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Validity Always Local

May 2017 Complimentary


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Table of Contents

Inside this issue of

Validity

On the Cover: Untitled art by Olivia Defazio. See story, page 14

Mama is Love

MAY 2017

By Allyson Brewer Tenison Crowell

Vol. 7, Issue 5

A tribute to mother.

Page 11

Junk or Treasure

A must visit bluegrass extravaganza Page 16 By Nancy Brewer

Twenty seven year strong bluegrass reunion in Summertown, Tennessee.

By Melissa Wickline

That is the dilemma. Page 12

You Can’t Rush Art By DeeGee Lester

Olivia Defazio spends all of her life’s time creating. Page 14

Stones in My Pathway

Bill Steber’s exhibit takes visitor’s on a historical, photographic journey of the blues. Page 19

The western-style false-front concession stand at the Summertown Bluegrass Reunion offers classic concessions and Southern treats. The Pierce family built everything on the 25-acre grounds in a single summer.

Middle Tennessee is Booming By Sydney Phillips

Strategies regarding Nashville’s real estate market. Page 24

In Every Issue: Validity Recipes

May Book Review

May Gardens

By Cari Marye Griffith

By James Lund

By Cassandra Warner

Tennessee take on shrimp and grits.

Moonglow by Michael Chabon. Page 20

Page 6

Ask A Lawyer By Landis Turner

More client tales. Page 10

Tom, our garden expert’s husband, sacrifices her to the garden gods each May. Page 25

Ornithology Report

The Believer’s Walk

By Bill Pulliam

By Charles Newbold

50 common birds, part 9.

Did “the devil really make me do it?”.

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. Publishers Notice: All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.” We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised are available on an equal opportunity basis.

Validity Magazine, Published 12 times per year, monthly, Vol. 7, Issue 5 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.

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From The Publisher, Page 5 Reality Perspective, Page 5 Lookin’ Back, Page 29 Unconscionable Cogitation, Page 30

Page 29

Page 22

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Also in this Issue:

Publisher Becky Jane Newbold, info@validitymag.com, 931-628-6039 Managing Editor Shane Newbold, info@ValidityMag.com, 931-628-6039 Contributing Writers, Allyson Brewer Tenison Crowell, Bill Pulliam, Cari Marye Griffith, Cassandra Warner, Charles Newbold Jr., DeeGee Lester, James Lund, Landis Turner, Melissa Wickline, Sydney Phillips Contributing Photographers, Cari Marye Griffith, Cassandra Warner, Melissa Wickline

Our Mission 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.


From The Publisher

Mother Favorite Mom Quotes:

By Becky Jane Newbold, Publisher

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am, I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.” George Washington “Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.” Robert A. Heinlein, Have Space Suit—Will Travel

Find Validity in 9 Tennessee Counties! www.validitymag.com/find-validity

OMG, my mother was right about everything. Unknown A mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take. Unknown The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness. Honore de Balzac

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. Theodore Hesburgh You make sacrifices to become a mother, but you really find yourself and your soul. Mariska Hargitay

Reality Perspective

Contradictory Comfort

By Shane Newbold

Thanks to my boy, Luke, for the revelry versus reverie theme.

In the company of many, some relish the revelry. While one soul and the summit share the reverie. Afraid of aloneness, reveler seeks a crowd. Seeking solace in singularity, loner deems wind too loud. Revelry and reverie, incompatible realms do abide. Others seeking others, loner lives to hide. To think the crowd run to the tempest? And loner shelter from the storm? Likely the opposite truth sustains. Copious contentment within twister’s form So it is the author seeks the highest, hidden hill. Clustering cohorts elsewhere eternally chase the thrill. Revelry versus reverie, no right or wrong the question. Neither necessarily leads to transgression. Comfort and security requires each a contrary rush. Revelry’s noise a companion, in reverie’s wilderness, one savors the hush.

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Validity Recipes

Smoked Gouda Grits

Cari Marye Griffith

Ingredients: 2 cups of yellow grits 7 cups of water 1 cup of milk 1 cup shredded gouda 2 tablespoons butter Salt and pepper

Southern Staples

Cari Marye Griffith

a good melty cheese. So, for my version of Shrimp and Grits, I created a recipe that tastes bright and fresh, with an unhealthy mound of yummy, smoked gouda cheese and salty, cubed pancetta. While I typically lean on the healthy side for most meals, sometimes you need a cheesy comfort food to soothe your soul. You could lighten this meal by using coconut oil instead of butter for the shrimp, and lessening the amount of cheese and milk in the grits, but that just doesn’t sound like much fun to me. A good bowl of Shrimp and Grits should remind you of the saltiness of the sea and the sweetness of southern company.

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Cari Marye Griffith

W

e moved around a lot while I was growing up, but we always stuck around the South. My southern roots helped formed my palette for savory, hearty dishes. Whenever we travel to places like New Orleans or Charleston, or anywhere along the coastline, I love trying new kinds of Shrimp and Grits. If it’s on the menu, you can almost bet that’s what I’m ordering. Every restaurant puts their own unique spin on the classic, southern dish, and it’s fascinating to try all of the different flavors that can be created with two ordinary culinary staples. Recently, I’ve been a fan of bright citrusy dishes, and I’ve always loved

Recipes, Photos & Food Styling by Cari M. Griffith

Instructions: 1. Place 7 cups of water in a large pot and bring it to a rapid boil. 2. Stir in 2 cups of grits and reduce heat to a simmer. Salt and pepper to taste. 3. Add butter and stir grits frequently to prevent clumping. 4. Once some of the liquid has cooked off (around 5-10 minutes), add shredded gouda and 1 cup of milk. Stir well. 5. Let simmer slowly for around 10 more minutes, or until it reaches desired thickness. Grits sometimes pop, so you can add a lid to the pot to prevent splattering.

Cari Marye Griffith is a photojournalist turned urban gardener with a deep love for good food, culture and community. Her comfort zone is a cup of Earl Gray, bright morning light and far too many house plants.


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Sautéed Shrimp with Spinach and Pancetta

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half moons and add to skillet along with shrimp and papriInstructions: 1. Place 3 tablespoons of but- ka. Add salt and pepper, to ter in a large skillet over me- taste. 5. Once the shrimp has dium heat. 2. Dice onions and garlic and cooked thoroughly on both toss in the skillet with the sides, turn off the heat, stir in butter. Sauté for a couple of the spinach one handful at a time until it is all wilted. minutes, stirring frequently. 3. Add cubed pancetta and 6. Serve over smoked gouda toss to coat. Let simmer for grits topped with additional a few minutes, stirring fre- lemon wedges and chopped fresh parsley. quently to prevent sticking. 4. Thinly slice one lemon into

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Validity Recipes

Summer Melon Berry Salad

Summer Melon Berry Salad

Ingredients: 1 personal sized watermelon 1 package of fresh blueberries 4 tablespoons crumbled feta ¼ red onion, thinly sliced 4 springs of mint, diced 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Recipe, photos and food styling by Cari Marye Griffith

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Cari Marye Griffith

Fresh mint adds a smart touch.

