Look Back: Rev. Roberson and his one-of-a-kind cow

This month we are looking at some newspaper clippings that have been donated to the Historical Society.

You may have an old shoebox at home where you stick letters, post cards, birthday cards, and newspaper articles that you want to save or just can’t bring yourself to toss into the trash.

With time these get faded and brittle, but you hold on to them for the memories associated with them.

Unfortunately, when you pass on to “the great reward” that old shoebox will still be stuck away in the closet or chest of drawers for your family to sort through.

Reprinted with permission of The Tennessean
This is the photo that ran with a 1956 article in The Tennessean about Rev. Odell Franklin Roberson of Hartsville and his amazing cow, Mary.

That is where the Historical Society comes in.

We will get a phone call or someone will run into one of us at the grocery store and say, “I’ve got this box of old letters, obituaries, and stuff that my grandmother kept… You wouldn’t want it for the archives, would you?”

The answer is, “Of course!”

That is what the archives do – we preserve the past for the future.

We have lots of letters, old photos, and documents that have been given to us – and, lots of yellowed newspaper clippings.

It is amazing what we discover from the past because someone thought to grab a pair of scissors and cut out an article from the newspaper because it mentioned Hartsville or Trousdale County.

This week we meet a man and his cow!

In June of 1956, The Tennessean ran an article on Reverend Odell Franklin Roberson and his cow “Mary.”

The cow, it seems, was newsworthy!

We give you the article:

“Hartsville, Tenn. – Folks down around Hartsville are buzzing about the Rev. O.F. Roberson’s seeing eye cow, Mary.

Roberson, who is in his 70’s, is losing his eyesight, and can’t get around so well any more. He usually shuffles along with the aid of crutches or canes.

But, the other day, when he was having trouble getting up a small slope behind his house, Mary took it upon herself to give him a few helpful nudges.

The result was a push and pull combination that allows the retired minister to move about with considerably more ease than he has enjoyed in several years.

With the canes in front for him to lean on, and Mary behind pushing away, they go around the yard. When he stops, Mary stops; when he starts walking, Mary starts pushing.

“It’s quite a sight to see and nobody knows why the cow decided to help,” said Jesse McMurry, Hartsville postmaster. “But, Reverend Roberson used to be so active, as a carpenter, undertaker, and preacher, that this has been a blessing to him.”

Mary has proved to be pretty good at rescue work, too. When her owner fell recently, he was unable to get up unassisted.

So, Mary-on-the-spot simply nosed him over to a small tree where he could reach a branch and pull himself upright.

Until Mary began her unusual chores, Roberson’s wife, Bertha, had tried to help her husband around. However, she had her own work to do, and was unable to spend all of her time with her husband.

“That cow is really remarkable.” McMurry said.

The rest of Hartsville agrees.”

This newspaper article was picked up by other newspapers and it traveled across the whole United States!

The Vidette also ran an article on Rev. Roberson and his amazing cow.

And it was featured in a syndicated cartoon column that ran in several newspapers, similar to “Ripley’s Believe it or Not!”

Rev. Roberson lived just a few more years after the article was written, passing away in 1960. He is buried in the old Hager Cemetery. His wife Bertha passed away in 1979 and is buried alongside her husband.

We don’t know what happened to Mary, but not many cows get written up in the newspaper! We hope she lived out her remaining years chewing her cud, peacefully and contentedly.

And if you have a box of old clippings that you don’t know what to do with, pass them along to the Historical Society. We would be delighted to have them!

Jack McCall: The lasting stink of a skunk

I suppose, of all the smells of country living, the smell of skunks or hogs is the most odoriferous (I was going to write odorous, but I discovered the word “odoriferous” when I looked it up in Webster’s Dictionary.)

Of course, the smell of rotten eggs should be right up there with skunks and hogs, but the smell of rotten eggs just doesn’t have the staying-around power of the other two. I have been hit with a rotten in the middle of a corncob battle, I have been sprayed in the face by a skunk, and I have worked around hogs most of my life, so I know of what I am writing.

Across the Miles
Jack McCall

Several years ago there was a rabies epidemic among the Middle Tennessee skunk population. You might remember that summer. Skunks seemed to be everywhere. I would guess, over the period of a week or two, I saw at least a dozen or more dead skunks on the highways and country roads in various places. The entire skunk population was very active. It was most unusual.

I have a long-time friend named Mack Jordon who lives in Chapel Hill. We talk on the phone pretty regularly. In the latter part of that same summer, the subject of skunks came up in one of our conversations.  He informed me that one of his neighbors had killed over 20 skunks in a very short period of time. It seems as though skunks were acting strangely all over the Middle Tennessee area.

Mack retired from working for the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation several years ago. But after his retirement, he continued to attend the Annual Tennessee Farm Bureau Convention held in Nashville each year. In early December following the afore-mentioned summer, he was again in Nashville attending the annual convention.

At the convention Mack noticed that his friends and acquaintances were giving him funny looks whenever they approached him to exchange pleasantries. It became so obvious that he asked an old friend if there was something wrong with him. The friend, who was a true friend, said, “Yes, Mack, you smell like a skunk!”

That set into motion a thorough investigation. Over the next few days, Mack found out not only did his clothes smell like a skunk, but everything in his house also smelled like a skunk.

Come to find out, several weeks earlier, one of those skunks his neighbor shot had crawled up under Mack’s house and died.  Slowly, but surely, and ever so subtly, that skunk smell had infiltrated his entire house. Anything that was permeable had to go. All his family’s clothes had to be sent to the dry cleaners for special cleaning, the same for all the drapes. All the carpet had to be replaced. All the cloth furniture had to be removed and required special fumigation. His wife even took advantage of the opportunity and changed out the kitchen cabinets.

Fortunately for Mack, his homeowners’ insurance covered the cost of all the damages (except for the kitchen cabinets). Mack came away from the experience with a new respect for skunk power.

When I was a boy I was sprayed directly in the face by a baby skunk. Don’t let the word “baby” fool you. Those little buggers come into this world loaded for bear. At point-blank range, skunk spray does not smell like skunk. It is pure ammonia. It is way beyond nauseating. And it is blinding to the eyes. My hair turned green.

