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Validity Always Local

new life for a small town & the 7 women walking the walk

July 2017 Complimentary

John Paul White In ConCert

 Saturday • August 5 • 7 p.m.

Tickets Online at:

Lawrence County Bicentennial Festival Live music, food & craft vendors

Bicentennial Blowout 5K 7:30 a.m. Sidewalk Sales on the Square 8 a.m. —2 p.m. Bicentennial Festival 4 p.m.— 10 p.m. Time Capsule Opening on the Square, 5 p.m. John Paul White 7 p.m. Historic Crockett Theatre Doors open at 6 p.m. Tumble/Dance Performance on the Square, 7:30 p.m.

 Historic Crockett theatre  downtown Lawrenceburg 

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Blue Mother Tupelo Corn Potato String Band Friday • July 21

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Saturday • July 22

Ben Daniel, 12 noon Mark Springer 1 p.m. Scott Boyer & n. C. thurman, 2 p.m. John Byrd Band, 4 p.m. Max russell Band, 6:30 p.m. Blue Mother tupelo, 8 p.m.

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Reality Perspective

News from the Off-Grid Homestead


up the hill. Createah, its defiing an overflow and nitely a chalchanneling the walenge achieving ter through a turan unplugged bine/generator siglifestyle. But we are nificantly produces committed to the cause. more electricity for Water continues to be larger appliances the biggest challenge. like freezers, fridges, The dwelling located on By Shane Newbold small air conditionthe ridge top and the er, etc. springs several hundred Potable water will flow yards away and one hundred through a filter and UV light feet down in elevation require a (another low wattage, electric pump large enough for the task. device). Hence, the need for electricity. No outhouse for my bride! A A system comprised of a twelve nearly completed, modern bathvolt pump submerged in a creek room with health department, pool, powered by batteries that certified septic system and outare charged by solar panels is door, summertime shower for in the works. For now, we haul heat relief make the weekend water in food grade drums and stays much more comfortable. pump the water using a twelve Pay-as-you-go on this long volt, on-demand RV pump. This term project means, that works fine. But, getting water to bonafide, electric off-grid conthe top of the hill without haultinues to be a process. ing is the ultimate goal. Ironically, we completely rely Tommy Haskins, our good on the “grid” to build “off-grid.” friend and engineer genius, disPropane, my diesel tractor and cussed a strategy, whereby, a gasoline generator currently suplarger pond (recently dug and ply my power needs. completed by Randall and AlIf you think you are indepenlen Stewart) is located down the dent, then start an off-grid projhill from a smaller pond (not yet ect. The stark reality is, we could constructed). Solar technology not survive without the systems pumps the water from the lower, we take for granted. larger pond to the smaller pond

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Table of Contents

Validity Mover And Shakers Come In Packs Of 7 Page 16 By Becky Jane Newbold

Meet the businesswomen reinvigorating the new Mount Pleasant.

On the Cover & above: Mount Pleasant Gals, by Sarah B. Gilliam

Davy Crockett Days By Nancy Brewer

Bringing to life a frontier, bygone era in Lawrence County. Page 11 Page 11

John Paul White Homecoming By Nancy Brewer

Grammy Award winning artist in concert at Lawrenceburg’s Bicentennial Celebration. Page 13

Internships, Research, Professionalism, Suits And Ties By DeeGee Lester

Page 13

Meet Brandon Nguyen, a high school junior. Page 19

Beauty And Function In The Perfect Tote By Sydney Phillips

Amy Violette does business with her boots on. Page 20

Page 20

July 2017 • Vol. 7, Issue 7 6 July 2017

In Every Issue:

Table of Contents

Validity Recipes

July Gardens

By Cari Marye Griffith

By Cassandra Warner

Curry, wasabi, aioli: Flavors beyond plain ol meat and taters.

Meet Buford Creech, A WWII veteran and veteran gardner.

Page 8

Page 24

July Book Review

Ask A Lawyer

By James Lund

By Landis Turner

Camino Island by John Grisham.

You get what you pay for.

Page 23

Page 28

Ornithology Report

The Believer’s Walk

By Bill Pulliam

By Charles Newbold

“In two minutes our landscape was turned on its head.”

A lost soul is truly grievous.

N ow C losed suNdays , opeN 6 days

Page 29

Page 22

Also in this Issue:

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

Celebrating 40 Years!

Publisher Becky Jane Newbold,, 931-628-6039 Managing Editor Shane Newbold,, 931-628-6039 Contributing Writers, Bill Pulliam, Cari Marye Griffith, Cassandra Warner, Charles Newbold Jr., DeeGee Lester, James Lund, Landis Turner, Nancy Brewer, Sydney Phillips Contributing Photographers, Bill Pulliam, Cari Marye Griffith, Cassandra Warner, Sarah B. Gilliam

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. 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 7 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.

Quality From Our Kitchen Since 1977  Historic Town Square Waynesboro, Tennessee July 2017




s r e p p u S r

Recipes, Photos & Food Styling by Cari M. Griffith


urkey meatballs with a curry sauce is my new favorite comfort food. The hearty but healthy turkey meatballs blend perfectly well with the super smooth and savory curry. The addition of fresh herbs and diced mango create a light, flavorful, filling meal. Using coconut cream instead of coconut milk makes the sauce thick and creamy. If you already have a few of the ingredients in your home, this meal is affordable, easy to make and a beautiful addition to your weeknight table!

Cari Marye Griffith

Su m

Validity Recipes

8 July 2017

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.

Meatballs: 1 pound ground turkey 2 teaspoons minced garlic ½ white onion, very finely chopped with a knife or food processor 1 Tablespoon sesame oil 1 Tablespoon soy sauce 3 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro 1 egg ½ cup Panko bread crumbs Pinch of salt and pepper 1 teaspoon grated, fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon of dried, ground ginger

Instructions: In a large sauce pan over medium heat, place one tablespoon of coconut oil in the pan and let it melt. Gently stir in garlic, ginger, curry paste, coriander and turmeric and let simmer for two minutes. Add coconut cream and chicken stock and stir well to incorporate all of the spices. Once the sauce has simmered for a few minutes and has started to thicken, add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and stir gently. Let simmer for five more minutes and then turn off heat. Place meatballs and sauce in a bowl with rice or quinoa, diced mango, and garnish with fresh cilantro, basil and lime zest.

Turkey Meatballs with Simple Red Curry Sauce

You may take one look at the recipe for Roasted Beets wth Wasabi Aioli (page 10) and think, “Nope, no way, not happening.” But, I promise you, it is delicious. If you like roasted potatoes or carrots, using a similar roasting method with beets produces wonderful results. The heat from the wasabi pairs well with the roasted garlic and onions on the beets. This side dish is a fusion of Asian

Cari Marye Griffith

Cari Marye Griffith

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and gently combine until well incorporated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and using a small spoon or ice-cream scooper, gently dole out the meatballs, placing them about an inch apart. I like to leave them a little rough around the edges which helps create a crispier, outer crust. You can make them whatever size you like. The larger the meatball, the longer it will need to bake in the oven. Check the oven frequently to ensure that the edges and bottoms aren’t burning. The cooking time is usually around 20-25 minutes.

