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3080 West State Street, Bristol, TN


Tennessee Technology Center at Elizabethton

Dean Blevins

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. - The Tennessee Technology Center at Elizabethton, located near the convergence of Watauga and Doe Rivers in Northeast Tennessee within a short driving distance from western North Carolina and southwest Virginia, is the seventh largest among 27 Tennessee Technology Centers. TTC-Elizabethton, which opened in 1965, serves students and employers in Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties. TTC-Elizabethton has a student completion

July, 2010

rate of 73 percent and job placement rate of 90 percent. Nursing students have a licensure pass rate of 93 percent on the Tennessee Board of Nursing examination to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. TTC-Elizabethton admits more than 240 students to the nursing program each year, making it one of the largest in Tennessee. Plans are being made to move all training classes to a single location when additional facilities are constructed at the Main Campus, located at 426 Highway 91 in Elizabethton. A record 475 students enrolled at TTC-Elizabethton in the 2009 Fall Trimester. Enrollment could double or triple with additional faculty and facilities, according to Dean Blevins, director, who has 22 years experience in vocational education at secondary and post-secondary levels. Classes are also held in Kingsport, Mountain City, and in Elizabethton at the Workforce Development Complex, 386 Highway 91, and at the Herman Robinson Campus, located at 1500 Arney Street. An off-campus facility on Highway 91, called the Hunter Instructional Center, was leased and retrofitted for a new pipefitting class that began in Feburary of 2010. Full-time training programs at TTC-Elizabethton take 12 to 20 months to complete. They are Automotive, Business Systems, Computer Information, Diesel Powered Equipment, Electricity-Electronics, HVAC-Refrigeration,

Millwright Skills, Industrial Pipefitting, Practical Nursing and Welding. Students attend class Monday through Friday, 30 hours per week. The registration fee for all full-time training programs is $800 per trimester, except nursing and welding which is $900. Financial assistance from the Federal Pell Grant and Tennessee Lottery, totaling $2,449 per trimester, is available to students who qualify. Numerous online courses are also offered, including Dietary Management. Since the program began in 2004, more than 185 students in 28 states have completed the eight-month online training, which prepares graduates for the national credentialing exam to become Certified Dietary Managers and for employment in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and correctional and large day care facilities across the U.S. In the 2009 Fall Trimester, TTC-Elizabethton offered an online dual enrollment training course for 25 students from high schools in Elizabethton and Carter County. The dual enrollment program will be expanded to other high schools in the region in the near future. TTC-Elizabethton generates $5.76 to the region’s economy in return for every dollar it spends. A summary of all training programs offered on campus and online, as well as an online application, may be found on the TTC-Elizabethton Web site,

Website: Published Monthly by Star Printing

Volume 1, Issue 2

Send news and photo items to: Send advertising orders to:

Ron Scalf, Editor & Publisher Heather Laurendeau, Graphics & News Editor Pam Johnson, Advertising Sales Manager Pam Rhymer, Advertising Sales Associate Jim Sherrill, Advertising Sales Associate

Jon Ruetz, Contributing Writer Eileen Rush, Contributing Writer Amanda Carr, Contributing Writer Tyler Blake, Contributing Writer Jeri George, WQUT Music & Concert Information

All free-lance material submitted becomes the property of Out ‘N About Magazine. Out ‘N About Magazine is not affiliated with any other newspaper or magazine published in the USA. Advertising contained in this publication is accepted by the publisher upon the representation that the individual, agency or advertiser is authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter contained in the advertisement. The individual, agency or advertiser agrees to indemnify and save and hold the publisher harmless from any loss of expense resulting from claims, legal action or suits based upon contents of any advertisement, including any claims or suits for defamation, copyright infringement, libel, plagiarism or right of privacy.

July 2010

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Jonesborough Mayor Leads Town Improvement Efforts ect because the county and mayor, basically a volunteer job. “In business even if used its own crew. He you’re your own boss, you still have folks to answer to. . believes the $300,000 .your customers, employees, sub-contractors and most impaving bill would have portantly in my case, my wife, my biggest partner, “ he said with a laugh. “In politics there are clearly defined roles. It’s been twice that. “I have a great rela- very challenging to assemble a core group of people to extionship with (current ecute a plan in government that is sometime accomplished and outgoing) Mayor through a non-conventional manner in an effort to get George Jaynes and I things done. And, as I said before, we answer to the taxpayapproached him about ers and they use the ballot box as a barometer concerning the parking lot situa- how good a job we’re doing.” tion. Most people don’t know that its owned by Kelly Wolfe Quick Facts the county. Most people think everything • Is a University of Vanderbilt g raduate. that’s within the town is our responsibility Cringes during football season. and that’s simply not true. I don’t think you • Enjoys playing the piano and performing can represent the town at church and social gatherings on occaas a major tourist stop sions. when you have the largest parking area in the town riddled with • Is a member of the State Republican pot holes and 30 years Executive Committee. Became interested Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe, outside new building of hodgepodge paving. in politics in high school and later was the Jonesborough, TN. -- A year and a half into his term The restroom facilities is also an improvement for our visiState Chairman of College Republicans. as Jonesborough’s mayor, Kelly Wolfe is reluctant to take tors and it opened this week.” With the downturn in the economy Mayor Wolfe said credit for several projects that are now complete but were he is also proud of the fact that he has guided two budgets on the drawing board for years. A partnership with the county led to the much needed through without raising proprepair and paving of the main parking lot behind the his- erty taxes. “I’m a firm believer torical courthouse on Main Street, a new bathroom facil- that it’s incumbent upon us as ity is now open also behind the courthouse, new sidewalks elected officials to justify takhave been installed and the creek that meanders through ing more tax dollars from the town has also gotten some stabilization attention. And, taxpayers. Some merchants many areas of this popular tourist town has gotten some are having a hard time downtown but so are some on 19E. much needed landscaping attention. Wolfe said he is just using his “life lessons learned” as The economy as a whole is exa builder and business owner to take, “a new approach in periencing some effects of the running the town’s day-to-day operations,” he said recently recession. We’ve had a sales tax dip but not as quickly as from his office in Tennessee’s oldest town. “I don’t claim to have any exceptional abilities (but) I other places and we enjoyed guess my success largely comes out of my development ex- some growth which has susperience. . .and in home building and a genuine desire to tained us. By being good stewtake what the Good Lord has blessed me with and put back ards of the taxpayers money, into my community,” Wolfe said with his signature boyish and at the end of the day that’s smile. “I believe the past year and a half, where we have who we work for, we have not enjoyed great progress in Jonesborough, comes with hav- had to raise taxes and I’m not ing good organizational skills and a comprehensive busi- in favor of increasing property ness plan. “Plus, we have a very good and dedicated group taxes but rather, living within of people who work for the town who have put that plan our means.” Wolfe draws an interesting into action.” Wolfe explained that the estimated $500,000 in recent difference between business improvements would have cost much more if the county and politics when asked about had not partnered with Jonesborough in the paving proj- his dull role as a businessman Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe with Operations Manager Craig Ford at downtown creek project

Out ‘N About Magazine

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Delivering Your Voice to Washington. Tennessee’s 1st Congressional District consisting of: Carter, Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Johnson, Sevier, Sullivan, Washington, and Unicoi Counties.

Paid for by Citizens to Elect Phil Roe to Congress. July 2010

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Below: Jeri’s very first day on the job turned out to be a gig that has lasted over 30 years. Right: Jeri in the studio at WQUT planning to take requests at the lunch hour something that has become popular with listeners .

Left: Jeri cuddles her dog, Jade, while relaxing at home. Above: Jeri at work with her signature headphones on during an afternoon set at WQUT in Gray.

WQUT’s Jeri George: I Really Never Wanted This Gig

Some say Jeri George has a distinctive gravelling voice that might remind you of Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks. It’s been more than 30 years since she first stepped up to a microphone to create a demo for a friend “on a lark” and being a DJ was a job she said she never sought. “I never wanted to do this,” she said matter-of-factly from her studio in Grey high on a mountaintop where Citadel Broadcasting is surrounded by satellite dishes linking its six local sister stations. “I made a tape for a friend at the (old) Red Pig on Walnut Street (years ago) on a dare to see what I sounded like.” The friend took the tape to Don Dale at the now defunct WJSO radio station and twenty-year-old Jeri ended up being offered a job doing the overnight shift from Midnight to 6 a.m. She never filled out an application seeking that radio job or any other, and that first job became an exercise on teaching herself the business from ground up. Since that infamous day, Jeri George has done thousands of broadcasts, personal appearances and remotes

July 2010

and remains one of the most popular DJ’s in the South. Early on, local producers recognized Jeri’s skills. A call from WETB’s program manager, Don Gibson, stole Jeri away from its rival with an offer of “half the hours and twice the pay,” she remembers. “I took the job, was still in school and still managed to work part-time for California Water Beds.” But, she admits, she “always longed to work at WQUT. It was the station I always listened to.” “I called Jay Christian to help me and once a month for a year I came over here and did air checks. He was painfully honest and finally I got the chance to give up that good paying job at WETB to take on the six (p.m.) to midnight shift part-time. But, I really wanted to be here and the money was secondary. I continued to work the other part-time job to pay the bills and eventually I went full-time. . .and I’ve been here ever since.” George has seen the music industry drastically change before her eyes meeting many stars along the way but she has always stayed grounded. “Even after all these years, I still love my job,” she said with her signature radiant smile framed by her long golden locks. “Besides my shift, I get to produce “Music News“, outside commercials for clients like Nickel’s Speed Shop and Intimate Treasures. We don’t do as many live remotes nowadays which I miss because I really enjoy meeting our listeners.”

George reminisces about the old days of “spinning records.” “When we got our first expensive CD player we thought we were such hot stuff,” she said with a laugh. “Now, some stations, and thankfully not ours, have gone to digital/voice tracks and not live (computer versus a real person) in studio.” George said she, “is appreciative for having a good job all these years” and “I’ve enjoyed every bit of it. And, just to be a part of something positive in the lives of our listeners each day is rewarding. . .to know they are listening to me and like what I play is enough reward for me.”

Jeri George WQUT Classic Rock Facts Has a 25 year-old daughter, Amber, who is a restaurant manager in Johnson City. Collects rocks (gemstones). Has worked in record stores, bars and restaurants, and lingerie stores to earn extra money. Grew up as an Air Force brat. Addicted to the “Young & Restless” soap opera since 8th g rade. Proud CASA (Children’s Advocacy) Board Member. Tri-Cities “Dancing With the Stars” Alumni.

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Regional Happenings Theatre


BarterTheatre, Abingdon Va.: June 30 - July 17 July 1 - Aug. 29 July 1 - Aug 14 July 1 - Aug 14 July 1- July 24 July 21 - Aug 7 July 27 - Aug 7

My Imaginary Pirate Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays With Morrie Revolutions The Blue-Sky Boys Violet James and the Giant Peach Southern Exposure

Old-Time Appalchian Music Jam Fridays 6 - 10 p.m. Downtown Blountville Saturdays 2 - 4 p.m. Bristol Welcome Center

Storytelling Tuesday Evenings Tuesdays 7 - 8:30 p.m. The Cranberry Thistle, Downtown Johnesborough

Twilight Alive Concert Series

Jonesborough Repertory Theatre, Jonesborough, Tenn.: July 2 - 4

Thursdays 7 p.m. Downtown Kingsport

Bluegrass on Board Concert Series Fridays 7 p.m. Downtown Kingsport

The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood

Music on the Square

Johnson City Community Theatre, Johnson City, Tenn: July 30 - 31

Fridays 7 p.m. Downtown Jonesborough

Sunday Jams at Carter Mansion Last Sunday Monthly 2 - 5 p.m. Carter Mansion, Elizabethton

Belles on Their Toes

Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, Mars Hill, N.C.: July 7 - 18 July 21 - Aug 1

Tuesdays with Morrie As You Like It

Festivals, Fairs & More 40th Annual Jonesborough Days July 3 - 4 Downtown Jonesborough, Tenn.

