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VOL. 52 NO. 71 |

By Nick Della Volpe

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the creative zone

Creative ways to build sidewalks

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July 29, February 15, 2013 2017

Thompson lives in


We need your help. As a city councilman, you often hear from neighborhood groups and individuals about the need/ desire for more sidewalks, a safer way to get around the neighborhood on foot or bike. In a May Della Volpe 10 Shopper article, I wrote about the five criteria the city’s engineers use to assign priority to sidewalk segments to build. Let’s focus on quantity. Currently, Knoxville builds roughly a mile-plus of new sidewalks and rebuilds another mile-plus of reworked/repaired walks each budget year. How can we build more? If you skip over the restrictions of topography and space limitations, that work generally costs over $1 million per mile. Indeed, it is estimated that retrofitting sidewalks in established areas costs about $300 per running foot, considering land acquisition cost, plans, stormwater drainage (piping and infrastructure), curbs, ADA requirements and the actual concrete pad work. Most of this work is contracted out by the city, although our Public Service crews tackle small segment repairs and replacement, when a break in regular work permits. Public Service is also building some greenway segments. How can we improve on our sidewalk build-out rate? More money is the simple answer, but that resource is as scarce as a pinch of saffron for your next paella. City government services already cost some $215 million of your annual tax dollars. A general tax increase, anyone? Didn’t think so. Realistically, we have to look for creative solutions. That’s where you come in. One obvious solution is to require new subdivisions to include sidewalks in their design and build-out. When built as part of that original build-out and grading, the cost is much lower, estimated at $100 per foot (it depends on drainage, grade, etc.) – roughly 1/3 of the cost of a retrofit. Those dollars would be well invested – buyers will reward the builders for the higher property value conveyed. What else might be tried? Let me jump-start your thoughts: To page A-3

Bob Thompson, South Knoxville’s representative on the Knox County Board of Zoning Appeals, provides the music for his own First Friday art opening at Tori Mason Shoes on Market Square. Photo by Betsy Pickle

And he sees ways to bring creativBy Betsy Pickle Robert H. “Bob” Thompson sees ity into community service, which has been a hallmark of the decade that he things that other people might not. He sees words that seem to fit with has lived in South Knoxville. old landscape paintings he finds in thrift stores, so he paints his thoughts To page A-3 into the pictures.

Artist Bob Thompson likes to make viewers think and feel.

Happy at home: Bowman wins SDHS honor again By Betsy Pickle South-Doyle High School’s Teacher of the Year honorees boast some familiar faces. In fact, all four winners – Missy Ballenger, Julianne Bowman, Emily Frei and Aimee Perry – are repeats. But you might say that Julianne Hickman Bowman’s is the most familiar face. Not only is she a popular math teacher who supports her students in their extracurricular activities, but she’s also a South-Doyle alumna (class of 2004) and the daughter of SouthDoyle teacher Ron Hickman. Bowman is in her fifth year of teaching math at SDHS. She majored in math and minored in education at Maryville College, then taught eighth-grade math in Memphis for four years while her husband, Jason Bowman, went to dental school.

Her dad and mom, Georgann Hill Hickman (now retired after a career at Flenniken and Dogwood Elementary schools and Halls Middle), discouraged her from going into teaching, the family business. Bowman says they worried that because they filled their summers off with fun family times, she would think that teaching was something easy instead of the hard job that it is. But she gave it great thought and decided while still in high school that teaching math was what she wanted to do. She says she’d always loved math. “Mom says it’s because of my first-grade teacher because she was math-heavy and she pushed everyone to be strong in math,” says Bowman. She did find teaching to be hard, especially in her early years in Memphis.

“I struggled with it at first,” she says. “It was a lot of change at once. I got married, moved across the state, started teaching and graduated college all in the same month.” Being away from home made it harder, but she says, “Every new teacher goes through that period, but other people come alongside you and help you and let you know that you can get through it.” Her co-workers are still a favorite part of her job. Her other favorite part is the students. “Even on hard days, it’s the kids that are usually the bright spot,” says Bowman, whose sister, Hannah Harris, teaches second grade at nearby Bonny Kate Elementary. “They’re so much fun, and they’re so giving and loving. It’s really fun to get to work To page A-4

Age discrimination settlement costs tax dollars By Betty Bean Donald Trump is not the only Republican officeholder who’s got a problem with women.