Curry: 1 Tablespoon unrefined coconut oil ½ Tablespoon minced garlic 1 Tablespoon grated ginger 3 Tablespoons curry paste ¼ teaspoon coriander ¼ teaspoon turmeric 1 can coconut cream (For a thinner curry, use coconut milk instead of coconut cream) 3 Tablespoons of chicken stock or broth Zest of half of one lime Small handful of chopped cilantro and fresh basil (optional) Mango chunks (optional) Rice or quinoa (optional)

Cari Marye Griffith

Turkey Meatballs with Simple Red Curry Sauce

Cari Marye Griffith

Cari Marye Griffith

Ground turkey, left, combined and baked, right, make a plate full of turkey meatballs, below. Add Red Curry Sauce, recipe above. July 2017


Validity Recipes

and American flavors and pairs well with stir-fry, black bean burgers, curries or Asian noodle dishes.

Roasted Beets with Wasabi Aioli

to make sure the edges aren’t burning, and remove from oven once the beets are fragrant and starting to crisp. For the aioli, place a few tablespoons of mayonnaise into a small bowl, and mix in a few dollops of the wasabi. You can adjust the level of heat by adding more wasabi or more mayonnaise until it pleases your taste buds.

Cari Marye Griffith

Cari Marye Griffith

Roasted Beets with Wasabi Aioli

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400. Thinly slice beets into small triangles as pictured, below. Place beets on baking sheet and drizzle with oil and seasonings, tossing to coat each piece with the oil and spices. Spread evenly on pan and bake for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Every oven differs in cooking temperature, so check

Recipe, photos and food styling by Cari Marye Griffith

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Cro ckett Days y v a : D Recreating Life On The Frontier By Nancy Brewer


uring the years of the American frontier, hunters and trappers would travel to sell their furs to dealers and then gather for “rendezvous.” The spirit of those gatherings is recreated each August at David Crockett State Park, when “liv-

ing historians” who are members of the Davy Crockett Longhunters come together to celebrate the era of their namesake. Approximately 75 families from Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri and Kentucky will be at the Lawrenceburg park August 11-13 for the 35th annual Davy Crockett Days. The public is invited to

walk among them and observe, ask questions, make photos and watch demonstrations of frontier skills. Longhunters, usually accompanied by spouses and children, portray individuals who lived in the colonies or American frontier between 1735 and 1840. That includes farmers, traders/craftsmen, lawyers and doctors, soldiers, trappers and hunters, blacksmiths, tinsmiths, teachers, spinners and weavers, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. There are also a few Native Americans in the mix, honoring their part in American history and Crockett’s opposition to their forced removal from their homelands. Fittingly, the encampment is very near David Crockett State Park’s Trail of Tears Interpretive Walking Trail, which includes original portions of the Trail of Tears. The Longhunters’ name is derived from the “long hunts,” sometimes up to six months, that explorers from Virginia and the Carolinas made into the wilderness. Like their namesake, the Davy Crockett Longhunters use black powder, muzzle-loading guns and other primitive weapons including tomahawks, knives

and bows and arrows. Competitions with these weapons are also part of Davy Crockett Days and visitors are welcome to observe. For more information about the event and the Longhunters organization, go to their Facebook page. Nancy Brewer is a native of Lawrence County who worked for many years as an editor and writer at the Advocate newspaper. She is currently an assistant to County Executive T.R. Williams.

Davy Crockett Days August 11-13, 2017 Davy Crockett Days begin Friday, August 11 at 8 a.m. with an opening ceremony. See fire starting demonstrations, quilting demonstrations, spinning & weaving as well as kids’ games. More demonstrations continue on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. with 1799 Map of Tennessee and Colonial Currency programs at 1 p.m. Sunday morning church service begins at 9 a.m. with closing ceremony at noon. Competitions on Friday and Saturday begin at 9 a.m. each day with woods walk, archery, tomahawk and knife competitions, novelty shooting and fire starting into the afternoon.

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Lawrence County Bicentennial

Lawrence County native comes home to celebrate 200 By Nancy Brewer


awrence County, Tennessee is celebrating its Bicentennial (1817-2017) with a day full of events including a “homecoming” concert by one of its own. John Paul White, singer/songwriter, says he’s looking forward to his August 5 concert at Lawrenceburg’s historic Crockett Theatre, where he last played about 20 years ago. During that interval, he earned four Grammy Awards as half of the duo, Civil Wars, became a partner in a Florence, Alabama record label and launched a solo career that has him back on the road touring. White was born in the Shoals, but the family moved to his parents’ hometown of Loretto, Tennessee when he was four years old. His early singing experience was at the local Catholic church. “I sang in church quite a bit. When you’re from a small area like Loretto and Sacred Heart and you can carry a tune, you’re going to be singing.” White attended Sacred Heart Elementary, “like

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my mom and her mom before,” and as a teen, formed a band with friends for a Loretto High School talent show. He was assigned the role of vocalist by default: He was the only one who knew the words to AC/DC’s “Back in Black.” That band led to another and another. “There was a long list of bands we got to open for, and it was very eye-opening, rubbing elbows with those guys, seeing their tour bus and their entourage, and their amps that worked all the time. That even furthered the dream, seeing people actually doing it for a living. I thought, they’re human beings just like me, they grew up in small towns just like me, why can’t I?” White was also writing more, and had an opportunity to resume his college career at the University of North Alabama. An internship with an adjunct professor/songwriter who was working with music publishing giant EMI led to his own songwriting contract six months later. He was able to make a liv-

Bicentennial Festival Saturday, August 5 Downtown Lawrenceburg’s Historic Square Bicentennial Blowout 5K & Walk Registration 6:30-7:15 a.m. 5K and Walk begins 7:30 a.m. For more information or to preregister, e-mail or call 931-242-5553 Sidewalks Sales & More Lawrenceburg’s Downtown Merchants roll out the red carpet with sidewalk sales & special events beginning at 10 a.m. Merchandise & Food Vendors Open around the Square beginning at 4 p.m. Live Music on the Square Enjoy local artists beginning at 4 p.m. Time capsule opening David Crockett State Park commemorative, 5 p.m. at the center of the Square John Paul White concert Historic Crockett Theatre, 7 p.m.

ing for his young family, but “...I realized that the songs I was writing were not exactly like what everybody else was writing in Nashville. I was a bit of a square peg in a round hole.” EMI sent his songs to offices in Los Angeles and New York. “They really liked what I did,

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See John Paul White in concert August 5 at the historic Crockett Theatre, downtown Lawrenceburg

and I ended up getting a record deal as a solo artist with Capital Records out in L.A. It was a great situation, but then the entire staff got fired.” Not far into the “limbo” that followed, White met Joy Williams at a songwriting event and the Civil Wars partnership resulted. “Suddenly, things started going really well for me,” he said. Their 2011 CD “Barton Hollow” and its title track won popular and critical acclaim. Lawrence Countians recognized the setting of its video as Mt. Zion, a picturesque spot on a creek in southeast Lawrence County. The Civil Wars toured nationally and internationally, and