Cari Marye Griffith

Melon and berries make this salad a summer staple.

to avoid dissolving the feta. You could also add blackberries or strawberries to make it a vibrant fruit salad, or spoon the mixture on top of spring mix or spinach. Whichever way you make it, it’s bound to be a new picnic favorite.

Cari Marye Griffith

Instructions: This is a super easy salad to throw together for a picnic or a party! Dicing the watermelon without getting juice all over your counter is the hardest part of this recipe. Once you’ve accomplished that task, combine watermelon, blueberries, feta, onion and mint in a bowl and drizzle with the red wine vinegar. Toss gently

Summer Melon Berry Salad


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9 .


One Lawyer’s Opinion

Drugs and tears Q. I know you were raised in Waverly and went to Nashville when you were thirteen. How did you end up in Hohenwald? RVG, Centerville A. When I graduated Vanderbilt in 1965, By Landis there was an unwritTurner ten agreement that no law firm would pay a new associate more than $400 per month. After going to school for 19 years, I had too much pride to work for so little. High school drop-outs made more. So, I started checking out small town firms. William C. Keaton, Sr. paid me much more than $400. My wife is a microbiologist who worked for the state health department testing blood and food. When we moved to Hohenwald, she was sure she wouldn’t find a job here. She ex-

pected to clerk in a store or become a teacher’s assistant. But, on the first weekend in town, I went to the local golf course where I met Jerry Crowell. When he learned what Janet had done in Nashville, he told us he had a school for medical techs called High Forest Academy. On Monday, Jerry gave Janet a job at $125 a month more than first year school teachers were making. I knew right then that God or fate meant for us to come to Hohenwald.

A

client was a doctor who graduated Vanderbilt School of Medicine. Harvey A. Anderson was also eccentric. The Lewis County political boss, John Howard Warf, recruited him to Hohenwald from Jackson, where he had served as director of their mental health clinic. He had specialized in psychiatry at Vanderbilt. Our county had been without any physician for several months, after Dr. Keeton moved to Alabama. Harvey arrived in town on a motorcycle and lived in our local hospital. His German Shep-

herd shared his quarters. He did not want any other doctor in the county, but Dr. Ivan Krohn and his wife, Sally, and Ivan’s mother were in town, as Dr. Krohn was looking to open a practice in Hohenwald. When his mother saw the dog, she asked Harvey if having a dog in the hospital was sanitary. He replied that he microwaved him every morning. Anderson was jealous of his position. When he saw our mutual friend, “Tookie” Adcox waiting for Ivan, he remarked, “Why don’t you let the first team treat you?” Eventually, Harvey moved to establish his own clinic in the old Kittrell house, where Dr. Joey Hensley is now. He had to shew his cats off the examining table so patients could use it. Harvey would say anything. One night, we were at the football stadium-fence watching a high school game. A young couple approached and remarked to Harvey, that the girl’s grandmother was in a nursing home in Mount Pleasant. She would like to transfer her to Hohenwald, so she could visit her more. But the nursing home was full and had no room for her. Harvey assured her. “I make rounds over there almost every morning. The next time, I’ll kill some old crone to make a place for her.” You should have seen the expression on the girl’s face. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. Harvey and I were having lunch at the General Cafe, when he noticed a man across the

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room. He remarked, that the guy probably didn’t know it, but he was dying of cancer. Sure enough, the man died a few weeks later. Twice Dr. Anderson was in trouble for malpractice. I was able to clear him both times. On one occasion, he treated an old lady by “bleeding” her. That treatment had not been used since the Middle Ages. But Harvey convinced everybody that it was proper under the circumstances. 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.

Mama Is Love By Allyson Crowell

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

The above scripture exemplifies everything and, I would venture to say even more, of how my mother Landis Turner is a lives out her life before us each day. graduate of the UniverShe is servant-hearted, beautiful and sity of the South-Sewanee humble, this lady who six of us have and Vanderbilt University been chosen to call Mama. School of Law. He is a forJanice Elaine Allen Brewer (Mama) mer president of the Tenis without a single doubt in my mind nessee Bar Association. the most beautiful soul I have ever met. She gives far past the point that would ever be expected. She loves so fully and explosively that you can just be pulling into the driveway of our childhood home and already feel her heart swelling and pulling at you for an embrace. She chooses to serve with such a joyful attitude, opposite from today’s norm, that makes everyone around see the gift of what she is giving. It’s like a super power really, because things that might seem daunting or just not fun, become so much more than what you imagined or thought Most Major they would be. They Insurance Accepted become your gift Medicare too! Participant ome are And she leads Certified Home Care with a tenacity like I Agency have never encounHighly Experienced tered in anyone else Staff to this day. It’s fierce and bold, but in a Available 24/7 Care is our manner that still albusiness. lows room for you to share a common effort and end goal nHCHomeCare50@yaHoo.Com together. She strives

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to help, giving yet not expecting a thing back. She loves so hard that to want for anything else is not even in question. Put simply, my Mama is the closest person to Christ I truthfully believe I will ever have the privilege to know in this life on earth. As a mother, she wanted to be present and do the vast majority of the raising of us kids with my Daddy’s help of course. She worked some out

“Love isn’t a feeling…it’s an action verb!”

– Jan Allen Brewer

The author with her mother, 1987.

ness is coveted because as my sister, Autumn, said, “When you are talking to her, you truly feel like you are the only person in the world… not just the room.” She leaves every place that she goes better and asks nothing in return, but prays that her time spent there was for His will, His kingdom, and His glory. Each one of us is so incredibly grateful and thankful that you both chose to live out your lives this way and in turn allowed us to do the same. It will eternally be the most precious, expensive and irreplaceable gift because we all know that “this world is not our home, we’re just a passin’ through!” How we love you, words just will never do justice.

of the home, but also chose seasons where staying put was the best deci- Allyson Brewer Tenison Crowsion for our entire family. It was just ell is the baby of 6 children and the aunt to 19. She’s married to never about her though. Never. Mama always chose to look at the her best friend, Kane, and gives big picture and what we each indi- her Mama Jan Brewer credit for vidually needed to be and do our her love and passion for a healthy lifestyle lead by Christ. She is the best. Her wisdom did not just oc- owner of S.W.E.A.T. (Strength, cur because of a yearly birthday that Work, Energy, Attitude, Together) tucked new experiences and life hap- an online workout/nutrition propenings under her belt, but because gram that teaches women how to she continually sought out what God make a healthy lifestyle their own desired for our lives. She sacrificed, with God’s help and creator of the would have laid down her life for Christ-lead fitness anyone of us at any time. We were raised with Bibles in our house, scripture on the walls and a Daddy who preached, led singing or was an active part in our local church. Together they laid a foundation for how they wanted us to view life, treat others, but most of all, they wanted us to have the freedom to cultivate, within ourselves, a faith that was unshakeable and original to our relationship with God. We joke that she is Wonder Woman, the Energizer Bunny, and that she never sleeps (this one is still out Jan with her husband of 46 years, Rick Brewer. for discussion). Her selflessValiditymag.com

