUAL ENGAGEMENT For many people work is a source of intellectual challenge and provides a sense of accomplishment. The sudden shift into retirement can leave some feeling lost. Research has shown that being mentally engaged in something you are interested in or passionate about has countless health benefits. One of the best remedies is to take the time to become engaged with a not-for-profit or other pursuit that feeds your soul and sense of purpose. You’ll be doing good for yourself and others. PYA Waltman Capital, LLC, is an

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spend more time with your work colleagues than friends and fam-

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ily. Investing the time to nurture relationships with your non-work

training. More information about

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Living a happy and fulfilled retirement requires more than just money. Yes, make sure there is enough gas in the tank to make the journey, but don’t forget to focus on the qualitative factors under your control that in the end may contribute the most to living the life you’ve imagined. June 2019 | West Knoxville Lifestyle

13


GIVING BACK

Drink to Donate ANNUAL BEER FESTIVAL RAISES MONEY FOR CUREDUCHENNE WHEN MATTHEW DANIEL WAS DIAGNOSED

form of muscular dystrophy. The disease pri-

WITH DUCHENNE DISEASE, A TYPE OF MUS-

marily affects boys and in some rare cases girls,

CULAR DYSTROPHY, HIS PARENTS, MARTIN

who are usually diagnosed before their fifth

AND MELISSA, WERE DETERMINED TO DO

birthdays. As the disease progresses, everyday

SOMETHING TO HELP THE CAUSE. After

tasks become increasingly difficult, confining

launching a successful beer festival in his native

many patients to a wheelchair by age 12. Nearly

Memphis, Martin thought this type of fun, local

15,000 people in the United States are currently

event could be just the thing to raise funds and

living with Duchenne, and more than 300,000

awareness for Duchenne research and treatment.

are affected globally. CureDuchenne cares for

In 2010, Martin and Melissa founded Knoxville

those affected by Duchenne while also support-

Brewfest, a celebration of all things beer.

ing innovative technology to treat and eventu-

Matt McMillan was working in Knoxville’s

ally cure the disease.

craft beer market when he first connected with

The festival has historically raised between

Brewfest, and six years ago, he took over as the

$35,000 and $45,000 per year for CureDuchenne.

event coordinator.

Over the course of its eight-year history, Knoxville

“Brewers are the rock stars” of Knoxville

Brewfest has donated more than $200,000 from

Brewfest, he affirms, but the purpose is much

ticket sales and sponsorships, and they’re looking

bigger. All net proceeds from the event go to sup-

forward to topping their goals this year.

port CureDuchenne, a national organization that

Rain or shine, the event attracts close to

not only funds research on Duchenne, but it also

2,500 attendees, vendors and volunteers to the

aids patients and families through education and

World’s Fair Park and will highlight more than

community support.

80 breweries from around the country with the

“Martin and Melissa started Brewfest for a

opportunity for patrons to sample nearly 300

great cause,” Matt says, and the event leaders are

styles of beer and cider. Several popular Knoxville

committed to the conviction that started it all. “We

breweries will be among the vendors, including

continue to financially support CureDuchenne in

Balter Beerworks, Crafty Bastard Brewery, The

their goals to care for and find a cure for such a

Pretentious Beer Glass Company, Chisolm Tavern

devastating genetic disorder.”

Brewery and Printshop Beer Company. More

Characterized

by

muscular

weakness,

Duchenne is the most common and severe

information and tickets are available online at KnoxvilleBrewFest.com.

ARTICLE MARY BETH UNTHANK | PHOTOGRAPHY AARON L. RUSSELL

14

West Knoxville Lifestyle | June 2019


June 2019 | West Knoxville Lifestyle

15


Wise Words from Lessons Learned

RALPH WALDO EMERSON IS OFTEN CREDITED WITH SAYING, "LIFE IS A SUCCESSION OF LESSONS WHICH MUST BE LIVED TO BE UNDERSTOOD." Whether or not Emerson is the real source of such wisdom makes no difference when it comes to its truth. It's only when we reflect on where we've been and what we've experienced can we learn the best lessons. Take it from these guys! They've

PHOTOGRAPHY ELENA GANOSOVA AND COLBY MCLEMORE

18

West Knoxville Lifestyle | June 2019

learned a thing or two amidst life's trials.


