High school recognizes principal’s list, honor roll students

Trousdale County High School recognizes the following students who made the honor roll or principal’s list for the second nine weeks of the 2019-20 school year.


9th Grade: Elizabeth Harris, Levi Johnson, William Lannom

10th Grade: Ethan Boles, Dustin Burton, Madison Farley, Raina Guimont, Jaxson Henley, Tytus Mann, Zander Napier, Phillip Zarichansky

11th Grade: Mason Basford, Claire Belcher, Katelyn Brown, Rebecca Chapman, Heath Chasse, Makayla Crook, Destiny Douglas, Kirsten Eversole, Hannah Hailey, Cooper Helson, Elijah Henderson, Dalaney Lyons, Natalie Russell

12th Grade: Cameron Carr, Garrett Dies, Faith Freeman, Deli Garcia-Santiago, Hailey Givens, Daniel Hartley, Morgan Hendrix, Brianna Porter, Makenli Sadler


9th Grade: Cecilia Araiza, Brian Banks, Summer Brandon, Elizabeth Crabtree, Xochil Garcia-Santiago, Hannah Griffy, Victor Hamilton, Trinity Hayes, Naomi Napier, Autumn Parrish, Isaiah Towns, Harley Walker, Faith Wright, Miriam Zarichansky

10th Grade: Jenna Allen, Jarred Boles, Thomas Brown, Kane Burnley, Bryce Carman, Anthony Etter, Jess Holder, Mason Maddox, Jeremy Smith, Piper Triplett, Kierra White

11th Grade: Kegan Day, Shayla Doney, Taylor Ellis, Sidney Gregory, Erin Hix, Jazzlynn Marshall, Zachary Taylor, Faith Winter

12th Grade: Peyton Anderson, Asia Araiza, Ben Chumley, Chloe Donoho, Seth Finley, Josie Garrett, Caila Henley, Titus Henley, Will Holder, Scot Loerch, Haleigh Mungle, Makenna Reed, Brett Roberson, Tori Simmons, Sierra Stafford, Emilie Summers, Wyatt Verville

Abandoned home burns on West Main Street

Submitted photo

Trousdale County’s Volunteer Fire Department responded Sunday evening to a house fire on West Main Street.

The property, located virtually across the street from Hartsville’s Post Office, had been abandoned and no one was inside. Other reports said some of the local homeless population had been staying at the home, but EMS Director Matt Batey told The Vidette there appeared to be no evidence anyone had been inside at the time the fire started.

The fire department was called out around 9 p.m. and volunteers responded, along with the Riddleton-Dixon Springs Fire Department, Trousdale County Sheriff’s Department and Trousdale EMS. Tri-County Electric workers also were on scene but reportedly told responders there was no current electric service to the property.

Responders were on scene till around midnight and the road was shut down during that time.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected]

Trousdale Medical Center honors employees’ service

Submitted photo

Trousdale Medical Center recently held its annual Service Award Banquet to honor staff with 5 to 30 years of service. TMC also honored any associate with over 40 years of service.

Staff members received recognition for their years of service and enjoyed a meal catered by The Bearded Goat.

Honorees were: 5 years, Tori Williams and Jennifer Cartwright; 15 years, Pat Asberry, Stephanie Dennis, Henry McKoin, Susan Byrd and Chasity Jenkins; 20 years, Jason Lemanski and Janie Oldham; 25 years, Velba Johnson; 30 years, Geri Gregory; 40+ years, Larry Calhoun (49 years) and Robert Calhoun (56 years).

Looking Back: Trousdale man’s career path took him to Pentagon

Our visit with William James Gregory is not over!

We have seen “Greg” go from the tobacco fields of Trousdale County to the ranks of Air Force brass. And in 1965, he had been given a chance to study at the National War College in Washington, D.C.

It meant another move for the family, but his wife Helen and daughters Gretchen and Cookie had never complained. They willingly packed their bags for what would end up being a six-year stay.

The chance to study at the National War College is quite an honor. The stated goal of the unique institute is “to educate future leaders” and this was an indication that Greg had more assignments to come.

The student body of the college was slightly over half from the various armed forces, with the others selected from the State Department and even a few people from other nations. Greg would be surrounded by people who would be leading not only our nation, but also nations and armies around the globe.

Submitted photo
The Pentagon is often called “the largest office building in the world.” It is also where William James Gregory would be assigned to duty after leaving the National War College.

His area of study was Mexico, Central and South America, and he was able to combine that with studies at George Washington University to get his master’s in International Relations. His study included a month-long visit south of the border, with all expenses paid by the War College.

Greg would particularly study the farming practices of Mexico and how ownership of land affected the people and their ability to make a living. He was often reminded of his own father’s struggle as a tenant farmer.

Greg entered the war college with two Legion of Merit awards, the Air Metal with eight oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Commendation Medal. He also had a Medal of Merit from the Central Intelligence Agency – but he had to keep that one secret!

Greg had received a letter of commendation from none other than President John F. Kennedy, personally signed by JFK, for his excellent work with the U-2 flights that found the Russian missiles in Cuba. That letter also had to be kept secret and in fact, Greg was allowed only to see it and then turn it in to the CIA to keep!

What do you do with a man that has so much experience under his belt and his wealth of knowledge? Give him a job at the Pentagon!

If you have ever been to our nation’s capital, you can’t miss the Pentagon. Named for its five-sided shape, it has been billed as the largest office building in the world and encompasses a square mile!

His assignment was to work with the Directorate of Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare, with the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development within the Headquarters of the U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon.

Try putting that on the door of your office!

This was back in the 1960s and 70s, and one of his jobs was working with drones to see if they could be used for spying. I guess we have all heard of drones. This also shows you how far ahead our military is in their thinking. After all, most Americans were sitting at home excited about the new remote control for their TV!

While at the Pentagon, Greg received his third Legion of Merit.