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Melissa Wickline

“It’s not junk, you big Dummy!” S

Mom’s Painted Japanese Shoes, circa 1953

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ome people collect baseball cards. For others, it’s antique cars or dolls. For me, it’s anything old that intrigues and peaks my curiosity.   For years, my family has referred to me as Fred Sanford.  But sometimes, you have to turn a sideways snark into a compliment.  Sure, Fred Sanford was a junk collector, but he turned out to be a really good namesake.  Thanks to  Quincy Jones, Fred Sanford’s theme song, “The Streetbeater,” undoubtedly, hails as the greatest theme song ever created.  Fred also had some pretty clever comebacks when it comes to Aunt Esther.  And do we really need to discuss the truck?  It’s a daily dream to drive a truck like Fred’s old 1950s Ford, piled high with my “stuff” in the back, while  “The Streetbeater” blasts from the radio. My family likes to reference Fred’s collection of junk, displayed in the seventies TV show.  Admittedly, I have an obsession with acquiring.  I do not refer to it as hoarding, collecting, stashing or piling.  I’m an antiquarian who acquires, a fancier of old things…a connoisseur of relics and artifacts.  Plus, that sounds like you’re describing Indiana Jones, and not some street peddler hocking candied nuts or plastic whirly birds.   To refer to one as a pack rat or a hoarder would only diminish the experience of collecting.  I’ve come home with real treasures in the back of my rusty truck and risked grave danger and bodily injury to “acquire” my finds.  One would never risk so much for junk!   I once roped my cousin into a drive into town with the promise of a free lunch.  And not to mention… “Would you mind stopping on the way home to help me pick up a couple of things?” The “couple of things” were the shafts of two, very old wooden columns as colossal as my rusty truck.  Weighing in at a few hundred pounds

each, my cousin now refrains from any mention of free lunches that aren’t really free. We got them home with a couple of hernias in tow, but it was an exceptionally By Melissa proud day for this Wickline Fred Sanford! Recently, a friend contacted me via text: “I know you like antiques and wondered if this Bible would be of interest to you?”  Dating back to 1886, the Bible was like a walk in time, with the names and dates of its owners.  I was thrilled with my new treasure, and it had finally happened.  My status as an antiquarian had reached beyond my family and into the community.  Finally, I could stop trolling for old things and they would actually come to me!   This concept was terrific, except of course, for my spouse, who lives “in and around” my acquired things.  I’ve been hearing it for years, that I should get rid of my “junk in the garage” that is so full, I have to back into the door with all my might to get it closed.   A real treasure trove and my own personal museum is how I think of the garage.   “Hardly…,” the husband replies, as he begins with his usual speech reserved for hoarders, of which, I am not.  Therefore, the speech does not apply to me. I look back on my years of collecting and try to recall my favorite things.  What I’ve realized is that the collecting process is as much about the thrill of the hunt, or the person gifting it, as the object.  Sometimes its an architectural element from a place that’s special and memorable.  I also greatly adore my small book collection of poetry and prose, my Billy Roy Park carvings and the birdhouse gifted to me from songbird, Cath-


Melissa Wickline

Melissa Wickline

where my grandfather was stationed in the early fifties, and I am now the keeper of her life of acquiring: the kimonos, the Japanese doll, the black-lacquered jewelry boxes and my mother’s painted, wooden shoes.  It’s a connection I’m happy to relive every time I see these objects around my house. Recently acquired family Bible. To those of you who proudly answer erine Hess.  to the same moniI love my vintage oval plates from fellow anti- ker, I salute you, Fred Sanfords of the world!  Be quarian, Kathy Sawyer, and I use them daily.  I proud and hold your heads high, lest you must learned from Kathy that food tastes better when endure sarcasm and snarky name-calling like eaten from a 70 year old plate, and she is right!  my recent exchange with the hubby:  It is absolutely thrilling to have a home-cooked He said, “For every Junk-ie, there’s an Aunt meal or slab of pie on plates that have been used Esther.  So watch it, Sucka, you gettin’ on my for decades.  Each and every crack in the glaze last nerve with all this junk!”  tells a story, and they really are beautiful.  I love And my reply, as any self-respecting Fred?  to wonder where they’ve been and who’s used “It’s not junk, you big dummy!” them throughout the years.   And that was that. Until the next time I come I cherish my grandmother’s things she brought dragging home a truckload-full of stuff. back from overseas.  Grandma lived in Japan

Grandma’s Japanese Doll, circa 1953.

Melissa Wickline is a lover of historic places and funny, interesting people. She enjoys exploring and restoring old homes, art and discovering new places, cultures and food. You can email her at melissa@melissawickline.com.

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Olivia Defazio

Find More

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An Artistic Use

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of Time

T

he most precious commodity to the artist or the musician is time finding time to pursue a passion; to get a sudden flash of an idea and drop everything to get it on canvas or on paper immediately before it fades. For artist/musician Olivia Defazio, the option to home school By DeeGee provided both the Lester time and flexibility to accomplish her high school studies while pursuing her passion, developing her skills and taking advantage of opportunities. The decision to home school did not come easily. “I really enjoyed attending Summit High School.” she says. “Williamson County has wonderful arts programs and I liked my classmates and teachers and still stay in contact with them. But the switch this year (11th grade) to home school and on-line courses gives me time to do my art, to be able to stop and draw when I have an idea, and to work on commissions. I’m able to explore my own voice.” Enrollment through the College

of Missouri program enables Defazio to better organize her time, to make curriculum connections and to align subject areas such as language arts, mathematics or world history, so they are more specific to art. For example, in AP creative writing, she can explore sequential arts – using images in sequence for storytelling, such as graphic comic books. A more flexible school schedule also enables Defazio to “give back” to the community through the arts. Three times a week, she works at Firstlight Arts Academy in Brentwood with children, ages 4-8, assisting the youth in exploring different art mediums and techniques. “I’ve been attending Firstlight since I was six and learning from a great teacher, Dennas Davis,” Defazio says. “This is a wonderful opportunity to work with kids who are eager and can more easily adapt to new things. It’s a great learning experience for me, too. I see myself in them and realize a lot of my

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Untitled by Olivia Defazio

habits in them. It’s really lovely to see kids really get into something I love so much.” Flexibility also offers the opportunity to expand other areas of interest, such as combining interests in art, photography and music. Along with Reed Herring and Stephen Elston, Defazio is a member of the band, Johnny Cool & The Gold Dust Twins. “We don’t have a website yet, but we’re starting to

get some success just by word of mouth. We’ve put together a master list - already up to 1,500 song titles and lyrics. We collaborate through our music, but everyone is also an artist or photographer.” All of these expanding connections allow DeFazio to try new things, from designing T-shirts to pursuing commissions. “I like being able to dedicate time to things I normally wouldn’t get to do. I’m meeting people face-to-face and even if I’m not selling yet, I realize I am still young and still developing who I am as an artist and this in itself is something to value.” Devotion and development as an artist was rewarded earlier this spring, when Defazio captured a Silver Key Award and a Gold Key Award (digital art), as well as a prestigious American Vision Nomination at the Scholastic Art Exhibition at Cheekwood. The subject of her award-winning piece, Listerine, as well as the name of her band, Johnny Cool and the Gold Dust Twins, is based on the nicknames given to criminals and the exploits of “two prolific arsonists who wound up in witness protection” Defazio explains. “My digital art piece is what I imagined Johnny Cool looked like. Just as

