Page 1

Validit y

Rebecca Vendemo Of The

Spring Hill Orchestra Complimentary March 2015 Vol. 5, Issue 3

Confused about life insurance? Home of the Dan & Margaret Maddox

Exotic AnimAl trophy collEction


One of the Largest Exhibits in the Hemisphere! Interactive Stations Teach

Conservation & Preservation

Ask us about finding options that can work for you! Tommy Hight

Columbia, TN

Terry Keathley

Hohenwald, TN



Ann Barnick

Jamie Turnbo


Learn of the fate of

Meriwether eLxpLorer ewis of the Lewis & Clark Ex

Murder Or Suicidpeed?ition

Polar Bear Video Columbia, TN


Jason Ray

Dalyn Patterson

Waynesboro, TN

Linden, TN



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id e’s Gift Sh Inside the Museum!



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Gifts & Souvenirs Locally Made Crafts Natchez Trace & Meriwether Lewis Books Local History Info

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Open through December 31st • Closed January & February

Tues. - Sat., 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday , 1 - 4 p.m.

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6th Annual Southern Lawn, Garden & Home Show Giles County Agri-Park

Pulaski, Tennessee

Friday, April 10th Noon-7pm Saturday, April 11th 8am-3pm Aspen Hill Molasses Aunti M’s Fabulous Fudge Breezeway Pergolas Emma’s Home & Garden E.T. Country Peddler Crafts Frontier Basement Systems

Giles County Co-Op The Home Depot Initials, Inc. Personalized Gifts Mary Kay Cosmetics Patty’s Plants ReGenerations Home & Garden Décor

Presented By:

Rose’s Kettlecorn Shady Lane Gardens Something Pretty Accessories Stepping Stones Sutton’s Decorating Center Tastefully Simple Spices & Sauces

Table of Contents

Inside this issue of


Blooming Arts Festival

NEW t his mont h:

This Linden event continues to successfully kick off Tennessee’s festival season. Page 10

Timberland Park By Becky Jane Newbold Natchez Trace Parkway Association welcomes in appreciation Superintendent Mary Risser at this new, off-the-grid facility. Page 11

Strange Technology

March 2015

By Cody Crawford Cool, brilliant people inventing cool, novel stuff.

Vol. 5, Issue 3

Page 14

One Woman’s Journey on the Natchez Trace By Becky Jane Newbold To borrow an old cliché, walk a mile in her shoes. Or in the case of Andra Watkins, 444 miles. Page 13

Spring Hill’s New Orchestra

Bass Fishing

By Cody Crawford

By Tim Tighe Tim’s artistry is not classical music or oil on a canvas, but orchestrated from the bow of his bass boat.

Page 16

Page 22

Discover Mound Bottom

Native American historical treasure now protected.

Left, Orchestra Director Rebecca Vendemo, courtesy photo

Page 23

A Haitian Reality By Michelle Bonville Joy and struggle remain Michelle’s strange bedfellows in her third world mission field. Page 28

Find Validity in 11 Tennessee Counties!

In Every Issue:

Validity Recipes

One Attorney’s Opinion

By Katie Hayes

By Landis Turner

Also in this Issue:

Spring cleaning is not just for the home.

Lawyer plots intrigue and entertain us in novels, on screen and stage.

From The Publisher, Page 5

Page 6 Page 20

Ornithology Report By Bill Pulliam

Spring Forth With Color

Pint-sized predators.

By Cassandra Warner Page 13

Free Gift of God, Page 29 Lookin’ Back, Page 29

Spring is here. Get ready for color, color, color!

Cerebral Meanderings, Page 30

Find More


Online! Be Social! Look Us Up!

Page 24

Validity Magazine is published monthly in Hohenwald, Tennessee. Validity Magazine reserves the right to edit editorial and advertising submissions for appropriateness of the publication. Reproduction of any part of Validity Magazine without permission of the publisher is prohibited. Distribution of this magazine does not constitute an endorsement of information, products or services. Views expressed in Validity Magazine do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Every effort has been made to insure accuracy of the publication contents. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of all information nor the absence of errors and omissions.

Publisher Becky Jane Newbold,, 931-628-6039 Managing Editor Shane Newbold,, 931-628-6039 Director of Digital Innovation Cody Crawford,, 615-768-9479 Contributing Writers, Bill Pulliam, Cassandra Warner, Charles Newbold Jr., Cynthia Rohrbach, DeeGee Lester, Justin Crawford, Katie Taylor, Landis Turner, Michelle Bonville Contributing Photographers, Cassandra Warner, Katie Taylor

Validity Magazine, Published 12 times per year, monthly, Vol. 5, Issue 3 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Validity Magazine, P. O. Box 516, Hohenwald, TN 38462-0516. Address Service Requested. Subscriptions are available on an annual basis at $20 per year. Mail check or money order to: Validity Subscriptions, P.O. Box 516, Hohenwald, Tennessee 38462.

Validity Magazine exists to reflect rural lifestyles of rural communities along the Natchez Trace Parkway in both storytelling and photo journalism. This local publication is designed to promote positive life experiences by delivering authentic, relevant content on healthy living, nature, outdoors, technology, gardening, entertainment and travel to the people who enjoy the small town experience.



Our Mission


From The Director of Digital Innovation

alidity Online Just Got Better


xciting news from the online front! We have redesigned our website. Our friends at neXpiria in Columbia suggested should invoke the same feeling you have when you hold our magazine in your hands. We agree. Now has a cleaner, uncluttered look. We update the website frequently with content from our magazine, news from the region

We have optimized the site for mobile phones and tablets. Now, it’s easier than ever to read our stories from and more. anywhere you are. Recent articles are Check in on Mondays to still on the home page, find a new recipe from Validgiving you instant acity magazine. Our website cess to the content you By Cody has even more pictures than love. We have other Crawford the magazine, giving you tabs of interest as well, more cooking inspiration than ever. such as information on subscribing Finally, we have one more surand advertising. On our “Find Validity” page, prise. The most recent issues of Vayou can now see a map listing all lidity have been posted to our site the places to pick up a print copy of under the “Issues” tab. Yes, now Validity. Search by zip code to find you can read every story, every ad– the entire issue of Validity magathe location closest to you.

Reality Perspective

Debit or Credit


uke’s car breaks down in Green Hills. Barely able to get it parked in a not so great place, he calls his old dad (yours truly) who immediately confronts raging, winter weather, driving one hour into a Nashville traffic quagmire in order to rescue the beloved son. Gosh, this would make a great movie. Where are Hollywood scouts when an Oscar opportunity avails itself? Nevertheless, we cannot make the repair at this point. We leave the car, and towing services are 8-10 hours behind if they answer the phone at all. Luke locates a car rental service By Shane Newbold that has two cars available. Great! I almost leave after dropping him at the door of the rental agency, but he promptly returns. “They won’t rent me a car, because I don’t have a credit card,” Luke complains. “This is the third time not having a credit card has bitten me in the @$$.” We both have debit cards, and I have cash. Neither of us use credit cards. He has no credit history, because he pays as he goes. The notso-friendly girl behind the counter does not care. She offers to run

my social security number to check my credit, but I am unwilling. The wife and I have been violated in our banking accounts the past year, as have many others. Giving a young, indifferent stranger personal financial information seems ill-advised. Fortunately, the generosity of one of Luke’s coworkers, who has an older car as backup, proves the best solution for now. So, what’s the point. My good son is exasperated, “I work hard, do well for myself financially, pay my due and do not take what is not mine. Yet, I am encouraged to burden my life with debt. Not only encouraged, but in some instances, I can’t do business without credit history, credit cards and having current loans. Even our government cannot pay the trillions owed to countries who would take us to war without hesitation.” He is right. College students acquire debt that often goes unpaid. We lavish ourselves with over the top autos that, monthly, could finance a decent home. Nearly everything we buy (and we materialistic Americans accumulate a lot of expensive stuff) is actually funded by a finance company. And at some point, possibly real estate being the only exception, it all becomes unsecured debt. The grocery cashier always asks, “Debit or credit?” I am amazed that many people buy their groceries on

zine–online! Many of you enjoy reading our latest stories on your mobile phones and computers. Have a look at our new design today at