Just to show you how people from tiny Trousdale County do rub shoulders with people who make the news, we share this little bit of information about Greg and his family.

In 1969, Greg’s wife Helen told him that her brother Jeff was getting married. He was marrying a widow with a couple of adult sons. Her name was Virginia.

They were all excited for Jeff and Virginia and they got to meet her grown sons.

The marriage was short, as Jeff Dwire died of natural causes in 1974.

Of course, Greg and Helen went to the funeral. Greg remembers how Virginia’s son, a 28-year-old named Bill, gave an impressive eulogy and afterwards he spoke to Bill to tell him so. They visited and Greg asked Bill what his future plans were.

Bill told him that he had decided to go back to his home state of Arkansas and go into politics.

That young man, who had so impressed Greg, was future U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton!

Jack McCall: I can’t keep track of all these acronyms

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find the accelerated use of acronyms and initials a bit confusing.

Of course, their use has always been around. There is ABC, CBS, NBC, and NPR. Later came CNN, MSNBC and FOX. In sports we have the NFL, MLB, the NBA and the WNBA. Within the NFL we have the NFC and the AFC. Now the XFL is back. There once was an AFL, not to be confused with the AFL-CIO. In world soccer we have FIFA, not to be mistaken for FICA. Those acronyms can get confusing really fast.

Legend has it that many years ago on a brutally hot summer day, an unusually big man showed up at D.T McCall’s & Sons store in Carthage. It was back in the day when my grandfather and three of my uncles made up the entire sales force. Eyes were always on the parking lot. They would literally meet customers at the door.

Across the Miles
Jack McCall

As the potential customer stepped away from his pickup truck, one of my uncles spotted him and headed for the store’s entrance. Opening the door, the big man paused for a moment to mop sweat from his forehead with a red bandana; his huge physique filling up the frame of the door.

“Can I hep ye?” was my uncle’s opening line.

In a desperate voice, the ole boy wailed out, “Mr. McCall, I need ah air conditioner!”

My uncle went right into his sales pitch.

“How big is your house?” he asked.

The ole boy gave him a confused look, as he blurted out, “I can’t see that’s got a thang to do with it!”

“Oh, it’s got everything to do with it!” countered the salesman. “We have to calculate how many BTUs you will need.”

“If you have a small house you might get by with a single window unit, say, 6000 -7000 BTUs. If you have a long, ranch-type house, you might need two window units, say 20,000-25,000 BTUs. If you have a real big house with an upstairs, you may need central heat and air. I don’t know, maybe, 40,000 -50,000 BTUs.”

Then came the closing question, “How many BTUs do you think you will need?”

The ole boy let out a deep sigh as he confessed, “Mr. McCall, I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout them BTUS, but I can tell you one thang. I need ah air conditioner big enough to cool a B-U-T big as a T-U-B!”

Well, there you have it. Those acronyms can be downright confusing.

I have worked with the healthcare folks for a number of years where you have CMOs, CNOs, DONs, LPNs, RNs, CRNAs, PTs, APTs, RTs and CNAs, to name only a few.

My doctor is constantly monitoring my BP, PSA, EKG, LDL, and HDL so I don’t D-I-E.

Of course, the bankers are always concerned with ROE and ROA while being careful to disclose APR and APY; all the while hoping you will open a new MMA or DDA. And they would prefer you purchase a CD (not to be confused with a compact disc).

Inside corporate America the COO and CFO collaborate with their CPA before they report to the CEO after checking with HR, the CIO and the DA, while keeping a close eye on the IRS, the FBI, and the DOJ, so they all don’t end up in the P-E-N.

Most colleges and universities offer a BS, BA, MA, MS, MBA, PhD and M.ED. ED was once an abbreviation for education. Not anymore. The testosterone and male enhancement supplement advertisers push ED solutions ad nausea. Makes one long for a more innocent time when there was a talking horse named Mr. Ed.

In sports, knee injuries result in a torn ACL, not to be confused with the ACLU.

Then we have BLT, BVD, DDS, DVM, DVR, IRA, UFO, EMT, the NRA, the NAACP and AOC. The list goes on and on.

Now we have come to a time where most would rather text than talk. Even texters prefer to abbreviate.

If one receives a text of a humorous nature, one might reply, “lol,” which I suppose means “laugh out loud.” Of course, it could mean, “lots of luck” (my personal preference). Or it could mean, “love ‘em or leave ‘em.” Who’s to say?

Here’s one I see occasionally – IMHO. I think it means, “In my humble opinion.” Or it might mean, “I may hang out.” Or it could mean, I’M Hung Over!” You never can tell!

Here’s one of my least favorite – OMG. Depending on the character of the sender, it could mean “Oh, my God!” “Oh, my goodness!” or “Oh, my gosh!”

Speaking of OMG, I’ve run out of time and space.

SYLA (see you later alligator)!

IMPACThought: Being rooted and grounded in love

In the Book of Ephesians, the beloved Apostle Paul’s exhortation, teaching and prayer were shared with the church that he had started on a missionary journey. Confirming and strengthening the new Christians was the heartbeat of the pioneer church planter. Paul’s heartbeat was for these dear saints of God to live a life of spiritual power and significance.

The mighty man of God prayed, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named…” (Ephesians 2: 14-15).

Submitted photo
Jon Shonebarger

Bowing in humble prayer before the Throne of God is where we all take our bold requests, intercessions and thanksgiving. Notice his recognition of all the fellow believers of Christ; we are identified as part of the family of God. Whether the believer has already gone to glory or whether they remain currently upon the earth, we are one family by the grace of God.

Paul’s intercession for the church continues, “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” (Ephesians 2:16).

The aged sage of the gospel knew through experience, revelation and sacred text that a believer in Christ could not live a blessed life through his own power. Our flesh is weak. We are sinners, saved by grace and prone to wander away from the paths of righteousness. Paul’s prayer was that the inner man, the regenerated spirit, be in fellowship with the Holy Spirit of God. A life with Holy Spirit power, presence and purpose is the life God intends for every member of the family.