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for two months performed with Adele, who called them “the BEST live band I have EVER seen.” The New York Daily News wrote of their music, “With care and delicacy, they curate their notes, stitching together a sound that’s sharp, arch and almost achingly fine.” Despite success that included the Grammys and a second CD, the duo split in 2014, citing “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition.” White settled back into life in Florence, Alabama with his wife and four children, but friends soon challenged him to “put his money where his mouth was.” White, with Alabama Shakes keyboardist Ben Tanner and Florence businessman Will Trapp, started Single Lock Records, a label designed to get local talent the audience it deserves. “We really wanted to take advantage of the fact that there was so much great local talent who couldn’t really afford to work with proper producers and make proper records in proper studios,” White said. “We felt that was the major impediment for artists to really make hay, to get that record in their hands and go out and promote and sell it.” The trio have had to look no further than the Shoals area for talented musicians to work with, including Dylan LeBlanc and St. Paul & the Broken Bones. “We really think we’re doing good work,” White said, “putting what we consider to be very good music out into this earth.” White is also putting his own music out there. Lyrics and melodies that eventually became the “Beulah” album came unbidden. “Honestly, I tried to avoid them, but then I realized the only way I was going to get rid of them was if I wrote them down.” The eight songs on the album are hard to classify in any particular genre, said


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to span “plaintive folk balladry, swampy southern rock, lonesome campfire songs and dark acoustic pop.” He’s particularly proud of the video for “What’s So,” which travels from his home in Florence to a dilapidated trailer he once lived in “on the highway in St. Joe” to his parents’ home outside Loretto. His mom and dad, Mac and Mary Blanche, are featured. “It’s basically me, knowing where I came from, and I’ll always be that kid that grew up there. Making the video was a dream come true. I’m glad I was able to do it.” Coming back to play at the Crockett Theatre is another dream. “It’ll be like a homecoming. I’m incredibly excited about it, and I have a feeling I’m going to be nervous about it. “I have to say, it’s an awesome responsibility, being the local boy. Kind of daunting, too, when somebody from back home says, ‘We’re watching you.’ You feel not only proud of that, you feel like ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t let them down.’ It’s a great responsibility that I never took lightly, and I’m very proud to be that guy.” TICKETS for the August 5, 7 p.m. concert may be purchased through www., a link from “Lawrence County Bicentennial” on Facebook, or by calling 931-762-4231. Nancy Brewer is a native of Lawrence County who worked for many years as an editor and writer at the Advocate newspaper. She is currently an assistant to County Executive T.R. Williams.

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Cover Story: Collaborating, Not Competing

7 female entrepreneurs and the metamorphosis of a small town


hen I revisited Mount Pleasant several years ago, a sense of impending change was in the air. Yet, no physical evidence existed. Historic brick buildings, falling into disrepair, lined the streets. Constructed during the first revitalization of the 1900s, “drunk miners who smoked,” to quote a local, may have been responsible for burning the mining town’s previous wooden buildings. “This was a rough and tumble town, a mining town,” Community Development Corporation Director Donna Morency explained of Mount Pleasant’s early settlement days. Fast forward to more recent times when a group of like-minded business people realized, “If we want this town to endure, we have to invest in it,” Morency told us. Formed was the Maury County Investment Group who laid the ground work by purchasing buildings and beginning renovations. Then something started to happen. One after another, people began

16 July 2017

hometown. A unique friendship between seven women, some newbies and some native, has evolved and is accelerating the change. These seven women, who will all be the first to tell you they are not fully responsible for all the progress taking place, certainly are making a difference. Filling in the gaps in this small town, that just a few short years ago appeared to be barely hanging on, is the super set of seven entrepreneurs: Kendra Floyd Nowlin, Vicki Jernigan, Debbie Cooper, Jenna Morgan, Victoria Poindexter, Mitcie Cisco and Jenny Dickson. “These fun, fabulous women

“People are saying, “Mount Pleasant – Hey, it’s the real deal!’” ~ Jenna Morgan

Sarah B. Gilliam

Photos by Sarah B. Gilliam

traveling through, falling in love with “Maury County’s Mayberry.” Even better, they began making Mount Pleasant their home. Today, houses sell before they are on the market or after only one or two days, Morency stated in awe. And housing prices are up. Young families are moving to Mount Pleasant, as well as active retirees interested in being part of the community and middle-agers with the ability to work from home. “They choose Mount Pleasant because they love this community,” Morency, a transplant from Nevada, continued. “It was nice to be able to move to a new town, buy a house, start a business. The investment group wanted that to happen,” Vicki Jernigan, a new store owner, said. The passion of Dr. Ryan B. Jackson, executive “artsministrator” of Mount Pleasant schools is helping change the culture in the small town, as well. The Pre-K-14 school system is the first STEAM campus in the United States, offering science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics focuses. This draws young families and nurtures ready-made citizens who are growing up with a passion for their

Vicki Jernigan, Jernigan’s On Main

Sarah B. Gilliam

By Becky Jane Newbold

Debbie Cooper, Buckhead Coffee

have a passion for this town,” Kendra said. “We have banded together and started a little group. The power of us coming together to plan events and support each other is key.” Kendra was hired by Breckenridge Antique’s Tom Harmon for online work: web design and social media. Soon an exciting, new idea transpired. Breckenridge Antiques is housed in the oldest house in Mount Pleasant. Built in 1815 as a hatter’s shop, the house is listed on the National Historic Registry. Upstairs, with Kendra’s help, a highly successful baby and children’s boutique, Breckenridge Baby, was added to the “fairytale house,” as Kendra described. This summer, a nostalgic candy bar will be added, where customers may be able to fill a bag with nostalgic-style candy. “Everybody loves candy! Everybody in the town is coming together. We all

Jenny Dickson, The Tailored Tumbleweed

Sarah B. Gilliam

want the same thing,” Kendra added to be an entrepreneur. ed. “Before, when I was 15, my dad owned a building down here. Me, A move from Memphis to Lynmy dad and Doc would sell barbenville, then a visit to Mount Pleascue on Saturday mornings.” ant, helped Mitcie Cisco see this But Jenny has self-confessed, was where she wanted to open shopping problems. “I know my Clover Home & Hash. “We just credit card number by heart,” she admitted. So, she turned her obsession into a business. Jenny’s shopping is satisfied and her store, The Tailored Tumbleweed, is full. Also a photographer and a hair stylist, a salon in the back of her shop allows two other women to find employment and fill the space with activity. “It’s so natural for me, I take it for granted,” she commented. Mt. Pleasant Grille has for many years anchored the downtown area Mitcie Cisco, Clover Home & Hash as a solid dining destination. Yet, kinda got pulled in,” she said. “I there have been ups and downs. “The thing about the restaurant love that Mount Pleasant is such a industry, especially on the front major thoroughfare. It’s been hard end, is turnover is high,” explained for people to understand what’s going on here – this is a team effort. Jenna Morgan, cultural developNot just one person spearheading ment leader at Mt. Pleasant Grille. Switching the focus of the orgaeverything.” nization to one that is team-based B&R (born and raised) Jenny has proved successful for the husDickson ALWAYS knew she want- band wife duo of Wilson and Jenna

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gem,” she said. “I love the community, the unison. Everyone being on the same page with things and a lot revolves around the kids,” she added. “They took beat down buildings, and now, because of all the women in shops, you see a street with flowers and store fronts dressed up. It’s amazing!”