On the day that skunk sprayed me, I was wearing an orange, short-sleeve shirt handed down from my brother Tom. Of course, those were the days when you didn’t throw anything away.

After washing me in a Purex bleach bath, my mother ran that orange shirt through the washing machine a time or two. Both my younger brothers eventually wore that shirt. But my mother testified that every time she ironed that shirt in the ensuing years, she got a whiff of skunk smell. Now that’s staying power.

Jim Satterfield Middle School recognizes honor roll students

Jim Satterfield Middle School wishes to recognize the following students for making the Principal’s List and Honor Roll for the first nine weeks of the 2018-19 school year.


8th Grade: Elizabeth Harris, Trinity Hayes, Autumn Parrish

7th Grade: Erin Chen

6th Grade: Matthew Baker, Marley Dalton, Hana Tucker, Owen Zarichansky


8th Grade: Justin Burnley, Elizabeth Crabtree, Hannah Griffy, Victor Hamilton, Levi Johnson, John Meininger-Scott, Isaiah Towns, Warren Wagener, Miriam Zarichansky

7th Grade: Rob Atwood, Zion Badru, Kallie Jo Cornwell, Parker Day, Brooke Dismang, Mason Eden, Julia Jones, Avery McEvoy, Madison Rolin, Alexander Smitley, Robert Wilson

6th Grade: Krysten Adcock, Ethan Badru, Ayden Beal, Addie Bennett, Kylie Carman, Beryl Chen, Ty Cothron, Elizabeth Denning, Kayleigh Dunn, Abby Elmore, Caiden Gregory, Korlynn Harper, Emma Grace Holder, Mary Linville, AnnaBelle Miller, Malia Morgan, Kyson Noble, Reagan Petty, Clay Sanders, Alexis Smitley, Niera Woodmore

Tri-County Electric sends hurricane relief to Georgia

In the early morning hours of Friday, Oct. 12, eight Tri-County Electric linemen, two bucket trucks and two digger trucks headed to assist Diverse Power, a member-owned electric cooperative headquartered in LaGrange, Ga., in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.

Submitted photo

Diverse Power provides reliable electric energy-related services to the Georgia counties – Troup, Harris, Heard, Meriwether, Muscogee, Coweta, Quitman, Randolph, Clay, Calhoun and parts of Early, Stewart, Terrell, as well as Chambers County, Ala., all located southwest of Atlanta. The linemen providing assistance are: Daniel Cherry, Casey Cole, Holden Davis, Mark Geralds, Wes Hancock, Holden Pitts, Tucker Scroggy and Chris Thomason.

According to the NRECA (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association), “Hurricane Michael left a significant path of damage across co-op service territories in the southeast. Current outage numbers for electric co-ops show more than 117,000 outages in Florida, 27,000 outages in Alabama, 177,000 in Georgia, 13,000 in South Carolina, and 67,000 in North Carolina.” NRECA also reports that “this will be a long-duration assessment and restoration event. It could take weeks – not days – to restore power in some of the hardest hit areas.”

As with previous hurricanes, Tri-County Electric also released its Seelbach contract crews to assist in debris removal in affected areas.

“I am proud that, once again, Tri-County Electric linemen volunteered to go into areas devastated by storms to help sister cooperatives restore power to their member-owners. That is what co-ops, and our employees, do,” said Paul Thompson, Executive V.P. & General Manager of Tri-County.

IMPACThought: God remains with us in times of trouble

Our lives are filled with hardship and difficulties that effect our emotions and wellbeing. Whether it is the death of a loved one, a bad medical diagnosis, a natural disaster or financial loss, we experience a myriad of difficulties that impact our mental health, our bodies and our spirits. Life is hard. Crisis comes unannounced, in the blink of an eye.

I help hurting people every week when tragedy has struck their life. The news is always difficult to handle. Crisis situations leave people paralyzed with grief, anger and confusion. Their world stands still. Where do they go from here? How could this possibly happen? This doesn’t make any sense! Why, why, why…? Then there are thoughts that they cannot face the world with this new reality. How can you mend a broken heart?

Individuals in crisis situations need intervention. Caregivers often hear people say, “I’m good,” when the truth is, they are not good. They are in shock, denial and numb. Their eyes are in tunnel vision, focusing only on the news that will forever change their lives. Immediate care is required to insure the victim gets the basic needs of food, rest and support.

Submitted photo
Jon Shonebarger

It is a blessing to receive care from good friends and family. Yet, there are those amongst us in our community who have no support base or even those who care. It must be a priority of our churches, schools and neighborhoods to identify those needing help. We must be the Good Samaritans who take the time to kneel beside the fallen, to bind up their wounds and carry them to a safe place. Old-fashioned compassion is the need of our day. There is within a block of us someone who needs help. We must not allow anyone to fall through the cracks. We must do better. We must be vigilant and we must not turn a blind eye or assume all is well.

Suicide awareness is also a priority. Dark places in the recess of the mind coupled with depression can overtake people. Hopelessness and loneliness are devastating feelings. The thoughts of ending the pain capture the mind and in a moment of desperation, people take their lives. Suicide is NOT the solution! There will be better days. There is light at the end of the darkness. There are options. Crisis counselors and caregivers can guide the hurting to clear paths for hope and healing. We must come beside that broken soul and carry them to a better tomorrow.

I am strengthened by Psalm 121:1-3, where the psalmist confidently declares,
”I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.”

What a comfort to know the Lord cares for all of us, every moment of everyday. God is not too busy; His presence comforts; His strength will sustain in our time of complete weakness. God is ever present in times of trouble. He is The Answer! We need to look up and place our hope in Jesus Christ, the Lord. Jesus is the Bridge to carry us over turbulent waters!

With the holidays quickly approaching, let us be mindful of those who have recently lost a loved one. Holidays are difficult periods for those who have lost a loved one. We need to come beside these hurting folks and be a friend. Our presence is important to share. Loneliness is a heartbreaker. Invite them to the holiday meal; visit in their home; take them shopping. We can make a tremendous difference in their struggles day to day.