Continuing, Paul prays, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 2:17-19).

The love of God is the earmark of the Christian disciple. It is paramount that the child of God be rooted and grounded in His love. This vibrant communion between the child and his Father will produce fruit that will impact a hurting and hateful world. The love of God should flow from the words and works of Christ’s family.

People will know we are Christians by our love! Oh, that we my fully comprehend the vast domain of God’s love for people. However, it is far beyond our ability to fully capture all that involves the holy, complete and righteous love of the Creator. It is too marvelous for our limited knowledge. Thus Paul prays that we can grow in the grace and knowledge and wonderfully reflect God’s love upon the earth.

Oh, that we may we enjoy the fullness of God! This must be our quest. This must be our spirit’s yearning. This must be our purpose in a life yielded to our Lord and Savior. Let us pray this prayer of the beloved Apostle and determine to be transformed into the image of Christ and His awesome love of others. Let us make a difference this week and impact our world.

Contact Jon Shonebarger at [email protected]

JSMS recognizes honor roll, perfect attendance

Jim Satterfield Middle School recognizes the following students who made the honor roll or had perfect attendance for the second nine weeks of the 2019-20 school year.


6th Grade: Dylan Kennedy, Merceah Lee, Evelyn Towns

7th Grade: Krysten Adcock, Beryl Chen, Alexis Smitley, Hana Tucker, Maggie Tyler

8th Grade: Zion Badru, Erin Chen, Kallie Jo Cornwell, Brooke Dismang, Julia Jones, Dalton Malmin


6th Grade: Natalie Anderson, Triston Carson, Hunter Cothron, Westin Dennis, Brenton Dunbar, Gage Farley, Taylor Frizzell, Kenidy Hatter, Brenna Matthews, William Pope, Cayden Ray, Evelyn Towns, Kylie Vaughn, Zoey Vaughn, Wyatt Whited

7th Grade: Kylie Carman, Ty Cothron, Marley Dalton, Elizabeth Denning, Avery Gilbreth, Caiden Gregory, Niera Woodmore, Owen Zarichansky

8th Grade: Rob Atwood, Parker Day, Mason Eden, Willow Jones, Aaliyah Moore, Mason Riger, Madison Rolin, Taren Simmons, Roderick Smith, Nathan Soulia, Gabriella Vaughn


6th Grade: Leah Banks, Thomas Byrd, Isabella Cardenas, Hunter Cothron, Westin Dennis, Wyatt Eden, Gage Farley, Nelli Garcia, Roberto Garza-Ramos, Jayden Hale, Damien Hamilton, William Hesson, Rocean Monson, Zaida Moyer, Abbigail Nelson, Whitney Parrish, Emma Pilewicz, Lila Pope, William Pope, Alia Ring, Marcilo Rodriguez, Mallory Stewart, Evelyn Towns, Kylie Vaughn

7th Grade: Krysten Adcock, Janae Aponte, Ethan Badru, Matthew Baker, Thomas Boner, Abbie Branscum, Jackson Brown, Savana Cantrell, Christopher Carman, Beryl Chen, Ty Cothron, McKenzie Crook, Christian Dalton, Savanah Dotson, Kayleigh Dunn, Ashlyn Elmore, Ella Elmore, Emma Elmore, Caiden Gregory, Holden Hackett, Dahlayla Harper, James Harper, Korlynn Harper, Olivia Jeffries, Mary Linville, Alex Livingston, Jedidiah Marshall, Adisyn McDaniel, Tamia McFarland, Mia Mitchell, Khalean Moore, Elijah Overman, Haiden Pope, Andrew Popeleski, Sara Shook, Skylor Smith, Alexis Smitley, Austin Spangler, McKenzy Thomas

8th Grade: Zion Badru, Caden Batey, Erin Chen, Brooke Dismang, Hayley Duff, Jordyn Dunbar, Austin Farley, William Fergusson, Diamond Fullilove, Carson Gray, Devin Hauskins, Robert Hinton, Emmy Johnson, Nevaeh Malone, Avery McEvoy, Ayana Mendez, Caleb Presley, Alceli Rodriguez, Madison Rolin, Roderick Smith, Alexander Smitley, Nathan Soulia, Faith Stafford, Cassidy Todd

Early voting underway for Tennessee’s March primary election

Early voting for the Presidential Preference Primary began Wednesday, Feb. 12, running Monday to Saturday until Tuesday, Feb. 25. Election Day is Tuesday, March 3.

The registration deadline to participate in the Presidential Preference Primary was Monday, Feb. 3.

In Trousdale County, early voting is held at the Election Commission office on Broadway.

File photo

“Interest is high as voters prepare to select leaders across all levels of government for the November ballot,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “Voters can take advantage of early voting since it offers voters the opportunities to find a convenient time and location to cast their ballots.”

Voters can find early voting and Election Day voting locations, view and mark sample ballots and much more with the GoVoteTN app or online at GoVoteTN.com. Download the GoVoteTN app, for free in the App Store or Google Play.

“Polling locations and times can vary during early voting and on Election Day, so it is important to check that information with your county election commission through our GoVoteTN app,” Hargett said.

State law requires polling locations and the area within a 100-foot boundary surrounding each entrance to remain campaign-free zones. This includes the display or distribution of campaign materials and the solicitation of votes for or against any person, party or question on the ballot in these areas.

Tennesseans voting early or on Election Day should remember to bring valid photo identification with them to the polls. A driver’s license or photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, by Tennessee state government or by the federal government are acceptable even if they are expired. College student IDs are not acceptable.

More information about what types of ID are acceptable can be found by calling the Division of Elections toll free 1-877-850-4959.