Analysis Knox County’s clerk of Criminal and Fourth Circuit courts, Mike Hammond, has a pattern of behavior that recently cost county taxpayers almost $200,000. The latest scrum was the settlement of an age discrimination lawsuit brought by two female supervisors whom Hammond fired shortly after taking office in September 2014. The firings of Debra Sewell, 62, and Jean Smathers, 68, cleared the way

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dures for a progressive discipline procedure. (Hammond has opted his office out of the county’s HR department.) “Do an annual performance review,” Julian said. “If you want improvement, put it in writing.” The next steps are verbal warning, written reprimand, suspension up to 10 days without pay and termination. “I can’t imagine why anyone would not go through these steps,” Julian said. Another way to terminate is simply to abolish an unneeded position. Hammond gave no reason for the terminations initially, but when the women filed suit in March 2016, he denounced them for running a disorganized, chaotic office permeated by a “circus atmosphere” that allowed lawyers

free run of the place. This accusation was puzzling, even infuriating, to many lawyers who used the office. Fourth Circuit Court was the domain of Judge William Swann, who retired in 2014. His penchant for issuing orders of protection brought massive, angry and often unruly crowds to the City County building on Thursdays, where feuding parties waited for their cases to be called. Extra security was required, and OP Thursdays were dubbed “good love gone bad” days. Hammond has said the office is running more smoothly now, but a veteran lawyer who has handled divorce cases for decades said any changes in the office culture are due to Swann’s successor, Judge Greg McMillan. To page A-4


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for Hammond to hire or promote younger individuals. They probably would have won at trial, but trials are expensive and uncertain and three years is a long time to wait for compensation, so they settled. Smathers received $57,500, Sewell got $65,000 and Hammond Knox County paid their attorney, Jeffrey C. Taylor, $28,100.50 per client. Hammond could have avoided this with better personnel practices. Richard Julian, manager of Knox County’s human resources department, said the employee handbook clearly outlines proce-

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Cancer can’t choose

Woman takes control of her future through genetic testing You hardly ever see her cry, but Carolyn Guffey wipes away tears as she sits at a picnic table in the park, thinking about the sadness of the past, and the bright promise of the future. It’s a chilly day with a bright blue sky, and she joyfully savors every second of it. “I’m looking forward to seeing my children get married,” she says, “I’m looking forward to gray hair.” Guffey, 31, had a double mastectomy after she underwent genetic testing at Thompson Cancer Survival Center – a step that her mother had taken as well. Guffey’s mother passed away after developing aggressive breast cancer. “We watched her get the diagnosis at 46; we saw her go through the treatment,” Guffey says. “When she went into hospice they said it would be three to four months, but she died in three weeks.” Guffey is going public with her story because she wants to let other women know the value of genetic testing, and to know there is life after a double mastectomy. “There’s nobody out there saying, ‘I like myself better now than I did,’” Guffey surmises. “But I’m totally fine, and I sleep better at night knowing that I chose this for my family.” Guffey believes the unknown is what scares most women. If a woman has a family history of cancer, knowing the results of a genetic test can alleviate that fear of the unknown. “I have a daughter,” Guffey says. “I want her to embrace this, not be scared of it.”

Guffey says. “I want life moments. I don’t want anything big and glamorous out of life – I just want to be there.”

“I sleep better at night, knowing I chose this for my family,” says Carolyn Guffey after undergoing genetic testing at Thompson Cancer Survival Center, and a subsequent double mastectomy with reconstructive surgery.

when she first learned her mother had a genetic test with positive results. “I had no idea what that meant. I blew it off, and I kept on going,” Guffey says. It wasn’t until later, when a lump was detected in her own annual mammogram, that Guffey gave it consideration. It Discovering the need was the third time a lump had for testing shown up. Because the first two Preoccupied with caring for had been benign, she had never her dying mother, Guffey hadn’t felt there was much cause for fully comprehended what it meant concern.

A powerful gift

When a doctor heard that Guffey’s mother had tested positive for a gene mutation, he recommended genetic testing for Guffey, too. The results were positive. “I totally expected the results to be negative,” Guffey says. “It took my breath away for just a second, and I knew my life would never be the same.” After a lot of research and much prayer, Guffey decided on a double mastectomy and reconstructive

surgery. “I knew things would be different, and I was going to make the choice whether things were going to be good different or bad different,” Guffey says. It was a difficult process for her, and there were moments when she wondered if she’d made the right choice. Those thoughts have given way to stronger faith and a sense of peace about the future. “I look forward to bad days, the days the kids drive me crazy,”

Guffey says her mother’s decision to undergo genetic testing was a gift packaged with powerful knowledge. As for the double mastectomy, Guffey says it’s not right for everyone, but she is 100 percent certain it was the right choice for her. “Cancer won’t decide my future,” she says, “I choose my future.” Guffey also points to recent advances in reconstructive surgery. She’s getting on with her life, with her body fully intact. However, she also has learned that she is more than the sum of her body parts. She is a wife, a mother and a friend. The thought of what her future might have been if her own mother had chosen not to have genetic testing is a little overwhelming. “Cancer robs people,” Guffey says. “It steals joy and families; it takes young people too soon.” Her hope is that more women will become aware of the availability of genetic counseling and testing. She also hopes women will not fear mastectomy if they and their physicians determine it’s the right choice. “Standing in front of the mirror, I can honestly say today that I feel prettier than I did before,” Guffey says. To learn more about genetic counseling and testing at Thompson Cancer Survival Center, visit or call 865331-2350.