credit cards. Possibly, they would wagon. Certainly an arduous leap not eat without it, or they use it to worth the effort, but you might accumulate points and pay it off ev- need an extra pair of walking shoes: ery month. And carrying enough No Credit, No Car. cash these days can be unwise. Luke is stuck, sort of. He will Father to four and best friend have to compromise his pay-as- to Becky Jane for 27 years, Shane you-go lifestyle (hard on a boy who Newbold lives life to the fullest cherishes his freedom). He is not motorcycling, birdwatching, fishhappy about having to either bor- ing and enjoying his family. row money for a car that he could purchase outright or get a credit card in order to procure a “credit history.” HowevIf I’m Not Open - I’m Shopping! er, the young man could My Centerville store is open one week each month continue to live debt So, I’d better make it count! I hand pick every treasure in my 1,600 square foot store free and learn to work You Never Know What You’ll Find around entrapping, burBecause I Never Know What I’ll Find! densome credit realities. So, mark your calendar & come see me! I wholeheartedly Next Open Dates! admire and support his March 9th -March 15th ethic, an ethic that could April 13th -April 19th change the world for the Monday - Sunday 9 - 5 In Centerville take Hwy 50 west better. Too bad the rest 5 miles & look for our signs. of the us, including our We’re near the winery! debt burdened governVisit or Call 931 628-0374 ment, are not jumping on the debt free band

April’s Attic

Kelly Taylor, Sales Manager NMLS ID 737346

Mobile 931-628-8602

5 .

Katie Hayes Taylor

Validity Recipes



he idea of “spring cleaning” generally brings forth images of sweeping, scrubbing the window panes, cleaning By Katie Taylor out cramped linen closets and generally giving our homes a face lift. This month, we go a step further to show you an additional way to spring clean. We do not often think about “spring cleaning” our bodies with the foods we eat, but we often desperately need it. The recipes this month . 6

2 tsp honey 2 green onion ½ tsp salt Pepper, to taste

Detox Tabbouleh

Serves 6 Ingredients: 1 head cauliflower 1 bunch parsley, chopped 1 small bunch fresh mint, chopped 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved 1 large cucumber, chopped 2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds Juice of 2 lemons

Katie Hayes Taylor

g n i r p S r o F Eating

are not only delicious, but they may give you that extra boost your body needs. Tabbouleh (tuh-boo-luh) is a traditional Lebanese dish chockfull of naturally good-for-you ingredients. It tastes incredibly fresh and makes a great side dish, or even a stand-alone lunch. This Detox Tabbouleh is made with cauliflower rather than the usual bulgur wheat, to give you even more of a boost.

Validity Recipes

Instructions: 1. Using a box hand grater or food processor, grate the cauliflower florets into small rice-like granules. If handgrating, grate until the stem is remaining, and discard the stem. Place cauliflower into large bowl. 2. In small cup, whisk lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper.

Mason Jar Salad: How To

Salads are a great lunch option, but sometimes it may be difficult due to the time it takes to chop the produce and prepare the dressing. Look no further! The mason jar salad below is the perfect grab’n’go option!

3. Combine all ingredients into large bowl with cauliflower, pour lemonjuice honey mixture over top, and enjoy immediately. Best eaten fresh, but I find it will keep in refrigerator for up to 2 days. Recipe inspired by Oh She Glows

Mason Jar Salad Makes 2 salads Ingredients: 1 carrot, thinly sliced or shredded 1 cup quinoa, cooked 1 sweet potato, roasted 2 handfuls of the lettuce of your choice

Maple-Tahini Dressing

2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp coarse salt ¾ cup tahini paste 2 tablespoons lemon juice ¼ cup warm water 2 tsp chopped parsley

more water or lemon juice to thin. 2. Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Let cool completely. 3. Cube the sweet potatoes, toss in olive oil, salt and pepInstructions: per. Roast the sweet potatoes 1. For the dressing, combine at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for all ingredients into food pro- 25-30 minutes. Let cool comcessor and blend until desired pletely. consistency. Depending on 4. Once ingredients are your preference, you may add

prepped and cooled, layer the salad in the jar: Carrots Maple-Tahini Dressing Quinoa Sweet potato Lettuce 5. Store in refrigerator until ready to eat. Recipe Inspired by

7 .

Validity Recipes

Green Beans and Mushrooms with Fresh Thyme

Serves 2 Ingredients: 1 lb fresh green beans, ends removed 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced A few sprigs of fresh thyme 2 tablespoons Olive oil Salt & pepper Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large cast-iron skillet, combine and spread all ingredients. 2. Cook until mushrooms and green beans are tender and beginning to brown, 20-25 minutes.

Katie Hayes Taylor

This recipe is so simple, yet delicious! With less than 5 ingredients, it is incredibly easy, but like the others, your body will thank you for it!

Katie Hayes Taylor

Katie Hayes Taylor

Green Beans and Mushrooms with Fresh Thyme



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Musical Trails

Hickman County Public Library presents:

 A web documentary following the path of music through Hickman County. This outstanding narrative features the lives and achievements of the talented folk nestled in its hills.

Visit Online!

We extend special thanks for everyone who contributed their stories: Ernest Ferguson, Joe and Bobby Forrester, Charlie Garner, Jim Wood, David Dansby, Steve and Wanda Turner, Ronn Lynn, Clebert Warren, Joey Chessor, Mary Beth Pruett, Steve Gregory, Linda Breece... And to those who gave of their creative energy for its production: Clay Harris, Clarissa Lega, Asha Fuller, Casey Culver, Juan Pablo Reyes, Felipe Reyes, Manuel Lagos Jr., Bill Williams, Mary Beth Pruett, who collectively invested thousands of hours in research, production work and dedication to seeing it through. Funding came from TN Arts Commission, Buffalo-Duck River RC&D, TN Dept. of Tourism, Grinder’s Switch Foundation, Prince Hardware, Primm Transmissions, Jacobs Automotive, Owens Corner Mart and private contributions. Thank you for this invaluable support.

9 .

Blooming New Location! Arts 201 Mill Avenue • Hohenwald, TN Visit Our

F est i v a l

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1220 Squirrel Hollow Drive

Linden, TN

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or years, “in the know” visitors have flocked to Linden and Perry County for hunting, fishing and canoeing on the Buffalo and Tennessee rivers. However, in the past few years, the Town of Linden has become highly respected for its art initiative and acclaimed public arts district. This year, on March 20-21, 2015, the Town of Linden is pleased to invite you to the 7th Annual Blooming Arts Festival. The success of The Blooming Arts Festival has quickly become Linden’s crown jewel and is one of the areas leading outdoor events. Besides the unbelievable turnout, the vendors are brilliant and refreshing; there is something for everybody, both in selection and in price. For art lovers, craft lovers, casual festivalgoers and families, nothing compares to the Blooming Arts Festival. This festival continues to be a success, last year attracting 110 artists from the region. Kicking off the festival season in Tennessee, large crowds are again expected. In addition, there will be a full schedule of live music on both days as well as the always popular Kids-Zone, complete with rides and many fun activities. While the exhibitors draw thousands to the quaint downtown, it is a perfect time for tourists to journey to the festival to witness the striking beauty of the recently revitalized downtown. The Blooming Arts Festival is a wonderful house Square. Festival food will be provided in opportunity to meet real artists and artisans, to separate food courts, while local restaurants will begin your own art collection or find that unique remain open. gift or home furnishing. With a setting of downFor more information or artist registration town streets lined with new sidewalks, trees, please visit or call lampposts and restored architecture, the festival 931-589-6888. will be highlighted by endless exhibitions of fine art, including oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, Leah Stewart clay works, sculpture and 931-589-2455 photography. Craft lovers 931-299-0300 cell from all over are sure to be delighted with handcrafted 227 W Main St. stained glass, leatherwork, Linden, TN 37096 jewelry, glass, furniture, fiber arts, quilting and numerous other displays of National Telecommunications System Selling Your Real Estate? Expert Attention to Detail creativity. Get the National Selling Power You Need! International Exposure via Internet The festival also feaExclusive Confidential Buyers List Richardson Real Estate tures local and regional National Advertising Multi Listing Service musical entertainment at and Auction, Inc. Illustrated Catalogs a main stage in the CourtAuctions