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with criminals who ‘come clean,’ the title, Listerine, refers to cleansing yourself of past deeds.” The highlight of the Scholastic Awards event was capturing the much-coveted cover of the awards program. “I got an email from Brooke Griffith at Cheekwood, asking if she could put my piece on the cover. On the day of the awards, I walked in with my band mates and just squealed when I saw it and saw an entire room of people holding my art! I thought, ‘this is really happen-

ing!’ It was an incredible honor.” With one more year of high school, Defazio plans to attend the prestigious Savannah College of Art & Design. Armed with expanded skills, the enhanced ability to give voice to her artistic vision and an awareness of the value of the wise use of time, she prepares for challenges and rewards of a career in the arts.

DeeGee Lester serves as Director of Education at the Parthenon in Nashville and is the author of several books.

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15 .


S u m m e r t o w n

R e u n i o n Bluegrass festival brings musicians, dancers and fans to Summertown

A

Summertown couple who love bluegrass music almost as much as each other are getting ready to open the gates of their farm to a thousand or so of their like-minded friends. Summertown Bluegrass Reunion is the By Nancy name of the band Brewer and the festival founded by Terry and Tammy Pierce, who this year celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary and twenty-seventh year of biannual bluegrass events. Terry admits he fell for bluegrass first. “I always loved it. I used to watch Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs on television when I was about five years old. I remember my dad taking me to see (International Bluegrass Hall of Fame fiddler) Paul Warren at Haylong High School in Mt. Pleasant when I was five-and-a-half. My mother had a feather duster I would put under my chin and pretend it was a fiddle.” No one in his family played music, though, and Terry was a teenager before he learned to play guitar. He married Tammy in 1977, and his seven year itch arrived as a desire to hear some good fiddle music. The couple drove to a nearby festival, and the itch got worse. “When I heard that first fiddle tune, I felt a cold chill run from my neck to my socks,” Terry said. “I went outside and tried to buy a fiddle from somebody, anybody, but no one would sell. The next Saturday, someone came to my house with one. I broke every .

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string before dark.” Tammy owned an album of square dance music that Terry played at the slowest speed and “picked the notes out.” Teaching himself with those particular songs branded his style as that of an “Eastern United States square dance fiddler.” “I did that for a year, let the yard grow up and everything.” He even worked to perfect his bowing skills without a fiddle. He cut a stick the length of his bow and carried it in a low side pocket of his work pants. Any time he had a few seconds, he would pull it out to practice on an imaginary instrument. Tammy learned to play guitar and mandolin, and the couple added other musicians to form the Summertown Bluegrass Reunion, which has traveled and performed somewhere almost every weekend for the last 30 plus years. At the time, bluegrass festivals were common throughout Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky, but they

One area of the festival grounds features vendors selling crafts and music-related merchandise. Pictured, a guitar vendor displays his wares.

frequently traveled further. Chicago is the most distant event they recall. “I was going to other festivals so I could hear and meet other fiddle players and study their techniques,” Terry said. “I would drive a hundred miles or more to hear a good fiddler.” He was also competing against them. In 1994, he won the Kentucky Intermediate fiddle contest and in 1997, the Kentucky State Champion and Governors Cup. He claimed the Tennessee Valley Classic Old Time Fiddlers Championship in Athens, Alabama in 1999, again in 2000, and many other titles at various festivals. In 1989, Terry’s parents, his brother and sister-inlaw pitched in to help the couple turn 50 acres of the family farm into a site for their own bluegrass festival. Terry’s experience as an electrician and plumber meant

Bluegrass bands and individual musicians practice and strike up informal jam sessions all around the festival grounds.


they could do just about all the work themselves, so in one very busy year they built a covered stage, dance floor, concession stand, restrooms and hookup sites for 20 RVs. The first Summertown Bluegrass Reunion was held Friday and Saturday, the third full weekend in June 1990, and brought 1,700 musicians, dancers and fans to the Pierce farm. The mid-June and Labor Day weekend festivals are three days long now, but the template for all that would follow was set with the initial event. Visitors arrange their lawn chairs in a semicircle many rows deep around the stage and dance floor. Bands play 45 minutes each, while square danc-

ers, cloggers and folks from the audience enjoy the dance floor. A clogging competition awards titles in Little Doll, Junior and Senior categories, based on audience vote. Musicians practice and jam under the trees nearby, and guests vote for their favorites there, too. A row of vendors sell everything from instruments to crafts. The list of guest bands has included regional favorites and bigger names including Daily & Vincent, country comedian Speck Rhodes, the Sullivan Family, Benny Martin, Larry Stephenson and Mike Snider. Snider, a national banjo champion, comedian and member of the Grand Ole Opry, A group of little cloggers entertains the crowd.

Like many musicians, Terry often names his instruments. “Gwen,” purchased for $5 at a yard sale, is not his only fiddle (note background), but is definitely his favorite.

brought in a record crowd. Tammy and Terry have seen many future stars playing on their stage and under their shade trees. Ricky Skaggs’ current fiddler, banjo player and guitarist all performed at Summertown as teenagers. From a stack of video tapes they produce footage of a young Brent Burke and Mickey Harris, who are now part of bluegrass superstar Rhonda Vincent’s band, The Rage. Both grew up coming to Summertown. Although he never played an instrument himself, Terry said his dad loved the festival and its music as much or more than almost anyone. Every member of the couple’s family has lent

a helping hand to the event in one way or another over the years. The Pierces do very little advertising because word of mouth has been effective, bringing guests from as far away as California. The festival’s popularity has called for enlarged bathrooms with showers and additional RV spots, now totaling 130. People start filling them up ten to twelve days before the event begins. “The women shop, visit the Amish community, and the men sit around and play music,” Terry explained. The Pierces even take their own RV out to join them, because they enjoy the company of other bluegrass

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17 .


fans. “We do the festival because we love it, and we love the people who love it.” They see things slowing down, eventually. Terry’s parents have passed away, his brother announced his retirement from the hard labor of the event, and they are 27 years older themselves. Still, they attend festivals in the area and perform occasionally. They performed 22 years at the Museum of Appalachia Homecoming event. They provide music for the dance contest at the Athens Fiddlers Jamboree and recently performed at Guntersville, Alabama’s Mountain Lake Resorts. Terry still loves to play the fiddle. “I play almost every day,” he said. “It’s usually the first thing I do when I get up. What a blessing.” Summertown Bluegrass Reunion, 662 Monument Rd. (Hwy 240),  Summertown,  TN    38483. Approximately one-half mile west of US Hwy 43,  60 miles

The Pierces’ band plays during the festival that bears their name.

south of Nashville TN, or 50 miles north of Florence AL. Note: Please verify driving directions with a source of your choosing.