What is genetic testing? A simple blood test can lead to powerful knowledge. Genetic testing at Thompson Cancer Survival Center is giving more men and women a chance to take control of cancer risks. If a patient receives positive genetic test results, it means he or she has a hereditary cause for cancer, and there is an increased risk for certain types of cancer. “It doesn’t mean you have cancer,” test recipient Carolyn Guffey says. “I needed to know that difference, and I think a lot of people do.” Haley Pace, a genetic counselor at Thompson Cancer Survival Center, explains how the test results might help prevent cancer, or prepare patients before cancer shows up. “Knowing a hereditary cause for cancer in a patient enables us to understand what cancers to screen better for, or to try to

reduce the risks for,” says Haley. “It also helps us know what to test for in other family members, so we can determine if they also have higher risks for certain cancers.” The need for genetic testing is determined based on genetic counseling that pulls together all the factors that might play a part in a person’s risk of developing cancer. Pace says there are several red flags in a person’s medical history or family history that can indicate that a genetic counseling appointment is needed. Some of those indicators are cancer diagnosed before age 50, a strong family history of cancer, two cancers in the same person, and diagnosis of a rare type of cancer. To learn more about genetic counseling and testing, visit or call (865) 331-2350.

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South Knox Shopper news • February 15, 2017 • A-3

Betty Norris of Rockford and David Lacy of Farragut are regular performers at the South Knox Opry. “We go where the music is,” says Lacy. Elvis fans Louise Cook, Marlene Krzak (pointing), Doris Brown, Robin Collins, Shelvie Kennedy, Janet Word and Lenna Hill get a hunka Valentine fun at the South Knoxville Senior Center. Photos by Betsy Pickle

Juanita Johnson plays bass in a sideroom jam.

Bill Vance, Perry Cooper, Raymond Bellamy and Tommy Bellamy jam on old-time music.

South Knox Opry sees red By Betsy Pickle South Knoxville Senior Center coordinator Janet Word will use any excuse for a party. Valentine’s Day was a no-brainer. With the weekly South Knox Opry drawing as

many as 90 people regularly, Word and assistant Lenna Hill encouraged attendees to help turn last Thursday’s event into a Valentine’s party. Word dusted off Elvis (an animatronic Elvis Presley head) and spread

hearts everywhere, and a party it was. Seniors – especially the women – played along by wearing red and bringing goodies to share. The Opry musicians did their share by including love songs along

with traditional country and bluegrass tunes. The senior center also celebrated on the actual day. Tai Chi instructor Don Parsley offered a little Valentine’s Day party along with his regular classes.

Bob Thompson lives in the ‘creative zone’


Building more sidewalks

Bob Thompson’s quirky word paintings demonstrate his love of surrealism. ings were initially inspired by the works of Chattanooga native Wayne White, but it was important to him to create his own style. The words he paints into the pictures – which he tweaks for the desired effect – usually require viewers to feel as much as think. Thompson, a native of Kansas City, moved to Knoxville to work for TVA after graduating from law school at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He met his wife, who grew up in Halls, at TVA. They lived in Fountain City for 20 years before moving to South Knoxville. He got involved in the SDNA because he was concerned about a proposed housing development near

■■ South Knox Republican Club. Info: Kevin Teeters,

■■ South Haven Neighborhood Association. Info: Pat Harmon, 591-3958.

■■ Colonial Village Neighborhood Association. Info: Terry Caruthers, 579-5702,

■■ South of the River Democrats (9th District). Info: Debbie Helsley, 789-8875, or Brandon Hamilton, 809-3685.

■■ South Woodlawn Neigh■■ Knoxville Chapter of the borhood Association. Info: Tennessee Firearms AssociaShelley Conklin, 686-6789. tion. Info: Liston Matthews, ■■ South-Doyle Neighborhood 316-6486. ■■ Knoxville Tri-County Lions Club. Info: TriCountyLions/info.

■■ Old Sevier Community Group. Info: Gary E. Deitsch, 573-7355 or garyedeitsch@

his property. That’s typical of many who start coming to neighborhood meetings anywhere. But Thompson has remained active. He says that group members may be far apart politically, but they’re all concerned about their community. County Commissioner Carson Dailey, a fellow SDNA member who served on the BZA until he was elected to the commission last fall, encouraged Thompson to take on the BZA position. “It’s interesting,” he says. “Back in the old days, when County Commission would run it, they gave a variance to everyone that asked for one.” Now, the BZA takes a

hard look at requests and follows established development standards. Thompson takes time to do the research to make the best decisions. He believes that the spirit of creativity can enrich business and government. He uses his art to benefit the community, often donating paintings for silent auctions. SoKno should be proud of its artistic community, he says. “In 37920, you’ve got virtually every kind of creative pursuit,” Thompson says. “Metal workers, glass workers, potters, painters, people who draw, audiovisual people, musicians, fabric people; you’ve just got everything.”

Association. Info: Mark Mugford, 609-9226 or marksidea@ ■■ Vestal Community Organization. Info: Katherine Johnson, 566-1198.