Timberland Park


Becky J. Newbold

South Central tenneSSee

Becky J. Newbold

Becky J. Newbold

olar-powered Timberland Park, of numerous “green” components. Williamson County Park & Rec’s Superintendent Risser shared vinewest addition, was the scene of sion for the parkway, including the a reception for Natchez Trace Parkway “Find Your Park” campaign designed Superintendent Mary Risser, hosted to get youth back into nature. “Kids by the Tennessee Chapter of the Nat- are divorced from nature. Kids don’t chez Trace Parkway Association Feb- have that connection anymore,” she ruary 5, 2015. Tony Turnbow, Execu- explained. “Let’s get out into nature tive Director of the association, and Phyllis Huffman, Williamson County Parks and Recreation Administration & Planning Administrator, were among those welcoming the group to the 72 acre park. “This was a journey we never Superintendent Mary Risser addresses the Tennessee Chapter thought pos- of the Natchez Trace Parkway Association at Timberland Park. sible,” Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson and build those ties again.” commented. Twenty years in the Visitor records at Timberland making, Timberland Park is only ac- Park reveal travelers from Canada, cessible via the Natchez Trace Parkway Florida and Ohio, to list a few. and required cooperation of the FedTimberland Park is a public, day eral Park Service to become a reality. use facility located at Natchez Trace The 2,000 square foot visitor contact Parkway milepost 437.2 (south of the building is off the grid and makes use SR Highway 96 entrance) in Franklin. The park is open in March from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., April - October, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Amenities include an interpretive center, restrooms, hiking trails, ADA accessible trail, overlook and picnic tables. The park is RV Staff of Timberland Park with Parkway Superintendent Mary accessible. Risser and Natchez Trace Parkway Association Executive

Discover 

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Cyclists, Travelers & Storytellers


RV & Primitive camping Bed & Biscuits At the intersection of Hwy. 412 and the Natchez Trace Parkway

931-796-1480 Bill & Kathy Roper

Director Tony Turnbow.

11 .


Explore Historic All Night Art Marathon Planned in Centerville


n all night Art-Making Marathon is the hottest happening on March 20, starting at 7 p.m. at Wild Duck Soup Emporium on the Centerville Town Square. “Make all kinds of art with Bernice Davidson and friends,” co-organizer Antonia Meadors invited. A fundraiser, the event is a cooperative effort for Hickman County’s future Cultural Arts Center and the Matt Gardner Museum in Giles County. Donations must accompany registration, which is limited.

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Online! An art sale will be held on the lawn Be Social! Look Us Up! of the old courthouse in Centerville, the next day, March 21, 2015, beginning at 11:30 a.m. All are welcome. To register call Antonia at Wild Duck Soup Emporium, 931 729 0690 or email

Art Party at Wall Candy Local musicians perform at Wall Candy’s art parties, held the first Thursday of the month at Wall Candy, 116B W. 7th Street, in downtown Columbia.

Janet & Ray Cook, owners

Steaks • Catfish • Ribs

Find More


eet the artists and socialize at Wall Candy’s monthly Art Party. Held each first Thursday of the month (with the exception of January and July), the events usually run from 5:30-8:30 p.m. or later depending on the crowds, co-owner Courtney Payne explained. “Many of the artists are here to meet and greet with the public. We also provide live local music as well as snacks and wine,” she added. Admission is free, but pet food donations are accepted for Pet Pals of Maury County, a non-profit organization that aids senior citizens and low income families with pet food as well as provides low cost/free spay or neuter clinics along with several other rescue animal services.

35 North Maple Hohenwald, TN 38462

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Art, music, food and fun for all ages at Wall Candy’s monthly Art Party.

Ornithology Report

Butcher Birds W

hen we think about predators in the wild, we usually think about large animals. An image of a lion, a wolf or maybe a bobcat is most likely to come to mind. In the bird world, the “birds of prey” are the eagles, By Bill Pulliam hawks and falcons, which include some of the largest of birds. In reality, though, most predators are quite small. A tiny shrew feeds voraciously on worms and insects. The bluegills in your pond are a carnivorous terror to smaller animals. Likewise, many small birds that we would not count as predators eat smaller animals. Birds that have long, thin, pointy bills mostly eat insects rather than plants and seeds. The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is the second smallest bird in this area after the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and (as the name suggests) it lives mostly by hunting down small insects. Still, we usually call these smaller birds “insectivores” rather than “predators.” We just don’t think of catching bugs as really being comparable to hunting for mammals, birds or fish. Even backyard chickens will pounce on a spring peeper in an instant, but we hardly class them as great hunters. There is one group of smaller

songbirds that most birders do count as a “bird of prey.” These are the shrikes. They are a bit smaller than mockingbirds, about the size of a bluebird. And they are built to hunt. Our area is home to one species in this group, the Loggerhead Shrike. It is a handsome bird in spite of being painted exclusively in black, white and gray. It is superficially similar to a Mockingbird, being gray with a black mask and white flashes in its wings and tail. But the shrike is a smaller but stockier bird, with a stout, hooked bill and a much larger and crisply defined “outlaw” mask. The shrike’s folded wings are also a clean black with a sharp white spot, contrasting with the gray back. The Loggerhead Shrike earns its status as our smallest “bird of prey” by feeding on mammals, birds, lizards, toads and frogs that might not weigh much less than the shrike itself. It is most often seen perched on wires, snags and fences in open country scanning for prey. What it does with this prey is its major claim to fame. A shrike lacks the grasping talons and ripping beaks of the larger birds of prey. It compensates for this by using thorn bushes, barbed wire fences and other convenient sharp objects. It impales its larger catches and leaves them hanging there, earning the Loggerhead Shrike the widespread nickname of “Butcher Bird.” An individual shrike tends

to have a favorite fence or bramble for hanging its prey, creating a “larder.” I planned to include a photo of a shrike larder with this article, but all the ones I could find were rather gruesome (Google “shrike larder” if you are curious). This larder is more than just a slaughterhouse; true to its nickname, it is also a place they will let prey hang and season, or where they will cut out only the best cuts from the animal. Some poisonous prey items such as toads and monarch butterflies are left to hang until the poisons have leached out. In other cases, such as large grasshoppers, the poisons are concentrated only in certain body parts, and the shrikes eat around them. Birders tend to be fond of shrikes, both because of their interesting lifestyle and their snappy plumage. Forty years ago when I started birding, we said you could use the shrikes as mileposts along the highways of southern Georgia. Each pair claimed and defended about a mile of fence and power line, so you would see one or a pair just about every mile. Those days are long gone in most of North America, including the South. While many birds have done well in the last several decades, shrikes have not. Numbers of Loggerhead Shrikes in the eastern states have plummeted. They are entirely absent from many regions where they were formerly common. The reasons for this decline are probably complex and not entirely clear. In the eastern U.S., shrikes have historically been associated with farming land, and, of course, farming practices have changed dramatically since the mid-20th century. In general, as farming has become more mechanized, it has become “tidier,” losing the bugs, rodents, barbed wire fences and thorn bushes. And, of course, much former farmland is now suburb. But there remain many areas that look like suitable habitat yet still have no shrikes, so the problem must go beyond simple habitat loss. In Tennessee, shrikes are rare in most places. There remain only

a very few “hotspots” where there may be stable populations. In middle Tennessee, the best shrike numbers are found mostly in several areas in Lawrence County, especially in the open farmlands. In recent years, the areas west of Laurel Hill WMA near the communities of Center and Deerfield have been good shrike country, generally in the area of Highways 241 and 64. Shrikes have also been seen with some regularity in the Ethridge area. Elsewhere, several pairs of shrikes still live in Maury County between Cross Bridges and Mount Joy, especially on Cecil Farm Road. And there is a recent nearby report from Cathey’s Creek Road very close to the Lewis County line. In Lewis County proper, at least one pair of shrikes has been resident in the general vicinity of Yoder’s Homestead Market along Summertown Highway for several years. Always keep an eye on the power lines when driving through there. Farther north, Robertson County has proven to be good shrike country in the areas surrounding Cedar Hill and west of Orlinda and Cross Plains. And to the southeast, the barrens of Franklin County have yielded several recent sightings. Otherwise in middle Tennessee, occasional Loggerhead Shrikes might turn up wherever there is open farm country. But it is generally a role of the dice in most places, with not very good odds. It is hoped in the near future, whatever has been hurting the shrikes will reverse and their numbers will begin to climb again as have those of many other birds of prey. Even back in the days when we could use Loggerhead Shrikes as mileposts, we never tired of seeing these handsome and fascinating predators. Bill Pulliam got started in birdwatching by his junior high science teacher in 1974, and has been an avid birder ever since in 48 U.S. states and 7 foreign countries. He is currently the Tennessee editor for eBird, a online project that compiles millions of observations from tens of thousands of birders around the world.