Looking Back: Trousdale pilot went from one spy plane into another

We have been looking at the career of William James Gregory, who was raised in Trousdale County and graduated from high school right here in Hartsville.

Greg took an early interest in airplanes while in college and then, due to World War II, went into the Army Air Corps and fought in the skies over North Africa and Italy.

As we have seen, his career took him all across our nation and even around the globe.

Last week we saw that Greg, as he was called by his co-workers, was the man in charge of the U-2 spy planes that took the photos of Russian missiles in Cuba that created the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Greg would tell his biographer, “Every day I thought for sure we would be going to war…”

Submitted photo
William James Gregory worked closely with the famous U-2 spy plane, but it would be replaced by this plane – the SR-71. It was capable of flying 2,100 miles per hour and at altitudes of 85,000 feet!

As it was, war was averted, but the U-2 spy plane was still kept busy.

Now there was growing concern over China and Vietnam!

Greg was still stationed out of Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, but at a moment’s notice he had to be able to take his support crew, numbering around 80 men, and his spy planes to any destination around the world.

They would fly into the closest military base to their targeted area and set up shop, flying the U-2 spy plane over their target and taking pictures. Those photos were top secret and immediately flown to CIA headquarters!

And all of this was “hush-hush.” Greg had to tell his family he was doing weather research!

After the Cuban Missile Crisis, one of Greg’s duties was to fly with former Russian prisoner Gary Powers on his first flight after his release, to recertify as a pilot!

His trips to Southeast Asia would keep him gone for months at a time, yet his dedication to duty and his ability to accomplish everything the nation demanded of him, led to his being promoted to colonel.

Now if you look at the order of military rank in the Air Force, it goes like this: Airman, Staff Sergeant, Master Sergeant, Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel and then Colonel! The next rank up was Brigadier General!

Pretty impressive and Greg, if he went by the accepted timeline for advancement of qualified personnel, was three years ahead of time!

Flying over Vietnam and the edges of China was, as can be imagined, dangerous work.

But now the flights took on a new twist.

The Air Force wanted its U-2 spy planes to be able to both land and take off from an aircraft carrier!

Who do you think was put to work on the task?

Called Operation Whale Tale, Greg worked with the crews and Lockheed Aircraft to make the adjustments needed for the powerful jets to land and take off from the deck of a carrier. Greg himself was one of the pilots who did the test landings!

It was only a matter of time before a new, improved spy plane was developed. The SR-71 was capable of flying at 2,100 mph and reaching the altitude of 85,000 feet. New and more powerful cameras had also been achieved.

These made the flights over the targets less dangerous as they would be too high to be shot down! Today we use satellite images to spy on our potential enemies, as well as the neighbor next door thanks to Google Earth!

And Greg’s career took a different direction.

Greg asked to be sent to the National War College in Washington, D.C. This could be the next step to making the rank of general!

The War College was an elite school. Each year a new class began a 10-month course of study, and the class was limited to 135 individuals from all branches of the military and government and even people from other nations.

Now at age 45, Greg and his family moved to our nation’s capital where he studied International Relations at the National War College. What would come next?

Jack McCall: Scenic views from the Columbia River Gorge

I’ve had the privilege of making speaking presentations in the state of Oregon on three occasions. A few years back I presented a seminar for the Oregon State Police in Pendleton, which is a 200-mile drive from Portland.

The Columbia River sets the border between Oregon and Washington State from Astoria, Ore., all the way to a few miles west of Pendleton. Three rivers, the Columbia, the Snake and the Yakima, converge at Kennewick in southeastern Washington to form the mighty Columbia River, which surges through the Columbia River Gorge on its way to the Pacific Ocean.

For the purpose of clarity, a canyon is formed when a river, over thousands of years, cuts its way through layers of rock to create a divide. On the other hand, a gorge is formed by an earthquake and when a river finds its way through the divide. I learned those facts when I first saw and became interested in the Columbia River Gorge. In my estimation, the Columbia River Gorge is one of the best-kept secrets in America.

Across the Miles
Jack McCall

Interstate 84 follows the course of the Columbia River inside the gorge from Portland to just west of Hermiston, Ore., a drive of approximately 150 miles. It is one of the most scenic drives you could ever hope to take.

On another occasion, I provided the after dinner speech for an agricultural cooperative annual meeting in Moro, Ore. Moro is located south of the only major center of commerce between Portland and Pendleton. It is called The Dalles, or The Port of the Dalles (pronounced like “the pals.”) Because of the depth of the gorge The Dalles, located almost 200 miles inland, serves as a shipping port for overseas markets.

When I was in Oregon for that engagement, I took an extra half-day and drove to Pendleton again.

Lucky for me, I was back in Portland not too long ago to speak for the Northwestern Leadership Conference. It was the annual meeting of the Chiefs of Police and Fire Chiefs of the state of Oregon. While there, in my spare time, I drove as far into the gorge as time would allow.

In my trips to Oregon here are a few things I have learned and observed.

The weather is not all that great. On my first two trips I saw the Columbia River Gorge on grey, misty, rainy days. I’m told the weather doesn’t break much out there. But on the last trip the weather was nearly perfect. And so was the Columbia River Gorge. You could see for miles.

The roads in Oregon are paved differently. I don’t know if it is because they use larger stone in the asphalt or if the weather out there wears the roads down, but the road surface is rougher, making for much more road noise.

As Interstate 84 follows the Columbia River on the Oregon side, Washington State Highway 14 follows the river on the other. And both states have train tracks that follow the river. As you drive along, you meet and pass trains boasting a hundred cars or more. And looking a half-mile across the river you can see long trains coming and going. At such a distance they look like tiny, toy train sets speeding along the bank of the river.

At two different places along I-84 you can take scenic Highway 30 up out of the gorge to get a better vantage point. On a clear day, the scene that unfolds up and down the gorge is spectacular.