L e o n a r d D i c k e r s o n R e t ir ed Ch em ic a l En g in eer , O a k R id g e N at ion a l L a b or at or y;   U n i t ed S tat es C h es s Fed er at ion L ife M a s t er ; C u r r en t C h es s T e a ch er at  K n ox v il l e S c h o o ls "Life’s calling came really early when I was

Sea. Chess is my favorite pastime, and I grew

told that I should pursue God above all and even

up when Russians dominated chess; hence my

minister to others. But even at 10 years of age, I

favorite players were ex-world chess champions

was arguing with the ministers that it didn’t seem

Botvinnik and Petrosian."

proper that many heathens who lived up to all

"The hardest lesson that I finally learned

the dictates of their religion but hadn’t heard the

was that you can’t escape your trials. You either

word of Christ were doomed to Hell while many

face them now or later. Even in facing a challenge

supposedly heaven-bound Christians were hyp-

and not entirely triumphing, you are still winning

ocrites and disregarded God in their daily lives.

and growing as long as you are giving your best.

This quandary kept me from pursuing the min-

And always keep in mind that you aren’t chal-

istry and had me vociferously saying that I never

lenged beyond your capacity to resist.

would tell people how to live their lives. So life

"Another valuable lesson learned is that perfec-

allows me to simply meander about—but always

tion isn’t required, with a partner or in your aspira-

knowing that I am a spirit loved of God."

tions. Don’t delay happiness hoping for something

"The best advice that I was given was to live

better. Accept what you have and make it better,

today trying to focus on now. Equally important

deriving all the benefits that you can. Then, if more

was to always keep in mind that we are spirits

is necessary or required, your life’s path will later

doing a trial on Earth. Another very influential

present it to you, for life works hand-in-hand with

piece of advice that has guided me is: thoughts

your demands and God’s good."

are things. This advice has been espoused by

"The best advice that I would give my college-

Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich), Emerson,

age self is to choose a career that gives you hap-

Thoreau and all mystical masters. And I took the

piness rather than a big paycheck. My love was

statement literally and have validated it."

marine biology. But after completing the prerequi-

"When I was a kid, I had no particular role

site courses, I noted that chemical engineers had

models but always found inspiration in stories

significantly higher salaries, which encouraged

of man triumphing over adversity, particularly

me to go for the money. Later I learned that it is

one man facing his trials, like the tale of Jeremiah

much better to seek a job that gives you satisfac-

Johnson, The Revenant or The Old Man and the

tion and sparks passion."

CONTINUED >

June 2019 | West Knoxville Lifestyle

19


WISE WORDS FROM LESSONS LEARNED

J o e F o x Co -Fo un der /C EO , B lüh en Bo ta n ic a ls ; En t r epr en eu r

"My passion is learning. In the typical entrepreneurial spirit, I am constantly trying to find new ways to utilize new information. Different chapters of life require different wisdom, but I am passionate about learning ahead of each new chapter." "The best advice I ever received was if you are going to do something, do it right. Anything I have done, I have mirrored others who dream big and execute well. The best advice I have received from numerous mentors is to commit yourself to doing it the right way with integrity. If you make a decision to do something, go all in and do it with a high level of integrity and strong ethics." "When I was a kid, I always looked up to the hero in the movies. I have always been a big movie buff. I watched a lot of movies as a kid and always gravitated to the good guys that overcome adversity." "One of the hardest life lessons I've had to learn is I think many times in life you are presented with an opportunity to take short cuts. I've learned, time and time again, that the right path is often the harder path. Life has taught me to trust my instincts, but that doesn’t mean rushing. Carving a new path always takes more work than taking a common path." "If I could, I'd go back in time and tell my college-age self not to be so self-conscious about your lack of formal education. Be confident in your ability to learn and adapt, and that will greatly influence your success." 20

West Knoxville Lifestyle | June 2019

(CON TI N UED)


J e r r y A s k e w Pr es iden t, A l l i a n ce for B e t t er N on pr ofi t s ; O r d a in ed D e a con , Epis co pa l Dio ces e of E a s t T en n es s ee "My life’s calling came in two pivotal

The second defining moment was

"Some of the hardest life lessons

moments: in 1978, my college mentor

when, for our 20th wedding anniversary,

I've had to learn are: 1. You’d be far less

called to tell me that he was going to die

my wife, Robyn, gave me an incredible

concerned about what others think of

that day. Needless to say, it was not a con-

gift: a week in a monastery. Spending

you if you knew how infrequently they do.