13 .

Strange Technology

half an hour. Exercising becomes necessary unless you’re comfortable in grungy duds, and it helps keep your electric bill as slim as your waistline. The bike washing machine is a concept design now, and probably needs a lot of testing before becoming a consumer product. Wearable Drone


o the average person, technology is a blur of cell phones, tablets, cars and appliances, sometimes dipping into the realm of oddities like facial recognition, fingerprinting and home s e c u r i t y. We know what we see at the coffee shop and in By Cody Crawford adver tisements. Some technology never sees the light of day. It is so strange and mysterious, it only appears in obscure informational websites and Kickstarter campaigns. This kind of tech, my friends, is wonderful, and the people designing it are bril-

liant. A few of these unexpected inventions might be the next big thing. Bionic Boots

Ostriches can run insanely fast, and they inspired one man to create what he calls Bionic Boots. These boots allow a human to run up to speeds of 25 miles per hour through the use of specially designed joints and super powered tendons. The springs in the boots give the human leg more power behind each step as well as a longer stride length. The inventor, Keahi Seymour, envisions them as a futuristic mode of transportation. Oral-B Connected Toothbrush

Everything else connects to your iPhone, so why not your toothbrush? This Bluetooth tooth-

For those of you that have wild and entertaining lives, meet the Nixie wearable drone. A bracelet until you need to capture a shot, take this drone off your wrist. It will fly into the air on command brush is an ingenious way to keep and take some footage. According the dentist off your back. to the promotional video, the drone It is sure to improve the will even follow you as you’re doing health of your pearly something awesome. My life surewhites. It connects to an app ly isn’t exciting enough to warrant on your phone and gives the expense of a wearable drone, you information about but some of Validity’s readers could how long you brush probably do a lot with this device. and if you’re using It is geared as “the camera that goes the proper pressure. beyond arm’s reach,” and I’m sure Released this year at it is more impressive than my husthe Consumer Elecband’s selfie stick. tronics Show in Las Vegas, it runs about Circuit Scribe $125. Circuit Scribe is a conductive pen that allows a hardware designer Bike Washing Machine to actually draw an electrical cirWhile this invention might seem a bit primitive, it is a pretty darn good idea. Who wouldn’t want an all-in-one exercise bike and clothes washing machine? Simply insert the clothes, soap and water, and jump on the exercise bike for

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by the implanted wearables category of technology. Imagine, instead of carrying a stack of business cards with you to a networking event, you might just tap your hand against someone else’s to cuit. This might be a greatly useful have all your information invention for engineers, who previ- transferred to them. You’d have ously had to use breadboards, wires to get the chip embedded in your and components to get a test circuit working. Circuit Scribe kits come with components as well as wire and resistor pens. Under Skin Information Exchange

If you thought tapping your phone to exchange information was bizarre, you’ll really be disturbed

t i s i V

hand, and they’d have to have one in theirs, but so what? In ten years we’ll all have our brains uploaded to the cloud anyway. Before you guys freak, I was just kidding about that last part. Data Stickies

With this invention, what looks like a pad of sticky notes is actually a pad of digital storage drives. Simply pull one off, stick it to your computer, and transfer your data. When you’re done, stick the drive inside a notebook or to your desk, and no one will ever know it contains your family pictures or the Power Point for this afternoon’s meeting. The sticky note flash drives are literally as thin as a piece

of paper and communicate to your computer through a designated plastic sheet that connects to the USB port of your computer. Maybe some of these inventions will become mainstream in the near future. I think for each of these designs, I can quote Amy from the movie Fly Away Home, “Every home should have one!” To see more information about each of these wacky inventions, please look for this article on Cody Crawford holds a Bachelor of Science in software engineering from Middle Tennessee State University and serves as Director of Digital Innovation for Validity Publishing.

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15 .

Courtesy Photos

Spring Hill, TN

Closing A Cultural Gap By Cody Crawford


symphony orchestra is like a neon sign, one indication that a city has an appreciation for culture. On November 10, 2014, Spring Hill put itself on the classical music map with the birth of the Spring Hill Orchestra (SHO), a community ensemble that has already grown to 27 musicians. The first rehearsals took



place at a dance studio. Now, the Tennessee Children’s Home provides rehearsal space for their Monday night sessions. The Spring Hill Orchestra members in rehearsal in space donated by the Tennessee founder Children’s Home. and orhas intended to start a community toire includes pieces by composers chestra such as Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Bach ensemble, with a vision to bring director is Rebecca and Fauré. Vendemo. For more the rich history and beauty of “Most importantly, we need classical music to people who don’t than a decade, lots of strings: violin, viola, cello have easy access to performing or Vendemo hearing it in their own communities. Vendemo has formal training in music education and performance and plays the trumpet and the cello. A vast and outstanding résumé, including teaching and administration, boasts over a decade of experience in orchestral conducting and composition. She has worked for the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera, a background which she says deepened her understanding Founder and Orchestra Director and passion for the orchestral and Rebecca Vendemo brings a pasoperatic art forms. sion for classical music to rural Vendemo’s goal is to have 50 Tennessee with the organization musicians in the SHO. The reperof the Spring Hill Orchestra.

Courtesy Photo

ble Destin le ecta ati D

on !


and double bass,” Vendemo mentioned. “We are covered in each of these sections, but for that beautiful, full orchestra sound, we need many more. We still have some openings in the wind and percussion sections too.” Orchestra members come from Williamson and Maury counties and beyond, and the playing level ranges from students to degreed musicians. “They are an enthusiastic and friendly group of people finding commonality through getting the orchestra off the ground and performing standard orchestral repertoire,” Vendemo observed. A concert is planned for the end of March, and the Spring Hill Orchestra already has a performance scheduled for April 26 at the Columbia Arts Theatre with the Maury 931-388-7770 County Chorale. For 1144 Riverside Dr. information on atC olumbia , TN tending SHO concerts, find them on Wednesday-Thursday 11 am - 8 pm Facebook at www. Friday-Saturday 11 am - 9 pm 11 am - 7 pm ghillorchestra. Closed Monday-Tuesday To join or sponsor the orchestra, please contact info@ springhillorchestra. org or 931-6741383.

Worth the Drive!

Courtesy Photo

to Cour tesy Pho

Conductor Rebecca Vendemo, left, with members of the newly formed Spring Hill Orchestra. New memberships are encouraged.

17 .

A Taste of

Southern Charm

One Woman’s Journey Walking the Natchez Trace

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By Becky Jane Newbold


utsy and brave definitely describe Andra Watkins. Add insightful and patient, too, for as she managed to walk 444 miles along the Natchez Trace Parkway in a determined effort to promote her new book, she found herself in the midst of dysfunctional-relationship repair with her 80 year old father, her wingman.