Multnomah Falls can be seen inside the Columbia River Gorge about 35 miles outside of Portland. It drops an eye-popping 611 feet into the gorge. On Highway 30 inside the gorge, another waterfall called Horse Tail Falls is worth the stop. I promise you, the water comes off the top of the cliffs like the hairs in a horse’s tail!

As I was returning from my drive in the gorge last time, I saw something I had never seen before. It was made possible by the beautifully clear day and the time of the year. In front of me the Columbia River took a sharp bend and I could see the high, shear wall of the gorge forcing the river to the right. And high above the rock wall, snow-covered Mount Hood rose boldly and majestically in the far distance. And I experienced anew what the word “breath-taking” means.

Oh, and one more thing. They pump your gas for you in Oregon. It’s a state law. Talk about a unique experience!

Letter to the Editor: Keep Trousdale politics local, not national

Dear Editor,

The Trousdale County Commission is set to take up and vote on two resolutions, one concerning making Trousdale County a gun sanctuary and the other to refuse the resettlement of any refugees to our county.

As Chairman of the Trousdale County Democratic Party, I would like to state our opposition to both and to clarify our stance on the Second Amendment and immigration.

First, we do not see the need to declare our county a sanctuary for gun owners. We see this as a “non-issue,” as the Democratic Party does not seek a repeal of the Second Amendment. So residents are aware, to make a change in the United States Constitution, both the House and Senate would both have to pass any proposed amendment. It would then have to be signed by the President of the United States, and then be approved by three-fourths of the state legislatures of the nation – meaning 38 states would have to also pass the bill.

Metro Creative Connection

That is so unlikely as to be unreal.

Ninety percent of Americans approve of background checks for gun buyers and disapprove of guns with high-capacity chambers in the hands of average citizens. The Democratic Party, when talking about “gun control,” agrees with them. We do not wish to take anyone’s hunting rifles or handguns used for home and business protection.

I repeat: the Second Amendment is not in any danger.

To have our local County Commission declare us a “gun sanctuary” is an effort to divide our nation into two camps of them versus us. We do not need that – let the national government handle the big issues.

As to the need to declare that we refuse to resettle any refugees in our county, this too is unnecessary. Despite the ominous warning by a member of our County Commission that “the governor of Tennessee might bring a bus load of 25 or 50 refugee families and dump them onto Trousdale County,” that too is hyperbole, an obvious and intentional exaggeration.

The odds of any single refugee family being placed in Trousdale County are incredibly slim. A refugee family has to have a local sponsoring organization, such as a church or civic group, which would have the responsibility to arrange for housing, food and clothing and assist with their getting a job until that family is self-sufficient.

Again, this is a “hot button” topic intended to destroy communities and towns and further tear apart our nation.

We, the Trousdale County Democratic Party, want to go on record as opposing both these proposed resolutions.


John Oliver

Chairman, Trousdale County Democratic Party

IMPACThought: Follow Christ’s example of love for others

There are many people buying Valentine cards, flowers and candy this week! The Valentine’s Day holiday is immensely popular in our country. How incredible to be in love in springtime and to show your loved one your heart felt passion for them. What about receiving something from a secret admirer? It is sweet to be the recipient of these demonstrations of love. Best of all, it warms the heart coming out of the winter season.

In the Song of Solomon 7:6-7, the bridegroom speaks to his beloved and says, “Set a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm; for love is as strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, it would be utterly contemned.”

Submitted photo
Jon Shonebarger

The love described in this portion of Scripture is intense! The seal upon of the arm identifies the loved one committed by a vow. The mere glimpse of the seal conjures up passionate memories of our sweetheart and their lifelong bond. Our love is strong, emotional, binding and everlasting. It cannot be stolen away in the passing of our beloved. Our loved one will always have a permanent place deep in our being that can never fade. The coals of fire reveal the fire that burns deep in our bosom for the one whom we have given ourselves to. It is vehement, intense and gripping.

Imagine a love that cannot be extinguished. A firetruck with hoses connected to a hydrant could not quench this fire! It burns hot, it burns long, it is intense and it cannot be snuffed out. Oh what an amazing love! How much does a love like this cost? There is not enough money to put a price on such a glorious love.

While I have immense love for my spouse of 43 years, this love is the envy of any couple. The love described here in the Song of Solomon is the description of the love Jesus Christ has for His Church. The Scripture states that Jesus demonstrated His love by dying for the Church. His Church is non-other than His children, born of the Spirit, through faith in His sacrificial death and resurrection two thousand years ago! This is His love for Christians. Amazing love, how can it be? That Jesus Christ would die for me?

As you celebrate the love you have for your sweetheart, endeavor to love them like Christ loves you. His example of an eternal, vehement, priceless love should be the model of how we love others. Let us love like Jesus loves. What the world needs now is love; not only romantic love for our spouse, fiancé or date, but brotherly love that will change our world through compassion, sacrifice and brotherhood.

Enjoy your holiday!

Reach Jon Shonebarger at [email protected]

Rep. Weaver: Governor’s speech shows commitment to education

Greetings Fabulous Folks of the 40th!

My half-hour drive to DeKalb County’s Coffee Conversations was absolutely gorgeous! Fresh fallen snow never disappoints me while gazing through the windshield of my Yukon, affording me one spectacular panoramic view after the next.

An overview of this week confirms again how one week zooms by!

Selected as one of five female representatives to notify the Governor the Joint Convention is in session and awaiting his arrival, it was an honor escorting Gov. Bill Lee to the House Chamber where he would deliver his second State of the State address. The Chamber was packed with all the department heads, members of both chambers and their families to hear the proposed budget from the Executive Branch for the 2020 Legislative session. It is the Legislative Branch that votes on the budget every year and by our Tennessee Constitution it must be a balanced budget. It was a big night for public education, plus Gov. Lee made an emphasis on supporting rural Tennessee.