Pepsi Fireworks

The Montford Park Players, Asheville, N.C.: June 18 - July 11 King Lear July 16 - 25 The Asheville Shakesperience

Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville, N.C.: July 15 - 17

Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival

July 4 Freedom Hall, Johnson City, Tenn.

4th of July Boat Parade July 4 Watauga Lake

Fun fest July 16- 24 Kingsport, Tenn.

Flat Rock Playhouse, Hendersonville, N.C.: July 1 - July 4 June 30 - July 18

Blackberry Festival July 10 Lenoir, N.C.

For the Glory 12 Angry Men

Proud Annie Mystery Theatre, Jonesborough, Tenn: Weekly dinner performances begin at 6:30 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays.

Belechere July 23- 25 Downtown Asheville, N.C.

62nd Annual VA Highlands Festival

July 24 - Aug. 8 Abingdon, Va.

Out ‘N About Magazine

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Regional Music BRISTOL UNVEILS “PICK BRISTOL” BRAND CAMPAIGN Bristol, TN/VA—The Bristol Convention & Visitors Bureau today announced the launch of a new “Pick Bristol” tourism branding initiative, which supports the cities’ brand as The Birthplace of Country Music. Central to the effort is, a web site highlighting the current music scene in Bristol. Funding for the initiative was provided by Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and Virginia Tourism Commission.

“It’s vital that we tie our rich country music heritage to our thriving music scene today. We want visitors to clearly understand Bristol is a must-stop for music lovers,” said Matt Bolas, Director of Bristol Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are pleased to have the support of both cities and both states in launching the “Pick Bristol” initiative.” is a web site in development that prominently features action photos of artists who played Bristol venues in recent years. “Features of the web site will come online in phases this summer as the music community submits photos and information about artists, bands, restaurants, venues and events. Our success depends heavily on artists and advocates embracing this effort,” Bolas said. “This fall we will begin promoting the web site with advertising, public relations and special promotions. Social media will also play a big role in getting the word out.” Listen, learn, locals, and live are main site sections of the web site. • “Listen” is a multimedia collection of video and soundtracks. • “Learn” is a forum for users to find a musician, buy or exchange instruments and hire production services. • “Locals” features rotating pages about local artists, venues and restaurants. • “Live” is a visual calendar of events where users can share the information via social media and buy tickets. The tourism branding campaign was developed by the Bristol Convention & Visitors Bureau in partnership with The Tombras Group, with offices in Johnson City and headquartered in Knoxville.

Down Home Concert Schedule July 2

$12 door July 16

The Angel Band $15 Advance

July 24

Tift Merritt $16 Advance

Webb Wilder $20 Advance

July 22

July 23

The Kruger Brothers $14 door

July 17

$18 Advance

Thursday Evenin’ Porch Choir

July 30

Robin & Linda Williams $20 Advance

Jimmy Thackery

WQUT Concert Schedule Thompson Boling Arena in Knoxville:

Biltmore in Asheville, N.C.:

July 28

July 23 July 29

American Idol Live (2010 tour)

Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville:

Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte:

July 6

Adam Lambert

July 8

Weird Al Yankovic

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Charlotte:

July 26-28

Widespread Panic

July 21 July 28

Bijou Theatre in Knoxville: July 21

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Bridgestone Arena in Nashville: July 10

July 2010

Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard Steve Miller Band

Scorpions and Ratt

July 10

Michael Buble’ Dave Matthews band Santana and Steve Winwood

Chastain Park in Atlanta: July 10 July 12 July 29

Ringo Starr and the All-Star Band Chicago and the Doobie Brothers Santana and Steve Winwood

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Johnson City’s Freedom Hall Director Has Seen Industry Change Through the Years It’s a rainy Wednesday morning outside the windowless office of Lisa Chamness, Johnson City’s Freedom Hall Director, where inside she is pouring over plans for the upcoming Pepsi/IGA fireworks extravaganza. A twenty-three year veteran of promoting Johnson City’s Civic Center, Chamness has seen the face of promoting the venue change dramatically through the years. The days of Elvis, Aeorsmith, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Elton John, Lynyrd Skynyrd and John Cougar Melloncamp visiting Freedom Hall are but distant memories. Although that doesn’t mean the building isn’t a popular entertainment stop or that Chamness and her small staff aren’t staying busy. Far from it. It’s just that the types of entertainment booking the venue has changed because of a number of factors. Mistakenly, some people think of Freedom Hall as the promoter of events. And, they want to know why the BIG acts don’t stop in Johnson City anymore. However, the venue is really just a place for rent with certain obstacles attached as well. Chamness is at the mercy of independent promoters and agents who may want to book the facility but can’t or won’t because of size, or conflicting events like NASCAR

races in Bristol or the many local festivals that gobble up most of the hotel rooms (Storytelling, Blue Plum, Apple Festival, etc). “Also there have been less and less major touring concerts on the road the last ten years, and more facilities competing for those events,” Chamness explains. “The majority of tours are very large and, therefore, very expensive to produce and tour. Where Freedom Hall use to be a second or third tier of facilities for touring shows, we are now fourth or fifth.” Other “strikes” against Freedom Hall is its capacity of 7,500 general admission festival seating and the fact that the facility is located next to a school campus thus, prohibiting the sale of alcohol, a revenue stream for some promoters, she explained. Cities that attract the most acts tend to have venues of minimum capacity of 10,00015,000 seats. Profit seems to beat location every time. On a positive note, Freedom Hall under Chamness’ leadership, has become a building worth keeping by offering a variety of family entertainment throughout the year; seems the facility has found its niche. On the books for upcoming stops include: Sesame Street on Ice, Shrine Circus, Disney On Ice, Tri-Cities Bridal Fair,

Lisa Chamness Factoid • Married to husband Ken, a local veterinarian, for 30 years in September. • Recently took up bike riding. • Loves old, old, movies. • In another life, worked in the marketing department for United American Bank. • Has two children, Reese, 23 and Lindsey, 26. • Loves to travel and meant to be a lawyer. • In 1976-77 Became the f irst woman on both the womens and co-ed University of Tennessee rowing teams to serve as the team’s coxswain (the person who yells the orders).

Out ‘N About Magazine

Lisa Chamness, Certified Facility Executive

Women’s Christian Conference, Science Hill Thanksgiving Basketball Classic, Disney Live, Home & Garden Show, Professional Bull Riding & Rodeo, Professional Wrestling, Several Broadway Productions, Head-2-Toe Women’s Expo, and the Harlem Globetrotters, who enjoyed their highest grossing event at the facility last time they visited, just to name a few. “Yes, we do stay really busy,” Chamness said. “We also sometimes have to pass on smaller opportunities for shows in the 500750 seat range because it may not be a good fit for the client and for us. Because, if they aren’t making money we aren’t either. And coming into our facility with that many empty seats just gives a bad impression and it‘s costly just to open the doors. However, we work with those people to find a suitable arena like maybe Science Hill High School auditorium or one of the area’s larger churches.” Chamness, a Certified Facility Executive with a Masters Degree from ETSU, says some of Freedom Hall’s success lies in

relationships she has forged over the years at meetings and conferences. “Over the years I have forged many professional relationships that have resulted in our getting the opportunity to work with a variety of promoters who know they will be treated right if they book with us,” she said. “We have a great reputation in the industry and our staff travels the extra mile to be accommodating. When someone books Freedom Hall, we look at that booking as a partnership.” Working with Chamness are veteran employees Jimmy Grubbs, Bobby Shirley, Randy Collins, Scott Jenkins, and Sandy Trivett plus an army of part-time employees at events. Some people may remember Aerosmith’s famous and hugely popular video “Rag Doll” was filmed and produced in Freedom Hall. And, Melloncamp performed a free concert aimed at saving MTV from being pulled from programming. Yes, Freedom Hall has a rich past and continues to keep up with the changes coming down the pike.

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Ashley and Steve Grindstaff: One of the Area’s Best Known Couples

Ashley and Steve Grindstaff

What’s in a name? It only takes about ten minutes in the conversation to realize Steve Grindstaff is completely different from “that guy” who bellows “Straight Talk. . .Straight from the Boss” on his television commercials. The self-made man from Elizabethton, a standout football player at both Elizabethton High School and East Tennessee State University, is understandingly both a very private man and supremely protective of his family. Having dolled out thousand and thousands of dollars for a litany of charities and good causes, Steve and his wife Ashley seek no credit for their good deeds. “Anything we get involved in has to be kid related,” Steve says through his signature sunglasses and bright smile. “Or animals,” Ashley interjects with a laugh explaining earlier her involvement with the Carter County Animal Shelter. “The Boss” is just a made-up character used over the

years in a very impressive marketing campaign leading Steve to be awarded plaque after plaque for selling more cars than anyone in sight. He sold his Johnson City Chevrolet store a couple of years ago to remain more focused (no pun intended) on his Elizabethton Ford store along with the other brands he sales including Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Kia. Steve splits his time between the Tri-Cities and South Florida where he is also involved in several land development projects. In his senior year at ETSU as the football season began to wind down Steve said he began selling cars, “to earn a few extra dollars.’ He sold 42 cars in his first month and understandably went on to become Bunton Chevrolet’s #1 car salesman five years in a row. Much to the chagrin of his father who urged him to become a teacher and coach, the money he was earning selling automobiles coupled with future business opportunities kept Steve on the lot at Bunton’s until he eventually bought the dealership. How did he become the superstar car salesman leading on to his success as the “Boss?” “I tell the truth,” he said without hesitation. “And, (from my employees) I expect them to be drug free, honest, and hard working.” Grindstaff remains highly competitive even though he has nothing to prove. His sales savvy and business leadership resulted in his first retiring at 37 years-old only to return to the business world with even an even greater desire in his heart to continue succeeding in business. “The bottom line is nobody can beat me,” he remarked unabashedly. “If I lose money on a car deal, for example, nothing happens. If another sales manager at another dealership loses money on a deal you can bet his head will be on the chopping block!” Ashley points out that her husband of five years, “came from humble beginnings in Carter County and the myth is that he has always had money is simply not true. “He has earned every penny he’s made and it’s amazing what he has built,” she said. The general public seems enthralled with the Grind-

staffs every move which has resulted in their decision to sell “The Castle,” that sits on Boone Lake across from Winged Deer Park to move to more private surroundings. However, with closing papers in hand a year and half ago, the unique Spanish fortress was hit by lightening and the deal soured putting on hold the Grindstaffs plan of building a new home on 100 acres they own. The fire created the usual front page headlines of the local celebrity couple and their lives were turned upsidedown. “The fire actually caused us to stop and reflect,” Ashley said. “We believe everything happens for a reason and the incident made us much more stronger as a husband and wife and a family. The fire also made us that much stronger in our faith in God.” Admitting that he has accomplished everything he set out to do, Steve said he made the decision to “slow down but not retire” when his 13 year-old son, Steven, questioned him about not attending his ball games, practices or golf games. “Now, I never miss his practices or games; I’m at everyone of them,” he said matter-of-factly. “Family is the most important thing to me right now.” As mentioned previously, the Grindstaffs are always giving back to their community. Thus, on August 14th they will host a benefit gala at their home where they will raffle off a brand new Kia with the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. It’ll be hard work and they’ll get nothing out of it but satisfaction knowing that they again put back into the community. But then again, that’s just who they are.

Steve Grindstaff Quick Facts • • • •

Loves poodles and babies. Really down to earth. Owner of a big heart. Claims nobody can’t out work him.