Authoring To Live Forever; An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis was a response to barely knowing who the explorer was. “In South Carolina, they teach Lewis & Clark as a paragraph in a textbook,” she explained during a recent interview. After reading Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose, Andra remarked, “I couldn’t stand how forgotten Meriwether Lewis seemed to be. I had never heard of the Natchez Trace until I read Undaunted Courage.” Then one weekend in Nashville with her husband, near the Parthenon, they noticed a sign marking the Natchez Trace. “We drove the Trace that weekend.” Recognizing Meriwether Lewis’ tragic death at age 35 unearthed questions such as “What might he do if he were given something else to do?” Hailing from a “colorful” family, Andra explained how she merged some of her family’s

Courtesy photo

For great food with a side of history, visit Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House Restaurant in Lynchburg, Tennessee. This stately establishment, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is no longer a boarding house but is still a great place to enjoy a real home-cooked meal. In fact, Mr. Jack Daniel himself was a noon-day regular. Miss Bobo’s menu varies daily but always includes generous helpings of favorites like country ham, chicken with pastry, fried okra, blackberry cobbler and many other specialties.

stories into the Meriwether Lewis fictional tale. “I hoped the book might do well enough to make him be remembered more,” she continued. Carefully researching historical data, “I put characters all along the Trace,” Andra stated. All her research brought her to one conclusion: No one had replicated the walk of the Trace. Brainstorming ways to bring attention to To Live Forever; An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, Andra determined to retrace his steps. “I wanted my walk to redeem my novel’s hero and launch my novel in an innovative way.” Andra needed someone to drop her off and pick her up each day, so she enlisted her father. But not without trepidation. “I had always had a difficult relationship with my father. He was a big character. Those people are hard to know. For a long time, he thought lecturing me was a relationship.”

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19 .

Andra Watkins

pleasant, aging father, reveals a mature level of discernment into the aging-parent “life moment.” “The reason I wrote Not Without My Father is to encourage people to make a memory.” As hard as it was sometimes, even those things are Andra and her dad, Roy. things you look back and are glad you have. The Natchez Trace is an awesome place with so much history layered on it.” Andra’s experience is one to be read by anyone with parents or grandparents. And by everyone who loves someone. “Turn your ‘I wish I had’ into ‘I’m glad I did’,” she wrote. A portion of the proceeds from both books will be donated to the National Park Service in support of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Locally, Andra’s books are available at The Dragonfly EmpoNot Without My Father is published rium in Collinwood and at Buffalo by Word Hermit Press. River Farms B & B, Summertown.

Andra Watkins

Courtesy photo Andra Watkins

“When my father had his appendix rupture, died and was revived,” she explained, “that was the first time reality struck. I had been focused on 40 year old stuff and was not making memories or trying to get to know him.” So the two traveled to Natchez, Mississippi together to begin the book promotion and a journey north. About two and onehalf weeks into the five-week-long, 15-miles-per-day journey, Andra realized she had a memoir started. “I never found a way to make that bridge with my father until I wrote my novel. He anointed himself my supreme book salesman,” she explained. “Writing a novel went a long way to repair my relationship with mom and dad.” Time with her father became more precious as the weeks progressed. “I had five weeks of time nobody could take away from me when my parents are gone.” In Not Without My Father, Andra’s description of the pain and fatigue produced by walking the relentless, two-lane highway, combined with traveling with her stubborn, sometimes socially un-

Ask An Attorney

Fictional Lawyering


by a big margin. By the time I finished the ninth grade, I had read all the books featuring Perry Mason. He was the subject of over 80 novels and short stories and a long running radio series, heard every weekday. There was a TV series that ran from 1957 until 1966 and again from 1973 to 1974 with a different cast. There followed 26 movies made for television. Perry never lost a case, and all his clients were innocent people tried for murder. Perry always found the real culprit and, through clever cross-examination, obtained a confession in open court. As a young teenager, I guess I didn’t fully understand how preposterous those plots were. No lawyer ever won every case, and no DA, like Hamilton Burger, ever lost every one. If he had, he could never have survived in office as Hamilton did. I have tried 20 murMost Major der cases and not once Insurance Accepted did anyone confess to Medicare murder in open court, much less due to my Participant ome are brilliant questioning. Certified Home Care Forgotten today by Agency most, I really liked The Highly Experienced Trials of O’Brien starring Staff Peter Falk as a ShakeAvailable 24/7 Care is our speare quoting criminal business. defense lawyer. (Incidentally, we don’t like to be called “criminal nHCHomeCare50@yaHoo.Com lawyers.”) This TV se-

ery recently, a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee was discovered and is expected to be published soon. Obviously, it will be a best-seller. The protagonist, Atticus Finch, is the most beloved fictional lawyer ever to appear in print. I began to By Landis think about ficTurner tional lawyers and believe that more books have been written about lawyers than those of any other profession, except private investigators and police. Excluding preachers named in the Holy Bible, lawyers outnumber clergymen, teachers and doctors in novels, film, plays and on television








ries only lasted for a little over 20 weeks, but it featured very good guest stars, including Gene Hackman, Roger Moore (later James Bond), Milton Berle, Faye Dunaway (Bonnie and Clyde) and Martin Sheen (West Wing). More realistic was Sam Benedict starring Edmond O’Brien. It was based on famed San Francisco attorney Jake Ehrlich. Though short lived, the show had good plots and great guest stars, including Claude Rains. Sam Waterson played DA Jack McCoy in Law and Order for nearly 20 years. I was fascinated by Charles W. Kingsfield, Jr. in Paper Chase. It was both a movie and a TV series. He taught contract law at Harvard. He was strict and intimidating. I had a contract professor at Vanderbilt who was just like him. Another of my favorites is Paul Biegler in Anatomy of a Murder. It was one of James Stewart’s best roles. He gave a realistic portrayal of a criminal defense lawyer representing a client accused of first degree murder. At no time did Paul ask his client if he were guilty. He did not ask what he was thinking, or if he was thinking at all, until after he had explained the various defenses to a charge of murder. Only then did he ask what had happened when the victim was killed and what his state of mind was. In this film, the overzealous DA learns the hard way, never ask a question on cross-examination unless you already know the answer. Having been to Ol’ Bailey, the criminal court in London, I was enthralled by Horace Rumpole, the bewigged defense counsel, whose wit so often outraged Queen’s Counsel, as prosecutors are called across the pond. For drama, it is hard to beat Compulsion. Orson Welles plays a famous lawyer who saves a very guilty, shameless and reprehensible duo who murdered a child. It is based on Clarence Darrow’s defense of Leopold and Loeb, terrible guys who murdered Bobby Franks. Another great film is Inherit the Wind. It is based on Darrow’s brilliant defense of John Scopes in the Monkey Trial. In that one, the Darrow character is played

by Spencer Tracy, whose acting matched Welles in his depiction of The Great Defender. High on my list would be Barney Greenwald, played by Jose Ferrer in The Caine Mutiny. His cross-examination of the mentally ill Captain Queeg was masterful. He saved Van Johnson from a dishonorable discharge, a long prison term and possibly a death sentence for mutiny by removing his captain and taking over his ship in wartime. As I’ve indicated, some of the best fictional lawyers are based on real ones. Matlock was portrayed on television by Andy Griffith. The character was based on Bobby Lee Cook, a fine lawyer in Summerville, Georgia, population 4,500. He started in the 1940s and still practices there. A local DA and I went to hear Bobby Lee speak at Vanderbilt about 20 years ago. Afterwards, he told us that his coffee drinking buddies always chided him about representing defendants believed guilty of heinous crimes. “How can you live with yourself?” They were unfazed when he explained that our constitution gave everyone the presumption of innocence and the right to an able defense. Finally, he tried another answer when they criticized his way of making a living. “Well, I took his case because he paid me a retainer of $200,000.” “Way to go, Bobby Lee.” His friends understood that motivation quite well. This column discusses legal issues of general interest and does not give legal advice on any reader’s personal situation. The law is not a one-size-fits-all hat. Consult a lawyer of your choice. Landis Turner is a graduate of the University of the SouthSewanee and Vanderbilt University School of Law. He is a former president of the Tennessee Bar Association.

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2nd Annual Validity Concert Series Benefits Davis House


ivacious performances during last year’s Validity Concert Series were a pivotal piece of the fundraising event. This year’s show will not disappoint. Although the musical lineup will vary slightly, the entertainers will again be of splendid caliber.