Terri Lynn Weaver

The Governor proposed $600 million in new education dollars, $117 million in teacher salaries, or a 4 percent increase, new standards for elementary literacy training that are phonic based, and $25 million to further increase broadband accessibility.

With a full plate for my bill package this year, Wednesday, Feb. 5 was the filing deadline date. Now due diligence is needed to prepare each one of the bills for committee presentations, and also to become knowledgeable on legislation that will come through the committee I chair in Transportation Safety and Funding. A whole lot of moving parts indeed!

We hear you on the ongoing issues at Tennessee’s Driver Service Centers across Tennessee and the hours that are spent awaiting your REAL ID. There are 44 service centers and many of them are not staffed accordingly coupled with the high demand for the new identification. We have until Oct. 1, 2020 to obtain a REAL ID. Yours truly is one of the “not yet got it” but needs to.

You are not required to have a REAL ID for everyday life; however, if I want to visit a nuclear facility (probably not but you never know), or enter a federal building (probably so), and most assuredly take my grandsons on an adventure on an airplane, I will go to the closest DMV location and join the masses.

House Insurance Chairman Robin Smith shared some information with us this week regarding existing Patient Assistance Programs for people who need help paying for their insulin. If you are struggling to afford insulin, this can assist you in receiving the help you need. These programs are for qualifying patients that may be insured, uninsured, or on Medicare:

Insulin Patient Assistance Programs

American Diabetes Association – insulinhelp.org;

Novo Nordisk – novocare.com, 1-844-NOVO4ME;

Eli Lilly – insulinaffordability.com, 1-833-808-1234;

Sanofi – sanofipatientconnection.com, insulinsvalyou.com, 1-888-847-4877

Be sure to check out my Top Topic 2 Minute Talk on Facebook every Thursday after session, Coffee Conversations every Friday in the District, and stay engaged on our very friendly Tennessee General Assembly Website. You can find the bills being proposed this session, committee hearings being video streamed and the discussions and debates at hand.

It is truly an honor to serve and work for you!


Terri Lynn Weaver

Michael Collins running for circuit court judge’s seat

Michael Collins has officially announced his campaign for Circuit Court Judge in the Republican primary on March 3, 2020.

Wilson, Smith and Macon counties are included in this primary race. Guided by his faith and conservative principles, Judge Collins’ belief is to follow the law, protect the community, and help others. Collins believes his experience on the bench as General Sessions Judge has prepared him for the Circuit Court.

Born and raised in Middle Tennessee, Judge Collins said his philosophy has always been simple, “hold dangerous criminals accountable, protect victims and their families, help non-violent drug addicted offenders lead purposeful lives and protect and defend the Constitution.”

Submitted photo

A native of Carthage, Collins was a gifted athlete in high school and was recognized as all state in multiple sports. He also excelled in the classroom, graduating in the top ten of his class and later graduating Cum Laude with a B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration at Middle Tennessee State University. Collins attended the University of Memphis law school and graduated in 2001 before coming home to Carthage to practice law. In 2014, Collins was elected General Sessions Judge where he currently serves on the bench. He was also elected to the Smith County School Board where he served as chairman of the board.

Collins has been involved in numerous philanthropic and community organizations including the Rotary Club, volunteer coach at Smith County High School and Carthage Elementary, and coach for the Little League and Minor League youth baseball. Collins was appointed by former Gov. Bill Haslam to serve on the Recovery Court Advisory Committee to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and awarded the Community Impact Award from the Drug Prevention Coalition. As founder of the first Misdemeanor Recovery Court in his district and founder of Bridging the Gap, Collins has been recognized as a leader in his efforts to curb drug addiction and help addicts lead lives of purpose.

Collins’ strong commitment to the community came from his father Harold “Slick” Collins, who is known throughout Middle Tennessee for his volunteerism and involvement in youth sports. His mother, Cindy, was a registered nurse and devout Christian before her untimely death to cancer. His stepmother, Wanda, is a devout Christian, active in her church and has volunteered beside his dad in volunteer youth sports. Michael has been married for 20 years to his wife Selicia, a special education teacher. They have two children, a son Case, and daughter, Lucy. The Collins family is active members of Carthage First Baptist Church where Michael teaches Sunday school and serves as a deacon.

Southern Home & Garden Expo returns this weekend

Wilson Bank & Trust’s annual home show will return to the Wilson County Expo Center this weekend with a variety of exhibitors ready to help with all types of home-related projects.

The Southern Home & Garden Expo takes place Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7-8. With free admission, the event provides access to dozens of Middle Tennessee businesses in the home improvement industry, featuring more than 115 exhibitors.

Submitted photo
Wilson Bank & Trust’s Southern Home & Garden Expo will take place at the Wilson County Expo Center on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7-8. The home show offers free access to local experts in construction, decorating, remodeling, financing and more, all under one roof.

Prizes and giveaways with combined values exceeding $12,000 will be given away at this year’s Expo, including:

  • A free umbrella for the first 500 visitors on Saturday, Feb. 8;
  • A $500 cash prize from Wilson Bank & Trust;
  • $2,500 in Benjamin Moore paint products from Fakes & Hooker; and
  • A $2,500 cement floor (500 square feet) from AgriKote Protective Coatings

Expo hours are 4-8 p.m. on Feb. 7, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 8. A food court and dining area will be located in the main hallway. WB&T also offers special construction financing rates that are only available during the event.

Free workshops scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8, will include:

  • Water testing at home, with Robertson Family Water;
  • Household energy efficiency, with Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp.;
  • Creating a raised garden bed, with Garden4Life;
  • Calling before you dig, with 811; and
  • A kids’ craft project with Home Depot, building a hot air balloon

Limited exhibit space is still available. Home-related businesses interested in reserving a booth can contact Jen Whitener at 615-443-7812.

For more information about the Southern Home & Garden Expo, visit wbthomegardenexpo.com.