Sheriff Kent Harris Named Sheriff of the Year by Constables Association

Unicoi County Sheriff Kent Harris honored as Sheriff of the Year

July 2010

Erwin, TN. --- Surprisingly, Unicoi County Sheriff Kent Harris was recently the victim of a “con” game. Thinking he was invited to teach a crime class at the Tennessee Constables annual meeting in Pigeon Forge, Harris was instead asked to come forward to accept the organization’s “Sheriff of the Year Award.” “I was shocked when they called me up to the podium to accept the award,” the popular sheriff said. “It certainly was an honor to receive the award knowing that there are 94 other sheriffs out there that deserve it as well.” Annually, the Tennessee Constables Association honor one of their own as well as a sheriff who is nominated from across the state.

Harris, nominated by four different constables who serve in the East Tennessee region, was lauded for his high solvability rate believed to be the highest in the state at more than 80 percent. Harris credits his employees with his own success. “My employees are a great bunch of people,” he said. The work they do. . .and the long hours they put in, makes me look good. We go after every case as one that can be solved.” Harris also thanked Unicoi County Constables Tim Lewis, Tony Buchanan and Howard Riddle for assisting the Unicoi County Sheriff ’s Department. The men actively help out the Sheriff ’s Department by serving court papers and subpoenas, provide extra patrol, help in the transporting of inmates and assist with event security.

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Events Schedule Friday, July 16 Heathly Seniors Fair 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Mardi Gras 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. “Family Camp” First Baptist Church Dinner Theater 6 - 8:30 p.m. One-Pitch Softball Tournament 6 -11 p.m. Crazy Mile 6:15 p.m. K8s Dog Walk 6:15 p.m. Fun Fest Parade 6:30 p.m. “Singles Only” Dance 7 - 11 p.m. Hot New Orleans Night 8 p.m. (following parade)

July 16 - 24 Kingsport, Tennessee Sunset Concert Series Jason Michael Carroll Thursday, July 22

Katherine McPhee Friday, July 23

Zac Brown Band Saturday, July 24

Sunset Concert Tickets available online NOW at, at area Zoomerz and at the Fun Fest Store.

No Specific Time or Location Treasure Trackers Medallion Search July 19 - 23

Keep Kingsport Beautiful Trashbusters Throughout Fun Fest

Daily Events Free Admission to Bays Mountain Park Model City Art Show

Out ‘N About Magazine

Saturday, July 17 Kids Fishing Derby and Finger Painting 8 - 10 a.m. Volleyball Tournament 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Bird Walk 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. The Crazy Cardboard Boat Race 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Logging Competition 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 2010 Fire Safety Rodeo 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Glass Fest 9 - 11 a.m. Bays Mountain Park Fine Scale Model Show 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. One-Pitch Softball Tournament 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Climbing Your Family Tree 10 a.m. - noon Kids Fest 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Mark Lippard at Kids Fest 11:30 a.m., 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. 100 Year Anniversary of Scouting noon - 4 p.m. Historic Netherland Inn and Vitorian Hammond House Tour noon - 4 p.m. Festival of Films 2 - 3:30 p.m. “Family Camp” First Baptist Church Dinner Theater 6 - 8:30 p.m. Rockwall Escapades 5 p.m. Kingsport Showtime 2010 7 p.m. Dance for the Physically and Mentally Challenged 7 - 9:30 p.m. Crazy 8s - Worlds Fastest 8K: Healthy Lifestyles Expo 5 p.m. Little 8s Youth Field Day 6 - 8 p.m. Niel’s Walk 8:58 p.m. 8k Run 9:58 p.m.

Sunday, July 18 Volleyball Tournament 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Crouquet at Allendale 1 - 5 p.m. Allendale Mansion Open House Tours 1 - 5 -p.m. Hamlett Dobson Farm Fest 2 p.m. -5p.m. Town Squares Present “Sentimental Journey” 3 -4 p.m. Kingsport Showtime 2010 3 p.m. “Family Camp” First Baptist Church Dinner Theater 6 - 8:30 p.m. Local Foods Celebration Supper 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

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Monday, July 19

Thursday, July 22

Senior Fest 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Glass Fest 9 - 11 a.m. Youth Sports Tennis Clinic 9 - 10 a.m. Kiddie Flicks 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. Kids Central 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Rockwall Escapades 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Children’s Funshops and Playfest 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Days Gone By 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Fun Fest for the Elderly 2:30 p.m. Rhythm in Riverview 3 p.m. - 9 p.m. Mountain Bike Rally and Family Ride 5:30 p.m. The Has Beens Big Band Afternoon Dance 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Pet Dog Show 6 - 8:30 p.m. One-Pitch Softball Tournament 6 - 11 p.m. A Civil War Evening 6:30 - 9 p.m. Magnolia dinner and Harmony Show 7 - 8:30 p.m. Kingsport’s Showtime 2010 7 p.m.

Senior Fest 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Glass Fest 9 - 11 a.m. Youth Sports Soccer Clinic 10 - 11 a.m. Fun Fest for the Elderly 2:30 p.m. Taste of the Tri-Cities 4 - 9 p.m. Rockwall Escapades 4 p.m. Sunset Concert Series - John Michael Carroll 7 p.m. Moonlight Hike 8 p.m.

Tuesday, July 20

Saturday, July 24

Senior Fest 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Glass Fest 9 - 11 a.m. Putt-Putt Fun Fest Tournament 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Days Gone By 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Panera “Chew-Chew Train” 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Rockwall Escapades 10 a.m. Children’s Funshops and Playfest 10 a.m. - 3 p.m Seaside Stories with Judy “Butterfly”Farlow 10:30 - 11 a.m. Guitar Hero Video Game Tournament 2 p.m. Youth Sports Football Clinic 2 - 4 p.m. Fun Fest for the Elderly 2:30 p.m. One-Pitch Softball Tournament 6 - 11 p.m. Wolf Run 7 Mile Trail Race 6:30 p.m. Magnolia dinner and Harmony Show 7 - 8:30 p.m. Square and Round Dance Fun for All 7 - 10 p.m.

Friday, July 23 Senior Fest 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Fun Fest for the Elderly 2:30 p.m. Taste of the Tri-Cities 4 - 9 p.m. Rockwall Escapades 4 p.m. Sunset Concert Series - Katherine McPhee 7 p.m. Hot Air Balloon Glow 8 p.m.

Breakfast with the Balloons 6:30 - 9 a.m. Hot Air Balloon Rally 6:30 a.m. Weinermobile 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. White Lightning Ride 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. 2010 Morotcycle Poker Run 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Eagle’s Nest Disc Golf Tournament 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Trike Trials 9 a.m. - noon Cornhole Tournament 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Dan’l Boone Car Show 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Xtreme Showdown 5 12:30 - 4 p.m. Taste of the Tri-Cities noon - 10 p.m. Rockwall Escapades noon A Taste for the Universal 2 - 4 p.m. Sunset Concert Series - Zac Brown Band 6 p.m. Hot Air Balloon Rally 6:30 p.m. Eastman Fireworks Spectacular 10 p.m.

Wednesday, July 21 Senior Fest 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Glass Fest 9 - 11 a.m. Youth Sports Golf Clinic 9 - 10 a.m Kids Central 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Rockwall Escapades 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Children’s Funshops and Playfest 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Days Gone By 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Panera “Chew-Chew Train” 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Fun with Ronald McDonald 11 - 11:45 a.m. Splash Dance 1 - 3 p.m. Guitar Hero Video Game Tournament 2 p.m. Fun Fest for the Elderly 2:30 p.m. Taste of the Tri-Cities 4 - 9 p.m. Praise Band Showcase 6 - 8 p.m. Dollar Dive Night at Legion Pool 6 - 10 p.m. One-Pitch Softball Tournament 6 - 11 p.m. Wine Tasting 7 p.m. Mafair Storytelling and Build a Bird House 7 - 9 p.m. Giant Screen Outdoor Movie 7 - 11 p.m.

July 2010

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Well-Known Radio Duo Have Century of Experience on the Air

Long before the sun rises over the mountain empire, Dave Hogan and Carl Swann are hard at work, readying themselves to become guests in thousands of homes and cars. The radio icons teamed up in 2007 to co-host “Thinking Out Loud,” the morning program for WCJW and WGOC AM radio stations. A wide array of local business, civic and political leaders and newsmakers are featured on the show, which airs live Mondays through Fridays from 6 to 9 a.m. As one listener puts it, “Their show is not the traditional, stiff interview program. They make it sound like a couple of guys sitting around, having a good conversation. And that’s very pleasurable to drive down the road listening to.” “They invite us in,” Swann says in response. “That is a great gift, and a compliment, but also a responsibility that we never take for granted. “We try to find interesting people to talk to about their passions. They become interesting when they do. We engage in conversation to draw them out. When the audience hears that, it draws them in,” Swann said. “It is very much theater of the mind. We may sound like we’re just out there, sitting on the porch talking. But it’s always directed.” “Oh, yes. We’re totally scripted,” Hogan interjects, smiling. “Well, I am anyway.” Hogan’s radio career began in 1957. “I had a strong aversion to manual labor,” he says with grin, leaning back in his chair behind the control panel. “I grew up on a dirt farm, and it was work from daylight to dark. “Radio was my window to the world. Through radio I knew there was something outside of my hometown, a big interesting world out there.” He recalls his fascination while listening to the political conventions of 1952, during which

several ballots were required before the Democrats selected Illinois Gov. Adlai E. Stevenson II and the Republicans chose Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower as their respective presidential nominees. “And of course there was baseball – lots of baseball, all the time – and the voices of Red Barber, Vin Scully and Bob Prince.” He was “a pretty good football player” but Hogan made his decision and walked into his coach’s office to turn in his cleats. “I told him I was going into radio. He sat me down and said, ‘Now, son, there’s this new phenomenon of television. In five years there won’t be any radio. So I’ve been hearing about the demise of radio since I got in it,” Hogan said. Hogan was there for the explosion that marked the birth of rock and roll. “In the 50s, it was a huge thing. And it was not popular right away, certainly not in country markets – at least not until Steve Allen and Ed Sullivan promoted it. Then people began to have to play Jerry Lee Lewis and others.” Swann’s radio days began during his junior year at Dobyns-Bennett High School when he was selected a guest student DJ for the daily program “Teenage Terrace.” “We’d go out and get requests. You know, ‘Janie wants to dedicate Bobby Darin to…,’” Swann says, smiling at the memory. “At some point, I’m sitting there in the studio, announcing, in the middle of all this equipment, and I’m thinking this is just about the greatest thing possible.” Swann was noticed by longtime WKPT radio man Martin Karant. “He asked if I’d be interested. Well, that was like putting Br’er Rabbit in the briar patch.” So, in 1960, Swann went to work playing “middle-of-the-road,” or “easy listening” music for WKPT, a partnership that would continue off

and on for two decades. “It was wonderful. Now, Martin was a taskmaster. He taught us a lot. We had to pass the NBC audition form. He was just as serious with us as if we would have been national network announcers.” “Thinking Out Loud” eludes easy definition. Their show reflects Hogan and Swann’s wide-ranging interests and their unquenchable thirst for information. “We share a love of NASCAR, and sports in general, along with political goings-on at all levels, music of all kinds and good food. Yet we manage to have enough dissimilar leanings to keep things entertaining,” Swann said. Both men are “firm believers” in planning ahead. “Both Dave and I know many people in the region, so getting guests for local and regional events and stories has never been a problem,” Swann said. “We’re all products of our experiences, therefore all that we have done in the past helps us be better at what we do now,” Hogan said. “On the other hand, if Carl and I had sat down in 1965, for example, I believe we would have been completely comfortable with each other. Neither of us have ever been uncomfortable in front of a microphone.” “Dave and I knew each other but we had never worked together until August of 2007,” Swann said. “His co-host at the time had left. I had sat in on a couple of earlier occasions. We seemed to complement each other’s style, so I agreed to become co-host on a permanent basis.” Though they have literally a century of experience between them, the microphone still has the same charm for the duo. Their boyish enthusiasm and good-natured bantering is a staple whether the “On Air” light is lit or not.