Be sure to bring your lawn chair!

Summertown Bluegrass Reunion June 15 – 16 – 17, 2017

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Thursday, June 15 is Family Night, free admission and open stage Admission Friday: $8; Saturday $10 Stage shows begin at 7 p.m. Friday and 12 Noon on Saturday Dance contest begins Saturday at 5 p.m., winners determined by audience. Categories: Little Doll – 10 and under; Junior – 11 to 35; Senior - 36 and over. Shade tree band contest Saturday at 6 p.m.; stage closed for one hour so audience can determine which band on the grounds is the best.

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“Stones in my Pathway”

C

enterville native and professional photographer and musician, Bill Steber, is exhibiting his 25-year photographic project celebrating the Blues, “Stones in My Pathway,” at Hickman County Library in Centerville. This exceptional exhibit is open at the main branch during library hours from April 7, 2017 through May 31, 2017 with a reception scheduled for May 5th at 5 p.m. to meet and greet the artist. Steber’s start in photography began in 1984 as a student member of the yearbook and newspaper staff at Hickman County High School. After graduating MTSU, he went on to work as a staff photojournalist for the Tennessean in Nashville from 1989 to 2004, where he won dozens of national and regional photography awards and shot subjects from national politics to New York

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runway fashion to the Super Bowl. Combining his love of music and photography, Steber has, through his career, captured musicians both famous and lesser known. In 1992, he began chronicling blues culture in Mississippi, documenting the state’s blues musicians, juke joints, churches, river baptisms, hoodoo practitioners, traditional farming methods, folk traditions and other significant traditions that gave birth to or influenced the blues. “Stones in My Pathway” exhibit has been shown in New York City, Chicago, in Europe and around the South. Since leaving the newspaper in 2004, his freelance clients have included Living Blues Magazine and Oxford American as well as the Nashville Symphony and the Fisk Jubilee Singers. His work has been used in Newsweek, Mojo Magazine, Nashville Arts and Fretboard Journal, among other publications. Steber is currently working on a Hickman County project documenting traditions and family memories, using 19th-century wet plate photography, including tintypes, ambrotypes and glass negatives. This Blues exhibit in Centerville is in conjunction with the appearance of his band, the Jake

Leg Stompers, in the Library sponsored Hickman Heritage Music Fest Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 7 p.m. This concert, featuring prewar jug band music will be presented at Mrs. Mable’s Back Porch Stage at the Hickman County Fairgrounds. This event is the third and last in a year long Music Series that has been partly funded by the TN Arts Commission.

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Validity Book Review

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MoonGlow

Moonglow By Michael Chabon

Published by Harper

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estselling author, Michael Chabon, adds to his stable of award winning fiction with his latest novel Moonglow. Moonglow is the story of a man and his grandfather. A deathbed confession of sorts, though not a standard confession of wrongdoing as much as a confession of one’s life, from a man seemingly uncertain that he shared enough in life to be understood in death. In the final days of his battle with cancer, By James Lund cloaked in the fog of painkillers, the narrator’s unusually loquacious grandfather regales his grandson with the story of his life. Though interpreted by the narrator, the stories are told with an intentional disorganization perfectly acceptable and believable as coming from a man in pain and full of medication. Grandfather tells of growing up in south Philadelphia, hustling pool and trying to make a buck. He tells of the war, of snipers, resistance fighters and the liberation of concentration camps. Grandfather tells of meeting his wife in February of 1947, and the suffering that she experienced in her own mind throughout the rest of her life. Ten years later, he would find himself behind bars, having used a broken phone cord to strangle the man who had just authorized his termination of employment. The man survived. Immensely intelligent and fascinated with space, grandfather was educated and later worked as an aerospace engineer. He attended rocket and shuttle launches regularly and even built intricate models used by NASA. Though parts of his life were troubled, he could, with the assistance of his telescope, find his own peace in the heavens. Moonglow, which was inspired by an experience the author had with his terminally ill grandfather in 1989, is a work of fiction. Writers often must take liberties with true events when, as Chabon puts it, “…the facts refuse to conform with memory, narrative purpose, or the truth as I prefer to understand it.” When

this happens, intellectually honest writers must label the work fiction. After the narrator asks his grandfather if all of these stories are true, his grandfather responds that they are the way he remembers them happening, “Beyond that, I make no guarantees.” Chabon explores, through the singularity of a grandfather, an entire generation of men who were tough, often quiet and rarely spoke of their past, especially to their own families. After spending years digging into my family history, I have been shocked by the number of people I have spoken with who, after contemplating the question, knew virtually nothing about the lives of their own grandparents. This was a generation that fiercely guarded their privacy in a way that is completely foreign to younger generations that feel compelled to share every detail of their private lives on social media. In Moonglow, it seems even in his final days, grandfather was only comfortable offering up his story after being lured into the mist of a cloud of narcotics tasked with helping to ease his suffering. Grandfather concluded his life by unexpectedly offering a richness and clarity that would bring comfort and hope to the lives of those he loved. You can find copies of Moonglow at Duck River Books on the square in downtown Columbia, Tennessee, or at your favorite indie bookstore. Remember to support your local indie shops, restaurants and publications. We appreciate each one of you. James Lund, along with his wife Heather, own Duck River Books in downtown Columbia, Tennessee. A native of Nashville, James moved to Columbia several years ago to get away from crowds and promptly opened a business whose purpose is to attract crowds.


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Ornithology Report

50 Common Birds Part 9

A

s we move into May in Tennessee, as far as the birds are concerned, spring rapidly becomes summer. By the end of the month, just about all the winter birds and spring transients are gone, and only those who intend to remain through sumBy Bill Pulliam mer and raise their young here remain. Many of the summer arrivals were covered in my last two articles. This month and the next, we will cover ten more, filling out our roster of 50 common birds. I’ve already talked about two blue birds, the Blue Jay and the Eastern Bluebird. This month, I’ll add two more blue birds to this list, a pair that are rather similar and closely related. These are the Indigo Bunting and the Blue Grosbeak. The male Indigo Bunting is truly a striking bird. The size and shape of a medium-sized sparrow or finch, this fellow is colored all over with a rich, deep, vibrant

blue. And unlike so many others of the birds I have covered in the last few months, the Indigo Bunting male loves to perch high on a wire or atop a twig, in full sun, and announce his presence with his loud, musical song. I discovered an interesting side note about this bird when my red-green colorblind nephews came to visit. If you are among the 10 percent of men and one percent of women who have this condition, you know that all the red birds I have described as brilliantly-colored are to you, drab, dark, dull, almost colorless. Cardinals and Tanagers are not any prettier than blackbirds. But, for you, the Indigo Bunting is the showpiece. I’m told it is perhaps the most brightly colored bird in this area for those with red-green color vision deficits, glowing with a vibrancy that stands out against almost any background. Fortunately, the Indigo Bunting is also common in the Tennessee countryside in the hot months. Their crisp and snappy song of short musical phrases, almost always repeated in pairs, rings out even on the steamiest afternoons. As you drive back roads along