Have a blessed week and remember, God loves YOU!

Lebanon to host three benefit turkey shoots

Three benefit Turkey Shoots are planned in Lebanon with proceeds to go toward historic preservation projects. The Turkey Shoots will be held Oct. 20, Nov. 3 and Nov. 10.

Each will be held at the Wilson County fairgrounds (Peyton Rd. entrance). The benefit begins at 8 a.m. and runs through about noon on all three days. The event is sponsored by the General Robert H. Hatton Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans in Lebanon.

“We’re looking forward to putting on a great Turkey Shoot with plenty of prizes for everyone,” said Reed Working, Commander of the Hatton Camp. “We’re anticipating a good event with lots of good natured competition. This is our fifth year and we have good crowd at every event. We’ll have turkeys, country hams and some big packs of thick sliced bacon. It’s really a lot of fun. It’s a great event to bring your kids or grandkids to; it’s a real family oriented event. If you’ve never been to a turkey shoot, you don’t know what you’re missing.”

Everyone is invited. Participants may bring their own shotgun, or loaner guns will be provided. All ammo is furnished. Any shotgun with a 36-inch or less barrel is allowed.

All proceeds go toward history preservation projects such as cemetery restoration, monument maintenance and preservation, flag preservation and Hartsville battlefield interpretation, among others. The Sons of Confederate Veterans is not associated with any other organization and its sole purpose is to perpetuate the true history of the South through preserving and honoring Southern culture and heritage.

Guest View: Anti-big business campaign actually hurts workers

When Amazon announced recently that it would pay all of its U.S. employees a minimum of $15 an hour – more than double the minimum wage – CEO Jeff Bezos called on “other large employers to join us.” No company has risen to the challenge yet, but you can be sure some of them are talking about it. In addition to raising the pay of its own workers, including those who only work part time or seasonally, Amazon vowed to “work with policymakers in Washington, D.C. to advocate for a higher federal minimum wage.”

Much of the commentary claimed Amazon was forced to do this by political pressure or the tight labor market. What has been missing from the discussion is that it is easier for Amazon and other large corporations to raise wages, simply because these companies are more productive.

Big businesses on average pay significantly more than small businesses, including in the retail sector. For example, Walmart pays an average of 12.5 percent more than mom-and-pop retailers.

Indeed, one study, by Brianna Cardiff-Hicks, Francine Lafontaine and Kathryn Shaw, found that “working in a store with 500+ employees pays 26 percent more for high-school educated and 36 percent more for those with some college education (including those with a college degree or more), relative to working in a store with less than 10 employees.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that establishments with more than 500 workers provided 74 percent more in total compensation to their workers than did establishments with less than 100 workers. This is a big reason small businesses are more likely to employ low-wage workers. The Urban Institute found that “although 20 percent of all workers are employed in firms with fewer than 10 workers, such firms employ 42 percent of low-wage workers.”

Big corporations like Amazon not only pay their workers more; on average they also provide much better benefits. Workers in these companies receive 85 percent more supplemental pay (e.g., overtime and bonuses), 2.5 times more paid leave and insurance, and 3.9 times more in retirement benefits than workers in businesses with fewer than 100 workers.

But today’s critics of big business argue that the reason large companies like Amazon can pay their workers more is that they have market power and can use it to charge higher prices.

A few corporations in some industries now and then do enjoy pricing power. But as a rule, the companies’ productivity is what explains their advantage.

One older study found that the four largest companies in any industry enjoyed labor productivity rates 37 percent higher than the remainder of the industry. They passed on some of the gains to their workers, with average wages 15 percent higher than in the rest of the industry, and 17.2 percent more for front-line production workers. Big firms are more productive because they invest more in machinery and software, and they get more for those investments than do small businesses.

Despite the advantages to employees from working at large companies, the new antitrust school on the left, led by thinkers like Lina Khan and Tim Wu, claims, on the basis of a small number of studies, that the domination of a few mostly rural markets by a few corporations means that workers have less bargaining power with employers. The government should use the sledgehammer of antitrust to break a few big employers into lots of small employers and – presto – workers can demand higher wages.

In the real world, labor markets do not work like this. If they did, employees at mom-and-pop restaurants and corner grocery stores would be able to demand better wages and benefits than those at Facebook or Boeing. The opposite is the case.

Instead of trying to raise wages by the dubious and roundabout technique of antitrust, why not just raise wages directly?

Requiring all businesses, regardless of size, to pay a higher statutory minimum wage would have two salutary effects. First, it would help level the playing field, so that small firms can less easily compete unfairly against large companies that pay their workers a more decent wage.

Second, it would mean higher productivity, as more employers realize they can no longer compete on the basis of low wages. Some companies – disproportionately large, well-capitalized ones – will adjust to a higher statutory minimum wage by automation. A very few might offshore production, but that is not an option for the majority of U.S. low-wage service businesses, which have local labor forces and markets.

Will the combination of a higher minimum wage and more automation lead to mass unemployment? It never has in the past.

All historical episodes of mass unemployment, including the Great Recession, have been caused by financial crises, not by technological innovation or minimum-wage laws. Industries that increase their productivity by automation also lower prices, enabling consumers to spend more on new sectors generating new jobs to absorb workers shed by automated sectors.

Undoubtedly, a higher minimum wage will mean that some small firms whose business model is based on cheap labor will go out of business. Good riddance. Their assets and employees can be absorbed by more productive firms.

A national minimum wage will mean higher incomes for millions of workers, and would boost productivity and GDP. If progressives really care about low-wage workers, they should abandon their battle against big companies and push Congress to pass a higher national minimum wage that applies to all employers.

Robert D. Atkinson is president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a research group, and co-author of “Big Is Beautiful: Debunking the Myth of Small Business.” Michael Lind is a visiting professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. He is co-author of “Big Is Beautiful: Debunking the Myth of Small Business.”

Guest View: Make conservation a Tennessee campaign issue

The race for governor is on. Both Karl Dean and Bill Lee are crisscrossing the state talking about the many challenges facing Tennessee and the opportunities to make the state a better place to live.