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■■Start a build-asidewalk lottery (probably requires state legislation) with the proceeds dedicated exclusively to building more sidewalks. Hey, we are sending kids to college already. ■■Where the topography is relatively flat, substitute a ground-level, meandering path through the edge of front yards – essentially a greenway. Give them an easement. Mom could easily mow right over the grass without edging. ■■Seek business sponsors, award development mitigation credit for sidewalk additions. That’s just a start. I’ve asked my district neighborhoods to discuss this at their next meeting. You may have the answer. So, put on your thinking caps. Let’s rise up out of the ditches!

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■■ Send announcements of your community organizations or update this list with an email to News@ShopperNewsNow. com

Call 865-742-5977 or 865-591-4073 for schedules

■■Have the city build more sidewalks in-house, hiring a full time crew (e.g., four or five masons and laborers plus a Bobcat operator and a carpenter). They could progress block by block virtually yearround. ■■Devise a subscription fee or tax surcharge, block by block, to fund additional contractor services where neighbors agree to pay. I remember years ago KUB instituted a sewer-improvement charge for their build-out. ■■Organize skilled, incommunity handy-dads to tackle one block at a time; recognizing that they would have to clear plans with the city engineers (there are ADA, drainage and material issues). Realistically, they might need a volunteer architect or engineer to prepare plans for approval. Consider generic plans by the East Tennessee Community Design Center? ■■Scour and reach out to state and federal grants that might aid non-polluting transportation.

From page A-1

Got the "1040" Flu? Call the Tax Doctor

CPR/BLS Certification and First Aid Classes

■■ Lake Forest Neighborhood Association. Info: Molly Gilbert, 209-1820 or ■■ Lindbergh Forest Neighborhood Association. Info: Kelley DeLuca, 660-4728,

From page A-1

4421 Whittle Springs Road, Suite B, Knoxville, TN 37917 KN-1477244

A show of Thompson’s art opened on First Friday at the gallery space at Tori Mason Shoes, 29 Market Square. The exhibit will be up through the end of March. Thompson shows his community spirit monthly at meetings of the SouthDoyle Neighborhood Association and, since the fall, on the Knox County Board of Zoning Appeals, on which he serves as the representative for District 9. Being retired – he worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority as a lawyer for 30 years – gives him time to spend on his art and his volunteerism. He and wife Kaye, also retired, are empty-nesters – both of their sons are grown – except for their two cats and a “grand-dog” of which they “share custody.” Thompson says he has been a “doodler” since he was a kid, but he’s selftaught. He’s also played the guitar since he was young – he entertained attendees with lovely acoustic music at his art opening – and did take lessons, but “my last teacher got drafted and sent to Vietnam, if that tells you anything.” Thompson’s word paint-

Agnes Claxton, Mary Reagan and Jack Reagan (below) hug a back corner and their coffee cups as they listen to the Opry musicians.

865-281-6510 |

A-4 • February 15, 2017 • South Knox Shopper news

Bowman wins

Strange first pets Last week, I wrote about Tad Lincoln’s goats running through the White House and even sleeping in his bed. The Lincolns were not the only family to have Kip goats as pets. Our 23rd president, Benjamin Harrison, let his billy goat, Whiskers, pull his grandchildren around the White House. The goat did, however, run out of the yard with the cart down Pennsylvania Avenue with the president chasing them for several blocks. Most of our presidents have had some kind of bird as a pet, but Washington Post, William McKinley’s parrot, may have been the most talented of all. He could finish any song the president began and would always say “Look at all the pretty girls” to any women who stopped by his cage. Several first families had very unusual pets. William Taft, 27th president, had a dairy cow at the White House. She grazed on the lawn and slept in the garage with his several cars. Woodrow Wilson, our 28th president, kept sheep on the White House lawn because there were no gardeners during World War I.

The sheep also raised more than $100,000 for the Red Cross when their wool was sheared and auctioned. Horses were another regular pet at the White House. John Kennedy, 35th president, let his daughter, Caroline, have a pony called Macaroni pull her and her brother around the White House in a sleigh. The pony was so special, kids around the country wrote letters to him. One other pony, Algonquin, actually got inside the White House. He was the pony of Theodore Roosevelt’s son Archie, and Archie’s brothers sneaked the pony into the White House elevator on the way to Archie’s room to cheer him up when he was sick with measles. Apart from all the odd pets, almost every first family had a dog, but Spot, George W. Bush’s dog, is the only pet to live in the White House under two presidents: George H.W. Bush, 41st president, and George W. Bush, 43rd president. Spot was born in the White House as the puppy of George H.W. Bush’s dog, Millie, and was given to George W. Bush, who was president eight years later. Next week, we will see how first pets became “famous” first pets! Please send comments to oswalds worldtn@gmail. com

with the students in South Knoxville and to get to work in my hometown and go back and still be a part of the community. I love that aspect of it.” This year, students and parents joined teachers in voting for Teacher of the Year; previously, only teachers voted. Bowman says her

art-teacher father isn’t jealous of the fact that she’s won the honor twice and he has never won. He was a finalist last year. When he didn’t win, “he acted sad,” she says. “I’m pretty sure it was a joke. “He said he’s not going to retire until he wins. He is a mess.”