Jernigan’s on Main was the maker/picker dream of nurse, Vicki Jernigan, who was weary of the commute to Nashville from Rutherford County. “I love the slower pace. I have a house on Main, so I walk to work. It’s like a dream.” “We felt we were right there at the beginning of it,” she said, commenting that she and Jenny opened stores within a week of each other. “Mount Pleasant has the nostalgia that’s gotten lost in big towns,” Jenna Morgan, left, and Victoria Poindexter, Mt. Pleasant Grille Vicki continued. “Its just such a neat little place, that all my friends want to move here when they visa reinvention,” Jenna continued. Mount Pleasant’s growth, both it,” she added. downtown and in the attraction When Debbie Cooper brought of large industries to the area (like United States Tile Inc. in 2015) is Buckhead Coffee to town, a collecthe result of collaboration by inves- tive sigh of contentment followed. Sandwiches, salads, but most imtors and locals. ““Its been talked about, and its portantly, a nice place for conversabeen put into action. That’s awe- tion over exceptional coffee, Buckhead adds a deeper dimension to some to see,” Jenna remarked. the vibe. “It was such a great opportunity Victoria Poindexter, front of house shift leader, Mt. Pleasant to walk in at the same time othGrille, moved to Tennessee from ers were. Its great to work with Idaho six years ago. In Columbia, like-minded people,” Debbie comshe explained, she heard Mount mented. Pleasant referred to as “Mt. Mis“Its a long process – a lot, a lot ery” along with comments of “don’t of people investing time, money, bother with Mount Pleasant.” “I moved here and have fallen hopes and dreams. It’s a big deal in love with the town. It’s a little for us,” concluded Morency. Sarah B. Gilliam

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Morgan and their employees. “I can’t speak to the past, I’ve just been here two years, but I know a lot people, like Jim Barrier (owner of the Grille), have been striving for

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Brandon Nguyen


iscovering the power of focusing in while expanding out has been both a challenge and a victory for Brandon Nguyen, a rising junior at Nashville’s Big Picture High School. Part of a multi-cultural family – his Dad refugeed from Vietnam and his Mom was born in Canada and lived in England before coming to the U.S. – Brandon made the most of strong home support and unique educational experiences to gain command over his ADHD and build an impressive resume of work/life experience. The process began with a move from public middle school to Saint Henry’s Catholic School, which offered more one-on-one time and opportunities for special tutoring that addressed many of his earlier issues. “I had always been basically bored, easily distracted and hyper in class,” Brandon admits. By DeeGee “I had interviewed for high Lester school at Father Ryan, but my English tutor at Saint Henry, Ms. Rebecca Way, also taught at Big Picture and told my parents about the project-based learning there instead of test-based learning. I had always liked projects.” The Big Picture concept is challenging, requiring students from freshman through senior year to attend classes Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while devoting Tuesday and Thursday to internships. Students must cram into three days each week what other high school students do in five days. Initiative, self-motivation and the development of self-confidence are all necessary to survive this rigorous schedule. Students begin freshman year preparing basic tools – resumes, cover letters, phone scripts, interview scripts, “how to contact” information – before searching for internships. “The first time, you start from scratch,” Brandon explains. “Some students already know people, but I was just calling places. Smaller businesses are often easier; you don’t have to go through multiple departments for approval. The reasons for saying “no” can be your own lack of experience or the fact that you’re a high school student. Some say, ‘we’ll call you, and never do.’ And sometimes, it’s age or safety issues. Time was running out for me, and Mr. (Graham)

Mote finally forced me to call the Parthenon,” he laughs. In a year and a half, Brandon researched and created several, significant, educational tools for the museum, and as a sophomore, his interaction about internships with freshman at the MNPS Career Fair drew both positive responses and a letter of gratitude from one student. His museum projects covered a range of topics: A redesign and updating of the 1897 Tennessee Centennial packet, introductory education sheets for the museum’s pre-Colombian exhibit and the Elgin Marbles controversy, as well as information on the collection process for both artifacts and art. “I really liked working on the Centennial packet; getting to go to the archives and museum to do research, and interviewing David Ewing about the process of building a collection of artifacts. Mr. Ewing’s unrivaled collection of Centennial artifacts is frequently displayed in the Parthenon.” “When I interviewed him, I felt like I was doing ‘big boy’ work. I was extremely naïve, so I wasn’t intimidated, and even took a selfie with him, #chillin’wMrEwing. Now, I would freeze in place, knowing how much he knows.” Brandon admits his second interview on the collecting of art with Mitsi Clendenon “was harder, because I knew what I was doing,” he laughs. “But, Ms. Clendenon was great! I feel like my best interviews happen when I go in and feel comfortable and haven’t psyched myself out. If I don’t feel I’ve put in the work to prepare, or get in my head that it’s a big deal, it’s hard.” He’s often surprised when he takes the first step. “I stood outside Alan LeQuire’s studio (the sculptor of Athena) afraid to go in.” But once inside, the interview soon became conversational, and Brandon settled into the role of interviewer. Brandon discovered good research is the key. “I can’t just go online to find all of my sources without exploring all of the resources from museums and archives to people who know what they’re talking about and even historical markers.” This professional attitude extends to

Courtesy Photo

A Professional Flair how Brandon presents himself in the workplace. “In regular high school, I would not have looked into the building of internships and would have settled with Khaki pants and a button down collar. By the time I got to the Parthenon, I had gained an appreciation for suits and ties! Or sometimes a sweater and tie like Ken Bone (the man in the Presidential debate audience who charmed America),” Brandon laughs. “I started really liking not looking like a slob.” Following a summer that includes hitting historic sites and museums in Peru, Brandon will focus on his final two years of internships before heading off to college with an impressive resume. DeeGee Lester serves as Director of Education at the Parthenon in Nashville and is the author of several books. July 2017


Artist Spotlight

Photos Cari M. Griffith

message a year ago led to coffee with Amy at Crema in Nashville. first met Amy Violette in high Having just gone through the most school youth group. She was challenging time of my life, it was five years older, so our paths hard to leave the house to go meet rarely crossed. Then, a random someone new. One of the most Mon-Sat, beautiful aspects of life 9-5, is we experience definClosed ing moments without Sunday knowing it until later. Meeting Amy was one h Original of those moments. I had no idea that not cancelling that day would allow an opportunity to meet a pivotal person in my life. Amy quickly became an honest friend - brutally, painfully honest 3943 Hwy. 43 N., Ethridge, TN 38456 because life isn’t always pretty, pre-packaged,


or poised. Amy Violette calls herself “The Woman of the West” because of her time spent in Santa Fe, New MexBy Sydney ico, singlePhillips handedly running a ranch-style air bnb just outside the city. Amy is also a businesswoman, a pastor, a writer and an actress. She speaks and acts from depth, knowledge and passion. You’d know Amy if you saw her, because she always wears leather boots and a hat, usually including a feather in there somewhere. Amy’s most prominent business venture is called The Perfect Tote. These bags are custom, 100 perAmy Violette

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Cari M. Griffith

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cent leather, made in the USA, and guaranteed for life. She also has a clutch style and wallet available to order. I personally have The Perfect Tote, and it is every bit as perfect as the name insinuates. Amy answered the following questions over a glass of wine at the rooftop

Cari M. Griffith

Cari M. Griffith

Bringing the Spirit of the Wild West to Nashville

Cari M. Griffith

The Perfect Tote

bar of Nashville’s newest hotel, The Thompson, where she spoke even more of her story about the bags and the woman behind them. What inspired you to start designing bags?