However, one of the biggest issues affecting how Tennesseans live, work and play — particularly those in the state’s beautiful rural areas — is rarely mentioned. Tennessee’s wildlife and wild places.

Our great outdoors directly supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state. Outdoor recreation in Tennessee generates an estimated $21.6 billion in consumer spending every year. Even the most remote counties in the state see a $1 million tourism economic impact.

This economic activity is driven by Tennessee’s incredible natural resources: our wildlife, tens of thousands of miles of streams, hundreds of thousands of acres of lakes and reservoirs, low-lying wetlands, and rugged mountains.

Beyond the money, countless Tennesseans personally value these resources. It’s what carries our hunting and fishing traditions from one generation to the next. It’s what makes our weekend adventures in the wild. Even if you rarely go outside, wildlife and other natural resources impact the air you breathe and the water you drink.

Despite all this, the candidates for governor rarely address how they will support conservation of wildlife and the great outdoors in Tennessee. These resources aren’t here by accident. It took thousands of conservationists decades of work to restore Tennessee to the state we enjoy today. If it’s not a priority, we could lose it again.

Tennessee Wildlife Federation was founded by people with diverse interests — from hunters to outdoors writers. But they came together around a single idea: wildlife and wild places should be conserved for themselves and the next generation.

We must continue to move forward. That requires those running for public office to share their ideas and plans for wildlife and our great outdoors. In doing this, the candidates can elevate these issues to the level of importance they currently occupy across Tennessee.

Nearly 60 percent of Tennesseans participate in outdoor recreation each year — from hunting to birding to paddling to hiking. Among voters, 66 percent hold a hunting and fishing license.

Regardless of how we enjoy the great outdoors, we can agree they need to be conserved.

So, contact the campaigns on social media, through email, by phone, and at their events. Use your voice even before Election Day. Ask the candidates how they plan to make wildlife a priority in their administration.

For tools to make reaching the campaigns quick and easy, visit tnwf.org/Vote2018.

Michael Butler is the CEO of Tennessee Wildlife Federation, one of the largest and oldest organizations in Tennessee dedicated to the conservation of the state’s wildlife and natural resources.

Phil Valentine: Society declaring a war on white men

I’m sitting here wondering how all of the pink hat ladies can reconcile the fact that they so opposed Justice Kavanaugh because of some unsubstantiated claim of sexual assault, yet they turned out in droves to support Hillary Clinton, who has a long history of covering up for an alleged predator.

It does really make one question the sincerity of the movement. And to see Hillary herself in interviews day after day saying we have to believe the women. Not one interviewer confronted her with the ugly truth that she was in charge of “bimbo eruptions” while her husband was running for president and after he won.

Phil Valentine

The Democrats aren’t through with Brett Kavanaugh. They vow to impeach him if they take control of Congress. All the more reason that these people shouldn’t be anywhere near the keys of power. Someone needs to remind them you can only be impeached for conduct while you’re in office. That goes for justices and presidents. In other words, they can’t reach back in the histories of Kavanaugh and Trump and remove them from office. Chances are if they ignore their own inconsistencies on sexual assault, they’ll ignore the Constitution, too.

I was told of a conversation with a drunk millennial recently. The night after Kavanaugh’s confirmation, he insisted, “the bastard is guilty.” When pressed on what he was guilty of he eventually had to confess that he hadn’t followed the story and didn’t really know what he was accused of. But whatever it was, he was guilty.

Both sides engage in this type of judgment against the other all too often. We all have our preconceived notions, and we all make our assumptions. However, when it comes to something like sexual assault, it is totally irresponsible to assume guilt. Should we #BelieveSurvivors? If they’re really survivors of sexual assault, sure. That’s the problem. We have no idea how many of these unsubstantiated claims are made up. We have no idea how many of these women screaming at senators claiming they’re “survivors” have actually survived anything.

That’s not to diminish the horror that victims of sexual assault have gone through. Quite the contrary. Those who have been proven to be victims deserve our deepest sympathy and their attackers deserve our fiercest rage. But just claiming someone did something is not – and should not be – good enough for victim status.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the whole Kavanaugh circus, it’s that there’s now a new standard when it comes to sexual assault. If you’re accusing a conservative, you’re automatically believed. If you’re accusing a liberal, then the burden of proof is on you. We saw this with Bill Clinton. We saw this in the midst of the Kavanaugh hearings with Rep. Keith Ellison. Here’s a guy with far more evidence against him than Kavanaugh, yet a lawyer from a law firm that gave $500,000 to Democrats says she could find no evidence against him.

The left tried to tell us that normal standards of proof didn’t apply to Brett Kavanaugh because this wasn’t a trial; it was a job interview. OK, let’s go with that. So you’re saying that anybody who applies for a job can be immediately disqualified if someone just accuses him of something?

When this #MeToo movement first started, I joked with a female conservative activist friend of mine on the air about this being a conspiracy to silence men. She laughed. She’s not laughing any more. Make no mistake about it; this is a war against men. Specifically white men. No one should be silenced through false allegations.

Phil Valentine is a nationally syndicated talk radio host. Find him at philvalentine.com.

David Carroll: Sometimes recycling just isn’t worth it

About 10 years ago, I got a notice from “the city,” informing me that effective immediately, my family should begin separating and sorting the recyclables from our trash.

The reaction from my teenage sons was loud and whiny, drowned out only by my own cries of protest. (My wife, ever the environmentalist, was on board from the start).

The nerve of those city officials. Asking us to take an extra minute out of our day to put the recyclables in one container, and “plain old trash” in the other.

No longer could I take just one leisurely walk to the curb each week. Now it was two. It was such a sacrifice on my part.

David Carroll

Truth be told, we adjusted. We actually learned to like it. I would often boast that we were the recycling kings of our street. Yes, it was a little more work, but we were helping save the Earth.

Just this week, the city sent another envelope to my home. I don’t hear from my local government that often, so I knew it had to be important. Perhaps it was a property tax refund for the long-awaited repaving of my street that hasn’t happened since LBJ and Lady Bird were in the White House.