Lawsuit settlement

Ron Hickman and Julianne Hickman Bowman beam after a SouthDoyle High School Cherokees 2016 home playoff win. Dad and daughter both teach at South-Doyle, where Bowman recently earned her second Teacher of the Year award. Photo submitted

Rust Round-Up to launch campaign Linda Rust is holding a “Rust Round-Up” to collect signatures on her petition to qualify as a candidate for City Council. Rust, president of the South Haven Neighborhood Association, is asking registered voters from the First District (South Knoxville, Fort Sanders) to sign the petition. The “Rust Round-Up” will be held 5:30-7 p.m. TuesdayFriday, Feb. 21-24, and 9-noon Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Round-Up Restaurant, 3643 Sevierville Pike.

Ed & Bob heading South

Knox County at-large Commissioners Ed Brantley and Bob Thomas will meet 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Kay’s Ice Cream, 6200 Chapman Highway. Thomas and Brantley have held monthly meetings in various parts of Knox County since their election in 2014. Both say that going out to the citizens eases the strain on those who cannot attend regular commission meetings.

865-314-8171 KN-1462193

From page A-1

“You need look no further than the judge who sat in Fourth Circuit for 30 years for creating whatever atmosphere was there. The judge sets the tenor,” the lawyer said. “Ms. Sewell and Ms. Smathers were the go-to people in that office. When you needed a question answered or something done, you went to them. I’d say they have more friends in the courthouse than Mike Hammond. This was a debacle. He took that office’s institutional memory out in one day.” Clashes with women are becoming a hallmark of Hammond’s post-county commission career (he is a career radio broadcaster who served as a county

From page A-1

commissioner for 10 years). He ran unopposed in 2014 after unleashing a barrage of withering attacks on his predecessor, Joy McCroskey, who chose not to stand for re-election. Next he took aim at the county’s other court clerk, Cathy Quist Shanks, who heads operations for the balance of Circuit Court as well as Juvenile and General Sessions courts. Late last year, in a memo to Mayor Tim Burchett marked “Confidential,” he outlined a plan to consolidate his office with that of Shanks. She quickly criticized his plan, saying he was trying to make himself a “super clerk” who would control hundreds of jobs and a massive budget. Hammond retreated.

Honeybee takes flight

Greg Cates of Saba Rock Partners and Norris Hill, co-owner of Honeybee Coffee Co., still holding pieces of ribbon, flank Mayor Madeline Rogero after the official Honeybee ribbon-cutting on Feb. 8. Rogero thanked Saba Rock for restoring the building at the corner of Sevier Avenue and Jones Street that Honeybee now occupies. Photo by Betsy Pickle

South Knox Shopper news • February 15, 2017 • A-5

Custom jewelry fills one of the cases at Fagan’s.

Ron Fagan designed this custom ring with swirling bands of diamonds.

Fagan started designing jewelry in his home some 25 years ago.

Creative talent shines at Fagan’s By Joanna Henning Ron Fagan’s mother once told him that the “good Lord blesses with natural talents instead of material possessions.” As it turns out, her words held more truth than anyone ever would have imagined. Ron and Clytie Fagan have owned and operated Fagan Jewelers since 1991, and after moving the business to several South Knoxville locations, they finally found their current home at 7425 Chapman Highway. The store has a homey feel with a setup similar to someone’s living room and kitchen. Young couples try

on wedding rings while sitting on tall, bar-style chairs, making the scene welcoming and f a m i l i a r. Meanwhile Emma, the Pomeranian, peers out from the back room Ron Fagan where the Fagans’ daughter is working. Every inch of Fagan’s reflects Ron’s love of art and craftsmanship. The walls are adorned with his original paintings and woodcarvings. He even crafted

the shelving from local hickory trees. Naturally, Ron’s artistry and creative talents flow into his jewelry. “We’ve been creating custom jewelry for at least 25 years, and we always try to keep up with the latest technologies like CAD (computer aided design), but these advances can’t replace a jeweler that can visualize what the customer has in mind.” He illustrates his point with a dazzling ring that he designed for a customer with bands of diamonds intertwining and overlapping into an intricate swirl

of light. “Over the years I have been asked to create a new piece of jewelry using engagement rings and wedding bands when one partner has passed on. I am honored that my customers have trusted me with something so special and to them, sacred.” But Ron didn’t get his start in the jewelry business through design. “Like a lot of businesses, this one started in my living room,” Ron explains. “We decided, ‘why not open a jewelry store and let it pay for our rent.’” So open it they did, sell-

ing jewelry at hospital auxiliaries. Soon afterward, Baptist Hospital began showcasing their jewelry, and other hospitals followed suit. Their original store opened in the Lakemont Shopping Center on Alcoa Highway, followed by a location in Chapman Square where it was called The Gold Post. Finally, in 2004, they moved to their current location, next to Chop House restaurant. Ron appears to be truly blessed as his mother once said, but not only with natural talents. He has a thriving family business doing

Computers can’t replace a jeweler’s vision of what the customer wants, Fagan said. work that he loves. And his favorite part? His customers. “We see our customers as an extended family. It’s very special when a customer, who bought their engagement ring from us years ago, brings their son or daughter to us to get their engagement ring. That’s when you know you’ve got a real family business.”