versation I wished to have. When he and

those seven days in silence, reflection

2. No matter how dark the night, morning

I finished talking, I spoke with his mother

and prayer were life-changing."

always follows. 3. God has impeccable

and lamented that I would never be able

"The best advice I ever received

manners and would never even think of

to pay him back for all he had done for

was that life is a team sport; relation-

interrupting you, so if you want to hear

me. In her infinite wisdom, she said, 'Jerry,

ships are everything."

what She has to say, you have to shut up!"

if he lived to be 100, you couldn’t pay him

"When I was a kid, I always looked

"If I could, I'd go back in time and tell

back. You can’t pay back. You can only

up to my Scoutmaster, Andy Reilly; and

my college-age self as you move around

pay forward.' Those words helped define

UNC Basketball Coach Dean Smith."

the country pursuing your dreams, be

my philosophy of life.

sure to stay in touch with old friends."

June 2019 | West Knoxville Lifestyle

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LOCALLY OWNED

ARTICLE MARY BETH UNTHANK PHOTOGRAPHY JENNIE TREADWAY-MILLER

GO OUT AND PLAY RIVER SPORTS OWNER EQUIPS ADVENTURESEEKERS TO SEIZE THE DAY

YOU NEVER KNOW HOW ONE TRIP CAN CHANGE SOMEONE’S LIFE. That’s the idea that started it all for Ed

may seem quaint, but it’s working for Ed. He believes in the passion

McAlister, founder of River Sports Outfitters.

and training of his employees and the company culture of both edu-

Originally from West Tennessee, Ed moved

cating and listening to the customer. He has personal relationships

to Knoxville to attend the University of

with all his vendors to learn about consumer needs, trends and

Tennessee. While working as an engineer, it

products, but he and his staff are also users who share their own

was his own unexpected adventure—back-

experiences and those they hear on the trail.

country skiing in Colorado—that made him

“We listen to every single customer,” Ed says, which is why he

want to share that with others. He was sell-

chooses to support local businesses with his own money as well.

ing and trading hard-to-find outdoor gear

“I know they’re giving back to the community in a continuous way.”

from his home when friends encouraged

While he says online shopping has changed the market more in

him to open a retail shop. In 1984, he found

the last four years than the previous 30, perception is helping trend

a small storefront on Sutherland Avenue that

part of the traffic back toward local businesses. Consumers are see-

remains his flagship store.

ing the value of keeping money in the local economy rather than a

In the years since, River Sports opened a

corporate conglomerate. While he hopes the shift toward shopping

second retail location in Cedar Bluff and The

local continues, Ed is ready to face changes to the market as they

Climbing Center, a full indoor rock climbing

come. His best business advice has been, "Don't get set in your

gym on-site at the Sutherland Avenue store.

ways, or in two years you won't be around."

River Sports manages seasonal biking and

While Ed plans to continue growing his business and serving the

water sport rentals at several local parks,

community, he takes life one day at a time. Getting people excited

including The Cove, Ijams Nature Center,

about being outside is a dream come true for him, and every day is

Lenoir City Park and others. Whether through

a new adventure.

sale or rental, Ed’s goal has always been get-

“I don’t care who you are or where you are age-wise or any-

ting people the gear they need to do what they

thing else, you never get today back,” Ed smiles as he shares the

love, especially if it’s trying something new.

mantra by which he lives. It was that carpe diem mentality that

“They might get hooked, or maybe they won’t like it,” he says. “What matters is giving people experiences they wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

24

In an era where enthusiasts can find everything from hiking sandals to stand-up paddleboards online, such an idealistic approach

West Knoxville Lifestyle | June 2019

led him to open River Sports Outfitters 36 years ago, and it still drives him today. “You better enjoy today, because that’s one less day you have to enjoy. Use this day to the fullest.”


June 2019 | West Knoxville Lifestyle

25


TREND SETTER

TRENDY CUTS

for men

THE STYLES YOU WANT + HOW TO GET THEM

The FADE There are many different types of fades, but ultimately a fade haircut is one that tapers in length the further down you go on the back and sides, meaning it isn’t trimmed to just one standard length all around. The level of fade (low, mid or high) depends on what point the shortest part of the hair begins to fade into a longer length. ASK FOR Taper fade, low fade, mid fade, high fade or skin fade

The man bun This popular style is good for many types of hair as long as you have a lot of it. You’ll need length in the front, back and sides generally long enough to at least brush your shoulders. KEEP IT CLEAN Be sure to keep your sideburns and neckline trimmed even as your hair grows out.