Sadly, this was not my lucky day. Instead, the city sent me, and several thousand other citizens, a recycling outreach kit. It included a refrigerator magnet, a sticker for my recycling container, and instructions on how to apply the sticker on the container. (Step 1: “With a damp rag, clean the container.” It just gets more complicated from there.)

In large block letters familiar to second graders everywhere, the sticker screamed, “CURBSIDE RECYCLING IS EASY!” (Well, evidently not, or you would not find it necessary to say that). It goes on to ask, “What can and cannot go in your curbside container? We would like to clear up any confusion.”

According to the city, I may put the following types of items in the blue container with its shiny new sticker: all plastics, mixed paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, and pizza to-go boxes. I know what you’re thinking: How did the city know about my pizza-to-go habit? Maybe they really do watch me from a tiny camera inside the microwave.

Then came those dreaded words: “NOT ACCEPTED.” Large red X’s make it clear that these types of items are not to be mixed with the mixed paper: “Clothing, Glass, Styrofoam, and Food.” At one time, glass and Styrofoam were accepted, so this is good information.

But about those others. Clothing? In the recycling container? The great comedian James Gregory might say, “Well, this means sometime in the past, somebody must have shouted out to her husband, ‘Honey? It’s recycle day. How ‘bout you go ‘round the house, collect all our old underwear, and them socks of yours with holes in the toes. I’ll bet they can recycle ‘em, and somebody will put ‘em to good use. Just drop ‘em in that big blue thing with the beer cans and Papa John’s boxes.’ ”

And then moments later, the husband hollered back, “Well you know what? We never did finish all that pizza, so let’s recycle that too. Got any other food we can recycle?” Soon, they gathered a bag full of half-eaten tater tots, watermelon rinds, and apple cores. (I’m not making this up: an apple core is the icon that is depicted under the big red “X.”)

Based on the evidence presented, this was the type of behavior that inspired the packet of instructions, magnets and stickers that landed in my mailbox.

Being a curious news reporter, I asked city officials how much it cost to instruct us not to recycle ketchup-stained T-shirts and outdated chip dip that had become a science project.

I was told, “We received a state environmental grant for $28,916 for the installation of permanent materials, mail communications, and outreach activities related to recycling. The total amount for the service and materials was a little over $39,000. The remainder was paid from funds designated to increase the recycling program, matching the grant.”

Grant money from government agencies is a wonderful thing, and it often goes to worthwhile projects. When announcements are made about grant money being awarded, we often forget that the money usually came from our pockets in the first place, along with the matching funds.

In my particular city, the streets to and from our major medical care facilities are washboard rough. If you didn’t come to the hospital to be treated for broken bones, you might have to before you leave. I don’t know how far $39,000 would go in paving those streets, but it would be a start. If these people would stop trying to recycle last week’s nachos, I would be able to drive without spilling my Coke.

David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” a collection of his best stories. You may contact him at 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405 or 3dc@epbfi.com.

Community Calendar: Oct. 18, 2018

POLICY: Information for the Community Calendar submitted in person, by mail or fax is due by noon Monday for publication. Items mailed should be typed or printed and sent to: Community Calendar, The Hartsville Vidette, 206 River St., Hartsville, TN 37074 or brought to the office during business hours. Free listing of nonprofit events, community club and government meetings. We reserve the right to reject or edit material. Include name and phone number in the event we have questions.


Thursday, Oct. 18

5:30 p.m. – Education Oversight Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Education Oversight Committee will hold an organizational meeting in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse. This committee meets on a quarterly basis.

6 p.m. – Purchasing Oversight Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Purchasing Oversight Committee will hold an organizational meeting in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse. They will also discuss the first quarter purchases for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. This committee meets on a quarterly basis.

6 p.m. – School Board

The Hartsville/Trousdale County School Board will hold its regular monthly meeting at the offices of the Board of Education, 103 Lock Six Rd.

7 p.m. – Economic Development Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Economic Development Committee will hold an organizational meeting in the downstairs courtroom of the courthouse. Future agenda points will also be discussed.

Monday, Oct. 22

10 a.m. – Professional Selection Committee

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Professional Selection Committee will meet in the county mayor’s office, 328 Broadway, to select service companies needed for the FY18 THDA HOME Grant.

7 p.m. – County Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting in the upstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Wednesday, Oct. 31

10 a.m. – Water Board

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Water Board will hold its regular monthly meeting at the county mayor’s office, 328 Broadway.

2 p.m. – Highway Commission

The Hartsville/Trousdale County Highway Commission will meet at the Highway Department for its regular monthly meeting.


Town Hall Meeting

Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency will host a Town Hall meeting on Monday, Oct. 22, at Trousdale Community Center. The meetings will begin at 5 p.m. and is for anyone interested in discussing the needs of low-income individuals and families in Trousdale County. MCCAA will use the feedback to adjust programs for the coming year in a community assessment. Finger foods will be provided.

Fall Festival

There will be a chili cook-off and fall festival at Trey Park in Hartsville on Saturday, Nov. 3 from noon-3 p.m., hosted by the Community Pregnancy Center. Admission is free. Bring your friends and family for live music, bake sale, cake walk, kid’s zone, craft sale and chili contest. The chili competition is free to enter and there will be a prize for the most popular. For more information, call or text 615-388-8619.

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteer drivers to deliver meals in Trousdale County one day a month to elderly clients outside Hartsville city limits. Call 615-374-3987.

American Legion

Attention all former military members! American Legion Post 56 of Trousdale County would like to invite you to come spend time with us and get information on the benefits the Legion has to offer. You served your country well, now let us know how the country and your community can help you! Call John LaFleur, 860-268-7303 for more information.

Adult Education

FREE GED/HiSET CLASSES! The Adult Learning Center holds adult education classes each Wednesday at the middle school. Call 615-374-1131 to schedule an appointment.