Continued on page 32

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Congressman Dr. Phil Roe Working to Make a Difference in Washington

Congressman Dr. Phil Roe

He challenged the president on healthcare reform. He has been on national and international television too many times to count. He climbs mountains and goes camping in his spare time. In what little time there is for outdoor pleasures, however. First District Congressman Phil Roe is, many times, at the mercy of his scheduler. He doesn’t look or act like a freshman in Congress. He is noticeably polished and articulate. He readily admits to actually reading the (bills) legislation before him before he votes. He is in constant contact with constituents in the First Congressional District and relishes his time back home. But, as a retired physician and expert on healthcare legislation as well as a Vietnam veteran, he is such demand within the Republican Party his 17 hour work days just seem to run into one another. But don’t expect to hear him complain. He absolutely loves his job and quickly reminds you who put him there: the voters of his district. “I think there are two ways you can be an effective con-

gressman,” Dr. Roe said matter-of-factly recently from his campaign headquarters in Johnson City. “You can choose to fly under the radar and provide good constituent services and come home and be effective. Or, you can take risks like I have done in the healthcare debate (for example). You get criticized but I’m not one to sit on the sidelines especially with my experience of practicing medicine for 31 years. I think that’s another way you can be an effective Congressman.” Being a retired doctor thrust Congressman Roe into the limelight as a regular spokesman on national TV for the Republican Party’s position on the healthcare debate. He spent long hours immersing himself in reams of reading material tied to policy. “By doing so, I knew I was ready for the debate on healthcare,” he said. But, when an off the cuff offer from President Obama’s press secretary for members to visit the White House to go over the healthcare plan, Dr. Roe not only took the offer seriously staff members called and called for a meeting that never materialized. “It turned into a massive bill and we as Republicans want healthcare reform as much as anybody but not in its present form. Not at that kind of debt.” Back home for the July 4th holiday break from Congress Dr. Roe laughs when he shares a conversation with his wife, Pam, telling her he was coming home. “‘You’re not coming home,’ she says. “You coming to the District!” he shares. Indeed. For four days he will visit nearly every county he represents and will eat more hotdogs then he’ll probably care to. If a firecracker is going off somewhere in “The District” as his wife says, he’ll be there. And, he absolutely loves that part of his job. “A lot of congressmen don’t like campaigning,” he mused. “But, I love it. There are so many special people who live here and I am really lucky to have been elected to Congress because I would not have met so many

wonderful people. . .people who would literally give you their shirt off their backs. Strangers who have become personal friends.” A former Johnson City Mayor, Dr. Roe credit’s the city’s progress and growth with good fiscal planning. “The position of where Johnson City is today and where it is heading goes back to the framework put in place years ago. To spend less than you take in. . .and pay down debt which resulted in our fund balance going from about $2 million to $20 million.” He wishes Washington would adopt the same fiscal policy. “You can’t say yes (to funding) to everything. To balance the budget we need to go back to the 2008 baseline and quit increasing non-discretionary funds and by natural growth, the budget will balance itself in seven or eight years.” Congressman Roe points to local leaders, “who have made the tough choices as they try to provide citizens with the basic services,” he said. “It’s been tough all over. But in our area, we live within our means, something Washington just doesn’t get.”

Congressman Dr. Phil Roe Quick Facts • He is a huge outdoors man. He once camped on Roan Mountain in the dead of winter with his wife and it snowed two feet. • He is well read. • Enjoys traveling. • Loves animals and owns two shelties. • Enjoys spending quality time with his g randdaughters. • Currently making plans to climb Mt. Reiner for the 6th time.

Grace Spurrell: Life Well Lived It is said that the best life is its own eulogy. Grace Spurrell proved it. She was a friend to the arts. Years of selfless, dedicated service as an organizer and the first executive director of the Johnson City Area Arts Council earned her the appreciation of an entire region that benefitted from her tireless ef-

Movers, the Community Theater, the 1st Tennessee Bank Art Show – which she helped organize and supported wholeheartedly – and many more. She was a friend to artists. A renowned group – composer Kenton Coe to filmmaker Ross Spears, poet Nikki Giovanni to producer Bob Leonard, and writers as diverse as John Bowers, Susan Lachmann and longtime State Historian Wilma Dykeman – have warmly praised her faithful service, along with literally hundreds of other visual, interpretive, theatrical and musical creators. She was a friend to our region. She served as president and was a longtime member of the Johnson City GFWC Monday Club, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the League of Women Voters, the PTA and the Salvation Army – and many more. She was a friend to our state, serving with distinction as Grace Spurrell forts. both member and chairman of the Tennessee Arts CommisShe was a friend to the Johnson City Symphony Orches- sion. She helped form Tennesseans for the Arts. tra, the Public Library, the Road Company, the Mountain She was a friend to those lucky enough to hear her deep

July 2010

alto voice call their name, or enjoy the mellow warmth of her laughter. A few moments in the light of of her beaming, earnest smile could brighten even a gloomy day. She was a friend to her beloved family – devoted to Donald, her husband of 53 years; the proud mother of Don, Anne, Jim and John; the infatuated grandmother of Grace, Evan, Megan, Katie, Gus, Haydn and Doriana; and the loving sister of James and Anne Brading. Though she left us from her cherished New York summer home, we suspect the Tennessee mountains, where she made such an strong mark with her extraordinary life, were not far from her final thoughts. The Apostle Paul wrote encouragement to the church in Thessalonica to follow good, among themselves and to all men. And then two simple words that seem a fitting coda for Grace Spurrell and, especially, for those fortunate enough to have been loved by her: “Rejoice, evermore.”

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Answers on pg 33

ELIZABETHTON – Organizers say it’s been a great year for Liberty! and they believe the new one may be even better. The Official Outdoor Drama of the State of Tennessee begins its 32nd season July 15 at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area in Elizabethton, and continues for a threeweekend run – Thursdays through Saturdays – beginning each evening at 7:30 in Fort Watauga Amphitheater. The previous season was long – even grueling, by normal standards – but resulted in some extraordinary milestones for the historic area and its flagship drama, with portions of it presented to well over 10,000 people in 2009. “It’s been busy, but it’s been wonderful,” says Jennifer Bauer, manager of the historic area. “We have had some really great experiences together this past year. Our volunteers make it all possible, and it is a great joy to witness the success they have achieved.” The cast and crew packed up costuming and properties and headed for Nashville in the fall to headline the Tennessee History Festival. It was the first time such a production had been presented in the Bicentennial Capitol Mall and, despite early inclement weather, the East Tennesseans must have impressed their Middle Tennessee neighbors – the largest crowd in the history of the mall turned out for the opening performance. A group from Liberty! returned to Nashville in April, invited by Sen. Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City) to conduct the opening convocation of the Tennessee State Senate. Es-

Liberty! presented in Nashville near the capitol.

July 2010

corted to the well of the chamber by the Tennessee State Parks Honor Guard, members of the cast presented the immortal prayer first delivered by Rev. Sam Doak to the volunteers who mustered at Sycamore Shoals in September, 1780. The volunteers became known as the Overmountain Men, marching for 13 days before locating the western flank of the British Army at King’s Mountain, S.C. The stunning victory they won is hailed by historians as the turning point of the American Revolution. Several new roles have been added to the drama that tells the stories of James Robertson, John Carter and John Sevier – and many more – who settled in the Watauga and Nolichucky river valleys, beginning what would become Tennessee. The 2010 season will also Actors battle in a dramatic scene from Liberty! at Sycamore Sholes fort. mark the opening of Carter’s Trading Post – in homage to the tor of Sinking Creek Baptist Church, considered Tennesoriginal store opened by pioneers Carter and see’s oldest church still in its original location. partner William Parker shortly after they arThe owner of Big John’s Closeouts in Elizabethton, rived on the frontier in 1771. Barnett also brings a businessman’s point of view to his The new trading post will offer delectable leadership efforts. “In addition to the trading post, we are period foods featured in the drama, including investing in some new signage, promotional materials and “Teeter’s Turkey Legs,” “Carter’s Corn-on-the- quality advertising. All of that works together to help bring Cob,” “Adelaide’s Cooling Water” and “Aggie’s more people to the drama and more visitors to the park. Cobbler,” along with popcorn, candy and a va- And, of course, that is a great plus for Elizabethton and the riety of soft drinks. entire region,” Barnett said. “We hope to continue to enhance the en“I believe this drama is vitally important to us in many joyment and understanding for our patrons,” ways. Obviously the history here is unparalleled. But so too said Paul Gabinet, advisor to the supporting is the modern value for our community, as we come togethFriends of Sycamore Shoals. “The opportuni- er in a celebration of the best of our past – it does someties here are great and we want to maintain thing really good for all of us who participate,” Barnett said. our forward momentum in giving our guests (Liberty! runs Thursdays-Saturdays, July 15-31, in the a truly one-of-a-kind experience here at Syca- Fort Watauga Amphitheater at Sycamore Shoals State Hismore Shoals.” toric Area in Elizabethton. Performances begin nightly at Michael Barnett, president of the FSSSHA, 7:30. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $8 for is taking on one of the new roles, portraying students. Children 5 and under are admitted free. For more frontier preacher Matthew Talbot, the first pas- information, call SSSHA at (423) 543-5808).

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Roan Mountain Native Enjoys Recurring Role in Liberty!

From Left: Norman “Buck”Rogers, Brady Rogers and Gwen Creek

ELIZABETHTON – Gwen Creek grew up proud of her Southern Appalachian roots. And now she gets to put her high regard of home, and its culture and history, into practice with a recurring role in Liberty!. The Official Outdoor Drama of Tennessee commences its 2010 season on July 15 and continues Thursdays-Saturdays through July 31, beginning nightly at 7:30 in the Fort Watauga Amphitheater at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area. Creek joined the cast in 2003 and has performed several roles, including a couple of different incarnations of her favorite character, “Aggie.” “She was a small part to begin with,” Creek said. “She has been a busybody and a kind of contrary person. Now we are doing something very different with her. Now she is the sort of warm, generous person that really personifies the Southern Appalachian woman.” Born in Roan Mountain, Creek went to school in Burbank and later to moved to Washington County. She and her late husband, Gene, had five children, all of whom have been in the drama. Creek’s great-granddaughter, Samantha, joined the cast at age 2. “The pride I feel for our ancestors and our heritage, and where we came from, is very strong. Our history is so important. I am a very rooted person and I feel very lucky. There is not anywhere else in the world that I would rather be. I