The quiff Closely related to the pompadour, the quiff haircut requires longer hair in the front and shorter hair in the back. The longer hair in the front is brushed upward and back from the forehead and away from the face. This look can be sleek and shiny for a classic look or texturized and matte for a modern take. ASK FOR Short sides and a long textured top. Be sure enough hair is left on top to brush back instead of standing straight up.

For styling tips and products great for these styles, visit Birchbox.com. 26

West Knoxville Lifestyle | June 2019


PHASE II NOW OPEN All Brick Homes Open Floor Plans Hardwood in Common Areas

HARDIN VALLEY

Stone Facade on fireplace Community Pool Granite counter tops Large, Private Wooded Lots 12 Floorplans to choose from

June 2019 | West Knoxville Lifestyle

27


WATER & WOODS

Tom Oar: Mountain Man

ARTICLE STEPHANIE HOWER PHOTOGRAPHY NATHAN SATRAN

28

West Knoxville Lifestyle | June 2019


“HE IS FREE WHO LIVES AS HE CHOOSES.” So reads

I turned 7 years old, my father taught us how to trick ride,

the sign standing sentinel over Tom Oar’s house. Tom

which is doing tricks on the back of a running horse.”

Oar is free.

Despite the dangerous nature of such a hobby, Tom

On an isolated stretch of the Yaak River Valley in

survived and quickly developed a taste for living on the

Northwestern Montana, Tom and Nancy Oar have made

edge. By age 15, the young daredevil discovered a new

their home from the simplest of means and the sparsest of

outlet to sate his adrenaline fix: rodeo.

luxuries. They subsist on the land, gleaning a living through

“My mother drove me to the edge of town, dropped me

Tom’s knowledge of an all but forgotten craft: brain tanning.

off with my bull rope and my rigging bag, and I hitchhiked

He is a master trapper and tanner, pitted against the harsh

to Ohio, and I hired on to ride bulls and bucking horses.”

realities of the seasons and the forests, who has honed his

His mother’s confidence carried Tom toward the

art to a level achieved by few before him. To watch him

warm glow of adventure on the horizon, which he

work is to glimpse a remnant of the past.

chased with characteristic poise and determination.

“I was born a hundred years too late,” he chuckles. “Or maybe 200 years too late.”

By the early 1960s, Tom had climbed the ranks of the International Rodeo Association and established

Raised in the country outside Rockford, Illinois,

himself as a champion rider. He thrived on the excite-

Tom believes he was conditioned for a rugged life-

ment of the sport and consistently made it to the

style. He and his older brother exuded an innate

finals, ranking in the top 10 time and again. Fortune

passion for the outdoors. They spent their childhood

turned on Tom on Valentine’s Day 1970. At the age

roaming free as often as possible, and trick-riding.

of 35, he found himself in the chute perched upon a

“My dad was a real horseman, and he passed that on to my brother and me,” he recalls. “When my brother and

massive bull called Woolly Bugger. CONTINUED >

June 2019 | West Knoxville Lifestyle

29


WATER & WOODS

(CON TI N U ED)

“I usually dropped a finger in my bull rope, which meant that your hand was locked into the rope,” Tom explains. “The moment the chute opened, there was some big eruption.” Skulls of man and beast collided, knocking Tom into unconsciousness. Bound tightly by the rope across the middle of the bull’s back, Tom’s hand pinned him to the thrashing animal. “So now my legs and stuff are underneath his hind legs … he’s bucking and stepping on me quite hard.” He admits it is the closest he ever came to death inside a rodeo arena. Nancy watched from the stands as he was tossed violently for

They were confronted by second thoughts about their move.

two agonizing minutes until they were finally able to sever the ropes

Although Tom had experience as a trapper before leaving Illinois,

that bound him. Tom left the arena on a stretcher and didn’t gain

in the ‘80s he knew little about earning a living from the trade.

consciousness for three hours, suffering a severe concussion and

Converting furs to profits proved to be a more challenging endeavor—

bruising over most of his body. Fate had something bleaker in store

until destiny intervened at an Indian Store in Billings.

for the bull.