The Redhead Express will return for the April 11 event, and Mike Webb of the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band and independent songwriter Amanda Rose will join this year’s line up as well. The Validity Concert Series benefits the Davis House Child


Advocacy Center. Davis House provides a safe haven for children who have suffered abuse and serves children and their families within the counties of Williamson, Hickman, Lewis and Perry. The services supplied by Davis House are given at no cost to the children or families, as the advocacy center is a 501c3 not-for-profit charity. According to Davis House, there are 63,875 children in the four-county service area. National statistics convey that 1 in 10 of those children will be sexually abused by age 18. Davis House aid includes forensic interviews, case manage-

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ment, victim advocacy, counseling, support groups, court support and victim court orientation to victims and their non-offending family members or caregivers. Visit www. to learn more. As with the 2014 Validity Concert Series, this year’s event subsists with the support of sponsors. The Oliver Companies of Hohenwald, who sponsored last year, join the list in support of the benefit show. To become a sponsor, please call Becky J. Newbold at 931-6286039 or email info@validitymag. com.

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21 .

The Evolution Of A Bass Fisherman Continued By Tim Tighe


aylight was breaking when I started backing the boat from about 70 miles per hour down to an idle. About 200 yards from a huge log jam, I was confident this was the favorite residence of some big largemouth bass. Trophy largemouth bass are extremely efficient predators. This is how they become so large and live so long. Nature, which is a wonderful but sometimes harsh system, assures that the best of the species prosper and pass their superior genes on to future generations, thus ensuring the survival of the species. In the Harpeth River, several miles above where it merges with the Cumberland River, or Cheatham Lake, is where I really love to fish. It is only about 20 minutes from my home and this area is usually not fished very hard. The first time I saw the area, I was excited about its potential for big fish. The obvious question is probably what gives it the potential for big fish? Large or dominant bass, just as with other species in the natural world, usually find and retain the best places in any body of water. Safety is a constant battle from when the fish are born to when they die, as well as feeding efficiently, which is critical to their survival. The only way for them to grow is to

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take in more nutrition than they expend capturing it. Deep water or quick access to it is important to mature largemouth bass, because it gives them a safety zone from birds of prey such as bald eagles, osprey and herons. It also gives them a good field of vision to feed on thin fin and gizzard shad, shiners, crayfish and almost anything else they can manage to get in their mouths. Deep water is also more stable, since there are less temperature variances. This is helpful because bass is a cold blooded creature, and its body is the same temperature as the water it is in. Its body temperature controls its metabolism, which controls how much it eats, which controls how much it grows. The bigger they get, the fewer things that can eat them, and the bigger their bodies and mouths are, the more variety of food options they have. Current can also be beneficial because it is usually more oxygenated and often carries food to the bass. What could be more efficient for a good predator than to have his food come to him? In our world, that is the pizza delivery boy. Current also controls where the plankton goes, which controls where the plankton-eating shad go. There is another key ingredient the bass prefer to have, and that is some form of cover, such as old trees, brush, weeds, docks or anything else floating in the water. The largemouth bass’ preferred method

of hunting is ambush. This fishing spot had everything I have mentioned, and I had a great feeling of anticipation. Even through the excitement and sense of purpose, I could not help but notice the pungent scent, on this beautiful spring morning, of all the wild honeysuckle on both sides of the river. The only sounds I heard were birds singing–no road noise, no cell phones–nothing but the sounds of nature. I paused for a moment to thank God for letting me be here in this breathtaking moment, for my good health and for my wonderful family. These moments are a big part of why I enjoy fishing so much. It is difficult for me to see things this clearly with daily distractions of work, traffic, etc. I surveyed the log jam to choose my first target. I chose a spot between two logs and made a perfect flip that allowed the brush hog to silently slip between them to what I was sure would be a waiting largemouth. I hopped it up and down a few times to give her time to eat it, but no takers. I picked another spot and repeated the process. Same result. This is another thing I enjoy about fishing: No matter how good

you think you are, you can always learn more. A wise friend once told me, “The more you know about something, the more you realize that you don’t know.” I often learn more on the tough days than the good days because I am pushed to finally figure things out. I was convinced this log jam held a big largemouth, and I was determined to find it. I noticed the current was starting to flow stronger around a big tree and pitched the brush hog into the junction of the trunk and a large limb. The water was 20 feet deep here, but the brush hog only sank about a foot and stopped. My reflexes took over–it was game time. The seven-pound largemouth came straight up out of the water, and she was not the least bit happy. The fight was on. She tried to bulldog for the bottom, but my favorite flipping stick and the 20-pound line met the challenge. I knew I had to do everything right in this kind of cover, or I was in trouble. Years of experience taught me to be all business, and soon I was landing my worthy adversary. I weighed the beauty, enjoyed my accomplishment and released her unharmed to pass on her superior genes. Tim Tighe is a Cheatham County resident, recently retired, who plans to coach youth fishermen and spend every waking hour on the water.


Mound Bottom Archeological Site

Harpeth River

and Culture in Knoxville. Within the last five years, archaeologists discovered a football-field-sized clay floor. It’s unclear what purpose it served. Not everyone realized the significance of Mound Bottom. The farmer who owned the property prior to the state’s acquisition of it in 1973 dug into the side of the largest mound and plowed the top of it so he could plant more crops. In recent weeks, rangers have installed barriers to prevent locals from driving ATVs across the site. Park rangers hope to attract additional interest in the site from archaeologists and the public so that more can be learned about the Native Americans who called it home. Eventually, they would love to see an interpretive center built nearby and a pedestrian bridge erected across the Harpeth River to the bustling Gossett Tract site. Want to visit Mound Bottom? It’s a protected site, so you’ll need to sign up for one of the rangerled hikes offered a few times a year. Rangers will also provide hikes by appointment for groups of ten or more. Call the Harpeth River State

Photos by Daryell Smith

Park at 615-952-2099 for more information. Brandi Ghergia serves as the executive director of the Cheatham County Chamber of Commerce or, as her husband of 20 years jokes, governor of Cheatham County. She loves hearing stories from older people, gardening and watching barges float down the river.

Daryell Smith

Located in a horseshoe bend of the Harpeth River and surrounded by limestone bluffs, Mound Bottom contains a 25-foot-high platform mound encircled by 13 smaller mounds. The chief and his close family members and advisors built homes atop each of the mounds. The taller the mound, the higher the person ranked within the community. Archaeologists studying the mounds found evidence they

were built one basketful of dirt at a time. Located across the Harpeth River from Mound Bottom is Mace Bluff, named after a petroglyph of a mace was discovered in it. A mace, which looks similar to a scepter, was a status symbol popular during the period. Archaeologists have recovered artifacts from the site ranging from copper jewelry to ceremonial axes. Some of these artifacts are housed at the University of Tennessee’s McClung Museum of Natural History

Daryell Smith

By Brandi Ghergia

idden at the end of a long gravel drive in a rural section of Kingston Springs stands one of the more significant Native American archaeological sites in the southeast. Known as Mound Bottom, it was home to a thriving agricultural community during the Mississippian period (AD 900 to AD 1600).

23 .

Cassandra Warner

Spring Is Bringing On The Color

rhubarb now. Male 1-2 year old asparagus crowns are the best. Plant them 18 inches apart in a 12 inch wide trench and plant 8-12 inches deep, gradually filling the trench with a mix of good soil and compost as the plants come up. Be sure when you prepare your asparagus bed you situate it in an area where it can produce for the next 20-50 years. I apply compost in the late More Color and More Happy fall and early spring and keep it well Another spring color mulched to make weeding easy and combination I love is the hold in the moisture. bright yellow of forsythia and If planting horseradish crowns, a pretty pink phlox or pink place them in the soil so the top is tulips. Then, of course, tu- just below ground level. If plantlips of all colors bring on the ing roots, dig holes the depth of the happy. root plus two inches, then drop the root into the hole and cover with Plan For More Color soil. Besides beautiful flowers to provide color, you can also add a lot of long lasting color when you incorporate Cassandra Warner many plants which of God’s creation is on that tropical have vivid leaf color, island paradise. Love, love, loved it! such as coleus, croton, calaNow, the only problem for me dium and Persian shield. is being patient for spring to start transforming the landscape here Planting with all of the lush greens and oth- Please plant peas early. Say er soft to vivid colors that will soon that ten times fast. That be springing forth. might not make you rememThe clean, white snow here ber to plant them early, but pasture was a beautiful sight, and it puts I bet you got a laugh. But grass fed finished nitrogen in the soil. Gardeners seriously, English peas, sugar beef can hardly wait for the time to see snaps, sweet peas and snow pork things of green poking up, peeking peas like the cooler weather, grass fed out and springing forth, bringing so getting them planted belamb pastured the colors of spring. fore mid-March is best. Try soaking the seeds overnight chicken Color Me Happy in lukewarm water with a Color is lively and happy like a little aged compost for better Price info: joyous celebration. No doubt, we germination. are all ready and excited to see the Plant perennials like as901-491-0183 spring come to life in our gardens paragus, horseradish and and landscapes. One of my favorite color combinations is the dazzling purple of the redbud tree with a beautiful white dogwood against a deep green cedar. That is so beautiful! A drive down the Natchez Trace Parkway when those trees are blooming is awe inspiring.