I’ve always loved leather. I’ve always had a saddle with me, since I was a kid. I got my first saddle at seven years old. It’s one of the three things I always keep with me: a Bible, my saddle and my guitar. I’ve also always worn leather boots since I can remember. My very first pair were a size two. Living in Texas, I had horses, and my leather guy, Daniel, would make chaps for me. I’ve known him since 2009. So, when I designed a bag in 2014, he was the first one I called to actually make my design. I had a really fancy Coach bag, and it was pretty and expensive, but it wasn’t practical. I also had

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Valspar Optimus, Aspire, Clark+Kensington and Royal

Cari M. Griffith

Cari M. Griffith

a ratty hemp bag that was practical and durable, but it wasn’t fancy. I needed the Perfect Tote; I wanted beauty and function. I wanted something that could hold my laptop, makeup, chargers, sunglasses and anything else I wanted to throw in there and take along. So I had dimensions, sent them to Daniel, and he said he could make it. I had no idea at the time, but Daniel majored in engineering. There’s a leather chair sitting in his shop with a price tag of $2,000. I told him it was really beautiful. He told me it was a piece he had made for Ralph Lauren himself, for one of the catalogs. Daniel is the most humble guy, so you would never know that kind of thing about him. Tell us a bit about the process that goes into making a bag.

It starts out with the idea, and it takes usually about two days total. They cut the panels out by hand, then they make the side walls. They stain it, hand tool and sew the bag. It’s a huge process, because there’s a drying time for the leather. Then, they put

the initials on the bag. It’s all handmade. No machines touch it. I wanted a bag that’s practical and luxurious, and this bag does that. What other items are available?

Tote. I consider myself an entrepreneur, so I think it’s just being your own champion. Then, finding people to partner with you. There are a lot of people excited about the bag, and Daniel is the right partner. I am excited for the future of the bag and custom leatherworking. I’ve sold most of my bags by being out in the community, and that is very special to me. That is the true art of local shopping and local selling.

The Perfect Clutch. I designed that when I got to Nashville, because I realized a lot of women would go out and throw phones/keys/ cards on a table and lose these items, because they’re not all together. We needed one bag to hold it all. The problem is: All the clutch bags I was seeing were either too big or What are your next steps? too small and not as durable. I would love to get these That will be coming out in bags in retailers locally, and the summer, so they’re avail- I’m in the process of doing able to purchase now. so. I have bags I will sell in stores with the standard logo, What has been your greatest then custom bags are ordered challenge owning your own through my website or me business? personally. My hope for these After awhile, people quit is that they are heirlooms; believing in you. They just they are something you will think that it’s just an idea, have for life and be able to nothing more. However, I pass down. I personally see always believe in myself and every bag that is sent out, and what I do. I love this product, I guarantee the quality for because I made it for myself. I life. carry my tote bag every single Learn more or place an orday, and friends and family der at who have gotten their bags understand its value once they actually have The Perfect

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Ornithology Report

Tornado Birding


any people fantasize about a preColumbian North America where forests stretched unbroken from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. As legend goes, a squirrel could have travelled the length of Tennessee from tree to tree never touching the ground, though it is not exactly clear in this legend how he would have crossed the Tennessee River (twice!). But if you By Bill Pulliam look at the birds native to this land, they tell another story. There are dozen of species that are found only in eastern North America that do not particularly like mature closed canopy forests. Prairie Warblers, Field Sparrows, Indigo Buntings, White-eyed Vireos and many others have called this region home for thousands upon thousands of years, and they are rarely found in the deep woods. A landscape of

mixed habitats, from barrens to dense woods, has been here not just since before Columbus, but before even the Native American peoples arrived. If you think about it, it is easy to understand why this was so. We see lightning-triggered forest fires, windstorms, ice storms, floods and other natural events clear out the woods frequently in our own time, and these things were happening long in the past as well. Large herds of grazing animals such as elk and bison also disturbed and opened the landscape. What I have earlier called the “rural habitat mosaic” is not something humans invented; rather it is a landscape we moved in to and adapted to our own needs. On March 27th of this year, my wife and I saw the creation of this habitat mosaic in action at close range. Just after 6 p.m. on that day, an EF-1 tornado scored a direct hit on our house and property. Shortly before, I had walked back to the house from the pond and said “hi” to our grandmother white oak as I passed. Only a few minutes later,

this 154 year old, 52 inch diameter oak was felled, snapped clean off at the roots. A 101 foot tall tulip poplar, my favorite southern red oak and many other forest giants came down as well, while we cowered in the dining room. In two minutes our landscape was turned on its head. A tornado, of course, has no mind or intent, so it cannot be good or evil. It is just a force of nature. And what it does to the natural landscape is not “good” or “bad.” It is just change. So, to the point, what does this do to and for the birds? Some unfortunates are doubtless killed, victims of flying debris, taking refuge in the wrong tree cavity and other mishaps. But, I suspect this is not very many. Birds are small and well cushioned, and we have not seen any dead birds among the tornado debris as we have been clearing it. The main thing I noticed in the days right after the storm is that the birds were agitated. There was much calling and singing and squabbling. Their feeding and roosting spots had all been jumbled. Brand new piles of brush were everywhere, and the forest canopy had huge gaping holes in it. The sun shined brightly where deep forest shade had prevailed yesterday. Though I can’t say I have hard

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data, there were many things I noticed as general impressions. Most obvious, the brush pile birds were having a field day. Wrens and sparrows seemed thrilled at all the branches and treetops thrown down to their level. The Carolina and Winter Wrens were calling loudly all day, even more excitedly than usual. As I worked on clearing the debris from our yard, I piled branches into “staging piles” to be dealt with later. The White-throated Sparrows were eagerly exploring each of these branches as soon as I tossed it on the pile, scolding me as I stood there just a few feet away. With their little bird-brains, they were simultaneously happy to have the branches and annoyed that there was a person so close, apparently unable to make the logical connection between the two! On the other hand, there were some negatives that were obvious right away as well. Carolina Wrens have been nesting in the same spot on our back porch for at least 15 years. But, that 101 foot tall poplar took a big bite out of our back porch on its way down, which included the Carolina Wren nesting spot. So this year the wrens finally had to move on and look elsewhere. But, what about the big picture? One of the main things a tornado or similar storm does to a forest is to change what is called the structure of the habitat. A mature forest is built in layers. There is a deep shady understory, topped by a generally thin and open shrub layer. Above this the subcanopy trees (such as dogwoods) grow in the shade of the tall, upper canopy layer. The tornado takes much of the upper canopy and drops it on the ground in jumbled heaps. Except for the most intense storms, there are usually some canopy trees left standing, though generally thinned and trimmed a bit. The formerly shady understory is now a sunny tangle of logs and branches that even deer might have trouble navigating. The remaining canopy is spotty and broken, providing rough going for that treehopping squirrel we started with. Over the decades the canopy gradually is restored and the debris piles decay away. During this time, the re-growing woods will see its