“We just stopped and went in,” Tom says, “and there it was in black

“They told me that old Woolly Bugger, he died two weeks later,” attests Tom, the twinkle of a cowboy in his eye. “I think I gave him a concussion, too.”

and white; told you how the Indians brain-tanned.” It was his first encounter with the ancient method, the method which would chart a new and unexpected trajectory for his life. The

While he returned to the chutes just a month after this brush with death, he never regained his former success. “It was time for me to quit, you know, so I did.” In 1981, he retired from rodeo. Just as the pitch and yaw of a bronc feeds the spirit of a young man yearning for

book cost him $3, consisted of

“WE HAD NO IDEA WHAT WE WERE GETTING INTO OR HOW I WAS GONNA MAKE A LIVING OUT HERE. BUT I JUST HAD A FEELING THAT, BY GOD, I CAN DO IT. I CAN GET IT DONE.”

thrills, the rise and a fall of a mountain feeds the soul of a man yearning for peace. “Nancy and I would come up to Montana in the summertime and go rodeoing out here,” he says. The appeal of the Wild West beckoned, and they loaded all of their possessions into an old pickup truck. Interestingly, the truck they used to begin their life in Montana was bought with money earned from muskrat pelts, a small hint at the future that lay in store for the Oars. “We had no idea what we were getting into or how I was gonna make a living out here. But I just had a feeling that, by God, I can do it. I can get it done.”

16 pages and instantly elevated his craft. It would just take a little bit more luck to turn his tanning into a lucrative business. “Black Powder Rendezvous, they called them,” Tom says. “They were recreations of the old fur-trade days in the Rocky Mountains when all the trappers would meet in one spot.”

Feeling well at home amongst this like-minded crowd of mountain men, he finally discovered a niche for his handmade wares. And when Tom does something, he is certain to do it well. “The most prestigious clothing that you could wear at one of these rendezvous is brain-tanned buckskin clothing,” he says. Patrons immediately sensed the incomparable quality of the brain-tanned hides Tom provided, and the hides began to sell at a remarkable rate. Tom found his peace. Together, Tom and Nancy defied the odds. Danger lurked, isolation taunted, and the bitter chill of Montana winter bore down upon them;

And they did. Through old-fashioned hard work, Tom and Nancy

yet, they endured and prospered. Those who meet Tom, admirers and

trapped, hunted and tanned, living off the land in every sense of the

fellow trappers and so forth, will be greeted by a man who is both

phrase. Yet, the early years were fraught with challenges.

humble and kind. A man who is always willing to share his story and

“The first winter that we spent here was really, really cold,” Tom says.

his trade and his grin. He and Nancy’s contact with the outside world is minimized by a lack of internet or cell phone reception, but his story has spread nonetheless. When asked how he copes with the steady current of visitors making the trek to his property each summer, he just shrugs and confesses he would rather people like him than hate him. At the age of 76, he continues to toil endlessly on his craft and their survival in the mountains. “Amazing life,” he surmises. “I’ve enjoyed every bit of it. And as long as I can still do it, hell, I’m gonna do it.”

30

West Knoxville Lifestyle | June 2019


June 2019 | West Knoxville Lifestyle

31


JUNE

LIFESTYLE CALENDAR

6–9, 13–26

15

22

TENNESSEE VALLEY PLAYERS PRESENTS MAMMA MIA!

KNOXVILLE BREWFEST

KARM DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL

UT's Carousel Theatre

This year, Knoxville Brewfest will

Come and enjoy Dragon Boat Races

This musical is presented "in the

take place at a new venue wrap-

with 41-foot paddle boats. More than

Round" at the Carousel Theatre next

ping around the fountains and lake

40 corporate and community teams

to the Clarence Brown Theatre on the

at the base of the Sunsphere and

will compete for top awards.

University of Tennessee campus. The

Tennessee Amphitheater. With more

Tennessee Valley Players is pleased

space, seating and natural shade,

to produce the show in collaboration

you’ll enjoy strolling along the water

with the University of Tennessee

while sampling more than 300 beers

School of Music. Showtimes are 7:30

from Tennessee and beyond! Read

p.m. each night, June 6–9 and 13–26.

more at KnoxvilleBrewfest.com.