A member of the FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender, Wilson Bank & Trust (wilsonbank.com), is a locally owned bank established in 1987 to provide personal and professional service in a hometown setting. One of the top banks in the South in stability, products, technology, growth and earnings, WB&T currently operates 28 full-service offices in nine Middle Tennessee counties, offering a full range of financial products that include secondary market mortgage loans and online banking services.

Trousdale Health Council receives grant from Walmart

The Trousdale County Health Council is pleased to announce that it has received a Walmart Community Grant through the Walmart Giving program. Walmart #879 at 419 Highway 52 Bypass in Lafayette has generously become a supporter of our #1 For Life Family Fun Day.

Submitted photo
Pictured from left: Angela Silcox, Walmart assistant manager; Brenda Harper, Health Council Chairperson; Christina Lankford, Walmart manager; Kathy Atwood, Health Council Treasurer.

The Family Fun Day, which will be held Saturday, April 25, is in its fourth year and has seen attendance grow each year. Over 400 attended last year’s event, which was held at the Hartsville City Park. The day is held to promote families playing together and is free to all participants.

The Trousdale County Health Council strives to offer programs that will promote the health of the Trousdale County residents throughout their life cycle. Some of their annual events include Trousdale Remembers, a suicide awareness and support event; Petals & Pearls and Tools & Ties, which are for middle school students; and Trek Across Trousdale, which promotes physical activity for all ages.

These programs could not happen if not for the support of our local businesses. The Walmart grant is through the Walmart Community Grant Program, which offers non-profit agencies support of needed programs within their community. Through the additional financial support from this grant, the Health Council will be able to expand the activities offered to participants during this fun-filled family day.

Looking Back: Trousdale man was part of U-2 spy program

William James Gregory was now a major in the United States Air Force. He had gone from walking behind the plow on a tenant farm in rural Trousdale County to adventures around the world – and there were more adventures ahead.

Last week we saw “Greg” go from flying bombers in World War II, to training pilots, to helping develop the technology and procedures that made mid-air fueling possible. He was the guy in the cockpit working out the tricky and dangerous operation!

Now he had been called to Washington for a highly confidential meeting and had no clue why.

We need to explain that after WWII, the United States realized that another global war might pit us against either Russia or China, or both. The Army, Air Force and Navy were going to be prepared this time and not caught off guard, as they were in their fight against Germany and Japan.

Submitted photo
This is the infamous U-2 spy plane, developed by Lockheed Aircraft and an important element in our story this week!

One trick in their arsenal was to do aerial reconnaissance over those nations and not be caught in the process. This way they would be aware of massing of troops or any missile development or deployment.

The answer was a plane called the U-2. You may have heard of it.

In 1960 a U-2 piloted by Gary Powers was shot down over Russia and that nation immediately accused the U.S. of spying!

It was an embarrassing situation as we were indeed doing just that!

So then-President Eisenhower had to take it on the chin and the program was scrapped – or was it?

Greg was a competent flyer, a great man at training pilots, level headed and reliable.

Now he was asked to move to Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert to continue the U-2 program and make it reliable and safe for us to use!

Not only would Greg have to move his family to a new place, but he would have to maintain the utmost secrecy about what he was doing. Even his family was not aware of what he was working on.

Once there, as the family settled in to their base housing, Greg set about working with the controversial U-2 plane. This included having his hands at the wheel.

To illustrate how dangerous this new job was, he had to maintain a separate identity to use (and memorize) in case he was ever flying a U-2 himself and was shot down. This separate identity would keep his real name and residence from the enemy. It also involved him keeping a fake correspondence regularly with a CIA operative that required him to send coded messages as if the operative was merely a friend. This was so he could communicate with letters that would look casual but contain a secret message that only the CIA could read!

Greg handled the job perfectly.

There is much we could tell. But the main thing is that Greg had to prepare the U-2 pilots and a ground crew that could, with 24 hours’ notice, travel around the globe and do reconnaissance. And he did just that.

The plane had by now evolved to flying greater heights. There were 10 planes and pilots and a ground crew of 70 that Greg was in charge of!

Then while doing minor flights over other nations and keeping prepared for a real need, a real need happened.

In 1962 he was called to fly his men over the island nation of Cuba. It seems there was a chance that Russia was building a missile base there.

In secrecy, Greg had his crew fly over Cuba and take photos – photos that only hours later were in the hands of President John F. Kennedy.

It was the Cuban Missile Crisis!

We know how it ended.

We challenged Russia and threatened war if they continued with the construction of the missile bases and they backed down!

And unknown to even his wife, our own William James Gregory was the man in midst of it all!

Jack McCall: The beauty of a black iron skillet

There are many things that tie me to the past. I suppose there is no item which does so better than a black iron skillet. My maternal grandmother (we called her “Granny Lena”) had a kitchen filled with cast-iron cooking utensils. There was one for muffins, and one for cornbread sticks, and then there were a half-dozen black iron skillets of various sizes. My favorite, and most memorable, was the biggest one. It was the biggest skillet I believe I have ever seen.

I think I remember it best because of its utility. Granny Lena used it when she cooked “dog bread.” My grandparents owned two dogs back in the days of my childhood. There was Ole Skip, who was part collie; and Watch, a black German Shepard. Both were big dogs. And they ate a lot of dog bread.

Across the Miles
Jack McCall

Granny Lena had a simple recipe for her dog bread. The main ingredient was course-ground yellow corn meal, which my grandfather had ground at the feed mill. He brought home a big sackful every so often. The other two ingredients were water and cooking grease. Let me clarify the term “cooking grease” here. The drippings from frying country ham were used to make red-eyed gravy, and bacon drippings were saved for seasoning vegetables. All the other grease derived from cooking meat was saved for dog bread. Nothing was wasted.

Ole Skip and Watch loved that dog bread. It was filling, and the grease in it made for a healthy, shining hair coat.