n February, we saw it all. Rain, sleet, snow, ice, windy, cloudy, cold, gray days and a few pleasant, sunny days. So the beginning of spring in March will bring more than welcome changes. I will go ahead and confess that during the coldest part By Cassandra Warner of February, I got to escape to a garden paradise. Key West, Florida has amazing trees, plants, flowers, beautiful water and, did I mention, warm temperatures. Ahhh, it was soooo wonderful! Vibrant, beautiful color everywhere, an amazing display




of the

World Farm 

 

Cassandra Warner

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Plant cool weather annuals, such as pansies, violas, Sweet William, nasturtiums, snap dragons, English daisies and calendulas. Plant strawberries, blueberries, currants, loganberries, boysenberries, grapes and fruit trees. In late March and early April, you can transplant shrubs and trees, but once buds begin to swell and break, wait until fall to transplant. Sow seeds indoors of tomato and basil for transplants. Tomato seedlings that are 6-8 weeks old when transplanted have shown to provide the best growth and highest yields of fruit.

crops. Have your garden plot planned out now, where you will be planting each crop following a good crop rotation. As soon as our frost free date arrives you will be ready set to go. Divide and transplant summer blooming perennials, and fertil-

ize established ones as soon as new growth appears. Fertilize fig trees when the buds swell. Fertilize tulips as foliage appears, and then make another application after flowering. Use an acid-type fertilizer to feed evergreens, conifers, rhodo-


When the soil is not too wet and is workable, prepare for planting the vegetable garden by adding compost, well composted manure, peat moss and worm castings to your soil. Spade in or till under cover

Cassandra Warner

Plant rhubarb 2-3 feet apart. Give it a good helping of compost in the spring and keep it mulched. Prune the round stalk that sends up the flower and seed head so the plant will put its energy into producing leaves and stems. Remember, eat only the stems—the leaves are toxic. Other cool season veggies to plant this month are head and leaf lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, collards, turnip greens, onions, beets, broccoli, cabbage, radish, beets and early potatoes.

25 .

dendrons and azaleas. Camellias should not be fed until they have finished blooming. Reward them then. Gradually start to take the winter mulch off your flower beds a little at a time to begin allowing light and air to reach new growth. It’s better to remove it later, however, than too early, in case we get an unexpected drop in temperature. Finish pruning fruit trees this month before buds begin to swell. When fertilizing fruit trees or shrubs in the spring, if you use an organic instead of chemical fertilizer, you will provide the plant with a slow release of nutrients. That will prevent a sudden burst of growth too early in the season, which puts the plant at risk for disease and pests. Trim butterfly bushes to keep them compact. Prune evergreens for size and shape. Prune annabelle hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens). If you cut it back to a foot tall, you’ll get fewer clusters, but they will be huge. Cutting it back less, you will get many more clusters, but they will be smaller. Get them pruned as soon as possible in late winter, as these will bloom on the current year’s growth. The same pruning time applies to panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculate) species like grandiflora, which is often called peegee, pink diamond and limelight. .


French or big-leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla), the one with the snowball-shaped blue or pink blooms in summer, grows on last year’s growth. If they need shaping, wait until they start to leaf in the spring. You’ll see some stems are light brown and showing no signs of life. Prune these back just above where you see nice, fat, green buds starting to open. Then, immediately after the flowers fade in summer, you can cut these back Guide For Pruning Roses Roses can be pruned this if you want to. The exception to month, as most rose pruning is

done in the spring. The hardiness zone it is growing in and class of the rose determines the timing. Spring is also time to feed roses. Roses That Bloom Once On New Growth

Ever-blooming roses and floribunda bloom best on the current season’s growth. Prune hard (1/22/3 of the plant’s height) in the spring and remove old wood stems. Leave 3-5 healthy canes evenly spaced around the plant. Cut them at various lengths from 1824 inches to encourage continuous blooming. Hybrid teas and grandiflora bloom on new wood and should be pruned in early spring. Remove dead and weak wood. Create an open vase shape with remaining canes by removing the center stems and any branches crossing inward. Reduce the length of remaining stems about 12 inches or down to 18-24 inches. You can allow the older stronger stems to be a bit longer than the new growth. Roses That Bloom Once On Old Wood

Prune ramblers to remove damage and dead wood or to shape and keep size in check.

Cassandra Warner

Cassandra Warner

this is the newer repeat blooming ones such as endless summer, penny mac, forever and ever and mini penny, which bloom on both last season’s growth and current season’s growth. If you want to, you can cut them back winter, spring or summer and still get blooms! Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) blooms on previous year’s growth, so if it needs pruning, wait until early summer. Prune winter jasmine after flowering. Spring flowering shrubs such as forsythia, quince, spirea, azalea or rhododendron produced their buds last fall so DO NOT PRUNE until they finish blooming.

Prune early to remove winter dam- of colors and the new life as spring Modern shrub roses bloom on age. Prune after flowering to shape will begin to fill our lives and garmature, but not, old wood stems. and keep their sizes in check. dens with the joy of color everyLeave them un-pruned the first two where…to color us HAPPY! years, and then each year, remove Farewell Winter 1/3 of the older canes in addition to After this oh-so-cold winter, Originally from Texas, Cassandra any dead, diseased or dying canes. there will surely be warmth to Warner is a transplant to the garGardening Climbers may repeat bloom. come. I thank God for the miracle den of Tennessee. Repeat Bloomers

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27 .

From The


Mariani, Haiti

the hearts of these sweet children, and I pray that He will use these classes to do that. Other than that, things are fairly normal at the mission–as normal as it ever is in Haiti. We have not had school on Monday and Tuesday for the past couple of weeks due to nationwide strikes. The people are extremely unhappy with the gas prices, so they called for all vehicles to refuse to run. After last week’s strike, the government agreed to lower the prices (by approximately $0.50 U.S.), but apparently it wasn’t enough, and they called for another strike this week. Both weeks, motorcycles and personal vehicles seem to have been allowed to go in most places, but in other areas, they were throwing fire at the motorcycles, burning tires, bashing in windows of vehicles and threatening to burn any cars on the road. Last week, the people in our area blocked the road on each side of our compound with concrete blocks and rocks, then played soccer and jump rope in the middle. They threatened a few passing motorists, but they didn’t actually cause anyone any harm or damage. One motorist smiled and stepped out of his truck with a gun, moved the blocks in his way, then continued on his journey. I am thankful that no actual violence happened in our neighborhood. The police have been doing more this week to stop the protests, making them move blockades, but their power is very limited here. Yesterday, a policeman was stabbed nine times while trying to move burning tires from the road. In another area, Michelle Bonville

A Haitian Reality



he past month has been full of blessings and stretching. God has called me to take