Bill PUlliam

birdlife change in a slow succession. Whip-poor-wills and Prairie Warblers move in right away. In a few years Red-headed Woodpeckers will likely find it especially favorable, as will the Blue-winged Warblers. But it might be decades

before the Hooded Warblers and Ovenbirds once again find the shady cool forest floor they prefer and move back in; by then the Prairie Warblers will have moved out to find happier homes elsewhere. Like any natural “disaster,” a tor-

Validity Book Review

Camino Island

Camino Island By John Grisham

Published by: Doubleday


eing a Grisham fan for a long time, I’m particularly fond of the titles that veer from the legal thrillers that made him famous. Books like A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, Playing for Pizza, Calico Joe and Bleachers provide us with the evidence of how proficient and diverse a storyteller Grisham truly is. His new book, Camino Island, again leaves the legal profession behind to tell By James Lund us the story of a bookstore owner, a young writer and the theft of a priceless collection of original manuscripts. The Firestone Library at Princeton University houses one of the world’s great collections of

nado is not really a disaster for a forest ecosystem as a whole. It is just a force of change, hurling diversity and variety into the landscape. Bill Pulliam got started in birdwatching by his junior high science teacher in 1974, and has been

rare books and manuscripts. Because of security and preservation concerns, there is a long list of requirements one must meet in order to view many of the pieces in the collection. The man posing as Professor Neville Manchin just so happened to meet all of the necessary requirements. The robbery begins just after midnight when the thieves create a diversion on the other side of campus, in the form of a fake “active shooter” situation. Three hours later, five original manuscripts written by F. Scott Fitzgerald are quietly carried out of the library. Bruce Cable is a bookstore owner and a playboy on Camino Island in Florida. After years of diligent work, his bookstore has become a popular spot for locals, tourists and well known authors passing through promoting their latest book. Bruce has also become known in the industry as an expert purveyor of rare titles, and on the black market as a man who can quietly move inventory, for a fee of course. Mercer Mann is a writer and an adjunct professor who is about to lose her job. Budget cuts were made and her position fell into the non-essential category. Out of work, stressed and carrying $61,000 in student debt, she is contacted by a stranger wanting to interview her for a job.

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.

The job is simple, move to Florida, befriend a bookstore owner and find out the location of the Fitzgerald manuscripts. The stranger is working on behalf of the insurance company who will soon have to pay on a $25 million policy Princeton University had on the stolen manuscripts. If Mercer agrees, the stranger will pay her $100,000 and will take care of Mercer’s student debt in full. It’s an opportunity she can’t pass up, though she may wish she had. Camino Island is just the type of wellcrafted story we’ve come to expect from Grisham. If you are a fan of a good mystery and are looking for the perfect vacation read for the summer of 2017, this is it. You can find copies of Camino Island 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. July 2017


Cassandra Warner

Jubilation Begins For Summer’s Sweet Sensations In July’s Garden

Cassandra Warner

Mr. Buford B. Creech tends his Cane Creek garden.

Early summer brings peaches and blueberries to Tennessee tables.


ruits of our labor are about to be harvested: Blueberries and blackberries ripe for picking, juicy peaches and strawberries, yummy melons and, of course, the all time favorite, a vine ripened, home grown tomato. Garden parties, celBy Cassandra Warner ebrations


or July garden jubilation seem to be in order. July’s tour with a Veteran, Veteran Gardener

During the past year, the new kids on the block, so to speak, have been making little garden spots all around their little home that sits on the high side of the bank overlooking beautiful Cane Creek. I have seen the garden spots grow, as I pass by daily. I had not met the newcomers, and as I was passing by one morning, I saw the gardener work- July 2017

ing. So, I had to stop and tell him how much I had been admiring his beautiful gardens, and asked if I could take some pictures to share with the readers of Validity. He and the Mrs. were so kind and happy to share some gardening tips. Mr. Buford B. Creech is a World War II Veteran and a veteran gardener. He is a little hard of hearing and Mrs. Joann Creech, his lovely bride of 53 years, helped out as we toured the gardens. She said he is the gardener. “He does it all, and I cook it and put it in the freezer.” He

commented, “Gardening gives me something to do, keeps me moving right along and keeps me out of trouble.” He pointed out a rose bush that his family has taken cuttings from and passed down for 150 years. The bush had been covered with blooms. There weren’t as many in bloom now, but there were lots of buds and still a few of the beautiful roses which were dark pink around the edges and a lighter pink in the center. Certainly the history of the rose and his love for it was in full bloom. He had flowers and veggies growing happily together in various beds in the front, on the side and in back of their home. They were intensely planted, with not a weed in sight. There were green beans, tomatoes, several varieties of squash, turnips, cucumbers and more. As my tour continued, we walked down to the most amazing garden area on the bank of the creek with more tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, greens, cabbage and squash. Then, on the steep slope behind the house, below a deck that descends down to the creek were all kinds of flowers and more squash. What a beautiful sight! “Did you go down that slope planting all that?” I asked. “No, I threw the seed down from the top side,” he replied. I was amazed. As we meandered around the creek level garden, I noticed immediately that there were no weeds and no grass. I was thinking, how does an 89 year old World War II veteran accomplish such a large garden!? “Do you weed all this?” He explained, he rises at 4 a.m. to get out early when it’s cool and with his trusty hoe goes to work. All I could say was, “WOW!”

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Joann Creech outside their Cane Creek home.

Cassandra Warner

manure to fertilize, as it seems to keep bugs at bay better than other manures. Joann was telling me that Buford’s profession had been a plumber after the service. He said he would come home after plumbing and work in the garden. Sometimes, having to use the lights from the lawn mower. (I can use that trick, well, until Tom catches me.) Joann said Buford gave away more than a thousand bags of food to many of his elderly customers at the time who had little to eat. As I was departing, I was given a lovely bag of Zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers and

peppers. Joann was returning to the kitchen to put green beans in the freezer, which I had interrupted. They were so gracious, it was a wonderful tour. I hope you enjoy the pictures of my tour with the Veteran, veteran gardener. Maintenance

Take care not to over-water cantaloupe and watermelons. As they near maturity, too much water may reduce sweetness and flavor. You can also pinch off blossoms that develop, which may not have time to mature into ripe fruit before fall frost, to speed ripening of the remaining melons. Turn under old pea vines as they are a good source of nitrogen. Wait a few weeks to let plants break down in the soil, then plant a cover crop of winter rye. Winter rye will absorb some of the nitrogen released by the decayed pea plants. Next spring when the winter rye is turned under, it will release the nitrogen, so newly planted crops will be nourished. This month is usually HOT, HOT summer sun and less rain. It is important to be sure our plants get enough