A feature in Granny Lena’s kitchen was that big, black iron skillet filled with dog bread, sitting on a cooling rack. Sometimes it was filled with bread just cooked. Sometimes it was half-full. And sometimes there was only one piece left. It smelled divine. And it was very tempting. I was instructed on many occasions not to be eating the dog bread, but I can tell you the crust was might fine.

The dog bread experience is one of many reasons for my fascination with black iron skillets.

A few years ago, I made a keynote speech for the International Cookware Association. There were representatives of the cookware industry from all over the world in attendance. At the meeting, I met the Kellerman family of the Lodge Manufacturing Company. They had traveled all the way from South Pittsburg, Tenn., to be there. That’s right, South Pittsburg, home of the finest cast-iron cookware in the world. They sell under the “Lodge” brand. You have seen it in the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, and other fine stores.

Well I was so inspired that a year later, when I was in the area, I stopped in South Pittsburg at the Lodge Outlet and purchased three black iron skillets. I found you could buy them “seasoned” or “unseasoned.” With the help of some of my friends, I learned how to “season” a black iron skillet. I also have learned you don’t use detergent when cleaning a skillet.

My late mother used to say cooks of yesteryear were great cooks because they “cooked.” By that she meant they were constantly cooking. Their black iron skillets didn’t require special care because those skillets were continuously being used.

For several years I cooked with black iron skillets almost every week. The Whosoever Will Men’s Sunday School Class meets every Sunday morning in downtown Hartsville. For a while there, our membership consumed 60 buttermilk biscuits, a quarter country ham, three pounds of Tennessee Pride hot sausage, two 12-packs of soft drinks, and two pots of coffee. (Now on Sunday morning, the staff at the early Bird Café does all the cooking.)

I have one black iron skillet that is almost as big as the one in which Granny Lena cooked her dog bread. You can layer country ham slices in it, add a half-cup of water, cover the skillet tightly with aluminum foil, and bake it in a 350-degree oven for 45-50 minutes. Let me just say any buttermilk biscuit is proud to sandwich that moist and tender country ham!

But the job is not finished until I clean that skillet and ready it for the next time. I carefully wash it (remember, no detergent!), and dry it with a paper towel. Then while the skillet is still warm, I drop a dab of bacon grease in the bottom of the skillet; and after the grease has melted, I cover the skillet, inside and out, with an ever-so-thin coat of oil.

When the task is completed, I see that skillet resting on the stovetop, black as night and shining like new money. It is a beautiful thing!

Learn about our local hospital at next Chamber meeting

Please make plans to join up for the February Community Chamber of Commerce meeting being held on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at noon in the Community Center, 301 E. Main St.

Our program features Trousdale Medical Center. Jennifer Holder, Chief Nursing Officer, and Kelly Anderson, Emergency Room Director, will update us on facility improvements, current health and wellness programs, as well as the outlook for TMC. These two ladies are dedicated to TMC and bring a wealth of experience to its operation. I frequently receive calls from local residents concerned by the closing of many rural hospitals in Tennessee, so bring your questions.

Natalie Knudsen

Lunch will include potato soup, chili, green salad, grilled cheese, cake and beverage. Cost is $10, catered by the Hartsville United Methodist Women. This meeting is free and open to the public. Lunch is offered but not required to attend the meeting.

The Chamber’s Facebook page sparked a number of comments in response to our posting of the Home Town contest. In case you missed it, the contest was looking for a small town in the South where the HGTV series Home Town could film an entire season renovating residential and commercial properties. The series follows a young couple in Laurel, Miss., who are improving their small town – that had fallen on hard times -one house at a time.

Yes, I realize this is television. Yes, I realize it’s not all roses and sunshine. But the fact is, the movement of people back to small towns is real. Younger people are looking to leave the fast-paced cities behind and mature couples are going back to their roots.

Small Town Revolution featuring Amanda Brinkman and Ty Pennington, and a less formal movement by Mike Wolfe, known as half of the American Pickers team, offer two more programs featuring small towns. Their work focuses on bringing life and profitability back to downtown businesses and buildings.

What will determine which small towns thrive and which continue their decline? I think it comes down to attitude. Do we want to find a way to keep our identity while moving forward, or do we want to find every excuse not to be positive about our future? Growth will continue coming to Hartsville and Trousdale County as Nashville continues its phenomenal expansion. Do we want to look forward with hope or stick our heads in the sand?

The Chamber is currently holding its annual Membership Drive. If you are not a member and would like to join, please contact the Chamber at [email protected] Your membership is more important than ever this year as we will be printing a large-format Business/City Guide. This publication will feature short articles on our history, schools, tourism opportunities and much more. Only current Chamber members will be included in the business directory.

The publication will feature local photography on the front and back covers as well. Printing and production costs will be paid for through ad sales. It will be free at local convenience stores, banks, the city offices and much more. Thank you to all of our Chamber members for your continued support.

Hartsville Rotary to hold Father-Daughter Dance Feb. 15

The Hartsville Rotary Club will be sponsoring its fourth annual Father-Daughter Dance for the community next weekend.

The dance will be held in the auditorium at Trousdale County High School Community Center on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 6-8 p.m. Children should be of at least kindergarten age to attend. Light refreshments will be provided.

The cost is $25 per father/daughter, and $5 for additional daughters. Mothers may take photos outside the auditorium but will not be allowed inside as the event is for fathers and daughters only.

Tickets are currently available at Wilson Bank & Trust and Citizens Bank. Money raised will go toward the Rotary Club’s various service projects in the community.

“This has become one of our most popular events in the community,” said Rotary Club President Chris Gregory. “It’s a lot of fun for us to see the excitement in the kids’ faces and the daddies, grandfathers or other grown-ups have a great time too!”

According to the Rotary Club, “this is a chance for young ladies and the male figure role model in their lives to enjoy an evening they’ll never forget.”