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oriole’s bill is fairly long, narrow, sharp and curved a bit downwards. The female Orchard Oriole is the same size and shape as the male, but is overall yellowish below and greenish above with thin white wingbars. As for size, the Orchard Oriole is about the same overall as the Blue Grosbeak, but has a slimmer build. Next in line is a bird that is also very vocal, but often not so easy to spot. The Yellow-breasted Chat is an extra large warbler that likes to spend most of its time in the brambles. It is long-tailed, greenish above and bright yellow below, with a black bandit mask and white “spectacles.” The chat is well named. Sometimes, it can seem like they sing almost constantly, though “song” is not necessarily the best description for the sounds this bird makes. A non-birding friend of mine once described the chat song as sounding like the sound track to an old Hanna-Barbera cartoon. It is a slow, leisurely, but seemingly endless string of chuck, catcalls, mews, rattles, squawks and other sounds. Each phrase is separated by a generous pause

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fields, fences and hedgerows, you will see these bright blue flashes burst into view quite often. The females, of course, are as dull as the males are bright. A plain mousy brown all over, without streaks, spots or other ornamentation, they are distinctively drab. Only slightly less dramatic is the Blue Grosbeak. It is much like a large Indigo Bunting with a heavier beak and diagnostic rustcolored wing bars. It is found in similar habitats, and likewise, likes to perch in the open and sing its loud melodic song. The grosbeak’s song is a fast reedy warble, without the doubling of phrases heard from the bunting. Also, similar to the Indigo Bunting, the female Blue Grosbeak is a drab brown, but shares the male’s heavier beak and rusty wingbars. Also found throughout the countryside in this area, the Orchard Oriole is another persistent singer. The male sports a black hood, mask, tail and wings with brick red underparts and rump. He also likes to sing from a conspicuous perch, giving a rich and rapid, fluty warble often with a few harsh notes in the mix. The

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from the previous. Often, a male chat will hop up on a high perch in the sun to sing, and occasionally, he will put on quite a show with an aerial flight song. He will fly slowly up in the air, hover for a bit, then drop back down, chattering loudly all the while. Chats are also one of our songbirds that sometimes will sing in the middle of the night, especially when the moon is bright. For the final bird this month we leave the fencerows and roadsides for the deep woods, where the Acadian Flycatcher spends its summer months. This is a small, greenish flycatcher that likes mature, closed-canopy, hardwood forests. I’ve talked about several other flycatchers in this series

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already. The Acadian is similar in shape and behavior, but is significantly smaller. It is greenish with a white eye ring and wingbars, and not a lot else distinctive about its appearance. It is a member of the Empidonax flycatcher group, who are noted for being drab and hard to tell apart by how they look. But each one has a distinctive voice, and the Acadian calls and sings quite often in the summer. Otherwise you would likely never suspect it was even around. The Acadian song is a loud, sharp, two syllable call often transcribed at “Peet-sah!”It is more of a shout than a whistle, the first note rising and the second falling very sharply. It has an explosive quality, almost as if the bird were sneezing! It carries a long distance, and once you learn its voice, you will likely hear it from most any good stand of hardwoods in Tennessee in late spring and summer. Next month, we will finish the series with five more summer birds, ranging from deep woods to fields and ponds. 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.

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Navigating the Nashville Housing Market

I

t seems impossible to talk to someone about Nashville or in general, without the booming housing market coming up in conversation. Prices By Sydney have risen rapidly in Phillips just a few years, and the number moving here per day steadily sits between 80 and 90 people, according to the Tennessean. Creatives and professionals from New York to LA want a piece of what Nashville has to offer - a fantastic job market, musical and artistic connection and inspiration and various tourist attractions. Statistically speaking, the greater Nashville area is ranked number 15 in the nation for market “hotness” by chief economists at realtor.com. Market hotness is measured by average days on the market (how fast inventory is moving), number of times listings are viewed on realtor. com, and the analysis of supply and demand dynamics in that area. We

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are closely approaching the size of a big city, with cost of living increase to match. So how “hot” is Nashville, practically? As a re- This 1920s remodel in east Nashville near 5 Points truly reflects the historic, yet edgy, vibe of the area. altor, I experience homes flying off the market within a few hours of acer than price. As a buyer’s agent, much about the value not aptual advertising. This is excit- it is part of my job to play with praising, unless we go a substaning for sellers, especially sell- those components, like pieces of a tial amount over list price. Negoers who bought their homes a few years ago and have maintained good condition. However, the buyer’s side can be frustrating. I take them to look at a home they love, and multiple offers the first day are common. I advise strong offers in that situation, usually involving a price above list price, which is obviously not appealing to buyers, unless they have put offers in before and lost due to lack of strength in the offer. I am left with this question: How do I get my clients what they want without pushing them to do something with which they are uncomfortable? A real estate offer has many negotiable components oth-

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puzzle. I find out from the sellers agent: What would make the offer more attractive to the seller that would also work for my buyer? Would the sellers like a sooner closing date, or would they like some time to find and make offer on a new home? Do my buyers have the cash to pay for their own closing costs? I’ve even had a client write a letter to the homeowners to go with the offer, detailing why they love the home so much. Just as quality of life is in the details, so is real estate negotiation. Price is most definitely important too. Because of the way the market is rising, I don’t worry

tiation is more about reading the specific situation than pushing an agenda. Though personal communication is somewhat of a lost art, this is an important tool that your agent can either utilize or not. I believe there is always a solution to an issue, and that people are mostly good and reasonable. Unlike many other large assets, everything in real estate can be leveraged, which can be applied, even in a hot market. Sincerity, or “acting in good faith,” can go a long way in a fast-paced, detached world. Sydney Phillips is a realtor with Benchmark Realty.