One In Messiah COngregatIOn


Since he had so many different squash varieties,I presumed problems with squash bugs. He stated, “No bugs, just chipmunks eating them.” Well, that’s one critter I have not had any problems with, at least that I knew about. So, I still think they are cute but, the Veteran gardener, not so much! He also has a ground hog eating his fill, and is not happy with him. One of Buford’s best gardening tips is when he plants his tomatoes, he puts a little Epsom salt around them, and if he sees any leaves turning yellow on a plant, he sprinkles a little Epsom salt around it. He also prefers to use chicken

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Cassandra Warner

Plant successions of salad crops for continuous harvesting throughout the summer. Sow seeds for cool season crops directly into the garden by mid-July. For a fall harvest of spinach you may need to shade seedlings at least

Cassandra Warner

water. If watering is required, water deeply at the base of the plant, let the soil dry out between watering and water either early in the morning or late in the day to reduce water loss from evaporation. Be sure strawberries get water once a week if rain is insufficient. Fertilize strawberries with fish emulsion, compost tea or complete fertilizer (10-10-10) using two pounds per 100 foot row. Do not over fertilize them. Prune blackberries after their harvest is over. You can tip back the vigorous new growth 2-3 times for more fruit production and remove dying canes. Patrol for the bad bugs! Be on the look-out for horn worms on tomatoes, the striped cucumber beetles, squash bugs, white flies and Japanese beetles. If you find them, take appropriate measures to get rid of them. For Japanese beetles, knock them off in a bucket of soapy water, or spray the plant they are eating with Neem oil. For tomato hornworm, use diatomaceous earth, thuricide (BT) or try sprinkling plants with self-rising flour. For white flies, use insecticidal soap. For striped cucumber beetles, spray plants with Neem oil. Squash bugssquash them and their eggs. Eggs will usually be on the underside of leaves, so you have to look under every leaf, of course! Cut off the seed heads of garlic and onions. This will signal them to put their energy into the bulbs. Those pretty, flowering heads look nice in flower arrangements or in your salad. As always, keep adding to the compost and keep turning it.

Buford Creech, WWII veteran and veteran gardener.

through mid-summer and be sure to give them plenty of water. Spinach needs 30-45 days from sowing to harvest, depending on variety, so keep planting into early fall. Melody, Tyee and Indian Summer are good varieties for late Summer and fall planting. Kale planted now will be ready for harvest this fall, but if weather is hot, shade for seedlings may be necessary. Mulching with straw will also help retain moisture. For a fall harvest, sow more green beans and peas by the first part to the middle of July. By sowing short rooted varieties of carrots such as Little Finger, Gold Nuggets, Sweet and Short and Tiny Sweet in raised beds or containers, it will be possible to get a crop by fall. Harvest

Harvest corn just before cooking, it will be the sweetest and tenderest. Cut herbs for drying and to keep them bushy. Harvest leaf lettuce by cutting the outer leaves but the stalk and crown should remain to promote more leaf production. When cutting cabbage heads, leave some of the large outer leaves and the stem, and they will then produce cute, baby cabbage heads. Harvest garlic once leaves begin

to brown, but while it still has 4-5 green leaves. Pick green beans before the pods begin to bulge. Harvest pickling cucumbers when they are 2-6 inches. New potatoes. Squash should be picked when it is young and tender and regular harvesting will keep the plant producing. Harvest peppers as needed, as they will stay crisper on the plant than in the refrigerator. Pick okra pods when young and tender about three inches long. Harvesting And Curing Onions

kills the root system. If you can, avoid pulling onions you want to store after rainy weather to limit the moisture in them so they will dry and cure better. After onions have dried in the sun for a day or so, bring them in and spread them out in any warm, airy spot out of the sun. Turn them a few times to promote even drying. If you want, you can trim the leaves before drying or leave them on while they dry. If you do trim them first, don’t cut any closer than one inch from the bulb. Don’t crowd the onions during drying, they need room to breathe. They are ready to store when the skins rattle and the roots are wiry and dry. You don’t want any wet spots when you put them in storage, so cure them really well. The longer you cure them, the better they will keep. Hope your July garden is filled with all the sweet sensations of summer and a time of jubilation is had by all! Have a happy and memorable 4th of July!

Harvest onions anytime. They can be eaten at any stage. You can tell when onions have stopped growing. The leaves will lose color, weaken at the bulb and flop over. If you want to store your onions, let most of the tops fall over by themselves (about 80-90 percent of them), then bend the rest of them over. Once they are down, leave the bulbs in the ground another ten days to two weeks to fully mature. Originally from Texas, Cassandra Don’t leave any longer after the tops Warner is a transplant to the die, because they become open to garden of Tennessee. Gardening organisms that could cause them to has been one of her passions for forty years. “Gardening connects rot in storage. Pick a sunny day to pull onions, you to the miracle of life and prothen let them sit in the sun for an- vides healthy exercise and stress other day or two to dry. The drying relief.” July 2017 27

One Lawyer’s Opinion


Lawyer Fees

hen I first moved to Hohenwald and started practicing, one of my first visitors was Dennis Gowder. He was the soil conservation agent and president of the local Big Orange Club. He asked me for a $100 contribution toward establishing a school of veterinary medicine at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. I responded that I went to Sewanee and Va n d e r b i l t , both of which expected me to contribute By Landis to their alumTurner ni funds every year. I had no connection with UT and saw no reason to give money there because, they had the whole Tennessee legislature at their beckoning call all the time. Dennis said he agreed with all that, but I might want to consider how I would do if I had no Big Or-

ange clients. I asked him how to fill out the check. I learned quickly, that to be successful in Lewis County, a lawyer had to get along with two groups, Big Orange and the Church of Christ.

Q. What did you charge for legal service when you were practicing, and what do you say when people complain about the cost of your work? KFJ, Waynesboro. A. When working on a contingent fee, I charged one third of the recovery and nothing if no recovery was made. On eminent domain or condemnation cases, the fee was 40 percent of what was recovered on the amount over and above the amount offered for the property before I was retained. Or, if the client requested, I would charge a third of the full recovery. No one ever asked for the alternate. Institutional clients such as local governments, banks and other corporations were charged an hourly rate of $250 per hour. I represented the City of Hohenwald and Lewis County and sometimes Hickman, Wayne and Perry Counties. I charged them a annual retainer which covered ordinary business such as correspondence and brief office visits. For items like lawsuits which required more work, I charged extra. I discounted bills to local governments Hickman cOUnTY FaRm BUREaU because the fees were being Alan Potts • Agency Manager paid by the public. I also made no charge for church 825 Hwy 100 • Centerville, TN 37033 Phone: (931) 729-2292 deeds. Fax: (931) 729-9921 The mayors of Perry and Wayne County asked me LEWiS cOUnTY to be their county attorBud Malone • Agency MAnAger ney, but their county comBlake Warren, Agent missions met at the same 483 E. Main Street, Hohenwald, TN 38462 day and time as Lewis, so I Phone: (931) 796-5881 turned them down. Fax: (931) 796-1477 Confronted with a complaint about my fees, I said Claims: 1-800-836-6327 they were in line with what