Artist Sheri Treadwell lives her passion Though she moved back to her native California five years ago after 18 years in Knoxville, Sheri Treadwell, former owner of Good Life Gallery in Fountain City, visits East Tennessee often. “Oh, I miss it,” she says. “Tennesseans really make friends when they make friends, and they keep them forever!” Primarily a sculptor, with one of her pieces in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, Treadwell now focuses on what she calls “wearable art.” “My current work reflects a ‘smalling down’ of the sculptures. I’ve always

Carol Z. Shane

been interested in feminine forms; I’ve been sculpting women for a long time in sort of a quasi-fantasy aspect.” She’s drawn to biomimicry – a concept found in science as well as art and architecture. The lithe, vine-laden Art Nouveau forms of the early 20th century are an example of the style. Treadwell forms

Here I am After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” (Genesis 22:1 NRSV) Don’t say to God “Here I am” unless you really mean it. God will take you up on your offer. The dealings between God and Abraham were unusual, to say the least. God had promised Abraham a son, but God was slow in delivering on that promise. Sarah was well past the age of childbearing when three men appeared before Abraham. Being a good host, he offered them food and drink. The men told Abraham that his wife would bear him a son. Sarah, inside the tent, laughed out loud. She knew better. Or thought she did! The Lord then spoke to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?” But Sarah compounded her mistake by denying that she had laughed. The Lord said, “Oh, yes, you did laugh.” (Note to self: Don’t argue with the Lord!) God was as good as His word, however, and Sarah did indeed bear a son in her old age.

her pieces out of polymer clay, then paints, distresses and textures them. Each is unique. She sells her work at fairs, festivals and trunk shows. “I take them where I want to go. It’s a fun way to travel,” she says. “I’ve found that the way people connect to my work provokes really interesting conversations. I think that, for them, meeting the artist and getting to ask me where that face or inspiration came from is a little bit of magic.” Treadwell also has a knack for finding exactly the right item. “It’s because I know the piece so well, and there’s some spark between the way it speaks to

– I feel like a matchmaker when it comes to pairing my work with people.” Recently, she joined with Broadway Studios and Gallery to host a “bohemian event in an evening” complete with a gypsy tarot card reader and belly dancers. “It’s not enough anymore to just have a display of your work; it has to create a mood,” she says. “That Sculptor Sheri Treadwell en- sets the scene for people to joys making and selling her imagine themselves into “wearable art.” Photo by Carol your work.” Z. Shane She also sells online at me and the way the person and says that there was speaks to me. What is that “nothing natural about” song? ‘Matchmaker, match- her mostly-self-taught foray maker, make me a match’ into web-based marketing.

“It was hard work to switch over from the old way of selling,” she says. “I had a really hard time finding people who understood what I was trying to convey. But truly I’m a real self-starter and always have been; I’ve never worked for anyone else. It was a matter of saying, ‘OK, here’s what I need, how do I do this, can I hire an expert’ and learning to do it myself.” She admits, “I find the whole thing fun. But mostly I love to make the work. I think every single artist on the planet would spend their lives just making their work if they could.”

In the “Shark Tank” are (back) Ashlyn Beal, Mikenzie Setzer, Cheyenne Dunford, Brittany Tate, Clara Suters, Grace Garren and Ella Brush; (front) Katie Antrican, Anna Cooper, Beth Suters and Hollie Ruffner. They make up Girl Scout Cadette Troop #20670. They are currently earning their entrepreneurship badges with a project styled after the television program “Shark Tank.” Teams of girls pitch their ideas for organizations to receive donations and volunteer support, and a panel of “sharks” votes. Troop leader Leslie Suters leads the Girl Scout pledge.

Cross Currents

Lynn Pitts

Then comes one of the most suspenseful and painful stories in scripture. The Lord instructs Abraham to take his only son Isaac – this yearned-for miracle child! – and offer him for a burnt offering on a mountain to which God would lead him. What a terrible, horrific test! At this point in the story, I always envision the rendition in the movie “The Bible.” I can see Abraham’s upraised arm, his hand holding the knife that would sacrifice that precious, prayed-for son. God’s brinksmanship always makes me uncomfortable, until I remember that God watched His own Son die, with no lamb to take His place!