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couldn’t be happy anywhere else,” Creek said. ley in 1775 opened the way for a new series of settlements, “I love this drama, and all the people who are in it. It’s beginning with Jonesborough, Tennessee’s first town. family-oriented, and friendly. I’m so happy that I can, in this “We have the best time down here that you can imagway, be a part of my heritage,” Creek said. ine,” Buck says. “The people are like family. They all call each Creek’s Aggie is teamed with Brady Rogers, who is also other by their character names. I’ll tell you, it’s a lot of fun.” undertaking a new version of his character, “Jimmy DenA taste of Aggie’s cobbler – and perhaps even her secret ton.” Rogers’ Jimmy previously was famous as the settle- recipe – will be available for drama patrons, along with a ment’s young “sneakthief,” who found many ways to snatch selection of other delicious period foods offered in the new one of Aggie’s pies – from wherever she had the misfortune Carter’s Trading Post, named to honor the first such estabto put it. lishment on the frontier, opened by Watauga Association Creek’s character – who will be familiar to anyone who leader John Carter and his partner, William Parker, shortly ever walked through the door to a mother or grandmothafter their arrival in 1771. er’s house filled with the aroma of freshly baked dessert – is Like Aggie, Creek has a cobbler specialty – peach – and hailed as the maker of the best cobbler in the settlement. says “there doesn’t seem to be any problem with it being eatIn the new story line, Jimmy is a young orphan who loses en when I put it on the table.” his family to renegades on the way to the frontier. Nearly And, like Brady and Buck Rogers, Creek is always workstarving, the youngster comes across Aggie’s cabin on the ing, encouraging friends to come and enjoy the outdoor outskirts of the Watauga settlement and helps himself to the drama experience. tempting creation cooling in her window. “I’ve talked to so many people who’ve said they meant Aggie winds up befriending the orphan until his family to come and, for one reason or another, didn’t get to. I hope can be located. Her cooking, and her teaching, make a powthat people will come and support this story and all the hard erful impression on Jimmy, revealed in a poignant reunion work that goes into the telling.” on his return in the second act. She also believes it is educational in other ways, showing “Sometimes something simple makes the most impact – not only how important women were on the frontier, but in this case, just a spoonful of delicious food,” Creek said. The son of Jill and Phillip Rogers, Rogers returns for his how much progress has been made in the more than two fourth season with the drama. The young actor/historian centuries since they helped settle America’s first frontier. says he is “very proud to be in the play” and “constantly” en“I think women are doing better in our society now. But courages his classmates at Boones Creek Elementary School I think we’ve got a ways to go still. We’re probably not as far to come and see the show, and to be in it as well. “There’s so along here as in some of the bigger cities…” She pauses and much for them to see and learn,” Brady said. reflects for a moment, and then grins again. “I’m not so sure This is such a historical place. And it’s a great honor to we want to go that far. But, then, I’m just a good ol’ Southern come and act out all of our heroes from the 1700s. I think Appalachian girl,” she says with a wink. that’s real special,” Brady said. Brady still has his actor’s eyes set on taking over yet another role. “I’m hoping one day to become either John Sevier or John Carter. I like them both.” His connection to the drama began when his grandfather, Norman “Buck” Rogers, a retired Daniel Boone High School teacher, coach and assistant principal, took Brady to a reenactment at Fort Watauga, which serves as the backdrop for the drama. “One of the men invited him to stay and watch. Brady followed him everywhere, most of the day, and he was completely taken with it.” Buck portrays the frontier developer Jacob Brown, whose From left: Brady Rogers and Gwen Creek rehearse a pie theft. purchase of the Nolichucky Val-

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Asheville, N.C.  

Before the opening of Interstate 26, there were fewer visitors willing to drive the winding road through Unicoi County over the mountain from the Tri-Cities to get to this quaint cosmopolitan town in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Many who made the trip came merely to gander at the magnificent Biltmore House, the largest private residence in America built in the late 1890s by George W. Vanderbilt. However, nowadays visitors from far and wide have also discovered Asheville’s wide variety of restaurants, shops, bars, art galleries and night clubs. So, on this Day Trip we toured the 250-room French Renaissance chateau, dined at the Lobster Trap and took in some Jazz at Tressa’s Downtown Jazz and Blues Club. Here’s what we found.

The Biltmore Estate If there is a problem with the Biltmore it is the fact you won’t want to leave. It is all that it is advertised to be and more. Biltmore encompasses about 8,000 acres, including formal and informal gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of landscape architecture in America. Begun in 1890, Biltmore House is constructed of tons of Indiana limestone transported by a special railway spur built specifically to bring the massive amounts of material and supplies to the site. It took hundreds of workers more than five years to complete. On Christmas Eve 1895, Vanderbilt formerly opened his doors for the first time to friends and family. In the 21st century, Biltmore House remains much as it was when the Vanderbilt’s occupied it more than 100 years ago, showcasing the Vanderbilt’s family collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Vanderbilt’s diverse and cultured tastes influenced his travels with architect Richard Morris Hunt while Biltmore House was being constructed. The two men traveled throughout Europe and the Orient, purchasing paintings, porcelains, bronzes, carpets and furniture. All of it eventually became part of the collection of objects still in Biltmore House today. Inside, artworks by Renoir, Sargent, Whistler, Pellegrini and Boldini adorn the walls and, in one case, the ceiling. The furniture includes designs by Sheraton and Chippendale. Upstairs on the second and third floors, in addition to luxurious bedrooms, are areas where guests once played parlor games and took afternoon tea. The Fourth Floor features Maids’ Bedrooms and the Observatory with spectacular views from the top of the house. Downstairs, the

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domestic servants kept the entire house running smoothly with the help of a state-of-the-art domestic nerve center, complete with a main kitchen, two specialty kitchens, large laundry complex, refrigeration systems and pantries. Fully electric and centrally heated, Biltmore House, at the time of its completion, was considered one of the most technologically advanced structures ever built and is still admired today for its innovative engineering. It used some of Thomas Edison’s first light bulbs, boasted a fire alarm system, an electrical call box system for servants, two elevators, elaborate indoor plumbing for all 34 bedrooms and a relatively newfangled invention called the telephone. Huge book cases can be found though out the massive home displaying books of every subject imaginable. Vanderbilt also wanted his mountain home to provide family and friends with recreational pleasures so he added an indoor swimming pool, bowling alley, gymnasium and horse stables. There are many things to do at Biltmore House once you’ve taken either the guided or self-guided tour including: fly-fishing, biking, guided walks and hikes, horseback riding and carriage and farm wagon rides, and float trips down the French Broad River. The winery just celebrated its 25th anniversary and the Inn on Biltmore Estate celebrated its 10th anniversary of hosting guests for the night. And, in its 14th season, Biltmore’s annual concert series features a mix of Grammy-winning artists and “American Idol” Favorites. For more information visit: www.

The stately Biltmore Mansion is the largest private house in America

Left: Biltmore Gardens is a popular part of the majesty of the Biltmore House

Right: Thousands visit the Biltmore House & Gardens & Winery year round. And, even kids enjoy the chance to walk through the award winning flower gardens.

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The Lobster Trap If you enjoy fresh seafood, especially lobster as the name suggests, the Lobster Trap in downtown Asheville is the place to be. Moderately priced, this restaurant has a menu to die for. Along with fresh lobster caught off the coast of Portland, Maine and shipped three times a week to the establishment diners can choose from the following dishes and a host of side to go with your main course featuring: crab legs, salmon, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters on the half shell, crab cakes, trout, scallops, and lobster prepared seven different ways. Or, there is always steak or pasta. Inside Lobster Trap is the Oyster House Brewing Company that produces high quality unique ales, and the wine list boosts 80 different selections. Voted Best Seafood Restaurant in Western North Carolina seven years running, Lobster Trap is known as a fun dining experience “where the mountains meet the sea.” The restaurant also provides great free music every night but Wednesdays. Lobster Trap, 35 Patton Avenue, Asheville, N.C. 828-350-0505.

Fresh oysters and Main lobster are popular dishes at the Lobster Trap.

Tressa's Following the tour of the Biltmore House & Winery and dinner at Lobster Trap it was time to sample some live music downtown. Tressa’s Downtown Jazz & Blues Club came highly recommended. It is also conveniently located just a few blocks around the corner from Lobster Trap. Tressa’s offers live music nightly and you might want to arrive early as seating is limited but the dance floor is more than adequate. The club offers a softly lit New Orleans elegance with great service and toe-tapping live music. Owners Terri and Tressa correctly tout their place as appealing to a “multi-cultural and diverse clientele that enjoy ambience not found else where in the city.” A VIP area can be found upstairs complete with a fireplace (unlit this time of year). Tressa’s owns the distinction of being voted: Best Bar, Best Place to Dance, and maker of the city’s Best Martini’s. The Biltmore House, Lobster Trap and Tressa’s are a great combination for a One Day Trip and only about an hour’s drive on I26 bypassing an old curvy road that in the past made the trip less desirable.

July 2010

Patrons enjoy a drink at Tressa’s bar while waiting for the band to play

Tressa’s sign is an inviting welcome to folks visiting Asheville looking for a good time.

Upstairs at Tressa’s is a private lounge area complete with a fireplace.

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Out ‘N About Magazine

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The Carnegie Hotel is one of the most popular places to wed as the hotel offers affordable wedding packages for any couple’s budget

Jamie Winston-Tudico, Wedding Coordinator for the Carnegie Hotel loves planning weddings and special events at the Tri-Cities only AAA Four Diamond Hotel

The Carnegie Hotel is so popular among wedding couples many of their friends and family return for other weddings, family reunions, retirement parties and get-togethers

Carnegie Hotel: A Paradise Waiting for Couples on Their Special Day Jamie Winston-Tudico, Special Events and Wedding Coordinator for the Carnegie Hotel, leaves nothing to chance. After all, and by her own admission, she is “obsessed with weddings.” From intimate smaller wedding events for 30 people to huge “blowout” weddings involving over 300 people, Winston-Tudico and her staff are dedicated to making the once in a lifetime experience at the Carnegie Hotel a memorable and lasting one. “I’d have to say I am a perfectionist . . .you really have to be one in this business because you only get one chance to make a couple’s wedding event perfect,” she said with a smile. “We host about 35 weddings a year as well as a litany of special events. And, we cater to the needs of all our brides because no two weddings are the same. Sometimes a bride will bring in a magazine or tells us about something they saw on television that they want to incorporate in their special day. Our success has been that we work with couples every step of the way.” Winston-Tudico is quick to point out the partnerships she enjoys with her hotel neighbors, Wellington’s Restaurant and Austin Springs Spa and Salon both

July 2010

housed in the Carnegie Hotel. “We have a first-class one stop shop for wedding parties,” she said. “The wedding party can meet here, stay here, enjoy great food here, lounge by the pool, enjoy our 24 hour fitness center or enjoy a fabulous spa experience without leaving the building. We have become a destination wedding site because of our mountain scenery and there is a lot to see and do all around our region.” Winston-Tudico added that the hotel works with the Johnson City Country Club when guests are seeking an afternoon of golf. “While the ladies are down at the spa the guys like to get away to the links for a round of golf and they can do that with just a quick ride across town,” she said. Located across the street from East Tennessee State University, Carnegie Hotel is a AAA Four Diamond property that offers an enchanting 19th Century ambiance making it the perfect place for a fairy-tale wedding. The hotel’s spectacular lavish ballroom is a popular place for wedding parties as well as conferences, reunions and business retreats. Surprisingly, according to Winston-Tudico, hosting a wedding at the Carnegie Hotel isn’t as expensive as one would think.

“We offer wedding packages comparable to other properties in Johnson City and the surrounding area,” she emphasized. “For example, we have flexible, customized menu options that are affordable for both the reception and wedding events. We work with couples throughout the planning stages so that their wedding package is both affordable and desirable. Communication is very important to us so that we can design an event that will be a lasting memory.” Unique, tranquil and brimming with character, the Carnegie Hotel makes Winston-Tudico proud when she speaks of the hotel’s repeat wedding business. “It is a compliment to our staff when a sister, sister-in-law, brother or friend of a bride call us up and wants to have their wedding here because of their past experience with a friend or family member,” she said. “We strive to present a new level of hospitality at our weddings, anniversaries, and events. After all, when the wedding party and their family and friends leave here, we want them to remember their experience fondly and be able to tell people about a positive, beautiful experience. The Carnegie Hotel is here for all of Johnson City to enjoy,” she added with a smile.