Thursday, Oct. 18

9 a.m. – Trip to Bowling Green Mall (lunch on own at Mall)

Friday, Oct. 19

9 a.m. – AF Exercise

10 a.m. – Tai Chi

11 a.m. – Yoga

11:30 a.m. – Trip to RBS A Southern Marketplace Barn Sale ($3, lunch on own)

Noon – Rook games

12:15 p.m. – SAIL Chair Exercise

1 p.m. – Wii Bowling

Monday, Oct. 22

8:45 a.m. – Walk w/ Ease

9:30 a.m. – Wii Bowling

11:30 a.m. – Bingocize w/ Highpoint Hospice

Tuesday, Oct. 23

9 a.m. – AF Exercise

10 a.m. – Yoga

11:30 a.m. – Current Events by Wilson Bank & Trust

Wednesday, Oct. 24

9 a.m. – Line Dancing

11 a.m. – AF Chair Exercise

Noon – Rook games

1 p.m. – Bible Study

Sheriff’s Reports: Oct. 18, 2018

Editor’s Note: The following are suspects booked in the Trousdale County jail during the specified timeframe. All persons charged are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Oct. 8

Taylor Nicole Demumbra, 24, of Castalian Springs, was charged with joyriding by Deputy Jesse Gentry. Bond was set for $1,500 and General Sessions court date was set for Nov. 9.

Daphne Ford, 47, of Westmoreland, was charged with worthless check by Deputy Brad Basford. Ford was cited to court and General Sessions court date was set for Dec. 14.

Oct. 9

Elma Elizabeth Buchanan, 39, of Lebanon, was charged with failure to pay by Deputy Jeffery Butcher. Bond was set for $243 and General Sessions court date was set for Nov. 9.

Tiriac C. Weir, 43, of Hartsville, was charged with driving on revoked license by Deputy Jeffery Butcher. Bond was set for $1,500 and General Sessions court date was set for Dec. 14.

Oct. 10

Clara Marie Thomas, 51, of Hartsville, was charged with public intoxication by Deputy Travis Blair. Bond was set for $1,000 and General Sessions court date was set for Nov. 14.

Oct. 11

Joshua Donovan Belew, 28, of Columbia, was charged with fraud-home improvement service provider by Deputy David Morgan. Bond was set for $10,000 and General Sessions court date was set for Oct. 15.

Quantavius Tyrone Hicks, 18, of Hartsville, was charged with theft-all other larceny by Deputy Gary Cato. Hicks was released on his own recognizance and General Sessions court date was set for Nov. 9.

James Edward Walden, 34, of Hartsville, was charged with aggravated domestic assault by Deputy Tony Wrinkle. Bond was set for $1,500 and General Sessions court date was set for Nov. 9.

Hartsville Rotary Club plans fishing, trap shoot events

If you like either fishing or shooting, the Hartsville Rotary Club has a pair of events that will suit you just fine!

On Saturday, Oct. 13, the Club will hold its third annual Hartsville Rotary Bass Tournament at the Defeated Creek Recreation Area on Cordell Hull Lake.

Fishers can take to the water at safe light and the tournament will run till 2 p.m. The entry fee is $30 per person, and Defeated Creek Marina will offer lunch for an additional $10.

Each boat can weight in five bass, and there will be cash prizes for both the largest bass of the day and the largest non-bass of the day.

Contestants must follow all safety rules and TWRA fishing guidelines for the lake.

For more information, contact Stanley Farley at 615-633-7041, Ronny Tucker at 615-680-4556 or Bill Painter at 615-519-5033.

On Saturday, Oct. 20, the Hartsville Rotary will hold its Clays 2 Raise Trap Shoot Classic at Van Thompson’s facility, located at 765 Davenport Lane in Castalian Springs.

Shooting will begin at 10 a.m. There is a $25 entry fee for a 50-target event, with gift card prizes of $50 and $25 for the top two finishers, plus a $25 for room for most improvement. There will also be a 25-target super 27 handicap at $20 per entry, with $40 and $20 gift card prizes.

An Annie Oakley shoot will be held at $1 per game with a minimum of three shoots, and long-range marksmen can test their aim with a .22 Henry rifle.

Shooters must bring their own guns and ammunition, but targets will be provided.

For more information on the trap shoot, call 615-300-6066.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

Trousdale band competes at Blue Devil Invitational

The Trousdale County High School Marching Yellow Jackets’ performance at the Blue Devil Invitational in Lebanon yielded mixed results Saturday.

Photo courtesy of The Lebanon Democrat

The Percussion section scored highest in Class A and also scored higher than any percussion section in the entire competition, beating larger bands such as Gallatin, Hendersonville and Wilson Central as well.

“I am very proud of our Percussion Section,” stated Band Director Rob Joines. “They have not had an instructor this year, and have worked themselves very, very hard. They are really a great example of the ‘Core Action #3’ that our district is striving to achieve.”

The excellent performance by the Percussion could not, however, rescue the Band from finishing in a disappointing third place in the class. Trousdale County lost to Forrest, which placed second, and Westmoreland, which placed first and also won the Small Division.

“Our Winds did not perform well. That’s my fault,” said Joines. “We are going to get better.”

On Saturday, the Marching Yellow Jackets will travel to compete in the Middle Tennessee Small Band Championship at Forrest.

Hartsville library launching Homebound program

Hartsville’s Fred A. Vaught Public Library is launching a Homebound Services program to provide for individuals who are unable to visit the library in person.

The program is the brainchild of Outreach Director Shelia Everett and Library Director Megan Lee.

“This is very new and we’re trying to get the word out about it,” said Lee. “It’s like the old Bookmobiles.

“We have a lot of people that used to come in and just can’t make it anymore. Hopefully with this, we can get to them.”

There is an application available either at the library on online via the library’s Facebook page. Patrons must have a library card, but can obtain one through the program if they do not already, and must be in good standing (no outstanding fines).

Homebound applicants must be unable to make it to the library, whether for disability or other reasons.

Those using the Homebound Program can access anything available at the library, from books (large and regular print) to magazines to CDs and DVDs.

Homebound users will also have a larger limit of 10 items that can be checked out at a time.

“If there’s anything they need, we’ll bring it to them,” Lee said. “We’re hoping this will be a big thing here that we can help people with.”

For more information on the program, call 615-374-3677.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

Look Back: Newspaper told the tale of Hartsville twins

Our articles this month are about local men and women who were written up in The Tennessean newspaper.