Senior softball league seeking players Knoxville senior coed softball league games will begin 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 4, and will continue each Tuesday and Thursday morning through Oct. 26. The goals of this noncompetitive league for men over 60 and women over 55 are fun, exercise and fellowship. No scores are kept, no strikeouts and everyone plays. All games will take place at Caswell Park, 570 Winona St. Cost is $10. Info: Bob Rice, 573-2189 or kxsenior

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last words Tom Jensen:

A-6 • February 15, 2017 • South Knox Shopper news

Most interesting Volunteer

The civic club speech was “Highly favored, richly blessed.” My modest remarks included tidbits about Sarah and Tom Siler and Ralph Millett and Roland Julian and a who’s-who of Tennessee sports names that are or were at least a small part of my life – all the way back to Nathan W. Dougherty, who tipped a nickel each week for newspaper delivery, Robert R. Neyland when he was bigger than his bronze statue and even an interesting sophomore tailback, Carolyn and Tom Jensen John Majors, in a 1954 geography class. Tom and Carolyn have “Any questions?” said the two children, Cindy, who host. is married to Mike Segers, From a face in the crowd: the pastor of Inskip Baptist “Of all those, the hundreds Church for 18 years, and or a thousand, who was the Tom, who is city execumost interesting?” tive of Mountain ComI was suddenly speechmerce Bank. They have four grandchildren. Jensen also less. No way I was going to answer that. No way. served on the Knoxville But the wheels started Airport Authority and was whirring. Stu Aberdeen. chair part of that time. ■■ Ijams: The new ex- Condredge Holloway. Dewecutive director of Ijams ey Warren. Richmond FlowNature Center is Amber ers. Ernie Grunfeld. Ray Parker, 45, who starts to Bussard. Peyton Manning. Willie Gault. Pat Summitt. work Feb. 20. Ijams is a showcase area Howard Bayne. Steve Kiner. in South Knoxville that has A.W. Davis. Reggie White. been part of environmental Chuck Rohe. I shook my head and said awareness, learning and enjoyment for the city and county for many years. Parker relocates from Parsley, Va., where she was executive director of ChinA slate of women cancoteague Bay Field Station didates is looking to take on the eastern shore of over leadership of the Knox Virginia. She was special County Democratic Party. programs coordinator The candidate for chair is and education director at Emily Gregg, a senior mathe Great Smoky Mounjoring in Classics (with a tains Institute at Tremont concentration in civilizafrom 2001 to 2007. tion) at the University of She earned a degree in Tennessee. zoology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh in 1994 and a master’s degree in environmental studies from Prescott ColBetty lege in Arizona in 2007. Bean “I love East Tennessee. Ijams is perfect for me as I She got active in KCDP love to grow programs and Ijams is poised for real growth as a freshman in 2012. The Nashville native is making and new opportunities,” the rounds of district meetParker said. She mentioned ings during the run-up to the wilderness program in South Knoxville as an exciting the March 25 countywide reorganization convention development for Ijams. and was a featured speakShe plans to keep Symer at both the Democratic phony in the Park, a soldWomen of Knoxville and out event each September. “It is an incredible honor to the First District Democrats last week. be asked to serve and I am First District Democrats excited to take Ijams to the president, the Rev. Harold next level,” she said. Middlebrook, reminded his She follows Paul James group that their district has as the permanent director, but Bo Townsend served for more Democrats than any in Knox County, and will have the past several months as 55 delegates to the county interim director. convention. ■■ Bill Frist, former He challenged them to U.S. Senate majority leader, work on ways to get more turns 65 on Feb. 22. Frist African-Americans innow lives in Nashville. volved. Linda Haney, the ■■ This writer just slate’s candidate for vice returned from 6 days on chair, offered to step aside if Easter Island, owned by a member of the black comChile and located in the South Pacific. Will compose munity wants to run.  a report soon. It was on my  Party treasurer Shannon bucket list. Webb will seek to stay in

Legislative pioneer In the 1970s, Tom Jensen was an important person if you had business before the Legislature and lived in Knox County as he was the Republican leader of the House for eight of the 12 years he served (1966 to 1978).

Victor Ashe

Jensen led the effort for a truly independent Legislature. He helped change the way things were done in a Legislature where the annual salary was $1,800 a year in 1967 and there were no offices for the members. Jensen, 82, lives in North Knox County now on Pine Harbor Lane with his wife, Carolyn. They have been married 56 years. She was field representative for Dr. Bill Frist for the 12 years he served in the U.S. Senate from Tennessee. Tom Jensen was Gov. Winfield Dunn’s House floor leader during the four years that he served as the first Republican governor in over 40 years. Jensen represented northwest Knoxville and Knox County when Brown Ayres and Fred Berry served in the state Senate. Jensen considers the creation of a state kindergarten system to be the most significant and lasting legislation he helped enact. At the time it passed, enrollment was voluntary for all students as it was still a novel idea for Tennessee at that time. Later, attendance became mandatory. Jensen said, “Winfield was interested in legislation and the state’s welfare, whereas Ray Blanton just wanted to get by, exist and not for much of anything.” Jensen became president of the National Conference of State Legislators and pushed for the Legislature to be an informed, independent branch of state government through tools such as the Fiscal Review Committee. Jensen locally insisted the Knox delegation hold regular Saturday meetings during the legislative session at the City County Building where any citizen could come to speak. This was done for 14 years; it has now been discontinued. He recalls the late state Sen. Houston Goddard of Maryville, who later became an appellate judge, to be “memorable and a statesman.”