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Robert Pickle: The Person Behind the Scenes at the Blue Plum Festival

Robert Pickle behind the controls at the Blue Plum festival last month

For the past 11 Junes, when the Blue Plum Festival rolls around, Robert Pickle gets in the mood to basically, “get no sleep for three days.” The man behind the stage at downtown Johnson City’s annual event has seen the popularity of the festival explode over the years. “The best move they (festival organizers) made was to move the main stage from Tipton Street to Main Street,” Pickle explains. “It’s more open and there is a lot more room. In the beginning, only one street was used, now the entire downtown is filled up with people everywhere.” In fact, Pickle, the expert on crowd numbers said, “During Saturday night at the end of this year’s festival, I saw

the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at the Blue Plum. Before that I’d have to say Nickel Creek drew the biggest crowd several years ago.” Besides the opening of the entire downtown to vendors and thousands of people on foot, Pickle points to another change that he says, has made the festival better. “Adding other stages and the versatility of the music has resulted in increased crowds. The music has been steady and people have grown accustomed to good music and as you know there are all types of music offered that fits almost everyone’s taste.” The day before the Blue Plum Festival starts, Pickle and other crew members start setting up the stage(s), hang the spot lights and do more sound checks than you want to know about. The day quickly runs into the night. On Saturday, he and other crew members got to work an 18 hour day. Pickle’s “roadie” days began 20 years ago when a drummer friend asked him to help a band set up for a local show. “The next thing I know I’m getting an offer from Benny Wilson through my friend Robert Winkle to help him load-in at the (old) Sheraton Hotel for $20. I really didn’t know what I was doing at the time and I guess as they say, ‘The rest is history.’” In fact, Winkle was instrumental in Pickle’s landing a job at Cates Music that lasted for 15 years. “We were doing an install at Eastman and I just lucked into that job. I guess I was just at the right place at the right time.”

From the days of loading in bands at local hotels, bars and restaurants, Pickle’s part-time “hobby job” soon became a weekend endeavor. “I got the opportunity to travel to North and South Carolina and other parts of Tennessee and once I went to Chicago to help out Benny (Wilson),” he said. “It’s kinda neat to be doing something you like, have fun doing it and earn a little extra money in the process.” Pickle can also been seen setting up stages and sound systems at other local festivals. “The Blue Plum Festival has given me the opportunity to work all over the region,” he added. “You get to know a lot of people and it’s great to be recommended.” In another life Pickle was probably a weather man. “I am constantly watching the weather channel or tracking the weather on my cell phone. You can’t go on if its pouring the rain,” he said matter-of-factly. But Pickle’s job is not always fun and games. “Some (artists) are just plain rude . . . especially some of the younger ones. The older ones who’ve been around for a while are usually great to work with because they’ve been around the block a time or two (so-to-speak).” Pickle already has next year’s Blue Plum Festival dates circled on his calendar. “It’s one of my favorite events because I get to see a lot of people I know and it’s Johnson City’s time to shine. And even though I might get home at three in the morning, I still get to sleep in my own bed,” he said with a laugh.

Photo Album

A singer in front of Capone’s entertains the crowd

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Ashley Grindstaff poses with a young friend

The Corn Hole Toss across from Restaurant 112 on Tipton Street was a huge success

John Paul Price, Jonesborough, has been making brooms for over 30 years; also pictured is Holly Wright, who maintained a lemonade stand outside Caravan’ Mystique on Spring Street

June Wright (right) the “Tarot Queen” for 28 years has performed a reading at Caravan Mystique, a new antique/collectables business located at 127 Spring Street

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Scott Buckingham, Washington County Property Assessor

Scott Buckingham, Washington County, TN. Property Assessor Looks Toward the Future Scott Buckingham, appointed by the Washington County, TN. County Commission a year ago is seeking a new four-year term in his own right when voters go to the polls this summer. Many believe Buckingham, the Republican primary winner in May, will be successful. Buckingham and his staff of ten are responsible for keeping up with the assessment (value) of over 60,000 parcels of land in Washington County. Buckingham says his role in county government is that of, “being a watchdog for property owners.” “I’d have to say the business of the county starts right here in this office,” Buckingham explained. “The county’s property assessment and appraisals determine how much money the county budgets each year. Some people have misconceptions on what we do. We are not responsible for setting the tax rate. . .that’s the responsibility of the County Commission. And, we don’t collect money. That’s the job of the Trustee’s Office, Jack Daniels.”

July 2010

When it comes to reappraising the county’s property, Buckingham says he is focused on leading the process in a way in which everyone is treated “fairly and the same,” he said. “We are here to help the people. This is the citizens’ office. We answer questions, provide maps and if someone disagrees with the (stated) value of their property, they may appeal to the five member Equalization Board and we help arrange an appointment with them. If, after their hearing, they are still not satisfied they may appeal the decision to the state.” A 1983 ETSU Business graduate, Buckingham is an accomplished builder and developer and says that experience has helped him in his job of running the day-to-day activities of the Property Assessor’s Office. He has 20 years experience as a developer and got in the business through his friend and former State Representative Bobby Hicks, who passed away several years ago. When the county’s next state mandated re-appraisal

comes up in 2014, Buckingham intends for his office to do the reappraisal instead of opting to have the state do the work (which is an option the county has). “I just think, because we live and work here we have a better grasp for property values than someone coming in here from Nashville. I think a local evaluation done by this office is the way to go.”

Buckingham Facts: • Reserved & very independent. • Collects golf balls but only plays a few times a year. • Likes old sports cars. • Big jokester. Just ask his friends. • Buckingham’s philosophy: “Live life and enjoy it everyday. While life is serious it’s also okay to have some fun.”

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Great Food

Cold Drinks

Kingsport’s stir fry café co-managers (left to right) Matt Anderson and Martin Bagwell/ Photos courtesy of stir fry café

Spacious Dinning area

Downtown Kingsport’s stir fry café Aims to Please Your Pallet

Matt Anderson and Martin Bagwell, managers of the popular stir fry café in downtown Kingsport, are homegrown guys who grew up in Sullivan County and attended King College together. Martin excelled at basketball while Matt was a force to be reckoned with on the baseball diamond. Since they are Kingsport natives, they say knowing the area and personally getting to know their customers has made stir fry café a successful eatery in just two years. And, it doesn’t hurt to offer some of the best food in the Tri-Cities. The Atmosphere. Stir fry café is located in a newly remodeled building dating back to 1918. The atmosphere features original hard wood floors, exposed brick walls, and a plush red booth that runs the length of the restaurant. An original brick wall divides the restaurant into two spaces. A large dinning room presents a comfortable feeling with local art adorning the walls, low ceilings and booths. Meanwhile, on the bar side, patrons have grown to love the soaring ceilings, full-service bar coupled with a sushi bar that creates a hip, upbeat atmosphere. The Food. Martin and Matt are sticklers when it comes to the quality of food you’ll be served at stir fry café. “Everything is hand cut in house and our fish is flown in fresh from Honolulu, Hawaii three times a week,” he explained. “We also get some of our food items from Buck Head in Atlanta. Our Kobe beef comes from the best cuts of beef on the market to-

July 2010

day.” When it comes to Asian food, (there are over 60 varieties), no other restaurant around tops stir fry café. The managers readily admit that introducing sushi to Kingsport and the surrounding region three years ago, “was a challenge to say the least.” Now, a two-sided three foot menu can barely contain all the offerings of not only sushi but a bevy of other Asian offerings from Thai curries to Sashimi and Nigiri to noodles and traditional Asian fare. There are no less than three dozen Maki Rolls to choose from. Quite impressive to say the least. The Attitude. Early on, Martin and Matt made it a point to be great hosts and many of the customers who visit the restaurant are on a first name basis with the personable duo. “This is a very local, take care of your neighbor kind of town,” Martin said. “We see familiar faces all the time. We have a lot of regulars and we make it a point to get to know them.” “Personal customer service is the cornerstone of what we do,” Matt added. “We have both an excellent lunch and dinner crowd and friends have told friends and to be recommended is the quintessential compliment in our business.” Not being short sided, stir fry café also offers American flair that includes an $8 Kobe beef “Downtown Burger” second to none. Steaks and succulent chicken, fish and chips coupled with an array of appetizers, salads and sandwiches all adorn

their traditional menu. Outside catering is available and Martin and Matt also work closely with patrons who want to rent the upstairs portion of the restaurant that can accommodate 150 people. With 40 employees pitching in the possibilities of hosting functions, parties of all kinds, and receptions at stir fry café are endless. The Bar. With 65 beer brands, nine taps and 35 wine offerings, you won’t go thirsty at stir fry café. During Happy Hour, customers are offered $2 pints and half off on wine. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, sushi is half price from 4 p.m. - 9 p.m. making it possible to eat sushi and wash it down with a pint for under $10. A 100 inch TV can be seen from all around the bar which has fast become the place to be to watch sporting events. The Music. Stir fry café has increased its popularity by offering live music inside on Friday and Saturday nights beginning around 8:30 p.m. featuring some of the best local talent including Benny Wilson and Ivy Road to mention a few. “We’re not narrow minded, “ Matt said with a smile. “We offer a wide variety of local talent from rock-in-roll to blues.” The stage featuring downtown Kingsport’s Concert series is near the outside door causing stir fry cafe’s outside patio also a hot spot to be. The Mission. At stir fry café it’s all about fresh, great tasting food. Resulting in you coming back again and again.

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Pam’s Real Estate Watch There is nothing like the feeling you get when you buy your first home; but are you really Ready? Here are the first steps you need to take as you venture onto your search for your new home. 1) Call your Bank or any Bank to get a preapproval letter. This Pam Rhymer will tell you what price range you will be looking in. 2) Once you find out how much you can get a loan for; make sure you have 26% of the purchase price saved up before buying. 20% for down payment and 6% for closing costs and prepaids. The 20% down will save you extra payments each month on what the lenders

call PMI. This is a mortgage insurance that helps the bank out if they have to foreclose on a loan; and is very costly to you. The 6% closing costs and prepaids are fees for the loan to originate; attorney or title company fees (to do a title search on the property and close the loan for you; and other items that your lender will explain to you as you get your preapproval. If 3) Once you have everything set up and ready to go with your loan from the bank; Call a Realtor. A Realtor can help find the Special Home that’s right For You once they know what the bank will allow you to borrow. Happy House Hunting! 0 Rich Valley Road Bristol, Va. 24201 MLS #287406 $90,000.00

216 Lakefront Lane Bristol, Tn. 37620 MLS #293751 $34,900.00

Lot 41, Glen Haven Bluff City, Tn. 37618 MLS #288087 $44,900.00

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Music Scene: Johnson City Group “The Penny Dreadfuls” Set to Release First Full Album The Penny Dreadfuls are an eclectic group of musicians performing dark cabaret songs crafted by Jon Chambers. The songs are brought to life by theatrical interpretations of Charis Hickson and supported by music that favors anticipation over instant gratification. The “Dreadfuls” tell stories of spies, Wall Street, haunting, and influential people that history neglected to mention. With influences including gypsy jazz, surf, avant rock, and classic show tunes, The Penny Dreadfuls are a unique celebration of musical diversity guaranteed to please music lovers of all ages. CD Release at Down Home Set for July 10th. The Penny Dreadfuls will perform selection from Lila’s Apparatus as well as new material composed in the past year at their CD launch party. The show will be opened by Thrown From Windows performing post-apocalyptic folk songs about zombies. For more information, visit

July 2010

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Continued from page 14

Carl Swann with a studio guest.