May Garden

It’s A Wonderful Place To Be

Cassandra Warner

H

ello Sunshine! A celebration of nature wherever you look now prevails in the garden and landscape: dogwood’s, oh, so green trees, gorgeous flowers and shrubs. Wo n d e r ful food and herbs are getting planted in gardens ever ywhere. It is an inspiring By Cassandra Warner time of dis-

the bulb for next year. Once they such as azalea, lilacs, forsythia, die, they can be dug, divided and mock orange and weigela after they have finished blooming to control transplanted. *After all blooms are finished on growth, improve shape and inan iris stalk, cut the stalk as close crease their blooms next year. *Mulch around strawberry plants to the base as possible. Allow the to keep the berries off the ground. leaves to remain. *Remove all but two or three run*Mulch to help maintain moisture and deter weeds in flower ners from new strawberry plants. Maintenance *Divide overgrown perennials. beds and vegetable gardens. If you *Be watchful of spring planted mulch around trees, keep it off the *Remove flower spikes from bashrubs and trees to keep them well bark. Make a donut shape around sil and stevia. This will encourage watered. They need about one inch them, not a volcano. more leaf production. of water per week. *After rhododendrons have *Set stakes next to tall flowers *Allow the leaves of spring bulbs and peppers early in the season. bloomed, dead head them to get to die down naturally. They feed *Prune spring flowering shrubs, more blooms next year to keep the Validitymag.com 25 . covering the ever changing beauty in May’s garden. It’s hard to resist being outside treasuring every moment from sunrise to sunset. Now we are in one of the busiest planting times for fabulous foods and flowers we love: GO and GROW time.


paragus, rhubarb, garlic scapes, turnip and mustard greens, leaf lettuce, baby carrots, outer leaves of parsley, snow peas, fresh herbs and strawberries. Planting

Cassandra Warner

Cassandra Warner

It is time to plant annual flowers, and all the warm season vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, beans, okra, corn, cucumbers, squash, melons, bush looking pretty. celery, pumpkins, *Cut back mature chrysanthe- onion sets, sunflowers, peas and mums to two inches tall. Through chard. Wait until the end of May to the summer, continue to pinch off plant eggplant and sweet potatoes. the growing tips to promote fall When transplanting, do not forblooms. get to loosen the roots some be*Hill up and around potatoes and fore planting to stimulate stronger leeks. growth. *Weed or WEEP! Do not forget to rotate your crops. The simple plan to follow Harvest is: Leaf crops follow fruiting crops, Kale, chives, chive blossoms, as- root crops follow leafy crops, fruit-

ing crops follow root and root crops follow legumes. Remember to consider height in your planting arrangement so you do not shade smaller plants. You may need to make use of the shade from taller plants for those that can benefit from less sunlight. Regarding pepper or eggplant transplants, stake them as you plant them or soon after.

Cassandra Warner

Working Together

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We can all use extra help, and that is a great way to look at what we plant and where we plant or “Companion Planting.� 1) Creating a habitat that attracts beneficials. 2) Placing plants that grow

well together and have the ability to nourish soil. 3) Protect other plants from disease and other plants that repel pestsinsects. Another strategy in companion planting is to create a complexity of plant odors, colors and texture to make it more difficult for pests to find what they are looking for. As you are planting in May’s garden, you may find a little extra help is available just by considering what you plant and where you plant it. Here are a few suggestions. *Basil: Plant with lettuce, peppers or tomatoes to enhance their growth and repel flying insects. *Beans: Plant with cab-


Cassandra Warner

sects. Avoid dill which appears to inhibit growth of carrots. *Calendula: Plant with cabbage family, corn or lettuce to attract beneficial, minute pirate bugs and lacewings. *Cabbage Family: Plant with aromatic herbs, chamomile, onions, nasturtiums, potatoes or marigolds to mask the scent of the cabbage family, confuse pest insects and attract beneficial insects. Cabbages may inhibit growth of strawberries and tomatoes. *Catnip: Plant with eggplants, lettuce, oriental greens or potatoes to repel flea beetles. Cut up and spread around as mulch. *Cucumbers: Plant with lettuce, nasturtiums, onions, petunias, radishes or peas to mask odor and repel insects. Keep away from sunflowers which inhibit cucumber growth and avoid potatoes which appear more susceptible to blight.

*Geraniums: Plant with cabbage family or grapes to repel cabbage worms and Japanese beetles. *Lettuce: Plant with beans, cabbage family, calendulas, onions, peas, pansies, radishes or carrots. In some cases to mask its scent to pest

Cassandra Warner

Cassandra Warner

bage family, corn, eggplants, lettuce, marigolds, petunias and potatoes to deter potato beetles and fix nitrogen in the soil. *Carrots: Plant with lettuce, marigolds, onions, parsley or tomatoes to attract beneficial in-

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27 .


insects, in others because they are mutually beneficial. *Marigolds: French marigolds repel aphids, potato bugs, and squash bugs among all garden plants. Mass plantings appear to repel root-knot nematodes. *Nasturtiums: Plant with all garden plants because nasturtiums mask plant odors and repel many pests. *Onions: Plant among most garden plants to mask odors. Onions appear to inhibit growth of peas. *Petunias: Plant with eggplants, grapes, greens and squash to mask their scent and repel pest insects, plus attract beneficial insects. *Peas: Plant with carrots, corn, cucumbers or potatoes to fix nitrogen. Avoid onions which appear to inhibit growth of peas. *Peppers: Plant with basil, carrots, onions and parsley to mask pepper’s scent and attract beneficial insects. Keep away from fennel which appears to inhibit growth of peppers. *Radishes: Plant with carrots to confuse pest insects. Also plant with cucumbers to repel cucumber beetles. *Squash: Plant with nasturtiums, onions, petunias or radishes to repel insect pests. Keep away from cucumbers and melons which attract the same pests. *Tomatoes: Plant with basil, carrots, chamomile or marigolds. Basil protects tomatoes from disease and pest insects and improves growth and flavor. Tomatoes and carrots are mutually beneficial. Tomatoes appear healthier when planted with marigolds. Chamomile attracts beneficial insects. Avoid potatoes which share similar diseases and keep away from fennel which inhibits tomatoes.

will be just what you need to sow pea seeds when your soil temperature reaches 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you plant peas intensively in a grid spacing them four inches apart in raised beds, so that the peas prop up each other, choose cultivars that are powdery mildew resistant (such as Sugar Spirit). If they are close together, air circulation can be a problem. Dwarf Grey Sugar is a variety of snow pea that will not require trellising. It will be only 30-36 inches tall and is a great producer for it’s manageable size. If you want to give peas a jump start, apply an inoculant which is a microbial dust that encourages the formation of nitrogen-fixing nodules on pea roots. Some good choices to try for shelling peas are Green Arrow, Blue Podded Shelling or Blauwschokkers and Little Marvels. They’re So Cute...Mini Head Lettuces

The sweet flavor and tender texture of these compact, upright, fast growing lettuces will “leaf ” you wanting more. Instead of a shaggy, open growth habit of a traditional type of head lettuce, the mini heads have more upright growth which keeps its leaves off the soil helping to prevent disease and decay. The small heads can be spaced about six inches apart, and they grow about six inches tall and wide. They are easy to harvest and clean. Another plus for this type of lettuce is they can tolerate temperatures from 40-80 degrees rather than 55-75 degrees for other types.