Marvin West

there were too many interesting choices. I offered the valid excuse that the mind plays tricks in old age and got the heck out of there – to a standing ovation I am sure. After all, others were leaving, too. That afternoon, “most interesting” came back time and time again. I thought of Coppley Vickers and Doug Atkins and Phil Garner and Lester McClain and Orby Lee Bowling. More and more, many more. I finally got around to Robert Allen Dickey, baseball pitcher and English lit major of the mid-1990s, avid reader, academic AllAmerican, Olympic star. He was the first-round draft choice who lost $735,000 in bonus money when the Texas Rangers discovered his right elbow lacked an ulnar collateral ligament. He did the bouncearound, sometimes here

but mostly there. I recalled an unusual game with the Buffalo Bisons against the Durham Bulls. R.A. gave up a leadoff single and retired the next 27 batters. He eventually got paid, as in many millions, when he mastered the rare art of delivering an angry knuckleball, not a butterfly, for strikes. He had one-hitters back to back and set a bunch of records. He won 20 games and the National League Cy Young Award in 2012 with the New York Mets. He got a really big payday from the Toronto Blue Jays. He will appear this summer, at age 42, with the Atlanta Braves. Dickey is married to Anne Bartholomew of the famous Middle Tennessee football family. They have four children. He is very interesting. He is the only former Vol to have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. He got that urge from his boyhood read of Hemingway. His risky mission was to raise funds and awareness for one of his charitable projects, the prevention or reduction of trafficking of women in India. Dickey is an evangelical

Christian who helps Honoring the Father ministries in Ocala, Fla. It sends medical supplies, powdered milk and baseball equipment to impoverished youth in Latin America. He has been profiled on “60 Minutes” and featured in The New Yorker. He wrote a very personal book, a jagged, cutting memoir, “Wherever I Wind Up,” that describes sexual abuse by a baby sitter, tough times growing up with an alcoholic mother, his sins as a husband and how close he came to suicide. R.A. Dickey is the only exVol with an honorary doctorate from Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto. He spoke to graduates of the Anglican theological school. “This life is about changing other lives; it’s about introducing people to the hope of Christ.” Dickey has been called the smartest player in baseball. I can’t substantiate that. Some of the stuff he reads and talks about is above my understanding. I can say, based on Tennessee sports family standards, he is very interesting. So is Joshua Dobbs.

Slate of women campaigning to head Knox Dems the usual suspects, that position. citing two UT offiGregg said one of cials, Chris Cimino, her first priorities vice chancellor for is to organize and finance and adminsustain the wave of istration for the energy generated Knoxville campus, by the inauguration and Butch Peccolo, of President Donald former UT treasurTrump. er, who were nudged “Volunteers are Allie Cohn Emily Gregg Jon Shefner out of meetings concoming to us left and right, from every di- subcommittee that is mov- ducted by the state’s Office rection,” she said. “We get ing to heal lingering Bernie/ of Customer Focused Government when they started three or four signups on our Hillary party rifts. “People do want to talk voicing doubts about outwebsite every day because people are so concerned, so about it – in a positive sourcing. “There are two ways to we want to focus on build- way,” Cohn said. “A lot of ing the party’s infrastruc- people chose not to vote. make money by outsourcture – if we’re not in tip- We really need to under- ing: pay a lower wage with top shape, we could really stand why people sat this fewer benefits, or diminish the quality of services. see our government suffer. election out. “Not one legislator has “We need to find out what We’re trying to find a home for all of those volunteers people want from the party. come out openly in favor so we can hit the ground The class divide is getting of this plan. … Legislators bigger and bigger, and it’s know their constituents will running in 2018.” Speaking of running, Al- less a Democrat/Republican be harmed,” Shefner said. The campus workers lie Cohn, a human energy thing than a top 1 percent have scheduled a rally in bomb who moved to Knox- and the rest of us thing. “What is it the party can Nashville March 9 that will ville from Gainesville, Fla., last August, is a candidate offer them? We’re Demo- culminate in some arrests, for secretary, and came to crats. We want to fight for Shefner said. “We need you to come to the Democratic Women’s people.” The First District Demo- our office and help us make meeting with Gregg. Fresh off a trip to Phila- crats’ meeting opened with phone calls. We need money delphia as a Bernie Sanders a presentation from UT so- – money for buses, money delegate to the Democratic ciology professor and Ten- to pay the bonds. There are National Convention, Cohn nessee Higher Education working people in serious contacted KCDP the day she Union representative Jon anxiety about their jobs all arrived, and got a call the Shefner, who updated the across the state. Many thounext day from party activ- crowd on Gov. Bill Haslam’s sands of jobs will be lost, ist Chris Barber inviting her efforts to outsource physi- and it will impact local busito help with Gloria John- cal plant workers’ jobs nesses.” Middlebrook said he son’s legislative campaign. in universities and state plans to be there. Last month, she served as parks. “I haven’t been to jail in Shefner said Haslam’s a marshal in the Women’s March in Washington, and plan has met with great re- some time. I’m getting my is a member of a progressive sistance, and not just from bond together.”

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