By Michelle Bonville steps out of my comfort zone that, although difficult, have brought a joy I didn’t know was missing. One of the requirements at our school here in Haiti is the students have to attend a church. It does not have to be our church, but many of them come here because it is close and they already know and love Pastor Emile. When the students attend, we have anywhere from 30 to 100 children at church, most of whom come without a parent. This, as you can probably guess, means that we have a whole section full of wiggly, talkative, young people who often don’t pay a lot of attention to the sermons. After discussing it, Pastor Emile and I decided we need to have classes for the young people so they can learn things on their level and have small projects to keep them interested. After speaking to some of the young adults, we were discouraged



to find that none of them felt confident enough to take on that project because they didn’t know how. My initial reaction literally was, “I wish I was fluent in the language because then I could do it.” That night, as I was trying to sleep, I felt a conviction from the Lord. I had recently been asking God to help me do everything He wanted me to accomplish because my time here is so quickly coming to a close. How dare I give myself an excuse to not do what needed to be done? So, this past Sunday, I taught a class in Creole by myself for the first time! Thank God for online translations! I wrote a lesson last week, painstakingly trying to think of anything that I might want to say, translated it online and then had Pastor Emile fix the translations to make complete sense. Then I practiced saying all the words to him again and again. There were 14 students, ages four to ten, in attendance this first class, and it went wonderfully. God had stretched me far beyond where I was comfortable, but in doing so, He gave me a joy and a peace that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. What a feeling it brings when you step out in faith and accomplish more than you ever felt able. The plan is for me to continue to teach the class and bring in young adult “helpers.” This will give them a chance to be trained to take over when I return to the States. We also want to do another class for the young ones who are too old for this class. I know God wants to reach

a water truck was stopped for breaking the strike and they killed one of the workers. The driver made it to a police station to report the murder and ask for help, but their response was that they were not going to go out there and get themselves killed. In Haiti, it seems the mob rules. The newly appointed Prime Minister (the former one stepped down in an effort to bring peace) issued a statement yesterday saying that they cannot afford for the gas price to lower again. Gas is currently at approximately $4.25 U.S. and the people are unhappy with the cost, believing that it should drop, since gas seems to be dropping in many other countries. Haiti needs many prayers right now. The political situation is unstable as well as the upset over the gas prices. It seems that many of the people don’t desire to protest, but the ones who do instill fear into them by threatening to burn their cars, causing problems with kids who are heading to school or sending out mass text messages telling them not to break the strike. As I have been praying, I am reminded of Proverbs 21:1, which says, “The King’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.” My prayer is that God will turn the hearts of the leaders in this country and that His peace will reign. Michelle Bonville is a kindergarten teacher from Hohenwald, Tennessee and is currently on a one year mission trip to teach in Haiti. To learn how you can help feed a child, at a cost of $2.25 per month, call General Assembly & Church of the First Born at 931-796-4368.

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The Free Gift of God T he gift of the Christ child is celebrated annually at Christmas time, but it is so marginalized and commercialized that it mostly belies the reality of that precious free gift of divine life. To fully appreciate the By Charles E. simplicity of Newbold, Jr. the manger, we need to look to the wondrous nature of the cross. There, at Calvary, God’s gift of Himself in Christ to mankind is fully revealed. For, indeed, Jesus is the greatest of gifts. Speaking of Jesus, Paul wrote, “… Even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.” Romans 5:18. This free gift from God was given while we were yet sinners. Romans 5:8. “For unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Son is given.” Isaiah 9:6. (Italics mine.) Jesus is the free gift of God. He cannot be purchased. (Rather, He purchased us.) We cannot earn Him. We certainly ought not to commercialize Him. Everything He has done for us was freely given. Not one of us is deserving of the sacrifice Christ Jesus made for our salvation. If we deserved His sacrifice, then it would not have been a gift. Religion generally teaches us that we have to do something to earn God’s favor. So we come up with all manner of works that are intended to make us feel good. The Bible calls these, “filthy rags” and “dead works.” It may prove beneficial to attach strings to provoke good behavior in another person as an award, payment or prize if that is what we want to do. We simply cannot call it a gift. True giving is not based on merit, but stems out of a desire to give. Neither are we to give in order to get! “Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8.

We can either receive the free gift of God in Christ with a thankful heart or reject Him. The choice is ours. Faith is the act of receiving the free gift of God in Christ. Disbelief and rebellion against receiving the free gift are how we say to God, “No thank you.” “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8. However, free does not mean cheap. The gift of God in Christ is priceless. It cost Him everything. Ironically, once we receive Him and He takes up residence within us, we discover that we have changed—our wants, desires, loves, priorities, interests and goals. We live surrendered unto Him, not out of obligation, but because it is in our new nature to want to live for Him. As it has been said, “We are not saved because we are good. We are good because we are saved.” Christ “died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15. We trade up when we receive His precious, free gift. We exchange our lives for His. We trade darkness for light, death for life, despair for hope, mourning for dancing, hell for heaven. There is no comparison. He deserved better than we could give; still He took us as we were. We did not deserve Him; still He gave Himself to us. In doing so, He made us worthy in His sight. From the manger to the cross! What a glorious, matchless gift of love. Thank you, Father. Charles Elliott Newbold, Jr. has served as pastor, teacher and is an author calling forth Christians to live the laid-down life for Jesus Christ. He and his wife, Nancy McDonald Newbold, live in Knoxville, Tennessee, where Charles continues his writing.

29 .

Cerebral Meanderings

Too Much

And for those of you who know my wife, could the luxuriant, prolific, gorgeous curls flowing from her head be too much? Dumb question. Is it possible to build a bomb with too much power to defend ourselves from those who are building their own bombs with too much powruth be told, there is no such thing as er defending themselves from us? Too deep for too much fun. The problem exists de- even my cerebral meandering. fining fun. Some consider a drunken Too much freezing rain? Absolutely. orgy fun. Others would feel rather awkward Too much yellowfin tuna fighting on the at an unrestrained party, other end of the rod and reel? Absolutely not. choosing instead a refreshToo much social media? LOL, OMG, FYI ing sip of tea while sewing and IMHO, yes.* delicate squares of fabric The intellectual exploration of too much to the community quilt at would be incomplete without discourse regardthe local library. In both ing too much me. instances, whether quiltErik Erikson’s (1902-1994) stages of psying or dissipating, a whole chosocial development are appropriate here to lotta no-such-thing-as-too- defend my supposition that there is no such By Shane Newbold much-fun is being had. thing as too much me. Regardless of what some That would make a great of you may think. country song. Oh yeah, already been done by Space does not allow for full consideration songwriters T.J. Knight and Curtis Wright. of Erikson’s theory. Only the existential quesWhen is too much, too much? Too much can tions are scrutinized here. be complicated. One hundred miles an hour Ages 0-2: Can I trust the world? on a Harley is a bit fast, but fun. Crotch rocket Ages 2-4: Is it okay to be me? enthusiasts don’t really start having fun until a Ages 4-5: Is it okay for me to do, move and speed of 150 mph is attained, hairpin curves in- act? cluded. Too much, you say? My toddler grandAges 5-12: Can I make it in the world of kids squeal with delight when traveling nearly 3 people and things? mph on the tricycle. All those laughing while Ages 13-19: Who am I? Who can I be? watching me trying to catch the toddlers on Ages 20-39: Can I love? trikes have too much fun at my expense. Ages 40-64: Can I make my life count? So, too much is not complicated, just relaAge 65-death: Is it okay to have been me? tive. One must study entirely Erikson’s psychoToo much makeup? Not if you need it. analytic theory to gain full insight into the huToo much alcohol? Well, yes. man ego. Too much body fat? Yes, again. As is shown above, me is self-centered in evObviously, there’s no such thing as too ery stage of life with one exception. The generamuch jewelry. tivity vs. stagnation stage (ages 40-64) is when Or too much fishing tackle. the functional human gives back: The only Can a perfectly cooked, medium rare, 20 stage where me gives more of me to my fellowounce steak be too much? I don’t think so. man/woman. Awesome! So, there really is no such thing as too much me. And I am in the stage, 40-64, where Subscriptions to Validity Magazine are now available! It’s Easy: Complete this form or simply send us your name, address, city/state/zip along with a check or money order for I am psycho sociological$20 to start your one year subscription (12 issues). Please include a “best” method of ly obligated to give you reaching you (phone or email) in case we have any questions. Make checks payable to Validity Magazine. more of me. Isn’t life grand? You Thank you for subscribing to Validity! Send to: Validity Magazine can share your me with Publisher Becky Jane Newbold P. O. 516 me, and I can share my Hohenwald, TN 38462 Please Print: me with you. But only if your me and my me are Name: ________________________________________ both between 40 and 64. Street/Box#: ___________________________________ *Laughing out loud, City: ____________________ State: ____ Zip: ________ Oh my god, for your information and in my Phone: _______________ Email: _____________________ humble opinion, yes.

Father to four and best friend to Becky Jane for 26 years, Shane Newbold lives life to the fullest birdwatching, fishing, motorcycling and enjoying his family.


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