The Historical Society has been given, over the years, newspaper clippings that people have saved and stuck away in family Bibles or in dresser drawers. These are often faded and hard to read. But, the common thread to these is that they are “about someone from here-a-bouts !”

That is the case with not one, but two articles we have in our possession – about the Reese brothers.

We are introduced to the brothers, who were twins, in a photo and brief paragraph that appeared in the Oct. 31, 1939 issue of The Tennessean.

Reprinted with permission of The Tennessean
This faded photo was clipped from the Oct. 31, 1939 issue of The Tennessean newspaper and featured twin brothers with Hartsville roots.

The paragraph beneath the picture reads, “F.T. Reese, 314 Hancock Street, and his twin brother, T.J. Reese of 409 Madison Street, Franklin, Ky., celebrate their 87th birthday today. These twins were born in Trousdale County, near Hartsville, Tenn., October 31, 1852. F.T. is a retired insurance man and T.J. a retired farmer. Both are enjoying the best of health. Although they still act, talk, and look alike, T.J. has decided that he likes bow ties.”

The photograph is the one accompanying this article and we can see the family resemblance, even down to the hairline and moustaches!

Twins have always been unique, but the caption above the photo said it all, “A long time to be twins.” At 87, the men were defying convention in still another way – alive and healthy at such a ripe old age.

We learn more about the men when Francis Reese died in 1943 and an article was written about him, again in The Tennessean.

In this article, we learn more about the family and their roots here in Hartsville.

“Francis T. Reese was born some four miles from Hartsville when Hartsville was still in Macon County. (Note: The town of Hartsville would have been in Sumner County in 1852, but that end of the county where the men were born was in Macon County.) He had lived long enough to remember how his father had marched off with the Army of Tennessee in ’61.”

The article continues with how Francis married and spent his adult years.

“He married Miss Sidney Amanda Browning long before the turn of the century. Neither of them had ever been more than a few miles from the Hartsville neighborhood but a man named Greely was talking about ‘going West’ and a good many of the ‘young’uns’ were, so the Reeses packed up and went too.

They lived in Texas five years, and deciding they had had enough of Western ways, Mr. and Mrs. Reese and their three children hitched up a pair of oxen to a Texas covered wagon and started back to Tennessee.

In 1900 the Reese family moved to Nashville. Through with farming and the stock business, Mr. Reese told his family that he was going to become an insurance man. He bore out his contention, for when he was 74 the Interstate Insurance Company asked him to leave his own insurance business and go to work for them. And he did until he retired at the age of 81.”

But we don’t want to neglect his brother. The newspaper says that Frances, “looked forward to his twice-yearly trips to visit his twin brother in Franklin, Ky. Last October 31, tall, slender with a little grayed mustache, Mr. Reese boarded the bus for Franklin and went as usual to see T.J. … alone.”

No story about an aged gentleman concludes without a reference to why they lived so long and the article continues:

“Questioned about his longevity on his birthday, Mr. Reese accounted for it by saying that he had “never touched a drop of liquor, smoked, chewed or cussed. I’m a God-fearing man,” he explained. “I never missed a church service or Sunday school and I never went to a picture show; I vote for the best man, but I’m a Democrat.”

Frances and his wife had another child after their return from Texas, and his obituary lists three daughters and one son as being survivors – and his twin brother in Kentucky!

Thomas Jefferson Reese would outlive his twin by seven years, passing away in 1950 at the ripe old age of 98!

Jack McCall: Smoking with friends in the Brim Hollow

The story you are about to read is true. Names have been changed or omitted to protect the innocent – or the guilty.

I grew up in tobacco country. My great-grandmother Icey was a snuff dipper. My grandparents on both sides of the family refrained from using tobacco products of any kind. My mother admitted she smoked “a little” corn silk and “rabbit tobacco” when she was a girl. On the other hand, my father enjoyed a good chew now and then. It was not unusual for my father, as he walked down the hallway of a tobacco barn, to reach up and grab a “tip” leaf, blow the dust off, roll it up and stuff it inside his jaw. When he did buy chewing tobacco, he preferred Redman.

My experience with using tobacco products is rather limited. When I was 10 or 11, I smoked a big cigar one time right after eating two big bologna sandwiches. Made me sick as a dog. I pretty much laid off cigars after that.

Across the Miles
Jack McCall

Will Herod Brim, my maternal grandfather, died on Nov. 12, 1963. My grandmother, Lena, moved out of the Brim Hollow later that winter. The following summer, four of my best buddies and I camped out in the Brim Hollow. I say we camped out. We actually held up in a house long abandoned in the head of the hollow. The house was big, and spooky after dark. One night we had to halt telling ghost stories because one of my buddies got scared.

I was 13 years old in the summer of 1964. My buddies and I were well prepared when we entered Brim Hollow that summer. We had packed extra clothes, sleeping bags, cooking utensils, a four-day supply of food and cigarettes – lots of cigarettes. And we had matches too. Not just any matches. We had two big boxes of those “Strike Anywhere” matches.

We smoked to our hearts’ content for the first two days. I say we smoked. We actually puffed. We were too young and green to tolerate inhaling cigarette smoke. Whenever I did accidentally suck smoke into my lungs, it made me feel sick.

The first two days of camping were uneventful except for two happenings. My mother had packed supplies for cooking purposes in baby food jars. There was sugar, salt, pepper, Trend dishwashing powder, etc. The first morning, upon tasting my attempt at scrambled eggs, one of my buddies cried out, “Oow, these eggs are awful!!” He had seasoned his eggs with dishwashing powder instead of salt!

The other happening was more serious. We ran out of cigarettes. This called for some serious discussion. We decided to walk the two miles to downtown Riddleton and attempt to buy more.

I’m sure it was quite a sight, when all five of us, just barely teenagers, strolled into that country store that morning. If we had had the slightest bit of “cool,” we would have requested a carton of cigarettes under the guise of making a purchase for one of our parents. But, oh, no; smoking different brands was half the thrill.