World's Fair Park

The Cove at Concord Park

28 KUUMBA FESTIVAL Downtown Knoxville

The Kuumba Festival is presented by

7

15

African American Appalachian Arts,

VINTAGE MARKET DAYS

FINDING NEVERLAND

munity development by utilizing cre-

Vintage Market Days is an upscale

The

Broadway.com’s

cultural, artistic programming and

vintage-inspired indoor/outdoor mar-

Audience Choice Award for Best

development. The  festival is located

ket featuring original art, antiques,

Musical, this breathtaking smash

in three primary locations: Market

clothing, jewelry, handmade trea-

“captures the kid-at-heart,” says

Square/Downtown, Haley Heritage

sures, home decor, outdoor furnish-

TIME Magazine. Directed by vision-

Square and Morningside Park.

ings, consumable yummies, seasonal

ary Tony winner Diane Paulus,

plantings and a little more. Vintage

Finding Neverland tells the incred-

Market Days events are so much

ible story behind one of the world’s

more than a flea market. Each event

most beloved characters: Peter Pan.

is a unique opportunity for vendors to

Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to

display their talents and passions in

find inspiration until he meets four

creative venues.

young brothers and their beautiful

Chilhowee Park

Inc. (AAAA), an arts organization that

Tennessee Theatre

winner

of

focuses on positive social and comative methods of education through

widowed mother.

13 KNOXVILLE CHAMBER'S SHRIMP BOIL 2019 Jackson Terminal

32

22 KNOX PRIDE PARADE Gay Street

This event will feature great food and

The parade will start promptly at 10:30

networking. Our local elected offi-

a.m., going down Jackson Avenue,

cials and others from across the state

turning left on Gay Street, turning

of Tennessee have been invited to

left on Church Street continuing to

this extraordinary affair. Table spon-

Howard Baker Jr. Boulevard. Knox

We are always accepting sub-

sorships include one table of eight

Pride will begin immediately follow-

missions for events you'd like to

at Shrimp Boil, table sign displaying

ing and run from noon to 8 p.m. at

see included in our Calendar sec-

your logo, two drink tickets per guest,

Mary Costa Plaza and Performance

tion. Submissions are accepted

plus a bucket of bottled beer  and  a

Lawn (Knoxville Civic Auditorium and

via

family-style shrimp boil spread.

Coliseum Lawn).

WestKnoxvilleLifestyle.com.

West Knoxville Lifestyle | June 2019

the

Contact

Us

tab

at


P UT YO U R C IT Y O N O U R MAP. Start a magazine & build a legacy. Life is short. Love what you do.

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June 2019 | West Knoxville Lifestyle

33


LOCAL’S CHOICE

STOCK UP ON SUMMER

MUST-READS ARTICLE UNION AVE. BOOKS

Andrew Lawler takes a deep dive into the mystery of the lost colony of Roanoke in this absorbing history. The book does not only describe Roanoke  but also

THE SECRET TOKEN BY ANDREW LAWLER

01

details on how the incident has haunted America since it happened. Perfect for both history nuts and the casually interested. Available in paperback on June 4. Andrew Lawler will be at the East TN History Center on June 19 at 6:30 p.m. This event is free. The latest entry in the Jack Ryan Jr. series is here, and it was written by a local author.

TOM CLANCY’S ENEMY CONTACT BY MIKE MADEN

Mike Maden takes the helm of this espionage thriller series

02

about the son of Jack Ryan. Sure to be a hit with fans of Clancy’s original

series. Available

in

hardcover on June 11. Mike Maden will be signing books at Union Ave Books on June 15 at 6 p.m. This event is free. A gritty Appalachian story about life, death, drugs and consequences. Joy is a lyrical and empathetic writer and has the

THE LINE THAT HELD US BY DAVID JOY

ability to turn grim bleakness into

03

beauty. Highly recommended. Available in paperback July 9. Ace Atkins and David Joy will be at the East Tennessee History Center for a joint reading on July 16 at 6:30 p.m. This event is free.

The

latest

Quinn

Colson

mystery from Ace Atkins. Quinn

THE SHAMELESS BY ACE ATKINS

Colson is a sheriff in Mississippi

04

trying to clean up his town, battle a corrupt senator and investigate a 20-year-old cold case in this fastpaced mystery from Ace Atkins. Available in hardcover on July 9.

34

West Knoxville Lifestyle | June 2019


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West Knoxville, TN June 2019  

June 2019 Issue of West Knoxville Lifestyle

West Knoxville, TN June 2019  

June 2019 Issue of West Knoxville Lifestyle