A simple question offers an excellent opening: “Have you two reached the point where you finish each other’s sentences?” “With Dave, I have to,” Swann quickly deadpans, leaving Hogan grasping for the magic control knob in the futile hope he might “mute” his partner. Hogan’s earliest memories are of listening to “The Lone Ranger” on the radio, and his mother listening to soap operas while she worked. “Also, in the beginning there was a considerable talk show presence on radio, such as Jack Bailey. Then it began to evolve as an instrument of music – the industry was literally dominated by music. “As time moved on, every little town got a station and soon there were so many stations. And then came the opening of the FM band. And pretty soon all the music listening was going over to FM, which is of course a better medium. “But with the human voice, it really doesn’t matter whether AM or FM. And all these innovators are out there, working and retooling, and now we’ve seen the great resurgence in talk radio,” Hogan said. The broadcasters credit national talkers like Rush Limbaugh and Mike Gallagher for having a tremendous impact. “But if it wouldn’t have been Rush, it would have been someone else,” Hogan said. Both hosts say they believe a professional “instinctively knows” their individual market and how far they can comfortably go expressing opinions or provoking controversy. “Some of the national hosts can be a bit extreme. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with them or not. We live here, in this community, and so we are not really able to go that far. And I don’t think our listeners either expect or want us to do that,” Hogan said. Despite a half-century in front of the microphone, Hogan and Swann are still hearing about “the demise of radio.” And they’re still not buying it. “There will always be radio for our generation,” Swann says. “Still, there is a lot of competition for that advertising dollar, and we may see a different delivery system,” Hogan adds as Swann pulls his cellphone from his pocket and holds it up. “It likely will center around these. And, of course, another big development comes in the form of the iPad. I think we’re going to see a portable information center in the not-too-distant future,” Swann said. “All media is in the same boat,” Hogan said. “It’s not that there is less demand. Actually, there is more. But it’s becoming more difficult to compete with the huge conglomerates in the digital delivery of everything.”

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Carl Swann (above) and Dave Hogan. The veteran men will guest star during the final weekend of Liberty!, the Official Outdoor Drama of Tennessee, which runs July 15-31. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays in the Fort Watauga Amphitheater at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area in Elizabethton.

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Go to Jail, Go Directly to Jail for buying or selling drugs in Unicoi County. Just don’t do it.

Just Say ‘No’ Stay Free, stay Drug-Free.

T.I.P.S. Hotline:

423-743-1855 Brought to you by the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department


A Jazz Party Tribute to Pianist Horace Silver FEATURING Jazz Pianist Robert Kostreva & Friends Friday, July 16th 7 p.m. Nelson Fine Arts Center Downtown/Johnson City

You are invited to celebrate the life and music of Horace Silver. As musical mentor to Robert Kostreva, Silver’s composing and arranging influenced his fellow Connecticut native to play and write Jazz styling’s Bluesy, Latin, and Hard Bop! DONATION $5 Horace Silver presently suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease. *All proceeds go to “Glory Gift” an Alzheimer Ministry of Fellowship-Visitation at East Pine Grove Park UMC.* More info: 423-557-6774

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Legendary Kingsport Musician Makes Music With Class

Charles Goodwin

Eighty-eight keys never had better friends than Charles Goodwin’s two hands. The legendary Kingsport musician commenced training them three-quarters of a century ago, while only a boy in his hometown of Bristol, where he would play his guitar on street corners for donations from passers-by. A lifelong quest to “make music with class” began with few advantages for the middle son of George and Pearl Goodwin, growing up in a family of nine children. “We had a little family combo,” Charles recalls. “My sister sang, and my uncle played violin.” Charles taught himself to play the guitar, mandolin and Hawaiian guitar.

His introduction to the keyboard came when his 5-yearold fingers formed their first chords on an old pump organ. Bertha Walls, owner of Bristol’s Big Jack Co., saw something special in the boy, and took him under her musical wing. “She taught me four years. She did it for free. My family couldn’t afford anything like that. She began by instructing me in chords, going through all the chords in each key. She gave me my first trumpet. “And when she saw I had gotten to the place that I needed something more, she took me to Dr. Clifford Loomis at Sullins College, and paid for my lessons.” The professor taught his new pupil on a Steinway concert grand piano he had donated to the college. The notes and chords stuck with Charles, and the desire to play only grew. He organized his first band, The Serenaders, in 1948, not long after the formation of the Jerry King Band. Goodwin joined King on April 1, 1952, ultimately buying the equipment and taking over the band when King quit playing in 1965. Charles’ resume reads like an entry for the hall of fame. He has played with big band royalty, including Bob Crosby, Tommy Dorsey (with Buddy Morrow), Glenn Miller (with Ray McKinley) and Charlie Spivak. He has been the featured artist with Guy Lombardo’s Royal Canadians. He has accompanied some of the biggest stars in music history – ranging from Kay Starr to Jerry Vale, and from Anita Bryant to Tennessee Ernie Ford. The Goodwin Orchestra has performed more than 1,000 concerts, including sellouts with the Kingsport Symphony Orchestra and the Western Piedmont Orchestra. But it doesn’t stop with concerts. “We were formed as a dance band. The problem a lot of the remaining big bands that tour is that they play everything too fast. Ours is a true

dance band. We play at that tempo, and people love that,” Charles said. Performing with Red Skelton remains a treasured memory. “He was the nicest guy. Just exactly like what you saw on TV. A lot of people don’t know it, but Red wrote a lot of music himself, including all the music for his show,” Charles said. “When Red came in to rehearse the second day, he knew each one and called them by name.” His collaborations with Spivak brought Charles a part in a Grammy nomination. “A lot of people don’t know it, but Spivak had the second biggest hit with ‘White Christmas’ after Bing Crosby,” Charles said. Spivak decided “he wanted to go out on the road one last time. He hand-picked the stompinest big band I’ve ever heard.” While many bandleaders were “arrogant and hard to deal with, Spivak loved his musicians.” Charles wrote three arrangements for Charlie Spivak Now, the bandleader’s final and Grammy-nominated album. That year’s statuette went to another fairly well-known musician: Count Basie.

Goodwin fingers fly over the keys. Right: Fred on the bass.

Charles and the orchestra. Charlie Spivak and Charles Goodwin

Fred Goodwin and Red Skelton

Charles wasn’t content to merely make music – he also passed on the gift of his hands to his son. Fred Goodwin started using them when he was 13, developing what his father lauds as his “gentle, expressive touch and phrasing that is very unusual in a bass player.” By the time he was out of college, the son had also toured with the Dorsey and Miller bands. For the next 25 years, his agile fingers carried him all over the country, performing with some of the biggest acts in show business, including The Temptations, B.B. King, Herb Ellis, Frank Sinatra Jr., Bob Hope and Wilson Pickett, and as the bassist for both the Goodwin orchestra and trio. Fred played trumpet in the high school band. He has

Out ‘N About Magazine

played keyboards “all of my life.” Like most young East Tennessee musicians, he got his start playing in church. He went on to the high school jazz band, and then performed in some rock bands. “Good music is good music. That never changes. And music has been very good to me. I’ve been extremely fortunate,” Fred says, motioning toward his dad. “I owe most of it to him.” Twenty-five years of performing – and sleepless car and bus rides – take a toll. “The worst had to be a one-nighter in Houston. We left here, drove to Atlanta. Got on a bus and rode to Houston. Played that night. The rode the bus back to Atlanta and then drove home. With no sleep.”

But the Goodwins wouldn’t have missed the Houston gig for anything – they went south with Spivak, sharing billing for a joint concert with the Benny Goodman and Woody Herman bands. “Man, we were hot. We had to be. We were down there with two other bands that would eat your lunch,” Charles said. Fred’s love of music encompasses practically every genre, but his favorite place is in the bassist’s chair, far from the spotlight. “I love playing sideman, backing up the guy that’s the star. We’re utility players. We can come in and play whatever you’ve got. Country, jazz, whatever the book. We’re never going to be stars.” Father and son share what Fred calls “an amazing kind Continued on page 38

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A Prescription for Dignity Innovative Garment Inspired by and Developed in Honor of Late Police Officer On April 21, 2003 Robert Hart was admitted to the hospital for cardiac and carotid artery surgery. For two months his wife, Nancy and his daughter Jenifer slept in the hospital to be by his side. Nancy was extensively involved in his care throughout Robert’s stay in all four of the medical facilities where he was treated. While observing the medical staff and patients, Nancy noticed a need to improve medical apparel. Patient Scrubs were created to meet this need during the seven months Robert was in the hospital. He wore the first hand-stitched prototypes of Patient Scrubs. In the five years since his death, Patient Scrubs have been refined, tested, adjusted and are now available. Robert Hart was a loving and honorable man who devoted his life to his family, his country and his community. Throughout his life he was involved in the US Army Honor Guard, a Pallbearer for President Kennedy, was stationed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, was a police officer for 35 years and an active community leader. Robert was involved in Civil Air Patrol, the Sheriff ’s Youth Ranch and the D.A.R.E. program. In memory of his service and in his honor RLH, Jr. Inc. was established in his name, and was later moved to Tennessee. Stories of his dedication to helping people inspired his wife and daughter to do the same. The final garment is the product of five years of development. During this time Patient Scrubs underwent a substantial redesign and development process. Nancy consulted with Robert’s primary care physician and cardiac surgeon to ensure the product would meet doctors’ needs when worn in a medical environment. These two doctors

Nancy Hart

July 2010

continue to be involved in the development of Patient Scrubs. She also sought input from a variety of nurses and other medical practitioners, from ICU and CCU nurses to respiratory and physical therapists for the same purpose. This was done to make certain Patient Scrubs would not interfere with the important work of medical staff, while making their jobs a little easier. Patient Scrubs give dignity back to the patient in honor of Robert Hart In addition to these Although the product was developed to be primarily consultations, Nancy took a job at a dry cleaning business to become more know- used in medical, home health care and other care environments, it can also be worn for a variety of additional uses. ledgeable about the care and quality of different fabrics. Patient Scrubs are made of a comfortable blend of cot- Most of the people who have worn Patient Scrubs in the ton and polyester and contain no metal, so they can be Hospital continue wearing them once released as pajamas, worn during medical tests. This comfortable 2-piece set al- and some have enjoyed them so much that they just wear lows the wearer to have a sense of dignity in a variety of the garment as normal clothes. Currently, Patient Scrubs medical, rehabilitative settings or in public. Another aspect are available as shorts and t-shirts in adult sizes. A children’s of Patient Scrubs is the peace-of-mind the garment enhanc- line and long pants are available to be custom-ordered and es by providing this dignity and modesty. The front of the will be widely available soon. The first commercially produced sets of Patient Scrubs garment completely detaches from the back giving easy access to the body, and making it possible to change the gar- were not up-to-standard and have not been made widely ment by rolling a patient onto his or her side. The design available to the public. This is a testament to the commitof Patient Scrubs also makes accommodations for medical ment RLH, Jr. Inc. has to the quality of their product, its equipment including telemetry, heart monitors, stomach customers and to the good name of Robert Hart. These and chest tubes, catheters, etc., along with being compatible first sets have been worn in numerous hospitals and care with incontinence products. Patient Scrubs are intended facilities, sent to Iraq with a soldier, and donated in part to be worn loosely and the plastic snaps are positioned in a to a variety charitable organizations including the Amerimanner that will not put the patient under any additional can Cancer Society and an orphanage in Mexico. Plans are pressure while in a medical environment. underway to donate the remaining sets within the next few January of 2009 Nancy was diagnosed with breast can- months as well. A Patient Scrubs customer had this to say cer and had to undergo several surgeries such as a double about the product, mastectomy, Lymph node dissection as well as four chemo“My father who was recovering from a broken therapy treatments. Through all of her numerous hospital neck was in a full body halo for nine months...Once we gave stays, Patient Scrubs were her garment of choice. This alone him your shirts, he was able to be dressed so much easier proves the flexibility of this product in any type of medi- and he felt more confident when he needed to be out of the cal environment. Patient Scrubs enabled Nancy to undergo home. Not only was the fabric extremely soft but the fasbiopsies, surgical procedures and chemotherapy all while teners were easy to secure. Thank you again for all of your enabling her to maintain a level of personal dignity and help...” modesty. Coming soon Nancy is going to establish a pink line specifically for cancer patients. Patient Scrubs— a new level of function and dignity.