The proprietor, whose name will go unmentioned, had the slightest hint of a smile come across his face as we began to rattle off brands. One of my buddies had the nerve to ask one of the others, “What kind did your father say he wanted?” The proprietor turned his head to one side to keep from laughing. He had us dead to rights. But, surprisingly, he went along with our charade.

We left the store that day with a pack of Marlboro, a pack of Winston, a pack of L&M’s, two packs of Kool’s, a pack of Salem’s, a pack of Newport’s and one pack of Sir Walter Raleigh.

I suppose we got smoking out of our system that summer. To this day, none of the five of us are cigarette smokers.

But I will say this. You won’t catch me running for political office or accepting a nomination for a judgeship. Because somebody will go back 54 years and accuse me of illegally purchasing cigarettes. I bet they would have a hard time finding witnesses.

Historical Society to tell ghost stories at October meeting

In keeping with the spirit of the Halloween season, the October meeting of the Trousdale County Historical Society will feature “ghost stories”!

Not just any ghost stories and not just any storyteller!

The society is excited to have Hartsville native Janie Gregory Winfree as our speaker – and Janie is well qualified to tell stories of any kind.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Janie grew up in Hartsville, graduated from TCHS in 1969, and then continued her education at MTSU. There she got degrees in Psychology and Sociology and received her teacher’s certification.

While her marriage and work took her to Texas for a while, it was another job that interests us. For 15 years Janie worked at the Hermitage, the home of Andrew Jackson, as its Director of Education – which included being the featured storyteller at the Hermitage for special events!

Now retired, she and her husband Dewey live in the Hiwassee community near Carthage.

Janie tells us that she stays busy with visits to her son and grandchildren in Georgia, as well as using her creative skills to express her interests in quilting, jewelry making, genealogy, photography, restoring antiques and collecting ghost stories!

That makes her doubly qualified to speak to the Historical Society and tell some of her stories!

Janie tells us that she has been jotting down local ghost stories for some time now and she will feature them in her presentation. She also warns us that she may be dressed in character for the event!

The meeting will be Saturday, Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. at the County Archives building on Broadway, behind the county office building across from the Sonic.

All Historical Society meetings are open to the public and readers are invited to join us for this special telling of scary, but possibly true, ghost stories.

Guest View: Community journalism still important to the people

Beyond the noise of the Beltway and the daily vilification of national media outlets, are community newspapers serving cities, counties and regions throughout the U.S.

Your local newspaper is far from being The Fake News.

Your newspaper is most definitely not The Enemy of the People.

In fact, the paper is the eyes, ears and voice of the people.

The people who work down at the paper are your friends, neighbors or maybe even your relatives.

They are dedicated men and women who work hard every day to inform, educate and entertain you.

Perhaps presidents and political figures have always railed against the media when they feel as if they are under attack.

Jim Zachary

But not like this.

President Donald J. Trump’s all-out assault on journalists is beyond the pale.

When he calls the media the enemy of the people and says the news they report is fake, he has gone way too far.

If he feels the need to push back against certain reports because he believes those specific stories contain false information, that is fair game.

But to malign journalism itself and to paint all journalists with one broad stroke is irresponsible and even dangerous to an open and free society.

The media must play an important role as the Fourth Estate, hold government in check and shine the light on all the actions of our governors. That is the very intention of the First Amendment.

The president does not seem to understand, or care, that all journalists everywhere – even here in your hometown – feel they are under constant attack.

That includes the reporter sitting next to you at the county commission meeting, the editorialist questioning a property tax increase by local government and the photographer taking pictures at your child’s school play.

Each of these local journalists is someone’s son, daughter, husband, wife, father, mother, brother, sister or cousin. They are not your enemies or the purveyors of fake news.

They have no desire to spread falsehoods.

They are decent people with tons of integrity. Many of them are young people just getting started in their careers, full of idealism and hope that in their own small way they can help make their own little corner of the world a better place.

Just imagine how it must make them feel every time someone parrots the loose words of the president and calls them The Fake News and The Enemy of the People.

Actually, they see themselves as truth tellers whose only desire is to serve their community. They do so by going to city council meetings, covering high school football games, telling the stories of your neighbors, sharing information about things to do, and, yes, by holding local government accountable when necessary.

You may support President Trump and his policies, but please do not join the president in his vitriol toward the press and vilification of the fine, hard-working men and women who are out covering meetings and events in the community each day.

It might even be nice during National Newspaper Week, when you see a reporter at a community event, your club or organization, at your child’s school or covering a public meeting to go up to them and simply thank them for what they do.

Jim Zachary is deputy national editor of CNHI and editor of the Valdosta Daily Times in Georgia. He also is president and chairman of Red & Black Publishing Co., serving the University of Georgia and vice president of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation. Zachary has won numerous awards for defense of the First Amendment, open government advocacy and editorial writing.

TCES, JSMS recognize students through Character Counts

Trousdale County Elementary School and Jim Satterfield Middle School recognized a number of students for showing good character in the first two months of the 2018-19 school year as part of the Character COUNTS! program.

Character COUNTS! is the nation’s most widely used character development framework, adopted by schools as well as youth, sports and civic organizations. It is based upon shared beliefs and consensus values, the “Six Pillars of Character.” These are qualities and traits associated with good character.

For August and September, the pillars were Trustworthy and Respect.

The nominations for students to be recognized for displaying these pillars are as follows:


TRUSTWORTHY: Emmy Sanchez, Judson Brown, Aubrie Gregory, Aubrie Harris, Nolan Vetetoe, Cecilia Cannon

RESPECT: Khrmun Locke, Farmer Gregory, Gracelin Walker, Duane Taylor, Joselyn Santiago-Cruz, Christopher McDonald, David McKoin, Maddie Christian, Christian Kittell, Emma Gammons, Noah Thompson, Lane Denning, Isaiah Cantrel, Bryson Morgan, Alexis Claiborne, Wyatt Maasen, Trey Wright, Lila Pope, Levi Headley


Dakota Spears, T.J. Dockery, Emilio Vasquez, Victor Hamilton, Alexus Smitley, Autumn Riley, Josh Anderson, McKenzy Thomas, Alivia Herrington, Stone Donoho, Jacory Burnley, Christian Wright