tiful, easy growing hummingbird and butterfly pleasers, that you will surely love too. *Indian Pink (spigelia marilandica): A real show stopper all season, a brilliant red flower topped with yellow and another favorite of hummingbirds. Grow it in part shade and moist, well drained soil. *False Indigo (Baptisia Australis): Enchanting blue or purple flowers late spring, blue green foliage and has beautiful charcoal grey seed pods late summer. *Royal Catchfly: Another delight for you and hummingbirds, spectacular red trumpet flowers in mid and late summer. Grow it in full sun to part shade and well drained soil. *Woodland Phlox: Oh, so pretty blue, purple or white in the spring. Can take full to part shade and is disease resistant. *Stokes’ Aster (Stokesia laevis): Continuous blooms in lavender or blue. Summer into fall, likes full sun and well drained soil. *Bee Balm (Monarda didyma): Native bee balm has bright red blooms and hummingbirds, butterfly and bees love it, and deer don’t. Grow it in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. *Hardy Hibiscus (Hibiscus Moscheutos): Big, bold and beautiful in red, pink and white. A bonus with this flower is it makes a wonderful tea. Grow it in full sun and moist soil. *Crested Iris (Iris Cristata): A delicate, woodland iris in blue, white or purple. Great in clumps in a shade garden. Grow it in part sun to shade and moist, well drained soil. *Rain Lily (Zephyranthes Candida): Looks much like a crocus blooming in autumn in shades of red, white and pink. Grow it in sun to part shade in moist, well drained soil.

f o o r P

To Deter Squash Vine Borer

Hill up around the stem or wrap it in aluminum foil or burlap around the bottom 6 inches to prevent the moth from laying her eggs there. The Butternut family is less susceptible to the Peas To Please Garden Quotes And Sayings Right out of the shell in the squash vine borers. As the squash “No life is without diffigarden, before the sugars turn to vine grows, if you keep covering culties, no garden is without starch, is where you will get the it with soil, it will keep putting weeds.” best pea pleasing flavor. Along roots into the soil. As the vine — C. L. Fornari with great flavor, they are one of grows, it has more sources of nu“I grow plants for many the most nutritious and earliest trients and water. reasons: to please my soul, vegetables to grow. Some varietto challenge the elements or Go Native ies of peas have edible pods such to challenge my patience, for Try some of these flowers in novelty, or for nostalgia, but as snow peas and sugar snap. A loose bed amended with compost your garden and have some beau. 28 Validitymag.com

mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.” — David Hobson “In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.” — Abram L. Urban “The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for Him there.” — George Bernard Shaw “It’s a wonderful day in the garden in May, it’s majestic, magnificent nature on display, perfect in every way.” — Cassandra Warner. There is no better place to be and find an abundance of healthy-living wellness, and inspiring enjoyment than out in May’s Garden. Happy planting to all! Originally from Texas, Cassandra Warner is a transplant to the garden of Tennessee. Gardening has been one of her passions for forty years. “Gardening connects you to the miracle of life and provides healthy exercise and stress relief.”

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The Devil Made Me Do It!

“T

he devil made me do it!” I’m sure you’ve said it once or twice in your lifetime. We usually say it in jest. However, it may be more fact than fiction. We say it in the context of some misbehavior however minor. Nevertheless, it is said in recognition of a choice mistakenly made. Let us look at the nuances By Charles E. of what is beNewbold, Jr ing said in this expression. First, it recognizes there really is a devil and demons. The scriptures are clear in declaring the reality and existence of the devil and demons. These entities did not go away after that first century. They were not just primitive ways of explaining psychotic behavior. The devil (Satan) and his demons are a very real and present evil at work in the world and in our daily lives. Failure to know and believe this is a win for the devil. He can dupe us into doing most anything. Second, this expression recognizes that the devil has some sway in our choices. Many things in life happen to us over which we have no choice. Had we been given the choice, we would have decided differently. Choosing between right and wrong clearly appears to be a choice we can make for ourselves. Third, this expression recognizes that the devil was given priority in our choice. Given the fact we could have chosen differently but didn’t, we empower the devil. Fourth, we use this expression to imply we had no choice in the matter. We like to think we had no other choice, but we did and we do. People apologetically say, “Well I know I still sin.” I say if you know it, stop! Fifth, this expression recognizes that we know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. We really do. The world instinctively

knows right from wrong. Those in the secular media know this difference and are quick to hold politicians and religious leaders accountable. We have no excuse. We know the difference. Sixth, this expression recognizes that we are the ones who had the power to choose. The Devil made ME do it. Really? Seventh, this expression recognizes that we are failing to take responsibility for our own actions. The Devil didn’t make us do it. The Devil may have tempted us, but we made the decision to do it. It was our call. We are responsible for our own decisions and consequences. As it has been said, “You only have one life to live—yours.” We need to stop blaming others for our bad decisions. When we choose to do what is right, we own responsibility for ourselves. We may think the action we took is something to joke about, but doing what is wrong is not a laughing matter. Our choices have consequences to both ourselves and to others in our wake. We choose to do what is right when we make Godly choices. We serve the righteous purposes of the Lord. Joshua declared to the house of Israel thousands of years ago, “If it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15. The question begs to be asked, “If you knew it was the Devil that made you do it, why did you do it?” If you belong to the Lord, you have the power to choose what is right. Just do it, even if it kills you. “The Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3:6. 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. www. CharlesNewbold.com

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Unconscionable Cogitation

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Epitome of Meanness

By Shane Newbold

You can kick my dog. Steal my favorite fishing plug. Dunk my gunpowder in a bucket of water. Add extra hornworm larvae to my heirloom tomato vines. Give the IRS and Homeland Security the remote location of my cabin in the woods. Put garlic in my white, sausage gravy. Talk bad about my momma. Poke holes in my inflatable arm swimmies. Or, wink at my wife behind my back. Mean enough stuff? Read on. But as unthinkably mean as the aforementioned attest, the possibility of a more serious, lowdown, threatening scenario reared its ugly head during a seemingly friendly back and forth with a “so called” friend the other day. Whether he was teasing or not, he smugly crowed, “I’ll put an otter in your fish

pond!” All present gasped in horror. This fellow stepped over the line. And everyone knew it. “My god man, even if you think it, you certainly don’t blurt it out!” a comrade retorted in my defense. “No sane man would put an otter in even his worst enemy’s fish pond,” another replied. “That’s the meanest thing ever been said to me,” I uttered, wiping a tear from my face. Disbelieving the direction the confabulation had turned, the gang dispersed mumbling among themselves. A conversation killer, indeed Later, we found out the sad, sick, deranged soul who had expressed the mother of all meanness was under duress. His wife had left him for another woman, his eldest son had quit med school to work on a marijuana farm in Colorado with his cougar girlfriend (a hippie from the

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sixties) and his number one coon hound was seen hunting squirrels. The man was clearly not himself. But, no matter how desperate his state of being, he had committed the unpardonable. Unfortunately, an otter in a man’s fish pond is no joking matter. Not knowing if it were an idle threat, we were forced to take action as would any sensible, fish pond owner: Floodlights, electric fence, German shepherds trained to take out otters and 24/7 guard duty. I caught Becky Jane dozing on second shift. Not sure she is forged from the hardened metal necessary for such an arduous mission. Nevertheless, in spite of an occasional breakdown in the ranks, the offensive, thus far, is proving successful. Paranoia? Absolutely not. Vigilance is imperative when dealing with the imminent threat of a cute, furry, demonic, surreptitious, fish ingesting terrorist.

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