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Continued from page 34

Legendary Kingsport Musician Makes Music With Class of telepathy” when they are performing. “There’s a big difference between reading and making music,” Fred says. “When we play together, we both know where we’re going. It’s really something. He’ll come up with some chords from way out in left field, and I’ll know exactly what he’s doing. Then we’ll look at each other and just about break up laughing because we came out at exactly the same chord at exactly the same spot.” The Charles Goodwin Trio was formed in 1974. Their

most recent releases include For Sentimental Reasons and the acclaimed The Nearness of You with BMI recording artist Maddy Winer, entertainment director for The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in Asheville, N.C. The Goodwins are joined by drummer Eddie Dalton, and occasional guests, guitarist Jimmy Hutsell and trombonist Rick Simerly. Dalton has played with artists such as Alicia Keys and Alison Krauss. Charles praises longtime friend Simerly, associate pro-

fessor of music at Milligan College, where he directs the 22-piece Jazz Ensemble, as a “true musician. I have seen him turn heads. People can’t believe what he can get out of that instrument. He has the talent and the ability. He practices every day. He is one of those very rare people who can do it all – good performers are usually not good teachers, but Rick certainly is.”

Music has been a way of both life and business for the Goodwin family. Fred is the director of instrumental music for First Christian Church in Johnson City. He and his wife, Carol, also own and operate Realty Executives in Boones Creek. Charles and his wife, Ruth, opened their Kingsportbased Charles Goodwin Music Co. in the mid-1960s and

operated until their retirement. Their daughters, Barbara and Emily, are choir directors at their respective churches, and Gayle sings and plays the flute. But the Goodwins really mean business when they take their places onstage or in the studio. On his new CD, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Charles returns to his musical roots with a collection of hymns requested by friends and members of First Baptist Church in Kingsport. He performs on the concert grand piano upon which he played as a student under Loomis’ watchful eye long ago. “The Steinway Company completely refurbished that piano and it is amazing,” Charles said. “Once you start playing on an instrument like that, all the cares and frustrations fall away.” It’s easy to tell. At almost the first moment the hammers strike string, the familiar, beloved melodies take on a fresh and interesting sound. “I try to alter the chords some. There are 100 different ways you can play those hymns. Normally, you use only about three chords,” Charles said. “Hymns lend themselves to improvisation,” Charles says. “They are generally simple melodies, with very basic chord structure,” Fred agrees. “My dad and I will play offertories, for example. Sometimes you have to fill in for someone, or come up with something quickly. You take a hymn

and simply add in a few chords, and people will be asking, ‘Where did you get that arrangement?’” Every Sunday morning for the last 40 years, Charles has arrived on Church Circle in Kingsport. Rather than into the elegant sanctuary, his path leads him downstairs, to the rooms populated by eager young faces of the four youth and special education departments. The youngsters don’t know that the man sitting on the bench is a Grammy-nominated icon. They just know they like to sing, and he can sure play. “Sometimes they choose the music. A few Sundays ago, they wanted to sing patriotic songs. I played ‘The StarSpangled Banner’ just as loud as I could,” Charles says with a grin. “I wanted everybody in that church to stand up.” At those moments, Charles Goodwin closes his eyes, and gives his own thanks, for good fortune, and the precious gift of music. Once his worship is complete, the musician is busy planning his schedule for the new week. And, once again, the son is finishing his father’s phrase, right on cue, in perfect time. “I don’t think he’ll ever retire,” Fred says. “And as long as he keeps going out, I guess I’ll be right there with him.”

Great Is Thy Faithfulness features some of Charles Goodwin’s unforgettable keyboard creations – the well-known powerful chords are teamed with gentle, eight- and 10-note descending suspensions configured by hands that have spent a lifetime perfecting the jazz art. A fascinating arrangement of “Jesus Loves Me” by the late Fred Bock pairs the familiar hymn with counter-melody from Claude Debussy’s classic Clair de Lune. Charles wrote all the remaining arrangements. “And he uses a computer…” Fred quips with mock incredulity – “but his computer spits them out on papyrus.” Charles simply shakes his head, and denies rumors of extra fingers hidden inside pockets, or that he can stretch one hand across three octaves when no one is looking. Though, at first listen, it would sound as though extra hands must have been brought in to bring off the dignified rolls that embellish the second stanza of “’Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus,” in actuality, it’s only Charles’ two. They reprise similar dexterity and power on “There Is A Fountain.” For several years, Shana Edwards, the director of the

church orchestra, has played flute with Charles for the occasional special. Upon learning she owned an alto flute, he arranged “He Hideth My Soul” for the instrument, resulting in “a beautiful, even haunting sound.” The album closes with a majestic, moving rendition of “Lead Me Gently Home, Father.” Such an exquisite milestone does not always come easily, as Charles explains in characteristically taciturn fashion. “The day of the recording, it was pouring rain,” he begins, pursing his lips during a “rest of the story” pause. “The chapel has a tin roof.” The piano tuner did not arrive. One of the microphone cables decided not to work that day. So Charles dug tuning tools out of his bag and “smoothed out the top strings” while recording engineer Martin Walters made a dash to buy a new cable. An accomplished musician, Walters’ recording is as crisp, full and perfectly balanced as any million-dollar studio could create.

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3DUW\:LWK$3XUSRVH Don’t Miss the 2010 American Cancer Society Hope Gala!

5XQIRUWKH5RVHVDQGD&XUH Saturday, August 14, 2010 • 6 to 11 p.m. The Crantzdorf Castle 191 DeGrassee Lane, Johnson City

Call 975-0635 to purchase gala tickets today!

<RX&RXOG :LQ7KLV&DU Purchase a $50 ticket that benefits the American Cancer Society. Come by Grindstaff Kia or the ACS office at 508 Princeton Road, Suite 102.

606 State Street Art Gallery Presents Remarkably Refreshing Talent

All types of art may be found at the 606 State Street Gallery in Bristol

Bristol, TN. What do a 16 year-old girl and an 80 year-old woman have in common? Somewhat surprising, they both are talented, award winning featured artists at the 606 State Street Art Gallery in downtown Bristol. And, they have 25 other fellow artists as company who’s art of every design and taste can be seen at this impressive new gallery. The gallery is an artist co-operative organized to showcase the artwork of its members, who run all aspects of the business. The gallery’s mission is to support and promote the endeavors of local and regional artists by providing the public an array of works including: paintings and drawings of all media, sculpture, glass jewelry, ceramics, cards, prints and fine art crafts. The gallery’s short history is no testament of its direction and growth in just three months. In fact, the gallery proudly proclaims it is, “The Largest Art Gallery in the A wall of Sunflowers on two panels was painted by sixteen year-old Alex Thompson Tri-Cities.”

July 2010

In the twilight of 2009, several artists approached building owner James M. Lovett, with a plan to convert the vacant E.W. King building into a gallery, studio space for artists, and an instructional area for teaching classes. Over the winter of 2010, the group formed the State Street Artists Cooperative and on March 15th a press party was held to introduce the gallery to the Karen Foote, one of the 27 artists featured at the 606 State Street Gallery general public. Along with art for sale to the general public of all varieties, “Our members can create something special for anyone looking for a unique piece or want something special painted,” explained Karen Foote, a watercolor and photography artist featured at the gallery. “It could be a favorite scene or a portrait. All of our artists are available and each month in two week increments the gallery presents its Featured Artists.” Starting July 6, portrait drawing classes will be offered by Jim WynTim Roberts’ popular pottery is on display egar in the gallery. During the Rhythm and Roots Festival in September the galley will open for extended hours. Through July 29th some of the 606 State Street Gallery artists will be showing their works at the Watauga Valley Art League sponsored summer show at Sycamore Shoals Historic Site in Elizabethton, TN.

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Richard Tittle: Key Ingredient in Liberty!

Richard Tittle

ELIZABETHTON – Sycamore Shoals feels like home to Richard Tittle. Ask him how he’s doing and the answer is always the same: “Boy, I feel fine, especially when I’m coming here.” And Tittle makes others feel fine as well, having become one of the key ingredients in Liberty!, Tennessee’s official outdoor drama, that begins its 32nd season on July 15, and continues Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. throughout the remainder of the month. After his retirement 10 years ago, Tittle decided to drop by the historic area one night and see the outdoor drama. He encountered old friend and longtime cast member Jim Bishop. “I just loved it. I asked Jimmy, ‘How do I get in this thing?’ He said, ‘Just come on down and dress out.’ So the next night, I was here, put on the costume and went out as a walk-on. I’ve been here every night since then.” Tittle has played several variations on a couple of roles, soon becoming one of the lead players with his portrayal of Abednego Chamberlain, a tart-tongued character full of quips and comebacks. “I’m playing myself,” Tittle says with a laugh. “It couldn’t be written any better. My favorite part of it

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is that my character is a composite – I can be anybody I want to be.” A native of Erwin, Tittle has called Elizabethton home since he moved there with his family before World War II. “My family were like nomads. We moved wherever there was work to be found in those years. We lived for a time in North Carolina, both in WinstonSalem, then in Mount Airy. “Then we wound up in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Yes, that’s right,” he says with a grin. “The hometown of Jimmy Stewart. That, in fact, is where I saw my first movie. I was about 5 at the time. “And sitting back there in the back was none other than the great movie star himself. He was a tall, lanky fellow and I think he couldn’t quite fit into the seats, so he was in the back on the aisle. I just walked right up to him, and he smiled and said, ‘Hello, little fellow.’ My mother almost fainted.” Stewart would “come home on occasion. I saw him a few times. There were a couple of fellows building a prototype airplane and I believe he was interested in it.” Stewart stopped making movies to join the U.S. Army Air Corps during the war, flying a number of missions over Europe and rising to the rank of brigadier general. Tittle’s path also led him to the military – he served in the U.S. Army, becoming a captain prior to his discharge – but to Elizabethton first. He went to work for Max Jett at the old Burgie Drug Store. “He liked the way I typed out labels,” Tittle says with a grin. “But that man paid for my college education. You think I was going to say, ‘Thanks for the education and I’ll be seeing you’? No way,” Tittle answers his own question. “I stayed with him until he died.” While getting that education, Tittle signed up for a history class that includ-

ed a section about Sycamore Shoals. “You know, I don’t think the professor even knew that the place was here. She talked about it as though it were somewhere else. And that’s a sad truth we’ve had to deal with. So many people just don’t know about Sycamore Shoals. “This place is incredible. It’s the most valuable thing we’ve got. It is the most famous unknown story in the country. It’s under-known and underappreciated. Everyone who went west and opened this country up came right through here. Some of them stayed for a while. “When we were little, we would go out on the river and play at what we called ‘the rapids.’ There were arrowheads everywhere. We’d pick up the broken ones and skip them across the water. All the while, we didn’t have any idea how important all this ground was, or what that river really meant,” Tittle said. “What the people here did back then was just unbelievable. The sacrifices they made. They had no idea what they did. Some of the leaders – John Sevier, William Campbell, John Carter – they may have known. For a time, the fate of the United States, if not the whole damn world, rested in their hands. And, man, did they ever come through.”

A dramatic scene from Liberty!

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Every Wednesday and Saturday night. Check us out on the web!

5PM to 9PM


BESIDE BARNES&NOBLE 3020 Franklin Terrace Dr. Johnson City, TN TEL:423-232-6000

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July 2010 Issue

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