f 28 July 2017

other lawyers in the area charged for the same or similar work. When a prospective client said another lawyer would charge less, I said one gets what he pays for and, “I try to be the best lawyer I can, not the cheapest.” I know such a response was nearly arrogant, but I said it because I had more business than I could handle. Within two weeks after I started, I got behind and never caught up. As I said, I tried to set my fees in line with what other experienced lawyers in the area would expect. As Abraham Lincoln said, “A lawyer’s stock in trade is his time and advice.” When I started my practice in Hohenwald, in this area the fee was usually set at $25 per hour. Lawyers around here were lucky, because we were charging the same amount as what was charged in big cities while our overhead was much lower. My favorite story about fees was when I sent a bill to a client for a case I was handling for him on an hourly basis. My charge was $3,000. A couple of days after my secretary mailed the bill, the client came in saying, “What are you doing, trying to screw me?” I responded that the case had taken a lot of time and work, and my charge was reasonable. Any other lawyer in the area would say the same. He said, “Well, you lawyers always stick together no matter what. It’s just a conspiracy to mess with the people.” He asked if I had his file handy. I did, so at his request we went through the file, which was quite thick. As I called his attention to each item of work, he said I should put down a charge for each item. For instance, $500 for each deposition and $25 for each letter. When we finished we had a total of $2,850. He said he would pay that and he did and went away happy feeling like he had won an important concession. I was happy, be-

cause the charge was fair as was my original bill of $3,000. If I had been arrogant and insisted he pay the $3,000, he would never have retained me again. As it was, I had a good client who always had a case going on for the rest of his life. By the way, this client knew he was a terrible witness and avoided going to court whenever he could. Even when he was telling God’s truth, he sounded to a judge or jury like he was lying. I finally told him that it was hard to win a case when one is representing The Invisible Man. So he started sending his daughter to court for him. Her name was Patsy. She worked for him and knew everything about his business. He owned and ran a cattle auction barn. The daughter was the best witness I ever saw on the stand. She was a lawyer’s dream and did what we told her every time. She listened carefully to the other lawyer’s questions, took her time and then answered truthfully but as briefly as she could. Then she would sit there quietly and wait for the next question. One never gets into trouble by saying too little. She never argued with an attorney, because he was in court every day and she wasn’t. On one occasion, I was trying a case for them in Nashville. The judge was the Honorable Joe Loser, who became dean of the Nashville School of Law after he retired from the bench. Patsy was my only witness and she was supurb. The judge listened to our closing arguments and then said, “I agree with Mr. Turner.” Then he got up, walked out and returned to his chambers. The judge was also a man of few words. 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.

The Sea of Human Tragedy


he dining room in the physical therapy rehabilitation facility was filled with people. At least one person at each table was in a wheelchair. I was one of them. Recovering from knee surgery. Many of the patients had visitors. The situation was By Charles E. nothing out of Newbold, Jr the ordinary. I, also, had a visitor that evening. We were discussing, of all things, hell. I had been thinking about that subject for sometime lately, wondering who goes there. Increasing numbers of well-grounded Christian leaders are re-examining what the scriptures actually say about hell. I have no interest arguing the issue of hell here. Only this: As I was talking to my guest, I suddenly saw in the spirit a sea of people before me beyond those in that dining room. Their countenance gave meaning to the title, The Living Dead. They were alive, yet dead. Their faces were ashen gray. They were lost, without hope, despaired, depressed, diseased, crippled, lonely and sad with no one to comfort them or to offer any hope for a future. They were spiritually dead. I was staring in the face of the human tragedy. With intense fervor, I said to my visitor, “There is no life at all without Jesus.” This throng of people I envisioned had lived their entire lives without Jesus. They had no knowledge of God. It wasn’t their physical condition that caused them to look that way. Many precious saints are afflicted physically. It was their spiritual condition. They were people with a spirit that had not been quickened to eternal life within them. It occurred to me that the mass of people without the eternal life of God within them was doomed to perish. I don’t know about hell, but I am rather certain they were perish-

ing. It broke my heart to see it. I now find myself wanting to plead with people. “Please don’t try to live your life without the eternal life that only Jesus can give you. Please!” Your life may seem rather good to you now in your youth or active adulthood. You may be enjoying a comfortable living, climbing your career ladder, running with fun people, off pursuing your pleasures in life; but trust me. It is all so very, very temporal and superficial. It will come to an end and the end of it without Jesus is not pretty. It is very sad and lonely indeed. It is not for me to judge who goes to heaven and who does not. That isn’t even the question here. Life is the real issue in question here. Whose life are you living? Are you trying to live your own life and maybe, once in a while, tuck Jesus into it? Or, are you living out of the power of the eternal life within you—Jesus? Do you see the difference? Life without Jesus is no life at all. IT HAS NO FUTURE. I believe Jesus is standing at the door of your heart calling, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20. I beg of you to get on your knees and pray. Stay there until you break through, knowing deep within your spirit that the Lord of the universe who loves you with unabated love has apprehended you and given you eternal life—His life. Without Him, we are just another perishing soul in the sea of human tragedy.


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. July 2017


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Unconscionable Cogitation

In Other Words

hummingbird is stressed to the max. About eight or so are inhabitants at our ridgetop property. The daily territorial harassing, fighting, chasing and chaos leaves us wondering how e are angry, beautiful, fat, ornery, artistic, selfish, fanci- they survive at all. Two feeders are refreshed nearly everyday, and they ful, sad, carefree, hairy, dumb, violent, confident, happy, need all that to supply the hyperactive metabolism. It’s crazy, they fight all day for the right to drink some sugar water. peaceful, judgmental, fit, hyper, funny, dramatic, intelMales chasing males, females chasing females, females chasing males, but ligent, self-centered, lazy, addicted, strong, slave or free, afraid, tolerant, opportunistic, generous and so on. We gotta lucky ticket rarely do we witness males chasing females, at least off the feeder. Males chase the females for the other, obvious, amorous intention. And that or don’t gotta lucky ticket, cursed or blessed. Moreover, I am my father’s and mother’s son. Take a deeper look at in-flight, courting, aerial display is fantastic to observe. The amount of energy required for these creatures to procreate and seyour own parents, you’ll know more of who you are, cure their turf is mind boggling. if you care. In other words: Expend all energy necessary to defend the home land. In other words: Humans,


Fruit juice is sweet and yummy but sticky when dry. Granulated sugar is not sticky until moisture is present, then drys. And to clean the sticky, add water again to dissolve the sticky. Water makes it juicy, keeps it not sticky and cleans it up if it gets sticky. By Shane Newbold Plants require water as does the animal kingdom for living and hygiene. Water cleans the dirt and even washes away the old man in baptism. And the old man is usually crusty, foul, full of sin and needs to be cleansed. With regard to the spiritual, anyway. Well, yeah, some men are crusty and foul and just need a bath. Most docs recommend taking your meds with water. Yours truly always feels better in a boat, creek stomping, even standing under the shower head. In other words: Just add water. Consider the hummer. A remarkable quirk from the creator. Wing beats at nearly 80 per second and heart rate stoking 1,260 per minute, the diminutive

Upon further contemplation, the contemplation previously contemplated may no longer remain relevant to future contemplation, deeming the process of contemplation pointless. Unless, previous contemplation provokes a contemplated revision of present contemplation, thereby affecting tomorrow’s contemplation, justifying the process of contemplation. In other words: Overthinking may be futile. Or not.


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